In this month’s edition of “well-built plugins”, we’re taking a look at Contact Form 7 for WordPress. Specifically, we’ll be customizing validation error messages on the front end. The popular contact form builder plugin is quite easy to extend, so let’s jump right in.
Extending well-built WordPress plugins and themes is something I do almost daily. Gravity Forms is a popular form-building plugin for WordPress that I integrate and customize quite frequently. Custom form fields, form settings, and third-party integrations are common requests.
Recently, I had to find a way to handle custom, dynamic redirects on form submission. The redirect would be dependent on query string parameters provided by an inbound affiliate link. I was able to quickly create a solution due, in no small part, to the fact that Gravity Forms is a “well-built” plugin.[ref]A “well-built” third-party plugin/theme means that it adheres to WordPress Coding Standards and makes APIs/hooks available to other developers for extending the base functionality, among other things.[/ref]
As WordPress continues its march towards the Gutenberg-focused version 5.0, today it released an intermediate update. Version 4.9.2 is pretty standard fare for a “dot” release, resolving an XSS vulnerability in the MediaElement library and 21 bug fixes. Per usual, make sure your installation is updated as soon as possible. If you need help, please contact me.
The bug fixes include enhanced browser compatibility, styling issues, and enabling MySQLi[ref]Finally. Using MySQLi by default has been a long time coming.[/ref] by default.
With the seriousness of the release out of the way, I’d like to discuss a bit of comic relief embedded in on the the Trac tickets resolved in this release.
UpdraftPlus – Exclude WordPress-Generated Image Thumbnails From Backups
I had a call this week with a client who manages a few WordPress sites. One of the things they do, like me, is backup files. The plugin they chose for their workflow is UpdraftPlus. The client hosts all of their clients’ websites on one server, so storage space has become an issue. Fortunately, I was able to create a simple solution to mitigate the problem by excluding image thumbnails from automated backups.
WordPress has released its 12th update for 2017, and it’s also the second minor version pushed out this year. WordPress 4.9 includes a lot for users. “Tipton” introduces changesets for theme customizations, previewing, and scheduling of theme customizer updates and code editing syntax highlighting, autocompletion, and error checking using CodeMirror. Finally, there’s a new Gallery widget and an “Add Media” button for the venerable text widget.[ref]Days of hard-coding images into the text widget are seemingly over.[/ref]
As usual with each new release, I look for improvements and additions for developers. Although there isn’t quite as much for developers in this specific version, there are a few key inclusions that I wanted to highlight.
I’ve neglected going to a WordCamp for far too long, and I’m going to change that by attending the one in Atlanta March 17-19, 2017! I usually reserve my weekends for anything other than work, but I feel the return on investment for attending a WordCamp is too great to ignore. So, I’ve booked a nice hotel in downtown, blocked off my schedule, and started planning my travel.