Testing Plugins and Themes on Multiple WordPress Versions

If you’re a theme or plugin developer, it’s essential to support at least WordPress 3.3+. Smaller sites and blogs have an easier time upgrading to the latest WP version. However, upgrading large corporate sites becomes a major operation because the codebase is usually collaborative and has many dependencies built on earlier versions. With that said, it’s good to be inclusive of those users as well by adding backwards compatibility.

I typically test my plugins on the major releases. If users have issues on minor releases, I’ll generate an install for that version on my local environment and debug from there.

Get file permissions, owner and group with PHP

Here are a few functions to help you when interacting with files in your php scripts:

Find the owner of a file:
An array of information about the owner is returned.

function foo_get_file_ownership($file){
	$stat = stat($file);
		$group = posix_getgrgid($stat[5]);
		$user = posix_getpwuid($stat[4]);
		return compact('user', 'group');
		return false;

Get the four digit file permissions number:
A permissions string is returned. Example: 0755

function foo_get_file_perms($file){
	return substr(sprintf('%o', fileperms($file)), -4);


Debug This – WordPress Plugin

I’m excited to release my latest plugin. It’s a great tool for developers to debug their plugins or themes. Debug This comes with 49 different debug modes to help expose specific raw data when you need it. The benefit of Debug This is the time saved from hardcoding var_dump or print_r to see WP globals, queried objects, etc… Developers can easily add new debug modes from their theme or plugin.

Debug This utilizes the WordPress Admin bar for mode navigation. All mode navigation links are relative to whatever page/post you are viewing. Custom modes and be nested in grouped drop-downs.

I really like the Debug Bar plugin and I’ve created several extensions for my personal use. However, there are times when I want to see the raw data in a full-screen width. Once you click a Debug This mode, it takes you to an immersive full-width experience.

Finally, DT renders the page first before displaying the debug mode. Custom debug extensions can analyze the rendered page with the supplied buffer in their callback function. This allows for intricate debugging that no other plugin offers (that I know of).

Update: If Debug This doesn’t suit your needs, I came across another great debug plugin called Debug Objects.

Debug This

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Audit Post Attachments

One of the more annoying things about WordPress is the inability to see how many files are attached to a post without invoking the media upload area. Here’s a plugin I whipped up to report posts and their attachments by post type. Enjoy!

WordPress Remove Attachment Rows Where File Doesn’t Exist

Here’s a nifty script I cooked up tonight. This basically looks through all of your attachments and see if the associated real files exist on the server. If they don’t, the attachment database row is deleted. I realize this isn’t the most useful tool for everyday use. It was built for a one-off use case and I didn’t want this script to get dusty in my local files. So, here it is for your consumption or truncation!

Sublime Text WordPress Snippets and Auto-completions

I have become a huge fan of Sublime Text 2 as of late. It’s a simple, yet behemoth-featured editor that allows you to craft your own unique editing experiences. This post is not touting all the wonderful features about Sublime, but if you’re not using it you should be. It’s available for Mac, Windows and Linux.

I primarily develop websites based on WordPress, and I find myself frequenting the Codex on a daily basis to look up parameters that I haven’t memorized. Over time this can amount to a lot of time wasted. Fortunately for me and you, there is a Sublime WordPress package ready for you to install in mere seconds. This gives us a lot of WordPress goodness at our fingertips right in the editor.

To install through Package Manager, type CMD-SHFT-P (Macs) and ‘Type Package Control: Install Package’. Wait for the package search dialogue to appear then type ‘WordPress’ and hit enter. Boom. Done.

To take advantage of all the new WordPress goodness, simply type a WP-specific function and hit tab to auto-complete. Repeatedly hitting tab will move through the function parameters. There is also snippet goodness as well. You can take a look at all of the snippets and auto-completions here.

For instance if you would like to insert a plugin header, make sure you are in PHP syntax mode and type ‘plugin_head’ and then hit tab. In the CSS syntax mode, you can type ‘theme_head’ and move through all of the definitions with the tab key.

This is not even the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg with Sublime. Here’s a great course on what Sublime can do for you and your workflow.

If you would like to install the WordPress Sublime package manually, go to: https://github.com/purplefish32/sublime-text-2-wordpress and clone the repo to your package library.