Category: WordPress

Improve WordPress

Every web developer has made his or her own CMS, possibly even several times. Alone or in a team. What is often underestimated is the time and energy needed to maintain and improve everything once a website works with the CMS.
In the meantime, a number of large Content Management Systems have become established. One of them is WordPress, which supports about 30% of the most popular websites.

WordPress is known for its user-friendly backend and the many plugins that give you the opportunity to create all kinds of websites with WordPress. Where this used to be a real blog engine, it has evolved into a flexible platform to build all kinds of websites.
Another strength of WordPress is the large community that works together to make WordPress better. This is not just about programming! There are so many tasks to do that make WordPress what it is today. The power of a platform like WordPress is, in my opinion, determined by the community that contributes to WordPress.

How can I help?

Anyone can become a member of the WordPress community in order to work on it and thus improve the platform. This is free and strongly encouraged. You don’t have to be able to program, there are so many other tasks you can use your knowledge and skills for. This can range from supporting other users to development and marketing. You will have to find out which aspect of the community suits you best. This depends not only on your knowledge, but if possible even more on what makes you happy!

The WordPress community is divided into several teams, with each team focusing on a specific part of the development and promotion of WordPress. Below you will find a selection of teams:

  • Core: develop WordPress code
  • Design: improve and develop the user interface design
  • Accessibility: improve accessibility throughout the WordPress project
  • Polyglots: translate WordPress into your own language
  • Support: answer questions on the different support channels
  • Documentation: create documentation
  • Themes: assess and approve the themes submitted in the WordPress Theme repository
  • Plugins: review and approve the plugins submitted in the WordPress Plugin repository.
  • Training: make downloadable lesson plans and related material for teachers
  • Test: test, document and report on the WordPress user experience

The complete list of all existing teams can be found on the Make WordPress website.

Why am I putting that list here? To show that WordPress is about much more than just programming. Of course, without code there will be no WordPress, but you can use your knowledge perfectly in many other areas.

In addition to your knowledge, the time available is also an important factor in determining how you can participate in WordPress. I am convinced that you will be able to contribute when you can spend 15 minutes! Maybe let’s start with translations?

WP i18n logo

Translate WordPress

On May 11th 2019, the 4th WP Translation Day was organized! This global event will put focus on translations of WordPress. During the 24 hours, everyone is encouraged to contribute by submitting new translations to the WordPress repository.

WordPress can only be this popular all over the world, because it’s supported by multiple languages. The default language, when you download WordPress is English, but the Polyglot teams translate every string other languages. At this moment, there are 51 different and up-to-date translations of WordPress. Joining a Polyglot team and translating untranslated strings or improving existing translations is considered an easy first step into contributing to WordPress.

Start to translate WordPress

To start translating WordPress, you can follow these steps:

Search for your locale
Search your locale
  1. Login or Register on
  2. Go to
  3. Search your locale and click “Contribute Translation”
  4. Find a project you’d like to translate.
    1. WordPress: The core of your website
    2. Themes: Free themes
    3. Plugins: Open source plugins
    4. Meta: Websites of WordPress itself
    5. Apps: Apps to manage your WordPress website
  5. Click the “Translate Project” button for the item of your choice
  6. Click on a Set or Subproject
  7. Double click the row you want to translate and start typing your translation
  8. When finished a translation, click on “Suggest new translation”
  9. The translation awaits approval by community members with the “Editor” permissions
Click on the number to get untranslated string pre-filtered
Tip: Click on the number under “Untranslated” to get the prefiltered strings

The updated editor

Right before WP Translation Day, a new translation editor is released! Thanks for everyone who contributed to this major improvement.

I would like to highlight 5 features of the new translation editor interface:

  1. The string that needs translation. This, of course, is not changed.
  2. You can easily toggle between strings and close the editor.
  3. This field is also not changed. You can enter the translated text in this text area.
  4. Sometimes, a string should be copied from the original language. So you can click on the most left button. When clicking the question mark, you get help information.
  5. Some string were already (partially) translated in other parts of the code. Translation Memory is a new feature and will suggest a translation if possible.

Don’t rush!

An open source project, like WordPress relies on the contributions of your time. The more time you and the rest of the community spends on improving WordPress, the better WordPress will become. On the other hand, we all have a family, hobby, job, … It’s important to balance your time, energy and attention between all of these.

I started translating WordPress a while ago and it was very motivating when a new translated item was submitted and accepted. Even on this level, I spend most part of a week on it. This wax not sustainable, so I set myself a limit:

Every other working day, I work on 20 untranslated strings.

Start to translate WordPress

I can keep up with this pace and on a monthly basis, I have roughly 200 new translated strings.

WP Hasselt Meetup - Gutenberg Theme Night

WP Meetup Hasselt – Gutenberg theme night

Er begint zich een soort van regelmaat te komen in de bijeenkomsten voor de WordPress Meetup Hasselt groep. Iedere 2 maanden komen we samen. Na de vorige editie omtrent beveiliging van je website, was het nog eens tijd om te luisteren naar twee vaste waarden in de Belgische WordPress community. Csaba en Veerle lieten ons verder kennis maken met de Gutenberg editor. Aan de ene kant door het thema Twenty Nineteen en aan de andere kant door meer inzicht te geven op de technische mogelijkheden die je met eenvoudige hooks en filters kan benutten.

Het volledige artikel kan je nalezen op de website van WP Belgium, maar als ik er toch 1 punt moet uitnemen:

Gutenberg is de editor voor de komende jaren waarvan de mogelijkheden alleen maar zullen uitbreiden

WP Meetup Hasselt – Beveiliging

De eerste samenkomst van 2019 met de WordPress Meetup Hasselt ging over beveiliging. Met een kleine 20 deelnemers, was er heel wat ervaring met WordPress aanwezig. Daarnaast legt iedereen zijn eigen accenten bij het beveiligen want WordPress websites en niemand heeft de waarheid in pacht. We kozen daarom om een rondetafel methode te gebruiken. Zo kon iedereen zijn vragen stellen en inbreng doen.

Het volledige artikel kan je nalezen op de website van WP Belgium, maar als ik er toch 1 punt moet uitnemen om steeds aan te denken:

Zorg dat je WordPress installatie en de plugins steeds hun updates krijgen!

PS: Wens je deel te nemen aan de meetups, zie meer informatie hieronder:

WordPress Hasselt Meetup

Hasselt, BE
233 Members

We’re a group of local WordPress developers, designers, and publishers who get together to share our knowledge and experience, and to meet other WordPress users in the area. T…

Check out this Meetup Group →

WordPress 5.0 released

It took more than a year of development by the community to get to the WordPress 5.0 release. I think it’s a job well done. There are a lot of improvements that can be done, but upgrading from WordPress 4.9.8 to 5.0 goes without any problem.

I experimented some more with the new release and wrote about it on our AppSaloon website.

WP Meetup Hasselt – Performance

Every 2 months, there is a WordPress Meetup Hasselt. This time we did a little experiment: We combined a talk about Website Performance with a hands-on session. This gave us an opportunity to put the new knowledge into practice.

On beforehand we asked all participants to bring their laptops so they could work on any of their own websites. If there was no website available, a test-site was available to work with.

The full report of the meetup is available on the website of WP Belgium.

Example of a massive Advent Calendar

RipsTech PHP Security Advent Calendar

The advent is the period of roughly 24 days before Christmas and is typically a period of looking forward to A well-known tool to help you remind the progress is an Advent Calendar.

RipsTech released an Advents Calendar the past 2 years about general PHP vulnerabilities and they gave the idea a new spin. This year they focus on WordPress plugin vulnerabilities.

As you can see on the right, on every tile, there is an indication of the installation counts.

Example of a day in the Events Calendar

Every day of the Advent, RipsTech releases a short explanation of a specific vulnerability in one of the most-used plugins in the WordPress Ecosystem.

SpinupWP: A first impression featured image

SpinupWP: A first impression

Hosting a WordPress website is easy these days. Most hosting companies have it available as a one-click install, which will give you a clean WordPress install to start creating your blog/website/… .

When we, at AppSaloon, create a new WordPress website, we make use of an automated deployment and setup process. This allows us to focus on the required development and doesn’t have us worrying about putting the updated code online.

However, we are no sysadmins. Sometimes we setup up a new server to do some testing or to play around, but most of our websites are hosted at a major hosting company.
As heavy users of Delicious Brains WP Migrate DB Pro and consumers of their (more technical) blogposts, we ended up in their mailinglist of SpinupWP. Over a period of 4 years, they wrote a set of blogposts explaining how you can host WordPress yourself.

SpinupWP is a service that will connect to your server and set this server up with an ideal configuration to host multiple WordPress websites. There are already some services available that will help you setting up servers for webhosting. You can compare their feature sets with SpinupWP.

This post is not a guide on how to create new sites, but I’d like to focus on 2 features that are most interesting to WordPress Developers.

Installation ‘types’ & PHP

SpinupWP has different types and PHP versions available

When you setup a webserver, you install the most recent PHP version in most cases. With SpinupWP, you’ll be able to keep all server packages updated. This will keep websites performing at their best.

You can choose the ‘flavour’ WordPress will be setup in. This can be a Single Site, which will cover the needs in most cases. But, you can also setup a Multisite install.

SpinupWP settings for Push to Deploy

A type I quite like, is the Git Repository. In this type, you can link your Git repository to SpinupWP.

A few steps further down the process, you can define the Git repository and branch you would like to deploy to your server. This makes it easy to setup multiple environments for every website.

A custom deployment script helps you to automate the deployment process. For example a composer install for plugins.

Through the webhook provided by SpinupWP, you can trigger a new deployment automatically. Within minutes, the newest version of your website is available on your servers.

Next steps?

I’m going to test SpinupWP with some smaller websites or side-projects like this blog. Hopefully, they can keep this amazing tool growing and expand the feature set!

WP meetup Hasselt – Flexbox & Gutenberg

In de afgelopen WordPress Meetup Hasselt, van Oktober, kwamen 2 onderwepren aan bod:

  • Flexbox
  • Gutenberg

Beide onderwerpen worden de laatste tijd druk besproken omdat ze een grote impact (kunnen) hebben op de ontwikkeling en het beheer van websites.

Een uitgebreider verslag en de links kan je vinden op de website van WP Belgium

Matrix-style code lines

HTTP Security Headers in WordPress

Er zijn veel verschillende manieren om je WordPress website te beveiligen. Via HTTP Security Headers kan je dit betrekkelijk eenvoudig doen, zonder dat je extra inspanning van je bezoeker vraag.

Voor AppSaloon schreef ik deze blogpost over HTTP Security Headers:

In general, HTTP headers are used to send extra parameters (settings, security, keys, …). The receiver is the browser or the server. The values of the HTTP headers are used to influence the response. For example, if you set the right HTTP Security header, you can force encryption for your website. One example is the “Date” header where the value is the current timestamp. For a full list of HTTP headers, see the dedicated page “List of HTTP header fields“.

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