Recap for May 31, 2016 Meeting

Slack Log (Requires SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at login to view. Set one up if you don’t have a Slack account)

  1. Welcome
  2. Lesson Plan Updates
    • @toniaslimm – “Keeping WordPress Sites Secure” is ready for copyediting.
    • @chanthaboune gave lessons back.
    • @melindaheldt is still working on selected lessons
    • @c3zh plans to complete selected lessons this week
    • @bethsoderberg – Troubleshooting Workshop Update
      • For those who missed the first part of this conversation, there was a troubleshooting workshop that was put together years ago by some awesome people in the community:
      • Prerequisites
        • For this course to make sense, students need to have the following experience:
        • Currently the admin of at least one self-hosted WordPress site (i.e., not on An online implementation of WordPress code that lets you immediately access a new WordPress environment to publish your content. is a private company owned by Automattic that hosts the largest multisite in the world. This is arguably the best place to start blogging if you have never touched WordPress before., with access to your hosting account and domain registration.
        • Know how to edit settings, manage widgets and menus, update WordPress/themes/plugins, add themes/plugins — in other words, you manage a site vs. just creating content on a site managed by someone else.
        • Able to recognize CSSCSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site. and HTMLHTML HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used in the development of web pages and websites., and know at least some of the basic tags/attributes (like href, strong, etc)
        • Have a The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. username (can be new account, doesn’t need to be super active).
        • Have used FTPFTP FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol which is a way of moving computer files from one computer to another via the Internet. You can use software, known as a FTP client, to upload files to a server for a WordPress website. before.
        • If you have any experience with SQL (phpMyAdmin is fine), SSHSSH Secure SHell - a protocol for securely connecting to a remote system in addition to or in place of a password., and/or manually installing WordPress, that’s a plus, but not required.
        • You do not not need to know PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. or JavaScriptJavaScript JavaScript or JS is an object-oriented computer programming language commonly used to create interactive effects within web browsers. WordPress makes extensive use of JS for a better user experience. While PHP is executed on the server, JS executes within a user’s browser. for this workshop.
      • What We Have
        • Local InstallLocal Install A local install of WordPress is a way to create a staging environment by installing a LAMP or LEMP stack on your local computer.
      • Backing up Your WP Site
    • How to Create a phpinfo() Page for Debugging
      • include material from and
  3. Basic Troubleshooting Process
    • Where is the problem? Is it in a pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party, a theme, or somewhere in coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.?
    • What is the full error message?
    • If plugin or theme is from the rep/download it and look at the code to see if it matches the code on your site. and
    • Look at the error and the file, see if things match.
    • How to report a problem in the forums
  4. Exercises: Debugging Theme and Plugin Issues
    Fixing a Broken Theme with Syntax Error
  5. Fixing a Theme Where CSS Changes Are Not Visible
    • clearing browser cache
  6. Debugging Basic CSS Problems in Themes
  7. Recovering from the White Screen of Death
    • turn off all plugins & bring back one by one
    • switch to default theme
    • use a maintenance mode plugin
  8. Recovering from Changing the URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL of the Site
    • change site URL via PHPMyAdmin, clear cache
  9. Recovering from a Plugin that Triggers a Fatal Error on Activation
  10. Fixing Plugin with Headers Already Sent Error on Activation
  11. Debugging a Fatal Error when Plugin is Activated and Theme is Switched
  12. Reviewing and Fixing an Intentionally Vulnerable Plugin
    • review:
    • fix:
  13. Exercises: Debugging Hacks
    Debugging an .htaccess Redirect Hack
  14. Debugging a Plugin that Automatically Changes User Passwords
  15. Debugging a Hacked Site that Redirects Non-Logged In Users Elsewhere
  16. Some discussion at this point about the formatting of lessons currently and how to fit this set into them. Key points/suggestions:
    • This isn’t the type of lesson that can be taught by anyone regardless of level of experience.
    • If it requires a fair amount of skill, maybe a script is less necessary.
    • Might use this as a pre-fab workshop, but flag parts that can be used separately.
    • If it’s a full workshop, will contributors be unable to add additional sections?
  17. Copyediting Updates
    • “Keeping WordPress Sites Secure” is ready for copyediting.
    • “Creating your WordPress Talk” is still in copyediting.
    • Discussed the feedback from Tier 1 here:
      • Quiz questions didn’t translate well to live workshop. Perhaps they don’t need to be required for each module?
      • Suggested that everyone build a single site for clarity.
        • Wapuu’s Lemonade Stand!
        • Also, remember to introduce Wapuu. 🙂
    • Discussed the addition of best practice code samples:
      • Since people tend to copy and paste, and these lesson plans will be referenced as from a reputable source, it would be good to include a full-featured example somewhere.”
      • We’ll need to think about how to implement the idea and also ID the relevant plans that would need to be extended.
  18. Questions and Answers!
    • @mikemueller has mentioned that the Welcome Wagon copy is a little out of date.
      • Adding: “Right now we are focused on a specific set of user level lessons that will be used for a workshop in the spring that will be given in conjunction with a great organization, Hack the Hood (

        If you’d like to contribute, we are currently looking for more help writing introductory level “user” plans, providing feedback on those plans, and testing these plans in front of live groups.”

      • Adding: Glossary of terms.