Tom McFarlin
Tom is a self-employed developer who loves writing, building, and sharing WordPress-based projects. He runs Pressware where he provides WordPress goods and services. You can follow him on Twitter.
Tutorials
  • Code
    A Primer on Ajax in the WordPress Dashboard - Laying the FoundationThumb 1
    13 shares
    Not long ago, Ajax was all the rage - the idea of updating part of a page without actually needing to reload the entire page was awesome, remember? But it's been a few years and now it's practically the standard - it's hard to think about your favorite web application reloading an entire page to complete a task, isn't it? Depending on your background, there are a number of different ways to implement Ajax. In this series, we're going to do a very brief overview of what Ajax is, how it works, and then how to properly use it within the WordPress administration dashboard.Read More…
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    The Theory of Unit Testing, Part 3Part3 thumbnail
    2 shares
    In the past two articles, we've taken a close look at the theory behind unit testing and how it can help us in our WordPress development efforts. We've defined unit testing and examined various ways that it can help us throughout our projects. But we still have more to cover. In this final article, we'll review why we should even bother doing unit testing and we'll summarize the advantages and disadvantages of doing it. Next, we'll look at how we can retrofit testing into our existing projects. And to wrap up, we'll summarize a list of resources that are available specifically to us WordPress developers that will aid in beginning to unit test our themes.Read More…
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    The Theory of Unit Testing, Part 2Part2 thumbnail
    2 shares
    In the last article, we began talking about the theory of unit testing in WordPress. Specifically, we reviewed our work on unit testing themes and plugins then began to discuss units of code, how this impacts our testing, and we reviewed unit testing in the larger world of software development.Read More…
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    The Theory of Unit Testing, Part 1Part1 thumbnail
    9 shares
    We've been looking at unit testing for WordPress development. Through the use of practical examples, we've reviewed what unit testing looks like for both plugins and for themes; however, we haven't really talked about the the theory behind unit testing.Read More…
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    The Beginner’s Guide to Unit Testing: Building Testable ThemesThumbnail
    15 shares
    In the first two articles in this series, we took a high-level look at what unit testing is and how to apply it in the context of plugin development. Of course, there's more to WordPress than writing plugins, isn't there? A significant part of a WordPress developers job – for some it's the most significant part – is theme development. So in this article, we're going to take a look at how to develop testable themes. Specifically, we're going to take a look at how themes are different than plugins and then we're going to write an extremely simple theme that will be used to demonstrate the principles of unit testing and that can be applied in future development.Read More…
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    The Beginner's Guide to Unit Testing: Building a Testable PluginThumbnail
    3 shares
    In the first part of this series, we took a high-level look at testing methodologies and gave some cases as to why it's beneficial for us to begin doing in our WordPress projects. We also took time to setup PHPUnit and the WordPress Tests in order to begin building our first testable plugin.Read More…
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    The Beginner's Guide to Unit Testing: What Is Unit Testing?Thumbnail
    14 shares
    Depending on your background, you may or may not have heard of unit testing, test-driven development, behavior-driven development, or some other type of testing methodology. Often times, these methodologies are applied in the context of larger software systems or applications and less in the context of WordPress-based projects (though it is getting better!)Read More…
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    The Complete Guide To The WordPress Settings API, Part 8: Validation, Sanitisation, and Input IIWp api 8
    25 shares
    We've reached the final article of the series. In the last post, we took a look at introducing validation, sanitization, and a couple of basic input elements that we can take advantage of when building option pages. In this article, we're going to take a look at the final set of three options and how to hook them up to the front-end of the theme.Read More…
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    The Complete Guide To The WordPress Settings API, Part 7: Validation, Sanitisation, and Input IWp api 7
    9 shares
    If you're just now joining us, we've covered a lot of topics in this series – we've attempted to give a complete overview of the WordPress Settings API as well as its related functions. We've discussed settings, options, navigation, and menus. We've also been working through practical examples employing each of the topics we've discussed.Read More…
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    The Complete Guide To The WordPress Settings API, Part 6: Menu PagesWp api 6
    19 shares
    In Part 3 of this series, we surveyed the various menu functions that the WordPress API provides. If you've been following along, then you know that we've already setup a settings page for our theme by using the add_theme_page function. Although introducing menus and submenus aren't explicitly part of the Settings API, they play a role in building custom functionality, plugins, and/or themes.Read More…
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    The Complete Guide To The WordPress Settings API, Part 5: Tabbed Navigation For Your Settings PageWp api 5
    14 shares
    At this point in the series, we've taken a close look at the Settings API and what it has to offer. We've even begun creating our own theme to help demonstrate everything we've been learning. We've covered sections, fields, settings, menus, pages, and more.Read More…
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    The Complete Guide To The WordPress Settings API, Part 4: On Theme OptionsWp api part4
    21 shares
    In the last article, we took a deep dive into the various types of menus that are supported by the WordPress API. Although they aren't necessarily part of the Settings API, they play a key part in development especially when working on more advanced plugins and themes. This article is going to put menus to practical use as we begin building out our Sandbox Theme by refactoring our existing settings and adding several new pages. Note that if you're just joining us, make sure that you've caught up on the previous articles and that you have the latest version of the Sandbox Theme from the repository on GitHub.Read More…