Category Archives: Wordpress

WPTech 2015

WPTech 2015

So an Irishman, an American, and a hell of a lot of french people walk into a bar … but wait … I’m getting ahead of myself here let’s start at the beginning.

(TL;DR? Un ou deux images de WPTech 2015)

Saturday saw WordPress Tech 2015 coming to town. For those of you not aware it’s an unofficial WordPress conference run here in Nantes. It’s a one day event and this is the second year it has been running. With the birth of my son last year I completely forgot it was on for 2014. This year I made sure to book in advance and I even booked myself in for the afters party.

The Registration Queue

As with a lot of these conferences it had an early 8am start at least for registration and getting your name badges. I arrived fashionably late ( in fairness at that hour of the morning I’ve no idea when I arrived but it wasn’t for 8AM. Thankfully it was a brisk morning and the promised fog didn’t make an appearance.

Roll up Roll up get your Badges

For me … big problems ensued … I didn’t recognise anyone!!! I’m also not fluent in French and small talk really doesn’t come easily to me. Though I suspect a lot of people were in the same boat.

Ou est Charlie?
Ou est Charlie?

Not wanting to look completely lost I proceeded to get a few nice snaps of the place and made use of the staircase to get a better vantage point all the while trying to wake up with multiple cups of coffee and pain au chocolate :) and before too long it was time to head into the welcome note and first of the speakers.

The WPTech 2015 Conferences begin

and it all kicks off ...

I’m not going to go into the conferences that much, for any non French speakers they won’t be that interesting … though you’d probably follow the code / slides without so much effort.

Maxime Bernard Jacquet on discovering the REST API
Maxime Bernard Jacquet on discovering the REST API

The turn out was rather good I believe around 300 people from all over France.

A rather decent turnout for WPTech

Daniel Roch

The real time twitter stream projected to the side of the speakers was a nice addition with useful bits of information, pictures and a whole load of hashtag spam ( until that started getting nipped in the bud.)

The Real Time Twitter Wall

The first break of the morning brought the discovery of Jenny with a group of others and thank god for that. Finally someone I knew ( ish .. I’d started following Jenny on Twitter I believe shortly after or during WCEU 2013). Getting introduced to a few people is rather nice and on that note I would suggest for future events like this a speak dating style place. I first came across this a few years ago with an Anglophone group in Nantes that would hold a meeting where non native speakers would talk to a native speaker for 5 – 10 minutes before switching partner. I’d love to see a similar format at some of these events for those of us feeling a bit shy about introducing ourselves to random people we may just stalk on twitter ) 10 chairs … 10 people … a 5 minute chat and you switch chairs to the next person. You get to meet people introduce yourself and for those introverted people I think it’d be great not to mention for those who know people they could sit an meet a few people they wouldn’t normally meet. I’d also suggest to groups to Adopt a Mec! (guy or girl and bring them into your group if they are looking lost or not talking to anyone.)

More talks followed …

Julio Potier - Hooks Hooks The Magical Fruit
Julio Potier – Best practices when dealing with Hooks

…and it was becoming clear that “Hook(s)” was the word of the day …

Tony Archambeau on Website Migration to WordPress
Tony Archambeau on Website Migration to WordPress

A how to migrate your CMS to WordPress followed with Tony Archambeau (@TonyArchambeauSlides) which took a look at basic SQL commands and procedures for moving a site to WordPress. It avoided unfortunately talking about rewrite rules and plugins like redirection. It would probably still be interesting for those that don’t touch SQL that often. The general rule though is abuse the intern and get them copy and pasting ( joke but if the site is simple then copying and pasting the content might just be a simpler not to mention faster solution ) I believe the Import tool has become active again so it might have been interesting to hear about this as well and where it’s going.

It was then on to the plugin customiser with Remi Corson …

Remi Corson ...
Remi Corson on the API Customiser for plugins

Remi Corson ...

… and before you knew it, it was lunch time with subs so many subs!!!

Subs so many Subs

People even took the time to help out friends with code problems

Helping out with coding problems

Wandering … taking pictures … trying to look busy :)

Daniel / Olivier

Making use of the spiral stairs I got this one … not to mention getting given out to by security :)

The Red Shirts

After Lunch it was yet more conferences with a great talk from Jonathan Buttigieg on best practices with plugin development

Jonathan Buttigieg on Best practices for Plugin Development

Back to taking more photos for me though for some of the talks …

Shooting of video …

Shooting Of Video

The discovery of the ultra low tech job board …

The Job Board

Not to mention some interesting jobs …

Interesting Jobs

Video Interviews happened …

Video Interview Station

The WPTech 2015 Video Interviews

…and of course Jenny gave her talk on using WordPress to Generate PDFs which gave me flashbacks to 2002 when I was doing the same for the first time coming up against all sorts of limitations in relation to images / backgrounds and dealing with 13 different languages for print. It also gave me a lot of fuel for thought and I’ve left with some interesting ideas.

Jenny Beaumont talking about WordPress and PDFs

And then it was all over … the quiz took place .. laughs were had and the obligatory group team shot was taken

WPTech Team Shot

I found most of the WPTech 2015 talks rather interesting in particular those of:

It had been billed as an event for all and not just techies though I’m not too sure about that. Once you start mentioning code / hooks and programming API’s … I’m not so sure. I however did enjoy it a lot not to mention the after party.

Ah yes as I was saying … An Irishman, an American, and a hell of a lot of french people walk into a bar …

I’m still searching for a punch line for that one but in the mean time … yet a few more shots from the After party.

Quick detour on the way to the bar…

Thomas and the Elephant

The addition of alcohol to any event usually helps get people talking and this was no different …

So Many Glasses

Good conversations with Karine..


Thierry ( whose podcasts I’d followed from time to time adding my own bad french tweets from time to time )


Though the introduction was brief here’s one of Didier …

Didier Wolforg

Jenny and her husband Olivier

Jenny and Olivier



The white wine flowed … then the red wine … then we went back to the white wine and it flowed some more and it was good.

All in all a superb day and I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to Jenny for making me feel so welcome, introducing me to so many people and the chats in English  on a day when my head was melted from all the French; and to Thomas as well for saying hey and hanging out, and last but not least a huge thank you to the organisers of WPTech 2015 for a great day and evening.

but hang on you’ve read down this far?


The Animated WPTech Tean

Problemes Techniques

Problemes Techniques



For those of you about to click we salute you

Who Snaps The Snappers

And that’s a wrap though I may tweak and edit things a little bit

When Blogs Collide

It’s the end of the world as we know it (merging WordPress blogs)

When Blogs Collide

You know how you have great ideas and you start them and you get side tracked by other things? This is the post about a few of them. You may know a few of my blogs that live in the wild? If not they are ( or now … they were ) I’ve one or two others I may also pull into this one I’ll see just doesn’t have enough useful content I’d like to have on here it’s an old blog without much value but there’s still quite a bit of link love in there I just need to figure out what I’m going to do with it.

Anyways I’ve gone and closed down those three blogs. Why? I just don’t have the time to write much decent content and writing a decent post on one means I’m neglecting the others so it ends up getting to the stage where I simply say what’s the point. Life has gotten in the way of a lot of things. With the arrival of my daughter my blog Brittany Beers which I was creating a few blog posts for suddenly died. I re-created in the new year after my daughters birth and you know what it fizzled out after a few blog posts. Writing decent content isn’t that hard. It is however time consuming. I’m not assuming all my content is worth while but I have in the past created a few decent articles that ended up crashing my site at times due to lack of caching on my part.

Flash forward anyways to my current thinking. Too many blogs not enough Forbairt. So I’ve gone and merged them all into one. (No for the love of god think of the link love I hear you scream … or maybe not) I did however so here’s what I did. It it the perfect way of doing things? probably not but it’s what I’ve done so far and I’m open to suggestions if you know better.

WordPress actually offers a very simple way of moving content from one blog to another and that’s via Tools -> Export. Generally when I’m moving a blog I’ll opt for a complete database / file move to the new site and see how I get on. In this case however I want to merge blogs and not overwrite things so Export / Import to is the way to go for me.

The tools import section will look something like this …

WordPress Tools Import

If you don’t have the WordPress export tool you’ll be prompted to install it.

Install Importer Tool

Click click click and hey presto you’ll be able to export all posts.

WordPress Tools Export

Then on your destination blog you’re ready to import the XML file

WordPress Tools Import XML

Hey presto you’re almost done BUT wait … there’s more

Remember how your old website still exists? Well you don’t want to just nuke it so you’ll want to redirect over your content in a sane way. We do this by creating a redirect link. Simply put a 301 redirect link tells anybody who goes to the site that the content they are looking for now lives at this new address. We’ll dump this info into the .htaccess file on the old website.

In the case of the website had a domain/postname structure so this made things rather simple and by putting

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^forbairt\.ie$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,NC,R=301]

into the .htaccess file I was good to go.

Moving turned out a bit a bit trickier why you might ask? Well posts on that site were in the format of domain/year/month/day/postname so a small bit more regexp magic was required

Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine On
RedirectMatch 301 ^/([0-9]{4})/([0-9]{2})/([0-9]{2})/(.*)$$4
RedirectMatch 301 ^(.*)$$1

Finally in moving over I noted that I had one page the about page on there that I didn’t want to include as an about page on so hey presto .htaccess rules to the rescue. I recreated the original about page from Brittany Beers as a post on the new site and gave it the old date. I think went ahead and added the following redirect from there …

RedirectMatch 301 ^/(about)/*$

Taking me from the original matching /about to the /brittany-beers post to the new website blog post I’d setup.

All in all I’m rather happy with the results so far have I missed something probably so I ended up installing the Redirection plugin from WordPress at least for a few days. It lets me know things like what’s not getting redirected correctly and I can then go ahead and setup appropriate redirects. It also alerted me to the fact I’d forgotten the permalink structure for was different to the current blog.

Wordpress Redirection Plugin

Me I’m happy out all the content in the one place seems a lot more worthwhile and less spread out. Who knows I may even keep on blogging




my wordpress site got hacked

A few weeks ago I upgraded to the latest 3.2.1 release of wordpress. Of course like everyone I’ve a few what I’ll call core plugins I require.

The most recent of these to get added to my list is Donncha O’Caoimh’s

Of course when I installed it at the same time as installing the 3.2.1 release of wordpress the hash files weren’t available for 3.2.1. This lead me to lots of False positives. Yesterday then when I scanned I for some reason thought I was seeing the same thing. I mean upd.php and config.php seem like two perfectly normal files don’t they? Well hell no after asking a rather silly question over on Google Plus I realised the error of my ways and went about fixing things.

Exploit Scanner works on the basis that all your core files should have the same hash as a clean version. ( A hash is a value that gets created and mostly two different things can’t have the same hash )

Exploit Scanner Results
Click to enlarge


The md5 Hashes for the two files are as follows

  • exploit-scanner.php (1.0.5): ac8d7f3574a7470a245a2067e9c79072
  • hashes-3.2.1.php: a660a35382f648c8735414a7d3531970

So if your websites version of these doesn’t match it’s fair to assume someone has edited the files on your site. You can always find these values on the exploit scanner plugin page. It’s well worth installing.

Install Exploit Scanner

The Exploit scanner immediately told me about the errors. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a manual process as you still need to see what’s wrong and make sure the files aren’t valid. So backing up is a good idea first. I also ended up removing a few unused plugins and all the old themes I had on the site. It doesn’t have hash values for any plugins or themes you’re using so you may need to manually scan these and check if they have been altered. One way I did this was visually check the date of creation / modification of the files in my ftp client.

Anyways exploit scanner is about to become the first plugin that gets installed on all new wordpress installs ( and even a few older ones ) and I’m debating creating a rather simple script to show the last edited / created time for files as I’d find that one handy as well. The files were uploaded to my site on the 6th august for example. I know I wasn’t doing much there then so apart from an image or two and my cache things shouldn’t have been changed recently.