Sal Aguilar's Bilingual Adventures in IT

computers are easier to deal with than people

Top 5 WordPress Tools for any WordPress Developer — February 18, 2016

Top 5 WordPress Tools for any WordPress Developer


As a professional working on WordPress sites, I wanted to share what are the tools that I use on my day to day WordPress Development and Management tasks, I hope these tools will make your life easier, as they did to me, so without further comments, let’s begin:

Chrome Developer Tools

faster-htmlcss-workflow-with-chrome-developer-tools
It’s incredible that many people who do WordPress sites are not aware of how useful your Chrome browser is. Google has made very great things with it and Dev Tools is a biggest part of it. You can find Javascript errors, see HTTP headers, do performance analysis and much much more. Its an essential part of what I use to diagnose issues with websites.

Website: https://developers.google.com/web/tools/chrome-devtools/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJR-n8szgBc

wp-cli: Command Line Interface for WordPress

wp-cli

If you are a console lover like me, you’d appreciate this tool very very much. wp-cli is a terminal application built on PHP, that allows you executing a lot of wordpress management tasks such as updating & install plugins, adding users, password resets, etc and everything from the comfort of your favorite shell environment (I use and ❤ Oh my zsh). It requires you to have a unix like environment and PHP installed.

Website: http://wp-cli.org/ 

Twitter: @wpcli

GitHub: https://github.com/wp-cli/wp-cli

YouTube: WP-CLI – A Practical Guide For The Rest of Us WordCamp

Wocker: Docker for WordPress

Wocker Rapid development environment for WordPress

Wocker is a rapid development environment for WordPress. It’s based on Docker. It works on Linux and Mac. Since I am using a Mac, it made my life easier as I don’t need to setup Apache and MySQL each time I have to setup a new WordPress boilerplate! (AWESOME)

This allows you a great way to locally develop a site and then you can migrate it over to your web host using any of the available methods!

Author: Kite Koga (@ixkaito)
Website:
 http://wckr.github.io/

YouTube Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3OAm7qMeic

Presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/kaitokoga9/wocker-create-a-wordpress-development-environment-in-seconds

WordPress Codex

One thing I love the most about WordPress its all the documentation is available online, and codex @ wordpress.org is the best online resource for anything wordpress documentation, whether you are starting or you need a quick reference about any function of the CMS. +1 to Automatic for making such an awesome resource online available to us all.

Website: https://codex.wordpress.org/

The IDE: PHPStorm by JetBrains vs SublimeText

highlight-comparision

I know this is a very personal decision for each one of you, but to me PhpStorm is better than SublimeText when it comes to being a real IDE. Sure SublimeText has a lot (I seriously mean A LOT) of plugins that extend its functionality, but PHPStorm comes with everything I need from scratch.

Download PHPStorm: https://www.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/

PHPStorm & WordPress Tutorial: WordPress Development using PhpStorm

Download SublimeText: http://sublimetext.com/

SublimeText & WordPress tutorial: Setting Up Sublime Text for WordPress Development

Conclusion

This are the tools that I use and work for me, let me know if I missed other tool that you use on your daily tasks that simplify your work with WordPress. I would love to learn new tools!

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Avoid SSH Timeouts on the Mac Terminal —

Avoid SSH Timeouts on the Mac Terminal


I admit it, I’m always with a lot of applications opened, Chrome with at least 6 tabs, Skype, Slack, PHPStorm or SublimeText, Airmail or Outlook for Mac, Photoshop and terminal.

I regularly login via SSH to VPS in Digital Ocean and AWS EC2 and then run some commands like:

wp plugin install wordfence

Then I go to the wordpress site and start adjusting the settings, but by the time I get back to the terminal (5 – 10 minutes), the SSH session is frozen, so I’m forced to open a new one. I honestly became tired of this, and I remembered that SSH was built on TCP and as such it should have some “Keep Alive” settings like on SIP (sorry I come from the call center world). And after some search online, I found that you can make this change both from the server side (SSHD: Secure SHell Daemon) or from your CLI (*nix, Linux & Mac).

Reduce SSH Timeouts from the server

Reduce SSH Timeouts from your computer

All you need to do is to setup your ssh client to send a “Keep Alive” signal to the server every certain amount of seconds. So you can add the following text to your ~/.ssh/config file:

Host remote-host
HostName remote-host.com
ServerAliveInterval 120

This basically tells your computer to send “keep alive” signals to remote-host.com every 120 seconds (2 minutes). That way the session will not get frozen for that server.

If you want to enable this for all of the hosts that you connect to, then simply add the following strings instead:

Host *
  ServerAliveInterval 120

This will setup the “keep alive” signal interval to 2 minutes for any host that you connect to via SSH.

After you finish editing the file, please make sure to change the permissions on the file using the following command:

chmod 600 ~/.ssh/config

And there you go, as simple as that! No more timeouts on my terminal app on my Mac OS El capitan MBP!

Claro Nicaragua DNS system sucks! — May 5, 2015

Claro Nicaragua DNS system sucks!


Ok Folks, over a month ago I was finally able to get wired cable internet in my new house thanks to Claro Nicaragua. I grabbed a Triple play: Digital Cable, Land Line and Cable Internet. I was really hesitant and went back and forth with the sales folks as due to my own experience and friends, the cable infrastructure which was inherited from the Cablenet times before Claro Nicaragua bought them and rebrand it as Turbonett along with its Wireless and ADSL internet service.

One of the biggest objections I have is the DNS, oh my God the DNS!

The first two weeks I had a major pain using them, so I went to the RCA router to change the DNS, and surprisingly enough, on the model I have you can’t change them. So I had to change them locally on my computer, as my first choice I have used Google Public DNS, but odd enough it seems Claro Nicaragua blocks the traffic from them from time to time. Which was causing me serious issues as I depend on a stable connection to do my job.

I then decided to do more research and I found NameBench, which is a utility to benchmark the nameservers speed based on your own internet connection thru several tests. At the end you get a report of the ones that work faster for you. Funny enough nor Claro’s own DNS were listed, even Guatemala’s Claro were listed to be faster as well as NTT’s DNS (ISP from Japan). So I with the report in hand, I went in to setup 5 different nameservers on my computer so we can test this.

After changing the DNS, my experience changed… completely. I am now a happy camper!

If you are a Claro internet user and do not want to go over the NameBench experiment, then simply use OpenDNS Name servers which are: 208.67.222.222 & 208.67.220.220.

OpenDNS on Mac OS X

OpenDNS on Windows 7

And if you need further assistance, drop me a note!

Stream from your Mac via DLNA to your Roku (or any other DLNA capable device) — February 4, 2015

Stream from your Mac via DLNA to your Roku (or any other DLNA capable device)


I have a Mac which is my primary computer. But I also have a Dell XPS with Windows on it. Windows has DLNA built in, so you can stream it to any DLNA capable device such as SmartTVs, tablets, gaming consoles, smartphones, etc. So streaming a video from my Windows computer to my Roku or my SmartTV was a piece of cake.

But ever since I moved to Mac, it’s been a real pain trying to stream from Mac OS to any other DLNA. So I started looking for an option. While doing research online, the only solution most people suggested was to use Apple TV, but I don’t own one, so that was not a good solution for me. So I kept on searching, and then I stumbled upon Plex.

Plex

Plex, has a channel on Roku, has an Mac application, even for Android and Windows, but we do not need them since both Android and Windows already have DLNA. So far it seem a really good alternative for streaming. So I went ahead and did all the following:

  1. Went to my Roku Channel store, and installed Plex.
  2. Went to Plex website and downloaded the Mac app.
    Plex Mac app
  3. Installed Plex on my Mac and moved the executable to the Application folder.

Plex media Server Mac

4. I launched Plex on my Mac and it opened a browser window. (cool)

Plex dashboard

5. Then you add the folder where you have your Video files on

Then you get this screen, you click on Movies:

Plex will now ask you to name the Library that you want to add, you can name it anything you’d like, I named it Movies

Now we are going to select the folder where this Library will be pulling files from…

Then you simple browse to the directory that you would like to add, and done.

After this, then you go back to your Roku or DLNA capable device and scan the local wireless LAC on which both the Mac and Roku are connected to and you should be ready to stream.

If you face issues I recommend the following tutorials:

Or simply comment here or drop me a note via my contact me page.

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