The WordPress Research Project now on EAviden.dk

Eaviden.dk - the page about my project
Eaviden.dk – the page about my project

Eaviden.dk has published a page about my research project “What You Should know about WordPress”. Eaviden is a web portal presenting the research and innovation activities on the Danish business academies.

On the page you find a description of the project, and links to my research blog (you’re reading it now). The text is in danish.

Here is the link to my project:

Det skal du vide om WordPress

Smashing Magazine tweet about my eBook

Vitaly Friedman and the Smashing Magazine kindly shared the link to my eBook on Twitter.  Smashing Magazine is always a great source of inspiration on everything about coding, design, graphics and UX trends.

WP Workshop @ DigiDays 15.11. 2017

Workshop: News in WordPress4.8 – the REST API,

by Per Thykjaer Jensen

Did you know that you can create WordPress pages in  JavaScript? Or that WordPress isn’t limited to just the browser any more? With the REST API you can fetch the content of your blog native on any device.

But what is REST API and how to use it? Find out – visit my workshop at Digidays at the 15th november 2017 at Business Academy Aarhus.

Click an read WordPress in the Classroom.
The workshop is based on my new e-book.

The workshop is of course based on my new book “WordPress in the Classroom” (see page 98). You can download the e-book for free, and even read it online, click here.

 

Project Status 2016 – 2017

Project Status: 2016 – 2017

Project and impact
Project and impact

From 10:00 I will present the research project in auditorium A @ Sønderhøj 30, Viby, Denmark.

The presentation is the formal end of the research project. I will present the upcoming e-book “WordPress in the Classroom” – and how the research project helped writing the book.

Cover: WordPress in the Classroom
Cover: WordPress in the Classroom

Twenty Fifteen Child Theme

Twenty Fifteen Child Theme
Twenty Fifteen Child Theme

So I’ve implemented a child theme for this research blog. For a while I’ve used Twenty Fifteen, because it’s a blog-oriented theme. But I have to hack some costum pages for the research project. I need pages that map the project, and pages that’ll sum up the proceedings of the present blog.

That’s a job for a child theme!

The code for the child theme is available on Github.

Teaching WordPress Themes from Scratch

Here’s the challenge for the class:

  • Create a repo on Github.
  • Create a WordPress theme from scratch.

During the six hour lesson files, such as:

  • functions.php
  • header.php
  • footer.php
  • style.css
  • index.php

was presented one by one. The students had to create their own version of a WordPress theme on Github.

As far as I could see there were five – six groupings in the class.Some students were able to create a WordPress theme, like:

Some groups, however, found that the task was too difficult. I asked them, what was difficult, and got very honest feedback, like:

  • “We don’t understand the purpose of PHP.”
  • “Why can’t I see my localhost site online?”

On Github I could see, that some students didn’t understand the concept of includes. So there was some truth in the utterance: “We don’t know what PHP is“. In fact the problem was deeper than that.

Some 2nd semester students did not understand the basic structure of a HTML document. It was clear that at least some of them did not know which tags belonged to the head section, or the body section.

When I reviewed the code from some groups, it was clear, that thy didn’t understand the concept of includes, like get_header() og get_footer(). The idea of partials was not understood, so the basic contruction of the WordPress theme was not understood at all.

One or two students tried to develop the theme on say the desktop folder. Of course this approach wasn’t a success. I tried to help them moving the files to /wp-content/themes/

I asked the students to share code and work together on Github. They used Gitkraken as a GUI. Some groups could do it. Other groups did not get the concept at all. However most groups were able to share and edit code in a previous lesson.

Before you attempt to develop WordPress themes in the classroom make sure that the students have a basic understanding of concepts such as the structure of a HTML document.

Also I have an eery feeling, that at least some students need a better understanding of:

  • Operative systems.
  • The difference between own files and files online.
  • Where the files are (the concept of directories)
  • That the ../htdocs folder has other functions than say the Desktop on a localhost
  • What Xampp, Mamp or similar does.

Now here is the real didactic challenge. If the problem is a poor understanding of operative systems, localhost servers and PHP that’s where we have to put the efforts in the classroom.

So it was agreed, that the class should be divided in two large groups:

  • Basic code understanding
  • WP theme developers