My Local WordPress Development Environment

I just spent part of the day setting up and  testing my local sandbox environment using the following tools.

Operating System
Peppermint 8 running LAMP and WordPress

Plugins

  • WP Local Toolbox¬†– Creates the Admin Bar notification so I know I’m still in the right place just in case I end up on my live server
    • Normally I won’t use plugins that haven’t been updated in the last year or so but this is just for testing code and looking for conflicts.
  • Debug Bar – It’s always happy hour at this bar. Used to hunt down more information and make sure everything is nice and lean.

Other tools

I’m also using phpMyAdmin to drop and import tables. I could do this in the terminal but hitting those red buttons is a lot more fun.

Tables tables tables
Never name your kid DROP tables. xkcd

I drop everything except wp_usermeta and wp_users

  • wp_commentmeta
  • wp_comments
  • wp_links
  • wp_options
  • wp_postmeta
  • wp_posts
  • wp_termmeta
  • wp_terms
  • wp_term_relationships
  • wp_term_taxonomy

I then import my site’s sql backups after changing my domain references from linuxbookpro.com to localhost so it won’t redirect to my live website.

I also replace my wp-content folder from the default wordpress installation with the one from my backup.

This isn’t a step by step guide I had to do a few apache permissions but it all seems to be working nicely.

Happy hacking.

P.S. this is really just here for me to discover later when I forget something I did.

Debian Stretch Desktop

Kicking the tires of Debian 9 (Stretch) and I’m very much at home here in the XFCE desktop.

I upgraded my system on the stable repository this morning and it worked flawlessly. Now that all the patents on the MP3 format have basically expired It’s even less effort to to set up.

Trisquel 7 still chugging along

Just performed updates to this seven year old netbook and still impressed the amount of work that is possible with an archaic piece of netbook hardware. It was worthless as a Windows PC when my father picked it up new at Costco. However, as soon as he abandoned this thing to a closet I dropped in a new battery and it’s been my third string system.

I’ve ran Xubuntu, Manjaro and Peppermint OS on this system eventually sticking to Trisquel 7 so I would have a free software system in the house. To get wifi working I use a USB dongle from Think Penguin.

The specs

Related Links for amusing information

Focus yourself with “Airplane Mode”

I’ve discovered that my most productive work is done between the hours of 8 and 11 am. It’s when I do my best coding, feel as though I’m most creative and almost moving on autopilot.

How I Airplane Mode myself to maintain focus

My key to productivity includes switching the phone to Power Saver and Airplane Mode before my commute to work and leaving it there until 10 or 11 am.

During which time quickly I check and reply to email, review my projects for the day and usually knock out at least good hour of uninterrupted coding or design work.

Airplane mode & Power saver
I engage “Airplane Mode” when I need to focus.

Airplane Mode along with Do not Disturb blocks everything so my focus can remain on my task at hand. I find that notification spam is greatest in the morning. Apps are designed to build habits and push notifications on us as soon as we wake up pulling from important tasks.

Priority 0nly is a good compromise if you can’t risk being unavailable to selected contacts.

Priority only is a good compromise to allow alarms and important contacts reach you if being completely off the grid is not an option.

It works for me and might work for you

I’ve been doing this now for a few months and find that 8am to 11am is the sweet spot where I would normally get interrupted by meaningless notifications but never anything so important that couldn’t wait until I switch back on afterwards.

Don’t be afraid to miss notifications, they’ll be there waiting when you return.

Why I use Jetpack to track what’s unpopular

Tracking has become synonymous with spying. What information should I collect, why is it collected and what will I do with it.

First it should provide value to the readers

It sounds squishy and it is. In short, any data collected should do something for the consumer. In this case myself and my readers.

Jumpack Stats from June 14
Jumpack’s statistics page from June 14.

I recently added a paid version of Jetpack to my website for daily backups, anonymous viewing statistics and video hosting. As a result it brought along with it nearly a dozen third party trackers, Specifically 11 on my homepage. While I’m not thrilled at the number at least it’s clear who is tracking this information.

Trackers installed along with Jetpack.
Trackers installed along with Jetpack.

All 11 are domains are owned by Automattic and most are specifically heading to wp.com which redirects to WordPress.com and not a random advertisement or “service” relentlessly tracking your every move. Jetpack is a WordPress.com service so this looks good to me.

By providing basic statistics, I can now research whether a post is viewed or is mostly ignored.

Largely no one viewed my Cold Brew and GTD post.

So how does this provide value?

  1. Google Plus didn’t care about my Coffee and Reading post where I shared it.
  2. I didn’t properly tag the post’s subject “Getting Things Done” maybe that would have helped.
  3. The post didn’t resonate, perhaps I should stick to Instagram coffee postings.
  4. Readers of my website just don’t come here for this stuff.
  5. No one is reading this.

Tracking should be anonymous and not follow people around

Don’t be creepy, if someone views your blog post the last thing they want to see  are ads loosely related to the subject elsewhere tomorrow.

Tracking services should clearly describe what they collect, how they do it, and what it’s used for. I think Automattic does a good job on their Privacy Page. So lets give this a go and see if I can improve my site.