Self (Personal Project)
Custom WordPress Plugin API to Fulfill Downloads and Remote Updates
After developing Completionist, I wanted to make it available for free download. Instead of listing it in the WordPress.org plugins directory as I had done with Grouped Content, I wanted to create my own resources server API.
To implement the client-side connection, I used YahnisElsts’s plugin-update-checker package on GitHub. This gave me a fantastic starting place to understand what API endpoints I needed to create.
I packaged the resources server code into a WordPress plugin which runs on Purple Turtle Creative. It includes custom WordPress REST API endpoints to dynamically deliver the plugin’s details from the requested release’s ZIP file.
The endpoints are secured with nonces to ensure the download link expires. Direct requests for the plugin ZIP file are also denied via NGINX rules, so the release package can only be downloaded via a valid request to the resources API. Lastly, I implemented Google Analytics’ Measurement Protocol API to monitor the API’s traffic and performance.
Hearst (Houston Chronicle)
Beauty Deals Finder is a custom application built with ReactJS + Redux Toolkit and SCSS modules. It is configured and hosted on Houston Chronicle’s local commerce website (aka “Chron Shopping”) via WordPress.
Users may search for deals by selecting various brands and then save their selections as preferences. When a user saves their brand preferences, they are added to an email mailing list in Sailthru to receive automated, personalized daily alerts. The email notifies the user how many new deals have been added for their chosen brands, if any at all, within the past 24 hours. Clicking a link in the email takes the user to the Beauty Deals Finder application, automatically signing them in to review their latest deals.
All deal data displayed in the application and the Sailthru emails is requested from a separate internal service.
Self (Personal Project)
The Purple Turtle Creative website was originally created with the Elementor Pro plugin with Elementor’s Hello theme. Since the website no longer needed design changes, it was time to commit the design to custom code. The main goal of the conversion was to remove dependency on the Elementor plugin. This would ultimately optimize site performance, decrease expenses, and reduce upkeep.
With many other optimizations implemented, the result is a blazing fast, custom Gutenberg WordPress website that loads in less than half a second. For more information, please read my blog post for a thorough report of the performance improvements.
Upon joining the Local Commerce team at Hearst, I was asked to overhaul our map article custom post type. Each map article post features a custom Google Maps instance with scroll event interactions and animations.
To streamline the curation team’s efforts, I implemented the ability to import their collected merchant listing data from Google Sheets. The data is stored as metadata for each map article post, effectively caching the data in WordPress and serving as the posts’ main content.
With our team’s designer, I then updated the frontend styles and functionality to improve the map articles’ sales appeal. Additional features were implemented to make sponsored listings stand out from the regular listings. In particular, I custom-coded asynchronous email signup form modals which submitted to the Mailchimp and Sailthru APIs. To ensure proper security, I also implemented custom WordPress REST API endpoints to proxy the form submission requests to the third-party APIs. My custom implementation of the Google ReCaptcha v3 API also validated the form submissions to reduce spam signups.
PETA Germany had rebranded their Veganstart mobile application and needed to update the promotional website to match. They worked with a web designer to create and publish the layouts in Adobe XD. I then developed a new WordPress Gutenberg theme based on the design compositions.
The site build notably included a custom SlickJS slider, GDPR compliance with CookiePro, custom blocks via ACF Pro’s
acf_register_block_type() method in PHP, and adequate accessibility features. The differences between the desktop and mobile styles required quite a bit of finesse to achieve a smooth degradation in screen size. My goal was to use as few markup differences as possible between desktop and mobile to optimize performance and DOM tree simplicity.