Playing Ball with Plugins| WordCamp Talk Proposal

After having the pleasure of updating a site that has not been updated since I built it 3 years ago, I was very proud that every plugin and core updated went off without a hitch. Now I am sure plenty of other developers can boast the same thing, but I haven’t heard those stories as much.  In fact I don’t think that is something most devs brag about, simply because the work we are expected to do is supposed to “just work” — indefinitely.

Now this isn’t to say that this site is so typical that it just required a few plugins and that was that.  This was a custom theme very dependent on very popular plugins in which their standard functionality had to be modified by way of, hooks, filters, overwriting functions that can safely be overwritten and sometimes parsing the DOM. The trick (if you want to call it that) is understanding the code you are working and choosing the option that is going to work best.

Developers have spent countless hours working on a plugin that seems to be built just for you, just for this moment.  If only it wouldn’t…. This is a problem nearly every developer faces at some point during a project. Knowing how to safely customize functionality is key to building products that will stand the test of time (or major updates.)

This talk will cover the following topics:

  • Hooks
  • Filters
  • Overwriting Functions
  • Modifying Returned content
  • Requesting a change to a plugin

This talk will define and provide a use case for each of the possible pathways listed above. This presentation is for beginning to intermediate developers and though I will use as little code as possible, given the nature of this talk I would imagine each item will require 1 code example. The slides will be available ahead of time on slideshare and the code examples will be available on GitHub.

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