WordPress Development Environment on Windows

I recently decided that I wanted to start contributing a little bit of time each week to the WordPress project.  Since I’ve already written a couple of extensions and administrate quite a few WordPress sites I figure it’s time to start giving back to the project.

The Core Contributor handbook outlines quite a bit of things you need to know in order to get started but there are always things that are linked to that start to fall out of date as time marches forward.

One step that I recently wanted to take was getting set up to perform unit tests.  As a developer I’ll be the first to admit guilt in not creating these for projects but for big projects like WordPress with distributed development and thousands of tickets it’s imperative that we have unit tests.

In this guide I will cover how to setup a complete WordPress development environment on Windows.  I’ll be covering everything from server (localhost) to SVN to Composer to PHPUnit.  We’ve got our work cut out for us so let’s get started.

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CMS Intergration vs. Replacement

At the onset of a CMS implementation many times developers are faced with an important decision.

“Do I integrate the new system into our current system or replace the old system entirely?”

Whether you are trying to integrate a new CMS into your current static site or are trying to integrate features into your current system by adding another, I would say two words if you are thinking about integrating… USE CATION.  Replacing your current system with another can be a daunting task and there are challenges you will face but thinking that integrating will provide you with a more seamless transition or that your current system is fine the way it is might take you down a road to disaster.  Don’t let pride in your previous work blind you to the potential dangers that integration may cause.

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Selecting a CMS for Enterprise

One of the things I encountered recently during my journey as a Web Developer was the fallout after another developer failed to implement a CMS properly.  I won’t go into detail about the systems attempted but I do want to discuss the takeaways from the failures.

Many times larger companies or institutions will view a Content Management Systems as a end all solution to all of their web problems.  This is the wrong way to let people look at CMS.  CMS (in all of their varying capabilities and architectures) are primarily designed to solve one problem.

Content authors don’t know (or are not good with) code.

It is our job as professionals to correct this view within organizations or when proposing a solution.

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The 404 of Death!

So as I continue playing with this great Bootstrap template I decided to create a 404 page for it.  I was racking my brain to think of what a 404 error on this template should look like… then it hit me BSOD.  For those who don’t know what BSOD is it is the infamous BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH!  Basically since the birth of Windows it been the screen you get when your computer decides it’s time to crap out.

Check mine out here… ohh and by the way pressing any key really does work!

joemotacek.com = live

It’s been a while since I had my own web site… which is kinda strange seeing as how I’m a web developer.  To be honest I just haven’t needed one for a long time.  Plus I never found any designs that really made me say “hey that’s cool” until about a week ago.  First I have to say this so people don’t get the wrong idea <ahem> I AM NOT A WEB DESIGNER! <cough> ok now that that’s out of the way…

I came across this while surfing reddit, Bootstrap 386.  Once I saw it I was immediately transported back to what life was like pre Windows 3.1… not gonna lie nostalgia trip.  Anyway I had finally found a web design that I really liked not because it’s modern or fancy but because it is the ultimate form of retro.

So started the development of the Bootstrap 386 WordPress template.  This thing was pretty easy to throw together because kristopolous already did all the hard design work and all I had to do was grab my standard bootstrap ready WordPress base theme and throw in the new CSS and JS.

I wanna thank kristopolous for making this and my year.  Here’s to you man! BTW I’m probably gonna help with bringing this project in to BS3 at some point.