Steve Grunwell

Open-source contributor, speaker, and coffee snob

Tag: Theme

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Understanding the functions.php file in WordPress

If you’re just getting started with WordPress, there’s likely a lot of new terminology being thrown at you. Beyond fundamentals like “themes” and “plugins”, you’re probably seeing “actions”, “filters”, and a ton of code snippets with instructions like “just add this snippet to your functions.php file.”

Let’s take a step back and look at WordPress’ functions.php file; what it is, where it lives, and how it works. Once we understand those points, we’ll learn how to add snippets to our WordPress sites without having them accidentally overwritten.

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Automatically Set WordPress Thumbnail Sizes When Switching Themes

Right now, one of my main projects at work is a totally new theme for the official news outlet for a major corporation. Along with a million other changes, one thing that needs to happen ASAP after switching to the new theme is that the image thumbnail sizes – controlled through Settings › Media in wp-admin – need to be changed.

Of course, being the lazy, automation-obsessed developer that I am, I wanted to find a way to automatically set these thumbnail sizes the instant we changed themes. Fortunately, where there’s a hook, there’s a way to make this happen automatically.

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Quick Tip: is_login_page() Function for WordPress

When building WordPress themes, I typically try to keep as much code as possible out of the head section of my template and instead rely on the wp_head() action hook. By putting all of my wp_register_script() and wp_register_style() calls in one function I have a single place to manage (theme) assets and their dependencies. At the bottom of the function I usually like to enqueue my global scripts and styles (ones that will always be present) but am careful to keep them from appearing in the WordPress administration area.

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