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First a bit of context :)
Translation within WordPress is based of Gettext. Gettext is a software internationalization and localization (i18n) framework used in many programming languages to facilitate the translation of software applications into different languages. It provides a set of tools and libraries for managing multilingual strings and translating them into various languages.
The primary goal of Gettext is to separate the text displayed in an application from the code that generates it. It allows developers to mark strings in their code that need to be translated and provides mechanisms for extracting those strings into a separate file known as a “message catalog” or “translation template.”
The translation template file contains the original strings and serves as a basis for translators to provide translations for different languages. Translators use specialized tools, such as poedit or Lokalize, to work with the message catalog files. These tools help them associate translated strings with their corresponding original strings, making the translation process more manageable.
At runtime, Gettext libraries are used to retrieve the appropriate translated strings based on the user’s language preferences and the available translations in the message catalog. It allows applications to display the user interface, messages, and other text elements in the language preferred by the user.
Gettext is widely used in various programming languages, including C, C++, Python, Ruby, PHP, and many others. It has become a de facto standard for internationalization and localization in the software development community due to its flexibility and extensive support in different programming environments.
WordPress uses dedicated language files to store translations of your strings of text in other languages. Two formats are used:
There has been a discussion for years, if it makes sense to cache mo-files, to speedup WordPress when multiple languages are in use. Discussion of the WordPress Core team.
There have been a couple of plugins trying to fix this and prevent reloading of language files on every pageload.
Most of these use transients in your database and object caches if active.
Well it all depends on the amount of language files and your infrastructure. This load/parse operation is quite CPU-intensive and does spend quite a significant amount of time.
I have decided, not to bother with it in the past :) But I am always looking for ways to speed up multi-lingual websites, as that is my daily bread & butter ;) Checkout Index WP MySQL For Speed & Index WP Users For Speed, which optimizes the MySQL Indexes for optimal speed. That change, really does make a bit difference!
One thing that can help to speed up things, is to use the native gettext extension and not the WordPress integration of it. This will indeed help speedup translation processing and help big multilingual websites.
Native Gettext for WordPress by Colin Leroy-Mira, provides just that.
Create a must use plugin and add this:
This will prevent any .mo file from loading.
Please consider the performance impact. Read about it at the main documentation.
iPanorama 360 for WordPress is a specialized plugin that enables users to create and display interactive 360-degree virtual tours or panoramic images on WordPress websites. It extends the functionality of the WordPress content management system by providing a user-friendly interface and a range of features specifically tailored for creating and showcasing 360-degree content.
With iPanorama 360 for WordPress, you can upload panoramic images or sets of photographs and convert them into interactive virtual tours or panoramic sliders. The plugin offers customization options to adjust the appearance and behavior of the panoramas, such as controlling the speed of rotation, choosing navigation controls, adding hotspots, and incorporating multimedia elements like images, videos, or audio.
The plugin integrates seamlessly with WordPress, allowing you to embed the created virtual tours or panoramic images directly into your website pages or posts. You can also customize the tour settings, such as enabling or disabling auto-rotation, adjusting the initial zoom level, or defining the starting viewpoint.
iPanorama 360 for WordPress typically provides an intuitive visual editor that enables users to create and edit their virtual tours or panoramas using a drag-and-drop interface. This makes it easier to add hotspots, link to other panoramas or external content, and customize the appearance and functionality of the tour.
You can testdrive iPanorama 360 using the Lite version or get the Pro version. The only limitation for the Lite version, is the ability to only create one panorama.
I have tested many different solutions for 360 panoramas in the past and many have been lacking in one or more areas. I always seem to be coming back to iPanorama 360 for my projects, due to its solid editor and support.
One major problem for iPanorama 360 has been the ability to attach an Arial-map / Floor-map to the panorama. Others tried to fill that void, but mostly failed on Mobile.
There are solutions out there that could be reused (Image Map Pro / ImageLinks ) and integrated with iPanorama 360.
I decided to build an image hotspot solution myself, that can also tie into iPanorama. I am building out all the things I need and more :)
The first version is basically done and I will be using it for a client shortly. If you are interested, please feel free to get in touch. Will setup a demo page soon or link to the client using it ;)
Typebot is a free and open-source platform that lets you create conversational apps and forms, which can be embedded anywhere on your website or mobile apps.
It provides various features like text, image, and video bubble messages, input fields for various data types, native integrations, conditional branching, URL redirections, beautiful animations, and customizable themes.
You can embed it as a container, popup, or chat bubble with the native JS library and get in-depth analytics of the results in real-time.
Typebot can be used in the Cloud (free tier available) or installed via Docker.
It drag & drop builder makes it amazingly fast to build your personal chatbot. It provides a ton of integrations (Google Analytics, Google Sheets, OpenAI, Zapier, Webhooks, Email, Chatwood) out of the box or you can connect other things via your own API Requests.
I have been a longtime user of RocketChat and build my own chatbots using Hubot or BotPress.
RocketChat“Rocket.Chat is a free and open-source team chat platform that enables real-time communication between team members. It provides team messaging, audio and video conferencing, screen sharing, file sharing, and other collaboration features. It offers a familiar chat interface that makes it easy for teams to stay connected and collaborate effectively.
Rocket.Chat is highly customizable and extensible, with a large number of community-contributed plugins and integrations. It supports multiple platforms, including web, desktop, and mobile, making it accessible to teams regardless of their device or location. It also offers end-to-end encryption for secure communication, and compliance with various industry regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, and others.”
Hubot“Hubot is a popular open-source chatbot framework developed by GitHub. It allows developers to build and deploy custom chatbots that can automate tasks, integrate with various APIs, and enhance team communication and collaboration.
Hubot is built on Node.js and can be extended with various plugins and scripts, making it highly customizable and flexible. It comes with many built-in plugins, including integration with popular chat platforms like Slack, HipChat, and Campfire, as well as various APIs like Twitter, GitHub, and Google.
Hubot enables developers to build chatbots that can perform various tasks, such as scheduling meetings, deploying code, fetching data, and responding to user queries. It also provides a command-line interface for managing and interacting with the chatbot.”
Botpress“Botpress is an open-source platform that allows you to build and deploy chatbots and conversational interfaces. It provides a user-friendly interface and a visual flow editor that allows you to create and manage your chatbot’s conversation flow. Botpress comes with many pre-built components and integrations, including natural language processing (NLP) engines, chat widgets, and webhooks, making it easy to build complex chatbots with advanced functionality.
Botpress offers features like machine learning-based NLP, conversational analytics, multi-language support, customizable themes, and a modular architecture that allows you to add custom functionalities with ease. It supports multiple channels, including web, Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, allowing you to reach your audience wherever they are.”
Typebot beats Botpress and could be the reason why I might be skipping RocketChat as well. Not sure I want to build an integration for RocketChat myself.
Base YAML Docker-Compose File to get you started. This will setup a Postgres instance, the typebot builder and typebot viewer.
I am a huge Docker fan and run my own home and cloud server with it.
“Docker is a platform that allows developers to create, deploy, and run applications in containers. Containers are lightweight, portable, and self-sufficient environments that can run an application and all its dependencies, making it easier to manage and deploy applications across different environments. Docker provides tools and services for building, shipping, and running containers, as well as a registry for storing and sharing container images.
With Docker, developers can package their applications as containers and deploy them anywhere, whether it’s on a laptop, a server, or in the cloud. Docker has become a popular technology for DevOps teams and has revolutionized the way applications are developed and deployed.”
I am always looking for new ways to document the tools I use. This might help others to find interesting projects to enhance their own work or hobby life :)
I will have multiple series of this kind. I am starting with Docker this week, as it is at the core / a hub for many things I do. I often testdrive things locally, before deploying them to the cloud.
I am not concentrating on the installation of Docker itself, there are so many articles about that out there. You will have no problem to find help articles or videos detailing it for your platform.
Docker Compose and Docker CLI (Command Line Interface) are two different tools provided by Docker, although they are often used together.
Docker CLI is a command-line interface tool that allows users to interact with Docker and manage Docker containers, images, and networks from the terminal. It provides a set of commands that can be used to create, start, stop, and manage Docker containers, as well as to build and push Docker images.
Docker Compose, on the other hand, is a tool for defining and running multi-container Docker applications. It allows users to define a set of services and their dependencies in a YAML file and then start and stop the entire application with a single command. Docker Compose also provides a way to manage the lifecycle of the containers as a group, including scaling up and down the number of containers.
I prefer the use of Docker Compose, as it makes it easy to replicate and tweak a setup between different servers.
There are tools like $composerize, which allow you to easily transform a CLI command into a composer file. Also a nice way to easily combine multiple commands into a clean configuration.
Portainer is an open-source container management tool that provides a web-based user interface for managing Docker environments. With Portainer, users can easily deploy and manage containers, images, networks, and volumes using a graphical user interface (GUI) instead of using the Docker CLI. Portainer also provides features for monitoring container and system metrics, creating and managing container templates, and configuring and managing Docker Swarm clusters.
Portainer is designed to be easy to use and to provide a simple and intuitive interface for managing Docker environments. It supports multiple Docker hosts and allows users to switch between them easily from the GUI. Portainer also provides role-based access control (RBAC) to manage user access and permissions, making it suitable for use in team environments.
Portainer can be installed as a Docker container and can be used to manage both local and remote Docker environments. It is available in two versions: Portainer CE (Community Edition) and Portainer Business. Portainer CE is free and open-source, while Portainer Business provides additional features and support for enterprise users.
Portainer is my tool of choice, as it allows to create stacks. A stack is a collection of Docker services that are deployed and managed as a single entity. A stack is defined in a Compose file (in YAML format) that specifies the services and their configurations.
When a stack is deployed, Portainer creates the required containers, networks, and volumes and starts the services in the stack. Portainer also monitors the stack and its services, providing status updates and alerts in case of issues or failures.
As I said, its important for me to easily transfer a single container or stack to another server. The stack itself can be easily copied and reused. But do we easily export the setup of a current single docker file into a docker-compose file?
docker-autocompose to the rescue! This docker image allows you to generate a docker-compose yaml definition from a docker container.
Export single or multiple containers
Export all containers
This has been a great tool to also quickly backup all relevant container information. Apart from the persistent data, the most important information to quickly restore a setup if needed.
Backup , backup … backup! Learned my lesson, when it comes to restoring docker setups ;) Its so easy to forget little tweaks you did to the setup of a docker container.
Starting tomorrow …
BookStack is an open-source, web-based platform for organizing, storing, and sharing knowledge and documentation. It was developed to provide a user-friendly and intuitive interface for creating and managing knowledge bases, wikis, and other types of structured content.
BookStack allows users to create books, chapters, and pages, and to organize them hierarchically. Users can also add images, files, and links to their content, and collaborate with others by assigning roles and permissions. BookStack also supports full-text search, version control, and commenting, making it easy to find and update information.
BookStack is written in PHP and uses the Laravel framework, and it is available for free under the MIT License.
This is my internal homelab documentation system, I use it for private and client related content. Bookstack is fast, clean and well documented. It has really elevated the way I store and access important reminders / how-tos and documentation.
The system provides API access and has many ways to tweak it. Bookstack documentation.
CSV stands for “Comma-Separated Values”. It is a simple file format used to store tabular data, such as spreadsheets or databases, in plain text. In a CSV file, each line represents a row of data, and each column is separated by a comma (or sometimes a semicolon or tab).
There are always CSV exports or other data stored in CSV format, that i need quick access to sometimes.
Bookstack allows to add files to pages and insert links to them, but it does not embed or parse those files in any way. There are similar hacks to mine, this example allows to embed PDFs and here the main Hacks page.
We need something to parse the CSV file and something to display the information in a nice visual & flexible grid.
Included and linked CSV files look something like that in source.
The settings allow you to add custom code to your instance. Another option would be to tweak template files, but its easier to do these light tweaks using the header customizer.
This can be found under: https://bookstack.instance/settings/customization
Either link them externally or better use locally stored versions of these.
Github: Will be adding more hacks, as I clean some of them up :)
You can use the title attribute to pass some config data, in JSON format. Currently only to strip columns, but will extend that a bit more for flexible usage ;)
Should look something like that …
Enjoy coding …
“Übersicht” is a German word that means “overview” or “summary” in English. The name of the software was chosen because it allows users to have a quick overview of various information on their desktop. It’s also a play on words, because in German the name of the software can be translated as “super sight” which refers to the ability to have a lot of information at a glance.
Übersicht widgets are created using a simple and user-friendly interface that allows you to preview and edit the widget’s code. The widgets are also highly customizable, allowing you to change the appearance and behavior of the widgets to suit your needs. Additionally, Übersicht widgets can be shared with other users, and there are a variety of widgets available for download from the developer’s website.
The application is open-source and free to use, and it’s also lightweight, it won’t affect your computer performance. Overall, Übersicht is a powerful and versatile tool for creating custom desktop widgets on macOS.
There are several other tools similar to Übersicht that allow you to create custom desktop widgets. Some of the most popular alternatives include:
With many external systems in play, its always crucial to keep an eye on things. I have build nice dashboards, using Grafana, InfluxDB, NetData and Prometheus. But they are either displayed in a browser window or on a separate screen.
If you have 2 / 3 monitors or an ultra-wide screen, you have a lot of Desktop real-estate you can use.
That is something that I have been looking at for years, but only tried for a short period of time. This year I want to really build out desktop and menu widgets , that help me to get an even better overview of things and help reduce repetitive tasks.
I will share links to things I like and share access to the widgets I build myself or tweaked.
These are the current things that are in progress or planned.
Nothing to share yet ….
“Git is a DevOps tool used for source code management. It is a free and open-source version control system used to handle small to very large projects efficiently. Git is used to tracking changes in the source code, enabling multiple developers to work together on non-linear development.”
Many use Github to host remote Git repositories, but you can use other hosts like: BitBucket, Gitlab, Google Cloud Source Repositories …. You can also host your own repository on your local NAS or remote server.
Will use this article for common problems I encoutered and possible solutions.
Push failed in Github Desktop and using Push from the command-line. The best bet is to experiment with different git config options.
The core.compression 4 worked for me and the push went through nicely.
Other config option that can be tweaked are
Read more about them here
A while back a potential customer asked me, if it is possible to restructure a WordPress Multisite setup and WPML with a more simplified and custom url structure?
Languages would normally be added like this:
The customer wanted it to be restructured / simplified like this:
This basically mimics the structure of a single WPML website with custom languages, but with all the benefits of a multisite.
This is nothing that WPML or WordPress Multisite provides out of the box. I built a prototype setup to make it work.
Not something that I would propose for anyone, as it requires a lot of tweaks for anything that handles dynamic links (plugins, hooks, core systems, page.builder …)
Its doable :)
One thing that needs to be tweaked globally, is the mapping of the new url structure.
So web.site/nl-nl/en/ needs to become web.site/en-nl/
This needs to be handled on the server side, by proxying the original to the new structure.This can be easily done using Apache or NGINX.
With that web.site/nl-nl/en/ will be proxied to web.site/en-nl/, but any core navigation will not work yet.
This is the fastest solution that I came up with, within the hour I gave myself ;)
There surely are other options, like the core rewrites / restructuring of the core shorturl handling. But these approaches might break things in far more areas.
Using the proxy approach, keeps the core as it is. The solution needs to be as simple as possible, allowing to maintain it in the future :)
Just for the basic setup a couple of hooks are required to make this work, more might be needed depending on the plugins in use.
Here a couple of examples ….WordPress site_url
WordPress Nav Links
This will not cover every angle, but will give you a starting point! I love my puzzles and there always is a viable solution :)
Need something similar … get in touch!
This is not a tutorial, but more like sharing a nice geeky road-trip ;)
I have a pretty good understanding of the Youtube Data API, as I have actively used it on portalZINE TV in the past, to upload videos and dynamically link them to my local post-types.
For one of my latest customer projects (TYPEMYKNIFE / typemyknife.com), the task was a bit more complicated and the goal was to make it as future-proof as it can be with the Google APIs :)
Prerequisites / References to get you started:
The goal for the setup was to actively synchronize WooCommerce products with linked / attached videos, with their source at Youtube.
As the website is multilingual, WPML integration is critical as well. And as Youtube allows localization of title and description, that can be added into the mix quiet easily in the future ;)
The following product attributes should be mirrored and optimised for Youtube:
The following attributes should be integrated into the description to enrich the Youtube description:
All of these attributes will be collected internally and assigned using a simple template system, which allows the customer to move parts around freely and freely layout the description for Youtube.
The following stats will be collected for review:
These are the relevant key aspects, that help to get your videos more views.
In the past access to the Youtube Data API was far easier and less limited, when it comes to offline / none expiring OAuth2 refresh tokens.
When you are building a server-side application that is only available to your customer or moderators, it makes no sense to run that app through the Google App verification. Your app will never be used in public.
The Youtube Data API and its scopes, are defined as sensitive and therefor require third-party security assessment for public access.
The scopes I am requesting are https://www.googleapis.com/auth/youtube.upload + https://www.googleapis.com/auth/youtube.
Because of that its far easier to just setup OAuth 2 in test mode and restrict access to your customer and specific additional accounts only (up to 100 test users allowed). What all these account need, is access to your own or Brand Youtube Channel.
Preparation in the Google Cloud Console:
A detailed description can be found here.
You can circumvent verification for the consent screen, by using an organisation setup at Google. Here some infos about that. With that setup offline refresh tokens should work fine.Update: Just tried that, but wont work with a branded youtube account, even though the cloud user has admin access to it. Not giving up yet, but Google / Youtube really makes it difficult to just have a simple offline solution for specific tasks ;) BTW also forced the login hint, to make sure the right account is logged in : $client->setLoginHint(‘YourWoreksapceAccount’); !
You might have heard of the “The League of Extraordinary Packages“. It is a group of developers who have banded together to build solid, well tested PHP packages using modern coding standards. They also offer an OAuth2-client + OAuth2 Google extension that can be used.
You might have heard of the “The League of Extraordinary Packages“. It is a group of developers who have banded together to build solid, well tested PHP packages using modern coding standards.
They also offer an OAuth2-client + OAuth2 Google extension that can be used.
On the server, the Google API PHP SDK can be easily integrated using Composer.
In my customer plugin I neatly separated all relevant areas in classes & traits:
You can check the expiry time of your access token by accessing: https://www.googleapis.com/oauth2/v1/tokeninfo?access_token=YOUR_TOKEN“A Google Cloud Platform project with an OAuth consent screen configured for an external user type and a publishing status of “Testing” is issued a refresh token expiring in 7 days.” – Google
You can check the expiry time of your access token by accessing: https://www.googleapis.com/oauth2/v1/tokeninfo?access_token=YOUR_TOKEN
“A Google Cloud Platform project with an OAuth consent screen configured for an external user type and a publishing status of “Testing” is issued a refresh token expiring in 7 days.” – Google
Basic Auth example from the SDK:
A simple upload example can be found here .
All operations to and from the Youtube Data API are rate limited. What is important for us, are the queries per day.
The default quota is 10.000 queries per day, sounds a lot, but is easily gone after updating 150-200 videos. You can request this limit to be raised, but again a lot of paperwork and questions that are just not needed.
The above limit just means, that you need to cache as many queries as possible, to only query live when needed ;)
Something you learn fast, when experimenting with different things! I hit that limit multiple times in the first few days, with around 500 videos in the queue.
Different operation cost you different amount of units
It also helps to use the Google Developer Playground to testdrive the Youtube Data API with your own credentials while optimising your own code. You can define your own OAuth 2.0 configuration by clicking the cog in the upper right corner.
I setup the bulk updating to allow splitting it over multiple days, if required. For this an offline refresh token is needed, as the standard token expires after 60 minutes.
My customer can also just update a single video, when changes are applied to the product or a new product has been added.
If more frequent updates are required, I will ask for a raise of the queries per day. You can circumvent the limit by using multiple Google Cloud Platform accounts with new OAuth credentials, but really an overkill right now. I have done that in the past ;)
The GUI is just based of Bootstrap, to make it simple and clean. Using my own wrapper to make it work within the WordPress admin.
For all ajax operations, I am using htmx and _hyperscript, which I will talk about in another article in the future.
Really neat and clean way to build single page interfaces.
The whole plugin runs of its own REST API endpoint. Just love using WordPress as a headless system.
I used TWIG / Timber for the templates, to separate logic and layout. Timber has been my goto solution for years now. It drives my own and many customer websites.
This has been a lot of fun, maybe a bit too much LOL
I do geek-out about many of my projects, but this experience helped me to bring my WordPress toolbox to the next level. This will help to drive other things in the future.
Working so deeply with the Youtube Data API has been fun and feels so easy now, after all remaining problems have been solved.
Would have loved this during my portalZINE TV days ;)
I you read all this, you just earned yourself a badge for completion ;)
Need something similar or something else? Just say hi and we can talk.
“WPML (WordPress Multilingual) makes it easy to build multilingual sites and run them. It’s powerful enough for corporate sites, yet simple for blogs.” – WPML
I have been running and setting up multilingual websites for more than 12 years. WordPress and related integrations have gladly come a long way to make our life’s a lot easier.
For basic content WPML is almost plug & play, but I do see more and more sites / customers struggling with more complex setups. WPML is one of the most popular multilingual plugins and is used on x00.000 of websites.
Just so you know, WPML is a commercial solution!
The amount of settings has increased a lot over the years and offers possible solutions for almost any content / plugin setup.
But for more complex setups, I would suggest to hire a professional to look over the settings or study the plugin documentation carefully.
Especially with a lot of content, it can quickly increase problems and the need to revisit specific content over and over again.
WPML lets you translate any text that comes from themes / theme frameworks (DIVI, Elemetor, Gutenberg …), plugins, menus, slugs, SEO and additionally supported integrations (Gravity Forms, ACF, WooCommerce …).
You can translate content internally for yourself, using translation management to translate with an internal team of translators or get help from external translators / translation services.
The latest version also offers AI translations, which allows you to get a decent start for most of your content.
In addition to the above, WPML String Translation allows you to translate texts that are not in posts, pages and taxonomy. This includes the site’s tagline, general texts in admin screens, widget titles and many other areas.
Well, I am a bit biased. I have not looked much at other solutions for the past 5 years, as it offers all I really need.
I have used it on projects from 2 to 15 languages and it scales nicely. At least with proper hosting attached!
Anything can be tweaked through the API, Hooks and custom integrations. I have build additional WPML tools for my customers, to streamline some of the repeating / boring tasks.
Their support is responsive and the forum already provides a huge amount of answers to most of the questions that might come up.
If you develop / maintain multiple customer websites with multilingual content, the investment is quickly amortized. I do offer WPML to my maintenance package customers, maybe something to consider ;)
Its an essential solution in my WP toolbox.
WPML 4.5 is on its way and will include a “Translate Everything” feature, among other fixes and enhancements.
Translate Everything allows you to translate all of your site’s content automatically as you create it. You can then review the translations on the front-end before publishing.
WPML / Documentation