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INTRODUCTION

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:

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | youtube data api

THE GOALS

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:

  • Product Title
  • Product Description (5000 character limit at Youtube)
    My customer already has a pretty long and detailed description, which is perfect for Youtube!
    We average around 2900-3000 characters.
  • Product Tags (500 character length limit at Youtube)

The following attributes should be integrated into the description to enrich the Youtube description:

  • Introduction
  • Product Link to WooCommerce Product / Shop
  • Socials
  • Legal Information
  • Hash Tags (local post-type to add recurring / important hash tags)
  • Outro

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:

  • Products without a video linked (no relation)
  • Products with the same video linked (duplication)
  • Videos without a product in the system
  • Total amount of videos / amount of video-pages (50 videos max per page)
  • Total amount of products with videos

Youtube SEO

These are the relevant key aspects, that help to get your videos more views.

  • Relevant text featuring at least 1,000 characters
  • Keywords that are relevant on Google Search and YouTube and describe your video
  • Hashtags, can also be used within the text
  • Timestamps Links to related content / affiliate links
portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | youtube data api auth

PREPARING AUTH / OAUTH2 AT GOOGLE

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:

  • Activate Youtube Data API
  • Create OAuth2 Client ID
    • Name
    • Allowed Redirects
  • Setup OAuth-Consent Screen
    • Name of the App
    • Support Email
    • Logo
    • Allowed Domains
    • Typ: External
    • Setup all test-users, all of these need access to your Youtube channel already

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.

SERVER SETUP

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:

  • Online Authentification, with a 60 minute session
  • Offline Authentification, with a 1 week expiration (might explain that in more detail in the future.)
  • Error handling and debug information
  • Listing of videos
  • Updating of videos
  • Updating of tags
  • Updating hashtags
  • Backup old data locally, before update. There should always be an option to restore, especially with 500 videos :)
  • Settings & templates
  • REST routes / endpoints

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 .

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | youtube data api list

UPDATING A SINGLE VIDEO
BULK VIDEO UPDATES

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

  • A read operation that retrieves a list of resources — channels, videos, playlists — usually costs 1 unit.
  • A write operation that creates, updates, or deletes a resource usually costs 50 units.
    10.000 / 50 are 200 updates per day :)
  • A search request costs 100 units.
  • A video upload costs 1600 units. Glad we are not handling the upload as well, but technically easy ;)

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 ;)

LAYOUT & DESIGN

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.

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | road ends

CONCLUSION

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.

ENJOY CODING ….

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A grid mystery

Somehow the Grids Layout Builder for Gutenberg ist not pushing styles to the footer within a Timber theme. At least not for me.

Somehow the wp_footer action within the Grids plugin is not being executed and no grid styles are added to the footer. I am not getting any errors, but will have to investigate some more in the near future ;)

Update: It is related to the get_footer action within Grids. get_footer is used to load the appropriate footer template file, which I am not using in my Timber theme ;) So the workaround below is perfect.

Quick patch

Here a quick workaround for the theme functions.php, that does the trick for now.

Grids for WordPress, what is that?

„A layout builder is a tool that helps you creating visual structures in your page, from a simple layout made by adjacent columns, to more complex compositions.

Grids is entirely based on the WordPress block editor, which means that you’ll be able to use it together with the myriad of content blocks that developers and designers from all around the World are creating.

With Grids, we’re bringing a visual structure to the content written with the WordPress Block Editor.“
Grids: Layout builder for WordPress / Documentation / CSS-Tricks Article / A Complete Guide to Grid

Grids Example

This is using the Grids Plugin and only took a couple of minutes! I am so glad IE 11 is soon completely unsupported ;) and we can start using CSS Grid freely. Well we can, as nobody should be using IE 11 anymore!!!

On mobile its just stacked rows :)

CSS GRID: SOLVING PUZZLES

COLUMN 1
I love to solve puzzles and find epic solutions :)

CSS Grid Layout excels at dividing a page into major regions or defining the relationship in terms of size, position, and layer, between parts of a control built from HTML primitives.

Like tables, grid layout enables an author to align elements into columns and rows. However, many more layouts are either possible or easier with CSS grid than they were with tables.

LOVE IT!

COLUMN 2
We all love magazine-style layouts and we are getting closer to getting that :) The magic is in the detail.

For example, a grid container’s child elements could position themselves so they actually overlap another layer, similar to CSS positioned elements.

FLEX OR GRID
The basic difference between CSS Grid Layout and CSS Flexbox Layout is that flexbox was designed for layout in one dimension – either a row or a column.

Grid was designed for two-dimensional layout – rows, and columns at the same time.

COLUMN 3
I only styled the Desktop size, as a little preview. Added Custom CSS to switch areas for tablet sizes.

  • The grid properties are supported in all modern browsers.
  • An HTML element becomes a grid container when its display property is set to grid or inline-grid.
  • All direct children of the grid container automatically become grid items.
  • The spaces between each column/row are called gaps.

LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!

STAR TREK IPSUM

Unidentified vessel travelling at sub warp speed, bearing 235.7. Fluctuations in energy readings from it, Captain. All transporters off. A strange set-up, but I’d say the graviton generator is depolarized.

The dark colourings of the scrapes are the leavings of natural rubber, a type of non-conductive sole used by researchers experimenting with electricity. The molecules must have been partly de-phased by the anyon beam.

VS

STAR WARS IPSUM

Lucas ipsum dolor sit amet c-3po solo bothan qui-gon darth solo darth dantooine dagobah mustafar. Fett solo yoda r2-d2 kit obi-wan hutt amidala kenobi. Jade leia gonk lobot ahsoka darth jade skywalker organa. Utapau mara owen darth darth yavin.

Lando baba wedge darth solo skywalker ben fett. Fisto wookiee bothan antilles antilles luke kenobi. Yavin naboo kenobi jinn calamari antilles. Organa jabba skywalker gamorrean ackbar. Windu skywalker kit skywalker. Dantooine dantooine moff leia dantooine wicket amidala.

Things missing!

This is almost a perfect Gutenberg plugin and a reduced / simplified integration of CSS grid. I really think that this plugin makes Gutenberg 1000times better.

There is so much repetition of Gutenberg blocks out there, while this really addresses something new and nails it :)

There are still things missing, that are critical and would make this even more useful for certain websites:

  1. Allow to name grid areas. Would allow faster manual css modifications.
  2. Allow grid templates per breakpoint. This would make it perfectly usable in a responsive world. This is by far the most important issue!
  3. Some additional styling options would be nice, but nothing major. (Allow to adjust the grid gap …)
  4. Export the inline styles to files, that would leverage caching far better.
  5. Custom CSS integration, which allows to centralize Custom CSS for areas and sections.


Enjoy coding …

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„Klaro [klɛro] is a simple consent management platform (CMP) and privacy tool that helps you to be transparent about the third-party applications on your website. It is designed to be extremely simple, intuitive and easy to use while allowing you to be compliant with all relevant regulations (notably GDPR and ePrivacy).“

The tool is developed by KIPROTECT and can be found on Github.

Black & White

As I integrated Klaro on a couple of websites so far, I decided to make my work a bit easier and start building some basic clean themes for it.

I have a basic white and black&white theme so far. The download includes a testdrive folder, to showcase the themes. The white theme is also used on this website ;)

I really hate those standard consent management modals, that integrate badly into the website native design.

Klaro does a good job allowing to override its core theme and makes it a bit more pleasant. We do have to live with those modals from now on ;)

The themes are Sass-based and provide easy configuration options.

Enjoy!

cubicFUSION Themes for Klaro! @ Github

Klaro! Tweaks

Klaro is still missing some things, will collect some workarounds here for you to play with.

Missing events for consent modal open / closed …

Updates: Github Discussion
– 0.7.10 also adds custom callbacks to services (onAccept, onDecline, onInit) NICE!

Used a simple MutationObserver to do some magic for now, without diving into the core Klaro code for now. I am sure they already have an event listener or watcher setup.

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What’s new / What changed ?

Admin Enhancer is the first free plugin released under the cubicFUSION brand. The plugin is still work in progress, but a tool that is already used within some of my client projects. I am using this  plugin to centralise things I love & need, when sending out a finished website or project.

NEW: DASHBOARD GUTENBERG / DASHBOARD TEMPLATES
NEW: ADMIN TOOLBAR
UPDATE: SHORTCODES

Addons included …

This version includes a new addon “GUTENBERG DASHBOARD“, that allows you to build a White-Label Admin Dashboards using the Gutenberg Editor.

It integrates with the SHORTCODES addon and allows to drop in the dashboard widgets via its own Gutenberg Block.

The Block provides settings to overwrite CSS from the admin widgets, allowing you tweak them a bit — for better visual integration. The Dashboard template itself can be tweaked using CSS and Sass via SCSS now 😉

I am also releasing the first integration of the “ADMIN TOOLBAR” addon, which allows you to tweak some of the admin toolbar and footer options (Hide WP Logo, Hide Toolbar on Frontend, Hide Menu Items ..)

Already working on 0.3 … ENJOY!

cubicFUSION – Admin Enhancer
WordPress Repository

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I am always looking for easy ways to white label the WordPress administration for myself and my clients. A nice personal touch for each project and an easy way to declutter the interface.

These are my personal favorites, that I use on a regular basis.

Admin Themes / Login Page

There are a lot of solutions out there, but many break easily and are really heavy to load. Some of these solutions I tried also break easily on new WordPress Upgrades. The first two below are currently my favorites.

  1. Slate Pro ( Commercial )
    „Slate Pro is a powerful WordPress admin theme plugin that reimagines WordPress with a clean and simplified design. White label your WordPress install with custom colors, a custom login screen, custom admin branding, and more. Slate Pro is now multisite compatible! Network activate to control the look of all sub-sites.“

    Slate Pro is a clean and simple admin theme, that does not try to alter the interface completely. Small changes that make a difference. Color adjustments, logos, simple menu & widget enhancements and login page tweaks. Compared to other solutions it has been a stable experience, even after multiple WordPress Updates.

    This is an install and enjoy solution!
  2. Kodeo Admin UI ( Free – Open Source )
    „Kodeo Admin UI turns your WordPress backend into a clean and modern user interface. All elements are well designed and arranged for the best user experience.“

    Kodeo is another clean interface, that goes further than Slate Pro. Many areas of the admin theme have been changed. It works well with most 3rd party plugins, but I have had problems with some plugins doing their own little interface tweaks.
    With Kodeo your WordPress Admin completely transforms and gives it a really modern & clean look.

    This is an install and tweak solution! You might need to trim certain CSS properties to make it work for everything.

  3. Material WP ( Commercial )
    „Material Design version of the WordPress Admin Interface“

    I have used this once or twice in the past. Its more of a honorable mention. The admin theme transforms the interface completely, but can feel sluggish on slower servers. It has an impressive set of options and gets regular updates.

    This is again an install and tweak solution! It works with most of the 3rd party plugins and Gutenberg, but some things might need to be trimmed by hand.

Menu Editors & User Groups

When sharing the administration with your customer, you often need to make it as simple a possible for them. Depending on your setup, the menu becomes cluttered and overwhelming really fast.

I often trim menus for each user role, to make only those options accessible that are really needed.

  1. Admin Menu Editor Pro ( Free / Commercial )
    This tool has been part of many of my projects and has been a solid solution for years. You can hide & move menus, create new menus, tweak menus by user role, hide plugins and also tweak the admin toolbar with an extra addon.
    Worth every penny! There is a free version available, that might just provide enough functionality for your next project.
  2. Groups ( Free )
    „Groups is designed as an efficient, powerful and flexible solution for group-oriented memberships and content access control. It provides group-based user membership management, group-based capabilities and access control for content, built on solid principles. Groups is light-weight and offers an easy user interface, while it acts as a framework and integrates standard WordPress capabilities and application-specific capabilities along with an extensive API.“

    This plugin allows you to add new user groups easily and can tie into the plugin above.

User Profiles

When sharing the administration with multiple users, its always nice to add some personality to the user profiles as well.

WP User Profiles
„WP User Profiles is a sophisticated way to edit users in WordPress.“

The plugin provides other small addons, like WP User Avatars. Neat plugin to tweak admins, editors and other users.

Admin Dashboard Replacements

  1. cubicFUSION Admin Enhancer (Free)

    portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | cubicfusion logo
    This is a new plugin I am currently working on. The current shortcodes addon can help you integrate dashboard widgets into the dashboard builders below.

    I am also working on my own dashboard builder, that requires none of the solutions below and builds upon WordPress core functionality.

  2. Dashboard Welcome for Elementor (Free)

    portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | elementor 300x102 1
    “Dashboard Welcome by PowerPack Elements gives you full control over the WordPress welcome panel using Elementor.

    You can personalize the dashboard with content and design built with Elementor. You can add heading, contact information, form, video, images, affiliate links, etc.

    While the above plugin is free, you need a Elementor Pro License to use it!

  3. Dashboard Welcome for Beaver Builder (Free)

    portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | beaver builder 300x81 1
    “Welcome by Beaver Addons gives you full control over the WordPress welcome panel using Beaver Builder.

    You can personalize the dashboard with content and design built with Beaver Builder. You can add heading, contact information, form, video, images, affiliate links, etc.”

    Even though the plugin above is free, Beaver Builder is a commercial plugin!

  4. Divi Dashboard Welcome ($22)

    portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | divi
    “Divi Dashboard Welcome gives you control over the WordPress Dashboard Welcome screen …”

    The plugin requires the Divi Page Builder. Both plugins are commercial!

Enjoy
Alex

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16. November 2019

Building Low Carbon Websites

I signed the Sustainable Web Manifesto a couple of weeks ago. The manifesto perfectly reflects how I have been handling my business and my projects.

I created a special „GO GREEN“ subsection to talk about the topic in more detail and give you some more context about the areas I can help you with.

We all share and use the web, just as we all share and live on this planet. This manifesto is a public declaration of a shared commitment to create a sustainable internet.

https://www.sustainablewebmanifesto.com/
  1. CLEAN –  The services we provide and services we use will be powered by renewable energy.
  2. EFFICIENT –  The products and services we provide will use the least amount of energy and material resources possible.
  3. OPEN – The products and services we provide will be accessible, allow for the open exchange of information, and allow users to control their data.
  4. HONEST – The products and services we provide will not mislead or exploit users in their design or content.
  5. REGENERATIVE –  The products and services we provide will support an economy that nourishes people and planet.

„If we embrace sustainability in our work, we can create a web that is good for people and planet.“

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Together with my partners in crime (Dorit & Micha), we have finally opened our own personal online store.

We have been selling our single origin coffees (1st Single Malt Whisky Coffee, Basic – Single Origin Arabica, Kill me Quick Espresso -Single Origin Robusta), teas (Kräuterschorle – Kräutertee, Feuerkieker – Schwarztee) and rum (Fortune Teller – Double Aged Barbados Rum) using the Amazon Marketplace for the past 2 years.

No more Amazon

GreenApe has been a side project for the past years and I never wanted to deal with the maintenance of our own store. But its time to move on and do our own thing. Amazon has removed so many useful features over the years or added a new fee on top of other fees. Even though Amazon provides access to a large amount of customers, for small companies the fees build up quickly.

Our own

With our own store we can finally do bundles, coupons again and better optimized shipping. It will also allow me to better testdrive some new interesting features for my customers ;) Yeah its kind of my new toy or shopping lab! Its fun being able to work on untested new SEO features, structured data, merchant tools, shopping ads and tracking of all of those.

Locations

We have been selling in Germany for the past 2 years, but that might be changing in the future depending how well the new store shapes up :)

If you live in Germany, love good coffee, tee or rum … say Hi!

GreenApe – Makes Your Life Better
Homepage
Shop
Contact us

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Gatsby is a free and open source framework based on React that helps developers build blazing fast websites and apps.

What they have to say

  • Go Beyond Static Websites. Get all the benefits of static websites with none of the limitations. Gatsby sites are fully functional React apps so you can create high-quality, dynamic web apps, from blogs to e-commerce sites to user dashboards.
  • Use a Modern Stack for Every Site. No matter where the data comes from, Gatsby sites are built using React and GraphQL. Build a uniform workflow for you and your team, regardless of whether the data is coming from the same backend.
  • Load Data From Anywhere. Gatsby pulls in data from any data source, whether it’s Markdown files, a headless CMS like Contentful or WordPress, or a REST or GraphQL API. Use source plugins to load your data, then develop using Gatsby’s uniform GraphQL interface.
  • Performance Is Baked In. Ace your performance audits by default. Gatsby automates code splitting, image optimization, inlining critical styles, lazy-loading, and prefetching resources, and more to ensure your site is fast — no manual tuning required.
  • Host at Scale for Pennies. Gatsby sites don’t require servers so you can host your entire site on a CDN for a fraction of the cost of a server-rendered site. Many Gatsby sites can be hosted entirely free on services like GitHub Pages and Netlify.

What I have to say …

While researching some popular static site generation tools, GatsbyJS comes up often. I have played with NuxtJS and Hugo in the past, but what I REALLY like about GatsbyJS is the plugin / modular system. You can build your website with plain-old React and CSS styles, but make your development more efficient by adding node_modules.

Also being able to import any data source with ease, using GraphQL, is amazing. And when it comes to content management, you can easily hook a headless WordPress or Drupal setup into the mix and consume their REST APIs :)

I am not switching my own website to GatsbyJS anytime soon, but its another tool in my toolbox for future project consideration !

There are many tutorials on Youtube about getting started, maybe something to consider for the next freetime testdrive ;) Enjoy …

GatsbyJS @ Github

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A nice set of CSS3 Animations that can be easily used to spice up your design.

The animations can be triggered through Javascript, jQuery and the timings can be tweaked through pure CSS. The package also provides gulp, so that you can tweak every aspect easily.

Demo
Github

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  1. SPRITEOWL is a Photoshop extension that takes over the boring part of working with sprite images and CSS.
    Retrieves x, y, width and height info of all sprite elements
    Exports retina ready PNG files and required media queries of your Photoshop sprite file
    Supports preprocessors LESS, SASS/SCSS & Stylus
    Spriteowl
  2. CSSOWL is a mixin library that works with Spriteowl.
    LESS, SASS/SCSS & Stylus support
    Open source
    Cssowl

Two tools that can enhance your workflow immensely. Enjoy!

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