Scheduled Banners and Template Parts in WordPress

It is normal when we meet requirement to show/hide any section by time change. I mean when we meet a plugin or theme, it is possible to create a section which displays Content A for T1 time interval, and which diplays Content B for T2 time interval.

I give 3 common examples for such cases.

1. To switch banner image when day ends and night begins and vice-versa.
2. Weekend section – to show weekend special section. It appear when Saturday arrives, and disappears when Monday arrives.
3. Time interval specific section or Campaign section – It appears when the given campaign is active. (for example between 28-31th days of the month)

scheduled banner for wordpress

And all of these should be automatized. I mean, we should not to edit any code by arriving/ending of the given dates. All of these can be scheduled and automatized.

So let’s write sample codes for these 3 cases: (This codes don’t contain any part about managing datetime parameters via administrative interface. The codes are simple and do exactly the needed things)

1. Day-Night Banner Switching:

Weekend Banner Section:

Campaign Section for the given datetimes:

Of course, when we have global targeted project, these codes may not be enough, we may need additional Client-Time zone argument to set. To get it is not problem, we can get it through AJAX. We have related article about this topic, passing cookie via AJAX.

Getting the list of slow MySQL queries in WordPress

Saving MySQL queries is the part of WordPress Debug processes.
If the website works slowly, probably there are some problematic MySQL queries which can be from some plugin or your current theme. Without debugging we can’t know what happens under the hood.

If to define SAVEQUERIES constant in wp-config.php,  we can monitor all running queries in single process. To see that we can add simple code to our themes footer.php.  Here is how it looks like

wordpress mysql debug

But it might not be enough helpful if we can’t catch the problem in our testing process. We may not detect the problem in action, but the visitors still complain about it.  So what to do? Let’s keep SAVEQUERIES ON mode for some time and gather all slow queries for that period. At the end of this period we will be able to see all problematic queries and may be we will be able to solve them.

  1. Add this string to our wp-config.php : define( ‘SAVEQUERIES’, true );
  2. Add the code below to your theme’s footer.php. It will gather slow queries and save it to as WP Option data.
  3. After some time passed, check get_option(‘custom_mysql_debug’); value, it will show all slow MySQL queries in one string, one per line. Here is what it will look like.
    mysql-debug-result

HTML5 GeoLocation and WordPress

Let’s say that we have WordPress post objects with geolocation parameters.(lattitude, longitude). And we want to create geo filter and show relevant products to our visitors. For example if the visitor enters the website from New York, we want to show him only New York related products.

It is possible yeah. There are several ways. We can use 3rd party solutions (such as GeoPlugin ) in the website backend and detect where the visitor is. But to wait response from 3rd party service at backend – actually is not good idea.

WordPress - get the visitor location

So let’s try to do something at frontend side.

This piece of code detects the visitor geolocation, saves latitude + longitude as a cookie. Then it makes simple reload. It runs once when the visitor visits your website first time. And if you run this script before wp_head, the visitor will not feel redirect. So it will look smooth.

But what will happen at the backend side then? The only thing we need to do at backend side is to detect if the needed cookie exists and do some filters for that.

In this sample we have created sample filter which will show only those products which latitude is between 39-40, and longitude is between 47-49.

It is also possible to enrich javascript side of this solution and integrate it with Google Maps Geolocation API. In this case backend side will be more simple. As we will not have to create difficult lat-long meta query filter. We will only write one single CITY meta key, and that’s all.

Search Under The Hood in WordPress? Let’s Create Simple Plugin For This

Sometimes it is so important to find any string in plugin or theme directory files. Or to find where the given function is situated. You have to edit some plugin hook, but you don’t know in which file it is.

It is more needed when the project is not yours, the code is not yours (for own codes there are native OS feature, desktop softwares, IDE, server commands for that).

I am using my own solution for that.
If i start working on fixing some issue on client’s live website, first i install this plugin, then use it when it is needed. It is very helpful when you don’t know how client’s theme/plugin built.

WordPress Search Under The Hood - search inside plugins + themes

The plugin is lightweight and contains just one single file.

So, which steps we have followed to create this plugin:

  1. Create empty plugin and activate it. (here is how to do it)
  2. Register wp-admin submenu for the plugin’s action/settings page. (here is how to do it)
  3. Create simple html form to submit data.
  4. Write the needed backend code which does iterative file search in specified directory and displays the results.

Here is the plugin’s Github repository. WordPress Search Under The Hood

Adsense block inside WordPress posts – Create your own shortcode

With simple plugin we can create responsive adsense ad shortcode and put it anywhere inside our WordPress post.
Here is how to create it.

The usage is easy. Just put [responsive_adsense] anywhere inside your post, and responsive adsense ad will appear there.
Another shortcode in our code – [responsive_adsense_single] is for cases if you want those ads to appear only in single page (not in another pages where post content shown)

WordPress shortcode - preview
Here is how it is in editor
WordPress shortcode - editor view
Here is how it is in real web page

That’s all. Where to add this code? To your child theme functions.php file, or to you own custom plugin which you can easily create in 30 seconds.