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Plugins | binarymoon.co.uk | Sep. 27, 2014

TimThumb is No Longer Supported or Maintained

Well it marks an end of an era so to speak.

TimThumb is No Longer Supported or Maintained

Plugins | binarymoon.co.uk | Sep. 27, 2014

A long time ago – when making our first premium WordPress theme, Darren and I made TimThumb. TimThumb has been amazing – but it’s also not been without it’s share of problems. In particular in 2010 there was a major security exploit found and it hurt a lot of websites, my own included. There are still people who are suffering because of it. I’ve felt incredibly guilty about this for years now, and so my enthusiasm for TimThumb has dropped to nothing.
Because of this lack of enthusiasm, and a fear of doing something else wrong, I have barely touched the code in years. In fact a couple of months ago I wrote about why I don’t use TimThumb (and what I do instead). If you’re a WordPress developer and still using TimThumb then you are ‘doing it wrong’. As such I am dropping all future support and maintenance for TimThumb.
To be honest this has been the situation for a while now, I’ve just not announced it before. If you want to use TimThumb then you do so at your own risk.
It feels a little sad to be writing this – but it’s also a huge weight off my mind. Now I can go back to making WordPress themes and video games in peace :).

7 min read Ahmad Awais
Community | binarymoon.co.uk | Oct. 16, 2015

My Experience Submitting a Free theme to WordPress.org

I have 6 free plugins in the repo and no free theme, though, I am more of a theme developer (or that's what pays my bills). This article makes me wonder if any of the gaps discussed could be my excuse to not submit a free theme? Constructive feedback by Ben Gillbanks

My Experience Submitting a Free theme to WordPress.org

Community | binarymoon.co.uk | Oct. 16, 2015

I recently submitted my first free theme to WordPress.org. Kent is a theme I made for wordpress.com. It’s been code reviewed by the team there and is in use on a few hundred sites. I was considering selling it on Creative Market, but instead decided to add it to wordpress.org and try to use it to build some brand awareness for my premium themes.
Since the theme had been reviewed by the wordpress.com team I knew the code was solid but unfortunately the review didn’t go quite as smoothly as I had imagined.
Theme Check Errors
I first attempted to submit the theme on the 1st of July. However it failed on the theme tags. I was aware of the theme tags because they also use them on wordpress.com – however as I found out – the allowed tags are different between .com and .org.
The only reference I could find to the allowed tags for wordpress.org was a short comment on the theme development page on the codex that said to find the theme search filter on wordpress.org and use the tags there. I have since found the correct list of allowed tags in the Theme Review Handbook and updated the Codex to point to the right place.
Submission Successful
Once the tags were correct I got an email saying I had

7 min read Ben Gillbanks
Community | binarymoon.co.uk | Oct. 14, 2016

Lessons Learned from 20 Theme Releases on WordPress.com

I've made a lot of themes, and sell all of them on wordpress.com - here's a few things I have learnt in that time.

Lessons Learned from 20 Theme Releases on WordPress.com

Community | binarymoon.co.uk | Oct. 14, 2016

In 2007 I partnered with Darren Hoyt to release Mimbo Pro, one of the earliest premium WordPress themes. In 2012 Mimbo Pro was published on wordpress.com. Last week – on October 5th 2016 to be precise – my 20th theme was published on wordpress.com. The theme is called Label, and it’s the theme I am currently running on this site.
As an aside – I was thinking about the fact that I have 20 themes running on wordpress.com – and I now wonder if I’m actually the most prolific themer on the platform? The internal theme team make many themes as well – but there’s a lot of people on the team, and I’m not sure there is anyone who has individually published as many themes as I have. Would be interesting to know from them?
Anyway; I’ve learnt a lot about running a theme business since Mimbo Pro was first published. Pro Theme Design is not the biggest theme shop around – but it’s currently a sustainable business that I run single handedly and it generates enough income for me to look after my family comfortably.
Below are some of the lessons I have learnt over the years from releasing 20 themes on wordpress.com.
Automate everything

5 min read Ben Gillbanks
Editorials | binarymoon.co.uk | Aug. 27, 2016

My WordPress Wishlist

Some of the things I'd like to see worked on in the next version(s) of WordPress

My WordPress Wishlist

Editorials | binarymoon.co.uk | Aug. 27, 2016

WordPress 4.6 has recently been released, and now plans are being made for WordPress 4.7. At the start of each new version the WordPress team ask for ideas and suggestions for areas people would like them to focus on. This time I thought I’d write my thoughts down in a blog post. Import and Export
I make WordPress themes for a living, and I offer my customers the content export for the theme, however there’s a lot of data missing. It would be great if the content export let you export more than just posts and pages. Adding widget and customizer settings would mean that users can reproduce demo sites exactly just by importing the demo xml file.
It would also be nice if the import system was made more robust. At the moment there can be lots of problems with imports, especially for large sites. Since I don’t work for clients I’ve only had to do a few imports in my time but every time something went wrong – often with PHP timing out, or running out of memory.
There’s a team (mostly from Human Made) who have made a start on a really nice new WordPress Import Export system.
Post Editing Experience
There’s two things I’d like to see with the

4 min read Ben Gillbanks
Tutorials | binarymoon.co.uk | Jun. 16, 2017

Fixing Theme Issues with WordPress 4.8 Media Widgets

Shortly after WordPress 4.8 was released I was made aware of some issues with the new media widgets in some of my themes - in particular in sidebars that are hidden by default (in modals/ slide in sidebars). This article shows how I fixed this.

Fixing Theme Issues with WordPress 4.8 Media Widgets

Tutorials | binarymoon.co.uk | Jun. 16, 2017

WordPress 4.8 has just been released and, whilst not a ground breaking update, it includes some nice features that make WordPress more pleasant to use. One of the main areas focused on is some new widgets. There haven’t been any new core WordPress widgets added in years, and these ones are very welcome. The new widgets are an image widget, a video widget, and an audio widget. In addition the text widget now makes use of TinyMCE to add some extra control for users who don’t know HTML.
Problems and Solutions
Shortly after release I was alerted by the team at wordpress.com that a few of my themes didn’t play nicely with the new widgets. The issue is with ‘hidden’ sidebars. By this, I mean sidebars that start off hidden and then appear when a button is clicked. Any overlay or modal sidebars.
The problem is that when something is hidden javascript doesn’t know how big it is – and so positioning and sizing of elements can be (very) wrong. Videos in particular will probably be the wrong size, but the audio elements are also likely to have controls in the wrong place.
I then spent a few hours last weekend fixing the problem – with a few more
The

2 min read Ben Gillbanks
Community | binarymoon.co.uk | May. 20, 2017

WordPress Jetpack Admin Backup: For When There are Problems

I've had a few problems using the Jetpack settings page in WordPress, until I found the old settings page is still available. This article shows how to access it.

WordPress Jetpack Admin Backup: For When There are Problems

Community | binarymoon.co.uk | May. 20, 2017

I’m a big fan of the Jetpack WordPress plugin. I support it in all of my WordPress themes, and have even contributed to its development. However it’s not perfect, and I have recently had some issues with the new React powered Jetpack admin not letting me change site settings. I have been getting the error:
Notifications failed to activate. SyntaxError: Unexpected token < in JSON at position 0
Now as far as I can see the issue seems to be with the new admin loading resources from http - when using a https site. However the team at Jetpack support have been unable to reproduce or fix it - they've been able to see the issue on my site (I've given them admin access to a site with the issue) however they have been unable to diagnose the problem, so it still happens.
Then one of the support agents gave me a quick tip. The new React powered admin is likely what's causing the problem - so why not use the old settings admin? It's still there in the plugin!
So, if you're having a problem changing the settings on your Jetpack powered site you can go to the following url and manage the settings as you used to:
/wp-admin/admin.php?page=jetpack_modules
I’ve now used this on two

5 min read Lisa League
Tutorials | binarymoon.co.uk | Jul. 5, 2014

I No Longer Use TimThumb - Here's What I do Instead

Don't get hacked! What to use to resize images in place of using Tim Thumb.

I No Longer Use TimThumb - Here's What I do Instead

Tutorials | binarymoon.co.uk | Jul. 5, 2014

Last weeks there was a second exploit found in TimThumb. Thankfully it was no-where near as bad as the first one – but it raised an interesting question of whether TimThumb is even needed anymore. TimThumb was made to be useful for any project – it was never meant to be WordPress specific – so there’s definitely still some interest in it from that perspective, but I don’t really care about that. I focus on WordPress – and is it needed there? I think no.
After the first exploit I kept using TimThumb on Binary Moon. I wanted to show that the fixes put in place were solid and nobody should worry (seems I was wrong), but after 6 months or so I decided to start using the WordPress post thumbnail functionality properly.
I had been slowly moving away from theme frameworks instead focusing on starter themes and using WordPress coding standards andbest practices. I wanted to do everything ‘the WordPress way’.
Using WordPress built in post thumbnail functionality is very straight forward. You register some image sizes, and then call a function to get the image html. However there are some issues with it:
Problems with WordPress Post Thumbnails
The image sizes don’t act historically. You can add

The Death of WordPress Theme Frameworks

Community | binarymoon.co.uk | Aug. 12, 2013

WordPress theme frameworks are on their way out. They’re dying a slow death. At least that’s what I think.

4 min read Ben Gillbanks
Development | binarymoon.co.uk | Jul. 13, 2016

Why My WordPress Themes Site Doesn't Use WordPress

A short article I wrote explaining why I don't use WordPress on my premium themes site.

Why My WordPress Themes Site Doesn't Use WordPress

Development | binarymoon.co.uk | Jul. 13, 2016

I’ve mentioned it before but I run a WordPress themes site called Pro Theme Design. On it, I sell premium WordPress themes – but I don’t use WordPress to power the site. This probably seems like a strange thing to do since WordPress is incredibly powerful and many people successfully run online stores with it. But I don’t like to do what many people do because they do it. So I took a step back.
In October 2014 when Darren and I rebooted Pro Theme Design we changed the homepage to a single page website that linked to our themes on wordpress.com. I had decided it was best to focus on wordpress.com – so I wanted to make the website as easy to manage as possible. You couldn’t even buy the themes for self hosted sites. So the site became a static html page.
This was really refreshing – it felt good to be doing something different and not be tied to thinking in the ‘WordPress way’. So when I decided to start selling self hosted themes again, I decided to stick to using a static site.
Pro Theme Design is now powered by a PHP microframework called FlightPHP. There’s no database, all the data is in text files stored as arrays. There’s

WordPress Numeric Pagination

Tutorials | binarymoon.co.uk | Oct. 28, 2013

Home › Web Design › Tips › WordPress Numeric Pagination October 27, 2013
I’ve made quite a few WordPress themes in my time, and so I thought I would write a few blog posts sharing some of the code snippets that I find myself using repeatedly.
First off is some numeric pagination using native WordPress functionality. I have always prefered numbered pagination over next and previous links as it gives a good indication of progression and location – and allows you to skip around much more quickly – but WordPress doesn’t have a single line command for it.
For a long time I used my own custom function – but now I use the function below.
The function that does all the clever stuff is the paginate_links command. For WordPress it’s mostly used in the admin, but it’s easy to reuse as shown below. /** * numeric pagination for custom queries * Much nicer than next and previous links * * @global type $wp_query * @param type $pageCount * @param type $query * @return type */ function bm_numeric_pagination( $page_count = 9, $query = null ) { if ( null == $query ) { global $wp_query; $query = $wp_query; } if ( 1 >= $query->max_num_pages ) { return; } $big = 9999999999; // need an unlikely integer echo