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Meta Fields and All: Developing a Reusable Components Framework in WordPress

by Jeremy Ward

Your clients just approved the design for their new custom WordPress theme, and you're ready to dive in and start hooking together the components that will power their templates. But wait, you've seen some of these pieces before: that big banner image with the enticing headline and link to learn more; the set of social media links in the footer; those repeating blocks of feature descriptions and imagery. Time to start setting up meta fields and custom logic that will output your markup, right?

Instead of retracing our past steps, what if you could simply install and modify some of the common elements that tend to show up from theme to theme? And, even better, what if those elements also came with the meta fields that power them?

In this talk, I will discuss Atomic Design, the value of developing a reusable patterns library, and demonstrate an approach to writing custom components using object-oriented programming principles, Composer, and the meta fields plugin of your choice.

Intermediate

Jeremy Ward

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Jeremy Ward is a Backend Developer at WebDevStudios, a WordPress design and development firm specializing in custom themes, plugins, support, security, Multisite, BuddyPress, and other open source solutions.

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Jeremy got his start in web development as a hobby, learning to build static websites for his bands and friends. This part-time curiosity eventually blossomed into an interest in database queries and server-side languages and, by 2013, he found himself working at a local agency developing custom WordPress themes for small businesses and non-profits.

Jeremy currently volunteers on the organizing committee for WordCamp Minneapolis-St. Paul and also co-organizes a bi-monthly meetup for WordPress developers in the Twin Cities. He is passionate about code quality, modular design, and developer tools, and has begun converting that passion into speaking engagements at local meetups and conferences.

When he’s not geeking out about software development, Jeremy enjoys playing board games, seeing live stand-up comedy, and taking walks around his neighborhood.


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