As a refuge of Pandora I am apparently spoiled by smart recommendation engines. I settled on YouTube Music over Spotify or Apple Music and am quite disappointed with the “music discovery” aspect of the service. I frequently find good music and then “Start Radio” to find more music like the source but YouTube Music is just plain terrible at genres and understanding relationships and all too often leans on heavily on songs I’ve already liked. Pandora was great at this and maybe it’s time I give it another try before SiriusXM puts their (probably ruineous) stamp on it. For a company which was built on smart search Google or Alphabet(?) has a long way to go with YouTube Music.
On my “to try” list for a while now is LocalWP, an application to streamline the process of working with WordPress locally. Put another way, you can build a WordPress website on your local computer and then use WPLocal to push that site online. Why would you do this you ask? There are several reasons, chief amongst them being speed. Here’s why I like LocalWP and will consider working it into my normal workflow.:
- It’s fast. While WPEngine is fast, the speed of interacting with any website that isn’t hosted locally is a result of many factors including your Internet connection speed and daily traffic levels. WPLocal is operating on your local computer which for the most part bypasses any reliance on your Internet connection.
- Good for travel. For those that travel and rely on cellular Internet access, closely managing your bandwidth usage is key to survival. Because WPLocal works mostly offline, this reduces the amount of bandwidth used and is of course much faster than working online if your connection is poor.
- Another staging environment. While WPEngine features a robust and easy-to-use staging environment system, working locally gives you another staging environment, to queue your updates and protect you (from yourself) from screwing up a live website.
- Tight integration with WPEngine. LocalWP will connect directly to WPEngine using their API, which is easily enabled. You can then view all of your sites, and “pull” any of them locally, to be edited and then pushed back live.
- It’s free. The Community version is free, and LocalWP claims it will stay that way. Pro adds a few features, and priority support which makes sense if you’re going to make LocalWP an integral part of your team’s process.
While I’ve only scratched the surface of what LocalWP can offer, I’m pleased to find the toolset to be simple and powerful.
Upon pushing my local changes live, I had an issue. The local domain: josiahcole.local did not update to the live domain: josiahcole.com – A quick chat with WPEngine support solved the issue, however the root cause is still unkown. I will udpate this post the next time I attempt to publish vis LocalWP.
I launched a new side project called Grill Brush Danger about the danger of using traditional grill brushes to clean your BBQ / propane grill. Bristles can come loose, and become lodged in your food, which can then become lodged in your mouth, throat and stomach causing serious pain, and expensive medical treatments. Egad! This simple website, built using Bootstrap in one day will be growing slowly to include more informative content, and links to purchase safe alternatives. Check it out before you fire up that grill this summer!
WP Engine built-in caching is a breath of fresh air if you’re used to managing caching plugins, and their finicky settings and tendency to break. Built into the WordPress dashboard, the WP Engine cache control is just two clicks away, which makes theme changes easy to see immediately.
This action can also be accomplished via the WP User Customer Portal which is a nice feature addition, allowing an administrator or network technician to clear the website cache, without having direct WordPress access.
If you’ve run WordPress for any length of time, you’re no doubt familiar with phpMyAdmin. Access to phpMyAdmin can often be critical to your WordPress debugging needs, and thankfully WP Engine makes this very easy.
Unlike some web hosts which hide phpMyAdmin, or put it behind an additional (and unknown) password – phpMyAdmin at WPEngine is accessible via one-click inside their User Portal.
Steps to Access phpMyAdmin at WP Engine
- Login to the WPEngine User Portal.
- Click PHPMyAdmin in the sidebar menu.
- That’s it!
phpMyAdmin will launch in a new tab, and you’ll have direct access to both the staging, and live databases.
Make sure to run a full backup before making any direct changes to your database.