Interview with Patrick Rauland, Project Manager for WooCommerce

Patrick Rauland | WPShout Interview with WooCommerce Product Manager

To the interview! »

Our upcoming guide to WordPress development will include interviews with twelve WordPress luminaries.

As we’ve mentioned in the past, we’re working on a comprehensive guide for WordPress developers, with the working title The Principles of WordPress Development.

It’ll include an e-book, screencasts from us, and plenty more—including interviews with twelve WordPress luminaries like Pippin Williamson and Tom McFarlin.

Each interview is designed to give you a close look into the world—and, most especially, into the code—of a thriving WordPress developer. Today we’re excited to present an interview with Patrick Rauland, Project Manager of the wildly successful WordPress e-commerce solution WooCommerce.

We talked with Patrick about his approach to WordPress coding, and we walked step-by-step through a plugin he developed, WooCommerce Terms and Conditions Popup.

This One’s On the House!

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You’ll get regular updates on the e-book package with exclusive content, plus a 25% discount on the e-book when it ships.

Thoughts, Questions, or Feedback?

We’d also love to hear any thoughts on the video, in the comments below.


The Interview

Interview Contents:

0:00 – 1:30: Introductions

Patrick describes his experience with WordPress, WooThemes, and WooCommerce.

1:30 – 3:00: Defining Good WordPress Code

Patrick describes his criteria for good WordPress code:

  1. It needs to be WordPress code (written in a way that uses WordPress’s conventions and APIs), not just generic code written for WordPress as an afterthought.
  2. It “has to be written in a way so that it doesn’t break anything else,” especially on large projects like WooCommerce. This means checks like if(function_exists()), checking whether variables are already defined, testing across different hosting environments, and more.

3:40 – 1:00:30: A Deep-Dive into Code: WooCommerce Terms and Conditions Popup

We dive into Patrick’s WooCommerce plugin, WooCommerce Terms and Conditions Popup.

3:40 – 8:15: Introduces the behavior of WooCommerce Terms and Conditions Popup. This very simple plugin does one thing, and does it really well: It improves conversions by opening the “Terms and Conditions” page in a popup rather than on a new page, keeping people on the checkout page while they view it.

8:15 – 1:00:30: A comprehensive look at the plugin’s code. Topics covered (among many others):

  • Creating smart directory structures
  • Careful programming with checks like if(function_exists())
  • Object-oriented programming (OOP) for WordPress
  • Creating WordPress options and settings pages
  • Passing PHP variables to JavaScript with wp_localize_script
  • Integrating jQuery into a WordPress environment

1:00:30 – end: Advice for WordPress Developers

Patrick gives a ton of good advice for aspiring WordPress devs. Topics covered:

  • Patrick’s favorite WordPress and WooCommerce functions
  • Advice for WordPress devs: Go to WordCamps, listen to podcasts (Apply Filters, Side Hustle Nation, and more)
  • Lots of business advice for freelancers and consultants
  • Favorite development tools: Slack, Github, Atom code editor, MAMP, and more

That Was Awesome. Where Can I Get More of That?

We’ll be putting out a lot of exclusive content in the run-up to publication, so if you want that and a 25% discount on the e-book when it ships, join our mailing list! (And click “Yes” on the “update/discount” radio button option.)


Thoughts, Suggestions, and Feedback

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the video above; we’re recording more interviews as we speak, so your suggestions really will be taken seriously and potentially incorporated. Speak up in the comments below!