RT Cunningham


My Kung Fu is Stronger than Yours - Hacking WordPress

Kung Fu Hacking WordPress The word “hacking” doesn’t necessarily mean something unethical or illegal. In the proper context, it simply means making changes to something, usually software or hardware.

I’ve hacked WordPress for almost as long as I’ve used it. I’m never satisfied with certain themes and plugins in their original forms.

When I say “my kung fu is stronger than yours”, I’m referring to an old trope used in martial arts films and certain movies that involve hacking (which usually is unethical or illegal).

Hacking WordPress

I’m not just hacking WordPress. I’m slowly making it unrecognizable as such. What if I make a mistake while I’m hacking away? I can always start over with a pristine copy of whatever file I mangle.

I use WordPress on my Linux Mint PC. What you’re looking at isn’t WordPress, but it’s the result of WordPress. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense to you.

I’ve edited theme files, plugin files and WordPress core files to make WordPress do what it isn’t designed to do. I use a PHP script to externally change what I can’t change internally.

What you see is a static file. There’s no PHP script putting it all together (on-the-fly) and it’s not pulling data from a database somewhere. That’s all done on my local PC.

I keep a master directory and a “new” directory. Every time I run the PHP script, it compares any new files with the files in the master directory. I only have to upload new files or files that have changed.

I can’t explain how it all works, but it only takes me a few minutes to “publish” a new article on the web. Only a few minutes longer than it would if I was using WordPress in its native form at the server.

Professional Programmer or Developer?

I’m nothing of the sort. I’m self-taught – I haven’t received a single hour of instruction. Even so, I still use PHP the right way.

I like to use the term “hack-fu” instead of “kung fu”, so this will be the last time I use “kung fu” for anything. My hack-fu is strong. Maybe it’s stronger than yours and maybe it isn’t.

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By RT Cunningham
April 8, 2017
Web Development

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