Troubleshooting xdebug setup on VVV with VS Code »

Some tips for troubleshooting setting up xdebug on VVV while using VSCode and Felix Becker’s PHP Debug extension and BrianGilbert_‘s Xdebug Helper for Firefox add-on.

Ensure xdebug is turned on within vvv

You may check xdebug status by taking a peak at your servers http://vvv.test/phpinfo/ page. If not on, via we can toggle it on by accessing the virtual machine via ssh, then running a command that will turn xdebug on and restart PHP:

$ cd ~/your/location/for/vvv/
$ vagrant ssh
$ /vagrant/config/homebin/xdebug_on

The xdebug_on command is supposed to work without the full path, but I haven’t much luck with that. As a second saver, I store this full path in my text expanded since every time the machine is restarted xdebug being on does not persist and it will need to be manually turned on. A bash_alias entry could be made as well.

Ensure the browser extension is turned on

Yes, simple, but often forgotten.

Ensure you’ve started debugging in VS Code

Again, yes, simple, but often forgotten.

Ensure VVV is up to date

Older versions of vvv have compatibility issues with xdebug and php. Ensure you’re running the latest version of vvv, that vagrant itself is up to date, and that you’re using the latest version of php.

Turn off “Everything” breaks

Sometimes xdebug works while setting it up, VSCode pops up, but it stops on a breakpoint that isn’t the one you specified, it’s a random file from your app. This is an error that was picked up and xdebug stoped on because the default VSCode extension has it specified to break on “everything”. Unselect this in the Debug sidebar:

Check the xdebug profile is correct

Via the debug sidebar (shift+cmd+d), we’ll view our xdebug configuration file. Here’s an example of a WordPress plugin delete-thumbnails and the path I used

    "version": "0.2.0",
    "configurations": [
            "name": "Listen for XDebug",
            "type": "php",
            "request": "launch",
            "port": 9000,
            "pathMappings": {
                "/srv/www/vvv-vip/public_html/wp-content/plugins/delete-thumbnails": "${workspaceFolder}"

Two important notes:

  • VVV has two initial paths to get to your sites, /srv/and /vagrant/, the latter is a symbolic link which xdebug does not understand, you must use /srv/
  • Other tutorials may say to use ${workspaceRoot}, this variable is deprecated in favor of ${workspaceFolder}

Try a breakpoint outside of your current script

We usually want our breakpoints on what we’re working on, and we’re frustrated when xdebug doesn’t pick up on the breakpoint, so we dig around our config to check what’s wrong. Let’s first make sure that our desired code is actually running and capable of breakpointing, after all, the code not running might be why we’re firing up xdebug!

Add a breakpoint at the root of your application, somewhere you know runs 100% for sure. In WordPress, this will often be in either WordPress’ /index.php file, or the primary file in your current theme or plugin. For this plugin I’m working on, I checked that the plugin is activated, and I’ve placed a breakpoints on a fake var on the main fire which I know for sure loads:

On Remote Servers: Check That Your Port is Open

Ensure you are connected to the server with an the posted specified open, & any port forwarding for the remote address is set in ~/.ssh/config

Is your VSCode the nightly build?

I’ve heard of users being unable to run xdebug while using their beta releases. Best to always use the stable releases.

Every Image URL Filter For WordPress, Front & Back End »

I had a project where every single media library image URL needed to be filtered, backend and front end. As far as I’ve found these were the filters for every area:

The myplugin_filter_html_image_urls() function peals out images with regex from areas where it’s not just the URL being sent. This function may require verification of the current domain incase bad practices of using external images is being done.

Easiest way to Backup WordPress to S3 »

I explored and tested a bunch of WordPress plugins for S3 – they’re excellent in their own right, but I was bothered by the bloat & weight on PHP for the backup. Don’t get me wrong, I understand it’s a complex undertaking when you’re creating a backup/restore UI, working off wp-cron, creating many features that benefit lots of people, etc. But I didn’t need any of that – I just need my server backed up without dealing with anything.

Quick search of  Github lead me to a beautiful shell script that uses wp-cli and awscli to preform the backups. Here’s the kicker: it takes less than 40 lines of code. I modified it a bit for my needs and it works better than I thought possible:

Amazing. Runs with sh thrown into crontab. Amazing.

Gutenberg Presentation »

Gutenberg Presentation

An Introduction to Gutenberg

Wednesday, Apr 11, 2018, 6:00 PM

Vernon Library
2800 – 30th Ave Vernon, BC

23 WordPress Enthusiasts Went

Gutenberg will be replacing the text editor on your WordPress website, prepare yourself! Learn all about WordPress’s upcoming editor. In this meetup we’ll cover: – the reasons for Gutenberg’s creation – it’s ease of use and the problems it solves – the current and future state of themes in relation to Gutenberg – a sneak peak at what plugins will s…

Check out this Meetup →

Gutenberg will be replacing the text editor on your WordPress website, prepare yourself!

Learn all about WordPress’s upcoming editor. In this meetup we’ll cover:

  • the reasons for Gutenberg’s creation
  • it’s ease of use and the problems it solves
  • the current and future state of themes in relation to Gutenberg
  • a sneak peak at what plugins will soon look like in Gutenberg
  • what this all means for your WordPress site
  • what this all means for the future of WordPress
  • how Gutenberg will become a full fledged Page Builder
  • developers: overview of logic, plus tips & tools for writing blocks

Not required but feel free to bring along your laptop, there’s hands on tools to test out Gutenberg (without having to install Gutenberg on your site [but we’ll cover that too])

Followed by an open Q&A about anything and everything WordPress.

Update: slides

Check If Current Page Uses Gutenberg or Classic Editor »

If you’re themes like most themes, and you have to fix your main elements CSS to accommodate Gutenbergs edge-to-edge capabilities on gutenberg-only pages, it’s good to know which pages are actually using Gutenberg. The follow will add a CSS body class for Gutenberg pages.

Add conditions like !is_home(), get_post_type() != 'post', etc., to accommodate your theme setup.

On Img Upload, Create New Post, Set as Featured Img »

I used to manually do everything for the Images section of my site. Adding an image would involve: save photo after editing, renaming it, uploading, creating new post, setting the title and date, assigning the featured image as the upload, then setting the category to Images so it’s added to the page. So, 8 steps, usually done over-and-over again to a dozen or so images in a batch. We’re talking over 96 steps to get a batch of images online – it took a bit of time, and was slightly demotivating, becoming a chore instead of a hobby.

Able to scratch my own itch – I came up with a way to automate everything. Instead of 96 steps, I now publish an entire batch of images in just 2 simple steps. Yes Two. Too. To. You read correctly, just 2! How’d I do it?

After editing the photos in Lightroom, I use Lightroom’s file-rename feature during bulk export that automatically sets the filename to the images meta timestamp, so YYYYMMDD.jpg.

I then use the following script tapping into the add_attachment hook during bulk upload that does the other 7 steps for each image. Everything in just 1 step, for the entire bulk.

So, all I have to do after exporting from Lightroom, is drag-and-drop upload to the site.