The authors use examples from their recently released SchoolPress app to explain concepts and techniques throughout the book. All code examples are available on GitHub.
Compare WordPress with traditional app development frameworks
Use themes for views, and plugins for backend functionality
Get suggestions for choosing WordPress plugins—or build your own
Manage user accounts and roles, and access user data
Build asynchronous behaviors in your app with jQuery
Develop native apps for iOS and Android, using wrappers
Incorporate PHP libraries, external APIs, and web service plugins
Collect payments through ecommerce and membership plugins
Use techniques to speed up and scale your WordPress app
Brian Messenlehner comes from a background of building custom web applications for the US Marine Corps, and he is the co-founder of WebDevStudios.com, a WordPress-only development shop. Brian and the team at WDS have built several non-traditional websites and mobile applications using WordPress as a framework. Find him on Twitter: @bmess
Jason Coleman has been pushing WordPress to its limits for years and has helped launch several startups using WordPress as an application framework. Jason now leads development for Paid Memberships Pro, a membership-focused ecommerce plugin that powers many software as a service companies. Find Jason on Twitter: @jason_coleman
The animal on the cover of Building Web Apps with WordPress is a common iguana (Iguana iguana). This reptile is native to Central and South America, and its range encompasses parts of Mexico and extends all the way down to southern Brazil. There are also populations in South Florida, Hawaii, and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas that arose from the escape or disposal of captive individuals. In some South American countries, iguana eggs are sold as a novelty food; they are boiled in salt and can fetch twice the price of a chicken egg.
The word iguana is derived from the language of the Taíno people, who called the lizard iwana. Despite being commonly known as the green iguana, this species can be many different colors, depending on their area of origin. In the more southern countries of their range, iguanas appear more bluish in color, with bright blue markings. On islands like Aruba and Grenada, their skin can be lavender or black; individuals from the western side of Costa Rica are red, and Mexican iguanas tend to be a light orange.
Iguanas are excellent climbers and can fall for about 50 feet without being hurt. Their strong back legs and claws allow them to grasp branches and make long leaps from tree to tree. As well as being at home in the canopy, iguanas are natural swimmers who use their powerful tails to propel them through the water. Their tails are also used as weapons to protect the iguanas from predators or to incapacitate a rival. If the tail gets caught in something, the iguana will allow it to break in order to escape; a new tail eventually grows out to replace the old one.
Because of their dramatic looks and laid-back nature, green iguanas are popular pets. However, they require specialized care, and it is sadly very common for iguanas to be abandoned or disposed of because an owner could not provide the correct environment. They need to be provided with varied leafy vegetables and access to fresh water, and should be kept at a constant temperature of 79°F and given access to UVA and UVB lighting. An iguana can live up to 20 years if cared for properly, so the decision to keep one as a pet should be given much consideration.