In order to have your plugin or theme customizable by other developers, you should apply a lot of filters, but of course only when it might make sense (you should empathize with fellow developers to imagine possible situations). According to the WordPress Codex, filters exist to allow others to modify the filtered content before it is processed further.
Filters are functions that WordPress passes data through, at certain points in execution, just before taking some action with the data (such as adding it to the database or sending it to the browser screen).
This is definitely the general rule you should stick to. But you cannot only modify content via filters, you can furthermore actually create content – and in some cases this is a much more efficient approach.
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One out of all the WordPress APIs is often overlooked by developers – the Transients API. Sure, at the time you had started developing for WordPress, you first needed to get around in the system. But trust me, you definitely want to know how to use transients – because transients make your WordPress website faster. This is not only important to make sure that potential visitors don’t leave your site before it has even loaded, but also for SEO these days – Google & Co. put a lot of emphasis on your website’s page speed. The faster it loads, the better it possibly ranks. In any way, a faster page speed is better than a not-so-fast page speed. That’s why you need to use transients in your WordPress themes and plugins.
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A day ago, Ian Anderson Gray from iag.me opened this new thread in the Github repository for Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin. He surely isn’t the only one thinking about using Schema.org markup in WordPress (I do too!), so if you are also interested, you should join the discussion. In this article I will not tell you the great unique amazing solution for this. BUT – I will show you how to modify the WordPress SEO plugin (using filters only) so that the plugin’s breadcrumbs will be using valid Schema.org markup instead of the old RDFa markup.
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Schema.org provides you a good way to optimize your website for search engines. SEO surely means much more than that, but the usage of Schema.org will improve your visibility to Google & Co. a lot. Have you ever, for example, checked out movie search results at a website like IMDB.com or Wikipedia.org? They will mostly show you additional information for that particular movie, such as a trailer link, a link to release dates, maybe user ratings for this movie (check out the tiny yellow stars there!) and sometimes information about the actors, the director and much more, depending on your search query – and the website’s markup with Schema.org. So Google is not that intelligent that they know what the website is about – you gotta ensure this yourself by adding Schema.org microdata. While it does not directly improve your website’s rankings, the search results for your page will certainly look more appealing to users since additional information will be included.
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