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The St. Louis WordPress Meetup - Anatomy of WordPress

"Everything is a File" - Abraham Lincoln*

What is the secret sauce that makes WordPress taste so good? What is that crazy sounding wp-includes folder? What happens if I delete a plugin via FTP? Where does WordPress store all my images? How does WordPress know I have a theme installed?

This month we'll talk about the structure of WordPress. We'll take a look at the files that are included when you install WordPress, where your images, themes, and plugins are stored and what happens when we modify some of those weird sounding files.

*Ok, not really Honest Abe, but that sounds way more impressive than "UNIX Sysadmin."

Note: Chris will be out of town for this meetup. Aaron Graham and Gregory Ray will be running this show.


Since many folks attend with questions in-hand we want to make it easier for them to get answers. Instead of making them wait till the end of the evening to ask their questions we're going to dedicate the first 30 minutes of the evening to questions and conversation.


6pm to 6:30pm - Question and Answer time. Come to help others, ask questions, and socialize before the main event. This is a great opportunity to get some one-on-one help or feedback!

6:30pm to 6:45pm - Introductions and housekeeping.

6:45pm to 8pm - Main topic of the evening and presentations.

-Chris K.

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  • Chris K.

    Sorry for the late upload, but Robert Gadon put together some great notes from this presentation. You can find them at the link below or by visiting "Files" from the "More" menu on this group's Meetup page.

    1 · June 8, 2014

  • J. Evans (.

    It was a good meeting. Never disappoints. I always walk away with some type of new knowledge.

    1 · May 25, 2014

  • Lucas L.

    Too many question a little outside the topic but the facilitators are pretty good and have a lot of knowedge to share

    May 21, 2014

  • Robert G

    Steve: Well, like the makers of OTC drugs often say, 'considered safe if used as directed'. The good folks at '' put that warning on their software so people don't do dumb things and break their sites. And the first thing to do before you _ever_ start a site migration from development to production is make a backup (files and database). As an old hand at WP, I don't have to tell you that (even though I just did!). Seriously, I would be happy to show you the use of the program at any future meetup that we both attend. I use the software regularly whenever I move sites. It's a hugh timesaver.

    May 12, 2014

    • Steve F

      Right - I wasn't worried about it but was amused by the fact that they had this extreme "never ever ever" warning, then the next sentence says, "except for..." I'm a very recent convert to WP, but have already experienced some very time consuming problems that good backup habits could have remedied. So now I back up frequently. I get amused by odd things, such as the tagline in one fellow's signature that reads: "There are 10 kinds of people: Those who understand binary and those who don't."

      May 13, 2014

  • Robert G

    Steve--The tool you need is called 'Search and Replace DB v3.0.0' from '' in Liverpool, England, UK. Search on products, then WP Search and Replace. The problem you've got is that your dev site references your localhost (IP address[masked]), and not the production IP address. Also, if you've used different db names & url between dev & production, the site you move is going to always default back to your dev info. The S&R tool allows you to use to make a dry and live run, so you can see what will be changed in advance. Robert G.

    May 12, 2014

    • Steve F

      Thanks, Robert! I will download that and give it a try. Might have to find an expert at the meetings though, due to the dire warnings at the download site:

      May 12, 2014

    • Steve F

      If you are in any doubt whatsoever about how to use this standalone script, then please consider getting an expert in. It’s a really powerful bit of code that if used badly can damage a WP install beyond repair.

      May 12, 2014

  • Steve F

    Which meeting should I attend to get this type of question answered?

    I managed to set up Xampp / apache on my Windows 7 machine, in order to copy a production site to my local computer to try out a different theme. But when I try to login to wp-admin on the local Wp site, it redirects me to my production site online. I am not likely to make my own themes or plugins, but am constantly finding the need to customize commercial ones to fit a particular circumstance.

    I live WAY out of town, so it would be difficult to attend very often.


    May 11, 2014

    • Steve F

      Thanks, Bernard! I used the described method to change my database directly and had good results so far. I did find one rather amusing item in that article:

      May 12, 2014

    • Steve F

      From the article, talking about the GUID: It is CRITICAL that you do NOT change the values in this field! Never, ever, change the contents of the GUID column, under any circumstances.

      One exception is.... Somehow I found that funny.

      May 12, 2014

  • Michelle M.

    Hey, I'm new to the group and this is probably a stupid question, but where/what is the place where the group is meeting for WordPress Anatomy? I looked at Google street view for the address and it looks like residential homes. Does GoBrandGo operate out of someone's house and if so, how does parking work out for a bigger group like this?

    April 30, 2014

    • Chris K.

      Gobrandgo! Is in an old residential building at the corner of Utah and Wisconsin. You'll see signs in the window letting you know it's their place. Parking is on the street, with plenty if room to spare.

      April 30, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll be there. This sounds like the perfect starting point to discovering what I do know and what I need to learn.

    1 · April 23, 2014

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