Erik Pöhler's Blog


How to fix common problems with Laravel Valet

Laravel's Valet is amazing. It makes setting up a new PHP Projects on macOS as easy as creating a folder. Valet has many advantages over for example Docker, as it has less overhead. No need to download images, no need to build them, no additional disk space is blocked by all the VM images, containers so on and so forth. Valet also takes advantage of your full CPU power as it doesn't have to share resources with a parent slash host OS. Of course, Docker has many advantages, too. In this article, however, we won't look at the things that make each of them stand out – instead I want to list all of those smaller and bigger problems one can run into when using Valet in your day to day web development. And of course how to fix them. Read more →


Installing Eclipse PDT and Java JRE onto a RAM disk under macOS

Other IDEs come and go. Yes I'm looking at you Atom. But Eclipse PDT is still around. It's not the most popular one, nor does it fully support PHP 8, yet. Nonetheless, it's still a great, highly customisable IDE. A bit bloated, a bit slow at times but a worthy alternative to VS Code, PhpStorm, Nova, Sublime Text and whatnot.... This article shows you how to install and setup this IDE with Java onto a RamDisk on macOS for maximum performance. Read more →


Build & Watch SASS files and other frontend assets with PHP

I use NodeJS, its package manager NPM, and even NVM to install different versions of NPM in many projects to build frontend assets. My recurring use case is: compile some SASS files into CSS, join some files, minify the output, copy fonts and icon fonts, pre-compress static assets, and so on. I am familiar with helper tools like Grunt and Gulp to set up these tasks. In a recent PHP project, I tried to avoid the use of NodeJS/NPM. I was surprised how easy it is to achieve the same results with nothing but plain old PHP. Read more →


WebP Support in WordPress and image conversion

This is part 17 of my article series 25+ Tutorials on How to boost the performance of your WooCommerce store. While JPEG and PNG have been a de-facto standard for storing images for the web for a long time, webp is here to change that. With an estimated reduction of 30% of storage space requirement, the impact for improved load times, and bandwidth usage is significant. Wordpress comes with support for WebP since version 5.8. Read more →


Avoid WordPress’ gettext functionality

This is part 23 of my article series 25+ Tutorials on How to boost the performance of your WooCommerce store. Although it's a practical feature, a major reason for the success of Wordpress, and yet PHP's gettext is slow, because with each of your plugins, the number of slow physical file reads increases. Here we talk about avoiding the internationalisation and localisation features of Wordpress to speed up site performance. Read more →


25+ Tutorials on How to boost the performance of your WooCommerce store

Having worked on numerous Wordpress & WooCommerce sites over the last years, I have tried almost everything to speed up and improve page rendering times. Here I will share my key findings with you, put together into 25 tutorials. I hope they help you to achieve a fast, performant and easily maintainable WooCommerce store. This is the Tutorial overview and introduction. Read more →


Setting up WordPress & WooCommerce with Composer

This is part 1 of my article series 25+ Tutorials on How to boost the performance of your WooCommerce store. This article focuses on the initial project setup of your Wordpress & Woocommerce store. Your main benefit of creating your project structure this way is that you will be able to update Wordpress, all of its Plugins and Themes with a single command in your Terminal. It's faster, more simple and gives you full control over each major and minor version in use. You will be able to revert a single plugin, keep track of core modifications you make and take advantage of the whole Packagist and WPackagist universe in your Wordpress & WooCommerce store. Read more →


How to replace the WordPress frontend with Twig, FastRoute and Dice

I consider this guide an experiment, a test to see if its possible to replace the Wordpress frontend entirely. Getting rid of Wordpress frontend means getting rid of overhead like database requests, bad plugin code. Instead we get performant, clean templates and have more control over the frontend. This is a rather extreme step with downsides. You loose all the frontend logic, plugins, search result pages, category pages, archive and so on – you loose flexibility, have to rebuild all of the thinngs just mentioned from scratch. Still this might be worth it, if you love Twig, and want to bring it's benefits into the Wordpress cosmos. In this article I outline what you need to get started. Read more →


Back to the roots

About 15 years ago, I started my professional career as a web designer and web developer – after having gloriously failed many other attempts in making a living or to conclude a higher education. I first stumbled upon HTML & CSS when trying to create an online image gallery to present my work as a photographers’ apprentice using html frames with Microsoft Frontpage. I got hooked and started to learn CSS & HTML and experiment what I've read in blogs in my free time. Shortly after, I was introduced to PHP as well, first folderblog (a pretty cool gallery script by Donald Tetto, and then to Wordpress so I decided to start blogging. Read more →