Software, Development, and WordPress

Tag: Ray in WordPress

Using Ray in WordPress Development: Rendering Data and Data Structures

TL;DR: We’ll see what Ray looks like when rendering data, data structures, and other information in the context of a custom WordPress plugin. We’ll also see how to leverage some of its built in functionality for making data structures much more readable from how we’ve historically been able to do so.


📝 A Note About the Ray Plugin

When it comes to actually using the Ray application within the context of WordPress, I’d like to bring some clarity to the different ways in which it can be installed.

  1. Ray can be installed as a Composer dependency which is what we did in the previous article.
  2. Ray can be be installed a plugin via the WordPress Plugin Repository.
  3. Ray can be installed as a must-use plugin by cloning the repository from GitHub, placing it into your mu-plugins directory and then updating environmental variables as per the documentation.

All of these are viable options. I prefer to use the first option because I’m a fan of Composer and managing my dependencies that way so this guide will be following that approach.

If you opt to use any of the approaches, great! This series, however, will not offer guidance on those methods.


⚠️ If you’ve not already set up your environment, please read the previous post and make sure you have the free version of Ray installed.

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Using Ray in WordPress Development: Introduction

TL;DR: This is the first article in a series in which I’m going to walkthrough how to use Ray in WordPress development. From installation, plugin creation, and both beginner and advanced use of the application.


Starting last summer, I started to use Spatie Ray in my day-to-day work. I’ve written a few posts about it:

  1. Debugging WordPress with Ray, Part 1
  2. Debugging WordPress with Ray, Part 2
  3. Install Ray Per Project at an Application Level

The more I’ve used the software and the more I’ve talked with other developers in the WordPress space, the more I see there’s potential for how to really leverage all the features the software offers beyond a glorified var_dump or print_r.

If you’re someone who’s comfortable writing code for WordPress but hasn’t gotten started with a debugger or is someone who is used to writing statements out to the browser, it’s my hope this series will provide you with everything you need to get started.


📝 Notes, Prerequisites, and More

I don’t necessarily have any pre-requisites as I’m going to be writing about Ray using an example plugin and project and doing so from the ground-up.

I do assume you have a local environment running and you’re comfortable working with Visual Studio Code or another IDE. When applicable, I’ll link to documentation that may be useful for setting up a development environment or diving deeper into a topic.

Though I plan to provide some explanation as to what we’ll be doing in a given step, such as installing Ray via Composer, I won’t necessarily be taking the time to show how to install Composer. Instead, I’ll link to other blog posts or available documentation to do that.


With that said, let’s get started with using Ray in WordPress Development.

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