For some time, I’ve been working on fairly large projects, and it’s not always easy to manage everything without getting lost in the thousands of files and folders within the project.
Code organization is a fundamental part of software development, be it web, desktop, or mobile.
Fortunately, today we can use tools that help us in the development and project management process.
One of these tools is Gulp.js!
What is Gulp.js
Gulp is a task runner, a program that allows you to automate a series of repetitive and constant tasks, such as minifying CSS and JS code, refreshing on every save, synchronizing web pages, optimizing images, and much more.
To simplify, once Gulp is correctly set up within my project, every time I save a file, Gulp automatically checks the operation just performed (saving) and acts accordingly. In this case, it refreshes the browser.
If I modify a CSS file, on saving, Gulp will minify the file and refresh the browser!
Imagine a project that takes months to develop; being able to avoid refreshing the browser every time, compiling SASS files, optimizing images, etc., allows developers to save a lot of time or, at the very least, focus on something other than mundane and repetitive actions!
Gulp and WordPress
The beauty of Gulp is that it can be used in any type of project, even during the development of a theme or plugin for WordPress, greatly speeding up programming times!
If you want to install and start using Gulp, I recommend this article: https://css-tricks.com/gulp-for-beginners/. That’s where I started!
My Gulp for WordPress!
In my latest project using Gulp, I automated the following tasks:
- Refresh on every modification of any file
- Optimize images
- Combine all SCSS files into one, compile it, and minify it
- Combine all JS files into one and minify it
To use Gulp, you need to split the folder with the site’s resources. One will be the development folder, aptly named “src”, and the other will be the one that will be published, called “assets.”
On GitHub, you can find my configuration file to handle Gulp tasks within a WordPress theme.
To get started, you just need to copy my gulpfile.js into your theme and run this command from the CLI:
npm install --save-dev gulp gulp-imagemin gulp-uglify gulp-sass browser-sync del gulp-concat gulp-clean
Now all you have to do is modify line 3 of the file by entering the path to your WordPress project.
I hope I’ve encouraged you to use this tool. Although it’s a bit complicated to set up, I’m sure that once you’ve understood it thoroughly, you won’t be able to do without it!
Let me know what you think in the comments, and happy coding!