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WPTavern: Gutenberg 0.2.0 Released, Adds New Custom HTML and Cover Image Blocks

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 03:30:32 +0000

The Gutenberg plugin is moving fast with version 0.2.0 now available. This is the first release since the plugin was added to the directory last week. It includes two new block types, along with other new features, improvements, and fixes for many bugs that previously severely impaired the editor’s usability.

A new Custom HTML block allows users to add HTML and click to see a fast preview within the editor.

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The new Cover Image block lets users place an image in the content with the background image fixed by default. Users can also specify text to have overlaid. Gutenberg developers emphasized that this feature should not be confused with the “Featured Image” panel which is already working in a similar way to how it has in the past.

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While testing the Cover Image block with Twenty Seventeen and Twenty Fifteen, I was unable to get it working correctly on the frontend. Within the editor it works beautifully but once I launched the preview I found that, regardless of which positioning option I chose, I could not get the full image to display. The size of the image’s output was only as tall as the overlay text. If there was a right way to position it, I was unable to discover it. Bugs like these are likely to be quickly ironed out as more users begin testing.

A few of the notable fixes and improvements include the following:

  • Added button to delete a block
  • Added button to open block settings in the inspector
  • Rename “Freeform” block to “Classic Text”
  • Added support for pages and custom post types
  • Added ability to select all blocks with ctrl/command+A
  • Automatically generate wrapper class for styling blocks
  • Avoid triggering multi-select on right click
  • Avoid being keyboard trapped on editor content

As of today, Gutenberg has more than 500 active installs. The development team is planning on shipping weekly releases to the WordPress.org plugin. If you want to keep up with the releases, subscribe to the make.wordpress.org/core blog. Feedback is welcome on Gutenberg’s GitHub repository as well as in the #core-editor channel on WordPress Slack.




WPTavern: WordPress 4.9 to Focus on Managing Plugins and Themes, Gutenberg Targeted for 5.0

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:57:24 +0000

photo credit: Oli Dale Matt Mullenweg, the overall product lead for core releases in 2017, has published an overview for what users can expect in WordPress versions 4.9 and 5.0. After the success of 4.8 and the initial release of Gutenberg last week, Mullenweg is aiming to see the plugin installed on 100K+ sites during the next few months before merging it into core. He also suggested that WordPress could put a promo for the plugin in the upcoming 4.8.1 release. “In the meantime I think we can do another user-focused 4.9 release with the theme of editing code and managing plugins and themes, doing v2s and polishing some features we brought into WP last year,” Mullenweg said. “Weston and Mel already have some good ideas there, and we can start to discuss and brainstorm at the Dev chat next week. This will also allow the Gutenberg-driven release to be 5.0, which is a nice-to-have but not the primary driver of this decision.” Mullenweg elaborated on changes to the release process in a post on his personal blog. The original idea was for releases to be driven by improvements to the three focus areas (the editor, customizer, and REST API), but the radical changes that Gutenberg introduces to the editing experience means that customization improvements will need to wait until the editor is a little further along: Mel and Weston took this as an opportunity to think about not just the “Customizer”, which is a screen and code base within WP, but really thinking in a user-centric way about what it means to customize a site and they identified a number of low-hanging fruits, areas like widgets where we could have a big user impact with relatively little effort. WordPress is littered with little inconsistencies and gaps in the user experience that aren’t hard to fix, but are hard to notice the 500th time you’re looking at a screen. I didn’t think we’d be able to sustain the effort on the editor and still do a meaningful user release in the meantime, but we did, and I think we can do it again. During this week’s core development meeting, contributors brainstormed more specific items for inclusion in 4.9. The ability to schedule customizer changesets is one feature they discussed as a possibility. Customizer component co-maintainer Weston Ruter described the feature as “adding statuses for changesets: being able to draft a changeset to come back to later, and then to be able to schedule it to go live.” The Customize Snapshots feature plugin contains the UI for this and Customize Changesets, the term for the underlying infrastructure required for saving a Customizer session as a draft, was added in WordPress 4.7. Adding the UI in WordPress 4.9 would allow users to share Customizer sessions, preview them outside of the iframe, and schedule them to publish at a future date. Andrew Roberts, a contributor to TinyMCE, said they should have a new mobile-optimized UX, which would result in a responsive toolbar, that could land within the proposed 4.9 timeframe. “I would wonder if we couldn’t tweak the UI to be closer to Gutenberg (e.g. white toolbars),” Roberts said. “I had raised this idea before and it was thought it was better to wait until Gutenberg, but I remain of the opinion we could iterate a little bit closer to get users used to it.” Contributors also discussed the possibility of changing the default font in the editor to ease the transition to Gutenberg in the future. Currently, Gutenberg uses system fonts for UI and Noto Serif for the editor text. Mel Choyce, who is heading the Customizer focus with Weston Ruter, said she hopes the team can finish the Gallery Widget for 4.9. Current progress on the widget can be found on GitHub. WordPress 4.8.1 is tentatively planned for the last week in July, and contributors anticipate including a fix for some issues with the new Text Widget stripping out code. [...]



WPTavern: WordPress’ New Gutenberg Editor Now Available as a Plugin for Testing

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:29:55 +0000

One of the featured sessions at WordCamp Europe 2017 was Om Malik’s interview with Matt Mullenweg, followed by a 20-minute Q&A from the audience. After showing a preview of the new Gutenberg editor with dynamic blocks replacing widgets, Mullenweg announced that it is now available as a plugin on WordPress.org. Gutenberg has been in development for six months and is ready for testing, but its developers do not recommend using it on production sites. Anyone interested in the future of WordPress will want to take it for a test drive, as the new editor will revolutionize the way users think about creating and editing content. The demo video at WordCamp Europe also showed Gutenberg working smoothly in a mobile context. At first glance, it may appear that WordPress is trying to copy its more recent competitors (Medium, Wix, and others) to keep pace, but the 14-year-old software has offered many of these content capabilities for years. Mullenweg explained how the new editor simply unifies the UI into blocks that can be placed anywhere. Gutenberg is set to replace widgets, the HTML UI of shortcodes, and blocks previously offered through the TinyMCE toolbar. “We’ve taken stabs at this before, if you imagine our previous efforts with post formats – to make it easier to do certain types of media or quote posts or things like that,” Mullenweg said. “That whole concept can now flatten to just being a block. Working all that in, it’s bringing things we’ve been thinking about for a very long time in WordPress.” If you’ve ever sat down with a new user to introduce them to WordPress, then you probably answered a long list of painful questions regarding the many varied and confusing ways of creating content. Gutenberg has the potential to make WordPress much easier to use. “Right now WordPress makes you learn a lot of concepts – shortcodes, widgets, the stuff that exists inside TinyMCE as blocks today – and people rightly wonder why they can’t use those things everywhere,” Mullenweg said. “What we’re trying to do is shift it so that you only have to learn about blocks once and once you learn about the image block, that can be in a post, in a sidebar, in a page, in a custom post type, and it will work exactly the same way. Whatever is integrated with it, let’s say a plugin that brings in your Google Photos or your Dropbox, that will now work everywhere, too.” Mullenweg said his previous attempt at replacing TinyMCE lasted approximately two years and they never ended up shipping it. Getting Gutenberg off the ground at this time allows WordPress to take the best of what competitors in both open source and commercial spaces have been doing, and improve upon it. “Medium started five or six years ago,” Mullenweg said. “Browser technology, what you can do, has advanced quite a bit. I think this actually allows us to leapfrog past some of the really great visual editors, because we’re able to build on the shoulders of things like Medium, Wix, Squarespace, and others that have come before us.” Gutenberg First Impressions and Concerns The Gutenberg plugin is now active on more than 300 sites and first impressions are rolling in. This is the first time the new block editor has been easily accessible to any user who wants to try it. Gutenberg also offers a somewhat unique testing experience in that it creates its own menu inside WordPress, so users don’t have to choose between the old editor and the new one. Activating Gutenberg doesn’t make it an either/or experience and users can test at their own convenience. From my initial testing, I found that Gutenberg provides a clean and enjoyable experience. Up until this point many of us couldn’t fully anticipate what Gutenberg would look like, but the interface is very similar to what one might imagine for an improved “distraction-free writing experience.” Gutenberg provides[...]



Post Status: The future of the WordPress economy, and why I’m not worried

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:00:09 +0000

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Joshua Strebel, the CEO and co-founder of Pagely. Pagely was one of the first managed WordPress hosts and continues to be a market leader. Josh had some thoughts about the WordPress economy, which I asked him if he would share here for the Post Status audience. He’s been around for a while, and I think he’s got a pretty good hold on the state of things. I hope you enjoy his commentary. And if you like this post, you’ll also enjoy Post Status Publish. There’s been some recent speculation on whether or not the WordPress economy is beginning to slump. I would answer ‘yes’ and ‘no’; it is clearly evolving, and some areas are contracting while others are growing. I believe we are feeling the effects of market maturity. Are downmarket “one stop shop” alternatives and in house teams the best solution for the future of WordPress? No, because hosting providers, developers, and agencies who specialize in this space are where the concentrated real quality resides, and people are always willing to pay for quality. Ultimately WordPress has staying power because of its ecosystem, so let’s take stock of that. The current state of the WordPress economy In 2017 WordPress is used by major publishers, enterprise, universities and even custom SaaS applications. In fact the world’s leaders in business and marketing trends use WordPress (and aren’t necessarily leveraging in house teams to do so). To name a few: Facebook Newsroom Google Ventures Mercedes Benz TechCrunch Bloomberg Professional WordPress powers an estimated 28% of all websites which run the gamut of single contributor blogs and simple websites to applications and complex portals. That’s nearly 75 million websites built by anyone from a very beginner to an extremely advanced level of technical skill. It’s both easy to use and graceful in its complex abilities to do just about anything you would need a website to do. There’s also the community behind WordPress, an ecosystem in and of itself of people around the world with this one thing in common. As an open source community, our entire industry is plugged into every update. We can contribute to testing or code. We have all the power to make sure the WordPress economy stays strong and continues to grow. New businesses are constantly being formed around plugins, themes and services built specifically for WordPress, with no signs of stopping. In fact, we’ll continue to find more and more creators of WordPress specific companies, with full time jobs elsewhere, using this as an opportunity to contribute to the community. However, the near constant flow of new entries into an already saturated market is outstripping demand. The WordPress pie overall is still growing but not quick enough to absorb the new sellers entering into the lower third of the market. The new players are typically unable to challenge the dominant players for a significant market share, and the demands and needs of the customers are also moving up the value chain. Yes, some newcomers do disrupt the established WP players, but it is happening with less frequency and the barrier is ever higher. Economies ebb & flow: Apple and Airbnb (and WordPress) The companies and brands that have changed the way people live experience low points. Just like the ones we’ve feared will appear in our own industry. But you know these companies well and they, and their economies, have persevered. Take the classic example, one of the greatest comeback stories of all time: Apple. Apple defied all odds and went from near bankruptcy to the powerhouse hardware leader it is today with over a billion iPhones currently in use. They lost Steve Jobs and many feared they would lose their focus and tumble downward. Instead they’re the largest and most profitable they’ve ever been. Walk down the streets of New York City or San Francisco and you’ll see brick and mortar shops dedica[...]



WPTavern: WordPress Marketing Team Launches Case Studies and Usage Survey for Agencies, Clients, and Enterprises

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 04:33:42 +0000

photo credit: Lukasz Kowalewski WordPress’ Marketing Team has launched a set of surveys to gather case studies and usage data from agencies, clients, and enterprises, with the goal of providing more resources for adoption. The Usage Survey was created to capture feedback on the factors that influenced an organization to select WordPress as well as any barriers to using the software. The team plans to use use the data to provide resources, such as fact sheets, FAQs, case studies, testimonial videos, and other marketing materials. During the State of the Word address in 2016, Matt Mullenweg said the project could no longer get by on “marketing happenstance” but needed to form a more coordinated effort to counter the millions of dollars that proprietary systems are spending marketing their products against WordPress. These research surveys are one of the first steps in that direction, along with the WordPress Growth Council that Mullenweg formed to bring together more people with large-scale marketing expertise. With the proliferation of user-friendly, DIY commercial website solutions, WordPress has reached a critical time where the project needs to shed its image as a clunky, legacy CMS and demonstrate why it’s the market leader. This not only requires WordPress to deliver from a technical standpoint, especially in the areas of editing and customization, but also requires the 14-year-old project to step up its marketing efforts. WordPress’ Marketing Team exists to “help people market WordPress as open source software and the WordPress community.” The need is evident, as even the most experienced WordPress professionals struggle to properly articulate the difference between WordPress.com and the self-hosted software in a way that newcomers can understand. This is an intractable marketing problem for the self-hosted community. Explain to me in two paragraphs or less the delineation between https://t.co/shm7MBBfUi, Jetpack, and https://t.co/w3VOMjx5s9. — Ryan D. Sullivan (@ryandonsullivan) June 21, 2017 WordPress(dot)org has lost the branding battle with WordPress(dot)com. — Drew Jaynes (@DrewAPicture) June 21, 2017 David Skarjune, a contributor on the Marketing Team who helped put the surveys together, describes the problem that WordPress professionals face in marketing the free software: Here we have the classic WordPress.COM and WordPress.ORG duo that encompasses the nature of the WordPress free software system. This twosome drives the project and sometimes it drives us crazy—only because it instills wide-eyed confusion trying to explain these companion entities to the rest of the world. Simple enough: get a free blog at .COM or get free software and help at .ORG. However, free software makes no sense to the average person, and too many writers, marketers, and designers don’t much care how the InterWebs actually operate. The confusion between WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress is just one of the many factors that make the software a unique marketing challenge. Mario Peshev, CEO of DevriX, identified many more obstacles that enterprises find in using WordPress. Several of these include misconceptions about security, scaling, and limitations for functionality beyond blogging. WordPress’ Marketing Team aims to provide agencies with free resources to combat common misconceptions and show real-world examples of where the software is quietly powering enterprise websites behind the scenes. If you have an interesting example of how WordPress solved a client’s needs, feel free to submit a case study. If you represent an organization that is using WordPress and can offer feedback on why you selected it and any obstacles you continue to face, please take the WordPress Usage Survey. Both surveys will be open through July 14, 2017, and the results will be published on WordPress.org. [...]



WPTavern: WPShout Updates and Acquires WPHierarchy.com

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:59:52 +0000

WPHierarchy.com is a WordPress resource created by Rami Abraham in 2013. The site is an interactive version of Michelle Schulp’s colorful diagram of WordPress’ template hierarchy. Each template is linked to documentation that explains its function.

Over the years, WordPress’ template hierarchy has changed. For instance, paged.php no longer comes after archive.php. The site however, hasn’t kept up with the changes.

In an effort to keep the site going, updated, and maintained, WPShout has acquired the domain from Abraham for an undisclosed amount. The team fixed the most of the obvious issues and the site is once again a valuable resource for visualizing the template hierarchy.

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David Hayes, of WPShout, says they’re working on collaborating with Schulp to visualize and better explain how Custom Templates can be applied to all post types.

If you’d like to report an error or want to contribute, you can do so via the project’s Github page.




WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 278 – Recap of WordCamp Europe 2017

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:12:03 +0000

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Coach Birgit Olzem, Carole Olinger, Jaki Levy, and Dwayne McDaniel who attended WordCamp Europe in Paris, France.

We discuss contributor day and the effects of having it at the beginning of a WordCamp instead of at the end. Each individual shared their experience attending the event and described what their favorite session was.

Lunch was provided at WordCamp Europe in paper bags with plastic utensils. With 1,900 attendees, this resulted in a lot of trash. We discussed the impact WordCamps can have on the environment and why larger WordPress events should act as a role model for being as sustainable as possible.

We also talked about Gutenberg, the WordPress marketing team’s efforts, and the differences between WordCamp US and EU.

Stories Discussed:

WooCommerce Drops 50% Renewal Discount on Subscriptions

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, June 28th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via RSS: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Stitcher Radio: Click here to subscribe

Listen To Episode #278:




HeroPress: Becoming Known in the WordPress Community

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:30:39 +0000

So you make websites, right? My name’s Juan and I make websites. I’ve been doing that since my brother came home with a computer’s magazine that had a CD with a copy of Front Page 98. I learned about HTML. Tables. Marquees. Divs. CSS. Flash. ActionScript. JavaScript. PHP-Nuke. phpBB. Blogger. And, finally, in 2008, I learned about WordPress. I loved writing and enjoyed having my own blog after seeing that social networks like MySpace or Fotolog weren’t going too far. I kept learning and found the power of WordPress to create more complex sites. I decided that my hobby could be my job. I became a freelancer. I found clients, I made lots of mistakes, I didn’t make much money. I was alone in my small village in the North of Spain: Santoña, in Cantabria. I knew I wasn’t the only one creating websites around, but I never thought about meeting people like me. I didn’t know about the real power of Open Source. I was isolated, planning to move with my girlfriend to another city, Pontevedra, and I didn’t have a clue about what was going to happen soon in my life. The power of WordCamps One day I found out that in November of 2015 there was going to be a WordCamp in Santander, a city 50 km. far from my village. An event for WordPress developers and users. That sounded good. I had no idea that that kind of events were happening all around the world. I had no idea about anything related to the WordPress Community. I didn’t know that the Community was even a thing. So I went there a Saturday morning and attended to most of the talks. I remember sitting in the last rows, as if I were hiding so no one would notice that I was there alone. I didn’t want to say anything stupid and I was just absorbing all I could from the speakers and their presentations. After a great talk about theme development I waited for the speaker and I thanked him for all the info. I was nervous. He was a speaker. He was from another league, right? But he was a really nice guy, ‘if you have any doubt, just ask me’. Cool. On Sunday we had the Contributor’s Day. And there I was, randomly in the Community table, learning how to organize a Meetup with some people I had just met, Rocío Valdivia and Ibon Azkoitia. Remember these names. They told me that, as I was moving to another city where there wasn’t any WordPress group, I could start one myself. My brain: Wait a second. Me? Starting a WordPress Meetup in Pontevedra? I took notes and kept enjoying the day. I met many people and, being not very good remembering names, all I could do was following them on Twitter. And signing in the WP Slack channel. At the end of the event, Darío, the main organizer asked me about how was the experience. I had loved it. Will you come back? Yeah, but next year… as a speaker! My brain, again: As a speaker? Are you really listening to yourself? You hate speaking in public. You’re the most nervous person ever. My first year in the Spanish WordPress Community The days after the event were weird. I started reading about the people I met and I found out that some of them were incredible developers, some of them had thousands of followers in Twitter, some of them had the most important websites about WordPress in our language… And I didn’t have a clue about all that. Did it matter? Not at all. These people don’t care about those things and will help you no matter who you are or where you are coming from. Moving to a new place was a slow process, so I didn’t have to worry about the Meetup I promised to organize, but the weeks were running and I had no idea about what to talk about in the next WordCamp as I told Darío. I started to become a little more involved in the Community. I helped translating plugins to Spanish. The original translation of WooCommerce was made by a drunk robot or similar, so there were thousands of strings to be revised and translated ag[...]



WPTavern: WordCamp Europe 2018 to be Held in Belgrade, Serbia, June 14-16

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 05:22:33 +0000

Belgrade, Serbia will host the sixth edition of WordCamp Europe, June 14-16, 2018. Prior host cities include Leiden, Sofia, Seville, Vienna, and Paris. Attendees and the massive 221-person volunteer crew gave their enthusiastic approval when organizers announced the event would be returning to Eastern Europe next year.

WordCamp Europe 2018 will be in Belgrade, Serbia, June 14-16! <3 #wceu

A post shared by Sarah Gooding (@pollyplummer) on Jun 17, 2017 at 9:18am PDT

The Serbian WordPress community has grown exponentially since the first WordPress meetup was held in 2013 at ManageWP’s offices. Now, Serbia hosts meetups in several cities and many of them are averaging more than 100 attendees. Meetup.com is not very popular in Serbia so the WP Serbia Facebook group is used more frequently to organize community events. The group has grown from 600 members to more than 4,700 during over the past two and a half years.

At WordCamp Europe I had the opportunity to interview Jenny Beaumont, this year’s local lead for Paris, along with Milan Ivanović who will lead the local team next year in Serbia. Beaumont shares the challenges of wrangling busy volunteers on the local team and offers Ivanović some advice as he prepares to head up the team in Serbia. Ivanović is eager to acquaint WordPress’ global community with Serbia’s famous hospitality and sums up why prospective attendees should consider attending in 2018: “The food!”




WPTavern: WooCommerce Drops 50% Renewal Discount on Subscriptions

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 02:56:19 +0000

Customers who purchased extensions from WooCommerce.com are discovering that the renewal discount of 50% has been removed. Instead, they are now paying full-price.

The WooCommerce blog and the official Twitter account do not mention anything about the price increase.

We contacted Automattic and asked if the discount was removed and if customers received prior notice of the price increase. Todd Wilkens, head of WooCommerce, provided the Tavern with the following statement:

All customers receive notification of their upcoming renewal 7 or 15 days before a charge. If anyone received an incorrect price, please contact us immediately and we will make it right. As always, we are committed to making sure WooCommerce is affordable to the widest range of people while maintaining our high level of service and support.

A customer upset by the change contacted WooCommerce’s support desk and inquired about the price increase. The support representative confirmed that the discount was removed and that customers will need to pay full-price to renew.

The customer service rep also explained that the change is due to WooCommerce moving to a straight renewal process, similar to other SaaS products. The representative concludes the ticket by saying they’re monitoring and accepting feedback about the change.

(image) WooCommerce Customer Support Response

Nathan Hadsall, who makes a living using WooCommerce, is among those upset by the change. “I have been a huge WooCommerce supporter and most of my work as a developer is spent working with WooCommerce,” Hadsall said.

“However this type of approach to business is very sad. I have no problem paying for a license despite the fact that GPL software is available cheaper and legally/ethically by other means.

“I will still stick to WooCommerce since the core is fantastic and is getting better. The biggest change for me will be the plugins and code I use to extend WooCommerce functionality. I will probably start to look elsewhere.

“The biggest gripe I have is with the way WooCommerce does business. WooCommerce has never seemed to care about their customers. Slipping this pricing change in was not an honest move.”

Raising prices for renewals is a part of business and something I think many customers expect at some point. However, raising prices on subscriptions that existing customers may have set to auto-renew, without explicitly notifying them about the change, can create a negative, lasting experience.

If you purchased a subscription on WooCommerce.com and have set it to auto-renew, keep a close eye for your renewal notice.




WPTavern: Disqus 3.0 Beta Improves Comment Syncing

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:28:24 +0000

When we interviewed Daniel Ha, CEO and co-founder of Disqus, earlier this year, he explained why some users were reporting problems syncing comments between Disqus and WordPress and that improvements would be coming soon.

“We may have taken some services offline to work on them which may have affected those who were trying to sync,” Ha said.

Disqus has released 3.0 Beta 1 that fixes syncing issues and introduces a redesigned settings screen. Disqus 3.0 was rewritten to take advantage of newer APIs in WordPress which will allow for faster iterations of improvements.

Comments are synced to the WordPress database using a webhook method instead of wp-cron making the process more reliable. This version also supports edited comments and comment states enabling users to see if comments are approved, pending, or deleted.

(image) Disqus 3.0 Settings Screen

Disqus 3.0 has a redesigned settings screen that includes shortcuts to frequently visited sections of Disqus’ backend. Disqus replaces the Comments top-level menu item and shortcut links are now available in the WordPress Admin Bar.

Other improvements to the plugin include:

  • Replacing WordPress comments template with Disqus comments
  • Replacing WordPress comment count with Disqus comment count
  • Automatic closing of WordPress login window when using single sign-on

The plugin is only available via Gitub as the team seeks feedback to identify potential issues before rolling it out to the public. If you discover a bug, you can report it by opening a new issue on the project’s Github page.




Matt: Peak Tea Demand

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 15:59:05 +0000

I found this funny anecdote from a CNET article about the future of power:

Power and utility companies must exactly balance supply with what people consume at any given moment. UK grid operators famously must cope with a demand surge after the TV soap opera “EastEnders” ends, when thousands of people start boiling water for tea.




WPTavern: WordCamp Europe 2017 Draws 1900 Attendees from 79 Countries

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 13:45:51 +0000

photo credit: WP Tavern WordCamp Europe was held this weekend in Paris, bringing together 1,900 attendees from 79 countries. Another 1,000 people joined via livestream from 77 countries to make a total audience of 2,900 participants from 92 countries. The number of attendees on the ground was about one third less than original estimates of 3,000, but everyone who wanted a ticket was able to get one. A team of 221 volunteers communicated on Slack behind the scenes to make the event run as smoothly as possible. The event’s 45 organizers made the presentations more accessible to speakers of different languages with live captioning and real-time audio translation. photo credit: WP Tavern WordCamp Europe is the leading WordPress event for catching presentations about the ongoing efforts to bring the software to all the languages of the world. A large percentage of attendees were multi-lingual leaders in WordPress’ translation community, resulting in many presentations and lightning talks focused on topics like communication, internationalization, organizing translation sprints, and using inclusive language for interfaces. photo credit: WordCamp Europe 2017 Photography Team Matt Mullenweg and Om Malik joined the event for a casual Q&A session with attendees wherein Mullenweg showed a demo of the new Gutenberg editor and announced its availability as a plugin on WordPress.org. We’ll cover their comments on the future of the editor and the open web more in-depth in another post. This year’s WordCamp Europe sponsors had space for large 360° booths and the opportunity to be featured in 30-second advertisements between sessions. Organizers also arranged for sponsor workshops with a dedicated space for those who purchased the highest sponsorship levels. These workshops included topics like Creating a WordPress Theme for the Masses, Intro to WooCommerce, Jetpack tips, and hosting product demos. photo credit: WP Tavern WordCamp Europe had no shortage of swag unique to the event, including a limited edition French plush Wapuu, posters, postcards, socks, stickers for European WordCamps, and other items for sale in the traveling Swag Store. A giant, stuffed French Wapuu made the rounds, appearing in pictures with attendees. The fun, family and Wapuu moment @WCEurope! #getwapuu #WCEU #wceu2017 pic.twitter.com/eykTMyuiC8 — Anil Gupta (@guptaanilg) June 17, 2017 Swag + Wapuu = ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Lg5LGYeHmj — WordCamp Europe (@WCEurope) June 16, 2017 Contributor Day kicked off the event on Thursday with a strong turnout of 473 attendees. Traditionally, WordCamp contributor days are held on Sunday after the main event, the day following the after party when many who signed up struggle to make it on time – or at all. WordCamp Europe attendees generally appreciated having the contributor day scheduled before the main conference and the higher attendance numbers demonstrate the success of this arrangement. The after party featured a 1930’s theme at the Pavillon d’Armenonville. Attendees dressed the part and enjoyed a relaxing end to the WordCamp with an evening of dancing and meeting new and old friends. Maybe the coolest guys at #WCEU After-Party! ❤️@schlessera @glueckpress pic.twitter.com/p0xDyjyD9N — Carole Olinger 🤘 (@CaroleOlinger) June 17, 2017 Organizers anticipate that videos of the presentations will be available next week. We will also be rolling out video interviews with interesting people from the European and global WordPress community in the coming days. [...]



WPTavern: 10 Lessons Learned From Five Years of Selling WordPress Products

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 22:36:13 +0000

This post was contributed by Rebecca Gill. Rebecca is the founder of Web Savvy Marketing, a web development, design, maintenance, and SEO consulting company based in Michigan and host of the SEO Bits podcast. Rebecca recently sold her Genesis Theme store to 9seeds, a store she managed and maintained for five years. In this post, she shares ten lessons learned from selling WordPress products. When Jon Brown and I started talking about Web Savvy Marketing selling its theme store to 9seeds, it became abundantly clear that I wasn’t just selling him a portfolio of Genesis child themes. Anybody can do that. What I was really selling him was an established process and five long years of making mistakes and creating solutions. When I launched our theme store and stepped into the world of developing WordPress products, I was beyond naïve. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and I didn’t know how to run a successful e-commerce business. But after a lot of mistakes and course corrections, I found stability, a lot of great customers, and more revenue than I expected. Today, I’m sharing my top 10 lessons learned with you, so I can spare you from falling down the same rabbit holes and pitfalls. My 10 Lessons Learned Reputation Is Everything I didn’t set up out to create a strong reputation and I honestly didn’t know I was doing it. I was just following the rules given to me by my Grandmother and the basics of business I learned while working for my prior employers. What I realized was this – having a strong reputation helps you sell, but it also helps keep you out of hot water when things don’t go as you plan. People are more willing to buy from you, become your brand advocates, and forgive you when you make a mistake. A Strong FAQ Page Is Worth Its Weight in Gold I didn’t see this as a necessary page at first, but once I had the same question asked 100 times, I realized I needed to have an easily accessible page that answered common questions. Our comprehensive FAQ page has saved me time, but it also aided in sales. Visitors receive immediate answers to their questions and they are more inclined to hit the buy button while you still have their attention and interest. Thorough Post-sale Communication Is a Requirement During the first year of our store opening, I was flooded with post-sale emails and inquiries. No one was using our support forum and the option of self-service. I was so annoyed and frustrated it wasn’t even funny. And then something happened. I realized it wasn’t the buyers’ fault. I realized it was my fault. I had failed to communicate, provide next steps, and set expectations. Once I took ownership over this issue, I created a follow-up sequence that provided post-purchase instructions on where to go and what to do. A magical thing happened – or many things actually. I freed up my time because people stopped emailing me and I had happy customers who actually thanked me for all the great follow-up information. That was a win/win if there ever was one. Email Templates Save Oodles of Time Even with my stellar FAQ page and follow-up emails, I still received inquiries from people who asked similar questions. I learned to create email templates for anything I had to answer more than five times. This reduced my response time from five minutes to thirty seconds. This freed up my time and more importantly, it gave faster responses to my customers, so they were happy. Create Systems to Save Sanity I’m slightly obsessive-compulsive and I used this to our advantage with the theme store. I created project templates for any new theme launch and I mimicked the same type of tight structure I have with large custom website builds. We had a templa[...]



Matt: 4.8 and What’s Coming

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:33:03 +0000

Last week we released version 4.8 “Evans” of WordPress, as I write this it has had about 4.8 million downloads already. The release was stable and has been received well, and we were able do the merge and beta a bit faster than we have before. When I originally wrote about the three focuses for the year (and in the State of the Word) I said releases would be driven by improvements in those three areas, and people in particular are anticipating the new Gutenberg editor, so I wanted to talk a bit about what’s changed and what I’ve learned in the past few months that caused us to course correct and do an intermediate 4.8 release, and why there will likely be a 4.9 before Gutenberg comes in. Right now the vast majority of effort is going into the new editing experience, and the progress has been great, but because we’re going to use the new editor as the basis for our new customization experience it means that the leads for the customization focus have to wait for Gutenberg to get a bit further along before we can build on that foundation. Mel and Weston took this as an opportunity to think about not just the “Customizer”, which is a screen and code base within WP, but really thinking in a user-centric way about what it means to customize a site and they identified a number of low-hanging fruits, areas like widgets where we could have a big user impact with relatively little effort. WordPress is littered with little inconsistencies and gaps in the user experience that aren’t hard to fix, but are hard to notice the 500th time you’re looking at a screen. I didn’t think we’d be able to sustain the effort on the editor and still do a meaningful user release in the meantime, but we did, and I think we can do it again. 4.8 also brought in a number of developer and accessibility improvements, including dropping support for old IE versions, but as I mentioned (too harshly) in my first quarter check-in there hasn’t been as much happening on the REST API side of things, but after talking to some folks at WordCamp EU and the community summit before I’m optimistic about that improving. Something else I didn’t anticipate was wp-cli coming under the wing of WP.org as an official project, which is huge for developers and people building on WP. (It’s worth mentioning wp-cli and REST API work great together.) To summarize: The main focus of the editor is going great, customization has been getting improvements shipped to users, the wp-cli has become like the third focus, and I’m optimistic about REST-based development the remainder of the year. I’ll be on stage at WordCamp Europe in Paris tomorrow afternoon doing a Q&A with Om Malik and taking audience questions, will also have a few announcements. You can get to the livestream tomorrow on the WordCamp EU homepage.[...]



WPTavern: WordCamp Europe 2017 Kicks Off with Contributor Day Focused on Growing WordPress through Inclusion

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 00:27:38 +0000

photo credit: WP Tavern Hundreds of WordPress contributors gathered today with space for each team to have its own dedicated room. The Community Summit was held earlier in the week, lending a strong contingent of veteran contributors to this event, ready to use the short time they had together. With a high concentration of WordPress expertise gathered in Paris, WCEU organizers were able to include 13 talks and workshops aimed at enriching contributors. For an event that has always focused on serving diverse communities, it’s no surprise that many of the contributor projects were focused on growing and improving WordPress through accessibility, internationalization, documentation, and inclusion. WP REST API Team is Writing Docs to Make the API More Approachable to New Users and Contributors WP REST API project co-lead Ryan McCue said their team was concentrated on improving documentation to give developers a better understanding of the REST API infrastructure and how it integrates with the rest of WordPress. “The main thing we’re trying to work on is documentation for this sort of stuff, because we’re lacking a lot of documentation around the infrastructure,” McCue said. “One of the things we don’t do well is having a way to go from ‘I know nothing’ to ‘I know this stuff.’ A lot our documentation describes solutions without describing the problem and how you pick a solution.” Contributors are working on a new set of user guides, which are currently on GitHub, that will eventually be included in the developer handbook. McCue said the next major project is completing work on OAuth 2, the new authentication method that will allow users to authorize applications to access data on their sites. He anticipates the team will have a “very workable plugin” that could be ready for testing within the next six months. “We need to get this sorted if any of the mobile apps are going to use the REST API,” McCue said. These apps currently use the existing XML-RPC and WordPress.com APIs. Although OAuth hasn’t been a major focus so far this year, McCue said the team is looking at changing that going forward. Documentation Team is Working Towards Making HelpHub the Go-To Resource for WordPress Support photo credit: WordCamp Europe 2017 Photography Team Jon Ang, who helped lead the Documentation team, said they have been focused on writing documentation for new contributors, as well as ensuring current docs are gender neutral and not overly technical so that content writers can understand them. “Helping with the project has traditionally been tough, because we don’t explain how you can get started,” Ang said. “We realized this across the entire documentation team. We are great at writing end-user documentation but not great at writing contributor documentation.” One of the major documentation projects they have been working on for the past few years is HelpHub, a companion resource to DevHub that will eventually hold all end-user documentation for WordPress. Migration from the codex is complete and the goal is to retire the codex once the project launches. Docs contributors are working towards making HelpHub the first place that users search for assistance before taking to the forums, lifting some of the burden from support volunteers. HelpHub is being designed to be easily searchable, possibly powered by elasticsearch, with inter-connected articles that focus on a single topic with bite-sized content. Ang estimates HelpHub is 30% complete in terms of content and 50% in terms of development. The backend is most[...]



WPTavern: Lifted, a WordPress Theme and Plugin Shop for the Marijuana Industry

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 21:14:33 +0000

Lifted is a new WordPress theme and plugin company founded by Drew Poland that caters to the marijuana industry. I reached out to Poland to learn more about his company, his pricing model, and get his perspective on this space in the WordPress ecosystem. Why did you decide to get into the marijuana industry with WordPress plugins and themes? Two primary reasons. The first is that, I truly believe in its medicinal use and there’s more than enough research out to support its effectiveness. Documentaries like Weed from CNN and Dr.Sanjay Gupta will bring you to tears watching children like Charlotte Figi, who suffer from extreme epilepsy, almost instantly stop the seizures and become functional with the things most of us take for granted like talking and walking. It’s tough to watch at times but there are a lot of cases from the extreme ones like end of life and debilitating issues, to everyday pain, stress, and PTSD management that make it a valuable alternative to harder, more addictive prescription drugs like Opioids, that are most commonly thrown at these as a solution. The second reason is less inspiring. It’s simply a budding industry with massive room for growth. It’s really just now coming around and I think will accelerate as it matures and the path will become clearer in terms of what clients need and want. An entire new industry has opened. What are some of the technologies used to power your themes? Everything is built the WordPress way so everyday users can for the most part, activate a theme and go. For the most part, its page templates, widgets, and some custom fields. If a user is comfortable with those than they can easily use a theme from Lifted. Are your themes and plugins GPL licensed or GPL compatible? Absolutely! Everything is 100% GPL licensed. How did you determine the price range for Grape Ape $129.99-$379.99 and can you provide an ETA on when it might be released? (I don’t think I’ve ever seen pre-orders for a theme before) Front page of the Grape Ape Theme I simply wanted to come in with a product priced on the higher end because I’m a firm believer that most WordPress products are priced entirely too low. I value my time on the highest level since I can’t make more of it, so a sell low and at volume approach just doesn’t work for me. I don’t want to support a $50 theme and the reality is that if this were a custom project for a client, the budget needs to be $10k minimum. The estimated release date for Grape Ape is the end of July. The pre-order was a result of simply wanting to force myself to get the actual Lifted Themes site up. Otherwise, I would have waited until Grape Ape was complete and then spent entirely too much time on the Lifted site. So I had to settle in with a good-looking theme I could live with and later work with my designer to develop something more custom. Had I really wanted to push the pre-order more I would have ramped up marketing months in advance to build up the anticipation and desire for it. Based on your research, how crowded is this space when it comes to WordPress themes and plugins? I would say it’s a clear lane and you can drive as fast or as slow as you like. I have been slow-moving up until this point and had the first marijuana plugin on WordPress.org, so there’s a lot of room. The marijuana industry is also not what I would call mature and at the end of the day there is still a stigma in professional settings. So if you are someone building products on the side or have a lot of clients in a specific industry that isn’t so receptive, you might not feel [...]



WPTavern: 9seeds Acquires Web Savvy Marketing’s Genesis Theme Store

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 19:18:18 +0000

9seeds, a WordPress development agency launched in 2009, has acquired Web Savvy Marketing’s theme store for an undisclosed amount. Web Savvy Marketing launched its theme store in 2012 and currently has a library of 26 themes built on the Genesis Framework by StudioPress.  Web Savvy Marketing Theme Store Chris Cree who helped launch and manage the theme store in 2012 departed from the company in 2016 and moved overseas to create a bible school. As the focus of Web Savvy Marketing shifted towards larger custom development projects and SEO, Rebbecca Gill, founder of Web Savvy Marketing, needed to find a way to maintain the theme store.  “I wanted Chris’ vision to live on and I wanted all my babies to continue to flourish and find their way to websites around the world,” Gill said. “I was at a crossroads and I didn’t know what to do. “I needed to make sure the company had a solid long-term strategy, but I also needed to protect our loyal theme customers. Five years of sales meant we had a lot of existing buyers who needed ongoing support.” Last year, Gill met Jon Brown, owner of 9seeds, and established a professional relationship. “We have very similar views on business, friendships, and ethics,” Gill said. “I liked him right away and I knew I wanted to spend more personal and professional time with him. “And as we grew closer, we started chatting about my struggles with the theme store and his long-term business goals. Before I knew it, he wanted to acquire the theme store and I wanted to give it to him.” 9seeds has built a number of custom sites for clients using the Genesis Framework. For those who wanted to leverage existing themes, the company has often referred clients to Web Savvy Marketing’s theme store. “It took a bit more time of getting to know each other personally before I came to hold the same feelings that others had shared about her,” Brown said. “I felt deeply that this was a person I not only wanted to be friends with but wanted to be in business with. It became apparent to both of us that this was a perfect fit.” The acquisition brings the themes in-house and expands 9seeds reach into the WordPress products market. “It’s a win for 9seeds by giving us a springboard into a market we’ve long had our eye on accompanied by the best trail guide in the business showing us the path,” Brown said. “It’s a win for WSM by freeing Rebecca and her team up to align with where her focus now is on larger custom site builds and SEO consulting.” 9seeds is providing support for existing customers and is working on a new theme. The support forums and theme store will migrate to the 9seeds domain later this year. To learn more about Brown and his work with 9seeds, listen to episode 276 of WordPress Weekly. [...]



Post Status: An entrepreneurial journey around eCommerce, with Patrick Rauland — Draft Podcast

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 01:30:25 +0000

Welcome to the Post Status Draft podcast, which you can find on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and via RSS for your favorite podcatcher. Post Status Draft is hosted by the creator and editor of Post Status, Brian Krogsgard, and this week’s guest host, Patrick Rauland.

In this episode, Brian and Patrick Rauland discuss the state of eCommerce today, both from a product perspective, and for store owners. They also discuss Patrick’s own journeys in the land of eCommerce, as a former product manager for WooCommerce, a course author for Lynda (now LinkedIn Learning), a consultant, and an online eCommerce conference organizer.

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Sponsor: Pagely

Pagely offers best in class managed WordPress hosting, powered by the Amazon Cloud, the Internet’s most reliable infrastructure. Post Status is proudly hosted by Pagely. Thank you to Pagely for being a Post Status partner.




WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 277 – WordPress 4.8, Filing Good Bug Reports, and WP Super Cache

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 23:22:39 +0000

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I start off the show by sending Jesse Peterson our thoughts, prayers, and positive energy. Peterson is a longtime member of the WordPress community, founder of Genesis The.me, and is battling Cystic Fibrosis. He received the call last Friday to receive a double-lung transplant but the surgery was cancelled after doctors determined the lungs were bad after removing them from the patient. We’re hoping he gets the call again soon!

We give insight into what’s new in WordPress 4.8, provide tips for filing a good bug report, and tell you what to expect in the next major version of WP Super Cache. We discuss Imagely acquiring TeslaThemes and near the end of the show, we talk about the WordPress Community Summit at WordCamp Europe.

Stories Discussed:

WordPress 4.8 “Evans” Released Featuring Nearby WordPress Events, New Media Widgets, and Link Boundaries
Harare, Zimbabwe to Host Its 2nd WordCamp November 4, 2017
Major Update Coming to WP Super Cache: New REST API, User-Friendly Settings Page, and Improvements to Legacy File Storage
Imagely Acquires TeslaThemes, Is Seeking Other Acquisition Opportunities

Picks of the Week:

wpTestDrive allows you to try commercial themes and plugins before purchasing them. wpTestDrive creates a new WordPress instance with admin access where you can test plugins, themes, and their add-ons with or without demo content. It’s free, and test drives stay active for 10 days for registered members or 24 hours for guests. The site uses affiliate links to commercial products to offset the cost of running the site.

CampTix is a free, open source ticketing plugin for WordPress that powers the ticket purchasing experience on WordCamp.org. Some of its features include, multiple ticket and attendee forms, coupon codes, mass emailing of attendees, exporting data into CSV or XML, refunds, and more.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, June 21st 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

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Listen To Episode #277:




HeroPress: Trust Yourself

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:00:34 +0000

Editor’s Note: Birgit has been a friend of HeroPress since it’s very beginning. Through the oddities of life she was never able to do an essay. Recently she told me she would have one soon. This is not that essay. Our contributor this week needed some extra time and Birgit said she had something she wanted to write about, so here it is. Many thanks Birgit. Something is in the air. Do you feel the WordPress vibrations? It’s shortly before the fifth WordCamp Europe which will be held in Paris this year. The social channels like Twitter & Co. are flooded with pre-event messages. You can feel the emotions of excitement and sadness in the timeline nearby. People share their excitement about their upcoming attendance and others who can’t make it. I am a person who belongs to both groups. But let me begin some months ago to tell you how this came to be. After WordCamp Europe in Vienna last summer I purchased my ticket for WCEU 2017 in Paris directly after the ticket sale was opened. There was no doubt at all I would participate. How life’s play changes, it worked out differently than planned. I’ve struggled with some health issues over several years. Mostly caused by stress during and after the divorce, as well as some deaths in the vicinity. Nothing really serious, but not ignorable. I thought… But at the end of the summer last year I got seriously ill. Not the right place for details here, but I had to quit my day job in a small agency because the fixed-term employment contract ended at the same time. Also, I had to reduce any contributions to the WordPress project. I had to reduce my freelancing contracts, too. I ran from one medical specialist to the other to find the cause of my illness. I was so frustrated not to be able to work like I’ve done before and so upset about the brain-fog and the fatigue. It was so depressing. As a mom of five children, it is not funny to be ill. The three youngest kids are living at home with me and my new partner. My oldest daughter bought her own house. But I couldn’t help her while moving. Can you imagine, how frustrating this could be? But hey – I am a fighter like a lioness. I put everything on the plate, invested my small savings into healing treatments and so on. To make a long story short, I am getting healthier every day. We found the cause and the healing treatments are helping like expected. Two operations went well. It is a process, but it’s going forward. Sitting at home without a job is not my thing, so I searched for a new day job. I found a part-time employment in my hometown as a head of a tutoring institute. It is ok, but nothing WordPress related. It secures my existence. But my saving balance allowed no budget for WordCamp travels. I gave up thoughts of attending WordCamp Europe in Paris this year. So I decided to offer my ticket. I’v to sell my #wceu ticket I bought last year. Unless it happens a miracle and there is a sponsor for stay & travel @WCEurope pic.twitter.com/PFWBTtSmlq — Coach Birgit Olzem (@CoachBirgit) May 24, 2017 The unexpected miracle happened. I found sponsors for travel & stay without active seeking. My generous sponsors rewarded my past contributions to WordPress and Community over several years with this openhearted support. I am so grateful for this. Since 2012 I have been an active member of the WordPress Community. First as the main responsible person for the translations of WordPress into German, then as a part of the interna[...]



WPTavern: Imagely Acquires TeslaThemes, Is Seeking Other Acquisition Opportunities

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 21:33:16 +0000

In an effort to diversify and expand into the commercial WordPress theme market, Imagely, maintainers of NextGEN Gallery, have acquired TeslaThemes for an undisclosed amount. TeslaThemes launched in 2013 as a theme club and recently celebrated its fourth anniversary. The company has 68 themes in its library, including the TeslaThemes framework. Eric Danzer, Founder and CEO of Imagely, says no major changes will be happening with TeslaThemes and that their immediate focus will be to provide maintenance and support. “Beyond that, our goal is to do more of what Tesla has already been doing so well – creating beautiful new themes and continually enhancing the existing themes,” Danzer said. Imagely has been busy this year launching a managed WordPress hosting service for photographers, releasing new photography themes, and an Adobe Lightroom plugin that allows users to manage NextGEN galleries from within Lightroom. Later this year, Imagely plans to release a new version of NextGEN gallery with a redesigned backend interface. The company is also working on a way to add automated print fulfillment to WordPress. “Automated print fulfillment allows photographers to sell prints from their websites, and have those prints automatically delivered via the print lab without any intervention on their part,” Danzer said. “This functionality drives many large companies in the photo industry – SmugMug, ShootProof, Pixieset, Zenfolio, Photoshelter, and others. But it’s not possible yet on WordPress. “Bringing a full print solution to WordPress has the potential to revolutionize the photo industry and make WordPress the default web solution for photographers that it should be.” Marcel Sobieski, co-founder of TeslaThemes, thanked customers for their support and confirmed that they exited the company on June 9th. “We built a solid, trusted and valuable business, that is needed on the market and is appreciated both by industry colleagues and clients,” Sobieski said. This is the second exit in the last six months for Sobieski and his team. The sale of TeslaThemes will allow them to focus on a new venture called WPMatic.io, a one-on-one WordPress support and development company. “The six years of experience that we have in WordPress is already helping a few hundred clients and tens of companies and agencies in need, right after purchasing a WP Theme from the market,” Sobieski said. “Soon we will start partnering with some of the best WP Theme Clubs to deliver a unique experience for their clients.” The acquisition of TeslaThemes represents Imagely’s first major move into the general WordPress products market. The company is also seeking acquisition opportunities for other WordPress plugin and theme companies. “In the coming years, we’ll be both building and be acquiring a range of other WordPress theme and plugin companies,” Danzer said. “I’ll even add a small call here: if you have a solid WordPress product, with a great brand and stable revenue over around $200,000, and you are looking to exit, feel free to reach out to me directly to chat.” Correction: June 14th, 2017 The article incorrectly identifies Imagely as the creators of NextGEN Gallery. Alex Rabe is the creator of NextGEN Gallery and he released it in 2007. Photocrati acquired the plugin in February, 2016. [...]



Akismet: Coming Soon to a Jetpack Near You

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 10:00:09 +0000

If you haven’t tried Jetpack yet — our sister plugin — there’s never been a better time to add it to your bucket list.

In the coming weeks we’ll be announcing a really exciting new addition to Jetpack’s services and you can sign up to get early access right here.


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WPTavern: WordCamp for Publishers Opens Up Ticket Sales, 50% Sold in the First Day

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 22:05:33 +0000

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WordCamp for Publishers, the first niche WordCamp to be focused around a specific industry, opened up ticket sales today. The event will take place in Denver, Colorado, August 17-19, and organizers have planned for just 230 attendees, due to venue constraints. In less than 24 hours since tickets went on sale, the event is already 50% sold out.

Speakers and workshop facilitators have already been selected and published to the event’s website, featuring publication directors, developers, product managers, and other industry experts.

The tentative schedule for the WordCamp includes a mixture of presentations, hands-on workshops, and social events to encourage networking and collaboration among publishers.

  • Thursday, August 17: Presentations and workshops, followed by a brewery tour
  • Friday, August 18: Presentations and workshops, followed by an after party
  • Saturday, August 19: Publisher plugin contributor day, followed by a Rockies baseball game

One of the goals for the event is to encourage those who are maintaining open source tools for publishers to work together towards ensuring a strong future for those projects. Contributing is an important part of the event, as many of the organizers have experience working at or with publishing organizations that heavily rely on open source tools.

The Denver Post has donated the venue for the event as an official sponsor and the official hotel is a five-minute walk from there. After purchasing a ticket online, attendees will receive an email with a link to make a reservation at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, which has a designated block of rooms for WordCampers.

Organizers expect the event to sell out quickly, so if you’re thinking of attending, don’t wait to buy your ticket.




WPTavern: Unsplash Updates its License, Raises GPL Compatibility Concerns

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 21:27:38 +0000

Unsplash.com, a site that provides high-resolution photos for free, updated its license and the change has people in the WordPress community concerned. So unsplash images are no longer public domain. No longer gpl compatible. What does it mean for #WordPressThemes that uses these images? — Carolina Nymark (@carolinapoena) June 9, 2017 Prior to the change, Unsplash’s license stated the following: All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash. According to GNU.org, the CC0 or Creative Commons Zero license is compatible with the GPL. CC0 is a public domain dedication from Creative Commons. A work released under CC0 is dedicated to the public domain to the fullest extent permitted by law. If that is not possible for any reason, CC0 also provides a lax, permissive license as a fallback. Both public domain works and the lax license provided by CC0 are compatible with the GNU GPL. If you want to release your work to the public domain, we recommend you use CC0. Unsplash’s new license states (emphasis mine): All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible. More precisely, Unsplash grants you a nonexclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash. This license does not include the right to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service.  The inability to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service is a restriction on how the photos can be used, calling into question its compatibility with the GPL. Luke Chesser, co-founder of Unsplash, explained on Twitter that individual photos have no restrictions. “The Unsplash license doesn’t violate GPL and can still be used in WordPress themes,” Chesser said. “There are no restrictions on the individual photos. “There is only a restriction on the collection of photos, which doesn’t even apply unless your intent is to create a similar service.” For example, it’s ok if someone creates a site that displays the best photos of bridges from Unsplash. But if the site makes those photos available for download, it would violate the license. On its FAQ page, Unsplash explains why the restriction was put in place: The fuel that drives Unsplash is the exceptional images that are generously contributed by people from all over the world. Without them, none of this would work. Unsplash would be nothing. We owe everyone who’s contributed a photo not only a thank you but support and empowerment for the gifts they’ve given us. Out of respect for our contributors and our ability to uphold our value of empowering creativity, we added this sentence to the Unsplash License. We don’t support the mass duplication of Unsplash photos with the purpose of replicating a similar or competing service because it leads to confusion which negatively impacts both the spirit [...]



WPTavern: Major Update Coming to WP Super Cache: New REST API, User-Friendly Settings Page, and Improvements to Legacy File Storage

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 20:04:16 +0000

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WP Super Cache, a WordPress caching plugin maintained by Donncha Ó Caoimh and Automattic, is looking for users to help test the plugin ahead of the next major update. Ó Caoimh said the upcoming release is in a “stable and usable” state, but with the unusually large number of bug fixes and new features, it could use some testing in different environments.

WP Super Cache is set to introduce a REST API, which will be useful for situations where administrators are not using wp-admin to manage their sites. The plugin is also changing the location for storing legacy cache files to the supercache directory.

“This makes it easier to manage these files,” Ó Caoimh said. “The plugin doesn’t have to search through potentially hundreds of cache files for those that need to be deleted if a page updates or someone leaves a comment. Now all those files will be in the same directory structure the anonymous “supercache” files will be. I’m really excited about this feature as it makes caching for logged-in users/users who comment and caching of pages with parameters so much faster now.”

Ó Caoimh is also updating the settings page to make it easier for new users to understand the options. Currently it asks the user to select from mod_rewrite, PHP, or Legacy page caching with little explanation for why a user might opt for a certain delivery method. The new settings page simplifies the language used to describe the caching types.

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The upcoming release will also fix nearly 100 bugs. As WP Super Cache is one of the most popular WordPress caching solutions and is active on more than a million sites, any problems with a major release will have a far-reaching impact. The latest changes to the plugin are available on GitHub for anyone who wants to help test.




WPTavern: Harare, Zimbabwe to Host Its 2nd WordCamp November 4, 2017

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 02:33:43 +0000

(image) photo credit: Lonely Planet

Harare, Zimbabwe will be hosting its second WordCamp on November 4, 2017, at Hellenic Academy. The city was one of three selected to be part of the WordCamp Incubator Program in 2016. Harare’s first WordCamp was successful in connecting the local WordPress community and inspiring local leaders to carry on with organizing future events.

Last year the Harare WordPress Meetup had 82 members and the group has nearly doubled in size with 142 members today. Members meet every month and communicate outside of meetings via an active WhatsApp group. The current venue they use was donated by Moto Republik, thanks to one of the members Munya Bloggo, who works there.

“It was always the goal of the WordCamp Incubator program to organize an easily-reproducible event that we could organize independently in the years to come,” 2017 lead organizer Thabo Tswana said. “We expected it of ourselves. Some attendees and organizers actually approached me about the next WordCamp during WordCamp Harare 2016.”

Tswana said the turnout at last year’s event was larger than he expected, because very few attendees booked tickets online. The majority ended up buying tickets at the door on the day of the event, a fairly uncommon scenario for most WordCamps that makes it somewhat difficult to estimate total attendees.

“One of the biggest impacts that WordCamp had was introducing us to the WordPress Community,” Tswana said. “There are so many WordPress users in Zimbabwe (bloggers, designers, developers) but hardly anyone knew about the WordPress Community or how to contribute to WordPress. We now have a growing meetup group and the local community is starting to become more aware of what WordPress has to offer.”

The local community consists primarily of developers and advanced WordPress users and Tswana said he would like see more of them getting involved with contributing. As the majority of meetup members are new to the larger WordPress community, they are still learning about the many ways users can contribute back to the project.

Two Harare WordPress Meetup members, Kudakwashe Zafevere and Rima Trew, arranged for Hellenic Academy to donate a venue for WordCamp Harare 2017. The facilities are well-suited to hosting a tech event with wifi available.

“This year, some local companies and organizations expressed interest in helping us out,” Tswana said. “We definitely expect more attendees due to the buzz that was created by last year’s WordCamp. To sum it all up, more people and organizations are getting involved this year.”




WPTavern: WordPress 4.8 “Evans” Released Featuring Nearby WordPress Events, New Media Widgets, and Link Boundaries

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 19:29:12 +0000

WordPress 4.8 “Evans” is available for download and is the first major release of the year under the new release cycle. WordPress 4.8 is named after William John “Bill” Evans, an American jazz pianist. New Image, Video, and Audio Widgets WordPress 4.8 includes three new widgets. All three widgets make it easier to display images, video, or audio  without using HTML. The Text widget now has support for TinyMCE providing rich-text functionality. Similar to the post editor, users have a choice between using a Visual or Text editor with limited formatting options. Image, Video, and Enhanced Text Widget Because the Text widget uses TinyMCE, it inherits its nuances when it comes to pasting and displaying code. In a dev note that explains how TinyMCE was added to the Text Widget, Weston Ruter offers the following notice. When pasting HTML into the ‘Text’ (HTML) tab of the Text widget, any extraneous line breaks should be removed or else unwanted paragraphs and line beaks may result. This is particularly important when you paste in script or style tags (as in the case of 3rd-party JavaScript embeds), since auto-inserted paragraphs will cause script errors; this will be fixed in #2833. This behavior aligns with longstanding behavior in the post editor, so it is not new, although it does differ from how the Text widget has previously behaved. As noted above, for previously existing Text widgets that had the auto-add paragraphs’ checkbox unchecked (and thus the filter instance prop set to false), the previous behavior of not doing wpautop will be maintained: only once the widgets are modified will any extraneous line breaks need to be removed. Link Boundaries Adding and editing links in the visual editor is more intuitive thanks to link boundaries. Link boundaries provide a visual representation of where a link begins and ends. This helps prevent adding unnecessary text to the beginning or end of a link. See Nearby WordPress Events in the Dashboard One of the pillars of WordPress’ ecosystem is its community of meetups and WordCamps. In 2016, more than 62,566 people attended a local meetup in 58 countries. About a third of those were new members. WordPress 4.8 draws attention to these events by enhancing the News Dashboard widget. The widget will try to automatically guess your location and display meetups and WordCamps that are nearby. News Widget Shows Upcoming Meetups and WordCamps If the location is incorrect, clicking the Pencil button opens a box where you can type in your city. The bottom of the widget includes links to the WordPress Meetup landing page, WordCamp Central Schedule, and the WordPress.org news blog. Responsive Customizer Sidebar In previous versions of WordPress, the Customizer Sidebar had a maximum width of 300 pixels. In WordPress 4.8, the Customizer Sidebar is responsive and its width will automatically increase based on the size of the screen up to a maximum of 600 pixels. Customizer Sidebar 345 Pixels Wide More Accessible Admin Pages The headers on admin screens are now separate elements making it easier for assistive technologies to help people navigate pages. Support Dropped for Internet Explorer Versions 8, 9, and 10 WordPress 4.8 drops support for Internet Explorer versions 8, 9, and 10 as these versions no longer r[...]



WPTavern: Worona Releases Free WordCamp Europe Paris Guide App

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 17:32:10 +0000

Worona, a Madrid-based WordPress startup that builds mobile apps for free, has created an app for WordCamp Europe attendees. The WCEU Paris Guide app includes location and transportation information, schedules for the event, suggestions on where to eat (restaurants, bistros, a selection of the best cheap eats), a list of top attractions and museums, and nightlife recommendations. Worona has released an Android app and an iOS app for attendees to download. Currently the app needs to be connected to the internet, but the company is working on supporting an offline mode in the next version, which is rolling out soon. “We used our online platform to turn a WordPress blog (paris.worona.org) into a native app,” Reyes Martínez, Worona’s marketing and communications specialist, said. “We use React and fetch the content using the WP-API. The apps are created with Cordova.” Worona is a relatively new WordPress startup in Europe, having released its first prototype in late 2014. The company offers its mobile app building platform to users for free via its plugin on WordPress.org. The platform turns WordPress sites into native mobile apps that users can publish to the app stores. Worona can also manage the process of publishing the app for a one-time 290€ fee. In 2016, Worona had more than 12,000 users from 150 different countries. After launching its new platform four months ago, more than 11,500 users have signed up. Martínez said that Worona differs from existing WordPress app builders in that it is free, user-friendly, completely open source, and extensible. “We studied the WordPress ecosystem and the mobile distribution trends during the last three years and realized that other existing solutions, such as AppPresser, are just focused on one or two mobile channels, but not in all of them,” Martínez said. “This can be a problem for publishers, as they have to configure the different channels (apps, web apps, AMP, Facebook Instant Articles) one by one and take care of being consistent with all of them. After launching our own beta in 2015 and testing similar solutions, we decided to develop an all-in-one platform with the vision of becoming the leading solution for mobile distribution.” Worona is also aiming to create an ecosystem of extensions and themes for the platform, allowing third-party developers to create new solutions. “The strategy of creating a marketplace of extensions has been successfully accomplished by the WordPress ecosystem before (but not by any of our direct competitors),” Martínez said. “WooCommerce, for example, gives you access to a variety of extensions aiming to solve any problems related to your e-commerce. Because it is open-source, these features can be created by any developer or user. The bigger the community, the higher the range of solutions.” Worona is currently a team of five, including two co-founders, a marketing specialist, and two full-stack developers. Most of the team will be at WordCamp Europe. They hope the WCEU Paris Guide app will be useful for attendees and also provide a good introduction to their product. If you have any feedback that would make the app more useful, make sure to comment on the announcement and Worona may be able to incorporate user s[...]



Dev Blog: WordPress 4.8 “Evans”

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 14:49:30 +0000

An Update with You in Mind Gear up for a more intuitive WordPress! Version 4.8 of WordPress, named “Evans” in honor of jazz pianist and composer William John “Bill” Evans, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in 4.8 add more ways for you to express yourself and represent your brand. Though some updates seem minor, they’ve been built by hundreds of contributors with you in mind. Get ready for new features you’ll welcome like an old friend: link improvements, three new media widgets covering images, audio, and video, an updated text widget that supports visual editing, and an upgraded news section in your dashboard which brings in nearby and upcoming WordPress events. Exciting Widget Updates Image Widget Adding an image to a widget is now a simple task that is achievable for any WordPress user without needing to know code. Simply insert your image right within the widget settings. Try adding something like a headshot or a photo of your latest weekend adventure — and see it appear automatically. Video Widget A welcome video is a great way to humanize the branding of your website. You can now add any video from the Media Library to a sidebar on your site with the new Video widget. Use this to showcase a welcome video to introduce visitors to your site or promote your latest and greatest content. Audio Widget Are you a podcaster, musician, or avid blogger? Adding a widget with your audio file has never been easier. Upload your audio file to the Media Library, go to the widget settings, select your file, and you’re ready for listeners. This would be a easy way to add a more personal welcome message, too! Rich Text Widget This feature deserves a parade down the center of town! Rich-text editing capabilities are now native for Text widgets. Add a widget anywhere and format away. Create lists, add emphasis, and quickly and easily insert links. Have fun with your newfound formatting powers, and watch what you can accomplish in a short amount of time. Link Boundaries Link Boundaries Have you ever tried updating a link, or the text around a link, and found you can’t seem to edit it correctly? When you edit the text after the link, your new text also ends up linked. Or you edit the text in the link, but your text ends up outside of it. This can be frustrating! With link boundaries, a great new feature, the process is streamlined and your links will work well. You’ll be happier. We promise. Nearby WordPress Events Did you know that WordPress has a thriving offline community with groups meeting regularly in more than 400 cities around the world? WordPress now draws your attention to the events that help you continue improving your WordPress skills, meet friends, and, of course, publish! This is quickly becoming one of our favorite features. While you are in the dashboard (because you’re running updates and writing posts, right?) all upcoming WordCamps and official WordPress Meetups — local to you — will be displayed. Being part of the community can help you improve your WordPress skills and network with people you wouldn’t otherwise meet. Now you can easily find your local events just by logging in to your dashboard and looking at the new Events and News dash[...]



WPTavern: Holler Box: A Smart Notification Plugin for WordPress Websites

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 01:37:15 +0000

Scott Bolinger, co-founder of AppPresser, has launched a new sales and conversion tool for WordPress websites called Holler Box. The plugin offers a lightweight, elegant popup message for capturing email addresses, displaying a (fake) live chat, or announcing a sale or event. Bolinger designed it to be non-intrusive – it’s not the kind of modal dialog that obscures content with an animated box in the middle of the page. Holler Box appears at the bottom right-hand of the page by default. After finding other WordPress popup plugins to be too complex for his needs, Bolinger decided to create his own solution for displaying a quick notification on his websites. “I’m a developer, and even adding a simple banner or popup to my site is not easy,” Bolinger said. I have to write the code, test locally, push to staging, test there, then push to production and do a final test. When I want to remove the message, I have to reverse the process. I’m busy, and that takes time.” Bolinger made it so that creating a new Holler Box is as easy as writing a new blog post. The content editing screen includes a meta box with options for customizing the display. The “Advanced Settings” meta box allows users to set pages where the notification should be displayed, limit to logged-in only or logged-out visitors, set the display for new or returning visitors, and customize the delay based on time or scrolling. It also gives options for when the Holler Box should disappear and how often it should be shown to each visitor. Holler Box is capable of a wide range of uses. A few examples include the following: (Fake) Live Chat with Opt-in Show a live chat box to collect customer questions and emails, without having to actually deal with the hassle of live chat. As soon as your visitor types a question, an email opt-in pops up so you can follow up with them at a convenient time. Polls and Forms Embed anything into your Holler Box, including a feedback form or poll. Interactivity Add a link, video, contact form, or simple opt-in form that integrates with major email providers like MailChimp and Convertkit. Below is an example of how the MailChimp email opt-in form works: Holler Box also tracks impressions and conversions (link clicks and message opens) so that users can see how well their notifications are performing and optimize them as needed. The free version on WordPress.org has an impressive number of customization options, but Bolinger also plans to release a Pro version that will include additional features, such as an option for a header banner, more advanced display filters, automatic message deactivation, advanced email opt-in features, more conversion data, and support. “Holler Box aims to be more stylish and easier to use than existing options,” Bolinger said. “I use it when I need to make an announcement without spending a lot of time in a complex tool.” He said he could see the plugin working well side-by-side with well-established popup plugin competitors like OptinMonster. Bolinger said Holler Box is not affiliated with AppPresser, but he plans to use it as a sales tool on all of his sites. The plugin’s unique feature set is something he found missing in Wo[...]



WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 276 – Interview with Jon Brown, a Traveling Digital Nomad

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 01:10:59 +0000

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Jon Brown. Brown is a developer and author for 9seeds, a WordPress development agency. Brown describes what it’s like to work remotely and offers tips on how to stay productive while traveling. He tells us what items he can’t travel without. We also get his take on recent developments and debates going on in the WordPress community.

Stories Discussed:

Open Sourcing Mental Illness Surpasses $50K Fundraising Goal
Vue Creator Evan You Weighs in on WordPress JavaScript Framework Discussion
WordCamp Europe 2017 Livestream Tickets Now Available
WPForms Acquires WP Mail SMTP Plugin
VersionPress Launches VersionPress.com to Fund Open Source Project

Picks of the Week:

GenerateWP is a collection of tools that generates code for Shortcodes, Post Types, Meta Boxes, Taxonomies, Term Meta, and Post Statuses.

Holler Box enables users to create customizable marketing messages to display to site visitors. Use Holler Box to convert website visitors, upsell customers, and get messages out to the right people at the right time.

WP Performance Profiler is a plugin by Interconnect.it that helps developers optimize the performance of WordPress sites running on PHP 5.3 to 5.6.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, June 14th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via RSS: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Stitcher Radio: Click here to subscribe

Listen To Episode #276:




Post Status: Teaching what you learn with Joe Casabona — Draft Podcast

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 17:33:02 +0000

Welcome to the Post Status Draft podcast, which you can find on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and via RSS for your favorite podcatcher. Post Status Draft is hosted by the creator and editor of Post Status, Brian Krogsgard, and this week’s guest host, Joe Casabona.

Brian and Joe discuss the way they have learned WordPress over the years, and how they’ve gone about sharing and teaching what they’ve learned. They focus mostly on front-end parts of WordPress development.

https://audio.simplecast.com/72351.mp3
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Donncha: Take a sneak peek at WP Super Cache

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 17:24:17 +0000

WP Super Cache is a full page caching plugin for WordPress that makes your site faster, and helps deal with unexpected surges in traffic. Over the last few months we’ve been busy working on the plugin to add new features and fix bugs and we can almost call it ready. It’s stable and usable and runs on this site but we would love more people to test it out before we release a new version. Here’s just some of the new features and bug fixes we’ve been working on: The plugin was based on WP-Cache which stored cache files in a single directory, and those (legacy caching) files were for the most part stored the same way all this time but now they’re being placed in the supercache directories (#177). This makes it easier to manage these files. The plugin doesn’t have to search through potentially hundreds of cache files for those that need to be deleted if a page updates or someone leaves a comment. Now all those files will be in the same directory structure the anonymous “supercache” files will be. I’m really excited about this feature as it makes caching for logged in users/users who comment and caching of pages with parameters so much faster now. We’re adding a REST API to the plugin because in the future not everyone is going to use wp-admin to take care of their sites. Take a look in the rest directory for the code we’re working on. Debug logs now have a username and password to protect them from prying eyes. And many bugs fixed over the last few months. Since “legacy caching” or “WP-Cache caching” is now more maintainable and faster we want to change the language describing how the plugin caches and delivers pages. Currently the plugin asks you to choose between mod_rewrite, PHP and “Legacy page caching” which isn’t really useful. Most users won’t recognise those terms. It’s also not accurate as “legacy page caching” is active all the time as long as caching is enabled. Instead we should have “Standard Caching” and “Super Caching”. Super Caching will then have simple and expert delivery methods. Simple delivery is through PHP, while expert delivery uses mod_rewrite rules which means the .htaccess file has to be updated and hopefully the warning below it will discourage casual users from testing it. Due to the huge number of changes in the plugin we really need people to give it a try and check if everything works ok. The changes to the settings page will hopefully make it easier for new users to get to grips with it too. You can find the newest code on Github. The changes to the settings page are in #255 if you want to comment on them. Thanks in advance! 🙂 Related Posts Preload categories and custom post content WP Super Cache 0.8.4, the garbage collector WP Super Cache 0.8.7 Source[...]



HeroPress: Trust The Dots

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 00:00:15 +0000

I was born twice: first, as a baby boy in the sunny morning of Monday June 14, 1993 in Taiz, Yemen; and then again, in the fall of 2008. It was my first time to study at a public high school, grade 10, class 12. It was completely different than the private school I used to study at. It was big and crowded, with a minimum of 80 students in each class! At that time, I was trying to improve my personality and explore new opportunities. I wanted to live my life fully, not as the teenager that I was. A way to organize my thoughts and connect with new people was needed. I did not have a clue what to do until the moment I got the chance to use the internet and began to read online blogs of many interesting bloggers. The idea of blogging was fascinating to me. “Why not starting one?” I thought to myself. Finding WordPress As days passed, I met four enthusiastic and ambitious schoolmates who became my friends till now.  Mohammed, one of them, was a relatively quiet and open minded person. My mates and I got to know him through MSN Messenger, and, surprisingly, he was studying in the next class! He was very absorbed in Web Development and was working on a custom CMS platform and some other web applications for his father’s clinic. I asked him about blogging software he would recommend. He strongly recommended Joomla and also suggested Drupal, WordPress and others. I tried them all. WordPress was so easy to use and out-of-the-box, although I had failed a few times while I was trying to install it locally. Once I had logged-in to the dashboard, honestly, I thrilled to pieces! After some time, my friends and I decided to start a simple blog about Graphics Design using WordPress. It was my beginning to learn the basics of Web Development (HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP). Fortunately, Mohammed had a book that he lent me, and some PDFs, that I copied. We were constantly discussing and learning from each other during break times or in the afternoons. They were enjoyable and enlightening moments. I used to receive some positive messages as the developer of the blog we started and appreciative replies to my answers for some questions in Arab WordPress community, a forum to share knowledge among Arab WordPress users. This encouraged me to start a small freelancing business with WordPress. It seemed a great idea to expand expertise, earn some money, and follow my passion! Fitting It All In Being a freelancer and a high-school student at the same time was not that easy as one would think! Sometimes I was working until 3:00 a.m. to finish a client project, and then woke up at 6:30 a.m. rushing to school. Most often, classes were so dry that led me to write PHP codes in every copy-book of mine! If you would like to try this at your school, remember to move yourself to the end of your class or be ready for any of your teachers’ mean reactions to keep you attentive! On several afternoons, I used to take naps to restore my energy and be ready to work at night. Very rarely, I would have to stay out at internet cafés until 2:00 a.m. to upload/download things I needed because we had no Internet connection at home. For sure, this m[...]



WPTavern: VersionPress Launches VersionPress.com to Fund Open Source Project

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 21:45:57 +0000

The founders of VersionPress have launched VersionPress.com, a WordPress managed hosting service. VersionPress.com is the best of what VersionPress offers paired with features such as, staging sites and backups, on an Amazon Web Services infrastructure.

(image) VersionPress is essentially an undo button for WordPress or full version-control. At the click of a button, users can undo an action and restore a site’s database to a previous point in history without having to export and import MySQL.

Borek Bernard, co-founder of VersionPress, says the move is the result of trying to overcome two major challenges: WordPress plugins and Hosts. WordPress plugins can alter a site’s database. Building in support for the 40K+ plugins that exist in the repository has been a huge undertaking for the team.

In order to use VersionPress, a webhost needs to have Git installed and allow proc_open which it uses to interact with Git. Most hosts do not allow proc_open for security reasons or have older versions of Git installed, generating incompatibilities. “Over time, it became clear we needed our own environment to run VersionPress in,” Bernard said.

All sites hosted on the platform run PHP 7 or Nginx, HTTP/2, and at least two Docker instances that auto-scale based on load. VersionPress.com includes the ability to set up staging and production sites using VersionPress’ capabilities to merge changes between the two. Similar to Flywheel, billing can be assigned to a developer, agency, or client account. “The platform is geared towards WordPress developers and agencies but will help anyone who wants a fast, reliable WordPress site,” Bernard said.

The model they’re using is similar to WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress. “A hosted service will provide resources to fund the development of the open source project and its long-term stability,” he said. “So it became a no-brainer at some point.” General availability for VersionPress.com won’t open until July but those who pre-order will receive a substantial discount.

Bernard re-iterated that VersionPress will always be a free, open source project and that VersionPress.com is a major step towards bringing full version control of WordPress to the masses.

The managed WordPress hosting space is well established and perhaps a bit crowded. It will be interesting to see how VersionPress.com compares to and fits in with the competition.




Matt: Remote Work Can’t Be Stopped

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 21:14:42 +0000

Christopher Mims writes for the Wall Street Journal Why Remote Work Can’t Be Stopped, also riffing off the IBM shift I wrote about a few weeks ago. I was exciting to see an Automattician Julia featured at the top and a few other colleagues having their voice in the article.




WPTavern: WPForms Acquires WP Mail SMTP Plugin

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 20:12:04 +0000

WPForms, founded by Syed Balkhi, has acquired the free WP Mail SMTP plugin from WordPress plugin developer Callum MacDonald. WP Mail SMTP has more than 600,000 active installs and WPForms will allow it to continue to operate as an independent plugin on WordPress.org. Balkhi said the plugin will become the company’s go-to recommendation on WPForms as well as WPBeginner. Email deliverability is a common problem for all types of WordPress websites, but it is the most frequent support issue for those using WPForms. “The number is only growing as Gmail, Yahoo, and others implement aggressive filters to reduce spam,” Balkhi said. “These spam filters look to see whether an email is originating from the location it claims to be originating from. This causes the emails sent from your WordPress site to either go in the spam folder or sometimes not be delivered at all! Having a proper SMTP solution significantly increases email deliverability. I believe that once we implement the new UX and workflow, this will significantly reduce our support load since this is the #1 issue our users deal with.” After a few months of email exchanges, Balkhi and Callum MacDonald reached an agreement for WPForms to purchase WP Mail SMTP. Balkhi would not disclose the exact financial details of the acquisition but said it was “a five-figure-deal because the plugin itself did not generate any revenue.” MacDonald had considered monetizing the plugin in the past but saw too many hurdles as he became less active in the WordPress space over the past few years. “There are a few recent developments around SMTP that mean the plugin could use an update,” MacDonald said. “I didn’t have the time, so it made sense to move on at this point. I went over [monetizing] it several times. My conclusion is that it’s a lot harder than it looks. If I was still active in the WordPress space, it would make more sense, but I’m not, so monetizing was going to be a long road and hard work. It made more sense to sell.” Balkhi said he approached MacDonald because email deliverability was a problem that he was looking to solve for WPForms users as well as the larger WPBeginner and WordPress community. “We didn’t want to build an add-on for WPForms because the problem isn’t unique to just us,” Balkhi said. “It affects every form plugin and basically every WordPress website that sends an email of any kind (forgot password, user registration, etc).” Last year Balkhi and his team acquired Yoast’s Google Analytics and renamed it to MonsterInsights. Over the past year the plugin has continued its growth from 10 million downloads at the time of acquisition to more than 16 million today. Balkhi reports that the MonsterInsights acquisition has been a success but the product was a very different type of acquisition from the one announced today. He said he has no plans to build an email deliverability service but rather wants to invest in a solution that will help his custome[...]



WPTavern: Cory Miller and Dr. Sherry Walling Launch ZenTribes an Entrepreneur Peer Group

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 17:35:31 +0000

Being an entrepreneur can be stressful, emotional, and lonely, especially during a rough part of life. Cory Miller, founder of iThemes, has been at the forefront of advocating that entrepreneurs don’t have to go through the struggles of running a business alone. Two years after founding iThemes, Miller found himself going through a tough divorce at the same time his company started taking off. “Not many people in my life at that time could come close to relating to what I was going through as a human combined with being an entrepreneur,” Miller said. “I was suffering in solitude. And I was craving authentic relationships with like-minded people on a similar path who knew what living the entrepreneurial life — with its sometimes drastic ups and downs — meant and who were walking it every day, like me, and wanted to walk together with others too.” Miller eventually found himself in an entrepreneur peer group in Oklahoma City, OK, where entrepreneurs meet once a month for three hours to discuss the trials and tribulations of running a business. Miller says the group is partially responsible for his good health and happiness as a business owner, father, husband, and human being. In an effort to create similar opportunities for other business owners, Miller has partnered with Dr. Sherry Walling, who has a PhD in Psychology, to launch ZenTribes. ZenTribes is a group of 6-9 like-minded entrepreneurs that get together once a month online to share stories, encouragement, and express support for one another. Walling and Miller are both members of the group and will be sharing their expertise with members. Meetings will take place every Wednesday from 1-2:30 PM Central Standard Time for eight weeks using Zoom. The first meeting is on July 12th. The last meeting is on August 30th. The first 15 minutes of meetings will focus on a key topic with an hour set aside for discussions and sharing experiences related to that topic. The last 15 minutes are dedicated to sharing resources and giving attendees suggested homework. Some of the topics that will be discussed include: Burnout Depression Conflict Failure and loss Loneliness and friendship ZenTribes is accepting applications for the first group of people until 1 PM CST June 15th. The cost to be a member of the group is $799. For more information about this initiative, listen to episode 120 of the ZenFounder podcast. In it, Miller and Sherry describe the program, why they created it, and how entrepreneurial groups can benefit business owners. [...]



Matt: Safe Avocado-ing

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 04:07:59 +0000

I’m glad the New York Times is covering how to safely cut an avocado, because I’ve messed that up 100% of the time I’ve tried to handle an avocado in the past month. It makes you almost want to forgive them for that green pea guacamole thing.




WPTavern: WordCamp Europe 2017 Livestream Tickets Now Available

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 20:07:50 +0000

WordCamp Europe will be livestreaming all sessions again this year to make the event accessible to those who are unable to travel to Paris. Live stream tickets are free, but viewers must sign up on the tickets page.

Organizers have also set up a page on the event’s website for people to advertise for buying or selling tickets. Many who have already purchased regular tickets have had a last-minute change of plans, problems with obtaining a visa, or have an extra ticket due to being selected as a speaker or a volunteer. More than two dozen tickets have already been posted for sale.

Regular ticket sales concluded at the end of May, but there are 2,915 livestreaming tickets remaining, along with 272 micro-sponsorship slots at € 150.00 apiece.




WPTavern: Vue Creator Evan You Weighs in on WordPress JavaScript Framework Discussion

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 18:04:37 +0000

photo credit: JSConf China Last week WordPress core contributors narrowed their considerations for a new JavaScript framework to React and Vue. As the core team has more collective knowledge of working with React, they have reached out to developers with different experiences of using other frameworks in a WordPress context. One of the chief concerns contributors have regarding Vue is the longevity of the project. I asked Vue creator Evan You if he could weigh in on the topic to give WordPress contributors a better understanding of the project, specifically regarding his efforts to cultivate additional maintainers to help share the load of maintainership. “I think it’s important to look at the track record – Vue has been around for almost 4 years, and all the work has been done in public on GitHub so anyone can go and check the maintenance history,” You said. “While it has been largely developed by me, the current maintenance is a lot more community-driven. We have active core team members triaging most of the issues and a larger and larger percentage of the issues fixed by community PRs. So – yes, I had already been working on cultivating additional maintainers and will continue to do so.” You currently receives $10K/month from recurring Patreon donations that fund his full-time efforts working on Vue. Prior to this he also worked at Google and Meteor. During his time at Google, some of the projects You worked on used Angular, which he said he found to be too heavy for his use cases at the time. He built Vue to be a more lightweight implementation of the concepts that he liked about Angular. You also recently said he has learned quite a bit from the React community, which has influenced some of his technical decisions in Vue 2. I learned a lot from the React community – on both code and people. I hope everyone can be like @dan_abramov. Peace. — Evan You (@youyuxi) May 29, 2017 “First, Vue 2 uses the same Virtual DOM based rendering model underneath, which was first pioneered by React,” You said. “Introducing a Virtual DOM allowed Vue to expose the power of vdom composition while maintaining the approachability. “The React community is also very active when there are new problem domains being explored – e.g. state management and CSS management. There are many competing solutions and a lot of inspirations when I was implementing official solutions for Vue.” Evan You Addresses WordPress Core Contributors’ Misconceptions about Vue You said he has been following WordPress contributors’ discussions on React vs Vue but would not offer an opinion on which is a better choice for the project. “My answer would obviously be biased, and honestly I’m not in the shoes of the WP core team so I don’t have enough perspective to make a choice,” You said. “However, I can provide feedback on some of the issues[...]



WPTavern: Open Sourcing Mental Illness Surpasses $50K Fundraising Goal

Sat, 03 Jun 2017 03:59:38 +0000

Open Sourcing Mental Illness (OSMI), a non-profit organization that raises mental health awareness in the tech community, has surpassed its $50K fundraising goal for 2017. Ed Finkler, who founded OSMI in 2013, left his position as CTO of Graph Story to work full-time on speaking, educating, and providing resources to support mental wellness in the tech and open source communities. As of today, the campaign has raised more than $58,000. In addition to donations from individuals, OSMI has added several corporate sponsors, including CakeDC, Github, Digital Ocean, and Laravel. CakeDC has designated $1,000/month for 12 months to support Finkler’s salary. Finkler works together with a board of directors and a team of volunteers who also speak at conferences about mental health in tech. Several WordPress companies have also been involved in raising support for OSMI, including WebDevStudios and WP Elevation. OSMI conducts an annual Mental Health in Tech survey as part of ongoing research. Last year’s survey received more than 1,500 responses and the results underscore the great need for removing the stigma surrounding mental illness in the tech industry. A few examples Finkler highlighted include: Respondents believe it’s 6 times more likely that discussing a mental health issue with their employer would have a negative consequence, vs a physical health issue. Respondents are 3.5 times less likely to bring up a mental health issue in an interview than a physical health issue. 87% believe being identified as a person with a mental health issue would hurt their career. Only 30% of respondents’ employers provide information about mental health and how to seek help. OSMI offers all of the resources it creates for free. The funds raised in the campaign will help to create more tools, documents, videos, and other educational resources. Finkler is working towards engaging with more HR departments and educating more executive teams. He also plans to use the funds to do more research and employ additional experts to reach more people. For more information about OSMI’s efforts to improve mental health in the tech industry, check out Jeff Chandler’s recent interview with Finkler on the WP Weekly podcast. [...]



WPTavern: In Case You Missed It – Issue 21

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 20:23:31 +0000

photo credit: Night Moves – (license) There’s a lot of great WordPress content published in the community but not all of it is featured on the Tavern. This post is an assortment of items related to WordPress that caught my eye but didn’t make it into a full post. Bob Dunn and Patrick Rauland Host Lift Off Summit Bob Dunn and Patrick Rauland have partnered up for Lift Off Summit. Between June 19-23, visitors will be able to watch 3-4 videos per day focused on getting more traffic, increasing social interactions, and keeping customers to their online stores. The virtual conference is free to watch. The Evolution of WordPress Magazine Themes Alex Denning takes a look back at the evolution of WordPress magazine themes over the last 10 years and offers insights into what might be next for the style. WordPress magazine themes were a huge deal between 2009-2011. Brian Gardner was able to create a profitable business with a single magazine style theme called Revolution, one of the first themes to display content in ways different from the typical single column blog layout. Magazine themes are a great chapter of WordPress’ history. Their popularity is why WordPress has featured images and automatic thumbnail generation in core. Highlights From Season Four of ManageWP’s Ask Me Anything ManageWP published highlights from season four of Ask Me Anything, a weekly event where members of the WordPress community voluntarily answer any questions submitted. WordPress 4.8 Field Guide Everything you need to know to prepare for WordPress 4.8, tentatively scheduled for release on June 8th, is in the field guide. Take the WPCampus WordPress in Higher Education Survey WPCampus is once again asking for those who work with WordPress in educational settings to fill out the following survey. This year, three randomly selected participants will receive a free ticket to attend WPCampus in Buffalo, NY, July 14-15. The data will be used to create a series of reports on how WordPress is used in public schools and higher education. Last year’s survey indicated that misconceptions surrounding WordPress security and scalability are slowing its growth in higher education. A Plugin for Monitoring Directory Sizes David Bisset shared a dashboard widget that displays the sizes of directories. WordPress dashboard widget that displays directory sizes, in case you need to keep an eye on that for some reason. https://t.co/eWu6cxtze7 pic.twitter.com/bPOgXVkwvL — David Bisset (@dimensionmedia) June 1, 2017 Stop Signup Spam Integrates with GiveWP Stop Signup Spam, a plugin we featured last month now integrates with GiveWP. My "Stop Signup Spam" plugin now integrates with @GiveWP, thanks to a contribution from @learnwithmattc! https://t.co/hmHBxxKEki — Leland Fiegel (@lelandf) May 31, 2017 LED WordPress Badge George Stephanis unveiled his wifi-enabled light u[...]



WPTavern: Chassis Desktop Application for Local WordPress Development Now in Beta

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 03:24:01 +0000

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Human Made has released its first public beta of Chassis Desktop, an application for local WordPress development. Chassis is a Vagrant-based virtual server and a community project that Human Made has commercially supported since 2012. The new desktop app is in early beta at version 0.2.0 with version 1.0.0 coming soon.

Chassis Desktop was designed with a user-friendly interface suitable for beginners and experts alike. It was built by Bronson Quick and Ryan McCue using Electron and contains code from the create-react-app project.

On first launch the app makes sure that Vagrant and VirtualBox are installed and then guides the user to create a new box. Setting up a new Chassis install or adding Chassis to an existing install is fast and easy with the simple UI. The app also includes keyboard navigation and a built-in terminal for quick access to more control over your box.

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Over the years Chassis contributors have created an ecosystem of extensions for things like MailHog, Photon, Memcache, debugging, and other software. These add-ons allow users to tailor their systems to their needs.

Chassis Desktop aims to make it easy for users to manager their Chassis development environments without having to touch the command line. As it is currently in pre-release status, early adopters may discover some bugs. Beta testers are encouraged to log any issues on GitHub.




Dev Blog: WordPress 4.8 Release Candidate 2

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 22:13:35 +0000

The second release candidate for WordPress 4.8 is now available.

To test WordPress 4.8, you can use the WordPress Beta Tester plugin or you can download the release candidate here (zip).

We’ve made a handful of changes since releasing RC 1 last week. For more details about what’s new in version 4.8, check out the Beta 1, Beta 2, and RC1 blog posts.

Think you’ve found a bug? Please post to the Alpha/Beta support forum. If any known issues come up, you’ll be able to find them here.

Happy testing!




WPTavern: Inpsyde Open Sources Wonolog, a Monolog-based Logging Package for WordPress

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 20:54:47 +0000

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Inpsyde, a WordPress agency and WordPress.com VIP partner based in Germany, has open sourced Wonolog, a package that integrates Monolog for sophisticated WordPress data logging. Monolog is the most widely used PHP logging library with more than 57 million downloads to date.

Wonolog automatically creates logs that target specific WordPress requests and can be customized with action and filter hooks. Here are a few examples of WordPress data it can log:

  • Log any failed logins
  • Keep track of all WordPress cron requests
  • Intercept the WordPress-specific exit function, wp_die(), and log any (direct or indirect) usage
  • PHP core notices, warnings and (fatal) errors, uncaught exceptions (as well as PHP 7+ Throwable)
  • WordPress core errors such as database errors, HTTP API errors, wp_mail() errors, and 404 errors

Wonolog is available as a Composer package and its creators recommend installing at the website level. Inpsyde has been using it successfully in production with different projects for several months. Wonolog requires PHP 5.6 or higher and WordPress 4.6+. A documentation site is available to help new users get started and the project can be found on GitHub.




WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 275 – The JavaScript Framework Rabbit Hole

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 01:09:19 +0000

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I celebrate WordPress’ 14th birthday. We discuss the removal of HHVM from WordPress’ testing infrastructure and how it was likely the reason PHP 7 gained so many performance improvements.

For a majority of the show, Jacoby and I spoke in-depth on which JavaScript framework WordPress core should choose. We discuss what’s at stake, who might be impacted, and why the discussion and eventual decision is important for WordPress’ future. To round out the show, we share our picks of the week and let you know about upcoming WordCamps.

Stories Discussed:

WordPress Turns 14
WordPress Removes HHVM from Testing Infrastructure
WordPress Core JavaScript Framework Debate Heats Up, Contributors Narrow Discussion to React vs. Vue

Picks of the Week:

Wapu.us, created by James Tryon, is a place to discover and learn about Wapuu, the unofficial mascot of the WordPress project.

Cavalcade is a scalable job system, designed as a drop-in replacement for WordPress’ built-in pseudo-cron system created by Human Made.

Give is a free WordPress donation management plugin by WordImpress.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, June 7th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via RSS: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Stitcher Radio: Click here to subscribe

Listen To Episode #275:




WPTavern: WP-CLI 1.2.0 Released, Project Unveils New Logo

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 00:17:15 +0000

WP-CLI 1.2.0 was released today with a major overhaul that removes bundled commands from core in favor of maintaining them in distinct packages. This is the second release since the project was brought under the official WordPress umbrella and the first major release since hiring Alain Schlesser as a part-time co-maintainer. Splitting WP-CLI’s internal commands into separate packages moves the project closer to the goal of having official maintainers for the commands in the future. This new structure for the framework and its commands provides several benefits, as outlined by co-maintainer Daniel Bachhuber in the release post: While developing, the tests are only run for the specific component you’re working on, making the feedback loop much shorter. Individual command packages can be controlled and set up independently, opening up the opportunity for better collaboration. Hotfixes and intermediary releases can be published for individual commands, that can then be updated through the built-in package manager. Tests run really fast now. When you submit a pull request, you don’t have to wait two hours for the tests to run. This release also includes three new commands, along with dozens of command improvements and framework enhancements. wp config get lists constants and globals defined in wp-config.php wp config path gets the path to wp-config.php wp db size gets the size of the database and its tables Version 1.2.0 had 43 contributors, a 95% increase in contributors from the previous release. One of the next priorities for maintainers is to improve the contribution workflow. Bachhuber said there are no plans at the moment to bring on additional paid co-maintainers, but they plan to start onboarding more volunteer committers. These are developers who are involved with the project on a regular basis but not necessarily daily or weekly. They have also created a Good First Issues page for new contributors and have started working on a customized dashboard for committers. WP-CLI Has a New Logo Bachhuber introduced the project’s new logo today, designed by Chris Wallace and his team at Lift UX. Having an official logo opens up the possibility for WP-CLI swag. Bachhuber said he worked with contributors to create a logo, because “people can develop stronger emotional affinity to brands with logos (myself included).” He is also interested in getting stickers created, particularly ones that glow in the dark, but has not yet found a producer. Bachhuber said he is hoping to have some preliminary WP-CLI swag for WordCamp Europe. [...]



WPTavern: Pods 2.7 Beta Introduces Flexible Relationships, Rewrites Fields in JavaScript

Wed, 31 May 2017 20:37:40 +0000

Pods Framework has released two new versions. Pods 2.6.9 is a maintenance release that includes bug fixes for Pods Templates, Auto Templates, and Pods Shortcodes. Meanwhile, Pods 2.7 beta 1 introduces a new feature called Flexible Relationships.

Flexible Relationships uses WordPress’ media modal that allows users to add or edit records from within the parent record of a relationship. This feature will work on existing relationships once users upgrade to 2.7. Watch the following video to see Flexible Relationships in action.

In addition to providing Flexible Relationships, the fields were rewritten in JavaScript by Phil Lewis, Contributing Developer to Pods Framework.

“Phil Lewis of our team rewrote our file upload and relationship fields in what we’re calling Dynamic Field Views which will allow us to convert all of our field types to be JavaScript powered,” Scott Kingsley Clark, lead developer of Pods Framework said.

“The JavaScripts frameworks behind it are Marionette + Backbone. We wrote it with React in mind so we can convert it over whenever React is included in core and things settle there”

The development team is asking for as many users as possible to test Flexible Relationships on a staging or testing site so issues can be addressed before its release, tentatively scheduled for the middle of July. Those interested in testing can download the beta from Pods’ GitHub repository.

Testers are encouraged to download the GitHub Updater plugin, created by Andy Fragen, as it makes it easier to download updates from GitHub. If you participate in the testing process, be sure to add ‘2.7’ to any feature, enhancement requests, or bugs that you find when creating a new issue.