WordPress Planet

October 21, 2016

Matt: Defrauding an Election

Wired has a fun and informative look at How to Rig a Presidential Election in 1000 Easy Steps. Basically it’s impossible — I hadn’t really thought of this before, but every precinct has its own officials from both parties that certify everything, there are just a ton of people involved at every step of the process. All that said, I would love if voting platforms were completely open source software and had paper receipts that could be verified manually.

Also speaking of politics getting dirty, the San Francisco State Senate race has had a ton of falsehoods and attacks from Scott Weiner, someone I’ve met before and previously thought was a nice guy, but the latest mailers I’ve seen have just been deceitful (especially considering the Guardian actually endorsed his opponent, Jane Kim).

by Matt at October 21, 2016 11:12 PM under Asides

WPTavern: Peter Meth Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Produce 7″ Wapuu Plush Toys

Wapuu is the unofficial mascot of the WordPress project and is quite the traveler appearing at WordCamps all over the world. While there is a variety of swag featuring Wapuu, outside of handmade items, there isn’t a way to obtain a plush toy.

Wapuu Plush Toy PrototypeWapuu Plush Toy Prototype

Peter Meth, a Senior PHP Consultant based in Toronto, Canada, is looking to change that with a crowdfunding campaign using Kickstarter. Meth is seeking $11,338 to create a number of 7″ Wapuu plush toys.

“The factories that produce most of these items are in China and there are large minimum orders,” Meth said. “I have done the calculations and have tried to keep the Kickstarter goal at a minimum.”

Meth has previous experience creating plush toys for other software projects. Last year, he successfully raised $35K from 432 backers to create a PHP Woolly Mammoth plush toy. While the web version of Wapuu features the WordPress logo, the plush toy does not.

“The WordPress logo is a trademark of the WordPress Foundation,” Meth said. “I did not get permission to use their logo. I am in no way affiliated with WordPress. This product is a plush toy, not software and on his chest is just a regular W with a circle around it.”

If successfully funded, backers won’t receive the product for at least a few months as the orders are created, processed, and shipped from China to Canada. Meth will then package the orders and ship them to backers, “I have done it before and have figured out the best ways to get these items to backers quickly and efficiently,” he said.

Pledges range from purchasing one plush toy up to five. There’s also a pledge available for about $763 where companies can have their advertising materials shipped with each toy.

So far, Meth has raised $676 from 20 backers with 29 days left to go. Considering the lack of Wapuu plush toys in existence, these would be excellent collectibles to give away at WordCamps.

by Jeff Chandler at October 21, 2016 08:22 PM under wapuu

WPTavern: WordCamp Orlando Rescheduled for November 12-13

WordCamp Orlando which was originally scheduled for October 9-10 will now take place the weekend of November 12-13. The event was cancelled after the venue was ordered closed due to Hurricane Matthew.

The event is being held at the UCF Rosen Campus and features a different schedule than the October event. Saturday will have a networking brunch, keynote session, and three tracks of hour-long sessions. The Developer’s and WordPress for Beginners workshops will be held on Sunday along with a track of sessions dedicated to business and marketing.

Lisa Melegari, lead organizer for WordCamp Orlando, says the team was unable to re-negotiate a discounted rate for hotel rooms with Rosen Shingle Creek. If your reservation was cancelled due to the storm, she suggests contacting the hotel directly and try booking the room at the same rate.

Extra tickets will go on sale once sessions are decided and speakers are confirmed. Those who purchased tickets for the October event and did not request a refund are able to use the same ticket to attend in November.

by Jeff Chandler at October 21, 2016 07:24 PM under wordcamp

WPTavern: LoopConf Rescheduled for February 6-8, 2017, in Salt Lake City, Utah

LoopConf, a conference geared towards WordPress developers has been rescheduled for February 6-8, 2017, and will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The event was originally scheduled to take place in Florida but was cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew.

Ryan Sullivan, lead organizer of the event who lives in Salt Lake City, says one of the reasons he chose his hometown is to take advantage of local connections.

“When we chose to reschedule LoopConf, there was a very large financial impact attached to that,” Sullivan said.

“Had we chosen another resort destination, our money would have been committed to the logistics and venue there, and we would have had to scale back on attendee experience.

“That wasn’t something we were willing to sacrifice, so we brought the event back home so we could lean on some local connections, and still put on a fantastic event without asking anything else of the attendees or sponsors.”

Tickets that were purchased for the Florida event are automatically being transferred to the Salt Lake City event. Those who can’t make it and would like to request a refund need to send an email to info @ loopconf.com and add Refund Request to the subject line. Refund requests should be submitted before October 31st.

Those who couldn’t attend the event in October but can in February are in luck as tickets are back on sale to the public, “We’re hoping to bolster and regain some of what we’ve lost, and we know that won’t be possible without the support of the WordPress community at large,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan has also negotiated a deal with the Little America hotel located a few blocks from the venue. Room rates are $179 per night instead of the usual $229 and ground transportation will be provided each day to and from the venue. While rooms are not currently available for reservation at the lower price, Sullivan says a special link will be published soon.

For detailed information on the event and to purchase tickets, visit the LoopConf website.

by Jeff Chandler at October 21, 2016 06:26 PM under loopconf

WPTavern: BuddyPress 2.7 Released, Features Groups Query Overhaul and Improvements for Site Administrators

photo credit: Eater NYphoto credit: Eater NY

BuddyPress 2.7 “Migliaccio” was released yesterday, named after the family who runs Sam’s Restaurant in Brooklyn. The sign in front of the establishment features steaks and chops, but the restaurant’s pizza is “one of the great under-appreciated pies in all of NYC,” according to BuddyPress core developers.

This release is heavy on features for developers, in line with the project’s recent change of course. The BuddyPress core team is now focusing on the experience of developers and site builders, as opposed to providing something that is 100% turnkey.

Version 2.7 delivers significant performance improvements to sites that are using the Groups component. Group queries have been completely re-written to be less memory-intensive by following WordPress’ move to use the “split” model for object queries.

“The changes we’ve made for BP 2.7 should lead to a huge performance improvement on sites using persistent caching,” BuddyPress lead developer Boone Gorges said. “When querying groups, not only are group objects now fetched from the cache when available, but the ID queries themselves are cached as well.”

Version 2.7 is rather lean on user-facing features but one helpful addition is a new email token that makes it possible for users to unsubscribe from BuddyPress-generated emails. The unsubscribe links have been added to the emails that are listed on the email settings page.

This release also introduces many improvements for site administrators, which will make BuddyPress easier to manage and customize:

  • Use WP Page Names for Headings of BP Directory Pages
    Whatever you choose as the title of your Activity, Sites, Members, or Groups directory pages on the back end, is what you’ll get as the heading on the front end.
  • Use the Site Icon as Your Site’s Profile Photo
    BuddyPress sets the site admin’s profile photo as the default site profile photo on the Sites Directory page. You can now use the Site Icon introduced in WordPress 4.3 instead.
  • Member Type and Group Type Filters in Users and Groups Admin Screens
    Easily filter your members and groups by type and set types in bulk on the users and groups list tables in the dashboard.
  • Improved Profile Date Field
    New Date Field settings, “Date format” and “Range”, make it easier for site administrators to decide how date-based data will be collected and displayed.

This is the first release since the project’s new developer-oriented direction was announced. The improvements shipped in 2.7 reflect the core development team’s commitment to better serve those who are developing and managing BuddyPress sites. For a list of all the changes and links to documentation, check out the full 2.7 changelog.

by Sarah Gooding at October 21, 2016 04:16 AM under News

October 20, 2016

WPTavern: New WordPress Default Theme Twenty Seventeen Merged into 4.7


WordPress 4.7 will ship with a new default theme in December. David Kennedy merged Twenty Seventeen into core yesterday as his first commit to WordPress. Any remaining development issues for the project will now be managed via Trac.

In the merge proposal, Kennedy described Twenty Seventeen as “an ambitious theme that focuses on a creative home page and an easy site setup experience for users.” It is the first default theme designed specifically for business websites. The theme includes four customizable panels on the front page (as seen in Kennedy’s demo video below), which can be set to display content from existing pages. It includes support for uploading a custom logo and uses SVG icons throughout the theme, which Kennedy notes is a first for a default theme.

Twenty Seventeen will offer three different options for a color scheme: light, dark, or custom (which can be set via a user-friendly color-picker):

“Twenty Seventeen will ship with its current implementation of panels in the theme and without video headers,” Kennedy said during yesterday’s core development meeting. A ticket for adding core support for video headers is open on Trac and contributors are still working out all of the intricacies of the feature. It may not be ready to ship with the first version of Twenty Seventeen, but it’s an exciting step forward for standardizing an approach for developers who want to build video headers into their themes.

“Video headers are definitely doable,” Nick Halsey said during yesterday’s meeting. “It’s a matter of getting consensus on the best approach on the ticket.”

Contributors have also discussed creating a multi-panel page that lets users select content for the different sections. It would benefit Twenty Seventeen but contributors are considering giving it more time in development as a feature plugin.

“Regarding multi-panel, I’d agree that it’s not going to make it,” Kennedy said in the #core Slack channel today. “That isn’t to diminish the awesome work done so far, but it needs more. I’d like to start making plans for it to be a feature plugin, perhaps. I want to see the momentum continue. Core needs a solution around this, and it will take more people to help make it even better.”

Twenty Seventeen has had 59 contributors to date and may gain a few more before the 4.7 release cycle is finished. The theme will benefit from testing in as many different environments as possible, since it will immediately be high profile as the next default WordPress theme.

by Sarah Gooding at October 20, 2016 06:19 PM under wordpress 4.7

October 19, 2016

WPTavern: WordCamp WarmUp Is a Success

Rebecca Gill, founder of Web-Savvy-Marketing, has published a postmortem of WordCamp WarmUp, an event that took place two days before WordCamp Ann Arbor aimed at breaking the ice for new WordCamp attendees. The event surpassed its goal of 50 attendees forcing Gill to close registration early.

“Not only did most WarmUp guests arrive right on time, we had a full room of WarmUp attendees and even had a few unexpected friends show up,” Gill said.

Gill created three different lists that included interesting things about attendees, their interests, and their talents. She then created packets that attendees could use to seek out specific people, “I’m not sure how many people used my lists, but I will say most people took packets with them when they left the event,” Gill said.

She challenged attendees to meet at least 20 people during WordCamp Ann Arbor. While a handful of people completed the challenge, its purpose was to provide an additional incentive.

“I really don’t care how many people an individual met,” Gill said. “My goal was to get them to meet more than they would without WarmUp and to encourage them to get to know others if their personalities allowed.”

Gill conducted a poll shortly after the event to gather feedback and received 15 responses. When asked how the event made their WordCamp experience more meaningful, a number of people offered positive feedback:

  • It was nice to come on Friday and already recognize some people
  • I was able to connect with other WordCamp goers, which made the following days more exciting. It helped me orient myself mentally to think ahead about what I wanted to learn and what I wanted to get out of the event as a whole.
  • I met some people! So then there were familiar faces at the actual WordCamp.
  • The event was a great ice breaker to WordCamp.

To read all of the feedback and view photos of the event, check out the wrapup post. If you attended WordCamp Warmup, tell us about your experience in the comments.

by Jeff Chandler at October 19, 2016 09:12 PM under wordcamp warmup

WPTavern: WP REST API Content Endpoints Officially Approved for Merge into WordPress 4.7


After a lengthy and impassioned meeting in the WordPress #core Slack channel on Monday evening, the WP REST API content endpoints were conditionally approved for merge into 4.7. Since that time Brian Krogsgard published a document with input from the team on how they plan to measure the success of the API.

The conditions included some last minute work from the team on demonstrating how the API can benefit core development. Contributors produced multiple proofs of concept, including leveraging the REST API endpoints for Press this and Quick Draft features.

“I think the team has come together really well over the last couple days to tackle the merge tasks,” WordPress core committer Jeremy Felt said. “It seems that the momentum is on the right track to merge and then continue knocking out issues throughout the rest of the cycle as we start testing it as part of core. I’m also pretty excited about the pieces of the admin that are about to start using it with such a short window. 4.8 and 4.9 have a ton of potential with the API.”

Contributors in attendance at today’s core development meeting agreed that the team had made significant strides to meet the conditions previously identified for merge. After a short few minutes of discussion, WordPress 4.7 release lead Helen Hou-Sandí officially approved the WP REST API content endpoints for merge into core.

Code on the GitHub repository will now be frozen and continued development will be managed via WordPress trac. The WP REST API has had 99 contributors on the project to date. The content endpoints identified in the merge proposal will ship with WordPress 4.7 and contributors will focus on authentication for the 4.8 release cycle.

by Sarah Gooding at October 19, 2016 09:10 PM under wp rest api

WPTavern: WordPress 4.7 to Ship with Infrastructure from the Customize Snapshots Feature Plugin

photo credit: Chantel Lucasphoto credit: Chantel Lucas

Customize Changesets, the technical term for the infrastructure in the Customize Snapshots feature plugin, was merged into WordPress 4.7 yesterday. The project, formerly known as Customizer Transactions, brings the underlying architecture required for the ability to save a session as a draft. It enables WordPress to save a set of changes made in the Customizer so that it can be shared, previewed outside of the iframe, and even published at a future date.

Although the initial introduction of Customize Changesets will ship with no UI, it is the gateway for a host of exciting new features in the Customizer.

“The new APIs make possible many new user-facing features in future releases and feature plugins, including saving long-lived drafts, submitting changesets as pending for review, scheduling changes, seeing the previewed state on the frontend without being in an iframe, sharing preview URLs with others who do not have customizer access, and others,” project lead Weston Ruter said in the merge proposal.

Users will be able to detect the Customize Changesets architecture in WordPress in two ways. A new customize_uuid query parameter is added onto the URL. Also, users can now reload pages in the Customizer and the changes that have already been made will persist.

“In future releases we can explore new UIs to take advantage of the new capabilities that changesets provide,” Ruter said. “New UIs can provide a way to schedule changes, the ability to undo the last change, show an audit log (revision history) for changes, collaborative editing of a customizer changeset, and so on. Future feature projects will explore many of these and feature plugins will start to prototype them.”

Ruter also noted that Customize changesets fixes “several long-standing issues related to incompatibilities between JavaScript running on the site’s frontend when previewed in the customizer.” This should make the experience of customizing WordPress less buggy for users.

When I asked Ruter if the UI for core will come from the Customize Snapshots feature plugin, he said he’s not certain whether the team will migrate the features into a separate “Customize Changesets UI” plugin or adapt it to make use of changesets instead.

“Either way, the UI features will live on and will be prototyped in feature plugin form before proposal for core merge,” Ruter said. “The underlying plumbing from Snapshots was adapted for changesets now in core. So the snapshots itself needs its internals to be gutted to re-use changesets.”

From there contributors will begin building a UI for managing changesets, which includes listing existing changesets and their revisions, as well as moving a changeset post from auto-draft to draft, pending, or future. Ruter encourages those who want to contribute to a changesets UI for core to get involved in the Customize Snapshots plugin on GitHub.

by Sarah Gooding at October 19, 2016 07:25 PM under wordpress 4.7

BuddyPress: BuddyPress 2.7.0 – “Migliaccio”

BuddyPress 2.7 “Migliaccio” is now available for download from the WordPress.org plugin repository, or right from your WordPress Dashboard. “Migliaccio” focuses on new features for developers and site builders.

Groups Query Overhaul
Huge performance improvements on sites using persistent caching. Learn more about the Groups Query rewrite.

Improved Profile Date Field
New Date Field settings, “Date format” and “Range”, make it easier for site administrators to decide how date-based data will be collected and displayed.

Group Types Integration in Templates
Enable developers to show Group Types on the front end as well as control where the group type information is rendered. Learn how to implement this feature.

Use the Site Icon as Your Site’s Profile Photo
BuddyPress sets the site admin’s profile photo as the default site profile photo on the Sites Directory page. You can now use the Site Icon introduced in WordPress 4.3 instead.

Member Type and Group Type Filters in Users and Groups Admin Screens
Easily filter your members and groups by type and set types in bulk on the users and groups list tables in the dashboard.

Localized Timestamps
Fix inaccurate timestamps due to time zones or page caching with new client-side timestamp handling.

Links to Unsubscribe from Emails
Improve user experience by facilitating the removal of any or all subscriptions via new email tokens and unsubscribe links.

Use WP Page Names for Headings of BP Directory Pages
Whatever you choose as the title of your Activity, Sites, Members, or Groups directory pages on the back end, is what you’ll get as the heading on the front end.

Accessibility Updates for the Front End and Back End
Continued improvements for universal access help make BuddyPress back- and front-end screens usable for everyone (and on more devices).

Refactored BP_Button Class to Accept New Arguments
Provides developers with improved syntax and more control over the rendering of buttons.

Improvements to a Single Group’s Management Screens
Improved markup, new modular group management templates, and a new member search form are just some of the enhancements added to the single group admin screens.

Support for Querying for Groups by New Column parent_id
Query support for hierarchical groups makes it much easier for developers to add custom front-end functionality.

Many, Many Performance Improvements
Improved performance by removing extra database queries, adding new cache calls, and removing the number of loops in bp_get_user_groups().

…and much more!
Read about all the bug fixes and feature enhancements introduced in BuddyPress 2.7.0 at our official 2.7.0 changelog.

Thank You to Our Contributors
Many, many thanks to all those who contributed during this development cycle. This is a volunteer-run project, and these contributors freely gave of their time and expertise to make BuddyPress better than ever:
Aaron Jorbin (jorbin), abwebstudio1, Boone B Gorges (boonebgorges), Brajesh Singh (sbrajesh), Christian Wach (needle), danbp, Daniel Hüsken (danielhuesken), David Cavins (dcavins), demon_ru, Dennis (wpdennis), Eric Andrew Lewis (ericlewis), Henry Wright (henry.wright), herbovec, Hugo (hnla), J.D. Grimes (jdgrimes), John James Jacoby (johnjamesjacoby), Joseph G. (dunhakdis), kitsunesolar, lakrisgubben, Laurens Offereins (Offereins), Mathieu Viet (imath), mercime, Michael Beckwith (tw2113), Michael Beil (michaelbeil), Pascal Birchler (swissspidy), Paul Gibbs (DJPaul), r-a-y, Renato Alves (espellcaste), scharc, Slava Abakumov (slaffik), spenser4551, Stephen Edgar (netweb), Sven Lehnert (svenl77), tharsheblows, thomaslhotta, tomas711, venturavan2, and wordpressrene.

Thank You BuddyPress Translators!
Thank you to all of our multilingual friends who make BuddyPress available in a bouquet of languages. The following generous volunteers have 95% complete translations (or better!) of BuddyPress in your language:
baardkr (nb_NO), casiepa (it_IT), danbp (fr_FR), dancaragea (ro_RO), espellcaste (pt_BR), kidsguide (en_CA), netweb (en_AU), slaffik (ru_RU), trkr (tr_TR), vanespenamaury (fr_FR), webaware (en_NZ)

Many more are nearly complete. We could use your help!

Meet you at Sam’s

We’ve called BuddyPress 2.7 “Migliaccio”, in honor of the family that runs Sam’s Restaurant in Brooklyn. Don’t be fooled by the “Steaks” and “Chops” signs out front: the Italian food here is great, but the pizza stands apart as one of the great underappreciated pies in all of NYC. As a bonus, careful observers just might spot hanging in Sam’s a photo of a certain BuddyPress developer, taken on the day he became a father. It’s a real family joint!

Time to Go Get 2.7.0!

Download BuddyPress 2.7 “Magliaccio” from the wordpress.org plugin repository, or install/upgrade right from your WordPress Dashboard.

Questions, comments, feature requests, or bug reports? Please use our support forums or our development tracker.

by @mercime at October 19, 2016 07:16 PM under Community

HeroPress: WordPress Set Me Free

Pull Quote: I'm now a believer that WordPress can scale on large projects.

I’m Carl Alberto, a work-from-home WordPress web developer based in Antipolo, Philippines. I hope my story will inspire people that came from schools that don’t teach too much technical stuff and people that are coming from remote or not highly developed places It won’t be a hindrance in getting a good WordPress related job.

Web Development in my early years

I had a first glimpse about web development around the mid 90’s when my dad was able to manage in buying an IBM-clone 4×86 for me. It was marquees and frameset were the cool stuffs back then. During our college, not too much is being taught in our school and Internet is slow and very limited so I have to learn on my own and mostly at home. It’s amazing to imagine that we were able to survive with a 56kps dial-up connection way back then.

my first computer circa 90s #oldpic

A photo posted by Carl Alberto (@carl.alberto) on Oct 11, 2016 at 4:46am PDT

I was able to get a lot of practice in programming because my other batchmates were too lazy to do their school projects. They easily give up, rant a lot about the school’s broken facilities and would rather play Warcraft DOTA or Counter Strike while I am busy doing thesis projects. At that time, I was into electronics and was using other CMSes for web based projects because I had the impression that WordPress is just a blogging platform and not as powerful as the others.

Worth the effort, sleepless nights of research and programming #collegedays #oldpic

A photo posted by Carl Alberto (@carl.alberto) on Oct 11, 2016 at 10:49pm PDT

Entering The Corporate Office Scene While Undergraduate

Unfortunately, due to financial issues, I have to work on my own to finish up my last few years of studies but it did not became a hindrance for me in getting my degree. The fastest way to get a job here without any diploma and experience is through contact centers. I am very thankful to this industry because many filipinos got a decent living out of it specially for those people that came from the provinces.

Tech Support days at Epson – Teleperformance

A photo posted by Carl Alberto (@carl.alberto) on Oct 11, 2016 at 4:17pm PDT

After a year of struggle with the traffic and balancing my life with school and work, finally I got my diploma. I tried to pursue an office based tech related career but most of the job openings needs at least 1 years experience and based in Makati, which is 2 hours away from me. I was able to land an office based job but I gave up in less than 6 months because of the huge amount of time and effort that I loose during the commute. Imagine, an average filipino loses 4 hours of time during the travel. In a month, it translates to at least 80 hours of wasted time. Multiply that to the millions of the office workers that travels everyday.

View of #metromanila from #antipolo it looks near but traffic will kill your time #drone #aerialphotography

A photo posted by Carl Alberto (@carl.alberto) on Oct 12, 2016 at 12:03am PDT

Shifting from Tech Support to a Web Developer

Good thing, there is newly opened web development company here in Antipolo so I left my job from the Metro to grab this opportunity closer to home. Luckily my web development projects from college served as my portfolio to land into that job. At this point of time, we are not mainly using WordPress and only use it as the part of the SEO process. A year has passed and I tried applying to companies that offers remote positions, luckily I was accepted by an Australian web development company. Before I switched my career in a remote working environment, I got married.

🙂 got married & changing to a work-from-home setting at that time

A photo posted by Carl Alberto (@carl.alberto) on Oct 11, 2016 at 11:05pm PDT

With my employer at that time, we are still not using WordPress as our main CMS and using single-sign-on connector to manage it. After years of doing this process, when major revisions of the other CMSes rolled out, we’re having hard time coping up with the compatibility of modules, extensions, plugins and themes. Then we saw some of our blogging sites that is running on WordPress, still solid and with minimal issues during major updates. We offered upgrade packages to clients but some of them view it as a rip-off because they already spent a lot in the development and after a few years, they will be paying again for an upgrade which they don’t really care about as long as they have a website running.

The #family that works together, stays together

A photo posted by Carl Alberto (@carl.alberto) on Oct 11, 2016 at 4:17am PDT

Awakening WordPress in me

At work, we studied WordPress in-depth, researched it and compared it with other, and was able to discover that there are already huge sites that is running solely on WP so why do we still have to run it side-by-side with another CMS? It’s scalable, easy to manage, extended via plugins and communicate with other system using its REST API. Then we got ourselves busy by getting migration projects from other CMS to WordPress. When I got immersed with WP projects, I never looked back and never again tried another CMS or programming languages.

Mastering WordPress

I applied again with another interesting employer, this time under the US timezone, they are the one that introduced me to the WordPress ecosystem. The owner Toby C, served as my idol and mentor in the WP world. He encouraged us to contribute and allotted 5% of our work time to contribute back to the WP Community. He is very active in their local community and meetups. WordPress became our primary choice for all projects, if client do not trust WP as their CMS, we don’t do it. At this time, I am now a believer that WordPress can scale on large projects, we’re able to utilize multi-sites, we were able to work in teams, use version control properly, we even used a custom WP site as our internal project management system. We created custom themes and plugins for each client’s specific needs. We lived and breathed WP everyday. It’s fun working with them and even met with one of my remote team mates on another province.

AWS & WordPress Usergroup meetup in UP Los Banos, 1st time to meet my remote workmate Abel @TheMightyMo

A photo posted by Carl Alberto (@carl.alberto) on Feb 18, 2016 at 5:16am PST

Unfortunately after 2 years, the 12 hours time difference of US and Philippines worn me out easily. Good thing about WordPress is there are abundant jobs available and was able to find another employer with a Danish company which is only has 6 hours time difference. Their main business is catering ice, cocktails, wines, bar tending stuff, etc. but their front-end online platform is all built with WordPress & WooCommerce. From here, I was able to harness the power of WP and WooCommerce.

Contributing back to the WordPress

I’m very thankful that WordPress has the REST API and it helped me create custom endpoints for 3rd party integrations, but still it has a lot of shortcomings and documentation is not perfect. Instead of ranting out those issues, it encouraged me to reach out in the WordPress.org support forums. I just found out that the WP codex will be deprecated soon and will be replaced with a more streamlined support system which is currently in the making by a group of volunteers around the world.

The WP community is very friendly and will point you to the right person on whom to get in touch with if you have any WP related questions.

There, I met Jon A., one of the most supportive person in the forums, as well as Hugh L. (big fan of his WP plugin template), both of them is leading that Codex replacement project at that time. From them, I was inspired to give back some of my spare time by contributing to the project that they are working on. Another thing that I love with the community is even if your contribution is big or small, it doesn’t matter, they will always make you feel awesome and urge you to help more.

Spreading the WordPress Community in the Philippines

I am very active in attending events and hackathons here in the PH but I noticed that there is still a lot people look down to WP developers because of the mindset that is just a blogging platform, but hey you can rapidly prototype a Minimum Viable Product with it and win some hackathon like what we did in this Bitcoin event. I also noticed that there are a lot of WordPress groupies here in the Philippines but it seems they are divided and after years of observing, nobody is organizing a local group. Luckily after months of waiting, our WordPress Meetup group for Manila was approved and we are now on a mission to unite the local WP community and reviving the WordCamp which became dormant after 2012. If ever you are in the province and cannot attend to our monthly gathering in the PH, I’ll do my best to help you out in getting your local community started or simply fill out the meetup application.

I’m also glad that under the spirit of Open Source, we have the support of other local communities like Drupal and Mozilla that help each other.

Since then, I try my best to accommodate schools in the provinces that requests to talk in their school or organization, engage them to learn Web Development and WordPress, help them not to be discouraged even they are far from the city and from a remote location, there is a big chance to have a WP related job to be found.

Thank you Batangas IT Society for inviting me to share topics about #webdevelopment and #WordPress

A photo posted by Carl Alberto (@carl.alberto) on Oct 9, 2016 at 9:07pm PDT

The post WordPress Set Me Free appeared first on HeroPress.

by Carl Alberto at October 19, 2016 10:00 AM

WPTavern: Why PixelGrade is Experimenting with a $225 WordPress Theme on Themeforest

sami-kThis post was contributed by guest author Sami Keijonen. Sami is a math teacher who enjoys learning about the web, accessibility, and WordPress. He juggles between freelancing, building themes at Foxland, and teaching.

Several theme authors have been experimenting with new pricing on ThemeForest. But PixelGrade took it to the next level by raising the price of its Pile theme from $59 to $225.


That’s a bold move, but I expect nothing less from them. They want to think outside of the box and push the boundaries. Based on the theme shop’s wild yet functional designs and the anti-corporate thoughts expressed in the co-founder’s Our Saga article, I have to say that I like PixelGrade’s approach.

Vlad Olaru, co-founder of PixelGrade, was kind enough to answer a couple of questions about the Pile theme price increase.

Why did you raise Pile’s price by 281%?

The first obvious answer is that now we can set our own prices on ThemeForest due to Envato extending the Author Driven Pricing to the WordPress category. We’ve been preparing for this for a long time.

But just because you can do something, that doesn’t mean you should, right? We have been thinking about our business strategy for quite some time now – and not in a shallow way.

We’ve gone through a painful process of rediscovering our core values and purpose, what kind of experience we wish to offer to our customers, and what kind of customers we want to attract and keep aboard.

A direct consequence of this whole process is rethinking our pricing based on our firm belief that not all products are created equal. We haven’t thought in terms of percentages (it’s the first time the 281% comes to mind – thank you for doing the math), but in terms of our overall effort and value delivered to the customer.

Why $225 and not $150, for example? Did you do some research before making the decision?

Yes we did, and it was very thorough. We did not base it on market fit, market tolerance, or anything like this. On the contrary, it was an internal research focused on the the two pillars mentioned earlier: how much do we work for something (effort invested) and how much does it help our customers (real value).

First, we needed some numerical relation between the various types of themes we produce, in terms of complexity. We’ve divided each theme’s design into components and identified the overlaps, meaning work that is built upon to deliver higher level functionality (i.e a style guide is used to create a blog section).

So, with a clearer picture of the overlaps and the actual effort needed for each stage, we’ve analyzed how much value a customer gets from these specific components.

This helps us to fairly and wisely distribute our efforts, while at the same time identifying where we can decrease or increase the price. With higher delivered value comes a greater acceptance for higher prices.

In the end, we’ve come up with a set of price multipliers starting from our lowest offering, the blogging theme. By the way, we don’t intend on selling the core design separately. With this clear relation between the three categories, we’ve ran simulations to see where is the point where we can generate a healthy monthly income and get a manageable number of customers.

“Manageable” is a very key concept in this whole scheme because it relates directly to the experience we wish to craft for each customer through our Customer Happiness department.

We feel personally involved in the success of our customers’ online endeavors. You can’t really do that when you focus on volume. A close and personal relationship needs a thoughtful balancing act for it to flourish.

So there you have it – the “magic” revealed.

What kind of customers are you looking for with this price change?

As I’ve said before, we are currently focusing on three main personas:

  • Hobby-driven people (storytellers, journalists, travelers, life/fashion/design bloggers)
  • Creative Entrepreneurs (photographers, visual artists, designers, architects)
  • Small Local Businesses (restaurants, coffee/tea shops, boutiques, small studios)

I don’t think all the people that fit these categories can digest the prices above, at least not in the current state of the market. On the other hand, we are not delusional. But I highly believe we can make a pretty good case to enough of them about the added value they get when trusting us.

Of course, it will be an uphill struggle with the habits and assumptions ingrained by the years of “bazaar marketplace.” Our bet is that we are doing things right and the right thing, at the same time.

So if a $59 customer won’t buy a $225 theme, what is PixelGrade going to do to attract $225 customers to the platform and specifically, the item.

First of all, you need to see this whole (not so new) pricing structure in a more global approach. We are currently selling our themes through our own shop, on WordPress.com, and ThemeForest.

For about two years now, all of our shop and WordPress.com themes have been priced at $125. They are all blogging themes. We are pretty happy with how things worked out. So we don’t know if ThemeForest is the place where people would be willing to value our themes at these prices. We are hopeful and we will definitely give our best, but it is still too early to tell.

We are going to focus most of our marketing efforts on attracting the right kind of customers to our own shop because we are in full control of the whole experience. On ThemeForest and WordPress.com we can’t do the same due to how a marketplace at this scale functions. Hopefully, Envato will do its part (as it has been in recent times – kind of slowly for our liking, but still) and the right type of potential customers will get to judge our offering.

Are you experimenting with your top-selling themes or just doing a trial with one of the themes in the collection?

Once again, I think times are changing on ThemeForest and we are taking it one step at a time. The ideal future would be one where all of our themes, regardless of distribution channel, would be priced the same.

We are definitely keeping an eye on the opportunity to take the next step, but it is still too early to give a time frame.

How do you bring the rest of the marketplace into 2016 pricing without being accused of price collusion?

Price collusion? I had to google that.

We have no plan to make any sort of agreement with anybody. We will do what we feel is right and aligned to our core values, talk about it, and, hopefully, others will follow suit.

Now that I have read that definition, I realize that you might be referring to the concern (expressed by some pre-sale comments on ThemeForest) that we might be driven by greed here. Far from it. If that was the story, we would have lowered our prices and driven out the competition (as I suspect some will do). Like they say, with great liberty comes great responsibility.

We will shape our message on value-pricing and do our best to live up to these self-imposed standards. The customers will be the most accurate judge of our stance on this.

Are you ready for higher prices?

Thanks again, Vlad, for answering the questions. It will be interesting to see how it goes.

I don’t have a strong opinion about the company increasing prices to that degree. I can see myself selling themes for $125, but I hope $225 works well for PixelGrade.

As a customer, would you buy a theme for $225 and what would make it worth it?

Any other theme shops have plans for increasing prices?

by Sarah Gooding at October 19, 2016 03:11 AM under themeforest

October 18, 2016

WPTavern: WP REST API Content Endpoints Conditionally Approved for Merge in 4.7


The WP REST API team and WordPress core contributors met tonight to decide whether to merge the content endpoints in 4.7. After the merge proposal was published a week ago, several core developers expressed concern regarding the brokered authentication scheme and the team has since decided to remove it from the proposal in favor of focusing on it for the 4.8 development cycle.

Discussion at the meeting tonight centered around six topics: security, performance, user feedback, if merging will negatively impact API development, whether content endpoints will benefit core development, and whether those endpoints belong on every WordPress site. The team also discussed possible ways to measure the success of the project once it has been merged into core.

Contributors agreed on a conditional approval for merging the endpoints, provided that the team address outstanding questions on object meta and that others outside of the REST API team provide a proof of concept for how WordPress core can use the endpoints. These conditions must be met before the enhancement deadline next Wednesday.

“Making something work in core does not mean committing it to trunk,” WordPress 4.7 release lead Helen Hou-Sandí said. “This is also a call to the greater dev community – there is a chance to do something that doesn’t necessarily carry the weight of being shipped in core that can serve as proof that you want something. A developer’s vote.”

Hou-Sandí said that requiring the proofs to be created by developers outside of the REST API team will demonstrate “how other people experience the development process.” It also frees up the project’s team to focus on other pre-merge tasks.

Multiple proofs of concept are encouraged and some of the features being considered include Press This, Quick Draft, infinite scroll on admin list tables, and anything else anyone wants to try. Adam Silverstein volunteered to take a crack at Press This and by the conclusion of the meeting said, “I’ve got Press This creating new posts already actually, that was pretty straightforward to switch over.” He plans to include his work in a new ticket on trac.

“I have no blocking objection but I am pretty wary and want to make sure that conditions for keeping in 4.7 are hammered out in the next 24 hours and conditions for beyond worked on before beta,” Hou-Sandí said. Matt Mullenweg, who has been one of the most vocal critics of the project’s readiness so far, agreed with her statement but also said he isn’t yet satisfied with how the team plans to measure the success of the project.

“I also feel like the measure of success is still woefully undefined, and there’s still a lot of fuzziness in the core arguments of ‘if this is in [core] people will use it more,'” Mullenweg said.

Contributors seem very motivated in the final stretch and are working towards producing the necessary proofs of concept prior to the enhancements deadline. If any of the proofs are solid enough to be merged, the WP REST API content endpoints will ship in WordPress 4.7 alongside a core feature that is using the API.

by Sarah Gooding at October 18, 2016 04:31 AM under wp rest api

WPTavern: Headway 3.8.9 Patches Potential XSS Vulnerability

If you noticed an update for Headway, it’s not your mind playing tricks. Late last week, Headway Themes released version 3.8.9 to patch a potential security vulnerability involving the license key field. The vulnerability was discovered and reported to Sucuri by Gary Bairéad, a former Headway Themes employee.

At the time of writing, the company has not publicly announced the availability of 3.8.9 to customers. The update comes more than a month since founders Grant and Clay Griffiths issued an apology for the lack of customer support and communication.

Lack of Communication and Support Continues

Since the apology was published, the company’s blog and social media accounts have remained silent. Bairéad continues to use his site to update the public on the status of Headway Themes. In his most recent post, Bairéad published a number of screenshots that show the company is still not providing the level of support advertised on its site.

One Month Progress Report

I reached out to Grant and Clay Griffiths to find out what progress they’ve made on providing “a first level of support service” as mentioned in the apology, what steps they’ve taken to rebuild the business, and if they have any comments on Bairéad’s article.

“Support is being provided and updates have been and will continue to be pushed,” Grant said. “We are also in contact with Influx to further improve our support,” Clay said.

Influx provides customer support for companies, including those in the WordPress ecosystem such as Advanced Custom Fields. Influx has elastic pricing allowing companies to pay for the amount of support they need. Prices start at $199 per month and increase as the number of responses increases.

While the Griffiths did not recognize unpaid staff in their apology, former employees have since received partial payments of the money they are owed.

Community Is Optimistic About Headway Fork

While the future of Headway Themes and its product remain in limbo, many in the community are optimistically supporting a fork called Blox Builder. Blox is a fork of Headway 3.8.8 created by Maarten Schraven that is 100% GPL licensed.

Headway is Not 100% GPL

According to Headway Theme’s terms of service, “All WordPress themes produced by Headway Themes, LLC are released under the GPL version 2.0 license.”

A key difference between Blox and Headway is that Blox doesn’t use Redactor.js, a WYSISWYG editor. The script is $199 and its license agreement makes it incompatible with the GPL.

Upfront, a product created by WPMU Dev launched with Redactor.js. In the launch post, James Farmer, founder and CEO of WPMU Dev, confirmed that everything in Upfront is GPL except for Redactor, “Everything in Upfront is currently 100% GPL, with that exception, as they won’t let us… we’ve asked,” he said.

At best, Headway is split-licensed but there is no verbiage on the site that informs customers. Considering Clay is a co-owner of a WordPress business that sells a product that is not 100% GPL, should he be able to sponsor WordCamps advertising Pressmatic? According to the WordCamp organizer handbook, no.

If users and customers want to support a 100% GPL product that’s actively developed, check out the community-driven fork. Blox recently came to a consensus on pricing and are offering a 40% discount with three months of extra support and updates for former Headway customers.

by Jeff Chandler at October 18, 2016 03:40 AM under wordcamps

October 17, 2016

WPTavern: StudioPress Puts WooCommerce Compatibility on the Roadmap for New Themes

In Rainmaker.fm’s recent interview with Matt Mullenweg, StudioPress founder Brian Gardner confirmed that the company has put WooCommerce compatibility on the roadmap for its themes, starting with new products first. The “unofficial announcement” was not a secret, as Gardner has been hinting at it on social media and also posted a sneak peak on Dribbble of StudioPress’ upcoming WooCommerce theme.


“We are focusing our themes and I’m literally designing one as we speak that will be WooCommerce compatible,” Gardner said. “The writing is on the wall. We’re now at a point where we can focus and dedicate some of our time. My hope is that we can take all our existing themes on StudioPress and work in the WooCommerce component – at the very least – to make WooCommerce out of the box look good.”

StudioPress, one of the oldest shops in the WordPress themes marketplace, has 58 themes in its collection, including 18 themes developed by third parties. Getting the entire collection compatible with WooCommerce will take some time. Gardner said the company’s initial focus will be ensuring compatibility for all new products.

“Our emphasis then will be on continuing to just design and develop themes for the Genesis framework and all that,” Gardner said. “But as a side note, all of our themes will be styled at a basic level for anyone who wants to use a theme and start selling stuff. So WooCommerce and e-commerce for us is definitely on the radar and the roadmap.”

StudioPress plans to release its first WooCommerce theme in the next couple weeks.

Embracing the Competition: Mullenweg Shares Long-Term Vision for WooCommerce

Matt Mullenweg, the featured guest on the podcast where Gardner confirmed StudioPress’ plans to add WooCommerce compatibility to the roadmap, seemed pleasantly surprised to hear the news. As CEO of Automattic, Mullenweg would arguably be StudioPress’ chief competitor for WooCommerce theme products, but he shared an interesting approach to competition within the WordPress ecosystem.

“We can compete and cooperate at the same time, especially if you think long term,” Mullenweg said. “I just think of it as what is the best long-term thing for WordPress as a whole?”

Since acquiring WooCommerce, Mullenweg said Automattic has increased the size of the Woo team by over 40% and the developers on the core software have gone up by 5x.

“There’s a lot more people working on the software and we’re looking at it from a very long term view,” he said. Mullenweg elaborated on his vision for making WooCommerce “a commerce engine for the next decade:”

E-commerce for WordPress needs to be a platform, meaning that the core software that drives the commerce engine needs to be available as widely as possible and really robust. It needs to be something that scales from a small store selling just a handful of t-shirts to really huge stores with 60 – 70,000 SKUs doing tens of mullions or hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. We wanted that to be something that lots of other businesses could be built on. Woo was the best fit that we identified at the time.

Mullenweg, who has in the past identified external threats to WordPress as far bigger than any intra-WordPress open source threats, encourages WordPress businesses to work together. Mullenweg noted that Wix is spending 160 million dollars this year in advertising to drive people signing up.

“These are things we have to keep in mind and also do some coordination across the community,” he said. “If we all kind of run our own directions and just try to localize and maximize our own profits and everything, we’ll be out-gunned by these other companies. Because the truth is that Wix’s $300M in revenue is bigger than any company I’m aware of in the WordPress space individually, but it’s much smaller than we are collectively. So then the question becomes: How can we work together? How can we team up? And how do we get the right philosophies and the right ways of doing business and best practices so that as we do our own things in our own places, we’re heading the same direction in a way that no company could ever compete with – just like the Encyclopedia Britannica could never compete with Wikipedia.”

During his WordSesh session this year, Mullenweg said he has been entertaining the idea of organizing a WordPress Growth Council for those who are “invested in WordPress’ growth and whose business models are predicated on the growing pie of WordPress.”

“We can grow the pie far faster than we can take a share from people in the same pie,” Mullenweg said. “There’s a much bigger opportunity.” Embracing WooCommerce themes competition from companies like StudioPress, while increasing opportunities for all companies who want to compete, is one example of this idea in action. Gardner said Automattic’s greater vision for WooCommerce, following its acquisition, was one of the major factors in his decision to add WooCommerce compatibility to the StudioPress roadmap.

Mullenweg has not yet published any official plans for the possibility of a growth council, but his response to intra-WooCommerce competition seems to set a precedent for cooperation within the community with an increased focus on competing together against external threats to WordPress.

by Sarah Gooding at October 17, 2016 08:41 PM under woocommerce

WPTavern: Behind the Scenes of WordPress.com Themes with David Kennedy

sami-kThis post was contributed by guest author Sami Keijonen. Sami is a math teacher who enjoys learning about the web, accessibility, and WordPress. He juggles between freelancing, building themes at Foxland, and teaching.

I’ve been doing several WordPress Theme Shop interviews lately. The original reason for the interviews was that people kept asking me where to find well-designed WordPress themes. (Yes, I know the irony because I also create solid themes.)

The interviews have been valuable for helping users find themes they like, analyzing different business models for selling themes, and exploring the history, present, and future of WordPress themes.

This time I’m thrilled to publish an interview with David A. Kennedy from Automattic. I see him as respected Theminator (we’ll get to this title later on) who cares about accessibility.

We talked about themes on WordPress.com, Twenty Seventeen, theme user experience, and other theme-related topics.

David A. Kennedy Introduction

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Automattic.

I’m David A. Kennedy and my official title at Automattic is Theminator. That really means I do a bit of everything with themes. My primary role is to watch over premium themes on WordPress.com, making sure shops have whatever they need to be successful.

I also launch free and premium themes and contribute to Components and other internal theme projects.

In my free time, I play a lot of video games.

Coming up, I’ll be helping lead the release of Twenty Seventeen, the next default theme for WordPress.

Twenty Seventeen

What makes you excited about Twenty Seventeen?

Everything! It’s an honor to help lead the release of a default theme and have the opportunity to make something amazing with the WordPress community.

The task I most look forward to is finding the balance between pushing the boundaries of what should be done in a default theme versus fostering best practices for everyone who opens it up to learn from.

What are the biggest pain points you see when developing Twenty Seventeen?

Making the homepage setup as simple and effortless as possible for people. This isn’t just a pain point for Twenty Seventeen but also for the vast majority of themes out there.

Front Page should be done in a way that makes the most sense for users. I hope to validate that through user testing and plenty of iteration.

Core developers, themers and the community all have the responsibility to improve it. There’s never been a better time to get involved and help solve a big challenge for WordPress.

What We Look For in Themes

You just published an article what you look for in themes for WP.com. Can you summarize what kind of themes WP.com users are looking for? Is there a pattern for themes that are the most popular?

We’re looking for the best of the best. That’s a tough mark to hit for anyone, even for us when we’re designing our own themes. I recently published a post on our blog, ThemeShaper, about some of the timeless things we look for in a theme.

Beyond that, our users always want themes that just work. That means themes that keep options to a minimum and require little setup to look fantastic.

Theme User Experience

Can you offer some insight on what “theme user experience” (TUX) means?

I wrote a post about this recently on ThemeShaper.

User experience is the overall experience of a person using a product. Similarly, the TUX list is a set of best practices that will help a theme’s experience be as easy as possible for people.

We still have a long way to go toward substantially improving people’s WordPress theme experience, but it’s a start, and we encourage everyone to use the TUX list today.

Accessibility in WordPress.com

How do you ensure that all new themes are as accessible as possible on WP.com?

We pay a lot of attention to keyboard accessibility since it’s the foundation of good accessibility and has a ripple effect that touches many areas. It’s on our development checklist and it’s something we test for in every theme that launches on WordPress.com.

We also actively look for ways to improve accessibility in our starter-theme projects, like Underscores and Components. Anything that goes in there makes it to all the themes we launch.

Have you considered requiring all new themes to be accessibility-ready?

I see more possibility for an impact in every theme we release when we focus on some of the more foundational aspects of making a theme accessibility-ready. In that way, we get many more accessible themes, faster.

A lot of accessibility is having quality code, and that’s what we can ensure more easily right now. Whether a theme goes all the way to meet the accessibility-ready requirements is really the decision of the theme author.

We’ve released a handful of accessibility-ready themes recently, as have many of our theme shops on WordPress.com.

Showcase Your Coolest Themes

Showcase two of your or Automattic themes that you are most proud of. Why are they cool themes?

Picking two themes is tough, but here it goes!


Sela: Users of both WordPress.com and WordPress.org love Sela and use it for all kinds of sites, from life-coaching consultants to municipal portals. We think it’s pretty awesome for its versatility.


Pique: Pique has a modern feel from a design standpoint, plus it really changed the way we thought about setting up a home page in a WordPress theme. Its panel-driven layout helped inspire some of our other themes and a lot of experimentation.


Is there any specific workflow for how Automattic themes are built and which tools you use? Do you have designers who create layouts in Sketch or Photoshop and developers who continue with the code, etc.?

To start the code of our new themes, we use Components, a new starter-theme generator we built. The design tools depend on the theme wrangler working on the theme. Some like Sketch, some like Photoshop. Some design in the browser.

The only thing that really matters is whether the process works for the wrangler doing the work.

Wearing Many Hats

WP.com theme wranglers can wear many hats. They can be theme reviewers, designers, developers, and more. Which hats do you wear, which is your favorite, and why?

The best thing about my job is wearing those different hats. I do all those things but am definitely more comfortable as a developer rather than a designer.

My two favorite hats are the developer one and the teacher one. I like creating things, but quite honestly, I like it even more when I get to teach people what I know. More often than not, whomever I’m teaching teaches me more. That happens often through theme reviews, so the combination of building themes and reviewing them is a fun one for me.

Is WordPress.com Open for New Theme Shops?

How can new theme authors submit their commercial themes to WP.com? It used to be open submission but as far as I know it’s now closed. Any plans to change that?

We hope to open the form up some time in the future, but don’t have a concrete date. We do invite new shops to WordPress.com when we find themes we love.

Whether our marketplace is officially accepting new theme shops or not, we’re always looking for amazing, new themes. Make one, put it out there, and we’ll probably find it.

Automattic Business Strategy on Themes

How do you market themes on WP.com and what is Automattic’s business strategy on themes? Do you focus more on free themes than commercial ones?

We don’t do any special marketing on WordPress.com for themes. Lately, we’ve focused on creating more free themes because our theme shops provide plenty of awesome premium themes. Our focus this year has been finding ways to make all themes on WordPress.com as easy to use as possible.

Future of Themes

Do you see themes going in a certain direction in the future? How do you feel about Javascript-based themes for example?

We’re big fans of the REST API, JavaScript, and its future in WordPress theming. We’ve explored a bit here.

We see a future where themes become more focused on specific use cases, are as lean possible and just work upon activation. We’ve aimed to instill many of these principles in Components.

In order for theming to advance for both themers and users, more themers need to get involved in Core. So much help is needed and a lot of it doesn’t involve writing code.

Open Floor

Any tips and tricks you’d like to share?

I’ve subscribed to a few more newsletters lately that have helped with general inspiration and ideas, especially outside of the WordPress community.

My two favorite are Sidebar and CSS Weekly.

Thanks, David, for answering the questions. I’d like to add Accessibility Weekly newsletter by David himself.

If you have more questions I’m sure David is more than happy to answer them in the comments.

by Sarah Gooding at October 17, 2016 05:26 AM under wordpress.com

October 14, 2016

WPTavern: WangGuard Plugin Launches Indiegogo Campaign to Fund Development and Support


This week José Conti, creator of WangGuard, announced that he would be shutting down the service and further development. The plugin, which Conti says has nearly 20,000 users, is one of the few effective solutions for combatting WordPress, multisite, BuddyPress, and bbPress spammers and sploggers. Conti was struggling to pay for the servers and, after six years of supporting the plugin, had only received six donations from the community.

After receiving encouragement from fans and users, as well as a generous donation of servers from a hosting company, Conti launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund future support and development of the service. The goal is set at $35,000, out of which Conti will need to pay the Indiegogo commission, the Gateway commission, and taxes.

“The goal of this campaign is to cover the expenses of a full year of my work to improve WangGuard and to keep providing support for free to all users,” Conti said. “I’m not aiming to become a millionaire, just to be able to work and improve a service which has more than 20,000 active users per day with benefits for sites all around the world.”

I asked Conti if he has considered offering a commercial tier to cover the time he puts into supporting the plugin’s users, which he said averages 20 hours per week.

“I’ve thought about charging for WangGuard, but it’s something I wanted to do for the community,” Conti said. “And I was hoping that the community, seeing the benefits it gave them, would donate to me. But that has not been the case.”

Conti named WangGuard after a fierce warrior from Chinese mythology who served as a protector and guardian of the palace. (After launching the plugin he discovered the meaning in English but found that many people liked the name, so he decided not to change it.) The plugin and service blocked 710,000 sploggers its first year, 15 million the third year, and has blocked 220 million sploggers to date. Conti said its effectiveness has now reached 99%.

Conti wants to keep the plugin free for all users and plans to create a campaign every year to raise funds for WangGuard development and support.

“I have always believed that WangGuard is truly needed and everyone deserves to use it for free,” Conti said in his campaign overview. “But, on the other hand, I can’t afford to keep paying all expenses for the maintenance of the best (in my opinion) anti-splog service. I need help.”

So far the WangGuard campaign has received $1,145 towards its flexible goal of $35,000 and there are two months remaining until it closes.

Conti’s situation highlights the plight of many WordPress.org plugin developers who offer free products and receive meager donations for their efforts. Some of these plugins amass large user bases that depend on them but not all plugin authors are prepared to create a commercial operation to support their continued efforts.

“The problem is that people confuse free vs. ‘for free,'” Conti said. “We must make people aware that developers must pay for things and we have to make money. Maybe the WordPress repository needs another design that makes the importance of donations for developers more visible.

“People think that everything is free. It is, but there is an effort behind it that people should value. Maybe they are not appreciating it, because nobody told them clearly that it should have value.”

Although putting a price tag on a plugin is not necessarily an indicator of value, it allows users to demonstrate what they think it’s worth to them. Offering users a higher level of service for a price, also known as the freemium model, is the most common way plugin developers cover the costs of their time. However, not all developers who make free plugins want to run a business. Short of asking for donations or launching a fundraising campaign, is there anything a developer can do to cause people to value the time and effort put into supporting a free plugin?

by Sarah Gooding at October 14, 2016 06:47 PM under wangguard

WPTavern: Lizz Ehrenpreis Wins Kinsta’s $1,500 Travel Scholarship

Last month, Kinsta announced it would give away one $1,500 travel scholarship to pay for an individual’s airfare, lodging, and admission ticket to WordCamp US. The company has announced on Twitter that Lizz Ehrenpreis, who resides in Portland, Oregon is the winner.

I reached out to Ehrenpreis to learn what the scholarship means to her, how it impacts her life, and what she’s looking forward to at the event.

What does winning this travel scholarship mean to you?

It means so much! I have had the privilege of working with several WordPress companies as an agency employee and now as a freelancer, as a communications and marketing maven, but haven’t had a chance to attend many WordPress events.

I’ve gone to two WordCamps, but that’s it! Being able to go to this huge event, learn more about WordPress, and connect with people I’ve only thus far interacted with through the magic of the internet and to see friends and colleagues is an enormous gift.

In what ways does the scholarship change or impact your life?

Well it certainly changes my December schedule in a good way! Aside from giving me the opportunity to meet new people and see the ones I adore, it’s also a huge learning and networking opportunity that I wouldn’t otherwise get–and its incredible timing considering I just went full-time freelance and launched out on my own.

Would you have been able to attend the event without the scholarship?

No, I wouldn’t have.

Is this your first WordCamp US and what are you looking forward too most?

It is my first WordCamp US! I lived vicariously through social media and post-event recaps last year, and it looked enormously fun. I can’t wait to see who is speaking this year, and I can’t wait to expand my WordPress knowledge.

by Jeff Chandler at October 14, 2016 05:49 PM under wordcamp us

Dev Blog: Join Us Again for Global WordPress Translation Day

The WordPress Polyglots team is organizing the second Global WordPress Translation Day on November 12th. Everyone is invited to join – from anywhere in the world!

Translating is one of the easiest ways to get involved with WordPress and contribute to the project. Global WordPress Translation Day is your chance to learn more about translating WordPress, meet people from all over the world, and translate WordPress into one of more than 160 languages.

Join us on November 12th from anywhere in the world

The translation day starts on Saturday, November 12th, 2016, at 0:00 UTC and ends 24 hours later. See what time that is for you! You can join right from the start, or any time it’s convenient for you throughout the day.

What are we doing?

Local contributor days are happening all over the world, and are a great way to get involved. Check out this map to see if there’s already a local event happening near you. Can’t find one? Organize a local event!

At the same time, join the community for 24 hours of live-streamed, remote sessions in numerous languages. Sessions will cover localization, internationalization, and contributing in your language.

Who’s it for?

Whether you’re new to translating and want to learn how to translate, or an experienced translation editor building a strong team, the translation day is for you. Developers will also enjoy topics from experienced contributors, whether you’re learning about internationalization and or want to find more translators for your themes and plugins. There’s a session for everyone!

Get Involved

Joining is easy! On November 12th, in your own timezone, translate WordPress or your favorite plugins and themes into your language, while watching live sessions over the course of the day.

Want to get more involved? Sign up to organize a local event and invite your local community to translate together on November 12th. Events can be formal or completely informal – grab your laptop and a couple of friends, and head to a local coffee shop to translate for an hour or two.

Can you get involved if you only speak English?

Absolutely! Even if you only speak English, there are great sessions about internationalization that can benefit every developer. There’s also lots of English variants that need your help! For example, English is spoken and written differently in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. You can learn about these differences and why these variants are important during the sessions.

And if you’re feeling fun, try translating WordPress into emoji! Yep, we have a translation of WordPress in emoji! 🌎🌍🌏


If you have any questions, the polyglots team and the event organizers hang out in #polyglots in Slack and are happy to help! (Get an invite to Slack at chat.wordpress.org.)

Sign up to take part in the event on the official website.

by Petya Raykovska at October 14, 2016 01:33 PM under translations

WPTavern: Bitbucket Pricing Hike Increases Cost Per User by 100%


After GitHub hiked its prices last May, many users who were negatively impacted by the changes took a second look at competitors like Bitbucket and GitLab. GitHub switched from per-repository to per-user pricing, requiring organizations to purchase a seat for each user at $9 per user/month. This was a drastic increase when compared to the legacy plans that started at $25/month for 10 repositories and unlimited members.

This week Bitbucket announced new features to help customers scale in the cloud, including Bitbucket Pipeline (build, test, and deploy from Bitbucket) and Git Large Files Storage (stores large files externally to keep Git repositories lightweight). Atlassian, the company behind Bitbucket, tacked a pricing change on at the end of the post under the heading “Pay only for what you need with per user pricing.”

Bitbucket will still offer unlimited private repositories, but it is changing user pricing from a groups model (i.e. 10 for $10, 25 for $25, etc) to a per-user model based on the number of users with access to the private repository. The announcement puts an odd spin on the pricing change, masking the fact that nearly 100% of its customers will be paying more, and in many cases double what they did before:

Most companies use SaaS so they can scale easily in the cloud and pay only for what they use. In our current model, unless you have exactly 10, 25, 50 or 100 users, you can end up paying for seats you don’t use. In the new pricing model (price-per-user) you only pay for the users who are actually part of your team. The Standard plan includes the Bitbucket you love at $2/user/month. The Premium plan at $5/user/month is for teams that require granular admin controls, security and auditing. Bitbucket Cloud will still be free for small teams of up to 5 users.

Customers replied that they expect pricing increases but don’t appreciate the company making it sound like they will be saving money.

Although Bitbucket’s pricing change amounts to roughly a 100% increase for most customers, it is still significantly more affordable than GitHub’s upcoming pricing structure. Atlassian plans to put the new pricing into effect in early 2017 and promises to give customers at least 30 days notice before rolling out the new model.

by Sarah Gooding at October 14, 2016 04:23 AM under github

October 13, 2016

WPTavern: GoDaddy’s New Primer Theme Bypasses Theme Review Queue, Highlights Bottlenecks in Review Process

photo credit: pollas - ccphoto credit: pollascc

As part of its new onboarding experience for WordPress customers, GoDaddy has created a group of 10 themes to streamline the process of creating a business website. In order to host updates more effectively, the company is submitting the themes to WordPress.org and the first one is now live after less than 24 hours in the theme review queue.

Primer is the parent theme for nine upcoming child themes, which will be submitted to WordPress.org one at a time. Its controversial fast-tracking through the queue angered and frustrated WordPress theme authors who currently have theme submissions that have been waiting months for a review.

Samuel Wood, who works on WordPress.org but is not part of the Theme Review Team, explained in the ticket why he processed the theme outside of the queue.

“The special case here is that they needed to reuse an old name for assorted practical reasons, and it had to be live to allow the already created child themes to be added to the directory,” Wood said. He had to manually make the theme name available or GoDaddy would not have been able to submit it under this name. Wood had the theme reviewed first and the required changes took three weeks to finalize. After it was finished he was able to transfer it to use the Primer name.

“Timing was important because they made this one theme as a base for a dozen or so child themes, and are deploying this to all their WordPress installs, which is quite a lot,” Wood said. “We’d rather have them updating properly from our servers instead of having them create some wacky solution that updates it from theirs or from GitHub.”

The necessity for administrative intervention in this case, and the resulting frustration of other theme authors who have been waiting, once again highlights how painfully slow the theme review process can be. The long wait times discourage some authors from submitting themes to the official directory.

“I have three free themes on wp.org and one of the most demotivating things, while waiting to be approved, was the wait times,” WordPress.org theme author Tomas Petrašiūnas commented on the related post on the Advanced WordPress Facebook group. “Building a theme in a week and then waiting for a few months to even start the review process – that’s the exact reason why I’ve never bothered to get more themes approved on wp.org.”

Chris Bavota, author of the popular Arcade theme, said he “submitted three themes in February and [is] still waiting on approvals and reviews.”

The WordPress.org theme and plugin directories have historically been protected from commercial interests receiving any special treatment, but exceptions like this one made it difficult for other waiting theme authors not to see GoDaddy’s major sponsorship of WordCamps as the reason for getting a theme fast-tracked.

“As someone who has been waiting months for a simple child theme review and who has been a WordCamp sponsor, this sucks big time,” Stiofan O’Connor commented.

Incomplete Theme Submissions are Slowing the Review Queue

Samuel Wood identified the Primer theme situation as a special case and encouraged theme authors and reviewers who were frustrated to explore new ways of managing the queue. At this time there are more than 600 themes in the queue, an improvement from the 900+ that were waiting a month ago.

Key reviewer Emil Uzelac said one of the main issues that slows the process is incomplete theme submissions, which includes themes that present with more than five errors. Sometimes themes languish in the queue and by the time they are reviewed they haven’t been updated to meet newer requirements. Others include common mistakes like missing translation functions or prefixes, or including custom versions of scripts that are already included with WordPress.

To mitigate this Uzelac said the team has implemented some new policies which he says have helped reduce the queue over the past month.

“We are actually limiting submissions to one theme per author now, and if the theme has five or more distinct issues, we close it as not-approved,” Uzelac said. “It has been working very well. Once we are around 100-150 this will go much faster.” He estimates it will take a few months to get there.

The Theme Review Team is also working on improving automation for routine tasks. Due to the architectural shortcomings of the Theme Check plugin, the team is looking to PHP_CodeSniffer to create a better solution. They are working to add a new WordPress-Theme coding standard to the existing WordPress Coding Standards project, and contributors are building a list of sniffs that pertain to theme review requirements.

by Sarah Gooding at October 13, 2016 10:00 PM under wordpress theme review team

WPTavern: WPCampus Online Scheduled For January 23rd, 2017

Earlier this year, a number of people gathered in Sarasota, FL, to attend WPCampus, the first conference devoted to WordPress in higher education. As the organizers continue to accept applications to host the event in 2017, the team is also organizing a virtual conference called WPCampus Online. WPCampus Online is an all-day event planned for Monday, January 23rd, 2017.

Organizers are accepting speaker applications until Friday, November 18th at Midnight. The event will have multiple tracks and opportunities to network with each other. Rachel Carden, lead organizer, says they’re looking for a variety of session topics with a focus on ‘Why WordPress in Higher Education?’

“This is a highly valuable topic to our community that can range anywhere from case studies to how to overcome biases and pitch WordPress to your administration,” Carden said.

Carden emphasized that WPCampus Online is supplemental to the in-person event and is not a replacement, “We as a community hope that, by taking advantage of readily available streaming technology, we can make the education and development we wish to provide more accessible for our community,” she said.

“This type of event not only helps those limited by a travel budget but allows us to increase the number of educational opportunities throughout the year.”

It will be interesting to see if there are any sessions dedicated to clearing up some of the misconceptions of WordPress in higher education. According to a user survey conducted earlier this year, security, scalability, and WordPress’ reputation are misconceptions that are slowing its growth in higher education.

Pricing information for WPCampus Online was not available at the time of writing. Those interested in attending are encouraged to keep an eye on the event’s website for updates.

by Jeff Chandler at October 13, 2016 08:04 PM under wpcampus

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 251 – AMP, Translation Day 2, and the Other Side of WordPress

In this episode of WordPress Weekly, Marcus Couch and I discuss the latest stories making headlines in the WordPress community. We talk about the latest changes in the official AMP plugin and the second global WordPress translation day. We also discuss HeroPress obtaining its first financial sponsor and the not so happy side of WordPress. Last but not least, we talk about the proposal to add a CSS editor to the customizer in WordPress 4.7.

Stories Discussed:

The Deadline to Apply for the Kim Parsell Scholarship Is October 16th
WordPress.com Adds Customization for AMP Pages, Pushes Update to AMP Plugin
WP REST API Team Proposes to Merge Content Endpoints Into WordPress 4.7
Polyglots Team to Host 2nd Global WordPress Translation Day November 12
XWP Is the First Financial Sponsor of HeroPress
You Are Responsible for Your Own Awesome
The Days of Creating Child Themes for Simple CSS Changes May Soon Be Over

Plugins Picked By Marcus:

Post Worktime Logger is a tool that tracks how much time it takes to write a post.

WP Facebook Live Video displays a live video from your Facebook Page or Profile on any WordPress post or page using a simple shortcode.

Reviews Plus allows you to manage and display your customer reviews for products, services or any other type of content. Reviews Plus will replace the comments for a selected post type. Reviews Plus rating summary is fully compatible with Google’s guidance in order to show up in the results with review stars as part of the listing.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, October 19th 9:30 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 #251:

by Jeff Chandler at October 13, 2016 06:43 PM under xwp

BuddyPress: BuddyPress 2.7.0 Release Candidate 2

BuddyPress 2.7.0 Release Candidate 2 is now available for testing. Please download the 2.7.0-rc2 zip or get a copy via our Subversion repository.

This is our last chance to find any bugs that slipped through Release Candidate 1. So please test with your themes and plugins. A detailed changelog will be part of our official release notes, but you can get a quick overview by reading the post about the 2.7.0 Beta 1 release.

Let us know of any issues you find in the support forums and/or on our development tracker.

Thank you. We’re excited to release 2.7.0 next week on October 19!

by @mercime at October 13, 2016 03:03 AM under releases

October 12, 2016

WPTavern: Call for Applications to Host WordCamp Europe 2018 Will Open in December


WordCamp Europe 2017 is eight months away from kicking off in Paris, France, and the event’s core leadership team is already looking ahead to prepare a host city for 2018. Applications will open December 1. This year’s event brought 1,950 attendees to Vienna and more than 1,000 tickets were claimed for live streaming. With attendance growing every year, the venues required to host WordCamp Europe are getting bigger and require booking further in advance.

WCEU organizers are inviting conversations with teams in European cities that have an active local community and have hosted at least one WordCamp in the past.

“The idea is for them to get a better sense of what it means to host, how the WCEU team works, how much they would need to invest in terms of time, and what part of the organizing they’ll be expected to cover,” said Petya Raykovska, one of the members of the event’s leadership team. “It’s a long term commitment, too – usually we expect at least one or two members from the team that is chosen to host the year after to get involved with the current organizing team.”

Raykovska said that all teams interested in applying will be able to have as many mentoring sessions as they need until the end of November. Despite the preparation requirements of completing a budget and identifying venues with a 3,000 person minimum capacity, Raykovska believes there are many European WordPress communities that could be potential candidates.

“Poland has many cities that can host – not just Krakow – and so does Portugal,” she said. “Germany has had several nice WordCamps throughout 2015 and 2016. Serbia has had two really successful WordCamp Belgrades in the same years. Italy’s community is booming – they’ve had two WordCamps just in 2016 and they have many local meetups and loads of energy. And that’s just to name a few.”

Raykovska said that nearly every European city that has hosted a WordCamp in the past is capable of hosting WordCamp Europe if the local team is committed. She encourages any group of two or three co-organizers who are curious about the possibility of hosting to get in touch.

“You don’t need to have everything figured out,” she said. “The idea of these talks is to answer all of the questions and to bring more clarity.”

Continental WordCamps May Spread to Asia in the Next Few Years

Past events in Leiden (2013), Sofia (2014), Seville (2015), and Vienna (2016) grew out of well-established local communities that were able to provide enough volunteers on the ground to support the large numbers of attendees. WordCamp Europe is headed into its 5th year running and the success of the event has inspired WordPress enthusiasts in Southeast Asia to begin building the local communities required to host a continental WordCamp.

“Strong local communities in Asia are now helping developing communities grow because they would like to see something like WordCamp Europe happen in Asia,” Raykovska said. “It was amazing talking to the Japanese community at WordCamp Tokyo about this and seeing how experienced contributors are jumping to get people from Thailand, Cambodia, and many other SEA countries involved.”

Raykovska, who has witnessed a lot of WordPress translation-related activity in Asia, predicts that the continent’s local communities will gain more momentum in 2017. “Singapore has some great, enthusiastic, very energetic people,” she said. “India is blooming, the first WordCamp Kathmandu is coming, WordCamp Denpasar in Bali, and Indonesia as well. Thailand is going to be next.”

WordCamp Europe, which has sold out every year, has provided an excellent testing ground for demonstrating that the global WordPress community enjoys connecting at continental WordCamps. The call for applications for 2018 host city opens on December 1st and will close January 31, 2017. The current organizing team will announce their selection for the next host city at the event in Paris next June.

by Sarah Gooding at October 12, 2016 11:15 PM under WordCamp Europe

WPTavern: The Days of Creating Child Themes for Simple CSS Changes May Soon Be Over

The general advice given to users who want to make simple edits to a theme without losing them is to create a child theme. This involves creating a directory, CSS file, a functions.php file, and uploading them to the webserver via WordPress or FTP.

Users must also make sure the child theme references the parent theme correctly in order to establish the proper inheritance. This can be a complicated process for a lot of people but thanks to a new feature proposal for WordPress 4.7, the days of going through this process may soon be over.

The Benefits of Adding a CSS Editor to the Customizer

The proposal suggests adding a CSS editor to the customizer which offers a number of benefits. Users can live preview changes before they’re applied and see how they’ll appear on mobile devices. Instead of editing files directly, changes are stored in a Custom Post Type for each theme and override theme styles.

Related projects such as customize changesets (#30937) and revisions for customizer settings (#31089) will allow for future enhancements. Adding the editor will also lay the groundwork for possibly removing the Theme file editor from core at some point in the future.

Here’s an example of what the CSS editor looks like in action. Note the line numbers that can help with troubleshooting purposes.

custom-css-proposal-demo-1.gifThe editor also displays error messages for common syntax errors. For example, a missing bracket. Adding the editor is only the beginning with revisions, syntax highlighting, and in-preview selector helpers, planned for future iterations.

Special Meeting Planned to Discuss Storage Issues

In today’s WordPress developer chat, attendees discussed the pros and cons of the editor and whether or not it’s ready to be merged into WordPress 4.7. A point of contention preventing a final decision is how data is stored.

Members of the Core and Customizer Component teams will discuss this particular issue in detail in a special meeting before making a final decision to merge it.

Testing and Feedback Needed

To test this feature, you’ll need to apply the patch via Trac or the Pull Request from GitHub as it won’t land in WordPress Trunk unless the proposal is approved. The team encourages you to add custom CSS in the customizer using a variety of themes and to share your experience and feedback in the comments.

A Use Perfectly Suited for the Customizer

While I have yet to test this feature myself, it seems like the perfect use case for the customizer. While some developers have expressed concerns with the proposed implementation, others are excited to see it land in core.

Removing the need to create a child theme for small or simple changes is a huge win for users. It’s also a major win for those who provide support. Instead of giving a customer complicated directions, it can be as simple as telling them to open the customizer, click on additional CSS, paste the snippet of code, and click the save button.

by Jeff Chandler at October 12, 2016 10:36 PM under editor

Post Status: Ask Post Status: Innovation in WordPress — Draft podcast

Welcome to the Post Status Draft podcast, which you can find on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, and via RSS for your favorite podcatcher. Post Status Draft is hosted by Joe Hoyle — the CTO of Human Made — and Brian Krogsgard.

In this episode, Joe and Brian answer listener questions. You can go to poststatus.com/ask to ask questions for a future episode. We spent the second half of the show talking about innovation in WordPress and what makes big innovation difficult.


Direct Download

Topics and Links

Sponsor: Pagely

Pagely helps the world’s biggest brands scale and secure WordPress. They are the original managed host, and have been at it for seven years now. Check out Pagely today, and thanks to Pagely for being a Post Status partner.

by Katie Richards at October 12, 2016 05:24 PM under Everyone

HeroPress: Custom is not Synonymous with Expensive

Pull Quote: Working harder in the beginning always pays off in the long run.

My name is Kayla Jenkins-Medina. I’m a mother of two, a wife, a banker, a blogger and a WordPress enthusiast. Do you know what that means? It means I’m a pretty busy woman.


I live in one of the only 2 non-island countries in the Caribbean, Belize. It’s bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south and, the Caribbean Sea to the east. We are the only English speaking (as a first language) country in Central America. And naturally, we are part of the Caribbean because of our shared history in which our ancestors were mostly English and African slaves (via Jamaica). We are a country of many cultures but the best thing about Belize is that most of our people live together in harmony despite having so many different backgrounds. If you’d like to know more about Belize, please feel free to give us a little “internet search”.

A typical day in my life starts by waking up between 5:30 am and 6:30 am, depending on what day of the week it is. I get ready for my 8-5 job as a Banker, ensure that my family is fed and, also that they are ready for their day. I go to work at 7:55 am since I live so close to work. This is a recent change because I used to live an hour away via morning traffic. Living in the city allows me time to spend with my children before I head to work. I do my “bankly” duties from 8-12, go home for a quick lunch and feed my 8-month-old. If I’m lucky, I get a glimpse of my 11-year-old leaving to go back to school after his lunch. I get to spend some time with my husband and baby and then I head back to work for another 4 hours.

After work, I spend some time with the family, put the baby to bed and then maybe I get some time to read, watch a show, write a post or thinker with a current project. Sometimes, I spend hours researching and figuring a way to get something to work the way I want it but I’m persistent. Then I finally go to bed, get up and do it all again.

It’s stressful sometimes, but I enjoy learning new things in WordPress, and I really don’t see it as working at all. Although, it will someday, hopefully, lead to actual work.


I am not new to blogging.

I had a blog, years ago, on Blogger, but I got frustrated with the “lack” of functionality. I like to make things my own and, it was a bit annoying not being able to do that with my blog. I used to blog about life. Nothing in particular; just about things that I felt like sharing. I love to write. It’s always been one of my passions next to reading, of course. I moved my blog to WordPress.com, which is awesome because it has a great community and more features but again I didn’t have as much control over things I wanted. At the time, I couldn’t afford self-hosting on WordPress.org and I didn’t know where to start, even if I did.

I eventually gave up on that blog and didn’t blog for a few years.

It was actually my husband who got me into the idea of blogging again. Not because he suggested it or anything but, because he was featured as a guest blogger on a couple websites. He also gave me my first Kindle as a birthday gift, the first year we moved in together. He knew how much I loved to read but that it’s hard and expensive to get books in Belize. These two things are the root of my current blogging experience and what lead me to WordPress.

Actually though, many years had passed and I forgot about WordPress (Gasp! How could I??). This was 2014 and I had recently jumped on the Evernote bandwagon and they introduced me to Postach.io. It was a bit like blogger, being one template file and all, but what I liked was that I could create my posts in my Evernote and then publish them straight from there. Since I was in love with Evernote, this seemed magical at the time. I started my book review blog but didn’t seriously think about doing it long term.

After a few posts I realised that my site just looked generic. And, inherently I’m still the same person.

I love to make things my own.

At the time, I didn’t want to make an investment into hosting and a domain name so I moved to WordPress.com which is easy to then go full WordPress.org. I didn’t know how much fun I would have tweaking my own site yet, but in late 2014, I finally made the switch to .org and I don’t plan on looking back.


I didn’t want to make a huge investment, not knowing if I would continue with the blog in the long run, so I found one of the cheapest plans, $12.01USD with a free domain. At first, all the changes to my blog were done with the use of plugins. Book blogging is a huge community out there and lots of these (mostly) ladies refer you to other blogs where they learned to do this or that to tweak their site. I eventually found a few good sites where the blogger did web design and / or development with WordPress.

I followed some of the tips I found for tweaking my site on my own and fell in love with the idea of being able to change my site on my own. I was still scared to make big changes, and my hosting provider was a bit complicated. The only way to make changes was via FTP which I found complicated at the time.

My interest in programming didn’t start with WordPress though. At work, several years ago, I was asked to create a log for tracking of our credit application and approval process. But what they really needed was a database. After thinking about it, Access was the best choice since everyone had it installed on their computers already. If I’d known more I would have used VB.net but, that’s another story. The database was much more complicated than I first envisioned and due to my lack of knowledge, I ended up creating several front-ends to avoid coding.

In the long run this was a terrible idea. It was hard to maintain. Every change had to do be done on 10 different front-ends. I didn’t want people to go looking all over for their options but I didn’t want to do the coding that filtered out only what they needed to see. As the needs of the database grew, I got books and learnt as much about Access as I could. I joined online forums to learn more about VBA and eventually I did a single front end for my database. Over the years I have created and managed several other in-house databases for my company. I can pretty much say that I’m an Access expert by now. I only achieved that by taking a leap into deep waters.

Through this experience, I learned that working harder in the beginning pays off in the long run. I learnt that planning and initial set up of tables are SUPER important to how your database will work in the future and how easier it will be to improve on.

In the years since that first database, I’ve come a long way in VBA development. I’m in charge of Quality Control and Business Process Management in my department and I try to get my new staff to use Access, since we already pay for it anyway, and because it, like WordPress, is super easy to learn.

Since moving to self-hosted, I have taken online courses in HTML, CSS, R, Python and JavaScript. To me, if you know one programming language, the concepts are the same, you only need to learn the functions used in the other language. I’ve also switched my hosting provider to one with super great customer service, but they also recognise that not all customers have tons of money for hosting. They offer tons of options and tools. Now whenever I want to change something on my blog I don’t automatically look for a plugin instead, I scour the WordPress forum and Codex and I’ll more than likely find it there. I even built a few plugins for my sites. And I’m no longer afraid to use FTP/SFTP. In fact, it’s now my go-to option for editing my site files. Sure, I broke my site a couple times, but I learnt that in learning to walk, sometimes we fall.


A while back, I decided to take an online course in building my own WordPress themes but that didn’t work out and I had to stop the classes. My current mission is to go at it alone, in my own time. Of course, learning on your own doesn’t mean 100% on your own. The WordPress Codex has a whole section on theme development. I’ve built a few websites from scratch, for fun, to practice the HTML, CSS and JavaScript that I learnt so I am pretty confident in that part. My new challenge is expanding my knowledge of PHP so that I can really capitalise on my WordPress development, since WordPress is database driven.

A few months ago, I added a sub-domain, kayla.thereviewcourt.com, to my current domain, thereviewcourt.com, where I’m sharing tips on getting started with WordPress.org. I also plan to give tips on CSS, HTML, and other web related coding tips. And, who knows, I might expand from there. I also designed the theme for this site myself, using a starter theme called underscores.

I truly feel that WordPress is for everyone.

My ultimate goal, though, is to be known for my ability to help others achieve the web presence that they want and deserve. I want to show them that they don’t need to be intimidated by words like “coding” and “programming”. Or think that “custom” is synonymous with “expensive”. Although, depending on how custom you want a site to be, it can get expensive. I want Belizeans to know that if they are willing to learn a little and do some work, they too can get the website that they want.

The post Custom is not Synonymous with Expensive appeared first on HeroPress.

by Kayla Jenkins-Medina at October 12, 2016 12:00 PM

WPTavern: Take the 2016 Git User’s Survey


The 2016 edition of the Git User’s Survey is open and there is a little more than a week remaining before it closes on October 20. Jakub Narębski, one of the main contributors to the gitweb subsystem and author of Mastering Git, posted the survey on behalf of the Git development community. Narębski has created and analyzed the Git User’s Surveys dating back to 2007, but it has been four years since the last one was announced.

The 2016 survey aims to identify who is using Git, how they are using it, and what could be improved. This edition introduces some new questions on topics such as gender and occupation, to gauge the diversity of the Git community. Narębski said he was inspired by the Stack Overflow Developer Survey when creating the question on occupation. He wanted to determine if different occupations lead to different ways of using Git and if there are some that are not well served by Git.

Narębski repeats questions from previous years to determine users’ favorite tools, how they publish/propagate their changes, and what Git versions and operating systems they are using. He said he is particularly interested in hearing from users of Git on Windows regarding the features they use and their particular “pain points.”

Results of the survey will be published to the Git Wiki and will include both the raw data and Narębski’s analysis. In 2012 the survey received more than 6,000 responses. At that time, 54% of respondents used Git for open source development (also public domain, and published and unlicensed). As open source software has rapidly become more mainstream and commonly used at large enterprises, responses to the 2016 Git user’s survey may reveal some dramatic changes when comparing results from 2012.

Git is one of the most important tools for supporting the world’s digital infrastructure and it is the lifeblood of many open source projects. If you want to help the Git development community gain a better understanding of your needs, take a few minutes to fill out this 50-question survey. All of the question are optional and those who have cookies enabled can submit it as partially complete and return to submit the remaining answers at a later time.

by Sarah Gooding at October 12, 2016 03:01 AM under git

October 11, 2016

WPTavern: You Are Responsible for Your Own Awesome

HeroPress is a wonderful site where each week, someone from the community publishes an essay that describes how WordPress changed their life, made them a better person, or gave them a new perspective. Most of the stories have a happy ending and if you’re a regular reader of the site, it’s easy to assume that the WordPress ecosystem is one big happy place. But it’s not and Topher DeRosia explains why in a post titled, The Other Side of WordPress.

In the post, DeRosia reminds us that for a lot of people, the stories don’t always end on a happy note, “Sure, people talk about some hard things sometimes, but it always ends with everything being better and awesome and happy,” DeRosia said.

“I’d like to clarify that it’s not always like that. Sometimes it ends in tears, frustration, and broken relationships. Ever since the beginning of this project I’ve been concerned that someone will read this site and think our community is perfect and the software will save them.”

WordPress is a bunch of code that doesn’t do anything on its own. It’s the people who have success stories, not the software, “The stories on HeroPress are about people,” he said. “They’re about hard work, late nights, reaching out, asking for help, and giving help. They’re about pain, struggle, growth, patience, and love. All of those things summed up are life.

“If you want to have a WordPress success story, and unleash the Hero that is in you, in every one of us, then you must do so much more than download a piece of software.

“WordPress is an excellent tool, and comes with a generally positive community, but never forget that you’re responsible for your own awesome.”

I highly encourage you to read DeRosia’s post at least once, especially the section where he gives advice on how to deal with the ugly side of the community. I also encourage you to read this comment from Saurabh Shukla that is filled with wisdom and provides additional food for thought.

by Jeff Chandler at October 11, 2016 07:20 PM under stories

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October 22, 2016 08:30 AM
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