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June 30, 2015

Matt: Loyalists vs Mercenaries

Finally, think about being somewhere other than the Bay Area or NYC. Yes, they are great places to start companies, find talent, and get investment. But they are also places where others start companies, get investment, and find your talent. It’s a ratrace, a treadmill, and it’s grueling. If you can avoid it, you owe it to yourself to try.

Fred Wilson on Loyalists vs Mercenaries in companies. I’m so happy to see the non-SF/NYC company idea continue to pick up steam, and I think its natural conclusion is distributed work as Automattic does. Like any relationship, I think the most rewarding employee/employer relationships are the ones that grow over decades, not just years.

by Matt at June 30, 2015 06:00 AM under Asides

WPTavern: The Recommended Hosting Page on WordPress.org Starts Over From Scratch

One of the most difficult tasks for new WordPress users is choosing a good webhost. The process can involve getting recommendations from friends, searching Google for reviews, and taking advantage of trial offers. Since 2005, WordPress.org has had a recommended hosts page featuring companies that meet certain criteria.

WordPress.org Recommended Host Page in 2005WordPress.org Recommended Host Page in 2005

Over the years, new companies would rarely be added to the page. For several years, Bluehost, DreamHost, and Laughing Squid were the only companies listed.

Recommend Hosts Page in 2014Recommend Hosts Page in 2014

I’ve spoken to a number of people in the webhosting industry in the last two years and the general consensus is that, to get on the list, you need to pay Matt Mullenweg a lot of money. Bluehost is often used as an example as they’re owned by Endurance International Group who invested in Automattic in 2014. Bluehost has been on the list since 2005, long before any investment took place.

A Fresh Start to The Recommended Hosts Page

Currently, Bluehost is the only recommended webhost on the page because it’s going through a revamp. Near the bottom of the page is a paragraph that admits a lot has changed in the industry over the years.

Much has changed in the hosting world since this page was originally set up. There are now many types of dedicated and cloud accounts that are as easy as shared hosting was a generation ago, and shared and managed hosts have evolved significantly to become more tailored to WordPress. WordPress is often now the most commonly used application on major web hosts!

I asked Mullenweg if hosts that were on the page before are eligible to be re-added, “Of course, anyone is up for consideration and Bluehost is up for being removed.”

The WordPress.org team is starting over from scratch and as such, webhosting companies are asked to complete the following survey by July 31st.

First Page of The SurveyFirst Page of The Survey

The survey is 40 questions long and includes questions such as:

  • What’s the WordPress-specific landing page you’d want /hosting to point to?
  • What type of customers do you target?
  • Please describe your technology stack, and why you like it.
  • Is 100% of the code included or promoted with your WordPress install GPL or compatible?

It may seem like a tedious process, but those I’ve spoken too in the past affiliated with companies once on the list say it generates thousands to millions of dollars in signups. This should motivate companies to complete the survey accurately. Even if a company is not listed on the page, those who fill out the survey will be giving WordPress.org a lot of information that may come in handy for other uses.

It’s About Time

The recommended hosting page is long overdue for a revamp. There are companies such as, A2 Hosting, Pagely, WP Engine, InMotion Hosting, and countless others that are doing a great job hosting large and small WordPress sites. Perhaps it’s time they become the ones recommended instead of the standard three. If you own or operate a webhosting company with an emphasis on WordPress, fill out the survey, as it’s the best chance you have to getting on the recommended hosts page.

by Jeff Chandler at June 30, 2015 03:52 AM under wordpress hosting

June 29, 2015

WPTavern: VaultPress Comes Out on Top in Recent Survey of WordPress Backup Tools

Vault Featured Imagephoto credit: Code(license)

Steven Gliebe asked 21 WordPress professionals what they use to generate backups for their personal sites and published the results on the Pro Plugin Directory blog. The results are split into two groups of people – writers and developers.

All of the writers mentioned VaultPress as their go-to backup solution. Some of the developers use VaultPress but most rely on backups generated by their webhost in addition to a plugin or custom strategy. BackupBuddy by iThemes ended up with the second most mentions.

Although WP Migrate DB Pro is used primarily to migrate WordPress sites, Gilbert Pellegrom of Dev7studios, uses it to backup his databases and user uploads with a setup similar to this.

Bill Robbins of Organized Themes, says WPEngine provides a prompt reminding users to generate a full backup before upgrading. This sounds like a great idea and is something I think more hosts should look into doing. Daniel Espinoza of Shop Plugins, uses a backup strategy that allows him to own his data.

To learn why these 21 people use the backup strategies that they do, I encourage you to read the full article. What plugins and services do you use to backup your sites?

by Jeff Chandler at June 29, 2015 10:40 PM under vaultpress

WPTavern: Theme Hybrid Experiments with Free Signups for Club Membership

photo credit: 16th st - (license)photo credit: 16th st(license)

Justin Tadlock, creator of Theme Hybrid, announced today that the seven year old theme club is experimenting with a radical change in club pricing. Club membership is now free for anyone who wants to sign up. Although Theme Hybrid’s plugins and themes have always been free, standard club membership (which includes access to the support forums), was previously $25/year.

In a post titled “Steering the Ship Back Home,” Tadlock explains his original purpose for the club. Theme Hybrid entered the WordPress theme market with free, open source products back in the day when very few commercial theme sellers were fully adopting the GPL.

“When I first laid the groundwork for Theme Hybrid, or Project M as it was originally called, seven awesome years ago, the idea was to face off against ‘premium’ theme authors,” he said. “I wanted to provide a free alternative to the marketplace and show that it could work.”

Tadlock described how, overall, the Theme Hybrid experience has been positive, but during the past year he faced creative blocks, burnout, and a lack of focus. As part of regaining motivation, he decided to refocus Theme Hybrid back to its radical roots.

“I always knew I wanted to provide awesome free/$free WordPress themes and plugins,” he said. “However, $free doesn’t exactly put food on the table. While seven years has been a good run, I don’t think I ever found the right balance between philosophy and practical concerns.”

As part of a fresh start, Tadlock is opening up his club membership in an effort to expand the community that has kept the site going over the years. In addition to the free memberships, which provide access to the forums, he is also slashing prices on the tiered memberships.

“Today, I have at least a couple of months of wiggle room to try something new while figuring out the direction I want to take the business aspect of this site,” Tadlock said.

Theme Hybrid’s radical shift in club pricing is another example of WordPress businesses giving away more for free, whether it be commercial products on GitHub, a suite of e-commerce themes, or live training events.

Theme Hybrid has always erred on the side of providing free products and tutorials for the community, as opposed to locking them up. Will giving away more for free translate into a higher number of people willing to pay for support? This question is at the core of the freemium business model, the boundaries of which Tadlock has been willing to push for the past seven years.

“While trying new things is certainly frightening, I’m excited about some of the prospects,” he said.

by Sarah Gooding at June 29, 2015 09:45 PM under theme hybrid

WPTavern: Vienna, Austria to Host WordCamp Europe 2016

photo credit: RubenSutiloFotophoto credit: RubenSutiloFoto

The local WordPress community in Seville welcomed a diverse group of attendees to WordCamp Europe 2015 over the weekend. WordPress enthusiasts and professionals from Europe and beyond made strategic connections, contributed, found jobs and employees, and enjoyed presentations from a selection of world class speakers.

At the conclusion of the WordCamp, organizers announced that the 2016 event will be held in Vienna, Austria, June 24 – 26. Applications for the host city were opened in March and closed at the end of April.

The WordCamp Europe organization team received strong applications from the WordPress communities in Vienna, Bratislava, and Berlin. Some of the most important criteria in the selection process included organizer experience, location, venue, contributor day, and budget.

Berlin was ruled out due to lack of experience among the organizers.

“The reason that we ruled out Berlin is that there hasn’t yet been a WordCamp in Berlin and we felt that the team needed more WordCamp organizing experience,” Siobhan McKeown said in the official announcement. “We’d love to see a WordCamp Berlin in the future – such a wonderful city needs a wonderful WordCamp.”

Although Berlin has actually hosted three WordCamps in the past, including WordCamp Germany 2010, WordCamps Berlin 2012 and 2013, other more weighty factors pushed Bratislava and Vienna ahead as potential host cities.

Bratislava brought a strong and diverse local team to the table, but Vienna ultimately surpassed the other applicants when it came down to logistics.

“In the end, the venue, location, and available dates for the WordCamp won out,” McKeown said. “We loved the Bratislava application, but none of the venues were completely suitable for our event.

“The venue in Vienna, however, was perfect. We also have 100% confidence in the Vienna local team: they organized a successful WordCamp Vienna in 2015, and Paolo Belcastro, the lead applicant for WordCamp Europe 2016, has been involved in WordCamp Europe for the past three years. This means that the local team will have a leader with a ton of WCEU experience.”

With a successful WordCamp Europe 2015 in the bag, the organization team will now set its sights on Vienna and continue its year round planning efforts. Speaker selection usually begins five or six months in advance for this event, so those planning to apply have plenty of time to prepare.

by Sarah Gooding at June 29, 2015 05:54 PM under WordCamp Europe

Matt: Obama Delivers Eulogy

 

by Matt at June 29, 2015 06:48 AM under Asides

Alex King: More micro-blogging workflows

Manton writes about a few workflows here the follows it up with the post I’ve linked to.

FWIW I’ve posted to my own site first then passed stuff along to Twitter and Facebook since we released the Social plugin for WordPress back in 2011. Each of my posts has a link to its counterpart on Twitter and Facebook, and reactions on those networks are brought back in as comments on this site. Special handling is done to thread comments based on Twitter’s reply_to property, as well as a retweets, etc. More details about how this works can be found in the blog post I wrote back in January on the Crowd Favorite blog.

When I’m mobile, I’ve found that using the WordPress admin web interface is better for my needs than the iOS app. Mainly because of additional post meta that I utilize on this site.

#

by Alex at June 29, 2015 01:53 AM under WordPress

June 28, 2015

Matt: Fight Against Uber

The Parisian taxi drivers are partly protesting against economic regulations in cities where taxi drivers have to pay for expensive medallions while Uber drivers do not. But, in a larger sense, they’re actually protesting against our increased impatience.

Om Malik: The Long History of the Fight Against Uber.

by Matt at June 28, 2015 12:46 AM under Asides

June 27, 2015

Post Status: Announcing: WordCamp Europe 2016

The WordCamp Europe 2015 conference’s second day is now closing, and it’s been a weekend full of fantastic and diverse content. This was the 3rd, of a now annual, pan-European WordCamp and every year it gets better.

That’s a pretty exciting prospect, as we receive the announcement of next year’s WordCamp Europe 2016 which will take place in Vienna, Austria, 24-26 June 2016.

On larger WordCamps

As described on WordCamp Central:

WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.

Generally speaking, WordCamps are based around a local community in a specific city. WordCamp Europe is one of two annual WordCamps that span a larger region. The other is WordCamp San Francisco, which is widely considered to be “the mother ship”, and will likely evolve into WordCamp US in its next incarnation.

This new approach of embracing larger WordCamps seems to me to be a sign of a maturing community and project. The content of these WordCamps also seems to reflect this maturation, as topics tend to be less technical and more high level. Covering issues like ethics and cross-community relations.

Other regions

As individual regions begin to reach similar levels of maturity, the move toward these larger WordCamps is a natural progression. Earlier this year at WordCamp Brisbane in Australia, there were a number of attendees from the wider Asia Pacific region. The same will be true of WordCamp Kansai in July this year with attendees from outside of Japan travelling to attend and speak.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the not-too-distant-future, we’ll also see a pan-Asia Pacific WordCamp being organised. Particularly when you look at the size of WordCamps already in places like Tokyo, with attendance approaching 1500 people.

Moving forward

The European community has set a wonderful example of how a large, roaming, pan-regional WordCamp can and does work. Embraced by the community, and growing every year, with attendance from all over the world.

I’m very much looking forward to WordCamp Europe 2016 in Vienna, Austria, as we all continue to grow as a community and push WordPress together. Hope to see you there!

Special thanks to Marcel Schmitz for the featured image.

by Japh at June 27, 2015 04:14 PM under Everyone

Matt: Celebrating 10 Years

We did an official ten year post and video.

by Matt at June 27, 2015 03:58 AM under Asides

June 26, 2015

WPTavern: Get WordPress Notifications as a Daily or Weekly Digest

photo credit: Jan Vašekphoto credit: Jan Vašek

One of the most persistent underlying causes of stress in the digital age is the feeling of drowning in communication. Nearly every Monday on Twitter begins with a litany of complaints from friends about the sheer volume of email that is waiting to be answered. Notifications for all the apps that were supposed to make our lives easier have piled up and the pressure to be “always on” suffocates any spark of creative thinking.

If you want to keep a clean inbox, you have to be very intentional about managing and consolidating as many email notifications as possible. Fortunately for WordPress site owners there’s a new plugin that will help keep your website from becoming part of the problem.

Pascal Birchler and the folks at required+ have just released Digest Notifications, a plugin that aggregates your notifications into one manageable digest. Its settings panel allows you to set the frequency to either daily or weekly at a set time of day. This allows users to limit these notifications to work hours, if so desired.

digest-settings

The digest consolidates the following events into one email:

  • New Core Updates
  • New comments that need to be moderated (depending on your settings under ‘Settings’ -> ‘Discussion’)
  • New user sign-ups
  • Password resets by users

Here’s what an example digest email might look like:

digest-email

The plugin is also extensible and includes a number of well documented hooks that developers can use to add to the digest queue and modify the email message.

Depending on how active your site is, the plugin may not make a huge dent in your email load but it can help to keep WordPress from becoming part of your email problem. If you have an active blog with a global readership, then you are likely getting dozens of comment moderation emails throughout the day and night. New user signups can also quickly flood your inbox during times of peak activity.

Not all notifications are so imperative that you need to receive them by email immediately but you probably don’t want to turn them off entirely either. This plugin offers you a happy medium. If you’re struggling to stay afloat in your inbox and WordPress-generated emails are piling up, install Digest Notifications to stay in the loop while keeping emails to a minimum.

by Sarah Gooding at June 26, 2015 09:54 PM under wordpress notifications

WPTavern: Automattic Celebrates 10th Anniversary

photo credit: Peter Slutskyphoto credit: Peter Slutsky

Automattic is celebrating its 10th year in business this week. WordPress.com opened its doors in the summer of 2005 and is now closing in on a globally distributed team of 400 employees. Against all odds, CEO Matt Mullenweg, a college dropout with no initial startup funding, built a company that is now valued at $1.2 billion dollars, while successfully maintaining the free, open source WordPress project alongside it.

Mullenweg took to his blog to reminisce about hiring employee #1 in the early days of the company.

When you think about it, Donncha was incredibly brave. WordPress had far less than 1% market share. I hadn’t joined Automattic yet — I was still working for CNET, paying Donncha with my salary, savings, and credit cards. He was leaving a Real Job for a Barely a Job; I hardly knew how to wire money to an international account to pay him.

Fast forward ten years and Automattic has grown to become the most successful WordPress-based business on the books, without compromising its open source principles or users’ freedoms.

It also seemed like the decks were stacked against us. We were going to try and build an open source business model different from what we had seen before, a hybrid of a downloadable open source project combined with a web service that ran the exact same software. Up to that point companies built on open source projects had usually suffocated the communities that spawned them.

The open source community continues to thrive, thanks in part to the many contributions from Automattic.

With 17 acquisitions under its belt, including the recent WooCommerce deal, Automattic has judiciously added to its numbers and expanded its horizons to include a number of non-WordPress technologies. Mullenweg strives to maintain a spirit of experimentation at the company, rather than simply focusing on their successful products.

WordPress.com was recently recognized in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Who Has Your Back report, for achieving a perfect score in protecting users’ rights against government requests. The company’s unwavering commitment to push back against unlawful censorship is one of the things that sets it apart from others and helps to further democratize publishing across the globe.

As of 2015, WordPress.com stats show 137 languages have been used to publish more than 2.5 billion posts. Automattic is digging in its heels, as WordPress’ global marketshare continues to grow beyond 24%. For Mullenweg, these past 10 years are just the beginning:

“We’re building something that gives people all over the world a voice and that people can trust to be thriving a century from now, and that’s huge.”

by Sarah Gooding at June 26, 2015 07:35 PM under automattic

WPTavern: Matt Mullenweg Appoints Nikolay Bachiyski as Security Czar for the WordPress Project

While on stage at WordCamp Europe answering a question related to WordPress’ security track record, Matt Mullenweg named Nikolay Bachiyski as the first Security Czar for the WordPress project.

Bachiyski is employed by Automattic and has been a member of the WordPress community for more than 10 years. Over that time period, he’s established trust with a number of people in and outside of the WordPress ecosystem. The role allows Bachiyski to focus on communication and triage security reports.

Mullenweg admitted on stage that there have been communication issues in the past. He didn’t specify any examples, but one that comes to mind is WordPress 4.2.1.

In April 2015, security researcher Jouko Pynnönen, published details of a security vulnerability in WordPress hours before the team released a patch. He tried contacting the WordPress security team using a variety of channels, all of which came up empty.

WordPress has refused all communication attempts about our ongoing security vulnerability cases since November 2014. We have tried to reach them by email, via the national authority (CERT-FI), and via HackerOne. No answer of any kind has been received since November 20, 2014.

According to our knowledge, their security response team have also refused to respond to the Finnish communications regulatory authority who has tried to coordinate resolving the issues we have reported, and to staff of HackerOne, which has tried to clarify the status our open bug tickets.

No one from the WordPress security team officially announced why or how the breakdown in communication occurred. Hopefully, with Bachiyski as Security Czar for the WordPress project, breakdowns in communication like these decrease or disappear entirely.

by Jeff Chandler at June 26, 2015 06:04 PM under security

WPTavern: Help Improve bbPress by Taking the 2015 User Survey

If you use bbPress, it’s time to voice your opinions and let the development team know what you think by taking the 2015 bbPress user survey. It has 25 questions that determine skill level, use cases, and provides opportunities to give feedback.

2015 bbPress Survey Questions2015 bbPress Survey Questions

In 2014, survey results indicated users are disappointed with a lack of features. It wouldn’t surprise me if this tops the survey again as its biggest weakness.

Between May 2014 and June 2015, there have been four versions of bbPress released. All of them contain bug fixes, security patches, or a combination of the two. New features are few and far between. You have to go back to November 2013 when bbPress 2.5 was released to find a version that adds new user facing features.

Hopefully, this years results show improvements in some of the areas considered weaknesses in 2014. If you use bbPress or have in the past, please take the survey. The more people who participate, the more data the team will have that will help influence future decisions.

by Jeff Chandler at June 26, 2015 02:26 AM under survey

WPTavern: WP TogetherJS Plugin Adds Real Time Collaboration to WordPress

If you’re collaborating with colleagues on a design or trying to show a client a few changes you’ve been adding to their website, the easiest way to get on the same page is with some form of screen sharing software. However, many of these tools are a pain to hook up and sometimes they require both parties to have accounts with the service.

WP TogetherJS is quite possibly the most simple real time collaboration plugin I’ve ever tried with WordPress. It seamlessly integrates Mozilla’s free, open source TogetherJS library to add real time collaboration tools to any website.

togetherjs-enable

TogetherJS’ basic features include:

  • Collaborative browsing
  • Shared cursors
  • Text chat
  • Audio chat via WebRTC
  • Real Time Content Sync

WP TogetherJS has no options to configure. After installing it, you can be collaborating with a visitor in under a minute. TogetherJS can be enabled with one click from the WordPress admin bar. The person invited to the collaboration session simply visits the unique TogetherJS URL – there are no accounts to sign up for or hoops to jump through.

start-togetherjs

Once the other person opens the link, you’ll be able to see each other’s mouse/cursor position and clicks while tracking each other’s browsing. You can even invite multiple visitors to participate in the session.

togetherjs-example

Please note that this plugin is not useful for collaborative content creation. You’re still going to run into WordPress’ post locking feature, implemented in 3.6 using the Heartbeat API, if you attempt to edit a post together. WordPress’ publishing tools cater to single author publishing workflows, and the WP TogetherJS wasn’t designed to overcome this.

post-locking

The plugin is more useful for quick training sessions, live support, client meetings, and any situation where you need a quick way to share screens during a conversation. If you want to get a better idea of how it works, the TogetherJS website has a number of live demos you can launch near the bottom of the page.

WP TogetherJS was created by software developer Ryan Nielson and is a super lightweight plugin – it simply enqueues the Together.js script from Mozilla. If you need a quick way to collaborate with a visitor, download WP TogetherJS from the WordPress.org plugin directory.

by Sarah Gooding at June 26, 2015 01:50 AM under collaboration

Matt: WCEU Seville

I’ll be doing a town hall Q&A at WordCamp Europe in Seville tomorrow (Friday) around 2 PM. I’m looking forward to catching up with the WordPress community from around Europe and the world, especially ma.tt readers!

by Matt at June 26, 2015 12:40 AM under Asides

June 25, 2015

WPTavern: Title Capitalization for WordPress Adds Convenience to the Writing Process

If you’re a writer, keeping up with all the rules in the English language is tough. One rule I struggle with is properly capitalizing words in post titles and headings. Thankfully, there’s a plugin that takes care of this called Title Capitalization For WordPress developed by Tom McFarlin.

When activated, post titles and content are processed whenever a post is saved as a draft, published, or updated. The rules applied are based on a title case script by John Gruber. The post title and content is saved to the database overwriting anything that was previously written. Changes apply to new posts however, you can update previously published posts by editing them.

The first image shows a post title and content headings with incorrect capitalization. The second image shows the changes that take place after I save the draft.

Before CapitalizationBefore Capitalization After CapitalizationAfter Capitalization

McFarlin recently released version 1.1.3 which fixes two issues related to Markdown. I tested the latest release on WordPress 4.2.2 and it works flawlessly. One suggestion I have is to allow the rules to be applied on a per user basis.

Title capitalization for WordPress is available for free on GitHub and supports Andy Fragen’s GitHub Updater. Pull requests, issues, and feature requests are welcome.

by Jeff Chandler at June 25, 2015 08:50 PM under tom mcfarlin

WPTavern: Kayosey Kickstarter Campaign Seeks $7K in Funding for Fully Accessible WordPress Parent Theme

kayosey-logo

Many influential WordPress projects, such as Aesop Story Engine, PodsCamp, and WordPress Post Forking, found their beginnings and/or second winds on Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, or another crowdfunding platform. A successful campaign funded by passionate supporters can make an idea into reality or bring fresh momentum for another round of development.

Kayosey is the latest community project seeking funding for a good cause – the creation of the first 100% accessible theme for WordPress. The four-person team behind the Kickstarter campaign is led by WordPress developer Rafa Poveda, an organizer for WordCamp Sevilla and WordCamp Europe 2015. They aim to raise $6,770 to fund the development of the first AAA, fully-accessible and fully-responsive theme/framework for WordPress.

If successfully funded, Kayosey will be released as a free theme, 100% GPL v2 or later, and will be submitted to the official WordPress Theme Directory for anyone to use. The theme’s creators believe that it has the potential to make a major impact on the overall accessibility of the web. Poveda summarized the goal for the campaign:

Our goal is to create the first fully accessible, upgradeable and adaptable to all devices theme for WordPress. Today, 24% of the web works with WordPress, being the most used CMS by developers. An accessible parent theme for WordPress will virtually make 1/4 of the web accessible.

Although the existence of the an accessible parent theme is not likely to translate directly into 1/4 of the web becoming more accessible, it would provide a solid starting place for developers who are interested in producing accessible themes. The vast majority of WordPress themes lag in meeting accessibility guidelines and the official directory doesn’t have much of a selection listed under the accessibility-ready tag.

Poveda and his team plan to work closely with WordPress’ Accessibility Team and will propose changes to core as necessary to help make WordPress 100% accessible. They will be using the WAI (The Web Access Initiative) as a reference manual. The project will be documented publicly on GitLab and GitHub to keep supporters up to date.

The Kayosey team outlined a few stretch goals beyond the € 6,000 they are hoping to raise, which would enable the team to expand the parent theme into a framework and eventually add WooCommerce compatibility:

  • € 6,000 – GOAL! We will make a 100%-a11y WordPress parent theme!
  • € 12,000 – More than a theme – We will create Kayosey Framework, the first accessible framework, full of options to make the development easier.
  • € 20,000 – WooCommerce compatibility! Everyone should be able to make a shop with WordPress without external help.

So far, the Kayosey project has reached 12% of the $6,770 goal. The campaign has one month remaining before the fundraising deadline.

by Sarah Gooding at June 25, 2015 08:27 PM under accessibility

Post Status: Growth in the French community

After the first WordCamp in France in 2008, organizer Xavier Borderie, co-founder of the WordPress Francophone Association and one of the principal contributors to the French translation of WordPress, wrote, “We’re calling it ‘WordCamp Paris’ and not ‘WordCamp France’ because we’re not so blind as to think that Paris is the only city that counts. I can’t wait to see people launch WordCamps in their own cities!”

It would take six years for that to happen, but in the last eight months, three new WordPress events have popped up in different cities in France, including one official WordCamp and two independent conferences.

The first one on the scene was WP Tech Nantes, a one-day, one-track event held in late November 2014, focused on development. They had 140 attendees for their first year and aim to double attendance in 2015. Although WP Tech draws from the growing WordPress community in Nantes, there are whispers of it going on the road.

Next up was WordCamp Lyon, now the second official WordCamp in France, which took place June 5th. True to Lyonnais culture, the event was organized on a massive barge, with 230 participants in all. A one-day event with two tracks, it was amazing to see both a high percentage of women among attendees (30% according to organizers) and a real diversity of backgrounds. There were developers, designers, bloggers, marketing folk, and even a local Drupal community leader came out to join us and compare notes.

The following day, in the sunny coastal town of Biarritz in France’s Basque region, was WPMX Day. The name comes from the local Meetup group and association, WordPress Meet and Exchange, founded in 2013. The close proximity to the Lyon event was a shame, but there was still a nice turnout with 110 attendees, and top-notch speakers such as Remi Corson (WooThemes, now Automattic), and Stephanie Walter, known outside the WordPress community for her work in web and mobile UI.

Organizers of these new events have plans to continue the tradition, giving France a total of four annual WordPress conferences. There has also been talk of starting up more topic-focused events like WP Tech, so we may soon see a French Pressnomics among others.

France WordPress Map

I’ve been working on and off with WordPress since 2007, and full time since 2011, but it wasn’t until January of 2013 that I visited my first WordCamp. The experience literally changed my life. A hardened freelancer, it gave me a taste of what it was to get out there, to share, and exchange with people about a subject that we were all passionate about. It gave me a glimpse of what was really going on around me: not only was I far from alone, but the French community was also thriving and producing a mass of interesting, exciting work.

Spotlight on France

MailPoet is a distributed company based in France, with a total of 13 people in 8 countries. When I met co-founder Kim Gjerstad, a French Canadian who lives in Aix-en-Provence, at my first WordCamp in Paris, I began to get an idea of what the WordPress economy was like beyond the world of building themes. Kim spoke at WordCamp Europe in Leiden later that year about the freemium business model. Today MailPoet boasts over 3,686,635 downloads and continues to hire new staff.

WP Rocket impressed me when, in February of this year, and following the lead of companies such as Buffer, Baremetrics, and Mattermark, they declared their pledge to total transparency by publishing numbers on their revenue and client base. With an update and new data published in May, this looks like it will be a quarterly tradition, one that I hope will inspire others as the taboo to share such information is very strong in France. Lead developer Julio Potier runs his own WordPress security consultancy, is a regular speaker at WordCamps and other web conferences in France and abroad, and is also a core contributor. Jean-Baptiste Marchand-Arvier & Jonathan Buttigieg are also prominent community members and half of the force behind WordCamp Lyon.

Another one of our local heroes is Mathieu Viet, also known as imath. By day, Mathieu works as a programmer for La Poste. By night, he is one of the BuddyPress core developers. He is also co-organizer of the Paris Meetup group, and co-founder of Very French Trip, which started as a small group who travelled to Leiden together for the first WordCamp Europe, and has since turned into a successful podcast. The other leaders of this group are Grégoire Noyelle, our resident Genesis specialist, and Thierry Pigot, who recently signed on as CEO of Whodunit, one of the largest WordPress agencies in Paris (they are both also on the organizing team for WordCamp Paris).

Ozh Richard, who is probably best known as co-author of Professional WordPress Plugin Development and creator of YOURLS, hails from Nantes. He attended WP Tech Nantes where he signed quite a few autographs, and gave his first ever talk at WordCamp Paris in January. It was quite the honor!

Polylang is quickly becoming the preferred solution among many for creating multilingual sites with WordPress, the other two major contenders being WPML and Multilingual Press. We knew its creator was French, but it took the community a while to put a real name on the elusive Chouby. Frédéric Demarle made his public debut at WordCamp Lyon and was immediately embraced and revered by all.

France also proudly counts a number of core contributors among its ranks, including: Amaury Balmer, Xavier Borderie, Alex Concha, Frederic Demarle, Nicolas Juen, Kevin Legrand, Michel (xiligroup), Lionel Pointet, Julio Potier, Fabien Quatravaux, Ozh Richard, & Grégory Viguier to name a few I was able to identify.

Acting locally, thinking globally

WordPress, this simple piece of software that so many of us have built our businesses on — built a big part of our lives around — is a global community. It brings people together from all parts of the globe to share knowledge, promote a common philosophy, and develop a self-sustaining economy.

In the same way we talk about promoting WordPress from the ground floor up, so too do local communities play an essential role in this greater ecosystem. WordCamps are both proof and reminders of that, and the growth seen in local communities in France has been tremendous this past year. Success stories from the other side of the world can be inspiring, but success stories from your own backyard are tangible.

Only in local communities can we tackle problems that are specific to our cultures, to our laws and to our specific needs. Working together at this ground level creates momentum, and I believe that’s what we’re seeing here in France. WordPress is viable; an open-source economy is viable. The open exchange of ideas, the very principal of community that WordPress is built on, creates an environment in which we all can thrive, both financially and as human beings.

The only foreseeable danger I see in local communities is losing sight of the global picture — of where we came from. All roads must lead back to WordPress. It’s not a perfect road; there are bumps to navigate and bridges to be built. I believe that strong, united local communities can make a global impact, helping to pave those roads and create a better experience for all. I also believe that the global recognition of these local communities can go a long way toward encouraging continued growth. The road goes both ways.

by Jenny at June 25, 2015 02:09 AM under Everyone

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 196 – Interview with Joshua Millage and Mark Nelson of LifterLMS

In this week’s episode, Marcus Couch and I are joined by Joshua Millage, host of the Infusioncast and LMScast podcasts and Mark Nelson, lead developer of codeBOX and LifterLMS.

In the first half of the show, Millage explains the versatility and power of Infusionsoft, especially when it’s integrated with WordPress. He shares what motivated him to create the Infusioncast podcast, a show dedicated to covering the Infusionsoft community.

During the second half of the show, we learn what LifterLMS is capable of and discuss course management software in general.

Plugins Picked By Marcus:

Quick Save lets you update posts and pages using the ALT key in addition to clicking the Publish and Update button.

WP Revealer is a WordPress content display plugin that hides content and displays it at a precise time.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, July 1st 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 #196:

by Jeff Chandler at June 25, 2015 12:06 AM under lifterlms

June 24, 2015

Matt: Open Malware

Open source can have a dark side too, as when malware source code leaks in this story about The Hunt for the Financial Industry’s Most-Wanted Hacker.

by Matt at June 24, 2015 10:58 PM under Asides

WPTavern: Jetpack Relaunches Beta Testing Program

Jetpack is active on more than a million websites and it’s a tough job making sure the potential number of sites that might break due to an update is minimal. You can now contribute to the cause by participating in the new Jetpack beta testing program.

Beta testers who join will be the first to gain access to new features and help make sure they work for as many people as possible. You don’t need to be a developer or know how to code in order to contribute. Testers will also have the opportunity to provide valuable feedback to improve features.

Since the program is a relaunch, I asked Sam Hotchkiss, who works on the Jetpack development team, what happened to the first iteration of the program.

“The first time around was a small, tight group, which lacked the necessary number of participants to effectively catch as many edge cases as we’d hoped. One other issue we had last time was not having an easy way to keep installs up to date.”

Those who participate in the program are encouraged to fill out the form on the site that tells the development team your name, email address, website, number of sites using Jetpack, and your skill level.

The team allows for anonymous beta testers but Hotchkiss says they’d like to know who their beta testing team is, “Since it’s an open source project, it only makes sense. That said, we prefer to know who our testers are as it helps us understand our users and see our blind spots in testing.”

Inside Jetpack Beta

If you join the program, please adhere to the following advice provided by Jetpack’s development team.

Please only install this on a test site. By their nature, Beta releases could be unstable and should not be used on a site where your data is important. If you decide to install this on a live site, please backup your WordPress database before installing the Beta plugin or upgrading to a new Beta release.

When the plugin is installed and activated, a Jetpack Beta sub menu item appears within the main Jetpack menu. This is where users can configure whether they want the latest beta version or release candidates. There’s also an option to allow Jetpack to automatically update to new beta versions as they become available.

Jetpack Beta SettingsJetpack Beta Settings

 

If you select latest beta, when you save your choice, you’ll see an update notice for Jetpack. This update is required and moves Jetpack to the beta testing branch.

Updating to Jetpack BetaUpdating to Jetpack Beta

When the update is complete, the plugins page displays which beta version is in use, a link to the commit it’s based on, and a link to view details.

Successful Update to Jetpack BetaSuccessful Update to Jetpack Beta

You can view a list of items the team wants you test by browsing to Jetpack – Jetpack Beta. This list is important as it provides a specific set of items for testers to focus on.

Testing Items for Jetpack 3.6Testing Items for Jetpack 3.6

The Jetpack beta testing program is a great way to contribute back to the project. It provides an opportunity for users to have a large impact. If you discover a bug, typo, or have ideas to improve a feature, fill out the feedback form and let the development team know.

by Jeff Chandler at June 24, 2015 10:10 PM under jetpack

WPTavern: WordPress Mentioned on Orange is the New Black

WordPress fans were excited to hear that the software was briefly mentioned on the popular Netflix original series Orange is the New Black. In case you missed it, here’s a quick summary of the reference, captured by Megan Gray:

This isn’t WordPress’ first pop culture reference. The software was also mentioned in Lily Allen’s “URL Badman” song released last year.

Who could forget the time that WordPress was used to guide missiles? WordPress Javascript (post.js) was used in episode 5 of the British mini-series Strike Back as part of a weapons guidance system. Mark Jaquith then ported those changes back to core, which has hopefully decreased the number of missiles accidentally launched via post.js.

photo credit: Alex Mills photo credit: Alex Mills “So Apparently WordPress Can Guide Missiles”

It wasn’t too long ago that mentioning WordPress to an acquaintance in a bar would get you a quizzical face in return. Fast forward a few years and WordPress is now used by 24.1% of all websites, with a content management system market share of 60.4%, according to the most recent estimation from W3Techs. The software is now versatile enough to power everything from simple used panty e-commerce sites to full-blown weapons guidance systems.

Where have you seen WordPress mentioned in the wild?

by Sarah Gooding at June 24, 2015 05:02 PM under News

WPTavern: Argent: A Free Portfolio Theme for WordPress

Argent is a bold new portfolio theme that was launched on WordPress.com last week. The theme is centered around showcasing the work of visual artists such as designers, photographers, craft makers, painters, etc., with portfolio items featured prominently on the homepage template.

Argent was designed by Mel Choyce, co-author of the popular Flounder and Aventurine themes. Her designs are generally very focused and Argent is no exception. While the theme is well-suited to a wide range of creative professionals, it wasn’t designed to be an agency/business/blogging theme all in one. Argent is clearly a portfolio theme right out of the gate.

argent-screenshot

Artists won’t need to fight with this theme to simplify it down to something that’s easy to personalize. The theme’s customizer options allow you to display 3, 6, or 9 portfolio projects on the homepage template. It also includes controls for changing the header and background images and text colors.

All of the content on posts and pages is centered. There is no sidebar, but Argent includes support for three footer widget areas.

When used on a self-hosted WordPress site in combination with Jetpack and its Custom Content Types module, you can add portfolio projects. Each portfolio item includes support for a full-width image carousel. This is automatically generated from the first gallery included in the portfolio post.

argent-portfolio-gallery

One thing to appreciate about the blog section is that you don’t have to worry about having excessively large, oddly-shaped featured images to make it look like the demo. Argent’s blog archives template is simple with short, one-sentence excerpts and small rectangular featured images.

Typography is never an afterthought in Choyce’s designs, and Argent places a strong emphasis on readability. The theme features the contrasting “Alegreya” font for headers and quotes and “Cabin” for paragraph text. It also includes styling for right and left pullquotes to emphasize text.

If you’re on the hunt for a new portfolio theme, check out a live demo of Argent. Given the small number of design options to configure, artists will have an easy time getting their works online.

The theme hasn’t yet hit WordPress.org but should land there soon. In the meantime, self-hosted WordPress blog owners can download it from the sidebar of the theme’s description page on WordPress.com.

by Sarah Gooding at June 24, 2015 05:59 AM under wordpress portfolio theme

WPTavern: New Plugin Removes All Traces of the Customizer in WordPress

photo credit: #2 Pencils - (license)photo credit: #2 Pencils(license)

Anti-customizer vitriol reached its zenith last week when the Menu Customizer plugin was officially approved for merge into WordPress 4.3. Opponents of the feature voiced concerns about the readiness of the UI for all screen sizes, particularly for the desktop where many find the experience of managing menus to be crammed into an unnecessarily narrow space.

Shortly after the feature plugin’s author attributed the broader community’s ongoing Customizer resistance to “more of an educational issue,” WordPress core contributors published a post reaffirming their commitment to advancing the customizer. It states that the purpose behind the live preview framework is to build user trust by providing a safe way to make non-destructive changes.

“We are committed to providing live preview for all aspects of site customization and making it usable on all devices from phones to large screens,” Boren said in the post.

The admin menus screen will continue to be supported for the time being, but the long-term plan is to eliminate them in future versions of WordPress in favor of the customizer interface.

A Plugin to Unhook the Customizer

The new Customizer Remove All Parts plugin, hosted on GitHub under the acronym “WP-CRAP,” was written in response to the decision to bring menus in the customizer. WordPress developers Jesse Petersen and Andy Wilkerson joined forces to create a plugin that would unhook the Customizer from every aspect of WordPress site management.

Once installed, it removes all customizer links from the Appearance menu, Themes screen, and the admin toolbar, essentially rolling your site back to the days prior to WordPress 3.4 when the Theme Customization API was introduced. I tested it and found that it works exactly as advertised.

customizer-links

“Anything that was having its link hijacked to go to the Customizer has had that filter removed,” Petersen said. “This is the nuclear option, as there are no settings whatsoever. Use it if you don’t want your clients or team to have any access to or knowledge of the Customizer.”

Petersen and Wilkerson contend that menus are handled as content in the WordPress database and therefore do not require the same treatment as other design aspects of the site.

“Menus aren’t design,” Petersen said. “They are content. Look in the database, menus are found in the posts tables. As such, they aren’t subject to the same design edits as other items in Customizer, such as the background or custom header image/logo. For those items, I 100% support a Customizer or similar interface to preview changes.”

This argument may not bear as much weight when WordPress finally gets frontend content editing capabilities in core – a feature which Boren’s post identified as possibly integrating with the customizer.

Ultimately, Petersen and Wilkerson want the option to turn the customizer off in the dashboard, but WordPress’ “Decisions, not Options” philosophy prevents that from being a viable possibility.

“We are currently in development of a fork that allows you to selectively remove everything based on user role and more detailed settings,” Petersen said. “This is how we feel Customizer should work in core. There should be some way to turn it off in the dashboard, no different than your ability to turn off the admin toolbar. Maybe this will get rolled into core in 4.5.”

WordPress, in its vanilla state, is not perfect for all scenarios, but this is why the plugin system exists. It allows anyone to make WordPress their own, offering alternatives for those who disagree with the direction of core development. The WP-CRAP plugin is a perfect example of utilizing the plugin system to have WordPress your way.

Based on the “Trust, Live Preview, and Menus in the Customizer” core manifesto, WordPress users can expect that future releases will further the customizer agenda into every aspect of site customization. If you feel that the customizer has over extended its reach and planted its hooks into too many areas of WordPress, the WP-CRAP plugin offers you the option to turn it all off. Download it from WordPress.org or via its home on GitHub.

by Sarah Gooding at June 24, 2015 12:01 AM under wordpress customizer

June 23, 2015

Matt: Good Environment Reads

In light of the Pope’s encyclical last week and the US election season ramping up, there has been some great writing on the environment lately. Check these three articles out.

by Matt at June 23, 2015 11:45 PM under Asides

WPTavern: The WordPress Foundation Sues Jeff Yablon for Trademark Infringement

Jaff Yablon, who owns and operates The WordPress Helpers, is being sued by the WordPress Foundation for trademark infringement. Reported first by Domain Name Wire, the WordPress Foundation wants Yablon to stop using its trademarks, dismiss the opposition proceeding, pay the foundation for any profits related to use of the WordPress trademarks, pay up to $100,000 per infringing domain name, transfer the domains and pay other fees and damages.

The WordPress Foundation oversees and manages WordPress trademarks. In its trademark policy, it states no website may use WordPress in its top-level domain name without explicit permission.

Permission from the WordPress Foundation is required to use the WordPress or WordCamp name or logo as part of any project, product, service, domain or company name.

Yablon owns the following domain names which violate the policy, TheWordPressHelpDesk.com, TheWordPressTrainers.com, TheWordPressTeachers.com, TheWordPressDoctors.com, and TheWordPressTutors.com. All of the domains forward visitors to The WordPress Helpers.

The WordPress Helpers Website

The WordPress Helpers is a site devoted to the WordPress project. It features articles on WordPress, tutorials, and philosophical discussions surrounding the software. A portion of the site lists stores recommended by Yablon for people to purchase WordPress products. He also sells WordPress educational services for a flat fee.

WordPress Helpers About PageWordPress Helpers About Page

Shortly after launching the site in January 2015, Yablon was contacted by the WordPress Foundation’s lawyers concerning his domain name. According to Yablon, he negotiated with the Foundation to try to use the domain name. Negotiations failed and on June 18th, 2015, the Foundation filed the lawsuit.

Lawyers Battle it Out

The United States Trademark and Patent Office is a public website where visitors can discover and file for patents and trademarks. On November 7th, 2014, the WordPress Foundation submitted an application to register the WordPress character mark which consists of standard characters, without claim to any particular font, style, size, or color.

WordPress Standard Character MarkWordPress Standard Character Mark

Here’s an example of where the mark is already in use.

WordPress Mark in UseWordPress Mark in Use

Once applications are published to the Trademark Official Gazette, parties who believe it will be damaged by the registration of the mark may file a notice of opposition with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. If no party files an opposition or extension request within 30 days after the publication date, then a certificate of registration will be issued eleven weeks after the publication date.

On May 5th, 2015, Yablon filed an opposition request stating that if the Foundation successfully registers the mark, his company and others would be gravely and adversely effected. The Foundation’s lawyers responded on June 19th, 2015, by asking the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to suspend the registration process until the civil lawsuit in the District Court has completed.

On June 21st, 2015, Yablon filed a motion requesting default judgement and objected to the Foundation’s request to suspend the preceding. The case has yet to play out in court but lawyers from both parties are  battling it out in the public sphere.

A Conversation with Yablon

I spoke with Yablon on the phone for over an hour to figure out why he’s put himself in this position. During our conversation, I determined that he’s intelligent and has a good understanding of trademark law. He believes the WordPress Helpers website furthers the WordPress project by being an informational resource.

Using WordPress in his domain name is a business decision that allows people to instantly know what his site is about. He genuinely cares about the WordPress project, its community, and respects the Foundation’s rights to protect its trademarks.

He also told me that he’s not out to make a buck or prove a point. He’s defending his business from an entity that has a domain policy, not a law. He stressed that he’s not a villain as many in the WordPress community have made him out to be.

Near the end of our conversation, he said he just wants to run his business with his current domain name and is willing to make any changes to his non-affiliation disclaimer the Foundation deems necessary.

What’s at Stake

If Yablon gets the United States Patent and Trademark Office to deny the Foundation’s trademark and can win his lawsuit, it would make it easier for others to use WordPress in top-level domain names. It would be a crushing blow to the Foundation and limit its ability to protect WordPress’ branding.

Public opinion on Twitter, the Advanced WordPress Facebook group, and other social outlets suggest an overwhelming majority of people are in support of the Foundation. It will be interesting to see how the case concludes and what legal precedent it may set for others.

by Jeff Chandler at June 23, 2015 10:16 PM under wordpress helpers

Matt: Ten Years of Automattic

Ten years ago the first official Automattician was Donncha O Caoimh, and he had no idea what he was in for. Neither did I, honestly. And it’s been amazing.

I’ll remember the days before I knew everything.
— The Automattic Creed

When you think about it, Donncha was incredibly brave. WordPress had far less than 1% market share. I hadn’t joined Automattic yet — I was still working for CNET, paying Donncha with my salary, savings, and credit cards. He was leaving a Real Job for a Barely a Job; I hardly knew how to wire money to an international account to pay him. I’d just made a giant screw-up (probably my biggest ever), taking money to have spam advertising on WordPress.org, so I wasn’t the most confidence-inspiring leader.

It also seemed like the decks were stacked against us. We were going to try and build an open source business model different from what we had seen before, a hybrid of a downloadable open source project combined with a web service that ran the exact same software. Up to that point companies built on open source projects had usually suffocated the communities that spawned them.

Sign me up, right? But we had one important thing going for us: at our cores, we shared a deep belief that open source could transform any industry it touched and that web publishing needed to be democratized. We’d been hackers-in-arms together coding on WordPress, and knew we could take that and build on it.

I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation.
– The Automattic Creed

Within that first year we were joined by Andy, Ryan, Toni, and Mark, and together we began building a business which looks remarkably similar to what Automattic does today. (We’re all still at Automattic, by the way.)

We just want to make the web a better place. We’re proud to contribute to what I consider the best open source project in the world, WordPress. We bring it to as wide an audience as possible through hosting it on WordPress.com, and providing services for the ones we don’t host with tools like Jetpack. Through it all, we have fun and experiment with side projects that have become crucial to the ways we work — P2, Cloudup, Simplenote, and dozens more that we tried, failed, learned something from, and tried again.

Our work is far from finished, and I hope there are hundreds of failures we learn from over the next 20 years. One of the things that makes me happiest is that I get to wake up every morning and work on the hard problem of making the web a better and more open place, and I do it alongside close to 400 talented people at Automattic and thousands in the broader community. For me this is a life’s work. The first decade is merely the first chapter of what I hope to be a very long book, which will eventually tell the story of a movement and a company that are at the core of this crazy thing we call “the web.”

I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day.
— The Automattic Creed

Some find it strange that someone in this day and age would have the same job for a decade. The truth is, it’s not the same job: it’s always evolving. At times it’s been comfortable, at times it’s been extraordinarily challenging. I’ve needed to change how I work. Automattic has changed. The structure of the company is designed to accommodate growth, and we’re constantly experimenting with how we work and relate to one another.

Half the time I feel like we’re making it up as we go along — I’ve never managed a distributed company of 400 people before. But the important things stay the same: the desire for impact and my love for the people I work with. They embody the Automattic creed:

I will never stop learning. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me. I know there’s no such thing as a status quo. I will build our business sustainably through passionate and loyal customers. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything. I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. I will communicate as much as possible, because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company. I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable.

Thank you, Donncha, for believing in me all those years ago and pioneering the way for a company that would come to impact a lot of the world. Thank you Andy, Ryan, Toni, and Mark. Thank you to every Automattician that’s made the same leap. We’re building something that gives people all over the world a voice and that people can trust to be thriving a century from now, and that’s huge.

There’s a lot more to do, and I can’t wait to see what a “20 Years of Automattic” post says. I’m a lucky guy.

Update: Donncha has a post talking about starting at Automattic.

by Matt at June 23, 2015 02:26 AM under Automattic

WPTavern: Conditionally Hide BuddyPress Profile Field Groups Based on User Role

buddypress-conditional-field-groups-featured

For many BuddyPress-powered social networks, profile field groups do not work as a one-size-fits-all container. This is especially true for sites with a more complex and varied user base.

By default, BuddyPress displays all profile field groups to all users, whether they are applicable or not. The new BuddyPress Conditional Field Groups plugin is one way to address this problem and provide more flexibility for administrators in field group creation.

The plugin, created by WordPress developer Tanner Moushey, allows administrators to hide a field group based on user roles. This makes it possible to collect and display different sets of information based on selections assigned in the plugin’s settings panel.

buddypress-conditional-field-groups-settings

As all field groups default to visible to all users, the field groups that are checked in the settings will not be shown for the corresponding user role on the front end. For example, for users with author or contributor roles, the site can feature additional profile fields related to their specific roles in the community while hiding that field group for all other roles. Here’s a quick demo:

bp-conditional-profile-field-groups-demo

Combine it with the Conditional Profile Fields plugin and you have a great deal of flexibility.

Of course, this plugin only applies on sites where members have been neatly divided into user roles by an administrator. Since these roles are generally assigned based on publishing capabilities, this plugin is likely useful for sites that are running an active blog.

If Moushey were to further extend BuddyPress Conditional Field Groups plugin, it would be useful to be able to hide field groups based on member type, as defined by any plugin utilizing the new Member Type API added in BuddyPress 2.2. This would greatly expand the usefulness of the plugin for more communities.

The plugin in its current form is a valuable tool for BuddyPress-powered communities that rely heavily on WordPress user roles to define capabilities for a diverse user base. BuddyPress Conditional Field Groups is available for free on WordPress.org.

by Sarah Gooding at June 23, 2015 02:24 AM under buddypress profiles

June 22, 2015

WPTavern: Theme Juice: A New Auto Site Generator for WordPress Development with Vagrant

photo credit: Romaphoto credit: Roma

As WordPress developers everywhere are adopting Vagrant for local development, new configurations seem to pop up every week to address the needs of different teams and workflows. Theme Juice is the newest open source project to join the ever-growing list of WordPress-related Vagrant resources.

The project is based on VVV, one of the most popular and best-supported Vagrant configurations. Its VM is built on an Apache fork of VVV called VVV-Apache.

Theme Juice installs as a Ruby gem and requires requires Vagrant and VirtualBox. The tj create command leads you through prompts to set up project information, location, database info and will then create a local development environment (if one isn’t already in place.) It automatically syncs the local project location with the project location within the VM, enabling it to be run from anywhere on your system.

ezgif.com-optimize (2)

It also supports Windows with a few feature limitations.

If you are not using Apache, Theme Juice can be modified for use with Nginx via the original VVV, which is as easy as running it with a few flags:

tj new --vm-box git@github.com:Varying-Vagrant-Vagrants/VVV.git --nginx

Access Projects from Other Devices, Including Mobile

xip-.io

One of the unique features of Theme Juice is that every project created with tj is automatically set to support xip.io, a free magic domain name that provides wildcard DNS for any IP address. This enables access to virtual hosts on your development server from other devices on your local network, ie. tablets and phones. This works best with OSX, according to TJ’s documentation:

If you’re using OSX, then everything should work out of the box. If you’re not using OSX, then you’ll need to point port 80 on your host machine to 8080; Vagrant cannot do this by default for security reasons.

Once everything is good to go, you can access a project from another device on the same network by going to:
< project-name >.< your-hosts-ip-address >.xip.io

e.g. themejuice.192.168.1.1.xip.io.

This feature allows you to easily test your development projects on mobile devices with no extra configuration required.

The Origins of Theme Juice

The project was created by Ezekiel Gabrielse and the folks at Produce Results for internal use at their agency. Gabrielse is the lead developer for a small team of developers for whom Theme Juice is now an indispensable tool.

“We work at a fast pace, so having the ability to create and remove development projects easily, a well as quickly restore/set up existing projects, is essential to keeping our flow, well, flowing,” he said. “We’ve been dogfooding and developing this utility for almost 10 months and are excited to finally get it out to the community.”

Gabrielse built Theme Juice to ease the process of creating new development sites, which he found to be somewhat inconvenient with VVV.

“After a few weeks of using vanilla VVV, I quickly realized that the process of creating a new site was very repetitive, and like any developer, I sought to automate that repetition,” he said. (This was long before Variable VVV was released, which automates site creation and deletion.)

“What started as a quick little (actually, it got pretty large) Rake task included in our company starter theme, quickly grew into a separate project that I extracted out to a Ruby gem.”

The resulting Theme Juice project integrates with VVV and leverages many of its unique features but adds auto site setup and additional functionality to manage build tools for Gabrielse’s development team.

“Suffice it to say, it saves us time by automating the entire process of creating new development projects,” he said. “We also incorporated a sort of crude scripting via a configuration file (called a Juicefile) that allows us to easily run any build processes we need to upon project creation.”

Once Gabrielse realized how useful that functionality was, he pushed it out further and abstracted all of the team’s build tools to the configuration. This enabled them to seamlessly switch between tools whenever a project required it.

“We’ve recently changed from Guard to Grunt, from NPM packages to Bower packages,” Gabrielse said. “Having all of those tools abstracted out to tj commands, we didn’t have to change anything in our workflow, our build scripts, our deployments, etc., because everything was already using the command aliases provided by tj. This also allows us to transition from project to project without having to worry about how to run the build tools for that particular project, as it’s all abstracted out, so that we can focus on the task at hand.”

Theme Juice caters towards experienced developers who like to use modern build tools and systems for their development.

“Using our starter theme, we use Composer for PHP/WP plugin management, Bower for front-end dependencies, Grunt for managing build tools, which includes Coffee, Haml, and Sass compilation,” Gabrielse said. “At first glance this seems daunting to have to manage all of that, but with using tj, it’s easy.”

A list of all the global options and commands is available on the Theme Juice documentation page.

In the future, Gabrielse plans to extend Theme Juice to handle deployments. Right now he is leaning towards integrating an automated Capistrano workflow but is open to other suggestions now that the project is public. Anyone who is interested in contributing can find out more about the process on the project’s GitHub home page.

by Sarah Gooding at June 22, 2015 09:05 PM under VVV

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June 30, 2015 04:45 PM
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