A complete guide to help plugin developers rank higher in the new WordPress.org plugin repository.
Yesterday the new plugins directory was officially released replacing the old, “legacy” one. Many community members (including me) feel that most of the issues that were addressed during the feedback phase were unfortunately ignored, but one thing that was significantly improved for sure is the search. It is still lacking way behind the search capabilities of designated search services like Addendio, but it’s much better than its predecessor.
The much-anticipated update to the plugins’ search is a HUGE thing. Not only does it obviously affect the WordPress.org repository search, it also changes the search in the WordPress Admin dashboard on ALL of the millions of WordPress sites out there (27% of the web).
Many developers in the WordPress community aren’t aware of the power of SEO in WordPress.org directory, but if you think about it, most of the traffic to your plugin’s or theme’s listing is coming from search. Here are the top 3 channels:
WordPress.org – people see the repository as a trusted collection of plugins & themes, many “plugin hunting expeditions” are starting right there. If you take a look at the screenshot
I'm going to pass on a summary on this one. If Poopy.life doesn't appeal to you to click and learn more, I can't help you.
Just when you think all the best domain names have been gobbled up by bots and squatters, Poopy.life emerges as the fastest new way to spin up a WordPress test install. Joe Guilmette, team lead at WP All Import, opened up Poopy.life to the public today, offering free unlimited WordPress installs for anyone who needs a temporary site. After verifying that you’re not a robot, Poopy.life creates a test install and sends you to the admin where you can see credentials for logging in and sharing the site. The install expires after a week, unless manually extended with the button in the admin. It also allows you to create a sandbox template that can be shared via a URL so that others can quickly create a duplicate install.
The platform also has a secret menu, like In-N-Out Burger, that allows you to add URL parameters to spin up sites even faster with certain actions already taken:
No URL Parameters
Copy an existing install
?src=[Sandbox ID]&key=[auth key]
Send a welcome email
Hey everyone, excited to be here to chat today. This is me in a nutshell:
I'm Bulgarian who's rarely home. In the past 2 years I've been moving around the globe a lot trying to help Human Made with big media enterprise clients as a Senior PM, organising WordPress events and professional development conferences around the WordPress REST API (A Day of REST).
My background is in publishing, marketing and PR. I was brought up professionally in the basement (IT department) of the biggest business media publisher in my country Economedia by passionate people who also cared about Free Software. I care deeply about quality journalism and digital media.
I got involved with WordPress in 2011 when I became a translation editor for Bulgarian. But my real journey started after WordCamp Europe 2013 in Leiden, where I was a volunteer and met the global community for the first time. I've been in love with WordPress ever since and that one WordCamp was followed by a rollercoaster of events that brought me here today:
- I applied to host WCEU 2014 with 4 other awesome people from Sofia. Won the pitch. Hosted the event which was a blast.
- I attended the Community summit in SF where I was given the responsibility of leading the Polyglots community alongside Dominik Schilling who's our tech lead
- Got a job at Human Made ❤️ and started working on client projects and traveling across Europe to speak at events and get to know the community. Spoke at 10 WordCamps in 2015 and made a lot of friends.
- Helped organise WCEU 2015 and was nominated and selected to lead the 2016 organising team in Vienna.
- Organised two Global WordPress Translation Days in 2016 - remote contributor days dedicated to localizing WordPress which helped the Polyglots team get closer and kick started many local communities around Asia
These days I'm focusing on client work and events at Human Made, growing the Polyglots team, helping the WCEU team select the host for 2018 and a small passion project - organising more WordPress workshops for kids at WordCamps around the world.
I love live music, go to a lot of festivals, climb and kill for chocolate and carrot cake.
Ask me anything!
Surprise! The new plugin directory on wp.org went live, and it's causing some frustrations.
Communication We can be reached by email at plugins＠wordpress.org, or via the #pluginreview channel on Slack.
We are currently unable to accept new team members. Stay tuned!
Matt is interested in seeing how the repository reacts if they remove the manual review process and switch to a process where user feedback helps rank the themes.
On Friday evening, @jcastaneda, @poena and I met with Matt to discuss the future of the theme repository on WordPress.org. @greenshady had to drop out last minute since Matt wanted to do a voice call and Justin was unable to due to his internet connection. We asked Jose to join so that we would not need to delay the call any longer. Matt wanted to know more about the Theme Review team. We mentioned our plans with automation, problems with the previews, and how the portability of content affects users. We also mentioned that the common issues in themes are security, code errors and prefixing.
A suggestion that we got back was that we should check if themes could be prevented from being activated if there are PHP fatal errors, like it is done with plugins.
The reason for having the meeting now and not at the community summit is so that we can start working on improvements before the community summit.
Matt’s goal for the theme repository is to make it the main place for users to search and find themes.
Matt is interested in seeing how the repository reacts if we remove the manual review process and switch to a process where user feedback helps rank the themes.
Amazon was an example
WordPress shortcodes provide a quick and easy way to perform tasks and include HTML code into post content.
According to the WordPress.com definition, a shortcode is a WordPress-specific code that lets you do nifty things with very little effort. Shortcodes can embed files or create objects that would normally require lots of complicated, ugly code in just one line. In other words, thanks to WordPress shortcodes there’s no need for users to manually add HTML code into post content and, in addition, it’s possible to dynamically change the output under specific conditions (i.e. the logged-in user, the current date, the user location, etc.). If you’ve ever used the [gallery] shortcode, you already know how WordPress shortcodes work:
[gallery ids="129,130,131,132" order="DESC" orderby="title" columns="4"]
In this example, gallery is the shortcode tag, while ids, order, orderby and colums are the shortcode attributes. These attributes determine the returned HTML code.
Shortcode Typologies and Structure
WordPress provides two shortcode typologies:
Self-closing shortcodes look like the [gallery] shortcode, and do not require a closing tag.
Enclosing shortcodes require a closing tag, and allow the manipulation of the enclosed content.
Today we are introducing Canvas - a native blank page template in Elementor. Canvas works with any theme, and lets you design the entire page in Elementor. No header, no footer, just Elementor. We are also releasing some other cool features, including page settings, drop cap and more
Today we are introducing Canvas - a native blank page template in Elementor. Canvas works with any theme, and lets you design the entire page in Elementor. No header, no footer, just Elementor. Elementor is certainly one of the fastest tool for creating landing pages. Nevertheless, until now, there has been one consistent problem when creating landing pages - Removing the header and footer.
I am happy to announce that from now on, you no longer need to struggle to remove headers or footers, or install any plugin to remove them!
Meet Elementor Canvas. With Canvas, you can edit a complete blank slate template entirely in Elementor. No header, no footer, nothing preventing you from creating the most awesome of landing pages. This is perfect for landing pages, coming soon pages and other pages where you want to design the entire page content in Elementor.
It doesn't matter which theme you are using. Use Twenty Seventeen, use any premium theme... Heck, even use a WordPress theme from 2005
The new plugin directory is finally here, and being received with mixed results... Do you miss the tabs? You're not alone. :)
The new WordPress Plugin Directory went live today. Contributors have been working for the past year on rebuilding the directory with a new design and better capabilities for searching through the 45K+ available plugins. The new landing page displays a search bar prominently at the top, followed by sections for featured plugins, popular plugins, and beta plugins.
The design changes to the individual plugin pages have received mixed feedback from members of Advanced WordPress Facebook. The screenshots slider and FAQ accordion UI are welcome improvements, but many are not fond of how the new single plugin display ditches the previous tabbed interface in favor of truncated sections with numerous “read more” links. This requires the visitor to click and scroll repeatedly through a massive wall of text. The experience of doing this to find information is much less efficient than the previous tabbed UI.
Many of the plugin header images appear to be stretched now with the new wider content area, but this may encourage developers to update their listings. Several users have commented that they are disappointed with the removal of stats, which are now viewable for admins only. Plugin
While testing the speed of your website using online speed testing tools, you might have noticed that admin-ajax.php is responsible for the slow loading experience. Here is a guide, how you can reduce that load.
For better SEO and user experience, experts always recommend speeding up WordPress websites for the end user. In this context, what if your site has more than one user who contributes regularly and the dashboard becomes slow to respond? While testing the speed of your website using online speed testing tools, you might have observed that admin-ajax.php is responsible for the slow loading experience. In this article, I will talk about this file and how you can reduce the server CPU usage by decreasing the number of requests generated by admin-ajax.php.
What is admin-ajax.php in WordPress?
Back in 2013, WordPress introduced WordPress Heartbeat API that provided several important functionalities such as the autosave feature, login-expiration and post lock warning while another user is writing or editing a WordPress post.
Two very prominent features of the Heartbeat API are:
Whenever you save a draft of a post and continue working on it, WordPress automatically saves the additions to the post. There is a clear difference between the autosave and manually saving the draft. Check out the following screenshot that shows both types of saves:
Whenever you try to edit a post
Carl delivers again with a great long-form tutorial on automated WordPress deployments. Must read for anyone doing professional website that are versioned.
New FREE Addon for Give. You can add a countdown clock to your donation forms. You can set a date/time for the form to close automatically and show a success message on the form instead.
Is your Mission Trip in eight weeks? Do you have a deadline you have to meet to apply for a grant? Creating a sense of urgency for your fundraising goals is simple using our new free Add-on, Give Form Countdown. This free Add-on from Give is now available on the WordPress.org Plugin Directory here.
Create Urgency With a Set Timeframe
Form Countdown allows you to set a designated timeframe for the length of your campaign before it ends automatically. That timeframe can be set as a number of days, or to a specific time and day of the year. When the timeframe comes to an end the form closes with a message that you customize.
Limiting your donation campaigns to a certain time-frame is useful for communicating a sense of urgency to your donor base. When your donors know that their window to donate is limited, they are less likely to postpone giving.
There are several features that are available right in Give Form Countdown Add-on.
Limit the form by a number of days from publication or to a specific date/time.
When the form is closed, display a custom message to your donors thanking them for their generosity.
Enable a countdown clock to your form in various positions to further add that sense
We've learned a LOT about remote work. The challenges and how to beat them.
A lot of people romanticize the life of the remote worker: Wake up at 11, possibly in a foreign country, definitely in pajamas. Of course, there are some very real and practical advantages to working remotely—maintaining a flexible schedule, working with people hand-picked by personality over proximity, not sitting under fluorescent lights from 9 to 5, no fishy microwave smells (unless you’re the person who does that)—just to name a few. Almost Paradise
So it’s paradise, right? Well, almost. The seasoned remote worker, and her employer, know that for every benefit and advantage there exists a potential pitfall. With great power, and the freedom to work from anywhere, comes great responsibility. Responsibility on the part of the employee to work efficiently and report honestly, and on the part of the employer, to engage, motivate, and connect the team.
Running Aground: A Guide to Ruining Everything
If we know the advantages to working remotely, which are typically obvious and individualized, what are the pitfalls? How can we avoid running the friend-ship aground on the rocks? According to our team, the biggest dangers are a loss of momentum, not seeing each other
We all love to complain about other people's code, but that's not going to help us get the job done.
If you’re running a business that focuses both on developing solutions from the ground-up or that focuses on implementing a custom solution in the context of pre-existing projects (or maybe both), then you’ve likely – at some point – been in the situation of inheriting WordPress projects. Tackling projects from either handle brings its set of challenges – most of them welcome – but it seems to be far more common place for people to complain about working with a pre-existing codebase.
It’s not that I don’t get that feeling, but I do think there’s a level of immaturity in doing that. On the one hand, yes some codebases are outright terrible. But then some codebases aren’t that bad. In fact, I’d argue they are just a little bit different from how you’d develop it.
This is a case in which standards come into play, but I digress on this for now.
So let’s say you’re inheriting WordPress projects and you’re not particularly stoked about the codebase with which you’re working. How is it that you can still enjoy the work that you’re doing without feeling like you need to critique every aspect
Google Chrome must start looking up certificate revocation lists in real-time to fix the Comodo certificate issue
Google’s Chrome web browser is used by over 50% of users on the web. When you visit a website that is using SSL, otherwise known as HTTPS or TLS, you see a green message in your browser location bar that says “Secure”. “Secure” in Chrome browser does not mean “Safe”. In this post I will explain why in terms that are easy to understand and tell you what to do about it. I’ve written this post to be easy to read. I’d like to encourage you to share it with friends and family to help them stay secure.
For our technical readers, here is a summary of what we discuss in this post:
We show that SSL certificates are being issued by more than one certificate authority (CA) to phishing sites pretending to be Google, Microsoft, Apple and other well-known companies.
A valid certificate causes Chrome to show a website as “Secure”.
When a certificate is revoked once a CA realizes they should not have issued it, we show that Chrome still shows the site as “Secure”. The “revoked” status is only visible in Chrome developer tools.
Malicious sites that have been issued valid SSL certificates take some time to appear
Very good timing on this article as companies negotiate budgets for attendance, thanks Forbes...
According to Startup Sesame, an alliance of tech events and connectors, every year there are more than 53,000 tech conferences and meetups in Europe. From Trondheim to Moscow to Lisbon, that is a huge number of events; for those in the industry choosing the most relevant conference is one of the challenges of the age.
Sometimes, as there is in June this year, a bottleneck of these get-togethers and potlatches makes it even more congested than usual. For others, however, choosing the right conference is easy, especially for those in the WordPress community.
Last week, WordPress agencies, developers, bloggers, designers and end-users flocked to WordCamp London, a volunteer-based event that has been running since 2013. Over the two-day conference, a very enthusiastic crowd share and debated the open source platform
They will then reconvene in Paris in event-heavy June for WordCamp Paris, the biggest European event of its kind. Last year it hosted more than 2,000 attendees from 68 countries who watched 70 speakers espouse the so-called joy of WordPress.
This year the event will be bigger than ever before with delegates rising to 3,000 people, up 50% on last year. This increase in attendees
A few days ago, during a discussion with Maedah — I went ahead and built this cool little tool. Try it out.
HINT: Simply type in a plugin’s slug into the search box and hit enter. Built by Ahmad Awais and Maedah Batool. The source code is licensed MIT.
Today I'm presenting "Six Figure Freelancing" at WordCamp San Diego. Learn how to make the transition from full-time employee to full-time freelancer AND earn at least $100K per year.
Thank you. — Thanks for sticking around and sharing an hour of your time with me this afternoon. I know these last few sessions on Sunday’s aren’t always the easiest ones to make it to, so thanks for sticking around to hang out with me today. Like the guy who introduced me just said, my name is Nathan Reimnitz but online I go by a far less German — and much easier to spell — alias, Nathan Ello.
Now, before we dive into this session I’ve got one quick announcement to make…
Next month (April 2017) I’ll be launching my first online course which explores everything from this session in far greater detail. So, if you like what you hear from me today I’d encourage you to sign up for my newsletter, or follow me on Twitter, and you’ll receive a coupon to take my class for half price.
Okay, so, first things first, I think it’s important that we all get to know one another… And I suppose since I’m the one up here on stage that I should probably go first.
So, let’s get to know me… Well, I’ve been a developing websites for a little over 10 years now, and here’s what my personal journey as a
Really excellent article from Jason Cohen, CTO & founder at WPEngine, about why big companies buy small ones
Large companies don’t acquire small companies for their financials. Revenue multiples, profit multiples, premium over the previous financing — these are metrics used by sellers to help determine a minimum acceptable price. That’s the price that “pays for” enough foreseeable upside that it’s not worth rolling the dice against future troubles or the unlikelihood of an exit.
Large acquirers don’t care about small-company financials because mathematically those won’t affect the growth or value of the acquirer. A company with $100m/yr in revenue growing 30% annually won’t go through the effort, risk, and distraction of buying a company with $1m/yr in revenue growing 100% annually, because that’s only a piddly 1% or maybe as much as 2% of additional growth.
Rather, buyer behavior is rooted in their strategy — a combination of product thesis, their theory of their market’s evolution, how they need to position for customers and against competitors, their long-term brand development, geographic expansion plans, and so on.
From this foundation, they’re constantly asking: “How can we execute our existing strategy,
A long awaited feature of adding images to WordPress sidebars may be ready in time for WordPress 4.7.4
Adding images to sidebars in WordPress is a cumbersome task that requires users to upload an image to the Media Library, find the URL, copy it, and paste it into a Text widget along with additional HTML. Nearly two years ago, Mel Choyce opened a ticket on WordPress Trac proposing that a media widget be added to core. This widget would allow users to easily add images to sidebars. Throughout the discussion, the idea of creating a catch-all media widget was brought up that would allow users to add images, audio, or video to a sidebar. After developers spoke to Matt Mullenweg about the direction of the project, the team decided to create three separate widgets to handle each media type. Choyce outlined the benefits this approach provides:
We can focus on creating more tailored experiences for each widget.
We’ll be able to launch new widgets without having to worry about constantly updating one central widget, or potentially breaking anything.
It’ll be easier for people to discover new media types since they won’t be buried within one widget.
This will more closely mimic the approach we’re taking to content blocks in the future, which should provide an easier transition.
"You see, EDD is seen around the WordPress community as this great plugin that is wildly successful and a model to look up to in the commercial plugin ecosystem. While this is a reputation that we take great pride in, the honest truth of the matter is our team has struggled with EDD for months because in many ways it has felt like a sinking ship."
On December 14, 2016, my team and I pushed a significant change to our Easy Digital Downloads products: we increased the price on all extensions by 50-250%. Yes, you read that right: up to a 250% price increase on certain plugins. This change was done for a number of reasons, which I will get into shortly, and has resulted in a very interesting last three months. Since I have always been very open with my company’s financials, I would like to now share some reflections on the change that we made and to also share some of the aftermath of the change. The backstory
Since the beginning of Easy Digital Downloads, and I imagine many products, customer support has always been our biggest challenge. Taking care of customers is hands down the most difficult job in the company. It is ripe with challenging problems to solve, long hours, relentless flows of new tickets, on-going conversations that spread not only over days but even weeks and months. Providing good and, when possible, great customer support is, to put it simply, exhausting.
There have been many times over the last 5-7 years where I thought to myself I’m sick of this; I just can’t keep taking care of these people,
Don't chase the shiny object, do what works until it can't be done anymore.
If you look at your business, how much of it is by word of mouth. Meaning, how much of your current client list is a referral by either a past client, colleague, friend or family member? 50%, 75%, 100%?
It’s safe to say that referrals are working for you right?
So why are you trying to find other avenues to bring in clients? Do you already have a predictable and proven referral system built that brings you a steady flow of leads into your business?
Do you already have a predictable and proven referral system built that brings you a steady flow of leads into your business?
My guess would be “no”. That the referrals that come into your business happen randomly without any predictability.
Instead of chasing the “new thing” whether that’s Facebook ads, the newest social media platform that’s taking the world by storm, or spending a bunch of money on landing page software, how about doubling down on what’s working for you right now.
Your referrals trust you because they are getting recommended to you by someone they trust. You don’t have to fully convince them of your skills because you have already been vetted by that lead’s friend.
A run down of the best places to get help and support with WordPress in 2017.
Ever wish there was a WordPress customer service number you could call? Like whenever you hit a snag, just call up and say, “Hey Mr. WordPress, fix my site please”. That would be pretty awesome, right? There’s just one problem… It doesn’t exist. At least not officially.
But the fact that there’s no official WordPress customer service for the self-hosted version doesn’t mean there aren’t places you can get help with WordPress. There are plenty of WordPress support services out there. And that’s what I’ll be digging into in this article.
Most of the WordPress support services you’ll encounter come in two flavors:
I’ll cover options for both types of services in this article.
Do You Need a WordPress Maintenance Service or Customization Service?
Some services span both categories. But generally, services usually specialize in one or the other.
So which one do you need? Here are some scenarios to help you pick the right one:
If you’re already happy with your WordPress site’s functionality and just want someone to take care of housekeeping details like updates,
Congratulations Tony, Daniel, Dre and the team at Sucuri! Excited to see the security technology leveraged to millions of websites. Official PR: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/godaddy-acquires-sucuri-to-advance-digital-security-for-customers-300427537.html
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., March 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- GoDaddy Inc (NYSE: GDDY), the world's largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures, today announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase Sucuri, a leading provider of website security products and services. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Sucuri is a security platform offering business owners a suite of security tools designed to protect website owners from emerging online threats. Nearly 75 percent of all legitimate websites have unpatched vulnerabilities1, and websites that have been blacklisted due to a hack can experience an 80 percent reduction in traffic for more than 48 hours2. Sucuri's suite of tools provide website owners the solution they require to respond to hacks when they occur, while also virtually patching vulnerabilities.
Sucuri is deeply involved in the WordPress community. The company provides an industry-leading security plug-in for the WordPress platform, and actively works to advance the security awareness and management of WordPress websites.
"The vast majority of our customers aren't website security experts, nor should they need to be to secure their websites,"
Dependency management is a problem for WordPress because there is no dependency management at all! In this week’s article I outline why that is such a big issue and go through a proposal I’ve put together for a Composer based solution.
‘Dependency hell’ is a problem faced by all software, and it has been rearing its ugly head in the WordPress space over the last few years with more and more plugins using third-party libraries of code. We come across this issue every couple of months with our Amazon S3 plugin WP Offload S3. It’s a very real problem for Delicious Brains and can serve as a good concrete example of the issue.
Our plugin transfers media to Amazon S3 when you upload to the WordPress media library, and to do that we make use of the AWS SDK (bundled as the Amazon Web Services plugin). The SDK went through some major changes between versions 2 and 3, resulting in the SDK bumping its minimum required version of PHP from 5.3 to 5.5. With 42.7% of all WordPress installs running on servers with PHP 5.2, 5.3 or 5.4, stipulating a minimum of PHP 5.5 just wouldn’t work for our plugin.
When customers use Offload S3 along with another plugin that relies on and bundles the AWS SDK, unless that plugin is using v2, we encounter an issue of incompatible libraries. WordPress loads plugins in the order they were activated, and PHP loads files as they are required and classes as they are