Why does scope creep happen and how does it affect a website project? This experienced WordPress project manager addresses those issues.
I love that moment when we reach the midway point in a project. The project management team falls into a groove; the client begins to feel warm and fuzzy seeing the amazing progress from week to week. Overall, everyone is feeling excited to see the vision start to come to fruition. But then… it happens. The dreaded scope creep starts slinking its way into the website project, enveloping the team members, the client, and the timeline like the black plague. As a Project Manager, I cringe at the thought of scope creep! However, as a former WebDevStudios client, I know I am guilty of it. I’ve learned I am not the exception to the rule on both accounts. So, here are a few things I’ve learned about scope creep and how you can manage it.
What is scope creep?
After a website project has started, and the scope of the project grows beyond the original plan, that is considered scope creep. This can happen for a number of different reasons. If a project’s requirements are not well defined and outlined at the start, new requirements are likely going to come up throughout the life cycle of the project. Similarly, a lack of transparency and poor communication during the project
Running through the basics of making a website with WordPress. From hosting to adjusting site navigation; it's all here.
Believe it or not, but knowing how to make a website is one of the more essential skills you should master as a small business owner in this day and age. Please bear with me! Here’s why:
If you know how to make a website on your own, you will save a ton of money on web developers and designers.
This will also allow you to follow the market trends and put new things on your website without needing a programmer’s help.
You will effectively stay ahead of your competition because, while they have their projects slowed down by the need to consult developers, you will be able to build most things yourself (within reason, of course).
With that being said, the most important piece of the puzzle here is that you can learn how to make a website and then create something awesome for your business or project all on your own.
How to make a website – in bird’s eye view
Okay, here’s the plan for what we’re going to do in the next steps. The important thing to note is that it’s all DIY-able (if that’s a word) and that we’re minimizing the costs wherever possible.
In short, what you’ll end up with at the end of this guide is a functional, beautiful
Twenty Nineteen will ship with full Gutenberg support. It will include both front and back-end styles, so that users can be fully confident in their site’s appearance when they hit publish.
Gutenberg grants users an unprecedented level of freedom to customize their site’s layout and design. In order to fully achieve their vision, users will need a new generation of flexible themes, built to take advantage of the creative freedom that Gutenberg offers. With that in mind, WordPress 5.0 will launch with a brand new default theme: Twenty Nineteen. The theme will be be led by @allancole, supported by @kjellr as a design coach.
At the core of Twenty Nineteen is its simple, sophisticated typography. The theme’s aesthetic is minimal and non-prescriptive, allowing the theme to work well in a variety of applications. For example: it is effective as an minimal, typography-driven blogging theme, but can also be adapted for use as a static business website.
Twenty Nineteen will ship with full Gutenberg support. It will include both front and back-end styles, so that users can be fully confident in their site’s appearance when they hit publish.
As mentioned in the release plan, WordPress 5.0 will be released on November 19th, 2018, so this is a faster-than-usual theme build. The first release candidate is estimated for the end of October, so we’ll want
Forms are great. The internet is full of wonderful forms, but are you making sure that your forms help your SEO, not hurt? Christie shares tips on how to avoid costly SEO mistakes on your WordPress site.
Christie Chirinos is a Partner at Caldera Labs. Christie received her Master of Business Administration degree with a specialization in information systems management from Florida State University, and is currently based out of New York City where she lives with her cat, Snickers. Two things are true about my life: my business partner and I own a popular web form product, and 50% of our product website’s traffic comes from search engines.
This means that I think about forms and SEO a lot. However, most of us don’t think about these two things together often. This is fair: after all, most of your SEO efforts will come from a quality content strategy and lots and lots of networking (don’t know what I mean? Learn about link building here).
However, there are two important considerations when thinking about implementing a form and making sure that your site is doing its best to be a part of a search result. So, after you’ve covered all of your SEO basics, such as identifying your keyword opportunities, looking at your on-page and off-page SEO, and more, make sure you give some thought to what your forms are doing.
(A quick tip: we are big fans of Pathfinder SEO at
Disappointing news that Automattic will postpone an a11y audit indefinitely. As one reader stated, perhaps we should treat Gutenberg as a commercially driven add-on that benefits Automattic alone, and not the community at large. This certainly goes against the "WordPress way" of democratizing publishing for Everyone that I have know this project to stand for up until recently.
Discussion surrounding Gutenberg’s independent accessibility audit is heating up. Two weeks ago, Matthew MacPherson, who was named WordPress 5.0’s new accessibility lead, proposed the audit and agreed to it being performed by an independent third party. The audit had gained strong support among accessibility contributors and others following the ticket. After soliciting detailed proposals from four companies, MacPherson has since rescinded the offer to coordinate the audit at this time and it seems he was unaware that he didn’t have the authority to authorize it in the first place.
“For at least the time being, Automattic has decided to forgo conducting an Accessibility audit on Gutenberg,” MacPherson said. He cited the following reasons:
“an audit will not be actionable given our release timeline, because…
the audit will not affect release timing, so…
it would be more prudent to explore an audit on a less rushed timeline in the future”
MacPherson apologized for “getting hopes up and then failing the community” on this particular issue. He is supportive of getting an audit but it is not a priority to complete before
The coming soon and maintenance plugin SeedProd has joined the ever growing WPBeginner/Awesome Motive family of WordPress plugins. The acquisition came about from John Turner applying to the WPBeginner accelerator fund.
Today, I’m extremely excited to announce that SeedProd has joined Awesome Motive, and it is now part of the WPBeginner’s family of products. SeedProd is the most popular coming soon and maintenance mode plugin for WordPress. Currently it is being used by over 800,000 WordPress sites.
The SeedProd free plugin allows you to quickly create a basic coming soon page or maintenance mode page for your website.
The pro version of SeedProd allows you to jump start your website with a viral coming soon page, so you can start building traffic, subscribers, and customers before your site even launches.
You can use SeedProd page builder combined with our 50+ pre-made templates and 500,000+ free stock photos to quickly create a beautiful coming soon page or maintenance page for your website.
It integrates with all popular social media platforms, so you can easily add share buttons to grow your following.
SeedProd pro also comes with subscriber management and email marketing integrations, so you can grow your email list by connecting it with your favorite email marketing service like Constant Contact, MailChimp, AWeber, and over 1000+ apps via Zapier.
On top of that, you can use SeedProd
The Advanced Custom Fields folks have just announced ACF blocks for Gutenberg. Creating Gutenberg blocks for ACF can now be achieved with registering with PHP code!
There has been a lot of excitement surrounding Gutenberg, the new block-based WordPress editing experience. One of its most compelling features is the ability for developers to create their own custom block types. This opens up an endless array of possibilities for customization. There’s just one little problem. Creating custom blocks is extremely complicated. How complicated? Well, even a simple testimonials block requires a massive amount of code.
The entire process is both time and code intensive. The result is that many developers will consider the custom blocks feature to be out of their reach.
While we have been hard at work to ensure metabox compatibility with Gutenberg, an idea hit us. What if we could make it easier to build custom block types for Gutenberg? Blocks that allow you to use ACF + PHP to create stunning dynamic content!
Well, it hasn’t been easy, but we are delighted to announce that our ACF Blocks feature is starting to take shape! In fact, you can now take it for spin! ACF version 5.8.0-beta1 is now available for download and includes an early stage of our ACF Blocks feature to help you create custom block types without the fuss.
Let’s take a
An interesting interview about the state of security of WordPress plugins with Hendrick Buchwald, the co founder of Code Risk. During the interview Hendrick also talks about the free online source code analyzer which they are offering to all WordPress plugin developers, hoping that it will help developers write more secure code.
Vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins have been the cause of more site hacks than vulnerabilities in WordPress core. One of the reasons why this is happening is lack of resources. Software will always have vulnerabilities, though the WordPress core code is vetted by thousands of people. Also, the foundation has resources allocated to ensure that the code is as secure as possible. On the other hand, many plugin developers do not have the resources available to ensure that their plugins’ code is secure, especially if it is a small plugin. Though that is all going to change, as Hendrik Buchwald explains in this interview. Hendrik is software engineer, security researcher, and co-founder of RIPS Technologies.
What does RIPS Technologies do?
RIPS Technologies is a high-tech company based in Bochum, Germany. We deliver automated security analysis for PHP applications as local software installation or highly scalable cloud service. Our innovative code analysis algorithms, which are specifically dedicated to the PHP language, can identify complex security vulnerabilities in modern applications like no other solution. Our mission is to provide developers and security professionals with
After several years of working on WordPress and accessibility and being part of the accessibility team, Rian Rietveld has taken the very difficult decision to leave the WordPress accessibility team. Here she explains why she have made this decision and how she hope things can improve for the future.
This post is written with the Gutenberg editor version 3.9.0. Disclaimer: This post is my opinion and mine alone.
After several years of working on WordPress and accessibility and being part of the accessibility team, I have taken the very difficult decision to leave the WordPress accessibility team. I owe it to the team to explain why I have made this decision and how I hope things can improve for the future.
The last year, especially the last few weeks have been too politically complicated for me. It’s better that someone else takes the lead now.
In this post I’ll try to give an analysis of what the WordPress Accessibility Team (wpa11y team) did during the development of Gutenberg and what the problems are with working on its accessibility.
When the development of Gutenberg started, the wpa11y team followed its progress and tested what was there. And we discovered there is much to improve. So Andrea Fercia started to open tickets and tried to find solutions. And that was a huge task.
We had four big problems:
The codebase of Gutenberg is difficult for all of us, because no one in the wpa11y team is a skilled REACT developer. So it was hard to implement
Vue.js WordPress Starter A WordPress Vue.js starter plugin with required toolbelts
We’re going to discuss the seven most crucial activities to track on your site. From content changes to failed login attempts.
When your WordPress website is small, it’s easy to keep tabs on everything that happens within it. However, as it grows in size and complexity it can become a lot harder to keep up. This is particularly true if you enable users to register on your site, run a membership site, or have multiple contributors on it. Regardless, it’s vital to know what’s happening on your site at all times. You can do this by tracking user activity such as changes to content, profile updates, failed logins, and more. When you have information like this at your fingertips, you can quickly track down the source of any problems and maintain tight security.
In this post, we’re going to briefly talk about why you’d want to track your WordPress site’s activity. Then we’ll help you figure out what types of activity it’s most important to keep an eye on. Let’s jump right in!
Why It’s Crucial to Use a WordPress Activity Log
An activity log can help you keep tabs on important changes to your site.
If your website has only a single user – you – there should be no surprises. Unless your site has been hacked (which we’ll talk more about later),
NorthStack™ Serverless – A new pay-as-you-go, elastic autoscaling hosting platform by Pagely • Pagely®
Every now and then we get to do something really big and impactful — something that leaves an enduring mark by changing the way things are done in an industry.
NorthStack™ Serverless – A new pay-as-you-go, elastic autoscaling hosting platform by Pagely • Pagely®
Announcing NorthStack by Pagely Every now and then we get to do something really big and impactful — something that leaves an enduring mark by changing the way things are done in an industry.
This is not an incremental update to a product or the gradual evolution of a solution, but is a revolutionary approach that upends the status quo. The last launch this big was in 2009 when we created Pagely. We’ve done amazing things since then, but nothing as innovative as what I’m announcing right now.
Today, again, we’re changing the world of hosting.
We’re proud to announce a revolution in Managed WordPress Hosting: NorthStack™ Serverless — an elastic, autoscaling, serverless platform for hosting WordPress, Node, and static sites. WordPress users can now build and run dynamic, interactive websites with plugins in a scalable, pay-as-you-go environment.
Let’s break that down a bit.
Pay-as-you-go and only pay for what you use
Users of traditional hosting plans may face a lose-lose proposition. If the site’s demand is high, the performance of the site suffers. If demand is low, the hosting company pockets the extra from the unused resources.
New post from me on how the "marketing channel" philosophy works, why it's really good, and how to think about marketing your WordPress business.
Having the right marketing channels for your WordPress business is the difference between having a thriving WordPress business, and a struggling one. You can make a great product or service, but if you’re not able to effectively get it in front of people who need and will pay for it, that’s not too much use. Despite all the hours that go into making a great product, having it thrive or not can be decided by choosing – or not choosing – the right marketing channels.
Thus, you must have the right set of marketing channels. You must be able to connect your offering with potential customers who can and will pay you.
But what are marketing channels? What constitutes a “channel”? How do you pick the right channels? This post gets into all of this! We’ll show you the channel-based marketing philosophy, and aim to give you a clear framework on how to think about marketing your WordPress business.
Let’s talk about marketing channels
Marketing channels are categories of marketing activities. This part isn’t complicated: there are around twenty channels which cover the vast majority of marketing work.
Here’s a sample of five of these
This article will help WordPress product owners understand whether the freemium business model is the right way to go for their specific product, while also exploring the other popular models that currently exist.
Can the freemium business model benefit your commercial product in the WordPress ecosystem, i.e. help you sell more premium licenses? This article looks into the 3 most popular business models in the open-source ecosystem and specifically breaks down the arguments for and against the freemium business model in WordPress. Let’s try to understand if freemium is the right business model for your WordPress product! What Is a Freemium WordPress product?
Okay, so first thing’s first – let’s start by defining what a freemium WordPress product is:
A “freemium” WordPress product is a plugin or a theme that, in addition to their free version, offersif you either paid add-ons or a premium version/service (like support).
After establishing a basic definition, which I believe most would agree with, I’d like to take a look at the advantages and the disadvantages of choosing the freemium business model for your WordPress products over the other available models. But first:
What Are Your Options As A WordPress Developer?
Let’s take a quick look at the 3 most common options WordPress developers go about distributing their products:
Free WordPress Products
Cookies were first invented in 1994 by a computer programmer named Lou Montulli. Without them, the web would be quite a different place. Whether your logging into the back-end of your WordPress site or closing an annoying popup window, you use and interact with cookies every day (even if you don’t realize it). By now, you’ve probably guessed that when we refer to cookies, we mean the cookies used to store important visitor information on a website, not the yummy chocolate chip kind.
Using nulled plugins are not illegal however not the best idea is your business relies on your WordPress sites. Also, you are not supporting the plugin developers.
No one likes spending more money than necessary – it’s a human thing. Even one of the richest people in the world, Warren Buffet, still searches out discounts on the cars he buys (ok, maybe that’s an extreme example – you get the idea). Because people are always on the lookout for ways to cut costs, some WordPress users are tempted to turn to nulled WordPress plugins and themes instead of paying for the official premium version.
In this post, we’re going to tell you why using nulled WordPress plugins and themes is a bad idea…even if it’s not necessarily breaking any laws.
Nulled WordPress Plugins and Themes Aren’t Necessarily Illegal
Let’s start with the elephant in the room…
It’s unlikely that the FBI kicks down your door if you use nulled WordPress plugins or themes. That’s because, in contrast to the other content that people usually “pirate” (e.g. music, movies), nulled WordPress plugins and themes are often not breaking the law.
The reason here has to do with the GPL (General Public License). Without making this a lesson on copyright, you just need to know that part of what the GPL license allows
Ahmed Khalifa expands on recent struggles to get the concerns around accessibility heard, and shares a disappointing tweet from Matt Mullenweg,
Disclaimer: This post is written by me, and it’s based on my opinion only. Don’t just assume that everyone in my situation feels the same. Ask them how they personally feel instead. —
Being deaf/hard of hearing means that there are certain information that I struggle to have access to.
Since my business (and let’s face it, my personal life) revolves around being online, having the likes of accurate subtitles/captions and good quality audio is essential for me in order for me to be able to consume video/audio-based content.
Too many times have I had to cancel listening to podcasts or watching videos within seconds after starting because of terrible audio or lack of captions or transcripts.
And don’t even get me started with cinemas. I’ve wasted hundreds of pounds to be at the end of a poor experience due to lack of captioned films available.
Hence why I don’t bother watching any more comic-book related movies, much to my disappointments:
The thing is, I’m like a sponge. I just want to soak up and learn as much as possible. I’m a huge believer of constantly learning in order to grow as a person and to grow my business.
Always Be Learning:
Dynamic sites are a bit more complicated than just "simple" sites and they require more attention when it comes to hosting.
One of the big reasons that so many people love WordPress is that you can use it to create pretty much any type of website. From blogs to eCommerce stores to membership sites, WordPress can do it all. But…the same can’t be said for the average WordPress host… While pretty much any host can handle a simple WordPress blog or brochure site, WordPress sites that rely more heavily on dynamic content, like eCommerce stores or membership sites, require a more detailed approach to hosting and optimization if you want them to perform well.
For example, you’ll hear horror stories of the WooCommerce dashboard that takes minutes to load or run reports. Or the online course content that takes forever to load and frustrates course-takers.
To help you avoid that being your site, we’re going to dig into 9 tips for hosting dynamic WordPress sites like:
eCommerce stores built with WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads;
Membership sites built with any one of the many quality membership plugins out there;
Online courses built with LMS plugins;
Social networking sites based on BuddyPress, PeepSo, or others;
Forums built with bbPress or BuddyPress.
Three Big Reasons Why Dynamic
Meet NorthStack™, a new managed application platform built on the serverless AWS stack, powered by Pagely and primed for WordPress.
We’re proud to announce a new concept in WordPress hosting: NorthStack™ Serverless Hosting.
NorthStack elastically autoscales WordPress, Node, and static sites in a serverless hosting environment. WordPress users can now build and delpoy dynamic, interactive websites on a scalable, pay-as-you-go platform:
Pagely Announces NorthStack, the World’s First Truly Serverless WordPress Environment
Disrupts WordPress Application Hosting With Instant Scaling, Unlimited Sites and Pay-As-You-Use Pricing
AWS-Based Environment Provides Boundless Scaling with No Plans or Start-up Fees
Full, Interactive Serverless Feature Set for Dynamic Sites
Liberates WordPress Users from the Burden of the Webhost
TUCSON, Ariz. — October 16, 2018 — Pagely, the flexible managed hosting service for business-critical WordPress projects, today announced NorthStack™, its new managed serverless application platform built on the AWS stack. In an unprecedented first, WordPress users can now build and run dynamic, interactive websites with plugins in a serverless, pay-as-you-go environment.
NorthStack is available immediately in early beta on a limited basis. General availability
Create and upload your WordPress database backup to Amazon S3, to a remote machine via SCP or to your local machine in some directory, all done from command line tool.
As a developer who is very sensitive about performance, I never (mostly) used any backup plugin those depends mostly upon WordPress cron and tries to backup and upload to the same server or a remote server without offloading from the main PHP process. To me, it feels like I’m slowing down the server by relying on backing up a site on PHP FPM. It could be done more efficiently from command line using tools like mysqldump, gzipping it and copying to any location you would like. Because it’s supposed to work like that, I never liked any backup plugin (I can’t speak for every backup solutions out there, but most plugin does). Although VaultPress bridges the gap between both of two worlds by backing up normally and using SSH, but it’s costly. Well, not that much, but still you require to opt-in to their monthly payment plan.
Till now I’ve been using bash scripts to backup my sites, but those also require you to manually edit and put the server locations where to store the backup and they aren’t all purpose scripts. So I built a new one – wp-db-backup. It’s just like another command line utility that lets you do whatever you want without touching
This is why CSS Grid & Flexbox are powerful platforms and why they're very much recommended by experts
Flexbox and CSS Grid have both provided web property developers with more convenient ways to do website design from scratch. The amount of control that they give to developers, particularly when customizing and styling complex web pages, is unprecedented and instrumental. More importantly, both these platforms are vital for ensuring that your website would always be able to adhere to responsive design guidelines. Often, comparisons are made between CSS Grid and Flexbox. While there are noticeable differences, what’s sure is that both are reliable and actually work extremely well if used together.
Advantages of Flexbox & CSS Grid
Avoids dependence on third-party libraries
CSS Grid and Flexbox were invented and developed to overcome a major hurdle prevalent in standard CSS layout system: the overreliance on third-party libraries. These libraries were often used to make up for the features that web developers have found to be lacking in the system. These third-party libraries were usually utilized to perform steps that are practically no longer needed to be done thanks to CSS Grid and Flexbox.
CSS Grid, after all, has its own grid layout system, which basically makes it easier
First up, Gutenberg is entering the final development phase and is almost ready for its first release candidate version. Beyond that, the official AMP plugin was upgraded and optimized towards a more user-friendly interface, while our own Pirate Forms moved on to become part of WPForms. And if you like dark interfaces, “dark mode” might be coming to WordPress!
AMP for WordPress Plugin to Introduce User-Friendly Theme Support Settings in Upcoming 1.0 Release Google’s open-source project AMP (as in Accelerated Mobile Pages) will get significant improvements in the upcoming release. This should be great news because the official WordPress plugin is used on more than 300,000 websites. The new features AMP for WordPress aims to introduce are extended theme support and a more user-friendly settings approach. This re-orientation is essential since, in the first stages, the tool was primarily built for developers, and hence required non-intuitive actions from regulars users.
In the forthcoming version, users can enable native AMP or Paired mode on the settings page; moreover, the beta release adds granular controls for selecting supported templates. And these are not the only changes in the plugin’s functionality.
The 3-year-old tool aims to improve your website’s mobile performance and is used on 25 million domains worldwide (beyond WordPress). We’re using it on this very blog too.
An article on managing your own WordPress products using tools like Trello.
Running a Product Business can be hard and unless you’re well organized, it will be impossible to run it in the long run. Trello can help you manage your products and in this tutorial, I will show you how I manage my WordPress products with Trello. If you don’t want to read, you can check the video at the bottom of the article.
What is Trello?
If you have not yet heard of Trello, Trello is an application that helps you create to-do lists. You can create various boards with unlimited lists.
Each list can have unlimited cards and each card holds information related to a task. Cards can have checklists, attachments, due dates, members and a lot of other things. I’ll let you explore that on your own. Let’s now focus on managing a WordPress Product with Trello.
Create your WordPress Product Board
Of course, you will create a new board for your WordPress product. If you have a team, create a team and attach the board to the team. By doing that, everybody on your team will have access to the board.
If you wish to show the whole roadmap for your users, make it publicly available. Otherwise, make it private, especially if you’re storing sensitive data to it.
Yoast is a great tool for SEO. What happens when you have green dots all the way down, but you still aren't ranking in Google? Here's a few reasons you might not be on page one of Google.
John Locke is a SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps manufacturing businesses rank higher through his web agency, Lockedown Design & SEO. If your website is built on WordPress, you have probably used the Yoast SEO plugin.
Yoast SEO is the number one SEO helper plugin for WordPress, (and they also have a module for Drupal). Here’s how it works.
For each page or article you edit, you set a focus keyword phrase. Yoast SEO gives you an overall score for Readability and SEO.
Green dots mean “good”, orange dots mean “OK”, red dots mean “needs improvement”.
You also get a breakdown of individual areas that fall under the red, orange, and green dots. (There will be a screenshot further down of what this looks like in the back end.)
So here’s the question that I hear most often from other Yoast users:
“I have green dots in Yoast. So why am I not ranking higher in Google?”
I understand why there’s confusion. Isn’t Yoast supposed to help you rank higher?
It can, but with an asterisk.
SEO is a black box inside a moving target, and there is no transparent formula to ranking number one in Google.
But I’m here