Long but excellent read. I think it should be a must-read, frankly, no matter what side of the editing fence one might be on.
This article is about what I believe is the most important issue in WordPress right now: the need for a better post editing experience. This article is a personal statement about what I believe is the most important issue in WordPress right now: the need for a better post editing experience. It’s fairly long, because I found that I couldn’t write about the topic without trying to synthesize a lot of what I believe is true about how the WordPress landscape works and how it evolves. If I’m wrong about some things, it wouldn’t be the first time (or the last), but I do hope it inspires discussion and action within the WordPress community.
Some terminology notes: “Post” is meant in the broad WordPress sense of all post types—pages, (blog) posts, and custom post types—and not in the narrower sense of just blog posts. The WordPress post editor, often called just the “editor,” is the default backend tool for administering post content in WordPress. The Front-End Editor is a tool (currently a plugin) that allows post authoring and administration directly on the front-end (the user-visible part) of a site.
The Current State of Post Editing in WordPress
Last week, Jeff Chandler of WP Tavern wrote
A look at some of the problems with Envato and ThemeForest and why the race to the bottom is dangerous
I have a few friends who are pretty good with WordPress development, have a few decent plugins out there and love the community. They started small and began with playing with some themes and plugins, and then learned development by building their own solutions in the evening and over the weekend. For some of them that adventure happened some 6-7 years ago. They still love WordPress, and they also like the community. They maintain their free plugins and such.
But they have to do other 9-to-5 jobs in order to make a living. They’ve tried to sell their services and products, but within that competitive ecosystem with constant race to the bottom it never worked out. They have explored the local opportunities for work, but the small digital agencies are paying nickles or they live in a country with a less developed business ecosystem than, for example, the US, Canada, Australia or the UK.
At the same time we discuss the talent shortage – does it sound familiar now?
Is Envato All Bad?
For those who don’t know, Envato is the company behind ThemeForest, CodeCanyon and a few other brands related to building websites and selling cheap solutions.
Envato has become notorious in the WordPress ecosystem
Have you ever wanted to install WordPress locally on your computer? But found it too difficult and complicated! Here’s a neat solution! Learn how to install WordPress locally using the tool DesktopServer.
Have you ever wanted to install WordPress locally on your computer? But found it too difficult and complicated! Here’s a neat solution! Let me put this way. Check out this tutorial and you’ll learn how to install WordPress locally under 10 minutes using the excellent tool DesktopServer.
A test environment is a must for a WordPress developer, designer, or website owner if you want to test themes, plugins, codes, or write tutorials like this one!
DesktopServer is a single integrated tool from ServerPress that is available in both a free and a premium version. In today’s article, I give the free version a test run, and it’s perfectly adequate for my purposes.
You can create three virtual host servers while in the paid version there are unlimited site creations. You can compare features between versions in the comparison matrix. But three virtual websites work perfectly. If you need more, then you can consider purchase the premium version.
DesktopServer allows you to quickly create local development sites. You don’t not need to be connected to the internet to be able to work on your projects. Within minutes, you can fire up your first virtual server to try out new WordPress themes, test
Automated Image optimization has come a long way over the last few years. This round up compares some of the biggest names in that field and declares a winner... but with quite a few caveats.
I’ve long been an advocate of optimizing images for better site performance. I have a short series of articles (of which this is now the fourth) talking about different ways to optimize your WordPress website.
Until now, my recommendation to anyone serious about page speed has been to optimize their images manually. My first article on this, talked about the science behind it and how to do it for free. Next I delved into automation options and highlighted why at that time they were not quite as beneficial as optimizing by hand.
I’m really happy to write this comparison article in order to highlight a couple methods now that do image optimization really well so we can finally have our cake and eat it too when it comes to image optimization.
Different Image Optimization Scenarios
Before I jump into this knock-down, drag out showdown I need to highlight that different websites will have different image compression needs. For example, my site is primarily a blog/portfolio/product site. None of those purposes require high quality images. My image use revolves around supporting my words in a visually attractive way that make people remember the post/page/product.
Greg Rickaby covers a 101 on how to develop websites with accessibility in mind.
Imagine not being allowed to buy a gallon of milk because you’re color blind. What a ridiculous scenario right!? But the reality is: Grocery stores don’t discriminate against those with disabilities…but your website (probably) does.
The reality is that there are millions and millions of people with disabilities who use the web every day. As a community, we cannot continue to treat them as an afterthought. When I say this, please take note: I’m not trying to shame anyone. When I am talking about our community, I truly mean it; it’s on all of us, including WebDevStudios, to make improvements in this regard.
If you’re not familiar, “accessibility” is the practice of writing code and creating websites that are easy to read and navigate for those who cannot view or hear in a traditional manner. This is not another article preaching the importance of accessibility. There are plenty articles focused on WHY, but even fewer that explain HOW. This will be an article on how, as I take a high-level view of the different types of accessibility concerns, showcase some code examples, and finally introduce you to some software to help you test it all out.
If you’re interested in learning why it’s important
Good news. Things are not as bad as they once seemed to be.
Good news. Things are not as bad as they once seemed to be.
WP Elevation continues excellent series of posts on building client relations.
When I was in college, I was working at a small ad agency as a designer, gaining valuable real-world experience. But I knew I also needed to do internships to build my resume and expand my knowledge of the industry I was so excited to build a career in. But there weren’t a lot of internships, they were hard to get, and well, you needed to have an “in.” So I asked around, did my homework, and created opportunities to be around and meet people who offered internships.
By the time I graduated, I had completed five internships.
When I first ventured out on my own, I knew I needed clients to survive. Without clients I would have no income, and without income, we’d be in trouble. The first thing I did was reach out to everyone I knew that worked in industries or at companies that hired and worked with freelancers and I asked them to hook me up. I asked for an interaction to be made to the person who hires freelancers, and then I asked for a meeting.
Soon my business was overflowing with clients.
Later when I wanted to up level and shift my client base, I knew I needed to surround myself with these types of clients and put myself in the rooms where these clients were. I asked around, found
Congratulating these guys for boldness for launching another caching plugin.
If you care about the speed of your site, ZenCache is one of those plugins that you absolutely MUST have installed :-) ZenCache takes a real-time snapshot (building a cache) of every Page, Post, Category, Link, etc. These snapshots are then stored (cached) intuitively, so they can be referenced later, in order to save all of that processing time that has been dragging your site down and costing you money. The ZenCache plugin uses configuration options that you select from the options panel. See: ZenCache -› Options in your Dashboard. Once a file has been cached, ZenCache uses advanced techniques that allow it to recognize when it should and should not serve a cached version of the file. By default, ZenCache does not serve cached pages to users who are logged in, or to users who have left comments recently. ZenCache also excludes administrative pages, login pages, POST/PUT/DELETE/GET(w/ query string) requests and/or CLI processes.
SIMPLE and well-documented configuration (just enable and you're all set!).
The ability to set an automatic expiration time for cache files.
Client-Side Caching (to allow double-caching in the client-side browser).
Caching for 404 requests to reduce
A great case study for WordPress. My only regret is that we lost them as ManageWP customers once they switched from 17 WordPress installs to a singe one :)
Today, we’re proud and excited to launch the completely revamped WIRED.com. It’s been a while since our last redesign—8 years, we sheepishly admit—so this overhaul of our site is long overdue. But this gave us the time to build a smarter, more beautiful website that looks to the future as much as our reporting does. It’ll also be more fun for you to read and explore.
Over the last couple of years as we prepared to embark on our major site redesign, Condé Nast has made significant investments in the WIRED Tech Team. We’ve more than doubled in size, adding both product and project management teams. In the past, our team was so small that we spent most of our time scrambling to fix bugs and keep the site from 503’ing. Now we have a diverse team of specialists who are devoted to making sure our site meets the growing demands of digital readers like you—people who know a bit about programming and what makes a good website.
Our redesign is here thanks to a big under-the-radar project in March 2014, when we migrated 17 active WIRED blogs into a single WordPress install. If we did our jobs right, you barely noticed that happen. Clandestine though that mission was, it put us exactly where we
Unsurprisingly, there's a great discussion going in the comments of this one.
Over the weekend, the WordPress plugin directory implemented a major change that better reflects how popular a plugin is. The number of total downloads has been replaced with the number of active installs. While the numbers are not exact, they’re close enough to give people insight into usage. When it comes to reporting WordPress plugin security vulnerabilities, this is a welcome change. The active install numbers give the media a better idea on how many sites are potentially at risk. In addition to knowing the active installs for a given plugin, we can also see a breakdown of which versions are used.
Using Outdated Versions of Plugins
With Jetpack, we see that nearly 40% of sites use the latest version while the other 60% use an older version.
Yoast SEO is split down the middle with 50% of sites using the latest version and the other combined 50% using an older version.
Only a quarter of the sites using Contact Form 7 are using the most recent version, while nearly 75% combined are using an outdated version.
For other plugins, the trend is the same. A majority of sites are using older versions of plugins. For all of the effort that goes into informing users to keep sites up to date
A nicely presented collection of Email Marketing Tools for WordPress
MailChimp is a popular email marketing solution that provides you with numerous ways to design and send your email newsletters. It is used by more than seven million people around the world. It lets you send and track emails, manage subscribers, view analytics, create nice email templates, and setup autoresponders. With MailChimp, you can create campaigns that will handle sending emails every time your blog gets updated. Also, it lets you create highly customizable sign-up forms and sign-up checkboxes with various forms on your site, e.g. your comment or contact forms.
The easiest way to handle the integration is with the MailChimp for WordPress plugin. The installation is simple and the only thing you need afterwards is an API key to connect your MailChimp account with the plugin.
(Also, their official plugin SendinBlue Subscribe Form And WP SMTP.)
SendinBlue is an email marketing service provider. Much like MailChimp. It covers email marketing, transactional emails and mobile text messaging. It is dedicated to both beginners and advanced users.
It comes with a free membership option that covers all the features. There are only two restrictions: there’s a limit of 9,000 emails per
This is more of an intro to Pressidium, a new WordPress managed host. Good luck guys.
What is Enterprise Architecture? and why does Pressidium® Pinnacle Platform implement it? At Pressidium we're all about making things as simple as possible for our partners. However we've realised when talking about the Pressidium® Pinnacle Platform, our enthusiasm for the technical nature of our work has got the better of us. We often refer to the term Enterprise Architecture - the core aspect of our design but we now realise this can be a challenging concept to wrap your head around, if you're unfamiliar with the terminology.
We're sorry about that and we want to put things right.
Today we're going to explain in plain English what we mean when we say 'Enterprise Architecture'. We'll explore why we use this model for delivering managed WordPress hosting that's fast, reliable and secure. We'll also delve into how this can help you and the benefits it will provide you and your ongoing projects.
What Is Enterprise Architecture?
To understand Enterprise Architecture hosting, we first need to look at the conventional hosting solutions already available on the market. It's likely the case if you own a website or blog that you use one of these solutions already and are familiar with how they
By actual installs, and not just download counts, here are some of the most popular WordPress plugins. This is based on research and new stats that were in Beta on WordPress.org.
WordPress plugin popularity has always been pretty tough to figure out. We only had download counts or independent, third party website scrapers to tell us anything. Now, WordPress.org itself has more data that’s being tested and launched to give us real insight into the popularity of WordPress plugins. WordPress has long had download counts for core WordPress, plugins, and themes.
But downloads counts are deceiving. They count downloads, but are not representative of actual active installs.
Recently — in my Club member newsletter — I noted that it is past time to get data for actual installs, versus download counts. There is a private beta program on WordPress.org that offers just that, and at least some of the new stats are launching very, very soon.
The new plugin stats pages will show four new charts, visible to plugin authors:
New installs per day
Updates per day
Active installs per day
Most importantly, the “active installs per day” chart shows us — with much greater precision than we previously had — how many actual websites are running any plugin available on WordPress.org.
For the beta period, utilizing a non-public query string parameter, I was able to see
While not ideal in most cases, for large old sites that have lots of images, and you just can't possibly get to them all, this is a great idea. I would only use it in such a situation, though, as the title won't really be reflective of the actual image in many cases.
Images are important for engagement with your visitors but the problem with images is that they mean nothing to search engines. The only way search engines can tell what an image is about is by reading the information inside the alt attribute. If you are using WordPress you can easily include images on the page by using the media library. This is where you can select the alt text for the image, but what if you don't have alt text on your images or you forget to enter the alt text?
You need a way to automatically populate your image tags with an alt attribute.
Below is a WordPress snippet to put into your functions.php file to search your content for images which don't have an alt attribute. If they don't have an alt attribute this function will add it in with a default of the post title.
preg_match_all('//', $content, $images);
foreach($images as $index => $value)
$new_img = str_replace('
Interesting piece, since so much of WordPress is customer-facing. There are very different needs when everything on the site needs to be secure from the outside world, and open in varying degrees inside the firewall. In addition, there's the potential to combine rapid collaboration with curating organizational knowledge. I'd like to see more articles on this topic.
The importance of setting your prices based on the value you provide to your customers, not on how technical the work is you're doing...
Tons of things have changed At one point in time, if you owned a restaurant, maybe you thought of hiring someone to stand outside on the street corner wearing a sandwich board to tell people about your spot.
Or maybe, if it was a different time, you decided to spend money on a Yellow Pages ad.
I’m linking to these items on Wikipedia because there’s a chance today that you don’t know what these things are.
They were the distribution mechanism of marketing at one point in life.
Today, people don’t always think about sandwich boards or the Yellow Pages.
Today they think about a website and maybe Google’s local ads. Or maybe you ask customers to rank you on Yelp or TripAdvisor.
Maybe you’d integrate with OpenTable.
Here’s the truth – the objective won’t often change but the distribution mechanism will keep changing over time.
I tell you what seems obvious because I want to talk about a pricing dynamic that requires context.
Marketing hasn’t changed
I tell you about the difference between objective and distribution mechanism, but those words seem stilted. So instead, let’s call it the destination and the vehicle.
For many businesses, the destination is always the same – to gather a group
WP-Sweep a new Plugin That does all the general cleaning of WordPress Installations
After years of creating new content, changing themes, and adding and removing plugins, a WordPress installation can become littered with unused, orphaned, and duplicated data. Not every plugin properly extricates itself and its data from your site when you uninstall. Lester Chan‘s new WP Sweep plugin was designed to perform housekeeping on WordPress installations. Chan is a prolific plugin developer, who created his first plugin in 2003 shortly after WordPress was forked from b2. He now has 24+ plugins listed in directory.
WP-Sweep’s distinguishing characteristic is that it uses proper WordPress delete functions as much as possible instead of running direct delete MySQL queries. This method is in direct contrast to similarly purposed plugins such as WP-Optimize, which has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times.
Looking through WP-Optimize and they are using SQL query to delete post revisions which means there will be orphaned data left behind.
— Lester Chan (@gamerz) February 23, 2015
What can WP-Sweep clean?
WP-Sweep uses WordPress delete functions, such as wp_delete_post_revision(), delete_post_meta(), wp_delete_comment(), etc. to clean up the database. It can perform sweeps
Everyone wants to "Do It Right," but do you have a clear definition of what that means for everyone yourself and those you work with? If you don't spending a little time on defining your standards and workflow can provide a big return on investment in the long-term--saving you time and money.
These days everyone is talking about following best practices, established standards, and just doing it right. This is undeniably great, but does your company have a clear definition of what any of this means? I ask because documenting this information can create a valuable resource for your employees and contractors to learn from—all while establishing a company-wide standard. More importantly, however, it creates a way to offer the most constructive type of feedback to those who are not doing it right. Instead of telling them they are flat out wrong, you can direct them to where it says how to do it right.
Establishing best practices for a WordPress development agency (of any kind) can also be part of creating standard operating procedures (SOP). Having an established set of SOPs not only creates consistency and helps to further refine expectations, but it also eases the on-boarding process of new employees, as your institutional memory is recorded.
Like programming, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel—your best practices can be linked to documents. In this article, I will discuss where to find the best documents to help construct your best practices, what they should include,
I gave some background on Twitter's new official plugin, including some screenshots of it in action.
Twitter has finally announced an official WordPress plugin. It’s pretty thorough, and on a quick test run, works as advertised. Here’s a rundown of some of the features and background. “About time” is probably what comes to mind. Twitter has announced an official WordPress plugin to support their platform. It’s available now on the WordPress plugin repo.
They just released the plugin a couple of hours ago. It’s actually taking the place of an existing plugin, which was wiped from the plugin repo two weeks ago by Otto Wood. That’s what will account for the 150,000+ downloads upon initial release. Otto has now reset the count in the database, so the numbers are more realistic.
I reached out to Otto to see how these decisions are made. Otto is one of the managers of the repo.
A twitter representative emailed us, sent us the plugin, and asked to have the “twitter” name in the directory. We reviewed the plugin as per normal, found no issues with it, and decided to give them the name because, after all, they are indeed “Twitter” and have the rights to their own name.
The previous plugin occupying that space had been inactive for a long period of time and had no real existing installations
Another fine round-up of this month. Ariel Rule curated a list of interesting stories in and around WordPress. Tutorials and guides and an interview with Peter Nilsson.
Time goes by way too fast! All...
Good intro into PHP autoloader concept in the context of WordPress development.
Good intro into PHP autoloader concept in the context of WordPress development.
WP Mayor takes a look at over 11 podcasts dedicated to WordPress that you might want to check out!
As the WordPress community grows, so does its demand for new and better content. One of the best ways to get this content across to a large audience in a quick and efficient way is with a podcast. WordPress podcasts are growing in popularity, as are their hosts.
Most of the top podcasts are hosted by some of the best WordPress minds out there, ranging from Chris Lema to Pippin Williamson himself. This is a testament to the value of this mode of communication.
While certain podcasts have simply run out of juice over the past few years and have sometimes completely come to a halt, others have grown into fixed weekly shows. New podcasts with varying content have also been introduced, taking the place of the ones that shut down.
This variety of shows, subjects and hosts has led us to creating this list of the best WordPress podcasts out there right now. So here you go.
“WPcast.fm, the professional WordPress podcast. Our goal with this podcast is to provide valuable information to WordPress professionals – designers, consultants, developers as well as end users that run their businesses on WordPress.”
“I started the Matt Report podcast in October of 2012 and it quickly
Envato’s dominance and loose product standards with themes packaged as complete website solutions
This week Envato published stats on how WordPress product sellers are doing within its economy. Theme authors make up the bulk of WordPress-based earnings on its marketplace and continue to dominate sales. Inspired by his interaction with the WordPress business community at Pressnomics, Ben Chan, director of Growth and Revenue at Envato, penned an insider brief about the WordPress segment of Envato’s economy. The post makes it abundantly clear why theme authors continue to sell their products on Themeforest, despite the marketplace’s poor reputation among WordPress consultants.
Envato’s steady pipeline of traffic is the deciding factor for many commercial theme authors. “In September 2014, ThemeForest was the 88th most trafficked website in the world (according to Alexa.com), at the time ahead of Netflix,” Chan said. “The traffic it receives is more than just eyeballs; these are buyers looking to purchase a theme and many are introduced to WordPress for the first time.”
This volume has made it possible for 31 authors to sell more than $1 million dollars worth of products through Envato. “We have authors earning tens of thousands of dollars from our various product types, but it’s WordPress
Largely a response to the recent WPTavern article and Ben Chan's "Insider Info" on ThemeForest sales, we talk about why we're entering the Theme Market and don't see ThemeForest as the problem.
I have a past that not many WordPress folks know about: I’m a social justice, hippy protester at heart. Back in the day, I was one of those guys who went to protest rally meetings. Sometimes it didn’t matter what the protest was for, I just wanted to be there. But one of the “social justice” issues that often got me riled up was the way giant conglomerate corporations loved to sweep into small towns and swallow local businesses whole. I still to this day can’t be PAID to step foot in a WalMart. At one time, I wouldn’t step foot in a Starbucks. I believed at that time that Starbuck’s very presence in a community triggered the end of other private local economies and that was simply unjust. While there is merit to that argument still, the data collected about Starbucks specifically over the last few decades is showing a different picture. Starbucks, rather than being a threat to other small coffee shops, can provide a standard by which private shops can distinguish themselves against and actually indirectly benefit other local coffee shops.
Don’t get me wrong. Starbucks doesn’t go out seeking to benefit other shops. A lot of the criticism against them has to do with their strong-arm tactics