Good design isn't just about aesthetics. Just as important: site usability, ease in navigation, & accessibility. Learn more about web design best practices.
What causes the large discrepancy between what some WordPress developers charge compared to others? Answering this question requires consideration for the reason behind why you want a website in the first place. Some developers focus on the literal final product: the combination of code that results in a pleasant enough website design.
But developers with marketing savvy concern themselves with more than just building something that looks nice. They act as consultants to clients who are looking to accomplish specific goals with their websites.
With this in mind, hiring someone to build a website who doesn’t seem interested in/doesn’t ask questions about your end goals is a red flag. It’s important to call out the fact that even the most beautiful web design may not be ideal when it comes to getting visitors to convert into customers.
That said, 94% of people judge your credibility based on your website’s design.
So, instead, you need to focus on using your design to offer the ideal user experience. You must make it easy for visitors to find the information they sought by visiting your website in the first place while guiding them towards goal conversion activities.
Matt Mullenweg’s announcement back in 2018 about raising WordPress’ minimum PHP version got a lot of people excited. In this week’s article, guest author Carl Alexander shares that while this was great for WordPress developers, it still won't make WordPress a modern PHP project that'll attract and retain developers.
At the State of the Word 2018, Matt Mullenweg made a lot of different announcements. Most of them focused on Gutenberg, but a few didn’t. One of those was a proposal by Gary Pendergast to increase WordPress’ minimum PHP version. This announcement received a lot of applause. That’s because it made a lot of people (especially developers) excited. WordPress still had a minimum PHP version of 5.2 at the time. This PHP version hadn’t been supported in more than eight years.
Developers have always felt frustrated by this situation. PHP has changed a lot and added a lot of cool, useful features since PHP 5.2. But those weren’t available to them if they had to write code that supported PHP 5.2.
So, without a doubt, this was a great announcement for WordPress developers! They were finally going to be able to use modern PHP features while writing WordPress code. That said, that announcement didn’t change the nature of the WordPress project itself. It still won’t make it a modern PHP project that’ll attract and retain developers.
The WordPress Legacy
Part of the reason for that is WordPress is a legacy application. The WordPress project itself is
Always interesting to see a review of a page builder from someone who dislikes page builders.
I’ll admit – when my editor asked me to write this Elementor review, I wasn’t too happy about it. I’d tried plenty of free WordPress page builders in the past, and never managed to stick with any of them for very long. As a web designer, I always felt they were actually limiting me. Sure, I’d heard Elementor was “the best WordPress page builder,” but I was skeptical. How good could it really be? Well, after working with it for a few weeks, I can tell you it’s better than I expected. In fact, WAY better than I expected.
Read on to find out what made me change my mind and decide to give Elementor a chance for the long run.
What Is Elementor?
Elementor is a free page builder plugin for WordPress. Essentially, it gives you a drag-and-drop interface for WordPress, making your work process similar to what you get with popular website builders such as Wix or Squarespace.
You can choose a ready-made template or build your own feature-rich page with elements you can place wherever you like – no coding knowledge required.
Once you install Elementor:
You can create new pages with any style, layout, or functionality you need. You aren’t
As podcasting tools evolve, fewer people are asking "Can I start a podcast," and more are asking, "Should I start a podcast?" The short answer is yes, and here's why!
What’s allowed and what isn’t on WordPress.org and the WordPress admin dashboard? Get all the rules and see examples of "wrong" marketing tacticts that got the WP community furious
It’s a recurring thing and the big topic surfaces repeatedly: What forms of advertising are allowed in the WordPress admin dashboard?
What forms of upselling and cross-selling are acceptable on the WordPress repository (wordpress.org)?
How far is too far?
Are standards the same for everyone?
If you’re a small plugin author, this topic is something you’re probably worried about because you’re always investigating new ways to attract more paying users to your plugin embracing a sustainable and by-the-rules approach.
But things are more difficult to understand as rules aren’t clear for everyone. Sometimes, it seems, a few plugin authors might succeed in bending rules in their favor.
But let’s start with a clear example:
Yoast, one of the most active and famous company in the WordPress ecosystem, pushed a banner — that’s the word — linking to their page featuring all their products discounted by 30% for Black Friday.
Of course, people on Twitter started to talk about it:
Marieke’s apology tweet
These are just a few of the many harsh comments Yoast received. To keep things nice and easy, here’s a summarized version of my take
Automating things you don't need to do is one of the best ways to save your time, or spend it on more important tasks. Here's how you can start automating today.
Time is also the only thing you can’t buy, or get more of. Do things that will save you time, and you will grow your business. I truly believe that and one of the best ways to find time is by automating the things you personally don’t have to do. There are lots of tools out there like Zapier, IFTTT, and Siri Shortcuts on iOS to make automating these fast and easy. Here are a few tips so you can start automating today. Ask yourself if a person needs to do the task.
There are lots of things we can do that a computer can do for us. If you’re manually doing something you don’t need to do, there is a great opportunity for automation.
A few examples are:
Automatically pulling expenses into your accounting software. FreshBooks and other accounting apps will usually have this built it. I put all of my expenses on my AmEx, and FreshBooks imports them for me.
Sharing to Social Media. Plugins like Social Web Suite will allow you to share to Facebook (pages), Twitter, and LinkedIn upon publish. And of-course, there’s Buffer for auto-sharing.
Sending emails. I send emails based on events like when a proposal is accepts, an invoice is paid, or something is added to specific
Going beyond the whole Jetpack issue, the constant nagging messages within the dashboard are too much.
There are any number of things to love about WordPress. Chiefly among them is the fact that it’s open source and free to use in any way you like. For web designers and their clients, this keeps costs down and lowers the barrier to building a first-class website. For plugin and theme authors, it provides an opportunity to tap into and benefit from a large, existing marketplace. Everyone’s a winner, right?
Well, it’s not always that simple. There are times when the various interests who have a stake in WordPress collide with a difference of opinion (see: Gutenberg). And it seems that we’ve hit another one of those points of contention: The WordPress dashboard.
An Unseemly Tactic?
Recently, there’s been some fervor over a “feature” in version 7.1 of Jetpack (since removed, as of version 7.2.1), the venerable Swiss-Army-Knife of a plugin by Automattic (a driving force behind WordPress) that offers a ton of various functionality. The plugin had started to promote its own paid products on the WordPress plugin search screen, placing itself first in line over everyone else.
Funny enough, this did not go unnoticed by members of the community (which likely
Taking stock of what Gutenberg has to offer as it approaches its first birthday. How it's improved, what it lacks and who it's for.
This week, we’re happy to present guest author Eric Karkovack’s thoughtful and balanced take on the Gutenberg editor, one year into its inclusion in WordPress core. With WCUS 2019 done with, the Gutenberg block editor has now been a part of WordPress core for a year. (Sticklers: technically, that’s on December 6, but no more releases between now and then.) This milestone seems like a perfect time to revisit one of the most anticipated and controversial features ever to be added to the world’s most popular CMS.
Even after a year of Gutenberg, there are still a lot of questions, misconceptions and (of course) opinions. Meanwhile, some developers have happily moved over to the block editor as their go-to solution. But the transformation hasn’t been completed, as others have stuck with the trusted Classic Editor and aren’t in a hurry to switch.
With that in mind, I wanted to take a fresh, objective look at Gutenberg’s features and usability in comparison with the alternatives.
So, what are the pros and cons of Gutenberg one year into its run? Let’s dig in and find out!
Gutenberg at One Year: The Pros
First, let’s look at what I feel
There's a difference between how much disk space you need, vs how much you want. Are you overestimating?
Maybe you’re choosing a new web host or simply curious about what’s “normal.” Whatever the reason, understanding disk space and how much you need for your WordPress website is an important consideration when choosing a hosting package or anticipating how much space you might need in future. In this post, we’ll explore how much space WordPress sites need, including how much space they typically use, what you need to know about web hosting packages and the storage space they offer, and how running your site efficiently can ultimately help you save space and keep costs down.
How Much Disk Space Do Web Hosts Offer?
Disk space refers to the amount of storage space a web host allocates to a website and all associated files on a server. Basically, it’s the same as disk space on your computer’s hard drive.
Web hosts typically list how much disk space they offer on their sites along with details of their plans and pricing. You might see it referred to as “disk,” “local storage,” and even “web space.”
No matter what it’s called, space is space and not to be confused with monthly visits (i.e. traffic) or bandwidth
Starting a site can be relatively easy. But maintaining a good site takes time, skill and persistence. This guide will help you take care of pretty much everything you should do on a monthly basis.
The world of web design and blogging has drastically changed since WordPress came into existence. It’s been quite a while since the first users were able to create their online journals through WordPress (the first version was released in May of 2003). After that, WordPress has quickly started to evolve and it became more than a simple blogging platform – it’s evolved into a full content management system that’s capable of pretty much everything. But let’s stop here; although the history of WordPress is interesting, not many people care much about it. And we’re sure you’re one of those.What’s important here is that WordPress is used on more than 30% of the entire web, and the platform is getting more popular than ever. Because of that, you can find tens of thousands of plugins & themes that allow everyone to build amazing websites. And instead of spending a few years learning about web technologies, all you need is a few hours to get acquainted with the platform and the particular themes and plugins you’ll be using.
That’s all great. You can have your first website built in a matter of days (even hours if you have some
As Founder and Chief Taco Officer of HeyTaco!, Doug Dosberg, says, "For many, the taco emoji is a symbol of appreciation. You can never show too much appreciation.” Learn how the Slack integrated app HeyTaco! helps to improve our company culture.
Creating a great company culture takes work. Creating a great remote company culture takes creativity. How do you engage in small talk with your co-workers without the proverbial water cooler? How do you celebrate success, commiserate over struggles, enjoy birthdays, anniversaries or holidays without a company outing or celebration in the break room? How do you make work more than just a computer you log into and get your tasks completed? It’s not easy! But at WebDevStudios (WDS), we found a way to make it work by relying on HeyTaco! to improve our company culture. Early on, we realized that creating a great company culture starts with great communication. We have found that Slack is a great platform for executing communication in an intuitive way and lines up well with all our company’s needs. Part of what makes Slack great is the ability to integrate with third-party apps to really make Slack your own, such as the awesome app HeyTaco!
At its most basic level, HeyTaco! is a team-executed reward system. Just invite HeyTaco! into your Slack channels and you are ready to go. Everyone has five tacos to give out per day. To give out your tacos, simply post a nice message, include
WordPress powers over 34% of the internet, and “managed WordPress hosting” is now worth multiple billions of dollars – but the WordPress experience for most users is poor. This is the area we need to improve in order to have WordPress relevant in the long term.
By Tom Fanelli, CEO and Founder, Convesio; 20 years of agency experience I’ve been building websites for 20 years and without a doubt, hosting client sites can be one of the most frustrating things about running an agency when something unexpected goes wrong.
For most agencies, providing hosting is a necessary evil. Clients expect it, and it doesn’t feel right not to offer it. At best, it’s a substantial recurring revenue stream that can support your agency through tough economies and at times when you lose clients. Offering hosting is actually really valuable, giving you stability in a project-based business.
At worst, it can be an easy way to lose time and money.
Over the years, we switched hosts dozens of times. In the early days of the business, we started out with cheap, shared hosting — as you do — and it caused no end of problems. We were plagued with downtime, sites weren’t just slow they were comatose, and trying to migrate from one server to another was like pulling teeth.
If a site was slow on the front-end, it was bad, but it was usually slower on the admin side of things, so backups, editing, installing plugins — all the stuff agencies
The never-ending debate... Stripe or PayPal (or both?). Check out some of the major differences, fees, and pros/cons to determine what's best for your WordPress site. What do you guys use?
Starting an ecommerce business is an exciting, chaotic time. You have so many things to consider: should you use a hosted platform or manage your store with a plugin? What are the strategies you need to skyrocket your sales? But no question is more daunting than this one: How should you accept payments?
After you do your homework, there will be two pretty clear contenders for your merchant buck: Stripe and PayPal. Offering comparable features, choosing between the two feels like picking between apples… and yet more apples. Which is where this article comes in.
Today, we’re going to compare and contrast these two payment gateways and get down to the bottom of the Stripe vs. PayPal debate.
Here’s the itinerary:
What Do Stripe and PayPal Do?
Both Stripe (founded 2011) and PayPal (founded 1998) are payment gateways, acting as the go-between for merchants and the appropriate credit card networks/financial institutions to authorize and accept payments.
The intricacies of these relationships can get pretty convoluted. A simple way to look at a payment gateway is as an envoy that routes information between merchants and banks.
Here’s a visual breakdown of where payment
There are legitimate concerns about Gutenberg - but what do all of these bad reviews really mean?
Perception is everything. And when the perception of your product or service isn’t very positive, it can really throw a monkey-wrench into your plans for success (just ask Windows 8). Frankly, it can be very difficult to shake free from this kind of negativity. At the moment, that’s what we’re seeing with the WordPress Gutenberg editor. As of this writing, the new editing experience hasn’t been merged into WordPress core, but is available in the form of a beta plugin. WordPress 4.9.8 included a call to test the plugin, which led to a huge leap in usage. With that came a flood of reviews – many of them negative.
But how big of a deal are those reviews? This is, after all, a piece of software that is still technically in beta form. Still, it seems like there is pent up frustration when it comes to Gutenberg. One wonders how this bodes for its future.
A Long Time Coming
Since the editor’s first beta plugin release back in June 2017, it seems the whole idea of the Gutenberg project has garnered controversy. Some developers have been miffed by the process for building out the new feature. Others have expressed concern about the effects it will have on
Where I share some of the darkest hours of building my WordPress maintenance and support business.
The following is an expanded and updated version of my presentation at WordCamp Salt Lake City 2017. My girls love Moana. Especially when it first came to video and they could watch it every day… or two or three times a day if mom wasn’t feeling good or catching up on sleep from being up with baby brother the night before.
There’s this strange part of that movie where Moana follows Maui to a place under the ocean called “The Realm of Monsters.” It’s where monsters go after being killed. If you have younger kids, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t have kids, it’s when the giant crab sings the song “Shiny.”
One common theme in myths, legends, and ancient religious writings, is where the hero visits the underworld, aka “afterlife” or “hell.” There they experience a symbolic or actual death for themselves or a loved one. Often through conquering a monster who is the Lord of the Underworld, they then re-emerge with their loved one, new knowledge and power, and/or some object to help them on their quest.
The film Moana clearly plays out this theme. She and Maui emerge triumphant from the
Some useful information for when someone tells you that WordPress is not a secure enough platform for their business website.
WordPress has been around for 15 years. Today it powers around 30% of the top 10 million websites on the internet. Being such a popular platform, WordPress has been in the limelight quite a few times, more often than not for wrong reasons – security, or lack of. Though is it really as insecure as many think? If it is really that insecure, how come world renowned names and brands such as The New York Times company, Time.com, Microsoft and The Walt Disney Company use it to power their websites, or some sections of it?
Learning from history
WordPress is a free and a easy to use blogging platform, which nowadays is more of a fully blown CMS. The ecosystem of plugins, themes and services built around it has made it possible for anyone with an internet connection to build and manage a website, even if they do not have a computer!
This means that many, who do not have any experience and the knowhow of what it takes to run and manage a website, have built a website. Many, who do not have IT / coding experience, have developed a plugin or a theme, and started a WordPress support agency. This ecosystem and the ease of use are the advantages WordPress has over competing solutions. Though
There has been no shortage of debate and controversy regarding the new Gutenberg editor, therefore it’s important to know what Gutenberg is and is not, and how it fits with the existing landscape of WordPress page builders.
A brand-new way to create content is coming to WordPress. The much-ballyhooed Gutenberg editor is set to appear in version 5.0. However, it’s already available in plugin form and boasts 300,000+ users. There has been no shortage of debate and controversy regarding this new editor. Therefore, it’s important to know what Gutenberg is and is not. This will help you make the best decisions with respect to how it fits in with your existing website.
One of biggest issues for designers is how Gutenberg will affect page builders. On the surface, there does appear to be some shared functionality between them. Does that mean the page builder tools we’re using today will become obsolete? Should we toss them aside for Gutenberg?
Gutenberg’s Approach to Content
Before we can determine the fate of page builders, let’s take a look at how Gutenberg works. We’ll introduce you to its new approach and show you its strengths.
Using Gutenberg is a much different experience than the “Classic” editor (which will continue to be available as a plugin). It eschews the single content field of its predecessor. Instead, the focus is on “blocks” of content.
Are you a Jigoshop user? How are you planning to tackle the possibility of it, and its add-ons being sunsetted? Heard anything about why it’s disappeared?
I woke up this morning to an email from an old client from my days as a freelancer building WordPress sites, asking about SCA compliance. I built them an ecommerce site with Jigoshop back in 2011, and had added the Stripe addon a few years back. I tried to have a look to see if the premium Jigoshop Stripe extension had an update available, and I found the site was down:
A quick search on Twitter confirmed it wasn’t just me, but that the problem was more serious than just some website downtime. Jigoshop on the web has seemingly disappeared.
It looks like #Jigoshop has disappeared. Website, Twitter and Facebook pages have all been shut down. I wonder what happened? #WordPress
— Matt Edwards (@mtedwards) August 30, 2019
A plugin doesn’t just disappear, does it? Especially a popular one? Although this isn’t the first time Jigoshop has been involved in controversy.
A Brief History of Jigoshop
The Jigoshop plugin was created by Jigowatt back in 2011 and quickly became a popular choice for WordPress ecommerce sites.
In August of that year WooThemes forked the plugin into WooCommerce and caused quite a stir in doing so:
Once upon a time, Mike Jolley and Jay Koster worked
A look at the challenges agencies face in finding talented React developers in this new Gutenberg-powered landscape.
Jeff talks about why this fork (long threatened, but only now finally being executed) could be a great thing for WP and the community.
Depending on how far and deep you look, there is not a lot of positive sentiment surrounding Gutenberg. For Scott Bowler, the notion of merging Gutenberg into WordPress 5.0 represents a shift so detrimental to the project, he has forked WordPress into a new project called ClassicPress. “The team at WordPress have decided to force Gutenberg into v5 of WordPress despite massive push back by the WordPress community,” Bowler said.
“I’m in the ‘push back’ camp. After my feedback on Gutenberg fell on deaf ears I realized that WordPress is no longer a community led project — major decisions are being made by an elite few.
“Sadly, I decided it was time to move to a fork that doesn’t have Gutenberg as part of the core code. A quick search revealed nobody had taken the initiative so I decided to stop complaining and take action.”
In addition to ClassicPress, Bowler has filed a petition on Change.org requesting that Gutenberg not be merged into WordPress 5.0. As of publishing, the petition has 10 out of 100 signatures.
“This petition is to ask the WordPress team to keep Gutenberg out of the core of WordPress and instead keep it
WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg have a proposed merge date and it could be as early as November!
For months, I’ve been getting one question above all: “When is Gutenberg coming out?” Well, it seems we have at least 2 tentative dates for WordPress 5.0 now. And it could be as early as November 19th. The Core WordPress team had the WordPress 5.0 kickoff meeting today, and among other things, they discussed a merge date. What does that mean?
Gutenberg Could be Here in November
WordPress 5.0 has been in development for some time, and when it’s ready, it will be “merged” into the current version of WordPress. The merge date is when the new version of WordPress goes live.
Before that, there are 2 potential releases: a Beta, and at least one Release Candidate (RC). The Beta is like the first draft of the software. It’s pretty much complete, but it needs to work before we submit it for publishing. The RC is a version of WordPress that has been deemed ready for merge, after fixed from the Beta period. This will go through some rigorous testing to make sure there are no major outstanding issues. There could be several RCs, depending on how much more work WordPress needs.
The first proposed date for Release Candidate 1 (RC1) is October 30th. The proposed
The author makes some good points about how some have a bad association with Gutenberg from its development and first introduction, but has improved a great deal.
After 10 months of being released as WordPress’s new default editor, Gutenberg is still shrugged off by a sizable amount of people from the web development community, who frequently cite as reasons to disregard it its lack of accessibility support (even though major accessibility improvements have taken place), how slow it is (even though it is running much faster now), and several other grievances. This pessimistic reaction to Gutenberg is most evident in online articles demonstrating Gutenberg’s capabilities which, instead of eliciting a positive reaction from the readers, they mostly attract contempt (as reflected in a stream of negative comments). Many people seem to be angry “at Gutenberg” (we will see in a while what Gutenberg actually is), expressing that Gutenberg should never have happened or, at least, never have been integrated to WordPress core as its default experience, or at least not so soon. Different people have different reasons to be opposed to Gutenberg, with some of their reasons being more personally significant than others. For instance, some people have seen their livelihoods jeopardized, having worked hard to specialize on a certain solution
I believe this comes from outside the WP community, but it's an interesting perspective on how other developers view what's going on with WordPress.
It may not have been as wild a time as 2018, but that's a very good thing.
The end of the year is always a good time to look back and take stock of how WordPress continues to evolve. Surely, 2019 can’t match the anticipation and controversy we saw in 2018. The lead up to WordPress 5.0 and its inclusion of the Gutenberg block editor was about as big as it gets. Still, that doesn’t mean 2019 wasn’t without its own important developments. Here’s a look at what happened and what it all means.
Gutenberg Celebrates One Year
My, how time flies! A year ago, we were wondering about the impact Gutenberg would have on WordPress. Many of us were understandably nervous about what it might mean for our respective workflows and existing websites. Would things break? Would tons of users migrate to another CMS?
In some respects, 2019 seems to have been almost anticlimactic. But that’s actually a huge positive.
The year saw steady improvements in user experience and some exciting features added to the block editor. The ability to create custom blocks has been streamlined, while tools that allow for a more visual approach to block creation have hit the market.
Meanwhile, lots of plugins (including some of the biggest names) have adapted their software