Recently, I've been fascinated with the growth of WordPress influenced by consultants. I published 20 quotes from consultants that total 2,000+ WordPress websites.
I’m not foolish enough to think that the entirety of WordPress’ growth is driven by our love for the software, but that we consultants are responsible for a sizeable portion of it. A portion that shouldn’t be ignored and one that should be welcome to the discussion more often. Under-represented. Perhaps.
You can listen to the audio version
I know many of you are like me, we don’t run 100+ person agencies, we don’t have 1mil+ plugin downloads, and we haven’t been contributing code to core for the last decade. However, what we do share in common is a life of servicing customers in the online business space. Servicing customers or our local community by way of building websites — helping organizations amplify their message.
This act of service is deeply rooted in using our favorite tool, WordPress.
Sure, we’re talking less and less about the tech side of things lately, but we know that it delivers a massive advantage as a platform to our customers. An advantage that might not matter to them in the short-term, but in the long-term sustainability of their business.
While many might join the ranks of offering WordPress services simply for the
Just a friendly reminder to plugin developers not to clutter the admin menu if you don't really need to.
I logged into a client’s WordPress backend and the bottom part of the admin menu looked like this: Why are there so many menu items?!
I mean come on, the site is using 38 plugins, and there are 14 new menu items (not all shown in the screenshot). In my case, 37% of plugins have added their own entry in my menu.
Important note: I’m not hating on these plugins, in fact I some of them. They’re in the screenshot because those plugins are really being used in the site.
Sometimes It’s Inevitable
I understand that it’s inevitable in some cases.
Advanced Custom Fields and WooCommerce need their own entry in the menu for listing fields and products. Of course that’s a valid point.
Sometimes a plugin will need an area especially if it has lots of settings, like WordFence – a valid point also.
Or sometimes it’s a unique entry in the admin, like Monster Insights. It introduces analytics to the admin, so I think that should have their own entry.
Sometimes You Don’t Need a new admin menu item
In some cases though, a new menu item is unnecessary.
In one of the plugins in my screenshot above, the settings page only contained a single field.. A single
Gutenberg plus Elementor and GeneratePress equals Trick? or Treat? Daren Morreale bravely tests for us all.
With the talk, and fear, of Gutenberg coming to WordPress the perspective of a newbie might be helpful. I am very new to WordPress. I started using WordPress in earnest this past summer when a client asked me to build a website using WordPress. When asked if I could do it I said, uh, yeah, sure, no problem… I then spent two days researching the best ways to go about building a site with WordPress and chose to go with the GeneratePress theme and the Elementor Pro page builder; it just felt right. Armed with these tools (and my knowledge of HTML/CSS and jQuery) I felt confident I could get the results I wanted to pixel perfection, and I did. I am approaching Gutenberg much like one of our clients might. My initial experience with WordPress was one of hesitation, frustration and ultimately failure. I wanted more design control and less dependance on themes or plugins, and at that time page builders weren’t what they are today and GeneratePress and Elementor weren’t even on the scene yet. Which was why I stayed away for so long after that first try. The only reason I felt confident with WordPress this time around is because I spent a lot of time learning HTML/CSS/jQuery
Some great, simple (in the scheme of things) suggested improvements to Gutenberg from the team at Yoast. One of the biggest plugin authors is saying they're concerned about the timeline and scale of changes.
There’s a lot of discussion in the WordPress world right now about a new editing experience that’s in the making. It’s called Gutenberg. While some of that discussion is technical, every user that uses WordPress regularly should be aware of what’s coming. At Yoast, we are quite excited about the concept of Gutenberg. We think it could be a great improvement. At the same time, we have our worries about the speed in which the project is being pushed forward. And, we’re not excited about all the changes. In this post I’ll first try to explain what Gutenberg is. Subsequently, I will tell you about the things that are problematic to us. Finally, I will tell and show you what we think should be done about the problems.
What is Gutenberg?
Gutenberg is a new approach to how we edit posts in WordPress. It’s basically a new editor. It tries to remove a lot of the fluff that we built up over the years. The intent is to make the new experience lighter and more modern. The end-goal is to make WordPress easier to use. That’s something we really appreciate at Yoast.
Gutenberg introduces the concept of “blocks“. The new editor will be a block-editor:
Introduction to podcasting for beginners including some helpful suggestions and tools to implement podcasts on WordPress sites.
No matter what niche or field you’re passionate about, you can probably find a podcast in it. And maybe you’ve even already thought to yourself, Hey, I could do that…. Well, you probably can do that. While podcasting can be a technically complex undertaking, it’s really not all that difficult. There has never been a better time to dive into podcasting than it is right now. You simply need to understand the basics, be willing to work hard (especially at first), and be consistent about it. And judging by the auto-fill suggestions in Google, more people than ever are interested in creating their own podcasts. So we’ll cover the basics & best practices for podcasting in WordPress in this article.
What is podcasting, anyway?
Let’s start by defining the term podcasting – or rather, by letting Google pick a definition for us:
That’s really all there is to it – a streamable, downloadable audio file in episodic format to which listeners can subscribe. However, there’s quite a lot of variation in modern podcasting. Probably the most familiar podcast recently was the insanely popular Serial podcast, which helped to win a convicted
Josh shows off cool applications of Blockchain Technology. It's a question of how, not when. Ready for the next tech leap?
Bitcoin — the first decentralized currency — has been around for over eight years now. In the past, I was dismissive of it and other cryptocurrencies. The fact that cryptocurrency like Bitcoin has the potential to radically reform banking is not lost on me but is way outside of the scope of this article. Yes, that’s exciting to me. No, I don’t think crypto is a magical cure for what is wrong with global capitalism, but that’s really not the point here.
When I started looking into things further, and I’m super excited about the technology behind Bitcoin, blockchain.
What Is A Blockchain?
My conceptual misunderstanding of Bitcoin when I first became aware of it, was I thought of coins as being awarded for doing computation. Yes, that is is how Bitcoin works, coins are distributed amongst those providing processing power to verify transactions. It’s a smart way to incentivize adding the computational resources the system needs.
While the coins are created through “mining” they can be exchanged for Dollars, Euros or other traditional currencies. This gives them value and an incentive to convert old currency into Bitcoin.
Just your average snitch post showing who the bad guys are.
@swinterroth reflects on 9+ years of using and teaching WordPress and shares some of his personal thoughts on the upcoming Gutenberg editor and what will ultimately be the failure of WordPress if not addressed. Hint, it's not Gutenberg.
Dear WordPress Community: First of all, thank you to everyone who has contributed their time to advance the WordPress project and community. I’ve had the great pleasure to use WordPress for both fun and profit and I personally owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who has volunteered their time to building such stellar software.
I understand that WordPress is a two-way street so, in order for it to grow one must contribute back to the project. My contributions are primarily in the form of onboarding new users through a variety of workshops, meetups and speaking gigs and being on-call for WordPress help and site-building.
As I write this, I come with 9 battle worn years of being on the front line of WordPress through teaching, consulting and creating. WordPress has transformed my life in so many positive ways but I must say that I’m burnt out from the project and desperately looking for new ways to streamline my processes so I can achieve more with less. You know, everyone’s dream.
Why I’m burnt out from WordPress
I love WordPress and for years finding a new plugin and testing themes was a pleasure of mine. Today, it’s a bore and I’m just very tired
Hits the nail on the head. Worth the time to read it.
“Everyone’s a critic,” as the saying goes, and nowhere more so than around Gutenberg, the upcoming content editor overhaul slated for WordPress 5.0. Gutenberg has been the subject of soaring vision statements, angst-filled comments sections, and dozens (hundreds?) of cautiously-optimistic-to-mixed-to-confused-to-skeptical-to-concerned reviews. It’s been a lot, and in entering the conversation I’m conscious of the need to say something new, and not just pile on the noise and (especially) the negativity. I have an approach that I think can help.
What Do WordPress Users Want? (And Is Gutenberg That Thing?)
I think something that could be extremely helpful in such a crowded space is to return the focus to where it needs to be. In my mind, that’s the users: What do WordPress’s users want?
I’m a WordPress user myself: very much so. I’m a developer too, but I’m also someone who kind of wandered into technology by way of an interest in writing and spirituality, and who’s written maybe a million words using the WordPress post editor (including 3,500 today, see below!).
WordPress users have been very clearly signaling what they
Caching plugins are an essential tool for any WordPress website. Learn how caching can boost your site’s performance, plus our top tips for caching plugins.
Caching is a complex technology that does one simple thing really well: it makes your website really fast. And speed is critical to the success of your site because people don’t like waiting around for web pages to load. In fact, a study by CDN service Akamai found that 47% of people expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% will abandon a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load. So you’d think that in response websites are shrinking in file size, right? Not so. Today’s average web page requires users to download 2.2MB worth of data compared to just 702KB in 2010. That’s a 317% increase in size thanks to things like images, videos, scripts and fonts.
Fortunately, installing a caching plugin can load your site faster – extra files and all. In this article, I’ll cover what caching is and explain the different kinds of caching, but mostly focus on caching plugins and why you need to install one ASAP if you haven’t already.
What is Caching?
Caching is the process of storing frequently-accessed data temporarily in a cache. To explain it properly, let’s first look at what happens when you don’t use caching:
This is my personal story of my journey into WordPress. I hope you find this inspirational but, if you're trolling, don't expect to learn anything except maybe more about how WordPress helped me.
For those with experience in programming and design, the desire to conquer WordPress makes perfect sense. It provides a fantastic pre-built platform to build and maintain all sorts of websites. My history with the project comes from a slightly different angle. It maybe wasn’t the most profitable or logical path. I didn’t start a theme company or provide hosting services at a large scale. I’m not even a member of the developer or designer categories, although sometimes I’m grouped in with them because I offer WordPress services to clients and they just assume that I know a bunch of code. While I have learned quite a bit of code by osmosis over the last 10 plus years, I’m very proud to say that I am simply a WordPress user and I’m so grateful for everything that I have achieved with WordPress. My journey from idea to WordPress.
It was July 19, 2008, in a farm field turned makeshift concert venue somewhere in the middle of Illinois. I and four of my friends had just experienced what would become one of the most life-altering music concert of my life (Okay, I was 20 something) By the end of the concert, and after a few fishbowl drinks, it became crystal
An interesting take that Gutenberg is meant to eliminate page builder fragmentation, but I'm wondering if Page Builders will continue on and "out-iterate" Gutenberg.
The WordPress content management system has built quite an empire for itself, with a community of passionate fans that help push it to new heights. It’s the customizability of the platform that has everyone so excited about the possibilities, and the fact that WordPress powers over 75 million websites (or 28.5% of the internet) means that the possibilities are all but endless. New plugins, themes, and versions of the WordPress software are released on a regular basis. But WordPress isn’t without its challenges and deficiencies, which the active WordPress community is vocal about calling to the light. To give a few examples, there’s the fact that you can’t duplicate blog posts and the fact that the visual editor hasn’t been updated in a long time.
The funny and awesome thing about the WordPress community is that when they find a problem, they don’t wait for the official fix. WordPress is an open source software program, which empowers members of the community to create all of the functionality they need on their own. The result? Plugins like Duplicate Post, which allow you to duplicate your posts, and Beaver Builder and Divi, which are WYSIWYG page
Continuous changes in the WordPress repository have made it harder to increase the number of active installations for many plugins, especially those that are just starting out. However, with a quality plugin, high numbers are still possible.
For the past elevenish months, since September 2016, we’ve been maintaining, developing and growing the Under Construction WordPress plugin to get it up to 100,000 active installations. That number is not an epic achievement – there are quite a few plugins with +100k installations. However, the growth rate of more than ten thousand new active installations per month is something to take a closer look at. Although this was anything but a “5-minute job”, I can’t say we worked hard. We worked smart! Some of the methods we used are shared in this article. Hopefully, by looking at what we did you’ll be able to grow your plugins too. Things we didn’t share were omitted not because we’re hiding something but because this isn’t an in-depth guide. There are plenty of those laying around and they all boil down to the same principles. So no need for us to repeat them too.
Why this plugin?
It was abandoned, we thought it had potential, so we adopted it. If you’re hoping there was some higher purpose, in-depth keyword research, market research or anything similar – sorry there wasn’t. “But that’s no way to run a
Specifically tackling the question of whether or not WordPress needs to appeal to non-designers.
A fiery debate is raging on about Gutenberg – the new WordPress editor set to appear in version 5.0. It’s been both defended by founder Matt Mullenweg and derided by some developers. Even I chimed in with my own (very early) take. It’s by far the most controversial topic in the world of WordPress. If you’re wondering why a rebuilt editor is causing such a stir, it’s because this project has evolved to take on a much larger scope. Rather than change just the editor, the process for creating, displaying and customizing content is up in the air. Changes to custom meta boxes are included in the project and that has a lot of people (especially those of us who do lots of customization work) a bit nervous. Designers and developers alike are waiting with baited breath and hoping that changes don’t lead to a bloody trail of broken websites.
The most logical thinking here says that there’s no way the folks working hard on Gutenberg will allow that to happen. So it’s unlikely that everyone’s customized back end is going to cease to work when 5.0 drops.
To me, the bigger debate is some of the reasoning behind Gutenberg and what it says about
Custom Fields is powerful and probably one of the most used features of WP. Anh has written this amazing guide and shares his thoughts on various ways to use custom fields.
Custom fields is a way for WordPress to store arbitrary extra data for content (posts and custom post types), such as author name, published date for a book. To make custom fields flexible and compatible with different kinds of data, WordPress designs the meta tables (post meta, term meta, user meta and comment meta) in the form of key value. According to that, each custom field is stored as one row in the database. This approach allows developers store unlimited data regardless its structure. But, the downside is the rapid bloat of the database. Because the number of custom fields is usually very large. This article will present solutions to optimize the storage of custom field in the database to help boost your website’s performance. Common problems with WordPress database structure for custom fields
There are some disadvantages of using the WordPress default database structure for meta tables as follows:
Unclear, fragmentary data model
Because stored as a key value, the data of the same post is not stored in the same row in the database. The lines are not consecutive and unordered. Therefore the data is discrete and does not represent the data model of the post. See the picture
Justin Sainton shares his thoughts on Gutenberg. Check it out.
This post is not a feature-by-feature review of Gutenberg. Any of the posts linked to above do a far better job of that than I could hope to. Rather, I’d like to explore the general sense of animus this project has seemed to introduce into our community – and if possible, I’d like to explore that without pointing any fingers.
Gutenberg is a good thing
Gutenberg is a great step forward. Truly. It’s not “there” yet, wherever “there” is, but it’s better than what we’re used to. It’s so easy (especially as developers!) to approach these grand new ideas
The page should indicate what your site is going to be, why the readers should be excited about this launch and include an email subscription form to let people join the waitlist.
Are you thinking to start a blog? According to HostingFacts, There are 1.24 Billion websites available as of August 2017, and this number is growing every day.
You are not only going to compete with them but also with the new ones coming up every day.
There are two key things to start a blog and make it a success:
Your knowledge about your niche
Understanding of your audience
Most of the first time blog owners do a good research on the niche, make sure they have a good hand on their topic, write quality content and assume that’s what their audience wants.
Many times it’s not true. If you are starting a blog, knowing what your audience wants and where to find them can save you from the long uneventful journey.
So How Should You Start?
To start any successful blog, you need to make sure that your research your audience along with your niche.
The downfall of many blogs is that they try to concentrate too much on organic traffic or Google at the start.
Google or organic traffic takes its sweet time to grow, and you need to keep putting your effort, and blog owners lose motivation long before they would have seen the results.
If you research your audience in advance, you would
Dumitru Brinzan has analyzed over 705,000 websites and published extensive research data about the current state of hotel websites.
At the beginning of 2017 I wanted to do a very specific analysis of HermesThemes client websites. I was curious to see how many customers keep their WordPress websites up to date. One thing lead to another and I ended up creating my very own search engine that is able to achieve some interesting things.
During July-September 2017 I have analyzed over 705,000 hotel websites from 150+ countries.
I am publishing the results of my research ~2 months ahead of the Digital Strategies for Travel Europe 2017 conference that will take place in Amsterdam (29-30 November), a conference that I will be attending. Get in touch if you would like to meet and have a quick chat there.
About This Research
Who Is This For?
I believe that this data will be mostly useful to the following categories of people:
IT and Marketing people working in/for the lodging industry;
Web developers and web designers;
Hotel owners and hotel managers;
Social Media Experts;
The Search Engine Optimization Community.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
There are a lot of ways to build websites: static HTML files, free content management systems (CMS), licensed content management systems, proprietary (custom) website engines, etc.
Now that Page Builders are getting popular, we have a new trend of themes built for Page Builders. The Page Builder Framework is one such theme.
Do you love using WordPress page builders? If so, you’re probably the type of person who’s interested in a WordPress theme that bills itself as “A Page Builder's best friend” Page Builder Framework is a WordPress theme that’s designed to pair well with popular WordPress page builders so that you can build a detailed WordPress site for yourself or your clients using your favorite page builder.
In my Page Builder Framework review, I’ll tell you a little more about what this theme does. Then, I’ll dig in and go hands-on to show you how everything works.
Page Builder Framework is exactly what its name describes - that is, it’s a lightweight, flexible theme specifically designed to work with page builders like Elementor, Divi, Beaver Builder, and Visual Composer.
Basically, Page Builder Framework provides the foundation for your site. Then, you use a page builder to actually build the design for your main pages.
Here’s what makes Page Builder Framework cool:
It’s easy to create full-width pages and remove page titles …both things that make it great for using with page builders.
The theme settings are all in the WordPress
I decided to take a deep-dive into what Gutenberg might mean for the broader WP ecosystem. Content authors, plugin authors, and page builders all have different ways they may have to pivot once its in Core.
I chatted with some prominent plugin authors, page builder authors, and Gutenberg contributors to understand how Gutenberg could impact the broader WordPress ecosystem. This article discusses how it can impact content authors, plugin authors, and page builder plugins in the near future. Gutenberg is the proposed new content editor for WordPress Core. It is currently in beta development. It is a radical departure from the simple WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) approach WordPress has traditionally had for content creation. As with any major change in WordPress, this will inevitably have ripple effects throughout the WordPress marketplace. With that in mind, here’s my take on how Gutenberg will affect the broader WordPress ecosystem.
The Awesome for WordPress Content Creators
From everything I’ve seen, the main motivation — primarily from WordPress co-creator Matt Mullenweg — is to dramatically improve end users’ experience with content creation in WordPress. With the advent of website builders like Squarespace and Wix, a cleaner WYSIWYG in Medium, and the plethora of full-featured page building WordPress plugins, the simple post editor has started
This is not about WordPress per se, but about freedom of speech, and WordPress' core mission to democratize publishing. Today the Maltese investigative journalist+blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia has been murdered with a car bomb. She was loved and hated by many for working on uncovering corruption in Malta. Whatever she wrote there is never ever an excuse for such barbaric acts in any society let alone a fully fledged EU member. As a Maltese citizen I felt I had to share this with the WordPress community, because this is a blow to freedom of speech, something that this community is so fond of. Hopefully one day all of our voices and efforts will silence these barbaric acts once and for all.
VALLETTA (Reuters) - Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta’s best-known investigative journalist, was killed on Monday when a powerful bomb blew up her car, police said, in a case that stunned the small Mediterranean island. Caruana Galizia, 53, ran a hugely popular blog in which she relentlessly highlighted cases of alleged high-level corruption targeting politicians from across party lines.
“There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate,” she wrote in a blog published on her site just half an hour before an explosion tore into her car.
Locals said Caruana Galizia had just left her house and was on a road near the village of Bidnija in northern Malta when the bomb detonated, sending her car flying into an adjacent field.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who faced accusations of wrong-doing by Caruana Galizia earlier this year, denounced her killing, calling it a “barbaric attack on press freedom”.
He announced that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had agreed to help local police investigate the killing and was flying experts to the island as soon as possible.
“I will not rest until I see justice done in this case,”
An interesting read about how the WordPress ecosystem is changing and companies such as WooCommerce and EDD are raising prices. How does this affect the consumer? Are they being left out of these decisions?
I have been reviewing WordPress themes and plugins actively since 2007 and have always been aware of all the major players in the industry; however my experience at WordCamp Europe last month in Paris opened my eyes to so many WordPress companies I was never been aware of. There are so many new companies fighting for a piece of the WordPress pie.
One way to look at it is that the WordPress market is much more competitive today than it was just a few years ago. Others would argue that the market has become saturated.
With more people fighting for a share of the premium WordPress market, we are seeing many companies change the structure of their business in order to survive. Along the way, I believe many companies are forgetting about the customer.
Watch my video below to hear my thoughts on this issue.
Prefer to read my thoughts? Keep reading on
In a lot of scenarios, a CDN can decrease load times by over 50%! Check out all the benefits of using a CDN with your WordPress site.
As a performance hosting company we really like to research and share ways to make your WordPress site faster. One of the no brainers when it comes to speed nowadays is to utilize a content delivery network (CDN). They take the load off of your web server while speeding up the delivery of content to your visitors thus making their experience better! Today we want to explain to you in layman’s terms how a WordPress CDN works, why you should be using one, and some of the extra benefits that accompany them. We’ll also share some speed tests so you can better judge just how much of a performance boost you could expect to see on your own site. What is a WordPress CDN?
Some thoughts on non-WordCamp conferences and how the community might benefit from having more of them.
2017 was the year of my foray into non-Camp WordPress conferences. They’ve changed my perspective on the WordPress conference landscape. Years ago when Pressnomics was first announced, I questioned the need for a non-camp focused conference. Couldn’t we discuss business topics at a WordCamp? Is this a way to get around the rules put in place by the foundation? Does WordPress really need independent conferences outside of WordCamps? While many of my WordPress friends attend more WordCamps in a year than I have in my career, I have witnessed an evolution of camps since my first attendance of WordCamp Detroit in 2010. Seven years ago the community was in its infancy, and the platform was much less capable. Since then, the landscape has evolved in a multi-dimensional way. Capabilities, audience, ecosystem, and everything in between has become more sophisticated.
WordCamps, by design, are inclusive of everyone at any level. The idea being you should be able to get something out of a WordCamp regardless if you’ve just discovered WordPress the day prior or you’re a multi-skilled WordPress veteran. This accessibility is a large part of what’s made WordPress so