In this week's video we talk about Postmatic's new brand and the new "Not Secure" messaging for non HTTPS sites in Chrome.
Postmatic rebrands as Replyable and Google's Chrome browser stars displaying "Not Secure" messages on sites not encrypted with SSL.
Google PageSpeed Insights scores should be taken with a grain of salt. They are helpful as guidelines for optimization, but sometimes simply choosing faster WordPress hosting can be more important.
You want your WordPress site to load lightning-fast. And if you’re like most of us, when you think of improving your site’s page load times to get that “lightning-fast” designation, you think of your Google PageSpeed Insights score. For many website owners, it’s their white whale. Getting a perfect score on PageSpeed Insights is the impossible quest that will magically solve all of their page speed woes.
But is a high PageSpeed Insights score the be-all and end-all of fast page load times? Sorry, but no. If your focus is on improving your site’s page load times, finding a better host will often take you further.
In this post, I’m going to run a real test to show you that high-performance hosting will do more for your page load times than endlessly striving to improve your PageSpeed Insights score.
What is Google PageSpeed Insights? Should you care?
If you’re not already familiar, PageSpeed Insights is a Google-offered tool that helps you both analyze and optimize your website’s performance for desktop and mobile visitors. Before I get into what exactly that entails, let’s talk about what PageSpeed Insights is not:
Shower thoughts from Tom McFarlin: when it comes to competition should we limit ourselves to a single player in publishing segment of the web?
This past weekend, I spent time closing a bunch of sites, exporting content from one service to another, preparing to consolidate a couple of sites, and even shutting some sites down. But the number one thing that has resulted in a weird bit of feedback is the idea that I opted to archive my data from Medium in preparing to move it to a WordPress-based site. This resulted in some weird WordPress versus Medium points from others.
Truthfully, I know this kind of argument will never die. But I digress for now.
And, I suppose, the reason this is weird is that I – like many who use WordPress – want the control that comes with owning your data. Perhaps it’s also about playing in someone else’s sandbox, too, right?
But there’s an inherent problem with sticking only with one CMS and neglecting what the rest of the industry is doing.
WordPress Versus Medium
I don’t know anyone who considers themselves a web developer and works with WordPress and doesn’t like the extensibility that the platform offers.
But take a step back and look at WordPress from 150,000 feet. This piece of software does a lot. And that’s great, right? Even the new [good-looking]
This is a nice article about organizing large WordCamps. The growth and challenges.
With the next edition of WordCamp Europe on the horizon, Jenny Beaumont finds herself thinking about event growth past and present, and about what success might look like for all of us in this new year. Editor’s note: This guest post is written by Jenny Beaumont, a co-organizer of WordCamp Paris and WordCamp Europe. She’s spent the last two decades building things in and around the web, writes a terrific newsletter, and lives in France.
One of the highlights of my year, and a fitting end to 2016 as my sabbatical drew to a close, was attending the 2nd annual WordCamp US, held December 2-4 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The trip met my expectations in every way, from the warm-hearted nature of the locals to the super-sized portions at every delicious meal, and from the diversity of attendees to all of the extraordinary conversations I had during that short week I was in town.
“You might have noticed that this year’s programming at WordCamp US had some more of a human side, in addition to just the technical that we’ve had before,” said Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress and CEO of Automattic, during his much-anticipated State of the Word.
Props to this person for not just stopping writing Theme/Plugin list posts but deleting all the old ones.
New Years Resolution #1 – No more theme / plugin list posts I’ve neglected the blog of late. I’ve been busy with other avenues and simply haven’t had the time to update WPin.me. It’s not until I revisited the blog did I realize just how many list posts of themes and plugins I actually had!
I referred back to a post entitled “Why List Posts Are Hurting Your Pocket.” Guess what? I took my own advice. I don’t want to be one of those sites, I guess it’s easy to write list posts for themes packed full of affiliate links rather than offering good quality content.
I don’t want to be like, Athemes, Colorlib, WPlift, WPExplorer and alike. Nothing against them you understand, I just don’t want to be anything like them in terms of list posts.
It goes against everything I want from WPin, it’s a ball ache to do and the only person it benefits is me, not you.
I deleted my WordPress theme & plugin list posts.
That’s why I deleted the lot of them, I don’t want them to hang around the website like unwelcome guest at a New Years Eve party, hence they are no more.
So no more theme / plugin list posts!
New Years Resolution
2016 has been a phenomenal year! I wrote about the business, stability, My Open Source Contributions, the products I built, interviews, fitness, the big news, and my future plans. Read here → https://AhmdA.ws/ME_2016
Tonight’s the new year’s night, and I plan to write about everything that happened in 2016 (boy it was a hell of a year — BTW I ended up completing this article on 10th Jan! ). If you are new here, you must know that I wrote about last year in My Commitment to WordPress and Epic Moments of 2015. I have so much to talk about. And I have an incredible news to share with all of you at the end of this post. Anywho, let’s get to it.
Showoff! Yes, that’s precisely the word with which I wanted to start this article. And yes, I know what you are thinking. But hey, I have a story to tell. You see, I come from a diverse background. Tech is not as much common here as it is in the US. Even in global aspect of things, people do not generally understand software developers and especially what we do at work (— except for sitting in front of a screen all day and night long).
This was exactly the reason why I started looking for different online communities more than a decade ago. Ten years ago I found WordPress, I became a developer and started giving back to the community. This led me to be part of a great online family — the WordPress community.
I love what
An editorial look at Matts structure for the next generation of WordPress.
photo credit: Angelina Litvin WordPress core development is kicking off in 2017 with the new focus-based development process that Matt Mullenweg announced during the 2016 State of the Word. The new approach to releases shifts WordPress from the familiar time-based release cycle to one that is more project-based. The idea is that design and user testing will lead the way and upcoming releases will ship when significant user-facing improvements are ready.
Mullenweg, who will serve as the overall product lead for 2017, announced tech and design leads for each of the three focus areas: the REST API, the editor, and the customizer.
“For the REST API we’re going to work on getting first party wp-admin usage of the new endpoints, and hopefully replace all of the core places where we still use admin-ajax,” Mullenweg said. The REST API team nominated Ryan McCue and K.Adam White to take the lead on the objectives Mullenweg outlined, as well as infrastructure and endpoint performance, security, and improvements to authentication options and documentation.
“The editor will endeavor to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless,
Don't get me wrong, I think there's a (big) place for page builders in the market, and I recommend them -- but end users need to be educated.
Page Builder plugins for WordPress have come a long way. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you’re going to see more of them around the WordPress ecosystem. If WordPress is to continue it’s growth beyond our current 27% piece of the pie, the software will need to keep up with competing platforms like, Wix or Squarespace, which put page building at the forefront of their hosted solutions. When you match that up with great looking designs, it becomes a very empowering tool for anyone that is scared of touching code. In a world where we’re conditioned to fix our leaky faucet by searching YouTube first, before calling a professional, do-it-yourself on the web becomes just as appealing.
Page Builder plugins feed off of that same energy — it’s a double-edged sword.
On one side of the sword, we can’t blame users for wanting a builder tool since a.) WordPress doesn’t provide one and b.) designing a site on WordPress is still geared towards the more advanced user. Then there’s the other deadly side of the sword, to which, I’ve outlined 5 very sharp points — a strange sword for sure.
I’m not against page builders by any stretch,
If you're a developer and/or contributor, take a few minutes out to read this. Nice quote: "User trust isn’t something you earn and then just get to keep forever. It’s a maintenance relationship."
Helen Hou-Sandi, in response to someone suggesting a large rewrite in slack wrote this: Your plan as I understand it disregards a couple of core WordPress philosophies/practices: striving for maintenance of backwards-compatibility, and that an X.0 release is no more significant than X.1 or Y.9 (this is closely related to maintaining back-compat, in that something like semantic versioning is less meaningful for WordPress core).
Generally, the most successful refactorings in core have been done in support of features being built, whether that’s a user- or dev-focused feature. It’s not that core code can’t be improved (clearly it can), it’s that better decisions regarding back-compat and, more importantly, forward-compat for an API or other bit of code can be made when one eye is on practical application.
As a user centric project, WordPress chooses philosophies that put the user first. There is also an unwritten philosophy point that many committers talk about which is that User Trust Matters. What that means to me is that users trust WordPress for running businesses, sharing content, and engaging with their own users. User trust must be maintained in order to
A look at the Underscores starter theme project with suggestions on how it could be improved.
Underscores is one of the best starter themes out there. I use it as a base for public themes, and very often for custom themes also. It’s that good for several reasons: Build accessibility in mind.
Well documented and modern templates.
Community effort building it better.
It does speed up your work.
I usually generate my new theme using underscores.me but did you know that there is also site called Components? In there you can get a jump start for business, portfolio, magazine, or traditional blog theme.
With all that said, I’m not perfectly happy about Underscores development.
Underscores (_s) Development Ideas
You often hear that you should fork _s. And there are many great forks out there, like wd_s and Air. But this article is not about forks.
It’s about how _s can continue being the greatest starter theme out there.
Remember that _s is Automattic product and some (or many) of the decision are not on community hands. But if you ask me it needs same kind attention than default themes like Twenty Seventeen.
Here is my short list how we can improve _s theme development.
After every default theme we should look what issues was inherited from _s theme and fix them.
Interesting article and video about blogging and how it has changed over the last 5-10 years. Some are shifting focus to other mediums such as YouTube.
Over the last year or so I have slowly came to the conclusion that blogs are not as popular as they once were. It is something that I should have realised sooner. Blogging is dead.
It is no longer the same as it once was. Of course, everything evolves over time, however I believe that in most ways blogging has went backwards, not forwards.
I discuss this in great detail in the video below.
Before I go on, allow me get one thing straight. I love blogging and I am going to continue blogging
Great article summarizing how we'll think differently about Site Performance and Optimization once HTTP/2 is more broadly available.
A revolution is currently going on in the underpinnings of the web. HTTP, the protocol your browser uses to connect to your site, has a new version: HTTP/2. This is not something that should concern the average user, but for web developers, it changes how we do performance optimization entirely. In this short article, I want to explain what performance optimization best practices you can do away with, and why. What changed?
The most important thing you should know about the new HTTP/2 is that it no longer requires a new request for each file. This is the modification that makes our performance optimization guidelines change so drastically. In the HTTP1 / HTTP/1.1 world, it’d be faster to combine JS & CSS files and even images, so there would be fewer requests between browser and server. In the HTTP/2 world, this type of optimization is no longer needed and can even become counterproductive.
Can I use this already?
The answer is, fairly simply: yes. If your site is running on HTTPS, then all major current browsers support HTTP/2. You or your hosting company might have to change your server configuration to make sure it supports HTTP/2, but that’s it. Some older browsers
All aspiring developers should first learn "the fundamentals of learning, communication and code" Wisdom from Chris Wiegman and his years of experience.
As a teacher and speaker one of the questions I’m often asked is which language/technique/etc should an aspiring developer learn first to get a job as fast as possible. Most of these folks are ambitious and capable but, in following many over the course of the years, I find few ever become great at what they do simply because they aspire to be a “super generalist,” that is, a developer who can write any code for any project on any timetable without question. What they aspire to is not to be a successful developer but to imitate, often in only months to a year or two, the careers of mentors and teachers who while having been in the industry for many more years are not up to the standards the student is expecting themselves. It isn’t their fault
The idea of the generalist seems to be a badge of honor in an industry like tech where a list of required skills and knowledge for an entry level job can read as if the single position is for an entire team rather than a single, often underpaid, developer. In the 10 years since I quit flying I’ve seen developers who claim to specialize in one technology one day and another the next all while building projects that
Are you overwhelmed by hundreds of content marketing tasks? Click here for some tips on becoming a better solo content marketing ninja with WordPress.
Content marketing is the rage. But with so many activities to take care of – from content writing and distribution to SEO and performance optimization – it gets really difficult to effectively execute and manage it. As a result, the market is being bombarded with content marketing automation tools from all directions. Whether it’s Hubspot, Marketo, or Act-On, each calls for an investment of thousands of dollars in implementation and upkeep, with the promise of turning your business around. But there are two big issues that make me cringe at this scenario:
In their quest to make everything doable from a single software platform, all these tools have sacrificed on the flexibility and quality achievable with separate applications. Yet, the prices are blown through the roof.
These tools are primarily built for big businesses with dedicated content marketing teams. But based on the numbers, I can safely assume that you’re a solo-entrepreneur or the only person in your team responsible for content marketing.
So as a one-man content marketing department of your business, how can you promote your content in a way that’s not only effective and affordable, but also
Yes, there are lots of great tools to help non-techies build a site. But pro designers/devs are still vital to success.
Technology moves rapidly, turning the tried and true into relics of the past. It happens to every industry – web design included. So it seems that there are those who look at web designers as somehow being headed toward that same obsolete status. With the advent of better do-it-yourself tools for creating websites, the power of complex layouts are no longer just for CSS junkies. Using high-end WordPress plugins enable just about anyone to add functionality like eCommerce, forms, multimedia and more.
While those tools are all well and good, I still don’t believe it makes web designers anywhere near obsolete. No, in my admittedly biased opinion, I think quality designers and developers are needed now more than ever. Here are just a few reasons why…
We Serve More than Hamburger Helper
I’m not much of a cook. But give me a box of Hamburger Helper, and I can create something resembling a tasty meal. Still, for the health and well-being of my family, a well-prepared meal that didn’t come from a box is far better.
Similarly, no matter how good a page builder or 3rd party web application is at helping the non-technical person set up a website, they don’t
HTTP/2 and development considerations for WordPress, website hosting and web page optimization.
Automattic pulls the rug out from a hopeful .blog owner. It's all explained at the end, I guess, but it's an interesting tale nevertheless.
The .blog registry backtracked on its promise to send popular domains to auction. In May, co-founder and CEO of Automattic (WordPress) Matt Mullenweg announced that his company had won the auction to become the registry for the new .blog TLD:
I’m excited we won and think that it will be both an amazing business going forward and give lots of folks an opportunity to have a fantastic domain name in a new namespace and with an easy-to-say TLD. You can sign up to be first in line to reserve a domain here.
At the time the link led to a WordPress.com page where you could sign up for updates (the full get.blog website was not up yet). Thinking that chris.blog had a nice to ring to it, I signed up immediately.
On August 18th, I received this email:
Ok, let's do this! The site listed chris.blog for $30/year. But when you clicked through you discovered that they require a $220 application fee (plus the $30 for the first year; a total of $250). I was ok with this price point as long as it would be refunded if I didn't get the domain.
The site made no mention of whether the application fee was refundable, so I emailed the support team and they confirmed that it was
REST API Content enpoints, CSS in the Customizer, and Page Template support for CPTs are all game-changers for Fred Meyer at WPShout.
Fred Meyer / December 6, 2016 Three major changes in WordPress 4.7 jump out as having the power to significantly transform how I do my work every day.
Happy December 6, 2016! Christmas comes early today with the release of WordPress 4.7, “Vaughan.”
This feels like the biggest WordPress release in ages, and the absolutely mammoth Field Guide accompanying the release seems to reinforce that feeling.
We’ve tried to keep educated on the major changes in WordPress 4.7, and there are a lot of them. But as I’ve read about and played around with the new features, three major changes jumped out as having the power to significantly transform how I do my work every day. They are:
REST API content endpoints
Custom CSS changes, with live previewing, in the WordPress Customizer
WordPress PHP templates for all post types
In this article, I’ll walk you through each feature, and how I expect it to significantly impact our everyday work in WordPress. Let’s dive in!
1. REST API Content Endpoints
Let’s do the world-shattering one first: WordPress REST API content endpoints are now in core.
It can be hard to get your mind around what this means, so I’ll recommend
Jonathan Perez explains why GoDaddy is positioning itself to be one of the biggest players in the WordPress space.
I gotta be honest. GoDaddy is blowing my mind right now., especially when it comes to the WordPress community. Just a few years ago, they were the bane to any developer who made websites. Today, things are looking quite different. Even though many people still won’t like them, usually based on some bad experiences that just leave a bad taste in the mouth, you have to respect what they’re doing. Today, things are looking quite different. Even though many people still won’t like them, usually based on some bad experiences that just leave a bad taste in the mouth, you have to respect what they’re doing.
The genius of GoDaddy
Acquisitions. Plain and simple. GoDaddy is buying up the WordPress market left and right!
Let’s be honest, a few years ago, GoDaddy sucked. I mean it was the worst. Just take a look at the post I wrote, and you’ll see it flooded with comments of how much people do not like GoDaddy.
They launched a new WordPress hosting initiative, and that’s when things really started to take off. I had the honor of having one of their accounts, and I had no issues with it at all. It was pretty solid, and very easy to use.
Then they acquired
Alex shares the things he learnt when he tried to release a premium theme 6 years ago.
I’d like to take you back in time six years, to a time when the world of blogging was very different. The “premium WordPress theme” was in its relative infancy, the default WordPress theme was Kubric (HuffPo claims “Kubrick has helped change the face of cyberspace”) and WordPress 2.9 had just launched, boasting the addition of being able to “trash” posts.
The default WordPress theme at the time, which “helped change the face of cyperspace”.
At this time I was 15 and running writing a lot of WordPress tutorials, alongside studying for my GCSEs. I could see the gold rush to sell WordPress themes happening and reasonably assumed I could be part of it.
I spent six months building an okay theme with a partner and didn’t go great. The product failed. After talking about survivorship bias (and accusing the classic product case study of misleadingly highlight success) I figured I should share my story and (in an attempt to avoid survivorship bias) clearly say what I’d do differently now.
Let me walk you through what I did wrong and what lessons can be learned from my unsuccessful foray into the WordPress theme market.
Here's a quick question. Is ManageWP becoming too narrow in its focus of what articles can be shared? It seems to me that if a post/share doesn't mention the word "WordPress" then it gets flagged for removal. Are people visiting WordPress not interested in version control (Bitbucket or Github pricing issues), how to manage a server (regardless of if it ONLY hosts WordPress), freelancing practices (outside of the direct interaction with WordPress). Each of these examples seem to get flagged and removed. I know more and more people seem to be coming to ManageWP for "news" (by my unscientific observation of submitters and commenters) and so I ask the question. Are we SO focused on WordPress that anything shared MUST be directly linked to WordPress? If that is what needs to happen, great. I'm just raising the question to garner feedback.
Some examples that comes to mind... Do we want to be able to share posts by Cory Miller on business leadership, or posts by Tom McFarlin on approaches to problem solving, or an excellent tutorial on dealing with PHP Arrays? Even though none of these examples directly talk about WordPress... I believe they can be valuable for the community.
(Note: I've also observed some individuals are diving deep into past articles to flag and report articles that were shared months ago.)
Update: turns out I was typing this at the same time Vladimir was posting his post.
Really interesting perspective from a team that creates custom CMS's for Publishers. They *sometimes* choose WordPress, here's why and why not.
Image via Wikimedia Commons We talk a lot about content management systems at Postlight, often in the context of a specific client’s needs, and sometimes, as a question about our general philosophy around publishing. And we also build a lot of custom tools for solving very tricky publishing problems—a good example is Instant.me, which benefited from a custom CMS, fully oriented around a specific workflow.
But not every nail needs a fully-custom hammer. During our CMS conversations, inevitably I am the person in the room who brings up WordPress. Then, my teammates put on their most patient facial expressions and listen to me make the argument.
Ultimately, as a director, I am obligated to consider all the technologies that can help our client achieve our goals—including the old, boring ones. Enter WordPress.
WordPress is not particularly exciting, intrinsically modern, or lightweight. It’s a 13-year-old monolithic web application that powers 25% of the web and probably 30% of web spam. But, a whole lot of the time, WordPress is the right framework.
Since I started here about six months ago, I’ve helped ship two major WordPress projects.
Last week, we helped
Karol spent 1 week doing real tests and gathering feedback from the community on the topic, this is not about a winner, but a well-researched article.
This is an in-depth comparison of Divi vs Avada vs X Theme – what you’ll learn here is which of the three is the optimal solution for building client websites (or feature-rich websites of your own too). We’ve really come a long way since WordPress ver. 1.5 when themes were first introduced. For a long time themes were just skins – simple packages that took care of displaying what’s in the database. The most basic WordPress theme used to be, I don’t know, 100kB (that including the 50kB screenshot)?
Now, however, things are different. Very different!
Although I wasn’t expecting any particular package size when I first downloaded Divi, I was still quite surprised to see 25MB of WordPress theme on my desktop. For the record: more than twice the size of WordPress itself. This at least deserves a “wow!”
But, more importantly, what do we get in those huge two-digit megabyte-sized themes exactly?
Let’s find out.
What you’re about to read is an in-depth comparison of three of the most popular mega themes on the market: Divi, Avada, and X.
If you write (a lot or a little), there should be some useful content in this post: lifts the lid on how I've streamlined my writing process after 1,000 posts.
I write a lot of blog posts. In the last eight or nine years I’ve written over one thousand posts on WPShout, the old incarnation of this site, a video game review site I used to run with friends and assorted places like the Miniclip Blog. These days I write here every week, I’m constantly writing for MasterWP and writing is an integral part of my freelance work.
In this time I’ve tried out more or less every writing trick and “hack” in the book. I’m always looking for ways to improve, but at this stage I’m pretty happy I’ve gotten the writing process well optimised.
If you’re writing anything — regularly, occasionally, or less than you want — then there’s likely something here that can help. This is what my writing process looks like, a thousand posts later.
Coming up with good ideas is the most important step
A lot of writing advice is “write more” or “just start writing 1,000 words per day”. This is only partially helpful. It’s misleading to suggest you can just sit down and write 1,000 words before breakfast; you first need to know what to write about.
In my experience, coming up