A pretty candid review of WP Engine by one of the most well-known affiliate bloggers. I kind of wish he hadn't turned it into an affiliate play, but that's really his style so it's nothing out of the ordinary.
When I first moved my hosting over to WP Engine I was highly impressed. They were very helpful, support took ownership of problems and site speed was incredible. As someone that has been in the game as long as I have it is rare to find a hosting company that provided the level of support they did.
But over the past 8 months things have really started to go downhill with WPEngine in a serious way. I have gone from singing their praises to everyone I meet to telling everyone to avoid them.
Here is an example of just some of the things they have done-
Deleting live customer data without taking a backup
Injecting a link to their homepage in my footer without permission
Lots of site down time/slow loading
Losing connecting to the server in the post editor
Disabled fulltext mysql indexing without notification – this broke my RSS feed costing 60% of subscribers
Repeat broken promises from their co-founder
Support is a rolling joke
If I could write a list of things that a web host should never do – WP Engine has done them all. They are no longer the hassle-free wordpress hosting experts they claim to be.
In this post I will share my WPEngine experience across the last 18 months and above all,
WordPress developers respect the software you are working with. On another note, love a good rant.
I guess what I was trying to get at with my previous poll about too many plugins was the idea that a lot of WordPress sites that I see these days are just absolutely trashed in the Admin Area due to inconsiderate, poorly planned plugins and themes. For users, a few wrong turns when choosing plugins can leave the streamlined, easy-to-use Admin Area an absolute mess of annoying ads and discordant design. So this DigWP post is encouragement for plugin and theme developers to please STOP ruining the WordPress experience with aggressive marketing tactics, endless nagging, and other obtrusive nonsense. tl;dr:
“The overall quality of a plugin or theme is revealed by how well it harmonizes with WordPress.”
And the winners are..
Just kidding. When it comes to polluting the WP Admin Area with hideous design and strident advertising, there are no winners. The user experience suffers, your brand looks pathetic, and the WordPress experience is ruined.
For those of us that run "pristine" WP installs, it's easy to imagine that all WordPress users enjoy the same clean, well-organized Admin experience. You know, a world where the unencumbered luxury of the Admin Area is freely
WordCamps are slowly becoming massive events and the ones really "paying" for them are the volunteers that run and speak at them continually. Natalie makes some really important points worth heeding for any WordCamp attendee or volunteer.
Matt Mullenweg organized the first WordCamp ten years ago, in 2006. At that time, camps of all sorts were sweeping through the web dev community as a way to connect with others, share knowledge, and build community. Camps vs. Conferences
What sets a camp apart from a more traditional conference? Camps are un-conferences: informal, attendee-run affairs. Speakers aren’t selected ahead of time, talks aren’t polished, everyone who attends can expect to participate in some way, whether that’s presenting a short talk or demo, volunteering, or voting for the speakers. Camps are kept simple – they’re organized quickly and easily and speakers are selected the morning of.
Because they’re short on amenities and simple to plan, camps are often free or affordably priced and speakers and organizers aren’t paid. But the ad hoc nature of the events and the resulting camaraderie among the participants means that almost everyone walks away with a wealth of new knowledge, new friends, and new ideas. Lots of newbie speakers get their first chance at presenting at a camp. Impromptu after parties are held at nearby bars and restaurants as the attendees unwind from the day’s activities.
The modern-day WordCamp
It is the time that we do something about this lurking monster. Wanna join?
Dear WordPress Community, It hasn’t been a full month since we discussed the MailPoet security breach, when just a few days ago another disaster struck.
It was discovered that Slider Revolution, the most popular slider plugin used by staggering amount of themes (more than 1,000 themes include it) has a serious security issue allowing hackers to gain control of the affected site.
The major problem is the current mindset and approach to security in the global WordPress community. After the Slider Revolution incident, its developers released a statement that among other things said:
The problem was fixed 29 updates back in 4.2 in February. We were told not to make the exploit public by several security companies so that the instructions of how to hack the slider will not appear on the web.
“We were told to keep our mouths shut” makes me scream. It also seems to be on the border of being legally pursuable. And cases like this – a major one almost each month – have really hit a point of no return, at least for me.
Quite frankly, I am getting sick of this. I am getting sick of people calling WordPress unauthenticated remote shell that, as a useful side feature, also contains a
Details on Pippin's journey of bringing back Restrict Content Pro to what it is today.
I continued to let Restrict Content Pro dwindle for nearly two years before making a decision. I had several options. I could let it die a slow, drawn out death, I could sell it, or I could work to bring it back to life and let it kick ass again.
Features and memberships and partnerships! Oh my! Thoughts on the future of Post Status and how Brian Krogsgard plans to get there.
3 I’m tired. Really, really tired. I’ve been tired for weeks. Those of you who follow this blog closely know that it’s been slow around here. I’ve only published ten blog posts since the beginning of August. For me, that’s three to four times less than normal.
I’m not burned out, but I’ve definitely been on a break from Post Status. I’ve gone days without visiting my own site or even looking at the stats (!!!).
This post is quite introspective; but I figured it was better to tell you what I’ve learned and what I’m thinking, versus act like everything is normal here.
Since 2010 I’ve regularly blogged about WordPress. I’ve had breaks before and this is probably my longest. Since launching Post Status a year and eight months ago, I’ve thought about it every single day of my life. I’ve probably not missed a single week until this last month, even when I took vacation.
This summer I’ve been gearing up for a lot of changes for Post Status, and honestly this break is at the worst time. I’m about 70% done with a complete redesign of the website, and I’ve spent months agonizing on how to direct the future of the blog and planning for a whole new revenue model. I want Post Status to be around
Dont use wordpress in the domain name was one of the very first things that caught my eye when I got into WP. Later I always took folks who had wordpress in the domain name less seriously.
Before you tell me that I didn’t capitalize the P in my post title, let me explain that most domain name registrars don’t recognize capital letters. But I do know how to correctly type out WordPress. Apple was getting ready to announce the first iPhone…
I remember the months before the early January 2007 announcement. They were filled with speculation that it would not be named an iPhone because Cisco already had the trademark for iPhone (via a Linksys acquisition).
The rumors, which turned out to be true, were that Steve Jobs had tried to talk with Cisco execs for months, letting them know he wanted the iPhone name. But Cisco didn’t budge.
So Jobs got on stage and announced the name – knowing that a) he didn’t think people would confuse his product with that Linksys product and b) that he could negotiate some form of an agreement later.
The reality is that by February of that year, they had settled out of court. And on top of that, Apple ended up licensing the term “iOS” from Cisco as well.
You know what those two companies had in common?
Large bank accounts.
While Steve Jobs was on stage, making his announcement, he showed off the ability to check stocks from the iPhone. He looked
Brian looks at all the different costs involved with having a custom WP based site.
2 Eventually, you have to talk about cost.
If you’re a consultant, as I am, you’ve been asked how much your services cost. And you have to make some decisions:
What services am I providing?
How many hours do I think this will take me?
How much is this worth to the client, from a business perspective?
Does the client have money? How about a business plan?
Should I charge hourly or by project?
Is this a one off thing or is there potential for a long term relationship?
How busy am I? Do I need this job? Do I want it?
These questions are important. The answers are important. Gauging the client is important. Every interaction I have with the client helps me learn more about them and the project at hand, and affects what the cost will be.
Cost often also depends on market and location. I’m assuming I’m talking to an American audience in US dollars. What follows may translate well or poorly depending on your location and culture.
How much should a custom WordPress website cost?
I’ve built websites or been a part of website projects — all on WordPress — that have ranged in cost from under $1,000 to over $100,000, for complete websites.
So in short: it always depends.
This is why we can’t ballpark
Brian writes about the initial introduction of post formats into wordpress and the gradual move away from.
10 Post formats were introduced in WordPress 3.1. They were, and still are, little more than an organizational feature that allows themes to support ten custom content formats such as asides, links, quotes, video, and audio. They are just a taxonomy — similar to categories and tags — and are restricted to whatever the active theme supports.
The concept for post formats made sense at the time, though even then it was a topic of intense debate. Post formats in 3.1 were supposed to be an introduction of the feature, to be iterated on once themes began to show how they would use them. In WordPress 3.6 there was an effort to establish a consistent UI, which failed to land in core. I believe they’ve been dying a slow death ever since.
Were we just chasing a competitor?
When post formats were discussed and launched, they felt like an attempt to mimic what Tumblr was doing so well — to make it easy for end users and bloggers to create nicely formatted content for specific content structures.
The problem with post formats is that they have no standard user interface and there is no intuitive standard for how themes should implement storage for post format data, beyond a general recommendation
There are two (or more) sides to the PHP version arguement and Rarst presents his case.
Some time ago I had read Milestones: The Story of WordPress book by Siobhan McKeown. It is a charming and detailed tale of WordPress history. But more than historical detail I had enjoyed a theme of cultural fit and its importance. It is often hard to distinguish what WordPress cultural values are precisely. We are different, we argue, we disagree, but there is some foundation of principles that did shape it as a project.
What does that vague call stands for?
They don’t have to know
It is often stressed in WordPress circles that plugins and themes should be compatible to obsolete 5.2 version of PHP programming language.
Because otherwise you will break people’s sites.
Because people still run their sites on PHP 5.2.
Because they don’t know they should update.
Because we won’t tell them.
Because they don’t have to know.
It took me a long time to grasp that “they don’t have to know” is one of the most important and least obvious WordPress principles.
I don’t agree with that.
Internet of quantity
WordPress goes to great lengths to make it easy for people to create sites. I
Following Google's announcement that interstitial popups will be punished in search results, I tweeted Syed Blakhi and Danny Van Kooten. Basically OptinMonster and Boxzilla users have options to avoid this new rule from Google.
Google is flexing it’s muscles again, leveraging it’s dominance in the search engine market to push it’s own idea of what website best practice looks like. They announced that popup “interstitials” will make your site have less relevance if they appear on mobile devices. In April of 2015, Google tweaked their search algorithm to make sites that were not mobile responsive have less relevant results on their search engine. Back then, I wrote this piece:
I’ll keep this pretty brief. Today Google’s search engine algorythym is being updated to give better rankings to sites that are “mobile-friendly”. What this means in finite detail is up for heavy debate, but your best bet is to stick your site domain into this tool (provided by Google themselves) and say HOORAY! if you’re good … Continue reading
I was heavily in favor of the move at that time. It seemed pretty obvious that sites that weren’t mobile responsive simply weren’t paying attention. This move I’m also in favor of, but it definitely feels a lot more in the realm of Google pushing their agenda rather than being some benevolent protector of the web.
Chris's side of the story, told by himself. Matt said publicly that there a "lot of untruths" in this article and that he'll tell his side when the legal battle is over.
On July 8, 2015, I lost a legal battle against Automattic over thesis.com, despite owning the trademarks for Thesis and Thesis Theme in the website software space. Many of you have probably read the initial account of what happened on WP Tavern along with all of the comments. Unfortunately, as is customary with legal disputes involving WordPress that receive widespread criticism, Jeffr0 closed the comments on that post, effectively shutting down the conversation.
However, there is a lot to talk about on this issue. I’d like to walk you through how Automattic and I ended up in a legal battle for a domain, why this was connected—in a very personal way—to a public disagreement that happened years ago, and finally, what this could mean for business owners who operate in the WordPress ecosystem.
I think the most important place to start is by asking: Why would Automattic—a website software company with over $300 million in funding—buy thesis.com when I owned the trademark for Thesis in the website software space?
Negotiating a Price for Thesis.com
By late 2012, my premium WordPress Theme, Thesis, had grown to tens of thousands of users, and I realized it might make sense to invest in the
We were all told the REST API was the future. Then we tried it and said “the future looks awesome.” Let’s not let go of that future.
Recently I sat down with the developer of Morning Frame, a really cool analytics integrator, to help him figure out how to integrate with WordPress. I had to explain, as best as I could, the difference between the WordPress.com API, the JetPack JSON API module, and the WordPress REST API. Explaining, to someone with little experience of WordPress, the subtleties of how the WordPress.com API relates to the JetPack JSON API module, and how the real one is the one that’s in a plugin, but it’s in a feature plugin, which is…
Yah, it got confusing.
The WordPress REST API has seemed like a forgone conclusion for inclusion in WordPress 4.4. Matt Mullenweg said during his last State of the Word that it would be in core “sometime in 2015,” and while no one contradicted him, there was no official word from the core team.
While there has been ambiguity, it’s the topic that everyone wants to discuss at WordCamps. It’s the only reason why application developers from all sorts of backgrounds are looking at WordPress as the back-end for their apps. And the API itself the code is really beautifully with really lovely extensibility. It’s also in use on high traffic sites, has a dedicated team of “core”
The last 3 months have been crazy at Codeable because we've reached not one, but two significant milestones for a less than 3-year-old company. Yep, confetti time it is!
The last 3 months have been crazy here at Codeable because we've reached not one, but two significant milestones for a less than 3-year-old company. Yep, confetti time it is!
You read that correctly: $1 million has been paid to our top experts in such short time. It's no secret we only work with high-quality developers and designers around the world who can provide high standard results (97% of all applicants who apply to become a coveted Codeable expert are turned down). But if they prove to be as great as they say, they're rewarded for their amazing work and helped to get new and qualified clients on a regular basis. They're one of our dearest assets. Therefore we're trying to make sure they grow with us. We treasure them.
With WordPress market share skyrocketing, the number of people who are in need of WordPress help is growing faster than ever. And with such high demand, business owners, entrepreneurs, and web agencies alike are having hard times finding reputable WordPress experts who can address their business needs in a timely, efficient, and stress-free manner. But when you know you have outstanding WordPress professionals on one hand, and average support response times of 11
Why are your favorite plugins your favorites? Probably not for the reasons you think! Good plugins from good company's make an emotional connection with you. You like their brand, their presence in the community, their support. It's a complex and complicated beast that few really do really well.
WordPress plugins should be great — not just good enough. They should be memorable and offer a great user experience; to both developers and site-admins. Backing up here. There’s a Chinese restaurant, now closed, located in the middle of our route of errands. Every so often, my husband and I would say to each other,
“Let’s go to Shanghai Charlie’s.”
And the other will say,
“Was it good?”
“Didn’t we go there once?”
“I think so but I don’t remember.”
Even though we considered dining there, our past experience was not memorable. Result? Pass.
I always say if you don’t remember how the food was at a restaurant, it wasn’t that good.
Important to note here is that it wasn’t that bad, either. It just wasn’t memorable. We remember the bad and the good. The dangerous ground is in the ho-hum zone.
I apologize that my analogies revolve around food, but it’s something we all understand. Think about your favorite restaurants. In many ways, what makes them rise in rank are the same reasons why any product excels.
Do you recognize these plugin logos?
Of course you do.
They offer easy-to-use products, a good experience, and support that stands above.
Just because you can cook, doesn’t mean you should
Great insights by Aaron. Getting WordPress ready to swim in the waters of PHP7 is an incredibly important challange.
HHVM has now released it’s second long term support release and PHP 7 is in the final stages of implementing changes. It’s an exciting time for PHP and to be a PHP developer which means it is also an exciting time to be a WordPress developer since it creates an opportunity for WordPress to once again embrace forwards compatibility. While I was at PHPUK, one of the most common conversations I had was people being critical of WordPress for supporting PHP 5.2 as a minimum. Many of those same people became less critical once they find out WordPress runs great on PHP 5.6 and that many people run it on HHVM.
For the last several weeks, WordPress has been running it’s unit tests on PHP7 nightly builds. They’ve been running on HHVM for months. Right now, the unit tests are not passing for either one and as far as I know, have never passed for either one. This is a problem.
I’m planning on spending some time during the 4.3 development cycle focused on these next generation platforms. Rasmus has put together a php7 vagrant box and JJJ created an addon to Varying Vagrant Vagrants to enable HHVM there. WP engine also has it’s own WordPress HHVM vagrant box. I intend to use all three of these to
Lots of discussion going on about the forced update of Yoast SEO plugin. Nick is particularly bothered because this even happened for him in a local environment, which he says is a breach of trust by the WP Core Team. But at the end he commends them on updating the wording of this feature in the Codex very quickly. Interesting perspective in this whole discussion.
Yesterday afternoon I got an email notification from my local WordPress install, confirming the automatic update of a 3rd party plugin that I did not opt-in updates for. Let’s start with some history. The plugin in question is Yoast WordPress SEO. If you’re not familiar with his plugins, the history of updates is awful. In the last two weeks, I’ve updated twice, and both times have resulted in fatal PHP errors which require FTP’ing into the site, to manually remove the plugin. Both cases were due to not checking if a file exists before loading it.
I won’t go into the numerous times before that this plugin has caused issues on updates, nor will I go into the conversations with other developers that constantly deal with the same issues. I just want to paint a picture, that the plugin update track-record is less than stellar.
Now let’s consider how WordPress automatic updates work. This is, straight from their codex.
Automatic plugin and theme updates are disabled by default.
“Automatic plugin and theme updates are disabled by default. To enable them, you can leverage the auto_update_$type filter, where $type would be replaced with “plugin” or “theme”.
I did not enable automatic plugin
Doesn't apply to all plugins, but you should be making alot of plugin licenses owned by the client. Brad has some good points.
Before we get into this I want to say that WP Migrate DB Pro doesn’t really apply here. It’s a developer tool so the developer should own the license, not the client. A carpenter should own their own hammer. Our other plugin, WP Offload S3 definitely does apply here though. Ok, now back to the show… Just the other day I had a tennis match with a local business owner. He was telling me about the ordeal he was going through to get control of his domain name. Once upon a time, he had hired a developer to build his site. The developer had used his own details (including email address) when registering the domain name. And now he couldn’t reach the developer. He tried contacting the registrar but they wouldn’t give him control of the domain name (and rightly so).
I’ve heard similar stories involving WordPress plugins. Client hires developer. Developer adds a paid plugin to the site during development and uses their “Developer” (unlimited sites) license. Developer doesn’t renew their license and the client isn’t able to update the plugin. Worst case scenario: the client never updates the plugin and eventually it breaks the site
James Farmer shares the story of his past 10 years of being a successful business owner in the WordPress world.
I think it’s fair to say that I’ve got issues. Issues with authority, popularity, inclusivity, regular-ways-of-doing-business, independence and, erm, polite society. Along with unfairness, corruption, bullying and the stinking mess that a project like WordPress can become.
Trying to understand the animosity and how we might move forward, with out excusing anyone who has crossed the line to harassment or letting myself off the hook.
Last week, Tom McFarlin laid down the hammer on the level of animosity that is currently all to present in many parts of our community. I thank him for doing so. When something is wrong in a community, its leaders have to stand up and say no. From discussions around to the customizer, to discussions about the WordPress Foundation’s lawsuit against WordPressHelpers, the tone of the debate has gotten ugly and in many cases become downright harassing.
Tom is very right — it needs to stop. But wishing doesn’t make it so. So I wanted to offer a few thoughts on where this frustration is coming from, while resisting the urge to throw in my 2 cents in on the actual issues being debated… for now.
I think understanding is important for improving communication and decreasing animosity. Before I do I want to say three quick things:
At the end of the day it’s going to take more than understanding, it’s going to take leaders in our community saying “this isn’t right.” Maybe we need a hashtag that is the reverse of the #wpdrama tag that can be used to point, hopefully with some humor, that what is happening is not cool.
More so than every other article I’ve ever written, some, if not all of what I’m
Roy Sivan discusses why he got interested in BackPress and why it could be the future of WordPress. I've been lurking in all the BackPress chatter and moderating discussion here and there and I'll say that there's real merit to the idea. Worth reading and following for sure.
This year at WordCamp Miami I had the pleasure of meeting John James Jacoby, or JJJ. Many of you may know him as the man behind BuddyPress, but I got to know him for another, older project, that he used to be involved with, BackPress. The more I learned about BackPress, the more I became intrigued. That’s when JJJ and I started talking about the revival of the BackPress project.
The BackPress Back Story
BackPress started its life as the foundational library of WordPress. It was more or less the wp-includes directory, which granted access to all of the php functions that everyone knows and loves in WordPress code, without the WordPress ecosystem.
No quick, five minute install. No easy-to-use CMS dashboard. Just a library of code. Unfortunately the project died out—and without anyone to maintain it and few pieces of code ever making its way back into WordPress, it was forgotten.
How I Got Interested and Involved
In early 2013, I started to learn AngularJS, and I immediately wanted to connect it to WordPress. I managed to get my first theme up and running using my own crude API.
That year, Ryan McCue introduced the WP-API project… and I was hooked.
About one year later I started to realize
Optimizing your website for speed is a complex issue. A lot of guides over-simplify by offering broad advice that shouldn’t be taken at face value. Here’s a few commonly-spouted tips that need some clarification.
Optimizing your website for speed can be a complex issue, especially for non-developers. A lot of guides and articles over-simplify by providing broad advice that isn’t applicable to every website and shouldn’t be taken at face value. Here’s a few commonly-spouted tips that need some clarification. 1. Your performance “grade” matters
When you use one of the popular speed testing tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights, GTMetrix, Pingdom etc your site is given a grade for its performance, along with some recommendations. Customers often feel that because they have a caching plugin they should be scoring almost perfect grades. Not only is this not the case, but it’s also a waste of time to chase a perfect grade.
The bottom line – the performance grade of your site does not matter! The only metric that matters is the actual load time of your page.
Why your grade doesn’t matter
The primary reasons for having a faster site are:
To improve SEO
To improve user experience
To increase conversions
In none of these scenarios does your grade matter.
When the Googlebot visits your site, it does not know your grade as given by each of the speed testing tools. It only sees how fast your page loads.
Does it seem like some coding/development community circles don't take WP devs seriously? Why should they?
Should WordPress developers be taken more seriously? I recently wrote an article for SitePoint.com on the ultimate WordPress development environment. If you’ve been following me for a while you will know this is something I’ve spent a good deal of time figuring out.
What surprised me was the feedback that I got on the article.
Using the word “ultimate” in the title was definitely a little bit contentious, and I expected to have some readers push back on it. However, they didn’t. The feedback I got on the content of the article was quite positive.
Out of nowhere though, a number of people started critiquing me for implying that you could apply coding standards to WordPress. Reading deeper in to their thoughts, the crux of their argument seemed to be that they feel WordPress is architected really badly and inherently, anyone who works on WordPress must be a sub-par developer just because of their association with the platform.
That’s a very unfair judgment and from my experience, very far from the truth.
So why is that an unfair judgment?
To answer that question, we really need to look at one simple thing. Why do developers choose WordPress?
Why do developers work with WordPress?
Is Google PageSpeed worth bothering with? You might be surprised at how misleading it can be.
As a website owner, you know your site needs to be fast. You’ve read all the articles about how to make WordPress faster and which plugins to install to accomplish this. You’ve probably added a caching plugin, hopefully WP Rocket, and now you want to know how much benefit you’re getting. So you head over to Google PageSpeed Insights, because that’s what all the articles tell you to do, and enter your URL. You’ll be presented with a grade and a list of recommendations from Google and at that point, you might be dismayed:
“What are all these red and orange warnings??”
“Why isn’t my grade higher??”
“What do all these recommendations mean???”
After adding caching to your site, you might be expecting that your PageSpeed grade will be near-perfect. Or you’ll look at the recommendations and wonder why your caching plugin hasn’t fixed them all, automatically.
A lot of customers ask us why their PageSpeed grade isn’t higher, or they assume that because it didn’t increase a lot, it must mean WP Rocket isn’t making their site faster.
The simple truth is this:
Your Google PageSpeed score does not matter.
That’s right, I said it doesn’t matter.
The Need for Speed
The purpose of WP Rocket