This is the first of a series on the WordPress Philosophy. What is it and why does it matter. A new article will be published each month of this year.
Have you ever installed a plugin into your WordPress website and thought, “Ummm… that’s different”? Something about it just stood out as not quite right. The settings felt strange, or there were way too many settings, or maybe it changed parts of your site in ways you didn’t expect. Most often this experience involves a plugin or a theme that doesn’t do things “The WordPress Way.” If you’ve ever heard that phrase, it probably sounded a bit mysterious. That’s because while “The WordPress Way” does have a definition, it’s still a bit fuzzy; it’s not so simple to boil it down to a sentence or two. It’s not merely about the settings interface, or where to put the menus — it’s a whole philosophy of understanding user experience, development, and even freedom itself.
This series is about the WordPress Philosophy. Yes, WordPress has an actual philosophy! This simple document will hold a lot of sway over everything that you interact with in your WordPress admin.
By the end of this series, you’ll have a stronger grasp of the WordPress Philosophy. You’ll be empowered to make more
A nice article about OpenSource Ecosystem and sustainability. Few of our known developer and projects are mentioned here, like Vue.js.
Open source sustainability has been nothing short of an oxymoron. Engineers around the world pour their sweat and frankly, their hearts into these passion projects that undergird all software in the modern internet economy. In exchange, they ask for nothing in return except for recognition and help in keeping their projects alive and improving them. It’s an incredible movement of decentralized voluntarism and represents humanity at its best. The internet and computing giants — the heaviest users of open source in the world — are collectively worth trillions of dollars, but you would be remiss in thinking that their wealth has somehow trickled down to the maintainers of the open source projects that power them. Working day jobs, maintainers today can struggle to find the time to fix critical bugs, all the while facing incessant demands from users requesting free support on GitHub. Maintainer burnout is a monstrous challenge.
That distressing situation was chronicled almost exactly two years ago by Nadia Eghbal, in a landmark report on the state of open source published by the Ford Foundation. Comparing open source infrastructure to “roads and bridges,” Eghbal
The question "why Gutenberg and why now?" Doesn't seem to be one that I've seen answered clearly anywhere. I attempt to answer it clearly in this guest post on the WP Tavern.
Tevya Washburn has been building websites for more than 20 years and building them on WordPress for 10. He bootstrapped his website maintenance and support company, WordXpress, that he’s worked on full-time for more than seven years. Late last year he launched his first premium plugin, and presented at WordCamp Salt Lake City. He lives in Caldwell, ID and is the founding member of the WordPress Meetup group in Western Idaho.
It was only a few months ago that I knew almost nothing about WordPress’ new Gutenberg editor. I had a basic concept of what it was and this vague annoyance that it would mean I’d have to learn new things and probably put a lot of effort into making some sites or projects work with it.
I kept hearing all of the frustration and issues with Gutenberg itself and the lack of information on how to integrate with it. At WordXpress we recently pivoted away from designing websites. When we designed them in the past, we used premium themes. I figured Gutenberg was the theme developer’s problem.
I still had this feeling of dread though, knowing many of my favorite plugins might not add support for it. I also felt some apprehension that even if the
While you absolutely could paste in an HTML form into your WordPress site; you really shouldn't. There's much more that goes into forms that you really don't want to worry about.
But don’t. Making a WordPress contact form without a plugin is, most of the time, not worth it.
Look — I’m the guy who makes a form builder plugin so I have a bit of an interest in people using a WordPress form builder. But, I also spent the last few years obsessing over a web form that creates other web forms. This is something I’ve thought a lot about. Probably thought too much about.
Faster to Prototype & Faster to Finished Product
A form, no matter how you build it, is
Insights from the internal process we've been going through at GiveWP for integrating with Gutenberg.
With its growing list of features and blocks, it’s difficult to know where to begin in preparing an existing WordPress plugin for Gutenberg. That’s why we’re going back to the start to focus on the one change that has kept us most excited about Gutenberg since day one—the block and its ability to unify the content creation interface. Unifying Content Creation in WordPress
Before reimagining how our Give plugin will integrate with Gutenberg, it’s important to first understand the focus of the new editor and the problems it aims to solve. Like most of the WordPress community, we got our first glimpse of the Gutenberg vision through Matt Mullenweg’s early description of the project:
“The editor will create a new page- and post-building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has ‘blocks’ to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or ‘mystery meat’ embed discovery.” —Matt Mullenweg
For all of their quirks, the shortcodes and “mystery meat” that Mullenweg mentions represent some of the most powerful and relied upon functionality of Give and thousands of other plugins
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
We love shiny new things, but sometimes it's better to wait a week or two to update plugins/themes. Unless of course there is a security update! WordPress life :)
I have used WordPress going on 10 years now. It’s awesome, and I couldn’t imagine myself working with anything else. However, just like with every platform, there are ways to go about forming what I call “good and safe” habits. Today I want to discuss a little bit about updating WordPress plugins and why I typically recommend users to wait before updating to the shiny new version. Trust me, this will cause you less stress in the long run.
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:
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 your average snitch post showing who the bad guys are.
Second of the series on the WordPress Philosophy. We start at the end: The Four Freedoms, or the Bill of Rights. These I believe are fundamental for all the other freedoms.
This is the second post in a series on the WordPress Philosophy. Last month I described why WordPress has a Philosophy and why WordPress users should care about that and understand it. This article is the first of 8 that will explore the tenants of the WordPress Philosophy. We’re going to start at the end. The most foundational tenant of the WordPress Philosophy is the last one: “Our Bill of Rights”. I believe this is foundational to understanding all the previous tenants of the philosophy.
Similarly to the United States of America’s Bill of Rights, this Bill of Rights is all about freedom. This is often called “The Four Freedoms”:
The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish.
The freedom to redistribute.
The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others.
The Four Freedom’s come from what is often called the GNU Manifesto by Richard Stallman. This is one of the foundational documents that launched the Open Source movement. It’s a valuable and insightful read that I highly recommend everyone read.
The WP Bill of Rights opens by acknowledging
I took a look at the stated goals of Gutenberg and whether or not it accomplishes them.
With WordPress in the process of preparing the new Gutenberg editor for full release in version 5.0, there are a ton of opinions on the change. I recently witnessed a demonstration of what the editor can do, and the presenter could barely get a word in. A healthy mix of designers, developers and users in the crowd were asking questions and debating the merits of the project. I don’t know that I’ve seen an impending change to software cause this much debate since Adobe stopped selling physical copies of their apps. But instead of adding more gasoline to the fire, I think it’s important to look somewhat beyond the debate and take a look at what Gutenberg is actually meant to do. So, what is the purpose of replacing the classic editor we all know and sort-of like? WordPress.org tells us:
“The Gutenberg editor uses blocks to create all types of content, replacing a half-dozen inconsistent ways of customizing WordPress, bringing it in line with modern coding standards, and aligning with open web initiatives. These content blocks transform how users, developers, and hosts interact with WordPress to make building rich web content easier and more intuitive, democratizing
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.
Thats an interesting article again on Gutenberg! Author is loving the concept but thinks it does not belong to WordPress, just yet! Keep reading.
I’ve been loosely following the noise and #wpdrama surrounding Gutenberg for as long as it has been around and honestly for the most part I’ve had negative feelings around it (I don’t like change at the best of times). However, I recently dived in and tried it out and you will never guess what happened next! But seriously. I came to two conclusions:
It’s a lovely piece of software
It does not belong in WordPress. (Yet. Or WordPress as we know it today)
Let me explain.
What is Gutenberg?
As a customary catch-up for those who don’t know, Gutenberg is the new way to edit content in WordPress. It replaces the tired TinyMCE post content editor and can do a lot more too – think shortcodes, widgets, menus, and even custom fields. It is a client-side interface built with React that uses a block based system to build up content:
It is being developed as a feature plugin over on GitHub and it has been scheduled to land in core in the next version of WordPress, version 5.0 estimated for the first half of 2018. Here’s a great roundup of Gutenberg information.
Gutenberg is an important step forward for publishers, reducing the visual difference between how
Morten describes what a path forward WITHOUT the 80/20 Rule might look like. Really important discussion and great read.
After many years on WP it looks like the "Next Smashing Magazine" will be run by a different platform, actually a mix of different platforms!
They are the new sliders - bad for conversion. Good luck convincing clients of this.
“I just love those video backgrounds and we need them on our new website.” No, you don’t. “They are so engaging and set a friendly mood.” No, they don’t. “It’s an amazing new feature and it helps conversion.” No, it doesn’t. Besides that, the conversation is annoying me. Video backgrounds suck big time. Our good friend Karl Gilis of AGConsult said it perfectly: “Video backgrounds are the new sliders. They’re a distraction.” And just like sliders suck and should be banned from your website, so do video backgrounds. Why do you need that video background?
I dare to state that video backgrounds were invented by web agencies trying to convince customers of a particular design:
Hey, this will make you stand out!
Now this really sets a mood on your website, don’t you think?
Of course we can create that video for you at a mere x dollars extra
Video backgrounds will keep your visitors’ attention, so time on page goes up and that’s good for Google.
What!? You’re not maintaining that site for Google, but for your users. The second reason for video backgrounds is that we all have said at one point
We'll see how the execution of the release goes. But what Gutenberg represents has grown on me quite a bit.
Those of us who work with WordPress on a daily basis have been keeping close tabs on Gutenberg, the completely revamped editor scheduled to be released with version 5.0 of the world’s most popular CMS. It looks like it will be a monumental change to the way we create and edit our web content. And, that of course has led to a ton of concern about existing sites breaking – either due to an unsupported plugin or some other code gremlin that feasts on our hard work.
But the optimist in me (sometimes I have to dig really far down to find it) is actually excited for this change – or, at least what it represents. Here’s why:
WordPress Needs More Layout Flexibility
I’m very much into customizing WordPress through various methods, with custom fields being my favorite. I also refuse to use a page builder plugin because of the (perceived) bloat. That leaves me between a rock and a hard place when trying to do something more than a standard one column layout.
Doing this with custom fields works well enough. But there is some setup involved that takes time away from other tasks on my to-do list. It’s a process of setting up the fields and then adding code to my
I find this fascinating. The fact that one plugin can have such power. If only WordPress would do something similar.
Less than three weeks ago Yoast SEO version 4.5 was released with an ugly, non-dismissible notice for sites on PHP 5.2. The notice encourages the user to upgrade to PHP 7, explaining that it is faster and more secure. It includes links for getting started and example emails that users can send to their hosting companies. In the 18 days since shipping the plugin with the upgrade nag, Yoast SEO creator Joost de Valk has seen a dramatic uptick in sites moving from old, unsupported versions to PHP 7. From December to March, PHP 5.2 usage among Yoast SEO users decreased from 1.9% to 1.7%, a modest drop over three months. After adding the nag on March 21, PHP 5.2 usage dropped from 1.7% to 1.3% for those using Yoast SEO version 4.5. PHP 5.3 usage is also steadily decreasing since de Valk began the campaign to educate his plugin’s users about the benefits of upgrading.
According to de Valk’s stats, 22.2% of Yoast SEO users are on version 4.5 of the plugin. He estimates 1,443,000 sites on 4.5 out of 6.5 million users.
“Assuming 0.5% updated their PHP versions, that’s 7K sites,” de Valk said. “And another 14-20k that updated from 5.3 to something more decent.”
@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
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
Rich from Themebeans shares his thought-process on applying what he learned and heard from the AWP Interview series with Ahmad Awais to his own plugins and business. It's an insightful piece for anyone working to integrate their plugins with Gutenberg.
Last week, Matt Cromwell welcomed Ahmad Awais as the latest speaker for the new Advanced WordPress Gutenberg Interview Series. Ahmad is a prolific FOSS (Free & Open Source Software) developer and regular WordPress core contributor. If you’ve had your eye on Gutenberg, you’re likely already familiar with Ahmad. Last year, he released the Gutenberg Boilerplate, a heavily documented️ set of examples for diving into block development. And more recently, Ahmad launched create-guten-block, a zero-configuration developer toolkit for building Gutenberg block plugins.
Ahmad is on a roll, and there’s no stopping him.
Here’s my take (Rich Tabor) on the second session of the Gutenberg Interview Series.
Ahmad’s take on Gutenberg
Matt and Ahmad touch on the growing complexities of WordPress development and how Gutenberg raises that bar quite significantly. I agree with Ahmad, in
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
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.