June is traditionally the “WordCamp Europe month” for us. The 2018 conference was our third one in a row that we attended as a team. I’ll talk some about that and then move onto other topics related to our latest product releases, decision making, and other fun stuff.
Welcome to the 41st edition of the monthly transparency report (for June 2018). In this series, I do my best to share what’s been going on in the company, what we’ve learned, and how you can apply it to your business, too. Click here to see the previous reports. June is traditionally the “WordCamp Europe month” for us. The 2018 conference was our third one in a row that we attended as a team. I’ll talk some about that and then move onto other topics related to our latest product releases, decision making, and other fun stuff.
After WCEU 2018
Okay, so the event was fun, even despite the fact that my speaking application was rejected (bummer).
It was probably the year that we were the most involved as a team nonetheless. More on that in a minute.
But … was it worth it?
Well, it’s hard to say, actually.
I personally took a very relaxed approach towards this year’s event. I was there mostly to meet the team, volunteer, and just enjoy the event without anything specific on the agenda. Unlike the previous years, where I was usually all over the place talking to people and networking. I was also not as excited about the event as I was the last
If you plan on capturing the attention of the thousands of users browsing the WordPress.org repository daily, an intro video for your plugin is a must-have. If you're going to make a video - make it a good one! This article critiques and helps learn from several successful plugin intro videos from the WordPress.org repository.
If you haven’t yet noticed, online video is changing the way that we learn and make our buying decisions. The ability to use video as an interactive storytelling medium makes it one of the best ways to encourage your potential customers to engage with your brand. You don’t need to take my word for it. Check out the following stats: 87% of online marketers use video content.
After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online
Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more.
The average CVR for websites using video is 4.8%, compared to 2.9% for those that don’t use video.
The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video.
It’s safe to say that if you’re not using video in your plugin marketing, you’re missing out on a significant amount of leads and potential users for your products.
In this article, I’ll cover a few different ways that you can leverage the power of video to grow your user base and increase your revenue. If you’re already using video, I’ll also include a few tips and tricks to improve the quality of your videos to give you the competitive edge. Let’s get started!
My favorite quote from this is "You don't need a framework. You're developers. You, yourself can write this code. You just need to spend a little bit of time learning Grid and mastering Grid and getting to know what Grid wants to do. Please let's not create new frameworks." (I admit I'm a little biased against CSS frameworks.)
It's easy to make lots of mistakes with a new technology, especially something that's as big of a change from the past as CSS Grid. Jen lists the 9 Biggest Mistakes she sees people making when using CSS Grid, with advice and tips for avoiding these pitfalls and old habits. Mistake 1: Thinking CSS Grid is Everything
“Flexbox vs. CSS Grid — Which is Better?”: https://youtu.be/hs3piaN4b5I
“Using Flexbox & Grid Together”: https://youtu.be/dQHtT47eH0M
“Obliterate Boxiness with CSS Shapes”: https://youtu.be/pOB75oTNhw0
Mistake 2: Using Only Percents for Sizing
“Min & Max Content Sizing in CSS Grid”: https://youtu.be/lZ2JX_6SGNI
“FR Units in CSS Grid“: https://youtu.be/ZPtpzuRajzM
“MinMax in CSS Grid”: https://youtu.be/mVQiNpqXov8
Mistake 3 : Assuming You Need Breakpoints
“Incredibly Easy Layouts with CSS Grid”: https://youtu.be/tFKrK4eAiUQ
Mistake 4: Getting Confused by Numbering
“Innovative & Practical Graphic Design with CSS Grid”: https://youtu.be/-hmOZU7Zk10
“Basics of CSS Grid: The Big Picture”: https://youtu.be/FEnRpy9Xfes
Mistake 5: Always Using 12-columns
WordPress keyboard shortcuts let you keep your hands on your keyboard without losing the ability to select text, add formatting, or even moderate your comments section.
It might not seem like it takes very long, but every time you need to move your hands away from your keyboard to use your mouse, there’s going to be a short period of wasted time. Over a full day of work, that time can add up! That’s where WordPress keyboard shortcuts can help.
There are some outstanding groups out there ready to help with a variety of WordPress related issues.
Part of what makes working with WordPress so much fun is that you get much more than a free, open source CMS. You also become part of a tremendously welcoming and helpful community. Information regarding just about any aspect of the software you want to learn is most likely available for free. And when you have questions or run into trouble, there’s a good chance that someone out there is willing to help. It’s no surprise, then, that Facebook is home to some outstanding groups dedicated to WordPress in one way or another. Some are quite general in nature, while others cater to a specific niche. Here are six groups you’ll want to check out, depending on how you use WordPress.
The Advanced WordPress group is one of the most interesting out there. It boasts over 30,000 members, and the list includes some of the most influential names in the world of WordPress. Like the other groups on this list, membership is closed – meaning a moderator has to approve your request to join. Posts are also subject to moderator approval, which helps to keep the content relevant. And, as its name suggests, you’ll find some very advanced discussions regarding code, design and
Guide covering the different WordPress user roles and their capabilities, how to manage users in the WordPress admin, the best plugins for customizing roles, and best practices when dealing with user permissions.
If you run a large website, a membership site, or simply need to give other people access so they can manage, edit, or contribute to your site, WordPress user roles and permissions let you control what users can and can’t do. WordPress provides six default user roles, each with its own set of permissions and capabilities. And there’s good reason for this – you don’t want just anyone to have open access to your site.
While some users, such as site owners, will have overarching access to do practically anything they want, other users only need limited access to options and settings. After all, in the name of keeping your site secure, you wouldn’t give a casual blog contributor access to your plugins, or allow users who’ve register on your site to leave comments additional access to the post editor.
In this post, I’ll explain the different WordPress user roles and their capabilities. Then I’ll walk you through how to manage users in the WordPress admin, the best plugins for customizing roles, along with best practices when dealing with user permissions.
WordPress User Roles
A role is essentially a set of permissions, called capabilities,
SiteGround just released their own custom WordPress migration plugin. I'll be honest, I've tried several in the past and found none to be easy to use and work on the first try. Has anyone tried this yet? Is it really is simple as just entering a migration token?
In this tutorial we will show you how to use the SiteGround Migrator plugin to move a WordPress site from any other hosting company to your SiteGround account. Note that this solution is not suitable for migrating from a localhost environment and Multisite installations! The process is very straightforward and easy to follow. Read on for detailed instructions.
Step 1: Generate a migration token in SiteGround cPanel
First, you need to generate a Migration Token that will tell our system to which account and folder you want to transfer your site. To start, log in to your cPanel account and go to WordPress Tools -> WordPress Migrator.
On this page you will see a list of all your domains and subdomains. Select the domain you want to use and add a path, if needed (if your WordPress site is installed on yourdomain.com/blog for example). Hit the Generate button.
You will receive a long string of symbols - the Migration Token. It’s unique per each transfer and has all the information our system needs to start moving your files and databases.
Step 2: Install SiteGround migrator plugin to your WordPress
Once you have the Migration Token, log in to the WordPress installation you want
If you ever wondered how to start a blog then this is the guide for you. We go through every crucial step on your way from blank screen to a lively blog that gets read. We tell it all without pulling any punches!
But first, why listen to us if you want to learn how to start a blog?
Southern Web acquires WP Site Care. Seems to be a trend going here.
I am thrilled to announce that Southern Web has acquired WP Site Care®. The acquisition supports Southern Web’s continued mission to provide clients with digital strategies that amplify brand exposure, improve user experience and increase traffic, leads, and sales.
WP Site Care is a WordPress maintenance support agency founded in 2012 by Ryan Sullivan. Widely regarded as one of the best WordPress maintenance support providers in the game, WP Site Care offers tiered support plans for updating, protecting, backing up and maintaining WordPress websites. Clients of WP Site Care include BodyArmor, AirRussia and a number of television celebrities.
With over 650 sites under management, Southern Web is now one of the leading providers of support, development, and marketing for WordPress sites around the world.
What does this mean for Southern Web clients?
We’re excited to now offer our web development and digital marketing services in conjunction with a renowned WordPress support team. This means that all websites hosted by Southern Web are now automatically covered under WP Site Care.
What does this mean for WP Site Care clients?
WP Site Care will continue delivering WordPress
The 8 best WordPress plugins for writers that will help you write better content and better market your articles.
There are a ton of plugins available to modify your WordPress. These plugins can really enhance your page and generally make your life easier. Here are eight WordPress plugins for writers that will make your life easier. Yoast SEO
Yoast is a very useful plugin that can help you make your page as search engine friendly as possible. This plugin makes things like controlling titles, meta descriptions, setting targeting keywords, and managing sitemaps much easier. Its page analysis tab is extremely useful for finding out how SEO friendly or unfriendly your page is. There are also advanced options that allow you to control things like meta robots, sitemaps, and setting a 301 redirect URL.
Download Yoast here.
If you’re on a tight writing schedule this plugin can help you out. Editorial Calendar gives you and overview of when every one of your posts is scheduled. It lets you drag and drop posts and move them around the calendar. Very handy for creating post ideas, managing writers you’ve outsourced to, and checking on the status of your posts. It also enables quick editing of titles and content, managing drafts, and even publishing.
Download Editorial Calendar
WP Site Care joins WordPress agency Southern Web, a digital agency based in Georgia.
Today I’m thrilled to announce that WP Site Care is now a part of Southern Web. When I started WP Site Care in 2012, I set out to build a company that could help brands and individuals write their success stories online. Support & maintenance have always been an important piece to that puzzle (it’s hard to make progress with a broken website, right?), but it’s never felt like quite enough.
Despite our best efforts to add complementary services in the past, we’ve never been able to get it quite right.
So when the opportunity arose to join a team that could fill in the gaps, and where we could add value to their customers as well, it felt like kismet. Today we’re officially joining forces with Southern Web.
Who are Southern Web?
Southern Web is an award-winning digital agency offering WordPress design & development, managed web hosting, and data-driven digital marketing services.
The South is because they’re based in Georgia. Clever, right?
I’ve known the Southern Web founder, Drew Barton, for nearly five years now, and their company has always had a sterling reputation. That familiarity made this a move that I could make with confidence;
In very simple terms, a Learning Management System (LMS) is a website that hosts eLearning programs and provides students and/or employees a way to participate in online training. In this guide to building an LMS with WordPress, learn about common features that you should consider when developing your LMS, as well as plugins to help.
In very simple terms, a Learning Management System (LMS) is a website that hosts eLearning programs and provides students and/or employees a way to participate in online training. Implementing an LMS with WordPress is something we have done for several clients here at WebDevStudios (WDS). For example, we implemented an LMS for Starbucks for their employee intranet. The corporation needed a platform they could use to train Baristas worldwide on the different drink recipes from their menu, as well as the equipment used to create those yummy treats! In this guide to building a Learning Management System with WordPress, I’ll take you though a plethora of common features that you should consider when developing your LMS, as well as plugins to help. Because WDS built a custom solution that uses WordPress, BuddyPress, BadgeOS and LearnDash, Starbucks’ employee intranet allows Baristas to log in, take quizzes based on training videos they’ve watched, and receive participation badges based on their training progress and quiz scores.
Common LMS Features
An LMS has several different features for online training. When the time comes for you to consider building a Learning Management
The WordPress database abstraction layer (wpdb) is class responsible for interacting with the database. But it can always be improved - this article shows you how to expand the functions and make the class even better.
The WordPress database abstraction layer, more commonly know as wpdb is a class based on ezSQL responsible for interacting with the database. The wpdb class is also a drop-in – a piece of core WP code that can easily be replaced by another piece of code with similar functionality (an up-to-date list of drop-ins is available in WP Code Reference). This is where a big misconception comes into play. People perceive “replaced” as in “write my own, complete database class”. Fortunately, you don’t have to write the whole database class. You can take the existing class and add, remove or modify only the functions you need. And that’s what we’re going to do.
Why modify the wpdb class?
Surely, wpdb has everything you need!? The whole WP is built on top of it. Technically that’s correct. By using the $wpdb->query() method you can execute any SQL command. But with that logic applied we would never have or need methods like $wpdb->insert() or $wpdb->get_var(). But we do, because they save time, reduce bugs and keep bad queries away. So, what functions are missing? That depends on the project you’re working on. We needed support
An interesting WordPress plugin creator from France shares his entrepreneurial strategies, and talks about how he took SEOPress from a mere idea to a sustainable business in one year, while working full-time at a web agency.
This time we are interviewing an exciting entrepreneur from France. Benjamin Denis is the creator and owner of several WordPress plugins, who focuses (when he’s not working full-time at a web agency) on building and growing SEOPress – a WordPress plugin (freemium) that helps website owners optimize their SEO. Benjamin, thanks for agreeing to provide an inside look at your WordPress product operation. Why don’t we dive right in – how did you get into the business of ‘SEOPress’?
Everything started back in August 2016, when I was looking for a plugin idea to develop. I had already had two freemium plugins (WP Cloudy and WP Admin UI), and with the experience gained from them, I wanted to go further. So, I hopped on the official WordPress repository and grabbed the most downloaded plugins, noticing that the SEO topic was very frequent on the list.
My main (future) competitor is Yoast SEO (an ‘All in One’ to a lesser extent) who was, and still is, dominating the rankings. So, why attack these two behemoths? After having used this plugin on more than 50 WordPress sites, the more the updates came together the less I and my customers were satisfied:
Writing a blog is only the first step in the process if you want your content to accomplish specific goals. When uploading content to WordPress, I follow this blog post checklist and oftentimes use one of these WordPress checklist plugins to ensure I don't forget anything!
There are so many different WordPress themes that it can be hard to settle on just one. While there are plenty of free WordPress theme options, those that are serious about professionalism and a solid code structure to help with SEO default to premium, highend WordPress themes. Follow along for an in-depth guide to working with highend WordPress themes and WordPress theme membership companies.
How Much Should I Expect to Pay for a Highend WordPress Theme?
According to CodeinWP, the majority of individual WordPress themes are priced at or around $59.
Image Source: CodeinWP
Additionally, CodeinWP found that the average WordPress theme membership is $145/year (with a median cost of $139). If you’re lucky enough to grab a lifetime subscription for a WordPress theme membership company, expect to pay an average $225 (with a median of $249).
This works out to being roughly $4.20/year per theme as the median price.
When Should I Buy a Highend WordPress Theme versus Purchasing Access to a WordPress Theme Membership Company?
Comparing the average and median costs of an individual highend WordPress theme to the price per theme with a WordPress theme membership demonstrates that the greatest
I'm relaunching a pet project of mine and the first step was to move to a new host. I've heard so much about Kinsta in the past few years, I decided to give them a try. Here's how it went when migrating an existing website to Kinsta Hosting.
This post is my Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting review. In it, I detail my experience with signing up for Kinsta and going through the steps to migrate an existing website. This website in fact. The first step in my relaunch plan for this site was to optimize it for speed. It’s a well-known fact that the faster your website loads, the better opportunity you have to keep your visitors engaged with your content.
There are many considerations when it comes to having a fast-loading website and the first is to make sure you’re site is on a rock-solid hosting platform, preferably one of the many Managed WordPress Hosting solutions.
What Does Managed WordPress Hosting Mean?
In short, it means that the hosting provider has configured their web servers and their features to optimize their technology platform for both the WordPress software platform and their users’ needs that are specific to WordPress.
It also means that the host recognizes that WordPress powers over 30% of the web and they need to market their services to that crowd.
There is no standard for Managed WordPress Hosting so optimizations and features can be different for each Managed WordPress host. At the very
Part II Tutorial on how you can create plugin with Vuejs
It’s been a while since we’ve played with Vue JS on this blog, so why don’t we take a beginner-focused look at how one might go about building a simple polling plugin for WordPress with Vue. Why Vue? Vue can scale up to be used for full-blown single page applications, but you can also use it to add small bits of interactivity to sites, pages, or plugins where in the past you may have used jQuery. Vue is a great option here because it’s a quick and easy way to add interactivity, and it really streamlines the development process by bringing reactivity and component-based architecture to the table with fairly low overhead.
Why a polling plugin? There are scores of polling plugins for WordPress, most of them are free, and most of them will be better than the one we’re going to build today, but there is something missing from the current offering of polling plugins: none of them are polka themed…
I suppose that if we want this to be a WordPress plugin, then we’re going to need to write some PHP, so let’s just get this out of the way. My goal here is to actually write as little PHP as possible and handle as much as we can with Vue.
Are you throwing away awesome Schema SEO markup about your media?
Last month Yoast added a feature to their Yoast SEO (aka WordPress SEO) plugin to allow redirecting attachment pages to the media itself (image, video, PDF, etc). For example, an attachment page with an image would be redirected to the full size image. The reason given by Yoast is that attachment pages are simply an HTML wrapper around an image, and provide little to no value for SEO. This may be true IF the attachment page does not include any Schema markup — either as JSON-LD or microdata — to provide Google (Bing and Pinterest too) with information about the media, AND you’ve not entered a title, caption, alternative text, and description for your media in the WordPress Media library (if you haven’t, you really should).
And if you’re using the WPSSO Core plugin with its WPSSO Schema JSON-LD Markup add-on, for example, you probably would NOT want to redirect attachment pages to the media file — you’ll just be throwing away all that awesome SEO markup about the media. ;-)
What about sharing attachment page URLs vs image URLs?
Whether your attachment page has Schema markup or not, one thing is certain — if you want to share an image on
Several speed tests performed on some of the most used WordPress translation plugins to give you an idea of the load they add to a website.
One of the main concerns when choosing a WordPress translation plugin is how it affects your website speed. A slower website will negatively affect your page rankings, traffic and eventually revenue. Therefore we decided to perform several speed tests on some of the most popular WordPress translation plugins just to give an idea of the load they add to a website.
We compared the page load time of the same page when using different plugins to translate the page. Only one plugin was active and configured for any given test.
Translation Loading Time based on Page Size
For the first setup, we aimed to see how the page size affects the loading time of translation.
The test features a page with about 1600 words, with Twenty Fifteen theme active and no other plugins, but the one being tested. The following graph shows the average original page load time that we obtained in our test.
Due to the variable nature of software execution time, which is influenced by parameters out of human control (CPU, OS, network lag), the page load time varies slightly for each refresh.
To combat this, each plugin had the page load time measured 30 times, from which we calculated an average. Chrome DevTools was
We live in a data-driven world. Almost every transaction and interaction you have with most organizations involves you sharing personal data, such as your name, address and birth date. You share data online too, every time you visit a website, search for or buy something, use social media or send an email.
We live in a data-driven world. Almost every transaction and interaction you have with most organisations involves you sharing personal data, such as your name, address and birth date. You share data online too, every time you visit a website, search for or buy something, use social media or send an email. Sharing data helps makes life easier, more convenient and connected. But your data is your data. It belongs to you so it's important your data is used only in ways you would reasonably expect, and that it stays safe. Data protection law makes sure everyone’s data is used properly and legally.
WP Taxi Me 2.3 released. It's an important Release as it's taking into account the recent changes to the Google Maps Platform TOS.
Today I’m delighted to announce the release of WP Taxi Me 2.3 for both the Free & Premium Releases! This release is an important release, and it only affects the Free version – as we’ve changed our API we used for Geolocation, from Google Maps to Mapbox.
Well, Google Maps has started charging. You get $200 free monthly credit, and you have 40,000 API calls for free month. But the main cost of entry has been that the API needs you to pre-emptively put your credit card details in case you go over. It’s a little bit sneaky I thought, so I switched to Mapbox.
Benefits of Mapbox over Google Maps
I’ve discovered two main benefits to Mapbox over Google Maps:-
You have up to 10,000 more API calls per month for free.
You don’t have to give your credit card details on their free or pay as you go plan.
These two issues swung it to Google Maps. But you will need to sign up to Mapbox. You can do so for free here.
Setting Up Mapbox for WP Taxi Me 2.3
Thnakfully it’s quite straightforward to make Mapbox work with WP Taxi Me 2.3. You can read about that here.
Will WP Taxi Me Use Google Maps Again?
Probably. I’m looking at adding
WordPress has incredible tools for A/B testing. Many of these tools are plugins or services that you can install and start using right away.
TL;DR: Tom McFarlin isn't planning to update any of his own plugins for Gutenberg compatibility until Gutenberg is in core and clients / end users are asking for it. But that's not because Gutenberg isn't necessary, only because clients can't ask for something they don't know exists.
I’ve been asked, on a few occasions, why I’ve not released anything that’s compatible with Gutenberg or why certain plugins aren’t compatible with the current version of the Gutenberg plugin. In the WordPress economy, I’ve seen few things as divisive as this shift in WordPress (though it seems to be finally have chilled a bit). And I’m not interested in entertaining a position on it on this blog.
But when others ask why I’ve not bothered to write anything about it or make certain plugins compatible with it, I find that it’s worth talking about it at least to a certain degree.
Demand for Gutenberg Is Not There
As far as building solutions for others are concerned, there’s yet to be demand for Gutenberg compatibility at all. This doesn’t mean that people don’t see it on the horizon nor that they don’t see the need to prepare for it.
But customers who pay WordPress developers, designers, and other experts in our field aren’t using it right now, so the demand for building something on Gutenberg is not there.
Another way of looking at is that there’s interest and potentially even a demand for it for those
WPEngine has acquired StudioPress. StudioPress is the company that launched and supports the popular Genesis Framework.
Genesis Framework and Collection of Themes Delivers Powerful, Accelerated Development of WordPress Digital Experiences AUSTIN, Texas — June 27, 2018 – WP Engine, the WordPress digital experience platform, today announced it has acquired StudioPress, creators of the Genesis Framework (“Genesis”), the world’s most popular theme framework for the millions of WordPress sites that comprise 30 percent of the Web. Genesis, and its accompanying suite of themes, helps enterprises, startups, and agencies to accelerate the building of amazing digital experiences. Previously owned by Rainmaker Digital LLC, the acquisition of the StudioPress product line strengthens WP Engine’s WordPress Digital Experience Platform, allowing faster time-to-market with greater ease and agility.
The StudioPress Suite for WordPress
StudioPress is a suite of WordPress solutions that includes:
Genesis – the world’s most popular WordPress theme framework combining design, layouts, SEO, performance, interoperability/modularity and support. It offers important benefits such as allowing brands to switch safely and easily between themes, even when doing so at scale. The framework