Categories
WordPress

So Many Ways To Skin The WordPress Cat

I’ve been using WordPress as my exclusive content management system for years now. I honestly don’t even remember how long it’s been. With all this time in the ecosystem, I’ve noticed something that I’m not sure I like or dislike.

With WordPress the ecosystem is so robust with innovation that there’s a page builder for all types of people. From Beaver Builder to Divi to WP Bakery to Elementor, the options are endless. This is just one segment of the ecosystem too. There are plugins to add all kinds of functionality.

There are so many ways to skin a cat in this CMS, that trying to pick up from where another developer left off can be challenging.

Recently, my team and I have started updating sites that we haven’t built. With this a challenge has emerged… trying to figure out what the old developer was thinking when they did certain things.

Once we figure out the reasoning behind certain decisions in the development process, we usually can run with it.

On the whole, WordPress is great. It gives users the freedom to do what they want with their site. But with this comes a trade off. It can be hard to pick up where another person left off. Because there are so many ways to skin a cat.

What do you think? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

Categories
WordPress

WordPress 5.3 Is Out – Update right away?

WordPress 5.3 is out. With it comes some great new features.

  • Significant improvement of the Site Health Tool
  • Addition of a default theme that is known as TwentyTwenty
  • Enhancement of the Admin User Interface
  • Enhanced support for PHP 7.4
  • Enhanced accessibility

So, do you run out and go install 5.3 right away or do you wait a week or so to let things settle?

My technique is to update sites like this one, that aren’t mission critical right away, because of the new shiny object. But production and client sites I wait a week or so to let plugin developers catch up and any really nasty bugs to be ironed out.

What do you do? Do you install big updates and releases right away or do you wait a little bit?

Categories
WordPress

WordPress & WordCamp US 2019

After watching the live stream of WordCamp US this past weekend, I decided to spin up a site and to beta test all the new features coming out in the next few months and year with WordPress.

The block editor is something that I need to get used to and with the coming functionality in the pipeline, it’d be stupid not to try and use WordPress without a page builder.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Elementor plugin, but if there is a way to do what I need without adding bulky plugins than I want to know how.

So, instead of blowing up one of my many other sites, I started SethGoldstein.page as a way to experiment.

Here’s to learning new things and expanding horizons.

Stay tuned.

Categories
Web Finds

90 essential tools for WordPress web designers and developers

This is a pretty good roundup of some great tools for WordPress.

Source: 90 essential tools for WordPress web designers and developers – The Garage

Categories
Web Finds

Your Most Common Gutenberg Questions Answered

Joe Casabona is a WordPress expert and has taken to the new editor like peanut butter on bread. (Ugh bad analogy) If you don’t already know about Joe, this article (link below) is a great intro to him and his plethora of knowledge!

I’m proud to say I know Joe personally. He’s as jolly, friendly and knowledgeable in person as he appears online.

Source: Your Most Common Gutenberg Questions Answered

Categories
General

WordCamp US 2018

WordCamp US 2018 Nashville Logo

Going to WordCamps (conferences that are focused on the WordPress CMS) is always a lot of fun.

When the national WordCamp (WordCamp US) comes around every December it’s gives one a sense of how fantastic this community is.

Last year and this year #WCUS (as it’s affectionately known) is in Nashville Tennessee. I wasn’t able to make it this year or last, but this year I’m still going via the live stream. Though I’m missing the most important track, the Hallway Track, I’m really enjoying my experience.

The live stream coupled with the #WCUS hashtag on Twitter, it almost feels like I’m there. In a way I’m getting a little bit of the Hallway Chat via Twitter.

All in all, I’ve been very happy with my virtual experience thus far. I’ll report my final thoughts after #WCUS ends.

WordCamp US 2018 picture of my computer watching the live stream.
My view of #WCUS 2018 from work on Friday
Categories
General

WordCamp US 2016 Recap

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*The collage you see above this post was made by @WPSiteCare. It is made up of some of my images from WordCamp US 2016*

The Second Annual WordCamp US was held this past weekend in Philadelphia. What an event!

The City of Brotherly Love has had the privilege of hosting both the inaugural and the second annual national WordCamp. While the first one was amazing the second went so far beyond expectation, it blew my mind. Everything from the talks, to the organization of how it was run, to the SWAG, was leagues above last years event. Great job organizing team!

As I was last year, I again was honored to be one of the official WordCamp US photographers. Can I tell you something? Taking photographs at a conference is not easy and extremely tiring. But in the end totally worth it.

Well All This Is Great, But What Is A WordCamp and What Is WordPress?

Oh sorry, I should have explained that sooner. A WordCamp is a small one or two day conference held across the World to talk about, educate, and contribute to the open source content management system called WordPress. WordPress powers more than 26% of the Web (*According to the co-founder of the project, Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word talk that rounds out the conference). These conferences are held around the World in cities and towns of all sizes. WordCamp US is the national, “big boy” version of the these conferences. There is a European version. aptly called WordCamp Europe.

Off To Nashville

In 2017, the conference will be leaving the nest and heading to Nashville for the next two years. On a side note, unlike WordCamp Europe that has its conference in a different city every year, WordCamp US will for the foreseeable future be in a host city for two years.

So am I planning on going to Nashville? Quite possibly? I’ve talked to the organizing team for next year and they say they’d love to have me take photos, so we’ll see.

On To The Photos

Now, I was a photographer at the event, so enough writing! On to the photos. You can see every photo over here.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Day 1″ src=”https://sethgoldstein.me/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/WCUS2016-46-COLLAGE.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”on” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Day 2″ src=”https://sethgoldstein.me/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/WCUS2016-60-COLLAGE.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”on” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”State Of The Word” src=”https://sethgoldstein.me/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/WCUS2016-51-COLLAGE-sotw.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”on” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”off” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Categories
General

WordPress Calypso: Improvements Needed

Wordpress Calypso Improvements Needed...

I’ve been using the WordPress.com new Calypso desktop app and LOVING IT. But it needs some improvements. Here are my thoughts.

Categories
General

Open Source vs. Close Source

Open Source vs. Close Source

I’ve been thinking about open source lately. I’ve always been a big proponent of it, but now with Google, Facebook, Automattic and others releasing their software, hardware, and other stuff into the open source community, it’s got me thinking. Why wouldn’t you want to open source your software and hardware?

First off what is open source:

In production and development, open source as a development model promotes universal access via a free license to a product’s design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone.[1][2] Before the phrase open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of other terms. Open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet, and the attendant need for massive retooling of the computing source code.[3] Opening the source code enabled a self-enhancing diversity of production models, communication paths, and interactive communities. The open-source software movement arose to clarify the environment that the new copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues created. (source: Wikipedia)

Now, don’t write me off as naive, I do understand why some companies want to keep their software code and hardware specs a guarded secret. But often keeping stuff away from prying eyes casts questions and doubts about your product (ie. security, access, etc.). Open source allows people to not only vet what you’re putting out there, but also help you fix it and improve upon it.

WordPress is best known for being open source. Being open source has enabled WordPress to grow and in the end power close to 25% of the Websites on the Internet. Developers make plugins for the CMS, designers make themes, hackers find bugs, and users get a great product as a result.

Wikipedia, Drupal, Joomla, and so much more are also open source and because of it they are great platforms to build and grow on.

Google open sourcing its new AMP protocol from its inception will help the Web become faster. Their open sourcing of their building tool Bazel will allow people to build more effective applications and interoperate them with other open source tools to build something completely different and maybe make a product that scratches another need.

Facebook has open sourced its hardware infrastructure, this will allow others to build on top of an already tested and proven set of hardware.

Books have even been open sourced. True to their spirit of open source, the community behind WordPress released a book and released it on Github.

So, to conclude, I understand why some companies keep their software, hardware and other things under lock and key. But do I think that’s a good thing to do? No. Open it up and let the community build upon it and let’s make awesome stuff.

Do you use open source software? What do you like most about using it? Have you tried open source hardware? Thoughts?

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Categories
General

WordPress.com the other Medium.com?

Wordpress.com is the other Medium.com
Picture by Miradeshazer on Pixabay.com

With the new WordPress.com and Calypso, I’m noticing something I haven’t before. WordPress.com is really the other Medium.com. There is a vibrant community on the system and with Calypso and the new WordPress.com, it’s easier than ever to dive in and read some great stuff.

Being a Web designer and only using self-hosted WordPress, I’ve never noticed how neat the “Dot Com” actually is.*

When a visitor goes to WordPress.com, either via the desktop or mobile app or the Website, they can use it as a reader to discover great content and also to publish to their various WordPress.com and WordPress.org sites.

One thing I have noticed is that on the mobile app on Android, you can only post to Dot Com blogs, not to the self-hosted version. I’m sure this will be changing (I hope. Hint, hint!).

Have you explored WordPress.com lately? If not, check it out.

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Footnote:

*Wordpress.com is owned by Automattic, Matt Mullenweg‘s company (Mullenweg is the co-founder of WordPress). It takes the blogging software, that is self-hosted, farther and hosts it for the user and makes getting your content online easy. WordPress.org is the self-hosted version that is run by the WordPress Foundation. It, along with Dot Com, run close to 25% of the Internet’s Websites.