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WordPress

Always Backup Your Site

I came into work, with an idea. I wanted to add a sidebar to this blog. I love the Twenty Twenty theme, that I’m using, but a blog needs a sidebar.

Without a clear way to just add it, I turned to the Goog. There I found a plugin that would work with Twenty Seventeen. It said it was compatible with the latest WordPress version, so installed it.

Well, to make a slightly long story very short. It totally borked my site template.

Luckily my host has daily backups. and I remembered to quickly copy the previous post into Word before restoring the site to yesterday’s glory.

All this said, a very important lesson can be taught. Backup your sites people! Even if it’s just for safety and do it weekly.

My suggestion is to either find a hosting provider that does it for you (daily is best) or get a plugin like Updraft Plus to do it for you.

And if you don’t normally work on your site daily, you can do weekly, but remember to do a backup prior to messing around with anything.

Today’s minor bump in the road could have been adverted, albeit it only slightly, by doing a quick manual backup prior to mucking around.

So that’s what I got. Go backup your site! Right now. What are you waiting for!

Oh, and if the sidebar isn’t on the blog yet it means I’m still figuring out how to add it.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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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?

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WordPress

Are WordCamps Dying?

I’ll skip to the answer. No.

In a WordCamp US recap article on Freemius Brandon Ernst talks about how WordCamp US had received some strong feedback about how it was run this year. He initially asks the question if WordCamps are dying? In the end he says no, and I agree.

Honestly look at the schedule of upcoming WordCamps. Does it look like the events are dying? I think not.

Just because the big US event was bit disjointed, the quality of the content was great. I watched the live stream and got a whole lot from it.

I go to three to four WordCamps a year, sometimes more. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses.

For example WordCamp Montclair (New Jersey) was held in a former fallout shelter. The internet was spotty at best, but it was their first year and overall it was a great time. The talks were great and that’s what mattered.

WordCamp Philly this year was at the Academy of Fine Arts, I didn’t like the venue as much as the talks were held in galleries which didn’t lend to learning in my opinion. I preferred the classrooms at University of the Sciences (in West Philadelphia). But again the talks were great.

WordCamp Lancaster is held at the Lancaster Intermediate Unit. It serves the purpose, but is nothing to write about.

And finally, WordCamp Lehigh Valley is held at the Northampton County Community College in Bethlehem, PA.

All these events are great because of the community and the speakers who speak at them. They are far from perfect, but they are put on by the community and that’s what makes them special.

Have you been to any WordCamps that have totally rocked it or kind missed the mark?

Categories
WordPress

Matt Mullenweg, Automattic, & WordPress

So many people are complaining about Matt Mullenweg and his “aspirations” for Automattic and WordPress.com. I don’t have issues with any of those “aspirations” or his getting investment from Salesforces.

What I do have a problem with is that Matt has co-opted and confused the brand of WordPress. There is the self-hosted and open source version of WordPress at WordPress.org and then there is the hosted, business WordPress.com that Automattic runs.

I don’t even have a problem with Jetpack tying the two together. It’s just the confusion between Dot Com and Dot Org, that gets me.

What do you think? Is there more to this that I’m missing?

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WordPress

The Block Editor In WordPress

Apparently after a year of neglect my old personal site was too far gone to repair.

Having this experiment going to play with the block editor (aka Gutenberg), I decided last night to make this site my main site going forward.

I’m still undecided if I’m going to swamp the domains around. It would probably be a good idea to do so, since my .me has more domain oomph and age.

With all this in mind, I’ve started to like the new editor, but I have also seen that there is quite a bit of a learning curve to it from the old ways of doing things.

Hopefully this adventure on my personal site will make me that much better a WordPress designer/developer.

Stay tuned.

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.