28 Jun 2016

feedWordPress Planet

WP Mobile Apps: WordPress for Android: Version 5.5

Visual Editor

We've worked hard to bring a new editor to the app - it's a complete rewrite designed to bring you a much smoother editing experience. When you open a draft or a published post, you'll now get a new visual editing experience with image, link, and styling tools like the ones you use in the full web version of WordPress.

Advanced users, don't worry! You'll be able to switch to HTML view and edit code by tapping HTML on the bottom right:

screenshot-2016-05-04_11.49.14.480

People Management

You can now manage your WordPress.com site users. Simply access your user list with People link from My Sites screen and update your users' role or remove them from your site.

People Management

Other Changes

Version 5.5 also comes with a few other fixes:

You can track our development progress for the next release by visiting our 5.6 milestone on GitHub.

Beta

Do you like keeping up with what's new in the app? Do you enjoy testing new stuff before anyone else? Our testers have access to beta versions with updates shipped directly through Google Play. The beta versions may have new features, new fixes - and possibly new bugs! Testers make it possible for us to improve the overall app experience, and offer us invaluable development feedback.

Want to become a tester? Opt-in!

Thank you

Thanks to our GitHub contributors: @aerych, @aforcier, @daniloercoli, @hypest, @kwonye, @maxme, @mzorz, @nbradbury, @oguzkocer, @roundhill, and @tonyr59h.

demo-visual-editor-edited2

28 Jun 2016 2:54pm GMT

22 Jun 2016

feedWordPress Planet

WordPress.tv Blog: Spotlight: WordCamp Miami 2016

WordCamp Miami helped kick off the 2016 WordCamp season with sunny skies and great presentations on how to take your WordPress site to the next level. You can see all the WordCamp Miami sessions here, but below are a few that stood out for us.

Rachel Carden: Tools and Techniques for Evaluating Accessibility

When your website is accessible, all users can access your content no matter their abilities. Visually-impaired users can visit your website using a screen reader. Those who can't use the mouse can navigate your site using a keyboard or other input device. Some accessibility features might also improve your SEO. When your site is inaccessible, research shows you could be excluding up to 20 percent of your users. This talk for all skill levels will review tools and techniques you can use to test and improve your site's accessibility.

Presentation Slides

Kids WordPress Panel Discussion

Kids talking about WordPress and blogging at WordCamp Miami 2016.


Rachel Carden: Tools and Techniques for Evaluating Accessibility
Kids WordPress Panel Discussion

22 Jun 2016 4:41pm GMT

15 Jun 2016

feedWordPress Planet

WordPress.tv Blog: Developing for WordPress with Pippin Williamson and Danilo Ercoli

Pippin Williamson: Ask Me Anything About Plugins

Pippin is a prolific plugin developer and founder of several successful commercial WordPress plugin projects. This session is a Q&A style format where the audience asked question related to plugin development, the WordPress.org plugins directory, selling plugins, building a development team, and anything else related to plugins.

More from WordCamp San Diego 2016

Danilo Ercoli: Migliorare le performance di WordPress con il caching e l'esecuzione differita di codice

Questo talk è rivolto sia a chi ha appena iniziato a sviluppare con WordPress, sia agli sviluppatori più esperti che lo conoscono già da parecchio tempo, ed è un'introduzione ad alcuni argomenti come il caching e l'esecuzione differita di codice PHP, che sono utili per migliorare notevolmente le performance del tuo sito. Alcuni degli argomenti trattati sono il corretto utilizzo della cache e dei plugin di caching. Un'introduzione al WordPress Jobs System, e come eseguire codice differito senza dover quindi rallentare il rendering della pagina.

Presentation Slides

More from WordCamp Torino 2016


15 Jun 2016 4:37pm GMT

Post Status: How WordPress news happens — Draft podcast

Welcome to the Post Status Draft podcast, which you can find on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and via RSS for your favorite podcatcher. This episode of Post Status Draft is hosted by Sarah Gooding - another WordPress journalist - and Brian Krogsgard.

In this episode, Sarah and Brian discuss how they do WordPress news, manage working remotely, and handle family life.

https://audio.simplecast.com/39891.mp3

Direct Download

Links

Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Valet. Valet helps keep your clients happy & coming back. They offer expert services and keep the websites they manage functioning flawlessly. They offer preventative care that provides peace of mind around the clock. For more information, check out their website and thank you to Valet for being a Post Status partner.

15 Jun 2016 1:35pm GMT

08 Jun 2016

feedWordPress Planet

WordPress.tv Blog: How to create child themes and multi-lingual blogs – Featured on WordPress.tv

Corinne Welsh: My First Child Theme

Corrine Welsh explains how to get started with themes in WordPress, starting with a case study: why, why then, and why not sooner. From there she looks at the structure of a theme and walks through the steps of building a child theme. You may leave inspired to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty in theming after this great talk.

From WordCamp London 2016

Maciej Pilarski: How To Make Your WordPress Website Multilingual

In this presentation Maciej Pilarski goes into detail on how to easily and quickly create a traditional multilingual website or eCommerce store. He also compares most popular multilingual plugins and also shows how this can be done without using any plugins, as well as discusses the benefits to your business of going global and how this can be done in minutes.

From WordCamp London 2016


Corinne Welsh: My First Child Theme
Maciej Pilarski: How to Make your WordPress Website Multilingual

08 Jun 2016 1:46am GMT

01 Jun 2016

feedWordPress Planet

WP Mobile Apps: WordPress for Android: Version 5.4

Hello WordPress users! Version 5.4 of the WordPress for Android app is now available in the Google Play Store.

Gravatar update

Did you just take a great selfie? You can update your Gravatar from the app on the Me screen. Tap your profile picture, and follow the prompts to take a new photo or pick an image from your device's photo library.

Smart Lock for Passwords integration

Signing in with a WordPress.com account is easier than ever with Smart Lock for Passwords, the Google password manager. If you signed in to your account on your computer using Google's Chrome browser, the username and password fields will be automatically pre-filled when you open the app - you can even manage several identities.

screenshot-2016-05-04_12.08.06.614

Other Changes

Version 5.4 also comes with a few other fixes:

You can track our development progress for the next release by visiting our 5.5 milestone on GitHub.

Beta

Do you like keeping up with what's new in the app? Do you enjoy testing new stuff before anyone else? Our testers have access to beta versions with updates shipped directly through Google Play. The beta versions may have new features, new fixes - and possibly new bugs! Testers make it possible for us to improve the overall app experience, and offer us invaluable development feedback.

Want to become a tester? Opt-in!

Thank you

Thanks to our GitHub contributors: @aerych, @aforcier, @daniloercoli, @hypest, @kwonye, @maxme, @mzorz, @nbradbury, @oguzkocer, @roundhill, and @tonyr59h.

gravatar

01 Jun 2016 11:53am GMT

31 May 2016

feedWordPress Planet

WPTavern: WordCamp Incubator Program to Launch in Indonesia, Zimbabwe, and Colombia

flags

After receiving 182 applications from cities all over the world, the WordPress Community Team has selected three locations for the WordCamp Incubator program:

Representatives from the thirteen other short-listed locations are encouraged to organize a local WordPress meetup and will have the help of Community Team mentors as needed.

Thanks to the addition of a new volunteer deputy from the Community Team, the program will move forward with three locations, instead of having to scale back to two, as previously anticipated. Each event has been assigned a deputy who will meet bi-weekly with the local team to mentor the new WordCamp organizers.

Andrea Middleton outlined in the announcement how the team plans to proceed with getting these events off the ground.

"Denpasar, Harare, and Medellín will work with their respective deputies to start a monthly WordPress meetup group or add their existing meetup group to the chapter account program," Middleton said. "Once the local WordPress user group is meeting regularly, each team will work on finding a venue, setting a date, recruiting speakers, and spreading the word about the upcoming WordCamp."

In order to take the pressure off the new organizers, the Community team will assist them in scheduling and finding speakers. The events will be 100% funded by the global sponsorship grant so organizers can focus on community building without the pressure of fundraising. Middleton said they are aiming for no more than three non-local speakers at each event, which she anticipates will happen in the last quarter of 2016.

The challenge with the Incubator program is to ensure these events are a launching point and not just a flash in the pan. Middleton and the community team deputies are working to establish these emerging communities so that they continue to grow organically after the events conclude.

"The goal for these events is to organize an easily reproducible, one-day, one-track event with about 50-75 attendees," Middleton said. "Hopefully by the end of the organizing/incubating experience, members of the local community will feel confident that they can organize an annual WordCamp independently in the years to come."

31 May 2016 5:12am GMT

27 May 2016

feedWordPress Planet

Donncha: WordPress is thirteen!

You could have knocked me over with a feather today when I read Matt's post announcing that WordPress was celebrating a birthday!

It didn't seem so long ago that we were working on b2++, hacking the multiuser bits in and doing all sorts of crazy things with it.

Now I'm "typing" this on a mobile phone by swiping my finger across a virtual keyboard. Back then the closest to this that I could imagine would be some sort of SMS integration!

WordPress today is unrecognisable from what it was back then, especially if you use the slick Calypso interface.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the next few years bring.

Related Posts

27 May 2016 10:57pm GMT

Post Status: WordPress.org — Draft podcast

Welcome to the Post Status Draft podcast, which you can find on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and via RSS for your favorite podcatcher. Post Status Draft is hosted by Joe Hoyle - the CTO of Human Made - and Brian Krogsgard.

In this episode, Joe and Brian discuss the structure and function of the WordPress.org website, which is the hub of the WordPress project. From the actual software distribution, to discussions about the project, to support, and buying swag: it all happens from WordPress.org. We break down what's what and what we think you should know.

https://audio.simplecast.com/38479.mp3
Direct Download

Notes

Who owns WordPress.org?
Who works on WordPress.org
How WordPress.org distributes software updates

Different Sections of WordPress.org Navigation

Other Sections

Other Linked Sites

Active Projects for Improving

Links

Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Gravity Forms. Gravity Forms makes the best web forms on the planet. Over a million WordPress sites are already using Gravity Forms. Is yours? For more information, check out their website and thank you to Gravity Forms for being a Post Status partner.

27 May 2016 7:18pm GMT

WPTavern: Jetpack 4.0.3 Patches a Critical XSS Vulnerability

jetpack-logo

Jetpack 4.0.3 is a security release that contains an important fix for a critical vulnerability that has been present in the plugin since version 2.0, released in 2012. According to Jetpack team member Sam Hotchkiss, a stored XSS vulnerability was found in the way that some Jetpack shortcodes are processed, which allows an attacker to insert JavaScript into comments to hijack a visitor's browser.

This particular bug is similar to one recently found and patched in bbPress.

"Similar issues may exist in other plugins, and it's a good reminder about the power of regular expressions to create issues when parsing data," Hotchkiss said.

The Jetpack team has been working with the WordPress security team to push out point releases for all vulnerable branches of the plugin's codebase, which includes all versions following 2.0. They are using WordPress' core automatic update system, so all sites that have not explicitly opted out will receive the security update.

"Fortunately, we have no evidence of this being used in the wild," Hotchkiss said. "However, now that this update is public, it's just a matter of time before someone attempts to exploit it." The Jetpack team is advising users to update as soon as possible, as the update also fixes any potential exploits that may have already been put in place.

The team credits Marc-Alexandre Montpas from Sucuri for finding the bug and disclosing it responsibly. Users will be notified about the security release via email, but those who have Akismet and/or VaultPress installed have already been protected since the first reporting of the vulnerability.

27 May 2016 1:05am GMT

26 May 2016

feedWordPress Planet

Post Status: Growing a lifestyle business without losing the lifestyle

Editor's Note: This is a guest post by Nate Wright. Nate is a WordPress developer and solopreneur. He runs Theme of The Crop, a niche WordPress theme company geared toward restaurant websites. You can learn more about Nate on his Post Status profile and follow him on Twitter.


Here's a scenario you're probably familiar with: a friend or family member, not terribly tech-savvy, approaches you with an idea. Why don't you build Facebook for clowns? What about Uber for sandwiches?

Their ideas are often a little better than these. Sometimes they're worse. But in my case the conversation always gets to the same point in the end.

You can build stuff on the internet. Why aren't you shooting for the stars? Don't you want to be rich like Zuckerberg?

Right now some of you may be thinking: yes I do! This post isn't for you.

This is for those of you who cringe at the thought of your days filling up with hiring and training staff, conducting meetings, or filling out paperwork. Those of you who don't want to live the big siloed life of a CEO. Who dove into the WordPress market because you wanted to build things yourself. For yourself.

The rockstars and the rest of us

It's hard to find someone more widely admired among WordPress developers - and more deserving of that admiration - than Pippin Williamson. So when he described his evolution from staunch go-it-aloner to team leader, many of us sat up and listened.

The comments in response to that post exhibit a common mix of anxiety, frustration and hope for us go-it-aloners, who have carved out small (and not so small) niches in the WordPress world.

We're overstretched and under resourced. We lack good marketing strategies. And we can see that growth will come from transforming our businesses into larger enterprises.

But then we start thinking about what that means. The hiring. The firing. The training. The meetings. The paperwork. The liability.

'I don't want to be the next Zuckerberg,' you may think. Then, hopefully, you'll laugh at the absurdity. But really, you may think, 'I don't even want to be the next Carl Hancock or Joost de Valk.'

Let me be honest with you. I'll stop putting words in your mouth and put them in mine.

I have a lifestyle business. No, I don't sell lifestyle products. I have a business tailored to my lifestyle.

I have a business that allows to me to take lunch when I want, finish the day when I want, go on holiday when I want, write the code that I want. That's my job perk. That's my killer bonus. No, that's my Shangri-La.

When people tell you to hire early or scale quickly, they're right that giving up control can be liberating. But it can also be encumbering. It brings new responsibilities at the same time that it releases you from old ones.

Whether or not growing your team is right for you will depend on your temperament, your appetite and the kind of lifestyle you want.

Being a little fish in a big pond

But let's be honest. You took a chance on the WordPress market because you saw a window of opportunity. That window may be closing.

In the last few years we've seen a lot of consolidation. The theme market exploded, made millions for a few, and then caused a gold rush which saturated the market and pushed out small operators.

At the same time, two big traditional distribution channels dried up: the official WordPress.org theme repository, which has a huge backlog of themes awaiting approval, and Automattic's marketplace, which is closed to new entrants.

We're also seeing more traditional investment in WordPress properties. The big one is the $160 million raised by Automattic and Automattic's subsequent acquisition of WooThemes. Many actors are moving more aggressively to leverage or retain their market position. Syed Balkhi is on a buying and building spree (1, 2, 3, 4). Ninja Forms did a ground-up rebuild. Pippin's shedding non-essential products (1, 2) and purging some third-party addons.

The ecosystem looks increasingly unfriendly to us go-it-aloners. Automattic was the first to go big. Given exclusive commercial access to the WordPress trademark, it carved out its own space and split WordPress down the middle. Now the other half - the WordPress for the rest of us - is going big too.

The nice thing about being a small operator is that you only need a tiny sliver of the pie. But as the size of the market has grown, it's become more difficult to attract attention. Showing up with a good product isn't enough.

Going it alone, together

My lifestyle business is working well for me. Revenue keeps inching up. Slowly.

But it might not make it in a different kind of WordPress space. I've been thinking a lot about that lately. And I bet you have too.

Where's the market going? What am I willing to trade to survive? Which headaches are worth changing direction for and which headaches aren't?

Here are some of the ideas I've been tossing around:

Contractors

Hiring out. I could scale up or down easily, depending on how well it goes. But it's tough to manage quality when juggling vendors.

And what would I contract? I'd like to shed my bumbling efforts in marketing and traffic generation. But that seems like precisely the kind of job full of jackals who don't know what they're doing.

Ok, that's harsh. I'll just say: I worry it'd be a headache to manage it well.

Theme development seems the most plausible, since there's a large body of talented, hungry themers washing up from the stormy seas of ThemeForest. But it may be the least valuable since the market is being swallowed up by a few big themes.

Commissions

Affiliate marketing is already working for me. A little. I could go further and recruit theme or plugin developers to sell from my site on commission.

Then I'm saddled with support for products I didn't build. Can I maintain quality? Can I drive enough traffic to be an attractive outlet for them? Will I end up with all of the headaches I wanted to avoid?

Partnerships

Maybe I'll trade in my king-of-the-hill cap and bring on partners. Not employees. Genuine partners with overlapping skill sets. Instead of being a go-it-aloner we can be two or three go-it-aloners going it alone together!

Or maybe that's just a terrible way to run a business.

Alliances

There are a lot of us out there. Independent themers looking to expand beyond ThemeForest or give up on the old freemium approach of the official repository. Plugin developers looking for a new home or seeking out themes that will integrate with their plugins.

We could probably do something special if we made stronger alliances. Combined to build to stronger platforms for our products.

But that sounds like a lot of project management. Isn't that what we were hoping to avoid?

I don't know. I'm going to go write some code.

26 May 2016 6:10pm GMT

25 May 2016

feedWordPress Planet

WP Mobile Apps: WordPress for iOS: Version 6.2

Hi there, WordPress users! Version 6.2 of the WordPress for iOS app is now available in the App Store.

What's New:

Sharing just got easier! Post content from apps to your WordPress.com site with a new Share extension. Also, share a post right from your editor's preview screen.

IMG_2229_2 IMG_2230

Improved clipboard support: Working with images? You can now copy and paste single images in your editor.

Login with ease: We improved error messages for self-hosted users.

Enhancements: Because "good" is not enough! Here's the full list of enhancements.

Bugs, be gone! We zapped bugs that prevented images from rendering properly and caused backspaces to misbehave. You can see the full list of bug fixes here!

Thank You

Thanks to all of the contributors who worked on this release:
@aerych, @akirk, @alexcurylo, @astralbodies, @diegoreymendez, @frosty, @jleandroperez, @koke, @kurzee, @kwonye, @maxme, @nheagy, @rachelmcr, @sendhil, @mattmiklic and @SergioEstevao.

You can track the development progress for the next update by visiting our 6.3 milestone on GitHub. Until next time!

25 May 2016 6:05am GMT

20 May 2016

feedWordPress Planet

WPTavern: In Case You Missed It – Issue 9

In Case You Missed It Featured Imagephoto credit: Night Moves - (license)

There's a lot of great WordPress content published in the community but not all of it is featured on the Tavern. This post is an assortment of items related to WordPress that caught my eye but didn't make it into a full post.

Chris Lema Launches Beyond Good

Chris Lema has launched a new site called Beyond Good that provides insight, tips, and methodologies for leading employees to become better than good. If it's anything like his other sites, it's sure to be a hit in the WordPress community.

Remote Jobs, a Remote Worker Specific Jobs Board

Chris Wallace and the team at Lift have launched Remote Jobs, a jobs board specifically catered to remote workers. According to Wallace, "The site exists to help others find remote jobs that connect them with their passions in life." Check out the site as there's already a decent listing of opportunities available for remote workers.

Why .Blog is Worth $19M

Matt Mullenweg participated in a phone interview with VentureBeat. The first question in the interview asks why the .blog domain is worth $19M.

Well, the domain business is actually a really good business because you can sell a domain and people use it and keep it forever. So, if you look at like a Verisign, or people who have TLDs, it's actually an incredible business.

We really wanted .blog to be open, and some of the other applications for .blog were closed, including Google - so, let's say for example, only Blogger could have a .blog domain. And we thought that .blog should be open to everyone, even if they're not using WordPress.

I gotta be honest though, it was a stressful auction.

There are other tidbits of information included in the interview that I highly encourage you to read. If I were Google, I'd be upset as .blog is the perfect complimentary domain for Blogger.

Drupal Association Gives Community Member a Lifetime Ban

DrupalCon New Orleans took place last week and during the event, several speakers experienced online harassment in the form of derogatory racist, homophobic, and misogynistic comments and images from an anonymous Twitter account. Upon further investigation by community members and the Drupal Association technical and event staff, the harassment was tracked to an attendee at the event.

This person was then confronted by members of the Drupal Association staff and the Community Working Group. They were asked to leave the event and informed that they have been banned from attending any future DrupalCons as well as any events produced by the Drupal Association, in accordance with the DrupalCon Code of Conduct, which states, 'We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form.' Shortly after the person left the conference, the account from which the harassing tweets were made was deleted.

This is an excellent example of why Codes of Conduct exist for events. By the way, check out the Code of Conduct that's in place for every WordCamp. If you experience harassment of any kind at a WordCamp, please tell event staff.

Plans Published to Upgrade WordPress Support Forums

Jennifer Dodd published a detailed plan for migrating the WordPress.org support forums from bbPress 1.x to 2.x. The project is a huge undertaking and involves moving massive amounts of data. If all goes according to plan, the support forums will be on bbPress 2.x by the end of the year. I'm sure a lot of support forum volunteers are stoked to hear this news.

What NOT to Name a WordPress Theme

This tweet by Ryan Sullivan gave me a good laugh.

I'd strongly consider rebranding. pic.twitter.com/9MeevJTlPq

- Ryan D. Sullivan (@ryandonsullivan) May 19, 2016

Tom McFarlin on Improving the WordPress Plugin UX

Tom McFarlin published a great article that offers ideas on how plugin developers can improve the WordPress plugin user experience. His first suggestion is a key reason I think GravityForms became successful.

Try to make sure that your project tightly integrates with the core WordPress user interface.

When I witnessed GravityForms for the first time in 2009, I loved how it integrated into the WordPress backend as if it were a part of the core software. Fast forward to 2016 and plugins that tie into a service are experimenting with overlay interfaces that replace WordPress'. The most recent example I recall is WP Forms that I reviewed earlier this year.

In my review, I specifically noted that the interface the developers used allowed me to focus on creating forms. It doesn't seem like it's a WordPress core feature and it didn't have too. While the advice McFarlin gives is likely accurate for most cases, there are plugins that benefit from having a unique user interface different from WordPress'.

Don't Edit Core

This comic created by CommitStrip made me smile.

Coder Dilemma #9 - The Upgrade
https://t.co/2Tu2l1tgYX pic.twitter.com/xnMr2VdYWv

- CommitStrip (@CommitStrip) May 17, 2016

Wapuu Tattoo!

In what is a traditional part of this series, I end each issue by featuring a Wapuu design. For those who don't know, Wapuu is the unofficial mascot of the WordPress project. WordCamp St. Louis 2016, took place last weekend and one of the attendees had a Wapuu tattoo! Wapuu looks good everywhere, including human skin!

Wapuu has been sighted at #wcstl #wordpress #wapuu pic.twitter.com/4HYlp6GI0S

- Nile Flores (@blondishnet) May 14, 2016

That's it for issue nine. If you recently discovered a cool resource or post related to WordPress, please share it with us in the comments.

20 May 2016 10:30pm GMT

WPTavern: WordPress Meta Team Publishes Prototypes of The Plugin Directory Redesign

In early 2015, the WordPress.org Meta team redesigned the WordPress plugin directory and added a number of new features. In an effort to iterate on the page's layout, the Meta Team has published prototypes of a new design for the plugin directory's home and search results pages.

The prototypes are inspired by Get WordPress, a landing page that provides key information about the WordPress project at a glance.

There are a few things to keep in mind while looking at these prototypes. The first is that plugin information displayed on the page is inaccurate. Second, the Pro and Light classifications are for design purposes only. Third, links at the bottom will point to their corresponding pages.

WordPress Plugin Directory Homepage ProtoypeWordPress Plugin Directory Homepage Protoype

Unlike the current design, the prototype displays far less information. Authors, Last Updated, Compatibility, and Active Installs are absent from the homepage view. Initial feedback highlights the concern that too much information has been stripped away.

In response to a comment on the announcement post, Samuel Sidler, Apollo Team Lead at Automattic and contributor to the Meta team, explains why he doesn't think the information is useful to users.

Author, as you said, is only really useful for insiders. The latter two, meanwhile, are already taken into account in the search results. If a plugin doesn't have a recent compatible version, it will move down the list. If it's too old, it won't get shown at all (which is the case today).

Active installs is more interesting, but we account for it weighting search results as-is. I actually find it refreshing to not show the active installs as it allows for less-popular plugins to get more downloads. Users will be less likely to click the popular plugins (outside of familiar names) and more likely to find the plugin they actually need.

Another commenter suggests creating a simple/advanced view. By default, the page could display a simplistic design while giving power users an option for more details.

"Just like WordPress core, we strive to design for the majority and build features for the 80%," Sidler said in response to the comment. "An 'advanced' view doesn't meet that requirement, in my eyes."

The Meta team is iterating quickly and will soon publish a prototype of the plugin details page. If you have feedback on the plugin homepage and search result prototypes, please leave a comment on the announcement post.

20 May 2016 8:19pm GMT

19 May 2016

feedWordPress Planet

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 235 – Interview with James Giroux Envato’s WordPress Evangelist

In this episode, Marcus Couch and I are joined by James Giroux, Envato's WordPress evangelist. We discuss a number of topics including what he's accomplished since taking over the position in January, the item support policy change, and author driven pricing.

We also find out what his favorite part of the job is and what he enjoys most about his role at Envato. Last but not least, we discover what the company is doing to shorten the length of time it takes to get through the review queue.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, June 1st 9:30 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via RSS: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Stitcher Radio: Click here to subscribe

Listen To Episode #235:

19 May 2016 7:18pm GMT

WPTavern: BuddyPress Launches Style Modules Trial Initiative

photo credit: Paintbrush - (license)photo credit: Paintbrush - (license)

BuddyPress core developer Hugo Ashmore announced a new trial initiative this week that aims to create a library of CSS and JavaScript snippets to help users customize their communities. The Style Modules project will aggregate community-submitted code that enhances BuddyPress components in a plug-and-play manner.

Developers who want to contribute to the project can submit their modules by creating a ticket on BP trac and attaching a zip file that includes the CSS/JS files, a readme.md, and a screenshot.

Users who want to add a module will need to create a /style-modules/ directory and then unzip the module inside it. The next step requires the user to copy functions from the module's readme file to their theme's functions.php file, a step which provides a significant hurdle for a non-technical BuddyPress community manager.

"Initially this is a trial to see whether we get sufficient interest in the concept to continue and develop further, perhaps enhancing the loading process with enqueueing of files based on directory scanning and loading of files as an array but run from the core theme compat class, removing the need for users to copy the loading functions to their functions file," Ashmore said.

The project's GitHub repository includes an example module that re-styles the members list into a grid layout. Other example ideas Ashmore suggested include a new look for profile entries, a different presentation for the activity posting form, or something as simple as changing the font size for the activity stream.

The experimental initiative will test the waters to see if the BuddyPress community will chip in to provide enough modules to make this a real library. The support policy stated in the proposal doesn't offer much incentive for module authors to submit their work:

Provision of modules and use of them is entirely the discretion of the authors and users, while BP will run some basic checks on the module BP does not guarantee that the modules will work in all given situations or installs, or accept any liability in their use. Support for a module remains the responsibility of the author to ensure the continued effectiveness of the module with updates to themes, WP or BP.

Historically, BuddyPress has struggled to present itself as an easily customizable solution for communities. Theme compatibility, introduced in April 2013, made it easier to use BP with any theme, but unless you purchase a theme specifically designed for the plugin, its default output is rather generic and in need of heavy styling.

The BuddyPress Style Modules concept is an attempt to make it easier for community managers to enhance BP components with different looks, but the project will need to provide a compelling reason for developers to contribute modules and continue to maintain them.

19 May 2016 2:34am GMT