Wordpress News

Do The Woo Community: Extending Your WordPress Plugin for WooCommerce with Mark Westguard and Lesley Sim

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 06/09/2022 - 09:20

Lesley wants to add WooCommerce functionality to her WordPress plugin. Mark has done it. A unique conversation between two developers.

>> The post Extending Your WordPress Plugin for WooCommerce with Mark Westguard and Lesley Sim appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community .

Post Status: This Week at WordPress.org (June 6, 2022)

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/08/2022 - 23:00
Each week we are highlighting the news from WordPress.org that you don't want to miss. If you or your company create products or services that use WordPress, we've got the news you need to know. Be sure to share this resource with your product and project managers. Are you interested in giving back and contributing...

WPTavern: Elementor Acquires Strattic

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/08/2022 - 19:26

Elementor, a popular website builder plugin that is active on more than five million websites, has acquired Strattic, a static and headless WordPress hosting company. Strattic will continue operating as “Strattic by Elementor” and the team will remain as its own unit within the company.

Elementor founders Yoni Luksenberg and Ariel Klikstein met Strattic founder and CEO Miriam Schwab 10 years ago when they attended a WordCamp she organized in Jerusalem. The following year Elementor sponsored the WordCamp she organized the in Tel Aviv. In 2020, Elementor raised $15M its first round of funding, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, after passing four million users.

Schwab founded Strattic in 2018 as the first WordPress hosting company to streamline the creation of static files managed via a headless install.

“Very early on it became clear to us at Strattic that we had better make sure we support Elementor in the static versions of our sites,” Schwab said. “More and more users were coming to us with sites built on Elementor, which was a strong indication of the plugin’s growing adoption and popularity. We prioritized supporting it in general, including rolling out support for their forms, and most recently adding a Strattic publish button from the Elementor editor.”

Over the past year, Elementor has been working to capture the market for the entire website creation process by offering hosting alongside its commercial website builder. Earlier this year, the company launched a Google Cloud-based website hosting service that includes Elementor Pro for $99/year. Elementor will promote the new static hosting service alongside its existing cloud service.

“I can’t speak exactly to what Elementor’s strategy is in terms of Strattic vis a vis their cloud offering, but Strattic will be a parallel offering, at least for the foreseeable future,” Schwab said.

Elementor has often been criticized for making WordPress sites sluggish so it’s easy to see the appeal that static hosting brings. Having more customers on Strattic might lessen the urgency of fixing Elementor’s well-documented speed issues.

“This acquisition will allow us to leverage Strattic’s technology to build static websites, helping to solve stability, speed, and security issues in the dynamic sites space,” Elementor founder Yoni Luksenberg said.

“With static hosting, users can deploy their dynamic WordPress websites as static HTML/CSS replicas to global CDN networks, which drastically improves the performance of their sites and eliminates potential security vulnerabilities and site breakdowns during updates. With a dramatically reduced attack surface, WordPress vulnerabilities become irrelevant as security is no longer a defensive endeavor.”

Elementor users who sign on for Strattic’s static hosting approach will have a more stable and secure experience, as the plugin and related third-party add-ons are frequently patching critical vulnerabilities.

Strattic and Elementor customers can expect deeper integration across these products in the future.

“We already have great support for Elementor on our static sites, but of course there’s always room for improvement so we will be working with Elementor’s team to make the integration even better,” Schwab said. She also confirmed there are no pricing changes on the horizon for Strattic customers.

“Right now everything will stay pretty much the same for Strattic users. We hope they’ll soon start to feel the benefit of us joining Elementor in terms of faster release cycles of amazing new features that will make the product even better.”

Do The Woo Community: WooCommerce Announces Functionality for Card Reader

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/08/2022 - 15:25

The press release, received today, announces the features that allow fast transactions and automatic inventory syncing.

>> The post WooCommerce Announces Functionality for Card Reader appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community .

WPTavern: #29 – Remkus de Vries on How WordCamp Europe Got Started

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/08/2022 - 14:00

On the podcast today we have Remkus de Vries.

Remkus is kicking off what might be described as a  mini series on the Jukebox podcast.

Last week almost 3,000 WordPressers from all over the world gathered together in Porto, Portugal for the first in-person WordCamp Europe since 2019.

Expectations were high, and the event did not disappoint. It really was excellent.

I went along with some recording equipment and tried to find a quiet spot. I sat down with some of the speakers, organisers and attendees to talk about all manner of subjects, and that’s what this mini series is all about.

Over the next fews months, I’ll be releasing those conversations as Jukebox podcast episodes.

Usually, when we record the podcast, there’s typically not a lot of background noise, but that’s not always the case with these interviews. We were competing against crowds and air-conditioning fans. Whilst the podcasts are certainly more than listenable, I hope that you understand that the vagaries of the real world were at play.

Okay, so back to Remkus. Remkus is one of the founders of WordCamp Europe, just over 10 years ago. I wanted to get him on the podcast to talk about how the community’s largest WordCamp got started. I also wanted to find out how the current event compares in terms of size and organisation. What’s changed over the years?

We talk about the importance of events like WordCamps for the community, and how over the last few years the lack of in-person events altered the community.

Remkus is a colourful character and full of interesting insights, which are always worth listening to.

Transcript

[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: Welcome to the Jukebox podcast from WP Tavern. My name is Nathan Wrigley. Jukebox is a podcast which is dedicated to all things WordPress. The people, the events, the plugins, the themes, the blocks, and in this case WordCamp Europe.

If you’d like to subscribe to the podcast, you can do that by searching for WP Tavern in your podcast player of choice, or by going to WPTavern.com forward slash feed forward slash podcast. And you can copy that URL into most podcast players. If you have a topic that you’d like us to feature on the podcast, well I’m very keen to hear from you, and hopefully get you all your idea featured on the show. Head over to WPTavern.com forward slash contact forward slash jukebox, and use the contact form there.

So on the podcast today we have Remkus de Vries. Remkus is kicking off what might be described as a mini series on the Jukebox podcast. Last week almost 3000 wordPressers from all over the world, gathered together in Porto, Portugal for the first in-person WordCamp Europe since 2019.

Expectations were high. And the event did not disappoint. It was really excellent. I went along with some recording equipment and tried to find a quiet spot. I sat down with some of the speakers, organizers, and attendees. To talk about all manner of subjects. And that’s what this mini series is all about.

Over the next few months, I’ll be releasing those conversations as Jukebox podcast episodes. Usually when we record the podcast, there’s typically not a lot of background noise. But that’s not always the case with these interviews. We were competing against crowds and air conditioning fans. And whilst the podcasts are more than listable. I hope that you understand that the vagaries of real life were at play.

Okay, so back to Remkus. Remkus is one of the founders of WordCamp Europe, just over 10 years ago. I wanted to get him on the podcast to talk about how the community’s largest WordCamp got started. I also wanted to find out how the current event compares in terms of size and organization. What has changed over the years?

We talk about the importance of events like WordCamps for the community and how over the last few years, the lack of in-person events has altered the community. Remkus is a colorful character and full of interesting insights, which are always worth listening to.

If you’re interested in finding out more, you can find all the links in the show notes by heading over to WPTavern.com forward slash podcast. And you’ll find all the other episodes there as well. And so without further delay, I bring you, Remkus de Vries.

I am joined on the podcast today by Remkus de Vries. Hello.

[00:03:31] Remkus de Vries: Hello Hello.

[00:03:32] Nathan Wrigley: Remkus Remkus and I go back, not a really long way, but we’re going to talk about a journey which takes him back a long way. Tell us about yourself, your relationship with WordPress. Ignore all the WordCamp Europe bits. If you cannot, otherwise, we’ll have nothing left to say.

[00:03:44] Remkus de Vries: Ah, okay, okay. My relationship with WordPress. Wow, that is taking me a ways back. So I think the first time I, so I played with WordPress the first time for a couple of months before I did anything serious with it, but this is 2004. I had a bunch of clients at the time, which, we’re either on Mambo or Joomla, and the ones on Mambo, I was in the process of moving them over. Really didn’t like the process, but you do what you gotta do with the tools that you have. And at the end of 2005, if I remember correctly, WordPress introduced pages, which then made me switch every single client that I have, which was about 20. I ported their Joomla or Mambo theme over to WordPress because now we have static pages, and I haven’t looked back.

[00:04:30] Nathan Wrigley: Been going strong ever since.

[00:04:32] Remkus de Vries: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:04:33] Nathan Wrigley: We’re here to talk about WordCamp Europe because, well we’re at WordCamp Europe. Let’s talk about this one just specifically how much you’ve enjoyed it. When did you arrive?

[00:04:44] Remkus de Vries: Monday.

[00:04:45] Nathan Wrigley: So that was one, no two days before the contributor day. On none of the podcasts that we’ve recorded before have we talked about Porto the place or anything like that? So let’s do a little bit of that. I think this location is pretty spectacular. How are you enjoying Porto?

[00:04:59] Remkus de Vries: Porto is very nice. It’s a little bit like home in terms of the weather. And it’s a lot not like home because there is elevation. For us, it’s a 35 minute walk to get here and we’ve tried quite a few different routes getting here. And whatever you pick, you always end up walking uphill. Which I found interesting, but it highlights the things I like about Porto, because there is nooks and crannies and corners and things you constantly find. Sure there’s architecture, but if I’m really honest, I’ve seen so many European cities, that is roughly the same everywhere. Yeah, the play with the hills and the twisty roads and things like that. I really enjoy it. Plus we’re close to the sea, as someone who grew up around water, I like that.

[00:05:42] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, it’s absolutely brilliant. I completely share your comment about the hills. So far, I’ve only walked up.

[00:05:48] Remkus de Vries: So I’m here with my son and he keeps saying, uh, you’re getting old. And, and the last couple of days I take the Uber getting here and he’s said, I’m going to walk. I’m like, fine. I’m okay with that. I like the Uber now, cause I walked so much.

[00:06:01] Nathan Wrigley: I’ve got to ask about your son. Is he into WordPress?

[00:06:05] Remkus de Vries: Kinda, sort of. His number one passion, and that is in not just a capital P, but the whole word is in capitals is music. He is doing a Dutch version of Juilliard’s, if that rings a bell. So it’s a school that is essentially on the performance arts. I think the official name is the Academy of Pop Culture, and he does music. So that consumes his life. There have been periods where I have used him when we had client migrations. So he’s done content management mostly. So he understands WordPress. It just hasn’t built anything in it himself. So we drove up here, so it’s a father and son road trip, have fun together. and that sort of thing.

[00:06:40] Nathan Wrigley: How long did it take to get here?

[00:06:41] Remkus de Vries: We had a short break in a Bilbao. We spent the night there, so I think all in total 21 hours.

[00:06:48] Nathan Wrigley: I didn’t know you brought your son. But he’s not here in the venue?

[00:06:51] Remkus de Vries: He is.

[00:06:52] Nathan Wrigley: So he’s taking part, he’s not just enjoying Porto?

[00:06:54] Remkus de Vries: He likes to hang out with people I like to hang out with. So we were, we’re all good.

[00:06:57] Nathan Wrigley: Ah, nice. And have you’ve been enjoying, again, we haven’t discussed this so far, a large proportion of the excitement about WordPress events, WordCamps in particular is the sort of stuff that goes on around the edges. You know, the hallway track. The after parties and all that. We haven’t had the after-party yet, but there’s been lots of social events organized in the evenings. Has that side been enriching and fun?

[00:07:17] Remkus de Vries: Very much.

[00:07:18] Nathan Wrigley: You enjoy that bit as much as anybody?

[00:07:20] Remkus de Vries: Absolutely.

[00:07:21] Nathan Wrigley: Because I think one of the key components for people who want to be at these events, but maybe don’t want to be at these events if you know what I mean? You’re nervous. It’s all going to be about code. I don’t write code.

[00:07:31] Remkus de Vries: No.

[00:07:33] Nathan Wrigley: There’s a load of social stuff going on.

[00:07:34] Remkus de Vries: So, that whole chain of thought needs to stop anyway, because it is not about code. at one point I’ve I’ve been, quoted saying, I came for the software. I came home with family. So, if you keep that in mind, it means there’s a lot more going on than just this is the code we work with.

It’s a CMS we work with and the CMS allows us to do things. And there are many other people that have the similar experience. Like it facilitates them, it empowers them. It’s not just the content creators themselves democratizing publishing. It’s not just that. There’s a whole ecosystem around of people being empowered to use a particular piece of software.

And the fun thing about WordPress is, as it so happens that the large majority of people enjoying the software turn out also to like each other in real life. So the community part, and then the social component of that gets highlighted at WordCamps.

[00:08:26] Nathan Wrigley: So is it true to say that you, I know that you just said it and it sounded like a trope, but hand on heart, you’ve got real life friends, in the strictest sense of the word that you never would have known.

[00:08:37] Remkus de Vries: Absolutely.

[00:08:38] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. That’s really fascinating.

[00:08:39] Remkus de Vries: Yeah, and not a few.

[00:08:40] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. You are quite gregarious, I think. You are very good at, being out there.

[00:08:45] Remkus de Vries: I’m not necessarily an extrovert but, among friends, among like-minded it doesn’t cost me energy. So I’m, I’m a very comfortable semi introvert.

[00:08:53] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Let’s talk to the people out there though who may be introverted. Who think, you know what? There’s no way I’m going to a WordPress event. There’s no way I’m going to a WordCamp, big one, like WordCamp Europe, or a smaller one that may be in a particular country. Just tell us a little bit about the stuff which is on hand to help them get through it. Cause I know there’s a lot of preparation and a lot of thought has been put in to make this as accessible as possible well, basically to quieten any nerves for anybody who may be just thinking, okay, this is not for me.

[00:09:20] Remkus de Vries: So the only thing overwhelming that we cannot take away is the number of people, right? So if a small WordCamp for 200 people is a trigger for you, we can’t solve that. WordCamp Europe in the 2000 plus, is not going to solve that either, but what we can do is provide an open environment.

Right? So what we do is we make sure that all the angles that we can cover, meaning if you’d like to sit aside in the corner, you can. There is space to do that, from within the rooms where the presentations are, to what you mentioned earlier, hallway tracks, right? There’s spaces, there’s hallways, there’s various places where you can hang out where you can sit where you can relax a bit, collect your thoughts if that’s needed, whatever.

So, the other thing you will find is, like I mentioned earlier, there’s a lot of like-minded people. And if you are, I think suffering is too big of a word, but if you are in need of anything, you will be spotted and someone will come and, uh, ask are you okay? Is there something I can do to help? So, the whole environment we have is to facilitate the most diverse audience you can think of. That includes the accessibility type of stuff. We have captioning for the live talks. We take into account that if someone creates a presentation, color contrast is correct. So color blinds. You know, I’m just giving random examples of things that think of in order to facilitate everyone as much as possible.

So if you’re an introvert, it’s going to cost you some energy, sure, but it’s also going to give you a lot. And at the very least it’s people you somewhat maybe already know from online interactions and stuff, especially Twitter is good at that. It’s going to help you cement that sort of relationship into a more, I’m sitting across from you now, uh, Nathan, and we’ve spoken quite a few times already, but this is the first time we’re properly sitting across each other. It’s different in real life than it is when you’re, through the digital world are connecting. So the advantage of that is tremendous.

[00:11:13] Nathan Wrigley: I’m sitting across from you, as you just said, and you’ve got the lanyard around your neck and it’s got your name on it. And so if you wish to wear that, everybody can figure out what your name is. Actually, that really does prevent a lot of awkward moments because it’s totally okay to stare at that. I’ve done that so many times, hello, and you don’t have to say, what’s your name? You just go, oh, hi Remkus and so on.

But also curiously, and I think I’ve not seen this before. Well, I’ve not seen it at other events. Your lanyard yard has a green sticker. Why has it got a green sticker?

[00:11:43] Remkus de Vries: So we’ve added, we’ve had this for a few additions now. So on your lanyard, like you said, it says your name and the sticker, that we have some sticker options and one of them has to indicate I’m okay with you if you approach me..

I’m okay. if, if you want to start talking to me. And I am. But there’s also a sticker that indicates I’d rather keep my distance. And if, if I want to talk I’ll approach you instead of you me. So, you know, for those in need, it’s a great mechanism to help you be as comfortable as can be.

[00:12:11] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. It’s because there are all sorts of people here. There are some fairly gregarious people, and if you have, if you’re just wandering around, there is a chance that you may be just spoken to by random people, cause that happens quite a lot. If you’re wearing the red one, so I’m guessing there’s red, yellow, amber and green, red basically indicates look, I’m happy to be in this environment, but I would rather it that you just left me to it. I’m wandering about, to stay wandering about by myself.

[00:12:37] Remkus de Vries: Yeah. I don’t think the percentage that is using a red one is particularly that high, but it’s a mechanism that’s very easy to implement. It’s very easy if for those who actually need it to use it.

[00:12:48] Nathan Wrigley: There’s loads of other things, there’s quiet spaces, there’s places where you can go and just be quiet. There’s childcare for, from really early ages, right up 16. If you to take, take that on board, you know, so if the impediment to coming is that you’ve got children, well it need not be, I can’t speak for the other events elsewhere, but this one, that’s happening. There’s also a ton of nice food, and there’s a ton of space outside. And we’re lucky enough that in Porto, we’ve really managed to avoid the poor weather which was predicted to land.

[00:13:17] Remkus de Vries: Well, we had a bit of the rain yesterday, but you know, it’s fine.

[00:13:19] Nathan Wrigley: But there’s tons of outdoor space, so there’s lots of opportunities to just go and hang out. Yeah, there’s absolutely loads put on. Right, but the question remains is why are you here talking about this? And the reason you’re here talking about this is because you were one of the founders of the whole enterprise.

We’re at year 10 and there’s badges and posters all over the place saying happy birthday. Ten years old. You’re like the father of this along with other mothers and fathers.

[00:13:49] Remkus de Vries: Yes. Yes. So the very first WordCamp I went to was WordCamp Netherlands, and it was also the very first WordCamp I organized. So, what that did is introduced a lot of people from the European continent came to the first WordCamp Netherlands. Through that I got to meet other people that I enjoyed spending time with. One of them was uh, Zé Fontainhas from Portugal. Over the next two years, we found each other at various WordCamps in Europe.

We both quite quick landed on the idea together that, wouldn’t it be great if we would have one event in Europe uniting all of Europe as a community? Because we looked at the United States and they have, at that time they had WordPress San Francisco, which is now moving around and called WordCamp US. So we saw there is no European equivalent of it. Fast forward another year, we were in January 2012. We were with a bunch of friends, we were in what we call WP on tour. We rented an incredibly nice and a very, very interesting villa, ask me later. Yeah, so we introduced the idea to other folks there. We got a lot of excitement about it. And then as it so happens, Zé and I, and some other friends were invited for the inaugural WordPress community summit in 2012, October, where Matt and the representative of WordPress Central was also going to be. So we pitched the idea there.

We had to do some convincing and explaining like, why? Because the rule at the time was you cannot do regional WordCamps. It has to be city-based. Especially this large of a region, Europe sounds like one thing, but it most certainly is not, depending on whichever definition you look up. We eventually got the go ahead, and with, with the slight contingent if I remember correctly, like, we’ll see how it goes, if it works ,out great, and if it doesn’t, you know, we tried. that’s essentially how this whole thing started becoming a thing.

[00:15:42] Nathan Wrigley: Where was the first actual one?

[00:15:46] Remkus de Vries: In Leiden, the Netherlands.

[00:15:47] Nathan Wrigley: Let’s just draw out over those 10 years where we’ve got, but let’s just quickly paint the picture where we are today. WordCamp Europe, 2022. I think correct me if I’m wrong. 2,700 attendees. I don’t know how many volunteers, but many, many hundreds, I think because there are, yeah, there’s t-shirts everywhere. So we’re definitely I would imagine over 3000 people involved. So let’s go back 10 years. What did that look like?

[00:16:16] Remkus de Vries: I think we sold 832 tickets and we had about 780 people actually showing up. So the actual turnout percentage was extremely high, but we were already happy we were past 500. Cause we had no idea where it was going to land. Right, so at the time, we started organizing it, with selling tickets early 2013. And we had kind of an idea of how many we should be able to get in terms of attendees, we didn’t know.

So at that time countries like France had a small but upcoming WordPress community. Spain was very active. The Netherlands, I was quite active. Portugal as well. But, Italy for instance was fragmented. Serbia close to non-existent, and I think you see where I’m going with. The whole goal was for us to unite, to be in the same room, talk to each other, learn about each other and see that we are, we have a common goal.

That was the purpose of working in Europe. But we didn’t know how many people see the same purpose. See the same benefit. So we had initially said, you know, 500, we’re good, we’re good. Nice.

[00:17:24] Nathan Wrigley: So in what ways was it different? The reason I asked that question is because, I’ve only been to two WordCamp Europes. I went to the previous one in Berlin, which was actually now three years ago. Paint a picture of the difference between what it was like in the first one and what it’s like now. And the reason I’m asking that is because here it really, really feels incredibly slick and professional. They both had that feel about them. Was it always thus, or were the first ones a bit more cottage industry? Just tell us what was different.

[00:17:56] Remkus de Vries: I’d like to think that from the experience of those who were attending, it has been a good experience from the early beginning. Having said that there is a lot of room for improvement as we were doing the first one, we quickly realized there was a lot of things we could do better, should do better. All that. But I think the challenge more has been, as we grew, the amount of effort you have to put in is not, in my experience. is not a linear one. It’s more of a, what do you call that in English?

[00:18:27] Nathan Wrigley: Parabola.

[00:18:28] Remkus de Vries: Parabola, there you go. So, as you mentioned, there was a lot of volunteers here because the amount of that is just vastly increased. So Yes, there’s a lot of things that have been much smoother and better taken care of. At the end of WordCamp Europe in Leiden, all of us on the organizing team were absolutely exhausted. Like full on. I’m not saying they’re not exhausted now here, but I’m also telling you it’s quite different to the level of stress that we had that first time, because nobody knew.

Every single person there had organized WordCamps before. So we picked that. Some had less experience or maybe just a meetup type of stuff but everybody had some type of experience. So we leaned on each other mostly. But the size is the quantifier there, that determines how much more you have to do. At every single WordCamp after, I get stopped by people all the time, saying hi, some will say, how much they’ve enjoyed every single one since the first one and all that.

And uh, some will start reminding me of things happened during the first one or the second one, even. I go like, yeah, I don’t know. Cos it’s been a blur. I don’t know how many kilometers I walked that first one, but it’s been a lot just in the venue. Cause I was running back and forth constantly because there’s all these little things we need to take care of in the moment. Now, we know all those things. So we do take care of that before it actually happens. So it’s, you know, it’s most certainly has done way more professional.

Media coverage is one, but, the video recording is another. The captioning. You know, everything we can do to make it better, that has happened continuously. So yes, I think it was quite all right, the first organization. But it’s gotten way better.

[00:20:11] Nathan Wrigley: It really does feel like Google IO or something like that, you know, incredibly professional and incredibly well managed.

[00:20:17] Remkus de Vries: That’s a great compliment.

[00:20:18] Nathan Wrigley: Do you see events like this as, they’re a nice thing to do. You know, you turn up your watch speakers, you hang out and you make friends and all of that kind of stuff. Is it, is it more? Is it more the glue that binds the community together?

[00:20:32] Remkus de Vries: It’s both.

[00:20:32] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, because the reason I’m asking that is because in the last, everybody knows what happened over the last two years. I don’t need to spell it out, but we had a hiatus, a couple of years. Kind of feels to me, as if things went off the rails a bit with the community. Not like it felt a pieces, but it just had to adapt and feels like there’s this collective sigh of relief and almost every conversation that I had in the first day for the first few hours until everybody got out of their system was, oh, it’s so nice to be back.

[00:21:00] Remkus de Vries: Yeah, and it is, it is. I think the glue part is way more important than people thought that it was. You have the same thing happening. So you and I meet over, you know, when I join your podcast, you and I, we do it over a digital connection. It’s a small screen. It shows a part of your body and it has a diminished version of you. And that’s vice versa. So there’s a layer of information I’m not getting.

And I think you can say the same thing for what we’re seeing here. Yes, you can be connected. You can have great relationships online and everything, but the real deal is in real life. That’s where you make the actual connections. As you mentioned before we started the podcast, you said, I can’t believe how big you are. So that’s the thing I keep hearing, right. but you see that in real life. That’s an example of information you don’t get when you look at me, cause you have no idea what my surrounding and what. the proportions is. And that’s such a simple example, but there’s like, I look you straight in the eyes, that’s already different.

You have things you say that you then in real life have time to correct If that wasn’t the intent that you actually had. All of these little things make up what that glue actually exists of so, not having that for two years creates a like a vacuum of things that are not seen, not communicated, not spoken about, not processed.

So, there’ve been companies started from WordCamps. There have been mergers started. There have been friends made there have been marriages come from WordCamps. Everything happens when you’re together,. Uh, which is one of the prime goals that we had. So I know the theme here is the 10th edition. If I’m really honest, it’s not, it’s the eighth.

[00:22:39] Nathan Wrigley: That’s a good point. Ten years separated the first and the last.

[00:22:43] Remkus de Vries: Yeah, So online costs me energy. So I barely, barely put any time and effort into that. In real life, gives me energy. As much energy as it costs. So you’re absorbing information all day. You talk to people all day, which you normally don’t do. You go out, have drinks, have fun, whatever. That costs energy, but the net result is I have energy. I get energized. Maybe that’s the better way. Online sucks the life out of me.

[00:23:11] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, that’s really interesting. And I think, from the core team, the message, I could be misrepresenting this, but I think that the message was that contributions dropped off a bit. People seem to be.

[00:23:24] Remkus de Vries: I’m sure it has. I’m sure it has, but I think that’s, I don’t think that’s necessarily something that’s attributed to not meeting in real life per se. I think that’s more attributed to stuff going on.

[00:23:35] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Would it be fair to say that during the last couple of years, you’ve sort of stepped away from WordPress a bit? You’ve a little bit less, less fired up about it. And, and are you back, are you back where you were a couple of, three years ago?

[00:23:47] Remkus de Vries: I’m going to quote LL Cool J. LL Cool J said don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years. So I’ve never really left, but I’ve most certainly moved to more lurking, on the side. Life and work was too busy to be as engaged as I was previously.

[00:24:03] Nathan Wrigley: If people want to get involved, they’ve got to commit a long time in advance to being a volunteer or an organizer.

[00:24:11] Remkus de Vries: Not that long.

[00:24:13] Nathan Wrigley: How do they do it? Where do they go? What kind of channels do they need to be visiting?

[00:24:16] Remkus de Vries: So, inside your WordPress dashboard, there’s a little widget and that tells you where there are meetups relative, close to your location. So that’s the first thing to check out. They don’t necessarily need volunteers yet, but it gives you, a, an idea to check out what’s going on.

What are all those people are raving about, right? Why should I even bother going? Once you find one that you like, you’ll start meeting people, and maybe you want to use a WordCamp in, I live in the Netherlands. so maybe you want to use a WordCamp in Germany as a, as a nice excuse to get out. So you go to Germany, maybe from there you go like, hmm, interesting, I kind of want to see this grow further. I want to give this my a devotion and time. Every single WordCamp that is up and coming is on central.wordcamp.org. Check them out. Find one you like and see if they are looking for volunteers.

So maybe the call for volunteers hasn’t gone out yet. Maybe you would even like to speak. Maybe even you’d like to organize. Everything is possible. It’s open. And in some cases you need experienced organizers. In some cases there’s plenty of room for new people to learn. So we always include new people to learn. and that can be you. That can even be you Nathan.

[00:25:26] Nathan Wrigley: Yes, yes. I think I’ve found my niche. Sitting on a chair talking into a microphone.

[00:25:32] Remkus de Vries: But you’re jokingly saying this, but that is actually part of what is contributing. It’s not a predefined thing, like you need to write code or you need to do translations or you need to help this or this or that. It is whatever helps the project. This is helping the project.

[00:25:44] Nathan Wrigley: There are literally hundreds of roles. I’ve been quite surprised by the different things I’ve seen people doing. Obviously there’s people standing, handing out microphones, there’s people, moving boxes. There’s people printing tickets. There’s people showing time. Yeah. You know, there’s people making sure that. Well there’s, yeah, yet, already done it?

[00:26:04] Remkus de Vries: Yeah.

[00:26:05] Nathan Wrigley: How did it go?

[00:26:05] Remkus de Vries: Yesterday morning? I think fine. I forgot a few things, but that was to be expected.

[00:26:09] Nathan Wrigley: Remkus de Vries. Thank you for joining us on the podcast today.

[00:26:12] Remkus de Vries: Happy to have been here.

[00:26:13] Nathan Wrigley: One final question just before we end. 2023, are you going to be there?

[00:26:18] Remkus de Vries: Yeah.

[00:26:19] Nathan Wrigley: Where is it?

[00:26:22] Remkus de Vries: Europe.

[00:26:22] Nathan Wrigley: You know, don’t you?

[00:26:23] Remkus de Vries: I do.

Post Status: Post Status Comments (No. 10) — Nineteen Years of WordPress: A Look Back and a Look Ahead

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 06/07/2022 - 21:21
Mary Job, Nathan Wrigley, Naoko Takano, Olivia Bisset, Yvette Sonneveld, Taco Verdo, and Nyasha Green talk about WordPress as it turns 19.

Post Status: 9 Things I Learned from WordCamp Europe 2022

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 06/07/2022 - 20:30
A lot of interesting things surfaced in the open conversations with Matt and Josepha at WCEU. I also learned a lot from Pablo Postigo, Feliz Arntz, Shane Pearlman, Jonathan Wold, Nora Ferrerio, Milana Cap.

Bellamy

Drupal Themes - Tue, 06/07/2022 - 18:12

Bellamy is an experimental Drupal theme.
Follow the project on github or watch the demo.

Do The Woo Community: WooCommerce Alternatives? Zach, Topher and Luke Take it On.

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 06/07/2022 - 09:01

Are there any direct WooCommerce alternatives that are plugins and not SaaS? Zach Stepek, Topher DeRosia and Luke Carbis take on that question.

>> The post WooCommerce Alternatives? Zach, Topher and Luke Take it On. appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community .

WPTavern: rtCamp Launches WordPress Plugin Compare Project

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 06/06/2022 - 20:35

If you have been navigating the WordPress plugin ecosystem for years, you may instinctively know how to examine and compare two or more plugins’ details pages to select the right solution for your needs. This task can be a big hurdle for newcomers to the platform. The prospect of narrowing down the right plugin from a directory of more than 59,000 can be daunting.

The team behind rtCamp, a 125-person agency and a WordPress VIP Gold agency partner, has launched a new tool called WordPress Plugin Compare Project (WPPC) to help users extend WordPress with the right plugins for their needs. WPPC lets users search for plugins to compare and customize each selection displayed on the chart:

The chart displays the age of the plugin, when it was last updated, author, current version, required WP version, required PHP version, and tested up to WP version. It also shows important stats for ratings, total downloads, active installs, support requests and support score. Plugin data is refreshed twice per day, so it’s always up to date.

Several major plugin categories where multiple plugins are competing against one another are good candidates for comparison using the WPPC tool, including e-commerce, SEO, analytics, social sharing, performance, block libraries, forms, and security, to name a few. Plug in a few of the top contenders and it’s easier to see at a glance how they compare in terms of popularity, maintenance, and support.

The comparisons can also be linked. For example, the block collection plugin comparison above and the forms plugin comparison below is available on the WPPC website. The comparison URL includes each of the four plugin slugs and the tool pulls up the chart on demand. That makes it easy to text or email someone who needs help selecting a plugin for a project.

rtCamp plans to expand the capabilities of the WPPC tool to include the following:

  • Additional parameters in the comparison table (e.g. supported languages, performance data, code quality, etc.)
  • Single plugin page with all the data laid out in a presentable manner
  • “Other plugins by the same author” page
  • A dedicated page with filters where one can filter across all 55K+ plugins

After testing the tool, I found the search to be a little buggy. Searching plugins by name or slug sometimes doesn’t work correctly. Overall, it’s very easy to use and amazing how it pulls in all the plugins’ details into the comparison table automatically. Additional columns could be helpful in certain categories where there are more than four decent plugin options.

One feature that would be useful is the ability to filter the search to only show plugins that offer blocks or support the block editor. This could also work as one of the parameters in the comparison table. One of the most frustrating things about searching the WordPress Plugin Directory is sorting through to see which results support blocks. While you can browse block-enabled plugins, there’s no easy way to search for block-enabled plugins only.

rtCamp is aiming to raise the bar for free plugins hosted on WordPress.org with the WPPC tool. If it becomes more popular, plugin authors may feel more pressure to compete in their listings by providing more active maintenance and support. It also quickly identifies which plugins have been around the longest. Since WordPress.org is the primary distribution channel for many plugin businesses, a tool like this can quickly highlight any glaring deficiency in a product if its creators are not consistent with updates and support. These are important considerations when selecting a mission-critical tool, like forms or e-commerce, in a business or non-profit’s suite of plugins.

WPTavern: Five for the Future Program Set To Adopt Official Definition for Pledges and Contributions

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 06/03/2022 - 21:24
photo credit: Christian Joudrey

WordPress’ Five for the Future program, an initiative that encourages organizations to contribute five percent of their resources to WordPress development, is poised to adopt an official definition for what constitutes pledges and contributions. Two weeks ago, WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy proposed the program make a clear distinction between ecosystem contributions and core project contributions:

Participation in Five for the Future means consistent effort by an individual or a company via a Make WordPress team to directly support the WordPress open source project and the project’s current big ideas, rather than the sole benefit of a company or individual. Simply put, Five for the Future exists to collaboratively invest in the health of the WordPress project, ensuring its long-term sustainability and success.

Haden Chomphosy further clarified that certain contributions fall within a grey area but still fit within this definition, such as mataining WordPress.org, WordCamp.org, Rosetta networks, documentation, training, or speaking at meetups. She also specified another grey area that does not fit within the official definition. This includes things like creating WordPress sites, themes, plugins, or blocks, and providing support.

“These activities are critical to extending the reach and utility of the WordPress project, but they are not considered part of making Five for the Future commitments,” Haden Chomphosy said.

“There are many important efforts and lots of incredible work performed outside of WordPress.org and Make Teams. While these are indispensable activities that further the WordPress ecosystem, Five for the Future is about ensuring that the WordPress project continues to be a fertile foundation for WordPress extenders and users.”

This was always the unspoken understanding of the Five for the Future program but this proposal formalizes it ahead of building out official tracking efforts.

The general consensus in the resulting discussion was agreement on the first part of the definition, that the contribution must move the open source project forward. A few participants were not convinced that themes and plugins would not qualify as a contribution towards this goal.

“I can’t help but wonder about the argument to be made that the creation of themes, plugins and blocks that are made freely available are also contributions that move WordPress forward,” GoDaddy-sponsored contributor Adam Warner said.

Yoast-sponsored contributor Yvette Sonneveld said the term “grey area” has a negative connotation and that “all the activities are essential to keep the software and community healthy and thriving.”

“I fully understand that these are harder to quantify,” Sonneveld said.

“Personally, I agree that themes and plugins brought out under creative commons licenses also help the software and the community thrive, and should be included in the efforts that help the project move forward.”

The definition did not receive much pushback and appears to be already confirmed, as Automattic-sponsored community organizer Angela Jin posted three days later, asking for feedback on how to identify and record contirbutions.

“Based on the definition we now have of 5ftF contributions, what other activity, specific to a Make Team or across multiple teams, should be recognized and recorded?” Jin said.

The program’s activity is tracked on GitHub, where discussions are open on everything from stats to badges to tracking meetup attendance. Many of these are technical issues that will require building charts and dashboards. It will be interesting to see how the community and meta teams tackle these challenges to track contributions across teams. Feedback on contributions tracking is still open in the comments of the post.

Post Status: WooCommerce Function of the Week: wc_current_user_has_role

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 06/03/2022 - 17:57
What if you want to show hidden information only to "administrators" or "shop managers?" What about displaying a custom "My Account" tab just for logged-in customers?

WPTavern: InstaWP Gets Seed Funding From Automattic

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 06/03/2022 - 17:30

InstaWP has received an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Automattic. The service launched in July 2021 as a quick way to set up testing or disposable WordPress sites and users frequently commented on remarkable speed of the tool, which spins up a site in less than a second.

Founder Vikas Singhal said the investment gives Automattic a percentage of future equity under a SAFE (simple agreement for future equity) arrangement. In order to receive the investment, Singhal was required to register InstaWP Inc. as an independent US-based organization.

“InstaWP has a vision of making it easy to get started with WordPress,” Singhal said.

“Initally I thought InstaWP was just a disposable WP tool but fast forward eight months, it’s much more than that. It’s a workflow tool now, which makes working with WP 10x easier.”

InstaWP provided an Agency plan for LearnWP to use during Social Learning Spaces, Calls for Testing, and similar uses. The fact that it’s being used in WordPress education, where some users are brand new to the platform, speaks to how user-friendly it is to fire up a new WordPress testing site.

“Lots of plugin and theme authors use it for showcasing their product sandboxes,” Singhal said. “Agencies are using it to build and deliver websites for their clients. Many developers are using it for end to end testing as well.”

Singhal reports more than 23,000 sites have been created with InstaWP. The service currently has 1,600 free users and 50+ paid users. It offers paid plans from $9/month to $59/month and custom pricing for enterprise customers.

Singhal said the seed funding “should last for about next 18-24 months,” as InstaWP has ramped up hiring and marketing. He anticipates the company will be profitable by the end of the year and is open to more investors.

InstaWP is working on developing native integrations for hosting providers, which would allow users to connect their accounts, see a list of existing sites or create new ones, and select a production site to “push” to from InstaWP. The company is currently working with Runcloud and GoDaddy.

“We have come a long from being a disposable WP tool,” Singhal said. “InstaWP will become a great gateway to WordPress, covering all the use cases such as build, dev, test, showcase, and educate. We will be connecting hosting providers, product vendors and agencies/freelancers alike in a single platform.

“We want to become the AWS for the WordPress world, providing an easy way for people to build sites without thinking about the underlying platform.”

Post Status: WordPress Podcast and Video Picks for the Week of May 29

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 06/03/2022 - 06:00
Vikas Singhal on InstaWP's backing from Automattic • Raffaella Isidori on the importance of UX • How to get the most out of WordCamps • Peter Suhm on Reform • Josepha Haden Chomphosy shares her open-source reading list • Hiring and capital_p_dangit • Ryan Welcher live-coding block templates

WPTavern: WP Engine Acquires 5 Plugins From Delicious Brains

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 06/02/2022 - 15:04

Delicious Brains, a WordPress product company founded in 2012 by Brad Touesnard, has sold five of its plugins to WP Engine: Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), WP Migrate, WP Offload Media, WP Offload SES, and Better Search Replace.

Over the past four years, WP Engine has been scooping up developer tools through acquisitions, including StudioPress and the Genesis Framework (2018), Flywheel and its Local development tool (2019) and the Frost block theme (2021). The five Delicious Brains plugins, which are active on more than four million WordPress sites, greatly expand WP Engine’s reach into the developer market. ACF, which allows developers to control WordPress edit screens and custom field data, accounts for two million users.

Delicious Brains will continue with its SpinupWP product which allows developers to spin up a server and manage it via a cloud-based control panel.

“What if I could exit the plugin side of the business but keep SpinupWP and continue on with that project and its team?” Touesnard said in a post explaining why he sold the plugins. “The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. 

“In the previous 18 months, we had gone from 10 people to 34. I was now a manager of managers and also directing marketing – not my strongest areas and I was stretched pretty thin so not doing my best work. At the same time, I wasn’t spending nearly as much time on SpinupWP as I would have liked.”

Touesnard pitched the idea of selling the plugins to his connections at WP Engine and they were enthusiastic. The company is also acqui-hiring several members of the Delcious Brains team to continue supporting the products.

“I’ve often said that if for some reason I couldn’t work for a month or more that Iain Poulson would step up and keep Delicious Brains running and thriving without me,” Touesnard said. “He has been with Delicious Brains since the early days, has worked across all the products, and makes sure that things get done that need doing. I’m very happy to say that Iain will be joining WP Engine, overseeing the continued development of ACF. Matt Shaw and Liam Gladdy will continue their work as developers on ACF as well.

“Although Kevin Hoffman only joined us last August, he has made a huge impact on WP Migrate and Better Search Replace as product manager. I’m very pleased to say that he will continue that work partnering with Phil Webster and Ahmed Hussein. He will also continue working with Ian Jones and Erik Torsner on WP Offload Media and WP Offload SES.”

Touesnard said support teams for each product will remain in place and the plugins’ developers will continue helping out in support as issues are escalated to them.

WP Engine has promised to honor ACF Pro lifetime licenses and Touesnard said the company “has no plans to change subscription prices for any of the plugins for the foreseeable future.”

Do The Woo Community: Advanced Security for WooCommerce Builders wit Rob Cairns & Robert Rowley

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 06/02/2022 - 09:35

WordPress security veterans Rob Cairns and Robert Rowley have a great conversation on building sites for WooCommerce while keeping them secure.

>> The post Advanced Security for WooCommerce Builders wit Rob Cairns & Robert Rowley appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community .

WPTavern: Jetpack Goes Modular With More Features Now Available as Individual Plugins

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/01/2022 - 21:01

Jetpack announced today that it is splitting out six of its most popular features into individual plugins. Automattic reports that the company received feedback from developers and site owners asking for the ability to use specific components of Jetpack as part of their own “tech stack” of plugins.

The six features that are now available as individual plugins include the following:

  • Jetpack Backup
    Real-time site backups on Automattic’s cloud infrastructure
  • Jetpack Protect
    Scan for vulnerabilities in WordPress core, themes, and plugins for free
  • Jetpack Boost
    Improve site speed and SEO for free in just a few clicks
  • Jetpack Social
    Automatically share new posts and products on social channels for free
  • Jetpack Search
    Help visitors find what they are looking for
  • Jetpack CRM
    Streamline communication, provide better customer service, and grow sales

Three of those plugins were already available as separate plugins (Backup, CRM, and Boost). The Protect, Boost, CRM, and Social plugins are free to use. Backup and Search require a paid plan in order to work. Jetpack representatives confirmed those three plugins fall under the WordPress.org guidelines for SaaS connection plugins.

For years developers have criticized Jetpack for being “bloated,” bundling too many features. In 2019, Jetpack acknowledged that the plugin had a discovery problem, where users who were not fully familiar with the plugin’s dozens of modules ended up installing plugins to perform functionality that Jetpack already includes. Automattic attempted to solve this by promoting paid upgrades as feature suggestions on the plugin search screen, a controversial move that violated the plugin directory’s guidelines and was promptly reversed.

The idea behind splitting out more features into individual plugins is that Jetpack users will be able to install only what they need instead of assuming the overhead for the all-in-one plugin. This is also a strategic change for Jetpack as it attempts to market its bulk licensing options for agencies. A more modular Jetpack will be more appealing to developers and Automattic plans to split out more features into individual plugins in the future.

“Over time, the products that exist as individual plugins may be extracted from the original one, but no matter which plugin you start with, the experience of adding features will be seamless,” Automattic growth marketer Simon Keating said.

The five million Jetpack users who are using the all-in-one-plugin will not experience any changes as the result of today’s news. As more features become individual plugins, users will still be able to install what they want from a single interface.

Gutenberg Times: Museum of Block Art is Open for Submissions!

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/01/2022 - 18:59

After launching the Museum of Block Art, a community project showcasing the power of the block editor and dedicated to pushing the limits of WordPress, folks began asking how they could submit their art pieces. While the #WPBlockArt hashtag worked to start, with the launch of WordPress 6.0 and nearly 25K views on the site, it felt time to offer a more official pathway along with a few folks to help review submissions when needed:

Contribute

As much as you can, please try to create art in the following spirit:

  • Using the block editor with core blocks (the blocks that come with WordPress), with very limited custom CSS (ideally none at all).
  • Using the latest version of WordPress (6.0).
  • Pushing the boundaries of what feels possible with WordPress.

In order to submit, you will need:

  • A high resolution screenshot of what you created (this is what will be featured).
  • The HTML Markup of the block(s).
  • A social media account or website that you want linked to for your submission. 
  • A title of your art piece.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your creations and wondering how folks have made theirs, I definitely recommend playing with dimension controls, duotone, and the Row/Stack/Group blocks. You can also check out the Index and view any individual piece you’d like to see how they were made thanks to the markup that’s included. 

In true WordPress community fashion, I won’t be alone in reviewing the submissions–I’ll have help from a lovely group of volunteers as needed. Please give a big thank you to Tammie Lister, Rachel Winchester, Rich Tabor, and Ana Segota for making up a lovely review crew. 

Stay tuned for more updates. Perhaps if submissions continue over more releases, the Museum of Block Art can even have special exhibits based on each release, further showing how the design tools continue to evolve as time goes on. Time (and the number of submissions) will tell! Can’t wait to see what you create. 

WPTavern: LottieFiles Releases Official WordPress Plugin

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/01/2022 - 02:44

LottieFiles, a company that hosts thousands of Lottie animations and helps designers create and test their animations, has just released an official plugin for WordPress. The company recently raised $37M in a Series B round, passed three million users on its website, and is investing in making motion design more accessible.

Lottie’s open source animation file format is used by more than 135,000 designers and developers in websites and apps for Amazon, Google, Spotify, Microsoft, TikTok, Netflix, BBC, Uber, and other high profile companies. The JSON-based format was created by the design team at Airbnb and grew in popularity because of the small file size (600% smaller compared to GIFs), the fact that it is scalable at run-time, and its flexibility to be used across any platform. Lottie files can be used on iOS, Android, web and React Native without modification.

LottieFiles’ new WordPress plugin is available for free on WordPress.org. Once the plugin is installed and activated, it will prompt you to sign into your LottieFiles account or a create a free account. You will also be given the option to share the account with other users and copy Lottie files to the WordPress Media Library.

The plugin was made for the block editor. Inserting the LottieFiles block will launch a modal window where users can browse recent, featured, and popular Lottie animations. Users can also search through LottieFiles’ library of more than 50,000 animations or access private files from their accounts.

One of the benefits of using the plugin, as opposed to simply embedding an animation, is that the block settings allow users to easily adjust the Lottie size and background, along with the speed, looping, and controls display.

Although block libraries like Kadence Blocks have support for Lottie animations, LottieFiles’ official plugin is a single-block plugin and includes more block controls. It offers one of the most user friendly ways to insert animations into web pages, blog posts, or any content that could use a little a little motion design.

The LottieFiles team has been responsive on the support forums and in the reviews so far. In one instance where a user reported that the plugin adds its CSS on every page in the front and backend, instead of conditionally adding it when Lotties are displayed, the plugin’s developers said they are working on minimizing the CSS added to pages. LottieFiles is accepting bug reports and feature requests on their feedback site.

WordPress.org blog: People of WordPress: Dee Teal

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 05/31/2022 - 17:51

In this series, we share some of the inspiring stories of how WordPress and its global network of contributors can change people’s lives for the better. This month we feature a WordPress development and large project specialist on the difference the software and community can make to your career and life.

Dee’s story with computers started at school in New Zealand where discovering how a mouse worked and learning BASIC and Pascal was a catalyst for what later became a programming career.

At a time when computers were just becoming mainstream, there were no opportunities for girls in her school to consider this as a further option. She recalls: “No one thought to say, ‘Dee, you look like you’re good at this, you should pursue it…’. I mean, I was a girl (and I was told girls didn’t ‘do’ computers). No one in the circles I moved in really had any idea where this technology revolution would take us.”

With no particular career path into technology, Dee was encouraged in her final year of school to apply for a job in a bank where she worked and became a teller three years later. She gained financial independence, which enabled her to travel as a 20-year-old and spend the next three years exploring the US and Europe.

Looking back, she noted how the world had changed: the first computer mouse she had seen had come out in 1983, and 20 years later WordPress was founded.

Journey into coding

During those 20 years, Dee worked as a nanny, working in child care centers, in customer support, and as a temp.

In 1999, she packed up her bags once again, and moved from New Zealand to Australia. She took a place at a performing arts school where she honed her singing and performance skills and volunteered her time to the music director who was starting to experiment with sending out HTML newsletters and updates via email.

“And so my personal revolution began. On the day after I graduated from that course, I walked into a full-time role as that music director’s assistant and began my journey back to code.”

As part of that job, Dee edited and sent HTML newsletters on a weekly basis. This ignited her interest in programming, and she bought books about coding for the web and experimented on her home-built PC making web pages.

“I’m sure, like a lot of us, I remember the thrill of creating that first HTML file and seeing a ‘Hello World’ or similar heading rendered in the browser. From there, I was completely hooked.”

Dee Teal

Later she moved to the IT department and took on maintenance of all the websites. By 2004, she was working full-time as a webmaster. A year later, she was running a small business creating sites on the side. Four years after that, her business became her full-time job as she left employment to pursue her Masters Degree in Digital Communication and Culture.

Dee and other volunteers setting up for a local WordCamp

Dee found the theory and sociology behind the web, and its facilitation of human and machine communication fascinating.

She said: “I love the fact that the tech industry involves a constant constant curve of growth and discovery, which results in a perpetual exercise in finding creative elegant solutions for sticky problems.”

For Dee, being able to use her innate curiosity to leverage processes, people, and tools, fuelled by a focus on communicating a message, has been a defining inspiration in her work.

This combined fascination coincided with her meeting WordPress in 2009 and subsequently its community. She moved her existing blog to the software and it became the CMS of choice for all her client work.

The WordPress community can change your world

In 2011, she stumbled across WordCamps and by extension the WordPress community. Dee has reflected publicly that WordPress didn’t change her life, its community changed her world!

She flew on a whim from her then home in Sydney to attend a WordCamp in Melbourne she had found after a search for ‘WordPress Conferences’.

She said: “I met welcoming people, made friends, connected, and came back home excited and hopeful about continuing this connection with the wider WordPress community.”

Building a community locally around WordPress got off to a slow start in Sydney. From an inauspicious early WordPress Sydney meetup in the function room of a pub, her connection and involvement took off. Before long she was helping organize that meetup, and by the time she moved away from that great city it had branched into two meetups, and soon after, into three.

She was so inspired by the community that at the end of that first year and her second WordCamp, she raised her hand to help organize a WordCamp Sydney in 2012, and after moving interstate, WordCamp Melbourne in 2013.

“WordPress and any other software package exist to serve people.”

Dee Teal

Dee said: “WordPress, software, technology, the Internet will come and go, morph, and change, evolve. Maybe WordPress will last forever, maybe it will morph into something else, maybe one day it will look completely different than it did when I first started (actually, that’s true now). The thing that doesn’t change is the humanity around it. WordPress and any other software package exist to serve people.”

She added: “The thing that I have learned, not only through WordPress but in life, is that if we too serve the people around what we’re doing, we ourselves will grow, develop and change alongside the people we serve, and the tools we use to serve them.”

Some of the contributors to the WordPress 5.6 release

Dee was a coordinator for WordPress 5.6 release in 2020 and was able to encourage others to learn about the process.

Helping others and sharing knowledge through WordPress

Dee has been an advocate for cross-cultural collaboration and understanding in both WordPress and her work for a large distributed agency which has people from more than 24 countries and operates across 16 timezones. She has also written about closing the gap between diverse distributed teams and how to meet the challenges of cross cultural remote work.

Dee has given talks at WordCamps, including at WordCamp Europe in 2019, on developing ourselves, our relationships, and our communities in increasingly diverse environments.

With a strong desire to share her professional knowledge and experience, Dee hopes her involvement in the WordPress community from being part of a Release Squad in the Core Team, and volunteering in the community through organizing and speaking at WordCamp events, will inspire others to get involved.

“It’s the connections, it’s the friendships. It’s the network of work, referrals, support, help and encouragement.”

Dee Teal talking about the community that makes WordPress specialbenefits of the WordPress community Dee shared her experience with attendees at WordCamp Europe 2019

In contributing to WordPress and organizing community events around it, Dee found that for her: “At the end of the day it isn’t actually WordPress that matters. It’s those connections, it’s the friendships. It’s the network of work, referrals, support, help, encouragement that has kept me wired into this community and committed to helping other people find that connection and growth for themselves.”

Dee’s career in WordPress has moved through coding, into project management of large scale WordPress projects, and now into delivery leadership. Her connections to community have helped ‘fuel the transitions’ through these chapters of her life.

She said: “I believe that the place I’ve found and the opportunities I have had owe as much to my own desire and ambition as they do to the help, support and belief of the community around me; sometimes even more than I’ve felt in myself.”

She feels that she is ‘living proof’ that by helping, connecting, and resourcing other people, you can be helped, resourced and connected into places you had never thought possible.

This has enabled her to reach and have a career in technology that she did not know existed as a teenager playing with that first computer mouse and experimenting with code. Dee hopes her story will inspire others in their journey.

Share the stories

Help share these stories of open source contributors and continue to grow the community. Meet more WordPressers in the People of WordPress series.

Contributors

Thanks to Abha Thakor (@webcommsat), Meher Bala (@meher), Mary Baum (@marybaum), Chloe Bringmann (@cbringmann), Nalini Thakor (@nalininonstopnewsuk), and Larissa Murillo (@lmurillom) for work on this feature. Thank you to Josepha Haden (@chanthaboune) and Topher DeRosia (@topher1kenobe) for support of the series. Thank you too to @thewebprincess for sharing her experiences.

This article is inspired by an article originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. It highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories would otherwise go unheard.
Meet more WordPress community members in our People of WordPress series.

This People of WordPress feature is inspired by an essay originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. It highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories might otherwise go unheard. #HeroPress

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