Wordpress News

Do The Woo Community: Early Days of eCommerce, WooCommerce and Building Themes

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 04/26/2022 - 09:45

Colm started his career early as a developer, starting with WooCommerce in 2012 and dipping into eCommerce long before that.

The post Early Days of eCommerce, WooCommerce and Building Themes appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community.

WPTavern: Local Launches Atlas Add-on for Sandboxing Headless WordPress Sites

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 04/26/2022 - 04:26

Local, a popular WordPress development tool maintained by WP Engine, has launched a new add-on for quickly spinning up headless WordPress sites on its new Atlas platform.

The company has been working to capture the headless WordPress hosting market over the past few years, investing in a new team dedicated to building out its headless offerings aimed at developers. It is one of the first managed hosts to offer a packaged product that handles all the dependencies and configuration required to launch a headless site.

The new add-on is called Atlas: Headless WP. It makes it easy for users to create a site with a Node.js frontend that uses WP Engine’s Faust.js headless framework for WordPress. It can be found inside the latest version of Local under the Add-ons menu.

The Atlas add-on watches any changes made to frontend code and compiles them after a file is saved. The add-on’s help docs have a guide to the folder structure for the headless sites it creates:

  • app – Contains the files of a typical WordPress site. Any changes made here will be reflected in the WordPress backend.
  • app-node – The Javascript frontend which the Node.js process is watching and compiling.

The Atlas add-on gives users access to three blueprints that include starter code, plugins, content models, and page structure to jumpstart site development. One creates a barebones site with just the scaffolding necessary to get started. The second blueprint is for a portfolio site and includes a blog and pages to list projects. The third blueprint appears to be very similar but just includes a blog and menu with no portfolio.

It is important to note that Atlas can only be enabled on new sites in Local, as the app has no way to convert existing sites into a headless site.

Sites built using the add-on are supported in the import/export site workflows, but the company’s support team confirmed that Atlas sites can only be hosted at WP Engine. This is one of the chief drawbacks of the framework.

For this reason, the Atlas add-on essentially functions sort of like a sales funnel for WP Engine, since sites produced using it are not portable to be hosted anywhere else. It does offer an easy way to experiment with headless WordPress to see how it all works together. It’s also convenient for WP Engine customers who want to use it to create new headless sites with less work setting up and configuring them.

The Atlas add-on for Local is still in beta, so it has a few rough edges. Users can get help for their support questions by creating a topic in the Atlas: Headless WP category of the community forums.

Correction: WP Engine has confirmed its support team misspoke when saying Atlas sites can only be hosted at WP Engine, and Andy North, the company’s director of communications, offered the following statement:

Sites that are spun up as Atlas Blueprints can be hosted anywhere. The WordPress install doesn’t contain anything proprietary – the plugins are all open source and freely available on WordPress.org. Also, the front-end is built with Faust.js and is also open-source and free to use and extend.

Local produces both the WordPress instance and the front-end app on a developer’s local machine, with no lock-in. A developer can then choose any provider to host their headless WordPress site, and another provider to host the front-end, and another service to power content search. 

WPTavern: A Look at Twenty Twenty-Two’s Upcoming Global Style Variations

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 04/26/2022 - 02:41

It is no secret that I have been excited about global style variations. The upcoming feature will allow theme designers to bundle multiple design presets. In turn, end-users can cycle through them, selecting their preferred look without changing their active theme.

I have been writing about the feature since November 2021, holding out some hope that it was going to land with WordPress 5.9. It did not ship with that release, but I have eagerly followed every related ticket since, knowing it would eventually come.

In January, the feature was merged into the Gutenberg plugin. That almost feels like an eternity in “tech time.” With everything else happening in the current WordPress 6.0 release cycle, it is easy to forget that it will be a flagship feature in just a few short weeks.

If I am being honest, I feel like I have been waiting for this my entire career in the WordPress space. I think I have always known I have wanted it without always being able to verbalize it. I was an early adopter of child themes and began using them when they were a feature only available via a third-party plugin. WordPress always seemed to be missing something between an entire theme and a child that made sense for developers and users.

Many theme authors have tackled this in one way or another. Some would package skins that users could pick from. Others presented preset color and font combinations. However, these methods were never standardized.

Global style variations are the answer I have been searching for. The system provides theme authors an easy way to bundle multiple variants without shipping them as separate child themes. Themers merely need to drop custom *.json files in their theme’s /styles folder. These appear in the Global Styles panel in the site editor for users.

Twenty Twenty-Two will officially be the first default theme to ship these style variants. The plan was to bundle six styles but was recently pared down to four (including the default). The following are screenshots of the three new variations expected to land in the next version of the theme:

Blue, Pink, and Swiss variations for Twenty Twenty-Two

These could change as we get closer to the WordPress 6.0 release, but they are the latest iteration. For others who want to test them, they are available via a pull request on the WordPress Develop GitHub repository. They have not been merged into the core code yet.

If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the Pink variation. It is not something I would typically select, but the IBM Plex Mono font works well with it.

I am a fan of shipping fewer variations for the initial set. As Kjell Reigstad said on the associated Trac ticket, it should “help folks differentiate them even more strongly.”

While Twenty Twenty-Two will be the first default theme to implement global style variations, other theme authors have already been offering some choices for users. Alara ships seven additional styles, and Frost has a Dark Mode variant. Users can already test these alongside the WordPress 6.0 beta or with WordPress 5.9 and the Gutenberg plugin installed.

Variations are primarily being used as a quick way for end-users to choose a preset design. This is a one-off choice, but I envision a broader scope for the feature in the coming months and years.

Using Frost’s Dark Mode as an example, I could eventually see that being tied to the site visitor’s settings, showing the variation their preferred scheme. If someone is not already working on a plugin for this, they should be.

Another possibility is that some site owners may want to have seasonal or event-based design tweaks that are easy to switch between. It would be fun to see WordPress release a Christmas-based Twenty Twenty-Two variation later this year.

Theme authors who want to start bundling their own style variations should read Carolina Nymark’s tutorial. It is one of the most up-to-date guides and covers everything needed to get started.

Akismet: Version 4.2.3 of the Akismet WordPress Plugin is Now Available

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 04/25/2022 - 17:38

Version 4.2.3 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is now available. This update contains the following improvements:

  • Improved compatibility with Fluent Forms
  • Fixed missing translation domains for better localization
  • Improved accessibility of the config page.

To upgrade, visit the Updates page of your WordPress dashboard and follow the instructions. If you need to download the plugin zip file directly, links to all versions are available in the WordPress plugins directory.


Drupal Themes - Mon, 04/25/2022 - 14:32

A radically new UI layout paired with goodies like a Dark Mode will give your user interface a facelift. The Juice theme is largely a copy of Gin which builds on the foundation of Claro. Gin was created by Sascha Eggenberger (one of the lead designers of Claro & Drupal Design System).

Do The Woo Community: devlife_snippet: The Trap of Premature Optimization

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 04/25/2022 - 09:34

It's always hard to know what is premature optimization and what isn't. I fall into that trap.

The post devlife_snippet: The Trap of Premature Optimization appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community.

WPTavern: Munir Kamal Updates and Overhauls the Block Slider Plugin

Wordpress Planet - Sat, 04/23/2022 - 02:26

A couple of weeks ago, Munir Kamal updated his Block Slider plugin for WordPress. While not as popular as some of the other projects he has spearheaded, such as Editor Plus, he wanted to breathe some fresh life into it.

The original plugin allowed users to insert a slider block and create the slides directly from the post or page editor. The new approach is similar. However, end-users can only edit it from a new “Block Slider” post type.

Creating a slide in the block slider.

Existing users should note that the new version breaks compatibility with their old galleries. It would be wise to make a backup to revert to if necessary.

Kamal listed several benefits to the updated approach:

  • A clean and wider slide editing/creation interface. Comparatively, the ‘block’ had less room to work with.
  • The fact we have a separate interface/post type, I took the opportunity to modify it a bit to make the slide creation easier for users.
  • This approach lets users create and manage sliders easily from one place (post type) compared to in-page block.
  • Using the slider to multiple pages/posts is easier with this approach.
  • The best part and the most important reason is that the slider can be used outside Gutenberg editor or anywhere with any page builder using the shortcode (or I could provide more ways to use it in the future).

Depending on the user, some of those can be advantages. However, for others, they are not. For example, not all websites would benefit from a dedicated slider management admin screen. Sometimes, a one-off slider is all that is wanted for something like the front page. The new approach creates more work and adds an unnecessary admin menu for those use cases. For users who add multiple sliders to their sites, it should simplify management.

Kamal touts using the block shortcode anywhere, but this feels like a step back from the earlier version of the plugin. It is now impossible to see what a slider looks like mixed with page content without previewing it on the front end. When laying out a full-page design via the editor, having the live preview can be vital to putting it all together.

“I am working on a block that lets you insert a slider (and maybe do a bit more),” Kamal said when I questioned him on the implementation. “It should be out in the next update soon.”

Overall, the user experience of creating and customizing sliders feels smooth. It is easy to attach new slides via the “Add Slide” button fixed to the bottom of the screen and navigate to others.

Adding multiple image slides.

Other than a minor spacing issue where the right navigation arrow butted against the side of the screen, I had no trouble using it. It worked well in the editor and on the front end.

Block Slider has a commercial version that begins at $29 per year. It includes updates and support for one site. There are also five-site and unlimited tiers for $49 and $99, respectively.

However, most users will likely not need the upgrade. Other than a handful of options, including a carousel view and a few customizations, most features are in the free version. And the plugin does not lack out-of-the-box options.

If anything, the number of settings is almost dizzying. Users who want ultimate customizability should enjoy tinkering with the design tools. Those who prefer a scaled-back interface can always leave the defaults in place. Otherwise, diving into them can be overwhelming.

Kamal shared an intro video to the plugin that barely scratches the surface of what the plugin can do:

I like where Kamal seems to be going with the plugin. His target audience focuses on users who love plenty of options and an easy way to manage their sliders. For one-off use cases, it is best to look elsewhere. Some bits still feel a little rough, like using a shortcode when placing the slider on a page, but that can always be addressed later.

WordPress Slider Plugin – Block Slider

WPTavern: WordCamp US Trials New Program Connecting Underrepresented Speakers with Sponsors for Travel and Lodging Costs

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 04/22/2022 - 19:11

WordCamp US, scheduled for September 9-11 in San Diego, is trialing a new program that would connect speakers from underrepresented groups with companies that agree to sponsor their travel and lodging.

“To improve diverse representation at WordCamp US (WCUS), our Programming Team has looked into the barriers that hold different groups back, the largest of which is the cost of hotel and airfare/travel,” WCUS organizers wrote.

“While WCUS can’t cover these costs, we can set up a connecting point between these speakers and companies that would like to support them.”

The WordCamp is calling for interested companies to get in touch so they can be matched with speakers who need financial support. The companies will be responsible for setting the qualifications and managing the funds transfer.

Earlier this month, in a post titled Sponsor Inclusion in Tech, WordPress contributor Winstina Hughes called the community to action, specifically to break down financial barriers to attending community events:

Underrepresented/minority groups in society frequently face disparities in income that limit their participation in personally valued activities beyond work activities that earn income. This is mirrored in the WordPress community when contributors forgo participation in community events due to income limitations. Participation in events requires a community member to personally pay for travel and lodging expenses or personally network for sponsorships to cover these expenses.

Transparently integrating travel and lodging sponsorships after a Call for Speakers submission selection would breakdown a notable barrier to inclusion that exists for many underrepresented/minority groups around the world – financial costs.

MasterWP editor Rob Howard continued this conversation, referencing Hughes’ call to action, in a recent post that advocates for all speakers and organizers being paid.

“The largest and most obvious barrier to attending and speaking at WordCamp is money,” Howard said. “In order to offer a truly equal opportunity to everyone, the WordPress Foundation needs to set aside enough money to pay for the airfare and lodging of every speaker and organizer, period. Anything less than this privileges people who work for WordPress companies or people who have the disposable income for a random trip to San Diego.”

Howard contends that this approach should not be a separate initiative but “should simply become how WordCamp works.” Yesterday MasterWP announced its own sponsorship program. The team intends to sponsor at least six speakers and organizers to cover the costs of travel, meals, and lodging.

In the meantime, Winstina Hughes worked with the WCUS speaker programming team to make speaker sponsorships a real possibility. Organizers will facilitate the connection between interested companies and selected speakers who are seeking sponsorship.

WordCamp US has also extended its call for speakers. It appears organizers may not have received enough diverse applicants, as they said their purpose in extending the call is “to showcase our community’s variety and diversity.” The updated deadline is Monday, April 25.

Do The Woo Community: WooBits: Where Are All the WooCommerce Alternatives?

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 04/22/2022 - 09:06

A single tweet inspired this commentary from me about why we are not seeing many, if any real competitors to WooCommerce.

The post WooBits: Where Are All the WooCommerce Alternatives? appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community.

Post Status: Cart and Inner Blocks for WooCommerce

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 04/22/2022 - 03:42

Here's what's new in WooCommerce and Woo Blocks, plus some tips for increasing ROI and extending your network.

WooCommerce 6.5 beta 1 is out, so it's time to start testing. In addition, WooCommerce Blocks 7.4.0, 7.4.1, and 7.4.2 (release notes) introduce the new Cart and Checkout Inner Blocks. Now you are able to insert Woo blocks in the available spaces inside other blocks. This works just as it does with regular WordPress blocks. You can also move, edit, and optimize using the Inner Blocks. These releases also include some bug fixes and enhancements.

Over on Do the Woo this week, we talked to four speakers from the upcoming Atarim Web Agency Summit. In part 1, Anne-Mieke Bovelett shares a tip for increasing the ROI of a Woo shop for clients.

In part 2, Maciek Palmowski, David Mainayar, and Nev Harris gave us some solid tips for “Simplifying the Complex.” Keeping it simple is key in the Woo shops you build and the agencies you run.

The week ended with Courtney Robertson and Marcus Burnette sharing their experiences presenting at events and podcasting. Making appearances like these can help developers extend their network and find new career paths or enhance their existing role. Plus, public speaking gives agency owners a great way to find talent in the space.

Build Your Developer Network, Career and Business

WPTavern: Failure and Learning: My Experience Building 4 Block Plugins in a Week

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 04/22/2022 - 02:59

I built four block plugins last week. It was not something I had set out to do. I did not wake up one day and declare, “I think I will build a suite of custom block types over the next few days.” It just happened.

The first plugin I built was to address an old ticket for Gutenberg that had not seen any traction. Perhaps others were not interested in the idea, or it never crossed their path in the sea of 1,000s of other tickets. Why not just build it myself? So, I did. It took a couple of hours, but much of that time was re-configuring the @wordpress/scripts build script to my liking and reading docs.

With that plugin out of the way, I started seeking new problems to solve. One that was already on my radar was the missing Comments Title block necessary to bring the upcoming Comments Query Loop block to feature parity before WordPress 6.0 lands. So, I built a rough plugin for it.

Comments Title block in the site editor.

Fortunately, others took that initial idea and ran with it, building something far more flexible than my first attempt. Now, there is a new block in Gutenberg.

I had a couple of other itches I wanted to scratch, and there was little to do on a rain-filled Sunday. Namely, WordPress does not include equivalent blocks for the wp_list_users() and wp_list_authors() template tags. That seemed like an oversight, so I tackled early versions of those.

I will put these up for free on the official WordPress plugin directory soon for folks interested in them. I can only hope they will help someone else in the future.

This post is about sharing my experience, the journey, rather than what became of it all.

Recently, someone asked whether I could operate in this JavaScript-heavy world of blocks as a developer. It has been over two years since I took on a writing position here at WP Tavern and developed real-world solutions for users. I was only starting to use JavaScript with the block editor back then.

Since then, I have dabbled with block themes, even releasing one on WordPress.org. I have built a few PHP-based projects for fun in my spare time. I even created my first custom block plugin last summer and shared my experience with readers. Shortly after, I built a second.

That burning flame I had nearly a year ago quickly died down. That had more to do with the state of block theme development, which was still in its infancy, than anything. I was excited about its potential, but consistent breakage was more than I had time to deal with, considering all of it was a fun side project.

At heart, I am still a programmer, a problem solver. So, I began anew.

The first stop was the JavaScript Build Setup documentation for building blocks. I was going to learn the “WordPress way” this time around. For the most part, I followed through with that.

The only hiccup I had was the setup script snake-casing my namespace, x3p0, into x_3_p_0 in function names. That was a mess to clean up. However, I did not need to go through that process in other block plugins. I just wanted the beginner experience on the first go.

For building blocks, @wordpress/scripts is all that is necessary. I tinkered with it, added a couple of custom commands, and modified the input/output folders. However, it has everything needed to get up and running fast.

I skipped past the Hola, mundo! (Hello, world!) portion of the setup tutorial. Whenever I set out to build anything, I plan to dive headfirst into something a bit more complex. However, it never hurts to get the basics down to see how things work.

My style of programming is one built upon failure. I venture out with an idea, fail miserably, and continue learning from my mistakes. A short while later, I had a custom block type that showed a link back to a nested comment’s parent:

Comment parent link block.

While that was a success, I have learned that some other built-in editor components might make it even better.

That first block gave me a taste of modern development on WordPress. It was a relatively simple plugin to build, but it was easy to see how one could expand it out to more complex features.

The components system has grown into a robust and flexible toolset for developers over these last few years. Plus, the component-level documentation is well-rounded at this point, especially when pairing it with usage in the core code.

As I continued building new blocks, I started taking on more complex concepts. One of the things I needed to learn was how to interact with the core data layer. As I stepped into my third and fourth block types, I needed to query users and list them:

Listing users via an Authors block.

While there is a “basics” tutorial on working with core data, the reference guide was spotty in places. Some pieces even seemed to be missing altogether. Where were the advanced guides? I could not find any, and “doing stuff” with data is the meat of plugin development when you get beyond a few simple form fields.

I spent some time with the tried and true console.log() to figure out things and perused the core code. Eventually, I pushed through and built a couple of working projects.

Did my experience improve this time around compared to a year ago? Without a doubt, it did.

More than anything, I want to thank all the contributors to the Gutenberg project. The build tools and range of pre-built components are welcome for this developer who has spent most of his time in the PHP world. I always enjoy being able to pick up a toolset and start building with it right away. I am sure I have only glimpsed some of what is possible at this point, but I look forward to trying new things. As I grow more comfortable, maybe I will write some of those advanced tutorials that I believe are missing.

Post Status: WooCommerce Function of the Week: get_variation_prices

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 04/21/2022 - 22:39

Read the code with Rodolfo Melogli! This week in WooCommerce functions we're looking at get_variation_prices.

If you're a WooCommerce developer, variable products are always difficult to deal with. Manipulating them with code snippets or custom plugins is even tougher.

Today's core function (get_variation_prices) will definitely help you save time while working with prices, custom notices, conditional logic and such.

As usual, we'll study the function code, take a look at its usage, and finally analyze a case study that will come in useful sooner or later. Enjoy!

Function Code

You can find get_variation_prices under \woocommerce\includes\class-wc-product-variable.php:

/** * Get an array of all sale and regular prices from all variations. This is used for example when displaying the price range at variable product level or seeing if the variable product is on sale. * * @param bool $for_display If true, prices will be adapted for display based on the `woocommerce_tax_display_shop` setting (including or excluding taxes). * @return array Array of RAW prices, regular prices, and sale prices with keys set to variation ID. */ public function get_variation_prices( $for_display = false ) { $prices = $this->data_store->read_price_data( $this, $for_display ); foreach ( $prices as $price_key => $variation_prices ) { $prices[ $price_key ] = $this->sort_variation_prices( $variation_prices ); } return $prices; }

By reading the comments, we can see this function returns an array of prices for each variation for a product. This is handy — you don't need to loop over variations yourself!

It also mentions a parameter, $for_display, which if set to ‘true' can return prices according to the store's tax settings — including or excluding tax, based on whatever option you picked.

In the function code, we see two statements:

  1. read_price_data clearly gets prices [regular, sale and display] from all variation IDs.
  2. sort_variation_prices is not so clear — but it sorts the returned array from lowest to greatest price. This is helpful when you need to get the min or the max value, for example, as you can just read the first or the last array values!
Function Usage

As long as you have access to the $product global (in a product loop, on the single product page, in the admin, etc.), you can call get_variation_prices.

Of course, the product must be a variable one, otherwise the function will return an empty array. (Or maybe an error, who knows? Post a comment if you want to send me some feedback about this.)

To be sure we're on the single product page and I'm looking at a variable product, we can use the woocommerce_before_variations_form hook — evidently this triggers only there and then:

add_action( 'woocommerce_before_variations_form', 'bbloomer_get_variation_prices' ); function bbloomer_get_variation_prices() { global $product; echo '<pre>'; print_r( $product->get_variation_prices() ); echo '</pre>'; }


In the grey box (preformatted text thanks to the <pre> HTML tag), we find the get_variation_prices output: a multidimensional array with 3 keys (price, regular price, sale price) and array values (variation ID => price amount) sorted by price amount.

Super handy!

Lazy tip alert! You could even use get_variation_prices to simply get the variation IDs:

$output = $product->get_variation_prices(); $variation_ids = array_keys( $output['price'] );

Printed output for $variation_ids:

Case Study

Let's wrap up with a practical example.

Before customers choose the variation from the attribute dropdown/s, it would be awesome to show a notice to display the most convenient offer.

We could look, for example, at the variation that has the biggest discount, and entice users to add it to cart today.

We have access to regular prices and sale prices. Each of them are related to a variation ID. Here's the suggested implementation:

/** * @snippet Most convenient variation | WooCommerce Single Product * @how-to Get CustomizeWoo.com FREE * @author Rodolfo Melogli * @testedwith WooCommerce 6 * @donate $9 https://businessbloomer.com/bloomer-armada/ */ add_action( 'woocommerce_before_variations_form', 'bbloomer_most_convenient_variation' ); function bbloomer_most_convenient_variation() { global $product; $discount = array(); $output = $product->get_variation_prices(); foreach ( $output['sale_price'] as $variation_id => $sale_price ) { $regular_price = $output['regular_price'][$variation_id]; $discount[$variation_id] = ( $regular_price - $sale_price ) / $regular_price; } $most_conv_variation = array_search( max( $discount), $discount ); $variation = wc_get_product( $most_conv_variation ); echo '<div class="woocommerce-message">Save an amazing ' . max( $discount) . ' when you purchase ' . $variation->get_name() . '!</div>'; }

And here you go with the screenshot.

Of course, at least one variation must be on sale for the snippet to work. You could check if $product->is_on_sale() to make sure.

Let me know what you learn working with get_variation_prices in your own project!

WPTavern: WordPress Updates COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Events: Masks Strongly Recommended

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 04/21/2022 - 21:16

In-person WordPress events are ramping up again, with in-person meetups happening all over the world and WordCamps back on the schedule. A sampling of the upcoming major events include the following:

  • WordCamp Vienna, Austria (April 23, 2022)
  • WordCamp Irun (May 21–22, 2022)
  • WordCamp Europe (June 2–4, 2022)
  • WordCamp Warsaw, Poland (June 11–12, 2022)
  • WordCamp Montclair, (June 25, 2022)
  • WordCamp Netherlands (September 15–16, 2022)

WordPress’ Community Team published an updated set of COVID-19 guidelines today ahead of a the five WordCamps that will be happening over the next few months. There are a few notable changes from the previous guidelines, which mandated that organizers select a venue with staff that can check temperatures and vaccination status and remind attendees to wear masks. This removed the enforcement burden from volunteers.

The updated guidelines require organizers follow local guidelines, provide masks and hand sanitizer, and provide a sticker to attendees that indicates if they prefer others to wear a mask when conversing in close proximity.

The Community Team strongly recommended the following for attendees:

  • We still recommend that you wear a mask while at in-person WordPress events.
  • If you see that someone is wearing a sticker requesting people wear a mask near them, please wear a mask while within 6 feet (2 meters) of them or keep your distance.
  • A request that you only attend in-person if you are vaccinated or have recently tested negative.
  • Please stay at home if you are sick or have recently come in contact with someone who is ill.

Ten days prior to publishing the updated guidelines, the Community Team requested feedback in a post that asked the question, “What is keeping you from either organizing or attending an in-person event?

WordCamp Birmingham organizer Ryan Marks responded, saying his team was restricted from organizing in-person events (under the previous guidelines).

“My location doesn’t allow for the checking of vaccination status,” Marks said. “So we must answer yes to all of the In-person safety checklist items. It hasn’t been possible to answer yes to the first two questions yet.” The checklist required the area’s average positive case rate to average under 4% for 28 days, and to have under 50 new cases reported per 100,000 people for 14 days, among other requirements. 

Marks and his team were forced to postpone WordCamp Birmingham in January after Omicron hit Alabama and local infections began rising. The camp had previously been criticized for its initial masking policy, which stated “Masks are required for entry and preferred throughout the event.” This set off heated discussions on social media, where concerned community members condemned the gathering as “irresponsible.” The camp revised its masking guidelines to require masks indoors but ultimately had to postpone due to local conditions.

The updated guidelines from WordPress’ Community Team bear a striking similarity to WordCamp Birmingham’s original masking policy – if the local authorities do not have requirements in place, masks are optional but recommended. It has been well-documented that indoor masking can significantly reduce transmission, so the Community Team must have witnessed a major change in pandemic conditions to amend the guidelines to make them optional. With the exception of a handful of flagship events, WordPress has ultimately decided to leave the requirements to local authorities.

“As flagship events are larger and draw an international crowd, both WordCamp Europe and WordCamp US organizers were asked to view these as minimum requirements and are expected to have a more comprehensive plan in place,” WordPress community organizer Angela Jin said in today’s announcement.

WordCamp Europe will require masks indoors and social distancing at the speakers dinner. They are creating self-service registration booths and trying to put more activities, like WP Cafe, outdoors.

WordCamp US will be following San Diego’s local guidelines in September.

“We will require all attendees to be vaccinated or have recently tested negative,” Jin said. “Additionally, due to the size and nature of this event, masks will be required to be worn over both the mouth and nose while indoors. Hand sanitizer and masks will also be available and some activities, such as lunch, will be outdoors.”


Drupal Themes - Thu, 04/21/2022 - 20:37

This theme is designed for Cloud module, which is a sub-theme of Bootstrap 5.

  • Rigel is a sub-theme of Bootstrap 5.  To install, run:
    1. composer require drupal/rigel
    2. Enable this theme from Appearance on your site



Drupal Themes - Thu, 04/21/2022 - 20:37

This theme is designed for Cloud module, which is a sub-theme of Bootstrap 5.

  • Rigel is a sub-theme of Bootstrap 5.  To install, run:
    1. composer require drupal/rigel
    2. Enable this theme from Appearance on your site


Do The Woo Community: Build Your Developer Network, Career and Business

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 04/21/2022 - 09:00

Whether you are looking to grow or change your WordPress or WooCommerce development career, here are some tips from Marcus and Courtney.

The post Build Your Developer Network, Career and Business appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community.

WPTavern: A Pared Back Web Fonts API May Land in WordPress 6.0 or Not at All

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 04/21/2022 - 03:18

Anyone who has been watching or participating in the development of the web fonts API can attest that it has been an emotional rollercoaster. At one point, it seemed to be a shoo-in for WordPress 5.9. Then, it was punted to the next release. Sure that it was landing once again, we find ourselves looking down the track, wondering just where the next dip or twist will take us.

Over the weekend, I had a sense of dread. The WordPress 6.0 Beta 1 release last week felt premature. I am just as excited about the next major update as I have been about any before. There are tons of noteworthy features. It is OK for some of them to not be polished for a beta release, but the problem was the list of incomplete and missing pieces.

The decision to postpone the Post Author Name block left me scratching my head. It is an obvious pairing for the new Post Author Biography block and almost feels necessary for Author Template support.

The new Comments Query Loop block, a replacement for Post Comments, was missing vital features. Fortunately, most of those seemed squared away now.

Then, there was the web fonts API. I had not paid it much attention since its inclusion in Gutenberg 12.8 over a month ago. I was happy to see it merged and have used it ever since. However, there has been some trouble brewing that might spoil its inclusion in the 6.0 release. It was notably missing from the first beta, and there was no final decision on its status as Beta 2 rolled out yesterday. There are still several open, high-priority tickets for the API.

Each of the problematic features was tied to other highlights of the upcoming 6.0 release, and the web fonts API is intrinsically linked to what is, arguably, the crème de la crème of the bunch: global style variations.

First touted before the release of WordPress 5.9 and its accompanying default theme, global style variations would allow end-users to switch between pre-built “skins.” Twenty Twenty-Two would showcase the feature in all its wonder:

Potential variations on Twenty Twenty-Two.

However, the feature did not make the cut. That was OK because the web fonts API did not squeeze in either. These variations would allow theme authors to mix and match different colors, block styles, and fonts. Like a PB&J without the J, the global style variations feature is a fine meal in its own right, but fonts offer a variety of flavors that users deserve to taste. If we wait for some future release toward the end of the year, Twenty Twenty-Two might feel like old news by then.

After WordPress 6.0 Beta 2’s release, it has become crunch time for this long-awaited feature that standardizes how fonts are loaded in WordPress. One truth is almost set in stone: the complete API will be deferred to a future release. However, there is a sliver of hope for theme authors that a theme.json-only version will be available.

Tonya Mork has opened a ticket for paring down the feature to disallow programmatically registering and enqueueing fonts. Along with work by Ari Stathopoulos, the associated pull request on GitHub would still allow theme authors to define custom font-faces via theme.json and custom /styles/*.json files.

It is a compromise on a robust API that many have been waiting for, but it is necessary. Yet, there are still no guarantees, and the patch needs testing from theme authors sooner rather than later.

As much as I want the web fonts API to land in 6.0, I would be remiss to not point out that April 12, the release date of Beta 1, was the “effective feature freeze.” Essentially, this is the deadline for new features for the release cycle.

Having these deadlines in place is not arbitrary. They give time for users to test and report bugs. They allow theme and plugin developers to make sure their extensions are working. When new features start landing in Beta 3 and Release Candidates, it can sometimes be a mad scramble to catch up in an already fast-paced cycle.

At a certain point, WordPress must abide by its own rules. Otherwise, it feels like some pet features get a pass where others might not.

The web fonts API is one of those things I would not mind breaking the rules for. My only argument is that it is such an integral piece of global style variations that I cannot imagine having one and not the other. Derailing this now will set a lot of possible theme advancements back for months as developers wait for the 6.1 release.

WPTavern: DuckDuckGo and Brave Move to Bypass Google AMP Pages by Default

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 04/21/2022 - 00:48

Yesterday both DuckDuckGo and the Brave browser announced they will be bypassing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in favor of serving publishers’ content on the original URL.

Brave is calling the new feature “De-AMP.” In cases where it’s not possible to rewrite the URLS, the browser will watch as pages are fetched and redirect users, while preventing AMP code from being loaded and executed.

“AMP harms users’ privacy, security and internet experience, and just as bad, AMP helps Google further monopolize and control the direction of the Web,” Brave Privacy engineer Shivan Sahib said.

Brave is also working on a “debouncing” feature to protect its users against bounce tracking. It detects when a user is about to be passed through to a known tracking domain and skips the tracking site, delivering the user directly to the intended destination. This is currently available in the nightly version of Brave.

De-AMP is available in the Nightly and Beta versions of the browser and will be turned on by default in the next official release for desktop and Android, with a debut on iOS following after.

Shortly after Brave published its announcement, DuckDuckGo tweeted that its apps and extensions now also support bypassing AMP pages in favor of the publisher’s original URL.

“AMP technology is bad for privacy because it enables Google to track users even more (which is already a ton),” DuckDuckGo tweeted. “And, Google uses AMP to further entrench its monopoly, forcing the technology on publishers by prioritizing AMP links in search and favoring Google ads on AMP pages.”

AMP technology is bad for privacy because it enables Google to track users even more (which is already a ton).

And, Google uses AMP to further entrench its monopoly, forcing the technology on publishers by prioritizing AMP links in search and favoring Google ads on AMP pages.

— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) April 19, 2022

Firefox has not announced plans to begin rerouting AMP pages, but Firefox users interested in having this feature can use the Redirect AMP to HTML add-on. Daniel Aleksandersen, the add-on’s creator, developed it to “keep the web decentralized” and deny information to “search engines that want to take control over the web.” It is used by more than 5,800 Firefox users.

Large publishers have been moving away from AMP after Google stopped requiring the framework for placement in its Top Stories carousel. The Wall Street Journal reports that Vox Media LLC (Verge, Vox and New York Magazine), Buzzfeed’s Complex Networks (Complex and Sole Collector), and BDG (parent company of Bustle, Gawker, Nylon and W.), have all begun testing or considering leaving AMP in favor of their own mobile-optimized pages. The Washington Post abandoned AMP in 2021. The publications’ executives anticipate that leaving AMP will give them more control over their mobile pages, ad formats, better prices for their ad space, and a better chance for paywalled sites to grow their subscriber bases.

Media executives now have a clearer picture of how Google intends to benefit from AMP after the DOJ’s unredacted complaint revealed that AMP pages brought 40% less revenue to publishers. The December 2020 lawsuit referenced internal documents obtained from Google showing that AMP’s speed benefits “were also at least partly a result of Google’s throttling. Google throttles the load time of non-AMP ads by giving them artificial one-second delays in order to give Google AMP a ‘nice comparative boost.‘”

In the wake of these revelations, and AMP no longer being required for the Top Stories carousel, publishers who adopted AMP, often at an enormous cost to themselves, are venturing out to see if they can better monetize their sites.

If you are one of the 500,000+ publishers who have invested in using the official AMP plugin for WordPress, it’s important to know that not all visitors will see AMP pages. The plugin’s Standard mode has only one theme that serves requests to a single AMP version of the website. As anti-AMP sentiment grows, and more apps, browsers, search engines, and users adopt ways to block or bypass AMP pages, it will become increasingly more important to maintain the non-AMP version of a website alongside the AMP version.

Do The Woo Community: Three WooCommerce Tips for Simplifying the Complex

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 04/20/2022 - 15:12

Atarim Web Agency Summit speakers Maciek Palmowski, David Mainayar and Nev Harris share tips for WooCommerce agencies and freelancers.

The post Three WooCommerce Tips for Simplifying the Complex appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community.

WPTavern: #23 – Cate DeRosia Talks About Rethinking In-Person Events

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 04/20/2022 - 14:00

On the podcast today we have Cate DeRosia.

Cate is a familiar face in the WordPress community. Along with her husband, Topher, they run the HeroPress Network which aims to make it easy to find any and all WordPress related content. She describes herself as a ‘serial volunteer in the community’.

In early 2022 Cate was hired by Automattic to be a sponsored member of the Community Team, and it’s this role which finds her on the podcast today.

In-person events have been largely non-existent for the last two years. Many events have moved online and tried to keep the momentum going, but for some it’s just not the same. In-person events bring something unique to the table. There’s something special about interacting face to face; sharing ideas and friendship in a way that’s virtually impossible on a screen.

A few years ago if you were attending a WordPress Meetup or WordCamp it’s likely that you didn’t think too much about your safety at the event. You showed up, enjoyed the presentations and social spaces and then went home. But now we’re all changed. Now both attendees and organisers need to make sure that events are safe, that they are following local guidelines and have thought through all the consequences of gathering many people in one space.

It’s a lot to take on, but at the same time it’s a golden opportunity to imagine afresh what a WordCamp might be.

Cate wants to make this moment count, and she needs your help, your ideas.

On the podcast we talk about her ‘blue sky thinking’ post, which is a forum for people to engage with her and her team, so that events can be made different. What does the community of 2022 want from WordPress events? Are we happy with how things have always been done, or do we want something new, something different?

Cate talks about how your opinions are being gathered and how they can shape the future of WordPress events.

Useful links.

Return to In-Person Events: Blue Sky Thinking

Return to In-Person Events: Share Your Challenges

WP Briefing podcast. Episode 28: Coming to a WordCamp Near You: A Return to In-Person WP Events


[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 plugins, the blocks, the themes, and in this case, the future of in-person events.

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 WP tavern.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 keen to hear from you. And hopefully get you or your idea featured on the show. Head over to WP tavern.com forward slash contact forward slash jukebox and use the contact form there.

So on the podcast today, we have Cate DeRosia. Cate is a familiar face in the WordPress community. Along with her husband Topher they run the HeroPress Network, which aims to make it easy to find any and all WordPress related content. She describes herself as a serial volunteer in the community. In early 2022, KCate was hired by Automattic to be a sponsored member of the community team. And it’s this role, which finds her on the podcast today.

In-person events have been largely non-existent for the last two years. Many events have moved online and tried to keep the momentum going. But for some, it’s just not the same. In-person events, bring something unique to the table. There’s something special about interacting, face-to-face, sharing ideas and friendship in a way that’s virtually impossible on a screen.

A few years ago, if you were attending a WordPress meetup or WordCamp, it’s likely that you didn’t think too much about your safety at the event. You showed up, enjoyed the presentations and social spaces, and then went home. But now we’re all changed. Now both attendees and organizers need to make sure that the events are safe. That they are following local guidelines and have thought through all the consequences of gathering many people in one space.

It’s a lot to take on, but at the same time, it’s a golden opportunity to imagine afresh what a WordCamp might be. Cate wants to make this moment count, and she needs your help. Your ideas. On the podcast today, we talk about her blue sky thinking post, which is a forum for people to engage with her and her team, so that events can be made different.

What does the community of 2022 want from WordPress events? Are we happy with how things have always been done or do we want something new, something different? Cate talks about how your opinions are being gathered and how they can shape the future of WordPress events.

If you’re interested in finding out more, you can find all the links in the show notes by heading over to WP tavern.com forward slash podcast. Where you’ll also find all the other podcast episodes. And so, without further delay, I bring you Cate DeRosia.

I am joined on the podcast today by Cate DeRosia Hello Cate.

[00:03:56] Cate DeRosia: Hello, Nathan. It’s so nice to talk with you.

[00:03:58] Nathan Wrigley: And you too. Typically at the beginning of the podcast, just to give a bit of orientation we ask people to tell the listeners who they are and what their relationship is with WordPress. So I’m going to do the same thing. If you don’t mind Cate, just tell us a little bit about you and how it is that you’re appearing on a WordPress podcast.

[00:04:16] Cate DeRosia: That is a really excellent question. So I’ve been a serial volunteer in the community since about 2015. I really dove in deep there. I was transitioning away from homeschooling the girls to whatever I was going to do next with my life. My husband’s a veteran developer and had kind of made his home in WordPress.

And so it made sense for me, I have an English degree. I really love the soft side of business communications and community. And that was kind of lacking in WordPress at the time. And so I started looking around at things you could do, jobs you could have in WordPress that didn’t involve development or design.

And it was, it’s been a pretty interesting journey in kind of, invigorating for other people who have been in the community for a while and are looking for a change maybe. I’ve done a lot of freelance writing some community engagement, and then recently as of January, I was hired by Automattic to be a sponsored member of the community team.

And I couldn’t be more thrilled with that position. It really sets me up nicely to help the community. I’m also part of the Heropress project, which has been growing by leaps and bounds lately. We moved from our inspirational essays to a whole network of other services for the community, basically. So I’ve been very, very active for quite a while on the community side of WordPress.

[00:05:35] Nathan Wrigley: I think if it’s okay with you before we get into the main event of the podcast, the discussion that we’re going to have, I’d really be interested to know what the role that you’ve taken on at Automattic, what that involves. You said that it was community focused, but you able to just give us some kind of insight into the kind of thing that you are doing on a day-to-day basis to help swell and build that community?

[00:05:56] Cate DeRosia: Yeah, I’m really glad you asked because it’s a hidden job in a way. Aside from the fact that my benefits and paycheck come from Automattic, I don’t work for Automattic. I work exclusively for the WordPress community through.org. I’m on a team of eight, which actually just doubled. So at the beginning of the year, we brought on four new team members, including myself.

We handle all of the paperwork behind having an event. So all of the finances for WordCamps, every WordCamp comes through us. We vet organizers for both meetups and WordCamps. And we have these do action events, to make sure that they represent the WordPress community. That they’re somebody that you would feel comfortable having your work behind. We also then have room in our time, in our days to work on a variety of projects that are important to us. I’m currently one of the lead trio for WordCamp US, and I’m doing a lot of work in kind of reactivating our blogs, which is why we’re talking today.

I’m starting to use them more to create conversations with the community. To kind of bridge a gap that’s always been there. To help the community feel a little more, heard to give them an opportunity to share their opinions a little bit more. Others on my team are working with Jill Binder’s WP Diversity initiative, and bringing that more fully into the community.

Another one is highly active in translations and helping to get WordPress out in languages as possible. And then a fourth member of my team is excellent at documentation. And she’s been really going in and making it easier for people who want to organize an event to come on board and do that.

[00:07:30] Nathan Wrigley: That gives us a really perfect insight into why you’re talking today because the subject under discussion really is about the re-introduction of WordPress live events. Now I don’t suppose anybody needs to be told why we haven’t had live events for the last period of time. We haven’t. Several years have gone past, but it looks, at the time of recording, which is in April, 2022, it looks as if the world is settling down and considering going back to in-person events. And so that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. We’re going to be talking about some of the questions Cate is posing to the community, and ways that you can help answer those questions and give Cate and her team insights into what the future of WordPress events might look like.

Just before we get into that, just wondering if you could illustrate for us what it is that you think the world has been missing over the last couple of years. We know that we did our best. We went online and probably of any community on the planet, we were able to make that pivot. We had the technology and the websites and the infrastructure, good to go. But nevertheless, after a couple of years, I think it’s fair to say that people, given the chance, many of them would prefer to go back to real world events. And I’m just wondering, perhaps we could take this in the broad sweep, any ideas that you’ve had from friends, but maybe it’s a personal story. What do you think we’ve been missing ever since in-person events got pulled?

[00:09:03] Cate DeRosia: You know, I love that question and it’s been on my mind since Topher and I had the opportunity to go to The State of the Word, in New York for HeroPress. Backing up a little bit, if there hadn’t been online events when I was getting started in WordPress, I would have had a really hard time getting started.

I was still being a full-time mom. I didn’t have a job, so I didn’t have a budget for travel. We were always a single income family, so there wasn’t extra money for anything. And so if I hadn’t been able to attend some things virtually, I wouldn’t have been able to learn as much as I did and have the start that I had.

And it’s an introvert myself, that always seemed like a good fit. You know, I liked having online events where I could just listen and learn from. But as we’ve gone through the pandemic and the real isolation that comes from being really cut off from people, you start to see how important it is to be able to see somebody’s face when you’re talking to them. A lot of trust is built in the non-verbals, and so it matters a lot to be able to sit down across from somebody and see what they’re really saying, not just the words that are coming out of their mouth.

But even beyond that, I was thinking about like, why did we go to New York? There are 50 of us that went there for the State of the Word, because I could sit at home and watch the State of the Word. I didn’t have to fly. I didn’t have to risk my health. You know, I didn’t have to do that. And I realized that it’s not the event itself, and you hear this a lot. The hallway track is the, you know, the thing everybody loves about a WordCamp. But why? And it’s because it’s a place where the other things get discussed.

When you’re sitting around a table with somebody and you’ve been there for an hour. You moved away from the conference talk completely, and have started brainstorming. You’ve started looking at your business from a different perspective. You’re thinking about community from a different perspective. There’s conversations flowing around you and you pick up these little bits and pieces that you don’t even know you’re going to use, but eventually down the road, you’re like, oh, Hey, I remember this person’s good at that thing, because I heard them talking about it over here. And it wasn’t even a conversation you were involved in and sometimes it completely revolutionizes your life. And so it’s never one thing that makes in-person events so important, but it’s like those little tiny bits and pieces of things that you can’t get unless you’re in a relaxed environment where you can just talk to each other.

[00:11:33] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, that’s a really interesting insight because many people might think that the sessions themselves are the thing. Many people clearly talk about the hallway track and, maybe people are talking about the after party and things like that, but the whole range of different things going on, and, I’ve heard that same emotion, that same idea expressed by several people.

It’s the thousands of little, small interactions that occur in unexpected places when you’re just wandering around the corridors that seem to make great big difference. You described a minute ago that you were not in a position at the beginning of your WordPress journey to go to the real events. And so obviously you were happy with the online events. Have you had any experiences more recently where you’ve become a little bit fatigued by those?

Do you still attend them with the same alacrity that you used to, or do you find yourself perhaps not attending as much because it’s become a little bit, how should we say, a little bit tired and it’s the same thing potentially over and over again.

[00:12:35] Cate DeRosia: Yeah. So I would say that in the last two years, I have attended one online event and it wasn’t any of the ones I organized. I was online for both WordFests, through both of them. But the only WordCamp event I attended was the one where my girls played, they did some music for it.

And part of it’s because I’ve reached a spot where I do go to events purely to meet people. And it’s really a challenge online. But also you know, when you sit in front of your computer all day and then want to go to an event on a weekend that involves sitting in front of your computer, again, it doesn’t have the same change of life that going to an in-person event has. It’s just exhausting.

[00:13:25] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, good point, and I’m sure one that many people can identify with. So we’re going to change gears a little bit, and we’re going to introduce a post that Cate wrote on the 23rd of March. It’s called return to in-person events, blue sky thinking. You can find it on the make.wordpress.org channel, but for simplicity sake, just go to the post associated with this and I’ll put the link in there, and you can find it from there.

But the intention of this is you would like to offer up a brainstorming opportunity to people, so that in the future, we’ve got some fresh ideas about how WordCamps and other WordPress meetups and so on might look. And it’s kind of based on the fact that, according to people such as yourself, I know you’ve recently written a more recent posts, which again, I’ll link to in the show notes, but there’s a piece of linked in the article from Andrea Middleton, in which she emphasizes that we probably are different as a species for want of a better word. We have been changed entirely by the last couple of years. And so if that is the case and we’ve got different expectations and we’ve got different, maybe we’ve got different concerns about the kind of situations we’re willing to put ourselves in, then we need to rethink what a WordCamp might look like. We could put the old WordCamp back together, but perhaps this is a fantastic opportunity to rejig it a little bit. Have I summarize that correctly or did I miss the target or perhaps just left something out?

[00:15:01] Cate DeRosia: I am delighted to say that you got it pretty much exactly, like what we’re looking for. So the community team is made up of community organizers. And so we have our own reasons, I’m a meetup organizer, as well as part of the organizing team for WordCamp US. I know what’s keeping me from organizing WordCamps. We’re not doing a local WordCamp this year.

And our meetup hasn’t started meeting a person again, even though our community’s fairly healthy and low on COVID at the moment. So I know what my reasons are, but that’s very limiting, you know, we don’t want to operate off of just what we know. We want to open it up to hear what other people know too. The reason that I did two posts, the first one is a brainstorming post. If you’re an organizer and you have ideas on how to restart your event, or how do you know how somebody could restart their event, please put them down, even if you touch more on pain points than actual answers, we want to hear what you’re thinking and where you’re hurting.

The other post is purely for pain points and open to the entire community. Both posts have the same goal of getting more people talking about the topic. Cause we’re just, we’re so much richer together. The ideas that I have can be good ideas, but they’re still limited by my experience and my perception. Other people, and you can see from the list of answers, like there are no two answers that are the same on the posts so far. And it’s just great to see the directions people approach the question from, and the ideas that they throw out.

[00:16:25] Nathan Wrigley: This I think is the first podcast episode that I’ve done for WP Tavern where there really is an actual call to action, because I think the nature of this episode is that we’re hoping, if anybody is thinking about running an event or they have an opinion on how events should be in the future, we are encouraging you to find the link in the show notes and go to Cate’s posts and give her some feedback, because as we’ve just both said, the world has changed and we want to take this opportunity. It’s almost like phoenix from the flames kind of thing. Isn’t it? You know, we’ve got this opportunity to revitalize and build from the ground up. Whilst you were talking just then I was going through in my mind some of the friends that I have in the real world and some of the differences that I’ve noticed in them over the last two years. And it may be in the case of some people that I know that they are now less likely to leave their own home. You know, they try to do everything in a much more confined way. They leave and try to achieve four things in one outing from the house, as opposed to one outing.

I have other friends who are just desperate everything, to return to normal and be able to throw all of the, all of the restrictions and everything over their shoulder and leave this whole thing behind. And there are other people who may be somewhere in the middle, you know, they’ve got a cautionary approach and some things they want to be mindful of and other things not.

And so it’s with that opinion that we’re going into this, and you’ve got three goals. It would be silly if I said what they were, maybe it’s best if I hand that to you.

[00:17:52] Cate DeRosia: Yeah we want the meetup organizers to feel supported, because we all know that even though we’re coming out of COVID, I’m exhausted. I mean I’ve been trying to keep a family safe. Running a business and all the other things that happen, you know, we’re all tired if nothing else. And so meetup organizers are, to ask them to do one more thing, we’re looking to ease that as best we can. But like you said, the people that we’re trying to help, they’re different. They’re reasonably scared. They’re nervous about being back out around people. Maybe they’ve got particular health reasons that make it more challenging. So we need to be supporting the organizers as well as the attendees.

And hopefully through brainstorming with the community, which is the third point, we can come up with some new and creative ways to make this easier for everybody. But if we don’t like, if the organizers don’t feel supported and the attendees don’t feel safe, then nobody’s going to come back together again.

[00:18:47] Nathan Wrigley: The purpose of this is that you want ideas and let’s go through a few of the different ideas that we’ve had so far. The ideas are being shared in the form of comments at the bottom of the posts in a sort of typical WordPress fashion. Do you just want to go through a few of the pieces that you’ve picked up on that were quite interesting?

And the idea here is I guess to illustrate that, as you said, none of them are the same. Everybody seems to have a different expectation of what they would like to change. And some of them were really curious to me as I read through them. I genuinely thought that never would have occurred to me. So let’s just share, go through a few of those.

[00:19:25] Cate DeRosia: Sure. Yeah. You know, we’ve been talking more and more about diversity in the community and well, that doesn’t necessarily fit, it may not have been something we had on our mind when this post came out. Hearing other people talk about how adding diversity options to our meetups can help people feel more safe and comfortable, that definitely is right on topic. And so it wasn’t a direction we expected anybody to come from, but we’re really happy to get that feedback from them. Another post talks about reusing talks that have happened at other WordCamps or at other meetups.

Our meetup is small here in Grand Rapids, and we started before the pandemic bringing in virtual speakers because that, not that we didn’t have speakers who were willing, but it was kind of always the same people feeling like they had to speak. And so to bring more diversity, more variety to our topics, we started bringing in the virtual speakers and you can do that over prerecorded talk from somebody else or from a different WordCamp. And so those are the kinds of ideas, like looking at content that we already have, that we can reuse. I’m talking about, what resources can we provide if they can make this easier for them.

[00:20:33] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, you mentioned diversity. Somebody mentioned the idea that maybe going forwards, it would be a good idea to not have a single individual in charge of any event no matter how small or large it might be. The idea of teaming up with people, that speaks very much to the, you know, you’ve said earlier that you were exhausted off the back of this, maybe spreading that load slightly.

I don’t know how don’t know how easy that is I’m not entirely sure what the sense of wishing to be an organizer is these days. I don’t know if the desire to organize these kinds of events has gone down because of the pandemic or there’s more people trying to get involved in there, but I do also like the idea of the one that you just shared in terms of people reusing content.

That just strikes me as such a sensible idea. If somebody over in on Australian meetup has created a piece of content and it’s already there and it’s perfectly usable. In fact, it might be utterly brilliant. Why not just repurpose it and have it say in Birmingham or Manchester or Los Angeles or wherever it might be. And in that way, we can share that content rather than it being viewed by the 40 people who showed up to that event on that particular date and time. That’s a really powerful one I think.

[00:21:43] Cate DeRosia: Yeah, exactly. The initial one you shared goes back to something that you mentioned earlier, but we’re really looking at rethinking how meetups are structured. And in reality, I think it’s more of a communicating with the community about how meetups are intended to be structured.

They aren’t necessarily supposed to have a single organizer. They’ve kind of fallen into, I don’t want to say a rut, but kind of a pattern of you have a meetup and it has a speaker and you know, and that’s what that month is like. When in reality any person in the meetup can organize an event that can just be coffee or coworking. And so we have plans in the works to start reminding people that there are other alternatives to what a meetup can look like or who can organize an event. And we’re hoping that will help with growing co-organizers, which is another response on the post as well.

And then also move into the idea of repurposing content or like using some of the new Learn content that’s been coming out, that’s structured nicely for meetups, but just getting some new ideas on what a meetup needs to look like.

[00:22:46] Nathan Wrigley: There seems to be a concern in some of them, although it’s not explicitly stated, it’s kind of implied in a few of the comments that you’ve got, that there’s concern around the size of the audience and the size of the pool of people who are going to be willing to do events in the future.

And I just wonder, do you have concerns about that? Do you have concerns that in the future, these events are going to reopen only to find that less people are getting there. If that’s the case, and that is something we need to worry about because people have got into the habit of not attending, or maybe they’re just new to the community over the last couple of years, and they simply don’t know that these things ever existed. And if that’s the case, how do we find them? How do we tell them that these events are going on? And there’s a, there’s a few answers to that in there as well.

[00:23:32] Cate DeRosia: That’s a great point. That’s a great kind of side effect to come out of the post, is seeing what those additional concerns are. You know, maybe it’s not as focused around content for their meetup, but how do you get people involved? And so those are areas that we can continue to address as well.

I think it’s important to remember that it’s not a contest. If you’ve got three people who have gathered to learn, then that’s two people that didn’t gather before. And it doesn’t have to be big to be successful. Growing a community can start in a lot of little ways that you know, if you’re helping the people that want to be helped, that’s what matters most.

But also starting to look at what our community looks like because as more people go online with their jobs as they look at career transitions and now is a huge time for career transitions. You’ve got younger people coming in, but you’ve also got older people coming in. My parents’ generation who are retiring, but have computer skills and are excited about starting their next business or, you know, their third business. It’s important to think about your community, the makeup of it in different ways.

[00:24:37] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, that was another one that came out which I found quite curious. This idea that it would be a good opportunity to attract age groups at the end of the spectrum at both ends. So a great opportunity to reach out to new people who probably don’t really know too much about these WordPress events. Maybe they’re students and they’re fresh out of college.

And this would be a great moment to get them involved. And maybe not only will they become part of the community, but they might wish to take on some of the responsibility for organizing events like this, but also, and this really hadn’t occurred to me, forgive my ignorance here, the older end of the spectrum, the idea that there’s probably a lot of people out there who would welcome an event as friendly and as interesting as a WordCamp and tapping into that resource as well.

[00:25:25] Cate DeRosia: Yeah, one of the problems that we had specifically in our meetup is we were all kind of the same age, and Topher and I of course had children kind of early for nowadays. But as our friends were starting to have their children, it gets hard to balance family and meetup and job, and all the other responsibilities that you have. So having a meetup group that is made up of a variety of different ages and life points, or, you know, places where you are in your life, can be really useful to you because you do have those people who are young and enthusiastic or are established and, and reliable, or, you know, young and reliable established, and enthusiastic. However you want to look at it.

The whole community benefits from having people who are at different stages of their life. I know for me, I’ve actually had more experience meeting people and maybe it’s because I’m a little bit older, but meeting people who are on their second stage journey and are embracing WordPress for all that it has to offer. They have a little more disposable income. They have a little more life experience, and they’re often excited to be starting something new.

[00:26:31] Nathan Wrigley: I guess it was obvious that some people were going to put comments in about COVID itself and the restrictions around that, and that’s going to be a big concern for people in terms of, what will the restrictions be? What will the regulations be? Masking perhaps, and so on.

And somebody mentioned, and I hadn’t come across this idea, but they mentioned that this is happening in other real world events that people are wearing what we in the UK called badges, but I believe you called buttons, a little visual emblem to show some sort of status in terms of what you would like people, how you would like people’s behavior to be toward you, perhaps social distancing. You’re wearing a yellow or an orange badge or something, and that, the implication of that is I need to be kept away from, I would like that to be a distance between me and other people. I found that really interesting as well, ways to assuage people’s fear about COVID. So anything like that, they could get in touch with you and say as well?

[00:27:26] Cate DeRosia: Yeah, absolutely. And something we’re looking at, particularly as we go into WordCamp US. From a personal level, I love this idea. Whether it’s during a pandemic or just any regular event. I grew up Midwestern here in the U S and hugging was never not an option, like, you just hugged everybody.

Like that’s what you did. And so it’s actually been kind of a revelation for me that you don’t have to hug everybody. And kind of freeing kind of strange to say at 45. Not everybody likes to be touched the same way. Not everybody wants to seem interaction. And so to be more, yes, it’s coming out of the pandemic, but I think it’s a good thing to come out of the pandemic where we can, just like we’re embracing people’s pronouns, we can embrace their space restrictions as well.

[00:28:11] Nathan Wrigley: We had a podcast episode several weeks ago with some people off the WordCamp Europe team. And they had gone to great lengths. We didn’t really get into the subject of how they had arrived at the decisions, which is basically what we’re talking about today. We’re providing, or you are Cate providing a, how we can do things in the future.

That was more of an explanation of just what is happening at WordCamp Europe. And that didn’t come up in our conversation, but it was pretty clear that they’d gone to great lengths to figure out how they could make it as safe as possible. So masks at all times, testing available and all the eating and the dining and all of that. The socializing is going to be outside and it’s happens to be in Portugal, so the weather is going to be fairly predictable and reliable. So that’s kind of good.

But the fact is all of this needed to be thought about, and we can inject more thoughts if we come along and contribute to your post. You called it blue sky thinking are you really going for that? Is it literally just throw any idea at us and let’s see? Obviously there’s constraints about being ridiculous or possibly, you know, rude or what have you but, you’re just after anything. Give us any ideas, let’s see. Maybe there’s a gem in there. There’s a needle in a haystack that we hadn’t thought about.

[00:29:27] Cate DeRosia: Yeah. You know, that’s exactly it. So yes, it’s a blue sky thinking. Can we act and actually implement every idea that comes across from the post? No, we can’t do that. We can’t give everybody a safety bubble that they can wear at each camp. That would be super fun, but it’s not going to happen.

We can’t make it perfect for everybody, but you never know what part of an idea might come out of a suggestion that was made that seemed completely farfetched. That is actually revolutionary, and it changes how we all operate. So we don’t want to put limits on people. You have to be friendly. You have to be polite to the people around you, but beyond that, we really want to hear your ideas. If you think that it would be useful to a meetup or a WordCamp organizer, let us hear about it because, who knows?

[00:30:12] Nathan Wrigley: Coincidentally. Maybe it wasn’t. So coincidentally, I don’t know. But similar time, Josepha Hayen Chomphosy, who’s the executive director of the WordPress project. She put out a podcast episode on her WP Briefing podcast. Again, I’ll link to that in the show notes, where she illustrated that there are now some mandatory guidelines, Anybody wanting to organize an event over 50 people, basically it can be the local guidelines. If there’s any extra guidelines on top of the WordPress guidelines, you’ve got to follow all of those. And in some cases it might be that you may need to do testing.

And in which case, if you’re doing testing, you have to make sure that there’s boots on the ground and staff available to make that happen. There’s a little bit more to it than that. It’s a little bit more complicated, but I just wondered if, in the future, you had any thoughts on whether these events are going to be more complicated to organize.

And so whilst we’ve got the blue sky thinking on the one hand, on the other hand, we have the difficult reality that we have to actually manage this stuff and not everything can be lovely. Some of it is going to be a slog. Some of it’s going to be difficult to implement. And in some cases it might be disappointing because you may get to the point where you are days away from having an event and the guidelines change locally, you have to pull it.

So I guess we’ve got to be just a bit mindful haven’t we? Over on the one side, it’s all roses and the sun is shining and then possibly on the other hand, there is a slightly more gloomy side that we probably should talk about briefly.

[00:31:47] Cate DeRosia: Yeah. I think it’s really important. I mean, this happened to WordCamp Birmingham and our restrictions don’t match their local restrictions. And it’s been a challenge for them. They haven’t been able to restart planning their WordCamp until the current WordPress COVID guidelines change.

And it’s something that is in talks. You know, we know that it will be flexible in that they will change again in the future. But we’re also being cautious. When you have a huge global community with people who range from incredibly healthy to potentially invalids at home, you have to really measure what inclusivity looks like and try to hit kind of a middle point where people feel reasonably safe, organizers feel reasonably supported, but it also realistically fits what a group can manage.

And it’s a very difficult balance to try to find. One of the, one of our biggest concerns and one reasons that we’ve erred on the side of being a little more conservative, a little bit more strict with our guidelines is we don’t ever want an organizer to feel responsible for the health of their community.

Like we’re trying to take that burden kind of on ourselves so that when an organizer acts they’re acting because that’s what WordCamp Central told them to do. Any errors on the side of a healthier community instead of a together community.

[00:33:11] Nathan Wrigley: You mentioned at the start that you obviously want everybody to get involved in your post. And again, once again, I’ll just illustrate that the post is available at the make dot wordpress dot org site. And once again, I’ll say that the links are in the show notes. More broadly if somebody has listened to this and just thought, oh boy, I really quite like to get involved in some of these events.

Do you have any pointers, any guidance for people? Where would be their first port of call if they wish to involved in a local meetup or a more global meetup. Where would you point people?

[00:33:48] Cate DeRosia: Sure. If you’re looking to get involved, you can go to meetup.com and search for WordPress, and you’ll find all of the ones that are in your area. You can also find all of the ones and most of them still have a virtual element, so you can get involved in meetups across the world, which is kind of a really great thing that came out of the pandemic, is a huge opportunity for, you know, all of those barriers to go away and to really grow the global community.

It did make it a little more challenging, to grow the local communities, but the global ones are easier. If you’re looking to actually organize, you can head over to wordpress.org and there are a variety of handbooks. You can search for, you know, meetup organizer or a WordCamp organizer, and look through the handbook and see what’s just involved in organizing these different events.

[00:34:33] Nathan Wrigley: Cate on a personal level, what’s the best way that people could communicate with you, should they have listened to this and think, actually I want to go straight to Cate. That could be email or Twitter or whatever you feel most comfortable with.

[00:34:45] Cate DeRosia: I’m on Twitter, at my sweet Cate and that’s Cate with a C because it is. So you can also find me on Twitter at my sweet Cate. I am on LinkedIn. I rarely Facebook, so that’s really not a good place to find me. If you want to send me an email, Cate at HeroPress dot com is a good one.

And I’m always really happy to hear from the community. You know, if you’ve got a question, I always try to answer it because there’s nothing like trying to find information and having somebody just ghost you.

[00:35:11] Nathan Wrigley: I hope that this podcast episode has managed to get people to go and offer some blue sky thoughts. It will be open for the next few days. I’m not a hundred percent sure exactly how many days between the date this podcast goes out and when you’re going to be really gathering up those comments and examining them, but they’ll certainly be a period of time after this podcast comes out.

So let’s hope that this podcast prompts a few people to wander over there and give you their comments. Okay Cate, thank you so much for talking to me today on the podcast.

[00:35:40] Cate DeRosia: Hey, thanks, Nathan. I really appreciate you giving us a platform to talk about this, to help get people feeling more comfortable and safe and heard. Cause they really matter to us.

[00:35:50] Nathan Wrigley: You are most welcome. Thank you.