Author Michael McCallister
Author Michael McCallister

Hi! I’m Michael McCallister, but you can call me Mike. I write about technology, software, and the open Internet from the viewpoint of the user.

Do you (or your readers) want

  • to get more out of WordPress and the open Web? I co-authored WordPress in Depth and currently write for WPMUDev. I built this site myself, with the incredible assistance of the global WordPress and IndieWeb communities. I can help you too.
  • better access to the power of Linux and free, open source software? I’ve been running Linux since 2000 and wrote openSUSE Linux Unleashed. I can help.
  • a better understanding of modern social media and building a writer (or business) platform? I co-authored Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules. I can help.

I believe that personal computing and the internet are the most powerful tools ever developed to empower people and advance democracy. Click the Metaverse tab above to see Notes from the Metaverse, where I offer news and analysis of these topics. I’ve spent the last few decades learning to master these tools, and helping others to do the same. If you find it interesting, please Follow!

Click the links to learn more about me and my life, buy my books, and read some thoughts on the writing life. You may see some additional tweaks of the site in the coming days. If you’re missing something you think should be here, do say hello!

 

Also on:

WPMUDev published my latest story, “Progressive Web Apps: How They’ll Change Your WordPress Business.” If you’ve ever thought that you really should make your website more mobile-friendly, but thought that was too expensive, or too much work, I give you some reasons to change your mind.

Mobile Web This story is less about WordPress than an argument for more website owners and devs to build progressive web apps, especially for their mobile users. I’m now working on a sequel to help developers build PWAs with WordPress.

A lively discussion has ensued in the comments section. This warms my heart.

Speaking of which: What would you like to know about progressive web apps? Is this another flash-in-the-pan technology? What’s your biggest peeve with the web on your phone or tablet?

Comment here, or at WPMUDev.

Also on:

I’ve got a new tutorial on Elasticsearch up at WPMUDev. If your WordPress site is incredibly large, and your users complain about it being difficult to use search to find things, this cloud-based search tool can speed things up.

You’ll learn how to set up Elasticsearch and configure two plugins (ElasticPress and Fantastic Elasticsearch) to connect your site to the search engine.

Using Local by Flywheel

Preparing tutorials and plugin reviews like this one can be hard, what with switching things in and out to see what works, and how. I’ve been using the new free development site builder from hosting company Flywheel, called Local. They use VirtualBox to create a virtual machine for WordPress. After installation, you can set up any number of WordPress sites. Big plus: When you launch any of your configured sites in a browser, you login with the credentials you provide to Local. When you’re done with your testing, just delete the site and get on with your next project.

Local is an interesting product and easy to play with. While it really was created for plugin developers to see how their tools work in a real environment, it’s good for folks like me who like to test a variety of other people’s themes and plugins too.

LocalFlywheel.png
Setting up WordPress test sites is easy with Local by Flywheel

By the way, I’m always looking for new WordPress story ideas. If there’s something you’d like to learn about WordPress, leave a public comment here or use the Contact page to connect privately. I aim to answer all emails I get through the website.