Category Archives: WordPress

Practical information about the platform.

Adding Medium’s Most Popular Features to WordPress: New at WPMU

I’ve got a new post up at the WPMU blog: How to Add Medium’s Most Popular Features to WordPress. In this story, you’ll learn about themes and plugins that can make your WordPress site look a bit like Medium, and aim to replicate some of their sharing features. Medium itself offers a WordPress plugin that will allow this post to appear on its platform (click the link below to see it). You may see more of those tools, or at least the effects of same, here in the coming weeks.

Logos for Medium.com

It seems like I’m now on a tear comparing these two platforms (see my last two posts). But this is a pretty important issue, to my mind, for the reasons laid out on those last two posts.  But then there’s this idea of Medium’s being just easier than WordPress for everyday, non technically oriented writers. That’s not entirely wrong, but perhaps the real consideration is that Medium isn’t sure what their future looks like, either. That’s the nature of a for-profit startup that doesn’t make money.  As free software effectively owned by its community, WordPress’ future stretches as long into the future that people want to use it.

You have to make your own decisions, of course. If you have questions, feel free to comment here, or fill out the contact form for a private conversation.

What do you like about Medium? What do you like about WordPress? Is there a love/hate relationship with either site (or both)? All worth thinking about — and discussing.

New at WPMU: Building WordPress on Docker

Hey all, Docker logoI have a new story up at WPMU.org: “A Guide to Building WordPress on Docker for Windows, Linux and OS X.” If you’re a developer interested in testing new themes or plugins, Docker is a great way to set up a test environment.

As the title suggests, the post covers the process for getting things going on Windows, Linux and Mac. I walk you through, step by step, mostly using the command line.

Writing this was fun, as was the research going into it. I’m interested in knowing what you think of the story. Comment here, or (even better) on WPMU.

I’ve got some other news to share with you, but it will have to wait until the New Year… in the meantime, I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season, whatever you’re celebrating.

WordCamp Milwaukee: Learning from WordPress Sites

 

I am excited to report that I will be speaking at WordCamp Milwaukee 2016 next weekend, on Saturday, September 17.

I’m even more excited about my selected topic: Learning from the WordPress Sites. This is an update of a presentation I made at the first WordCamp Milwaukee back in 2012, but it’s far from a repeat.

When you’re first starting out with WordPress, you can be surprised with how easy it is to get up and running. You can also be intimidated with all the power you have at your disposal. One of the best ways to gain confidence with the platform is by spending time learning more about WordPress. WordPress.com and WordPress.org are nearly always the best place to start doing that.

Why I love WordCamps

I love tech conferences for a variety of reasons, and WordCamps are no exception. These are some of the reasons why, in no particular order:

  • Variety of smart, funny and fun people: Nearly everyone is approachable, and WordPress people are communicators. Did I mention the Saturday night party?
  • I can teach and learn in equal measure: While I’ve given a talk at every WordCamp Milwaukee I’ve attended (I missed it last year), I always come away with more useful information.
  • Immersion in WordPress: While you don’t necessarily have to do this at WordCamp, I enjoy spending time thinking mostly about one primary topic.

Why you should come

Tickets for WordCamp Milwaukee are still available. If you’re on the fence, here are some reasons to go.

You think you know a lot about WordPress: There’s always more to learn in the Advanced Track. Maybe you’ll find inspiration for what you want to teach at future WordCamps.

You’re tired of “just blogging”: Find out who you can turn your WordPress blog into a full-blown website in the Intermediate Track.

You’re just starting out: Have you ever been to a home improvement show? WordCamps are like that — you leave with a pile of ideas for what you can do with your home on the web, especially if you follow the Beginner’s Track. PS, if you’re just starting out, you really need to come to my session!

You blog on another platform: You can often learn about SEO techniques that help you find an audience for your work, or a bigger one than you already have. There are design tips galore that apply to any website. OK, you may also get some nudging about why you’re better off on another, more free, platform.

Here’s the full schedule!

Need more reasons? Carrie Dils wrote a WordCamp Survivor’s Guide a couple of years ago that stands up quite nicely.

Hope to see you on Saturday. Be sure to say ‘hi!’