Tag Archives: WordPress

New at WPMUDev: Previewing WordPress HelpHub

Hey folks, my latest WPMUDev blog story posted over the weekend. It’s a summary and preview of HelpHub, the upcoming home for WordPress.org’s user documentation site.

WordPress logo blue
WordPress logo blue (Wikipedia)

I really enjoyed writing this, as it combines two of my primary interests, WordPress and technical communication. I also got to poke around both the Documentation team’s area on Make.WordPress, and its Slack channel. Yes, I somehow found that fun.

What is HelpHub?

HelpHub has been in the pipeline as a potential replacement for the WordPress Codex since 2015, and the project is (at last) nearing the finish line. The hope is that HelpHub is more like other knowledge bases, a bit more useful to the average WordPress user, and will be easier to search.

The HelpHub Staging site
The HelpHub Staging site

The team could always use some help, so if you have some technical writing skills (and I know you’re reading this!) and some volunteer time to share, click that Documentation Team link in the second paragraph.

I am looking forward to seeing this new documentation site go live in 2018, even if I’ll miss the Codex just a little bit.

Next up: ElasticSearch

In the next couple weeks, I’ll have a tutorial in WPMUDev on enabling ElasticSearch on WordPress. ElasticSearch is a faster, more effective search engine than the default WP search. I’m playing with it now.

Have a few choice words about the current state of WordPress documentation? What would you like to see in the new HelpHub? Anything I  should know about ElasticSearch before I write this story? Feel free to drop a comment here. Try to keep it clean, though!

New WPMUDev Post: Webmention and Annotation Standards

I have a new story up at WPMUDev, “What the New Webmention and Annotation W3C Standards Mean for WordPress.”

Webmentions and Annotations are ideas that come out of the IndieWeb movement. This is an effort to remind all of us that the Web doesn’t have to be dominated by a few gigantic companies, and that we are – and should be – in control of our own online content.

English: Screen shot of National University li...
Screen shot of National University library page with annotation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If Annotations intrigue you as much as they did to me, head over to Hypothesis and grab their Chrome extension or Firefox bookmarklet.

Read my story to learn more about these two new standards, and how to add them in WordPress.

Coming soon: an “indie-fied” site

As an aside: Very soon, you’ll be able to respond to items on this site from your own site using the Webmention standard. Annotations will be easier too. As part of a general facelift and rethinking of how I can best serve you, the reader, this site will become a part of the IndieWeb.

I am very excited about this redesign, and I hope you will be too.

Will Webmentions and Annotations help you communicate with the larger Web? Do you have any ideas for improving this website? Do leave a comment!

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.