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.

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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.

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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.

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!

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