Not really WordPress news but it’s cool to hear a WordPress reference in the show, TheGuild. Fast forward to 9:03 to hear the WordPress remark. As an aside, I watched the entire episode and didn’t understand the show one bit. This was the first time I’ve watched TheGuild and since I’ve never played MMORPG games, I guess I don’t get any of the inside jokes.
By Jeffro on September 16, 2011
By Jeffro on September 14, 2011
With MobileMe slated to shutdown on June 30th, 2012 taking iWeb with it, users will need to find a new home for their iWeb powered website. A company by the name of Rage Software has created an iWeb to WordPress converter that takes an exported iWeb website and converts it into a WordPress XML file that can be imported into the self hosted version of WordPress or WordPress.com. Seems easy enough although the conversion software will set you back $49.95.
By Jeffro on August 31, 2011
Before I started using WordPress in 2007, I was a Joomla enthusiast. I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. You could (and still can) control where and when certain modules would show up, there was an active community and a bunch of plugins along with themes to choose from. It was’nt the easiest piece of software to use but after you figured out the quirks that needed to be worked with instead of against, it was easy enough to get things done. After discovering Joomla was going to be too much of what I needed for my personal site, I came across a piece of software called WordPress. I can’t remember exactly how I discovered it but after installing it for the first time and trying to edit a theme, I decided it was too difficult to work with. I decided to go back to Joomla but after trying to install a commenting system while adding features that WordPress came with by default became frustrating aggravation, I gave WordPress a second try and that’s when the light bulbs started flickering.
Looking back at those first few days of using WordPress, the software itself was not difficult to use but figuring out where to go to get plugins, themes, support, and documentation was. These were the days when I had to manually upload plugins to the wp-content folder in order to install them, same for themes. In order to add functionality from plugins into themes, I generally had to add functions with parameters to the theme files for where I wanted that functionality to show up such as single.php or page.php. Upgrading the software was somewhat easy but not convenient. I didn’t become comfortable with WordPress until I started editing themes. This is how I discovered what functions were and how parameters worked. What was weird chunks of code suddenly became stuff I could play around with without the fear of breaking the site. For me personally, the learning curve was very shallow and that was during the pre 2.3 days.
Fast forward to WordPress 3.2. Users for the most part do not need to use FTP to install WordPress, Themes, or plugins nor do they need to use it for upgrading. If WordPress is installed via Fantastico or some other method that doesn’t require the editing of code or the manual uploading of files, there is very little in the way of difficulty encountered before they see the WordPress Dashboard for the first time. It’s impossible for me to determine what the learning curve for WordPress is for new users because that’s a perspective I’ve lost and can never quite regain. However, if I had to take a guess, it would be becoming acquainted with the WordPress interface and figuring out which buttons and menus take you where and do what. Thankfully, the contextual Help tab in WordPress is helping to ease the discomfort of learning the system.
At the end of the day, I believe that WordPress had a shallow learning curve when I used the system for the first time and since then, that curve has become closer to being flattened.
Here is where I need your help. If you could, please describe to me in the comments or in a blog post on your site describing the learning curve you faced when you used WordPress for the first time. For some, it’s been ages ago but I’m really interested in hearing stories from those who are brand new to the software or started using it since 3.0. I’m equally interested to hear from those that used WordPress and decided it was just too difficult to use and decided to use another piece of software to accomplish the task.
By Jeffro on August 30, 2011
BuiltWith Trends is an analytics company that provides weekly updated free information about the most popular technologies used on the web such as advertising, frameworks, ecommerce and content management systems. Their CMS page lists the distribution of popular CMS solutions across the top million, top one-hundred thousand, and top ten-thousand websites. It should be no surprise that WordPress takes the majority of the pie in each section but amongst the three different categories, there is something that I find interesting. For instance, amongst the top 100,000 websites, Vbulletin has a 3.42% share while amongst the top 10,000 websites, it has a 9.35% share. Amongst the top one million sites, Drupal has a share of 2.82% but within the top 10,000 websites, has a share of 23.33%.
These numbers change on a weekly basis as their stats update but what this shows me is that there could be a lot of people using a particular CMS but that doesn’t necessarily translate into those sites having high traffic. I’m pretty impressed to see that WordPress powers practically half of the top 10,000 websites recorded by BuiltWith Trends. It’s also worthy of noting that Drupal commands just about a quarter of those sites showcasing that systems ability to handle massive websites.
By Jeffro on August 30, 2011
One thing that can be frustrating at times to talk about regarding WordPress, is what should be added to the core. I equate it to kids fighting with their parents. They want something and are explaining every which way as to why it would be a good thing for them to have and the parents dish out variations of NO. I’ve participated in my fair share of cool conversations that were abruptly ended with the words Patches Welcome or There’s A Plugin For That. I don’t know which one is more of a conversation killer as they seem equal to me but I’m sure I’ve heard the Plugin line more than the Patches Welcome. If neither of the poll choices suits you, feel free to add-on in the comments what you think are good WordPress conversation killers.
What's The Quickest Way To End A Conversation About WordPress?
- There's A Plugin For That (62%, 59 Votes)
- Patches Welcome (32%, 30 Votes)
- Not Listed (6%, 6 Votes)
Total Voters: 95
By Jeffro on August 29, 2011
If you’re still looking for a book to help you learn the basics of both the self hosted version of WordPress and WordPress.com, The Complete Idiot’s Guide To WordPress might be for you. Pierre DeBois over at SmallBizTrends has given his review of the book and from his perspective, it looks like a good read that sets the foundation to excel with WordPress.
By Jeffro on June 8, 2011
Long time no see. Last time we talked, I announced that I’d be stepping away and selling off everything I accomplished with this site and the podcast. I’m happy to report that not only have I sold the content I generated to an awesome buyer, they have requested that I continue about my business with WPTavern, the forum and the podcast as if nothing has happened. The only distinct change that has happened and will be the only thing to happen for the foreseeable future is that the site will be owned by someone else. I am in charge of maintaining and operating the site as I normally would. At the request of the new owner, the terms of the deal as well as who the new owner is is under wraps.
So what this means is that I’ll be re-opening the forum as well as upgrading it to get it going again. I’ll also be conducting an episode or two of WordPress Weekly in the near future and I’ll be writing about WordPress again here on the site. I’m sticking around without any influence by the new owner as to what to write, say, or do. In all honesty, it’s a pretty weird deal on paper but it’s a deal that’s allowed me the greatest flexibility as well as allowing me to fulfill a couple of financial obligations that sprang up. For instance, I was recently able to put money down on a used truck. You don’t know how much you need a truck until you become a home owner!
There is one change that I’ll be making. Thanks to the deal, I’m going to remove all display advertising from the site and will not need to pursue affiliate links in future reviews I do. While any additional income is great, writing without the weight of needing money is actually a huge weight off my shoulders.
Before we get back to regular programming around here, I want to thank all of you for your comments on my good bye post. It became obvious that the audience of WPTavern values my work much more than I do. So many of you wanted me to stick around in some form or fashion while many of you were pretty darn sad to see WPWeekly to go by the wayside. It’s comments like those that convinced me of negotiating a deal that allowed me to stay on and manage the site.
I’m not guaranteeing that I’ll be publishing posts or that I’ll be active in the forum every day or producing a podcast every weekend but I am guaranteeing that I’ll be behind the bar, taking your orders and continuing to talk about this thing called WordPress which is pretty cool publishing software.
By Jeffro on May 17, 2011
A lot has happened in the 2 and a half years since WPTavern began. In fact, a lot has happened since I started my first paid writing gig for WeblogToolsCollection.com back in December of 2007. Back then, I was infected with the WordPress fascination bug. I wanted to write, read, and learn what I could concerning the publishing system. My enthusiasm showed up in my posts and I was not afraid to write about what was on my mind versus towing any line. Unlike most of the people within the WordPress ecosystem who are developer centric, I had the ability to write well about WordPress as an end user with little to no development experience. Over the course of time, I think my ideas, criticisms and suggestions have helped in one way or another either the WordPress platform or a theme or plugin author. However, since my biggest contributions to the project have really only been words, maybe I haven’t done anything to improve the CMS as it relies on code. Regardless of my contributions or lack thereof, my goal was to always try and tell the stories of those making things happen which is a gift I don’t have. I’m a user, not a creator.
Thanks to this thing called WordPress and my enthusiasm for not only the platform, but for the people and community that surrounds it, I was able to travel to various parts of the country to attend WordCamps, local events dedicated to bring WordPress users together. I was able to meet and talk face to face with many of the people that have online celebrity status attached to them and found out most of them are down to earth people. I was able to transform myself from a nobody blogger in Northern Ohio to someone who actually could write a thing or two about WordPress. One of my biggest accomplishments though was being able to turn WPTavern into a respected community within the grander ecosystem that is WordPress. Those who registered to the forum and have spent hours on it responding to or creating threads of their own are the ones to thank for that.
One of my other goals for this site that sort have happened, at least for one year was to generate an income that would allow me to do this full-time. I was on a roll before my fiances father passed away, creating a mudslide of responsibilities and problems that fell into our laps. One year, I was able to generate $10,000 of additional income but to get there, I had to spend 7-9 hours in front of the computer interacting with the community, writing content such as extensive reviews with affiliate links, produce the WordPress weekly podcast on a regular basis on the week-end, essentially be everywhere the news was happening. Once life got in the way of me being able to sit in front of the PC all day, everything started to crumble apart.
The bottom line is, writing about WordPress, being a user and not a creator is not something that is going to put food on the table and is definitely not going to pay for things such as a new roof, driveway, windows, etc. It could certainly be used for supplemental income but I just don’t have the energy or will power to keep trudging through the waste deep mud. I need to be thinking about what I can do to get a career in something that will help pay for this stuff that exists in the real world, not the WordPress world. A job or education to get a job that will help sustain my way of life. Recently, I’ve been thinking about taking a general tradesman certificate course at a local college to see what that’s all about.
So what that all means is that my time with WPTavern and everything that I’ve done in the WordPress world is coming to an end. However, it’s not the end of WPTavern or the things attached to it. You’ll find out what’s happening when the time is right but the future is still bright for this domain and everything attached to it.
If you’re interested in keep tabs on me, you can follow me at http://jeffc.me/