This Week in WordPress: LoopConf a Success and Angels Swoop on Receiptful

This Week in WordPress: LoopConf a Success and Angels Swoop on Receiptful

This week’s round-up of WordPress news, views and reviews summarized in our daily email newsletter, The WhiP.

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Make It So – Newsletter #224

Sitting Around the WordCamp Fire

(WordPress News)

If you ever mistakenly thought WordCamp was an actual camping experience, complete with tents, campfires, and wombats gnawing at the food you forgot to pack away, then you weren’t mistaken at all. Planning is underway for CampPress, a 2-3 day “social experience for geeks and creatives to disconnect from technology to focus on community and creativity.” According to WP Tavern, the event will be “an adult geek summer camp infused with burning man values.”

BuddyPress 2.3.0 beta 1 is out and includes a new Attachments API, which makes it possible for developers to create components that manage uploads.

On the latest episode of WPWeekly, the WP Tavern guys talk about recent WordPress security scares and why it’s important to slow down and takes things in.

Make It So


The REST API (and how it could change WordPress forever).

Meanwhile, Jack Lenox who features in that last article writes a prototype REST API theme that has become known as Picard (a geeky nod to “the next generation” of themes).

Are you cut out to be a freelancer? Developer Carrie Dils says it’s not a good fit for everyone, especially if you just want to eat space ice cream and float around in a puffy suit.

What is accessibility and why should you care about it? For a start, you don’t want to discriminate against people with disabilities who may not be able to use your site the way it is. Post Status has a fantastic in-depth article on creating more accessible themes for WordPress.

If you don’t already use Chrome developer tools, Elegant Themes puts up a convincing argument why you should.

Goody, Goody Gumdrops

(Themes and Plugins)

WebDevStudios has released a few goodies on GitHub including Yeoman WordPress Plugin Generator, which generates a skeleton plugin based on parameters you provide to it.

Mercury Vagrant (HGV) 1.2 is out. It fixes bugs and adds dynamic PML config generation for better insight into logs, includes MailHog support, updates the WP-CLI version, provides better documentation, and improves the performance of the reprovisioning process.

The contributors behind the TGM Plugin Activation (TGMPA) library have published a roadmap for the future of the project. TGMPA is widely used by WordPress developers to require and recommend plugins for themes (and other plugins).

Torque has put together a collection of 40+ tools for WordPress developers that you may or may not already use.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

(Tutorials, Tips, and Tricks)

How to Create A Sticky Post In WordPress (Pagely).

Using SiteGround For WordPress Hosting (Tom McFarlin).

Back to the Drawing Board

(Off-Topic, Random Stuff)

Here’s an awesome curated list of resources for everyone from coders to designers and UX people. Congrats on your Ivy League degree! Now go back to school and learn to code if you want a job.

All the best for a great Friday and a fun weekend.

This Page Doesn’t Exist – Newsletter #225

Final Fix

(WordPress News)

The BuddyPress 2015 survey results are in and they look rather male-dominated. In fact, 89% of survey respondents were men. Other key findings: 80% of sites use the latest version of BuddyPress, 78% have built 1-5 sites, and 55% of respondents over the past two years use shared hosting.

You could say the recent security patches for WordPress have been two years in the making. At Loopconf on the weekend, core developer Andrew Nacin offered a behind the scenes look at a series of related fixes that began in 2013, with the final fix included in core under the guise of Emoji support.

Always Be Learning


Have you heard of acceptance testing? Chris Lema explains what it is and how to do it.

“Tom. I sent a Jr. level WP developer through your TutsPlus course on plugin development. You use the word ‘Admin’ more times than I could count! You even use it for file names, etc. What’s up with that, brother? I respect you so I had to chime in with that lil’ observation.” After writing about how he cringes whenever he sees people use the phrase “the WordPress admin,” he’s been called out. His response: “Always be learning.”

WordPress development agency 10up, which has two employees who are core developers, recently updated its best practices GitHub. They aren’t intended as a teaching tool, but if you’re a capable engineer it might be helpful to see how one of the leaders in the space does business.

These days it seems themes that advertise “more than 200 built-in shortcake!” and “250+ layouts!” are a dime a dozen. LatestWP founder Ayman Aboulnasr argues these kinds of features should be included in plugins, not themes.

Here’s how to choose the perfect theme for a restaurant website. (It’s a surprisingly in-depth post)

WP Engine has been working with the organizers of the Digital Shoreditch Festival, a tech event that kicks off today in the UK. The web host has published a case study on how traffic to the festival website is expected to spike 240% during the next two weeks and how WP Engine plans to support that traffic.

Invisibility Cloaking

(Themes and Plugins)

The WPide plugin upgrades the theme and plugin editor so it’s even easier to make edits in the backend if WordPress.

Here are some great link cloaking and management plugins (sneaky or not sneaky?)

Revoke2 is a newly rebuilt multipurpose theme by TeslaThemes.

Gazette is a free image-focused magazine theme by the folks at Automattic.

Method in the Madness

(Tutorials, Tips and Tricks)

Creating Winning WordPress Author Profiles and the Tools to Help You Do It (WPMU DEV).

How to Use One SSL Certificate for Your Entire Multisite Network (WPMU DEV).

Moving WordPress: Moving a Site Out of a Multisite Network (tuts+).

A Walkthrough on Conditional Tags in WordPress: Introduction (tuts+).

Methodologies to Make Your WordPress Site Mobile-Friendly (WP Mayor).

This Page Doesn’t Exist!

(Off-Topic, Random Stuff)

Is this the best 404 page ever?

Here are 11 TED talks to help you get through your quarter-life crisis.

All the best for a thoughtful and productive Monday.

Loopy De Loop – Newsletter #226

Loopy De Loop

(WordPress News)

If you didn’t get along to the Loop Conf developer conference in Law Vegas on the weekend, you really missed out! Luckily, all of the presentations are available to watch for free on the conference’s YouTube channel. There are some awesome talks from core developer Andrew Nacin, John O’Nolan who created Ghost, and Ryan McCue who is heading up the WordPress REST API project.

How we use passwords is set to get an overhaul in WordPress 4.3. Core developer Mark Jaquith, who led work on WordPress 3.6, is taking charge of a group working on passwords for the next release.

iThemes is hosting a free online security summit on May 27-29. The event will include a panel with WordPress security expert and a walkthrough on what to do when something goes wrong with your site.

This week’s KitchensinkWP podcast is about what host Adam Silver learned from not launching a membership site.

On the latest episode of WPwatercooler, there’s a whole lotta random talk about WordPress.

How It Went Down


When it comes to the most influential WordPress businesses out there, here are the top 14.

Reply and Demand

(Themes and Plugins)

Now, this is handy: Comments Not Replied is an aptly named plugin that shows you which comments on your site have been left unanswered.

Happy Snaps

(Tutorials, Tips, and Tricks)

How to Backup Your WordPress Website (and Multisite) Using Snapshot(WPMU DEV).

How to Duplicate a WordPress website (Torque).

How to Optimize Your Structured Data For Voice Search in WordPress (WPMU DEV).

Time to Unlike

(Off-Topic, Random Stuff)

Is it time to give up on Facebook? Like Google, Facebook is also making changes to its algorithm that may negatively impact pages.

If you thought your company’s meetups were fun, how about this Chinese billionaire who sent 6,400 of his employees on a French vacay.

All the best for a thoughtful and productive Tuesday.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs – Newsletter #228

The Last Airbender

(WordPress News)

SEO site Yoast is updating its site design and “the avatars will stay, but they won’t be as prominent.” Wha?!

The WordPress Theme Review Team’s decision to force theme authors to use the theme customizer has caused more than a few upsets. In response, Jeff Chandler at WP Tavern has proposed that major changes to guidelines should have a request for comments time period.

Lock Stock and Barrel


It can be hard enough sorting out hosting for one site, but what about 500 sites? David Lockie from UK-based development agency Pragmatic has posted about the company’s experiences using WP Engine and what he’s learned.

In the future, developer Peter Suhm predicts WordPress will have dependency management, it will be used as just a backend, and it will become more decoupled. Exciting times!

If you don’t already contribute to WordPress, get off your bum and do it! Elegant Themes walks you through options for getting involved.

Lawyer Richard Best warns you should beware of the terms of use when using stock imagery on your site or a client’s site.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

(Themes and Plugins)

Don’t leave your traffic to chance. The folks at Kinsta have put together a great guide to A/B testing tools for WordPress.

Customizer Theme Resizer is a new plugin that offers nine preset mobile phone/table display options so you can preview your site while adjusting options in the theme customizer.

Here’s how you install a WordPress staging site on a USB drive with BackupBuddy. Handy stuff.

The Starbox plugin offers a fool-proof way to display functional and attractive author profile boxes after each post on your blog.

And here’s everything you need to know about WordPress admin themes.

The Social Network

(Tutorials, Tips, and Tricks)

Adding Social Media Icons to WordPress With CSS Sprites (WPMU DEV).

A Definitive Way to Format Dates for International Sites (Hongkiat).

Get a Plugin Kickstart with Yeoman & generator-plugin-wp! (WebDevStudios).

Making Plugins and Themes Translation-Ready (WP Shout).

A Little Bird Told Me

(Off-Topic, Random Stuff)

Time ain’t so bad.

Here’s the crazy, real-life story of how Elon Musk (who’s not a samurai, by the way) “dazzled, seduced, squeezed, bluffed, manipulated, and prodded” his way to epic state incentives so he could build a massive battery plant in the Nevada desert.

Lastly, Microsoft has flipped the world the bird.

All the best for a thoughtful and productive Wednesday.

Mass WordPress Infection – Newsletter #228

Hold Onto Your Receipts

(WordPress News)

Remember when Adii Pienaar left WooThemes? Crazy, right? Well, he started working on Receiptful, an API that lets you send email receipts that double as targeted and personalized marketing messages and upsells. Adii isn’t the only one convinced receipts are the way of the future – Receiptful has raised $500k in an angel round of funding from a group of investors that includes Matt Mullenweg, Buffer founder Joel Gascoigne, and Envato co-founder Collis and Cyan Ta’eed.

Web host Dreamhost has launched DreamPress 2, which according to the marketing is faster and more powerful managed WordPress hosting.

On the latest episode of WPWeekly, section 214 founder Dan Griffiths joins the WP Tavern guys to talk about how Easy Digital Downloads helped turn his life around.

The latest interview in Pagely’s 8 Questions Q&A series features WPKube founder Dev Sharma who offers advice on how to build a career with WordPress.

Mass WordPress Infection


Do you remember Kubrik, the very first default theme for WordPress? Here’s a quick look at how the default themes have evolved over the years.

Whether you’re a fan of the theme customizer or not, using it is now a requirement. Here are some great code resources from developer Tom McFarlin on how to work with the customizer.

Here’s Torque’s recap on the proposed password changes for WordPress 4.3.

In the latest essay for HeroPress, developer Julie Kuehl writes that you don’t need to learn WordPress in isolation.

Getting My Feet Soaked With a Mass WordPress Infection. And the award for the most bizarre title for a WordPress post goes to Torque.

A day in the life of a WebDevStudios developer involves lots of apps and memes.

I’m So Excited, and I Just Can’t Hide It

(Themes and Plugins)

If the 600+ comments on Elegant Themes’ latest post are anything to go by, Divi fans are getting just a little bit excited that version 2.4 is expected to be the biggest update in the theme’s history.

CoinTent is a premium paywall plugin that lets you add subscriptions and micropayments to your site. Here’s WP Mayor’s review.

Have you checked out the Conductor? The folks behind the front-end layout management plugin have put out a sneak peek of their Notes widget, which when combined with Conductor lets you display enhanced layouts.

Going Once, Going Twice, Going Three Times

(Tutorials, Tips, and Tricks)

wp.shortcode & wp.html—WordPress Shortcodes in Javascript (Luke on Everything) – Thanks Sam!

How to Build Your Own WordPress Contact Form and Why You Should(WPMU DEV).

How to Put a Penny Auction Theme on Your WordPress Site (WPMU DEV).

Unit Tests for WordPress Plugins – The Factory (Pippins Plugins).

Good Night, and Good Luck

(Off-Topic, Random Stuff)

Completely off-topic, but Korean women are getting illegal tattoos – cattoos – of their cats and it’s adorable.

If you ever manage to land a job interview with Elon Musk, good luck. Seriously.

We’re running out of the internet! According to The Wall Street Journal, we’ll be fresh of IP addresses in the next few months.

Slack’s CTO says the company had done a shitty job of telling people how to use the software (but have somehow still managed to amass 750,000 daily, active users…).

Those are our links for today. We’ll be back tomorrow when our WordPress infection has cleared up and we’ve tracked down all our tax receipts. Also, a quick shout out to the awesome WordPress people in Birmingham. The WordPress meetup there rocks!