Happiness (For 4 Hours)

WordCamp Cincinnati 2017 is happening this weekend: November 11th and 12th. I’m excited to attend all day Saturday, but most importantly for four hours that afternoon I’ll be volunteering in the Happiness Bar.

At the Happiness Bar, volunteers are available to help you troubleshoot any issues you’ve run into on your WordPress sites. Helping folks at these events is one of my favorite ways of contributing to the WordPress community.

Cinci has a pretty a big event, so if you’re brand new to WordPress you’ll want to attend the WordPress 101 track offered all day Saturday first. But if you’ve already got a site and up and running (or almost up and running) then Happiness Bar is for you!

Hope to see you there if you’re in the area. If not, you can also find a WordCamp near you at central.wordcamp.org/schedule/.


Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

A New Role

In 2010, I used WordPress for my company’s blog posts. My boss made the site already, I was just typing words into the post editor. This WordPress thing seemed easy enough to use!

In 2011, I used WordPress to start sites anytime I needed them. It was only five minutes to setup, then themes and plugins could take care of all the work for me after that. WordPress.com was even faster and easier: I could focus on content!

In 2014, I used WordPress to help thousands of other people make sites on their own. I was a Happiness Engineer at Automattic; one of the greatest jobs you could ask for. I was getting paid to teach WordPress all day!

Now in 2017, I am going to use WordPress again to make custom sites for clients of Makespace!, a web design agency here in Louisville.

Automattic is an amazing company and leaving it was no small decision. Moving from a support role to a development role became my top priority in the last few months, and right now the dev team at Makespace is a better fit for me to succeed.

We use WordPress for most of our projects at Makespace, so all this time will continue to serve as valuable experience. I plan to be involved in the WordPress community as well: the Louisville WordPress meetup, WordCamps, facepalming at the WP Tavern comments, etc.

Thanks for all the support everyone has given to me in this change! It’s been a great 7 years of WordPress and I hope to contribute even more in the next 7.

Your Consultant Should Know How to Migrate Away from WordPress.com

So you’ve hired someone to help you build a WordPress site. Good for you!

Then they tell you not to use WordPress.com?

Okay. It’s not for everyone. It would fit most needs, especially if you can afford the Business plan. But for a developer looking to make a custom site for you, they may have their reasons to use another host. I’ll give ’em that.

But that same person says they don’t know how to use WordPress’ export and import tools?

This is no longer about WordPress.com vs. other hosting options. This is about them not having used WordPress much at all. Take their suggestions with a grain of salt.

If you need to move content from WordPress.com onto another host, there is a handy guide at move.wordpress.com. You don’t need to know any coding at all, you’ll just need to know the right buttons to click.

To me, the very best feature of WordPress is that your content is never locked down. You can always export the content and then do with it as you please. That’s freedom, and that’s the promise of a free web.

“Tomorrow: You’re Hosting…”

By which I mean that I’m hosting, but Meetup sent me a reminder.

Tomorrow__You_re_hosting__August_WordPress_Meetup__New_Location___-_alexjgustafson_gmail_com_-_Gmail.jpg

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We’re going to be talking Gutenberg, and if there’s interest I might quickly demo the recently announced support of plugins and themes on the WordPress.com Business plan.

RSVP for the event on Meetup.com, and note we have a new location.

August WordPress Meetup (New Location)

Tuesday, Aug 8, 2017, 6:15 PM

659 S 8th St
659 South 8th Street Louisville, KY

9 WordPress Users Attending

The WordPress Louisville meetup comes to a new location on August 8th.## TopicGutenberg, the new post editor, is currently available as a beta plugin. Its block-based approach is quite a departure from the current editor experience. We’ll take a look at Gutenberg, go over how to try it out yourself, and how you can get involved with the project….

Check out this Meetup →

First Thoughts on the Gutenberg Editor Beta Plugin

The Gutenberg editor has been a much hyped enhancement to WordPress this year. A beta plugin for the experience is now available for download in the WordPress.org plugin directory. Don’t take the risk of installing a beta plugin on a production site, it will work just as well locally hosted.

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As a first reaction, I have a hard time not comparing Gutenberg to the “Calypso” editor I’ve come to love on WordPress.com. Matt Mullenweg has made it clear that JavaScript is the future of WordPress, and Gutenberg drives that point home in case anyone hasn’t been listening.

That said, if one hasn’t tried a page-builder plugin like Site Origin, the functionality feels pretty bizarre. Calypso may seem like a close jump in aesthetics, but when it comes to the button pressing it’s not at all the same. Compared to the current editor that comes in WordPress core… it’s hard to compare at all. This is the kind of change that would be the spearhead of a whole product redesign if WordPress wasn’t released so incrementally.

The “Text” version of the editor still needs work: the buttons don’t really do anything at all. But from the looks of things, once it’s ironed out it will feel very familiar to the Text editor in the current editor.

testing-text-version-of-gutenberg

Who is excited for this new editor? Who is most leery? Who is this really a “big win” for?