Tag Archives: news

WordPress News: How Many Plugins is Too Many?

If you like to take polls, Jeff Starr from Digging Into WordPress is asking “How Many Plugins is Too Many?

As of November 20, 2015 there have been 526 votes cast and showing the following results.

  • 42% say 11-25 plugins are a reasonable number for a site.
  • 38% say the fewer the better, but 1-10 plugins are essential.
  • 11% say it’s impossible to build anything without 26 – 50 plugins.
  • 4% agree 15-100 is the perfect number of plugins for the sites they build.
  • 3% say over 100 is ok, because WordPress can handle anything.
  • Only 1% viewed plugins as the root of all evil and shouldn’t be used.

Many commenters mentioned it’s not about quantity as much as it is about quality.

The problem with this poll is that ONE plugin is too many if it’s badly coded and wrecks the site’s performance, but you can run lots of plugins if they are lightweight. A simple site might have fewer than 10 plugins, but a more complex site is going to have a minimum of 20, just from the extensions added to support e-commerce, events, forms, etc. It’s possible for a site with 50 plugins to run just fine, but I always try not to use more plugins than I really need.
Sallie Goetsch

If you are heading over to cast your vote, please note that they are asking about “typical” WordPress plugins for the poll. If you’re not sure what a WordPress plugin is, or would like to view some recently reviewed plugins, check out the following posts on ClarkWP Magazine.

For More Information:

WordPress News: How to use GIT for WordPress Development

Do you like Time Travel? Do you also like saving your work files? Well now you can do both at the same time by using Git to save your files while keeping track of each change, to each file along the way. Once you’ve saved (committed) a file in the project, the old version is saved forever allowing you to travel back through time to make changes or revert back to old files when needed.

Imagine your just uploaded your beautiful new custom theme to your WordPress site and you realize that you forgot to save your old CSS file and you’ve just overwritten the old one on your web server. You now have no way to revert back to your latest version of the old layout in case you have problems with browser compatibility in the new layout.

Git is a very powerful version control system that allows you to keep track of all your files during a project so losing file version along the way will never happen. This requires a few extra steps during your saving process, but it has saved the skins of many programmers from all over the world every day. Now, we should all try to save backups of our projects and files to protect from data loss and keeping old versions. Git takes that idea but saves each version of that file since it was created. It also protects someone from editing a file at the same time someone else is, preventing overwriting of each others new version.

Let’s take a look at the Git structure to get a clear picture of how the system checks out and references each file.

Git file reference structure
Git file reference structure

This table shows us how Git associates each file to the master project. Each time a change is made, a “snapshot” of the entire file structure is made. This allows us to see our project in front of us, while old versions are saved and hidden from view unless we physically use our time travel capability to revert. Additionally, if no changes were made to a file in a new commit, the old version will automatically be referenced instead of uploading the unchanged file into the project commit. These basic features are why Git is so powerful and efficient, that might explain why 42.9% of professional software developers reporting that they use Git as their primary content version control system.

To learn more about Git the features and the benefits, please refer to these links from which this article was sourced.

WordPress News: CDN Enabler – WordPress CDN Plugin

CDN is short for Content Delivery Network which is a network of servers that deliver cached static content from websites to users based on the geographic location of the user. A CDN will not take the place of your web hosting account but simply improve website speeds.

Advantages of Using a CDN

When a website has a high volume of traffic then the site can overload the server, which leads to a slow loading site or even server crash. This is where a CDN comes in handy because it is a network of servers, but most importantly these servers are spread throughout the world.

When a CDN is being used, the static content is cached and stored on all of these servers. Static content includes images, stylesheets (css files), javascripts, Flash, etc. When a user visits the site (original server), the CDN technology redirects them to the closest server to their location.

If your website is receiving heavy traffic and you have not yet enabled an CDN here are some good reasons to get started today:

Choosing a CDN That’s Right For You

According to Brian Jackson, most people will configure their CDN with a caching Plugin such as WordPress Cache EnablerWP Rocket, WP Super Cache, or W3 Total Cache.

However, if you are running on a managed WordPress host such as Kinsta, WP Engine, or Pagely you might not want a full blown caching plugin just to enable your CDN. This is where the free lightweight CDN Enabler WordPress plugin from KeyCDN comes into play. Note: You don’t have to be using KeyCDN to take advantage of this plugin. It will work with any CDN provider.

Installing CDN Enabler – WordPress CDN Plugin

To install your CDN Plugin follow the simple five step process with screenshots. Once the Plugin is installed you will find the following features:

  • Ability to set up CDN URL. By default it will already have the “wp-content” and “wp-includes” folders setup.
  • By default it will have “.php” setup.
  • Relative paths are enabled by default.
  • Ability to enable HTTPS.

This is a screenshot of the CDN Enabler Settings in WordPress

 

For More Information on CDNs

GPL: Share and Share Alike

The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or GPL) is the most widely used free software license, which guarantees end users (individuals, organizations, companies) the freedoms to run, study, share (copy), and modify the software.
Wikipedia – GNU General Public License

The usage of a GPL can actually be beneficial to both the developer and the client, as Josh Pollock outlines in his article published in Torque Magazine. Josh explains that as you develop a library, after creating numerous software solutions for various clients, it will become extremely beneficial for you to reuse some of that code. This is how the GPL can help the developer, and especially a WordPress developer who is making either a theme or Plugin that they hope multiple clients will use in the future. However, the client will also be concerned about liability, in the usage of the code you have written for them, as well as their ability to hire another developer, should they want to expand the software later. This is how GPL can benefit the client.

Sounds like Socialism

While it may sound like a “hippie-commune” mentality when you say that you want to open your work so that it may be taken and used by others, but as the statistics show, most developers prefer the GNU GPL license. Just look at the rankings for the license market share for the SAAS community:

Statistics of license market shar among the SAAS communnity

So why are developers okay with their work being open to be used by others? Well, the simplest way to say it is that coding is an impossible feat for any one person, regardless of the time invested. In a way, coding anything requires that you have a large amount of work already completed that gives you a framework to build around. And this required framework is enormous. If coders didn’t share their work, we wouldn’t have the majority of the code-dependent technologies that we enjoy today. It would be like a car-manufacturer having their cars built one at a time, with only one person working on each car. Making the paint from base-materials, smelting the metals, hand-tooling the custom parts. It would be an unsustainable system.

The Better Road

So in the end, the GPL not only provides peace-of-mind and freedom for the client, but it also protects the developer and ensures that they can focus on the client’s specific needs, instead of reinventing the wheel every time. And when a developer solves a problem for a client and licenses it under the GPL, they are in a sense, solving the problem for everyone in the future that requires that particular solution.

The web has an immense amount of work to accomplish in it’s future, and The GPL is just one facet that we as society need to utilize, if we are to get it all done in a timely manner. If you’d like some more information about the GPL and what is involved in its rules, head over the official GNU GPL page to read the actual license for yourself. Over there they will go into more detail about the limits and rulings of the license.

Additional Information

Automattic Acquires WooCommerce

In May 19th 2015 it was announced that Automattic would acquire WooCommerce . The article states that with most people have their sites built on open source software like WordPress. So when Automattic (what powers WordPress and a lot of Plugins) acquired WooCommererce it made it easier for people with businesses to sell their products. Continue reading Automattic Acquires WooCommerce

WordPress News for the Week

WordPress News summary for this week

may 21

Hookr Enters Beta with New UI and Support for 800+ Plugins and Themes WP Tavern

may 20

Happy Joe Partners with WebDevStudios, SiteGround and Announces Dates for WordPress BootCamps WP Tavern

may 20

Learn How to Utilize the WP REST API with Rachel Baker WP Tavern

may 20

WordPress Trainer Morten Rand-Hendriksen on Common Pain Points, Roadblocks, and Advice for New Users WP Tavern

may 19

Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg announced today that the company has acquired WooCommerce, WordPress’ most popular e-commerce platform WP Tavern

may 18

Community, Translation, and Wapuu: How Japan is Shaping WordPress History WP Tavern

Make a Better WordCamp

According to Aaron Jorbin, WordCamp organizers need to create an interesting experience for attendees by utilizing strategic and engaging ways to teach WordPress. Subject matter being discussed should be of primary importance. His article suggests that WordCamp should provoke thought, discussion, and make people walk away feeling like they gained valuable knowledge. If people walk away from a WordCamp and don’t think about some aspect of it later, you can’t call it a success.

Installing WordPress on Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services  (AWS) offer a way to host your own WordPress sight with no hardware and little to no expense on a small WP blog site. This is ideal if you want to start working with a self hosted WordPress site for developmental purposes, monetization of your blog, or just good ol’ bragging rights.

In this article I will go into an overview of the EC2 service and the various Virtual Machines (referred to as instances from here on out) that are free and paid. Some may be free to download and initially spin up but may incur an additional cost to the AWS price tier even if you are in the Free Tier. Even though I discuss the free tier exclusively and micro-instances it should be mentioned that the AWS allows for scalability of your WordPress site so it can grow as your site(s) grow.

Bitnami Logo for WP instance.There are various pre-made instances for use with your AWS account that are configured for just about “one touch” configuration. Some are free, others are free to upload to AWS but incur a usage cost, and others cost for upload and usage. A few of the providers are; Bitnami, JumpBox, and Turnkey Linux. If you do choose to go with these “one click” solutions be sure to read all the print to verify if there are any charges for the instance or use of and how the charges are calculated. Continue reading Installing WordPress on Amazon Web Services

WordPress 4.0 Beta Releases

WordPress.org logoWordPress 4.0 Beta 1 and Beta 2 have been released for testing.

The list of changes and improvements include:

  • Multimedia Links: Instead of using embed codes or shortcodes, WordPress developers are working to permit multimedia link embeds into posts and Pages. Just get the address of the YouTube, Flickr, DailyMotion, Blip, Photobucket, SmugMug, Viddler, Vimeo, and many others and they will appear as the multimedia content. Work has been going on with this for several versions, but this is a big push to improve the system.
  • Media Library Grid View: Work on improving the Media Library and media management system in WordPress continues with the addition of a grid view in addition to the existing list view, and image and image information previews.
  • TinyMCE/Toolbar: The Toolbar for the Visual Editor in WordPress, called TinyMCE, has improvements for lists and other features, and the color picker was added back in.

WordPress 4.0 is expected next month in August.

Remember, this is a beta release and not for the light of heart.

Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

Domain Name Services (DNS) is a service which exist to help us humanize the addresses of networked resources. Humans remember words as a whole easier than numbers representing octal based Internet Protocol addresses of those same networked resources be them across the Wide World Web or just an arms length away on our local network.

That was a mouth full. Essentially through DNS you can type in a URL into your favorite web browser and through the process of name resolution your system contacts a server acting in your behalf to find the correct IP address that matches the human oriented address you type in.

Sounds simple but a lot of chatter between various servers near and far may happen just to pull up that favorite site that you wish to view. First your own system will see if it has the particular IP/URL pairing locally in it’s own tables. On your computer this information will be kept in a host.txt file and depending on the operating system the location varies. Continue reading Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

What is WordPress MS?

WordPress Multisite (WordPress MS) is a special configuration built into the current version of WordPress that allows a self-hosted user to manage multiple WordPress sites on one network.

The multiple site version of WordPress is something to think about when an organization or person has several sites at once that run under one umbrella.

A photo on WordPress MultiSite. Continue reading What is WordPress MS?

5 Cool Things To Do With WordPress

Christopher Ratcliff of Econsultancy posted an article on the five cool things you can do with WordPress based upon a presentation by Patrick Hathaway of HitReach at BrightonSEO 2014, a search engine optimization conference. He describes each tip thoroughly with impressive detailed examples. The tips are not just “cool,” they’re very helpful when using WordPress. Continue reading 5 Cool Things To Do With WordPress

The New Blogger’s Law in Russia

While it isn’t the purpose of this site to publish political news or commentary on current events, this particular issue touched the students of the WordPress class at Clark College and they’ve asked the instructor to expand upon the discussion held in class on this topic.

Reporters Without Borders - World Press Freedom Barometers for 2104.The lives and welfare of bloggers and social media publishers are often restricted by local and national freedom of speech and censorship laws, labeled insurgents, protestors, and activists violating laws with the “goal of inciting riots or government overthrow.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Reporters Without Borders report frequently on the persecution, imprisonment, and attacks on bloggers and web publishers around the world, citing 27 journalists and “netizens and citizen journalists” killed and 174 journalists and 166 netizens imprisoned since the beginning of 2014 on their Press Freedom Barometer.

This past week, Russia has imposed the Internet Law, commonly known as the “blogger’s law,” imposing registration, site blocking, and harsher penalties against websites found to be inciting dissension in Russia.

Russian President Putin Puts Down Internet Freedoms

“The goal is to kill off the political blogosphere by the fall.” – blogger Andrei Malgin

A report called “World Press Freedom Index 2014 states that Russia is 148th out of 179 countries on their list rating government’s media freedom and rights, and anticipating an even lower score next year due to Putin’s “draconian legislation” and efforts to restrict freedom of speech and transparency within its borders.

In 2013, the Russian Federation government introduced a bill led by Putin that would block websites and blogs regarded as extremist and requiring registration of the site’s owner and contributors with a government agency known as Roskomnadzor, the communications oversight agency. Continue reading The New Blogger’s Law in Russia