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WordPress Community: News January 2016

WordPress Community January Newsletter

Sent via to all  members. We repost it here just in case you didn’t receive it. 

Hello, WordPress community!

Welcome to the new monthly email from the community team. The feedback we’ve gotten from meetup members around the world is that there is not enough of a connection between local groups and the overall WordPress community, so this is an experiment to see if we can create more connections.

Each month we’ll be talking about:

That month’s contributor drive weekend
An event type you could try in your group
The community team that supports the global meetup and WordCamp program
A featured WordPress meetup group that you can check out for inspiration

We hope this will help you feel more connected to the broader WordPress community and provide more opportunities for you to get involved!

Support Team Weekend

In just over a week, our very first worldwide contributor weekend will take place January 30-31. The focus for this month is on our support team, the volunteers who answer questions in the support forums and in IRC. We’re starting with the support team because it is the easiest team to get involved with, and doesn’t require a lot of setup or specialized knowledge. If you use WordPress, you know more than someone who is just getting started and can probably help answer questions for those people. If you are a more advanced user or a developer, then you can help answer some of the more advanced troubleshooting questions. In short, just about anyone can help!

To participate in the support team weekend, you can get together with other people in your meetup group, or you can go it alone. The goal is to answer 20 questions over the course of the weekend, but there is no minimum requirement. The main goal is to have people helping each other through the WordPress support channels, and during the contributor weekend we’ll have volunteers online to help if you get stuck. We encourage you to give it a try next weekend and get together with some folks from your group. You can get more information on how the weekend will work at Good luck!

Teaser: The next contributor weekend will be the last weekend of February, and will be focused on the Video team that manages

Event Idea

One of the things we’ve heard from a lot of meetup organizers is that it’s a challenge to line up speakers and plan events in advance. To help with this we’ll be suggesting an event type each month that has worked well for other meetup groups and that doesn’t require a speaker – the kind of event that anyone can organize, and we hope you will! This month’s suggestion is the brown bag lunch.

  • Event Type: Brown Bag Lunch.
  • Difficulty Level: So easy.
  • Venue Requirements: Conference room, monitor or projector with sound.
  • Prep Work: Choose a video to watch from, and reserve a conference room.

Description: Have people show up and bring their lunch. Play a video from a recent WordCamp that has been posted on, making sure you choose one that is going to fit in your time allotment. Have people eat their lunch while the video is playing. When the video is done, have everyone discuss what they just watched. When your time is up have people clean up their lunch stuff and head out. That’s it! Could it get any easier?

Notes: The brown bag lunch works well when you have a location that is easy to get to during the lunch hour, for example a downtown office building. While our suggestion here is specific to a lunchtime event, you could do this anytime, and there could be any number of these in your Meetup group each month, with different events in different parts of town, on different days, and/or with different areas of focus (blogging, theme development, core development, etc.) – it’s up to you. If you’re interested in organizing an event like this on a weekend day or an evening rather than during a lunch hour, a good video to use might be Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word presentation and Q&A from WordCamp US in December: We hope you’ll give this event type a try!

The Community Team

This month, a general intro to the team. The WordPress community program is supported by a team of volunteers from around the world called the community team. This team oversees WordCamps, meetups, trainings, and other community-focused events. These volunteers, experienced organizers from all over the place, are available to answer questions in the #events channel on the WordPress contributor Slack instance. If you’re interested in organizing an event and need support or would like to talk with other organiers, join us there! If you’re not already on the WordPress contributor Slack instance, you can sign up here:

All event organizers are considered part of the community team, and we choose our deputies (the people that handle WordCamp and Meetup applications and help run the program) from this group, so if you are interested in getting more involved with the community program on a broader scale, hanging out in the events channel and supporting other organizers is a great way to get started.

Featured Meetup Group: Seattle WordPress Meetup

Our featured Meetup group for January is the Seattle WordPress Meetup. While this is one of the larger meetup groups in our community, that’s not why we are giving it this recognition. The Seattle group has put into practice many of the goals that we have identified for the Meetup program, which some other groups have struggled with, so they’re a great group to kick off this feature and provide inspiration to other WordPress meetups.

If you look at their site you’ll see there are a dozen organizers organizing different types of events in different parts of town on different days of the week and at different times. That is a lot of variety, and it means that more members of the meetup group can find an event that interests them. There are events tailored for users, developers, beginners, experts, you name it. There are study groups for people to learn together, contributor events, presentations, and workshops, and they’re not afraid to experiment, which is how they have managed to grow their group to this level of activity.

The organizing team is diverse, which ensures that multiple points of view are represented when decisions are made for the group, and they welcome new organizers, rather than having one or two people control the group. In short, the Seattle meetup provides something for everyone in their group, has worked hard to be a welcoming community, and is worth checking out to see if they have any ideas you can copy. (Good work, Seattle!)

Want to check out other WordPress meetup groups? They’re all listed at
That’s it for now — see you next month!

– Your friends on the Community Team
P.S. One last thing — check out our new #ilovewp testimonials page at and if the spirit moves you, add your own!



Meeting Information Presentations WordPress: What's New?

Updates & Resources: What’s New 4.3, Plugins for Photos, Security and more

What’s new in WordPress 4.3?

Here is the video of WordPress 4.3 “Billie”


Upcoming WordCamps

  • Check out WordCamp Central for more WordCamps scheduled around the world.

Get Involved and Contribute to WordPress (Download PDF)

Take the WordPress Survey 2015 

Plugins for Photo handling on Site.

In our meeting in April, we looked at the WordPress Gallery as well as the options Jetpack adds to the media library handling. See the meeting notes with links to videos and other links

  1. Easy Watermark
  2. Instagram
  3. The Simply Instagram plugin display your Instagram photos in three Endpoints that Instagram offers through shortcode for Post and Page or using Widget.
  4. Another richly featured plugin for you Instagram integration is
  5. Regenerate Thumbnails ++
  6. NextGen Gallery – Very large set of features on the free version already.
  7. Save & Import Images from URL is one of the plugins, I wish, would go into Core WordPress. It’s a must have especially if you are producing content for multiple sites.
  8. ImageInject: Search Flickr via Keyword and import images to your site.

We didn’t get to talk about the next four plugins. They are on my list to test in the near future. Have you used any of them? Please let us know what you think in the comment section.


Website Security even more important for small biz and nonprofits

WordPress and SecurityWe had to work quite a bit on security / performance the past months. Performance sufferes with excessive login attempts and a lot ot spam comments lingering in the database, before they are deleted.  We also had to fight off a so called SEO.spam.injection, a script rerouting traffic from your search engine result to some ecommerce site. And lastly we dealt with an intruder using our email server to send out massive amounts of spams.

If you are on shared hosting, you hope your hosting provider takes care of all the server maintenance and monitoring systems. Most of them do. If you are on a VPS (Virtual Private Serrver) you and your web developer are responsible to tighten up the security of the system.

We have multiple VPS accounts and maintain some of them for our clients. Security has become a considerable part of our ongoing server and maintenance tasks. , and some of you have already experienced that:

  • We are using Sucuri subscription, and we were very pleased by the experience
  • And we have been testing WordFence on a different site and had good experience as well.
  • We also us WP-Spam Shield to keep the spam posts down, and performance high.

We are testing those to add them to our “Peace of Mind” hosting service for our web development clients, in addition to the monitoring of uptime, update service as well as database clean up of spam and other residues.


Meeting Information Presentations

Slides: Google Analytics for Website Owners

Additional Resources to learn more on Google Analytics

Google Analytics Academy – Improve your Analytics skills with free online courses from Google.

Google Analytics YouTube Channel – provides playlist for different use cases, like Google Analytics & Ecommerce or Google Analytics for Agencies or Google Analytics for Developers

50+ Google Analytics Resources by Kissmetrics – a brilliantly curated list of blog posts from various sites, categorized by topics.

WordPress Meetup SWFL July 2015

WordPress Community WordPress: What's New?

Five of the Best Podcasts

Over the last four weeks, I have screened some of the best podcasts via Stitcher. I found some excellent shows around WordPress, too.

I may not have found all WordPress-related podcasts, but let’s start with the five shown below which include links to apps. The podcasts cover different topics. They are created by WordPress enthusiasts who share their expertise, their insights and even offer free advice about freelance work.

You can download the apps to your mobile phones and download links to learn more on how to make podcasts.

WordPress Weekly by WPTavern

WordPress Weekly WordPress Weekly is hosted by Jeff Chandler, contributing writer to WP Tavern site, & Marcus Couch. Recorded on Wednesday nights, Chandler and Couch cover all news around WordPress and interview presenters of recent WordCamps. Nearly every podcast has a section about Plugins, where Couch shares newly discovered Plugins. The show features WordPress royalties like Matt Mullenweg, and last month covered WordPress’ 12-year anniversary.

During last week’s episode Chandler and Couch took a closer look at the upcoming WordPress 4.3 release. Right now, WordPress Core 4.3 is in Beta 3, and the final release is scheduled for August 18, 2015. They also discussed the community’s take on how to handle old content on WordPress TV, which has content dating back to 2007 when there was still a 2 in front of the WordPress version numbering.

Congratulations to Jeff Chandler, who will host WordPress weekly’s 200th episode this week!

WPElevation WordPress Business Podcast

WPElecation PodcastTroy Dean, owner of, discusses how to create a business as WordPress freelancer or consultant. He talks about how specific tools and concepts can help make better WordPress Plugins or themes to better serve your clients. Dean built his own business providing specialized advice to Plugin developers, themes designers or website implementation consultants. His guests include business owners working within the field of WordPress. Dean brings you behind the scenes of their businesses, and lets you in on their failure, struggles and triumphs.

This week’s episode was a real treat – Dean featured Seth Godin who advised Kristina Romero, who has been struggling with the conundrum of having less and less time available to work but still needs to earn additional income.

I also enjoyed one of the previous episodes when Dean interviewed Kronda Adair, a fellow member of NTEN Community of Practice and a volunteer for Black Girls Code. You can learn more here.

Next show is already online:

WordPress Plugins from A to Z

WordPress Plugins AtoZWho is able to keep track of all the thousands of Plugins beyond the most popular 100?

It seems Jeff Overall and Marcus Couch can.

During their weekly podcast they review new Plugins and separate the wheat from the chaff. They cover all aspects of WordPress – ecommerce, multi-site, handling of graphics and BuddyPress, as well as maintenance, security and speed. I always appreciate their wit and wisdom, sorting through the vast amount of Plugins available on as well as around the universe of Premium plugins. Once in a while, I go on a binge listening session, mostly when I need to procrastinate. Listening to Overall and Couch always makes me want to improve the various WordPress sites in my portfolio.

Latest Show announcement:

Kitchen Sink WordPress

KitchenSinkWPAdam Silver, organizer of the South Bay WordPress Meetup and former stand-up comedian, hosts the weekly Kitchen Sink Podcast. The format of his show varies. Sometimes he creates an educational segment and other times he features guest interviews. But Silver always covers Upcoming events, WordPress News and includes a Tip of the Week. This week Silver interviews Kyle Maurer of Real Big Marketing. Maurer is a speaker at WordCamps and develops WordPress Plugins and themes. Silver also offers you, the listener, to leave him a voicemail–via SpeakPipe–asking him a WordPress question. Go check it out!

This week’s podcast, Episode 73, is online here

WPCast.fmDave Hehenberger and Doug Yuen host the, a podcast for WordPress professionals by WordPress professionals.

Yuen runs a successful WordPress hosting and online service business, and Hehenberger runs a WordPress Plugin business. They don’t number their episodes, and their format varies from time to time, depending upon what’s going on in their own professional lives.

Hehenberger just returned from WordPress Europe. He gives a recap of his experiences and talks with Yuen about the progress on their business while giving shout-outs to other great WordPress professionals. It’ll be worth going back to some of their podcasts to “binge listen.”

How to listen to podcasts on your mobile phone?


Inspired to create your own podcast?

Photo by Patrick Breitenback on flickr

Meeting Information Presentations

Resources: How to find the right WordPress plugins?

Great discussions ensued about using plugins and how to choose them. We went over the plugins repository screens in details and also looked at 3rd party sites with plugin reviews and directories. You’ll find all the links discussed in the Google Slides embedded below.

WordPress Plugins from A to Z

If you like podcasts and learn more about WordPress Plugins I recommend you listen to episodes on the WordPress Plugins from A to Z podcast, hosted by John Overall and Marcus Couch
The WordPress Plugins A-Z Podcast can be found on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and also on WordPress Radio. I have found it very helpful. Both hosts come prepared to their shows and it’s fast paced. The selection is always well rounded and I learned about new plugins and use cases for plugins, I haven’t considered yet.

Links to find more

John Elcik shared these links via our online survey:


If you too, like to share some resources regarding WordPress Plugins, use the comments sections below.

The search is over. We have a new venue sponsor: Candels On Call.

Candels LLC logoMark and Linda Candels generously let us use their state of the art training room at their offices for the rest of the year. Please thank them and give them a shout-out on the social webs:


Meeting Information WordPress Community

Upcoming Meetups and Topics Survey Results 2015

Last week our Topic survey came to an end. Here are the results.

Upcoming Meetups

We are always looking for presenters, so don’t be shy connect with organizer Birgit Pauli-Haack at if you’d like to contribute to any of the above listed topics or to different topics.

Just a reminder for all folks involved as volunteers, presenters or attendees, we are an official WordPress Meetup and adhere to the Five Good Faith Rules

Suggestions for Topics (Questions 11)

    • Speak on the recent meeting in Miami if anyone attended.
    • The fuzzy world of menus, categories. Best way to set up website architecture.
    • Revenue producing ideas (as consultant or other)
    • WordPress Multisite
    • How to select the right company (or person) to do all of this for you – questions to ask and expectations to set.
    • How to get fresh material for the website from members and not just the admin.
    • These all seem to be popular topics that I would like to learn more about
    • Speed Optimization

Free Text Comments provided by participants of the survey

  • Self-hosted:
    • Cover as a step by step approach and provide “tips and cautions” for each step
    • Self-hosted: Curiosity killed the cat. Satisfaction brought it back.
    • self-hosted: I already have a self hosted wordpress website but I would like to learn more about wordpress and how to get more exposure for my site
  • Photos:
    • Managing event photo albums (large groups of photos), including controlling download capability, watermarks, etc.
    • Photo sizing and changing page layout.
    • and Videos
    • I have several plugins now but would like to learn about more
  • Plugins:
  • Themes
    • I’m seeking the best multi use themes, covering writers, photography and travel.
    • not sure what you mean by “core concepts” – design, use, something else?
    • bootstrap? multi-site?
    • How to change some elements of a theme to customize it
  • SocialMedia
    • What social media should we join as corporations (nonprofit).
  • BuddyPress:
    • I’m unsure what the BuddyPress program is. I’m interested in know more if it is beneficial for my needs.
    • Create an ancestory site… something everyone could relate to as the example?
    • I do not know what this is.
    • Not sure what this is.
  • Jetpack:
    • I would like to learn more about the program.
    • Jetpack: my host tells me jetpack is buggy, vulnerable, and causes high overhead/use of server resources. are they right?
  • Google Analytics:
    • I have signed up however, I have not initiated the program to completion.
    • Very very!

The Visual Web: Photographer Trey Ratcliff helps Bloggers

About a year ago, I published this post on At that time, I already followed incredible talented and very successful photographers on Google+. And one of them, Trey Ratcliff published his Top 500 Photos Album and made it available with a “Creative Commons License – Noncommercial”. Here is a how to do attributions on photos and graphics that are not your own with WordPress.
This year, Google separated its Photo App from Google+ as a stand alone app and the tech news blogs have posted raving reviews about it. You can catch-up with it via this Storify Collection

Collage Photos by Trey Ratcliff Top 500 -
Last week Trey Ratcliff posted on Google+ a photo album of his 500 most favorite photos

Trey Ratcliff’s work is Creative Commons License – Noncommercial. If you want to know more about what that means, he has more information on this licensing web page.

Regarding attribution he gives you some leeway:  “Attribution to Trey Ratcliff and Stuck in Customs must be made along with the image.” It’s specific enough and we know what to do.

Here is the code example I used on this post:

Photo: “Apple In New York” by Trey Ratcliff, <a href=”” >Stuck In Customs</a>

When you upload the particular photo to your WordPress site you can add attribution to the following sections to cover all your basis, regarding attribution to artists.OnUpload-TreyRatcliffAttribution

  • add the artists name in the file name, ie – Chicago-by-Trey-Ratcliff.jpg
  • add attribution to the “Title”
  • add attribution text to the “Alt Text”
  • full code example from above in the “Description” field.

If you are on a different CMS, make sure you find out where to set the “Alt” text for your particular editor.

Have fun with using the photos by Trey Ratcliff, and make sure you head to the non-commercial part of the Creative Commons licensing.