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WordPress

WordPress was borne of initial idea seeding via B2 (Cafelog) in 2001, which was launched by Michael Valdrighi. In 2003, cofounders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little forked B2 and created WordPress, an Open Source blogging and now content management system estimated to power the largest number of websites of any individual product (20%). Through the largest thriving community of any website management system, WordPress has grown to include theme designers, plugin developers, webmasters and site developers. With the power of participants, WP now can power anything from small individual blogs to large multi-user social communities to business websites. Core contributing developers include Ryan Boren, Mark Jaquith, Matt Mullenweg, Andrew Ozz, Peter Westwood and Andrew Nacin. WordPress has just recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary.

WPCommunity

WPCommunity.com was started as an extension of Web Developer Tom Ford who found WordPress in the early days looking for a solution to power a group of large websites that had outgrown their flat HTML infrastructure. Needing more features, WordPress was chosen based on another user who was kind enough to put together a comparison chart of several platforms, with detailed information. The way this individual was able to present this side by side comparison using WordPress ultimately led to giving it a shot...which led to massive experimentation to the different things it could do. The heavy and growing demand for assistance led to offering such, bringing us to today. Tom Ford has contributed to various other development agencies including TC Websites, WPMU.org and WPML. (as well as solving countless technical issues and working through many full website builds).

Photo Credit: IntangibleArts

AUG 16, 2016
WORDPRESS 4.6 “PEPPER”  Version 4.6 of WordPress, named “Pepper” in honor of jazz baritone saxophonist Park Frederick “Pepper” Adams III, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in 4.6 help you to focus on the important things while feeling more at home.
  • RECENT WORDPRESS NEWS ON THE WEB
      • AUG 24, 2016
        HEROPRESS: A MINORITY AMONGST MINORITIESPull Quote: Time passed, and I fell more and more in love with WordPress.

        I’m a minority amongst minorities, but it doesn’t matter.

        Let’s get to know each other

        Hi, I’m Uriahs Victor and I’m a Carib – bean from the island of St. Lucia. How many Black Developers do you know in the WordPress Community? 5? 20? How many of them are from the Caribbean? How many raised up in places like this:

        Uriahs Victor's childhood home, a blue house with low jungle around it A vew from Uriahs Victor's childhood home, a shed and barn nestled in the jungle A view of Uriahs Victors childhood neighborhood,, small houses surrounded by jungle

        I chose to write on this topic in hopes that there’s someone else like me reading this article someday who’s living in an area where it may seem like there aren’t many career paths.

        It doesn’t matter where in the world you are or your complexion; anyone could code.

        How my passion for programming began

        I was fortunately raised up with both parents in a community on my island called Fond St. Jacques which is a part of a bigger town called Soufriere. I grew up doing everything a typical adolescent from my community would be doing: playing football, playing cricket and going to work on my parents farm and occasionally on other farms to earn some money to burn through by drinking with friends ( don’t think about it too hard ) and partying.

        One day I came home to a used computer setup in my room and was extremely ecstatic with the idea that my family now owned one. I spent hours upon hours on this computer messing around with paint but mostly playing Pinball, there was no internet in my community at the time but I was very intrigued by video games, once I got my first taste of unrestricted internet access several months after; my love for video games grew, I spent time reading about them but more time playing them and at that time I had decided that I wanted to be a Game Designer.

        If being a Programmer from a rural community out of the Caribbean sounds different (not impossible) looking back at it now then just imagine how it sounded saying I wanted to be a Game Designer when someone asked me. I spent years with this goal set, I spent days reading about game designing but I always felt lacking, I believed there was always 1 skill Game Designers needed that I did not have and that was being able to draw/design.

        In 2010 life was pretty easy going, I was 15 and still had not done any piece of Web or Desktop Development coding. My Secondary schooling was going pretty good, I was always the top performing IT student so this brought me comfort as I knew I would soon be writing the “CXC” exams soon.

        Everything changes

        On October 28th 2010 I woke up during the night to the sound of heavy rains, I looked through one of the windows of my home at the time and saw the trees around my house swaying pretty normal, or so I thought. The morning of October 29 I woke up to the sound of friends saying “Uriahs your mom shop is gone” in our second language (French Creole), this language naturally sounds a bit harsh when used to say various things so I thought they were pulling some kind of prank on me. What I saw after heading to the balcony where my friends were changed my life.

        A neighborhood with muddy water halfway up the sides of the houses Metal infrastructure and trees sweeping a house away

        Some Damage done to my hometown (more images could be seen by googling “Hurricane Tomas Fond St. Jacques Damage

        My friends were right, my mom’s shop where she sold snacks and food items which generated most of the income for my schooling had completely vanished, no trace of it was left, like it was never there.

        This storm had done so much damage that there was no way for anyone from my community to get to school

        Roads were completely sliced through by water and eventually I had to move out of my community to live in Soufriere for easy of travelling to school.

        At age 16 I still wanted to be a Game Designer, I had spent the previous 5 years excelling in Information Technology at my Secondary school but had never done any piece of programming, the damages of Hurricane Tomas were still evident and I was still shaken up at how my life had changed, I was no longer living with my parents in my hometown, everything I would not wish for teenager.

        To this day the damage done to my home town is still visible:

        Building with storm damage years later Building with storm damage years later

        This is the exact same area from one previous images. These pictures were taken August 8th 2016 when I visited.

        In the Caribbean, at the end of your 5 years of Secondary schooling you are required to write an exam called “CXC” if you wish to pursue higher education. For my academic year we never finished our Information Technology syllabus which touched a bit on Pascal programming, so when it came to writing the Information Technology exam every category was aced, but I failed the programming section, even then I still wanted to be a Game Designer and had not yet grown any affection for coding.

        In 2011 I started schooling at Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) pursuing an Associate Degree in Computer Systems Engineering which was the only option available which dealt with Technology at that college (there are only two colleges on my island). This was a 2 year degree where the first year students are introduced to both the Hardware and Software side of computing then in the second year choose the path they wish to pursue. This was also around the time I first came across WordPress while fiddling on the internet and making the mistake of not looking more into what it really was.

        Technical Project

        One year into my Computer Engineering program it finally came the time to choose my path in IT and of course I chose the Software path because I believed if I wanted to be a Game Designer then this was the best path. That remaining year was when I really started to build up my affection for code, there was only one course in the software path that actually dealt with any type of code to some extent called “Programming Methodology”. Programming Methodology was a course tailored to teach you the very basics of programming such as Loops, IF and ELSE statements, Variables and small exercises to help you put those into practice. This entire Programming Methodology course was done with VB6 examples in Visual Studio 2006 so I was not taught a single line of Web Development code.

        At this college every student who does Computer Systems Engineering is required to present a “Technical Project” in a typed and physical presentation form, it’s point is to show what you’ve picked up from the program over the 2 years; without receiving a pass on this Technical Project students would not be awarded their Degree and would need to redo the project until they succeeded. It may sound a bit brutal but I believe this is a good final test and I hope they don’t change this procedure.

        I had known about this requirement for a very long time so I decided to build a video game for my technical project, I knew I could not draw so I decided to use a RPG Maker and ponder ways I could get a pass by presenting to the graders a video game which I did not physically design any of the characters or coded them in. I eventually decided to create an Educational video game and touch on the topic of teaching through entertainment (Edutainment). There was this one course called Data Communications that students always seem to have trouble passing so I thought “Hey, maybe I should create a game showing some basics of Data Communications”.

        During my time learning how to use this RPG Maker and creating this game I found myself using a lot of the logic operators I had learnt about in Programming Methodology, this was all good because in my presentation I could have shown that though I used a RPG Maker there was actually a lot of programming logic going on under the hood and that I was actually coding.

        While working on this project my love for code grew, I was having fun.

        By the time I had finished creating this game my passion had already broken down from Game Designing to coding, thankfully I was successful with the game which I called “EduCom” and was able to finish college in a perfect 2 years (woohoo!), you can download EduCom here: Click here

        Fast forward a few months and there I was as an intern from college at a web agency understudying some colleagues who didn’t build desktop apps. Keep in mind that at college I had learnt VB6 to the point where I could have switched over to self-learn VB.NET and I was now sitting in a web agency learning web development, well guess what? I still loved it. I went home each day and practiced it, I used http://codeacademy.com (which now redirects to codecademy.com) to learn HTML and CSS and I was even good with jQuery at some point! Life was great, at that time getting employed by the agency was not a big deal for me, I just loved coming to work and understudying the other Developers.

        A shock came to me one day when I was told that I had went to the wrong company for my internship.

        I remember to this day clearly being told that I was supposed to carry out my internship at this web agency but now I was being told that I went the wrong place. I really liked where I currently was but I actually needed to leave for the company which I was registered to in the school records, I still wonder what would have happened if I had never corrected that mistake.

        With 2 months left out of the 3 month long internship program I was at a new company with very little excitement in me. The silver lining came when I arrived and noticed that there was this 1 developer who was responsible for both building and maintaining desktop applications and websites, two things I really liked doing, so I quickly gravitated towards him and in no time we became friends. I was awed by him and I could safely say just like the previous guys at the web agency that he played a part in me not forgetting my true passion for coding. I say this because at this newly assigned company I became an IT Technician, doing everything Techs usually do such as fixing printers, troubleshooting WIFI networks, fixing computers and even building them too, but even after spending the day as an IT Technician I often spent the night as a Developer. I never stopped coding, I often came home fatigued from all the hands on tech work but I pushed myself through CodeCademy’s exercises, I spent time working in Visual Studio building simple apps that did nothing useful but I still liked the feeling of seeing my code come to life.

        At the ending of my internship I had become such a great IT Technician that I got the job. I was excited because heck, who wouldn’t be excited to get a job straight out of college in a country with high unemployment rate?

        Reality Is Cruel; Immerse Yourself – Uriahs Victor

        On September 3rd 2013; two weeks before my birthday was my first day officialy on the job. My day was going by normal, until I got a call from my sister, crying. My father had lost his life because of a mishap while working on our family farm. It took me a while to realize what had happened, I didn’t want to believe it. Might sound strange to you, but video games again came up and helped me through.

        Tricked out PC case with lights inside.Life went on and after one year I had become such a good IT Technician that I was often tasked with building custom PCs like this.

        No matter where you are at right now don’t stop doing what you truly love.

        The day came when my Developer friend at the company decided it was time for him to leave the job for greater things, and guess who offered to be the new Developer? That’s right, me. With some help from my colleague I got familiar with the different apps and websites the company had under their management, again I came across WordPress but I still did not know much about it on a coding stand point, I spent time at home getting familiar with its backend but what was more unusual to me was its code. I knew how to build static websites with HTML and CSS but I did not know much PHP at the time so I had to quickly learn a fair level of PHP to find myself around and also learn different things about WordPress such as plugins and backing up… enough to fill in my colleague’s shoes as quickly as I could before he was gone.

        I am not happy at my job!

        Two years into the job and things had begun to turn sour for me, I was not happy at my job. One of the main reasons was that I felt underappreciated and overlooked. Though I was the new Developer for the company they never got over the fact that I was also pretty good with computers, so I was often asked to stop whatever software related tasks I was doing to head over to some client’s business to check out a faulty computer or things of that nature. I was unhappy, I felt like I this company did not value the software side of their business nearly as much as the hardware side, couple that with the fact that I was still being paid the same salary as when I was only an IT tech, to now being in charge of the company’s software and still finding myself doing IT Technician related tasks and then being asked by my employer “Why can’t you work on the client apps at home?”, there was no overtime pay offered in my contract, so I used my nights to better myself and also to rest my mind.

        I was still 20 but soon to be 21 at the time and I felt overworked. Having to condition your brain to work on VB.NET apps some of which were not built by yourself requires time to be spent getting familiar with the source code, but often minutes after I would have to recondition my brain to think of reasons why a computer has a certain issue, this was like P90X on the brain, it was a daily thing and I began disliking as weeks and months went by. Time passed and things became sourer, I began contemplating my resignation; I did not like the way I was being treated and it had begun to show, I often only found joy when practicing my code at home, this late night practicing also often caused me to arrive late the next day for work which I compensated for by leaving at late hours.

        If it doesn’t come bursting out of you, don’t do it.

        The day came when I decided to resign from my job but something inside me said “Uriahs, give it another shot”, that voice was the bad voice, I was let go from the job the same day I planned to resign.

        Is Karma real?

        So there I was, a 21 year old who had no backup plan and no job applications out in the wild but I was happy. I had felt relief that I did not have to deal with working in an environment I didn’t like. I was told by my past colleagues that my replacement had come in the next day and I thought to myself that maybe this company was contemplating letting me go just as long as I was contemplating leaving (lol). Well, let’s just say this replacement only lasted 3 days on the Job then quit after messing up one of the company’s high end clients website, a news publishing website: http://stluciastar.com/ built on WordPress which I had been maintaining and making code modifications for when asked.

        I don’t know why the company thought it was ok to call me 3 days after letting me go, asking for my “help” in fixing whatever problem a replacement Developer (who I believe shortly quit after the incident) had done, but after consulting with the WordPress community, it was made clear to me that I should either charge for my services or decline; heck, I was unemployed and still had rent and bills to pay but I instead eventually declined.

        A new beginning

        Weeks went by with me just getting used to being out of an office type job to being home, I had been living alone since I had gotten the past job so I also had to get used to having less people around me. I took that time to learn more about WordPress, Udemy pricing scheme didn’t change yet so I bought myself a few WordPress Development courses for $10USD each when they came on sale, such as: WordPress Theme Development with Bootstrap by Brad Hussey, in that one course I learnt more about WordPress than I had learnt in all my time working in my last job(wut?). I began doing freelance work online and locally, there were not many other options on my island to work in software so I started questioning whether I should be sending out applications for new jobs or just do full time freelancing; I had my doubts about the few c

        AUG 23, 2016
        POST STATUS: STATIC SITE GENERATORS VERSUS WORDPRESS

        The current state of affairs

        In 2016, WordPress is far from the only choice for a new website. In fact, website owners have enjoyed a plethora of options (hosted and self-hosted) for many years. WordPress has remained the juggernaut solution for self-hosted websites, with 25% marketshare of the total web, and as the mainstay CMS for small-to-medium businesses with small or low budgets.

        Amongst two groups — large institutions that need high scalability, and the ever-tinkering developer crowd — another option is trending positively: the static site generator, also known as a flat-file CMS.

        Don’t get me wrong — the WordPress install base is huge, and the threat posed by static site generators is small. But it’s growing. Post Status editor Brian Krogsgard polled developers prior to Pressnomics, to assess the threat level posed by various CMSs and publishing platforms; Medium and static site generators were considered more of a threat than any others:

        Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 9.58.07 AM

        He also wrote in a newsletter to members in November, 2015, “Didn’t I just mention about the appeal of static sites? I really think they’re a big top-end threat,” referring to the launch of vets.gov. Earlier that month, Smashing Magazine christened them the next big thing. A number of high profile websites use static site generators, from Vox Media to Barrack Obama.

        A spate of flat-file CMS options have become strong contenders: GitHub’s Jekyll is by far the most popular, but it’s joined by Grav, Couch, Pico, and more. You can even host your static site on GitHub Pages for free, and they’re happy to let you use a custom domain.

        Historical WordPress advantages

        The continuing appeal of WordPress has been fourfold:

        1. The ability to get started very cheaply, without a monthly fee on top of hosting costs.
        2. The liberty to use a custom domain name.
        3. A robust ecosystem that provides thousands of free or inexpensive themes and plugins.
        4. One-step installation facilitated by mainstream web hosts’ embrace of WordPress.

        Since Jekyll and its ilk are mostly open-source, advantage #1 is wiped out. GitHub Pages knocks out advantage #2. WordPress retains the upper hand regarding #3 and #4. Younger projects have a long way to go before they can rival the WordPress community, and they’re still focused on serving fellow developers rather than everyday consumers. Until that changes, big web hosts won’t bother to enable ultra-easy installation.

        Modern WordPress drawbacks

        WordPress does have legitimate downsides, especially if you’re already a competent web developer or you’re focused on the highest levels of technical performance.

        Site speed is ever more important in an age of social distribution and mobile browsing, and made more difficult considering site assets and page weights seem to be constantly getting larger. WordPress can be difficult to scale for high levels of traffic, and certain site architecture decisions can get developers in trouble.

        High scalability and smart web performance management with WordPress requires significant development expertise or more expensive managed hosting partners, especially for complex WordPress installs; whereas the inherently static nature of static site generators makes scalability more trivial.

        Finally, security is a concern for some people that choose static site generators. WordPress has opportunities for user input that static site generators do not. It is also a natural target of hackers, simply due to its popularity. And static site generators are almost completely locally stored — aside from the output itself — whereas WordPress (potentially outdated, along with underlying themes and plugins) is stored on the server, more vulnerable to attacks.

        Why WordPress is still winning

        As I noted amongst its historical advantages, WordPress has an unparalleled ecosystem of plugins, add-ons, and extensions. (For comparison, the Jekyll Plugins website only lists fifty-two options at the time of writing.) It’s also relatively easy for non-technical people to install and use WordPress, in part because mainstream hosting companies put in the effort to make it easy, but even prior to such conveniences WordPress boasted, “the famous 5-minute install.” And static site generators are just not as powerful as traditional content management systems, especially in regard to user input.

        Among the static site generators, Jekyll in particular is working toward feature parity, but it will take a long time. Current ease-of-use tools like Prose, a content editor that integrates with GitHub, and CloudCannon’s Jekyll GUI, which aims to help developers collaborate with clients, are in their infancy in terms of adoption and are still finicky to use.

        It can be tempting to look longingly at the growing ecosystem around static site generators. It’s also easy to forget just how much you get “for free” with built-in WordPress functionality. Static site generators definitely play a role in the modern web, and can be a great choice for certain types of websites. But no static site generator signals the end for WordPress and its continuously strong community.

        The future — what should you do?

        Since you’re reading Post Status, it seems fair to assume that you’re part of the WordPress ecosystem, and very likely earn a living from it. Should you be panicking? No, for all the reasons I laid out.

        But any wise professional keeps an eye on the future of their industry. We are seeing a trend, and over time Jekyll and its siblings will gain more marketshare. It’s probably worth your time to try out a few flat-file CMS options, get familiar with how to use and customize them, and perhaps consider what WordPress itself can learn from them.

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