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Month: October 2014 (page 1 of 2)

WordPress: What it Takes to Contribute

Just a day after WordCamp Europe, Matt posted “Five for the Future” on his blog. After which, posts emerged in response to Matt’s statement.

I would recommend reading Matt’s post first, followed by the responses made in relation to his idea. You will find these related posts at the bottom of Matt’s page. Not only that they are good reads, but they are also something that would give you a clearer view on “Five for the Future” and what others thought of it.

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“Contributor is someone who contributes something in order to provide or achieve something together with other people.”

“Five for the Future” was also brought up in WordCamp San Francisco last October 26, 2014. A lot of us are using WordPress, and some of the sites we bump into are created from it, which all in all makes up 23% of the web. 

Companies, non-profits, and individuals all benefit from WordPress, being open source. In order for something to survive, we should allot 5% of our knowledge or time, and together let’s grow with WordPress.

 

How to contribute? …but I’m not an engineer. 

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Neither am I, (correct me if I’m wrong) but I believe that Matt and WordPress would not mind that at all. Contributing to WordPress does not have a rule. Each one of us can contribute in our own way. We don’t have to be engineers or developers to do so.

“It’s a big commitment, but I can’t think of a better long-term investment in the health of WordPress overall.” – Matt 

I always believe that there is graciousness in the world, and I don’t think it’s a “big commitment,” I think it’s just right that we give back to WordPress in our own way.

By writing blog posts you are contributing already. Using WordPress counts as a contribution too. You may also review themes or plugins if you like.

In GitHub you may find some books related to WordPress, and you can contribute even by correcting some typos. If speaking is your thing, that’s another way to help the community grow. It may be an inspiring talk, informative, and about techniques you know. You can organize and volunteer at WordCamps, it should be a good mix of fun and new learnings. The guidelines for organizing are here. 

If you’re keen on learning more on codes, there are a lot of resources online. Say hello to the world and visit forums or Codex. I’m sure a lot would love to help. If you find a solution, share it to the world. 

Nearly at the end of Matt’s “State of the Word”, he mentioned about contributing to WordPress. He said that “contributor is a title only you can give to yourself.” I think all of us deserve that title. Be proud that you’re a WordPress user, a WordPress contributor.

What it was, what it is now, what it will be: The State of WordPress

Every year, Matt Mullenweg delivers the most anticipated, “State of the Word.” His talk last Sunday was enjoyable, informative and packed with WordPress stuff that happened in the past, and things that are happening right now, and of course some more stuff to look forward to in the future.

Everything evolves from users to devices, applications and softwares we use. WordPress and Wordcamp evolve too.

For the last 7 years, WCSF is being held at Mission Bay, but this will be the last event to be held there. “We’ve outgrown it,” Matt says.

Not to be sad though, because something bigger will take its place to bring more people together, more exhibitors, etc., and just like the very first WordCamp, “WordCamp U.S.” official name, location and date are to be determined.

It’s really very touching to see how far WordPress and WordCamp has come. Looking at the very first one to that of now, the difference is quite massive in terms of organization and the number of attendees. And a big crowd like this needs a big announcement too!

Millions and more

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Just before WCSF14, there was a survey where the stats were made public. Based on those who took the survey, 87% use WordPress as a CMS. This decreased by 2% compared to 2013. Although this percentage continues to decline, more stuff continue to rise. Just like the fact that there are more than 7,000 people using WP for a living, and I could say that this value is much higher than what is shown since this value only came from those who took the survey.

Currently, we make 23% of the web. It’s great that the WordPress community is continuing to increase. Even many of us build more than a million active sites. Furthermore, 91% of these sites took less than a month to make.

 

Collaboration and Internationalization

Our community will not come to this point if not for the amazing collaboration and communication tools we can use these days.

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We have GitHub where you can share codes with anyone. It’s the place where you can make pull requests and other things with anyone – anyone in the world at all.

There’s also Slack, a San Francisco-made company that got a good deal of endorsement from Matt himself. It’s cool for communication and much more, even remote work or location won’t be an issue. In fact, these tools solve these issues including that of language.

To add more on language, English is not the first language the majority of the world speaks. So internationalization comes to the picture. There would be language packs coming to plugins and themes in early 2015.

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We love WordPress and WordPress loves us, and for this relationship to survive, let’s devote even as little as 5% of time to WordPress. We can share resources, knowledge, organize WordCamps, or contribute to the core, etc. There are many ways to contribute.

 

What’s the thing that makes WordPress “WordPress”? 

I believe that WordPress and the endless list of available collaboration tools will be useless if not for the people.

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The people is what makes WordPress even greater, and anyone is welcome to join regardless of their age, gender, race, creed, and so on. If you, like me, believe in a democratic form of publishing, then feel free to tag along with us.

Automattic Designer’s Tips on Site Design

Yesterday’s WCSF14 lightning talk of Joe Dolson (Coding for Accessibility) touched a quick topic on images. He asked us about the purpose of images. “Are images necessary? Or are they just ‘ornamental’?

His questions further connect us to another lightning talk of Automattic Designer, Michael Arestad’s speech on Visual Hierarchy.

Photos do tell stories, and there are cases where photos are enough to tell the whole story without saying a word. However, there are times where photos are not needed at all, simply words.

Just like Michael said, when we get overly excited on designing, our site might end up like this game, “Where’s Waldo?”

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We definitely do not want our readers to be overwhelmed by this kind of visual overload. And he elaborated more on how to guide our readers to only the most important info in his talk.

In Psychology, Maslow created the “hierarchy of needs.” Based on his findings and observations, he discovered what is really essential for man to survive and for the rest of humanity to prevail.

On the other hand, Michael’s “Visual Hierarchy” is what our sites need to survive:

I will use Amimoto’s homepage to illustrate that.

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Man needs oxygen to survive, and the oxygen for our sites is the “ultimate important thing” and should be of utmost priority. 

According to Michael, unimportant things mostly include widgets, ads, and mission statements. Furthermore, “The Elements of Content Strategy” states that the central principle of good content is that “it should be appropriate for your business, for your users and for its context. Appropriate in its method of delivery, in its
style and structure, and above all in its substance.”

 

Tips and Tricks 

1. Delete

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  • Ditch the sidebar.
  • Delete everything you can get away with.
  • If a button or image is unnecessary, we should just delete them and have a clean canvas instead.

2. Simplify styles

Simplify your navigation.

3. Strategize

 

If you enjoyed this article, please share it, and don’t forget #amimoto and #wcsf14. You may also connect with us through Amimoto twitter or Amimoto facebook. See you around WordCamp! Thank you!

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