Prompt 15/20 Blog: Share a WordPress tip or trick that has made your life easier.

Tools that help me to write code for WordPress are among those that I’ve found most valuable. Basically, anything that will let me build out sites and plugins faster.

For instance, lets you generate code for portions of WordPress that can get repetitive. I use it to generate the code to make post types, taxonomies, queries, and more.

Tomorrow’s prompt is about AI in WordPress, so I’ll save discussing that beyond saying that it can help speed up general development.

Prompt 14/20 Blog: Share a “Two Truths and a Lie” about your experience with WordPress.

I’m gonna go the romance route on this! Because everything comes back to queer smooching with me 😜🏳️‍🌈

  1. I have been involved in the WordPress community longer than I have been with any of my romantic partners.
  2. I got to know one of my partners via WordPress before becoming romantically involved with them.
  3. I met my best friend via the WordPress community.

Ok, now take a moment to choose the lie before scrolling down. Ready?

  1. True. Our local Meetup started in October 2011, and I didn’t start dating my husband until late 2012.
  2. True. My partner and I were actually supposed to meet in person for the first time at a WordCamp in March 2020, but it ws cancelled a week or so beforehand due to the pandemic.
  3. False. My best friend Lisa may be actve at WordCamps and the Meetup, but that’s because she’s the best and is always there to help!

Prompt 13/20 Blog: What is your favorite website built in WordPress right now (yours or anyone else’s)?

I know that this whole blogging experience is about celebrating WordPress, and this may feel a bit self-serving in that regard, but the Make WordPress website is a great website built with WordPress to highlight. Built with the free P2, which now offers as a paid product, P2 shows that you can have a robust community right within WordPress.

The Make WordPress site has a lot of detailed information for the organization of the WordPress contributor community. It’s also where the community organizes to work on the project itself. All major decisions and recaps of conversations that take place elsewhere are posted to the site. Much of the discussion takes places in comments on the site.

This means that you can follow along with the decision making process and ongoing tasks and roadmap for WordPress from one place, with everything written out. This is also part of the drive from community members to keep everything transparent in decision making and planning. With a useful resource like this, anything that looks like behind the curtain dealmaking is bristled at.

Prompt 12/20 Blog: What is your favorite plugin in the WordPress Plugins Directory?

There are so many WordPress plugins that I love, but admittedly many of them are paid plugins, not available on the repo. I mentioned on Day 8 that Gravity Forms is one of those plugins, which has saved me time and given me access to things that I’d never be able to do on my own repeatedly. Advanced Custom Fields is another one that has made modifying the WordPress experience more accessible. Plus, there are all of the one-off plugins that I’ve written for myself and clients that do useful things but are too specific to release as-is for public consumption.

When it comes to plugins that you can get right from the WordPress Plugin Directory, I think that I’m going to go with GiveWP. I’ve used it before, both for myself and for clients, and have been happy with the ease of use, versatility, and friendliness of their support staff when I needed help.

More important, GiveWP is a plugin that does something substantially meaningful for the site owner. It provides a relatively easy way to host your own crowdfunding campaigns. For many users, the plugin can both make more customized donation pages and terms as compared to centralized crowdfunding/donation sites. It also means that you can have fewer fees to pay elsewhere, sending more money directly to your organization or cause.

This is just another way that the WordPress community can open new avenues to empower people to control their own spaces on the web. We need more like this!

Prompt 11/20 Blog: WordPress was launched 20 years ago on May 27, 2003. Share a memory, a picture, or tell us a story about where you were in 2003. (If you weren’t born yet, tell us that too.)

On 27 May 2003 I was about to make a move. Right now I live near Orlando, Florida, and I’ve been here since June 2003. A week prior though, when WordPress first officially launched, I was still in Kansas, still in high school, and still more socially inept and awkward than I am now. And I was closeted to everybody, desperately trying to hide a shameful secret.

Moving was not an uncommon experience for me, though I didn’t know a the time that it was going to be my last major move for a good long while. It’s exciting to see new places, but it also means big changes. For me I was ready for a change, as I didn’t have much in the way of interpersonal attachments to worry about, just one good friend and lots of bad memories to let go of (see socially inept and awkward above).

I went to a new school, made some new friends, learned more about myself, and finally came out to some people around me, to mixed results. I found a group of queers that I overall gelled with, and ended up staying in Florida for college, where I found even more connections that have altered my life permanently for the better.

a landscape photo of david and Lisa talking, both walking away from the camera in a prairie field toward a lake surrounded by trees

Oh, I was also building websites already! Sure, they were super basic, both with the technology of the time and my skill level, but they were fun to craft by hand. I learned a bit of Perl and CGI for interactivity, but they were mainly pure HTML with lots of graphics and cringeworthy text. I wasn’t yet using JavaScript or PHP, but thankfully I dipped my toes into both before finding a CMS.

It took me five more years to find WordPress, and three more years after that to discover the WordPress Community. But those stories have plenty of other days to be covered.