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Siobhan McKeown is a big fan of words, and of WordPress, which works out pretty well since she runs Words for WP, the only copywriting service dedicated to WordPress service providers. You can find her on her personal blog, twitter and occasionally hanging out on G+.
WordPress is built by volunteers. People from all over the world collaborate to create the core software, to write the documentation, to provide support, to translate WordPress, to organise events, and to generally keep the project running. Individuals work on WordPress in their free time and companies ask their employees to get involved.
A bunch of WordPress contributors.
Part of WordPress's success is that it is not simply a development community. There are designers, user experience experts, support volunteers, writers, users, accessibility experts, and enthusiasts. This diverse input strengthens the project. It also means that there is space for you to get involved. Whatever your skill set, there is room for you in the WordPress community.
Recently I shared with you some advice from the WordPress community to beginners. But what about if starting out is already a dim and distant memory? What if you're already so immersed in the world of WordPress that you dream of trac and bore your partner with talk of the latest thing you've achieved with custom post types?
Below are some tips from WordPress Pros from across the community. Many of them cover development, but there's also advice for business, for running your website, and, of course, for getting involved with the community.
There is so much to learn about WordPress theme development. The Internet is home to hundreds of articles about building WordPress themes, to countless theme frameworks that will help you get started, and to endless WordPress themes, some of which are beautiful and professional but not a few of which are (to be honest) a bit crappy.
Rather than write another article on building a WordPress theme (which would be silly, really, since any theme I build would fall into the “crappy” category), I’ve asked some of the top theme designers and developers to share some tips and techniques to help you improve and refine your theme development and design process.
We've all been total newbies. In fact, I spend most of my time still feeling like one. So researching this article was a great opportunity for me to do some more learning, and to share all of that good stuff with you. I reached out to people from across the WordPress community to ask what advice they would give to people just starting their WordPress journey.
I talked with developers, designers, support reps, security experts, hosting companies, theme shops, plugin developers and just about everything in between. This article is a result of their insight, and I hope that it provides some encouragement and guidance to newbies - whether you're a user or a developer - as well as some tips for advanced WordPress users who continue to learn throughout their lives.
“First, let’s set a few things straight: becoming a top WordPress [developer professional] is hard work — very hard work. It’s going to take a lot of time, energy and determination. If you’re looking for an easy checklist or some “fast pass” to the top, you’re going to waste your time. Being one of the best is hard, and statistically speaking, the odds are stacked against you.”
If you're a regular reader of Smashing Magazine, that will no doubt sound familiar to you. A few weeks back Jonathan Wold wrote a post on how to be a top WordPress developer. But development isn't the only way to get ahead in WordPress, because one of the great things about it is that you don't need to be a developer to be an expert; you just need a passion for WordPress, for open source software, and for being part of a community.
WordPress security is serious business. Exploits of vulnerabilities in WordPress’ architecture have led to mass compromises of servers through cross-site contamination. WordPress’ extensibility increases its vulnerability; plugins and themes house flawed logic, loopholes, Easter eggs, backdoors and a slew of other issues. Firing up your computer to find that you’re supporting a random cause or selling Viagra can be devastating.
In WordPress’ core, all security issues are quickly addressed; the WordPress team is focused on strictly maintaining the integrity of the application. The same, however, cannot be said for all plugins and themes.
The focus of this post is not to add to the overwhelming number of WordPress security or WordPress hardening posts that you see floating around the Web. Rather, we’ll provide more context about the things you need to protect yourself from. What hacks are WordPress users particularly vulnerable to? How do they get in? What do they do to a WordPress website? In this lengthy article, we'll cover backdoors, drive-by downloads, pharma hack and malicious redirects.
BuddyPress is social networking in a box, the loveable plugin that has people around the world getting social. But using BuddyPress isn’t all about waking up one morning and being struck by the amazing idea of creating the next Facebook. BuddyPress is a tool for creating communities. In fact, if you look at successful implementations of BuddyPress, you’ll see they aren’t Facebook clones, but rather niche groups that have put BuddyPress to work in growing their community.
The 1.7 release should make BuddyPress compatible with any WordPress theme, making it even more accessible to potential community builders. In this article I'm going to look at some of them; five communities that are using BuddyPress, some big, some small, some established, some emerging, some successful and some unsuccessful.
We all know that WordPress is awesome - but being awesome isn't always enough. Does it perform well under pressure? Can it deal with traffic from millions of visitors every month? There's no question that WordPress can be used for your or my blog, but what about multi-authored blogs with thousands of comments? How do developers make it scale and perform?
I talked to the developers behind some of the biggest WordPress blogs on the planet and asked them to tell me their secrets. Now I get to share them with you.
In this article, we’ll look at writing documentation for a WordPress plugin, theme or product. Most of the information can be applied to documentation for other software types, but we’ll look at some WordPress-specific aspects. In my experience, the quality of documentation in WordPress plugins and themes varies widely.
From poorly documented plugins with one-line readmes to products with user guides, developer APIs and in-depth screencasts, you’ll find every type of documentation in the WordPress ecosystem. Many plugins and themes are built by developers who don’t have the time to write documentation or don’t have the money to pay a technical writer.