Pressbits on WPCandy

By WPCandy

About this podcast   English    United States

Short, bite-sized audio WordPress podcast. Each bite contains thoughts about WordPress, themes, plugins, and the community.
Feb. 27, 2012
Pressbit 008 is ready for your listening ears. In this Pressbit I talk about WordPress business models, giving a proof of concept that (I hope) helps get across the point that there are a lot of business models in our industry that are still untapped. Listen here: If you would rather download it directly you can do that, or subscribe to this show via RSS or on iTunes. If you would prefer a written summary, you can also read that just after the jump. There are lots of untapped ideas – here’s one Oli Dale, of wplift, wrote a nice post a while back about existing WordPress business models. It was an interesting post, but I think there is still a lot of potential to do new things. So, in this Pressbit, I go over one idea. Let’s say you know how to make WordPress themes – either for clients or for public distribution – then this idea could apply to you. Instead making a theme and trying to sell it in your own shop or on a marketplace for $35, what if you developed a much more niche theme, and targeted a select type of customer. Let’s think in numbers. I’ll assume your end goal is to make $10,000. Not a bad number, right? Well, instead of having to sell this theme more than 400 times (after the marketplace thakes their share) for $35 each, you’re going to sell this theme ten times for $1,000 each. What!? I can’t sell a theme for $1,000 a pop! Sure you can. Because you are only going to sell it ten times. After all, your goal is $10,000, right? So now you’re not selling a template that can be used all over the web – but a design you can be specific with and target just the right customer, but it’s guaranteed to only show up in the world ten times. All of a sudden, your customer has a well-developed, nearly entirely custom design for a grand. They just got a steal. On top of your $1,000 price tag, you’ll also give each customer five development hours to help them get set up, do slight customizations, or whatever they choose. I’ll assume developing your theme will take a month (that’s a generous amount of time). So now you’ve invested one month of development and another week of customizations for this theme. And you made $10,000 in less than 40 days. So, you’re still selling WordPress themes, but you’re also giving a custom experience to each of these buyers and helping their businesses stand out for a price previously not possible. Not bad! So what are some of your ideas? You just finished reading Pressbit 008: Thinking out loud about WordPress business models on WPCandy. Please consider leaving a comment!
Feb. 16, 2012
In episode seven I share my thoughts on something I’ve tried to do on a daily basis to be more efficient when working in the WordPress dashboard. I’m curious what you think of this idea. Have a listen: If you would rather download it directly you can do that, or subscribe to this show via RSS or on iTunes. If you would prefer a written summary, you can also read that just after the jump. Memorize dashboard URLs If you’re anything like me, you spend a good deal of time in the WordPress dashboard. But also like me, you might be interested in being efficient and not wasting time. One thing I’ve tried to train myself to do is memorize the URLs for pages I visit within the dashboard, to entirely skip over the navigation side of things. Or rather, not memorize, but commit them to muscle memory. For instance, one thing I’ll often do is log into the dashboard and start a new post. The standard way is to type in my dashboard URL, wait for it to load, then click the add new post link (either in the toolbar or in the menu) and then wait for the next page to load. But I can skip that middle part, if instead of initially browsing to /wp-admin/ I also type in post-new.php. I skip the additional page load, moving the mouse, and clicking. I end up where I want to go right away. It might seem like a small mental shift, but if you visit dashboard pages enough it might be worth trying it out. Pay attention to the full URLs for dashboard screens you visit regularly, and start saving a few moments here and there. What do you think? You just finished reading Pressbits #7: Memorize WordPress dashboard URLs on WPCandy. Please consider leaving a comment!
Feb. 13, 2012
Pressbits episode 006 awaits you. This time was slightly different, as Ryan and I were both on this episode. We held a very brief conversation about how we look for and decide to use a plugin in the repository. You can listen to it here: Download audio file (Pressbits-0006-Evaluating-plugins-on-dot-org.mp3) If you would rather download it directly you can do that, or subscribe to this show via RSS or on iTunes. If you would prefer a written summary, you can also read that just after the jump. How we evaluate new plugins This episode spawned from a conversation we were having on Skype discussing how we decide a plugin in the repository is worth downloading. Specifically, I was looking for an Amazon s3 integration plugin. Ryan recommended one to me that I had already ignored because it only had a three star rating. Ryan doesn’t look too much at the star ratings, as he (well both of us really) considers them flawed. I don’t look at them exlclusively, but do tend to use the star rating as a simple early filter. We both pay close attention to when a plugin was last updated, and what version of WordPress it is compatible to. Ryan tends to jump to the forum for a given plugin earlier than I do, and I tend to put more weight on downloads than he does. Also, neither of use are ashamed to crowdsource for opinions and ideas via Twitter, when necessary. How do you decide a plugin is worthwhile? Do you use the same methods as we do, or do you just look at the code, or do you do anything at all? You just finished reading Pressbits 006: How to evaluate plugins in the directory on WPCandy. Please consider leaving a comment!
Feb. 3, 2012
In this episode of Pressbits I discuss my pet peeve of plugin developers deleting my options settings on deactivation, rather than upon uninstallation. You should listen to it, especially if you’re a plugin developer. Download audio file (Pressbits-0005-plugin-options-and-deactivation.mp3) If you would rather download it directly you can do that too, or subscribe to this show via RSS or on iTunes. If you would prefer a written summary, you can also read that just after the jump. Deactivating and uninstalling a plugin are not the same thing Let’s talk about plugin options. Specifically, what I expect as a user when I deactivate a plugin, versus uninstall one. WordPress has some hooks built in that help enable plugin others to do things, namely register_activation_hook, register_deactivation_hook, and register_uninstall_hook. The deactivation hook and uninstall hook are great places to trigger certain things. Unfortunately, too many plugin authors unset options in the wrong one. When I deactivate a plugin, I’m not really trying to totally remove the plugin from my site, but rather just turn it off. So when a plugin author deletes all of the options I’ve selected on a plugins’ settings screen on the deactivation hook, it makes me angry that I have to go and reset them when I turn it back on. So angry that I might just find another solution for what your plugin is doing. What they should be doing instead, is removing these options, and everything else, with the uninstall hook. When i uninstall a plugin completely, it is safe to assume I am finished with it, and it is the appropriate place to take such action. But when I simply deactivate, in all likelihood I’m just debugging something in my theme or another plugin, or maybe backing up or upgrading something. So consider this a friendly message to plugin developers, and future plugin developers – remove options on the uninstall hook, and not the deactivation hook. You just finished reading Pressbits 005: Don't delete plugin options on deactivation on WPCandy. Please consider leaving a comment!
Feb. 3, 2012
In this episode of Pressbits I discuss the hesitance I sometimes see in folks to release their code as WordPress plugins. Listen, I dare you: Download audio file (Pressbits-0004-Dont-hesitate-to-release-plugins.mp3) If you would rather download it directly you can do that too, or subscribe to this show via RSS or on iTunes. If you would prefer a transcript, you can also read that just after the jump. Mine your work for plugins that you can release Sometimes I get the sense that someone is shying away from releasing any of their work as a plugin. They will say things like “this isn’t that complex” or “this isn’t worthwhile or unique”. But the thing is, we (the community) need more plugins that are small, simple, and compact. Dig into your functions file, your functionality plugins, or even stray code that you have within your theme files. Be watchful for what could become a general public plugin. If not for your own sake — some aren’t interested in maintaining plugins on WordPress.org, which I get — then release them for me. I want to see your awesome ideas, the ways you have solved your own problems, and whether they might be useful for myself or others. Some of my favorite plugins are not big and powerful, but small and very specific. One thing I’ve learned by being a part of the WordPress community (or is it communities?) is that code you keep to yourself can end up stale and weak. Sharing code, on the other hand, using WordPress.org or Github (my two favorites) means that others can add to and improve on your code. It also helps to bring you further into the community and makes others aware of you and your ideas. Personally I try to turn as many of my site’s features into plugins as possible (internally). They instantly become easier to manage and seem generally more organized than as scattered functions in a file or two. Now I just need to take my own advice and release a slew of my own tiny, purpose-specific plugins. Are you sitting on any code (read: solutions to problems) that you could take a few minutes to release as a plugin? You just finished reading Pressbits 004: Don't hesitate to release plugins on WPCandy. Please consider leaving a comment!
Feb. 2, 2012
I recorded a Pressbits episode just for you: Download audio file (Pressbits-0003-Simple-Plugin-Updates.mp3) If you would rather download it directly you can do that too, or subscribe to this show via RSS or on iTunes. If you would prefer a transcript, you can also read that just after the jump. On simple plugin updates I try to pay close attention to plugin updates. Not as close as WordPress updates, though when it’s a plugin I’m using it’s just as important to me. One of my favorite dashboard-tweaking plugins has been, for some time now, the Expandable Dashboard Recent Comments plugin by coffee2code (I believe I mistakenly referenced Viper007Bond as the author — sorry Scott!). I’ve mentioned it on The Sweet Plugin before, but in short it allows you to expand the comments you see on the dashboard (the previews you use to quickly approve or trash new comments). It saves me a page load since I don’t have to visit the comments screen, which I like. The plugin update (released in the last couple of weeks) includes a user interface improvement. Previously the link to expand the comments was a double arrow placed inline with the comment text. The plugin update moves the control to the comment action links, right next to approve, spam and trash. This brings the plugin more in line with the standard WordPress dashboard UI, which is something every plugin should aim for. Not every plugin update needs to be something major, or even specific to functionality. coffee2code is making a point to revisit and update all of his released plugins right now. I think stepping back and improving UI in a simple way like this – particularly for something users might be using a dozen or more times each day – is well worth the effort. You just finished reading Pressbits 003: Simple plugin updates on WPCandy. Please consider leaving a comment!
Feb. 1, 2012
Pressbits episode 002 awaits your consumption. Download audio file (Pressbits-000002-The-WordPress-Admin.mp3) If you would rather download it directly you can do that, or subscribe to Pressbits via RSS or on iTunes. A summary of this episode is after the jump. Do your clients understand the admin you’ve given them? You’ve built some pretty cool features into a website, and you’re about to hand it over to your client. But do they know what to do with these features, and how to use them? Do they even know they exist? What good is it if they login and get overwhelmed? Unless you tell them, they probably don’t know where to go, or what to do, or how to navigate the backend at all. There are options out there to help you clean up the clutter, and I personally use the White Label CMS plugin to help me do that. Not only does this plugin let me select some unnecessary (for the client) menus to hide, but I can quickly create a couple of helpful widgets, like one with quick links to help and our company support contact information. So before you wrap up your next client site, take a step back and put yourself in a beginner’s shoes to make sure that the experience isn’t too overwhelming, and offers them clear direction of how to operate the site as soon as they log in. You just finished reading Pressbits 002: The WordPress admin on WPCandy. Please consider leaving a comment!
Jan. 31, 2012
I’m happy to introduce the newest addition to the WPCandy shows family. It’s called Pressbits, and it’s exactly what you’d expect: bite-sized thoughts on WordPress. Ryan and I will both be contributing to Pressbits, and you can expect them at a rapid-fire pace (daily-ish). I got inspiration for Pressbits from Paul Boag’s Audio Boos, which is one of my favorite web related podcasts. Our goal is similar, quick, off the cuff recordings of what’s on our mind. I hope you’ll enjoy, and of course, your feedback is always appreciated. We’ll update this post shortly with a podcast feed url dedicated to Pressbits. Listen to the introductory Episode 001 of Pressbits after the jump, or download it directly. Download audio file (Pressbits-0001-Hello-world.mp3) You can also subscribe to this show via RSS or on iTunes. You just finished reading Pressbits 001: Introducing our latest show on WPCandy. Please consider leaving a comment!
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