These are my notes from the 31 January 2011 WordPress OKC User’s Group Meetup. WordPress is an open source content management system utilized by thousands of websites worldwide, including “Moving at the Speed of Creativity.” MY REFLECTIONS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

We are meeting at iThemes tonight, which is an Edmond-based company specializing in WordPress theme design and website development. Our meeting tonight is being live-streamed on ithemes.tv. They have a regular webshow every Tuesday morning at 11 am CST. Matt Danner posted a cool panorama photo of our meeting room tonight (just before I arrived, I’m now in the empty chair in the back of the room!) on Occipital with Augmented Panorama. This is the TwitPic version.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

We are working on putting a WordCamp on in Oklahoma City. Cory Miller is the founder of iThemes and he attended Wordcamp Phoenix recently. WordCamps are great places for learning and networking
– example I use: If my mom can use WordPress, YOU can use WordPress

iThemes developers have met the core developers of WordPress and contributed code back to the main WordPress code base

Now hearing from Dustin Bolton giving a demo of the free Plug-In, Loop Buddy.
– familiar with the WordPress loop?
– we will be releasing this as a free plug-in soon
– Loop Buddy provides a WYSIWYG interface for changing the contents of the WordPress loop (don’t have to write/change pHp code to make many kinds of modifications
– query editor lets you modify which posts are shown on a page (similar to using the ‘smart playlist’ feature in iTunes to create custom and dynamic playlists)
– This Loop Buddy is part of our ‘giving back’ to the WordPress community

MY COMMENT: I’M THINKING I SHOULD OFFER TO SHARE AT AN UPCOMING MEETING ABOUT HOW WORDPRESS HAS BEEN A VITAL PART OF THE K-12 ONLINE CONFERENCE FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS…

Chris Jean: it has (to date) been impossible for a plug-in to put content into a theme
– widgets were first a WP plugin, and eventually they were integrated into the main WordPress codebase (in the core)
– Loop Buddy has been developed to make this kind of theme tweaking possible and easy for WP users

I’M THINKING IT WOULD BE FUN TO BRING ALEXANDER’S SCOUT TROOP HERE TO A MEETING AS A FIELD TRIP… GOOD WAY TO LEARN HOW WEBSITE DEVELOPERS / TECHNOLOGY GEEKS ARE WORKING, NETWORKING, AND LEARNING TODAY…

It looks to me like Loop Buddy will give “normal” WordPress users (not just developers) power to do a lot more customization of how the content already included in the “WordPress Loop”

Now discussing Backup Buddy:
– iThemes created this as a result of their own web server crash experiences: A holistic WordPress backup strategy was needed (it is now a premium plugin offering)

iThemes offers a variety of free WordPress themes, including:
ContactBuddy (A customizable contact form solution for WordPress sites simpler in many ways according to Chris Jean to Contact Form 7, which is what I currently use on several sites)
ServerBuddy (tests server configuration to look for problems with hosting configuration and determine compatibility with various WordPress themes and plugins)
Tabber Widget (simple-to-use editor to create tabbed widgets)
ThemeMan (Theme Manager, adds a drop-down list to the Themes page in the WordPress administrator Dashboard allowing you to rapidly preview or activate different themes on your site)
PB-Tweet (easily display your latest tweet in an easily customizable banner at the top of your website)
more

Script timeout limitations on some sites (like GoDaddy) are just 30 seconds, that’s not enough time to backup large websites. BackUpBuddy was developed to address this and other challenges.
– backup with Backup Buddy doesn’t include images currently
– Backup buddy launched in March 2010

IT SOUNDS LIKE MANY OF THE DEVELOPERS HERE AT OUR MEETUP HAVE HAD BIG PROBLEMS SETTING UP SITES ON GODADDY AND MIGRATING SITES FROM GODADDY. I CURRENTLY HAVE DOMAINS REGISTERED WITH GODADDY BUT DON’T HAVE ANY HOSTED SITES THERE. I USE SITEGROUND AND BLUEHOST CURRENTLY.

BackUp Buddy (commercial WordPress plugin from iThemes) in the next version will offer scheduled backups to AmazonS3 and DropBox, along with other locations

Now hearing from Chris Jean
– Why is WordPress great? It’s so easy to use for so many people with different levels of technical expertise
BuddyPress is a plugin that lets your WordPress site become a social network

Chris works a lot now with the Builder theme (a commercial theme available from iThemes)
– used to use Flexx theme a lot a few years ago
– Builder is a long-term project of Chris’
– designed to let people use a huge number of different layouts, using a single theme
– my goal is making things easier for the “normal/regular” user (people who are not pHp developers
(Chris demoed how to make quick modifications with Builder)
– there are 20+ child themes (skins) available for Builder

I AM SO GLAD TO GET BACK TO THIS OKC WORDPRESS USER’S GROUP! I HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO ATTEND SINCE LAST SUMMER BECAUSE I WAS TEACHING IN DENTON LAST FALL!

Tip from Tim Priebe: Use Artisteer software ($100) to build WordPress themes from scratch (Mac version is still in beta)

Matt Danner shared several great tips after the meeting with me relating to iPhoneography:
Camera Plus is a great iPhone photo app (free)
Chase Jarvis is an amazing photographer known (among other things) for his iPhoneography (blog, twitter, youtube, vimeo)
Best Camera is Chase’ iPhone photography app ($3)

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One Response to OKC #wordpress Users Group Meetup Notes: Jan 2011 #okcwp

  1. Tim Priebe says:

    To be fair, David North has given a couple of presentations on Artisteer, which is what turned me on to it in the first place.

    Thanks as always for the great summary, Wes!

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