Everyone enjoyed hearing Anthony’s first-hand experience in using some of the popular plugins and other lesser-known yet useful ones. You can read descriptions and reviews about plugins, but sometimes it’s much more helpful when you can ask questions and compare usages.
I have a short video from this but it’s not ready yet. Coming soon…
After the presentation each of us shared a couple of plugins that we like. I’ll just list them with a short descriptions.
Though it’s not a plugin, Press This was also mentioned as a very useful tool (FYI: Noel Jackson, another speaker from our past meetup worked on this!). If you don’t have it yet, go to the “Tools” panel on your WordPress dashboard. You can strat using it right away.
For March meetup, Tim will talk about some WordPress shopping cart solutions, and Trevor will shocase a non-profit organization site he worked on with Tim. I will post the date & details on the meetup site soon.
WordCamp Detroit 2010 site is up! Currently it’s a 1-page site that Anthony put together. You can sign up to get future updates or find links to WordCamp Detroit Facebook & Twitter pages.
“a conference that focuses on everything WordPress. WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other. WordCamps are open to WordPress.com and WordPress.org users alike.” (WordCamp Central).
Started as a BarCamp-style 1-day conference in 2006, it spread out fast — just like WordPress did — to become very active community events held in 50+ cities (each year) all around the world.
We are working on setting the date (sometime in the second half of this year) and venue for WordCamp Detroit right now. Until the event site is fully set up, I’ll post related news on this blog.
I am trying to schedule our meetups on more regular basis (same time, same week on every month). i3Detroit is a possibility (maybe after March) but let me know if you have any suggestions about the location.
First, Trevor presented “Developing a WordPress Theme“. I posted the summary of it as another entry.
Then we talked a little about WordPress 3.0.
WordPress MU merge is going well and a “pre-preview release” is coming soon.
There will be a new default theme called “2010” replacing Kubrick. You can read more about it on WordPress.org development blog’s entry 2010: A Theme Odyssey.
The project schedule for 3.0 is on WordPress Development Updates blog. For the latest updates, check that blog often. Currently, 3.0 release is scheduled for mid-April.
More new stuff: improved menu management, custom post type, core plugins… lots to look forward!
There were some questions about WordPress Foundation. The site explains its mission and purpose, but in short it’s a non-profit organization for open source WordPress projects. You can go to the site to check out the new default theme “2010”. The site is using a beta version of the theme.
Some of us are planning trips to WordCamp Toronto and WordCamp Chicago. There is a discussion thread on Meetup.com message board about it, so post comments if you’re interested. Gary says get the ticket soon if you’re planning to go, because last year Chicago ticket got sold out quickly.
We are also going to kick off our WordCamp Detroit 2010 planning. If you are interested in volunteering or getting updates, please contact me. Speakers, sponsors, spreading the word – any help is appreciated! When I have more specific information, I’ll make sure to post it here.
Trevor Fitzgerald, the author of Crispp theme presented Developing a WordPress Theme (links to his slides) at today’s a January WordPress Meetup. Crispp is a very clean theme with customizable options. It’s simple and flexible.
He decided to choose WordPress.org theme directory as a channel of distribution because it’s easy, you can get good exposure (from the directory’s “Recently Updated” list & sites like Weblog Tools Collection which features new themes), and nice download stats is provided.
Other benefits for making your theme available for download are traffic to your site, Google Page Rank (“Designed by” footer link), and increase in inquiries for additional development services.
His theme has been downloaded 1500+ times in one month.
He says it’s good to make your theme extensible and flexible. Crispp is widgetized, has a theme options panel where you can edit the Welcome message on the home page and colors.
He is developing another theme called “Earthly” – contact him if you want to a sneak peek!
Trevor said he custom-built his server and have it hosted at a hosting company that has a local location. Sounded like an alternative to self-hosting for having your own reasonable and reliable server.
Joe mentioned a couple of PHP-based community site building tools, Dolphin and Elgg that he had used. Maybe something to compare BuddyPress with?
We also briefly talked about WordPress 2.8 – it will include improved Widgets and one-click Theme install.
I showed some comps from my past project as inspiration for blog designing. Making iterative changes is good, and launching fast & making more changes after feedback is important.
Kirk & David, I was sitting too far away from you guys… please add things I didn’t catch!