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  • Christine Rondeau 8:27 pm on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Time to ditch Your WordPress? 

    The section Your WordPress on the forums might have made sense at the beginning when few of us were using WordPress, but now that it’s so popular, there are better avenues for someone to “Strut their stuff” and get feedback.

    These days this section contains mostly spammers and moderators tend to give that section less attention. In my opinion, this section is not worth keeping, but I may have not considered something.

    Care to voice your opinion filling out the survey and/or leaving a comment?

     
    • mrmist 8:34 pm on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Very yes.

    • WebTechGlobal 8:43 pm on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Voted yes however I would prefer something more advanced in its place…

      It could be a plugin that sends information about the blog to this site i.e. theme, plugins, website name etc. Along with that the webmaster can describe their site, it’s purpose, the team and have questions that help us to determine why they use WordPress.

      I think in short my idea is a community moderated portfolio. Effort would be required to get the WordPress on this forum. Screenshot of the WordPress should be included. The plugin rating system could be used especially now that it is tied into a review approach.

      Is this not something worth considering so that people do have a free place to show off their WordPress on an official WordPress domain and it is done in a way that spammers wouldn’t have time for?

    • Andrew Nevins 8:46 pm on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If we don’t scrap them, we could introduce more strict guidelines on how to post.

      Forrst.com is a website that dedicates itself to a community a review system. People can post their work and review other people’s work. Forrst deals with the same sorts of crap but they resolve it by allowing users to mark work as:
      “Needs more work. Forrster hasn’t put enough time into their post for community feedback to be useful.”
      “Overly Promotional. The post doesn’t contribute enough opportunity for the community to learn.”
      “Lacks purpose. Forrster hasn’t asked for specific feedback, highlighted successful ideas, or shared insight into their work.”

      We could take their guidelines as criteria that users must meet when posting their own work. Then if people don’t meet those guidelines, we could delete their threads.

      I can see how introducing these guidelines would mean moderating the Your WordPress forum more, but the frequency of threads opening up there is really low, so it may not need too much moderation.

    • Jan Dembowski 11:32 pm on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Voted “YES!” I think it’s time for the Your WordPress sub-forum to be shown the door.

      Occasionally you’ll get some really good posts (I’m still impressed with Bea’s site) but the majority of the posts are people attempting to get Google Juice out of posting the a link.

      Many of those are just plain awful and as Andrew used to point out not different from the theme’s demo site. It’s not really serving it’s original purpose anymore.

      • Andrew Nevins 8:41 am on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yes, pretty much all of the sites I have reviewed on there since I can remember have been exactly the same as the themes they derive. Basically people want others to review their actual content, which of course does not contribute anything to the community. I often now reply, “I think the developers of theme X have done a really good job” when people try to take credit for them.

    • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 5:57 am on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      More rules/guidelines won’t help. If people don’t read the ones we have, and they don’t, it won’t change the pain that is both that forum and the Meetups one.

      I vote to dump. It was a great idea when WP was a smaller community, we’re a bit mammoth ;)

    • Les Bessant 6:15 am on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think its time is long gone.

    • Rev. Voodoo 11:22 am on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Granted… due to full time school+work, I haven’t been super active in the forums (I’ll be back!), but since I started hanging out on the forums, I’ve seen that section kind of devolve. It used to be a bit useful, a meet and greet, and beginners really looking for input – heck I was in there when I made my first couple of themes from scratch (man, they are ugly). It just doesn’t really serve that, or any, purpose any longer.

    • Mvied 3:40 pm on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think something outside the forum with a formal submission process would be a much better idea if the community wanted to keep something like this around at all. That way the moderators could create guidelines as to what can be submitted and a lot of the mess will not be published.

    • Siobhan 5:15 pm on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Any chance you could just block it to new submissions? It’s pretty useful to me at the minute while I’m researching WP history.

      • Christine 6:00 pm on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        ah ah… I knew there would be something I hadn’t thought about. Good point.

        • Jan Dembowski 12:18 pm on May 18, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          That would be good. Put up a sticky on that sub-forum with “No more submissions etc.” and leave it for historical purposes.

          • Andrew Nevins 9:34 pm on May 18, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Can we delete advertising/ spam/ lacking purpose/ lacking detail threads to make room for the good ones on the first page?

            • Jan Dembowski 12:00 pm on May 19, 2013 Permalink

              It’s tricky. If someone’s spaming any forum then *ZAP! Buh-buy!* that post.

              But so much of Your WordPress is just “What do you think of this site?” and that’s kinda/sorta permitted provided it’s actually a WordPress site.

              There’s one guy who every few months posts his client work link. The sites are WordPress and not bad per se but those posts don’t really serve a point IMHO. It’s just really an attempt to get a link.

            • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 3:32 pm on May 21, 2013 Permalink

              The problem there is the manual work involved. Frankly, I have no interest in curating that. I’d rather actually help people :)

    • songdogtech 3:16 am on May 24, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Kill it and grill it. (Well, maybe not grill it.) But I think it is time for it to be turned into an historical archive, as suggested above.

    • jeffr0 1:17 pm on May 29, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m all for the idea of just archiving that section and disallowing any new threads to be created. Or hide the forum from the public view, make it private.

    • Samuel Wood (Otto) 4:53 pm on May 29, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I voted no, and figured I might as well say why.

      Basically, I think it serves as a good introduction point for new users to the forums. If you look around at various internet forum with relatively decent communities on them, most of them have some sort of “intro” place, where new users are encouraged to post, mess up, learn how the forum works, that sort of thing.

      The “My WordPress” forum may not have any particularly valuable content there to others, but it serves enough of a purpose for getting people to register, learn to post, etc. I’m not too concerned about the spam in it, everything is nofollowed and such.

      Just my 2 cents.

      • Samuel Wood (Otto) 4:55 pm on May 29, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Additional: If spam is the real concern, I’ll happily noindex that section entirely as well.

        • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 7:28 pm on May 29, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          It’s spam, but it’s also people posting for help in the wrong place, and moderators wasting time (IMO) wrangling things that are essentially worthless. If we’re not there to moderate and help teach them how the forum/community works, then they don’t learn and mess up (in understandable ways) elsewhere. If we DO sit and moderate, then I feel it’s wasted effort when we could be helping people with problems.

          I don’t care about the spam. I personally totally ignore that forum because there are two types of posts I see as being valid and ‘correct’ in that forum:

          1) “Check out my cool site!” This I ignore because there’s a limit to how much time I have in a day, and no offense, but I ignore random links from my wife, so yeah, I ignore random links from strangers too!

          2) “Please suggest things for my site!” This I ignore because I strongly feel your site design is subjective . That is, ‘good’ ideas for a site purely depends on what you want.

          The rest of what we get in there is similar to “This review is really a support request” which would be “This is my site! Why does the menu look bad?” And here you’re in the wrong place, and because of that we ignore you, which makes the community look like we don’t care about people and are ignoring them, which I know I am because they done posted wrong on accident, so they get unhappy.

          That’s why I don’t like that forum.

    • esmi 5:56 pm on May 29, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I don’t have any strong opinions either way. Yes – you do get new topics that seem to have no other purpose other than getting a link published for a site but then there are topics that obviously serve a very real purpose. All in all, I’d class it as “Mostly Harmless” – though I’d endorse the suggestion to no-index that section.

  • Christine Rondeau 1:53 am on January 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: training   

    Troubleshooting WordPress Training 

    Following my discussion earlier this week with Jen and to clarify what was mentioned in her post, I’ve been thinking of ideas for what a “Troubleshooting WordPress Workshop” could look like.

    Two years ago at WordCamp Toronto, Kathryn Presner led a 3 hour workshop and gave beginners a primer about WordPress walking them through the dashboard, etc… Myself and Ruth Maude were on hand to help people with questions.

    Perhaps 3 hours is  too long for a troubleshooting workshop, but having a longer session would be useful for folks to ask question, play with code, etc…

    A  very rough outline of what could be covered would be:

    • Installation Issues ( localhost and self hosting )
    • I can’t find/reset my password what do I do?
    • Overview of FTP and phpMyAdmin – why these are great troubleshooting tools
    • Ack! White screen of death
    • Theme/Plugin errors
    • Incompatibility with themes/plugin
    • Media Images are not showing up, how can I fix this?
    • I’ve upgraded my site and now it’s borked
    • My site is slow
    • I’m making changes and nothing happens
    • I change the site url and now I can login to my admin
    • Help me change the width/colour/font???? How do I do this?

    These are just off the top of my head right now. Before doing anything, I would want to go through the troubleshooting info on the codex, but having been on the forums for a while, I’ve answered a combination of these questions, once or twice. :P

    I would also like to give the participants the opportunity to submit their specific issues before they come. Hopefully once they’ve been through this, they would be more comfortable coming to the forum and offering help.

    Let me know if you have any suggestions, comments.

     

     
    • Kirk Wight 3:49 am on January 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It sounds like a great idea, and three hours wouldn’t be too long (it could even let participants lead the last hour through questions).

      I would keep it solidly in userspace if you just want a three hour workshop (no need to get in to localhost installs or direct database stuff).

      • Christine Rondeau 4:58 pm on January 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I agree with localhost install. In Toronto, there was a workshop prior to Kathryn’s led by someone who’s name I forget now and he led the group through the localhost install and then Kathryn did her workshop and there were some interesting issues specially with folks on PCs. :P

        This workshop would be ideal for folks who already have an install either on a server or localhost, but new beginners could join of course and just listen.

    • Kathy Drewien 6:21 am on January 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Three hours is very short when you are talking about training!

    • Jen Mylo 12:54 pm on January 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Yeah, I was thinking of a full-day workshop.

      • Christine Rondeau 4:53 pm on January 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Full day might be a bit draining for both student and teacher though. I do a lot of teaching and three hours is pretty intense. The other thing to consider is the room allocation. I’ve never planned a WordCamp, but I’m guessing getting a venue (after sponsors) is the toughest part.

        Anyhow, I’m sure that we can come up with a curriculum and then do as see fit.

        I forgot to mention in the post above too, that we also need to leave time to work on issues that participants have and thus if we did 3 hours, had lunch, then came back, did an hour and then it’s questions/individual troubleshooting time. That could be a potential scenario.

        • Jen Mylo 7:21 pm on January 17, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Full-day workshops are pretty standard (with breaks throughout), as is having multiple teachers. Getting a venue for 350 people is hard, but getting a venue for 30-50 for one day isn’t usually a big deal. A training that is just 3 hours could be done in a regular meetup, and isn’t really the intensive level-up special event I was thinking of. There’s room and a need for both, but once we start thinking about people making travel plans to attend or teach at one of these, it really isn’t worth the expense for 3 hours.

        • Kathryn Presner 2:39 pm on January 26, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Full day might be a bit draining for both student and teacher though.

          What about having more than one instructor?

          • christine 9:22 pm on January 26, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Indeed you’re right. Having more than one instructor and breaking the class into group work and smaller chunks would work.

    • Kathryn Presner 2:37 pm on January 26, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Really looking forward to seeing how this develops – terrific idea. Would love to be part of it somehow.

      I would also like to give the participants the opportunity to submit their specific issues before they come.

      Very good idea.

      In terms of localhost installs – one idea to consider could be what I believe the Ladies Learning Code folks ended up doing for their WordPress workshops; they give folks instructions on setting up localhost install before the workshop happens, and make sure that everyone is set up ahead of time so no time is spent on getting that up and running during the actual workshop. Plus there’s no relying on Wifi, which so often can’t handle that many people at once.

    • Eric Flamm 2:18 pm on March 16, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I would suggest including Backup and Restore practice (especially Restore) as part of the training. Even though many users have a backup strategy, most have probably never tested it or don’t test it often enough.

  • Christine Rondeau 10:19 pm on October 30, 2012 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    I just spent a few hours making some edits. I found quite a bit of info that was incorrect so made changes. I also tried to use the same standards from page to page as in use bold instead of “” when highlighting some words. I covered all the pages from 06 to 08 except Multisite. I don’t do Multisite (terminator voice)

     
  • Christine Rondeau 12:22 pm on August 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: ideas   

    It’s 5 am and here I am not being able to sleep because I have a couple of ideas about the forum. :)
    I thought I would pass them on and see if we can discuss these later, (maybe at the wpcs?)

    I find myself repeating 2 things over and over again in the forum. 1) Please provide a link to your site 2) …making a child theme would be good idea. Here are some instructions….

    1) Could this be “solved” by adding a text field when people first submit the thread? The field could be optional, but at least if it’s there, people might use it.

    2) When theme developers submit a theme, it might be a good idea, to provide a folder for the child theme with the styles.css ready to go with proper commenting and instructions on how to get started. Not sure if this would fly by the theme reviewers. I noticed that Emile’s theme – Responsive – has a folder for custom templates with instructions on how to use it. There are tons of tutorials on child themes, yet so many questions about them. This might encourage them to get started.

    Anyway, these ideas were in my head and keeping me up, back to bed. :)

     
    • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 1:20 pm on August 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      We’ll keep coffee on hand for you in a few hours.

      The ‘please link!’ is actually below the text box, but I think if the ‘Dude, CODE TAGS!’ gets missed so often, we’re not going to get a huge amount of traction on the link field. Also you don’t always need it (75%?).

      Now if we had an auto-reply bot, like .com, that would pick up catch phrases ‘Hi, you seem to be asking about your site display, but you didn’t include a URL. Please consider replying with your link so the volunteers can review your site and provide help…’

      My tl;dr thought is unless we make ‘em required fields, they’ll just be more clutter :/

    • Otto 2:31 pm on August 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Child themes were never intended to be a way for end-users to preserve their information/changes. They just ended up being used that way, because it was handy.

      Now, I’d recommend using the Custom CSS functionality of Jetpack for most theme modification instead of using child themes. It’s amazing what you can do with just CSS tweaks.

    • dkatowitz 6:29 pm on August 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I am sorry if I am posting this comment in the wrong place. I have used WordPress for my website and blog since May. I am wondering how I might be able to view statistics regarding views of the various pages. Many thanks.

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