342 – Learn More About WordPress with These Blogs
Is there a plugin for that?
With more than 50,000 plugins in the WordPress repository, it’s hard to find the perfect one. Each week, I will highlight an interesting plugin form the repository.
For more great plugins, download my 50 Most Useful Plugins eBook.
Gutenberg is the new post and page building experience will make writing rich posts effortless, making it easy to do what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.
Learn More About WordPress with these Blogs
- WP Tavern
- WP Squared
- WP Lift
- WP Mayor
- WP Shout
- Elegant Themes
- Code in WP
- Tom McFarlin
- Chris Lema
- Pippin’s Plugins
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Full TranscriptBusiness Transcription is provided by GMR Transcription.
On today’s episode we are going to talk about 20 different WordPress blogs that can keep you up-to-date with what’s happening in the WordPress space right here on Your Website Engineer Podcast Episode Number 342.
Hello, everybody and welcome back to another episode of Your Website Engineer podcast. My name is Dustin Hartzler and today we’ll be diving into blogs and where we can learn and discover amazing content with regards to WordPress. It’s kind of our month-long theme this month. The last episode we talked podcasts, different podcasts that you can learn more about WordPress. And then this week we’re talking about blogs. And then next week we’ll be diving into tutorials and videos and things like that.
But first, let’s dive into some announcements. I’ve got a plugin to share with you today. The first one is – the first announcement is BackupBuddy 8.0 is here. This news comes from iThemes.com and BackupBuddy is one of probably the most popular premium backup solutions, backup plugins that are out there. And so 8.0 just landed. It’s got some really neat new features.
The first one is it’s got a better new smart backup profiles. And so what this means is you have now granular control over the content of your WordPress backup. So, you can backup as much or as little as you want with each backup profile. So, you can do the complete database. You can do themes. You can do certain plugins, you can do files only. You can really do exactly what you want and control what you want to backup and how regularly. So, that’s like the biggest feature that came out with 8.0
It also has a new performance improvement and boost for the stash of real time WordPress backups. So, that is their – it’s called BackupBuddy Stash. And you can store your backups on the Cloud through their servers. They also improved the import features and so it makes it much easier to move a site from one place to another and just to import those. And then there’s new deployment previews so you can see changes before you push or pull these changes into a staging site or whatnot.
So, that is BackupBuddy 8.0. If you are using that, I definitely recommend checking it out, and there’s a link in the show notes. And there is a two minute and 19 second video that you can watch and you can see all of the features.
The other piece of news I want to share with you this week, and this came from last week at WordCamp Europe 2017. They announced the new city, and it is going to be in Serbia. So, WordCamp Europe 2018 will be in Serbia. It just happened in Paris, France. I went to it last year when it was in Vienna, Austria, and just a huge event. It looked like from all of the commotion on Twitter and Facebook and everybody that was there had a really great time. They learned a lot and just got to interact and explore and hang out with other people in the WordPress community. So, that is WordCamp Europe.
Of course, WordCamp US is happening in Nashville this year in December. And so if you want to go to a giant WordCamp and meet about 2,000 of your closest WordPress friends, then I highly recommend checking out WordCamp US.
In the Is There a plugin for that section, there’s more than 50,000 plugins, so I just wanted to talk through some of the plugins that are out there. This is a brand-new plugin. It is called Gutenberg, and it is kind of a beta software that’s running the new block editor. And the block editor will allow you to make rich content with WordPress and make it simple and enjoyable.
And it basically makes it much easier to format the content without using shortcodes. And so this is something that they’re working on and they want to merge into a WordPress at some point. So, that’s why it’s in the beta stage. So, definitely if you want to get on that, you’ll want to see what that’s all about and what that looks like. I definitely recommend checking out the plugin called Gutenberg. And there’s a link in the show notes for Episode Number 342.
Okay, today we’re gonna dive in and we’re gonna talk about 20 different WordPress blogs that are out there that share either WordPress information or step-by-step tutorials or how to – more not videos, but more blog post-type content. And there’s more than 20. I’m sure there are 20,000, probably, but these are the ones that I want to share with you today. Some of them are brand-new to me that I just discovered as I was putting this show together that some of them are ones that are regularly consumed in my RSS feed. So, let’s go ahead and dive in and I’ll try to tell you a little bit about each of the sites as I can. And let’s go ahead and dive right in.
So, the first one is a bit obvious, but this one is WordPress.org/news. That is the first place that any WordPress aficionado should start with blogs on WordPress. It gives you all the latest news about releases, development, code changes, events happening, overall community news.
And so anyone that’s really interested in investing in the open source community will definitely want to check out the WordPress.org/news. This is where I get all the information about the upcoming betas, the release candidates, when they launch a new version, all of that information is launched here first on this site, and then it’s kind of spread out to some of the other sites that are out there.
The next one that I use regularly just to get basic news for what’s happening in the WordPress space, other than just what’s happening with WordPress itself. This site, WP Tavern, is one that curates news from all over. So, they might talk about that new plugin or the update to BackupBuddy. They may talk about how this, that, and the other thing.
It talks about a ton of things. It is – they just really focus – Jeff Chandler and Sarah Gooding – they spend time just diving into the WordPress community. They interview developers. They interview people in the community, and they go to WordCamps. And it’s a just great overall place to go and spend time just learning about some of the things that are happening in the WordPress community. So, that’s WP Tavern.
WPBeginner is the next one, and this one is a site that is basically what it says. It’s WordPress for beginners. It is for beginning – just beginning users or even light developers who are just starting out. It’s chock full of advice and tutorials, news events, guidelines, editorials, and just everything related to WordPress.
It was originally started by Syed Balkhi. He’s got a bunch of different platforms across the web when it comes to WordPress like OptinMonster, and then WPForms, I think is the next one, or it’s something like that. But it was really interesting – like I was at an event one time and he was speaking about how he gained traction and how he grew his log of WPBeginner.
And it was basically like he would find somebody to ask him a question or somebody to ask his question. And instead of like answering right away, he would go take five, ten minutes and actually write a post, and then link them right to that post and say, oh, here’s a tutorial on how to do this, or here’s how to do this CSS thing, or this is how to change the title page of your website, or whatever.
He would go and create it right then and then link people right to that. So, that’s kind of an interesting story about WPBeginner. Now they have tons and tons of posts, and they get lots of traffic of just people who are Googling things and usually have a very good step-by-step guide on walking you through how to do something. So, I really like WPBeginner.
WP Squared – this is another one that is updated weekly and has great WordPress tutorials, news, theme lists, and plugin reviews. They also review some online tools that help website owners. And so, they just have tons of great information over there. And that’s at WP Squared.com.
Next on my list is WP Lift and this was launched back in 2010, about the time this podcast started. And it is written by a guy named Oliver Dale, and he is well known in the WordPress community for [inaudible] [0007:14] and launching WordPress related products. He’s got a theme store called ThemeFurnace, and an advertising plugin called WP Adcenter. And his blog is chock full of guides and useful tools, plugin reviews, theme reviews, and news roundups. So, that’s WP Lift.com.
The next one I don’t know if I can say it right or not. It’s WPEka, and it has gained a lot of traction lately, but basically it talks about themes. It’s got plugins, it’s got a WPEka club. And their blog is updated several times a week. It’s got in-depth tutorials, opinion articles, and reviews of themes and plugins. So, that’s WPEka, and that’s with one K.
WP Mayor is the next one on the list. And this is a popular blog since 2010 as well. And it publishes tutorials and reviews of plugins and themes. And so lots of great content there if you’re interested in diving into some of that.
WPKube, K-U-B-E. This is another site that was launched back in 2010, and it was released by a guy named Devesh Sharma. And Devesh was only 15 years old when he started this. It’s updated regularly. It looks really nice as a site.
This is one that I hadn’t heard of and I hadn’t ever used before, but just breezing down through some of the articles that are top on the blog right now is six best translation plugins for a multi-language site. There is a beaver-themed review of how to build templates with ease. We’ve got WP contacts, how to set up that plugin, how to add awesome icons to WordPress with or without a plugin, how to automate plugin installs and setup. And the site is really clean and it has some really great looking images for each of these blog posts.
It does look like there is several people posting on this site, maybe three or four different people that are actually writing these articles, but this is definitely one. There’s 43 pages worth of content on this website. So, WPKube is another one to take a look at.
I use this next one quite regularly, and it’s WPMU.org. And this is a website that just has a ton of articles. It talks about how to do certain things. They’re usually longer articles, but they normally like will tell you how to do something, whether that be how to set up email within WordPress, or how to change your SSH keys, or whatever the case may be.
They are very long and detailed, and sometimes I use the content of these posts as ideas for shows for this podcast because they do such a great job, and really outline and spend some time writing and spending time documenting everything that needs to be done in a specific process. It makes it easy to turn those into a podcast type episode. So, I like – that’s W-P-M-U.org.
I like also ManageWP. They are a blog. They’re known for their WordPress management system, or their service, but they’ve been updating their blog with great content for the last few years. And so, they just have a lot of, again, great information about WordPress tutorials, news development, plugins, and themes. So, that’s ManageWP.
WPShout is another one, and this one is one of the older ones, and it was started in 2009 by Alex Denning and then later purchased in 2013 by Fred Meyer and David Hayes., but basically in the past it was tutorials. But now it’s more wide range. It talks all about news, competitions, themes, plugin reviews, ideas on how WordPress can be improved, tutorials, blogging, and more. So, there’s lots of information over on WPShout.
Elegant Themes is another great one that even if you’re not an Elegant Themes user, they have a great blog and they spent a lot of time just creating content that’s really – I don't know – engaging and really informative. I like this. It’s high quality. They make sure that the articles offer practical advice on how to use WordPress more effectively. And you can subscribe to it, and you just get all of those updates right away, right to your email inbox.
Let’s see, there’s a couple more here that I want to highlight for you.
JustWP – this is a site that just publishes WordPress tutorials, code snippets, plugin and theme reviews, along with graphical resources. So, different things that you may need for your website in the way of graphics – you can find those over on JustWP.
85ideas.com is the next one that comes on my list, and it is a website that has plenty of free WordPress themes and plugins, but it also produces tutorials and tool recommendations to keep you updated and watch the latest trends, techniques, developments in the world of WordPress. And it’s got tons of information. It’s got metric tons of free content and useful templates to boot. And 85 ideas.com is a great WordPress resource.
The next one on my list is called Code in WP.com. And this is a remote development team that just writes great content. They are a digital agency, and they’re dedicated to the WordPress platform, so they talk about – they’ve got a lot of lists and reviews and helpful information about developments in the WordPress space. They also have a lot of content that’s in the process of putting out content.
So, if you’re interested in trying to figure out how I can make – or how you can make a successful blog, then Code in WP is one to take a look at.
Torque Magazine – TorqueMag.io is the next one on my list, and it is a new site for all things WordPress. They’ve been producing content since the summer of 2013 and are affiliated with WP Engine, but they’re completely – they’re independent in regards to the content they produce.
So, they’ve got marketing advice, expert interviews, and a number of other intriguing WordPress related information. So, TorqueMag.io – this is another place that I sometimes get information about what I’m gonna talk about in a podcast, just to get ideas, like what are people talking about in the WordPress space? I sometimes browse over to TorqueMag.io just to get a little bit more information.
The next one – the next four of them are just individual people that I like to follow because they are great developers or they have really great insight into what’s happening in the WordPress space.
And so, the first one is Tom McFarlin.com – he’s a WordPress developer and blogger. He’s a social media butterfly. His personal blog is filled with fun and quirky entertaining posts about just lots of different Internet issues, and he talks about running and maintaining and improving and customizing WordPress websites. And there’s also informative editorial content focusing on observations in the web culture.
So, just not WordPress-related when he’s kind of checking out what’s going on in the web world, but he brings his advice. And I like this one – not a great blog to follow to like get content for this podcast, but just great to get somebody’s perspective on what’s happening in the Word Press space and in the Internet in general.
Next one – BobWP – this is another good one, too – it is a great solution for – place where Bob posts a lot of useful tips on how to use WordPress. And usually they’re very small and broken down. It gives a great view on important WordPress-related issues, as well. So, he’s got some news, but a lot of it is just small little snippets, like how to do this. And it’s like three sentences with a couple screenshots. And that’s exactly how to do it.
He’s been primarily in the last little while focusing more on e-commerce, and not necessarily all his blog posts are on that, but he kind of steers in that direction, so if you are in that neck of the woods or building that kind of site, then definitely check out BobWP.com.
Chris Lema is the next one on my list, and this is one that he got a ton of traffic early on when he started his blog because he posted something every day. He posted a new piece of content every single day, and it kind of took off and he became this guy who’s got some great enterprise level experience, and just talks about the ins and outs of the Web. He talks about the ins and the outs of just building websites, and just a great – I guess he’s a blogger extraordinaire because he’s been a consultant with these big companies.
He’s advised major companies like WooCommerce, Rocketgenius, and WP101. His blog covers a variety of topics, like freelancing, pricer structure, e-commerce. And he’s got a ton of posts over there, and there’s thousands of people that follow his website. So, that’s a great one to glean some information off, as well.
And the last one is Pippins Plugins. And Pippin is a noted WordCamp speaker, and he is somebody that kind of came out of nowhere over the last probably five years or so, somebody that I think has self-taught himself. But he’s become one of the elite programmers in the WordPress community. He is behind Restrict Content Pro, AffiliateWP, and Easy Digital Downloads. Those are his three main plugins. He’s got a team behind him to do a lot of the work as well. But he does some great reviews of different plugins.
He wrote a 10,000 word post on comparing all of these visual builders, and just – it’s really neat to see somebody who has grown from – he went from just a developer himself – or not even a developer – made himself into a developer by studying and programming, and just learning code. And now he’s on the plugin review team, he speaks at WordCamps. He’s got this great business that’s got three very profitable products and plugins – premium plugins that he sells.
So, I like following Pippins Plugins. His are maybe a little bit more on the technical side. Usually a little bit of code is involved with his, but if you want to learn and pick up some little pieces of code, then I definitely want you to check out Pippins Plugins.com.
There is a link in the show notes for Episode Number 342 for all of these, so it’s not gonna be too hard for you to go and find them. All the links are there, and like I said at the top of the show, these are 20 that I have picked. Some of them are interesting, some of them are new, some of them I’ve never heard of and I haven’t even really explored that much. But these are 20. I’m sure that I could do a list of 20 for the next like 20 episodes and still have tons more content out there.
If you have a favorite blog and you want me to talk about it on the next show, then definitely leave that as a comment to this show for Episode Number 342. You can get there real easily. Go to Your Website Engineer.com/342. And it will automatically take you to the right page. And just leave what blog that you’re really interested in and why I should go check it out. And so, that’s the 20 I want to share with you this week.
Next week we’ll talk about more specifically tutorials and video tutorials and videos on how to learn WordPress, and where we can go from there. So, until then, take care, and we’ll talk again soon. Bye-bye.