Podcast Episode

433 – WordPress Facebook and Slack Groups to Join

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WordPress Facebook and Slack Groups to Join

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Full Transcript

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On today's episode, we are going to talk about WordPress, Facebook and Slack groups that we can join that we can have a bigger community, or we can join a bigger community in the WordPress space, right here on Your Website Engineer Podcast episode No. 433.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Your Website Engineer Podcast. My name's Dustin Hartzler and today we're gonna be talking about communities and online communities at that. It seems like we're all the time trying to meet and find people online and two different ways you can do this is joining Facebook groups and Slack groups. And so we'll talk about that in just a couple minutes.

The first thing that I wanna talk about is a big news post over on WordPress.org. And WordPress now powers over 1/3 of the top 10 million websites on the web. According to W3Techs, the market share for WordPress has grown steadily over the last few years, going from 29.9% just one year ago to 33.4% now.

So, of course, we're very proud as a WordPress community that now one in every three websites that you go to is now powered by WordPress. The path to get here has been very exciting. In 2005, 50,000 downloads was what was happening in the WordPress space. Six years later in January '11, WordPress was powering 13% of websites.

And then in 2019, so eight years later, we're now powering 33.4% of websites and that means that the latest release has already been downloaded 14 million times. And that was just released on February 21st so not even, even a month ago or right around a month ago. And so it means that WordPress has become the CMS choice for more and more people and companies. And as various businesses use WordPress, the variety of sites grows, large enterprise businesses all the way down to small local businesses.

All of them use WordPress to power their websites and so that's really exciting and it's really fun to say, "Oh, well, I help people build WordPress" or "I help people set up their WordPress sites." And if you happen to go to one out of every three websites you go to, it is powered by WordPress. It's really encouraging that so many people are trusting WordPress to get their websites online, whether that be their business or just their thoughts and then just trying to democratize publishing across the Web.

It's really exciting and knowing that this many people who have WordPress, that means that they 100% own all of their content. And so if there was ever to be something that happened or they needed to do something, they always own all of their content. So, that's really, really exciting.

Moving on over to a plug-in this week that I want to share with you and it is a caching plug-in but not your standard variety of caching. We see caching all over the place with WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache and Super Cache and Fastest Cache and all of these plug-ins that were out there that just help to speed up your website so that your website loads faster for your visitor.

But one that we don't get that often is this one is called a Wp Admin Cache. So, this is a plug-in that caches the most visited pages on your admin area. It uses AJAX to pre-fetch the pages and stores them on the server for each user. And so it's a plug-in that's very useful for maybe sites that have a lot of plug-ins installed. Or maybe it's a slower site. Maybe it just takes a while to navigate across that dashboard.

And so Wp Admin Cache is a good plug-in. It claims that it's the first admin cache and so that might be a way to speed up that backend of your website. So, if you're looking for something like that, I'd do a search in the WordPress repository for Wp Admin Cache. Or as always you can find a link in the show notes for episode No. 433.

All right, today I wanna talk a little bit about these two different types of groups that you can join and it's all about the different communities that you wanna be a part of. One of the things that we noticed so much when WordCamp Dayton was the last couple weekends, or a couple weekends ago, it was that so many people enjoyed just the camaraderie and just hanging out with other people that speak their language.

It's not very often that you get to meet face to face with people that do the exact same thing you do or really have a vested interest in WordPress and want to spend time talking about WordPress. And how do I set this up? And I have these questions about WordPress.

And so what I wanted to talk about today is just a couple different ways that we can use these tools, like Facebook and like Slack to continue those communications and continue those paths. One of the cool things, I think, one of the best features, I guess, about Facebook for example – I'm not a huge Facebook fan and I do enjoy using Facebook every once in a while and getting in contact with people.

But the coolest part is there are so many people that if I needed to follow-up for or if I need to get a hold of them, like college friends or maybe somebody from high school, so many people are on Facebook, you can find them with a search. And usually a friend of a friend has tagged them, or a friend of a friend, that helps narrow down your search and whatnot.

And you can contact and communicate them so if you don't have their phone number or their email address, you can find a way to communicate with them. And then, once you are in communication via Facebook, then you can change to your style of communication which is better, maybe it's email or maybe it's Slack or whatever.

But the cool part about just these communities is a great way to ask questions, a great way to learn and a great way to communicate and ask for help and things like that. So, I'm gonna talk about a few WordPress or, yeah, WordPress related Slack groups. Then we'll talk about a few WordPress related Facebook groups.

And again, if you are on Facebook a lot and you wanna be in these Facebook groups, that makes more sense if you're always there. Or if you're in Slack, Slack's a little bit different of a beast because you have to have an individual Slack account for each one of these things that we talk about.

So, within Slack, I have a handful of them that I'm a part of. But then there's like one Slack tab, two Slack tabs, three Slack tabs. So, you have to keep tabs on all the different Slack channels that are going on and things to get alerts for and whatnot.

All right, let's talk about Slack because, well, I like Slack better than Facebook. The first one that I wanna talk about is just the main WordPress Slack community. And it's WordPress + Slack. It's the largest WordPress Slack group and it's one of the largest Slack communities on the Web.

And there's a lot going on. There are over 80 channels with different topics ranging from bbPress to BuddyPress to accessibility to core to WP-CLI to translations to meta to – there's just tons and tons and tons of different groups that are in there. And then that's where they have a lotta their online training and – or the teams actually talk through, "Okay, this is gonna be in the next release."

And that's how they have meetings when it comes to WordPress. So, if you ever wanna see what's happening in the backend and see what the teams talk about, like what features are gonna be added to the next version of WordPress. Things like that, you can find all of that over there in the WordPress + Slack community.

Another thing the WordPress Slack community is used for is WordCamp Europe and WordCamp US. And so if you want to stay in touch with those, they have announcement channels and there's volunteer channels and things. So, if you're part of those communities or a part of those events, you can find out more and you can hang out on the Slack group.

And it's pretty simple to get started. You just log into WordPress.org where you create an account to get started. Then you'll scroll down to the Join The WordPress Team On Slack section and then you click on the I Understand, Please Send Me The Invite Link. And then this will send an invite to the email associated with your WordPress.org account. You can open up the email, click on the link and proceed to Slack.

And again, you have to create a new Slack user name and password. Or it uses your email address and you sign up with a new password and then you are connected to the WordPress Slack group. And this is a great group to be in and I did some follow-up the past week or so.

I was looking for some slides on – some of our WordCamp presenters hadn't given us slides yet and I wanted to put the slides with the videos for WordPress.tv. And so since I didn't want to reach out via email, I just pinged a few people on Slack and was able to get those slides within a day or so. And so it makes a real handy communication tool.

I feel like sometimes for us, stuff gets lost in email. I know that I'm terrible at answering email just because I find that I get so many messages that I can't keep up with it with the time that I've allotted for email. But Slack messages are quick. There's no need to write the hello, this is – you don't have to put a signature at the end and that kind of thing. It's just a quick message and you can connect with someone very, very quickly.

So, I went to the main Slack channel. I typed in – if you use command K on the keyboard, on a Mac anyways, it opens up the little search dialogue. And so I started to type the name of the speakers that I needed. And I could go and I could find exactly who I wanted. So, that is the WordPress + Slack community.

There's another one called the WordPress Governance Project and this was announced at WordCamp US 2018. And it aims to explore and define the principles, leadership and governance model for the WordPress open source project. So, when you log into WordPress.org you get a @chat.wordpress.org email address that forwards to your personal email address. So, that's how it gets set up.

You'll use that same email address to join the WordPress Governance Project Slack workspace. And then your email address will be your WordPress.org username on there. So, you get a confirmation link that'll take you to Slack where you enter your name, agree to Terms of Service and then you can get started.

There's another Slack group called the WP Developers Club. And even though it has club in the name, it is a completely free thing to join. You don't have to be a developer either. And there are different Slack channels dedicated to different topics. So, there are channels devoted to different code languages or channels that aren't even tech related. There are channels for gigs, mentorships and shameless self promotion that makes the world go round and round. So, there are all kinds of things in there.

It's the second largest WordPress Slack community, right behind the WordPress – the official one that we talked about earlier. There is a WooCommerce Slack group that's there and a lotta WooCommerce troubleshooting goes on in the WordPress Slack group. It makes a great log for known issues with WooCommerce and is a central location for other valuable information such as WooCommerce meetups, hosting for WooCommerce and more.

So, the WordPress WooCommerce group has channels from development to themes to extensions. And there's even one that's in Spanish so if you want to talk with other people about WooCommerce in Spanish, you can use that channel as well. It also has places where you can talk about issues or hire a WooCommerce expert who knows what they're doing and they can do some things for you as well.

Those were the main ones that I could find. I know I've heard rumblings about a business WordPress Slack group. I don't know much about that because I'm not in that and I know that big teams like Easy Digital Downloads, probably Gravity Forms, some of these companies – Automattic is one that has – we have hundreds of Slack channels that we talk through and whatnot.

But these companies will have Slack channels that are usually private for their company, but then they also will open up some of their channels for people to be a part of. Especially if their plug-ins are open source that they have other people contributing to, I'm sure that they have Slack channels as well that you can talk with and they just share some of their development tools and processes and whatnot.

So, those are some groups within Slack. So, if Slack is your cup of tea, if you don't have enough Slack groups, you can check out some of those. It's also important to know that there are other communities that have their own WordPress Slack groups. So Dayton has its own Slack Group and it's just a way for us in the local area to communicate. That's where we run all the meetings for the WordCamps that we do, the local meet-ups and all that good stuff.

If you are located in an area that has a WordPress meet-up group, I'd reach out to the organizers and just see if they have a Slack community. And, that's just a good, fast way if you can ping people or if you have a quick question about something, that's a great way to try to ask those questions but then know that the answer will come from somebody that is pretty well geographically closely located to where you live.

So, that is Slack. Let's move on over to Facebook groups. There's a few different WordPress groups based on different knowledge levels. So, there is the WordPress Help for Beginners. There is the Intermediate WordPress and there is the Advanced WordPress.

And so WordPress Help For Beginners is about what it sounds like. It is an all-purpose group that helps newbies learn more about WordPress. There are really no rules there. The admin just asks that you search Google before posting your questions, refrain from self-promotion unless it's relevant and include a disclaimer if you're affiliated with the product. And so that is WordPress Help For Beginners.

The Intermediate WordPress, it fills the void between the Beginner and the Advanced. You're not a professional developer but this is the good group to start with. There are some specific rules for this one. There are no accounts that have been registered at Facebook for less than a year. No accounts that are active in 200 plus public groups. And you must answer the signup questions within 24 hours.

So, there is a little questionnaire to get in so they're just not letting anyone in the Intermediate group but that is what that group is. There's about 4500 people in that group. Then there's the Advanced WordPress group. It's got over 30,000 people and this is the most advanced general WordPress group on Facebook.

It's a place for WordPress developers on Facebook to meet and share ideas and knowledge with a focus with the most advanced features and functionality, without necessarily having to go into any of the basics. And so when people comment on there, they're going to assume you already have the basic knowledge down and you can post accordingly based on that.

So, those are the three level groups and then there's some more Facebook groups based on specific topics. So there is one called WordPress Speed Up. The purpose of this group is to help you speed up your website but not to have somebody do that for you. So they're gonna point you in the right direction and give you fixes and changes that you can make to make your website faster but nobody is going to actually do the work for you.

Another specialized group is the WordPress Plug-In Suggestion Facebook page, or Facebook group. And this has 11,000 members and there's no plug-in support. But it is a place where you say, "Oh, I'm looking for a plug-in that does this, this and this. Does anyone have a recommendation?" And that is exactly what that Facebook group is all about.

And then there's another specialized one called WordPress Hosting. It's got 7500 people in and it basically helps you pick out the best place to host your WordPress website. And so it's nice sometimes when you ask your question, "I've got this site. It's got this, this and this features. Maybe I'm using these 17 plug-ins. What hosting plan or where should I go for hosting?"

And it's kinda nice to listen in and see what other people are recommending and it's kinda cool to see where they actually go and what types of website hosting is good for certain people. So, that is the other specific one, WordPress Hosting.

There are some Facebook groups for specific themes and plug-ins. And so there's one for the Elementor community. That one's got 10,000 people in the community. It's focused primarily on the Elementor page builder and there's a lotta good tips out there floating around to help you get more from Elementor.

The community is also willing to help out with specific questions and so that's the first one. There's one for Beaver Builders and it's got 10,000 people and it is focused to the Beaver Builder page builder. It covers pretty much the same topics like the Elementor. It allows people to share resources or tips or tricks or ask for help when it comes to the best way to use that plug-in.

There's one for Divi Theme users and this has 25,000 people and there's no self-promotion. Most of these have no self-promotion, but Divi Theme users have a Facebook group specifically for them. It's for answering questions, specific threads on Wednesdays and Sundays that allows you to promote your website or product. So, that's cool but other than that, there's no direct promotion when it comes to the Divi Theme Facebook group.

The next one I have written down here is for WooCommerce and there's one called WooCommerce Help and Share. It is 20,000 people active and its basically for WooCommerce related questions. It's for all knowledge levels. There is some promotion that's allowed in this for active members but no drive-by promotions.

What that means is you can't come in and say, "Oh, check out this plug-in" and then leave. It's one of those, as long as you're active on the community, you can recommend plug-ins, even if they are your own. So, that's pretty cool.

There's one for Advanced Custom Fields. So, WordPress ACF Users. That's got 2000 plus people in and it's all the same. It's helping people use Advanced Custom Fields.

Genesis WordPress is another one. It's for the Genesis Framework and Avada user groups. And this is for the Avada Theme. And it's a very massively popular theme that tons of people are using on their WordPress site. So that Facebook group goes into anything and everything that Avada does. And they do have some specific rules for formatting when you're making a post but, as long as you follow those, you can get information or you can learn more about Avada.

So, those are the groups. We've got Slack groups and we've got Facebook groups. And just don't think that you should go and subscribe to all of them because you'll get overwhelmed with just blasts of knowledge because I'm in some of the Facebook groups. And sometimes it feels like my Facebook feed is just everything from Advanced WordPress or the WooCommerce Facebook page and all this.

So, just go into the ones that you're interested in. You can pop in. It's really hard to pop in and pop out, mainly because a lot of these will have – you might have to answer some sort of question or there may be some sort of way that you have to – a lot of these closed Facebook groups will do that. They'll have to get you approved so there's just not a bunch of spammers in there.

But then you can also turn off notifications for Facebook and for Slack and so you're not getting pinged at all hours of the day for different things that really probably don't need to garnish your attention right away. So, that's what I wanted to share with you this week on Facebook and Slack groups to join.

If you're not part of any, I do recommend finding the level one that works well for you, whether that be beginner, intermediate or developer or advanced. Pick one of those Facebook groups and pick the official WordPress Slack group. And get involved there and just join a channel and just see what kind of chat's going on and see if there's a way for you to help out.

There's training channels and there's documentation. There are all kinds of things that you can even help with and contribute and give back to the WordPress community all through the Slack channel. So, that's what I wanna share with you this week. Take care and we'll talk again next week. Bye-bye.