EP310 – Changes in WordPress, child care at WordCamps & site health

February 22, 2019

On this episode of WPwatercooler, Jason Tucker and his roundtable of WordPress enthusiasts discussed a myriad of topics centered around the WordPress ecosystem. They kicked things off with a light-hearted chat about episode milestones and introductions of the regulars, diving into George’s experiences with Jetpack and Automattic. Say’s reflections on WordPress changes led to discussions about WordCamp, its livestreaming, and especially the prospect of providing child care at the events. Steve weighed in on the challenges of funding such amenities, while highlighting the cost disparity between WordCamp and other tech conferences. A significant part of the conversation revolved around notifications in the WordPress admin area. Jason found a nifty plugin that centralizes notifications, pointing out that despite the vast number of plugins available, finding niche plugins remains a challenge. The episode concluded with a humorous take on loading up a single site with all available WordPress plugins. Throughout the discussion, the importance of user experience, site health, and ongoing changes in the WordPress community were recurrent themes.

00:00 Intro and Episode Milestones
00:48 Introducing George and His Role at Jetpack & Automattic
01:49 WordCamp Livestream Changes and Announcements
05:20 The Need for Child Care at WordCamps
06:43 Funding and Pricing Challenges for WordCamp Amenities
09:55 The Evolution of Notifications in WordPress Admin
13:39 Site Health in WordPress 5.1 and Beyond
16:09 Plugin Notifications and Management
20:23 Niche Plugins in WordPress and Discovery Issues
24:36 Notifications: Centralization and Management Solutions
28:45 Humorous Thoughts on Plugin Overload
30:04 Closing Remarks

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Episode Transcription

(00:00) [Music] yeah not at all we put our own spin to it Thomas George sings it as well then we should be okay because we love you it’s really done out of love we are live what’s up everyone this is Jason Tucker and this is day P water-cooler episode number 310 310 I know right who would have thought it’s been like Ghana how many years whatever let’s go around the room real quick you everyone introduced I’m going to roll the die and the die says it’s George George you’re gonna be the first person
(00:48) to introduce yourself are you doing all right I’m Joseph honest I work on Jetpack partnerships and other stuff at automatic and I try to stay out of trouble I fail mostly a try George good to have you George say how about you so this by yourself well my name say my name is Jay Reid and I’m a professor at saving media on all the things have you what are you good to have me on let’s go over here there’s what is this thing that’s people people that are listening to us right now are going what what is
(01:49) it what’s going on Steve Kerr I’m Steve Sega I’m the founder of Z interactive and I run the OC WordPress meetup change me raise time on twitter my website Jason tuckered-out blog feel free to go take a look at that I do this show as well as WP blab you can see that over on Thursdays we record a bunch of stuff we put them on the Internet’s and you guys enjoy it or don’t enjoy it and I really appreciate the the time you take to be able to listen to this or watch this content I really appreciate that and the folks
(02:32) that are in our chat room I really appreciate that as well so thank you thank you so changes they say you you wanted to talk about changes so what are the changes what’s going on here well you know I was reflecting as one does on WordPress actually I was wearing my wordpress is 15 shirts that I’m caught at WordCamp us and I was thinking about how we didn’t really like this was kind of like with the five year milestone or the three hundred episodes now so I like this perfect seal and it was like I got
(03:08) 15 years we didn’t really mention it and then on Twitter I’ve been talking with there’s just been a lot of there’s a lot of differences and changes happening for example the word camp Miami people I was all stoked I was like oh I’m gonna buy my first live stream ticket because I want to see Josefa new executive director of wordpress and john jay jay jay jay jay trip talking say something nope not gonna do that um at triple day is gonna be interviewing her at learn here at Miami and I was like along via
(03:49) livestream and then they’re like no that’s not happening and I was like what do you mean and they’re like there’s no more equipment I was like what happened to the equipment but I don’t know how parity it’s not a thing anymore and then this is for paging you know things are changing and shifting and suppose you don’t notice the changes you were talking up there’s no live streaming anymore [Laughter] I just like a little hobby novels just like in here and it’s like we reached
(04:44) the end and the lesson and now everything just unravel but no the other changes are that word can’t us for example just put out a whole new called organizers to totally shift how they organize where it can’t us which I totally agree with to pull more international organizers in to diversify the team expand the teams to not put such a burden on the organizers which is a change and a couple weeks ago we were talking about how where camps us was also looking we didn’t talk about it on here but on Twitter we’re talking about
(05:20) how we’re can see us is looking into having childcare available in word camp us yeah which would be huge we all gotten that old that we now have children where can’t Miami is doing kid camp so that is part of that but in terms of accessibility this is in response to a tweet that’s only saying you know I can’t apply to speak because I don’t have acceptable child care and you know to correct a conversation I make jokes but this is actually important right do we actually get what the whole time so this is gay yeah and I
(06:11) think this is part of growing up not just happening she’ll turn this but like WordPress growing up also and learning that you can’t burn out all your organizers all the time and that you do need to provide accessibility something you have to work toward and actively do so I think it’s just kind of like some growing it’s not this changes it’s like gross I have it I want to note it that’s right absolutely I have I have I have some input on that this is something I’ve felt passionately about in the past
(06:43) right and there’s a there’s an issue here right and the issue is that that there is a limit on what we can charge forward camps right you can only charge $40 for it to get forward camp there’s been that limit that’s been there for a long time and everything else you have to find sponsors so I’d love to offer childcare and work camp OC or any work camp but childcare is expensive as well as well okay you get what you pay for it you don’t you don’t want to skip on childcare okay or dental work right
(07:16) those are those you don’t you don’t you don’t discount dental work that’s something you really just want to avoid right anyway you know and it we ran into this because last year we if we put into work camp Oh see the the woody woody caught in the ladies ladies translating what you’re saying up on the screen transcription yeah transcription thank you I don’t know why that word escaped me for a minute but you know she was cheap shoes $2,000 for the weekend right that’s not that’s a that’s a significant
(07:48) expense expense child cares more expensive than that so I’m all for adding all of these services at WordCamp so that everyone can attend and their kids can fit right but these things are expensive and so I I have a problem with adding all these things and never raising the price of the tickets the price of tickets needs to go up a little bit that’s an Ikea and then we can just have the play zone be the place for the kids to run around in or maybe at McDonald’s we’ll just the place that I can’t play so exactly the after party
(08:22) there’s an ancillary point here which is yes we could talk about whether or not we wanna do that for all attendees what we could also talk about is saying four speakers if you want to come and speak and childcare is an issue for you we will work with you um often there are like local daycare places or something that you could pay are fully accredited fully insured you could do a day pass and then the camp could just soak the cost for the one speaker that may need it look I’m with you there are solutions
(08:58) all pointing out is that there’s a gap right there’s a gap between the money that you collect from ticket sales and the money that you have to collect in sponsorship and that gap is getting its getting bigger every year every time we add something it gets bigger and bigger so and I don’t know about this finish the rule still that you can’t for example have a sponsor do a single thing like you couldn’t bring in a marquee sponsor to just sponsor right here they have to be like across the board sponsor
(09:23) you know you can have any kind sponsors for anything so you could bring in like a marquee like this person is sponsoring her for this type of deal absolutely yeah yeah we kind of sponsors for all kinds of things at work in mozi that used to be like I know I was like there was like a after party that we did that before then there’s all sorts of drama and then it’s all been well see this is just the thing right so in tech in this world it with these recurring things all the stuff is changing all the time and
(09:55) if you step out of the stream for a little bit of time whether it’s on the tech side or it’s even on the organizing side or it’s on the going to work inside so you almost really everything shifts around you and you have to start singing again what was what was interesting about what George was saying the idea of having a local company kind of be the thing that would you know facilitate the watching of kids and stuff and then you you probably even have people that are like well couldn’t we just get like
(10:32) people reach Russ to watch the kids well I worked at a church and we’re supposed to trust everybody but we all see use live scan and life scans like check them out make sure they’re good you go through all those sorts of things as well so some in there and throw some video games and be like okay kids go do stuff because there’s a whole bunch of liability that’s all involved at all like a coatroom that would be awesome though you just checking the kid puddle tag and good but I think it’s good that we have problems
(11:09) I think it’s good that we have problems like this because of the fact that we have people that work from home so they’re at home all day long and they don’t need to worry about these sorts of things but then you take them out of that environment and now you have to worry about that sort of thing it certainly is is look at the difference in price between a word press conference and any other tech conference right it some night WordPress is $40 right any other tech conference that’s worthless all is $500 or more right so so so
(11:50) you’re basically saying like you could take that money that you’re saving on the ticket price for example and send it on your child care and not have it be absorbed at the cost of the thing I understand that we won a conference that’s available to everybody so it’s near free I get I get that but all the services that we’re adding have to be paid for somehow thing about the word can’t see us one though is because if you’re not some there you’re already investing time and money to go there
(12:25) wherever this national conference is you know if you’re not this year if you’re not from st. Louis or you know that area I’ve been spending $11 to go to word camp where I’m at well 1100 bucks I was on the I was on the organizing committee for word camp us last two years ago right and as a volunteer I paid $1,500 for the weekend right to pay for those now and and and travel so so I’m not including time whole thing is like the worst us to look at what the per person cost is once you figure in
(13:04) all the sponsorship money that goes per person often sponsors will pay a bit more or less the equivalent of like six seven times how much you paid for your ticket towards the cost of running the event absolutely anyway I go forward to see what do you got talk about a feature that was kind of highlighted in 5.
(13:39) 1 which just came out changes no the site health doesn’t know that that is definitely a fashion line because I do a ton of code reviews we inherit a lot of projects and that’s the first thing we do when we would only take our project it was we look at you know some of the things that are in this site health project right we you know we look at how the code is performing and the version of PHP that is compatible with and and what’s kind of servers is running on and everything I think this is actually this is a very welcome
(14:09) feature that’s in that was kind of a focus of live ones so the site health really excited about this I love that it warns you if your PHP versions aren’t compatible because of that every everyone switches switches off old HP versions that’s gonna be more important touching on especially what we were talking about last week and old plug-ins this are just hanging around on there with an old code it should be the new alert message at the top of the code repo right I’d be remiss you don’t mention the fact that they also launched
(15:00) the wafu dashboard pet which kind of does a little bit of the same sort of thing the idea that you’re able to figure out if you know how your website’s going update wise and then it that the little pet gets sicker as you don’t update the the plugins I saw you post on I loved it I loved it this is the most amazing thing ever heard of in my entire life and never thought of this is a freaking genius what what amazing about this jason is I went to this link from your Facebook post and then at the time they
(15:35) were only for 30 active installs right now there’s only 60 active installs of this wake up okay Kelly Thorpe is the one who actually coded this and she had bow down to her she’s awesome but what a great idea was this developed separately from saying health or is it tie into the whole site health thing in 5.
(16:09) 1 I haven’t dug into the code yet but I just saw that it’ll just saw the the way that this thing was kind of checking I think it just checks to see how long the plugins have been not updated yeah oh by the way an update on what we’re talking about last week I found another plugin that is actually current that does that shows you the time since a plug-in has been updated let me find some research words is doing research it only took me three hundred and ten episodes five six what episode we are I think that’s great
(16:55) I think anything the site health thing I think making people aware of the fact that their their site has health as it were that it’s not just is it on or is it off and I think that’s that’s a level of education and it’s been really difficult to get across to people and I try to I always liken it to people phone and I’m like you know sometimes apps stop working if you aren’t updating your phone and then everyone’s like yeah but then I delete you happen life goes on and so this is it’s not it’s not exactly
(17:29) the same with your website because it has to work differently so I’m just excited that there’s the site hopes s and there’s this whopper guy with I’m gonna now install on every site everything it’s a car sorry it’s called plugins plugins last updated column it’s a horrible name for a plugin but it works it’s so what it does this puts an extra column in your plugin right does it add a lot column where it shows within the plug-in was last updated no actually describes what it does holy here’s what’s funny I put a
(18:05) link I put a link in there free Jason if you look at it if you would in the screenshot it has a column which shows you the length of time since it was last updated but it colorized as those those that calm so green means it’s it’s fairly current orange means or yellow means it’s kind of it’s got a warning orange means it’s updating their read me as a serious than a day well this this plug-in itself is nine months old so it gets a yellow so many plugins don’t need a regular basis so look I’m with you I
(18:41) get it it’s a very simple plugin I totally get it but this is this is another Alice more set plugin is actually showing when the plug-in was last updated in the repo updated on the site itself right what’s what’s important about this is is let’s say if a plug-in doesn’t go through an update for three years right without this kind of information it looks current in your plugins panel right because because it is up-to-date according to the WordPress plug-in repository right but even though even house hasn’t been
(19:19) updated it’s still up to date and that was my complaint is that that I think WordPress should give you a more immediate feedback in the panel to show you if a plugins not been tested with your mobile scrap version of WordPress hasn’t been updated in a while that kind of thing and you can’t get that unless you click details so this this sort of brings that forward I would still be reluctant to use something like this on a client site because they will see red and be alarmed even if it’s okay is
(19:45) there a way to dismiss the alarm or is it just no matter what that’s gonna be color coded that it this will just make a color code and I you know I’m not recommending that you put this in front of your client because yes they’re gonna they’re gonna set up it’s gonna be red flags oh yes couldn’t you just throw a flag on so it only displays for you is the developer and the totally good but I love this as a developer because I get an immediate you know feedback there as to if there are then that’s what really when I do code
(20:23) review I’m looking for a plugins that are a year old or more right not that again to George’s point not that’s necessarily bad I just want to do a review to see if there are any that you know are seriously out of date seriously and update as far as code goes not necessary time I think those kinds of all those flags and such and and King them only to admin roles is actually really important I’ve been on it client site this week and there’s just so many freaking notices that are happening in
(20:53) the site I we are just like I can’t even turn them off fast enough and just like get rid of them fast enough and I worry I don’t just worry I know that it is training client to ignore their notification well have you do you have any sites DVD client sites that you log into and there’s so many notices that what you’re actually looking for is now below the fold so bad but the thing is you can’t like and some of them you have to go in per user and dismiss them so I can’t like even even if we’re clearing them or
(21:34) whatever I can’t go in there to every 30 count and clear that stuff yeah you’re only clearing for whatever login your honor that at that moment yeah right a freshman my go in there and it looks cluttered and it looks messy and you know finally yoga put his notifications there I shouldn’t say his Mountain zone somebody but you know put their company in the notifications tab in the admin which you know I’ve we’ve been we’ve talked about a couple times which would be great like throw that up there isn’t
(22:05) education is like the Wild West of notifications happening and it’s just like I don’t know if it’s gotten worse or if like my clients are just not just missing the more I don’t sure but it’s a mess yeah you know these plugin developers needs some changes aren’t they making changes though like I feel like people should be upgrading like this is a low point right WordPress is 15 the new codes happening that’s a new block editor we’ve got like this whole new frontier you know the whole we never even talked
(22:42) about the whole Newsmax thing or whatever the hell that’s called yeah but back to your notifications thing right what it what excites me about a site health area or panel yeah is that is that you can take something in that port information you compartmentalize it somewhere in the dashboard right commerce does a very good job of that when you click whatever there’s a report or whatever or basically give you you go to a screen that tells you everything that’s going on with e-commerce if if there’s compatibility issues right if
(23:21) things are outdated that’s nice that it’s compartmentalized into one spot right rather than the notifications area at the top but that that we’re kind of like with that right now like where we were with the theme options panel like five years ago because everyone’s doing it differently they’re like well here’s my site health area and here’s my site health area and here’s my flag which gonna be like here so I look forward to I don’t know where it you know is that’s in the track somewhere or whatever but
(23:50) like I feel like that’s something that’s possibly on the horizon that just that’s not based on any reality well ultimately there should be some little area in like the top right of the of the admin dashboard that is that looks like a little email envelope that is notifications it’s got our you know they’re microsoft’s been doing it right this whole time throwing it I didn’t go that far Steve that rumors get started in businesses fail on the watercooler this week Steve’s a Microsoft band no no no I’ll make sure
(24:36) tavern gets an update about this like the site health area could be part of these notifications this could be part of really pulling that into a standardized area where that makes keeping the health of the site less traumatic for the user or at least being able to like understand what it is they’re seen because no users aren’t already been clearing those boxes because they don’t know if they should clear those boxes they don’t know for what happened that they do clear those it’s really a matter of decluttering
(25:13) right because right now if you’re if you’re not experienced with WordPress and all these notifications everything looks like an emergency it looks like my site abroad asking for you to give them a thumbs up they’re like oh my gosh oh my god I’m a beer have you raised every alarm that ever was I this is what I write in it to the theme options panel because when everyone’s just doing their own thing it ends up in total chaos and you know the solution to that was the somewhat it’s still a
(25:55) little chaotic obvious we’ve got the the customizer and so I’m hoping that this is the solution to that in the future pull that aside wonder if we could create a plug-in that forces notifications into a Microsoft like notifications tab in the top of the admin panel like they call it the clutter I took four minutes I took four minutes while you guys were talking did a little search and I found this thing that does it just use the CSS to just go and hide the notification special but the little characters cute it’s a little cat inside
(26:43) literally let me googling let me google that for you while we’re discussing this is my job I make sure that the cameras are correct the levels are good in that everything streaming out to the internet and other than that well we don’t know if that plugins any good I have questions now now I have research question does it hide all notices per usually role you know there’s a hide all night aboard what I’m curious about is if somebody has custom notice right because you if not not everybody doesn’t
(27:16) notice the same people do a custom way of doing the notifications of hide those yeah yeah I plug-in that I use that actually does put all those notifications into a little drop-down that’s that lives up in the top and that works pretty good I mean it gets about about 80% of oh maybe but I can I can show you guys that just yes here’s here’s the CD you download it real quick and then go check it out this is a problem that still exists right like niche surfacing niche plugins basically like how do we how do we go find that
(28:05) like how without asking Jason who apparently scoured the internet for all sorts of things with you know or without a personal Googler athletes like push all notifications into Microsoft Outlook like obviously we can do that but you know yeah this is the one that used here it’s called WP Notification Center and it just puts a little thing in the upper upper right hand side that just says like okay this thing’s you know it hides it exactly what I wanted and what so lame is these plugins thousand Falls it’s a callous thing only have a
(28:45) thousand insult are those all thousand mine I mean it may just all be my because nobody knows about this literally my point like this one right now when you have such an array of toys it almost becomes a detriment because there’s so much out there that you don’t even know how to start looking for the thing you’re like I’m sure it exists right but it’s risky and interesting problem yeah much it is you know you you need that you need that Angie’s List of WordPress to what you’re allowed to use
(29:26) it not allowed to use recommendations the the plug-in homepage on the wordpress.org says extend your WordPress experience was with fifty four thousand three hundred seventy-five plugins right you know that’s just the start you possibly go wrong let’s just put them all in I may have one site that has all those wait can we do them all break can we get like a Guinness world record or something for like the most accepted I think we should do that I think that sounds like a great plan and let’s let’s put it all on a
(30:04) Hostgator server hosting account so yeah this particular episode was not sponsored by Hostgator honestly all right guys well I want to say thank you all for coming hanging out with us on day P water-cooler make sure you go to our website at day parkour calm I actually put all the links for this in our show notes so feel free to go take a look at that as well and if you enjoyed this content make sure you share it with somebody yeah I would appreciate if you need to subscribe Dave you are calm slash subscribe not y’all later bye bye

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2 responses to “EP310 – Changes in WordPress, child care at WordCamps & site health”

  1. RT @jasontucker: ????Check out WPwatercooler EP310 jtuck.xyz/2NpUbdK










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