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Taylor Lovett

This Saturday, I will be presenting “Modernizing WordPress Search with Elasticsearch,” focused on ElasticPress, at WordCamp Nashville. 10up’er Zack Rothauser will also be in attendance.

Up in New England at WordCamp Maine, CEO John Eckman presents, “The Four Agreements and Client Services,” covering core tenets from the popular self-help book (The Four Agreements). Jason Clarke and Jason Boyle will also be attending.

Editing WordPress’s Visual Editor

These are the slides from a talk I gave at the 2011 WordCamps (WordPress conferences) in Chicago, Philly, and Orlando. I consider this a “sequel” to a broader talk on editing the WordPress administrative experience that I like to think I pioneered in 2010 at a few WordCamps, including Chicago and Mid-Alantic, which several new speakers now seem to be running with.

WordPress’s visual content editor (TinyMCE) is, in many ways, at the heart of WordPress’s content management experience. It’s where editors spend most of their time, and where content is crafted to appear on the front end of your site. Like most of WordPress, the editor can be customized to be both more powerful and more specific to the needs of an individual site or client. This presentation covers topics including custom editor stylesheets based on post type, modifying and removing buttons from the editor, and even creating your own custom buttons for the TinyMCE toolbar. It even covers brand new WordPress 3.3 techniques introduced with the new wp_editor function.

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Introducing WordPress as a CMS

A week and a half later, here are the slides from my WordCamp Boston 2011 talk, “Introducing WordPress as a CMS”. Unfortunately, the slides don’t include my live demo of some CMS-centric implementations, which I think was eye opening to a few participants.

None-the-less, if you’re looking for an overview of content management concepts applied to WordPress, you can find them here. I’ve uploaded the slideshow as a video to YouTube (to preserve its feel); the video moves quickly, so you might have to be quick on the pause button!

Wrapping up WordCamp Boston 2011

WordCamp Boston 2011 was every bit as informative, fun, and inspiring as we expected.

Like most great WordCamps, Boston wasn’t just a venue for some great sessions; it was an opportunity to chat it up with a diverse crowd that ranged from lead WordPress contributors to new users just discovering the ways they can use the booming content management system. On Saturday morning – the first day of the event – I finally found the time and inspiration to send in a short sponsorship blog post. Recalling memories of WordCamp Boston 2010, I was excited for the event, and it didn’t disappoint.

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Upcoming WordCamp Sessions

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be speaking again at both WordCamp Boston and WordCamp Chicago in July.

In Boston, I’ll be introducing newer users to approaching WordPress as a full fledged content management system. We’ll explore what a “full fledged CMS” actually means, and how to approach defining your requirements and thinking about your content. We’ll take a look at the administrative section of some complex CMS implementations to show what’s really possible. Then we’ll put ideas and strategy aside and review some configuration options and plug-ins that even the most basic users can latch onto to get started. My session is on Sunday, July 24th at 1:30 pm in the “How To” track. I’ll be attending all weekend, so be sure to find me and say hi!

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That’s a WordPress Site?? – A reminder

This evening, at our Providence WordPress Meetup,  one of our attendees mentioned that he participated in a training session run by Acquia for aspiring Drupal developers. As a user of WordPress, he was dismayed but not surprised to hear Acquia dismiss another attendee’s questions about WordPress’s viability as a content management system. “If you want a blog, go with WordPress. If you want a real website, go with Drupal.”

I have nothing against Drupal. In fact, I’ve developed websites on Drupal, and have recommended Drupal for some truly atypical and complex website projects. That said, I maintain that WordPress is not just a capable CMS for 90% of websites, but today, it’s the better choice. It’s usability is second to none, and with lower setup costs, hosting requirements, and maintenance requirements, it’s a smarter choice for the average client’s wallet. With the fairly recent addition of features like custom post types, custom taxonomies, and built in menu management, WordPress is quickly closing the gap on that 10% “unsuitability” hole, too.

You can’t blame Acquia for trying to protect their business, but it is a bit sad to see serious companies perpetuating the myth. For those still in doubt, I’ve attached my presentation from my “That’s a WordPress site??” lightning talk from July of last year.

WordCamp Miami, The Great CMS Debate

I will be talking WordPress at two upcoming events, on opposite ends of the U.S. east coast this month.

WordCamp Miami. Never a big fan of winter, I’m definitely looking forward to a breather in sunny Miami, Florida. I’m flying down the evening before (this Friday, the 19th) and returning the following Tuesday. It’s actually more economic to stay a couple of extra days at the hotel as compared with taking a Sunday flight back. In any case, I’ll be speaking at Miami’s WordCamp, which takes place on Saturday the 20th at the University of Miami. I’ll be presenting a revised version of Themes 101, which “premiered” at WordCamp Boston. It will incorporate new information on the upcoming “default” theme, along with some feedback from Boston. If you’re in the area and interested in meeting up on Sunday or Monday, send me a note.

Boston North Shore Web Geeks’ “Great CMS Debate”. I’ll be representing WordPress on a panel debating the merits of a few popular web content management systems (CMS). Other panelists include Boston Web Studio’s Marc Amos (Expression Engine), Jay Batson (co-founder of Acquia, a widely known Drupal consultancy), and Fidelity’s Tom Herer (representing Kentico). My friend, founder of WordCamp Boston, and strategy guru at Optaros, John Eckman, moderates. It takes place on February 25th, at 7 ,pm in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

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