February Meetup

The next WordPress Edmonton meet-up will take place on Monday, February 23, 2015 at Startup Edmonton HQ (top floor of the Mercer Building, 10359 104 St). We’ll kick things off at 5:45 PM, just in time for most people to come straight from work. We will have two speakers on two different topics — a Beginner’s Topic geared toward those who are interested in learning more about the general overview and basics of using WordPress as a web publishing tool, as well as an Advanced Topic geared more toward those who are involved with applied development and coding for WordPress. Each speaker will give a presentation on their topic for about 10 minutes, followed by questions and discussion from the floor. At the end of both presentations, there should be time for socializing.

Beginner’s Topic

Speaker: Beverley Jackman
Topic: Things you might not know if you’re just getting into WordPress

Advanced Topic

Speaker: Warren Uhrich
Topic: Adding custom shortcodes in your themes

To register for this event, please visit our Meetup.com page!

We thank in advance our two fantastic speakers, and look forward to hearing about their insights and experiences. Looking forward to seeing everyone on February 23!

January Meet-Up in review

The WordPress Edmonton group met on Monday, January 19 for our second meetup since the hiatus. Our beginner’s topic speaker was Daelan Wood, website developer for Poppy Barley — one of Edmonton’s hottest new companies. Poppy Barley makes custom designer footwear, and Daelan’s talk focused on how the company uses WooCommerce to run their online store. In Daelen’s words, WooCommerce is the most “solid” of all the WordPress plugins made for eCommerce.

Daelan also noted that any WordPress plugin designed for eCommerce will have limitations when it comes to the type of sales that Poppy Barley does, because their products are custom and made-to-measure. Therefore, unlike most online retail business models, their business model has more in common with manufacturing than it does with straight-up product fulfillment.

So without further ado,  Daelan’s WooCommerce pros:

  • good payment integration, including Stripe, PayPal and many others
  • integrates directly into WordPress, and you are ready to start selling (particularly with a standard product fulfillment business model) right away
  • good basic inventory management options, though the base solution has limitations when it comes to inventory tracking from a manufacturing standpoint
  • lots of add-ons available to meet the individuals needs of store owners
  • uses the WordPress API, which makes theme customization easy and use fairly intuitive for those already familiar with using WordPress

Daelan’s WooCommerce cons:

  • everything to do with the store — products, orders, etc — are stored as posts in the wp_posts table of the WordPress database, which is the same place where blog posts, site pages, comments and more are also stored. This approach is good for extensibility, but it can also result in increased database query times, as well as a lack of ability to generate incremental order IDs, since the table is being shared with other post types
  • WooCommerce is geared toward fulfillment over manufacturing — it is easy to track whole product inventory, but when it comes to things like base materials inventory, patterns, returned custom stock or pre-made stock, this presented challenges which had to be addressed by incorporating custom solutions
  • no support for customer history and tracking non-sales interactions with customers

Some of the things that Daelan mentioned in terms of the learning curve of running an online store:

  • track everything you can — gather as much data as possible about user and customer behaviour on your website with Google Analytics and other tools
  • do user testing to get an idea of how someone who is not a web developer would use your online store
  • follow established eCommerce design patterns and follow through on the expectations these patterns have already instilled in your customers of how your site works
  • “assume the customer won’t understand anything you’ve built”
  • don’t be afraid to “break up” with difficult customers who are more trouble than they’re worth
  • get a great web host with amazing tech support (he mentioned WP Engine, which specializes in WordPress hosting)

Thank you very much to Daelan for sharing his insights and experiences.

After that, we moved on to our second speaker for the evening, Joseph Luis CM, whose advanced topic talk focused on how to transfer a WordPress website from one server/host to another without the help of plugins or admin tools (in other words, how to do it the “ninja” way).

Tools and resources you will need before you begin:

  • access to servers, including database servers — this usually means the login credentials for your new web host and your old web host
  • FTP/SSH or File Manager to move files between servers and edit wp-config.php (the file containing WordPress database credentials)
  • command line or phpMyAdmin access to your WordPress databases

The process works as follows:

  • export your WordPress website database using command line access or phpMyAdmin
  • get a copy of your WordPress website’s wp-content folder via FTP/SSH or File Manager. This is where all your website’s unique content outside of the WordPress core files is stored, such as your themes, plugins and uploads
  • on your new web host or server, import your WordPress database using command line or phpMyAdmin
  • transfer your wp-content folder via FTP/SSH or File Manager to your new web host or server
  • edit the wp-config.php file in your website’s root WordPress directory with your updated database login credentials
  • if necessary, change the main website URL and all the URLs inside post content, such as image paths and internal site links. The Velvet Blues Update URLs plugin is helpful if you have a lot of URLs to change.

After the speakers wrapped up, the group spent some time chatting and socializing as we usually like to do. Thanks to all who attended. Please join us for the next WordPress Edmonton Meetup on Monday, February 23, 2015 at 5:45 pm, once again hosted by Startup Edmonton HQ. Please note that although our meetups typically fall on the third Monday of every month, February 16 is Family Day, and the meetup has been moved to the following week.

January Meet-Up

The next WordPress Edmonton meet-up will take place on Monday, January 19, 2014 at Startup Edmonton HQ (top floor of the Mercer Building, 10359 104 St). We’ll kick things off at 5:45 PM, just in time for most people to come straight from work. We will have two speakers on two different topics – a Beginner’s Topic geared toward those who are interested in learning more about the general overview and basics of using WordPress as a web publishing tool, as well as an Advanced Topic geared more toward those who are involved with applied development and coding for WordPress. Each speaker will give a presentation on their topic for about 10 minutes, followed by questions and discussion from the floor. At the end of both presentations, there should be time for socializing.

Beginner’s Topic

Speaker: Daelan Wood
Topic: “Building and Running an E-Commerce Site with WordPress”

Advanced Topic

Speaker: Joseph Luis C.M.
Topic: “Transfer your Website the Ninja Way (or what to do when your transfer plugin fails)” – There are many plugins that help you to transfer your WordPress website from one server to another. What do you do when the plugin fails or if you want to do it “manually”? Find tonight about the key steps of the transfer and some tips to do it like a pro, a pro ninja that is.

To register for this event, please visit our Meetup.com page!

We thank in advance our two fantastic speakers, and look forward to hearing about their insights and experiences. Looking forward to seeing everyone on January 19!

November Meet-Up

The next WordPress Edmonton meet-up will take place on Monday, November 17, 2014 at Startup Edmonton HQ (top floor of the Mercer Building, 10359 104 St). We’ll kick things off at 5:45 PM, just in time for most people to come straight from work. We will have two speakers on two different topics — a Beginner’s Topic geared toward those who are interested in learning more about the general overview and basics of using WordPress as a web publishing tool, as well as an Advanced Topic geared more toward those who are involved with applied development and coding for WordPress. Each speaker will give a presentation on their topic for about 10 minutes, followed by questions and discussion from the floor. At the end of both presentations, there should be time for socializing.

Beginner’s Topic

Speaker: Sally Poulsen of Parcom Online
Topic: An overview of Automattic, the company behind WordPress. Sally is currently working on a trial basis as a “Happiness Engineer” and can provide insight into their hiring process.

Advanced Topic

Speaker: Keyfer Mathewson of Paper Leaf
Topic: An overview of the process involved with publishing a plug-in developed at Paper Leaf to the official WordPress Plugin Repository.

To register for this event, please visit our Meetup.com page!

We thank in advance our two fantastic speakers, and look forward to hearing about their insights and experiences. Looking forward to seeing everyone on November 17!

We’re baaaaaaaack!

It’s been awhile, but WordPress Edmonton is back! From now on, we will be holding our monthly meetups on the third Monday of every month at Startup Edmonton HQ on the third floor of the Mercer Building downtown (10359 104 Street), starting with our first event on Monday, October 20.   As part of Startup Week, we will be joining several other awesome groups and organizations in our city for Mega Meetup Night. Things kick off at 6:30 pm. Tickets are free, but registration is required to account for numbers. You can register to attend here.

We encourage anyone who is interested in being part of WordPress Edmonton monthly meetups to come and learn a little bit about who we are and what we’re doing. It will be a fun and social evening with good opportunity for networking. See you there!