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Le Tour In Yorkshire – Day 2 (York/Huddersfield/Sheffield)

So a small thing that I’m not exactly proud of – I cannot ride a bike.

I mean, I probably can. However I’ve never really been on one. I preferred scooters and video games growing up. However, one thing I really enjoy is Le Tour De France.

I think it is because when I was growing up Le Tour was always background TV on holidays. We’d be in a caravan, after a long day being out and about, and it’d be the last programme we watched before going to bed. So when they announced that Le Tour in Yorkshire was happening (La Grande Depart was taking part in Yorkshire), I made sure that I was going.

At least that was the plan. Unfortunately, the plans I originally had did fall through, and a night at the excellent Chorlton Beer Festival meant that I wasn’t sure if I would make it, but instead miss it. But the next day, hungover, I decided to suck it up and head to Huddersfield to watch the tour. To be spotted, I made sure I dressed suitably.

I was quite surprised how easy it was to get there. A lot was said on preparing early and getting there early. However I was surprised at how empty the trains and trams were. I wasn’t convinced it was actually happening. However, when arrived in Huddersfield, it was obvious there was something huge going on.

I headed to watch the tour and found a space next to a barrier at the bottom of a hill on the outskirts of Huddersfield. And then I played the waiting game. I was 3 hours early, and the carnival was due to arrive in 2 hours. So I chatted to a few people. And waited. It wasn’t a waste as about half 2 the first for the riders flew past.

That was followed 3 minutes later by the main field, which whizzed so fast past us it was borderline scary. But wonderful. (NSFW language in the video, but in all honesty if you work at a company that doesn’t allow you to view a video which includes the word “Shit” in it, then change jobs).

So all in all, it was a great day out. It was long, and there’s a bit of waiting, but it was something worth seeing. The crowds were amazing all weekend, so they did themselves credit. Same time next year boys and girls? :)

Did you go? What did you make of it? I thought it was superb!

WordCamp Europe – Walking Tour

So I half expected this post to be about WordCamp Manchester, my thoughts and why it was so great (it was, well done to Jenny, Mike, Phil & the hardworking team for making a fantastic conference), as well as what an honour it was to speak there (which it was – you can see my slides here), but a conversation on Twitter today meant I had to change my post for today.

WordCamp Europe is happening at the end of September, and I am provisionally (yes, it’s not booked yet) looking to be there from the Thursday to the Tuesday. One of the suggestions for what to do was the Free Sofia Walking tour. After provisionally getting a few people interested, and after a discussion with Jenny, AndreyTaco & Peter, we thought we’d try and get a Unofficial WordCamp Walking Tour sorted.

Provisionally, we’re looking to go on the walk at some point (probably 11am) on the Friday before the conference. I have emailed them for an idea on how many they can reasonably take on the tour, as well as if they can accommodate us.

If you are interested, please leave a comment below. I will collate the numbers and speak with the tour company, see if we can do it.

I’ve been on a few of these tours before and they are pretty good. They work on donations (usually around €10/$20 a tour) so not completely free, but certainly a lot cheapear than a lot of organised tours.

Please note: This is not affiliated or endorsed by WordCamp Europe, and is  something completely separate. I’m just looking to set something up.

Hello WordCamp Manchester, I’m Rhys

So as a way to do a fairly easy blog post (as well as a re-hash of a post I wrote before WordCamp Europe), I thought I’d write a post about me and WordCamp Manchester as a way to try to connect with interesting people.

Hello everybody! My name is Rhys Wynne. I am the lead developer for FireCask by day and by night I make my own WordPress Plugins and themes, which are hosted on my company’s site, Winwar Media.

I will be representing FireCask along with my boss Alex, as well as spending a lot of time with John, who is staying at mine.

I’m truly honoured that I am speaking at the first WordCamp Manchester, as my talk – “How To Get Your First Child Theme Off The Ground” will be at 1:30pm (the first session after lunch) in the technical track. The talk is written but if there is any questions you want answering or covered, please drop me an email.

I do hope you can attend my talk and you enjoy it. I will be at the after conference social and contributor day the next day. I’ve successfully managed to get VVV running on a Windows machine, so if you are a Windows user who is struggling, feel free to speak to me.

Incidentally, I’d be curious to speak to people who are interested in the following:-

  • Any Premium Plugin Developers willing to share notes about marketing and upselling.
  • Any Plugin Developers at all for sharing notes on how they provide support. I think I’ve got it down to a tee, but am always looking at improving.
  • Any bbPress developers as I’ve a few ideas for plugins for a possible collaboration.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY AS I AM WRITING THIS IN RED anybody who is collecting the Panini World Cup Stickers. My Swapsies list is here. I need a grand total of 55 at the time of writing (5 more means that I can order the rest). I am willing to offer swaps & free WordPress advice if you have the Argentina or Italy Shiny.

So if you fall into the following categories, send me a tweet or drop me an email, I’d be keen to meet up!

Speaking at WordCamp Manchester 2014

Hi everybody,

I’m back from a non-self-imposed blogging hiatus (yeah, been busy) to announce that I am speaking this years WordCamp Manchester, at MMU Business School, on 28th of June.

My talk is entitled “How To Get Your First Child Theme Off The Ground”, and it is aimed at new developers wanting to learn what child theming is, how to put together a child theme together, and – most importantly – why you should be using a child theme for your next project.

I am incredibly excited to speak at this conference, as it was one of my goals for the year. I’m looking forward as well to interact with the WordPress community more, which for the last year has been a constant source of learning for me. This is the first time I’ll be speaking at a WordCamp, after I spoke at MWUG earlier this year (view the slides & notes here)

Talk is still in the early stages of planning, so if you want me to cover anything, please drop a comment or an email.

If you fancy attending, at the time of writing, tickets are available on the WordCamp Manchester site. Be warned though, they will sell out. That isn’t some marketing speak to drive ticket sales – they have already sold out once before, and – with only 3 left – I’d put the house on them selling out again.

They are also looking for sponsors. Sponsoring is cost effective and could be a good source of exposure for your company. Find out how to sponsor here.

Finally, if you’re coming, I encourage you to attend the Contributor Day the next day. It has been the best thing I’ve done professionally this year, and you can really contribute to the growth of a fantastic piece of software. Tickets for that are free.

The SEO Benefit of Contributing to Open Source – A Case Study

A rarity for me, an SEO post.

I’m going to share a method I got 200 okay backlinks in a period of around 24 hours (or rather 24 hours preparation).

As you all know (and am singing about it again, because I’m so proud of it), I contributed to the WordPress 3.9 release of WordPress. A huge honour which came with a few links of kudos and the like, however I was curious – what was the SEO benefit of me contributing to WordPress?

SEO is still pretty much a links game, and it can help your site by getting a legitimate amount of links. So the first port of call was checking how many sites link to my profile. WordPress – in their release post – links to all contributors’ Profile, so I thought that’d be a good place to start. I fired up Majestic SEO and checked the recently discovered backlinks. I found this:-

131! Sure, there were a few spam and scraper sites, but overall there were some gooduns. Now what about one of my properties? Well I checked out the Winwar Media site (which is linked to on the profile), and found this.

The spike was the day after, but it practically correlates. It is slightly bigger due to the fact that the next day I also published my WordPress 3.9 Feature Guide on the FireCask blog (which links to my site in the footer). But overall, there was an increase in backlinks.

So SEO Agencies, on your developer’s downtime, why not encourage them to contribute to Open Source projects? It could really help grow your profile. If not the backlinks from legitimate sources, but can also provide you with case studies for your blog, and even leads.

In terms of contributing to WordPress, getting links has been the least rewarding thing about it. However I understand that people aren’t necessarily as community focused as me, and may need some pushing to get going. I also know that there are hundreds of Open Source Projects that are crying out for talented developers to contribute.

It’s not a guaranteed result, of course. My code could’ve been cut from the release (it was an edge case, my fix), but what is? PR Pitches don’t get picked up, outreach emails get ignored and internal sites get abandoned. I truly believe that this is quite a legitimate form of building authority for you.

But, best of all, you’re making the internet a better place.