WordPress 10th Anniversary Celebrations in Manchester

So on Monday I attended the WordPress 10th Anniversary Celebrations Manchester, held in The Odder Bar. I believe it is the first time I have attended an event more than just the Manchester WordPress community as held at MWUG, as there were a lot of unfamiliar faces. Nevertheless, I roped in Shane to come along with me.

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The night began with an interview with Mike Little, co-founder of WordPress, on how the software was formed and how it grew. It was an interesting talk, particularly in how WordPress could further grow (Mike stressed he had a keen eye in the development of WordPress accessibility), so it was good to hear how WordPress grew early on in its development. I could imagine that the interview he gave would be less codey than the one he will give at Sascon. Not sure many of the delegates will know what Gopher is. Still check it out if you are there, it will be fascinating!

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After a large helping of food, the next event was a quiz. But not just any quiz, oh no, a WordPress quiz! I must admit I usually go to quizzes being quite a useful member, but beyond correcting a question (as I heard of the Ella Fitzgerald release, and it was in the 2.X development cycle), I was nigh on useless and my team carried me. There were some elements of controversy, namely the “write the minimum code used to power a WordPress hook”, but overall, our team, ‘hilariously’ titled “TurdPress”, won. Hooray! Thanks to Interconnect IT for the prize of The Auditor & Human Made for the free year of WP Remote.

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After it was mingling time, and this was where I realised how big the WordPress community was. Everybody there was fascinating. Also in the team thrown together was a Magician & a Hypnotist: James Anthony, who did this amazing trick.

The time came to cut the cake (that used the proper WordPress logo), and we were given a parting gift of true Mancunian style: a WordPress Pint Glass.

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All in all, I had an amazing night! Loved every minute and I do need to get myself to more WordPress events. To Matt Mullenweg, Mike Little & any other WordPress contributor, big or small: thank you.

Here is to the next 10 years!

WordPress & Me – 10 Year Anniversary Project Entry

One of my biggest passions is WordPress, and the development thereof. I love it, and every week I turn to my colleagues and say “wow, didn’t know WordPress could do THAT!”. I’ve been fortunate enough to turn this passion partly into a career, and partly into profitable side projects that I run. I’m also fortunate to be based in Manchester, home of MWUG, which is run by Mike Little, help write the damn thing.

MWUG will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of WordPress with a party (with cake!) in Odder Bar, Manchester (you can RSVP here). I will aim to get there (I’m winging it back from a BWP show the night before in Prestatyn), so it’d be good to see fellow Manchester WordPressy folk.

But that isn’t the point of this post. I read with interest Dougal Campbell’s 10th Anniversary WordPress Blogging Project, where you are supposed to share what happened to you at core stages in WordPress’ development. This is my post contributing to the Blogging Project.

When WordPress was released in May 2003:-

  • I was 19 years old.
  • I was just finishing my first year of a Computer & Multimedia Systems course at The University of Liverpool.
  • I was a bit of a loner at the time, for the first 6 months of University I hated the halls, and I was plonked on a corridor full of some right pillocks. I did eventually move into a floor with nice people, many of which I still keep in touch with, but by the time I moved in they had already organised a house share, so I went into Second Year Halls.
  • I was also beginning my first full time summer job, working in the restaurant at The Welsh Mountain Zoo.

When I First Started Using WordPress in May 2006:-

  • I was 22 years old.
  • WordPress 2.0.2 was the current version (actually quite gutted by this, sure I’ve scribbled somewhere that I remember WordPress 1.5, but alas no).
  • I had just started working for Livetech in Colwyn Bay.
  • WordPress didn’t have pages for the home page, which frustrated me no end!
  • I was still living with Mum & Dad.
  • I had recently come out of hospital following a bout of Atrial Fibrillation, which screwed me up mentally more than anything else.
  • As it was brought on by a combination of stress, no sleep and a huge amount of alcohol consumption, I was off the booze.
  • And as such, I could still comfortably fit into a Medium. HA! No chance of that now!

Since I started using WordPress…

  • I have found a love for traveling, going abroad for the first time, and since then going to 17 countries.
  • I have changed jobs twice, and now rather happily working for 3 Door Digital.
  • As such I’ve left Colwyn Bay and moved to Manchester.
  • Colwyn Bay FC have been promoted twice.
  • I’ve started, stopped, started again, stopped again and now due to restart a wrestling managerial career.
  • I have released five plugins, and contributed to two more (though my contribution to WP Fart is minimal).
  • I have released two commercial plugins: WP Email Capture & Author+.
  • I have two super-secret (well not quite super-secret now!) projects that I cannot wait to get finished and out there later this year.
  • And – most surprisingly of all – I’ve become a dog lover!

So yes, a bit of an introspective, but felt it was necessarily, most of all though I’m proud to be a part of an amazing community. Between the WordPress & the SEO community, both have been great helps to me as a person and career wise.

Here’s to the next 10 years!

State Of Search: Recommended WordPress Backup Plugins For 2013

Not sure if I’ll do this which much regularity, but I keep forgetting when and where I’m featured on other websites. I’m looking to compile a list, but at the moment it’s quite barren, so before I build up said list, I’m going to start linking to posts featuring me as a talking head, or commenting on something.

Meh, it’s content!

I’m not featured in many places, so I think this’ll be fairly easy to keep updated.

Anyway, the first one is being featured on State of Search (a blog I regularly read, and one of a small handful of SEO blogs I actually bother with) talking about my recommendations for the 6 Top WordPress Backup Plugins of 2013.

I was featured along with Michael Wester, Bastian Grimm, Dan McGuire, Carla Marshall and Dean Cruddace, and for the record, I recommended WP-DB Backup for a Free Plugin (which I must admit is more out of habit, I really should check out BackWPup recommended by a couple of people), and Vaultpress if you can afford it.

Thanks to Jackie Hole for featuring me!