Notes from WordPress Seacoast meeting, 6-November-2013

The November meetup of the Seacoast WordPress Developers group had nine attendees. The discussions were far-ranging, with a lot of very useful information!

Before we got started, there was a discussion about creating custom archives, and Amanda brought up the codex page on archives: to point out the different templates that can build on archives.

WordCamp Boston 2013 was the main topic of the evening, and three regulars — Amanda, Laurel and Tina — shared a ride down to the Saturday sessions. New member Jim also attended and all were impressed with the organization of the event and the variety and professionalism of the presentations. Amanda noted that the meetings were recorded and should eventually appear on although this is likely a volunteer operation and may take some time.

We did a round of introductions: Amanda, Chris, the other Chris, Jim S. me, Jacqui (acdczone,com), Laurel, Phil, David. First meetups for Jim, Jacqui, and Phil. Welcome!

I mentioned there was a proposal for a meetup in Manchester to discuss collaborative teamwork. Tentative discussions. Caution we don’t want to step over the line and commit price fixing. But open to discussions on pricing, clients, functionality. Client engagements. Fixed-price v. time-and-materials.

Meanwhile, back at WordCamp: @beep – Ethan Marcotte keynote. Responsive Web Design. I mentioned that Ethan presented at many conferences, including my favorite An Event Apart and also wrote a book on responsive design with the affiliated group A Book Apart.

Laurel mentioned that one session on backups had a number of people enthused about VaultPress for WP backups. It’s written by the folks at Automattic, who also manage Akismet and It’s commercial, starting at $5 a month, but may make sense for some people. (Later on, someone asked about how the profile pictures for WordCamp Boston were made. That’s Gravatar, yup, also an Automattic property.)

Chris Cochran made WordCamp presentation, – focused on content, web designer, bottom-up, content-out, Customizing to the user.

Amanda walked us through the excellent slides for Wicked Fast WordPress by Chris Ferdnandi

Jetpack for Developers – George Stephanis — is a dev for JetPack and was pretty focused on writing JetPack.

jQuery and WordPress Together, Again — This was a bit of a suprise, based on the title. If you were expecting to learn about how to use jQuery inside WordPress. It was the inverse: how the jQuery team uses WordPress inside jQuery multiple websites.

PHP Unit Testing

Evolving your JavaScript with Backbone.js

Off on another tangent — I’m not complaining, just giving context — for a discussion about useful plugins: manage.wp for managing many sites, wordfence for security and akismet to block comment spam.

Questions on good books, tutorials, videos. Lots of suggestions. Me: Start at

Question on managing booking time: Appointments Plus

Another on good, fast, efficient multi-faceted search, a term I hadn’t heard before: example given was to filter a large listing of homes by number of bedrooms. So the engine is not just full-text search, but name-value pairs out of custom posts.

Question on commerce sites: wpmu, WooCommerce, others.

Q on snaking columns, Woo Dojo and short columns.

Quick demo of Visual Composer. lets the end users do more layout.

And there was more! Tips, tricks, the solutions to your WordPress questions. But you have to attend, because I can’t possibly transcribe all that happened at the meeting. Great stuff.

Thanks to Josh Cyr, owner of AlphaLoft for providing the space for the meeting, and to Amanda Giles for organizing the meeting. Hope to see you all next month.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.