Manchester WordPress User Group June

First off Mike goes over the latest WordPress News, mentioning the WordPress 10th Anniversary

There's been a few writeups over the net with people writing about their experiences with WordPress over the past 10 years.,

Next he went over the 'Google Summer of Code'. This is where Google sponsor students for 8 weeks to work on various open source projects that have requested help. WordPress is now a part of this and have some people looking to work on the JSON rest api, to replace core functions for using email to post to WordPress, WebOS being ported to Firefox OS, BlackBerry 10 support and more.

For more information on WordPress development check out

WordPress 3.6

Improvements are being worked on to the post format UI. This is a way of specifying a post to be a video, or link, or quotes etc… For example if you were to select a post format as video, in the UI rather than writing a full post, you may just have to add the link to the video and WordPress will handle the rest. Mike gave us a local demo of this, also showing off the new 2013 theme.

Unfortunately, the WordPress developers hit some problems with this, so are pulling it out from the core for now and keeping it as a plugin, but looking to add in to a future release.

Other updates include:

  • New oEmbeds, including Rdio and Spotify that can now be added with just a single line of code.
  • Automatically creating a player when hosting mp3s and videos.
  • Auto Save - If browser supports it (most modern browsers), data will save locally in case can't save to server, so if the network / Internet goes down or your computer crashes, you'll still have your data.
  • Post Locking - If someone else was working on a post and has left it open, it's now possible to 'break lock' so you can edit the file.
  • Nav builder appearance > menus - Easier to use.
  • Revision posts - UI improvements.

Also Windows 7, Android, iOS iPad / iPhone native Apps have all recently had updates.

WordCamp UK

Taking place at Lancaster University is a 2 day conference 13th and 14th July, all WordPress based and is a remarkably cheap at £25 for an early bird ticket and cheap accommodation is also available with a promo code, for more details see

WordPress Beginners Course

This is split over 2 Saturdays and is £200 for the 2 days, more details of that can be found here / (no longer online).

The money raised from these events goes towards the wonderful work that MadLab do.

Plugin Updates

Jetpack has had just had an update, full details can be found here


This is ran by Automattic and allows security, backup, and support for WordPress normally at $15 a month. Now there's a lite version at just $5 a month. Some of the features it allows are:

  • Backs up in real time
  • One click restore
  • Security support, auto pushes code if any security issues have been discovered

More details can be found here

Kitchen Sink

Someone had the What's all this extra code doing here? scenario.

This is normally caused by copying and pasting text from software such as Word or Open Office.

To fix this when adding content, click the kitchen sink button on the right then you'll have some extra buttons appear, first try using the 'MS Word' button, if this still doesn't work, try the 'Post as Plain Text' button.

Google Drive and WordPress

Mike mentioned about a newspaper in the USA that have their editors upload files to Google Drive. From Google Drive the files are then automated to appear on a WordPress blog and also be sent to print.

Extra BR and P Tags Appearing

Recently I had an issue where just using the 'text' tab within WordPress when viewing the site there would be extra br and p tags in the markup. I'd tried some plugins, but this still didn't seem to rectify the issue.

Mike offered some advice.

Firstly WordPress uses a stripped down version of 'Tiny MCE'. There's others can be used, including and

Mike also points out that this is a 'Visual Editor' not a 'WYSIWG', but more like a 'WYSIAWYG' (What You See Is Almost What You Get).

Also, something that I didn't know, is that different user roles are limited in some of the content that they can add. For example authors can't add iframes.

Custom Sidebars

This is a plugin I've actually just used in a project and allows you to customise sidebar widgets on a per page or post basis

Jenny Wong - Web Developer, works at Reason Digital

Jenny did a great job at explaining 'The Base Ingredients of Debugging'.

Hopefully her slides will be soon and I'll link to them here.

For years now I've always sort it best practice to have an alt tag, Mike explained the reason for this is even if it's blank this will stop screen readers reading out the full url. A great thing to consider for accessibility.

The 'Cardboard Engineer'. This relates to sometimes when asking a question regarding a bug, actually formulating the question in your head and going over it can make you realise what the bug is and how to fix it.

Jenny mentioned most of the techniques she described are explained in 'Debugging: The 9 Indispensable Rules for Finding Even the Most Elusive Software and Hardware Problems [Paperback]' and is available to by from Amazon here:

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