Manchester WordPress User Group October

Thanks again to MadLab for providing the space and allowing Mike to do his thang!

Manchester WordPress User Group

WordPress 3.7

Due soon, now in Beta 2, coming out quite quickly and in smaller chunks. The main improvement that's being improved is 'automatic background updates'. Some of the development being worked on this is also the ability to turn this off and configure it if you require.

Matt Mullenweg wants it to be similar to Chrome in that you can regularly update and it doesn't break.

The new advanced 'date queries' also looks interesting.

WordPress London

Speakers have now been announced At this time Mike isn't on the list, but he will be there talking.

There's also going to be workshops in the Mozilla offices, going over coding, documentation and design workshops to help out people who do this on a regular basis.

WordPress Tavern

Turns out Matt bought this site a while ago and is now paying Jeffro to maintain and update it, a great source for WordPress news.

Manage WP

Another site that's popped up, useful for WordPress news.

Make WordPress

This section of the official WordPress site gives you the opportunity to add your input on new features that are coming down the pipeline.

WordPress Themes

A few places Mike recommends, but there are loads!

When choosing a theme, some advice is not to get a theme that is doing too much. In the future, if a theme needs to be changed then you may lose functionality. It's a much better approach to keep core functionality in plugins avoiding any issues if the theme has to change.

When changing a theme and in general it's always a good idea to have a back up of your database.

Some other advice is to have a full backup (the files and the database), to have this automated and know how to restore it if it breaks! is something that can help out with this :smile_cat:

WordPress Child Themes

Explained some advice on using child themes and mentioned a previous post


Mike mentions a nice one to setup quickly is eShop

However for anything more than a few products WooCommerce is worth a look

If you're only UK based, Go Cardless offers an option where they'll only ever take a maximum £2 charge Others such as PayPal will take a 4% commission.

There's also Stripe that is becoming more popular as well

If you're dealing with international products and to help with VAT numbers, there's


A tool mentioned to help with invoicing is and one to avoid is kashflow.


Some people demoed their WordPress sites :blush:

Congrats guys, looking good.

Speed Dial 2

Slightly off topic, but someone asked how Mike has Chrome showing some favourite sites on his homepage, that's done with this handy Chrome extension:

Tom J Nowell

Next up, Tom gave a talk on Composer and demonstrated how it's possible to automate updating plugins across multiple WordPress sites.


If you have lots of WordPress sites and an update comes in, to update them all can often get annoying and tedious.

This is where composer comes in.

Composer with the use of a composer.json file allows you to specify what you require for your WordPress build(s).

The basic premise is that rather than having to go into each site manually and update each site, theme, plugin etc you can run a script that will go over the composer.json file and automatically update the dependencies you have specified.

When using Composer, the folder structure is slightly different from usual as the wp-content folder sits on the root level. Mike mentions that sometimes certain plugins may not work with this configuration. In this case it might be better to find another plugin, or make the plugin author aware of the issue.

Thanks Tom, looks interesting, see you all next month!

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