The following is an example of one of the methods used to stay up with the rapid advancement of themes, plugins, and tools in the WordPress World.
CSI Spadina 215 Spadina Ave. 4th Floor, Toronto, ON
This Tips and Demos WordPress Meetup is having a Christmas special. A five hour mega session beginning at 2:00PM and going to 7:00PM. It will feature a summary of the tip and plugins featured through the past year – with a twist.
There will be 3 free plugins available to anyone who wants to do a joint Test and Report on the plugin at this meeting. For example, earlier this year we reviewed CSSHero and Site Origin CSS Style Editor as examples of the new wave of point and click CSS Style Editor plugins available to WordPress users.
Well now there is a new one, MicroThemer, which makes CSS fixes much easier to do. Volunteer as MicroThemer tester and you will get a full copy of the plugin which we will use to solve your styling problems. Then we will do a report on the tool of 20-25 minutes followed by Q&A at the meeting. Contact me at email@example.com before Friday Dec 16th end to schedule the test session.
Upcoming in December: a new superset of CSS Style Editors for WordPress
Second plugin test will be for the topic of WordPress Page Builders which we covered extensively this past summer. The 3 plugins for the PageBuilder Test can be Headway Theme Builder which does unique and complex WordPress Designs
Headway is able to develop websites for which every page has a unique layout.
Or the PageBuilder used can be Themify Builder which has been massively updated and sports some very useful layout features along with added widgets. It purports to work with any theme which can be tested along with ease of use.
Themify will work well with existing websites adding new landing page features.
Or the PageBuilder used for our Test can be SwiftSite which is brand new and offers some very promising theme, page and content building capabilities. Although SwiftSite can work with any WP Theme it is best used on a brand new website requiring unque layout and design features.
Swifty delivers mobile, responsive websites with multiple landing pages.
Again get to me at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP if you want to be a tester of one of the three PageBuilders. Note we will only do one of the three.
Envira Gallery has added a range of new addons – here is an overview.
Here is NextGenPro in action with some new features:
The advantage of NextGen Pro is that it works directly with the NextGen Gallery for images and videos; a great improvement over WP’s Media Library. But Envira Gallery has a wider range of add-on features.
In sum, having Testers is vital to this Meetup. I have reserved the room for 5 hours so there will be plenty of time to explore each of the tested plugins. I anticipate 1 to 3 hours for testing and done a summary presentation ready for the meeting
The payback for Testers is that they will get to see state of the art plugins early. Also they will get credit on this website and theOpenSourcery.com for their work. Finally Testers will get to keep the plugin [most are premium ones]to apply it to their websites and have the plugin free of charge for the next year with updates – after which the plugin will continue to work but without updates unless they buy that service . See here for all the details.
Staying up with the latest trends in WordPress and broader Web developments is major task. But the good news is that the last 2-3 years has seen developers deliver to WordPress owners and bedginners an ever more approachable set of point and click, interactive WP interfaces. More than ever WordPress delivers on the promise of WYSIWYG development and website management This Christmas gift of free plugins for volunteers Testers is one such approach of getting a better firsthand view of what is happening in WordPress. Added bonus, it helps to get better reviews out to the WP Community. See the SwiftySuite review as an example.