December 2013 Meetup Notes


Mark lead a “lean coffee” meeting for about an hour and forty minutes before doing a share-out. Most people liked the new format and felt it would be good 2-4 times a year.

All the topics that weren’t discussed were added to the new “Future Topics” page.

~8 people were in attendance at the last [rescheduled] meetup of 2013.


Ready for lean coffee. Someone didn't focus their camera...

Ready for lean coffee. Someone didn’t focus their camera…

What’s new in WordPress 3.8

  • New admin styles (formerly MP6 plugin) with lots of [per-user] color schemes
  • New dashboard (giving one of Mark’s plugin problems)
  • New Theme management and addition interface
  • New widget admin (Widget integration with customizer currently in development as a Feature Plugin)
  • Twenty Fourteen “magazine” style theme

When new WordPress versions come out, search for the official “master list” forum thread of known issues. Here’s the one for 3.7.

Shared Project Management Tools

Barb is using JumpChart to help clients work on content (and content approval) before launch

It has a WordPress exporter but she hasn’t used it.

Teri says Teamwork PM is similar. She pays $24/month for up to 15 projects. It has a lot of functionality but allows you to turn off what you don’t need. Doesn’t have ability to track approvals.

Other tools mentions: Trello, Asana (Gabe likes this one), Podio

Security Plugins

Many are too bulky for clients.

Others are hard to configure.

Others use too many resources.

Plugins people use include Limit Login Attempts used by Sheila(doesn’t allow more than 3 login attempts without a wait) Login Security Solution, Better WP Security, and Sucuri ($$$) Mark recommends this one and says they will “unhack” your site for you if it gets hacked. Terri likes “Total Security”

There was a suggestion to use a host that supports SFTP (Secure FTP)


Confusion over types of caching. Gabe gave a nice quick overview:

  • Page caching (skips most database queries and PHP processing by making flat HTML pages for each page) w3 total cache is a plugin that allows facilitates page caching but you need to know what you’re doing to use it. You especially have to be careful with e-commerce carts.
  • Browser caching (saving images, css, js, etc. to local computer)
  • Minification (make css, html, js tinier)
  • Image size optimizaion

Gabe plugged New Relic as amazing tool to analyze response times and loading of a page. You need to know what you’re looking at for it to be useful. At a future meetup, he’ll show us how he configures W3 Total Cache. Other popular plugin is WP Super Cache

You can also use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to serve images faster. Mark mentioned Photon in Jetpack.


Google+ / Google Authorship is confusing. Apparently tons of “google juice” is given to people who use Google Plus. Great for video conferencing.

Yoast SEO is hard to configure if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Teri offered to show people how she configures it.

Mark has used to structure awesome content. It’s a way of marking up code that will give you additional semantic meaning. Recipes with ingredients or films with movie stars are good candidates for using Schema. Here’s a blog post he wrote about Use the Rich Text Snippet Testing Tool to see it in action. Here are a couple pages with Schema markup:

To see it really shine where Google’s using it, check out how you can specify a recipe search (options are hidden under “More tools”):,rcp_ing1:-bananas,rcp_cal:100

That’s results for bread pudding under 100 calories with rum and no bananas.

Font Recognition in Images

Check out What the Font and Identifont. Barb managed to ID Teri’s mystery font with her eyes!

Designer-Developer Relationships

Focus on identifying responsibilities. Each party should share expertise with the other. At a point, put your foot down. Be willing to walk away. Apparently HR is called in most on issues surrounding roles and responsibilities. Problems arise when people make assumptions about what their roles are. It’s best to write it down and get agreement at the start.


Used for making custom post types and custom meta fields. Gabe likes it.

Mark and Merrill use Advanced Custom Fields. Merrill mentioned the repeater add-on.

Both are great for making WP a true content management system.

Desktop Sharing

Everyone knows (requires Flash) and GoTo Meeting

Nobody has tried it, but Google has a Chrome desktop sharer:

There’s also the free version of Login Me In

Team Works is also high on functionality and free. [I couldn’t find this product so I’m wondering if it’s really Team Viewer]

Next Time


  • Freelance New Year’s Resolutions
  • Getting unstuck


Plugin show and tell:

  • Gabe: W3 Total Cache
  • Teri: Yoast SEO
  • What else?
  • If time: project show and tell

Sheila will ask Andrew about doing a presentation on security.


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