It was time, once again, to meet. Within the UKGenesis Slack channel there was talk of attending WordCamp Manchester and so this seemed a logical time to arrange a meetup. Tim from 34sp.com offered their meeting room for our use and kindly provided lunch and refreshments through the day.
So on a fine autumnal Friday, immediately before the WordCamp, over a dozen UK Genesis people descended upon 34sp.
After a good catch-up we settled down to some individual presentations:
Gary Jones was first up with his presentation on The Move to Modern PHP in WordPress – a talk he gave in more detail at WP London. Highlighting very clearly that any PHP pre 5.5 is not supported for WordPress. So not even security updates are made.
PHP 7x is also not as secure as we might expect; there are differing known vulnerabilites in all versions of PHP.
7.0 is actively supported until end of this year. 7.2 will be released on 30th November 2017
You want your host to be using PHP 7.0x as a minimum
There is a plugin (there is always a plugin) PHP Compatibility Checker to assist with checking for the PHP version required and used and all the PHP things.
Update as soon as new release. There will always be bugs, so just go for it.
You can see Gary’s slidedeck here https://gmj.to/modernphpinwp
Maciej Swoboda of WP Desk joined us from Poland and shared his favourite tools:
Caz Mockett wanted to get to know Genesis a bit before starting to work with it.
- Knowthecode.ao – whole course on being a Genesis developer – not so much the basics
- Look at the WordPress Codex
- Visit and explore Sridhar’s website
- Don’t be afraid of opening the Genesis core files and have a good look around to see what’s what. Genesis is quite well documented.
- Genesis is a tool – clients are unlikely to care what you use.
- Ask in the Genesis Slack channel
- Play thoroughly with the Sample theme – practice everything you can think of on that and build your own boilerplate theme from this.
- Mix that Sample theme with snippets from other Genesis theme.
Nick Wilmot on Working with Non-Profits
From experience setting up and launching toilettwinning.org – having raised over 5.6m for the charity.
- Charities and non-profits do not want everything for nothing, but value for money is important.
- They can often have a rich seam of experience brought to the organisation as people seek more worthy employment.
- Often a more progressive attitude towards A11y and GDPR – they understand about rights.
- The relationship can be easier as the people you work with are not directly paying for the project – not that you’ll waste it but when it’s not direct, things can be simpler.
- When they have budget then need to get on with spending it. So more likely to get a shift on…
- They are very good networkers, and so great for referring you.
- More lasting relationship – once they like you they like to stay with you.
- You’re doing something good, contributing to betterment.
Nick’s Top tips for Winning with Non-Profits
- Passion matters. Know the cause.
- Know the funding model.
- Gather the decision makers. (Hardest part).
- Talk about a11y and GDPR.
- Own the process to avoid the mud!
Angie Vale of Purple Hippo helped us to consider GDPR – a useful starting point for us all start considering how we will comply. The pdf of her slides cover the basics of what we need to think about, such as:
- What is the GDPR
- Don’t stick you head in the sand
- How to be compliant
- What happens if you don’t comply
Sue Fernandes then took us through working with Local by Flywheel – the basics and the particular features compared to Desktop Server.
We welcomed Brian Gardner for a live audience and a thorough chat (and a little friendly roasting) – a surprise arranged by Jo.
And we ended with a chat about “overcoming overwhelm” where we shared ideas and ways we handle that:
- Lists are good, and sub-lists…
- Switch off email while working
- Be strict with your time
- Use Pomodoro
- Get up at the end of each working session – move around
- Automate – invest in outsourcing as much as you can
- Do not say “yes” to everything
- Re-connect with something you love – this can re-invigorate you
- Work at your pace
- You do not have to take on other people’s pressures
- Do not over-commit
- Never fully commit your time – perhaps 80% – allows for wiggle-room
- Variety in work
- We are not robots
- Do not be hard on yourself
- Sometimes sleeping on it is good – stepping away from the issue
Overall an excellent meetup, thoroughly worthwhile to meet and chat through all kinds of issues and ideas.