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WordPress for All - WordCamp Rochester 2019

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I had the privilege of keynoting WordCamp Rochester this weekend. My talk, WordPress for All, was a reminder of how the web — and WordPress — came to be.

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WordPress for All - WordCamp Rochester 2019

  1. 1. @andymci WordPress for All Andy McIlwain WordCamp Rochester 2019
  2. 2. @andymci Hi! I’m Andy. @andymci on Twitter
  3. 3. @andymci WordPress is versatile. It’s the IKEA of website builders
  4. 4. @andymci New to WordPress? Welcome! We’re weird and you’ll get used to it
  5. 5. @andymci Experienced user? Check your assumptions. Where we were before isn’t where we’re going next
  6. 6. @andymci A talk, in three parts: Part 1: How did we get here? Part 2: Enter the blogosphere Part 3: WordPress past, present, and future Also, GIFS!
  7. 7. @andymci
  8. 8. @andymci Part 1: How did we get here?
  9. 9. @andymci To understand WordPress, let’s back up. Like… REALLY back up
  10. 10. @andymci 1958: ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) Started by Eisenhower Response to the Soviets/Sputnik Funds high-tech military research
  11. 11. @andymci 1969: ARPANET Computer network Academic project Connects Stanford & UCLA
  12. 12. @andymci Early ’70s: Another ARPANET East Coast Connects Harvard & MIT
  13. 13. @andymci 1971: Email invented
  14. 14. @andymci 1973: Europe connects New ARPANET- like networks 1st international ARPANET node University College London
  15. 15. @andymci 1974: A modest proposal Create a global “inter-network” Connect existing networks Decentralized infrastructure
  16. 16. @andymci 1975: First email client *NEW* Reply *NEW* Forward
  17. 17. @andymci 1977: First PC modems sold to hobbyists
  18. 18. @andymci 1978: Bulletin Board Systems First BBS in Chicago area Local users can post messages Also: First spam in California
  19. 19. @andymci 1979: Usenet Connects users globally Organized by topic/newsgroup Decentralized infrastructure
  20. 20. @andymci
  21. 21. @andymci 1980: ENQUIRE at CERN Program to organize info Info connected with hyperlinks Created by Tim- Berners Lee
  22. 22. @andymci 1983: ARPANET + TCP/IP TCP/IP began w/ DARPA in 70’s Standard, open protocol Still used today!
  23. 23. @andymci 1984: Domain Name System + Domain Name Servers (DNS) = Memorable internet addresses Still used today!
  24. 24. @andymci 1985: Virtual Communities Mutual hobbies, interests, jobs The WELL, from Whole Earth Review mag The WELL outlasts the mag
  25. 25. @andymci 1987: Global internet reaches 30,000 hosts
  26. 26. @andymci 1988: IRC Internet Relay Chat protocol Real-time conversations Pre-IM private messaging
  27. 27. @andymci
  28. 28. @andymci 1989: AOL comes online Pre-internet, pre-web CompuServe for non-techie users Offers exclusive content, games
  29. 29. @andymci 1989: Tim Berners-Lee proposes the World Wide Web at CERN
  30. 30. @andymci
  31. 31. @andymci 1990: ARPANET shuts down 1st commercial dial-up ISP HTTP, HTML, URL protocols Global internet carries on
  32. 32. @andymci 1991: First web page Open & accessible to anyone An “About” page for the WWW + Gopher, first search protocol
  33. 33. @andymci
  34. 34. @andymci 1993: Mosaic First web browser for the masses White House & UN get .gov, .org TLDs CERN moves WWW to public domain
  35. 35. @andymci
  36. 36. @andymci 1994: Netscape & friends Netscape Navigator Tripod & GeoCities launch WIRED launches “hotwired.com”
  37. 37. @andymci
  38. 38. @andymci 1995: Commercialized web SSL encryption = $$$ecurity eBay + Amazon launch JavaScript, PHP, HTML 1.0
  39. 39. @andymci
  40. 40. @andymci 1995: …oh, and Internet Explorer.
  41. 41. @andymci
  42. 42. @andymci 1996: Keeps it goin’ Hotmail launches Microsoft buys FrontPage CSS 1.0
  43. 43. @andymci
  44. 44. @andymci 1996: …and goin’ Web Accessibility Initiative More WYSIWYG editors New books on web design
  45. 45. @andymci * DEEP BREATH *
  46. 46. @andymci It’s one hell of a timeline. Military Research Academic Projects Globalized & commercializedbecomes becomes
  47. 47. @andymci It didn’t happen all at once. It was a gradual community effort
  48. 48. @andymci 1960’s  1990’s Open Technology Private + Public Collaboration Mutual Benefit This is the world WordPress comes from built on leads to
  49. 49. @andymci Incremental.
  50. 50. @andymci Part 2: Enter the blogosphere
  51. 51. @andymci 90’s online presence Domain Email Address Home Page Trifecta!
  52. 52. @andymci Your home page Build in code or WYSIWYWG Save your HTML file(s) Upload to your web server Artisanal, handcrafted webpages
  53. 53. @andymci 1994: Links.net, One of the first.
  54. 54. @andymci
  55. 55. @andymci 1997: Robot Wisdom Weblog
  56. 56. @andymci
  57. 57. @andymci 1999: “weblog”  “blog” RSS LiveJournal Blogger On the cusp of something big
  58. 58. @andymci
  59. 59. @andymci 2000: BOOM!
  60. 60. @andymci
  61. 61. @andymci 2000: …and blogs carry on Fueled by Blogger Niche blogs emerge Blogs beat MSM to the punch Thus begins the heyday of blogging
  62. 62. @andymci 2001: b2 + Movable Type Self-hosted, OSS blog tools Alternatives to Blogger Six Apart incorporates Two households, both alike in dignity…
  63. 63. @andymci Two households, both alike in dignity…
  64. 64. @andymci 2002: New players emerge Google AdSense launches Mozilla org splits from Netscape WordPress forked from b2 …on the open web, where we set our scene…
  65. 65. @andymci 2003: WordPress 1.0
  66. 66. @andymci
  67. 67. @andymci 2004: Year of WordPress Movable Type changes license WordPress 1.2, a critical release MT users switch to WordPress …from licensing grudge, break to mutiny
  68. 68. @andymci 2004: Year of WordPress WordPress & blogs take off People make a living with blogs Conferences & meetups pop up The momentum keeps building
  69. 69. @andymci 2005: Blogs, blogs everywhere MSM embraces blogs & bloggers TheFacebook  Facebook New ”Web 2.0” startups emerge Uh oh.
  70. 70. @andymci Web 1.0 vs Web 2.0 Open vs. closed platforms Selling access vs. selling ads User privacy vs. convenience “Move fast and cripple society”
  71. 71. @andymci WordPress is a bit of both Community- driven OSS platform Sale of add-on products & services User freedomenabling while preserving
  72. 72. @andymci Example: WordPress.com Built on WordPress Sells upgrades & features Contributes to WordPress core If your business builds on WordPress, give back!
  73. 73. @andymci Part 3: WordPress past, present, and future
  74. 74. @andymci October 2004 Matt Mullenweg joins CNET Runs their blog operation Leaves in October 2005 2005 and beyond: Full-time WordPress BDFL
  75. 75. @andymci December 2005: WordPress 2.0, “Duke” New admin UI TinyMCE functions.php
  76. 76. @andymci January 2007: WordPress 2.1, “Ella” Autosave Search Engine Privacy Set page as homepage
  77. 77. @andymci May 2007: WordPress 2.2, “Getz” WordPress Widgets Blogger importer Hardcode URLs in wp-config.php
  78. 78. @andymci September 2007: WordPress 2.3, “Dexter” Post tags Improved URL handling ”Pending Review” status
  79. 79. @andymci March 2008: WordPress 2.5, “Brecker” Happy Cog’s controversial UI Dashboard widgets Custom taxonomies
  80. 80. @andymci July 2008: WordPress 2.6, “Tyner” Theme previews Bulk manage plugins Theme directory goes live
  81. 81. @andymci December 2008: WordPress 2.7, “Coltrane” Redesigned dashboard Customizable screens One-click core updates
  82. 82. @andymci June 2009: WordPress 2.8, “Baker” One-click theme installations Overhauled widgets UI CodePress back- end editor
  83. 83. @andymci December 2009: WordPress 2.9, “Carmen” Global undo “Trash” feature Built-in image editor Batch plugin updates
  84. 84. @andymci June 2010: WordPress 3.0, “Thelonious One” Twenty Ten default theme Tons of new developer APIs WordPress MU rolled into core
  85. 85. @andymci July 2010: WordPress hits 100,000,000 downloads
  86. 86. @andymci
  87. 87. @andymci February 2011: WordPress 3.1, “Reinhardt” Admin toolbar New CMS capabilities Network Admin for Multisite
  88. 88. @andymci July 2011: WordPress 3.2, “Gershwin” Twenty Eleven default theme Refreshed UI Distraction-free writing mode
  89. 89. @andymci December 2011: WordPress 3.3, “Sonny” Drag-and-drop file uploader Tooltips New editor API
  90. 90. @andymci June 2012: WordPress 3.4, “Green” Theme customizer Embed support for tweets WP_Query improvements
  91. 91. @andymci December 2012: WordPress 3.5, “Elvin” Twenty Twelve default theme New “Add Media” flow ”Links” manager removed
  92. 92. @andymci August 2013: WordPress 3.6, “Oscar” Twenty Thirteen default theme Post locking & better autosave New custom menu editor
  93. 93. @andymci October 2013: WordPress 3.7, “Basie” Auto-updates Plugin-first development Improved global support
  94. 94. @andymci December 2013: WordPress 3.8, “Parker” Twenty Fourteen default theme Redesigned admin area Overhauled theme screen
  95. 95. @andymci April 2014: WordPress 3.9, “Smith” Visual editor improvements New theme browser New previews in the customizer
  96. 96. @andymci September 2014: WordPress 4.0, “Benny” Overhauled plugin browser Easier content embeds Responsive visual editor
  97. 97. @andymci December 2014: WordPress 4.1, “Dinah” Twenty Fifteen default theme Choose install language Recommended plugins update
  98. 98. @andymci April 2015: WordPress 4.2, “Powell” Character support Switch themes in customizer One-click plugin updates
  99. 99. @andymci August 2015: WordPress 4.3, “Billie” Menus added to the customizer Password strength checker Performance improvements
  100. 100. @andymci December 2015: WordPress 4.4, “Clifford” Twenty Sixteen default theme Responsive images Core REST API infrastructure
  101. 101. @andymci April 2016: WordPress 4.5, “Coleman” Inline link editor Formatting shortcuts Responsive previews in the customizer
  102. 102. @andymci August 2016: WordPress 4.6, “Pepper” Improved one- click updates Google Fonts removed Editor leverages browser caching
  103. 103. @andymci December 2016: WordPress 4.7, “Vaughan” Twenty Seventeen default theme Major customizer updates REST API content endpoints
  104. 104. @andymci June 2017: WordPress 4.8, “Evans” New widgets for media & text Local events in the dashboard New editor link boundaries
  105. 105. @andymci November 2017: WordPress 4.9, “Tipton” More customizer features Error checking in code editor Preview themes in customizer
  106. 106. @andymci December 2018: WordPress 5.0, “Bebo” “Gutenberg” block editor Twenty Nineteen default theme Classic Editor plugin
  107. 107. @andymci February 2019: WordPress 5.1, “Betty” Block editor improvements Site Health features Multisite metadata
  108. 108. @andymci May 2019: WordPress 5.2, “Jaco” Site Health improvements Recovery Mode Accessibility updates
  109. 109. @andymci Today? WordPress 5.3, WIP Twenty Twenty default theme More block editor features Performance improvements
  110. 110. @andymci …
  111. 111. @andymci
  112. 112. @andymci Yep. That’s a lot of stuff. And it’s worked really well
  113. 113. @andymci WordPress dominates the CMS market.
  114. 114. @andymci Three phases: Early fit: Core features, responding to user feedback Maturity: UX changes, performance, stability Growth: Big changes to attract new users …but why?
  115. 115. @andymci WordPress is here v
  116. 116. @andymci It’s not “switch to WordPress” it’s “start with WordPress” …but how?
  117. 117. @andymci So it went with the web… Open Technology Private + Public Collaboration Mutual Benefitbuilt on leads to
  118. 118. @andymci …so it goes with WordPress Open Technology Private + Public Collaboration Mutual Benefitbuilt on leads to
  119. 119. @andymci Open technology: A private & public collaboration leading to mutual benefit This is WordPress
  120. 120. @andymci Is WordPress right for you?
  121. 121. @andymci Let’s zoom out.
  122. 122. @andymci
  123. 123. @andymci WordPress is a tool More flexible than a website builder You can’t set it and forget it Learn to DIY or hire someone WordPress needs maintenance
  124. 124. @andymci What can you make with it? A side gig building sites for other people Membership site with paying subscribers Online store selling digital or physical goods No code required, TY plugin developers!
  125. 125. @andymci Are you a developer? Treat WordPress as the back-end Web apps built with REST API Static w/ GatsbyJS Headless WordPress is all the rage!
  126. 126. @andymci Why WordPress, in general? Test your ideas with quick & easy changes You’re not locked in to one company You can easily pull data out of WordPress You’re in control
  127. 127. @andymci How can you give back to the WordPress community?
  128. 128. @andymci Running a business? Support makers – pay for what you use! Don’t use the GPL as a loophole Consider hiring full-time contributors Don’t steal from other small businesses
  129. 129. @andymci Are you a developer? Contribute to WordPress Core Release some work under GPL Submit plugins to the repo Pay it forward, share your code
  130. 130. @andymci Not a developer? Share what you know via blog posts & video Help other users in the .org support forums Write docs for your favourite plugins You can still give back!
  131. 131. @andymci Join the community! Speak at or host a local meetup Volunteer at a local WordCamp Join a Make WordPress team You can still give back!
  132. 132. @andymci Okay. Final thoughts.
  133. 133. @andymci WordPress has come a long way from its humble blogger beginnings. The official WordPress mission is to democratize publishing. But WordPress represents much more than publishing. WordPress represents an alternative. An alternative to closed platforms. An alternative to centralized networks. An alternative to behemoth corporations. It's a free choice, an open choice, a responsible choice. It's free for all to use, and free for you to make what you want of it. So press on.
  134. 134. @andymci TL;DR?
  135. 135. @andymci Make the web you want.
  136. 136. @andymci Thank you! @andymci on Twitter & LinkedIn @andy.mcilwain on Instagram Find the slides + post @ andymci.ca/rochester