WordPress: 14 Years

So… tomorrow (May 27th) is WordPress’s observed 14th anniversary. Back on May 27th, 2003 the first version of WordPress was released.

My How Big You’ve Gotten!

Hard to believe it’s been 14 years. Also hard to believe that after 14 years, WordPress has now reached 28.0% marketshare.

We Don’t Party Like We Used To

I haven’t heard alot of talk about this particular anniversary in the community or on social. My theory is after a certain point you start celebrating 5 and 10 year milestones like crazy and let the single milestones get the “that’s great, but next year is 15!” treatment. Evidence: last time we REALLY celebrated WordPress was on it’s 10th anniversary. I’ll have to admit – i’ve been married for 15 years and our 14th anniversary was basically “let’s go out to dinner today but do a cruise next year”. In any case, i think it’s worth a brief mention now and we’ll save our big party for 2018.

Personally, I’ve been involved with WordPress since 1.5. My first CMS was Movable Type but honestly that was really just well suited for my personal blog – it wasn’t for most client sites I was working on at the time. I did try Joomla and Drupal at the time (along with PHPNuke). I found them ok, but simply not in conditions where you can hand them off to non-developer clients after you were done. WordPress has it’s faults too – it was still mainly for blogs back then – but seemed better suited for my client base. Plus the ease of setting it up you couldn’t beat.

WordPress is Barely Out of Diapers

Example of growth pains: possible decision on JavaScript framework moving forward

14 years is forever in Internet years. By one measure WordPress should be getting it’s AARP membership and get a senior discount at the movie theater. But on many respects, WordPress is barely into it’s teenage years. My daughter turns into a teenager next month, so I can relate to what that means. Teenage years are filled with wonder but also it’s a time to start determining your direction in life, work on self-control and patience, and suffer through all the mistakes you’ll be making. It’s a great, but awkward time.

Minimum PHP versions, focus of goals and leadership, coding issues – just a few of the things WordPress still needs to tackle. Not to mention it’s perception to some outside of the WordPress community. Like a teenager, it will try to wrestle with these issues – sometimes well, other times perhaps not so well. But it’s still growing, and will get more mature.

What I Would Like To See In The Next Year

My opinions don’t mean jack and maybe i’ll go into them more in future posts, but if someone asked me what i’d like to see this is what’s off the top of my head:

1. I would love to see more examples of the REST API being used to inspire others.
2. More awesome work with accessibility, multi-language, and the overall admin experience (writing experience in particular).
3. I would love to make more WordCamps accessible to smaller sponsors with smaller-than-hosting-company budgets.
4. I wouldn’t be a WordCamp Organizer if i didn’t put out an invitation to everyone – from Matt M to Mike L to that young person learning WordPress for the first time – to come down to WordCamp Miami in 2018 for our 10th anniversary. We’ll show you a good warm time when the rest of the country is cold. 🙂

You’ve Got A Friend In Me

Congrats to WordPress for 14 years. You’ve provided a means to support myself and my family, a means to provide my local community with education via meetups and WordCamps (WordCamp Miami will soon be celebrating 10 non-stop years!), and a means to develop relationships with wonderful and interesting people in a community is among the best in tech. Thank you Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg for starting something wonderful 14+ years ago – something that now covers 28% of the web.

Other Links

Here’s a list of posts that are celebrating 14 years of WordPress. Ping me on twitter or leave a comment and i’ll keep the list updated:

14 Years Of WordPress Playlist (SiteGround)

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How WordCamp Miami Endeavors To Handle Sponsors

FYI: Although WordCamp Miami is still energetically seeking sponsors, this post is not meant to promote. In fact, an official version of this post is being planned to be posted on the WordCamp Miami website but I felt first was safe and proper to post on my personal blog.

Disclaimer: In case you didn’t know, i’m currently involved with WordCamp Miami organization for 2017 and have been involved in years past.

Recently, Tony Perez from Sucuri Security wrote a guest post on WPTavern about WordCamps and Sponsorships. I’m not writing now to give my feedback on the article and his points – although I highly suggest you read it. One thing I can tell you is that I was pleased he mentioned WordCamp Miami in a favorably way. I’m not an accountant or even good with math – but it seemed (at least to me) WordCamp Miami was favored positively in his published reports.

After talk with lead organizer Ptah Dunbar, I wrote a response to a question in the comments section (risky I know!) about what Miami does that might stand out to sponsors like Sucuri and Tony. Although I couldn’t answer for Tony I wanted to list the reasons WE thought of, since we do get this question in some form from time to time. This is basically what we responded with:

  • Financial – We don’t have total control over sponsorship amounts, but we even have provided in the past early bird pricing for sponsors who want to get on board early. This helps us too since the more support we have early, the better we can plan for the event.
  • Communication – We talk to sponsors as soon as they express interest, and stay in communication with enough updates as to not annoy them. At the event, we assign a sponsor coordinator and that person(s) touches base with the sponsors physically before registration and during the event. Sponsors also get a private Slack channel, and some other perks.
  • Exposure – We make it a point to accommodate sponsors that have tables/booths in our area. We include them in conference “mini-events” – like our kid’s camp, and we also make “trading cards” for them (as we do for our speakers) to increase foot traffic and interactivity.
  • Announcements – It might seem small, but we strive at WCMIA to not rattle off mentions of sponsors quickly at all announcements, esp. during the opening remarks. We try to give each top level sponsor a half-minute or two of why we respect them and why attendees should check them out. We are constantly tweaking this, and we might be trying new ways of introducing sponsors at next WCMIA. We also tend to mention sponsors at after parties and other functions, in visual (in the form of signs) or vocally.

At some point, I would like to write up a more detailed blog post. But for now, I felt the above information should be living outside WPTavern’s comment section (no disrespect to WPTavern at all, in fact the opposite). We are constantly making adjustments, correcting a mistake here or there, and doing our best. Personally, I think little details can make a difference.

As organizers, our uncompromising goal is to throw a phenomenal event for WordCamp attendees by packing in as much bang for their buck as we can.

If you would like to become part of helping make WordCamp Miami awesome, please reach out to the WordCamp Miami team.

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What Ten Years Of Refresh Miami Means To Me


This Friday one of the longest running tech meetups in South Florida celebrates it’s 10th anniversary: Refresh Miami. As it should be, the celebration is going to be a fantastic event with good food, music, and networking.

I wanted to take this very brief opportunity to congratulate the past and current organizers of Refresh Miami, particularly Alex de Carvalho, Brian Breslin, and Peter Martinez – all three I know personally.

Therefore, after recently announcing the 9th WordCamp Miami (coming March 24-26… looking for speakers and sponsors btw), I wanted to also thank Refresh Miami for the inspiration for two things:

1) Inspiring me to join meetups and eventually take over operations of the local WordPress meetups, which have grown with much success and now we have two meetups in Broward and Dade/Miami. Refresh Miami was one of the first meetups I ever attended, and seeing it operate got me to follow some of their examples with my own meetups.

2) While i think WordCamp Miami would have started on it’s own, I will gladly admit that without Refresh Miami it probably would have taken longer to get it started. WordCamp Miami started w/ BarCamp Miami, that’s true – but it’s a chain reaction. Without the meetups, the WordCamp wouldn’t have followed. And again, like I said, Refresh Miami inspired me to get the WordPress meetups in shape.

Sadly I miss Refresh Lauderdale – which existed for a year or two in Broward and was easier to travel too. And I also don’t get to Refresh Miami much anymore due to my busy schedule and me living about an hour away with traffic. I’ll watch videos and live streams when they exist. I’ve seen Refresh Miami grow from a dozen or so people in a room of some business to much bigger venues with a bigger budget and national speakers. Sadly I miss the days the topics were more on tech and development – a few years ago the shift of the meeting went mostly to startups, funding, etc. But there are other meetups and conferences that I think have picked up the slack… including WordCamp Miami.

Refresh Miami has also been one of the biggest supporters of WordCamp Miami over the years.

I raise my glass to Refresh Miami and here’s to another 10 years.

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