2021 Recap

Year-End Meetup

On November 24, we had our second and last meetup of the year. I know it’s not a lot of gatherings, but I think it’s understandable because of the pandemic and general zoom fatigue.

Anyhow, we still had some people attending our 2021 End of the Year meetup, where we had two major topics, presented by Silvan and myself.

  1. Building schlaufux.ch using WordPress and LearnDash, and then rebuilding it completely using the TALL stack (Silvan)
  2. All you need to know about WordPress 5.9 and Full Site Editing (Pascal)

schlaufux.ch

Silvan’s presentation about schlaufux.ch was super interesting because it covers building an e-learning plaltform using the popular LearnDash plugin and then completely revamping it using the TALL stack (Tailwind, Alpine, Laravel, Livewire). No more WordPress at all!

In case you missed it, here are the slides:

WordPress 5.9 + Full Site Editing

In the second part of the meetup I talked about the recent developments in WordPress core and Gutenberg this past year. For example, a major milestone there was WordPress 5.8 “Tatum”, which brought block widgets, template editing, block patterns and the query loop block. Oh, and it also removed support for Internet Explorer 11!

All these features are stepping stones towards full site editing (FSE) — which is the ability to edit your complete website using the block editor — slated for WordPress 5.9.

WordPress 5.9 was originally planned to be released in December, but it got delayed to January because the whole full site editing feature was not really ready for prime time yet. While it still has its quirks, WordPress 5.9 Beta 1 is now available already!

I gave a quick demo of how FSE works, and what it means for users and developers. I didn’t prepare any slides for it, but the following official demo video captures the essence of it:

Take the 2021 WordPress Annual Survey

Each year, members of the WordPress community are asked to provide their valuable feedback through an annual survey.

As mentioned on the announcement post, this survey helps those who build WordPress understand more about how the software is used, and by whom. The survey also helps leaders in the WordPress open source project learn more about our contributors’ experiences. 

The survey will be open through the end of 2021, and the results will be published on WordPress.org eventually.

State of the Word 2021

On December 14, 2021, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg will deliver his annual keynote.

Check out the announcement post to get the details.

The community team is suggesting to organize watch parties around the globe to watch the livestream together. If you all think that is something you’d like to do, please let us know in the comments or on Slack.

March 2021 Meetup Summary

After a bit of a hiatus we gathered together yesterday for our first (and hopefully not last) meetup of this year. In our WordPress Zurich March 2021 Meetup, we started with a little overview of recent and future WordPress releases before shifting focus to Core Web Vitals.

Web Vitals is an initiative by Google to provide unified guidance for quality signals that are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web.

It’s a very important topic, especially now that these quality signals become relevant for search. It’s also a bit complicated or perhaps overwhelming, which is why we’re thankful for our guest speaker Phil Marx who kindly offered to shed some light on it.

Phil provided an introduction to Web Vitals like Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and First Input Delay (FID), what these terms all mean and how you can check your own site, and some basic suggestions for improving your site’s Core Web Vitals.

It opened the floor for a nice discussion around the hot topic, which also led to some questions which don’t have good answers yet. For example, how to identify a theme’s Web Vitals scores before download/purchase. Or how the user experience can be improved if the theme is quite bloated but one isn’t a developer.

Suggestions to address the latter included things like image optimization, using CDNs, looking into AMP or other plugins providing similar assistance.

Further reading:

March 2019 Meetup Summary

After our more informal meetup in January we gathered at Liip Arena yesterday for our second meetup of the year. Close to 40 people showed up, which is pretty cool! Thank you all for attending!

At this point, I also want to thank our sponsors, Liip and Haptiq, for making this event possible!

An hour or so before the meetup there was a power outage here in Zurich, so we were initially a bit worried that we would have to cancel the event. However, luck was on our side and power came back just in time.

Note: Our next meetup is most likely to happen at the end of May. Let us know if you would like to present something or help us with organizing a meetup.

Announcements

To kick things off, we highlighted how there are now 11 WordPress meetups in total in all of Switzerland, which is quite impressive. Just a few years ago, this number was much lower. We also did a small announcement regarding WordCamp Zurich 2019, which is an entire conference around WordPress:

There’s a tentative date set, and we are happy to announce that WordCamp Zurich will take place on September 14, 2019. More information is yet to come, but we’ll let you know here and on our @wpzurich Twitter account once we have more things to share. You can also subscribe for updates on the WordCamp Zurich website.

If you’d be interested in helping out with organizing the conference, please let us know! You can also check our community page with information about the WordPress Switzerland Slack channel (chat) and more.

WordPress vs Website Builders

In our first talk of the evening, Andreas Feuz, self-employed WordPress consultant & author, took a look at website builders like Wix, Duda, and Squarespace. He tried to answer the question “Is WordPress doomed?”

The presentation sparked an interesting discussion about website builders, but also page builders and all-in-one themes like Divi. We could probably do an entire meetup about these

In case you are interested to learn more, here are his slides:

Web Policies and Reporting

Our second speaker of the night, Felix Arntz, provided an introduction to a couple of new web technologies — Feature Policy and Reporting API — and how you can use them in WordPress.

Felix is a Developer Programs Engineer at Google, where he has been working on two WordPress plugins that allow you to use Feature Policy and Reporting API already today, despite them being still under development.

If you want to learn more about them, I recommend you to check out his introductory blog post to the whole topic.

January 2019 Meetup Summary

Today was the first WordPress Zürich meetup of 2019 at Liip Arena. We didn’t really have a talk tonight, so it was about things to come this year in terms of WordPress events and potential topics for the future meetups.

Thank you all for coming and don’t forget to check our community page with infos about the WordPress Switzerland Slack channel (chat) and more.

We will try to host a meetup at least every other month this year, so the next one will be in March or earlier. Let us know if you would like to present something or help organizing a meetup.

The slides

Slides from the January 2019 meetup with some links

Additional links mentioned:

A big thank you to Liip for the venue and Haptiq for the drinks & snacks

We’re on TV!

Our fellow meetup member Marc Wieland has been portrayed by Romansh Television (RTR) about smart ways of working in the digital age.

As he’s often working remote from all around Europe, he’s the perfect candidate. And since he happened to attend our most recent meetup  when they were filming, there are now some recordings and interviews from that night in the video. So we’re now officially the first Swiss WordPress meetup on TV

You can check out the whole video “Lavurar smart – Tge è quai?” on the RTR website.

WordPress 5.0 Meetup Recap

Yesterday we held our big WordPress 5.0 meetup at Liip, which was probably our last one for this year. Besides some general announcements and a recap of recent happenings in the WordPress universe we also focused on search engine optimization.

As for the next meetup, we’ll try to organize another one in January, after the holidays. If you have any topic suggestions for the new year, please let us know.

Announcements

We kicked things off by looking at what has been going on in the last few months, as well as some announcements about new and exciting things. Some key takeaways:

  • We now have a brand new website, which you’re reading this post on!
  • The WordPress Zurich Meetup is now on Twitter: @wpzurich
  • Everyone is encouraged to attend WordCamp Europe 2019 in Berlin
  • Everyone is welcome to join our group and help organize meetups.

And now the biggest announcement of them all: plans are being discussed to organize a an official WordCamp Zurich at the end of 2019! If you want to learn more about it or help make it happen, please get in touch with us either via the comments, the contact form or on Slack.

SEO Tips

In our first talk of the evening, Michael shared some practical on-page SEO tips for website owners. On top of that he even gave away a book to one of the attendees, which was very well received from what I’ve heard

For anyone who missed it, Michael has shared the slides on his website. There’s also another book recommendation in his post, so go check it out!

The new WordPress editor

WordPress 5.0, due out on November 19, comes with a new block-based editor (code name Gutenberg), which drastically changes the way we write content with WordPress. Naturally, this leads to lots of open questions and some uncertainty.

In a live demo / Q&A we tried to answer any questions people might have about this new development. Of course we used the new WP Zurich website as an example, because why not!

What you need to know:

  • WordPress 5.0 is planned to be released on November 27, with January as a fallback.
  • The new release features a new default theme called Twenty Nineteen, which you can see in action on this website right now.
  • Your existing content is safe. You don’t have to worry about the new editor breaking your site or similar. Many themes don’t yet support all its features, but it’s just a matter of time.
  • If you don’t want to use the new editor just yet, you can install the Classic Editor plugin. That plugin will be officially supported until December 31, 2021.
  • Want to learn more about extending and working with Gutenberg? There’s an extensive handbook, with more content to come.
  • Popular plugins like ACF, Yoast SEO and Elementor already work very well with the new editor. Some other plugins are still working on that.

Other

Jane Schindler mentioned that Stillhart Konzept are looking for a developer. If you’re interested, let them know!

In other news, a camera team from Radiotelevisiun Svizra Rumantscha (RTR) were at the meetup yesterday to interview a few people about more modern working methods like working remote. I’m very much looking forward to seeing that on TV.

Fun Fact: WordPress can be used in Rumantsch as well! If you speak the language and want to help translate the software, please let me know in the comments.