Team Updates: July 2020

Community Team

Processed forum updates, for those interested you can read about what is new on the Discourse blog.

Sadly didn’t get much else done this past month due to my move, but July should be better :slight_smile:

Question: Would it be interesting for people if I reported Forum stats when I do the Community Team Update?

Focus this month:

  • Work on more clear category descriptions because it was brought to our attention that not all categories make sense/are understood

@Team-Leads please add your team updates below.

Please note: Replies from the community are welcome, but will be split off to their respective team categories to keep this thread tidy.

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Ecosystem Team

Plugins

Classic Commerce

Work has started on Classic Commerce beta 2.

There have been a number of dependency security issues to address in Classic Commerce but all have now been mitigated.

Now that CC is in beta, it has been moved to the ClassicPress-plugins repo on GitHub (where Classic SEO is). The new repo is at https://github.com/ClassicPress-plugins/classic-commerce. If you go to the old repo, you’ll get redirected to the new one.

The number of active CC installations has increased slightly from 18 a couple of weeks ago to 25 which is encouraging.

CC is being used on a number of production sites and all is going well thus far. We’re still looking for beta testers so if you want to help us, download a copy and have a good play.

Classic SEO

The number of active Classic SEO installations has also increased from 38 last month, up to 51 this month.

Work is underway on RC1, scheduled for release by this time next month. RC1 will be a consolidation of beta 4 and won’t have any new features.

Outreach

Things have been pretty quiet on this front.

Updating ClassicPress

I’ve been liaising with Softaculous, Installatron and Litespeed regarding updating ClassicPress to v1.1.4. Softaculous and Installatron are done and Litespeed will be getting around to it shortly.

OpenLiteSpeed ClassicPress on DigitalOcean Droplet

On the subject of Litespeed, you may recall that they have created a OpenLiteSpeed ClassicPress app on the DigitalOcean marketplace. There are 14 active users at present which, from Litespeed’s perspective, probably isn’t sustainable since they need to rebuild the image each time there’s a new release of CP. So, just a reminder that if you’ve got a DO Droplet or are looking for hosting, please do consider using the Litespeed 1-click app.

Create a DigitalOcean Account

Affiliate Link: Sign up and get a $100 credit (ClassicPress will get $25 for the referral)
Non-Affiliate Link: Sign up

Wordfence

Finally, I have attempted to establish dialogue with Wordfence with a view to getting them to commit to officially supporting ClassicPress. After initial discussions, it seems that this is unlikely in the foreseeable future as they have several other active projects. Wordfence does still work on ClassicPress and offers good protection (with 1 or 2 limitations) but this probably isn’t a viable long-term option. But don’t forget Shield Security does officially support ClassicPress.


New Web Page

I’ve been working on a new page for the website based on the theme “ClassicPress for WordPress 4.9 users” which is targeted at both WP 4.9 users as well as users on any version of WP with the Classic Editor installed.

This is almost complete and I hope to make it live within the next few days.


Other

On a personal level, I have switched six of my own non-WordPress websites over to ClassicPress in the past 4 weeks. The sites were originally based on outdated versions of PyroCMS or CodeIgniter and had to be built from scratch. Still quite a few remaining. :roll_eyes:

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First of all Sorry, I missed June deadline. So much going on in life with Covid-19 and the very start of my own company.

Now down to the updates:

Internationalisation:

Not much movement here, all the people involved had to deal with Covid-19 and had less time to dedicate. We will take things from where we left after reassessing the situation. I think we can have a meeting within next 10 days or so.

Documentation:

At the very start of the project general opinion was that CP, being a fork of WP 4.9.x, did not need a separate documentation/support structure like the one we can see at WP.com or WP.org.

This before being included in major one-click installers and starting to build themes/plugins directory.

Some of us decided to publish articles aimed at enticing people by supplying tutorials.

I feel that the change happening in WP will make all WP docs and resources pre 4.9.x outdated, this resulting in the authors deprecating it (it’s a SEO tactic called content repurposing, the content will be manipulated over time to accompany WP evolution… and the old content is gonna get lost in the process and BTW WP.com started this process already).

Picture this: in a year a search for ClassicPress is going to offer the main official site, petition and forums… and maybe some plugins/themes and the directory.

People like my daughter who doesn’t know WP will search for extensive guides on how to use it (from an user and/or dev perspective) and will find very few resources aimed at WP 4.9.x if any.

This is linked with Marketing team efforts to address a target. We can totally use social media to produce original posts, to drive curiosity on CP and interacting… what comes next in the funnel is that people finding CP on twitter and the like, go to Google to see what is all about… and there they find very little, There are very few sites dedicated only to CP, supplying a stream of content. I mean INDEPENDENT bloggers. Not the official channels. When I am curious about something first thing I do is looking up what common people have to say about it.

In a nutshell: engagement needs some substance to support it… or people will turn away.

This situation is partly because we have a very limited number of people, and our time is spread very thin. People do their best to publish about CP but the volume of it is not able to get the buzz going.

So I rolled up my sleeves, and started a section of my site (still in the works) to offer CP paid support (with ticketing system) to my paying customers, and I decided to include a free Knowledge Base section that is in the works. I will release the Knowledge Base under GPL 2 so that CP can use it if appropriate.

For now I am putting together a series of posts aimed at users or DIYers, people who manage and have their hands on the site. I am not that tech savvy to generate articles on my own that deal with the dev side of things, but eventually i will find a way to include these also.

Most of the work for the knowledge base is done offline for now, I will share when ready.

This section of my site in reality has the sole purpose to do SEO with it in order to generate that buzz around CP that we need to increase our numbers. I could write simple updates on the project but I thought these wouldn’t be enough. We need a resource that people can find and visit many times a day. Something static, that they know is there. They will also find the updates on my blog section, but… how many times are they going to visit the blog section anyway? maybe only when I publish an update…

Marketing:

Not my area, but since I am writing here I will include my idea. We are trying to define a target to differentiate from WP, without noticing that WP itself is differentiating from its original target, leaving part of its user base aside to nitpick the worthy ones.

So, we can fork their target too… we are their target done better, with more focus on a modern usage of the web (aimed at business owners and people who do business, as opposed to bloggers/writers/news & media sites/publishers that are the current targets WP is aiming for with the block editor). One strength we have is that we will not abandon our target introducing breaking changes, we will take on the business part of the target that WP has dropped along the way and promising them stability is a great move, since they already feel betrayed.

Also I agree that the directory is a great step that differentiates us.

This is all for now. Tomorrow I will set up a doodle to decide a date for the i18n July meeting.

EDITED TO ADD:

Knowledge Base blueprint (I want to keep it very simple and basic for now)

Let me know if this blueprint is ok, or do I need to include other topics

Link to doodle: https://doodle.com/poll/8m85uteyfwrq2hmw

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Marketing & Design Team Updates

Summary

We held a meeting on June 23 to discuss current status and how to move forward.

  • It was suggested that we should look into gaining an evangelist (or a few) to help us market ClassicPress.
  • We came up with a few talking points that could be shared to help generate interest in CP.
    – ClassicPress is stable and will not be making breaking changes
    – WP without the GB mess and without the WP culture.
    – we get security updates promptly
    – the ability to make a difference in software that I use and perhaps fix those things that bother me
    – there’s a great opportunity for developers. I think many developers are fearful that WP is going to take all that away.
  • We discussed fundraising to help offset marketing costs.
  • We discussed other outreach opportunities: Reddit, WP Meetup groups, etc.
  • We discussed the concept of adapting the WP Theme Developer Handbook for CP. Joy also suggested one for plugins as well.
  • @1stepforward shared that he is working on a “CP for WP Users” page for the website

Action Items

  • @BlueSkyPhoenix to contact Bridget Willard to see if she would be interested in evangelizing for us.
    – STATUS: I contacted Bridget and she graciously declined.
  • @BlueSkyPhoenix to generate marketing content for the next few months to help generate interest in CP
    – STATUS: I have been working with @Padraig and @1stepforward, who have created a great deal of valuable content that we’ll be able to use, both on the CP website and on social media.
  • @BlueSkyPhoenix to contact Scott to have the ClassicPress user added as a moderator on the CP subreddit
    – STATUS: complete

A Doodle poll for the next marketing meeting is available here: https://doodle.com/poll/rnn968rv3m6siw77

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I like this. Strong words. And truthful. Should be used much more widely in CP environment, IMHO.

Security Team

There are discussions going on behind the scenes that I cannot talk about in public yet.

Cv19 completely obliterated the plans I had for the first half of this year - going into the centre of London with no people at all was seriously freaky - like being on a zombie apocalypse film set.

The “new normal” is starting to crystallise here, so you can expect more news soon!

Would you be able to update the committee on the discussions? I’m sure we would all be interested :slight_smile:

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Yes, there will be an update over the weekend or early next week.

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I think it’s important for all team leads to use these updates to show activity and progress in each of the teams they lead. That is also the reason for my update being delayed.

Core team

Work continues in the ClassicPress codebase on preparing version 1.2.0. Here is a new prototype of the main feature of this release, an option that lets users set a custom image on the login page:

The “banner” option is for images that are wider than they are tall (at least a 3:1 ratio is ideal), at request of @ozfiddler if I remember correctly. I plan to release this change and accompanying documentation page along with the rest of version 1.2.0-rc1 as soon as possible.

Anyone who would like to help with this release, or just follow along with the process and ask questions, is welcome to join the core development meeting later this week. The meeting will take place between Wednesday, August 5th and Friday, August 7th 2020-08-06T15:30:00Z in the #core channel on Slack.

Infrastructure team

The various ClassicPress sites continue running as intended. I recently used the server logs from our updates API to diagnose an issue related to automatic updates.

This may be more of a “directors” update, but since it will involve the CP technical infrastructure I will post it here anyway: we are also working on a solution to accept donations directly on our website since the services we’ve tried so far have proven either too expensive, unreliable or both. Credit card details will be sent directly to Stripe and will never be stored on our website or in our databases.

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Looking forward to hearing your update, @invisnet.

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