Brief thoughts on WordPress.org leadership

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Reading a post by Joost de Valk about moving on from the Marketing Lead position left me with concerns about the project.

Today WordPress.org leadership is narrowly tied to a small number individuals from a short list organizations that rely heavily on the platform for their market success. This allows for nimble decision making but ultimately limits community leadership.

Leadership should grow from the community

I’d love to see efforts made in the following areas that reflect WordPress’ wider community.

  • Consider limiting the number of leaders that come from a company, organization or industry.
  • Hold elections within the WordPress.org community to appoint leadership to well defined terms.
  • Maintain a benevolent dictator if necessary but clearly define what that person does and why.
  • WordPress must document the governance of the project and how it is led. (Examples from other FOSS projects)

It is my hope that the WordPress.org community will rally together to demand an independent and well documented governance model. We’re too large to not have one.


Note: A community movement to formalize WordPress.org governance exists that provides a better argument than I have done here.

Readability Theme Progress Update

Firefox viewing LinuxBookPro.com

Last week I delve into web sustainability which led to running several tests using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. As I knocked out one suggestion then the next I was surprised how simple delivery enhancements can speed up even the leanest website.

PageSpeed Insights

Websites are heavy, even a simple blog post can easily pass 2 megabites just displaying text. As I drilled down the path to a score of 100 the suggested fixes turned into a game. By removing Open Sans as a web font I saved 300ms. It’s a secondary font on this theme and I didn’t even perceive the swap for my browsers default of DejaVu Sans. Here are some of my favorite enhancements.

  • Setting font-display to swap can save a few seconds. Fonts can be render blocking until the whole page has downloaded. Yikes.
  • Fewer calls to third party servers really do make a noticeable difference. Even Jetpack which leverages caching and a content delivery network adds unnecessary weight to a page.
  • After purging every unnecessary bit from this theme some of the pages load in less than a second.

Caching is easy

A few years ago I shrugged off caching, I always tried to keep my projects lean so adding a plugin to scrape off 500 milliseconds didn’t seem important. However, when you add up those extra kilobytes and half seconds over the total viewership of a website the improvements can be easily perceived.

  • JavaScript is a beast, less so when cached
  • CSS and HTML can be cached allowing for the DOM to fly by
  • I also gained a new respect for lazy loading images

Enough ranting, here’s some screenshots.

PageSpeed Insights Report for this website on the Desktop view.
PageSpeed Insights score this website for the Mobile view.

For kicks check out my PageSpeed Insight results for this page.

Thirteen Blog Tips from a Thirteen Year Old

Notes taken during from E Lema’s presentation at WordCamp Orange County.

Take your own photos

Avoid stock photos, use your own artwork. Otherwise your website looks like everyone else

Use Headings

Everyone skims, keep it short.

Have an opinion

If you have an opinion, share your take. Facts are interesting, but not helpful your opinion is

Put your picture on the website

Build a personal connection

Always be helpful

Tips, opinions, expertise,

Allow comments

A great way to connect with your audience.

Don’t worry about looks

Content is what’s important

Have an About page

Why should people read your page, who are you. Make it personal. You can trust your friends.

Finish when your thought is out

Don’t write more or less than you need to.

You Don’t have to hit publish

Save it and decide later

Hit Publish

What will it take you to feel comfortable to hit publish. Use it.

Keep at it

Breaks are okay, promise to come back

You will find your voice

Don’t be worried it will come naturally with time. Let your voice come to you.

Tips

How do you deal with writers block? Start with a blank page. Choose a theme such as Inktober.

How do you choose a topic to write about about. Choose something you know well.

How often do you post? Once a week, fit it in where you can.

How many incomplete posts do you have? None at the moment. When it goes nowhere… scrap it.

Journal, smartphone notes apps are useful.