Insight Into How North Carolina State Is Preparing for Gutenberg

Gutenberg 2.0 Released With Numerous Accessibility and Keyboard Navigation Improvements

Jennifer McFarland, the web services coordinator for the North Carolina State Office of Information Technology (OIT), recently did an interview with Technician, the official student newspaper of NC State University.

Since Gutenberg’s announcement in December of 2017, McFarland has published a series of articles on the NC State Office of Information Technology website educating staff and students on what to expect.

McFarland was asked how the team plans to help staff and students after Gutenberg ships with WordPress.

“A couple of times a year, we go and speak at various classes, professors will have us come out and do demos of WordPress,” McFarland told the Technician.

“We are expecting an uptake of people requesting us to come out and do a demo of WordPress or something like that, but generally our plan right now, at least for students, is mostly just offer the sort of self-help, like the video tutorials and things like that, and we figure that the students will mostly try and solve their own problems.”

Speaking of McFarland, she and Brian DeConinck presented on Gutenberg at WPCampus 2018. The videos from the event are still being processed but we’ll add a link to the presentation once it becomes available.

It’s pretty cool to see people in McFarland’s position in higher education already have a firm grasp of Gutenberg and doing what they can to ease the transition for staff and students

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Meet Bernhard Kau, Local Lead Organizer of WordCamp Europe 2019 in Berlin

Meet Bernhard Kau, Local Lead Organizer of WordCamp Europe 2019 in Berlin

Bernhard Kau, a WordPress developer, meetup organizer, and four-time organizer of WordCamp Berlin, is the local lead organizer for the next WordCamp Europe. Kau will join Milan Ivanović, the global lead, at the helm of WordCamp Europe in Berlin next June.

Kau submitted an application with his team to host WCEU and won out over a competing application from the WordPress community in Barcelona. The selection team cited Berlin’s accessibility, reasonable prices, and its strong community as the final deciding factors.

Berlin’s monthly WordPress meetups have 1,300 members. The community also holds dedicated meetups for beginners, developers, and women in WordPress. Five WordCamps have been organized in Berlin since 2010.

“Compared to other communities in Europe, we are a community that is very likely to travel to other cities to attend meetups and other WordCamps,” Kau said. “We usually only have one or two WordCamps per year in Germany but then usually all the German community members travel to that city to attend the WordCamp. Whereas in Spain, for example, they had 11 WordCamps this year that are more local and smaller. As a German community we are more used to traveling to a central place and meeting there.”

What to Expect at WCEU in Berlin: A Diverse Community, More Workshops, and a Unique After Party

The Estrel Hotel and Congress Center will host the entire event, including both conference days, the contributor day, and the after party. Although the venue has a max capacity of 12,000 people, Kau said organizers are planning for 2,500 – 3,000 attendees. The local team is excited to introduce the European WordPress community to their home city.

“Berlin is one of the most diverse cities in Europe,” Kau said. “When I prepared the application, I figured out that there are people from 191 countries living in Berlin. It’s a very international, very diverse city, so you can be just as you are and feel quite comfortable and welcome in Berlin.”

Kau said organizers intend to continue with workshops as a part of the event in 2019 but they are planning to make the signup experience more efficient.

“This was the first year we tried workshops,” Kau said. “We had three workshop tracks and workshops of 60 minutes, 90 minutes, and three hours. We are not sure how many workshops we want to have in Berlin. The idea was new but turned out quite well. There were workshops with many people waiting to get in and from what I’ve heard it was quite good.”

Kau said he wants to improve the process for workshops, because there was no easy way for attendees to sign up and managing waiting lists was a lot of manual work for the content team. This is one bottleneck from the most recent WCEU experience that he hopes to rectify.

“There is also something special planned but I don’t want to spoil it,” Kau said. “It’s going to be a very unique after party to say the least.” Although Berlin is renowned for its legendary nightlife, Kau said he doesn’t anticipate the party lasting all night.

“We’re probably not going to make it Berlin-typical until 10 in the morning but it’s going to be a bit longer than maybe here [Belgrade] or in Paris where people were kicked at at 3:30,” he said.

The call for applications for organizers is still open. Within 24 hours of announcing Berlin as the next host city, the team had already received 27 applications. The application window closes July 31, 2018.

Check out the full interview below to learn more about the German WordPress community and what they have planned for WCEU 2019.

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WP-CLI Hack Day Friday, July 20th

WP-CLI Hack Day Friday, July 20th

WP-CLI or WordPress Command Line Interface has become an integral tool for developers to launch and manage sites. To encourage new contributors to the project, Alain Schlesser is organizing the first WP-CLI Hack Day, Friday, July 20th beginning at 08:00 CEST.

Schlesser and other contributors will be available in the WP-CLI Slack channel all day and on the project’s GitHub site to answer questions and help people contribute to the project.

From 16:00-18:00 CEST, Schlesser will host a video call that’s open to everyone where people can join in, discuss issues, and visually work through pull requests. The goal is to reach 20 pull requests that have been merged during the event. A post on Make/CLI  blog will be published once WP-CLI Hack Day concludes summarizing any progress that was made.

To prepare prospecting contributors for the event, Schlesser has published a detailed guide on how to contribute to WP-CLI.

Folks can follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #hackwpcli. If Hack CLI Day is successful, more events will likely be created in the future to cover more time zones.

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WordPress Plugins That Use AI and Machine Learning

WordPress Plugins That Use AI and Machine Learning

Over the last couple of months, a lot of discussions have been going on about Artificial Intelligence (AI). Besides the faceoff between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg on Twitter, there have been numerous instances where discussions and debates on AI took center stage. Eminent personalities like Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Eric Schmidt have been involved in such debates. Recently, Google has announced their work with AI trying to create their language and about another AI teaching itself how to “walk.” Understandably, there has been a lot of trepidation about the entry of AI into our daily lives.

WordPress has been quietly catching up to the latest trends of machine learning and AI all along. According to experts, you might even be using some of the AI features of WordPress right now, without conscious realization. This leading CMS platform is using AI at the core of several leading plugins. These plugins can not only complement your website functions, but they can also evolve to become more intuitive and smarter with the help of their core artificial intelligence and machine learning abilities.

Let us find out if you are familiar with any of the AI WordPress plugins that are taking over the web right now.


Have you always wanted to curate great content for a niche market? Then MyCurator is the right plugin for you. This self-learning plugin can understand what kind of content your website wants and it can automatically eliminate irrelevant items that otherwise crowd your Google Alert, or RSS feeds. It learns from the upvotes and downvotes you give the posts it has found for you.

You can train the plugin algorithm to find content for you at specific times of the day. It can automatically collect content, and with time it learns to collect more relevant content for your CMS.


Several people use Jetpack without even realizing that they are dabbling in the world of AI and machine learning. This powerful WordPress plugin integrated the After the Deadline spell checker back in 2013. That was the beginning of its relationship with AI. ATD uses natural language processing to learn about contextual spellings and find out writing errors.

Jetpack now features the integrated Spelling and Grammar checks. It can detect misused words and offer smart suggestions based on the contexts of the used word. The type of error is easy to tell since each category has a different color. In addition to spelling errors, it can also find out clichés and language biases that can be degrading for the content quality.

WooCommerce Darwin Pricing Integration

WooCommerce is one of the most downloaded and used ecommerce plugin for WordPress. The Darwin Pricing Integration enables users to integrate a new real-time price monitoring and competition observation software into WooCommerce.

This plugin uses machine learning and AI to collect more relevant information from the market about your competitors and their pricing. It uses statistical analysis to point sellers towards the best discounts in each location. Given the time, Darwin Pricing Integration will ultimately point you towards several business development opportunities.


Well, well, well…who knew that one of the most used of all the plug-ins on WordPress was running on AI? Realistically speaking, there would be no WordPress without Akismet.

Millions of websites use Akismet every day to protect their SEO from spam from bot visitors/users. It can also detect spam from real human users simply by learning the quality of spam. It can learn from its mistakes and recognize the patterns of spam across millions of other WordPress websites.

WordPress now controls almost 30 percent of the web. Is it at all surprising to find out that among many of the WordPress plugins that you have already been using, a few are already using AI and machine learning to give you smooth and luxurious user experience. The rise of voice recognition, translation, image recognition, and search patterns have significantly contributed to the advent of AI in the WordPress universe.

Sujain Thomas is an expert database consultant with a post-graduate diploma from MIT. She frequently posts on the tech blogs and forums to clarify the doubts of database consulting freshers and experts.

The post WordPress Plugins That Use AI and Machine Learning appeared first on Torque.

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Torque Toons: How to tackle Gutenberg

Torque Toons: How to tackle Gutenberg

I might have an overactive imagination, but this is what I visualize anytime I hear someone ask “but how are we going to tackle Gutenberg”.

Don’t forget to check out our other editorial toons!

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

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Medellín WordPress User Group Celebrates Open Source CMS Platform’s 15th Anniversary – Finance Colombia

Medellín WordPress User Group Celebrates Open Source CMS Platform's 15th Anniversary - Finance Colombia

Finance Colombia

Medellín WordPress User Group Celebrates Open Source CMS Platform’s 15th Anniversary
Finance Colombia
Medellín is well known for its innovative technology scene, with many active software and information technology user groups. One of those is the user group centered around open source content management software WordPress. A year ago the user group …

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iThemes Enters the Hosting Space

iThemes Enters the Hosting Space

iThemes is getting into the hosting business after launching three plans that take advantage of its relationship with Liquid Web. The plans are finely tuned around the company’s products and come with free SSL certificates.

I reached out to Cory Miller, Founder of iThemes to figure out why they’ve entered the hosting space, what it means to be able to control the user experience of their products from the top-down, and how their plans compare to those from hosts that offer Jetpack Premium.

Interview With Cory Miller

What does it mean for you and iThemes to be able to control the user experience from the top-down?

In short, it means a better overall experience for our customers. For more than 10 years, we’ve dealt with most of the hosts, especially the ones offering catered WordPress offerings, and it has been a terribly frustrating experience for us trying to troubleshoot problems and help our mutual customers.

Additionally, we’ve long said you have to have two things to be our customer: WordPress and web hosting. Now we install WordPress for you, along with SSL, essentially with a click on our own hosting.

How would you compare iThemes hosting packages to hosts that offer Jetpack Premium services as part of their plans?

The thing that sticks out for me is having everything under one brand and team. But we think using iThemes Sync Pro as the hosting control panel gives us a significant edge for our customers to do more with their WP sites, in particular, our reporting features in Sync Pro.

Now our customers can get WP backups, security, site management and in-depth reporting all from one dashboard, along with their hosting. With our Business plan, they get BackupBuddy, our WordPress backup plugin; iThemes Security Pro, our WordPress security plugin & iThemes Sync Pro all in one. Plus they get an awesome team of WordPress pros for support if they need help or have any issues.

What are you most looking forward too offering these hosting packages specifically tuned for iThemes products and WordPress?

The actual implementation of the vision of offering the key essentials we think people want and need, along with a roadmap to do more, from our team at iThemes. It was one of the motivators for joining the Liquid Web family — the ability to finally do what we’ve always wanted to do for our customers, offering a more complete experience for them, from us.

Were there any challenges that you overcame when putting these packages together?

The main one that comes to mind is trying to ensure we offer what people actually want and will buy. But there was several months of hard work by our team and others to get this launched. Some long nights to pull all the pieces together in order to do this, with many more to come.

Prices range from $15 per month to $25 per month billed on an annual basis. New customers can take advantage of a coupon code on the site to purchase the Business plan, normally $25 for $15.

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Doc Pop News Drop: WP&UP Promotes Mental Health in the WordPress Community

Doc Pop News Drop: WP&UP Promotes Mental Health in the WordPress Community

Doc’s WordPress News Drop is a weekly report on the most pressing WordPress news. When the news drops, I will pick it up and deliver it right to you.

In this week’s video, we chat with Dan Maby from about his mission to help WordPressers who suffer from depression.

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

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