AWP is an advanced WordPress meetup that meets on the last Wednesday of every month at Co-Merge in Downtown San Diego, California.

AWP MeetupThis month we met early due to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. We had a total of 15 attendees and 8 online streaming. The pizza was good, the beer lacking but overall a good round of topics and discussion.

Here are my notes on the topics and presentations given during this month’s meetup.

Patrick Green from 9 Birds

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Patrick at one of our meetups and I’m glad he came. He just came back from Brazil shooting some video for big time companies. Glad he could come!

  • – this is a new site he and built with WooCommerce
  • Using Gravity Forms for the site. Imported data from old ASP catalog into WooCommerce products to build shop portion of the site.

Takeaway: It sounds like he has some good information about importing data into WooCommerce.

*Michael suggests The Memberdeck plugin for creating a membership portal.

Suzette Franck – Media Temple WordPress Evangelist

Suzette always brings a healthy dose of WordPress awesomeness. She cruised down all the way from LA. We are very happy to see her show her support for the AWP community here in San Diego.

WP All Import Demo

  • Demoing WP All Import - Free version* by SoFly
  • Steps to use plugin: - Upload XML/CSV containing data (doesn’t have to be a WP export file), select and assign data, import – get’s much more advanced and flexible.

How does it work different from standard importer?

It is more reliable and polished. Cleaner data on import.

Codepress Admin Columns Demo 

  • Download free plugin Codepress Admin Columns
  • Allows users to modify the columns in Customise columns on the administration screens for post(types), pages, media, comments, links and users with an easy to use drag-and-drop interface.
  • Works with CPTs and does pull in custom post meta meta

Takeaway: Both WP All Import and Codepress Admin Columns plugins look very useful and interesting. I typically like to use code for customizing my columns in the admin menu, but Codepress Admin Columns look very well done from the demo. The interface is very polished and looks very light on the backend.

The import/export process with WordPress has always been one of its Achilles heel IMO. If WP All Import makes this any smoother sigh me up. I’m eager to give this plugin a shot, and soon.

Devin Walker – WordImpress (this site)

I’m a regular at the AWP Meetups. You can find me blogging here and on Twitter @wordimpress.

  • New Site Launch – I just launched this new site. Please take a minute to check it out. Here’s a bit about what went into the development of it.
  • I’m finalizing a bit of new code to easily create a customized tour for your WordPress theme upon activation. This will allow theme authors to give users a rundown of their theme’s features and functionality when their first active the theme. Think of when you activate WordPress SEO by Yoast and see the pointers.
  • WordPress has “pointers” since WP 3.3 – I haven’t found an effective bit of code to take the user on a tour of a theme. Yoast’s plugin does this well, so I’m working on porting that class over for themes.

Leon MaGee from Magee Media

Leon is always at the meetups dishing out something he’s been up to in the WordPress world. He regularly dives into code and shows off recent projects.

Demoed Roots site called GS Wireless that he built with a custom menu.

Jim Walker – The Hack Repair Guy

Unlike most of us, Jim always comes prepared. He’s got the slides down and during this meetup he presented several on “Steps for Truly Securing WordPress” – I’m going to see if he’s got them online so I can update this article.

Backup, and Backup for Migration

  • -Make a Backup and Backup for Migration so you can switch hosts ASAP if sh*$ hits the fan
  • WP Migrate DB – Jim say’s just ok for backups, handy for migrations
  • WP Clone and WP Duplicator

All files and DB Backups
Backup and recover from backup/URL

  • WP Clone and WP Duplicator DO NOT perform automatic backups*
  • The issue for many of the back plugins is DB size; 8 GB dbs don’t pull down too well (or at all!)

Remote Backup and Recovery:

  • Fastest but expensive: InfiniteWP
  • Lots of options / No Cost: Updraft Plus Backup
  • Google Drive allows for Chunked Uploads (mini packages rather than small packages)

Takeaway: Jim knows his backups. He is using Updraft to backup and restore sites up to 18 GB in size. It sounds like a worthly plugin that has been making traction in the WordPress world.

Update: Here are Jim’s slides from the meetup.

AJ Zane

He makes the drive from North County and we’re thankful because he’s a talented developer. He loves his SASS and always gives some good insight on WordPress.

  • WordPress Core is going SASS and AJ is happier than ever.
  • They are going with the Grunt SASS builder to compile the styles.

WP Inline Access – Brand spanking new WordPress Plugin for editing your content from the frontend

WP Stagecoach – A one clicks staging environment setup

Takeaway: While AJ hasn’t tried any of WP Inline Access or WP Stagecoach extensively they look promising. If there’s one thing I love, it’s one click staging (WP Engine). If anyone has any additional info on these plugins that would be awesome. They are good shares and worth checking out.

*We may get free stickers from WP Stagecoach… hook it up!

Stephen Carnam from ServerPress

Ever heard of ServerPress? Well if you haven’t you need to Google it now and thank me later. Stephen is the man behind it and he regularly comes around unveiling all sorts of awesomeness.

Automating your WordPress Installation Workflow

How to setup Blueprints outside of ServerPress (preset packages of WordPress installs w/ plugins and other configurations)

Solution: Create an install.php “drop in”!

  • install.php file that lives in WP base directory
  • Allows you to easily override the WordPress core install process

He got the idea from: Customizing the WordPress Install

Things you can do in a customized install:

  • Remove Hell Dolly
  • Switch themes
  • Stop notification emails
  • Remove default hello world
  • Increase the size of the post editor
  • Set default time zone
  • Remove default sample page
  • Remove default Mr. WordPress comment
  • Activate AKISMET

Compared to other solutions hooking into the post install email action is a better option than rewriting the WordPress install function.

Takeaways: This was a very valuable presentation and the code presented by Stephen was simple and powerful. Take some time to look at what this code can do:

Phelan – Digithrive

awp-meetup-11-20-13-2-phelanAn original organizer of AWP, Phelan regularly attends and is always up to something new in the WordPress world.

Takeaway: Bitcoin looks interesting because your coin value fluxuate with the market. So if you sell a $5 product a bitcoin goes up 50% then you’re up on your original purchase to $7.50. Profit

Michael Bastos

The organizer of AWP. He needs no introduction.

  • IgnitionDeck – A WordPress crowdfunding plaform that Michael says can hold its weight.
  • Creates CPT of campaign and you can tie in with Gravity Forms to bring user registration to the frontend and a whole slew of other functionality.
  • – similar to Vagrant but less resource intensive and more slimmed down.

Takeaways: Michael has some great tips on how to create a successful crowdsourcing platform using WordPress. He is also doing some awesomeness with WP-Chef:

General Talk

T-shirts: Get your AWP T-shirt here:

Excellent resource for Code – Generate WP  - Nice resource full of useful code snippets and tools

Meetup Stream

You can watch the meetup online here:

Here’s the bulk of it:

Wrapping it Up

We had some new faces in the group tonight. Thanks to CoMerge SD for allowing us to use the space.

If you’re in the San Diego area and are looking to talk advanced WordPress please join us! Not in San Diego? Join us on Facebook.

AWP Members happy at their meetup

Final Note: Please never go to an advanced WP meetup and call WordPress “WordPerfect”… just don’t.

Devin Walker is a San Diego-based WordPress Developer and enthusiast. He is the author of several popular and highly-rated WordPress themes and plugins. In his free time he enjoys playing Golf and traveling.


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  • Nicole Pereira

    Thanks for the notes. I’m of to check out WP inline access and stagecoach!

    • Devin Walker

      No problem. I’m glad they were helpful. Let me know what you think of those plugins!

  • Liz S

    Thank you for posting these notes!

  • Matt Barrett

    I’m glad someone’s finally taking it upon themselves to document our little get-togethers. This is definitely needed, great job!

  • Phill Coxon

    Awesome write up – thank you!

    UpDraftPlus looks fantastic. I’ve already been in touch with the developers asking questions and David has been super helpful. It looks like it’s going to be the goto solution for backing up larger sites.

    • Devin Walker

      You betcha Phill. Thanks for stopping by! Where’s your Gravatar sir?

  • Jim Walker

    A break out of my part in the presentation, “Backup to Migrate,”