You have arrived at the home of the Valley WordPress Meetup, a group of designers, developers, bloggers and fans of WordPress in the Connecticut River Valley, located in western Massachusetts. We meet in Northampton usually on the last Wednesday of each month and talk about WordPress. While we do have a site on Meetup.com, it only seemed natural that a WordPress group have its own WordPress website. This site is meant to be an extension of the Meetup. A place to continue the conversations or start new ones, to ask questions or provide answers and share your experiences. Please join and participate.
After a long hiatus, the Valley WordPress MeetUp group gathered on February 19th at the studios of Northampton Community Television, the group’s new home. The accommodations are spacious with a projector, free WiFi, ample seating and parking. It is located in the rear of Northampton High School. We a pretty good turn out considering the bad weather.
Ed Gray made a short presentation on performance issues he had with the MacDuffie School website in China which were the result some modules within the JetPack plugin. WP Tavern has a good post on the subject. Afterward, the discussion centered on potential future presentation or discussion topics which included the following:
- Using the WP Command Line plugin.
- Child Themes
- Improving performance
- Workflow/development environments
- SASS CSS
- Showcase or Case Studies
- Social Media Integration
- NERD Summit
- Plus, some others.
Now that we have a list of topics, we just need some presenter. If you are interested in speaking or leading a discussion, please contact Ed.
On April 17th nine individuals met and discussed using SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics). Here is a list of SVG related resources:
- SVG is the Future of Application Development (an article written in 2008)
- W3C SVG Site
- Wikipedia SVG Article
- Using SVG by CSS Tricks
- Resolution Independence With SVG from Smashing Magazine
- Tuts+: Why Aren’t You Using SVG
- SVG WOW, examples of brillant uses of SVG
- SVG Patterns Gallery, CSS background patterns
- SVG Plugin, allows you to include SVG images like JPEG or PNG graphics
- SVG Chart Plugin
- JTab Guitar Tab Shortcode
- MapSVG: Interactive Vector Maps
- SVG Bar Charts
- Sketch, SVG editor for Mac OS
On Wednesday March 20th, 10 people met in the new office of Knectar Design, just down the hall from their old office. However, the new space was much roomier with more than enough room to stretch out, drink a beer, eat a slice of pizza, and talk WordPress.
Matthew Wimmer delivered an excellent presentation on SASS and Compass, a CSS preprocessor. Here are some comments copied from Meetup.com:
Hey everybody. Thanks for coming last night. I’m glad that folks seemed to enjoy and benefit from the talk! I’ve made a little blog post with links to some Sass and Compass resources, and a link to my slides, in case you want a second look.
Great presentation, Matthew. Thanks for putting that together for us!
This was a very informative and well-presented talk. Very worthwhile.
Very good presentation. I had just been telling my coworker that I thought it may not be worth pursing Sass for our template files,but I’m back in the game!
Ever wanted to be able to quickly install WordPress with all of your favorite plugins and themes pre-installed without having to install each of them one at a time? Or better yet, send someone a copy of WordPress with your favorite plugins and themes ready from the get go? Well, now you can with WProller.com. Select the current or nightly build version of WordPress, then a variety of plugins and themes. All of it is compressed in a single zip file ready for installation.
Boston University has created three plugins that help make WordPress a better CMS:
BU Navigation – a robust tool for managing hierarchical page content. Ideal for blogs with large page counts.
BU Section Editing – allows you to manage advanced content editing workflows in WordPress through the use of section editing groups and permissions.
BU Versions – make and save edits to published posts or pages in WordPress without immediately replacing the public content.
This month Mattew Wimmer of WimmerWorks.com has volunteered to do a presentation on Compass and Sass. Sass makes CSS fun again. Sass is an extension of CSS3, adding nested rules, variables, mixins, selector inheritance, and more. Matthew will explain why you need it, steps to install it, and how you can start using it. Plus, “other insane time-saving, workflow-pimping preprocessing and framework fairy dust to consider.”
Also this month we are going to try to introduce “plugin picks.” There are currently 23,988 plugins listed on WordPress.org. They are a large part of why we use WordPress. They can be very simple to very complex. Filtering out the gems from the junk can be a difficult process. So, I invite you to bring a name of a lesser known plugin that you have used recently that you have found helpful and share it with the group. We know about All in One SEO, Akismet, W3 Total Cache, JetPack and Contact Form 7. Try to share something more unique. It can be free or premium.
This meetup is for developers, designers, end-users and site owners. Bring along your questions, too and as group we will see if we can answer them.
Knectar Design’s offices are on the third floor. Follow the WordPress Meetup signs. If you came last month, we will be down the hall in a larger space from the location we had met in.
Refreshments will be offered. A small donation is suggested to cover expenses.