Author: Patrick Klein

Front-end web developer and Google certified SEO and SEA professional from the Netherlands working for a company that has been around for over 50 years with a specialty in PR and advertisement. In recent years we have also been working on getting beautiful websites up and running that are affordable for smaller companies.

Meet the Community: Linas Šimonis

ClassicPress Forum Handle: LinasSimonis
Social media handles: If I am on social media, I am LinasSimonis, but I am not active anywhere. Except Twitter; all posts by @PressHill_Host are posted by me. Yes, this hosting is my new project. We are building quite elitist hosting, and ClassicPress will be among only 3 applications you can host there. The other two – WordPress and Matomo.
Websites: www.LinasSimonis.com
Where in the world are you located? Kaunas, Lithuania

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

Despite my engineering background (I designed a chip for my diploma), for the last 28 years my occupation has been in marketing. Right now I am focusing on marketing strategy – consulting to business owners and CEOs. And I manage PressHill hosting, of course.

Now, the boring part of my story. (TL;DR: you can skip).

My father, a student of a University, was deported to the Siberia after WWII. Without any trial. Why? Well, nobody knows, it was decision of someone in power. Lithuania was occupied by Russia after WWII and Stalin’s regime was more authoritarian and more brutal than Hitler’s.

My father’s parents were deported to the Siberia too. Why? I wish I knew too. No court, nothing. Just someone’s decision.

My mother, about 7 years old at the time, was sent out by her parents to live in another city, because of rumours that my other grandparents were on the deportation list. It was a hope to protect her from deportation to Siberia. Luckily, deportation never happened (again, nobody knows details as to why), but my mother was separated from her parents for a few childhood years.

All this happened because of authoritarianism. It may be (or, may not be) acceptable to have authoritarianism in a private company. But when it comes to the public governing – no matter if it’s state, non-profit or a community, this always, and I mean, ALWAYS leads not only to bigger or smaller tragedies, but to poor results in the long run.

Leadership and authoritarianism are two very different qualities. Please, do not confuse them. Lack of leadership attributes, but excess of power, as usual, leads to autocracy.

Let me explain a few more facts of my countries’ history. The Constitution of the Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth was the first Constitution in Europe and the second in the world (USA was the first). In the 1926 President election there were 4 contenders: 2 men and 2 women. Yes, in 1926 in Lithuania women had not only right to vote, but they could run for the country’s presidentship. And we never had slavery. In the Middle Ages we had about 10x more free (independent) individuals, than in the rest of Europe. Maybe, just maybe, we have some love for freedom in our genes. Or in our culture.

Maybe because of that, I can smell authoritarianism from a long distance. Very long distance. (A reminder: leadership and authoritarianism are two very different qualities.) I put my decision-making process moral values to the highest priority. I never regretted any decision made because of it. In the long run the moral values win. Freedom and leadership always wins over autocracy. Always. In the long run.

Freedom and democracy. That’s, why I don’t use Apple, my OS is Linux. I started to use OpenOffice when it was in beta. I never abandoned FireFox, though their leadership and decisions are questionable.

This was an answer to the questions “How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved”, “How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future”, “Why you joined ClassicPress community” and “How many cats live in your house”. Or, you can come up with your own question for this long answer – I try not to be too authoritarian to force you to choose only approved questions. The best question will win a prize (oh, my marketing roots shows-up again).

What about hobbies?

Oh yeah! Music (from trash metal to classical), food, and learning about psychology.

Done fast; done cheap; done well: what’s your choice(s) and why?

Well, it’s in my nature. But steak should be medium-rare. It’s my taste. The question was not about steaks? Sorry, my bad, English (the en-UK and en-US mix) is the third language I speak. I also know some 100+ words in French and 50+ in Italian and German. And the very basic of Pascal, learned 30 years ago.

What’s your dream job?

As I understand from previous posts and comments (sorry again for my bad English), this is the question where I should answer about my relationships with whiskey. Sorry, folks, but I am a cognac guy. I prefer wine and cognac over beer and whiskey. Though, if you want to offer some fine whiskeys for tasting, please send it to the Šermukšnių g. 11-2, Giraitė, LT-54307 Kaunas, Lithuania. Thank you.

What is the sign above the S in your family name? How do you pronounce it?

Well, every language is peculiar in one or another way. Lithuanian is not an exception. It, like Czech and a few other languages, has a special mark on S, C, Z letters. These letters should be pronounced like sh, ch, zh in the English language. So, the pronunciation of my family name is like „shimonis“ in English. But, after a few cognac or whiskey, you can pronounce it as you want. In fact, you can pronounce as you want even without cognac or whiskey.*

Name Linas is very similar to Linus, and I hope that this community knows how to pronounce it. Yes, the same roots.

Can you pronounce Valančiūnas? It’s like Valantchioonas in English. I can, it’s easy. That’s the power of weird languages!

Other than the alarm clock, what gets you up in the morning?

I don’t know what gets me up, but I know, that too much cognac or whiskey holds me down in the morning. That’s why I never drink too much.

On the other hand, strong tea with milk (hello, Britons!) can do miracles. I can’t get up without such a cup of tea in the morning (Yes, Alan, real leaves, infused in a teapot!).

*Wine or beer is enough.

How to install ClassicPress with Installatron

A while ago we explained how to import your existing sites into Installatron in this article. In this post I will give a step by step tutorial for how to install a new site.

BEFORE INSTALL: Make sure your hosting supports PHP 7.0 or above, recommended when installing ClassicPress

Step 1: Getting started

Navigate to the Application browser of Installatron.

Once there, select the ClassicPress icon.

Click “Install this application” in the right corner.

Step 2: Settings

Now, fill in the Location and Version.

Under Location you fill in the Domain name you want to use and optionally the directory in which you want ClassicPress to be placed.

Under Version you pick the ClassicPress Version, Language and Automatic Update settings. If you are not sure what update setting you should pick, “Update new minor versions and security releases” is probably the one you need.

After this you need to fill in the Settings and Advanced settings.

Under Settings you chose your admin’s Username, Password and Email. You also pick your site’s Title and Tagline.

After this you can decide wether you want to fill in the Advanced settings yourself or let Installatron do it for you. If you let Installatron do it, you can now click on “Install” and go to Step 3, otherwise go to Step 2½.

Step 2½: Advanced settings

In the Advanced settings you can configure some extra settings for your ClassicPress installation like Database, Notifications and Backups

Under the Database settings you can fill in an existing database. Fill in the username and password to give Installatron access. It also allows you to pick a prefix for your table. You do not need to change this, but it is helpful to change it to something unique if you are already running other ClassicPress sites from the same Database.

The other Advanced settings allow you to pick what email notifications to receive, where automatic back-ups are stored and how often back-ups should be made.

When all of this has been filled in, you can click “Install”.

Step 3: Wait

Now simply wait for this progress bar to fill up

Once the above turns into:

You are done. Congratulations, Now get to work!

Election Time!

We are inviting all Trust Level 2 users and above to vote in the Management Committee Elections taking place right now. The vote is open from December 2nd 12:00 pm to December 9th 12:00 pm.

Vote Here

If the link above takes you to a 404 page that means you have not yet met the Trust Level 2 requirements.

The voting process

The voting page will have a poll where your votes can be cast. You have up to 9 votes that you can use, though you don’t have to use all 9 if you do not wish to. You also have the opportunity to change your votes as often as you like until the deadline. We wish everyone the best of luck.

The nominees

Based on the outcome of the Community Vote, there are 9 spots open for the 2020 Management Committee, and 10 eligible candidates have nominated themselves for membership in the 2020 Committee. To learn more about the nominees, visit their self-nominations:

Above list is in order of announcements and has no inherent bias towards any candidate.

Self-nominations for the Committee of 2020 are now open

It is that time of year for closure, and that means a lot of looking back and forward. Many people are already doing their personal reflections and reviews of 2019. We are moving into the future, and in 2020, something entirely new is going to happen for the project. For the first time, the committee is getting a shake-up! The Founding Committee will pass the torch to a new committee. ClassicPress election time is coming up.

Nominating yourself

The election is open to all people with trust level 2 on our forums, which means we have a lot of potential candidates. If you are trust level 2 and wish to nominate yourself for a committee position, you can do this at the 2020 committee candidates category in the forums. Every TL2 user who wishes to run for a place in the committee must create a new thread in this category and you may use your post to explain why you wish to run. There should be no campaigning outside of your post in this category.

The new committee will have 9 members. Of the original Founding Committee, only 6 have decided to run in this election. You read that right, current committee members don’t just automatically join the new committee. They must be elected just like everyone else. Even if all 6 of them get elected, there will be 3 new committee members joining them, so the 2020 committee cannot/will not be only Founding Committee members. What I am trying to say here is that everyone has a chance and it is really important to nominate yourself if you think you can make a difference in the project.

With great power…

If you want to nominate yourself for the election, do be aware that there are certain expectations and responsibilities that come with being a committee member. It is important that you are among the people most invested in making ClassicPress a success. This means that it is expected that you are active in at least one of the teams working on ClassicPress (e.g. Community, Development, Security, etc.). It is also expected that you participate in most of the committee meetings. (Of course, it is always possible to miss one. However, this should be the exception, not the rule.)

The deadline to nominate yourself is November 20th at 11:59pm UTC time. For more information you can refer to the original announcement.

A blog post about the ClassicPress blog, and how you can help!

This is a somewhat more meta article about the making of articles for the ClassicPress blog. A lot happens behind the scenes when we bring you a new article. I’ve had lots of contact with people about almost everything we post here. Who am i? Well you know who I am as my name is in the author card of this article. But what I do might not be widely known. I am Klein, editor of the ClassicPress Blog. I’ve worked at the blog under the supervision of marketing leads Ray Gulick and Michelle Coe for about 7 months and have really enjoyed doing so. I have worked with many amazing people in the community like John Alarcon and Alan Coggins to get an article out there each week. And I am also always looking for more people to work with!

The article making process

Most of the things I start writing never hit the blog. Not because they’re rejected, but because I throw them away as uninteresting or lacking. More easy are the collaborations with others. Often the tutorials we publish are republished from another blog. Here the only challenge is selecting things that are interesting and approaching the original writer about being featured. A little more challenging but still relatively easy are the Meet the Community pieces were we approach a member of the community and do a feature on them. Most often it is the community member themselves who does most of the work in writing about themselves. As the editor we only spellcheck and provide follow-up questions to expand the feature where necessary.

When all text is written or put together, it is send over to the marketing leads for a final review (Please don’t be to hard on this one 😉 ). If everything is okay we go into the publishing phase. Often we prepare an article at least a week before it goes live. In cases of republishing this is of course so that the original publisher gets all the initial traffic. But even in our own cases it’s good to have something ready so that we can take our time making corrections. Also we try to have something in the back so that if I miss a week for whatever reason, we don’t have an empty blog.

Then we finally hit the date of publishing, this goes pretty much automatically. There is a nifty system built into the site that automatically creates a topic on the forum for discussion of the article and like we all know, scheduling an article based on server time is really easy in ClassicPress. I personally always enjoy seeing a new article go up, and I do hope the community (that’s you) does as well.

Why are you writing this?

That is an interesting question, thank you for asking, me. The honest answer is that we could use some help. We want to make interesting content for everyone. With the tutorials and Meet the Community articles, I hope we’ve been doing that. But we could use some fresh insight. Do you have a tutorial you would love to share with the community? Interesting ClassicPress related news? An opinion piece you really want to share? or something else noteworthy? Please share it with me! You can reach me on the ClassicPress slack or through the forums.

Translating a ClassicPress plugin by azurecurve

Internationalization, or i18n as it’s often abbreviated, is an important part of many projects. That is why we want to highlight a course made by Ian Grieve of azurecurve. In this course Ian will take you through the process of translating plugins (and themes) step by step.

Ian introduces his new series as follows:

“I started using WordPress when I launched this blog back in 2011 and a couple of years later started writing plugins to add missing functionality. At the end of last year I switched over to ClassicPress, a hard-fork of WordPress.

As part of my transition to ClassicPress I created new versions of my plugins which added new functionality and improved security. I had already done some work to internationalize my plugins, but took the opportunity to improve this aspect as well.

Having done so, I thought that a series on how to internationalize and localize plugins might be a useful thing to write; while the series is targeted at plugins, as I am a plugin author, the principles are the same for themes.”

Where do I start?

If you want to get serious about creating plugins or themes for ClassicPress, i18n is not an afterthought, but should be regarded as a requirement. In this context, azurecurve’s new course should be an invaluable resource.

Excited to get started? You can find the series index here.

How to read the wp-config file, and what can I do with it?

If you use an installer you might have never actually looked into the wp-config file. Many people will tell you that it is probably one of the more important files in your ClassicPress installation to understand. This is because there are so many things that it can do to cause problems if used incorrectly. That is why I want to take some time to decipher it piece by piece for people who might be intimidated by all the code. This explanation follows the base wp-config-sample.php of a clean install. Things might be added, out of order or missing in your production site. Just because there is something in your file that is not discussed here does not mean it is bad, but try to make note of these. When you are having problems you can then look if removing these unknown lines is the solution.

The database settings

The first and, arguably, most important part of the wp-config file are the database settings. It’s important that all six of these are filled in correctly or you might run into trouble with your database.

// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for ClassicPress */
define('DB_NAME', 'database_name_here');
/** MySQL database username */
define('DB_USER', 'username_here');
/** MySQL database password */
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here');
/** MySQL hostname */
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');
/** Database Charset to use in creating database tables. */
define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');
/** The Database Collate type. Don't change this if in doubt. */
define('DB_COLLATE', '');

What do they mean?

define('DB_NAME', 'database_name_here');: This is the name of your database. This is often automatically generated by your hosting. This is basically just what your database is called.
define('DB_USER', 'username_here');: This is the username of your database. This is different from your database name, even though a lot of hostings use the same name for both. The username is a distinct login to gain access to your database.
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here');: This is the password of the username from above. To login, ClassicPress needs the password belonging to the username you’ve chosen.
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');: This is the location of your database. For a lot of people this will be Localhost. But in the rare cases that a database is in a seperate location from the ClassicPress installation, the correct ip-adress can be filled in here.
define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');: This is the set of characters that the database uses. The standard value is utf8 and is in almost all cases the correct one. Utf8 supports all languages, and as such is the most ideal value.
define('DB_COLLATE', '');: This is the specific subset of charset that your database should use. Do not change this unless you’re absolutely certain.

The security keys

Underneath the database settings, you have the security keys. These consist out of four secret keys and four salts. In very simplified terms, these keys make it harder to break your security barriers. The four salts further complicate your defenses. While the keys are nessecary, the salts are not, but it’s still recommended to use them!

define('AUTH_KEY',         'put your unique phrase here');
define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY',  'put your unique phrase here');
define('LOGGED_IN_KEY',    'put your unique phrase here');
define('NONCE_KEY',        'put your unique phrase here');
define('AUTH_SALT',        'put your unique phrase here');
define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('LOGGED_IN_SALT',   'put your unique phrase here');
define('NONCE_SALT',       'put your unique phrase here');

Your keys are not something you have to remember so make them as long and complicated as possible. You can also use one of the many online key generators.

The table prefix

The next important line of code is the table prefix. What this does is tell ClassicPress what the prefix of your table is. That is not very surprising, but what is the prefix of a table?

$table_prefix  = 'cp_';

In your database there will be several characters in front of the table name, usually cp_ or wp_. But you can change this during installation. Do not change this value after installation or you will break your database!

The debug settings

Under the table prefix is the debug setting. This decides if errors are logged or not. Set this to false to hide errors

define('WP_DEBUG', false);

If you set this to true you can also add extra lines to decide how exactly the errors are logged.
define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', true );: Insert this line to enable display errors in text on the browser. Or change true to false to hide these errors.
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );: Insert this line to enable an error_log file that you can access through FTP or your file manager. Or change true to false to block this feature. You can also change true into a path to add these logs to a specific file. For example: define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', '/error/cperrors.log' );

The directory settings

The final two settings can usually just be left alone. They are there to help ClassicPress find its settings.

/** Absolute path to the ClassicPress directory. */
if ( !defined('ABSPATH') )
	define('ABSPATH', dirname(__FILE__) . '/');
/** Sets up ClassicPress vars and included files. */
require_once(ABSPATH . 'wp-settings.php');

The first part will define the ABSPATH. But what is the ABSPATH? Simply said it is a map for ClassicPress to find its own main folder. An absolute path to the main folder. The second setting will then use this ABSPATH to tell ClassicPress where it can find wp-settings.php.

Extra settings

Of course this is not everything that wp-config.php can do. There are many more settings for all kinds of objectives. If you want to use some of these, simply copy and paste them between WP-DEBUG and ABSPATH. Some of the more interesting of these are:

WP_SITEURL and WP_HOME

Using define( 'WP_SITEURL', 'http://example.com/classicpress' ); you can change the location of your ClassicPress installation without changing your home url. Simply use your main URL and then / with the name of the folder that you placed ClassicPress in. This overrides the option from settings in your CMS.

define( 'WP_HOME', 'http://example.com' ); can be used in combination with the above to change the home URL to keep it at root level or to change the homepage to a / something. It can also be used to force https or a main url when your domain has aliases. This also overrides the option from settings in your CMS. This makes sure that it can’t accidentally be changed by another user.

Moving directories

You can move several directories into seperate folders. These are uploads, themes, plugins and/or the entire wp-content folder. You can use the following settings for this, simply changing the relative URL:
Wp-content: define( 'WP_CONTENT_DIR', dirname(__FILE__) . '/wp-content' );
Plugins: define( 'WP_PLUGIN_DIR', dirname(__FILE__) . '/wp-content/plugins' );
Uploads: define( 'UPLOADS', '/wp-content/uploads' );

But what about themes?

Themes are a little more complicated. The theme folder is hardcoded relative to the wp-content folder. But what you can do is register an extra themes folder using:
register_theme_directory( dirname( __FILE__ ) . '/themes' );

Cache

Using define( 'WP_CACHE', true ); you can turn ClassicPress’ advanced caching features on. You can also turn them off using define( 'WP_CACHE', false );.

Core updates

You can use the auto core update settings to decide how your ClassicPress installation should deal with updates. There are three settings:
define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );: This turns off all automatic updates.
define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true );: This turns on all automatic updates.
define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', 'minor' );: This turns on all minor automatic updates but will not do major updates automatically. This is the default.

PHP memory limit

There are a lot of errors that occur related to php memory limit. And while its better to change this in php.ini, not everyone has access to this. You can use wp-config to define a limit using: define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '64M' ); This does not always work as some hosting providers block this.

Wrapping up

All in all, you can do a lot of stuff with this little file that most people ignore after installation. There is also a lot that I haven’t even mentioned yet! I hope that this article has given you a bit more insight if you were unfamiliar with using the config. Of course with this power comes a lot of responsibility and I advise against experimenting on a production site because you can also break a lot here. Please be careful and quoting the wp-config file: /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */. Well actually ‘start editing responsibly’. 😉

Meet the Community: Tim Hughes

Tim Hughes at Monsters of Rock

ClassicPress Slack Handle: 1stepforward
ClassicPress Forum Handle: 1stepforward
Social media handles: I don’t really do social media. I find Facebook particularly annoying which to my mind is a platform for attention seekers. But, in general, I hate how social media is used to spread hate. Having said that, I do recognise that it can be put to good use and is still essential for many businesses. I recently created a Facebook shop that syncs products with WooCommerce.
Website: Yes, I must get around to doing one. Thanks for reminding me.
Where in the world are you located? England, UK

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

Career

I’ve worked in IT for around 30 years and started out in sys admin / tech support looking after Unix (and other) systems. I recall the first PC I used had a massive 10MB hard drive and then, for a laugh, I went and doubled it by adding a second 10MB drive. Everyone said “Why have you done that? We’ll never need that much space!”. Then 2 or 3 years later, different company, different PC, I purchased a 1GB SCSI hard drive that cost £1000 ($1200, €1100). That was roughly 28 or 29 years ago and for that sort of money nowadays, I could probably start my own data centre!

I’ve always been a techie at heart, but not long after moving to another organisation, I found myself in the world of IT management. After a series of promotions, I became IT Manager, Head of IT and, from 2000 to 2009, IT Director. I was also a Chartered IT Professional and Member of the British Computer Society. You may think that this must have been the highlight of my career and in many ways it was but I really disliked dealing with all the politics and I also missed the technical stuff. So, by 2009, I decided I needed a change.

And that’s how I ended up doing what I do now, working from home as a freelance web developer. And I haven’t regretted it for a single second. Not only do I get to design and develop websites, but I also manage my own VPS, so my technical skills are still very much alive. I’ve also developed a couple of apps for iOS and Android and have become quite proficient in applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere and After Effects.

SEO is another area of expertise and actually takes up quite a bit of my time. I use SE Ranking [*] to help, which I find invaluable. It’s an all-in-one SEO software solution with some powerful features and it’s also quite a bit cheaper than many of its competitors. Well worth a look in my opinion.

Hobbies

As for hobbies. Sadly, I don’t do much now. I used to be a very keen hillwalker and runner so I was pretty fit. I loved being in the hills and I’d be out at weekends in all kinds of weather. If I could go a whole day without seeing anyone else, then so much the better. But a few years back, I developed a chronic back condition which put an end to my days out in the hills.

I do also love listening to music and that’s what I do while I’m working. I’m a metalhead through and through and always have been. As a young kid, I’d be listening to the likes of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, AC/DC, Motorhead and the Canadian rock band Rush, one of my all time favourite bands. Brilliant musicians. Now I listen to Iron Maiden, Slayer, Metallica and lots of other heavy, thrash and death metal bands as well as a bit of classical such as Handel, Beethoven and Mozart.

I love animals too and have been vegetarian for over 30 years. I have a pet rescue dog who is absolutely bonkers, is terrified of virtually everything and has OCD, but she is just so lovable.

Why did you pick these photos of all photos?

Hill walking and music have always been a large part of my life away from work. I am actually in both pictures. From the peace and quiet of the hills on a sunny, hazy day, to a rainy, open air music festival. Two extremes. Both pictures show that we’re all tiny creatures in an endless universe.

Other than the alarm clock, what gets you up in the morning?

Normally my natural body clock. Or the birds. I love hearing the first birdsong in the morning.

I never set an alarm but I’m a morning person so I’m usually up early. I start working as soon as I’ve got my coffee sorted.

What’s your dream job?

When I was hill walking, in the early pre-internet days, there was a telephone service you could ring to find out the weather forecast and conditions under foot for the hills in the English Lake District. In order to provide this service, a small team of “assessors” would take it in turns to trek up and down Helvellyn (one of England’s highest mountains) every day. I always thought that would be such a great job.

I was also good at cricket and dreamt of playing for England one day.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, I’d wanted to work in IT from a very early age so I guess I’m doing my “dream” job already.

How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved?

Well, I’ll be honest. I’ve never been the world’s biggest fan of WordPress. I started developing websites using CodeIgniter and then PyroCMS as well as OpenCart for e-commerce sites. But one day, I got asked to take over an existing WP website and it came as a bit of a shock. As a developer, it seemed so restrictive compared to what I’d been used to. The concept that everything was a post seemed bizarre, as did filters and actions, but I’d already tried Joomla and Drupal and really didn’t like them either. But, with hindsight, this unexpected introduction to WordPress probably came just at the right time. Development of CodeIgniter had stopped (but has since been picked up by the British Columbia Institute of Technology) and as PyroCMS was itself based on CodeIgniter, that stopped too (although it has since been completely re-written based on Laravel). So, somewhat reluctantly, I started using WP for all of my new websites.

I won’t go into details here, but there were many things I disliked about WordPress, the community and the people behind it all. I had never accepted that WP was my CMS of choice and was always looking at other platforms. But the defining moment for me was, of course, Gutenberg. I gave the new editor a real good try and was quite convinced that I’d get used to it. I tested it while it was still in beta and continued to test it for weeks after its official launch. But my initial opinion of it never changed. I hated it. It seemed so unnatural, cumbersome and, to use the word I used earlier, very restrictive. Everything seemed to take a lot more effort, even writing simple text. I set up a test site and asked a few clients to check it out for a few weeks. Sure enough, they hated it too – for exactly the same reasons as I did. I was beginning to despair.

I think I first heard about ClassicPress on a well-known WordPress news site and I thought “Hmm. Interesting. Perhaps there is hope after all.”. I joined the forums in December last year but I mostly just sat on the fence and watched what was going on. I’ll freely admit to being quite reluctant to commit at first. I had 20+ websites running WordPress at the time and also had plans to convert a further 15 or so that were running on other systems (e.g. OpenCart, PyroCMS, Magento). It seemed such a daunting prospect and yet I desperately wanted it to happen. I really did not see a future in WordPress.

But I was very impressed with what I saw on the forums. Everyone was enthusiastic and many had already migrated their sites to CP. So, this gave me the push I needed to stop prevaricating and to commit to it fully. I started to take more of an active part in the forums and, following discussions with James, it was agreed that I take on responsibility for developing a core SEO plugin.

I was already working well over 80 hours a week but I turned down a couple of jobs and let a couple of existing jobs go, just so that I could make a bit of time to work on it.

That might sound a little harsh or foolish even but the way I see it is that ClassicPress is my future and WordPress is my past and what I’m doing now is investing in my future.

How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future?

Well, in addition to working on the SEO plugin, I have also contributed to the revamp of the ClassicPress website. Very soon, I hope to be helping out with core development too. In addition, I have contacted Installatron and others asking them to add support for CP and have also created a feature request on cPanel.

Without a doubt, ClassicPress will become my CMS of choice. We have a great opportunity here to create a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. The community is great and doesn’t suffer from the same issues that exist elsewhere. It’s also got a great core team behind it unlike the “other system”. It’s not going to be easy and I think everyone realises that. Let’s face it, launching any new CMS is always going to be difficult.

But I am confident that there are some good, dedicated people behind it and that gives me great hope.

It will take time and it’d be great if we could get some major backers because I do truly believe that CP is going to be way better than WP ever has been or ever will be.

Done fast; done cheap; done well: what’s your choice(s) and why?

I have always worked methodically and believe in doing the best I can at whatever I do. So I am not necessarily the fastest of workers.

My philosophy is that if something is worth doing, it must be “done well” every time. But at a price that is fair to everyone. And as quickly as possible without compromising quality.


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Meet the Community: Ray Gulick

hiking buddies

ClassicPress Slack Handle: raygulick
ClassicPress Forum Handle: raygulick
Twitter handle: @evoweb
Website: https://evowebdev.com
Where in the world are you located? New Mexico, USA

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I’ve been an independent web designer / developer full-time since 1999 when I moved to New Mexico. Before that, I worked as a marketing communications director for a couple of corporations; before that, was an art director; and before that, a teacher and wrestling coach.

Most of my free time is spent in outdoor activities; hiking almost daily with my two dogs, but also mountain biking or road cycling a couple times a week. I volunteer with a local therapeutic horsemanship organization, mostly caring for the horses, but occasionally working with riders.

Things I used to do: I was an avid whitewater boater (open canoe and raft), but several years of drought in New Mexico made it difficult to keep my skills sharp, and I’m now dangerous in water above class III. I’ve also had to stop calling myself a painter, as it’s been a couple of years since I’ve picked up a brush.

Two young grandkids who live on the east coast keep me entertained and concerned about the future. I’m more interested in politics than I’d like, but at this point it seems irresponsible to ignore it.

I love good coffee and single malt — on weekends, possibly together in the same cup. I do NOT like piña coladas, but I will walk in the rain, if it comes to that.

Other than the alarm clock, what gets you up in the morning?

I usually make a to-do list for the next day before going to bed, so I wake up thinking about what I want to do right after I finish my first cup of coffee (priorities). Apart from that, my dogs have definite ideas about when it’s time to get up and get breakfast.

What’s your dream job?

I think it would be cool to be a ferris wheel operator. While waiting to break into that, I love what I’m doing. I named my company Evolution Web Development (Evo for short) because I knew we’d have to keep evolving to provide web-based services, and in the 20 years since, that’s certainly been the case. There’s always something to learn, and I love that. It’s also one of the things I love about ClassicPress Forums and Slack: I can listen in and learn about stuff of which I had little or no idea.

How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved?

I’d been hoping for a CMS-oriented WordPress fork for a couple of years, ever since it became clear around 2016 that WordPress was not, after all, going to embrace its potential as a professional CMS (2012-2014, it seemed like they would). So I was already on the lookout for a fork that looked like it would succeed, particularly after it was announced the block editor would be integrated into core. A big part of what I sell is ease-of-use and efficiency for adding and maintaining site content, and the block editor seriously undermines that approach.

I checked out the CP Forums and Slack, and the people involved all seemed pretty open, welcoming, and ready to share. I made an argument that ClassicPress should focus on the business and professional website market (and there was an argument/discussion; not everyone agreed we should define our primary market), and I was invited to join the Founding Committee shortly after. The main points of my side of that discussion are available in a blog post.

How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future?

Little by little, I’m converting all the sites I manage (more than 50) to ClassicPress, and since January 2019, I’m only building new sites on ClassicPress. So, I’m ‘all-in,’ staking my livelihood on its success.

Done fast; done cheap; done well: what’s your choice(s) and why?

I try to avoid work in which ‘cheap’ is the primary consideration. I work best with clients who know what they want (or will listen to recommendations), and who understand that the time and expertise required to get what they want deserves reasonable and fair compensation. I could go off here about the commodification of design and development, but that’s a rant, so let’s not. Done fast (if needed) and done well (always) is what I try to deliver to clients.

Meet the Community: Simone Fioravanti

ClassicPress Forum Handle: Simone
ClassicPress Club: Simone
Social media handles: @cris.vardamak
Website: https://gieffeedizioni.it/ (main Job) and https://educatorecinofilo.dog
Where in the world are you located? Italy

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I work in advertising, doing whatever must be done… from creating layouts or retouching photos to using the screwdriver to try to fix digital printers or inserters! I like programming, even if I’m not necessarily a good coder. I use this passion in my job for creating websites, applications for internal use and automatizing my workflows.

At the beginning of 2012 I began sharing my life with Cris, a bernese mountain dog. Now you can understand my profile picture and facebook username ;-). Soon I realized that I didn’t know enough about dogs. One year later I was “back to school” to become a dog trainer, just out of interest. But now it’s my second job and my favourite hobby!

How many dogs do you train? and any stand-out experiences?

This year I worked with about 30 dogs. About ¾ puppies and ¼ biting dogs. Really I train the dog’s families more than I train the dogs and I very much like to work on the relation with the owners. I like to say: “Ehi, your dog is a beautiful person!”. I’ve just finished with two biting amstaff. The owner was working on his garden and there were two big mountains of ground that should be laid down but those dogs were too happy jumping across them. Together we completely re-designed the garden to be the dogs’ garden!

Other than the alarm clock, what gets you up in the morning?

Fear… fear of my alarm clock ringing!

What’s your dream job?

Really I have two jobs and love both. But if I could be back to my nineteenth, a couple of years working on a cruise boat!

How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved?

I don’t remember how I found out about ClassicPress, but one hour later my two main sites were running it. In one week 15 customers were moved to CP. I like fresh projects, and I very much like the philosophy behind CP and the directions v2 is taking, so I wanted to be able to give my two cents on this beautiful project.

What do you like most about the direction v2 is taking?

Business-focused (not as a tag-line or slogan, but as a direction) best describes what I like most.
Less bloated and more documented code, “core plugins” to get a lighter platform, no support for paleolithic versions of PHP.

WP is following the “up and running in 5 minute” market, but I think that these kind of websites — not for personal blogging but for business — are mostly unuseful, better open a facebook page and work with google places.

How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future?

ClassicPress is the CMS of my legacy sites and also for all my new projects. My idea is that it could bring faster and more robust sites. It’s not something scheduled, but I’d like to dust down my plan of making plugins.

How is your experience with the community? Do you feel heard?

These days it is difficult to see real discussion without conflicts, even talking about the correct length of a leash likely will lead to a religious war. But this community is great in positive confrontation. I feel that everyone is heard!

So many different backgrounds, experiences and needs – correctly “packed” together will lead to something stunning!

Done fast; done cheap; done well: what’s your choice(s) and why?

Done well. Done fast. I’ve a lot of droplets on my desktop to speed things up and leave me half an hour for a good beer! If cheap is necessary I prefer to strip down less necessary features rather than quality.