Which is the Best WordPress Slider? Performance + Quality Compared

Are you looking to add a slider in your WordPress site? Tired of going through hundreds of WordPress slider plugins to see which one is the best? Well you’re in the right place. In this article, we will compare 5 of the top WordPress slider… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit Which is the Best WordPress Slider? Performance + Quality Compared on WPBeginner.

Are you looking to add a slider in your WordPress site? Tired of going through hundreds of WordPress slider plugins to see which one is the best? Well you’re in the right place. In this article, we will compare 5 of the top WordPress slider plugins based on their speed, ease of use, and overall features. The goal is to find which is the best WordPress slider plugin.

Many WPBeginner readers, quickly graduate the beginner level and step into theme customization. One of the most often asked questions by our readers is what is the best WordPress slider plugin? In this article, we will try to answer that question by comparing some of the best WordPress sliders for performance and quality.

The Problem With WordPress Sliders

Most WordPress sliders are slow. If it is not properly coded, a slider can significantly increase your page load time. If you do not have a good WordPress hosting service, your server may respond even slower than normal.

The other problem with WordPress slider plugins is ease of use. Most of them are bloated and come with a learning curve for beginners.

Last but not least, you want to make sure that your WordPress slider is responsive. A lot of them are not.

So how do you go through hundreds of sliders plugin and check for all of this? Well you don’t have to. We did the research for you and below are our results for the best WordPress slider.

The Contenders for Best WordPress Slider Plugin

For the sake of this article, we chose 5 of the top and highly recommended WordPress slider plugins. While doing our research, we noticed that these slider plugins were among the most used and recommended. We decided to run some simple tests and see how each one of them performs. The criteria we are looking for is speed, ease-of-use, features, and compatibility.

Speed

Page load time and speed are an important factor to consider when adding a slider to your WordPress site. As mentioned earlier, not only a slow site affects user experience, but it also hurts your search engine rankings. This is why slider speed is our #1 priority during this test.

Slider Plugin Page Load time Requests Page size
Soliloquy 1.34 secs 26 945 KB
Nivo Slider 2.12 secs 29 1 MB
Meteor 2.32 secs 27 1.2 MB
Revolution Slider 2.25 secs 29 1 MB
LayerSlider 2.12 secs 30 975 KB

As you can see in the above scores, Soliloquy was the fastest loading WordPress slider in our tests. The reason why it is the fastest loading slider is that the code is optimized for speed.

The plugin also uses a neat little trick. It loads your cover slide and then rest of the slides are loaded asynchronously. It is not just fast on tests, it feels fast to your visitors too.

If you want a high performance fast WordPress site, then Soliloquy is the best WordPress slider for you.

Ease of Use

Creating sliders is not as simple as we would like it to be. The goal here is to find a plugin that even beginner level users can use to create sliders both quickly and easily.

Soliloquy

We have worked on and tested many WordPress slider plugins, but so far we have found none as easy to use as Soliloquy. Installing it and creating a slider in it is extremely simple (see our guide on how to easily create a responsive WordPress slider with Soliloquy).

The reason why it’s easy to use is because it uses the WordPress coding guidelines and blends in with your native WordPress admin interface. Soliloquy has a simple but intuitive user interface to create slides using the default WordPress media uploader.

Creating a slideshow with Soliloquy WordPress slider plugin

There are shortcodes, template tags, a button on post editor, and widget to add your slides to different sections of your website.

Nivo Slider

Creating a slider with Nivo Slider was easy and quite straight forward. You can choose the images from the media uploader, and upload multiple new images at once. You can also drag and rearrange slide order. Using the same media uploader interface, you can add captions, link, and alternate text to your slide images. It comes with shortcodes and template tags so you can add a slider to your posts, pages, and template files.

Creating a WordPress Slider using Nivo Slider plugin

Nivo Slider does not support video and other multimedia type. Meaning this is limited to only image slideshows. It comes with a nice bundle of themes that you can use and lots of transition effects to choose from. Plugin settings, creating slideshows, and adding slides to posts/pages is all very straight forward and smooth. However, if you are counting on features and options, then Nivo falls behind Soliloquy.

Meteor Slides

When creating a slideshow with Meteor Slides you need to upload or select each slide individually. This is time consuming and many new users would probably find it confusing. After installing the plugin, go to Slides » Add New. Give this particular slide a title, and then click on set featured image to upload your slide.

If you want your slide to link to a page, then you can enter a URL. Lastly, you need to choose a Slideshow from Slideshows meta box.

Meteor Slides

You can not arrange the slide order in a slideshow. You can not add a video slide, or add text over your slide. This makes Meteor Slide very limited in functionality. However, it is useful if all you want to do is add a simple slideshow.

Revolution Slider

Creating a slider with Revolution Slider is not as straight forward because it separates the slider and slides creation process. When create a slider, you will see all the customization options such as resizing, thumbnails, animations, etc, but you will not see the ability to add slides which is confusing.

Revolution Slider

After creating your slider, you have to come back to the slider list in order to find a button to add your slides.

The user interface looks and feels different than rest of the WordPress UI. There are way too many options and the user interface does not help you easily locate the ones you need.

LayerSlider

LayerSlider is similar to the Revolution Slider because it has it’s own user interface which does not match rest of the WordPress UI. There are far too many customization options which can be good for some, but may complicate the creation process for beginners.

LayerSlider

Creating your first slider with LayerSlider is not intuitive however there are helpful links to documentation that can help you get started.

Features

If all you want to do is create simple image slide shows, then Nivo Slider and Meteor Slides are both good enough to work with.

Soliloquy, Revolution Slider, and LayerSlider come with a lot more features. They are fully responsive and look equally beautiful on all devices and screen sizes. All three of them support video slides, HTML 5 videos, featured content slides, themes, animations and transitions.

Revolution Slider and Layer Slider both have their own user interface that may feel complicated to new users specially since these plugins bundle all the features in one.

On the other hand, Soliloquy offers a much easier and friendlier user interface to take advantage of all the features. Instead of packing everything in one plugin, Soliloquy uses addons for advanced features which allows you to install only what you need and keep your site bloat free.

Pricing

Another decisive factor that might help users choose a slider plugin for their site is pricing. Here is the price for a single site license of these plugins. Meteor Slider is a free plugin so it is not listed here:

Slider Plugin Single Site License
Soliloquy $19
Nivo Slider $29
Revolution Slider $18
LayerSlider $17

After comparing these plugins we feel that the best WordPress slider plugin award goes to:

Soliloquy

Soliloquy is by far the fastest WordPress slider plugin in the market. It follows all of the coding best practices, it is very well documented, it is easy to extend for developers and even easier to use for users, and last but not least it is also the cheapest.

Use our Soliloquy Coupon to get an extra 25% off.

We hope this article answers the questions regarding the best WordPress slider plugin in terms of performance and quality. Which is your favorite WordPress slider plugin? Let us know by sending a tweet to @wpbeginner on Twitter.

To leave a comment please visit Which is the Best WordPress Slider? Performance + Quality Compared on WPBeginner.

How to Choose a Perfect Color Scheme for Your WordPress Site

Are you having a hard time deciding on your website’s color scheme? Choosing the right color combination not only increases your site’s visual appeal, but it can also generate favorable response from your visitors in terms of sales and conversions. In this article, we will… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit How to Choose a Perfect Color Scheme for Your WordPress Site on WPBeginner.

Are you having a hard time deciding on your website’s color scheme? Choosing the right color combination not only increases your site’s visual appeal, but it can also generate favorable response from your visitors in terms of sales and conversions. In this article, we will show you how to choose a perfect color scheme for your WordPress site by understanding the psychology of colors and using one of 4 amazing resources.

Choosing color scheme for your website

Psychology of Colors

It is a well researched theory that colors can affect human responses. Colors have an emotional pull on our decisions and choices we make in our everyday life.

Large corporations spend millions of dollars building a well crafted brand image and identity for their products. They hire experts to pick just the perfect combination of colors for their brands and products.

The colors you use on your site are part of your brand image. You need to choose colors that generate a favorable emotional response for your brand and products.

So how do you figure out which colors and what kind of response you are looking for?

Lucky for you, marketers and psychologists have done plenty of research already. Take a look at this infographic:

Emotional responses generated by different colors

  • Red: is the color of youth and joy. It reflects boldness and confidence.
  • Green: Creates a soothing calming effect, it evokes a peaceful, progressive, and calm emotional response.
  • Blue: It reflects trust, strength, reliability.
  • Black: Black generates a sophisticated, solid, secure emotional response.
  • White: Clarity and simplicity are the two major effects of White.
  • Yellow: Yellow is the color of optimism, warmth, friendliness.
  • Orange: Orange creates a fun, friendly, confidence, and cheerful effect.
  • Pink: Sensuality,femininity, romance, and love are the emotions associated with Pink.

Other Things to Consider

This goes without saying that colors need context to work the way you want them to work. Your brand or product may already have certain associations that may or may not work with the colors you are choosing.

Here are a few things you should consider before picking up a color scheme for your site:

First, you need to consider the existing brand image. If you already have a logo and other marketing materials, then you may want to use the existing colors.

You also need to consider which colors will look good on the web. Things that look great on print can look quite different on screen. Think about other media like sliders, videos, images, call to action buttons, etc that you will be adding to your site. Think about what colors you will be using the most.

Creating a Color Scheme

Hopefully, by now you have figured out the appropriate colors for your website with the psychology of colors in mind. We recommend you to choose at least two colors that articulately represent your brand, and the response you want to get from users.

Once you have those colors, there are several online tools that you can use to generate an unlimited number of color palettes.

1. Adobe Color CC

Adobe Color CC

Formerly known as Kuler, Adobe Color CC is a great tool to generate color palettes. You can select color rules, and then spin the wheel. You can manually adjust each color in the palette and rest of the colors will be automatically adjusted to match the color rule. You can also generate color palettes by uploading photos.

2. Photocopa by COLORLovers

Photocopa

Colorlovers is one of the most popular destinations for color inspiration and ideas. They have some great tools to generate color schemes. One of them is PhotoCopa which allows you to generate a color scheme from photos. You can also use their basic tool which generates colors combinations by simply selecting a color.

3. Material Palette

Material Palette Generator

Inspired by Google’s Material Design concept, Material Palette allows you to generate color schemes using the design rules. It is designed to inspire color schemes to be used in mobile apps but these color schemes can easily be used for websites as well.

4. Coolors.co

Coolors

Coolors is a wonderful color scheme generator. Simply hit the space bar to generate color schemes. You can modify a color in the scheme manually and lock it down. You can also download color schemes to use in your projects later.

We hope this article helped you choose the perfect color scheme for your WordPress site. You may want to look at our article on how to easily customize WordPress with CSS Hero.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Infographic by The Logo Company

To leave a comment please visit How to Choose a Perfect Color Scheme for Your WordPress Site on WPBeginner.

Doing Terrible Things To Your Code

In 1992, I thought I was the best programmer in the world. In my defense, I had just graduated from college, this was pre-Internet, and I lived in Boulder, Colorado working in small business jobs where I was lucky to even hear about other programmers much less meet them.

I

In 1992, I thought I was the best programmer in the world. In my defense, I had just graduated from college, this was pre-Internet, and I lived in Boulder, Colorado working in small business jobs where I was lucky to even hear about other programmers much less meet them.

I eventually fell in with a guy named Bill O'Neil, who hired me to do contract programming. He formed a company with the regrettably generic name of Computer Research & Technologies, and we proceeded to work on various gigs together, building line of business CRUD apps in Visual Basic or FoxPro running on Windows 3.1 (and sometimes DOS, though we had a sense by then that this new-fangled GUI thing was here to stay).

Bill was the first professional programmer I had ever worked with. Heck, for that matter, he was the first programmer I ever worked with. He'd spec out some work with me, I'd build it in Visual Basic, and then I'd hand it over to him for review. He'd then calmly proceed to utterly demolish my code:

  • Tab order? Wrong.
  • Entering a number instead of a string? Crash.
  • Entering a date in the past? Crash.
  • Entering too many characters? Crash.
  • UI element alignment? Off.
  • Does it work with unusual characters in names like, say, O'Neil? Nope.

One thing that surprised me was that the code itself was rarely the problem. He occasionally had some comments about the way I wrote or structured the code, but what I clearly had no idea about is testing my code.

I dreaded handing my work over to him for inspection. I slowly, painfully learned that the truly difficult part of coding is dealing with the thousands of ways things can go wrong with your application at any given time – most of them user related.

That was my first experience with the buddy system, and thanks to Bill, I came out of that relationship with a deep respect for software craftsmanship. I have no idea what Bill is up to these days, but I tip my hat to him, wherever he is. I didn't always enjoy it, but learning to develop discipline around testing (and breaking) my own stuff unquestionably made me a better programmer.

It's tempting to lay all this responsibility at the feet of the mythical QA engineer.

If you are ever lucky enough to work with one, you should have a very, very healthy fear of professional testers. They are terrifying. Just scan this "Did I remember to test" list and you'll be having the worst kind of flashbacks in no time. Did I mention that's the abbreviated version of his list?

I believe a key turning point in every professional programmer's working life is when you realize you are your own worst enemy, and the only way to mitigate that threat is to embrace it. Act like your own worst enemy. Break your UI. Break your code. Do terrible things to your software.

This means programmers need a good working knowledge of at least the common mistakes, the frequent cases that average programmers tend to miss, to work against. You are tester zero. This is your responsibility.

Let's start with Patrick McKenzie's classic Falsehoods Programmers Believe about Names:

  1. People have exactly one canonical full name.
  2. People have exactly one full name which they go by.
  3. People have, at this point in time, exactly one canonical full name.
  4. People have, at this point in time, one full name which they go by.
  5. People have exactly N names, for any value of N.
  6. People’s names fit within a certain defined amount of space.
  7. People’s names do not change.
  8. People’s names change, but only at a certain enumerated set of events.
  9. People’s names are written in ASCII.
  10. People’s names are written in any single character set.

That's just the first 10. There are thirty more. Plus a lot in the comments if you're in the mood for extra credit. Or, how does Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Time grab you?

  1. There are always 24 hours in a day.
  2. Months have either 30 or 31 days.
  3. Years have 365 days.
  4. February is always 28 days long.
  5. Any 24-hour period will always begin and end in the same day (or week, or month).
  6. A week always begins and ends in the same month.
  7. A week (or a month) always begins and ends in the same year.
  8. The machine that a program runs on will always be in the GMT time zone.
  9. Ok, that’s not true. But at least the time zone in which a program has to run will never change.
  10. Well, surely there will never be a change to the time zone in which a program has to run in production.
  11. The system clock will always be set to the correct local time.
  12. The system clock will always be set to a time that is not wildly different from the correct local time.
  13. If the system clock is incorrect, it will at least always be off by a consistent number of seconds.
  14. The server clock and the client clock will always be set to the same time.
  15. The server clock and the client clock will always be set to around the same time.

Are there more? Of course there are! There's even a whole additional list of stuff he forgot when he put that giant list together.

Catastrophic Error - User attempted to use program in the manner program was meant to be used

I think you can see where this is going. This is programming. We do this stuff for fun, remember?

But in true made-for-TV fashion, wait, there's more! Seriously, guys, where are you going? Get back here. We have more awesome failure states to learn about:

At this point I wouldn't blame you if you decided to quit programming altogether. But I think it's better if we learn to do for each other what Bill did for me, twenty years ago — teach less experienced developers that a good programmer knows they have to do terrible things to their code. Do it because if you don't, I guarantee you other people will, and when they do, they will either walk away or create a support ticket. I'm not sure which is worse.

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How to Make the Most Out of WPBeginner’s Free Resources

Often new WPBeginner readers ask us how they can get the maximum benefits from all the free resources available on our website. WPBeginner is one of the largest free WordPress resource sites on the planet. We have been publishing free WordPress guides, how to tutorials,… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit How to Make the Most Out of WPBeginner’s Free Resources on WPBeginner.

Often new WPBeginner readers ask us how they can get the maximum benefits from all the free resources available on our website. WPBeginner is one of the largest free WordPress resource sites on the planet. We have been publishing free WordPress guides, how to tutorials, and videos since 2009. In this article, we will show you how to make the most out of WPBeginner’s free resources.

WPBeginner Logo

1. Subscribe to WPBeginner Newsletter

Subscribe to WPBeginner newsletter

Signing up for our newsletter is the best way to stay updated with WPBeginner’s new posts and resources. When we write a new article, it will land directly in your email inbox. You can select the email frequency such as WPB Daily or WPB Weekly.

You can also select the sections you want to subscribe to. We recommend you to check all the boxes to get the maximum benefit.

2. Signup for Our FREE Video Tutorials

WPBeginner Videos - Free WordPress tutorials for beginners

If you are just starting out with WordPress, then our WordPress Beginners Videos should be your first destination. We hate to see many big companies selling such basic education for hundreds of dollars. This is why we decided to make it available for Free.

These HD quality videos are prepared by our experts and are built for beginner level users. Our 23-step easy to follow video tutorials cover from the basics to advance WordPress topics and will help you get started with WordPress in no time.

3. Join our YouTube Channel

WPBeginner videos on YouTube

With nearly 20,000 subscribers, WPBeginner’s YouTube channel is the best WordPress channel on YouTube.

We regularly upload new videos with useful how to articles aimed at beginner level users. These videos are short, sweet, and easy to follow. You will also get the video transcript, a text version of the tutorial, and you can even ask questions in the comments.

Joining our YouTube channel, will help you stay up to date, brush up your WordPress skills, and discover new tools and plugins for your website.

4. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Follow WPBeginner on Facebook and Twitter

You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. This way you can participate in our community discussions, see what new posts we have published, get in touch with us, and leave your comments and feedback.

We like to hear from our users. In fact, many of our post ideas come from user requests made on Twitter.

5. Got a WordPress Question? Here is How to Find The Answer

Search WPBeginner to find your WordPress answers

At the top right corner of every page on WPBeginner, there is a search box. This search box is powered by Google Custom Search. It is fast and highly accurate.

Simply type the question you wanted to ask us. There is a very good chance that we have already written about it.

6. Can’t Find an Answer? Drop us a Line or Tweet to us

If you have searched WPBeginner and didn’t find an answer to your question, then you can reach us using the contact form on our website.

You can also tweet to us @WPBeginner. We try our best to get back to you with an answer or point you in the right direction within 1 business day.

We love hearing from our users because that’s what keeps us motivated and inspired.

7. Need Plugin and Theme Recommendations?

Many beginners are concerned about which plugins they should use on their WordPress site or how to find the perfect theme. Visit WPBeginner’s Showcase section where we hand-pick the best WordPress plugins and themes. Here are some places to look at:

Want to know which WordPress plugins and tools we use on WPBeginner? Check out WPBeginner’s Blueprint where you will find all the tools and plugins we use to run WPBeginner.

8. Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems

Over the years we have built quite a few awesome resources. The two that you should absolutely check out are our WordPress dictionary and WordPress deals.

WPBeginner glossary is the best place for beginners to start and familiarize themselves with the WordPress lingo. In other words, we help you translate the WordPress gibberish that you may come across.

WPBeginner Deals is the best place to find exclusive discounts on WordPress products and services. Because we have such an awesome community, a lot of WordPress businesses have decided to offer our users exclusive discounts.

So the next time you decide to buy a premium WordPress plugin, theme, or another service, then it’s probably best to search our deals area. You may save 10 – 60% off.

9. Want to Learn More About WPBeginner?

Learn more about WPBeginner

Are you curious about who runs WPBeginner? Why it’s free and how it works? Check out our about page. We started out as a small blog to help our clients learn how to use WordPress. Since then we have grown and become one of the most popular destinations on the web for WordPress related resources.

You may also want to check out the personal website of our founder and CEO, Syed Balkhi. You can find him on Twitter as well.

10. What Else We Do?

WPBeginner is a project of Awesome Motive Inc. Our parent company runs hugely popular websites like List25.

We also sell some of the most successful WordPress related products such as Soliloquy, Envira Gallery, and ThemeLab.

One of our premier products is OptinMonster, the best lead generation solution on the web.

We hope this article helped you learn how you can make the most out of WPBeginner’s free WordPress resources. You may also want to take a look at how to learn WordPress in a week or less.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

To leave a comment please visit How to Make the Most Out of WPBeginner’s Free Resources on WPBeginner.

How to Add Email Subscriptions for Your WordPress Blog

Do you want to add email subscription to your WordPress blog? Recently, one of our users asked us what is the best way to subscribe by email option in WordPress? In this article, we will show you how to add email subscriptions to your WordPress… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit How to Add Email Subscriptions for Your WordPress Blog on WPBeginner.

Do you want to add email subscription to your WordPress blog? Recently, one of our users asked us what is the best way to subscribe by email option in WordPress? In this article, we will show you how to add email subscriptions to your WordPress blog and start building your email list.

WordPress Email Subscription

Why You Should Add Subscribe via Email Option to Your Site?

While social media is a great way to interact with your readers, email is the most reliable and direct way of communication. By offering email subscription on your blog, you can build a steady stream of regular visitors for your site.

Email subscription also gives your users yet another way to consume your content as some folks may not be on social media. See our complete guide on why you should start building your email list right away.

Often beginners think that adding email subscription is some complicated process. That’s not true at all.

The WordPress RSS to email subscription setup is quite straight forward, and it will take you less than 30 minutes. Once you set it up, your readers will automatically get daily or weekly emails containing your new content.

Now since there are multiple services and plugins that allow you to setup email subscriptions in WordPress, we will only cover the top 3 email subscription plugins and services.

MailChimp RSS to Email

MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing service providers. It is a paid service, but they do offer a free option for those with less than 2000 subscribers.

To quickly get started with MailChimp see our guide on using MailChimp and WordPress.

For the sake of this article, we are assuming that you have signed up for MailChimp and created your first email list. The next step is to setup an RSS to Email campaign.

Simply visit Campaigns » Create Campaign to create a new campaign.

Creating a new MailChimp Campaign

MailChimp will now show you different types of campaigns that you can create. You need to click on the RSS Driven Campaign option.

Creating RSS to email campaign in MailChimp

This will bring you to the campaign settings page where you need to provide your WordPress site’s RSS feed link. Your feed URL is yoursite.com/feed/

You will also need to choose the time and frequency of emails. You can choose to send daily, weekly, or monthly emails.

RSS to email settings

On the next page, you will have to provide campaign info. You will notice that MailChimp has already pre-filled most fields on the page. These settings should work for most blogs, but feel free to change them as needed.

Changing RSS to email campaign info

Now you need to click on the next button to select a template for your emails. MailChimp allows you to customize the template by adding your own logo, by-line, and any other elements that you may want to add.

Design your RSS to email template

When you are finished customizing, click on the next button and then click on Save and Exit.

That’s all, you have successfully created your WordPress RSS to Email newsletter using MailChimp.

To add the email subscription form to your website, simply visit the Lists page on your MailChimp account and click on the downward arrow icon next to your email list. After that select signup forms from the menu.

Creating MailChimp email signup form

MailChimp will then ask you, what kind of signup form you want to create. Select Embedded Forms.

On the next screen, you can customize your email sign up form and generate the embed code. You can then copy and paste this code in a text widget on your WordPress website.

Alternatively, you can use OptinMonster a plugin created by the WPBeginner team that will make this process a lot easier and offer you pretty signup forms, floating bars, slide-ins, exit-intent popups, and more.

Aweber RSS to Email

Aweber is another popular email marketing service provider. It’s a paid service, but they offer a 30 day free trial. A lot of bloggers and internet marketers prefer to use AWeber.

If you are just joining Aweber, then you will be directed to create your first email list when you login for the first time.

Once you are logged into your Aweber dashboard, simply visit Messages » Blog Broadcasts.

Creating blog broadcasts - RSS to email subscription in Aweber for WordPress

On the next screen, click on the green button labeled ‘Create a Blog Broadcast’.

Create a blog broadcast

This will bring you to the new page where you can setup your RSS to email campaign. First you need to enter the URL of your blog’s RSS feed. After that you need to provide a subject line for the emails.

Aweber RSS to email settings

Scroll down a little, and you can choose a template for your email. Select the one you like and then click on load template.

Choosing a template for your email

After choosing your template, scroll further down to configure time and frequency of emails. You can setup to send an email as soon as new item appears in your RSS feed. You can also send daily, weekly, or even monthly email digests.

Set email timings and frequency in Aweber

Once you are done setting up these options, you need to click on Save Blog Broadcast button.

That’s all, you have successfully set up Aweber RSS to email subscription.

If you have not already added the email signup form to your WordPress site, then the next step is to add a signup form to your WordPress sidebar. Simply click on the ‘Signup Forms’ in the Aweber dashboard to design your email signup form.

Creating Aweber Email Signup form

Follow the on screen instructions and save your form. Finally you will reach the publish section. There you need to click on the ‘I will install my form’ button and copy the form embed code.

Copy the email signup form code for your WordPress site

Now go to Appearance » Widgets on your WordPress site and paste this code in a text widget.

Alternatively, you can use OptinMonster a plugin created by the WPBeginner team that will make this process a lot easier and offer you pretty signup forms, floating bars, slide-ins, exit-intent popups, and more.

Using JetPack Subscriptions

JetPack is another option for users who want to add email subscriptions to their WordPress site. It is completely free, but the downside is that you don’t control your list.

JetPack Subscriptions is not a full newsletter. For example, if you wanted to send an email apart from your daily blog posts, then you will not be able to do that using JetPack Subscriptions. Also, if later you decide to move to a proper email marketing service which most bloggers do, then your users will have to opt-in to the email list again.

Having said that, here is how to add JetPack email subscriptions to your self hosted WordPress site. First thing you need to do is install and activate the JetPack plugin. Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu item labeled JetPack to your WordPress admin bar. Clicking on it will take you to the plugin’s settings page.

JetPack requires you to link your site to WordPress.com

JetPack plugin requires you to create a WordPress.com account and link your site with it (See our guide on the difference between WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress.org sites). If you have a WordPress.com account, then you can use that or you can create a free account.

Once you have connected JetPack to WordPress.com, you need to visit Appearance » Widgets. Drag and drop Blog Subscriptions (JetPack) widget to a sidebar and then click on Save button store your widget settings.

You can also enable subscription option below your comment form. Visit Settings » Discussion page and scroll down to the JetPack subscription section. Check the box next to blog subspcription and comment subscription options. Click on the save changes button to store your settings.

Adding subscription options in comment form

That’s all you have successfully set up JetPack email subscriptions on your WordPress site. If you ever want to move to another email service, here is how to switch from JetPack subscriptions to MailChimp, Aweber, etc.

We hope this article helped you add email subscription to your WordPress blog. You may also want to check out how we increased our email subscribers by 600% using OptinMonster.

While there are dozens of other plugins and services that allow you to setup email subscriptions for your WordPress blog, above are the ones that we recommend. For those who are wondering, we use MailChimp and OptinMonster to handle WPBeginner email subscriptions. Here’s a tutorial on how to create a daily and weekly email newsletter in WordPress similar to WPBeginner.

We hope this article helped you learn how to properly add email subscriptions to your WordPress blog. You may also want to check out our email marketing 101 guide to kickstart your email list.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

To leave a comment please visit How to Add Email Subscriptions for Your WordPress Blog on WPBeginner.

Getting Started with Windows 10

I’ve been making Windows 10 videos at night to help out friends and family, and because it’s fun.

NOTE: Please share my videos with your family, friends, and social networks with this easy to remember URL: http://hanselman.com/windows10

Windows 10 comes out July 29th, and it takes what was familiar about Windows 7 and what was great about Windows 8 and takes it forward. It’s nice on a tablet, it’s nice on a laptop, and I’m on my desktop with it now. Features like game streaming from an Xbox are amazing. The Office Touch apps look great.

I’ve just finished a new one where I show what the Start Menu will look like immediately after your upgrade. I’ll show some tips you perhaps didn’t know about like pinning links to apps to the Start Menu, Task Bar, *and* the Desktop. I’ll show you how to pin Control Panel sections to Start as well. You can still add common icons to your Desktop like My PC, but you can also add Downloads, Documents, Music, and More to the Start Menu itself.

Customizing the Start Menu after Upgrading to Windows 10

Detailed Tour of Windows 10 in 8 minutes

A complete tour of the new Windows 10 Control Panel

How to prepare for an upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 10

if you have ideas on new videos I can do, let me know in the comments!


Sponsor: Big thanks to our friends at Infragistics for sponsoring the feed this week! Responsive web design on any browser, any platform and any device with Infragistics jQuery/HTML5 Controls.  Get super-charged performance with the world’s fastest HTML5 Grid –Download for free now!


© 2015 Scott Hanselman. All rights reserved.
     

I've been making Windows 10 videos at night to help out friends and family, and because it's fun.

NOTE: Please share my videos with your family, friends, and social networks with this easy to remember URL: http://hanselman.com/windows10

Windows 10 comes out July 29th, and it takes what was familiar about Windows 7 and what was great about Windows 8 and takes it forward. It's nice on a tablet, it's nice on a laptop, and I'm on my desktop with it now. Features like game streaming from an Xbox are amazing. The Office Touch apps look great.

I've just finished a new one where I show what the Start Menu will look like immediately after your upgrade. I'll show some tips you perhaps didn't know about like pinning links to apps to the Start Menu, Task Bar, *and* the Desktop. I'll show you how to pin Control Panel sections to Start as well. You can still add common icons to your Desktop like My PC, but you can also add Downloads, Documents, Music, and More to the Start Menu itself.

Customizing the Start Menu after Upgrading to Windows 10

Detailed Tour of Windows 10 in 8 minutes

A complete tour of the new Windows 10 Control Panel

How to prepare for an upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 10

if you have ideas on new videos I can do, let me know in the comments!


Sponsor: Big thanks to our friends at Infragistics for sponsoring the feed this week! Responsive web design on any browser, any platform and any device with Infragistics jQuery/HTML5 Controls.  Get super-charged performance with the world’s fastest HTML5 Grid -Download for free now!



© 2015 Scott Hanselman. All rights reserved.
     

Why You Should Always Use the Latest Version of WordPress

Every time a new WordPress update comes out, we get several emails from users asking whether it’s safe to update their WordPress site. Are you wondering whether you should update your WordPress to the latest version? Want to know the pros and cons of updating… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit Why You Should Always Use the Latest Version of WordPress on WPBeginner.

Every time a new WordPress update comes out, we get several emails from users asking whether it’s safe to update their WordPress site. Are you wondering whether you should update your WordPress to the latest version? Want to know the pros and cons of updating WordPress? In this article, we will explain why it is crucial that you always use the latest version of WordPress as well as show you how to properly update WordPress.

Update WordPress

WordPress is free, and it is developed by a community of developers. With each new release, they fix bugs, add new features, improve performance, and enhance existing features to stay up to date with new industry standards.

So in other words, when you do not update your WordPress site, you are risking your website security and missing out on new features / improvements.

Let’s take a look at pros and cons of updating WordPress.

1. Security

Security is arguably the most important reason why you should keep your WordPress website up to date.

WordPress currently powers 23% of all websites in the world. Due to it’s immense popularity, WordPress is a popular target for hackers, malicious code distributors, data thieves, and wanna be hackers.

CMS Marketshare

Since WordPress is open source, anyone can study the source code to learn and improve it. However it also means that hackers can study it too and find ways to break into websites.

Now the good part is that not all hackers are bad. There are a lot more good hackers than bad ones which means that security experts around the world can study the code and properly report security bugs / fixes. Every time a security vulnerability is reported, the core WordPress team works diligently to release an update that fixes the issue.

This means that if you are not using the latest version of WordPress, then you are using software with known security vulnerabilities. Hackers can search for websites running the older version, and you may become a victim of a sophisticated attack.

Not just WordPress itself, plugins can also be exploited by hackers. You need to make sure that all your WordPress plugins, themes, and the core itself is always up to date.

2. Cool New Features

Each major WordPress release comes with new features and changes to the software. For example, WordPress 4.0 came with improved plugin install experience, 4.1 introduced inline image editing, and 4.2 came with faster plugin updates.

WordPress 4.2 introduced faster plugin updates

Now if you were using an older version of WordPress, then your WordPress experience would be a lot different than someone using the latest version.

You will have trouble finding WordPress help online because you are using an older version. Users on WordPress support forums will assume that you are using the latest version of WordPress.

3. Speed

Each new WordPress version improves performance

WordPress developers are always trying to make things faster. Each new release comes with several performance improvements that makes WordPress run faster and more efficient.

For example, WordPress 4.2 improved JS performance for navigation menus, and WordPress 4.1 improved complex queries which helped with performance of sites using those queries.

Since speed is a huge factor in SEO, you should definitely keep your WordPress updated to ensure maximum performance benefits.

4. Bug Fixes

Older WordPress versions may have bugs

Despite the rigorous testing of major WordPress releases, sometimes bugs may slip through the cracks. That’s why there are timely minor WordPress releases (the ones with X.X.X) to account for that. For example, the most recent WordPress 4.2.3 update fixed 20 bugs from the 4.2 release.

Now if you go to WordPress support forums asking for help, the first advice you will get is to update WordPress because that may fix the issue. If you insist on not updating WordPress, then you will be unable to receive help.

5. Compatibility (or NOT)

Often plugin and theme developers coordinate their updates with major WordPress releases to ensure they’re taking advantage of newly available features and enhancements.

However in some cases, an update can break your existing WordPress plugins if they weren’t following the best practices and coding standards.

This is why it is crucial that you keep regular WordPress backups.

To sum this up, the only downside is that in some rare cases your site will break. However the upside is that you have:

  • Improved WordPress security
  • Cool new WordPress features
  • Faster WordPress experience
  • A bug free WordPress website
  • Better compatibility

Now that you know why it’s important to keep your WordPress site updated, let’s take a look at how to update WordPress.

How to Keep Your WordPress Site Updated

Updating your WordPress core, plugins, and themes whenever there is a new update for them is fairly easy. WordPress comes with a built-in update notification system. It highlights the number of available updates when you log into your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress updates screen

All you need to do is visit Dashboard » Updates page and install those updates. This is a one-click process.

However since many website owners do not login to their WordPress dashboard daily, they may not even know that there is an update available for days. Thankfully, you have a few options.

If you’re using WordPress 3.7 or above, then automatic updates are turned on for minor releases (which are reserved for security and bugfixes). You can turn on automatic updates for major releases, plugins as well as themes.

Alternatively, you can get email notifications when there is a new update for your WordPress site.

Get Email Notifications for Updates in WordPress

When you’re busy running your business, logging into your site to check for updates is usually the last thing on your mind. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could get an email notification whenever there is an update on your WordPress sites?

Well that’s possible.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Updates Notifier plugin. Upon activation, visit Settings » Updates Notifier to configure the plugin settings.

WordPress update notification plugin settings

This plugin uses WordPress cron to check your site for updates every hour. You can change that to once or twice daily. When there is a new update available, this plugin will send you an email notification.

By default it checks for WordPress core update, plugin updates, and theme updates. All you need to do is click on save settings with test email button.

If you do not recieve the test email from the plugin, then check out our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

Auto Install WordPress Updates

You can automate the process even further. WordPress allows you to enable automatic updates for major releases, plugins, and themes.

This option is risky if you’re not using managed WordPress hosting. Managed WordPress hosting companies automatically update your site to major WordPress versions and keep an eye out if something breaks.

If you turn on automatic updates, then there is a slight risk that your site may break and you won’t be online to fix it right away. Having that said, if you like to enable automatic updates, then there are two ways to do it (plugin method and code method).

Let’s take a look at the plugin method first.

First you need to install and activate the Easy Updates Manager plugin. Upon activation, you need to visit Dashboard » Update Options page to configure the plugin.

Setting up WordPress automatic updates

Now you need to scroll down to automatic updates section where you can enable automatic updates for core, plugins, themes, and translation files. Once you are done, simply save your settings.

Enable Auto Updates Using wp-config File

You can enable automatic updates for WordPress core by simply adding this line to your wp-config.php file.

define('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true);

If you also want to automatically update your themes and plugins, then you would need to add this to your theme’s functions.php file or a site specific plugin.

add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );
add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' );

We hope this article helped you learn why you should always use the latest version of WordPress. You may also want to check out our expert pick of 20 must have WordPress plugins for 2015.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

To leave a comment please visit Why You Should Always Use the Latest Version of WordPress on WPBeginner.

16 Best Plugins to Improve WordPress Comments

Comments are an integral part of many WordPress blogs as an effective way to engage users and build community. The default WordPress commenting system is good but it is quite plain and basic. However, you can extend the this basic commenting system into a powerful… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit 16 Best Plugins to Improve WordPress Comments on WPBeginner.

Comments are an integral part of many WordPress blogs as an effective way to engage users and build community. The default WordPress commenting system is good but it is quite plain and basic. However, you can extend the this basic commenting system into a powerful user engagement platform for your website. In this article, we will show the best plugins to improve WordPress comments and take them to the next level.

1. De:comments

Preview of De:comments enabled comments in WordPress

De:comments is an all in one plugin to totally transform your WordPress commenting system. It allows users to vote and downvote comments, share invidiual comments, login with existing social accounts, embed images, Gifs, videos, tweets, and more. Take a look at our detailed guide on how to improve WordPress comments with De:comments.

2. Yoast Comment Hacks

Yoast Comment Hacks

Yoast Comment Hacks is a suite of tools that helps make comment management easier. It allows you to email comment authors from WordPress, email all users who commented on a specific post, provide cleaner comment notification email, redirect first time commenter to a thank you page, assign comments to a specific thread, and more. Take a look at our guide on how to install and setup Yoast Comment Hacks for WordPress.

3. Basic Comment Quicktags

Basic comment quicktags in a comment form

This plugin simply adds quicktag buttons in WordPress comment form’s textarea. This allows users to quickly add links, make text bold or emphasized, and add blockquotes by pressing the buttons. See out tutorial on how to add quicktags in WordPress comment form.

4. Subscribe to Comments Reloaded

Subscribe to Comments

Comments are a powerful way to build communities. But how would people know if there is a new comment after they read your post? Subscribe to Comments Reloaded allows users to subscribe to comments and receive instant email notifications whenever there is a new comment on the article. Users can unsubscribe at any time and manage their own subscriptions on your site. We have detailed tutorial on how to allow users to subscribe to comments in WordPress with more details.

5. Simple Comment Editing

Simple comment editing

Sometimes when a user submits a comment, they immediately realize they have made a spelling mistake or some other error. Simple Comment Editing provides a users a flexible time during which they can edit their own comments on your site. For more details, take a look at our tutorial on how to allow users to edit comments in WordPress.

6. No Page Comment

Disable comments on pages and media attachments

By default, WordPress would show a comment box on your pages and even media attachments. You can edit a page and turn off comments. But if you have many pages, then it becomes a chore. No Page Comment plugin allows you to easily switch off comments for your pages and media attachments in WordPress. For more instructions, check out our tutorial on how to turn off or disable comments in WordPress pages.

7. oEmbed in Comments

oEmbed in WordPress comments

WordPress allows you to easily embed videos, tweets, and much more by simply pasting the URL in the post editor. However, if a user posted a YouTube video URL, Flickr photo, or a tweet URL in the comments it would appear just as text. oEmbed in Comments plugin enabled the oEmbed functionality for WordPress comments as well. This allows your users to easily embed videos, gifs, photos, tweets, status updates, from a large variety of oEmbed supported providers. Take a look at our guide on how to add videos and more in WordPress comments with oEmbed.

8. Moderator Role

Adding a moderator user role in WordPress

Comment moderation can become very time consuming for large and busy websites. Moderator Role plugin allows you to assign the moderator role to your community members, staff or loyal users. This will give them access to comment moderation area in WordPress and they will be able to approve comments on your site. Take a look at our guide on how to allow blog users to moderate comments in WordPress for more details.

9. Tako Movable Comments

Sometimes you may want to create a new version of an older post on your site. While you can easily copy paste content from old post to new, there is no easier way to move the comments. Tako Movable comments allows you to move comments from one post to another. See our tutorial on how to move comments between WordPress posts for more detailed instructions.

10. Comments Since Last Visit

A new comment highlighted in WordPress

This plugin is available from GitHub see our guide on how to install WordPress plugins from GitHub. Comments Since Last Visit simply adds a class to the new comments since a users last visit to the post. It sets a cookie when the user visits a post for the first time. On next visits it compares the dates and adds the CSS class to new comments. See our step by step tutorial on how to highlight new comments for returning visitors in WordPress.

11. Featured Comments

Feature or bury comments

Not all comments on your website are equal. Some comments add value to the discussion and some derail the conversation. Featured Comments allow you to feature high quality comments and bury irrelevant comments. See our tutorial on how to feature/bury comments in WordPress for more details.

12. Comment Approved

Comment Approved notification settings

Comment moderation is the most reliable way to deal with comment spam. However, when a user leaves comment, they don’t get notified when their comment is published. Comment Approved plugin sends email notification when you approve a new comment. We have more detailed instructions in our guide how to notify users when their comments is approved in WordPress.

13. DX Unanswered Comments

Unanswered Comments

Comments are good for user engagement but you need to communicate with users by answering their comments. Unanswered Comments plugin allows you to easily filter unanswered comments. You can sort comments and then reply to all comments. See our article how to filter unanswered comments in WordPress for more details.

14. WordPress Comments Fields

Comment Form Custom Fields

By default, the comment area shows 4 fields (name, email, website address, and message). Comment Form Custom Fields allows you to add more fields to your WordPress comment form. The plugin will display the data submitted through custom fields as comment meta. See our step by step tutorial on how to add custom fields to comments form in WordPress.

15. Send email only on Reply to My Comment

Subscribe to comment replies

This plugin allows users to subscribe to comments and receive notifications when someone replies to their comments. This is helpful for users who just want to receive notifications for just their own comments. See this tutorial on how to notify users only on replies to their WordPress comments.

16. Control Comment Length

Control Comment Length

By default WordPress comments have no limit. Users can leave very small comments which make no sense at all, or spammers can leave very long comments. Recently, it was discovered that some hackers tried to hide their malicious code in extremely lengthy comments which executed when the comments were viewed on the admin screen. Control Comment Length allows you to set minimum and maxium character limits for comments in WordPress. See our tutorial on how to limit comment length in WordPress for more details.

We hope this article helped you find the best plugins to improve WordPress comments. You may also want to take a look at our guide on 12 vital tips and tools to combat comment spam in WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

To leave a comment please visit 16 Best Plugins to Improve WordPress Comments on WPBeginner.

How to Fix Category and Comment Count After WordPress Import

Are you noticing an incorrect comment count after the WordPress import? Importing a WordPress site using the built-in importer can sometimes mess up your WordPress comments count. While all the comments are safely imported and visible in the admin area, your posts will show an… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit How to Fix Category and Comment Count After WordPress Import on WPBeginner.

Are you noticing an incorrect comment count after the WordPress import? Importing a WordPress site using the built-in importer can sometimes mess up your WordPress comments count. While all the comments are safely imported and visible in the admin area, your posts will show an incorrect comment count on your website. This same import error can also impact category count and custom taxonomy count. In this article, we will show you how to fix category and comments count after importing WordPress.

Fix Category and Comment Count

As you noticed in the screenshot above, after the import our comment count and category count is showing 0 instead of the actual number. Let’s take a look at how to fix it.

First you need to create a complete WordPress backup of your site. You should do this every time you are going to perform a major change on your site. We recommend using BackupBuddy, it is the most comprehensive WordPress backup plugin on the market.

Once you have made the backup, let’s move on to the next step.

Open a plain text editor like Notepad and simply copy and paste the following code:

<?php
include("wp-config.php");
if (!mysql_connect(DB_HOST, DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD)) {  die('Could not connect: ' . mysql_error());  }
if (!mysql_select_db(DB_NAME)) {  die('Could not connect: ' . mysql_error());  }

$result = mysql_query("SELECT term_taxonomy_id FROM ".$table_prefix."term_taxonomy");
while ($row = mysql_fetch_array($result)) {
  $term_taxonomy_id = $row['term_taxonomy_id'];
  echo "term_taxonomy_id: ".$term_taxonomy_id." count = ";
  $countresult = mysql_query("SELECT count(*) FROM ".$table_prefix."term_relationships WHERE term_taxonomy_id = '$term_taxonomy_id'");
  $countarray = mysql_fetch_array($countresult);
  $count = $countarray[0];
  echo $count."<br />";
 mysql_query("UPDATE ".$table_prefix."term_taxonomy SET count = '$count' WHERE term_taxonomy_id = '$term_taxonomy_id'");
		}

$result = mysql_query("SELECT ID FROM ".$table_prefix."posts");
while ($row = mysql_fetch_array($result)) {
  $post_id = $row['ID'];
  echo "post_id: ".$post_id." count = ";
  $countresult = mysql_query("SELECT count(*) FROM ".$table_prefix."comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '$post_id' AND comment_approved = 1");
  $countarray = mysql_fetch_array($countresult);
  $count = $countarray[0];
  echo $count."<br />";
  mysql_query("UPDATE ".$table_prefix."posts SET comment_count = '$count' WHERE ID = '$post_id'");
		}
?>

You need to replace DB_HOST, DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD with your WordPress database host (usually localhost), database username, and password.

You can find all this information by logging into your WordPress hosting cPanel or by looking at your wp-config.php file using a file manager.

Once you have replaced the information, save this file as comments-fix.php on your desktop.

Now you will need to upload this file to your site’s root directory. You can do that by using an FTP client or by using the file manager in your web hosting control panel.

After uploading the file to your website, you need to open your web browser and go to this file:

http://example.com/comments-fix.php

Replace example.com with your site’s address.

Visiting this file in your browser will run the script which simply loops through your posts, category, tags, comments, etc and update the count.

Fixing taxonomy terms and comment count numbers

Important: Once you’re done fixing your WordPress comment count, you need to delete comments-fix.php file from your server.

That’s all, we hope this article helped you update comments count after importing WordPress. You may also want to check out our guide on the most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Google+.

To leave a comment please visit How to Fix Category and Comment Count After WordPress Import on WPBeginner.

Bring Kindness back to Open Source

Nick Burns - Your Company's Computer GuyWhen you’re rude/crisp/sharp/whatever to someone in a PR or Issue, your meanness may have turned off the next generation of open source committer. It’s that simple. When folks are just starting out as Code Newbies their initial interactions in this new world matter.

I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. There’s knowledge and (hopefully) wisdom that I’ve gained in all that time, assuming it’s not the same year of experience twenty times. Along with all that time that I (and you!) put in comes great responsibility. We need to think as a community about stewardship, sustainability, and successor management.

There are folks in open source – successful folks – that think that all this talk of “niceness” is overrated. “Talk is cheap, show me the code” is a fun thing to say. But no, talk isn’t cheap. It’s not cheap, yes, it takes time and patience, but it IS important.

As we try to move towards more representative teams and expand the leadership beyond the old network, this somehow controversial idea of being welcoming and patient to new people is even more important.

There are many folks out there with skills and knowledge that are not joining open source because their initial attempts to contributed were rebuffed.

Jesse Pollak posted two great tweets last week that really point out what’s wrong with open source, especially for new people just starting out.

What’s wrong with open source software communities in one DM. Let’s change this. pic.twitter.com/ydCkWae3sl

— Jesse Pollak (@jessepollak) July 18, 2015

Jesse pledged a “no meanness” rule. I join him in this pledge and encourage you to also.

New rule: no meanness on OSS libraries I help maintain. Even people asking not-so-informed Qs should be met with kindness and gratitude.

— Jesse Pollak (@jessepollak) July 1, 2015

I’ve thought similar things before.

Be kind to amateurs, there are more of them than professionals and they’re looking to all of you to see how to act.

— Scott Hanselman (@shanselman) April 14, 2015

Sound like too much work? There are ways to built a welcoming culture into the process. Here’s some ideas. I’m interested in yours also.

  • Make a contributing.md.
    • Gently point folks to it.
    • If you get a lot of newbies, write a kind form letter and funnel them towards forums or mentors.
    • Create a Getting started friendly FAQ.
  • Tag issues with “up-for-grabs” in your repositories.
    • Classify by difficulty. Easy, Medium, Hard, Insane.
  • Point new people towards samples, easier parts of the code, docs, tutorials, etc. Grow your enthusiasts.
  • Join http://up-for-grabs.net
  • Consider applying the Contributor Covenant or a similar CoC to your project. Enforce it.

Have you helped with an open source project? Did you had a bad initial experience? Did it slow you down?

Perhaps you had a great one and your first pull request was awesome? I’d like to hear your story.

Sound off in the comments!


Sponsor: Big thanks to Infragistics for sponsoring the feed this week. Responsive web design on any browser, any platform and any device with Infragistics jQuery/HTML5 Controls.  Get super-charged performance with the world’s fastest HTML5 Grid – Download for free now!


© 2015 Scott Hanselman. All rights reserved.
     

Nick Burns - Your Company's Computer GuyWhen you're rude/crisp/sharp/whatever to someone in a PR or Issue, your meanness may have turned off the next generation of open source committer. It's that simple. When folks are just starting out as Code Newbies their initial interactions in this new world matter.

I've been doing this for over 20 years. There's knowledge and (hopefully) wisdom that I've gained in all that time, assuming it's not the same year of experience twenty times. Along with all that time that I (and you!) put in comes great responsibility. We need to think as a community about stewardship, sustainability, and successor management.

There are folks in open source - successful folks - that think that all this talk of "niceness" is overrated. "Talk is cheap, show me the code" is a fun thing to say. But no, talk isn't cheap. It's not cheap, yes, it takes time and patience, but it IS important.

As we try to move towards more representative teams and expand the leadership beyond the old network, this somehow controversial idea of being welcoming and patient to new people is even more important.

There are many folks out there with skills and knowledge that are not joining open source because their initial attempts to contributed were rebuffed.

Jesse Pollak posted two great tweets last week that really point out what's wrong with open source, especially for new people just starting out.

Jesse pledged a "no meanness" rule. I join him in this pledge and encourage you to also.

I've thought similar things before.

Sound like too much work? There are ways to built a welcoming culture into the process. Here's some ideas. I'm interested in yours also.

  • Make a contributing.md.
    • Gently point folks to it.
    • If you get a lot of newbies, write a kind form letter and funnel them towards forums or mentors.
    • Create a Getting started friendly FAQ.
  • Tag issues with "up-for-grabs" in your repositories.
    • Classify by difficulty. Easy, Medium, Hard, Insane.
  • Point new people towards samples, easier parts of the code, docs, tutorials, etc. Grow your enthusiasts.
  • Join http://up-for-grabs.net
  • Consider applying the Contributor Covenant or a similar CoC to your project. Enforce it.

Have you helped with an open source project? Did you had a bad initial experience? Did it slow you down?

Perhaps you had a great one and your first pull request was awesome? I'd like to hear your story.

Sound off in the comments!


Sponsor: Big thanks to Infragistics for sponsoring the feed this week. Responsive web design on any browser, any platform and any device with Infragistics jQuery/HTML5 Controls.  Get super-charged performance with the world’s fastest HTML5 Grid - Download for free now!



© 2015 Scott Hanselman. All rights reserved.