Commit Access Conversations with JJJ

Last week I had the pleasure of sitting down with my good friend John James Jacoby and recorded an episode for his new podcast Commit Access.  I always enjoy chatting with John and that’s exactly what his new podcast format is, intimate conversations with WordPress Contributors. We had a good time talking about the early days of BuddyPress, contributing to the project, starting and growing WebDevStudios, life, and much more!

Check out my episode and some of the other episodes John has released. I’m hoping to do more podcasting in 2017 and might even start a new show! Stay tuned…

My 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

It’s the end of another year and a great time to reflect and set goals for the upcoming year. I’ve decided to make a public New Year’s Resolution list this year to help me stick with it. Here are my resolutions for 2017.

Blogging

This year I published 1 blog post (not including this post). That’s terrible! In 2015 I challenged myself with publishing 100 blog posts in a year, which I failed at. My goal for 2017 is to publish 1 blog post a week, for a total of 52 blog posts. I feel this is a much more reasonable goal for myself. I use to blog pretty regularly and I really enjoy looking back through my old archives of posts. What am I going to blog about? Good question! WordPress (derp), growing a business, life, random thoughts, who knows, but I do know I will start clicking the publish button more regularly in the new year!

Chess

One of my favorite games to play since I was a kid was chess. It’s a thinking game and one of the main reasons I’m drawn to it. Even though I love the game, I’ve never been great at chess. My goal for 2017 is to play one game of chess per day. I’m going to use the Lichess website, which is free and open source chess server software project. The site allows you to play against online players all over the world, which will make the game more interesting than a computer opponent. If you want to challenge me to a game you can find my profile at: williamsba.

Weight

Everyone’s favorite resolution is around losing weight, right? A few years ago I made a huge lifestyle change and lost some weight. Since then going to the gym and working out have been a regular part of my life. Over the years I’ve switched gyms a few times and now am a regular at T1 CrossFit. I have gained some of the weight back, but I have also added more muscle in the process. The one area I haven’t been good at is eating healthy. I have a 1-year old son now, which makes the excuse of ordering unhealthy delivery food that much easier. My weight goal for 2017 is to get closer to a weight of 200lbs and stay there. This will include hitting the gym more often, getting back into running (ugh!), and maintaining a healthier diet.

I want to set very reasonable goals for 2017 and I think I have done that. I am going to push myself to make sure I stick to my goals and will report back with how I’m doing throughout the new year!

My First CrossFit Open

A few weeks ago I completed my first CrossFit Open. My friend John described the CrossFit Open really well in his recap post:

The CrossFit Open is an annual event where each week for 5 weeks the global CrossFit community does a series of workouts (1 per week) and we all track our scores against online against each other.

I really didn’t know what to expect going into the Open, but I quickly learned it was a very fun and extremely challenging event. Each week the workout was announced at 8pm ET on Thursday and you had until 8pm ET on Monday to complete your workout and submit your score. The anticipation of the workout announcement each week was actually an unexpected highlight of my week. Not knowing what was coming made it even more exciting, albeit a bit nerve-racking, and I found myself waiting and watching the live announcement posts.

I also didn’t expect how nervous I would be going into each workout. It truly did feel like a competition, especially since everyone had a judge assigned to them to track their score. I found myself pushing hard towards a better score and while my scores weren’t amazing, I truly felt like I did a good job for the level I’m at.

At the end of it all there was a huge sense of accomplishment and ultimately I was very proud of myself for completing the event. My goal for next year is to compete in the CrossFit Open at full RX.

Below are the 5 CrossFit Open 2016 workouts and my scores for each.

Workout 16.1 – Scaled

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:

  • 25-ft. front rack walking lunge – 45 lb
  • 8 burpees
  • 25-ft. front rack walking lunge – 45 lb
  • 8 jumping chin-over-bar pull-ups

My Score: 161

Workout 16.2 – Scaled

Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:

  • 25 hanging knee raises
  • 50 single-unders
  • 15 squat cleans, 95 / 55 lb.

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:

  • 25 hanging knee raises
  • 50 single-unders
  • 13 squat cleans, 115 / 75 lb.

This workout keeps going for 5 rounds stopping at 20 minutes, but I didn’t make it past the second round.

My Score: 171

Workout 16.3 – Scaled

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:

  • 10 power snatches – 45 lb
  • 5 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups

My Score: 75

Workout 16.4 – Scaled

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:

  • 55 deadlifts – 135-lb
  • 55 wall-ball shots – 20 lb 9-ft target
  • 55-calorie row
  • 55 hand release push-ups

My Score: 130

Workout 16.5 – Scaled

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:

  • Thrusters
  • Burpees

My Score: 28:55

Funny Wifi Names

Last week we switched to Verizon FiOS for our home internet.  I posted a status update on Facebook about my new wifi name: Wu Tang LAN.  I received a lot of responses from friends about their wifi names.  The list was too good not to share!

Funny Wifi Names

  • Wu Tang LAN
  • The LAN Before Time
  • LAN of the Dead
  • Your Wifi is in Another Castle
  • Bill Wi the Science Fi
  • It Hurts When IP
  • Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wifi
  • A LAN Down by The River

Do you have a funny wifi name not listed?  Leave it in the comments!

#BenchPress at WordCamp Philly

WordCamp Philly is this weekend and once again I am co-organizing the event!  As part of my new #BenchPress initiative, I am planning an event for Sunday morning to get everyone involved in a fun activity.

The WordCamp Philly #BenchPress plan is to meet at 11:30am in front of the Art Museum steps (Rocky steps / 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130).  We’ll kick off the workout by running up the steps just like Rocky did!  Next we’ll have a nice walk along Schuylkill River Trail and continue all the way to The University of the Sciences for Contributor Day.  The walk will be approximately 3 miles and we’ll take a nice leisurely pace as we see the beautiful sites in the Philadelphia area.  Below is a map of our route (blue trail):

Screenshot 2015-06-12 10.41.38

This event is open to everyone who wants to spend some time with other WordCampers and get a little exercise in!  If you are interested in joining us, please join the #BenchPress group on Facebook.  We’ll coordinate more info and day of meet-up in the group.  Let’s get moving #BenchPress!

Have You Seen Hookr.io Lately?

Early last year a new online resource was launched for WordPress developers called Hookr.io. The website is described as The WordPress Hook/API Index, but it is so much more.

hookr-wordpress-resourceFast forward to today and Hookr.io has just launched a new beta layout. Not only does the website feature documentation for WordPress Core, but it also includes information on popular plugins and themes.  Hookr.io displays more than just action and filter hooks, it also includes all Classes, Constants, Functions, and Shortcodes available.  You can easily filter through the data to find exactly what you are looking for.  The new beta also features a more simplified UI and is device agnostic.

Hookr.io is a very valuable resource for all WordPress developers.   If you haven’t already, bookmark this website.  You will thank me later!

WordCamp Philly Celebrates 5th Anniversary

WordCamp Philly 2015 has been announced and this year is shaping up to be the best yet! This will be the fifth WordCamp Philly, which is an amazing milestone! There are still plenty of cities that have never had a WordCamp (looking at you Indianapolis), so I am extremely proud to see our event enter its fifth year.

rocky-wapuu-300x300So what’s the secret to organizing an event that lasts? The community. We have an amazing WordPress Community in the Philadelphia area. We have not one, but two very active Meetup groups focused on WordPress. The Philadelphia WordPress Meetup Group, which I help organize, as well as the Philly ‘burbs WordPress Meetup, which moves around each month to a different area in the Philly burbs. This community has helped us form a solid organizing team as well as an awesome group of Volunteers for the event over the years. Without a strong community WordCamp Philly would not be where it is at today.

We are planning another awesome event this year. Expect plenty of talented speakers presenting on topics for all skills levels, a few fun panels, plenty of food and snacks, and a few surprises! I will also be organizing a Philadelphia walkabout Sunday morning for anyone who has joined my #BenchPress initiative.

WordCamp Philly tickets are now on sale, so be sure to get your ticket while they last. We also have sponsorship packages available if you’d like to help support the event and promote your company to hundreds of local tech enthusiasts.

WordCamp Philly 2015 is going to be the best event yet. I look forward to seeing you all there!

What is #BenchPress?

In July of 2010 my wife and I decided to make a lifestyle change. We started working out, eating healthier, and taking care of our bodies. Since my lifestyle change I’ve been a regularly gym goer. One problem I have always struggled with is trying to stay (semi) healthy when traveling and attending events.

Fast forward to the WordCamp London afterparty, and I was having a conversation with Mendel Kurland about this struggle. Mendel, who travels to way more events that I do, was also struggling with this exact issue. When attending an event in a different city, it’s so easy to eat garbage food, drink garbage drinks, and just treat your body like garbage, if only for a few days.

After a few more drinks (I get the irony), #BenchPress was born! So, what is #BenchPress exactly? #BenchPress is an informal group of WordPress community members who want to help each other live a healthier lifestyle.

The rules of #BenchPress are simple:

  • If #BenchPress members are at the same event, they must participate in at least ONE workout together. This could be a walk around the city, a hike up a mountain, a morning jog, a Crossfit class, or anything that gets your heart rate going!
  • You must help motivate other #BenchPress members to workout. This is true whether you are at an event are not.
  • Tag all workouts with #BenchPress

Pretty easy right? We want to create a group of individuals to help keep each other motivated and work together to stay healthier when on the road. #BenchPress doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in some good local eats and drinks, but imagine how much more accomplished you would feel if you knew you ran/walked a 5K before you ate some of that local delicious BBQ? I know I would!

If you are interested in joining, please check out the #BenchPress Facebook Group. If there is enough interest I’ll launch a website to help track our progress. Are you ready to take the #BenchPress challenge?

Interview on WPRoundTable

Last night I was interviewed on the WPRoundTable podcast. I had an awesome time hanging out with Kyle, Jason, Kellen, and Marc. We covered a lot of topics including the start of WebDevStudios, my history of podcasting, writing books, and AppPresser/Reactor. Check out the interview below:

If you haven’t heard of the WPRoundTable podcast, you should definitely take a look. They’ve interviewed a number of amazing people in the WordPress community, including Brad Parbs and Ben Lobaugh from WebDevStudios.

I love seeing more WordPress podcasts on the scene. WPRoundTable podcast is a fun show that has a very bright future.

Multilingual WordPress Multisite Network

WordPress is hugely popular, powering over 23% of the entire internet today. As you can imagine, a good portion of these websites are not in English. Over the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to work on more multilingual sites in WordPress. One thing I have learned is that WordPress Multisite is a perfect fit for a network of multilingual sites. Each site in the network can be configured for a different language, making the administration much easier.

One of the big challenges I’ve faced is the relationship between the content across the language sites in a network. Imagine having an About page on your English site and an About page on your German site. Wouldn’t it be awesome if WordPress knew that these two pages were related? Well, now you can with an awesome plugin called Multilingual Press.

I had a chance to sit down with Caspar Hübinger at WordCamp London for a demo and I was blown away. Multilingual Press lets you create relationships between sites in your Multisite network, set a main language for each site, and start writing. When editing a piece of content connected to multiple languages, you can edit all of the language content on the same edit screen, as shown in the screenshot below. The content will then be updated in the appropriate language site in the network.

mlppro-edit-post

If you work with WordPress in different languages you need to check out Multilingual Press. It’s a multilingual game changer!