Recap: Share Your Favorite Productivity Tool or Tip

At our September 2018 Share Your Favorite Productivity Tool or Tip meetup this week, our West Metro Detroit WordPress members discussed:

  • Several WordCamps going on in the area!  Cost to attend works out to about $20 per day. If you learn one thing, it’s worth it!
  • WordPress 4.9.9 is in process – last WP release before 5.0. Coming in November 2018. Keep up to date on 4.9.9 release information on
  • ProBlogger posted a helpful article today – 8 Important Admin Tasks to Do When Launching a New Blog.
  • On that note, when you have a post regarding number of things such as the above example, it’s best to leave the number out of the URL. That way when the list is updated in the future, the link doesn’t change.
  • Having dates in the permalink is the default on

During our meetup, several members shared their favorite productivity apps, Canva, Zello and Hushed.

Canva is a slick, free online graphics editing tool which allows the easy creation of custom images for web and print.

Many of the images you see on Pinterest are created with tools such as Canva, and there is an entire section of layouts for use in social media, amongst many other projects!

Zello is a free, push to talk two way radio app that turns your phone into a walkie talkie. Create an account and invite your friends to connect – you can also create channels in which you can add contacts and “broadcast” to the group or communicate privately.

Works anywhere you have a mobile data signal!

Hushed is a service providing disposable phone numbers, custom voicemail and call forwarding. Especially helpful since Skype has discontinued the personal recording of outgoing greetings!


Here are some of the resources shared during the meetup. If I missed any, share them in the comments.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the meetup and helped to answer our members’ questions!

Our next meetup is Show and Tell on Tuesday, October 16, 2018. Hope you’ll join us!


Recap: Get Your WordPress Questions Answered

At our July 2018 Get Your WordPress Questions Answered meetup this week, our West Metro Detroit WordPress members discussed:

  • How to block IP addresses in the All in One WP Security and Firewall security plugin (to avoid getting dozens of attempted login messages every day)
  • WordPress themes: why a premium theme doesn’t necessarily mean better support or more recent updates than a free theme
  • Why you shouldn’t use Google to search for WordPress themes. Best to select themes from the WordPress repository or look at paid themes from respected theme shops

In addition, we had a quick demo of the beta Gutenberg editor, showing how it works and the concept of blocks.

During our meetup, several members shared their favorite premium themes and resources to learn more about and try out Gutenberg.


Here are some of the resources shared during the meetup. If I missed any, share them in the comments.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the meetup and helped to answer our members’ questions!

Our next meetup is Share Your Favorite Productivity Tool or Tip: on Tuesday, September 18, 2018. Hope you’ll join us!

Recap: Intro to MailerLite for Email Marketing

At our June 2018 Introduction to MailerLite meetup at the Westland Public Library, member Anthony Wagner helped us learn about MailerLite, an online service for email marketing that integrates with many things, including the object of our attentions, WordPress.

Thanks to Pat Martz for taking notes from his talk.

To kick off his presentation, Anthony Wagner logged in to his MailerLite account and led us through what you would need to know to set up a simple email campaign. Continue reading Recap: Intro to MailerLite for Email Marketing

Recap: 9 Tips to Help You Safely Change Your WordPress Theme

At our April meetup this week, we had a great discussion about changing your WordPress theme. After I gave my presentatation, our members chatted about themes, talked about WordPress, and enjoyed delicious slices of pie from Grand Traverse Pie.

I’ve published my talk on my blog, where you can find the nine tips, along with my recommendations for finding themes.

In addition to the presentation, we discussed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the upcoming 15th WordPress anniversary.

General Data Protection Regulation

Here’s what I mentioned about General Data Protection Regulation at the meetup, along with helpful resources:

  1. GDPR is a European Union (EU) data privacy law that goes into effect May 25, 2018.
  2. The aim of the regulation is to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens.
  3. Regardless of your physical location, if you process the personal data of any EU citizen on your website, GDPR applies to you. And your company must be able to show compliance by May 25, 2018.
  4. GoDaddy has two excellent resources on GDPR. One article explains GDPR compliance for web designers and developers. The second article is a practical guide for moving your site toward GDPR compliance.
  5. Another excellent resource is how to make a WooCommerce website GDPR Compliant? (12 steps).
  6. MailChimp has released their GDPR-Compliant Form

Our next meetup is Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Hope you’ll join us!

Recap of Our January 2018 Kickoff Meetup

It was exciting to meet people tonight at our inaugural West Metro Detroit WordPress meetup.

Great start to launching our meetup group! Thanks to Jim, Deborah, George, and RJ for coming out to Grand Traverse Pie.

We enjoyed learning more about each other, how we use WordPress, chatted about this weekend’s Plymouth Ice Festival, and, of course, two of us took home pie!

Highlights from Our Meetup

Here’s a quick summary of what we discussed:

Day change: move meetup day to third Tuesday evening of the month, so we won’t have two WordPress meetups in the same week (Metro Detroit WordPress meets the second Monday evening of the month)

Venue: looking into local businesses who might offer conference space, checking with local colleges to see if space is available.

Also, we’ll notify the local Chamber of Commerce about our meetup to get the word out to businesses who use WordPress.

If we’re not able to find anything for the February meetup, we’ll continue to meet at Grand Traverse Pie in Plymouth, Michigan.

Communication: use this site to share upcoming meetups, news, recaps. Consider P2 theme for discussion, sharing tips, Q&A. Maybe another site using P2 theme that we could link to from this site?

Format: Open to various meeting formats, including

  • Showcase website
  • Presentations
  • Share your favorite plugin
  • Share tips
  • Theme documentation
  • Q&A

What will keep you coming to meetups?

  • Nearby location
  • Learn more about WordPress
  • Meet people in our communities who are using WordPress
  • Mixture of topics / meeting formats

What will keep you away from meetups?

  • Travel, work, school
  • Discussions only focused on a specific area, whether that’s design, development, SEO
  • Becomes too technical, over your head

We’re all looking forward to our February 2018 meetup!