Public Speaking as a WordPress User

There are a lot of exciting plans for WordPress in 2017 and we do look forward to telling you about them and hearing what you are excited about with WordPress. Thank you very Much to Jonny A and John Cooper for kicking off 2017 with their amazing January talks and opening our eyes to new ways of using WordPress, also we had a great turnout, you both did an amazing job

Photo of public speaking at MWUG at Madlab in 2017

Public Speaking

The great parts about having new speakers at MWUG is how we all perceive WordPress and use it in our day to day lives. John Cooper spoke to us in January about he uses WordPress with podcasts and how you can make a business out of this. Needless to say his talk went down a treat and we’re very glad to see you back at MWUG in February!

An often misconception is that in order to speak publicly about WordPress you need to specialise in a certain area of it. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We all attend WordPress user groups for different reasons. We’re developers, designers and most importantly users of WordPress. We know what we like and we enthuse about the good parts and the parts that need improvement. The one thing we can unite on is the WordPress user and the experience of using WordPress.

It’s so important for us all as attendees to learn a thing or two about what people want from WordPress, to know we’re all on the right track together and to make sure we’re their because we want to utilise WordPress to it’s full potential. For many historic years WordPress was perceived as a blogging platform, it’s still an amazing tool for that purpose but we’re so far beyond that logic now, WordPress is much much more than that. It’s amazing opensource collaboration, a tool for building dreams.

At MWUG we like to have a mix of User experience talks and tech talks too. January saw Johnny A talk about smarter WordPress menus, this was also an incredibly fascinating talk and very good for UX. We’re open to all kinds of talks and if you want to give it go we’re happy to give you some ideas too.

So to round it up thank you to both our January speakers, you were both thoroughly enjoyable to watch and we had many attendees openly express what they learned from you both. 2017 is about actively encouraging you as WordPress users to share your experiences, how you use WordPress, what’s important to you, what you are excited about, what you like and what you’d like to see improvements in. We’d love to hear from you!

Thank you to everyone who filled in our venue sponsors survey Madlab. As ever we’ll see you on Wednesday!

December 2016 Xmas party: Wednesday 21st, 6.30-9pm, Madlab

December’s Manchester WordPress User Group Christmas Meetup, run by WordPress co-founder Mike Little and this year is being hosted be Siobhan Hancock and Tom J Nowell. Come and join us! It will be taking place at MadLab ( on Wednesday, the 21st from 6.30pm to 9pm.


As it’s our Christmas Doo, the agenda will be a little different this year. We will be having a quick talon’t have any talks but will be using this chance to socialise and meet your fellow attendees, over pizza, beer and mince pies, kindly provided by local hosting company

We will still be holding our WordPress clinic. Feel free to bring your laptops and share your problems and we will be happy to help. All WordPress enthusiasts are welcome. Come and join us whether it’s your first time or you are a regular, we look forward to celebrating a great year in WordPress together!

Graphic of Snowflakes and the WordPress logo

2017 Call for speakers

Ever thought about speaking at an event? Perhaps you’d like to gain experience talking at MWUG in 2017? MWUG Manchester WordPress User Group is a small friendly crowd of around 40/50 people and we are always looking for new contributors and fresh ideas. We are based at Madlab in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and meet every third Wednesday of the month

You don’t have to be a WordPress developer or a designer! Everyone is welcome. If you are a WordPress user and have a favourite plugin that you’d like to tell the world about or a theme that you like, we would love to hear about it!

If you know you would like to speak but are stuck for ideas we have some ideas Non WordPress based talks are welcomed too. Apply to speak at MWUG 2017

Photograph of MWUG Attendees

November 2016 Meeting: Wednesday 16th, 6.30-9pm, Madlab

November’s Manchester WordPress User Group, run by WordPress co-founder Mike Little, takes place at MadLab ( on Wednesday, the 16th from 6.30pm to 9pm.

Note: this month we are continuing with the successful clinic format to try to help more of you in the ways you’ve asked us.

Timings and Agenda:

  • 18:30 — Prompt start –  WordPress news – Review of Upcoming WordPress 4.7
  • 18:45 — Q&A – for topic covered and Mike’s WP update
  • 19:00 — WP clinic – bring your laptop and get the hands on help you need
  • 20:15 — In Depth Talk – Tim Nash – Something technical
  • 21:00 — End
Anyone with any experience of WordPress is welcome, whether you’ve only heard about it and want to know more, you’re an experienced WordPress user or developer, or anything in between; you are welcome to our meetings.

If you fancy coming along, please let us know at our Meetup page.

Mike Little (, co-founder of WordPress, runs MWUG so come along to discover how WordPress can benefit you or your organisation, and get specific advice on any WordPress questions you have.

See you at MWUG!

October MWUG Meetup highlights – Thanks for coming!

Another great month of talks at our October MWUG Meetup! This month we saw Sue Fernandes and Rob Blake take the stage to talk Woocommerce and We’ve already received great feedback from some of our attendees on the talks so a big thank you to Sue and Rob, we really enjoyed it!

Latest WordPress announcements

The start of the evening saw Mike announce the latest WordPress news. WPTavern is a great resource for anyone looking to keep up to date with WordPress.

WordPress Translation Day

After the success of the first ever WordPress Translation Day which MWUG members took part in and arranged earlier this year, Polyglots team have a announced a second Global WordPress Translation Day to take place in November 

REST API updates

The WordPress REST API team announced a proposal to merge the API endpoints into the WordPress 4.7 release. To see more about this visit

WordCamp Manchester

Well done to the organisers! WordCamp Manchester 2016, held on Saturday 22nd October at MMU went to plan. It was executed brilliantly so thank you to the organisers. A great place for the community to meet and enjoy talks from WordPress users and experts around the globe and also provides a chance to give back with contributor day. Thanks to Claire and her fellow organisers for a very memorable event. We look forward to next year.

…and onto the rest of the evening

Headshot of Sue Fernandes

Sue Fernandes kicked off with the first talk of the night ‘How to set up a Woocommerce site in 20 mins’. Sue is a WordPress Specialist, specialising in custom themes, training, WordPress maintenance and rebranding. She often gets involved with us at MWUG and is very easy to talk to. A perfect example of the type of person you will meet by joining us and another great reason to come along and get that help you’ve been after!

Finally Rob Blake gave a presentation on, and how you can use it’s open-source tools for WordPress development. He used Trellis to create a WordPress LEMP stack, along with Bedrock (WordPress project boilerplate) and the Sage WordPress theme that comes with Roots.

Rob demonstrated the power of using Bedrock to set up his three areas – development, staging and production. He also gave a live demonstration of Ansible – a deployment tool for creating and managing servers using his own pre-set configuration. Rob used this powerful tool to set his server up at the click of a button and coupled with the site he developed in roots he had created a server with WordPress in a very short session.

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 16th November 2016 at Madlab Manchester

Recap of our September MWUG Meetup at Madlab

A quick recap of our September MWUG Meetup, WordPress announcements and everything else we covered at last month. Thanks to all the new faces that came along and to the regulars too. We’re lucky to have such a great community at Manchester WordPress User Group. If you need help with WordPress or simply want to network with WordPress users, developers and contributors then come along. Our next meetup will be October 19th

WordPress announcements

At the September MWUG meetup Mike explained some of the new features coming to WordPress in more detail. Starting with WordPress 4.7 to soon be allowing 255-character passwords for protected pages and posts. This update affects password protected posts and pages only.

He also gave us the update on Headway themes, a WordPress premium theme, layout builder. Headway recently ran into financial problems, causing their customers concern over the lack of communication. Read more about HeadWay themes here. The advice is to be aware of smaller players for this reason.

A quick mention… Congratulations to Gitlab! If you are unaware of who Gitlab are, they are a rival to Github and recently raised 20 million for Series B funding. This is a huge achievement considering it was only a year ago Gitlab raised 4 million for series A funding.

Mike also mentioned Google Chrome. How they have also announced the soon to be added security warning to HTTP sites beginning in 2017. With Chrome growing in popularity this is something to think about if you haven’t already.

Extras worth mentioning:

  • Jetpack 4.3 recent released. Featuring a brand new interface with faster management of your favourite features
  • GoDaddy acquired ManageWP. The reactions so far haven’t been as positive as expected however Mike advised to wait and find out this. It’s great to see employees being paid to contribute back to WordPress.
  • GoDaddy has also partnered with Beaver Builder
  • Dennis Cooper relaunches on WordPress and can be found at This is great news for WordPress. WPTavern are quoted as saying “Cooper should still be in possession of his content without fear of it being erased.”

The advice to anyone in this situation is to make sure you own your own content where possible. To go for an Opensource website builder such as WordPress. Also to take your own backups

September MWUG talk

Thank you to Kayleigh Thorpe, WordPress Support Specialist at hosting company for her advice on how to stage your site. Kayleigh talked us through the cloning stages, creating a subdomain, using the Velvet Blues plugin and she also touched on how to migrate your site. Her talk was informative, easy to follow and brought up some questions. Feel free to contact Kayleigh via Twitter for her slides

If you try this at home and you find problems such as your database being too large, ask your host and they will import it for you. Also another attendee asked about the importance of staging. If you have the option to stage your site always do so. Avoid making changes to your live site wherever possible.

Graphic of a stethoscope

WordPress clinic

Our WordPress clinic is the section of the evening where you get to ask about anything you need help with and advice is volunteered by someone within the group. In September MWUG we got help for a diverse range of questions.

Among some of the questions were queries about how to add a PayPal cart to your WordPress website, best plugins for booking appointments, how to optimise a image heavy site and help with the Genesis framework. If you ever need advice on your site feel free to bring your laptop along and ask away. We are a very enthusiastic group and we are always happy to help.

Come and join us on the 19th of October at Madlab Manchester

Photograph of MadLab logo wall art