The problem with WordPress and the global economy

I have a Google alert set up that notifies me when the word “payeezy” appears online. Payeezy is First Data’s e-commerce payment gateway. Sometimes it helps me find prospective clients for my freelance web developer business. Other times, it makes me want to pound my head into the sand. This post on Trulancer made me want to go to the beach.

MJ from India wants someone to integrate the Payeezy payment gateway with WooCommerce on their WordPress website. For someone with this specific skillset, they’re offering a whopping $4 an hour. That’s what I made back in 1982 working at Burger King.

I worked for First Data for over seven years. I was a senior support agent for the Payeezy payment gateway. I authored a popular plugin hosted on the WordPress repository for Payeezy. I’ve been using and tinkering with WordPress for over ten years. I’m well versed in all aspects of WordPress.

It’s no surprise that the person hiring for this job is in India. I can guarantee that he is not the website owner, but another freelancer hired to do the integration. The real owners of the WordPress website most likely went to their local web developer who in turn posted the job online. The person he hired, MJ in India, then went to Trulancer and began trolling for someone they could hire for $4 an hour to do the job.

The real owners of the website probably have no idea the person connecting Payeezy to their website is getting paid only $4 an hour. They assume the work is being done by the person they hired to do it, the local web developer.

It’s hard to make a living in WordPress. This job posting is a prime example of the problems freelancers face when trying to get jobs working with WordPress. It’s not like WordPress developers in India are better than their American counterparts. They’re just ridiculously cheaper.

Advanced WordPress Facebook group goes full blown iron curtain mode

The Advanced WordPress Facebook group is changing the way it operates. The 28 Admins for the group took a vote and beginning April 17, an Admin must first approve a post before it appears in the group.

From Matt Cromwell’s blog, one of the moderators of Advanced WordPress Facebook group:

Every time a low-quality post gets posted to the group it adds to the noise, and sometimes it might be hours and hours or even a day until an Admin removes it — which means thousands of people have experienced the group with more “noise” than it should have.

If there’s a problem needing solved, I don’t see how this will do it. If it took “hours and hours or even a day” before an Admin could remove a low-quality post, how long will it take them to approve a post? What’s going to happen when one Admin thinks a post is low-quality, but another thinks it’s high-quality?

You will post to the Advanced WordPress Facebook group when you’re told you can. Now hush!

The vote to go all iron curtain wasn’t unanimous. There were Admins who voted against the change.

The group of 28 Admins don’t all think the same about things. If that were the case, the vote would have been unanimous.

This is dumb. The Advanced WordPress Facebook group is a Facebook group. Low-quality is the bread and butter of Facebook. People don’t go to Facebook for high-quality content. Noise is the ocean that Facebook swims in.

Having a discussion group where Admins must first approve posts sounds like a terrible user experience. I’d rather read the occasional bit of noise than have every post approved by a clique of 28 people.

I’m a member of this group. It has always struck me as being somewhat elitist. Why throw the word “Advanced” in the title? The discussions I read there never strike me as being all that advanced. Elitism has always been a real problem with WordPress. When you hear the term “WordPress community” it’s referring to a small clique of people who think they represent everyone using WordPress.

WordPress is just a web publishing platform. People use it because it’s currently the best web publishing platform available. Also, because it’s free. Once something better comes along, I expect people will flock to that. That’s the way it works. When I first started this blog, I was using Movable Type. WordPress came along and it seemed better. The same will happen to WordPress.

If enough people don’t like moderated Facebook discussion groups, I’m sure someone will create a new group. I’ve seen it happen before. There’s a local Facebook group called Whats [sic] Going on in Hagerstown. It was heavily moderated. Discussions were regularly deleted by one of the moderators because they personally didn’t like the topic. People got sick of it and a new group was created, What’s Really Going on in Hagerstown. If history is any indicator, the same with happen to the Advanced WordPress Facebook group.


Using a CSS wildcard selector in WordPress

I wanted to add some padding on the right of every tag in the tag cloud shown on the bottom of my blog. I thought each tag was too close to the next tag, making it harder to see when one tag ends and the next one begins. I took a look at the code in Chrome’s developer tool and this is what I saw:

Every tag has its own unique CSS class selector. I had two choices. I could either add a CSS rule for each tag, or I could add a wildcard selector. Because I’m a normal human being, I chose the later. Adding a unique selector not only would require a massive amount of CSS, it would require me to be constantly adding new class selectors every time I create a new tag. That would be crazy.

Each CSS rule starts with tag-link- and is then followed by the ID of that tag. I could add padding to the right side of each tag by adding a CSS selector wildcard. I added the following CSS to my theme’s stylesheet:

This added 1% of padding to the right side of every CSS selector that begins with tag-link-. Once I did this, every tag in the tag cloud had the proper spacing from its neighbor.