prtksxna — is embracing the unadorned

Tagindieweb

All posts related to the IndieWeb.

Goa Homebrew Website Club #2

With the help of the usual WordPress Goa group (Siddharth, Abhishek and me), we hosted the second Homebrew Website Club. Since we were expecting more people this time we needed a bigger venue, and the good folks at Diet Code were kind enough to provide one.

Work and discussion at the Homebrew Website Club. In attendance: Abhishek, Abhinav, Sidney,
Prateek, Milosha, Janosh, Rhea, Jane, Harshit, Meesha, Jitin, Salil, Siddharth, Wazid and Snehal

After some quick introductions we dove into to some deep topics:

  • Identity and anonymity on the Internet, especially in the current political climate.
  • Reliable hosting options that wont get affected by government blocking or trade sanctions.
  • Distributed web protocols like IPFS and Dat.
  • Data trails linked to our various online identities.
  • Differing Terms of Use on various Mastodon servers.
  • Customization limitations on Wix

In the peer-to-peer time I demoed WordPress to a few people who were contemplating using it. Their main concern was if they’d be able to find the right theme for their requirments and if it’ll be customizable enough to make their site look the way they want. I spent some time helping setup a travel blog. I also triaged issues for my WordPress theme—Zuari.

Goa Homebrew Website Club #1

After more than a year of trying to be part of the IndieWeb and working on my website alone, I thought I should try to start a Homebrew Website Club in Goa. So, with the help of the usual WordPress Goa group (Siddharth and Abhishek), we decided to host the first such meetup at the GrandWorks office on the 24th of July.

We saw a mix of people of attending—from seasoned developers, to graphic designers, and to people just thinking of making their first website.

Hampus, Mikhail, Siddharth, Abhishek, Wazid, Prateek, Nupura, Anika, Sameera, Salil, Shanon and Kimberly at the GrandWorks office for the Goa Homebrew Website Club #1
Hampus, Mikhail, Siddharth, Abhishek, Wazid, Prateek,
Nupura, Anika, Sameera, Salil, Shannon and Kimberly at the GrandWorks office
for the Goa Homebrew Website Club #1

Since this was the first such meetup I gave a quick introduction of the IndieWeb movement and technology, and encouraged everyone to join the wider community on the wiki and chat. After that, we went around the room introducing ourselves, talking about our websites and experiences in building them. Some of the topics we covered were:

  • Differences in using WordPress, and services like Wix and Squarespace.
  • Hitting certain limitations on Wix, and how in WordPress there is always a plugin for that.
  • Cost (time and money) of hosting your own server vs the price of Squarespace.
  • How one-click WordPress installs offered by hosting services aren’t really easy to use for beginners.
  • Wix’s AI in design feature.
  • How the Balance Project would like to run their own community website and not give all their data to Facebook.
  • Finding an audience on one’s own blog vs on platforms like Medium and LinkedIn.

We didn’t have a lot of peer-to-peer time left after the discussions, but I was able to show a photographer how they could design their portfolio website using Gutenberg on WordPress.com.

There was quite some interest in a group like this, the technical folks wanted to dive deeper into Webmentions and Micropub, and others expressed a need for a place to ask their questions and get their doubts clarified. So, we’re thinking of hosting another one on the 21st of August. Join the WordPress Goa meetup group to get notified when we do.

Zuari on WordPress.org

After staying in review for nearly seven weeks, my WordPress theme finally got approved and deployed on the WordPress.org theme directory. Big thanks to @rabmalin for the review 🙏🏽

The Zuari theme on latest page of WordPress.org theme directory.
The Zuari theme as seen on WordPress.org

I wanted to make a theme that supported the new Gutenberg block styles, and gave a lot of customization options to the users. I have been working on it on and off since November last year. The idea was to give it an hour everyday, but travel and life did not let me be as consistent as I’d like. By March I realized that it might be better to work on a subset of features and do a version one release first. Now that this is done, I am excited about making improvements.

Roadmap

  • Use ITCSS to better architect the CSS. It’ll also help in getting the editor styles out.
  • Add microformats support for the IndieWeb.
  • Plugin support for the IndieWeb plugins.
  • Improve animations.
  • Bug fixes.
  • More customization options.
  • Accessibility improvements.

Hopefully by the end of the year I can actually recommend the theme to people who want to join the IndieWeb 🤞🏽 If you give it a spin and run into problems do raise an issue and I’ll try to help. Pull requests are welcome too!

Migrating to Dreamhost

My websites have been hosted on WebFaction since I can I remember, but with them recently getting acquired by GoDaddy, I started to look for alternatives. Looking for a cheap shared host to keep the three WordPress sites I maintain, I decided to check WordPress.org for recommendations. They suggested Bluehost, DreamHost and SiteGround. After a week of trying, Bluehost support couldn’t convert my domain account to a hosting account so I setup a new one on DreamHost.

The migration went smoothly but it took me a while to get used to the way DreamHost manages users, sites, and apps. Now that the DNS has (hopefully) fully propagated, the website is up and running on the new server, on https (for the first time 🥳), and using the new theme I am working on. Excited to be working on my site again!