WordCamp Europe 2014 Unofficial Walking Tour – Tickets Now Available

With WordCamp Europe 2014 just under 2 weeks away I’m delighted to announce that the tickets for the walking tour are now available for general release!

The tour is a private tour full of all the major sights and buildings in Sofia, Bulgaria, you will be guided on a 2 hour tour of the city, with interesting facts & the history of the city all discussed. I sat writing this on holiday in Barcelona, and yesterday did a similar tour, they are very good and was introduced to various things I would’ve missed otherwise. This is also a private tour for attendees to WordCamp, so you will be with individuals you can talk to and network with about WordPress, should you wish.

It takes place the day before WordCamp – on the 26th September at 9:30am. There is a small charge of €5.88 to cover the cost of the tour.

Anyway, hope to see you there!

Any questions, please let me know!

WordCamp Europe – Walking Tour

So I half expected this post to be about WordCamp Manchester, my thoughts and why it was so great (it was, well done to Jenny, Mike, Phil & the hardworking team for making a fantastic conference), as well as what an honour it was to speak there (which it was – you can see my slides here), but a conversation on Twitter today meant I had to change my post for today.

WordCamp Europe is happening at the end of September, and I am provisionally (yes, it’s not booked yet) looking to be there from the Thursday to the Tuesday. One of the suggestions for what to do was the Free Sofia Walking tour. After provisionally getting a few people interested, and after a discussion with Jenny, AndreyTaco & Peter, we thought we’d try and get a Unofficial WordCamp Walking Tour sorted.

Provisionally, we’re looking to go on the walk at some point (probably 11am) on the Friday before the conference. I have emailed them for an idea on how many they can reasonably take on the tour, as well as if they can accommodate us.

If you are interested, please leave a comment below. I will collate the numbers and speak with the tour company, see if we can do it.

I’ve been on a few of these tours before and they are pretty good. They work on donations (usually around €10/$20 a tour) so not completely free, but certainly a lot cheapear than a lot of organised tours.

Please note: This is not affiliated or endorsed by WordCamp Europe, and is  something completely separate. I’m just looking to set something up.

Hello WordCamp Manchester, I’m Rhys

So as a way to do a fairly easy blog post (as well as a re-hash of a post I wrote before WordCamp Europe), I thought I’d write a post about me and WordCamp Manchester as a way to try to connect with interesting people.

Hello everybody! My name is Rhys Wynne. I am the lead developer for FireCask by day and by night I make my own WordPress Plugins and themes, which are hosted on my company’s site, Winwar Media.

I will be representing FireCask along with my boss Alex, as well as spending a lot of time with John, who is staying at mine.

I’m truly honoured that I am speaking at the first WordCamp Manchester, as my talk – “How To Get Your First Child Theme Off The Ground” will be at 1:30pm (the first session after lunch) in the technical track. The talk is written but if there is any questions you want answering or covered, please drop me an email.

I do hope you can attend my talk and you enjoy it. I will be at the after conference social and contributor day the next day. I’ve successfully managed to get VVV running on a Windows machine, so if you are a Windows user who is struggling, feel free to speak to me.

Incidentally, I’d be curious to speak to people who are interested in the following:-

  • Any Premium Plugin Developers willing to share notes about marketing and upselling.
  • Any Plugin Developers at all for sharing notes on how they provide support. I think I’ve got it down to a tee, but am always looking at improving.
  • Any bbPress developers as I’ve a few ideas for plugins for a possible collaboration.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY AS I AM WRITING THIS IN RED anybody who is collecting the Panini World Cup Stickers. My Swapsies list is here. I need a grand total of 55 at the time of writing (5 more means that I can order the rest). I am willing to offer swaps & free WordPress advice if you have the Argentina or Italy Shiny.

So if you fall into the following categories, send me a tweet or drop me an email, I’d be keen to meet up!

Speaking at WordCamp Manchester 2014

Hi everybody,

I’m back from a non-self-imposed blogging hiatus (yeah, been busy) to announce that I am speaking this years WordCamp Manchester, at MMU Business School, on 28th of June.

My talk is entitled “How To Get Your First Child Theme Off The Ground”, and it is aimed at new developers wanting to learn what child theming is, how to put together a child theme together, and – most importantly – why you should be using a child theme for your next project.

I am incredibly excited to speak at this conference, as it was one of my goals for the year. I’m looking forward as well to interact with the WordPress community more, which for the last year has been a constant source of learning for me. This is the first time I’ll be speaking at a WordCamp, after I spoke at MWUG earlier this year (view the slides & notes here)

Talk is still in the early stages of planning, so if you want me to cover anything, please drop a comment or an email.

If you fancy attending, at the time of writing, tickets are available on the WordCamp Manchester site. Be warned though, they will sell out. That isn’t some marketing speak to drive ticket sales – they have already sold out once before, and – with only 3 left – I’d put the house on them selling out again.

They are also looking for sponsors. Sponsoring is cost effective and could be a good source of exposure for your company. Find out how to sponsor here.

Finally, if you’re coming, I encourage you to attend the Contributor Day the next day. It has been the best thing I’ve done professionally this year, and you can really contribute to the growth of a fantastic piece of software. Tickets for that are free.

A WordPress Site Reports “This Request Is Not Valid Error” in Microsoft Word? Try This….

Recently I’ve been working on a site that required me to put the entire developmental site behind a maintenance mode site. Our maintenance mode plugin of choice is WP Maintenance Mode, as it allows me to control both the front end, styling it beautifully, whilst still continuing the development of the site.

However, when reporting on the development, we were hitting an issue with the site, in that links to the site were causing errors when being clicked on in Microsoft Word. This was the error we received:-


After investigation, the error is due to the Maintenance Mode plugin returning a “503: Service Unavailable” error. Whilst the site appears up to users, the header returns tell software that the site isn’t up, causing errors.

Thankfully, there’s an easy fix. Within your theme’s function file (or better yet in your own plugin), put in the following code:-

add_filter('wp_maintenance_mode_status_code', 'rhyswynne_return_200',10,3);
function rhyswynne_return_200() {
return 200;

view raw


hosted with ❤ by GitHub

This returns a “200: OK” header, which means links can be clicked on in Word.

Hope that helps anybody! If you have any questions, or any way to improve the code, please let me know in the comments.