Before we get to the WordPress Wednesday news, Happy Birthday, WordPress!
January 25 was the 4th birthday of WordPress. Mike Little remembered the first beginnings that led to the development of WordPress.
Back to more important things, as I reported in the WordPress news last week, the WordPress 2.1 release went fairly well, though two issues frequently came to the fore: Compatibility with WordPress 2.1 and WordPress Themes and WordPress Plugins.
For the past couple months, WordPress Plugin authors were warned to update their Plugins to be WordPress 2.1 ready. Many did. Some of the most popular WordPress Plugin authors are also helping with WordPress development, so they have been running WordPress 2.1 in the pre-release forms since last fall, testing and fixing their Plugins.
Still, many WordPress Theme designers were caught off guard with changes to the WordPress template tags for categories and blogroll/bookmarks. Most of these are simple fixes, replacing the old template tag with the new one, but WordPress Support Forums volunteers where there to help them through the process.
Don’t let the fear of incompatibility stop you from upgrading to WordPress 2.1. Many are reporting no errors or problems. Others have minor fixes. This upgrade is a security fix as well as a program upgrade. Check to see if your WordPress Plugins or Themes have been updated and are compatible with WordPress 2.1 on the WordPress Plugin Compatibility List and WordPress 2.1 Theme Compatibility List.
WordPress Plugin Authors Alert: Your audience is waiting. Please let them know publicly if your Plugin works with WordPress 2.1, and get on the WordPress Plugin compatibility list.
WordPress Theme Designers Alert: Your audience is also waiting. Add your WordPress Theme to the WordPress 2.1 Theme Compatibility List. If you will not be updating nor supporting your WordPress Theme in this new version or future versions, add your WordPress Theme to the non-compatible list.
Is WordPress 2.1 Faster? Reports are varied. Testing by some of the developers have shown that WordPress 2.1 runs faster and is more streamlined, reducing the toll on the database. Users around the world report it is indeed faster, though others state that it feels slower. Weblog Tools Collection reports front page queries dropped 41% and memory requirements for the query and its cache dropped noticeably due to improvements in the new WordPress query structure. Others are noticing speed improvements on the Administration Panels with posting and other administrative functions.
WordPress Backup: Many were dismayed at the loss of WordPress Backup from WordPress 2.1. It is still a valuable tool and you can download and install the updated version of WordPress Database Backup from Ilfilosofo, who has now taken over maintenance of this must-have WordPress Plugin.
Missing Your Gravatars? Many WordPress users love the popular Gravatar icons, avatar images which appear next to comments, set there by Gravatar WordPress Plugins. Currently, Gravatar’s site is down as improvements are being made to the service and the site. According to the Gravatar Blog, Gravatar 2.0 will be back in action better than ever in February.
Is MORE Cutting Off Your Feeds? A new feature in WordPress 2.1 is not considered a feature by some users. In WordPress, you can choose to host a full or summary (excerpt) feed for your site. However, if you use the
<--more--!> comment in your post to control the length of the post excerpt for the front page of your blog, WordPress 2.1 truncates your feeds to that point. Full Text Feed WordPress Plugin by Cavemonkey50 changes your feeds to full whether or not you use the
WordPress 2.2 Development On Track: WordPress 2.2 development is going forward with the new WordPress Roadmap and upcoming features include Atom API support, WP-specific XML-RPC API for managing Pages and categories, and TinyMCE 2.0.9. The release date is still set for April 23rd.
WordPress Codex 2.1 Updates: The following files have been updated or added to help with the WordPress 2.1 upgrade process:
- WordPress Version 2.1 Features
- WordPress 2.1 Plugin Compatibility List
- WordPress 2.1 Theme Compatibility List
- First Time Installation
- Upgrading WordPress
- Upgrading from WordPress 1.5.x
- WordPress Template Tags Changes
- WordPress 2.1 Download
- New WordPress 2.1 Theme Compatibility List
- Fear Not WordPress 2.1 and WordPress Plugins
- WordPress 2.1 File List
There are two versions of WordPress available for most bloggers. WordPress is the full version for self-hosted bloggers. This is the version recently released. Free WordPress.com blogs are hosted by WordPress and run on WordPress code, but do not need to be upgraded.
WordPress.com is not only a free blog hosting service where anyone can blog with WordPress for free, it is also an alpha/beta testing site for WordPress. WordPress.com bloggers have been blogging with a form of WordPress 2.1 for months. We are the guinea pigs for WordPress. Our feedback and reports of problems help WordPress developers understand how the different features work, and don’t work, building a better blogging system for everyone.
This also means there is a price to pay. Not everything tested on WordPress.com blogs work all the time and every time. While glitches and bugs are few, they are quickly found and squashed, creating a stable system for all WordPress users. So we suffer with the occasional bump in the road. It also means we get to see the latest improvements in WordPress long before anyone else. ;-)
WordPress.com Blog Bling: I recently started a series on WordPress.com Blog Bling, explaining tips and techniques for decorating up your WordPress.com blogs. If you are looking for tips on adding graphics, photographs, video, podcasts, music, buttons, badges, or any other visual fun on your WordPress.com blog, stop by.
Speaking of WordPress.com Blog Bling – SplashCast!: Want to really bling up your WordPress.com blog? Engtech offers “Getting Started with SplashCast on WordPress.com”, explaining how to add SplashCast streaming media channels for video, music, photos, narration, text and feeds to your WordPress.com blog. In a way, it’s like non-stop entertainment coming into your blog. Check it out.
Want a Free WordPress.com Blog? Want to know what all the fuss is about? You can sign up for free with a valid email address at WordPress.com Signup.
WordPress Plugins and Themes News
WordPress Plugin and Theme Updates: In addition to the WordPress Plugin Compatibility List and WordPress 2.1 Theme Compatibility List, check WP-Plugins.net to find out if your WordPress Plugin has been updated and WordPress Theme Viewer for information on WordPress Themes.
Ultimate Tag Warrior: The Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin, one of the most popular WordPress Plugins, has a new release, though there is a fix from Donnch O’Caoimh and another version of the fix from Techtites to get it working with WordPress 2.1.
Content Related RSS Feeds WordPress Plugin: A new feed WordPress Plugin is out called Content Related RSS Feeds Plugin for WordPress. It is designed to use the most relevant keywords from the post content and display feeds with related content. It is best used with large content sites with feeds such as Yahoo! and Google News, matching feed content with post content.
FeedWordPress Plugin Fix: HART-Empire has a solution for the FeedWordPress Plugin to work in WordPress 2.1. The FeedWordPress Plugin is a popular WordPress Plugin for those who use external feeds on their WordPress blog.
WordPress General News
Automattic in Mexico: The annual meeting of Automattic, the parent company for all things WordPress and Akismet, was in La Paz, Mexico, last week. These guys live and work in the virtual world more than in an office, so this is a rare event, and Matt took time for some photos to show you that there is more to WordPress than just work.
WordPress Song Goes Plugin: If you were tickled with last week’s news of a new WordPress Song, “It’s Called WordPress” by Devin Reams, there is now a new WordPress Plugin by Steven Campbell that displays the lyrics of the song in your WordPress Administration Panels, similar to the Hello Dolly WordPress Plugin. Thanks for the update, BloggingPro.
WordPress and Blogging Events: I’ve posted a new list of WordPress and Blogging Events for February and March 2007 for those interested in getting together to discuss WordPress and blogging. Some events in February will be featuring popular bloggers and WordPress masters, with a lot of discussion about WordPress 2.1.
For more information on WordPress and blogging events, visit my WordPress Events page. Most of the WordPress and blogging events I feature are free or low cost. If you have a WordPress or blogging-related event coming up, please let me know on my WordPress Events page.
For more news on WordPress, see:
- The WordPress Community Podcast
- WordPress Planet
- WordPress Development Blog
- WordPress.com Blog
- Weblog Tools Collection
- Lorelle on WordPress
Each Wednesday on Blog Herald will be WordPress Wednesday where I will be featuring the news around the WordPress Community. Put it on your calendar!
Lorelle VanFossen blogs about blogging and WordPress on Lorelle on WordPress.