I’d like to say it’s been a “quiet week here in…Lake WordPress”, but that’s never quite true. There is always something going on. New WordPress Plugins are coming out so fast, fans can hardly keep up with them. Old ones are being updated for WordPress 2.x compatibility, and the new WordPress Plugin Directory is on fire with new and updated Plugins. The next version of WordPress is due out in less than a month, so developers are heating up the net as they get bugs fixed and new features added and old ones improved. And news should be out any day on WordCamp 2007.
WordCamp 2007 – July 21-22: WordCamp 2007 will be July 21-22 in San Fransisco and there is now a Meetup page for the event, with no information. If you are interested in attending, why not start signing up. That will help give the planners an idea of attendance.
Number One Reason For Not Upgrading: While you might think that the time and effort to upgrade your WordPress blog is the main reason people don’t upgrade, the number one reason is the fear that their WordPress Plugins and Themes won’t work with the upgrade. While this might be true for major version upgrades, security upgrades rarely impact WordPress Plugins and Themes. Don’t risk your blog by not upgrading security releases. There is evil floating out there looking for suckers like you.
InstantUpdate WordPress Plugin: The InstantUpgrade WordPress Plugin continues to get very good reviews, but the author addresses some issues regarding the Plugin concerning security and whether or not it should be incorporated into the core programming of WordPress. The issues raised are the very reasons why such a feature hasn’t yet been included: the complexity and security issues a large majority of WordPress users would have trouble handling. For someone familiar with FTP, changing file permissions, and “under the hood” WordPress coding, then this is a great Plugin. For the rest, be patient. Making WordPress upgrades easier is a high priority, but there are still some hoops to jump through.
Defending WordPress Support: Every once in a while, an unhappy WordPress user takes their grievances to the WordPress Support Forum. Recently, one such whine prompted WordPress Support Volunteer, Chris Kasten, to write some thoughts about providing WordPress Support with some helpful tips on how to improve the quality of help and support you get from WordPress by becoming a little more active yourself. To improve your WordPress Support experience, also see Getting Started with WordPress, New To WordPress – Where to Start, Finding Answers, Troubleshooting WordPress, Using the Support Forums, and other excellent resources form the WordPress Codex, the online manual for WordPress users.
Slideshows and Maps on WordPress.com: New features are coming out all the time to benefit WordPress.com bloggers. The latest is Slideshows and Maps. RockYou creates a slideshow with music, voice, or whatever you want to display on your blog. From the RockYou site, you can create the slideshow and then embed it in your blog post following the RockYou Instructions. A new WordPress Widget has also been added to help you add maps to your WordPress blog through the Platial service. According to the announcement, “It’s a great way to collaboratively figure out where to find the cheapest gas or the best beer in town.” Configuration is through the Presentation > Sidebar Widgets panel. And there is still more to come. What would you like to see added to WordPress.com blogs?
812,513 Blogs on WordPress.com: This week saw the blog counter on WordPress.com click over 800,000 blogs. One million is just around the corner.
What’s Hot on WordPress.com? With more than 812,000 blogs on WordPress.com, the most popular blogs and posts change by the second. In one of those seconds, the hottest blogs on WordPress.com were:
- The Browser: Analyzing the tech biz
- Web Worker Daily
- The Xbox Domain
- Status of Chinese People
The hottest blog posts on WordPress.com in another of those seconds were:
- 92 – Secret Soviet Plans for the Complete Removal of the North American Continent
- Interview with PayPerPost VC Dan Rua
- The FA Fancy Fining Everyone, Gilberto Fancies An Old Lady, Rosicky Fancies A Beer And Everyone Fancies Arsenal
- Women (and Men) Say No to Porn: Report on the Feminist Anti-Pornography Conference at Wheelock College
- Cure for Microsoft’s PR Woes: Battle Sony
- MP who uses ‘F’ word in Parliament takes on bloggers
- Nap Your Way to Success
- Five Ways to Fix Diggs Comment System
WordPress Plugins and Themes News
WordPress Plugins I Wanted Done Released: When I published my request for WordPress Plugins I wanted at the end of my month long series featuring WordPress Plugins, I just put my wish list out there, not sure anyone would pay attention. Well, they have and the WordPress Community should join me in celebrating all the WordPress Plugin Love!
Based upon my requests, the following new WordPress Plugins have been developed to improve the handling and capabilities of your WordPress blog:
- Admin Panel Comment Reply WordPress Plugin
- Genki Announcement WordPress Plugin
- Genki Pre-Publish Reminder WordPress Plugin
- Comments Waiting Count WordPress Plugin
Translation WordPress Plugins Slamming Database: Raymond CC reports “Angsuman’s Translator Plugin Pro Causing High Load For Servers” and shows evidence in the server loads. I found many translation Plugins are showing similar heavy database and server loads, as did Connected Internet. Work is underway by some translation Plugin authors to improve caching and loads. Be sure you use WP-Cache WordPress Plugin if you are using a Translation WordPress Plugin.
Multiple Column Kubricks: The Kubrick/Default WordPress Theme has many variations based upon the original structure. The original featured a sidebar on the front and multi-post page views and no sidebar on the single post view. People wanted to keep the sidebar on the single post view, so there were many instructions offered on how to do that, until people started producing full sidebar Kubrick versions. Now there is a variety of three column Kubrick Theme and even a four column Kubrick Theme for you to choose from. It’s amazing how far this Theme has come.
The Top WordPress Plugins Mentioned By WordPress Users: For my month long series featuring WordPress Plugins, I had collected about two years of posts published by WordPress users which described their favorite WordPress Plugins. My casual research showcased your favorite WordPress Plugins, but Staska took this further and actually visited every one of those Plugin reviews and created a spreadsheet listing users Top 30 WordPress Plugins in Blogosphere. Thanks, Staska!
PDA WordPress Plugin: The PDA WordPress Plugin improves the view of your WordPress blog on PDAs and handheld computers, and probably cell phones as well. It detects the browser agent and switches and loads a simplified WordPress Theme sized appropriately for the smaller screen. It is customizable through the stylesheet which comes in the new WordPress Theme added to your Theme directory.
Turn All WordPress Plugins On: Aaron Brazell needed a way to turn on all the WordPress Plugins after an install or upgrade. To turn them all off at once, you can simply rename the Plugins directory and the Plugins are deactivated. To turn them on, however, requires visiting the Plugins panel and activating them one by one. Brazell works with b5Media with a lot of WordPressMU blogs and one-by-one activation is long and tedious. Speed is of the essence, so he finally found a solution for Automatic Activation of Plugins, which you might consider if you host a WordPressMU blog service or manage many WordPress blogs.
Performancing For Firefox is Now ScribeFire: If you were a fan of the recently off and then on again Performancing, the popular Performancing for Firefox Extension which allowed publishing to your WordPress blog directly, has a new name and features. ScribeFire now offers improved support for Blogger accounts, support of the new WordPress.com API, and improved file upload support.
Tracking Who is Promoting Your Blog Through Social Networking Services: The Sociallist WordPress Plugin tracks submissions of your blog posts to social networking and bookmarking services and lists them in your blog’s Administration Panel. This could be a wonderful way to keep track of which of your posts have been submitted to Digg, deli.icio.us, and other social networking and bookmarking services. Right now, only those two are supported with promises of more soon.
How is My WordPress Database Today, Doctor? Each time a WordPress Theme or Plugin makes a request from the database, it counts as one point in the database access scorecard. Too many requests to and from the database and your host server may clamp down on your access to the database, disable your blog until it is fixed, or charge you extra. Even if your host doesn’t penalize you for high database usage, it slows down your WordPress blog. Wongablog describes this process and recommends Jerome’s Query Diagnostics WordPress Plugin to run a “health check” on your database and blog. If you, like me, have a problem with this, this is a great tool.
Login Anywhere WordPress Plugin: The Login Anywhere WordPress Plugin allows a user to log into their WordPress blog from “anywhere”, which means the Plugin gives control over the placement of the login link within the WordPress Theme. The login link can be in the header, sidebar, or footer. Control is through the Administration Panels with no direct interaction with the WordPress Theme template files.
Comment License WordPress Plugin: Alex King offers Comment License WordPress Plugin which displays the comment license and policy terms for the comment form on a WordPress blog. The example used is “By submitting a comment here you grant me a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution.”
Most Popular WordPress Themes: The WordPress Theme Viewer now features 1,763 Themes and 3,392,422 downloaded Themes. The top WordPress Themes are:
- Vistered Little 1.6
- MistyLook 3.1
- WP-Andreas01 1.5
- Water 1.1
- Japanese Cherry Blossom 1.0
- ChaoticSoul 1.0
WordPress Plugin Directory: The new WordPress Plugin Directory is going strong and improving as it develops. According to their list, the most popular WordPress Plugins downloaded are:
- Sidebar Widgets
- Subscribe to Comments
- Page Links To
- Google Sitemap Generator for WordPress
WordPress Community News
Akismet Reaches One Billion Comment Spams Stomped: Matt Mullenweg announced that Akismet, the powerful comment spam fighting tool, has surpassed one billion comment spam catches. Akismet provides protection for more than 15 different blogging services, including WordPress. Congrats to all at Automattic for the awesome work developing this powerful community action comment spam fighting tool.
BlogHer WordPress Fans: An article by License to Roam talks about BlogHer speakers who use WordPress for their top notch blogs. These WordPress fans include Susan Getgood and Shirley Frazier of GiftBasket Business Blog and Carmen VanKerckhove of New Demographic.
Pro Blogger Tips on the Business of Blogging: Many WordPress top notch bloggers will be blogging during the Chitika Malls Blog Bash Month, sharing tips on the business of blogging and monetizing your blogs. Expect a lot on the business side of things, but also expect some WordPress-specific tips on SEO, audience building, and monetizing your WordPress blog.
B5Media Looking for WordPress Developer Expert: The popular b5media is looking for a WordPress developer to hire to help them push their WordPress-drive sites into the future. They want top notch skills in coding and database management as well as WordPress expertise. They are based in Toronto, Canada. Know of other companies looking for WordPress experts to hire?
Good Morning Silicon Valley, Hello WordPress: Good Morning Silicon Valley, has switched to WordPress.
US Gov Docs Guy: The Gov Docs Guy, Kevin McClure, the Government Documents Librarian for the Chicago-Kent College of Law, blogs about the latest US government documents available on topical and timely subjects on a WordPress blog.
Quick Online Tips Turns One and Thanks WordPress: Quick Online Tips turned one year old on WordPress this week, even though the blog is officially two years old. A year ago, the blogging and web tips and techniques blog switched to WordPress and has never looked back. In this one year anniversary note, the India-based bloggers gave their thanks to WordPress, listing reasons why WordPress helped them build up their successful blog, taking it to the next level once they left Blogger. Congrats on the anniversary!
Looking for a WordPress Expert? If you are looking for an expert in WordPress Themes, WordPress development, WordPress Plugins, or other WordPress-related expertise, check out the list of WordPress Consultants on Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, and the WP-Pro mailing list.
WordPress Techniques and Tips
Know of a great WordPress tips and techniques article? I’m building a fantastic collection, but would love more well-written WordPress how-to articles. Let me know and it may end up on our weekly list.
- XiAP Design – Controlling the Plugins (Tutorial on writing WordPress Plugins)
- WordPress 101: WordPress integrated into a CMS
- Specify the User Level Needed to Skip Comment Moderation in WordPress
- The Zero Boss – How to Kill Your Blogroll with Google Reader’s Clips
- Earners Blog – Speed Up and Digg Proof Your WordPress Blog
- Dev Project – Today/Yesterday Dates and Timezone Adjustment (PHP)
- Aneko Studios – How to create a WordPress Template or Theme
- Web Savvy Mama – WordPress Themes: Starting Your Custom Theme
- From Del.icio.us to WordPress: How to automatically post daily links
More WordPress News
The following are upcoming WordPress group meetings and meetups, and a few special blogging events you may want to attend. If you know of any I’ve missed, please post them or contact me on my WordPress Events Page.
- ProBlogger Readers Meetup – New York featuring WordPress fan, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger – March 28
- New York City WordPress Meeting – April 21
- Philadelphia WordPress Meetup – April 21
- Austin, Texas, WordPress Meetup – April 23
- Houston WordPress Meetup – April 28
- San Francisco WordPress Meetup – April 28
- Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference in Chicago – May 11-12 – Many WordPress bloggers and experts should be there
For more news on WordPress, see:
- WordPress Planet
- WordPress Development Blog
- WordPress.com Blog
- Weblog Tools Collection
- BloggingPro’s WordPress News and Tips
- The WordPress Community Podcast
- Lorelle on WordPress
Extra Tip of the Week
How careful are you with your online safety, security, and privacy? Whose responsibility is it to protect your privacy? Read the BBC News article on Many Net Users Not Safety-Aware for some thoughts on what you need to be aware of for safer online adventures.
Each Wednesday on Blog Herald is 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.