WordPress Wednesday News: 1 Million WordPress.com Blogs, WordPress 2.2 Upgrade Tips, News on WordPress 2.3, WordPress Plugin Competition, and More

Filed as Features on May 30, 2007 10:05 pm

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The latest release of WordPress is mandatory, though sadly, it also brings the loss of several valuable WordPress Plugins which have not been updated by their authors. Besides the typical moans and groans of upgrading, there is exciting WordPress news. There is a new WordPress Plugin Competition, WordPress.com blogs crosses the 1 million mark, we get a sneak peak at WordPress 2.3, fans of the popular Vistered Little WordPress Theme need to know a mandatory upgrade has been released, some great improvements to WordPress.com blogs have been announced, and WordPress developer, Mark Jaquith, takes a real job. Shock and worry shakes the WordPress Community.

WordPress News

WordPress 2.2 is now a Mandatory Upgrade: If you are using WordPress 2.1.3, WordPress 2.2 is now a mandatory upgrade, according to WordPress developer, Mark Jaquith.

WordPress 2.2 Released: WordPress 2.2 is now available for Download. You can find a list of version changes and new features for more information on what’s new in WordPress 2.2.

Things to Know About WordPress 2.2: Some older WordPress Plugins that may have kept on working without updates through previous versions of WordPress may break with WordPress 2.2. These include Plugins with rely upon old table structures and global functions. For example, the Ultimate Tag Warrior, Customizable Post Listings, More Smilies, podPress, and other Plugins which modify the_content() template tag and rely on deprecated structures and functions. We’re awaiting new versions of many of these. Be patient.

Check the WordPress 2.2 Plugin Compatibility List and WordPress 2.2 Theme Compatibility List to make sure your Plugin and Theme works with WordPress 2.2 if you are having trouble. As always, disable WordPress Plugins before you install and make sure you have the latest version of the WordPress Plugins on your blog.

Troubleshooting Your Upgrade: To begin the troubleshooting process before you begin your upgrade:

  1. Backup your WordPress database and site – EVERYTHING.
  2. Make sure all WordPress Plugins are upgraded.
  3. Ensure your WordPress Theme is also upgraded.
  4. Go to your Plugins panel and print the page, highlighting your enabled Plugins.
  5. For Plugins requiring customization or a lot of configuration, visit their configuration panel and print out those pages, making notes on your settings to preserve them, just in case.
  6. Disable all WordPress Plugins, by renaming the /wp-content/plugins directory on your blog or moving the Plugins to another backup folder.
  7. Delete all your cache files on your server, found in /wp-content/cache/. This clears the “memory” of WordPress so you start fresh.
  8. Begin your upgrade.

After the upgrade:

  1. Check your blog to make sure the Administration Panels are all working before activating Plugins.
  2. Check your blog to maker sure your WordPress Theme is working before activating Plugins.
  3. Rename the Plugins Folder or move your WordPress Plugins back.
  4. Activate them one by one, checking your blog thoroughly. Also check the Plugin configuration panel for each Plugin to ensure it is working and the settings are still as you would like them.
  5. WordPress comes with WordPress Widgets built in so you do not have to activate the WordPress Widget Plugin. You may need to visit your Widget panel to re-enable or configure your WordPress Widgets for your sidebar.
  6. If the Plugin works, continue with the next one, one by one.
  7. If the Plugin doesn’t work, or you suddenly get an error, backup or remove the last activated Plugin from the Plugin directory and see if that resolves the issue.
  8. Keep going until done with the Plugins.
  9. Check your comments for comment spam that may have slipped through during the upgrade process.
  10. If all works, celebrate and keep blogging.

If you are finding problems after upgrading, turn off your WordPress Plugins one by one until the problem goes away, or turn them all off and see if the problem is still there. If it is still there, it’s a problem with your installation or Theme. If the problem is gone, it’s likely to be a problem with a Plugin or two Plugins conflicting with one another. It could also be a bad upload, as discovered by Quick Online Tips. Make sure to delete all the files before uploading, and upload them one folder at a time if you are on an “iffy” Internet connection.

See When the Blog Breaks: Fixing Your Broken Blog and My WordPress Theme is Broken to help troubleshoot your WordPress blog, and always check the and , the online manual for WordPress Users, for more resources and information.

Some Strong Recommendations on Why Not to Upgrade to WordPress 2.2: There are some growing concerns about some of the changes and “improvements” to the latest version of WordPress. Blogosquare explains some of the reasons, including the loss of the built-in post preview, the new inclusion of Widgets can now screw up your sidebar accessories, and offers instructions on how to downgrade WordPress. I’m hearing from others that their favorite WordPress Plugins like the Ultimate Tag Warrior, Customizable Post Listings, and others are not compatible and likely to not be upgraded to work with this version. Unfortunately, this upgrade includes a mandatory security patch, so the decision may be a tough one for some.

WordCamp 2007 – July 21-22: will be July 21-22 in San Fransisco at the Swedish American Hall on Market Street. More info due soon.

WordPress Plugin Competition: It’s been a while since there was a good WordPress Plugin competition, and I’m really looking forward to this new one by Weblog Tools Collection called “WordPress Competition 2.0″. It runs from June 1 – July 31 and should have some great prizes. See the Plugin Competition Blog for more information.

WebWare 100 – Vote for WordPress: The WebWare 100 poll is asking you to vote for your favorite web applications and WordPress is in the Publishing: Blogging, Web Content, Design Tools Category. If you are a fan, go vote for WordPress. Registration not required.

WordPress Community Podcast: The latest edition of the WordPress Community Podcast is our with news on WordPress 2.2, Mass Post Manager, AntiLeech, Genki YouTube Comments, and a lot more WordPress news and commentary.

WordPress 2.3 In the Trunk: WordPress developer, Ryan Boren offers an inside look at what is up and coming with WordPress 2.3, the next version. Highlights include tagging, separating link and post categories, housekeeping and code clean up to make things run faster and better, TinyMCE, the Rich Text Editor, has been updated, and the new post and page management feature WordPress.com bloggers are loving has been added.

Your Ideas Wanted! Do you have a suggestion to improve WordPress? Or want to vote on one you think is a must-have for WordPress users? Have your say on the , or at least vote one way or another to support or defeat an idea for a new and/or improved feature.

WordPress.com News

WordPress.com W logoOne Million Blogs on WordPress.com: The count finally turned 1 million, the number of blogs on WordPress.com. It now stands at 1,026,328. That’s a lot of blogs. Congrats to everyone behind WordPress.com for creating such an incredible phenomenon.

WordPress.com Blogs Hammered Recently With Comment Spam: There is a new group of comment spammers that have hit the blogosphere and WordPress.com blogs are being hammered. Please, use Akismet to mark comment spam that gets through so Akismet can identify these comment spammers and everyone can benefit from your input. DO NOT DELETE THESE. And don’t complain publicly on your blog. Just deal with them by marking them as SPAM. If overwhelmed with comment spam, use the Mass Edit Mode and click the box next to NAME to mark ALL of the comment spam and then go through the list and uncheck good comments. See Check Your WordPress.com Comments for Comment Spam for more information on how to use this feature.

Domain Mapping and Emails: WordPress.com announces domain mapping and emails through Google Apps email service. Any blog set up with domain mapping can now get email. See the FAQ for more information.

WordPress Video: WordPress.com announces WordPress Video which allows paid space upgrade users to upload video to WordPress.com. It will be automatically converted to Flash and added to a video player, similar to YouTube. This is a beta test, and may be available to everyone later, if the tests go well, but be aware that videos take up a lot of storage space and self-hosting videos may require you to buy more storage space. For more information, check out the WordPress Video FAQ.

Filter Your Drafts: WordPress.com also announces a new feature to filter your drafts. Before publishing a post, you can save it as a Draft, waiting until you get around to finish it. Many of us have a LOT of drafts piling up, so this new filter allows you to set your Manage > Posts panel options to sort by Draft – but more importantly, they’ve finally added what I’ve been begging for! The ability to sort posts by category, date, author, search term, and now post type. Now, if they just gave us back the built-in Post Preview (with an option to turn it off for the FEW who want it off), the world of WordPress.com would be pretty awesome.

It’s Getting Hot In Here Moving to WordPress.com VIP Account: If you are a fan of It’s Getting Hot In Here, they are moving to a WordPress.com VIP account and asking readers what they want more of on their blog. When was the last time you asked your readers what they really want on your blog? The site is a community media project featuring “student and youth leaders from the movement to stop global warming and to build a more just and sustainable future.” Go visit and welcome them to WordPress.com.

What’s Hot on WordPress.com? The hottest blogs on WordPress.com were:

  1. I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?
  2. GigaOM
  3. passive-aggressive notes from roommates, neighbors, coworkers and strangers
  4. Ladies…
  5. Scobleizer
  6. 38 Pitches
  7. Web Worker Daily
  8. Park Avenue Peerage
  9. Arsenal News Blog
  10. A Hot Mess!

The hottest blog posts on WordPress.com were:

  1. BUSTED!
  2. Eto’o plus £17 million for Henry, would you be tempted?
  3. Ron Paul #1 Most Demanded Republican Presidential Candidate
  4. to put it as politely as possible
  5. ALICE CAT FELL DOWN
  6. Roll your own server in 50 lines of code
  7. LIVE BLOGGING: Apple adds YouTube to AppleTV
  8. An evangelism opportunity…
  9. Blah blah blah news etc…
  10. How to Build Your Personal Brand Online

WordPress Plugins and Themes News

WordPress Plugins DatabaseReleasing and Publicizing Your WordPress Plugin: Devlounge offers “Releasing and Promoting Your WordPress Plugin” as part of its ongoing series on how to write a WordPress Plugin. They also recommend Weblog Tools Collection’s Ajay D’Souza’s article on Releasing WordPress Themes and I offer A Love Letter to WordPress Plugin Authors and WordPress Theme Designers: Slapping You Upside the Head for more tips on releasing your WordPress Theme and Plugin to the public.

Is Your Theme and Plugin Compatible with WordPress 2.2? As should be the normal protocol, if your WordPress Theme and/or Plugin is compatible with WordPress 2.2 or upgraded accordingly, make sure it is on the WordPress 2.2 Plugin Compatibility List and WordPress 2.2 Theme Compatibility List.

WordPress Database Backup Plugin: A lot of people are complaining that their WordPress Backup Plugin isn’t working with the new version of WordPress. Get the latest version from Ifilosopho who maintains the WordPress Database Backup Plugin formerly by Owen Winkler and Skippy.

Reinvigorate WordPress Plugin: Web Worker Daily reviews Reinvigorate for tracking website and blog traffic and includes a mention that Reinvigorate statistics offer a WordPress Plugin.

Writing Secure WordPress Plugins: Operation N has written “Securing WordPress Plugins”, a step-by-step approach to helping Plugin authors write more secure WordPress Plugins, protecting their users if they release their Plugins publicly.

Disable the Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin: If you are having trouble on your WordPress blog version 2.1+, or complaints from your web host, disable the Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin. This much beloved Plugin is not working consistently with the new versions. WordPress has announced adding tags to the next major release of WordPress, so development on the Plugin seems to be at a standstill. As soon as we get more information on this, we’ll let you know.

AjaxWP Javascript AJAX enhancement for WordPress: AjaxWp is an AJAX enhancement for WordPress blogs, a “lightweight JavaScript enhancement that adds AJAX functionality to WordPress blogs speeding up load times, increasing the responsiveness of the user interface and giving the blog an overall cooler look,” says the author, who explains even more in Ajaxifying WordPress: The making of AjaxWp.

Copyblogger Theme Released: Chris Pearson has released the old Copyblogger WordPress Theme for use.

Sticky WordPress Plugins: Aaron Brazell of Technosailor offers “Intelligent Design and Stickiness for WordPress Blogs”, a list of WordPress Plugins which improves a blog’s stickiness.

Vistered Little WordPress Theme Immediate Update: According to Weblog Tools Collection there has been a security issue found with the most popular downloaded WordPress Theme, Vistered Little, and users need to upgrade the theme to version 1.7.3 immediately.

Most Popular WordPress Themes: The WordPress Theme Viewer now features 3,168 Themes and 4,552,124 Themes downloads. The top WordPress Themes are:

  1. Vistered Little 1.7.3 (NOTE: upgrade the theme to version 1.7.3 immediately)
  2. MistyLook 3.3.1
  3. WP-Andreas01
  4. Water
  5. ChaoticSoul
  6. Japanese Cherry Blossom
  7. Mandigo
  8. Cordobo Green Park
  9. Mesozoic
  10. Sky3c 2.0

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:

More WordPress Plugins can be found on the WordPress Plugins Database.

WordPress Community News

WordPress Community graphicNew Database for WordPressMU: Matt Mullenweg has announced HyperDB, a new “super” database for running WordPressMu sites like . He’s started a new mailing list to cover this new enterprise DB class for WordPress. In a related post, Donncha O’Caoimh offers “The Real Way to Improve Server Performance” with news that the next version of WordPressMU will have a special Javascript client-side db (JCSDB) library built in.

Many WordPress Bloggers and Users are Firefox Fans: If you are a fan of Firefox, using it to design or tweak WordPress Themes or living inside the web within its borders, you need to know that there is a Firefox 2.0.0.4 and Firefox 1.5.0.12 Security and Stability Update available.

Quick Online Tips Reports 400,000 Comment Spams Blocked by Akismet: Like headline news, Quick Online Tips reports Akismet Blocked 400,000 Spam Comments. Let’s see, on , the Akismet kill total is over 576,500 and growing. According to , 1,566,282,256 spams have been caught so far and 3,886,801 so far today. That’s a lot of spam catching. How is it working for you?

Mark Jaquith Has a New Job: , the powerhouse developer behind a lot of the new functions and features in WordPress, a freelance consultant, has gotten married and now gotten a “real job” working for B5Media. According to his announcement, “My contributions to WordPress will continue to be made using my independent judgement.” In other words, B5Media will get no special treatment, and he will continue to offer his services to WordPress development. Congrats on all accounts, Mark!

Are You Involved With a WordPress Group? If you are involved with a WordPress group that meets regularly or as part of a special event, please let me know so I can promote the event here and elsewhere. If your group isn’t listed with Incoming.org or Meetup.com with WordPress as a keyword, I and others might not find you. Help us to help you promote your WordPress group.

WordPress Installed For Free: If you have problems installing the full version of WordPress, visit Installing WordPress for Free (aka Install4Free WordPress). This free, volunteer-driven service is limited to personal blogs only, and they help only with installations, not upgrades.

Looking for Past WordPress Versions? The placeholder for past versions of WordPress releases is at the WordPress Release Archive.

Looking for a WordPress Expert? Do you want a custom WordPress blog? Want to convert your website into a WordPress blog or use WordPress as a CMS? 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 , the parent company of WordPress, and the WP-Pro mailing list.

WordPress Techniques and Tips

Know of any great WordPress tips and techniques articles? Let me know and it may end up on our weekly list.

WordPress Videos and Podcasts: Here is this week’s list of videos and podcasts about WordPress tips, tricks, and techniques to help you learn and do more with WordPress. It’s hard to find good ones, so if you have any recommendations, please let me know.

Here are some featured articles from the , the online manual for WordPress Users, the source you need to turn to first for your WordPress help.

WordPress Events

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.

For a WordPress Meetup near you and other blogging events, check out the WordPress Meetup Group List.

For more news on WordPress, see:

Extra Tip of the Week

Who the hell are you and how do I get a hold of you? Who are you and why should I trust you? And if I wanted to have a conversation with you off your blog, to tell you that you’ve screwed up or that I admire you and want to kiss the ground you float over – how do I get a hold of you?

An About Page and Contact Page are essential to your blog. We need to know who you are, why we should care about what you blog about, and how to get in contact with you. For more information on writing an About Page, see Who The Hell Are You? For WordPress Plugins that will help you add a contact form to your Contact Page, see Contact Form WordPress Plugins.


Each Wednesday on is WordPress Wednesday, featuring the news around the WordPress Community.

Lorelle VanFossen blogs about blogging and WordPress on and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging.

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  1. By HART (1-800-HART) posted on May 31, 2007 at 1:57 am
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    A Gajillion amount of news .. just as always!

    I stopped upgrading to version 2.2 until the plugin “iimage browser” works. Currently, their version does not work with this upgrade. It’s quite disruptive on the blogs that I’ve upgraded. It’s a shame WordPress still “doesn’t get it” when it comes to image uploading. i.m.o.

  2. By HandySolo (Chris) posted on May 31, 2007 at 9:41 am
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    UTW is broke with 2.2? Really?!?

    I’ve got it going on 2 2.2 blogs and haven’t noticed any issues… However, perhaps that’s because I don’t let it automatically add the tags to the_content? I place them where I want ‘em.

    But I suppose I better go do a bit more testing to make sure I’m ok! Thanks for the heads up.

  3. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on May 31, 2007 at 12:09 pm
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    Yes, the Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin opens a lot of connections to your database without closing them, whether you automatically tag or not. I don’t and my server shut down my access to the database repeatedly until we found out it was the main culprit. This has been reported by a lot of folks on the forums and elsewhere.

    Yes, WordPress needs work on the image browse/uploading feature. It wasn’t that horrible in the beginning when you could upload multiple files, but then they dropped it to one at a time which makes the process tedious. The new image preview uploading feature is seriously lacking in many areas, I agree. Luckily, there are many choices in image WordPress Plugins and some will work with the newer versions of WordPress.

    The issue of faster releases of upgrades and WordPress Plugins and Themes not keeping pace is one that WordPress has to look at seriously. Not that they should slow development, but backwards compatibility and helping authors get advanced notice better, as well as easier upgrade processes, would help improve this part of the customer satisfaction aspect greatly.

  4. Wordpress 2.1.3 Users MUST Upgrade to 2.2 at WPThemesPlugin.com - Wordpress Themes | Plugins | Blog Tools | Interviews | Make Money OnlineMay 31, 2007 at 8:00 pm
  5. How to Move to WP 2.2June 1, 2007 at 6:04 am
  6. WordPress v. 2.2 Upgrade Exposes Cracks in the Foundation » AI3:::Adaptive InformationJune 7, 2007 at 3:36 pm
  7. By Steve Skooz posted on June 7, 2007 at 4:34 pm
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    If i upgrade to 2.2 will all of my plugins still work?

    thanks.

    steve

  8. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on June 7, 2007 at 8:19 pm
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    Steve: It depends. If they are on the WordPress 2.2 Plugin Compatibility List, they probably will. If not, you’ll have to check in for updates from the Plugin author.

  9. WordPress 2.2.1 out soon and current issues with version 2.2June 19, 2007 at 2:16 pm