WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress 2.2.2, Competitions End, WordPress Theme Vulnerabilities, and More WordPress News

Filed as Features on August 7, 2007 10:24 pm

Mandatory WordPress Security update has been released. The winners have been announced for the Sandbox Theme Competition, and the finalists are in for the Weblog Tools Collection WordPress Plugin Competition. WordCamp 2007 is more than a fond memory for many – plans underway already for next year. Have you checked your WordPress Theme for spam and ad links? And could it possibly be vulnerable to security threats? And more WordPress news.

WordPress News

WordPress Competitions: The Weblog Tools Collection Plugin Competition and The Sandbox Designs Competition is over.

The Sandbox Designs Competition winners and runners up are:

The winner, Arpit Jacob, shares a little about the thrill of winning the competition and getting a bit of fame from the process in a most humble and delightful post. You can find more coverage by Engtech of the SandBox Theme Competition in Sandbox Theme for WordPress Design Competition and Sandbox Design Competition Winners.

The Weblog Tools Collection Plugin Competition Prize and Plugins List is in with a lot of fascinating WordPress Plugins. Your ratings are critical and used to help determine the winners. Go vote for your favorite WordPress Plugins and help pick the winners.

Update WordPress: The latest update of WordPress is out. WordPress 2.2.2 and 2.0.11 have been released and are security-related upgrades, thus are mandatory upgrades for all full version WordPress users. Mark Jaquith reports on some of the security issues covered by this update.

Update WordPress Plugin: Techie Buzz’s WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin promises to make the process of upgrading WordPress easier. There have been a lot of attempts previously. Not all successful or able to keep up with the demand for technical support. Have you tried it?

WordCamp 2007: News and reports about the successful conference a few weeks ago is still rolling out. This week, I’ve posted a summary of the general events and WordPress-related news and information from the conference on the Blog Herald, and more reports and information are coming in through the site and Patrick Havens’ great work on the WordCamp Report.

For those still tracking down the live blogging reports, the ones that are getting the most attention, other than those by the WordCamp Report, are ones done by Stephanie Booth of Climb to the Stars and Tris Hussey of Blog World Expo.

Want To See the Automattic Team? After a working break after WordCamp, the whole team got together for a portrait on the beach so you can see what the whole Automattic and WordPress team looks like.

WordPress on Your Calendar: While subject to change, the following are dates you need to put on your calendar regarding WordPress releases, as found on the WordPress Roadmap:

  • WordPress 2.3 – September 20, 2007 (at least ready for testing then release) – to include tags and improved caching among many other new features under the hood.
  • WordPress 2.4 – December 1, 2007 – to include a new WordPress Administration Panel interface, improved caching, and a lot of bug fixes and improvements.
  • July 2008 – WordCamp 2008 in San Francisco (okay – this is speculative but it helps to plan ahead)

The New WordPress Store: Matt Mullenweg announced the new WordPress store is online and open for business. There are red WordPress t-shirts for men and women with a variety of sizes, with more fun WordPress stuff coming soon.

Vote for WordPress Ideas: The section on WordPress is an open forum for you to have your say on the features you would like to see added or removed from WordPress. According to Matt at WordCamp, the Ideas list heavily influences which features are added or removed from WordPress. This is the place to have your say by rating the idea by clicking on the stars on the idea post and comment on the idea with your support, recommendation, or nay on the idea.

Here are some interesting ones that deal with comments on WordPress, worth considering, voting, and having your say:

WordPress.com News

WordPress.com W logoFake Steve Jobs Unmasked as a WordPress.com blogger: The famous “Fake Steve”, the parody blogger who ran Secret Diary of Steve Jobs (Print Version) has been unmasked as Daniel Lyons, a senior editor at Forbes magazine and novelist, who also happens to have his own personal blog, floatingpoint.wordpress.com. It seems that it was his WordPress.com blog, Floating Point, which led researchers to uncover the secretive writer. Who knows what other famous mystery folks are blogging on WordPress.com! Conspiracy!

WordPress.com Blogs Scraped, Again: WordPress.com blogs are being scraped by several splogs and scrapers – this means that WordPress.com bloggers are having their content show up on these blogs, stuffed with ads, without their permission. We’ve fought against this before with Bitacle, which continues to scrap WordPress and WordPress.com blogs, and now many users are asking WordPress.com to stop these scrapers to protect their content. You can read more on this from Letters Home to You in “Has Anyone Stolen Your Writing Lately?” and “Please Help Me Get Google to Pull Their Ads from a Blogging Thief”, and WordPress Support Forums discussion.

To report copyright violations on this massive scale to WordPress.com, you can use their Feedback link from within your Administration Panels, or the WordPress.com Support. Do not report isolated cases to them as there is nothing they can do about it unless the offending blog is on WordPress.com.

To report copyright violations, splogs (spam blogs), and scrapers to Google, you can submit the information through their form or the Webmaster Tools Report Spam Form.

WordPress.com Front Page Features New News and Categories: WordPress.com announces Categories and News featured in the redesign of the WordPress.com front page. Posts within some specific categories will be featured based upon their rating in the Blogs of the Day and unique WordPress.com popularity algorithm. More categories may come, and some may go, but the whole thing is based upon WordPress.com users using categories appropriate on their posts. Your blog may be banned from the front page if it is improperly categorized. Make sure you are using the right category for such inclusion.

WordPress.com Turns Two in August: Anticipate a lot of fun and activity as WordPress.com turns two years old in August.

July Wrap-Up News for WordPress.com: In spite of all the time spent around WordCamp, the crew on WordPress.com got a lot done. Achievements included:

Time to Renew Your Extras in WordPress.com: If you signed up a year ago for WordPress.com Extras like CSS, extra storage, and such, it may be time to renew your annual subscription to your WordPress.com extra features.

Honoring the Languages of WordPress.com Blogs and Bloggers: This week, it’s time to honor WordPress.com Blogs in Polski. To translate these into another language, you may use Google’s Translate Tools by copying and pasting in the link into the “translate web page” option.

  1. Skończcie z tym Waścią Kaczyńskim!
  2. Jak się morduje po chrześcijańsku?
  3. Seriale, seriale…
  4. War against zombies
  5. Radosław Tryc “Wenus – czyli o straszeniu piekłem”
  6. flejm flejm flejm
  7. Odpicuj se ojczyzne
  8. kampania społeczna dla Amnesty International
  9. Rysopis…
  10. Pracy naukowej powinno się oddać duszą i ciałem

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

  1. CNN Political Ticker
  2. I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?
  3. Hawty McBloggy Invites You to Play
  4. A Hot Mess!
  5. GigaOM
  6. Web Worker Daily
  7. The Browser: Analyzing the tech biz
  8. Scobleizer
  9. Media Biz
  10. Music Videos

The hottest blog posts on WordPress.com were:

  1. Top 10 Halo Pick-Up Lines
  2. YouTube faces the music
  3. Civil suit against Milberg Weiss is score-settling
  4. Don’t call her ‘Obama girl’
  5. Cecil must not have picked up the tab
  6. Albi The Racist Dragon
  7. New Vonage Box: “Basically a router”
  8. Washed teh dishes.
  9. Washed teh dishes.
  10. PM’s aircraft is now in Malaysia

WordPress Plugins and Themes News

WordPress Plugins DatabaseWordPress Themes Checklist: While specifically for the Sandbox Theme Competition, the Sandbox (CSS) Design Competition Pre-Submission Checklist by Headset Options is a must-have list for WordPress Theme designers and tweakers. Small Potato offers another checklist for the Sandbox and other WordPress Themes.

Downloading Themes from Unofficial WordPress Theme Sources: There have been a variety of reports about WordPress Theme suppliers offering free Themes, but users finding a ton of advertising links and spam links in these downloaded Themes. Some are obvious, and others are buried in included template files, javascripts, and PHP code.

If you choose to download Themes from “unofficial” sites, take care. These are not the responsibility of WordPress or Automattic and you do so at your own risk. I recommend that if you cannot find a WordPress Theme from the official sites, you check the code thoroughly before using, or have someone do it for you. Or check out the list by WPThemesPlugin on sites that allow sponsored Themes. This list is no guarrantee that these Themes will be free of ad or spam links.

Vulnerability and Security Update for Automattic’s WordPress Stats Plugin: Andy Skelton of Automattic announces an immediate security update of the Automattic WordPress Stats Plugin, a mandatory upgrade. Andy’s posted news about the upgraded version, along with some annoyances that they are working on fixing.

Security Vulnerable WordPress Themes: Blog Security has released their “Top 10 Vulnerable WordPress Themes”, a list of Themes which feature some of the common WordPress template flaws. Consider checking your WordPress Theme if you are a designer, author, or tweaker to see if your WordPress Theme is vulnerable.

Interesting WordPress Plugins: The following are some interesting WordPress Plugins I’ve stumbled upon recently.

  • WP-Authors WordPress Plugin provides sidebar widgets for displaying author lilst information on a WordPress blog with multiple authors.
  • WP Admin Switcher allows you to enter a series of blog login information and then switch between the different blogs with ease. This could be great for those with more than one blog to administrate.
  • InspectorWordpress WordPress Plugin monitors each request to your WordPress blog and interrupts an attackers actions and logs it based on user-defined conditions. Not sure what that means but if you are security concious, it might be worth looking into.
  • Wordbook WordPress Plugin allows you to cross-post your blog posts to your Facebook Mini-Feed.
  • Post Templates WordPress Plugin appears to be an interesting Plugin for those who publish post content which has the same structure repeatedly, which might apply to a structure like this weekly blog post. It helps you maintain “post templates” so you can easily recreate them with a few keystrokes instead of using copy and paste.

For more WordPress Plugins see the official WordPress Plugin Directory, WordPress Plugins Database, and Weblog Tools Collection of WordPress Plugins released daily.

Most Popular WordPress Themes: The WordPress Theme Viewer has been cleaned up and now features 1,628 WordPress Themes with 6,153,194 downloads. The most popular WordPress Themes are:

WordPress Techniques and Tips

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

NOTE: If you would like your WordPress tip and technique included in this list, see Tips For Writing Good WordPress Tips.

WordPress Community News

WordPress Community graphicAkismet Scoring High: Weblog Tools Collection reports Akismet has caught over 2 million comment spams. is about to cross the 1 million mark. So are blogs all over the web as works with the blogging community to fight off blog and forum comment spam.

WordPress Community Podcast: The eagerly anticipated WordPress Community Podcast is having a little glitch in the system and was offline for a bit but it’s been fixed. We’re awaiting the report from Charles and Aaron on WordCamp 2007. Until then, you can still catch the Episode 27: WordPress 2.2.1 and WordCamp Schedule with some interesting topics on WordCamp and WordPress 2.2.1, as well as some reviews and announcements of some interesting WordPress Plugins.

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 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 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 or via email.

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

Extra Tip of the Week

Another Look at WordPress and Duplicate Content: According to Google, duplicate content could count against your blog. This is also known as supplemental pages.

The issue behind the penalties of duplicate content are designed to stop sploggers and scrapers who duplicate content throughout their spam blogs and duplicate other’s content.

However, WordPress blogs naturally create duplicate content through the different page views such as one post being seen on the front page, search, archives, tags, categories, and other multi-post views. These are normal for a typical blog and you cannot be penalized due to normal activity. Still, there are now WordPress Plugins and tons of tips on how to minimize duplicate content on WordPress blogs.

The simplist technique is to switch from the_content() WordPress template tag in multiple post view template files to the_excerpt(). The post tag will reduce the content to excerpts, thus minimizing duplicate content.

Basically, don’t worry about this. But if you are, use this simple technique and your blog’s duplicate content issue will be gone.

Even More WordPress News?

For more news on WordPress, see:


Each Wednesday on is WordPress Wednesday, featuring the news around the WordPress Community. If you have a WordPress news item or tip to suggest, please contact me at this special email address: lorelleonwordpress@gmail.com

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  1. By Stephanie Booth posted on August 8, 2007 at 12:16 am
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    http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/07/22/a-day-at-wordcamp-2007/ contains links to my WordCamp liveblogging efforts, and may be more useful to readers than my main url (WordCamp has rolled off the front page…)

    Reply

  2. By David Kierznowski posted on August 8, 2007 at 2:01 am
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    The top 10 vulnerable WordPress templates article was based on statistics from users who have used our free online WordPress vulnerability scanner.

    I recommend it for anyone who wants to give their blog a quick security check, more details here: http://blogsecurity.net/wordpress/tools/wp-scanner/

    Reply

  3. By Collin posted on August 8, 2007 at 5:29 am
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    Lorelle – just a small error – 2.3 is due for release 20 September, not 20 August.

    A great post otherwise, thanks for the useful information.

    Reply

  4. WP 2.3 On The Way « Collin’s Geek RantsAugust 8, 2007 at 5:39 am
  5. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on August 8, 2007 at 8:06 am
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    Thanks for the corrections.

    And David, thanks for the link to the scanner tool. That’s going to be interesting to experiment with. Thanks!

    Reply

  6. By Moses Francis posted on August 8, 2007 at 11:18 am
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    Great list of round-up in the WordPress community as usual,thanks for taking your time and effort to write such a good post week in week out.

    Reply

  7. By David Kierznowski posted on August 8, 2007 at 3:43 pm
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    Lorelle, pleasure.

    Reply

  8. Are You Risking Your Blog With an Unofficial or Vulnerable WordPress Theme? « Lorelle on WordPressAugust 9, 2007 at 10:45 am
  9. WordPress.com Blogs Feeds Scraped « Lorelle on WordPressAugust 9, 2007 at 4:49 pm
  10. By Index.com.my posted on August 10, 2007 at 1:20 am
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    Great post .. lorella … :)

    Reply

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