WordPress Wednesday News: WordCamps in Israel, Argentina, Australia, and Germany, Tons of WordPress Plugin News and Updates, Beta Security Release Announced, and More

Filed as Features on October 24, 2007 10:44 am

There is a ton of news on new and updated WordPress Plugins for WordPress 2.3. A beta release of the upcoming WordPress 2.3.1 is out with a ton of fixes. The first security vulnerability has been found in WordPress 2.3, with an immediate fix. International WordCamps are popping up everywhere in Israel, Argentina, Australia, and Germany leading the pack. Rumors of the sale of Automattic are false. Rumors of Automattic buying Gravatar are true. Lorelle’s in Israel. Matt’s heading to Argentina. And even more WordPress News.

WordPress News

WordPress 2.3.1 Beta 1 Related: Ryan Boren announced the WordPress 2.3.1 Beta 1 Release which fixes over over twenty bugs in the newest release from WordPress. Highlights include tag support for Windows Live Writer, faster taxonomy database queries, and link importer fixes.

WordPress 2.3 Security: After releasing a post about improved security in the latest version of WordPress, Blog Security announced the first WordPress 2.3 security vulnerability has been found associated with the links importer, and was fixed up an updated version released immediately by WordPress. This is an amazingly fast response. Well done all.

WordCamp Israel: WordCamp Israel is filled with a long waiting list for the October 25 day long conference. I’m going to be there, talking about blogging and WordPress, along with some of the best of the best of Israeli bloggers.

WordCamp Argentina:WordCamp Argentina (Upcoming Event Page) is October 31, 2007, and will be featuring Matt Mullenweg along with other popular bloggers and web publishing experts at the Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires.

WordCamp Melbourne: Australia, is the next international spot for WordCamp Melbourne for November 17. There is now an Upcoming Events page which list WordCamp Melbourne will be at the Watermark Bar. They are still setting the schedule of speakers up for the afternoon long conference, but expect to see some fantastic speakers and programs.

WordPress Hamburg News: Blog Yoda writes about the excitement of the upcoming WordCamp Hamburg or WordCamp Germany, as many are calling it. The author also points to the popular wordpress-deutschland.org, which services German speaking WordPress users with helpful articles and tips. I’ll be searching for new reports and news on the upcoming WordCamp event, so please point me in the right direction if you have information on this!

International WordCamps: Is there a WordCamp coming to your area? Volunteers are needed to help coordinate WordCamp conferences around the world. Below are some of the first, and they need your help to be a success, so pitch in and spread the news.

WordPress 2.4 Digest: Peter reports that this week’s changes to WordPress 2.4 development with more on $wpdb methods, new and updated phpdoc documentation for different areas of the code, Atom support to the RSD document to enable easy discovery, improvements to the email address extraction, security fix to the link manager, and other exciting improvements to the development of WordPress 2.4!

WordPress on Your Calendar: Here are some WordPress-related dates and events to put on your calendar as found on the WordPress Roadmap and the WordPress Meetup Group Listings (subject to change):

If you are having a WordPress-related event that isn’t on the calendar, post them below or via email.

WordPress 2.3 Tags and WordPress Plugins for Tags: While many are having trouble with their WordPress Themes and the new tag feature, others are embracing it and finding interesting ways of making it work for them. In Implementing WordPress 2.3’s New Tagging Feature, Tom Johnson explains some of the WordPress Plugins he is using and how.

The following are WordPress Plugins that are designed to work with the native tagging in WordPress 2.3:

WordPress 2.3 Released: In addition to the recent WordPress 2.3.1 Beta 1 Release with security fixes, WordPress 2.3 is available for download. For information on features and issues with WordPress 2.3, see:

Plugin To Improve WordPress 2.3 Upgrade: WordPress Upgrade Preflight Check WordPress Plugin attempts to check Plugins and Themes for errors when upgrading to WordPress 2.3. Run this before upgrading to help improve the ease of your upgrade.

WordPress in Third Place: According to Alley Insider, Nielsen’s latest blog traffic rankings put WordPress in third place behind Google Blogger and Typepad.

Are You Using the WordPress Rich Visual Editor – or Like Most, Not? Abhijit Nadgouda of ifacethoughts brings up the issue of whether or not you use the visual editor on your blogs and finds out that many do not. A lot of serious, long time, and expert bloggers do not use the Rich Text Editor, known as WYSIWYG, describing it as more of WYSIWYMG: What You See Is What You May Get. It is not a visual display of how your post will look but might look on your blog when published if all things are equal. They aren’t. Unfortunately, WordPress Developers have been ignoring the non-Rich Text Editor a lot over the past two years, maybe thinking they were doing a favor by incorporating a “code” view into the Rich Text Editor. Having spent several weeks forcing myself to use that, I can say that I’m much happier to be back in the visual-less environment of the plain, old fashioned, but predictable non-Rich Text Editor view. What about you? Do you think WordPress developers should put some energy back into the non-WYSIWYMG editor and boost that?

Learning WordPress Can Be Hard, But Doesn’t Have to Be: I read a lot of posts about people struggling to cope with installing and managing a WordPress blog on a self-hosted site, but I was enchanted with Lea Woodward’s commentary on what she learned about WordPress. She talks about overcoming her fears, even though she thought she knew plenty about web design and development, and moving her blog from Typepad to WordPress wasn’t as hard as she thought. But it did come with a high learning curve, and she offers tips on how to avoid the learning curve by making sensible decisions on taking advantage of WordPress Plugins and Themes to customize your WordPress blog without stressing yourself or your abilities. Remember, it’s only as hard as you make it. Just choose to make it easy.

Vote for WordPress Ideas: Did you know you could have your say in how WordPress works? You can add your idea and vote on any of the ideas to push them to the top in getting them added or removed from WordPress future versions. The section on WordPress is an open forum for you to have your say. Why not take advantage of it and add your voice to the vote.

Last Week’s WordPress Wednesday News: Last week’s WordPress Wednesday News report covered WordCamp Israel Full, Tag Frustration, Security Tips and Plugins, Drupal, wPhone, WP-Cache, Akismet, and Mailing Lists, if you would like to catch up with the news on WordPress.

WordPress.com News

WordPress.com W logoSandbox Theme Updated on WordPress.com: The Sandbox Theme has been updated on WordPress.com and now comes in two versions, old and new. Sandbox Theme 1.0 is the new version and 0.61 the old, and the new will not work with the old due to major changes in the styles and structure. Used by all those who paid for the CSS Upgrade, to change to the new version, read the Sandbox readme file for notes on the changes and documentation. Also check out the announcement about the Custom CSS Upgrade on the WordPress.com FAQ.

Gravatars Come to WordPress.com: With the purchase of Gravatars, WordPress.com now brings Gravatars to WordPress.com blogs, a better form of avatar.

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

  1. Lolcats ‘n’ Funny Pictures – I Can Has Cheezburger?
  2. CNN Political Ticker
  3. POPSEOUL! entertainment, style and beauty in seoul
  4. Con chó DOG
  5. Les Amateurs de Stars
  6. YU Manija
  7. pollycoke :)
  8. GretaWire
  9. GigaOM
  10. FORTUNE: Apple 2.0

The hottest blog posts on WordPress.com were:

  1. Martial arts TV star picks presidential candidate
  2. Pop Quiz: Who is doing a jiggy in a cartoon?
  3. Four Things To Do in Forge
  4. Média de Público da 32ª Rodada do Brasileirão 2007
  5. When Sports Get Knocked Off The Air.
  6. KDE 4 Beta 3 – Screenshot Tour
  7. SamuEl Moreno dijo que compraría votos
  8. My duhpreshun
  9. Great Wall of Fendi
  10. Rox and Sox 2007 World Series, it’s on….

WordPress Plugins and Themes News

WordPress Plugins DatabaseWordPress Theme Competition: Design Vitality is having a WordPress Theme Competition which tons of prizes. Entries must be submitted by November 30, 2007.

iPhone Meets WordPress: The WPhone WordPress Plugin is getting a lot of deserved attention for giving an interface for WordPress for mobile phones. This Plugin is not limited to the iPhone but covers a wide variety of cell phones, for easy blogging on the road. Okay, not on the road, but while stopped next to the road and not moving. Promise?

New Auntie Akismet Spam Greasemonkey Script: If you haven’t checked out Auntie Akismet Spam Greasemonkey Script for Firebox by Engtech of Internet Duct Tape, you are missing out on one of the most powerful add-ons you can get for your blog. Trust me, it will cut down your handling of false/positives on Akismet by at least 50%, if not more. I adore it!

In Series WordPress Plugin Upgrade: The popular, In Series WordPress Plugin has been upgraded to work with WordPress 2.3, but also includes multi-lingual support and more flexibility. If you write article series on your blog, this Plugin displays a table of contents of the articles within the series and is invaluable. The next version, In Series 3.1.0 Beta 1 is available for those who want to help improve this popular Plugin.

WP-Cache and Protected Posts: Donncha shares tips on a Howto: WP-Cache and protected posts. WP-Cache does not cache password protected posts properly. James Farmer of noticed and together they’ve found a fix.

Vipers Video Quicktags Updated: Vipers Video Quicktags WordPress Plugin has been updated with Stage6 support and a fix for Metacafe. It can be downloaded via the WordPress Plugins Directory.

WordPress Theme Review Gruops on Facebook: Open Giga announces a new WordPress Review Groups on Facebook for “WordPress friends” to help each other review your WordPress blog. While the also offer a review section, you might find some interesting perspectives on your blog from this new review group.

Exec-PHP Updated: Exec-PHP WordPress Plugin has been updated to version 3.4. The Plugin allows PHP tags to be included in the content or excerpt of posts and pages, allowing the PHP code to be executed as PHP code. It now supports execution of text widgets and Plugin upgrade notification.

How Not to Let Plugins Break Your Blog: Techzilo reminds us how not to let WordPress Plugins break your blog when executed directly through your WordPress Theme template files. As a reminder, the code to wrap around the Plugin template tag is:

<?php if(function_exists('my_plugin_name'))
 { my_plugin_name(); } ?>

Robots-Meta WordPress Plugin Updated: The Robots-Meta WordPress Plugin has been updated to include verification of Google Webmaster Tools and Yahoo! SiteExplorer, along with some other bug fixes.

Anatomy of WordPress Design: addi has started a series on “The Anatomy of a WordPress Design”, and though he’s not spelling WordPress right :D , it’s a great series for those who want to dig into WordPress Theme design.

WordPress Functions History Tool: Ozh of Planet Ozh has developed a WordPress Functions Implementation History Tool which checks when a function was implemented in WordPress, and it’s history for when and if it was removed. It allows you to search across almost 1900 functions through 31 WordPress releases, from 0.71 to 2.3 and includes a map of functions through the versions. For the developer, Plugin and Theme Author, hacker, and coder, this is brilliant. Thank you!

AnswerLinks WordPress Plugin: WordPress.com recently added AnswerLinks to the Write Post panel, and now there is a full version of AnswerLinks WordPress Plugin to add to your own full version of WordPress.

Lester Chan’s WordPress Plugins Updated: Lester Chan’s WordPress Plugins were recently updated, so if you are a fan of Gamerz’s Plugins, get them updated for WordPress 2.3.

WordPress Theme Customization Hacks: Web Designer Wall offers WordPress Theme Hacks, an article packed with a lot of WordPress Theme customizations and tips.

Interesting WordPress Plugins: Some interesting WordPress Plugins I’ve stumbled across recently include:

  • EHT Translate WordPress Plugin works with Google to provide translation of your WordPress blog posts.
  • The Community Cloud WordPress Plugin displays a “tag cloud” of the people within your “blog community” – those who have commented on your blog. The more they comment, the bigger their name in the tag cloud.
  • Google Maps Plugin for WordPress allows you to render Google Maps on your WordPress blog as a web service, creating simple maps with a marker or complicated multimarker maps with hypertext balloon text.
  • Manage Pages Custom Columns in WordPress Plugin replaces the custom column feature of the Manage Posts panel for the Manage Pages panel per a long awaited enhancement request.
  • Different Posts Per Page WordPress Plugin generates a different number of posts shown on the various multi-post page views, and setting the order to ascend or descend, along with more controls.
  • WP-Submission WordPress Plugin makes it easy to create a submission form to a post or Page for submission of the post to Blog Carnivals, memes, or writing projects.
  • WordPress Plugin: WP-Offline takes advantage of Google Gears to help you read WordPress blogs offline by allowing your entire blog to be cached for offline reading. It is still in beta testing, but looks good for those who want to provide a way for their blog to be read offline, though I’m a little worried about the implications for copyright violation. On a post-by-post basis, I think it’s brilliant. A whole blog, hmmm.

WordPress Theme/Template Warnings: Again, more users are finding WordPress Theme/Template scam and spam links in Themes they get from in and around the web and not from verified “good” sources. Be warned! There is evil everywhere. As previously warned, there have been a variety of reports about WordPress Theme suppliers offering free Themes stuffed with 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 guarantee that these Themes will be free of ad or spam links, but it does show you the list of Themes which have been paid for and may include advertising.

Finding WordPress Plugins: For more WordPress Plugins see the official WordPress Plugin Directory, which now lists 1,171 plugins and 1,941,747 downloads, the WordPress Plugins Database, and Weblog Tools Collection of WordPress Plugins released daily.

Most Popular WordPress Themes: The WordPress Theme Viewer lists the most popular WordPress Themes:

  1. Africa theme 1
  2. Cutline 3-Column Split 1.1
  3. Sodelicious Black 1.0
  4. Yourblog 2.0 theme
  5. NetWorker 1.0
  6. Pop Blue
  7. Naruto Strikes Back
  8. LoseMyMind 1.0 with Sidebar
  9. Red Secret 0.1
  10. Talian 1.0

Worried Over the WordPress Theme Viewer: A lot of people, including WordPress Theme Developers and Designers, are worried about the WordPress Theme Viewer, including My Blog It, who worries because there has been no new news since the announcement that WordPress has taken over the Viewer and cleaned it up. While there are over a thousand WordPress Themes available for the public to download, many fear that without a new influx of Themes, and updates to the ones currently online, interest and enthusiasm will wane without news. Good point.

WordPress Techniques and Tips

Here are some featured articles and videos from around the WordPress Community 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 graphicWordPress Open Source Example: The Guardian Technology section writes that WordPress is a great example of Open Source morality and sets the standard for how “resisting the advertisers can pay greater dividends”.

Automattic Rumor Mill: A lot of rumors are flying around about Matt Mullenweg’s Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, being up for sale. In the Mashable article that helped fuel the fire, saying Automattic could be worth anywhere between $150 and $300 million, CEO Toni Schneider says the rumor is not true and Automattic is not up for sale.

Are Volunteers Discriminating in the WordPress Support Forum: While the volunteers work overtime for free to help other WordPress users solve their WordPress problems, there is a lot of resentment towards paid web designers and developers asking for free help on the forums. I believe that everyone should get help without prejudice, but there is some very good truth shared in Moshu’s article on “Discrimination in the WP Forum?”, which gives you insights into why pros aren’t getting the help they need when they come looking for free help to support their paid services. If you are in the business of web design, you might want to read this, and give it some consideration.

Automattic Buys Gravatar: Automattic has bought Gravatar, an avatar service popular with WordPress users until it ran into some problems last year. There are links to the announcement on the Gravatar Blog but no post is found. Notwithstanding, they were implemented in WordPress.com immediately so WordPress.com bloggers can now have Gravatars, not just avatars.

On this post, Matt shares how to easily add Gravatars to your WordPress blog, but some are having a little trouble with the script. Dougal Campbell found he was getting a “default” image, so he added a ‘rating’ parameter, and it wasn’t delivering all sizes of the image until he reloaded it. A search for the Gravatar WordPress Plugin solved most of his problems. Also, check out Random Gravatars on how to rotate your gravatars randomly.

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, the WordPress Jobs listings, and the WP-Pro mailing list.

WordPress Jobs: WordPress Jobs is a new “service” announced by Weblog Tools Collection. It features jobs for WordPress experts and WordPress experts looking for work. Currently, the service is free as it is still in beta testing. Give it try.

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.

Using WordPress in Your Blog’s Name: Just a reminder. WordPress is a trademark and you are not allowed to use WordPress in your blog’s name or URL unless you have permission of and . Currently, they are lax about enforcing this, but why run the risk of being forced to change your blog’s name and URL? Get permission or don’t use it. Also, remember, it’s spelled “WordPress” not “WordPress”. Oh, and Plugin is Plugin, not plug-in (what you put into a wall electrical socket).

Even More WordPress News?

Past WordPress Wednesday News Reports

WordPress News Sources


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. Australia and other stuff » Blog Archive » WordPress Wednesday News: WordCamps in Israel, Argentina …October 24, 2007 at 12:12 pm
  2. By David Kierznowski posted on October 24, 2007 at 12:33 pm
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

    After releasing a post about improved security in the latest version of WordPress, Blog Security announced the first WordPress 2.3 security vulnerability..

    heh, nicely put, give us a break :)

    Reply

  3. By Elisa Cundiff posted on October 24, 2007 at 8:45 pm
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

    Despite some advances in the quality of online blogs, profitable on-line publishing is a tricky and if TechCrunch is heralded as the best example of profitable Web publishing, then we might be screwed.

    Anyone have any thoughts on how startups can keep themselves out of financial ruin?

    Reply

  4. By Lea Woodward posted on October 24, 2007 at 9:28 pm
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    Hi Lorelle,

    Thanks for the mention and glad you like my post on moving to WordPress! “Enchanted” wow!

    Now, if I’d only searched through your Lorelle on WordPress blog sooner, I might have save myself even more hassle!!! Thanks for the great resource…and once again thanks for the shout-out.

    Lea

    Reply

  5. More Wordpress Ramblings: Wordpress Plugins | Lea WoodwardApril 19, 2008 at 10:53 am
  6. Automattic Nabs PollDaddy, Releases WordPress Plugin | The Blog HeraldOctober 16, 2008 at 1:58 am

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