WordPress Wednesday News: Your Own Song in the Plugin Competition, WordPress 2.6 Beta and First Looks, WordCamp UK New Location, Batcache, Naked Themes, and More

Filed as Features, News on June 25, 2008 11:35 am

Want your own song? Win the Weblog Tools Collection WordPress Plugin Competition! WordPress 2.6 Beta released for testing. First looks at the new features coming in WordPress 2.6. WordCamp UK changes locations. Batcache strikes. Plugin menus on the Administration Panels discussed. Is your WordPress Theme naked without a print stylesheet? We’ve got WordPress tips, WordPress news, and more WordPress than ever!

WordPress News

WordPress 2.6 Beta Released: For the WordPress beta testers,
Ryan Boren announced the release of WordPress 2.6 Beta 1
for testing. The release is slated for July 7 with a July 14 possibility, depending upon how testing and fixes go, which is a month earlier than has been reported. I’ve reported on many of the new features in past on the . Here are some of the first reports coming in:

  • Shoemoney likes Post Revision, the new feature that allows you to compare the same post in multiple windows, excellent for Internet glitches and multiple authors.
  • Dougal Campbell is also jazzed about Post Revisions and Google Gears support, and describes some of the other new features in greater detail including support for the XML-RPC and Atom client APIs being turned off by default for security protection, improved SSL access to Administration Panels, a new version of the “Press This” (formerly Press-It) bookmarklet, avatar options, improved WordPress Plugin management, and more.
  • Blog Security explores the security improvements in WordPress 2.6 and reports that a number of XMLRPC features will be deactivated by default, adding more protection, along with improved password and cookie security improvements in past versions. They say it’s on the right track for strong security standards.
  • Peter Westwood is excited about the improvements in the security of WordPress 2.6 including support for SSL and disabling remote publishing protocols by default.
  • Lester Chan, popular WordPress Plugin author, is excited about the new features including the new link in the top menu called “Speed Up” which connects with Google Gears, the new Dashboard Panel feature “Right Now” which gives a breakdown of your blog’s activity in the moment, the new Word Count feature, and Theme Previews. However, with the some recent changes in WordPress versions which impact WordPress Plugins, Chan is debating whether or not to maintain WordPress 2.5 compatibility for the next wave of WordPress Plugins, especially those impacted by the new features that allow wp-config.php to move up one level from the WordPress root and allowing the wp-content directory to be in a custom location.
  • Many are reporting their excitement about the new WordPress Auto-Upgrade feature which will make upgrading WordPress easier.

WordPress Plugin Competition: Weblog Tools Collections announces that Kym Huynh, a songwriter, has just donated a new prize to the growing collection, a song written for the winning recipient and professionally recorded. The Weblog Tools Collection’s WordPress Plugin Competition for WordPress 2.5+ continues to grow with new prizes and Plugins. Here are the Plugin entries listed on the Plugin Competition Blog so far:

WordPress and Google Summer of Code Update: Lloyd Budd reports on WordPress Google Summer of Code and how the team is improving WordPress to make it faster, better, and adding new features including new importing features, improved code, code documentation, and more.

BlogSecurity’s Next Generation Security Tester: BlogSecurify announces the launch of Launch BlogSecurify Next Generation!”>BlogSecurify Next Generation, the new modular, expanded version of the WP-scanner WordPress Plugin which tests your blog for security issues and vulnerabilities.

WordPress Blogs Hacked: If you have not updated your WordPress blog, your blog maybe at risk from hackers due to security vulnerabilities in older versions of WordPress. Update now. Here are more articles dealing with WordPress security issues:

WordPress Podcast: Episode 42: Our favorite Plugins, Ask Matt, WordPress Theme Design is out from the WordPress Podcast and features a new segment by Matt Mullenweg answering questions about WordPress news and issues, discussion of new WordPress Plugins in the Weblog Tools Collection Plugin Competition, WordPress Themes, and more on their favorite WordPress Plugins. They are also seeing your top ten favorite WordPress Plugins for an upcoming episode.

WP Weekly Podcast: Episode 21 of the WP Weekly Podcast was canceled due to technical difficulties, but hopefully it will be back up and running next week.

WordCast Podcast: WordCast started a while ago, and eventually found their stride to becoming a bit of an irreverent but fun look at the news from the WordPress Community. Podcast hosts Beth Skinner, Kym Huynh and Dave Moyer have interviewed a variety of WordPress experts and pros and feature a variety of interesting WordPress news and tips each week. Recent episodes include:

WordPress News and Tips from Canada: If you haven’t found the new Planet WordPress Canada aggregator, you are missing out on some interesting WordPress tips and information coming from the north. Here are some recent highlights:

Last Week’s WordPress Wednesday News: Can’t get enough WordPress news and tips? There is so much news coming out about the latest version, so you can catch up with the past news in last week’s WordPress Wednesday New: Planet WordPress Canada, WordPress Plugins Contest, Crazyhorse, BuddyPress Default Theme, Blog Hacked, Sitemaps, and More.

WordPress on Your Calendar

WordPress Events CalendarWordCamp UK Changes Locations: Only a few weeks away, WordCamp UK has had a last minute change of venue to The Studio in Birmingham. Check out WordCamp UK for more details and maps.

WordPress Meetup or WordCamp Near You? If you are putting together a WordPress event, please email me so I can publicize it here. If there is a WordCamp near you, go. If you are interested in setting up a WordCamp, stay tuned for news and information on to bring a WordCamp event near you.

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).

WordCamp San Francisco August 16: August 16, 2008 is the next WordCamp San Francisco, considered by many to be the premier WordCamp event. This year, it appears it will be only one day instead of two, but details are still coming. It will be at the Mission Bay Conference Center this year.

WordCamps and WordPress Meetups Everywhere: A WordPress Meetup is a frequent meeting of WordPress fans. A WordCamp is a day or two long event with sponsors and dozens if not hundreds of WordPress fans gathering annually. If you would like to sponsor or host a WordCamp, check out the new official site for tracking WordCamps is WordCamp Central, which includes instructions and guidelines for running a WordCamp. If you would like to start a WordPress Meetup group, find a meeting place and announce it among your friends, and add a listing to the Yahoo Upcoming events for WordPress, as many track WordPress event announcements there.

WordPress Plugins and Themes News

WordPress Plugins DatabaseAndy Skelton has announced “Batcache” for WordPress, a competitor, so to speak, to Super-Cache WordPress Plugin. While Super Cache works well on typical servers, the Batcache WordPress Plugin works with “enterprises with multiple servers that don’t share disk space,” and those who won’t or can’t use file-based caching. Andy says that Batcache creates a simple caching model to protect your database and servers from traffic spikes by caching a requested document when it is clear the document has been accessed several times within a specific period of time and temporarily caches that document for X seconds, providing new users with the cached copy for the short duration and lightening the load on the servers. This is used on . It also resquires Memchached.

Does Your Theme Have a Print Stylesheet? Hack WordPress reminds us all that if you offer a WordPress Theme, especially a premium (paid) WordPress Theme, it must include a print stylesheet as part of the Theme’s styles. While many of us want to live in a paperless world, many web users want to print out blog posts to read them on the go, share them with friends, or file them for future reference. Make their life easier by including a print stylesheet.

WordPress Meets Magento: The Lazzymonk’s WordPress Integration Plugin integrates WordPress into the open source ecommerce system called Magento.

Where and How Do You Put Your Plugin’s Panel? Nerdaphernalia discusses how to direct users to your WordPress Administration Panel for your Plugin, a frequent request on the mailing lists and forums, and gives a technical option on how to place the Plugin’s options menu panel. Traditionally, all Administration Panels for Plugins should be under the Plugins menu, unless it is a frequently accessed panel or associated with a specific task. For example, the Akismet Comment Spam WordPress Plugin is located on the Comments Panel due to the frequency of access and strong association with Comments. But a Plugin that requires a one-time setting of options and then “forget about it” attitude should reside within the Plugins Panel. Nedaphernalia’s technique helps WordPress Plugin authors help users by including links to the Plugin’s menu Panel from a variety of sources, to avoid hunting and confusion.

Manage More Than One Blog: Nerdaphernalia has released Virtual Multiblog WordPress Plugin, Plugin that turns your WordPress Administration Panel into a multiple blog management system. It’s been recently updated to work with the newest version of WordPress and has a lot of new features and improvements.

Interesting WordPress Plugins: Here are some interesting and unusual Plugins I stumbled on recently:

  • Draft Posts WordPress Widget displays your draft posts on your blog so readers can see what is coming up. I would prefer to use something that featured future posts, as I have drafts that may never see the light of day that have been sitting in my draft list for two or more years.
  • Increase Sociability WordPress Plugin shows custom messages to visitors from social networking sites only.
  • Smartlinker WordPress Plugin adds to the WordPress Visual Text Editor toolbar another toolbar for linking to words and phrases within your blog that are names, places, or things.
  • AU Footer WordPress Plugin adds HTML code to your blog’s footer so you can include copyright notices or other information from within the Administration Panels.
  • Twitter Style Links WordPress Plugin adds Twitter-style links to blog comments.

Finding WordPress Plugins: For more WordPress Plugins see the official WordPress Plugin Directory, the WordPress Plugins Database, and Weblog Tools Collection Plugin and Theme announcements.

WordPress.com News

WordPress.com W logoWordPress.com Gets XML Sitemaps: WordPress.com bloggers now have XML Sitemaps built right in. An XML sitemap is a file stored in your blog’s directory that acts as a roadmap to guide search engines that recognize XML sitemaps, which currently include Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, and MSN. The purpose is to direct the web crawler through your site, directing it to most recent posts and post modifications. It helps eliminate “orphans”, pages without intrasite links. Unlike what some will tell you, you do not need to do anything with the new XML Sitemaps. You won’t even know they are there. You do not need to register with Google or make any changes. If you have disabled pings and search engine indexing in your blog options, Google and other search engines won’t visit on purpose.

WordPress Techniques and Tips

Here are some more interesting WordPress tips I’ve uncovered:

Want to Write a WordPress Tip and See It Here? If you would like your WordPress tip and technique included in this list, see Tips For Writing Good WordPress Tips and Writing and Publishing Code In Your WordPress Blog Posts. When its ready, contact me at lorelleonwordpress@gmail.com.

WordPress Community News

WordPress Community graphicGet Your WordPress Mug: I love my new WordPress mug and shared my love with a lot of people recently. Go get yours at the along with t-shirts and hoodies.

Give Something Back to WordPress: Jeff Chandler of Weblog Tools Collection has written “24 Ways To Contribute To WordPress” with suggestions on how to get involved in helping WordPress development. If you would like to help with the , the official online user manual for WordPress users, we need you. If you would like to contribute to WordPress as a volunteer in the WordPress Support Forums, testing, coding, and more, see Contributing to WordPress. If you would like to help improve WordPress by reporting bugs, please report them via the WordPress Bug Report form. Your help is needed to ensure WordPress works.

Vote for WordPress Ideas: There is still time to get your vote in for ideas on upcoming versions of WordPress in the The section. Why not take advantage of it and add your voice to the vote.

Looking for a WordPress Expert? If you are looking for a WordPress expert, try the WordPress Consultants list from , the WordPress Jobs listings, and the WP-Pro mailing list.

WordPress Installed For Free: Installing WordPress for Free (aka Install4Free WordPress) is a free, volunteer-driven service is limited to personal blogs only, and they help only with installations, not upgrades.

Don’t Use WordPress in Your Blog’s Name: It’s about respect. Please use WordPress names right because WordPress is a trademark and you are not allowed to use WordPress in your blog’s domain name or URL unless you have permission of and . Also, remember, it’s spelled “WordPress” not “WordPress”. Oh, and Plugin is Plugin, not plug-in (what you put into a wall electrical socket).

Found a Bug in WordPress? If you find a bug in WordPress, report it by following the instructions in Reporting Bugs on the , the online manual for WordPress Users.

Past WordPress Wednesday News Reports

WordPress News Sources

If You Are Reading This: If you are reading this blog post NOT on the or from within your feed reader, it is being used against the copyright policy of the copyright owners. Please report it immediately so action may be taken to break some heads and feed scraping blogs.


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 GaMerZ posted on June 25, 2008 at 12:59 pm
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    Thanks for the links Lorelle =D

    Reply

  2. By Stephen R (Nerdaphernalia) posted on June 25, 2008 at 1:01 pm
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    Thanks for the mention(s), but you have an incorrect link under “Manage More Than One Blog”. The Virtual Multiblog link is: http://striderweb.com/nerdaphernalia/features/virtual-multiblog/

    Reply

  3. By Jacob Santos posted on June 25, 2008 at 5:55 pm
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    I don’t think it is a good idea to discuss Automatic Upgrading of WordPress at this time. It appears that the next iteration of the upgrading will be DD32′s project which will be allowing for installing and searching for plugins from the WordPress administration panel.

    I completely expect 2.8 or 2.9 to have the feature which will upgrade your WordPress installation for you.

    Discussing it now, might get user’s hopes up for something that isn’t going to come for another few months (if even this year).

    Reply

  4. By Robert@PNG posted on June 25, 2008 at 6:28 pm
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    Here’s a fun poem I wrote a few weeks back about my experiences with blogging…

    (probably not worthy of a tune but occasionally one does need some relief from the “serious” business of blogging)

    Rantings: “The Blogging Curse”

    (After spending too much time on the laptop…)

    Internet,
    Wordpress,
    SEO,
    Digg it man!!

    Out of control,
    out of mind,
    I’m hooked…
    piddly dial-up connection!

    Instead of writing and posting,
    I’ve been obsessed!
    The right theme,
    the perfect widget,
    the ideal plugin!

    De.licio.us!
    Feedburner
    and RSS feeds,
    not to mention comments.

    Engrossed in stats…
    How can I attract more readers?
    More bots…
    than real people,
    embarrassing!

    Optimisation,
    tagging
    and stylesheets,
    gibberish.

    In the meantime…
    over 1000 broken links,
    posts without excerpts
    and tabs playing up in Firefox!

    Blogging…
    what is it all about really?
    The writing,
    the playing…
    or both?

    What purpose does it serve,
    whether I have two sidebars
    or just one?

    Customise that header!!
    Google it!
    Add that feed!
    Check out the forums!

    Time…
    Full-time…
    Where do they find it?
    These folks.

    As for me,
    got to cut back,
    find that balance
    and get back to blogging!

    Reply

  5. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on June 26, 2008 at 1:20 am
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    Stephen: Thanks for the correction!

    Jacob: Others are talking about it and Ryan has it listed in his features list for 2.6. Things come and go out of beta, so we’ll see what happens for it with this version. I’m very excited about what you are doing with the Google Summer of Code and eager to see that implemented, but for which version? :D

    Robert: Cute. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  6. By MsPuraVida posted on June 26, 2008 at 1:42 am
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    It’s going to be much fun when wordpress is appreciating podcast influence :)

    Reply

  7. By Kym Huynh posted on June 26, 2008 at 7:05 am
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    Lorelle I think I love you. <3

    Reply

  8. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on June 26, 2008 at 8:14 am
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    @MsPuraVida:

    WordPress has always “appreciated” podcasts, so I’m unclear as to your reference. The podcasts listed in this news report are podcast which focus specifically on WordPress, not include WordPress information and tips once in a while.

    Reply

  9. By Tony Scott posted on June 28, 2008 at 4:24 pm
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    Reply

  10. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on June 28, 2008 at 11:10 pm
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    @Tony Scott:

    Excellent. Thanks, Tony!

    Reply

  11. By Codrut Turcanu posted on August 29, 2008 at 5:24 am
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    Yeah, I upgraded it already. What a smart move on my part.

    If you want to take your blog to the next level, wp 2.6 ver is a dream come true.

    Reply

  12. By Kris posted on April 6, 2009 at 11:50 am
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    I have been following up on this blog for a while and i find it very impressive. I plan to add it to my rss feeds

    Reply

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