There was a lot of WordPress news this week, including the release last week of WordPress 2.7, which has been heralded by many as one of the easiest upgrades and enthusiasm for the new interface. Applause for the whole WordPress development team and community that worked so hard to make WordPress 2.7 so awesome. A lot of WordPress Plugins have been updated, and some thought discontinued by incorporation of their features into WordPress 2.7 are back and better than ever. Lots of WordPress.com news, including crossing the 5 million blog mark. WordCamps and WordPress Meetups are starting to fill up the schedule for 2009. And a lot more WordPress news is crammed into this issue, so hang on.
Things You Need to Know About WordPress 2.7: Last week’s issue, WordPress News: WordPress 2.7 Released, covered a ton of information you needed to know about the latest version of WordPress.
Ryan Boren announced that there have been 100,000 downloads in the first 20 hours of release, followed by a hint that WordPress 2.7.1 work in progress and will be out soon with many of the fixes found during the first week of the release.
Other WordPress 2.7 news and tips include:
- Accessibility and Speed Comes to the WordPress 2.7 Comment Panel: Mark Jaquith presented a great demo screencast of the WordPress 2.7: Comment Moderation Keyboard Shortcuts which shows the various keyboard shortcuts you can use with the new version of WordPress to speed up the processing of comments. To turn it on, visit your Profile Page (click your name in the upper right corner) and check the box to enable keyboard shortcuts. From there, it’s just a few keystrokes to fast management of your comments.
- Customize the WordPress Login Panel: WordPress 2.7 now features an easily customizable WordPress login screen and WPEngineer offers a tutorial on how to customize the WordPress login screen to your own design needs.
- Admin Drop Down Menu Upgraded: With the major changes and easy-to-use interface of WordPress 2.7, many thought that Ozh of Planet Oz would discontinue support of his popular WordPress Plugin, Admin Drop Down Menu. Fortunately, the requests to continue and support an upgraded version were too much for him to resist, so it has been upgraded with some new features to better work with WordPress 2.7. It includes a horizontal menu to replace the left sidebar navigation, giving it a more “desktop application” feel. See below in the Plugins and Theme News for more WordPress Plugins making a comeback.
- WordPress 2.7 Administration Panel Skin: While many are thrilled with the new look and feel of WordPress 2.7, some still like having the option to change and control it. The Fluency Admin WordPress Plugin has been updated with a total rewrite to cover the new underlying structure of WordPress 2.7 while allowing a lot of customization. This version features custom flyout menus, navigation click reduction, hot key access shortcuts, screen options, and some other color variations. Expect more Plugins to change the look of the new Administration Panels soon.
- hCards in WordPress 2.7? Did you know that microformats are now a part of WordPress? Joost de Valk of Yoast was impressed with the new hCards feature of WordPress, so he’s written a WordPress Plugin to work with the new microformats feature to add name, website, email, and photo to your blog. He offers a a video to show how the Plugin works.
Haven’t You Upgraded to WordPress 2.7 Yet? For information on upgrading to WordPress 2.7, see WordPress 2.7 Release News and Links. If you are worried about whether or not WordPress 2.7 will work with your server, Themes or Plugins, see:
- WordPress 2.7 Core Update Host Compatibility
- WordPress 2.7 Plugin Compatibility
- WordPress 2.7 Theme Compatibility
The Ghosts of WordPress Past: Ozh released “A Journey Through Five Years of WordPress Interface” and Peter Westwood brought back memories with “Useless graphs (What went before),” each showing us their view on the history of WordPress.
Fake WordPress Malicious Site: I’ve heard that some people aren’t getting the news, so spread it. Look out for a fake WordPress site. Wordpresz.org looks like the WordPress site but isn’t. The version of WordPress you download has malicious code in the download that opens a backdoor to your blog. If you upgraded WordPress to 2.6.4, you are running a fake version. There is no WordPress 2.6.4. The latest version is WordPress 2.7, and in the 2.6 line, it is 2.6.5, skipping 2.6.4 due to this threat.
WordPress and Polldaddy Polls and Surveys: One Cool Site offers “Blogging Polls and Surveys for WordPress.com blogs” and “PollDaddy ShortCode for WordPress Blogs” to help you learn more about how to use Polldaddy in your WordPress and WordPress.com blogs. See also How to Add Polldaddy Polls on WordPRess Blogs by the ThemeLab.
Feeds and Hacks for WordPress: Smashing Magazine published “10 Useful RSS-Tricks and Hacks For WordPress” with some great feed tricks and tips.
Don’t Let WordPress in Your Domain Name: A number of WordPress fan and “get-rich-quick-with-WordPress” sites have been starting up lately using “WordPress” in their domain name. This is in violation of the WordPress trademark. Before you do the same, reconsider. If you find a site using WordPress in their domain name, remind them of the trademark rules so they won’t be asked later to remove it.
The WordPress Podcast: Episode 48: WordPress 2.6.5 released, Mark Jaquith on 2.7, WordPress Direct controversy is the latest episode by Charles Stricklin and Jonathan Bailey and features those topics and interview, as well as security issues, Project Icon, and more.
WordCast Podcast: The last two episodes of the year are WordCast 39: Longer than a list of Madonna’s ex-boyfriends and WordCast 40: And a happy new year!. In the first episode, Jonathan Bailey joins the crew to talk about WordPress 2.7, global Gravatars integrated into WordPress.com, and more WordPress news.
WordPress Weekly Podcast: WPWeekly In The Doghouse included Kenn Bell of TheDogFiles.com and Jason Schuller, co-developer of the Revolution 2 project, to talk WordPress Themes, code, and development. The WordPress Weekly Bailout Edition covered bailouts for WordPress fans including WordPress 2.7 news, WordPress Plugins, and what’s hot in the WordPress Community.
Browser and Web Security Concerns: Microsoft announced this past week security issues with their Internet Explorer web browser and the dangers of visiting websites that could exploit that security vulnerability. Many warned to not use Internet Explorer until it was patched and updated. It was also announced that Google has created the Browser Security Handbook to help people and developers understand the security issues facing web browsers and the steps to take to protect individuals and web applications. WordPress is a web application at its core, and we depend upon web browsers for our blogs and online activity. Stay informed and educated to protect yourself and your WordPress blog, Theme, and Plugin.
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 News: WordPress 2.7 Released.
WordPress on Your Calendar
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.
- The Chicago WordPress December Meetup – December 23, 2008
- The Dallas/Ft. Worth Area WordPress December Meetup – December 27, 2008
- Toronto WordPress December Meetup – December 27, 2008
- Atlanta WordPress Users Group December Meetup – December 27, 2009
- Gulf Coast WordPress/Blogger Meetup – January 1, 2009
- Toronto WordPress Meetup – January 3, 2009
- Atlanta WordPress 2.7 Party – Installing and Upgrading – January 6, 2009
- The New Jersey WordPress January Meetup – January 7, 2009
- WordCamp Las Vegas 2009 – Las Vegas, Nevada – January 10-11, 2009
- Los Angeles WordPress Users Group – January 11, 2009
- South Florida WordPress Meetup Group – Pompano Beach – Search Engine Optimization for WordPress – January 15, 2009
- WordCamp Indonesia 2009 – Jakarta, Indonesia – January 17-18, 2009
- WordCamp Whistler 2009 – Whistler, BC, Canada – January 24, 2009 (Facebook)
- WordCamp Higher Ed North East – Worcester, Massachusetts – February 2, 2009
- WordCamp Miami 2009 – Miami, Florida – February 22, 2009
- WordCamp NOLA 2009 – New Orleans, Louisiana – March 18-19, 2008 (Twitter)
- WordCamp Denver 2009 – February 28, 2009 (Facebook)
- WordCamp Jena Germany – February 14, 2009
- WordCamp Milan 2009 – Milan, Italy – May 22-23, 2009
- WordCamp San Francisco 2009 – May 30, 2009
- WordCamp Chicago – June 6-7, 2009
- WordCamp Dallas 2009 – Dallas, Texas – June 27-28, 2009
Upcoming WordCamps not scheduled or confirmed:
- WordCamp Indy (Indianapolis)
- WordCamp Augusta
- WordCamp Seattle (WordCamp Seattle Twitter)
- WordCamp Argentina
- WordCamp Perú
- WordCamp New Zealand
Upcoming WordCamp and WordPress Event News
WordCamp Las Vegas: WordCamp Las Vegas is the first WordCamp of the new year and the line up of speakers is out and awesome. They’ve just added another speaker, Micah Baldwin, to the roster. There is a WordCamp Las Vegas Live Stream you can register for to watch the event live. WordCamp Las Vegas now has banners and badges available to help promote the event. Will you be there?
WordCamp Whistler: WordCamp Whistler January 24, 2009, will be announcing that they’ve sealed a deal with a hotel and facility with a great discount rate. Register now to ensure you get the discount. They are also seeking sponsors for this incredible WordCamp, a mix of skiing, photography, and WordPress. It is set in one of the most beautiful ski resorts in the world. There is now a Facebook event set for those wanting to sign up, as well as a WordCamp Whistler Barcamp Page or their new official site, WordCamp Whistler.
WordCamp Chicago: WordCamp Chicago is now set for June 6-7, 2009, in the windy city. The Chicago WordPress December Meetup is scheduled for December 23, 2008. There is also a WordCamp Chicago Facebook page.
Attention WordPress Lovers in New Jersey: The new The New Jersey WordPress Meetup Group will be meeting January 7, 2009, in Belmar, New Jersey, at 7PM at the WebDevStudios.com office. Get help with WordPress, upgrading to WordPress 2.7, and learn about exciting WordPress Plugins and what’s going on in Jersey with WordPress.
WordCamp San Francisco 2009 Announced: Matt Mullenweg has announced the date for WordCamp San Francisco 2009 for May 30, 2009, at the Mission Bay Conference Center. There is also a Upcoming Event page set up.
WordCamp Dallas: WordCamp Dallas 2009 is set for June 27-28, 2009, at University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, Texas.
WordCamps and WordPress Meetups Everywhere
- WordPress Meetup: A WordPress Meetup is a frequent meeting of WordPress fans. 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 and WordPress Meetups Upcoming Events and tag them “WordPress Events” and “WordPress”, as many track WordPress event announcements there.
- WordCamp: 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. Get a Twitter account and add a listing to the Yahoo Upcoming events for WordPress and WordPress Meetups Upcoming Events and tag them “WordPress Events” and “WordCamp.
- WordPress and WordCamp Event News: In addition to our weekly Blog Herald WordPress Wednesday News, you can learn more about the various WordPress and WordCamp Events on the official WordCamp Central site, The WordCamp Report, Yahoo Upcoming events for WordPress, WordPress Meetups Upcoming Events, and Upcoming: Public events tagged with “WordCamp”.
WordPress Plugins and Themes News
WordPress Plugin Authors Upgrading Their Plugins to WordPress 2.7: While many WordPress Plugin developers and authors upgraded their Plugins to handle WordPress 2.7, a few are still upgrading them, or making changes after the final version was released. Along with the popular Admin Drop Down Menu and Fluency Admin 2 WordPress Plugins, Lester Chan has updated his WordPress Plugins and included a new one. To work with the new WordPress 2.7 comments, he created WP-CommentNavi WordPress Plugin to deal with comment pagination. He had also decided to retire the popular WP-Sticky WordPress Plugin because WordPress 2.7 now features front page stickies, but the demand was so high, he’s upgraded the Plugin.
Joost de Valk of Yoast has also upgraded his WordPress Plugins to work with WordPress 2.7. They include Google Analytics for WordPress, Sociable, Meta Robots WordPress Plugin, Blog Metrics, and Breadcrumbs.
Check WordPress Theme and Plugin Compatibility with WordPress 2.7: If you are a WordPress Plugin or Theme author, and your Theme or Plugin will work with the new version, check to see if it is listed in the WordPress Codex on WordPress 2.7 Plugin Compatibility and WordPress 2.7 Theme Compatibility. Users will check there before upgrading, so make sure you are on the list.
Human Translation WordPress Plugin: ICanLocalize has released to WordPress Plugins that integrates human translation services into your WordPress blog. One is for content and the other is for comments: ICanLocalize Translator and ICanLocalize Comment Translator. Currently, they are offering a 5,000 word limit on free human translation services with these Plugins to test their service.
Installing WordPress EBook: Andrea Rennick of WPMU Tutorials has just published Installing WordPressMU – The E-Book, a guide to helping you install the popular multi-blog version of WordPress called WordPressMU. The book is available in PDF form for free download.
Multiple Contributors on Your Blog? One of the problems working with multiple authors and collaborators on your WordPress blog is keeping track of who is working on what, when, and what they have to say about what they are working on, and what you are working on. Peter Westwood’s Peter’s Post Notes for WordPress works alone or in combination with Peter’s Collaboration E-mails to ease multi-author collaboration. It is my understanding that it adds a text area to the sidebar to add and edit posts and pages with notes. An extra panel in the sidebar helps keep track of the notes along with a summary of notes made by others on relevant posts. With the email Plugin, when the contributor submits a post for review, a new text area is added with a note to let the administrator know, in addition to the email, that the post is pending review. If you run a multiple contributor blog or multiple blogger blog, give this a try.
WordPress Functions Implementation History: Along with other looks back at history, Ozh offers the WordPress Functions Implementation History Tool for a look at the changes and options for WordPress functions for coders. It’s important to know when a function is deprecated and introduced so you can maintain Plugins and Themes through the various WordPress versions and also include some backwards compatibility, if available. This has been updated now to include WordPress 2.7.
Paged Comments in WordPress 2.7: There has been some concern about SEO dealing with the new paged comments features of WordPress 2.7. PressedWords talks about the issue and offers a WordPress Plugin to help resolve the issue for those concerned.
Interested in Learning to Code WordPress, WordPress Plugins, or Themes? While not a tutorial or guide on using WordPress, 10 Steps to Learn a New Coding Language Fast by Glen Stansberry is a good list of the best practices all programmers and coders should use to quickly learn how to program in a new language. It is also recommended that you review WordPress Coding Standards for the standards and practices associated with writing code for WordPress.
Interesting WordPress Plugins:
Plugin Compatibility Notes WordPress Plugin is an interesting and helpful Plugin as it extracts information from a WordPress Plugin installed on your blog and tells you if it will support the current version of WordPress or not. It’s a tough task, so it will be interesting to see how the Plugin works across a variety of WordPress setups and Plugins.
ScrnshotsRSS WordPress Plugin has been updated to work with current versions of WordPress and allows you to display screenshots in your sidebar with a Widget without interaction with the WordPress Theme template files.
Entries on Page X WordPress Plugin creates a link to the archive page the current post is currently within, such as the archives for May 2009 if the post was published then. For those who rely upon the chronology of their blogs, this could be a helpful Plugin.
WordPress.com Passes 5 Million: Joseph Scott was the first to announce that WordPress.com has passed the 5 Million blog mark, and I’ve done my best to contribute to those millions. To find out the statistics for WordPress.com, check their WordPress.com Stats page. It’s pretty impressive.
WordPress.com News and New Features: With the release of WordPress 2.7 a week before it was released to the rest of the world, there has been a lot of news from the WordPress.com team. Here is a quick summary:
- Media Uploader Overview features screenshots and information how to use the Media Upload options, including improvements like uploading to the new Media Library directly and bypassing the post image uploading.
- Learning to Love Comment Moderation is an introduction to the new keyboard shortcuts for handling comments in the Comment panel, new comment filters, and some other great new features that make responding and managing comments on WordPress better than ever.
- QuickPress and Other Handy Post Options describes the new Dashboard Panel features that include the ability to make fast posts to your blog.
- New Dashboard Design and The Many Ways to Configure Your New Dashboard showcased the fun things you can do to customize the Dashboard panel of your WordPress.com blog including dragging and dropping the modules and resizing them.
- WordPress.com Goes Gravatar Crazy is now totally integrated into WordPress, so your WordPress.com avatar will now “follow you around the web” and appear on any Gravatar enabled website.
- 43 Degrees, but It’s Snowing is an annual celebration of Winter and the holidays in the northern hemisphere of the planet. In Appearance > Extras, you can turn on “Show falling snow on this blog” to “let it snow” on your WordPress.com blog. It ends the first week of January.
WordPress Techniques and Tips
Tutorial for Custom Fields in WordPress Themes: Perishable Press has started a series dealing with the basics of using WordPress Custom Fields in WordPress Themes. Custom Fields add functionality to a blog, but many underestimate what custom fields can do. Now is your chance to learn more.
The Anatomy of a WordPress Plugin by Dissection: Anatomy of a WordPress Plugin by Nettuts is a step-by-step dissection of a WordPress Plugin, helping you learn how a WordPress Plugin works and how to write your own.
WordPress Tips on Twitter: I’ve started sharing WordPress Tips I’ve collected over the past couple years on Twitter at @lorelleonwp. I’ll be posting one WordPress tip link every morning (PST) covering recent versions of WordPress and WordPress usages and features.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
WordPress Community News
Things You Need to Know in the WordPress Community:
- WordPress Facebook Community: WordPress on Facebook
- WordPress Schwag for Sale: WordPress Shop
- WordPress Bugs: Reporting Bugs in WordPress
- Online WordPress Manual: WordPress Codex
- Have Your Say: WordPress Ideas
- WordPress Experts Found: Automattic WordPress Consultants List, WordPress Jobs, and the WP-Pro mailing list
- Help Installing WordPress: Installing WordPress for Free
- WordPress Logos: The official WordPress logos are available for use on your blogs or WordPress event promotions.
- WordPress is Trademarked: You are not allowed to use WordPress in your domain name.
- WordPress is WordPress: It’s spelled “WordPress” not “WordPress”. Oh, and Plugin is Plugin, not plug-in (what you put into a wall electrical socket).
Past WordPress Wednesday News Reports
- WordPress News: WordPress 2.7 Released
- WordPress News: WordPress 2.7 Out on WordPress.com, WordPress 2.7 News, WordCamps, WordPress Plugins and Themes Updated
- WordPress News: WordPress 2.7 New Login, WordCamp Australia, WordPress 2.6.5 Security Update, BuddyPress, and More
- WordPress Wednesday News: Beta 3 Released, WordCamp Australia, No WordPress 2.6.4, and More
- WordPress Wednesday News: 2.7 Delayed, Sneak Peak Video, Help WordPress iPhone, WordCamps
- WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress 2.7 Beta 2, Danger WordPress Faker, and More WordCamps
- WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress 2.7 Soon, Security Upgrade, PodCamp-WordCamp Hawaii, PollDaddy, and More
WordPress News Sources
- WordPress Planet
- WordPress Development Blog
- WordPress.com Blog
- Weblog Tools Collection
- The WordPress Podcast
- Lorelle on WordPress
- Planet WordPress from Planet Ozh
- WordPress Publisher Blog
- Planet WordPress Canada
- The WordCamp Report
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Each week, the Blog Herald features WordPress News, a weekly column by Lorelle VanFossen of Lorelle on WordPress featuring the news around the WordPress Community. If you have a WordPress news item or tip to suggest, please contact her at this special email address: email@example.com