After receiving numerous requests from geeks, fans and folks in love with all things WordPress, Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) has finally relaunched their official swag store.
Welcome to the new swag store! It’s not fancy right now, but rather than make you wait for bells and whistles, we wanted to get it up and running as soon as possible, since people have been asking when they can buy sweatshirts for holiday gifts.
Why are we selling this stuff? First, because we love WordPress and we like having this stuff ourselves so we can show the world and spread the word. Second, because we send a lot of free swag to WordCamps and meetups around the world, which adds up. If this store winds up making a profit, it will help to offset the costs of those donations. (WordPress Swag Store)
Although swag stores may seem trivial to some, they are in fact a great way for companies to market their brand in the physical world without spending money on ads or depending upon media outlets for mentions.
Users can buy hoodies, t-shirts, fleece jackets, iPhone stickers and yes, even a mug (which Lorelle of WP fame seems to love) for relatively inexpensive prices (at least if you live within the US).
Unfortunately there isn’t any VaultPress wearables available (so yours truly will not be able to pick up a special hoodie before the holidays), although hopefully Automattic will consider expanding their lineup to include other products in the future.
I have a site called http://www.ultimateblogsecurity.com which allows you to *prevent* getting hacked in the first place. WordPress exposes a number of security vulnerabilities during installation (and upgrade to new versions!) that are easy but cumbersome to fix. We allow you to fix those in one click, and the pricing is reasonable too.
Founded by Chris Neumann and Eugene Pyvovarov, Ultimate Blog Security is a service that scans your WordPress blog in order to find and close security holes and exploits that could be used by a potential hacker.
Thus far the service does not offer a backup solution like VaultPress or blogVault, although the company plans on launching one in the future in order to challenge Automattic (the company behind VaultPress and WordPress) by offering a similar service at a greatly reduced price. read more
After Microsoft announced that it was shutting down Windows Live Spaces and turning the keys over to WordPress.com, it looks like the number of monthly signups to WP.com has more than doubled which spells good news for Automattic (the company behind WordPress).
With the addition of Windows Live Spaces sites moving to WordPress.com, Windows Live users who are new to blogging coming here, and word-of-mouth from our current and very passionate users, the number of people joining WordPress.com has doubled to over 900,000 per month (up from around 400,000 per month before the migration). We’re thrilled to see this explosion and to be introducing so many people to publishing with WordPress. (Official WordPress Blog)
Microsoft confirms the number of successful migrations to half a million, with the company also reporting that an additional 400,000 former live space users have chosen to skip the migration process entirely and instead start afresh upon a new WP.com blog.
If WordPress is able to maintain this trend, we could see eventually see WordPress eventually surpass Blogger.com in a few years (if not sooner), provided the latter isn’t able to convert the same numbers via the Google app universe.
After posting an opening upon their jobs board in July, it looks like Automattic (the company behind WordPress) is quietly building a Windows Phone 7 app.
Users visiting windowsphone.wordpress.org will be greeted by a protected blog screen which requires users to type in a special password in order to view the contents of the site.
This follows a similar pattern when WordPress was working on their Android app, which could signal Automattic’s plans on strengthening WordPress’s mobile dominance by courting Windows Phone 7 before rivals have a chance to launch an official app upon the platform. read more
VaultPress (a backup service for WordPress blogs by Automattic) has just announced a new feature for premium users which should make it harder for hackers to alter blogs undetected.
VaultPress knows which version of WordPress your site is running. For each particular version of WordPress, we know what the MD5 checksum for each of the core files should be (an MD5 checksum is a kind of digital fingerprint for a file, that can be used to validate the integrity of that file). [...]
This scan creates a baseline that we can compare against in future scans. If the MD5 checksum of a core file doesn’t match, we notify you through an alert in the security tab of your VaultPress dashboard. A variation in the checksum means that the file has been modified from the original version that came with your WordPress install. (Official VaultPress Blog)
Users who notice any suspicious changes can contact the VaultPress team who will then not only take a hard look at the core file but also help provide a remedy for you as well.
The improved security features should help separate VaultPress from less expensive rivals (like blogVault and BackupBuddy) as well as help them win a few converts (especially larger blogs who can not afford to suffer through a hack).
VaultPress’s security service is only available to premium members which is currently priced at $40/month per blog (note: this is a beta price as the final version is expected to jump to $50/month per blog), although users have to option to purchase the basic plan for $15/month per blog.
Update: Corrected article noting that VaultPress Premium will be $50/month (not $60). Thanks Paul!
VaultPress (a real-time backup service for self hosted WordPress blogs) may give hosting companies an extra incentive to promote Automattic’s premium service (which currently is in beta).
@vaultpress my pleasure. Are you guys working on an affiliate or white-label program for web hosts like me? (via @DowntownRob)
@DowntownRob It’s been one of our top requests during the beta. We’re working on it and will announce once available here & on our blog. (via @VaultPress)
Although affiliate programs are nothing new, launching one for VaultPress could give bloggers an extra incentive to promote the service in order to help lower their monthly backup bill (not to mention generate some extra revenue on the side).
Automattic could choose to pay bloggers (and hosts) a commission based on the first monthly purchase or via a recurring monthly fee (as long as a user remains an active client of course), which could help the service become almost as popular as Akismet in the WordPress universe.
Automattic has not announced a time frame of when they will consider launching an affiliate program, although the company will probably create one after the service exits beta (as the service has yet to provide support for multi-site blogs).
Yesterday Akismet (a service by Automattic, the company behind WordPress) announced that they have killed off their 20 billionth comment spam in their war to keep bloggers comment sections free from ominous links.
Today Akismet caught its 20 billionth spam.
That’s an average of around 10 million per day over the 5 years since Akismet first launched. Currently we deal with 30 million spam comments on a typical day, or about 350 per second.
To put that in perspective: if Akismet users had to spend one second manually deleting each of those comments, it would have taken over 600 years to moderate them all. (And each new day’s flood of spam would add another year to the queue). (Official Akismet Blog)
Akismet is a freemium service by Automattic which offers bloggers a way to keep their sites spam free without having to utilize random quizzes, CAPTCHA’s (aka silly word puzzles), or force users to register before voicing their opinion.
Ironically Akismet’s success has forced other platforms (like Blogger) to develop real anti-spam features, especially now that spammers are resorting to cheap labor in third world countries to spam the blogosphere.
While Akismet isn’t the only tool available for bloggers in their never ending war against spam, its success has enabled bloggers to spend more time creating content instead of moderating their comment section.
Automattic (the company behind WordPress) has launched a new feature for WP.com users that will appeal to sites blogging with multiple authors.
Today we’re introducing a new panel to your stats page, Top Authors.
Here’s how it works: all the posts that were visited during the day are counted up, divided by who wrote them. The author with the most visits across all his or her posts of the day, gets the top spot. Interestingly, the top spot is not about who wrote the most posts, it’s about which author wrote the posts that got the most visits.
To see each author’s posts, you can click the little plus icon to expand and reveal just what stories earned them their points of the day. (Official WordPress Blog)
Note: Emphasis theirs.
Combined with Email Post Changes, Automattic’s new feature should help WordPress maintain its edge as the leading blog platform for group blogs.
While not everyone will enjoy this feature (at least as far as the non-competitive types go), it should help provide more analytics for stat geeks, as well as help group bloggers determine which authors bring in the most eyeballs.
The feature is already live for WP.com users, although Automattic is planning on releasing this feature within the pending WP Stats plugin update (which should appear in the “not-so-distant future” according to Automattic).
We have to be careful because if this trend continues people might think WordPress is a real CMS, useful for more than just a blog. This would ruin our stealth campaign and might bring dozens of new users to the WordPress community. If you could keep this on the DL we’d appreciate it.
Truth be told I am not surprised by the results, despite the fact that WordPress was never initially designed as a CMS while both Joomla and Drupal are (the latter which is about to release version 7.o). read more
Automattic (the company behind WordPress) has just rolled out several major features for WP fans that will make a GTD guru (or “Get Things Done”) heart swoon.
You’re writing a post (or a page) in WordPress. You mention something you’ve written about before, and think to yourself, “I’m going to link to that last post!” What do you do? You might open a new tab and search for the older content in your dashboard’s list of posts, or you might go to your live blog and find it. Either way, you have to find that content and get the URL, so that when you click on the link button in the post editor, you’ll have it ready. Right? What’s that, 5-8 steps, depending on which way you do it? No more!
With our sexy new internal linking feature, you can now enter any URL to create a link just like you used to, OR you can search your existing posts and pages right there in the link popup. A combination of pre-loading, autocomplete, and some ajaxy goodness make the new link creation tool a joy to use (and man, that popup is so much faster!). We hope this addition spurs you to make more connections between pieces of content on your site, which will make it easier for your visitors to find more related content from you. One more time, all together now: Yay! (Right?) (Official WordPress Blog)
Along with the upcoming Tumblr-like features, the internal linking and page features will be making their way to version 3.1 which will hopefully be arriving by Christmas of this year. read more