Now that the dust is starting to settle around the recent WordPress 2.1, as was the hot news last week and the week before, there is a lot of new features and fun being had on WordPress.com blogs and a new contest by Aaron Brazell which should make some noise for a very powerful but often overlooked feature on WordPress blogs.
Weblog Tools announced that Aaron Brazell is sponsoring a “WP Custom Fields Contest” for full version WordPress users. It is designed to showcase what is possible using the Custom Fields feature. Results will be judged on visual aesthetics, code examples and SEO benefits derived from the custom use of Custom Fields in WordPress and will include cash and other prizes. The ending date is February 28th. For more information and to get in on the contest, visit the WP Custom Fields Contest page.
Learning to Schedule Events with WordPress Cron Jobs: Glenn Slaven offers “Timing is everything: scheduling in WordPress”, a great step-by-step look at the new pseudo-cron scheduling framework in WordPress 2.1. This is great for WordPress Plugin Authors and those who want to dig into the back end for some cron jobs.
Older WordPress Plugins Need to Fix Custom Fields: Mark Jaquith announced a problem with older WordPress Plugins regarding the
edit_post hook. This causes a conflict with WordPress Plugins which use the Custom Fields. Ultimate Tag Warrior, Jerome’s Keywords, and some other plugins were effected.
Peaks at WordPress 2.2: Ryan Boren has a rundown of what is now in the WordPress 2.2 Trunk due out in April. Highlights include Atom 1.0 feeds and publishing protocol, TinyMCE 2.0.9 (Rich Text Editor), jQuery, WP XML-RPC API for multi-post view pages, improved MySQL support, better caching, and a new Plugin sandboxing feature.
The Upgrade is Worth It: An article in Newsforge, “Small Improvements Make WordPress 2.1 Worth the Upgrade”, outlines the improvements and benefits of upgrading to WordPress 2.1, highlighting the auto-save feature, improved speed, draft Pages, easier importing and exporting of data, upload manager, spell checking, and more.
January WordPress.com Blog Stats: The WordPress.com stats are in, up 20-30% from last month. The stats show 89,000 blogs, 96,000 users, 2.22 million posts, 1.3 million comments, and 126 million pageviews, among other stats. The one that always amazes me, and shows the versatility and flexibility of WordPress.com, is the fact that WordPress.com bloggers switched WordPress Themes 479,000 times in January. Wow!
Building an International WordPress.com Community: From the beginning, keeping WordPress.com free blogs international has been high on the developers’ list and they just announced they’ve added international support and discussion forums in some of the most popular languages on WordPress.com: Español, Deutsch, Português do Brasil, Français, Italiano, Bahasa Indonesia, Nederlands, Svenska, Português, and Türkçe. These are “your” forums, so if you want to help and talk to fellow WordPress.com bloggers in your language, check these international forums out.
New Servers for WordPress.com: Barry shares information on new servers for WordPress.com and how the servers are setup to handle all the WordPress.com traffic.
Improved Blogger Import: WordPress.com announces an improved import for Blogger so if you want to come on over to WordPress.com from Blogger, it’s an easy step to copy over your posts, comments, and categories and even blogs with multiple authors (bloggers). They’ve simplified the entire process, too.
More Videos Than Ever: WordPress.com announces four more ways to embed different forms of video into your blogs for DailyMotion, SplashCast, LiveVideo, and PodTech. You can see more methods for using video and audio files in Adding Video and Podcasting Bling to Your WordPress.com Blogs.
WordPress.com Blog Bling: The week long series on creating WordPress.com Blog Bling is done and WordPress.com bloggers now have a lot of options. The challenge was to create some fun blog bling without using CSS, as that’s not possible with WordPress.com free blogs without paying for the CSS Upgrade. The series included adding photographs and graphics, lines and smilies, social bookmarking links, fun with fonts, blockquotes and quotes, blogroll and sidebar bling, creating signatures and writing code in posts, adding video and podcasting, and then showing off your WordPress.com blog bling.
WordPress Plugins and Themes News
I can hardly keep up with all the new WordPress Plugins that have been updated in the past week, with more coming out all the time. Please, check to see if your favorite and must-have WordPress Plugins have been updated and update them. Some WordPress Plugin authors are providing pre-WordPress 2.0 versions along with WordPress 2.1 versions, so check carefully for the version appropriate to yours.
The same goes for WordPress Themes. If you adore your WordPress Theme and want to make sure it will upgrade along with you when you upgrade to WordPress 2.1, check for an updated version.
Worried About Your Plugins? Turn Them Off. While I’ve been doing this trick for a long time, I’d forgotten to mention it during all of the WordPress 2.1 upgrade information. Andy Beard reminded me that is it easy to turn off all your WordPress Plugins by temporarily renaming the
/wp-content/plugins directory to something else like
/wp-content/pluginshere. Since WordPress can’t find them, you don’t have any. ;-) You can also move all your WordPress Plugin files and folders to a backup directory until after the upgrade. It makes upgrading much faster than turning them off one by one. Still, if you have a problem, I do recommend turning them on one by one until the problem is fixed and you can isolate the troublesome Plugin.
Spam Karma and WP-Cache Fix: Connected Internet recently found a fix for the problem of WP-Cache not flushing the cache due to an issue with Spam Karma. The fix to flush the cache comes from Privism as a small PHP file to add to the Spam Karma WordPress Plugin directory.
Akismet Top Plugin for Six Apart’s Movable Type: Six Apart reports their top plugins include Akismet, which I found the most popular WordPress Plugin during my recent unscientific survey of the top WordPress Plugins.
February – A Month of WordPress Plugins: If you are a fan of WordPress Plugins, I’m running a A Month of WordPress Plugins series featuring a wide variety of WordPress Plugins for your various blog’s needs. If you are looking for WordPress Plugins, see Where to Find WordPress Plugins, and if you want to know what everyone else is using on their blogs, see Lists of Your Favorite WordPress Plugins.
A Love Letter to WordPress Plugin Authors: If you are a WordPress Plugin writer and author, check out A Love Letter to WordPress Plugin Authors for some helpful advice on how to help WordPress users find and use your WordPress Plugins.
WordPress General News
Inside View of WordPress: Inside View of WordPress is a half hour podcast of WordPress’ Donncha O Caoimh at BarCamp Ireland talking about how WordPress works within a virtual office. A second part talks about working from home. Conor O’Neill has videos of his talk, too.
bbPress: The next version of bbPress forum program is coming soon and new features include better support for right-to-left languages, better backend support for search queries, removal of the topic_resolved column from the database, the ability to delete forums, multiple theme support, more pluggable database class and user system, and anywhere-you-want-them plugins directory, templates directory, and config.php.
Looking for Professional WordPress Design and Development? Automattic’s WordPress Web Consultants List is now out listing professional web design and development firms who specialize in WordPress. If you are looking for top notch WordPress web design and development work, check out this list. You can also post a message on the wp-pro mailing list. Instructions for how to get on the list are also included.
Akismet Gets Even More Servers: Remember the days when a single computer occupied an entire building. I have this vision that all the servers Akismet is using to track and stop blog comment spam as occupying that same building. Wall-to-wall servers. Akismet announces another cluster upgrade, and it makes me wonder how many servers and drives they now have online. Want to bet on the total number? Hey, Matt, that would be a fun contest! ;-)
WordPress Events: If you are interested in participating in a WordPress or blogging event near you, I’ve posted a new list of WordPress and Blogging Events for February and March 2007. For more information on WordPress and blogging events, visit my WordPress Events page. If you have a WordPress or blogging-related event coming up, please let me know.
For more news on WordPress, see:
- The WordPress Community Podcast
- WordPress Planet
- WordPress Development Blog
- WordPress.com Blog
- Weblog Tools Collection
- Lorelle on WordPress
Each Wednesday on Blog Herald will be WordPress Wednesday where I will be featuring the news around the WordPress Community. Put it on your calendar! Lorelle VanFossen blogs about blogging and WordPress on Lorelle on WordPress.
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.