WordPress Wednesday News: Security Release, Hot Tips for WordPress Bloggers, and a WordPress Plugin for Your Next of Kin
The big WordPress 2.2 release is due in about two weeks and stirring up excitement. The most recent security release was last week, so make sure you get it to protect your blog. There are several articles series about using WordPress and WordPress Plugins and high praise for WordPress as a blogging and CMS tool. WordPress.com is about to turn 1 million users old. And a new WordPress Plugin to help you notify your next of kin in case of your blogging demise. What else could be more exciting?
New WordPress Security Release: A new security release for WordPress was announced last week for both the WordPress 2.1 and 2.0 branches. For the 2.1 branch, the upgrade goes to WordPress 2.1.3. Mark has the changed files for WordPress 2.0.10 only to install only the files that have been upgraded. There are two lists of changes in these two versions: List of changes for 2.0.10 and List of changes for 2.1.3. Download it now.
WordPress 2.2 Release Date of April 23: Things are still on track for the next major WordPress release to be April 23rd, 2007. Some great improvements and new features are expected.
WordPress – Most Innovative Open Source Platform: “WordPress: The most innovative open source platform yet?” is an article by James Governor of Redmonk, the Open Source analyst firm, giving WordPress high praise.
If You Are Serious About Blogging, Use WordPress: In WordPress or Blogger? on Domino, Email and Spam related, bfebrian reviews WordPress and claims, “After weeks with WordPress, I can only say this, ‘If you serious about blogging then you should choose WordPress not Blogger.'”
Blogging Unleashed reports they prefer WordPress as their platform because it’s more than just for blogging. It grows with you. Darryl of WordPress Mania says he likes WordPress because it is so easy to use. Have you found anyone else saying good things about WordPress?
Moving WordPress: If you want to start your own full version WordPress blog or move one, then follow the tips from Aaron Brazell and Donncha on how to move your WordPress blog to a new host. See also Changing Domains in WordPress by Modern Street.
WordCamp 2007 – July 21-22: WordCamp 2007 will be July 21-22 in San Fransisco and there is now a Meetup page for the event, with no information. If you are interested in attending, why not sign up. That will help give the planners an idea of attendance.
XML Sitemaps Gets More Approval: Ask.com announces that:
Ask.com, Google, Microsoft Live Search and Yahoo! together are announcing support of “autodiscovery” of Sitemaps. The new open-format autodiscovery allows webmasters to specify the location of their Sitemaps within their robots.txt file, eliminating the need to submit sitemaps to each search engine separately.
It is likely that future versions of WordPress many include sitemaps built-in as XML sitemaps become standardized across the web. Until then, Google Sitemap Generator for WordPress from Arne Brachnold will work. For more information on sitemaps, see Sitemaps.org.
WordPress FAQ Series by Aaron Brazell: Long time WordPress expert, Aaron Brazell, is offering a series he calls “WordPress FAQs”, offering tips and tricks for using WordPress. The article series, which answers questions his readers have, so far includes:
- WordPress FAQ: How Do I combine Blogs?
- WordPress FAQ: What’s up with the Amazon Plugin with WP 2.1.x?
- WordPress FAQ: How Do I Use Category Themes?
- WordPress FAQ: Where did my Preview Link Go?
- WordPress FAQ: How Do I Use Child Pages More Effectively?
- WordPress FAQ: How Do I Fix the Blogroll Category Issue in WordPress 2.1
- WordPress FAQ: How do I Move my blog to a new host?
- WordPress FAQ: What is the best way to upgrade a WordPress 1.5 blog to WordPress 2.1?
- WordPress FAQ: Democracy Poll Feature
- WordPress FAQ: Benefits of Tagging
WordPress FAQ: User Roles Confusion
Best Ideas for WordPress Development: WordPress Ideas is a place where you can post your suggestion for improving WordPress, and rate the suggestions of others. The most popular WordPress ideas right now are:
- Plugin Update Notification
- Easy Updating of WordPress
- Tags! (adding tags not just categories)
- Thumbnail and image resizing
- Default searching of both posts and pages
- Improved Draft System
- Make it faster
Do you have a suggestion to improve WordPress? Or want to vote on one you think is a must-have for WordPress users? Go have your say.
Why WordPress.com Is Splog Free: In PlagiarismToday’s Why WordPress.com is Virtually Spam Free, Jonathan Baily reports on the recent study on Google Blogs spam blogs shows that 77% of all Blogspot blogs are spam blogs or “splogs”, and adds that WordPress.com takes splogs seriously and has a very low rate of splogs. Members of WordPress.com help keep the free hosting service clean with a “toolbar”, called the Dashboard bar, on their screen when they are logged in and visiting WordPress.com blogs. With two clicks, they can instantly report any splogs they find to WordPress.com, and their response is swift. They will not be tolerated.
One Million Blogs on WordPress.com: One million blogs hosted by WordPress.com is just around the corner. Virus in Training has estimated May 10 as the day WordPress.com will reach the one million mark. Any other bids? ;-)
WordPress.com March Wrap Up: WordPress.com offers a summary of activity in March on the free blog hosting service. Highlights include:
- Global Dashboard
- Blog Switcher
- Slideshows and Maps Feature
- 40 new servers added
- Cleaned up code on cross-datacenter replication and caching, making WordPress.com faster
March stats feature 105,000 blogs with 121,000 users, 1.5 million posts, 554,000 Pages, and 1.9 million comments. WordPress Themes were changed 567,119 times. The WordPress.com support team handled 4,856 support requests. User and pageview stats are up 78% since December. That’s an amazing growth level.
What’s Hot on WordPress.com? With more than 855,320 blogs on WordPress.com, the most popular blogs and posts change by the second. In one of those seconds, the hottest blogs on WordPress.com were:
- Web Worker Daily
- Ubuntu Blog
- Loser with Socks
- Sigmund, Carl and Alfred
- FIELDS NOTES
- A Quantum Diaries Survivor
- strange maps
- Show Me SciFi
The hottest blog posts on WordPress.com in another of those seconds were:
- Gmail: Not Behind, Just Going in a Different Direction
- vietnam: the world’s never felt so small
- Google corners nearly two-thirds of US search market
- Don Imus is a jerk! What’s new?
- Things a Church Website Should Make Very Easy To Find
- Dom Imus: I Listened, I Read – Now It’s My Turn
- Bloggers Reveal Their Favorite Movies
- What if George W. Bush Was a Jedi?
- MySpace’ers learn harsh reality
- How to Pickup Women in Australia
WordPress Plugins and Themes News
Put Post Preview Back in Its Place: I, among others, worked long and hard to get the post preview added to WordPress. With it came a link to quickly jump down to the post preview, and another to jump back up to the edit area. The link was ugly, and often clicked by mistake, or other buttons clicked, but it worked and we loved it. In WordPress 2x, the developers left the post preview but took away the jump link. Huh?
Well, you can add it back with the new Post Preview Navigation WordPress Plugin by Reality Wired. No more tedious scrolling down. WordPress.com users still have to suffer, but full version WordPress users don’t. Get this now and save your scrolling finger!
Twitter and Sideblog Plugins Work Together: Cornell Finch has figured out how to get Twitter Tools And Sideblog WordPress Plugins to work together so your “asides” mix right in with Twitters. Quick Online Tips offers more Twitter tools for WordPress blogs.
Admin Reply Comments WordPress Plugin: The Reply To From Admin Panel WordPress Plugin will revolutionize your ability to quickly reply to comments from the WordPress Comments panel without visiting the blog post. Cindy of DigitalRamble has made huge development steps and is looking for testers to give this a try. Go get involved and change the whole way you interact with commenters on your blog.
Notifying Your Next of Kin: Weblog Tools Collection recently highlighted a WordPress Plugin called Next of Kin. It’s a novel and really useful Plugin that takes into account the future of your blog. It monitors your visits and sends an email warning after two weeks (or whatever time length you choose) of absence from your blog. If you fail to check in with your blog after that, it will send an email to “your next of kin”, whoever you have designated as the recipient, to advise them that your blog has had two weeks of inactivity from its owner. This is a great way to remind you to update your blog, and to notify others on how you want your blog handled if indeed you fail to exist. I’m sure others could come up with some other novel ways of using this.
Weblog Tools Collection – One Plugin a Day: Weblog Tools Collection will be featuring “A Plugin A Day”, honoring a WordPress Plugin and its author once a day through the month of April. Suggestions for reviews are still being accepted. So far, the following WordPress Plugins have been reviewed:
- APAD: Akismet
- APAD: IM Online
- APAD: Feed Styler
- APAD: Add Related Posts to Your Feed
- APAD: Instant Upgrade
- APAD: Next of Kin
- Sphere It WordPress Plugin
- Clicktale Heatmaps WordPress Plugin
- Spam Karma 2
Top Technorati Tags on Your Blog: Technorati has introduced a new Widget which showcases the top tags on your blog, according to Technorati. It can easily be incorporated into full version WordPress blogs. Technorati evaluates all the tags on your blog posts and generates the tag cloud of the most popularly listed tags. Tags do not have to link to Technorati to be recognized. WordPress turns all categories into tags and you can add other tags manually or through a WordPress Plugin like Ultimate Tag Warrior. For more information on how WordPress uses tags, see Tags and Tagging in WordPress.
Google Website Optimizer Plugin for Google Adwords: The new Google Website Optimizer Plugin integrates the Google Website Optimizer into WordPress blog posts and pages to help track and analyze titles and content for maximizing your Google Adwords.
Most Popular WordPress Themes: The WordPress Theme Viewer now features 2,144 Themes and 3,612,518 Themes downloads. The top WordPress Themes are:
- Vistered Little 1.6
- MistyLook 3.1
- WP-Andreas01 1.5
- Water 1.1
- ChaoticSoul 1.0
- Japanese Cherry Blossom 1.0
- Cordobo Green Park 0.9.2 BETA 12
- Mesozoic 2.0
- Sky3c 2.0
- AndyBlue ver 1.3
WordPress Plugin Directory: The new WordPress Plugin Directory is going strong and improving as it develops. According to their list, the most popular WordPress Plugins downloaded are:
- Sidebar Widgets
- Subscribe to Comments
- Google Sitemap Generator for WordPress
- Page Links To
More WordPress Plugins can be found on the WordPress Plugins Database.
WordPress Community News
Ryan Boren to Attend Silicon Valley WordPress Meetup: Ryan Boren, leading WordPress Developer, has announced he will be attentind the Silicon Valley – Mountain View, CA WordPress Meetup on Friday, April 12, on the Google Campus.
WordPress Community Podcast: The latest version of the WordPress Community News Podcast is out with news on WordCamp, the new WordPress Plugin Directory, and some of the host’s problems upgrading his blog to the latest version of WordPress, along with other exciting WordPress news.
State of the Blogosphere: David Sifry’s latest State of the Blogosphere is out based upon research done by Technorati. Summary is that there are now 70 million weblogs, with a creation rate of about 120,000 new blogs a day or 1.4 new blogs every second; 3,000 – 7,000 splogs created every day; 1.5 million daily posts; and Japanese and English the most popular blogging language with Chinese coming in third.
Looking for a WordPress Expert? 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 Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, and the WP-Pro mailing list.
WordPress Techniques and Tips
Know of a great WordPress tips and techniques article? Let me know and it may end up on our weekly list.
- Customize Password-Protected Posts
- Daily Blog Tips – Check the Akismet spam folder
- Mark Jaquith – Alternating Rows in PHP
- ZEPREZ WordPress Video Guides – How To Copy Text From One Website Into WordPress
- Designing a WordPress Theme From Scratch
- TubeTorial – How to Get More Search Engine Traffic With One Simple Tweak of WordPress (Video)
More WordPress News
The following are upcoming WordPress group meetings and meetups, and a few special blogging events you may want to attend. If you know of any I’ve missed, please post them or contact me on my WordPress Events Page.
- Silicon Valley – Mountain View, CA WordPress Meetup – April 12 and will include Ryan Boren, leading WordPress Developer
- San Francisco WordPress Meetup – April 13
- New York City WordPress Meeting – April 21
- Philadelphia WordPress Meetup – April 21
- Austin, Texas, WordPress Meetup – April 23
- Houston WordPress Meetup – April 28
- San Francisco WordPress Meetup (different group) – April 28
- Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference in Chicago – May 11-12 – Many WordPress bloggers and experts should be there
- WordCamp 2007 – San Fransisco – July 21-22
For a WordPress Meetup near you and other blogging events, check out the WordPress Meetup Group List.
For more news on WordPress, see:
- WordPress Planet
- WordPress Development Blog
- WordPress.com Blog
- Weblog Tools Collection
- BloggingPro’s WordPress News and Tips
- The WordPress Community Podcast
- Lorelle on WordPress
Extra Tip of the Week
Dealing With Akismet Comment Spam: If you go away for a day or so from your blog, you may return home to an overwhelming number of comment spam sitting in your Akismet panel. Why not search through the comment spam for false/positives instead of reading every insulting and degrading comment spam.
Begin by searching for your name or name of your blog, though many comment spams now include it. It will at least shrink the list of the comment spam you have to examine. Then search for top keywords your commenters use. On Lorelle on WordPress they tend to use help, tip, theme, wordpress, plugin, and advice.
Another option which makes sorting through Akismet comment spam lists faster is the Akismet Auntie Spam for WordPress, which abbreviates each comment spam to only two lines, allowing your eyes to skim down the list faster.
Each Wednesday on Blog Herald is WordPress Wednesday, featuring the news around the WordPress Community.
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.
Unfortunately, the new WP tagging system breaks the old reliable UTW and much hacking to UTW is needed to use it once again. I use UTW for the specific purpose of incorporating related posts into my single post pages. Rather than using a context sensitive type related posts plugin that tries to pick up common words among posts, UTW gives me complete control of what tags I use for each post thereby controlling the related posts feature. No more apparently. And by what I’ve read, WP tagging does not allow you to pick from a list of previously used tags like UTW does so where’s the correlation? Even if UTW can be hacked successfully to run with 2.2, running two tagging systems on one WP install could run into trouble.
Including the tagging function for WordPress 2.2 is good for WordPress and the new blogger, not so good for the more experienced bloggers who have been relying on UTW for so long.
Just my opinion.
And I’m patiently awaiting the fully functional return of the WordPress Theme Viewer :)