WordPress Wednesday News: Webware 100 Winner, Plugins and Sandbox Theme Contest Rocks, WordCamp Count Down, and a Backwoods Search for WordPress Schwag
WordPress wins the Webware 100 Competition. The WordPress Plugins and Sandbox WordPress Theme Competitions are rocking. The count down to WordCamp is on and we’re planning on tracking Andy Skelton as he rides his motorcycle on a 7,000 mile trip to the weekend conference. WordPress 2.2.1 Release Candidate has been released. And a wild GPS, hiking adventure for WordPress goodies turns into a great outdoor adventure for many! The summer fun with WordPress silliness has just begun!
WordCamp 2007 – July 21-22: WordCamp 2007 will be July 21-22 in San Fransisco at the Swedish American Hall on Market Street. The list of presenters is being finished and it is going to be an incredible weekend!
Are you coming to WordCamp? Andy Skelton is riding his motorcycle to WordCamp. I’m still debating between driving, motor homing, and flying. What about you?
WordPress Webware Winner! WordPress announces it has won the Webware 100 Publishing category. YEAH!
WordPress 2.2.1 Release Candidate: Ryan Boren announced the WordPress 2.2.1 Release Candidate which he says “fixes bugs in widgets, xmlrpc, atom feeds, and other areas. 2.2.1 also addresses security issues found in xmlrpc and phpmailer.” Quick Online Tips has some good advice to help you if you wish to upgrade.
WordPress Plugin Competition: The Weblog Tools Collection called “WordPress Competition 2.0” runs to July 31 with great prizes for inspired WordPress Plugin development and creation. See the Plugin Competition Blog and the announcement for more information.
Here are some of the entries:
Sandbox Theme Competition: The Sandbox Designs Competition was announced last week. The Sandbox WordPress Theme is a “blank template” with a LOT of customization features and excellent CSS structuring. I use it on on my WordPress.com blog and put together a first draft of all the styles for the Sandbox Theme in a CSS stylesheet. There is a competition participants page and some wonderful prizes for the winners. Like many such competitions, the key is to use the architecture in place and focus only on the CSS stylesheet for your design elements. There is a lot of information on how to submit your entry and the Official Rules and more on the The Sandbox Designs Competition site.
Free WordPress Goodies Hunt: Last week, Ryan Boren announced the “WordPress Schwag Cache”, a treasure hunt with GPS and coordinates to hike into the wilderness near Silicon Valley for a treasure trove of “two .50 caliber ammo boxes hold WP stickers and t-shirts. You have your choice of black or red t-shirts.” Jerry Chacon was the first to find it, but admits that he couldn’t find a t-shirt size that fit, so others hiked in and Yohannes Wijaya was the second one who reported finding it and the first to blog about it. Brian also made it and took pictures. I bet it’s still there, refilled or at least with some of the schwag still in there for others to go exploring. Anyone else up for an adventure in the woods for WordPress?
It’s WordPress not wordpress nor WordPress nor Word Press: Just so it’s clear, WordPress is spelled “WordPress” and not any other way. It help you spell it right, there is a WordPress Plugin to help get the spelling right and has been entered in the WordPress Plugin Competition.
The first WordPress Plugin to tackle this spelling challenge was W-P by Guff Szub aka Kaf Oseo. His Plugin was easily modified to convert commonly misspelled titles and words in blog posts.
Your Ideas Wanted! Do you have a suggestion to improve WordPress? Or want to vote on one you think is a must-have for WordPress users? Have your say on the WordPress Ideas, or at least vote one way or another to support or defeat an idea for a new and/or improved feature.
Retiring Feed Stats and Some Dignity for Pages: WordPress.com announced that they are discontinuing the Feed Stats on the Blog Stats collection as it just hasn’t really reflected the right numbers, and caused a lot of confusion for users. They admit that they haven’t had time to fix it and it may return, all fresh and new in the future. But for now, it’s gone. Many are begging for a Feedburner option, so who knows what the future will bring.
WordPress.com is also giving Pages a boost, the pseudo-static Pages on your blog for things like About, Contact, and static information. Pages will now be included in your stats and Top Post lists.
What’s Hot on WordPress.com? The hottest blogs on WordPress.com were:
- I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?
- strange maps
- Web Worker Daily
- 38 Pitches
- USB Tools & Portable Programs
- Bonnie’s Blog of Crime
- “may the truth saves us all”
The hottest blog posts on WordPress.com were:
- Drama today… A comparative look at 70s TV & the NBA.
- The Great Apple Stock Debate
- 20 Ways to Use LinkedIn Productively
- Eric Schmidt on YouTube showing off his iPhone
- i’m in ur fizx lab
- YouTube’s Disappointing New Editing Tools
- Father’s Day Aftershave – TheStarterWife
- Details on Halo 3 Published in the Press
- Ubuntu Feisty on your USB drive – finally!
- The web is your friend Or How we set up a non-profit by the seat of our pants
WordPress Plugins and Themes News
WordPress Plugins for Restoring Post Preview: There has been a lot of complaints about the removal of the long desired Write Post Preview, the ability to see your blog post as it looks in your WordPress Theme before it is published. The Preview Frame WordPress Plugin is now available to help you put it back in. For more on the issue, see Quick Online Tips – How to Get Post Preview Frame Back in WordPress 2.2 and Wordlog – Plugin to Restore Preview Post in Write Post Form.
Weblog Tools Collections Dissects WordPress Plugins: Weblog Tools Collection has gone WordPress Plugin mad over the past two months and is now dissecting WordPress Plugins. Dissecting a Plugin: Better Comments Manager is not only dissected but improved in a recent post. More dissections are promised.
How To Get Your WordPress Plugin Into the WordPress Extends Plugins Directory: Weblog Tools Collection offers “Listing Your Plugin at the WordPress.org Plugin Directory”, a step-by-step guide on how to get listed in the WordPress Extends Directory.
Your Personal Event Coordinator: Upcoming Events Plugin for WordPress is an interesting Plugin that displays upcoming events and your schedule on your WordPress blog. If you present programs, teach, travel, or want to alert others to events in your area, this WordPress Plugin is a fun way of putting your schedule in your blog’s sidebar.
Performancing Releases Photoblog WordPress Theme: Performancing released Photoblog WordPress Theme, a Theme designed for emphasizing photographs.
Ultimate Tag Warrior Plugin Update: Circle Six Design is calling for fans of Ultimate Tag Warrior and Simple Tagging to help beta test their new tagging Plugin on the most recent versions of WordPress.
WordPress Backup Email Fix: Quick Online Tips offers “How to Fix Missing WordPress Database Backup Emails” for the popular WordPress Database Backup Plugin.
One Fix for Customizable Post Listings: A fix, if you are into ripping and tearing WordPress Plugins, is available for the Customizable Post Listings WordPress Pluginon the WordPress Support Forum. I’m working on getting an improved version available. Stay tuned.
Interesting WordPress Plugins: I’m hunting for reviews of WordPress Plugins and will post them here. If you have used and reviewed a WordPress Plugin, please let me know so I can add them here. Until then, here are a few new and interesting WordPress Plugins – try them to see if they will work for you and your blog.
- UTF-8 Database Converter
- Around this date in the past…
- Around this date in the past… – Widget Edition
- Genki Youtube Comments
- WP AJAX Edit Comments
- Ajax Spell Checker
Most Popular WordPress Themes: The WordPress Theme Viewer now features 3,395 Themes and 4,836,293 Themes downloads. The top WordPress Themes are:
- Vistered Little 1.7.3 (NOTE: upgrade the theme to version 1.7.3 immediately)
- MistyLook 3.3.1
- Japanese Cherry Blossom
- Cordobo Green Park
- Sky3c 2.0
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
- Google Sitemap Generator for WordPress
- Subscribe to Comments
- Automattic Stats
More WordPress Plugins can be found on the WordPress Plugins Database.
Is Your Theme and Plugin Compatible with WordPress 2.2? As should be the normal protocol, if your WordPress Theme and/or Plugin is compatible with WordPress 2.2 or upgraded accordingly, make sure it is on the WordPress 2.2 Plugin Compatibility List and WordPress 2.2 Theme Compatibility List.
WordPress Community News
bbPress Updated: bbPress version 0.8.2 is now available for fans of the popular forum program. It is very compatible with and the sister program of WordPress. New features include hierarchical forums (forums can have children), slug-based permalinks, improved Plugin management, tagging and tag clouds, Mods and Admins are trusted and never marked as spam, and many other powerful features updated and added.
WordPress Community Podcast: The latest WordPress Community Podcast covers Episode 25: WordPress.com goes over a million and WordCamp. It also covers Movable Type’s open source release, security issues with WordPress, and the two new WordPress competitions.
Are You Involved With a WordPress Group? If you are involved with a WordPress group that meets regularly or as part of a special event, please let me know so I can promote the event here and elsewhere.If your group isn’t listed with Incoming.org or Meetup.com with WordPress as a keyword, I and others might not find you. Help us to help you promote your WordPress group.
WordPress Installed For Free: If you have problems installing the full version of WordPress, visit Installing WordPress for Free (aka Install4Free WordPress). This free, volunteer-driven service is limited to personal blogs only, and they help only with installations, not upgrades.
Looking for Past WordPress Versions? The placeholder for past versions of WordPress releases is at the WordPress Release Archive.
Looking for a WordPress Expert? Do you want a custom WordPress blog? Want to convert your website into a WordPress blog or use WordPress as a CMS? 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.
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 or via email.
- Austin, Texas, WordPress Meetup – June 18
- Houston WordPress Meetup – June 23
- San Fransisco WordPress Meetup – June 23
- WordCamp 2007 – San Fransisco – July 21-22
- BlogHer Conference ’07: A World of Difference – Chicago – July 27-28
- Blog Business Summit – Chicago – September 17-19
For a WordPress Meetup near you and other blogging events, check out the WordPress Meetup Group List.
WordPress Techniques and Tips
WordPress Videos and Podcasts: Here is this week’s list of videos and podcasts about WordPress tips, tricks, and techniques to help you learn and do more with WordPress. It’s hard to find good ones, so if you have any recommendations, please let me know.
- Embedding Video in WordPress Video
- CNET Video – Install a WordPress blog
- How to Install WordPress Video Tutorial Updated
- WordPress Video Tutorial: Upgrading WordPress 2.0.x to WordPress 2.1
- More Feedback, Less Spam: WordPress Contact Form Plugin
Here are some featured articles from the WordPress Codex, the online manual for WordPress Users, the source you need to turn to first for your WordPress help.
Extra Tip of the Week
Adding Powerful Keywords to Your Blog Tagline: Last week I covered some quick tips for customizing your blog title. Now let’s look at the tagline.
Inside the link to your blog tagline, WordPress uses template tags to generate the content. In its most simple form, it looks like:
<div class="description"><?php bloginfo('description'); ?></div>
The tagline or blog subtitle is set in your WordPress Administration Panels under Options > General > Tagline. You can set this to whatever you want and it is usually used to describe your blog’s purpose, a subtitle under your blog’s title.
On full version WordPress blogs, you can change this to add keywords, other template tags, or more to your blog tagline from within the
header.php of your WordPress Theme.
For instance, to add the name of your blog post to the tagline using template tags, you could use:
<div class="description"><?php bloginfo('description'); ?> <?php bloginfo('name'); ?></div>
If your blog description was “A story about blogging from” and your blog title was “Nancy Cee”, the two template tags would read:
A story about blogging from Nancy Cee
I had one customer who wanted the date to display in the tagline, changing every day. I used the following code, which includes the PHP code for displaying the date:
<div class="description"><?php bloginfo('description'); ?> <?php date('l, F j, Y'); ?></div>
With the tagline set as “All the industry news for”, and the PHP date code, this created a tagline like:
All the industry news for Monday, February 22, 2006
You can remove the tagline
description template tag from your WordPress Theme and hand code your own line, or use other combinations of template tags or code to customize your blog’s tagline. Just remember that not all WordPress template tags will work outside of the WordPress Loop. Choose those which will.
Even More WordPress News?
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
- Planet WordPress from Planet Ozh
Each Wednesday on Blog Herald 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lorelle VanFossen blogs about blogging and WordPress on Lorelle on WordPress and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging.
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.
Have those complaining noticed that if you save your draft post, there’s a link right under the Post Title field (aligned right) to show the post preview in a new window?
Sure, it ain’t sitting down there loading an iframe everytime you feel the need to slow down (heh), but it’s still definitely an option.
Yes, that’s part of the complaint. I discuss some of the “inconvenience” in my description of how I use my browser to blog.
And it isn’t an option as it is forced upon us. If it included an on/off switch, like the Rich Text Editor, then the WordPress world would be happier. Turning off something that has proven invaluable to a majority of users to benefit those on dial-up, the reason given for the change on WordPress.com, has made it miserable for the rest.
The preview link takes us back over two years in WordPress development. It was inconvenient then and painful now.
The irony here is that if WP added the (forced on us) iframe preview back, I would be back to the plugins to disable it! I hated that thing. ;-)
Your on/off switch idea is definitely something the dev lads should ponder (I wonder if something like that is in trac?). That would make everyone happy (ok, as if such thing is possible…).