WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress 2.2 Due Monday, Sponsored WordPress Themes, WordPress.com Splog Fighter, and More
The big WordPress 2.2 release
is due next Monday has been postponed for a week or so. The excitement is building. Expect next week to be a busy WordPress week, and I’ll have lots of WordPress News next Wednesday. WordPress.com is about to turn 1 million users old. The issue of sponsored WordPress Themes and Plugins heats up. WordPress.com recognized as a leader in the fight against splogs. The WordPress Community also celebrates the one year anniversary of a favorite support volunteer with WordPress.com. And plenty more WordPress news for this week.
WordPress 2.2 Release Date Delayed: The next major WordPress release was to be April 23rd and Matt Mullenweg has announced a delay of a week or two. Several of the new features, including the addition of tags, has proven to be a little more complex and trouble in the final testing phase than originally thought. They are hard at work fixing things and the announcement of the new release will come soon.
The list of new features and improvements is impressive, though. Here are some highlights of what to expect:
- Improved comment editing
- Multiple format comment feeds, including Atom
- phpmailer integrated for performance and maintainability
- Plugin Sandboxing to Test Drive Plugins
- Default and Classic WordPress Themes widgetized
There has been a lot of announcements that tags will be included in this release of WordPress. While things may change, it looks like it will be delayed to a later release. As Christine Davis, author of the Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin, can attest, tags are not that easy to implement. What appears easy to us on the surface is a nightmare of code to write and test. So there will be a slight delay, but tags are coming.
Currently, 216 features, bugs, and fixes are closed on WordPress 2.2. For more information on what to expect in upcoming versions of WordPress, see the WordPress Roadmap.
New WordPress Security Release: A new security release for WordPress was announced recently 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.
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.
WordPress Summer of Code: The Google Summer of Code will feature some exciting stuff from interns and students working on WordPress Plugins and ideas for features and development. BloggingPro found Ronald Heft, Jr., who will be working on improving podcasting support, and Celeste Paul, doing a comparison of other blogging programs and how to improve WordPress based on her findings. Fools Wisdom has a list of the various student projects and their mentors. There is also a list of proposed WordPress Code Project information and another list of WordPress Code Project Ideas if you are curious about the proposals. It will be exciting to see what comes of all this creative, young energy.
NASA on WordPress: Matt Mullenweg pointed to the fact that NASA is using WordPress for their new Ames Research Center project, another boon for WordPress, and a great opportunity to see another interesting use of WordPress.
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. I’m actually rather shocked at how few votes have been cast. I haven’t found a single item that has more than 500 votes. With millions of WordPress users, and thousands who want their say in how WordPress works and grows, I would have thought more people would be voting. Have you voted on your favorite things on the want or do not want list?
The most popular WordPress ideas right now are:
- Plugin Update Notification
- Tags! (adding tags not just categories)
- Easy Updating of WordPress
- 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.
New Servers for WordPress.com: WordPress.com announced new servers and Barry has pictures of them for all the techno-loving folks out there.
New WordPress.com Theme: Neo-Sapien is a new WordPress Theme for WordPress.com users. It has a HUGE header and three sidebars. Wow.
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 Fights Against Splogs: Mogret Designs’ article, “Reporting Spam and Plagiarism on Blogs”, features the splog reporting option for WordPress.com users and makes some recommendations on improvements. To report a splog on a WordPress.com blog as a member, use the Dashboard > Blog Info > Report as Spam option. If you are not a member, you can also report a splog through the WordPress.com Contact Support page.
What’s Hot on WordPress.com? The hottest topics in the last few days have revolved around the murders in Virginia. There has been a lot of guessing, assumptions, rumors, and gossip flying around and people turning to the blogosphere to find out who knows what or thinks they do. WordPress.com is not immune with a lot of hot posts and blogs discussing the subject.
The hottest blogs on WordPress.com were:
- Ali Eteraz
- Scobleizer – Tech Geek Blogger
- Women’s Space/The Margins
- Web Worker Daily
- God Bless Virginia Tech
- Ubuntu Blog
- strange maps
- The People’s Parliament
- Status of Chinese People
- Paleo Lithics
- Bonnie’s Blog of Crime
- The Anti-Essentialist Conundrum
The hottest blog posts on WordPress.com in another of those seconds were:
- Highly unlikely this was a spur of the moment emotional move (VT shooting)
- Long arm of the American law
- Post info on who you know is ok and where they are/may be
- the worst school massacre in American history: not Virginia Tech
- Six More Reasons to Use a Paper To Do List
- Cho Seung-Hui: “You Caused Me To Do This”
- 105 – The Tory Atlas of the World
- Cho Sueng-Hui and the Virginia Tech Massacre: These are the Sons America Has Raised
- Long arm of the American law
- Scripting Web Graphics
- Email to Kang Chai Kee: From the Digital World to the Ghetto
- Cho Seung-Hui Could be a Product of the Korean Dilemna
- The Virginia Tech tragedy
WordPress Plugins and Themes News
The Debate Over Sponsored Themes and Plugins: There has been a lot of debate over the issue of sponsored WordPress Themes and pay-for-use WordPress Plugins. Matt Mullenweg has tackled both.
In Plugin Authors Get No Love, he says that while Plugins are just as hard or harder to write and design as themes, and those listed in the WordPress Plugin Directory require GPL or compatible licenses, few Plugin authors get much attention. In spite of this, WordPress Plugin writing and development is flourishing with more added every day. Some WordPress Plugins have licenses available for purchase, and Plugin authors are available for hire to create specialized Plugins, so the wealth is spreading. To Matt’s best information, he says, “I’m not aware of any plugins that bundle advertising with the intention of gaming search engines, like themes are.”
On Weblog Tools Collection, Matt writes in “On Sponsored Themes” that the market on advertisers paying money to WordPress Theme authors and websites to embed text links to their sites’ Themes in hopes of gaming search engines and promoting their wares. This is known as “theme sponsorship”. He thoroughly looks at the point of the “good, bad, and indifference” of such tactics, and asks the WordPress Community to vote on the WordPress Idea to remove sponsored themes from WordPress.org’s listings.
Here are some other articles on the topic:
- Sassy Lawyer – Sponsored WordPress Themes
- xMark Blog – WordPress Theme Sponsorship
- WP Designer – Deteriorating Theme Community
- WPDesigner – My Take on Sponsored Themes
- One Woman Show – On sponsored themes
- Buzzroid – WordPress: Beware The Sponsored Link Theme – Do You Know Where Your PageRank Is Going?
- Matt Cutts – Text links and PageRank
- h4X3d.com – Theme Ethics
- h4x3d.com – Theme Ethics Part 2
- Weblog Tools Collection – Sponsored Themes
- Blog Herald – Sponsored WordPress Themes: A Great Business Model
- Spontaneous Monotony – WordPress sponsored themes controversy
- Sassy Lawyer – I Vote To Remove Sponsored Themes from WordPress.org
- Webernet Architect – Tempest in a Teacup or Baby Momma Drama Over Sponsored Templates
- HeadSetOptions – The Other Point of View – A Designers Opinion on Sponsored Themes
- TailRank – On Sponsored Themes
- TailRank – Remove Sponsored Themes from WordPress.org
- Technorati – Sponsored Themes Tags
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.
Share Microsoft Office Documents Via WordPress: Future Works Labs explains how to use ThinkFree and the ThinkFree View WordPress Plugin to incorporate Office documents like Word, Powerpoint, and Excel into your WordPress Blog.
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. These WordPress Plugins were reviewed this past week:
- APAD: Live Comment Preview
- APAD: Pre-Publish Reminders
- APAD: Ajax Edit Comments
- APAD: Snap Shots Plugin
- APAD: Akismet
- APAD: IM Online
Most Popular WordPress Themes: The WordPress Theme Viewer now features 2,275 Themes and 3,743,918 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
- Mandigo 1.16
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
Akismet for MyBulletinBoard: Akismet announces a version for MyBulletinBoard sites, adding them to the growing list of programs incorporating Akismet and its powerful comment spam fighting abilities.
Matt Mullenweg Interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald: Matt Mullenweg was interviewed in the Syndey Morning Herald discussing how to build a better blogosphere and how listening to your customers, and asking the right questions, is more important in today’s business world than the old corporate thinking. One-on-one personal is today’s working world’s method.
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
Happy Birthday, TimeThief! Dr. Mike of WordPress.com support reminded us that this is the one year anniversary of the popular WordPress.com Support Forum volunteer, Timethief. To honor her amazing effort to help WordPress.com users, here are some of her awesome tips for WordPress.com users:
- Importing from One WordPress.com Blog to Another
- Understanding Blogrolls, Links and Categories in WordPress.com
- How Do I Edit the WordPress.com Theme
- Importing from One WordPress.com Blog to Another
- Giving multiple authors credit in group blogs in WordPress.com
- WordPress.com Support Via Feedback and Email
- Insert an Image into a WordPress Text Widget on WordPress.com
- WordPress Widget Wizardry
Know of any great WordPress tips and techniques articles? Let me know and it may end up on our weekly list.
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.
- 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
- Blog Business Summit – Chicago – September 17-19
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
Will Your Blog Post Make the Front Page of Digg? HarpzOn offers the Digg-a-Meter for Windows users, a free downloadable program which will test your post title (headline) against a variety of factors to determine whether or not your post will make it to the front page of Digg based solely upon the title. While a bit of a joke, he reports an 85% accuracy rate.
The point here, though, is how important titles are to the success of your blog and blog posts. Blog post titles are found everywhere, in feeds, emails, most recent posts, most popular posts, search engines, directories, all over the web. They are the first impression most people get of your blog. For more help, tips, and information on writing and using blog post titles on your WordPress blog, see Writing Effective, Attention-Getting Headlines and Titles on Your Blog and Creating Effective, Attention-Getting Headlines and Titles.
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.
No love for the new Box.net widget? :-)
Or did you cover that one already?
WordPress 2.2 will not be released next Tuesday. On wp-hackers mailing list today Matt Mullenweg wrote:
Lloyd: I saw that but nothing had come out yet and I’m on a deadline. ;-) When this is publicly announced, and I assume your posting of the email is not the official announcement, I’ll update the post. Thanks.
Update: Matt just announced it. It’s been updated.
UKStevieB: I am not familiar nor heard of that Widget. Can’t review what I don’t know. I also do not review all the Widgets or Plugins out there. I’d never have a real life. hee hee
Box.net announced last Friday that the widget is now available on all WordPress.com blogs, I am using it on my Joss Whedon blog at the moment if you want to check it out.
I feel quite humbled by the fact that you wrote about my first year anniversary at wordpress.com and that you also referred others to the wordpress beginner resources that I have created.
I love being part of the wordpress community. And the contribution you have made and continue to make to the best blogging community there is has been and continues to be outstanding.
Thank you for the recognition.
It was an honor. Thank you for all you do for us.