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WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress Plugin and Sandbox Theme Competitions, Hot New WordPress Plugins, Put Post Preview Back, and Stop Blaming WordPress

WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress Plugin and Sandbox Theme Competitions, Hot New WordPress Plugins, Put Post Preview Back, and Stop Blaming WordPress

Hot WordPress Contests! There are two new competitions, one for WordPress Plugins and one for designing the Sandbox WordPress Theme. Get your creativity in gear, folks! Dreamhost was hacked, but WordPress was blamed. There’s a lot of talk about Akismet and the never ending task of battling comment spam. Semiologic releases a ton of WordPress Plugin updates. There is continued disappointment in the lack of the Post Preview but a new Plugin to help put it back where it belongs. And Matt is seeking developers for the new WordPress HyperDatabase.

WordPress News

How Much is WordPress Worth? A Fool’s Wisdom has done the math and says “WordPress 2.2 Source Code is Worth $1 Million” and shows off the calculations. No matter how you count it, the truth is that WordPress developers, volunteer and paid, are worth 100 times their weight in whatever measurement you want to offer in appreciation and respect. It’s hard work developing a product that’s basically free and make millions of users happy all the time. They aren’t, but a lot are. That’s saying something worth a lot right there.

Dreamhost Hacked – WordPress Blamed: Simon Willison reports that many Dreamhost users, including him, blamed WordPress for a security vulnerability for a hack to their WordPress blogs. It seems that their host, Dreamhost, now reports that it had nothing to do with WordPress and that hackers had gotten into their server and caused some havoc. According to their email, “Our records indicate that only roughly 20% of the accounts accessed – less than 0.15% of the total accounts that we host—actually had any changes made to them. Most accounts were untouched.”

WordPress Plugin Competition: It’s been a while since there was a good WordPress Plugin competition, and I’m really looking forward to this new one by Weblog Tools Collection called “WordPress Competition 2.0”. It runs from June 1 – July 31 and should have some great prizes. See the Plugin Competition Blog and the announcement for more information.

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 . 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. I love contests like this. The creativity explodes! 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.

Fans of Planet WordPress from Planet Ozh Rejoice: The Planet WordPress from Planet Ozh is the unofficial WordPress feed aggregator which collects the feeds from some of the hottest blogs on WordPress around, as well as the best and brightest minds who work with WordPress. It’s been recently cleaned up to remove personal and unrelated posts, and then cleaned up again to remove some dead wood by the host, Planet Ozh. In the process, Ozh developed the Ajax Multi Feed Checker for those aggregating multiple feeds to check and verify the feeds. For those checking things, the official aggregator is WordPress Planet.

WordPress 2.2 is now a Mandatory Upgrade: If you are using WordPress 2.1.3, WordPress 2.2 is now a mandatory upgrade, according to WordPress developer, Mark Jaquith. WordPress 2.2 is available for download and you can find a list of version changes and new features for more information on what’s new in WordPress 2.2.

Things to Know About WordPress 2.2: Some older WordPress Plugins that may have kept on working without updates through previous versions of WordPress may break with WordPress 2.2. These include Plugins with rely upon old table structures and global functions. For example, the Ultimate Tag Warrior, Customizable Post Listings, More Smilies, podPress, and other Plugins which modify the_content() template tag and rely on deprecated structures and functions. We’re awaiting new versions of many of these. Be patient.

Also, Semiologic reports a bug in WordPress 2.2 that makes the Widget sidebar cause headaches for web designers with Internet Explorer 7. See the WordPress Track Ticket for the explanation, and recommendation to fix this for 2.2.1.

Check the WordPress 2.2 Plugin Compatibility List and WordPress 2.2 Theme Compatibility List to make sure your Plugin and Theme works with WordPress 2.2 if you are having trouble. As always, disable WordPress Plugins before you install and make sure you have the latest version of the WordPress Plugins on your blog.

Some Strong Recommendations on Why Not to Upgrade to WordPress 2.2: There are some growing concerns about some of the changes and “improvements” to the latest version of WordPress. Blogosquare explains some of the reasons, including the loss of the built-in post preview, the new inclusion of Widgets can now screw up your sidebar accessories, and offers instructions on how to downgrade WordPress. I’m hearing from others that their favorite WordPress Plugins like the Ultimate Tag Warrior, Customizable Post Listings, and others are not compatible and likely to not be upgraded to work with this version. Unfortunately, this upgrade includes a mandatory security patch, so the decision may be a tough one for some.

Major Disappointment with the Removal of 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.

WordCamp 2007 – July 21-22: will be July 21-22 in San Fransisco at the Swedish American Hall on Market Street. More info due soon.

WebWare 100 – Vote for WordPress: The WebWare 100 poll is asking you to vote for your favorite web applications and WordPress is in the Publishing: Blogging, Web Content, Design Tools Category. If you are a fan, go vote for WordPress. Registration not required.

WordPress 2.3 In the Trunk: WordPress developer, Ryan Boren offers an inside look at what is up and coming with WordPress 2.3, the next version. Highlights include tagging, separating link and post categories, housekeeping and code clean up to make things run faster and better, TinyMCE, the Rich Text Editor, has been updated, and the new post and page management feature bloggers are loving has been added.

Fast Update to WordPress Versions and Updates: WPzipper is offering updates and full versions of WordPress for free download. I’ve done a little checking and it appears to be okay, though I’m still awaiting some confirmation. Have you used it?

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 , or at least vote one way or another to support or defeat an idea for a new and/or improved feature. News W logoWhat’s Hot on The hottest blogs on were:

  2. passive-aggressive notes from roommates, neighbors, coworkers and strangers
  3. GigaOM
  4. Ladies…
  5. Scobleizer
  6. Web Worker Daily
  7. USB Tools & Portable Programs
  8. The Browser: Analyzing the tech biz
  9. A Quantum Diaries Survivor
  10. Scholars and Rogues

The hottest blog posts on were:

  1. New Joost CEO doesn’t get the Brady Bunch
  2. A video to help ease the boredom
  3. Bobby
  4. Camino 1.5: Brisk, Better, Best
  5. Eppure si muove…or does it?
  6. to put it as politely as possible
  7. How Circuit City make their money…
  8. 7 Apps for Online Note-Taking
  9. CNN Learns From ABC’s Censorship and Deletes All Ron Paul Comments
  10. NYC Dining Preview: Hill Country NYC BBQ

WordPress Plugins and Themes News

WordPress Plugins DatabaseOne Fix for Customizable Post Listings: A fix, if you are into ripping and tearing WordPress Plugins, is available for the Customizable Post Listings WordPress Plugin on the WordPress Support Forum. I’m working on getting an improved version available. Stay tuned.

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.

Akismet and/or Spam Karma: Andy Beard has written an interesting post about his preferences and issues with Akismet and Spam Karma to fight off comment spam. He votes for Spam Karma and offers tips to help you customize your settings to fight off the worst of the comment spam offenders. I recommend strongly that full version WordPress users use the triple threat against comment spam: Spam Karma 2.3m , and Bad Behavior. If Akismet is grabbing your comments, read Is Akismet Wrongly Blocking Your Not-Spam Blog Comments? from Quick Online Tips.

Angsuman’s Translator Plugin Pro Release Dates Announced: Instead of just releasing new versions of his popular WordPress Plugins, Angsuman Chakraborty has announced the upcoming release dates for Angsuman’s Translator Plugin Pro, ATPP 5.0 and ATP Gold. The Translator Plugin Pro will be released June 11. The ATP Gold is a limited edition release and will include 32+1 language translations. Only 100 copies will be released on 13th June for $100 each, $80 for existing users or upgrading. If you have a large and popular blog and you want the increased power with these translation WordPress Plugins, this could be a bargain.

Semiologic Updates and Releases a Ton of WordPress Plugins: Denis de Bernardy of Semiologic has been very busy releasing new and updated WordPress Plugins. Here are a few of the announcements:

WordPress Database Backup Plugin: Is the WordPress Backup Plugin not working with the new version of WordPress? Get the latest version from Ifilosopho who maintains the WordPress Database Backup Plugin formerly by Owen Winkler and Skippy.

Disable the Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin: If you are having trouble on your WordPress blog version 2.1+, or complaints from your web host, disable the Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin. This much beloved Plugin is not working consistently with the new versions. WordPress has announced adding tags to the next major release of WordPress, so development on the Plugin seems to be at a standstill. As soon as we get more information on this, we’ll let you know.

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.

Vistered Little WordPress Theme Immediate Update: According to Weblog Tools Collection there has been a security issue found with the most popular downloaded WordPress Theme, Vistered Little, and users need to upgrade the theme to version 1.7.3 immediately.

Most Popular WordPress Themes: The WordPress Theme Viewer now features 3,168 Themes and 4,552,124 Themes downloads. The top WordPress Themes are:

  1. Vistered Little 1.7.3 (NOTE: upgrade the theme to version 1.7.3 immediately)
  2. MistyLook 3.3.1
  3. WP-Andreas01
  4. Water
  5. ChaoticSoul
  6. Japanese Cherry Blossom
  7. Mandigo
  8. Cordobo Green Park
  9. Mesozoic
  10. 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:

More WordPress Plugins can be found on the WordPress Plugins Database.

See Also
YouTube features for Content Creators

WordPress Community News

WordPress Community graphicNew Database for WordPressMU: Matt Mullenweg has announced HyperDB, a new “super” database for running WordPressMu sites like . He’s started a new mailing list for those who want to get involved in helping develop this new enterprise DB class for WordPress. In a related post, Donncha O’Caoimh offers “The Real Way to Improve Server Performance” with news that the next version of WordPressMU will have a special Javascript client-side db (JCSDB) library built in.

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 or with WordPress as a keyword, I and others might not find you. Help us to help you promote your WordPress group.

WordPress Community Podcast: The latest edition of the WordPress Community Podcast is our with news on WordPress 2.2, Mass Post Manager, AntiLeech, Genki YouTube Comments, and a lot more WordPress news and commentary.

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 , the parent company of WordPress, and the WP-Pro mailing list.

WordPress Events

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.

For a WordPress Meetup near you and other blogging events, check out the WordPress Meetup Group List.

For more news on WordPress, see:

WordPress Techniques and Tips

Know of any great WordPress tips and techniques articles? Let me know and it may end up on our weekly list.

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.

Here are some featured articles from the , the online manual for WordPress Users, the source you need to turn to first for your WordPress help.

Extra Tip of the Week

Learn About WordPress Template Tags: WordPress Template Tags are the heart of a WordPress blog’s design and structure. They are used to generate post links, blog titles, author names and links, post lists, category lists, Page lists, and all types of data and information within your blog’s layout. If you are designing a WordPress Theme without familiarity with these invaluable and powerful functions, you are missing out on the key ingredients in a well-designed WordPress Theme.

Each Wednesday on is WordPress Wednesday, featuring the news around the WordPress Community.

Lorelle VanFossen blogs about blogging and WordPress on and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging.

View Comments (9)
  • You know what? I can just skip reading other posts and read this whenever I return from somewhere. This is just so comprehensive! :)
    Thanks for a wonderful job!

  • wow there is a lot going on. i would do the sandbox thing, but i can’t figure out where to start with it, let alone design a theme for someone to use. i wish the people doing it luck tho. i wanna see what comes out.

  • Something that hadn’t been mentioned regarding upgrading that I’d like to know: will the developers still provide security updates to the 2.0.X versions of WordPress? If I remember right there was a promise to provide this for another few years. I think I’ll wait to upgrade to WP when y’all reach 3.0 :-)

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