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WordPress Wednesday: Happy Birthday and More WordPress 2.1

WordPress Wednesday: Happy Birthday and More WordPress 2.1

Before we get to the WordPress Wednesday news, Happy Birthday, WordPress!

January 25 was the 4th birthday of WordPress. Mike Little remembered the first beginnings that led to the development of WordPress.

Back to more important things, as I reported in the WordPress news last week, the WordPress 2.1 release went fairly well, though two issues frequently came to the fore: Compatibility with WordPress 2.1 and WordPress Themes and WordPress Plugins.

WordPress News

For the past couple months, WordPress Plugin authors were warned to update their Plugins to be WordPress 2.1 ready. Many did. Some of the most popular WordPress Plugin authors are also helping with WordPress development, so they have been running WordPress 2.1 in the pre-release forms since last fall, testing and fixing their Plugins.

Still, many WordPress Theme designers were caught off guard with changes to the WordPress template tags for categories and blogroll/bookmarks. Most of these are simple fixes, replacing the old template tag with the new one, but volunteers where there to help them through the process.

Don’t let the fear of incompatibility stop you from upgrading to WordPress 2.1. Many are reporting no errors or problems. Others have minor fixes. This upgrade is a security fix as well as a program upgrade. Check to see if your WordPress Plugins or Themes have been updated and are compatible with WordPress 2.1 on the WordPress Plugin Compatibility List and WordPress 2.1 Theme Compatibility List.

WordPress Plugin Authors Alert: Your audience is waiting. Please let them know publicly if your Plugin works with WordPress 2.1, and get on the WordPress Plugin compatibility list.

WordPress Theme Designers Alert: Your audience is also waiting. Add your WordPress Theme to the WordPress 2.1 Theme Compatibility List. If you will not be updating nor supporting your WordPress Theme in this new version or future versions, add your WordPress Theme to the non-compatible list.

Is WordPress 2.1 Faster? Reports are varied. Testing by some of the developers have shown that WordPress 2.1 runs faster and is more streamlined, reducing the toll on the database. Users around the world report it is indeed faster, though others state that it feels slower. Weblog Tools Collection reports front page queries dropped 41% and memory requirements for the query and its cache dropped noticeably due to improvements in the new WordPress query structure. Others are noticing speed improvements on the Administration Panels with posting and other administrative functions.

WordPress Backup: Many were dismayed at the loss of WordPress Backup from WordPress 2.1. It is still a valuable tool and you can download and install the updated version of WordPress Database Backup from Ilfilosofo, who has now taken over maintenance of this must-have WordPress Plugin.

Missing Your Gravatars? Many WordPress users love the popular Gravatar icons, avatar images which appear next to comments, set there by Gravatar WordPress Plugins. Currently, Gravatar’s site is down as improvements are being made to the service and the site. According to the Gravatar Blog, Gravatar 2.0 will be back in action better than ever in February.

Is MORE Cutting Off Your Feeds? A new feature in WordPress 2.1 is not considered a feature by some users. In WordPress, you can choose to host a full or summary (excerpt) feed for your site. However, if you use the <--more--!> comment in your post to control the length of the post excerpt for the front page of your blog, WordPress 2.1 truncates your feeds to that point. Full Text Feed WordPress Plugin by Cavemonkey50 changes your feeds to full whether or not you use the <--more--!>.

WordPress 2.2 Development On Track: WordPress 2.2 development is going forward with the new WordPress Roadmap and upcoming features include Atom API support, WP-specific XML-RPC API for managing Pages and categories, and TinyMCE 2.0.9. The release date is still set for April 23rd.

WordPress Codex 2.1 Updates: The following files have been updated or added to help with the WordPress 2.1 upgrade process: News

There was some confusion with the release of WordPress 2.1 for many bloggers, especially those new to blogging. Let me clarify.

There are two versions of WordPress available for most bloggers. is the full version for self-hosted bloggers. This is the version recently released. Free blogs are hosted by WordPress and run on WordPress code, but do not need to be upgraded. is not only a free blog hosting service where anyone can blog with WordPress for free, it is also an alpha/beta testing site for WordPress. bloggers have been blogging with a form of WordPress 2.1 for months. We are the guinea pigs for WordPress. Our feedback and reports of problems help WordPress developers understand how the different features work, and don’t work, building a better blogging system for everyone.

This also means there is a price to pay. Not everything tested on blogs work all the time and every time. While glitches and bugs are few, they are quickly found and squashed, creating a stable system for all WordPress users. So we suffer with the occasional bump in the road. It also means we get to see the latest improvements in WordPress long before anyone else. ;-) Blog Bling: I recently started a series on Blog Bling, explaining tips and techniques for decorating up your blogs. If you are looking for tips on adding graphics, photographs, video, podcasts, music, buttons, badges, or any other visual fun on your blog, stop by.

Speaking of Blog Bling – SplashCast!: Want to really bling up your blog? Engtech offers “Getting Started with SplashCast on”, explaining how to add SplashCast streaming media channels for video, music, photos, narration, text and feeds to your blog. In a way, it’s like non-stop entertainment coming into your blog. Check it out.

Want a Free Blog? Want to know what all the fuss is about? You can sign up for free with a valid email address at Signup.

WordPress Plugins and Themes News

WordPress Plugin and Theme Updates: In addition to the WordPress Plugin Compatibility List and WordPress 2.1 Theme Compatibility List, check to find out if your WordPress Plugin has been updated and WordPress Theme Viewer for information on WordPress Themes.

See Also
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Ultimate Tag Warrior: The Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin, one of the most popular WordPress Plugins, has a new release, though there is a fix from Donnch O’Caoimh and another version of the fix from Techtites to get it working with WordPress 2.1.

Content Related RSS Feeds WordPress Plugin: A new feed WordPress Plugin is out called Content Related RSS Feeds Plugin for WordPress. It is designed to use the most relevant keywords from the post content and display feeds with related content. It is best used with large content sites with feeds such as Yahoo! and Google News, matching feed content with post content.

FeedWordPress Plugin Fix: HART-Empire has a solution for the FeedWordPress Plugin to work in WordPress 2.1. The FeedWordPress Plugin is a popular WordPress Plugin for those who use external feeds on their WordPress blog.

WordPress General News

Automattic in Mexico: The annual meeting of Automattic, the parent company for all things WordPress and Akismet, was in La Paz, Mexico, last week. These guys live and work in the virtual world more than in an office, so this is a rare event, and Matt took time for some photos to show you that there is more to WordPress than just work.

WordPress Song Goes Plugin: If you were tickled with last week’s news of a new WordPress Song, “It’s Called WordPress” by Devin Reams, there is now a new WordPress Plugin by Steven Campbell that displays the lyrics of the song in your WordPress Administration Panels, similar to the Hello Dolly WordPress Plugin. Thanks for the update, BloggingPro.

WordPress and Blogging Events: I’ve posted a new list of WordPress and Blogging Events for February and March 2007 for those interested in getting together to discuss WordPress and blogging. Some events in February will be featuring popular bloggers and WordPress masters, with a lot of discussion about WordPress 2.1.

For more information on WordPress and blogging events, visit my WordPress Events page. Most of the WordPress and blogging events I feature are free or low cost. If you have a WordPress or blogging-related event coming up, please let me know on my WordPress Events page.

For more news on WordPress, see:

Each Wednesday on 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 .

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View Comments (8)
  • Wow, reading that post from Matt was like getting on a time machine and going back to say hello to cavemen. It was wierd seeing the post that started it all.

  • Regarding your mentioning of the Content Related Feeds Plugin for WordPress

    Today I asked the author of the “Content Related Feeds Plugin for WordPress” for help. I posted the following comment to his blog:

    In your plugin script you say, “The plugin is set up to display the news from, you can change it if you are familiar with php, if you don’t or you need any help leave a message in the plugin page at”

    I have noticed that your content-related rss feeds plugin caches entire Yahoo news articles in the “options” portion of the mySQL database used by my WordPress installation. But I only use headlines and do not even need a cache.

    How can I truncate or eliminate the Yahoo news cache so that I can reduce the size of my database. (The Yahoo news cache sometimes grows to 90 MB or more.)

    Yesterday I posted a similar comment and said that caching entire Yahoo news articles in the WordPress database is foolishness. Ezio Tuveri, the author of the content-related rss feeds plugin, did not answer my request and deleted the comment. I hope he provides an answer this time around.

  • Don’t consider a deleted comment a failure to respond. Comment spam filters do a lot of the removal for us and it might be sitting in the moderation queue. Be patient and ask again if you get no response. You can also seek help sometimes in the WordPress Support Forums.

    While I agree about the cache, which is odd, I wonder if that isn’t part of the filtering process to determine related content. I’m not familiar with the Plugin so please let us know what happens with that. It’s a novel ideal for a feed and has great possibilities.

  • Update regarding the Content Related Feeds Plugin for WordPress:

    Ezio Tuveri, the author of the content-related rss feeds plugin, said to turn WordPress Magpie caching off, and I found that adding the line define(‘MAGPIE_CACHE_ON’, false); to the rss-functions.php file in the wp-includes folder (in my WordPress installation) solved the problem. The news feeds are no longer stored in my database.

    In short, the solution is to add the line define(‘MAGPIE_CACHE_ON’, false); to the rss-functions.php file in the wp-includes folder (in WordPress).

  • Important: If you cut and paste the line of code define(‘MAGPIE_CACHE_ON’, false);, make sure that the single quotation marks ( ‘ ) are not “curly.” You might have to retype the single quotation marks, the ones encasing the phrase MAGPIE_CACHE_ON.

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