Founder & CEO of Incsub, Edublogs, WPMU DEV and a few more bits and bobs :)

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WordPress 3.4 Out Next Week

RC2 for WordPress 3.4 is out and in the wild.

According to Nacin, we should expect a release early next week – perhaps Tuesday.

By all accounts the latest release of our favorite semantic personal publishing software shoudl include:

Serious improvements to custom headers and backgrounds
Live previews and the theme customizer
New XML-RPC API
Internationalisation and localisation improvements

There’s a bunch of links here to items that various folk have written up.

So, hold onto your horses y’all and enjoy the 3.4 goodness, all in time for your summer (or, for me, winter) holidays.

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How to reduce your bounce rate by over 40% (or at least how we did it!)

So, in case you didn’t notice, we’ve just released pretty radical looking new version of WPMU DEV.

In fact, it was so radical that even the prospect of AB testing it had to be thrown out of the window, it’d be like apples and oranges, and so we took a deep breath, popped her out of the door and waited to see what happened… gulp.

And here’s your first taste of the net result, an utterly staggering decrease in the bounce rate on our ‘projects’ pages – i.e. the ones which showcase each individual plugin or theme . Check it:

That's an over 40% decrease in our bounce rate, want to know how we did it? Thought so :)

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Penguin 1.1 gives us record referrals, causes mushiness, inspires desire to present

One of these days I’m gonna put together a presentation on this.

On what it feels like to have the traffic you’ve worked hard on for years (without tricks!) almost completely disappear.

On what a significant challenge it is to then get attention for that.*

And to then sit tight for weeks seeing nothing change.

Only to rock up to work on Monday and, well, do a happy dance.

And last, but not least, to rock up at the end of the week, check your stats, and note the largest day of Google referrals ever to this very site.

Yeh, there’s definitely a presentation in there somewhere :)

 

angry-penguin

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Introducing the all new WPMU DEV

So, we’ve been pretty busy over the last few months, working like deranged lemurs to crank you out a brand new WPMU DEV, and it’s not just new in the ‘it looks completely different’ sense either, but just cos I *know* that’s all everyone’s going to talk about first off, here are the highlights…

We’ve ditched the red
It’s been fun, but I think it’s time we moved out of the angry adolescent stage, stopped painting our walls black and grew up a bit in the palette stakes.

Old Red:

New Blue:

 
We’ve upped the sophist

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WordPress, Penguin, Google and Matt Cutts’ take on WPMU.org

So, on the off chance you’ve been living under a rock for the past fortnight, let me introduce to you the Google Penguin update.

Essentially on the 24th April, the Goog rolled out an update named Penguin, with the intended function being to penalize sites that:

Engage in ‘keyword stuffing’
Participate in ‘link schemes’
And are generally of low quality

angry-penguin

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We’re looking for a Melbourne Based Front End Developer / Designer

Are you a new or recent graduate, or just a super-keen front-end developer with an eye for great design (no degree required), looking for that exciting, creative, career popping opportunity to show off and develop your skills?

Well, we reckon you just found it!

Who are we?

Incsub is one of Melbourne’s leading web startups (if you can call a 6 year old company a startup), find out more about us here.

We’re involved at the cutting edge of the WordPress-powered web, including:

– Edublogs: The World’s largest education blog host (and one of the top 10 blog hosts in the world, by the numbers!)

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[Applications now closed] Work with us – Support & Sales Pro at WPMU DEV

We’re looking for one or more excellent support and sales guys or gals to work with us FT at WPMU DEV.

The role will involve:

Hanging out in our forums being massively friendly, helpful and useful
Assisting WPMU DEV members with all manner of WordPress questions, and solving them!
Co-ordinating with our developers over bugs, features and cool new stuff
Fielding email inquires from existing and potential new members
Being an active part of the Incsub team, ready to contribute to all sorts of things

The skills we’re looking for are:

A really good familiarity with WordPress and, ideally, WPMU DEV

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Work with us! WordPress Plugin Developer @ WPMU DEV

We’re looking for one or more excellent WordPress plugin developers to work with us FT at WPMU DEV.

The role will involve:

Developing and maintaining out-of-this-world plugins for WPMU DEV members
Providing fantastic second tier (i.e. when referred to you by our support team) support and enhancements for said plugins
Taking on existing WPMU DEV plugins and making them unrecognizably better
Participating in discussions about all Incsub projects (for example, Edublogs, WPMU.org, WP Plugins etc.) and getting stuck into them too!

The skills we’re looking for are:

Proven WordPress plugin coding skills (we’ll need to see examples)
A ‘can do’ positive attitude and super quick response times

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HTTP status cats for WordPress (aka Custom Error message plugin)

We are, as an organization, a little too obsessed with kitteh pictures, so these HTTP Status Cats (via BoingBoing) completely rocked our world.

And, of course, after much rofling, bahahas and alike, we thought – heck this needs to be a WordPress plugin!

So we made it, just for you, a plugin that turns your various error messages into amusing cat pictures… what more could you ask for!

Just give us a like, tweet, plus or similar below and it’ll be available as a free download… we’ll put it as a free project on WPMU DEV shortly too.

You like? We thought you would!

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Good content trumps SEO… I beg to differ, try putting WordPress in your domain name!

I tell you, if one thing riles me more than anything else when it comes to running a web business, it’s the trials and tribulations of SEO.

Specifically, competing with SEO blackhats, when it comes to the position of your business – let’s say, for example this very site – versus various competition.
And, even more specifically, in the face of Google consistently claiming that SEO doesn’t matter, it’s just about the content:

Via RWW (who just sold, woot, congrats Richard!)

As Siobhan pointed out, this is a seriously scary area, and that’s not down to good content, it’s down to simple blackhat SEO.

Post titles for SEO

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