Editor/Writer: Joe specializes in writing about themes and plugins, as well as helping users work more easily with WordPress by providing how-to posts and tutorials. You can connect with him on Google +.

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StudioPress Review: Clean, Sober, Secure

StudioPress themes are said to be structurally sound, secure, and good for SEO. The designs are clean; however, there aren’t many that are going to jump out at you make you step back. But not everyone wants that, of course. There also seems to be a relatively large community that you can become a part of when you get a Genesis framework from StudioPress. There are community-built plugins and child themes built especially to run on the framework.

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WordPress Releases a Security Update – Version 3.6.1

WordPress.org announced a “security release” today for core WordPress files – Version 3.6.1.

A “security release” fixes potential holes in the software that hackers could use to exploit your site. In other words, you should UPDATE RIGHT AWAY.

One of the best security measures you can take is to always update to the latest version of a security release (that’s plugins, themes, and of course the core files).

According the WordPress News blog, the release fixes the following three issues:

Block unsafe PHP unserialization that could occur in limited situations and setups, which can lead to remote code execution.

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WPZoom Review: Clean, Well-Organized Designs, Yet Slightly Pricey

If you’re into the style of themes that WPZoom offers, then there should be little to hold you back other than price. Their themes are clean and well-organized, giving you opportunities to fit lots of content into a tight space.

WPZoom shines with magazine style themes. They also have a nice recipe style theme and a nice restaurant style theme. That said, they are a little expensive, especially for developers, who can expect to pay about $200 up front and then over $200 a year for on-going support.

wpzoom

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iThemes Review: Enormous Control, Easy to Use, Average Design

For those who want to easily control the layout of their pages (i.e. where widgets go, the position of navigation menus, where the header appears, etc.), the iThemes “Builder” framework is hard to beat. It gives you an enormous amount of control. You also have easy control over fonts, borders, and colors.

That said, apart from a few exceptions, the out-of-the-box themes seem relatively plain. Some seem somewhat dated. Out of the 180 themes advertised, I found a (growing) list of 33 that were responsive; however, at least more than 10 in that list were different colored versions of another theme.

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How to Create a Separate Blog Section on Your WordPress Site

As many people these days use WordPress as a good old-fashioned “website” platform FIRST, and a blogging platform second, they often don’t want their blog posts showing up on their homepage. Instead, they want a blog section off the homepage that they can easily link to.

Luckily, achieving this in WordPress is a lot simpler than it used to be. We’ll run through the 3 easy steps below.
Step 1 – Create a New Page

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How to Show All Your Authors on One WordPress Page

The other day we went over some plugins for upgrading your author bio boxes. Today we’ve got a few plugins that will let you show all your authors (or only some) together on an Authors’ Page. If you add a new author to your site, no sweat – these plugin will automatically add them to your Authors’ Page.

Author Avatars List
The Author Avatars List plug works by inserting shortcodes or by using a widget in a sidebar.  Here are a few things you can do with the plugin.

Show users by groups
Control size of avatars
Show users names and bios (or not)

(Top – L to R) Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway(Bottom – L to R) Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, William Shakespeare (bottom), Emily Dickinson (top), James Joyce
    (Top – L to R) Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway
    (Bottom – L to R) Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, William Shakespeare (bottom), Emily Dickinson (top), James Joyce

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How to Remove WordPress Inactive Widgets in a Flash

The Inactive Widgets section in WordPress is a handy little tool. If you haven’t noticed it before, it sits below the normal widgets section. Instead of deleting a widget you’ve used before, you can drag it to the Inactive Widgets area, and it will keep all the settings. If you decide you want to use it again one day, simply drag it back into one of your widget areas, and it will be all set to go as it was before.

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9 Top Free WordPress Author Bio Box Plugins

For some sites, drawing attention to the author or authors on your site may be a key piece of your overall strategy. Perhaps you’re trying to establish a more personal tone. Perhaps you’re trying to build a reputation. Perhaps you’re trying to attract quality contributors. These are but a few potential reasons why you might want to make sure your readers connect the content with the person writing it.

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WordPress Tip: Automatically Link Twitter Names to Their Accounts

Do you find yourself referencing Twitter handles on a regular basis? If so, this quick trick will set your site up so that all you have to do is type in someone’s Twitter name, and it will automatically be linked to their account.

Take a look at the example below. All I did was type in @wpmudev and it linked itself to WPMU DEV’s Twitter page.

Simply place the following into your functions file. (Appearance > Editor > Theme Functions – functions.php) Either that or use a child theme or a functionality plugin.

{code type=php}

/* Automatically link Twitter usernames in WordPress*/
function twtreplace($content) {

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How to Get Circular Avatar Images in WordPress

We recently ran a post on giving images in your Posts and Pages a circular look. As we mentioned there, circular images seem to be very much in style these days. But even more in style, it seems, are circular avatars. And so that’s what we’re going to cover in this post.

Before we get into the code, let’s take a look at how your avatar/gravatar images will change.

Here’s a look at a regular author avatar.

And here’s how it looks after applying some simple CSS.

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