Sarah Gooding is a partner at Untame, a boutique digital marketing firm specializing in open source content management systems and social networking architecture. She enjoys staying on top of the latest WordPress and BuddyPress news. Get in touch with Sarah on Twitter @pollyplummer

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Replace WordPress Smileys With Font-based Emoticons

Emoticons are so commonly used in blogging that WordPress has support for smileys included in its core. However, the default WordPress Smileys are made with images. If you’re a regular user of emoticons you may have noticed that those smileys can really disrupt your line spacing when used within your blog, making your paragraphs look a little wonky.

Font Emoticons is a new plugin that replaces the default WordPress smileys with font-based emoticons. With this plugin installed, your emoticons will have the same size as the surrounding text. Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

emoticon

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Add Beautiful Instagram Image Galleries to WordPress

Instagram galleries and widgets are no longer just for individual bloggers who want to display their recent photo feeds. Companies and organizations are now utilizing the service as another way to connect with their fans and followers. As a web developer I am often asked to add Instagram feeds to company websites. Fortunately, there are a lot of great WordPress Instagram plugins out there that make this an easy task. Today I’d like to highlight one that stands head and shoulders above the others in terms of customizing the display.

instagrams

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How To Easily Install All Your Favorite Plugins From WordPress.org

This is a cool new feature of WordPress 3.5 that you may find to be incredibly useful. A new “Favorites” item has been added to the Plugins >> Add New sub-menu, which makes it possible for you to pull in favorited plugins from WordPress.org.

Add your username or anyone else’s and click “get favorites” to see a list of favorites. From here you can easily install all of them.

heart

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WordPress 3.5 Elvin Is Ready For Download

It’s a happy day in the world of WordPress. The 3.5 “Elvin” release is now ready for download. Yes, that’s right, the 3.5 release has been dubbed “Elvin” – not as in elves but rather named for jazz drummer Elvin Jones. Curious about what’s new? Here’s a quick summary:

WordPress Media Completely Re-Envisioned

This release includes massive changes to the WordPress media library. You’re simply going to love how easy it is to add new media to WordPress. It provides a totally new experience for uploading photos and creating galleries.

New Twenty Twelve Default Theme

wp-feature

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Add Personalized Messages To BuddyPress Friend Requests

Today’s tip is something that could benefit friendship interactions in any BuddyPress community. Just last week, BuddyPress developer Brajesh Singh released a new plugin. The BuddyPress Extended Friendship Request plugin takes friendship requests to the next level by supplementing the “Add Friend” button with a bit of personalization.

Once installed, this plugin causes a click on the “Add Friend” button to pop up a little message window, enabling a user to send a message along with the friendship request.

Here’s a screenshot of the plugin in action:

note

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Site5 Releases Two Free Responsive WordPress Themes: Veecard and Shortnotes

Who doesn’t love free WordPress themes? Site5 has just released TWO free WordPress themes at once. The folks at Site5 hosting have a special place in their hearts for WordPress and have created a growing collection of beautiful free themes.
Shortnotes: A Free Tumblog Style WordPerss Theme

Shortnotes is a simple and free responsive WordPress theme built for microblogging. The theme features support for post formats and built-in pagination. It’s also localization ready.

Check out a live demo of the theme and read more about Shortnotes on its project page at Site5.
Veecard: A Responsive vCard Website Theme

veecard

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Sell Media: A Free WordPress Plugin For Selling Digital Files

If your website is driven by your creative media, be it photos, videos or audio files, the last thing you want to see is your hard work being used without your consent. The Sell Media plugin for WordPress gives you a way to sell, license and protect your precious media, with no fees. Absolutely free!

Sell Media is a neat and easy way for photographers, videographers, musicians and artists to organize their content in their WordPress sites and start turning a profit instead of turning out unlicensed content for digital ne’er-do-wells.

photog

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7 Trusted Contact Form Plugins For WordPress Multisite

When building a WordPress multisite network it can be challenging to find plugins that will be compatible across the network. Even functionality as simple as a contact form can have you hunting for hours for a plugin that will work properly with multisite. Since a contact form is one of the most common requirements for any website, we’ve put together a list of some of the most trusted plugins for use with multisite networks.
Contact Forms 7

contactforms-feature

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