WPMU DEV's Blog - Everything WordPressWordPress News - WPMU.org http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog The WPMU DEV WordPress blog provides tutorials, tips, resources and reviews to help out any WP user Fri, 25 Jul 2014 00:45:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The WhiP Newsletter #49 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-49/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-49/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:30:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130907
The WhiP

Hello dear reader,

Building schools in Guatemala. WP Beginner has raised more than $50,000 for charity Pencils of Promise. The site’s founder Syed Balkhi has features interviews with sponsors on the resource site for beginners, including blogger Chris Lema and developer Pippin Williamson.

Selfles. Automattic has released Selfies, a photo app for Android. The app was originally supposed to be an app for Gravatar.

Do you belong to a WordPress group? Cloudways has published a great in-depth interview about the Advanced WordPress Facebook group, which has prompted discussion at WP Tavern.

Thoughts. Tom McFarlin chews the fat about disrespecting customers and damaging the WordPress Customizer. And blogger Brian Krogsgard argues that WordPress.com and Jetpack should lead the way toward standardizing custom post types.

Latest plugin news. Developer Pippin Williamson explains custom capabilities in his Restrict Content Pro plugin. WP Mayor reviews the Calculated Fields Form plugin. And Sarah Gooding checks out Hashcash.io and its strategy for capitalizing on spammers.

All you need to know about securing WordPress. Writer Kevin Muldoon has put together a fantastic guide to WordPress security. Not sure whether to use PayPal or Stripe? Torque offers some tips. Find out how to scan your site for hidden malware. Top 10 SEO tips for eCommerce stores. Finally, WP Lift looks at advanced search and filtering by taxonomy and post meta. Exciting stuff!

Theme development. Over at Tuts+, editor Tom McFarlin explains naming conventions for writing maintainable themes.

Party like it’s 1999. Relive the music from your youth with The Nostalgia Machine. In more serious news, anyone with even a passing interest in SEO should know that Google has rewritten its quality rating guide. And why don’t ice cream sandwiches melt anymore?

Have a great Thursday!

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The WhiP Newsletter #48 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-48/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-48/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:30:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130906
The WhiP

Hello dear reader,

The problem with WordPress. Jay Hoffmann explores the problem of WordPress content modelling in a thought-provoking post at Torque. His post follows on from our own about the underwhelming nature of WordPress 4.0 and the need for aroadmap of potentially more ambitious features.

Ten $2000 projects or one $20,000 project? Writer Brian Krogsgard argues the case for developing many small website projects as opposed to going after the big ones in an interesting article on making profit.

The art of blogging. WPLift’s Oliver Dale writes about his site’s beginnings and what he would do differently if he started a blog today. Jeff Chandler at WP Tavern alsothrows in his two cents.

“I need a website” doesn’t cut it. Blogger Chris Lema discusses various WordPress niches and why it’s important to know what you want when setting up a WordPress site.

Divi 2.1 is out. The latest version of Elegant Themes’s theme introduces new one-pager features and many improvements.

New WPMU DEV plugin. Reader turns your Multisite network into a community with its Tumblr and WordPress.com-style “follow” features and beautiful reading experience.

Easy stuff. Find out how to decrease your site’s page load time. How to move a site from Multisite network to a single install. ManageWP shows you how to configure and disable automatic update. Sitepoint looks at 4 popular theme frameworks.

Development tips. Tuts+ looks at best practice in WordPress development as part of a new series that covers the most important things to consider when developing a plugin or theme. And developer Tom McFarlin discusses attempting to improve JavaScript in WordPress on his personal blog.

I want pancakes! An illustrated guide to the worst viruses in computer history. Hungry? Alaska Airlines has a machine that “prints” pancakes. And Japan’s prime minister wants to host the first robot Olympics in 2020.

Hope you have a great day!

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The WhiP Newsletter #47 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-47/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-47/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:30:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130905
The WhiP

Hello dear reader,

Parlez-vous français? WordPress.tv is seeking bilingual moderators to help expand its international coverage.

The New Yorker now pressed. The New Yorker has launched its new WordPress site and opened its online archive for free ahead of an upcoming paywall.

Blue: Trust. Integrity. Have you ever thought about the colors you use on your eCommerce site? WooThemes have published an interesting exploration of the psychology of color.

“Better than Akismet, better than any plugin.” Blogger David Walsh reckons he’s found the secret to kissing spam goodbye forever and his method has beenpackaged as plugin, available for free in the WordPress Plugin Repository. WP Tavern has also reviewed the Heavy Analytics plugin, which allows admins to track and measure interaction on their sites.

Not so advanced stuff. Make the most of the post editor with WP Beginner’s 14 tips for mastering the visual editor. WP Explorer have put together a beginner’s guide to WordPress SEO. Increase your blog traffic without irritating readers. And Instant Shift has 6 basic yet significant hacks for WordPress.

Advanced stuff. Simplify your theming with Twig templating and the Timber plugin. Developer Paul Underwood shows you how to use WordPress Thickbox to create a gallery. Over at Tuts+, find out how to list posts by a second taxonomy’s terms, and more responsive single-page applications with Angular JS and Socket.IO.

In other random news. Lego from the ‘90s keeps washing up on this UK beach. Be a better person and take a walk in a park. Looking for new getup? Check out Banana Republic’s ridiculous new “Startup Guy” collection. And xkcd fixes the internet. Finally!

Hope you have a fantastic day!

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The WhiP Newsletter #46 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-46/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-46/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:30:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130870
The WhiP

Hello dear reader and welcome to a new working week!

WordPress 4.0 Beta 2 is out. Bugs have been squashed and and more refinements made. It’s a little late, but still on track for release during the week of August 25.

Church Themes sold. User experience and design company Lift has bought out the theme company after a chin wag at WordCamp Austin.

Hackathon for charity. WordPress Cape Town will host a charity hackathon on August 23. Volunteers at the event will create free websites for nine charities. If you live in Cape Town, check out the WordCamp Cape Town site for more details on how to get involved.

Free security trial. Security monitoring and backup service VaultPress is now offering five-day trials through Jetpack.

Opinions. Blogger Chris Lema says it doesn’t matter if you’re overweight, you can still blog with influence. And developer Tom McFarlin writes about the roles of WordPress development.

Plugin releases and reviews. The Next Web has republished a fantastic post from the Buffer blog on 20 plugins for easier sharing, better posting and a more powerful blog. The folks at WP Tavern have reviewed Sunny, a plugin for automatically cleaning CloudFlare cache and managing settings in WordPress. How to add social share icons to WordPress images. The best popup optin plugins to help you gain more subscribers. Revive old posts and drive traffic to your site. Plus, 8 plugins that make troubleshooting WordPress easy.

How do you manage your clients? Writer Joyce Grace has put together a list of the 12 clients web developers inevitably meet and how best to deal with them. How many clients have you had from this list?

Handy guides to using WordPress. Check our our 6 steps to optimizing your WordPress site for mobile devices. WP Beginner shows you how to add a popup contact form to your site. Elegant Themes has a helpful guide to using and customizing the WordPress audio player. And create a custom Canvas homepage using SiteOrigin page builder.

Ham or spam? Oliver Dale from WP Lift has shared his lessons learned after manually assessing 8000 comments on his site and deleting half of them Moral of the story: you can’t always trust Akismet.

Random awesomeness. An app that automatically finds the perfect GIFs in any video. A one-woman toy-reviewing YouTuber called “Disney Collector” is making more money than most CEOs. Plus, what do iPad screens reveal about the human condition?

Hope you have an awesome week!

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The WhiP Newsletter #45 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-45/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-45/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 16:30:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130649
The WhiP

Hello dear reader,

Another podcast. Billed as “The Professional WordPress Podcast,” WPcast.fmfocuses on exciting topics like “The best ways to take payments with WordPress,” “How to hire great software developers,” and “How to be a better WordPress consultant.”

Hmm. Do we really need an internet archive specifically for WordPress?

New framework in beta. Developer Julien Lambé has created Themosis, a newobject-oriented development framework for WordPress.

Thoughts and opinions. Blogger Chris Lema asks what makes a WordPress theme beautiful? And developer Tom McFarlin continues his series of posts on WordPress salaries and software development.

New plugins. WP Tavern reviews a couple of handy plugins: the Automatic Featured Images from Videos plugin and the BuddyPress Upload Avatar Ajax plugin.

Weekend projects. WP Explorer offers up 10 reasons to switch your site to WordPress.org, and WP Beginner shows you how to make your site completely private.

DIY plugins and themes. If you’ve ever wanted to create your own plugin but don’t know how, bookmark this fantastic guide at Elegant Themes. For more advanced stuff, check out the new series on writing maintainable WordPress themes at Tuts+.

Hello weekend. Finally! A word that describes next weekend, or the weekend next week. Oh, you know what I mean!

All the best for a lovely and relaxing weekend!

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The WhiP Newsletter #44 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-44/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-44/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 16:30:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130648
The WhiP

Hello dear reader,

Is WordPress 4.0 underwhelming? We checked out WordPress 4.0 and were disappointed. So what if WordPress doesn’t follow semantic versioning? Regular users won’t want to upgrade if there’s nothing worth upgrading for. Developer Pippin Williamson has posted a thoughtful response about how software refinement is the greatly unappreciated aspect of project releases. In our latest post on the WPMU DEV Blog, Chris Knowles says users will never care about refinement because it doesn’t directly affect them, and that’s why when the owners of a WordPress site manually upgrades to 4.0, they may just be a little underwhelmed by what’s new.

How much should a custom WordPress site cost? Brian Krogsgard crunches the numbers in an insightful post every freelancer/agency no doubt wishes their clients would read.

Show me the money! Speaking of numbers, developer Tom McFarlin continues his series of opinion pieces on WordPress developer salaries and how they are perceived in tech.

I18n. Translate plugins and themes right from your browser with Loco, a free service for managing and editing software translations.

Monitor your site. The folks at WP Tavern review WP SMS Notifications plugin, a handy tool that keeps track of changes to your site and supports US and international carriers without the need to use an external API.

The latest WordPress tutorials. Learn WordPress for free in a week (or less). WP Lift looks at common WordPress issues and how to solve them. A great guide to scheduling and automating WordPress tasks with IFTTT. Find out how to migrate a local WordPress installation to a live server at Elegant Themes. Finally, the dilemma between “pretty” and user-friendly and how to pick the perfect theme.

Tut tut. Create an FAQ page using two loops thanks to this handy tutorial at Tuts+.

In other random news. Germany may revert to typewriters in a bid to counter hi-tech espionage. And don’t watch this if you’re sitting at home in front of your computer.

Have a wonderful day!

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The WhiP Newsletter #43 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-43/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-43/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:30:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130647
The WhiP

Happy hump day!

What are Matt’s other two favorite publications in the world? The New Yorker is overhauling its website and WordPress is the magazine’s CMS of choice. According to a recent announcement, which WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg has highlighted on his blog, the new site will be designed to be cleaner with new typefaces and a better mobile experience.

How much should WordPress developers get paid? Developer Tom McFarlin asks why WordPress developers aren’t paid as much as, say, Rails or .NET developers.

Is Google authorship dead? Torque takes a look at the recent changes to Google authorship rich snippets and how affects you.

Why are plugin reviews never critical? WP Lift shows you how to add a customized (and gorgeous) Google map to your site with the MapifyPro plug. If you want to disable user access to the WordPress dashboard but don’t like digging into code, then check out the Remove Dashboard Access plugin. WP Tavern checks out the WPCore plugin – a tool that lets you manage collections of plugins and then quickly install them on any site – and also the Responsible plugin, which adds viewport resizing to the WordPress admin bar with support for six different device sizes (If you click through to the research cited in this post, only 8 per cent of internet traffic came from mobile browsers). Lucky last, install multiple plugins with the Multi Plugin Installer.

How do blogs come up with so many ideas for tutorials? Add a newsletter signup widget to the end of your posts. ManageWP shows you how to edit WordPress core files. Torque has published a guide to updating your WordPress site. Find out how to create a site map for your site without a plugin. Lastly, WP Beginner reviews their seven best analytics solutions for WordPress.

And other stuff. Google+ has finally dropped its silly real name rule and apologized to users. And in case you missed it yesterday, you’ve goat to see this!

Hope you have a brilliant day!

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What to Expect in WordPress 4.0: A Hugely Underwhelming “Milestone” Release http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-4-0-hugely-underwhelming/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-4-0-hugely-underwhelming/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 12:00:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130687 Is it just me, or does WordPress 4.0 seem more like version 3.10?

Did someone get the numbering wrong? Did we accidentally skip to 4.0?

That must be it, because I can’t think of any other reason why such a minor upgrade to WordPress is deserving of a full version number.

WordPress 3.10
Welcome to WordPress 3.10.

WordPress news sites have lauded the “exciting new features” in this release, which is now available to download and test as a beta.

The software does come with improvements, such as the ability to select your language during installation and a grid view for the media library and plugins, but these are hardly groundbreaking features.

The fact is, users who upgrade to 4.0 when it’s released on August 27 won’t even realize there are any changes.

Nice Features… For a Point Release

We had high hopes for WordPress 4.0. So high, in fact, that we got a little excited and made our own predictions for the features in this milestone release (tongue placed firmly in cheek).

Okay, so we got a little carried away. There’s nothing wrong with getting excited about our favorite software, right? The fact is, we expected a major, milestone version of WordPress to be something special, something that would shine brighter than your average point release.

Take WordPress 3.0 for example. When it came out in June 2010 there were many reasons to be excited about this actual milestone release:

  • MU (now Multisite) was integrated into core
  • There was a new, lighter interface
  • New APIs for theme developers
  • Custom post types
  • Twenty Ten default theme
  • Bulk updates for multiple plugins and themes
  • Custom menu management
  • Shortlink support
  • Ability to set admin username and password during installation
  • Contextual help
  • Hundreds of bug fixes

WordPress 3.0 was huge. Custom post types gave developers the ability to create more than just posts and pages. Then there was the merger of Multisite into core, making it easier than ever to manage a network of WordPress site.

The lighter interface gave WordPress a more modern edge, the new default theme took full advantage of core’s features, menu management made it easier to create and customize menus…

WordPress 3.0 was a pioneering release that cemented the transformation of WordPress from a simple blogging tool into a fledgling content management system.

Now let’s take a look at the features in WordPress 4.0.

Select Your Language During Installation

In previous versions of WordPress, if you wanted to use a language other than English you had to install a localized version or manually upload translation files.

WordPress 4.0 allows you to select your language during installation without the need for downloading separate files.

Considering two-thirds of WordPress users live outside the US, this feature is a long-time coming.


Media Grid View

You can now view the media library as a grid or as a list.

Media grid view
The new grid view in the media library.

Updated Plugin Install and Search Experience

You can now view the plugin install screen as a grid.

Plugin grid view
The new plugin grid view.

Post Editor Improvements

The menu bar at the top of the post editor now sticks to the top of the page when you scroll. This is probably the most useful feature in this release because it is really annoying having to scroll to the top of the page to access editing buttons.

Post editor
Updates to the visual editor include new sticky editing buttons.

Embeds have also been improved so users can see embeds (and not just a grey square) in the visual editor when they paste in a URL from sites like YouTube and Twitter.

Widgets Updated in Theme Customizer

Widgets were added to the Theme Customizer in WordPress 3.9. In 4.0, widgets have been moved to their own separate panel in the Customizer.

API for Customizer Panels

Not forgetting developers, the Customizer now includes a new way to group options together using panels.

Where is WordPress Going?

Internationalization is hugely important, especially considering 22 per cent of the web uses WordPress and that number is growing. Adding improved internationalization to WordPress has been a long time coming.

As for the other updates in this release, they pale in comparison to those featured in WordPress 3.0.

Since WordPress 3.8 introduced features as plugins, contributors have working fairly autonomously on projects for integration into core without actually considering the product as a whole. Developers are relentlessly pushing forward with uninspired and boring releases that don’t reflect the scale and influence WordPress has acquired four years on since WordPress 3.0 was released.

That’s not to dismiss the work of the army of contributors – all unpaid volunteers – who help build WordPress and have made it what it is. They should be commended for the huge amounts of time and effort they put into building the software.

The problem is there are a lot of people on this open source bus but no one knows there it’s going. Where’s the roadmap?

After WordPress 3.0 was released, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg announced contributors would take a release cycle off to focus on the community using the software. Developers had spent so much time improving the software, it was decided to put a pause on WordPress 3.1 and support the people that had quickly grown around WordPress.

It’s time once again to put a pause on development and actually think about where WordPress is going, how we can improve the software to build better websites and actually improve the WordPress experience.

As one user in the WordPress Support Forums recently put it, “Make the foundation of the house of WordPress as good as the shiny layers of paint you keep slapping on willy nilly.”

Come back tomorrow for our take on the four features that should have been included in WordPress 4.0.

WordPress 4.0 Beta 1 is now available for download and testing. You can also use the WordPress Beta Tester plugin to access the latest bleeding edge nightly versions of WordPress.

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The WhiP Newsletter #42 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-42/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-42/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:30:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130646
The WhiP

Hello dear reader,

iWooCommerce. WooThemes have released a very pretty WooCommerce iPhone app for storeowners. The app includes a detailed product catalog and customer order views, as well as reporting facilities so you can see your business’s sales performance.

Famous < 5 minute install? If you’re constantly installing WordPress, you may want to check out WP Quick Install. The guys behind WP Rocket have released this nifty script for free and they claim it’s the easiest way to install WordPress.

WPtouch security issue. Security site Securi is warning WPtouch users to urgently update the popular plugin after a “dangerous” vulnerability was discovered that could allow a user with no administrative privileges to upload PHP files to a target server.

Hybrid Core 2.0 released. The latest version of developer Justin Tadlock’s framework features support for Composer, while widgets have been removed in favor of the Widgets Reloaded plugin.

Why you should pay for plugins. Developer Tom McFarlin argues the case for the premium plugin business model and hints users could soon be paying for his products.

Free plugins and themes. WP Tavern takes a look at FooGallery, a free WordPress gallery plugin built for developers and designs, while we review 7 free masonry themes and give our verdict on the best one available.

Learn WordPress. Blogger Chris Lema has put together a great guide to selling pay per view documents using our Pay View View plugin. Are you using these five optimization tips to make your site mobile-ready? Torque offers 11 security tips to keep hackers away. Find out how to automatically create WordPress posts from YouTube videos at WP Beginner. Plus, how to properly format a WordPress Theme Stylesheet.

Power to ya. The folks at Sitepoint have put together a handy list of tips for WordPress power users, which includes stuff like two-factor authentication and installing WordPress via the command line.

Aside. Amazon employees are 14.2 per cent more attractive than youJohnny Cache, just because. And the BEST VIDEO you’ll see on the internet today (scroll down to #4).

All the best for a productive day!

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The WhiP Newsletter #41 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-41/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-whip-newsletter-41/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 16:30:00 +0000 http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/?p=130645
The WhiP

Welcome to a new working week!

Wooing speakers. Do you know your stuff when it comes to WooCommerce? WooThemes have put a call out for speakers and sponsors for the inaugural WooConference 2014. (P.S. We’re releasing a big update to MarketPress soon and it’s gonna be awesome!)

Don’t sweat the small stuff. WP Tavern’s Jeff Chandler has proposed an amendment to a proposed amendment to plugin notifications update.

Plugin reviews. The folks at WP Kube take a look at the WordPress Social Sharing Optimization plugin. Do you use Instagram on your site? Elegant Themes reviews 5 plugins for sharing your Instagram feed.

Awesome how-tos. Find out how to remove WordPress admin menu itemsdisable the WordPress admin toolbar, and add numbered pagination. Post Status offers tips for local development with Varying Vagrant Vagrants. Create and configure a robots.txt file for search engines indexing your site.

Harder stuff. If you’re new to Git, Elegant Themes has a great post on how to get started. Tuts+ has more in its series on running WordPress on OpenShift. Plus more on meta data – publicly display post meta data  in WordPress.

Shame on Steven Spielberg! No wonder dinosaurs became extinct.

Hope you have a great Monday!

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