Best WPMU DEV Posts of 2013

It’s been a cracker of a year here at WPMU DEV. We’ve released lots of new plugins, updated existing ones and helped give our members the best WordPress support out there.

Thank you to all our loyal WPMU DEV Blog readers who have supported us throughout the year and contributed to some fairly robust discussions in the comments of our posts.

Throughout the year we wrote hundreds of articles, so to farewell 2013 here’s a roundup of our biggest and best posts.

Happy New Year!

Stay tuned for more awesomeness from us in the coming weeks!

Best of 2013

January

We kicked off the year with a round-up of the Top 20 Free WordPress Themes of 2012, as featured on the WPMU DEV blog.

January continued with a big update to our MarketPress plugin (MarketPress 2.8 Brings UPS Shipping Support and a Major Design Refresh). The headline says it all, but other features included improved product display with built-in grid views and the ability to quickly duplicate products in the dashboard.

February

We kicked into over drive in February. Sarah Gooding wrote an excellent tutorial on How To Create A Totally Custom WordPress Login Page, which generated a heap of discussion. Sarah continued her run with The Easy Guide To Theming MarketPress – a must-read for anyone using MarketPress who needs a hand styling their site.

When WordPress announced it had rolled out a new education blogging site, our trusty CEO James Farmer – and Edublogs founder – stoked the coals with Why WordPress.com For Education (and Portfolios, Restaurants & Musicians) is a Big Fat Fail.

In February we also announced a new plugin: A Brand New WordPress Plugin from WPMU DEV: YouTube Featured Video. The plugin allows you to display videos from your YouTube channel in any widgetized area in your site.

Harley Alexander unleashed an epic post with Build an App With WordPress – The Compulsory Todo List after Matt Mullenweg’s 2012 State of the Word address and his prediction that WordPress would power apps.

March

Love it or hate it, Jetpack is here to stay. Harley firmly planted himself in the “love it” camp with Should I Use Jetpack on My WordPress Website?, an indepth look at Jetpack’s features and what they offer to the average WordPress user.

If you’ve ever wanted to build your own contact form, How To Build Your Own WordPress Contact Form and Why offered a brilliantly detailed look at just how to do it.

Long-time writer Joe Foley continued the month of epic posts with WordPress Multisite Guide for Beginners: Unlock the Power of Networks, a fantastic, in depth post on how to set up and use WordPress Multisite.

In March we unveiled another new plugin: Meet Slide In — Tell Your Audience What’s Up At The Perfect Moment. Slide In allows you to create messages that slide in and display to visitors to your site at the exact moment you choose.

Hairdressing salon Curl Up and Dye became a virtual reality for my first published post: Build an Amazing Appointments Website. If you’re having trouble getting your head around how to set up this fantastic plugin, this post walks you through everything you need to know.

We launched another plugin this month: HTML Email Templates and gave members a full rundown in Make WordPress Emails Pretty and Responsive With WPMU DEV’s New Plugin!

For those confused about WordPress, we spelled it out in WordPress.org vs WordPress.com: A Definitive Guide For 2013.

April

Our BuddyPress writer Sarah Gooding (who has since left WPMU DEV to join WP Tavern) took at look at some major changes to BuddyPress in BuddyPress 1.7 Released: Now Compatible With ALL WordPress Themes. Theme compatibility, finally!

We explored Nine of the Most Common WordPress Problems and Their Solutions and Joe went the full hog in How to Build a Web Hosting or Design Business with WordPress Multisite (brace yourself, it’s a pretty epic post as far as Multisite goes).

I asked the question, Where Are the Women in WordPress? to much outcry. Yes, of course there are women working in WordPress, but nowhere near the number of men who dictate the direction of the open source project. Since this post was published, it’s great to see women are getting more recognition for their work with WordPress, most notably Helen Hou-Sandi, who is now working full-time as a core contributor in her role at web development agency 10up, Mika Epstein who works tirelessly as a support rogue helping others in the WordPress forums and Boston-based UI/UX designer Mel Choyce who played a big part in the updated WordPress admin design.

May

Onto May and one of our most popular posts this year: 120 Free WordPress Themes from Premium Theme Developers. Seriously, how long did Joe spend putting that post together? It just goes to show people really do love free themes.

James took another stab at WordPress in WordPress in The WordPress Planet is Pants – and here’s how to improve it. We weren’t the only ones miffed about WordPress news and a replacement was quickly developed. Props to WPLift.

In May we launched e-Newsletter, yet another new plugin to add to our 140+ list. Check out MailChimp Killer? WPMU DEV’s new WordPress email newsletter plugin does it all! for a full rundown of the plugin’s features.

We were as surprised as anyone when WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg revealed he was the mystery buyer behind WP Tavern and we gave our take on it in Something is Rotten in the State of WordPress.

WordPress blew out the candles on its 10th birthday cake this month. It was also this month that post formats were dropped from WordPress 3.6.

We scoured the web for 30 Premium Yet Absolutely Free Clean and Minimalist WordPress Themes and also tried our hand at a bit of humor in What To Expect In WordPress 4.0 and 5 Reasons Why Joomla is the Best CMS the World Has Ever Known!

Geez Louise, does it have to be April 1 to write a funny post? Suffice to say, Friday Funnies didn’t last long…

June

We started the month with a beautiful collection of 25 Stunning Parallax WordPress Themes to Inspire You before exploring the 7 Deadly Sins of WordPress Development.

Ronnie Burt gave us a peak into the world of WordPress for Universities and Higher Ed with an insightful list of resources and links.

In June our Chat plugin got a major update (WordPress Chat Plugin Gets A Sleek Redesign and a Dozen New Features).

We were also stoked to let everyone know our YouTube Channel had reached 100+ new WPMU DEV videos in just six months. Our video teams rocks!

July

In the days before the WordPress 3.8 color schemes, admins were looking for alternatives so we found some: 7 Clean and Inspiring WordPress Admin Themes.

We reported on WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word address and what to expect in WordPress 3.7 and 3.8.

We also revealed some startling figures after conducting a survey about WordPress: 70% of People Have Never Heard of WordPress.

August

August began with our biggest and most commented on post of the year, Web Hosting Review: So Just Who is the Best? We compared five web hosts and reviewed their features, usability, speed and reliability, cost and support to help you decide which host would best suit you.

We announced the arrival of WordPress 3.6 and gave members a rundown on What to Expect in WordPress 3.7 and 3.8.

September

Chris Knowles officially joined our writing team with his first post, How to Publish to Multiple WordPress Sites from a Single Install. It’s a fantastic in depth look at how to use WordPress as a content hub.

In some interesting WordPress news, it was revealed WordPress Powers One in Five Websites and that WordPress.com had outranked Yahoo to become the eighth most visited website in the US.

We also continued our run of reviews this month with Theme Seller Reviews: Winners and Losers, a series investigating 12 of the most popular WordPress theme sellers – Elegant Themes, WooThemes, Graph Paper Press, Organic Themes, Themes Kingdom, Theme Trust, ThemeZilla, Obox Designs, iThemes, Press75, StudioPress and WPZoom.

Check out our finale post to find out which theme seller came out on top.

October

In October we launched our New Series: Weekend WordPress Projects. Every Saturday and Sunday we feature quick tips and tricks on our blog to help you improve your site.

We also announced a major update to our Multisite Domain Mapping plugin: WordPress Multisite Domain Mapping + eNom = Awesome! The update meant Pro Sites users could start selling and automatically mapping new domains to their users.

October also marked Translation Week here at WPMU DEV. We featured a number of posts on topics such as How to Translate a WordPress Theme and the Top 6 Translation Plugins for Your WordPress Site. Check out either of the posts for a full list of Translation Week posts.

WordPress can be hard for new users to get their head around, so we made it easy with Tips for Simplifying the WordPress Backend for Your Client. The post covers customizing the admin area, how to disable theme changing and how to stop clients from deactivating plugins.

Oh, and of course this month we also announced the release of WordPress 3.7 “Basie”.

November

We launched FOUR new plugins this month. Yep, four: WP for iOSWP for AndroidPretty Plugins and Multisite Content Copier.

Check out Create & Publish Your Own Android or iOS WordPress App to find out more about creating your own app, New Plugin Release: Pretty Plugins by WPMU DEV for a rundown on Pretty Plugins and find out more about Multisite Content Copier at New Plugin Release: Multisite Content Copier by WPMU DEV.

In November the features for WordPress 3.8 were finalised and we weren’t all that impressed. In fact, we thought it was all a bit boring and explained why in Boring, Boring WordPress: Why WP is Falling Behind.

We were also not all that impressed with the default Twenty Fourteen theme, which Chris described as a “flawed beauty.”

December

We kicked off the silly season with 15 Free WordPress Plugins to Add Christmas Cheer to Your Site, a fun collection of plugins that will put a smile on any Scrooge’s face.

Chris has also been busy this month with comparing WordPress theme builders for WordPress Theme Builder Shootout: The Contenders.

Check out his final post in the series, WordPress Theme Builder Shootout: The Dust Settles, to find out who we deemed the winner.