This Week in WordPress: JJJ Reaches $50k Goal, WP 4.1 Pushed Back

This week’s round-up of WordPress news, views and reviews summarized in our daily email newsletter, The WhiP.

Subscribe to The Whip daily for lashings of WordPress goodness.


The WhiP Newsletter #140 – Monday, December 8

Hello dear reader,

Second to None

“I don’t think any one thing will put WordPress in second place. Instead, a combination of factors would likely need to take place.” It would take project leadership arrogance or a huge scandal at Automattic to topple WordPress says Jeff Chandler at WP Tavern.

WordPress web host Kinsta have launched a brand new site design. There’s also more information on the site about their CDN service.

Qards is a gorgeous new responsive page builder plugin for WordPress that makes creating websites really easy. Check out the demo video.

“In recent years WordPress has become the go-to platform for people looking to start their own website. It is easily installed and set-up, relatively light on resources, and has a high level of functionality. This feature list is not only appealing to everyday users, it is also appealing to spammers for the exact same reasons.” On the Sucuri blog, Keir Desailly dissects some fascinating examples of how hackers use WordPress to serve spam.

Content recommendation service nRelate will shutdown its service on December 31.

45AIR is a new WordPress hosting service that was born from a once private infrastructure built for VIPs of the music industry and billboard top ten artists.

WooThemes’ latest client case study focuses on Trendy Resumes, a WooCommerce-powered service that offers, you guessed it, trendy resumes.

Do you follow social media blogs? Brenda Barron over at Elegant Themes lists her top nine.

Lastly, John James Jacoby has surpassed his $50,000 crowdfunding goal. The BuddyPress project lead will now work six months full-time on the social networking plugin, bbPress and GlotPress. Woo!

Gulp!

The Roots starter theme will become framework agnostic next year. Roots currently uses the HTML5 Boilerplate, Bootstrap, Grunt, and Bower in the starter theme but will will soon be moving to Gulp.

Minnow is a beautiful, new and free ultra-minimalist blogging theme from Automattic.

Here’s a great list of essential plugins to load up on any new WordPress blog install at WPMU DEV.

WP Explorer has put together its monthly round-up of new plugins.

And here’s 24 great marketing themes for agencies at Webloggerz.

Back to Basics

How to Organize and Declutter the WordPress Post Editor Using Tabs (WPMU DEV).

Avoiding Common WordPress Image Issues (WPMU DEV).

How to Show Before and After Photo in WordPress (WP Beginner).

Back to Basics With WordPress CSS: Understanding the Native Classes (CSS-TRICKS).

How To Hide The Fact That Your Website Runs On WordPress (Elegant Themes).

How To Create Your Own Job Board Using WordPress (Elegant Themes).

Gravity

Creating the Starting Files for Your WordPress Theme Framework (tuts+).

Customizing the WordPress Dashboard by Creating a Simple Admin Theme Plugin (WebDevStudios).

Fifty Actions of WordPress – 50 Examples (1 to 10) (tuts+).

Export Your Gravity Forms Submissions to a Google Spreadsheet with Zapier(tuts).

WordPress as a Service in the Wild (Torque).

On the Eighth Day of Christmas…

Christmas Experiments is an advent calendar featuring digital artists and their web experiments each day leading up until Christmas.

All the best for a marvelous Monday.


The WhiP Newsletter #141 – Tuesday, December 9

Hello dear reader,

Status Update

Torque have released a mobile app for their site using AppPresser’s Reactor service.

On the latest episode of WP Watercooler, Jack Tucker talks to WordPress Meetup organizers around the world about their tips for running successful events.

WordPress.com has been given a bit of a revamp. The site now boasts upgraded stats, mobile-friendly navigation, My Sites updates and a new My Profile section.

WP Mayor is celebrating its fourth birthday.

Speaking of WP Mayor, the site has teamed up with KeyCDN to give away two accounts with 1 TB of traffic, and PremiumPress to give away a 50% discount on all themes.

Post Status has been lying dormant since October. Back in September Brian Krogsgard said the future of the news site was in yearly memberships. What’s the status, Post Status?

Chip Off the Old Block

If you run an online store, you may want to check out WooThemes’ check list of 10 things you need to do for the holiday season.

“The reason for the significance of client testimonials is the main characteristics of human nature: if others are satisfied with your product/service, your visitors will be more likely to become clients themselves.” Web host Kinsta writes about how to boost conversion rates with client testimonials.

Rainmaker is ditching its monthly billing option in favor of quarter and annual billing options only. If you haven’t yet checked out the WordPress hosting platform built for media marketers, it’s by the folks at Copyblogger.

“There’s a lot of great information in the presentation, especially if you’re running a bootstrapped business. I also admire Ta’eed’s delivery as he comes off as a straight shooter. He reminds me of myself when I tried to launch a business several years ago.” WP Tavern’s Jeff Chandler see something of himself in Envato CEO Collis Ta’eed, who talked about his company’s first six months at The Sunrise conference in Sydney earlier in the year. Envato paid out US$140 million to its community of authors, affiliates, freelancers and instructors last year.

Dash Off

WPDASH is a new service kinda like ManageWP or InfiniteWP that provides a centralized dashboard where you can manage multiple WordPress. WP Tavern have a great write up on what’s it’s all about.

If you regularly use Chrome when managing your website, here are some handy browser apps and extensions for WordPress at WP Lift.

If you’re a Multisite user, check out writer Joe Fylan’s round-up of useful tools and services for managing a network over at WP Squared.

And here are 30 WordPress themes for writers.

Auto Reply

How to Create a WordPress Review Site Using Themes & Plugins (Elegant Themes).

WordPress On-Page SEO: How Do to It Perfectly (Torque).

Add an Auto Reply to Your Jetpack Contact Form (WP Tavern).

How to Add YouTube Video as Fullscreen Background in WordPress (WP Beginner).

Let’s Get It Started

How to Use AJAX in WordPress to Load Search Results (WPMU DEV).

Working with the Eventbrite API Plugin (ThemeShaper).

Fifty Actions of WordPress – 50 Examples (11 to 20) (tuts+).

When You Export All WordPress Data… (Tom McFarlin).

Webinar Replay: Getting Started with iThemes Security (iThemes).

A Tasteful Hue

“This tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness.” Marsala is this year’s Pantone Color of the Year.

Barack Obama is down with JavaScript after becoming the first president to write a line of code.

All the best for a thoughtful and productive Tuesday.


The WhiP Newsletter #142 – Wednesday, December 10

Hello dear reader,

Echo Chamber

WordPress.com have teamed up with illustrator Mads Berg to release a WordPress theme for the holiday season called “Together.”

“I definitely recommend every WordPress developer step out and learn other technologies. Get familiar with other programming languages, cloud services such as AWS, etc. It will make you a better WordPress developer and it’s good to get outside of the “echo chamber” that is the WordPress community.” Rocketgenius’ Carl Hancock has his say on former WooCommerce developer Coen Jacobs’ decision to step back from WordPress. Read more at WP Tavern.

iThemes has announced a partnership with web host ClickHOST and to kick things off are offering three months of free WordPress hosting.

Catch Me If You Can

No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA is a new addition to the WordPress Plugin Repository that allows you to add Google’s new “I’m not a robot” API to WordPress login, registration and comment system to protect against spam. WP Tavern have a write up on how it works.

WP Stagecoach is a new service that aims to create the most convenient way to stage a WordPress site, with one-click copying from production to stage and one-click to merge and changes back into the live site.

Download Monitor, an eight year old plugin in the repository with over 600,000 downloads has been adopted by developer Barry Kooji. If you’re interested in adopting a free plugin to maintain, check out WP Tavern.

Envato names their top 50 new WordPress themes from ThemeForest of this year.

If you don’t back up your site, you’re just plain silly. WP Mayor reviews the top backup plugins of 2014.

And here’s WP Lift’s round-up of the best, free WordPress theme of this month.

Land Ahoy

How to Build a Landing Page with WordPress from Scratch (WP Explorer).

Opencast, Magento or WooCommerce: Take Your Pick! (Torque).

12 Vital Tips and Tools to Combat Comment Spam in WordPress (WP Beginner).

A Guide to 404 Errors and the Plugins to Fix Them (Torque).

What Is Bounce Rate, Is It Important, and How Do You Lower It? (Elegant Themes).

Captain Hook

15+ Must-Have Tools For Every WordPress Admin (WPMU DEV).

Adding Action Hooks to Your WordPress Theme Framework (tuts+).

10 Useful WordPress Functions You Might Not Know About (Hongkiat).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Dogs

From mutant dogs to bendy iPhones and devil babies, YouTube has unveiled its top 10 videos of this year.

All the best for a peaceful Wednesday.


The WhiP Newsletter #143 – Thursday, December 11

Hello dear reader,

Big Bucks

It looks like John James Jacoby will be knee deep in all things BuddyPress, bbPress and GlotPress after his crowdfunding campaign to work full-time for six months on the projects reached its goal of $50,000 – and with less than a day before it wraps up. To find out more about JJJ, his campaign and his early career, Torque talks to the man himself.

WordPress 4.1 was supposed to ship today, but due to a few unresolved tickets the release has been pushed back to December 16.

BuddyPress 2.2 will include support for Composer and a basic member type API that will allow developers to create different user types. It will also introduce the ability for new activity items to be generated when content is created by registered post types. Sarah Gooding previews the upcoming release, now in alpha, at WP Tavern.

WP Mayor are looking for a plugin developer for their WP RSS Aggregator plugin and other projects.

Sucuri have warned of a critical vulnerability affecting the HD FLV Player plugin(known as FLASH PLAYER PLUGIN in the WordPress Plugin Repository) for WordPress, Joomla! and custom website. The vulnerability allows malicious users to take control of a website.

Rough Around the Edges

iThemes Security is one of the top ranked WordPress security plugins with a huge customer base. In our latest review, we take the free version of the plugin for a test drive.

Not only does LoopConf have an excellent speaker line up, but there are companies who focus exclusively on building enterprise-level WordPress projects for VIP clients, says developer Tom McFarlin, who sees the value in the upcoming Las Vegas conference.

“My initial experience is rough around the edges and at times frustrating, as I couldn’t easily find the help I needed. I can only imagine how many others have gone through the same experience.” First-time bbPress user Jeff Chandler documented his experience setting up the forum plugin and didn’t find it easy.

If you’re thinking of making the switch to Managed WordPress hosting, WP Lift have put together a guide to hosts and what they have to offer.

You can use WordPress for memberships site but you don’t have to if you don’t want to, is what I think Crowd Favorite’s Chris Lema is saying in this post about whether WordPress is the right solution for association websites.

If you’re looking for stock images, blogger Kevin Muldoon has a great collection of image websites.

Switch it Up

ManageWP’s Vladimir Prelovac says the secret to increasing the visibility of your products in the WordPress Plugin Repository is your readme.txt file.

The new Twenty Fifteen default WordPress theme has been released to WordPress.com users.

The Post Type Switcher plugin, authored by John James Jacoby, provides a simple way to change a post’s type in WordPress. It’s been around a while, but has beenrecently featured on WP Tavern.

WordFence and iThemes are among Webloggerz top 15 best WordPress security plugins heading into the new year.

WP All Import is a new premium plugin that offers a simple solution for WordPress Importing.

If you like sliders, WP Lift has put together a big collection of free and premium options.

And if you’re looking for a theme for an online store, WP Mayor have a round-up of this year’s top themes.

Time Saver

Using the WordPress Customizer for Saving User-Specific Options (Torque).

How to Add Image Icons With Navigation Menus in WordPress (WP Beginner).

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which Is Better For E-Commerce? (Elegant Themes).

2014 Is The Damn Future

While we may not be getting around on hoverboards (yet!), here’s a timely reminder that the times they are a changing’ and we are living in the future.

All the best for an awesome Thursday.