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November 22, 2014

WPTavern: WordPress 4.1 to Remove Custom Background and Header Admin Screens

admin-header-screen

WordPress theme developers will be pleased to know that the upcoming 4.1 release will remove the custom background and header screens in the admin. These screens will be replaced with deep-links to the customizer. To be clear, header and background menus will still appear in the admin, but they will be deep-linked to the customizer.

This is good news for WordPress theme developers, because they will no longer have to style the custom header and background screens.

When exploring different solutions in discussion on the ticket, Nick Halsey noted that new users expect to find that functionality in the customizer with the other options:

The key issue to consider is whether hiding these pages will cause issues for updating users. New users actually tend to have trouble with the separate headers page, expecting that functionality to be in the customizer.

Header upload was pulled out of the customizer in WordPress 3.4, due to issues with cropping header images. For the past two years, the extra admin pages were confusing for users. With some theme controls in the customizer and others available in the admin, the experience of customizing themes was inconsistent and divided between the front and back ends.

Changes coming in 4.1 will replace the custom background/header screen links in admin menu and toolbar with deep-links to the customizer on the frontend. The widgets screen will also display a link to the customizer widgets panel. In the future, the plan is to remove these admin links entirely in favor of streamlining everything to the customizer.

by Sarah Gooding at November 22, 2014 02:14 AM under wordpress 4.1

November 21, 2014

WPTavern: Hierarchy Plugin Enhances WordPress as a CMS

hierarchy

WordPress 3.0 introduced the ability for developers to register their own custom post types, enabling the software to be used more easily as a CMS. Custom post types ushered in a new era that allowed plugin developers to create and organize content in a more modular way.

If you’ve ever tried to explain the concept of custom post types to someone, you may have found that they are more easily understood as custom content types. One thing that makes them confusing is the fact that are usually found floating around in the admin as top level menu items. Custom post types often have no context, which makes it difficult to know how they will appear on the frontend of your site.

The Hierarchy plugin aims to solve this problem by moving custom post type admin menus into your pages list. Ordinarily, CPTs have their own menu items and the page menu structure doesn’t accurately reflect where the content is located, as shown in the example below.

cpt-admin

Custom post types are often used to power various sections of a website. Hierarchy works to improve the content editing workflow by intelligently including custom post type admin links within the page structure. In place of the Pages menu in the admin you’ll see a new Content menu, with custom post types, such as locations, people, and knowledgebase, added under their corresponding pages.

hierarchy-in-action

Version 1.0 of the plugin includes Dashicons support and a button to add a new page. Each content type is displayed with contextual links within the hierarchical view of content. You can hover over an entry to display the edit, view, and taxonomy links.

hierarchy-contextual-links

Hierarchy also includes a settings page that allows you to designate which custom post types will be included in the hierarchy display, as well as the ability to disable new entries and set the menu order. You can also elect to hide CPTs from the admin menu so that they only show up within the Hierarchy structure.

hierarchy-settings

When WordPress is used primarily as a CMS, pages often become the backbone for organizing the site’s content. This plugin addresses the lack of hierarchical structure in the admin. Jonathan Christopher, founder of SearchWP, wrote Hierarchy two years ago and has found it to be indispensable when creating websites for clients. He released version 1.0 of the plugin this week, which is essentially a complete rewrite of the previous version. If you’re looking to simplify CPT admin menus and streamline editing, check out Hierarchy on WordPress.org.

by Sarah Gooding at November 21, 2014 09:35 PM under custom post types

WPTavern: WordPress 4.0.1 Exposes Bad Development Practices Used in Some Plugins

Plugins Broken Featured Imagephoto credit: David Glovercc

With the release of WordPress 4.0.1 less than 24 hours old, we’ve received reports of plugins breaking due to the update. For example, Cool Video Gallery is broken because of the way it handles custom shortcode attribute parsing instead of using the Shortcode API built into WordPress. Mika Epstein, who is a support forum volunteer, published a post in the support forum that explains the problem and the best way to fix it.

If you’ve upgraded to WordPress 4.0.1 and a feature using shortcodes has broken (like a slider, or a visual composer), the reason is that code wasn’t properly using the WP Shortcode API.

Code that parsed shortcodes themselves, instead of using the normal add_shortcode handlers and such, may be surprised by the new behavior of texturize, because the quote marks in what WP thinks isn’t a shortcode get texturized now like everything else. So their filters, which probably come after texturize, don’t get the expected quote marks.

For users, the best way to fix this is upgrade. Many plugins have already released fixes, more are on the way. While it is possible to downgrade to WP 4.0, we really hope you don’t because of how serious the security fixes were. If you absolutely MUST downgrade, please nag your plugin/theme devs a lot to fix this STAT. Or stop using their stuff. It’s that big.

For developers, if you’re making shortcodes, use the Shortcode API instead of rolling your own.

Ticket 29557 in Trac describes the issue in detail. Unfortunately, some users have downgraded to WordPress 4.0 in order to fix plugin’s they rely on. Considering that 4.0.1 is a critical update filled with security and bug fixes, it’s strongly recommended that you don’t downgrade to 4.0. Instead, use the plugin’s support forum and notify the developer of the issues you’re having.

But Point Releases Are Not Supposed to Break Anything

The biggest concern users have with auto updates is the fear something will break. By default, WordPress 3.7 and above is configured to automatically update WordPress for point releases which generally contain security and or bug fixes. These kind of updates normally don’t break anything but in this case, several of the plugins were already broken and the update exposed bad development practices used by plugin authors.

All it takes is one bad experience during an auto update to lose trust in the system. With over half of WordPress installs tracked using 3.6 or earlier, we can ill afford to have anymore users disable automatic updates.

by Jeff Chandler at November 21, 2014 06:22 PM under wordpress 4.0.1

WPTavern: CyberChimps is Looking For Investors

CyberChimps, founded by Trent Lapinski, is seeking acquisition offers. Lapinski cites the reason as becoming too big too fast. CyberChimps owns and maintains Responsive, one of the most popular themes in the WordPress theme directory. CyberChimps also maintains iFeature, another popular theme closing in on 1M downloads. The core of the business is services, paid memberships, and commercial add-ons for themes and plugins. The company has over 1M free users of its products and over 34,000 paying customers.

Screenshot of ResponsiveScreenshot of Responsive

Despite living in San Francisco for two years and speaking with several investors, Lapinski has yet to find a proper fit. “We have tapped our social networks, explored every possible opportunity, and after four years of bootstrapping and massive traction we need a new strategy.”

An acquisition would help propel the company to new heights while maintaining existing products and customer relationships. “This is the right time both for the CyberChimps team and the CyberChimps community to make a change. What we are able to do for the company and for the community has simply plateaued. It’s time to pass the torch onto someone else.” Lapinski said.

Responsive 2 ScreenshotResponsive 2

CyberChimps customers don’t need to worry about any immediate changes. Lapinski promises to notify customers well in advance when negotiations are finalized. “We’ll be sure to announce well in advance the date that the final transfer will take place along with any changes to be aware of if applicable. We’ll do our best to make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved, especially our customers and community.”

If you have a serious offer or would like to learn more about the company, you can contact Lapinski directly via email: trent at cyberchimps.com.

by Jeff Chandler at November 21, 2014 05:11 PM under responsive

Matt: Science of Hits

“Because the most-popular songs now stay on the charts for months, the relative value of a hit has exploded. The top 1 percent of bands and solo artists now earn 77 percent of all revenue from recorded music, media researchers report. And even though the amount of digital music sold has surged, the 10 best-selling tracks command 82 percent more of the market than they did a decade ago. The advent of do-it-yourself artists in the digital age may have grown music’s long tail, but its fat head keeps getting fatter.” — The Shazam Effect.

by Matt at November 21, 2014 05:15 AM under Asides

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 171 – Interview With WP101 Founder, Shawn Hesketh

In this episode, Marcus Couch and I discuss WordPress 4.1 beta 1, the delay of Composer by SIDEKICK, and a revamped WP eCommerce plugin. Later in the show, we’re joined by the founder of WP101, Shawn Hesketh. Hesketh shares his work process, the equipment used to record videos, and what parts of WordPress user’s struggle with the most.

Stories Discussed:

WordPress 4.1 Beta 1 Now Available for Testing
SIDEKICK Delays The Release of Composer
WP eCommerce Has a New Home

Plugins Picked By Marcus:

Bulk Deactivate is fantastic for discovering plugin conflicts and fixing support items. This let’s you deactivate your plugins in bulk so you can isolate the problem.

JM Twitter Cards adds the appropriate metadata on a WordPress website allowing you to get Twitter cards for posts based on its settings.

Google News Editors Picks Feed Generator generates not one but two, highly customizable Google News Editors’ Picks RSS Feeds. You can customize required feed images, names, titles, descriptions and more! You can also exclude articles from feeds and enter custom meta descriptions from the lightweight, custom meta box located on post.php (edit) screens.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, November 26th 9:30 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via RSS: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Stitcher Radio: Click here to subscribe

Listen To Episode #171:

by Jeff Chandler at November 21, 2014 02:33 AM under wp101

November 20, 2014

WPTavern: WP Engine Partners with 10up to Launch Enterprise HHVM WordPress Hosting Platform

WP Engine is launching its high availability enterprise hosting platform today. The new product is called Mercury and it’s built to provide HHVM (with PHP-FPM failover) to customers who require better PHP performance.

WP Engine is one of the first WordPress managed hosts to offer HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine), a PHP execution engine originally created by Facebook to help make its infrastructure more efficient. Since HHVM is still new and isn’t 100% stable in production environments, WP Engine has opted to provide automatic fallback to its default PHP stack. This failover protection is invisible to visitors and is only in use 0.1% of the time while HHVM restarts.

WP Engine partnered with 10up, a WordPress development agency, to design and create a system to bring HHVM to customers. Benchmarks reported by 10up indicate staggering performance improvements of up to 600%.

On a generic WordPress + bbPress installation with no page caching, HHVM delivers on average a 5.6 faster response time over multiple tests:

WPE Charts

When testing bbPress with 250 concurrent logged-in users, HHVM consistently delivers a 3.6x faster response time. A regular WordPress site with a custom theme and plugins resulted in approximately 3.9 times faster response time with HHVM as compared to PHP-FPM. At the moment, HHVM doesn’t play well with BuddyPress but WP Engine plans to discuss this with John James Jacoby in the near future to see what can be done.

10up founder Jake Goldman believes that HHVM will perform even better over time and become more affordable:

Mirroring the history of air travel, Mercury will invariably become smoother, more affordable, and more accessible with time. We’re already excited by the early results: bbPress response times up to 5.6x faster, 3.6x faster at just 740ms with 250 concurrent visitors.

10up volunteered its site as the first test case and is currently running on the new Mercury platform.

Other developers have also been experimenting with WordPress on HHVM since earlier this year, achieving similar results in terms of performance improvement:

The Future of HHVM and WordPress Hosting

How long will it be before HHVM is the most common PHP engine for all WordPress managed hosts? Given how new and unstable it currently is, most hosts are not rushing to provide HHVM. However, the advances made by the collaboration between 10up and WP Engine should help to move other hosts along.

“I think it is important to note that the Facebook HHVM open source team is really responsive to issues, thoughts, and feedback,” WP Engine representative Tomas Puig told the Tavern. “So it bodes super well for the future of us moving more WordPress systems to the technology.”

Puig is optimistic that WP Engine and 10up’s work with HHVM will help to provide valuable feedback for WordPress core. “I deeply believe in Matt’s recent statements on WordPress as an application framework and the API work the core team is doing,” Puig said. “I think that HHVM enables us to build more rich experiences with WordPress in a more performant manner and that’s exciting. So really we want to elevate the community as a whole to getting our code ready for it.”

Mercury customers will be given a Vagrant configuration to use for local development, and Puig said that the company is wiling to provide the configuration to anyone who requests it.

One challenge for developers using HHVM is knowing what plugins are compatible with it. “Something I’d love to see is an option to mark plugins and themes in the official repository as HHVM tested,” Puig said. WP Engine is starting to conduct a large round of basic testing to find out which popular plugins are compatible with HHVM. “We’ll be releasing that list to the community as a whole so people know where to look and are also working with plugin developers and theme shops to get their code ready,” he said.

On the HHVM side, WP Engine has been instrumental in paving the way for other open source projects to take advantage of it. Paul Tarjan, Facebook’s head of Open Source for HHVM, highlighted the importance of this partnership in the Mercury announcement:

The WP Engine Labs team has done an impressive job in democratizing HHVM for the open-source community. We are excited to work alongside the Labs team to fine-tune the stack to reach HHVM’s full potential and drastically speed up PHP execution. PHP is the bedrock of Facebook, as well as much of the Internet, and this announcement should come as a major fillip for the entire developer community.

The launch of Mercury means that many more WordPress users will have the opportunity to have their sites running on HHVM. As WordPress-specific issues are ironed out through WP Engine’s collaboration with the HHVM developers, it should become more stable over time.

by Sarah Gooding at November 20, 2014 10:00 PM under wp engine

WPTavern: WordPress 4.0.1 is a Critical Security Release that Fixes a Cross-Site Scripting Vulnerability

WordPress core contributors released a security update today. All users who have not yet received the automatic update are encouraged to update as soon as possible. WordPress 4.0.1 is a critical security release that provides a fix for a critical cross-site scripting vulnerability, originally reported by Jouko Pynnonen on September 26th.

Sites running WordPress versions 3.9.2 and earlier are affected by the vulnerability. Although installs running 4.0 are not specifically affected, this security update also includes fixes for 23 bugs and eight security issues.

According to the official WordPress version usage stats, only 14.4% of sites are currently running 4.0. This means that the vast majority of WordPress sites and in need of this critical update. A large number of those sites are also running versions that pre-date the automatic background updates that were introduced in WordPress 3.7.

wp-versions

If you want to keep your site on the cutting edge of security updates, it’s critical to have automatic background updates enabled. If you haven’t manually turned them off, WordPress 3.7+ has automatic updates enabled for minor releases by default. This includes maintenance, security, and translation file updates.

Millions of WordPress sites around the web are being updated to 4.0.1 right now and older releases will be updated to 3.9.3, 3.8.5, or 3.7.5, as outlined in Andrew Nacin’s security release announcement. If you don’t want to wait for the automatic update, you can always go to Dashboard → Updates in the admin and update immediately.

by Sarah Gooding at November 20, 2014 07:36 PM under security

WPTavern: DigitalOcean Is Now the Third Largest Hosting Provider, WordPress Droplets Account for 23%

digital-ocean

In just under two years, DigitalOcean has managed to sail past competitors to become the world’s third largest hosting provider, according to a recent report published by Netcraft. The company’s SSD-based cloud hosting products cater to developers and other tech-savvy customers.

As of November, DigitalOcean counts a total 187,866 active users running a cloud server (or “Droplet”), thanks in large part to the company’s affordable pricing structure, which starts at $5/month.

How many DigitalOcean customers are running WordPress?

I spoke with Tyler Hoffman, a DigitalOcean representative, who reports that the the company hosts 13,000 active 1-click WordPress droplets, a number which continues to grow each day. “These WordPress sites account for 3.74% of our total active ‘droplets,'” he said.

These figures are based solely on users who have deployed DigitalOcean’s 1-click WordPress images and do not take into account any custom WordPress images. The total number of WordPress droplets is likely much higher. In fact, at the end of October, Netcraft reported that “more than 23% of the active sites hosted at DigitalOcean are running WordPress, compared with less than 10% of all other active sites around the world.”

At the moment, the company doesn’t seem to be actively trying to attract WordPress customers. Nevertheless, Hoffman reports that WordPress customers are on the rise. In October 2014, DigitalOcean users launched an average of 220 WordPress droplets per day via the 1-click method, roughly 6,600 per month. As WordPress currently powers more than 23% of the web, it will be interesting to see how much of that market the company will be able to capture.

Netcraft reports that DigitalOcean is currently netting more than 68,000 new customers per month. In general, developers seem to appreciate the speed of deployment, the simplicity of the hosting interface, and the API for managing droplets and resources.

The company is still relatively new to the hosting industry and caters heavily to developers, which makes its rise to being the third largest provider all the more remarkable. Although DigitalOcean’s products don’t necessarily cater to the average non-developer WordPress user, the company seems to have no problem adding WordPress customers to its user base.

by Sarah Gooding at November 20, 2014 12:23 AM under hosting

November 19, 2014

WPTavern: Dailybolt – It’s Like WordPress Planet For The Genesis Framework

If you have trouble keeping up with everything that’s happening in the Genesis WordPress community, you might be interested in a new site created by Andrea Whitmer called The Dailybolt. The Dailybolt publishes excerpts from sites that routinely write about the Genesis Framework by StudioPress. It’s powered by WordPress and uses the Whitespace Pro theme.

The Daily BoltThe Daily Bolt

The site allows Whitmer to conveniently read material mostly devoted to Genesis without having to use social media or a Feedreader. “Yes, I know how RSS works, but I subscribe to a lot of blogs in several different niches. I kept thinking it would be awesome to have a way to access the latest Genesis tutorials or articles without hunting them down on social media or in my RSS reader,” Whitmer said.

I asked Whitmer if she plans to manually curate articles so the site contains more content dedicated to Genesis, “I created the site after polling my mailing list several months ago and they seemed interested in all the content coming from the community. So as of right now, I don’t plan to cull the other posts. However, I may remove some sites if they consistently publish articles about non-Genesis topics.”

You can subscribe to the site via RSS or email. Those who subscribe by email will receive a daily digest of headlines. Aside from being a cool domain, it’s a convenient way to keep tabs on the Genesis WordPress community which has become a cottage industry. Are there any sites you’d like to see added to The Dailybolt? Give us a link in the comments.

by Jeff Chandler at November 19, 2014 08:37 PM under studiopress

WPTavern: New WordPress Plugin Boilerplate Generator Speeds Plugin Creation

When version 3.0 of the WordPress Plugin Boilerplate was released, it came with a brand new community website. After three years of continual improvement, creator Tom McFarlin felt that the project had finally matured enough to warrant its own branding and website.

As the boilerplate gained traction, McFarlin started receiving numerous requests for a generator to simplify the process of searching and replacing text strings throughout the boilerplate’s codebase. Although the boilerplate greatly speeds the process of structuring a new plugin to use a standardized, object-oriented foundation, it still requires the developer to manually replace strings for the plugin name, slug, URI and author info.

Fans of the boilerplate have tried different approaches while attempting to come up with a generator, including one that uses a grunt-init template to generate a plugin from the boilerplate. While this solution generates a plugin in about 30 seconds flat, grunt isn’t necessarily a part of every developer’s workflow.

Today, McFarlin introduced a new generator option created by Enrique Chavez, which provides the simplest approach to date. The WordPress Plugin Boilerplate Generator is a web app that generates a plugin without you having to replace any text strings.

wpb-generator

Simply enter your plugin information into the form on the site. When you click the “Build” button, the app will pull the code from the Boilerplate’s master branch on GitHub and will automatically replace all the necessary text strings. The result is your customized plugin delivered in a tidy zip file. If you use the WordPress Plugin Boilerplate as a starting point for your new plugins, this generator is a handy site to bookmark.

The WordPress Plugin Boilerplate has now been starred more than 2,400 times on GitHub and has been forked more than 600 times. The project currently boasts 46 contributors and continues to grow. McFarlin plans to add more helpful resources to the boilerplate’s community site in early 2015 along with detailed documentation.

by Sarah Gooding at November 19, 2014 08:02 PM under wordpress plugin boilerplate

WPTavern: WP eCommerce Has a New Home

In what has been a long time coming, WP eCommerce has changed the URL of its website from GetShopped.org to WPEcommerce.org. Between the Shopp e-commerce plugin and Getshopped.org, it was confusing as to which product the site represented. The move to a more recognizable URL is the pinnacle of a series of improvements the project has undergone in the past few years.

WP Ecommerce WebsiteWP eCommerce Has a New Home

A Multi-Year Rewrite of WP eCommerce

At nearly a decade old, WP eCommerce has gone through its share of ups and downs. It has a reputation among some developers in the WordPress community as being bloated and poorly coded. “The purpose of the rewrite is to bring us back up to latest WP coding standards,” Dan Milward, Founder of WP eCommerce, told the Tavern. “When we first released ​WP eCommerce, WordPress had sketchy coding standards at best (WordPress was at v1.5)​. As such, ​making a complex eCommerce Plugin back in the day was difficult and we had to do things in ways that are now frowned upon.”

To put this in perspective, custom post types, taxonomies, and many of the hooks and filters developers rely on today simply didn’t exist. The legacy code has plagued the project from the beginning and is largely responsible for its negative reputation.

Not having a robust set of WordPress coding standards to develop from allowed other eCommerce plugins to enter the market and leap frog over WP eCommerce. “We feel like those days are behind us and that it’s our turn to do some leap frogging.” Milward said. The alignment with today’s coding standards means WP eCommerce has a smaller footprint, runs faster, and is easier to maintain.

A Team Effort

Gary Cao, who previously lead the development of WP eCommerce, helped pave the way towards aligning it with today’s coding standards. Justin Sainton, co-founder of WP eCommerce, has taken over the role and is leading the development of WP eCommerce. Sainton is a well known developer in the WordPress community and has an impressive array of core contributions to WordPress.

Sainton and Milward approach problems from very different yet, complimentary angles. The relationship has helped create a better business allowing each to focus on their core strengths. The WP eCommerce support team has been instrumental in being the front line of the company. “These folks are the front line and they are turning public opinion around in the WordPress.org forums and in premium support​. They are doing a great job at serving the WP community,” Milward said.

Pippin Williamson of EDD With 45 Commits to WP eCommercePippin Williamson of EDD With 45 Commits to WP eCommerce

Contributions have come from non WP eCommerce core developers as well, including the competition. Pippin Williamson, founder of Easy Digital Downloads, has 45 commits to the project since 2013. In early 2013, Williamson explained in detail why he contributes to WP eCommerce.

I empathize with projects attempting to overcome a bad reputation when they clearly want to earn a better reputation. If you write bad code and never actually try to improve your project then I have a hard time believing you actually care about your users’ experience. The team behind WP e-Commerce is NOT one of those teams that doesn’t care about improving their plugin. They are one of the most down to earth, caring team of developers I’ve met. They really, really care about their users and customers, and they truly want to make WPEC a kick ass plugin again.

Ben​ Huson​, Lee​ Willis​, Jeff​ Shutzman​,​ and Curtis McHale, among others also contribute to the project.

The Future of WP eCommerce

With the launch of the new site complete, Milward says the next feature they’re working on is implementing a theme engine based on the work John James Jacoby put into bbPress and BuddyPress. New object-oriented APIs and integration with the upcoming WP-API are among some of the other features planned for a future release. There will also be improvements to the WP eCommerce marketplace ecosystem for developers.

Time to Give it Another Chance?

WP eCommerce is nine years old and continues to chip away at legacy code, but has made substantial improvements over the past two years. Perhaps it’s time developers and users give it another chance. WP eCommerce is free to use and available in the WordPress plugin directory. If you’ve recently launched a project or use WP eCommerce, feel free to share your experience in the comments.

by Jeff Chandler at November 19, 2014 06:30 PM under wp ecommerce

November 18, 2014

WPTavern: Automattic Open Sources Its DMCA Process Docs on GitHub

photo credit: Peter Slutskyphoto credit: Peter Slutsky

A couple months ago, Automattic made headlines with its public dismissal of Janet Jackson’s spurious claims of trademark and copyright infringement. Jackson is now a fixture in the company’s Hall of Shame, along with others who have issued abusive takedown demands. Automattic considers these a threat to freedom of speech and has even taken to the courts to protect users from DMCA abuse.

Today, the company is open sourcing its DMCA process docs under the Legalmattic repository on GitHub, which sports the tagline “Democratizing WordPress.com legalese since 2014.” This collection of documents contains more than two dozen ‘predefined replies’ that Automattic uses when corresponding to various parties in the event of a complaint. It also includes a copy of the DMCA Takedown Notice and Counter Notice documents.

The team at Automattic hopes that the open source DMCA process docs will help others to more easily implement their own processes for dealing with takedown notices. These documents are a valuable resource for small businesses and individuals who don’t have a legal team at their disposal to draft up appropriate replies to complaints. The DMCA process docs are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license and users are encouraged to re-use and edit them for their own purposes.

Whether you administer a large blogging network or simply maintain a small blog of your own, Automattic’s predefined responses may provide a good starting point for getting a grasp on the language and the process of dealing with DMCA complaints.

by Sarah Gooding at November 18, 2014 11:04 PM under dmca

WPTavern: I18n and RTL Support Are Top Priorities For Web Savvy Marketing

photo credit: Sarah Elizabeth Altendorf - ccphoto credit: Sarah Elizabeth Altendorfcc

This year’s State of the Word at WordCamp San Francisco emphasized WordPress going global through improvements to internationalization. This year also marks the first time non-English downloads of WordPress have surpassed its English counterpart.

Catering to Customer’s Needs

With WordPress raising the bar, it won’t be long until users and customers expect themes and plugins to be translatable and available in multiple languages. Rebecca Gill, of Web Savvy Marketing, announced its catalog of themes are now translatable and coded for localization and multilingual use.

In her post, Gill explains the thought process behind the move.

If 50% of our product sales are internationally based, then I need to spend time making sure these buyers are being taken care of and clearly I wasn’t. I was expecting this to be handled by Genesis, the WordPress core, or translation plugins.

I didn’t realize how badly I was ignoring the needs of our international customer base. And for that, I am truly sorry.

The work was completed through a collaborated effort between Carrie Dils, Nir Rosenbaum, and Gary Jones. Each theme has been updated to include I18n and RTL (Right to Left) support. Files included in each theme are:

  • POT File – A file with i18n ready strings.
  • en_US.po File – A file with translated strings and English strings.
  • en_US.mo File – A file converted to a format optimized to be read by machines.
  • RTL Style Sheet – Overwrites horizontal positioning attributes of your CSS stylesheet in a separate stylesheet file named rtl.css.

Ever theme is an opportunity to learn techniques, code, and best-practices. I believe the quickest way to make an impact and to raise awareness is for commercial theme companies to support and advertise I18n and RTL as cool features.

The fact these improvements are part of a smart business move doesn’t detract from their importance. The more theme developers and companies who place I18n and RTL near the top of the priority list, the better.

by Jeff Chandler at November 18, 2014 11:02 PM under web savvy marketing

WPTavern: 20 Reasons To Attend a WordCamp

Ask twenty people why you should go to a WordCamp and you’ll likely receive 20 different answers. A recent post by Waseem Abbas, of Cloudways, is proof positive. He asked 20 different members of the WordPress community, including yours truly, why you should attend a WordCamp. He’s compiled the answers into a slidehsare document.

Like Heather Baker Steele, I view WordCamps as family reunions with family members I want to socialize with! The WordPress family continues to grow rapidly every year and WordCamps are opportunities to not only strengthen relationships but also to create new ones.

Check out the official WordCamp schedule to see if there’s an event near you. Also check Meetup.com to see if there’s a WordPress meetup close by. WordPress meetups are like WordCamps but on a much smaller scale.

Last but not least, if you’re planning on going to your first WordCamp, read this survival guide by Carrie Dils. The guide contains advice that improves the chance you’ll have a great experience.

What’s your reason for attending a WordCamp?

by Jeff Chandler at November 18, 2014 08:59 PM under wordcamps

WPTavern: Postmatic Now Supports 1-Click Migration of Subscribers from Jetpack

postmatic

Postmatic is hoping to revolutionize WordPress comments by giving readers a way to subscribe to new posts/comments via email and leave a comment by simply hitting reply. Since email is usually the way most people find out about comments, having the ability to reply without leaving your inbox in convenient, especially when you’re on the go.

Postmatic’s post and comment subscriptions feature is quite similar to Jetpack’s subscriptions module. Jetpack is the plugin’s strongest competitor. While both plugins are free and perform similar functions, Postmatic includes the added ability to reply by email, subscription invitations, and a mobile-friendly email template that is fully customizable.

Today, Postmatic’s co-founder Jason Lemieux announced that the plugin now supports single-click migration of subscribers from Jetpack. The beta 6 version of the plugin introduces a secure importer that will copy over all of your new post notification Jetpack subscribers in a matter of seconds.

postmatic-jetpack-import

Beta 6 adds a native Postmatic exporter to allow users to export their subscribers, along with subscription preferences, to a CSV file. Postmatic’s creators are also gradually adding to a shortcode whitelist that will allow the display of third-party shortcode content in emails.

The plugin is available on WordPress.org and is production ready but is still in limited-release beta. Postmatic is releasing a few hundred API keys per week to those who sign up for beta access.

In the future, the Postmatic creators hope to monetize the plugin by offering paid delivery of outgoing mail for larger sites, Lemieux told Post Status in a recent interview. They also have an extensive list of planned features. The basic Postmatic plugin, however, will remain free for any number of blogs with any number of posts and subscribers.

by Sarah Gooding at November 18, 2014 08:08 PM under wordpress comments

WPTavern: Gigaom’s Blazing Fast WordPress Search is Enhanced by Sphinx and Scriblio

Gigaom has been pumping out a steady stream of news and analysis on technology since 2006. The WordPress-powered site attracts 6.5 million monthly unique visitors with topics ranging from science and energy to cloud businesses, media and mobile.

With years of articles buried in its archives, it’s important for Gigaom to have a solid search experience. The site’s engineering team, led by Casey Bisson, opted to utilize Sphinx in order to improve upon WordPress’ native searching capabilities.

The result is a super fast dedicated search page at search.gigaom.com that features the ability to further narrow results based on available terms.

gigaom-search

The advanced search feature was built using a combination of several open source plugins built by Bisson. These plugins integrate Sphinx and taxonomy filtering to help users more easily explore Gigaom’s wealth of content. All the tools are open source and were contributed back to the community for anyone to use.

What is Sphinx?

Sphinx is a GPL-licensed full text search server that was created to be highly performant while returning the most relevant results. In order to integrate it with WordPress, Bisson developed Gigaom Sphinx. The plugin pulls WordPress posts into Sphinx and then queries them using the standard WP_Query class.

Gigaom Sphinx requires that you first install Sphinx and then set it up with the sample config file, which includes parameters to index the site’s content. Once the site is fully indexed in Sphinx, WordPress query performance will be greatly improved.

sphinx-config

Scriblio

In order to further filter results, Gigaom uses Scriblio, a plugin that provides faceted searching and browsing of WordPress posts, pages, and custom post types. This enables users to further narrow down results based on taxonomies and their available terms. The facets are easily added via configurable widgets, which you can include on your site’s search, tag and category archives, and other archive pages.

Search results can be filtered using multiple terms. This allows visitors to quickly nail down the most relevant content.

example-search

The facets can be displayed as either tag clouds or lists, as shown above. Scriblio’s search editor widget will show the selected search terms and allows the user to easily add or remove terms while automatically updating results.

The plugin also includes live search suggestions as you type. These recommendations are based on all available taxonomies as well as post titles.

bCMS

The last plugin required to create Gigaom’s unique search experience is bCMS, which was also developed by Bisson. It enhances WordPress’ CMS capabilities in a number of ways and includes a setting to enable full text keyword indexing.

For a full rundown of Gigaom’s searching capabilities, check out the FAQ item devoted to search. Thanks to Bisson and the Gigaom team, these tools are available for any WordPress site administrator to use. If you need more fine-grained sorting capabilities for search results, the combination of Gigaom Sphinx, Scriblio and bCMS is a solid option.

by Sarah Gooding at November 18, 2014 05:56 AM under WordPress search

WPTavern: Installatron Partners With Clef to Add Two-Factor Authentication to Automated Installs of WordPress

In a bid to protect as many users as possible by default, Clef has partnered with Installatron. Founded in 2004, Installatron is one of the most popular script installers used on the web. Similar to Fantastico and Softaculous, Installatron is a script installer that enables users to quickly install more than 170 different applications including, WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.

Installatron AppsInstallatron Apps

Clef is a mobile app that replaces usernames and passwords, enabling users to log in easily with their smartphones. The Clef WordPress plugin is growing rapidly in popularity, with over 130,000 downloads and over 15,000 sites using the service. The partnership enables automated WordPress installs from Installatron to have Clef support out of the box. The partnership also enables webhosts that use Installatron to be added to Clef’s Safer Hosts Program.

“Making two-factor accessible around the web is a critical step in securing our lives online,” said Brennen Byrne, CEO at Clef. “Protecting new users by default, instead of requiring research and expertise, is how we will build a safer Internet. Installatron has been a leader in providing secure infrastructure for their huge customer base and we’re excited to be a big part of it.”

Earlier this year, Clef partnered with Softaculous to provide two-factor authentication to automated WordPress installs. By leveraging partnerships with companies like Softaculous and Installatron, Clef is rapidly making a huge impact in securing the web by default.

by Jeff Chandler at November 18, 2014 12:21 AM under installatron

WPTavern: SIDEKICK Delays The Release of Composer

SIDEKICK Balance Featured Imagephoto credit: diffendalecc

Among the festivities at WordCamp Toronto 2014, was the planned release of Composer by SIDEKICK. Instead, Composer has been delayed and the release date is to be determined. According to the announcement, the plugin and its architecture are not ready for customers just yet. In a FAQ accompanying the post, SIDEKICK Co-founder, Ben Fox, gives more details on what’s not ready.

A little bit of everything really. The new architecture which is going to power SIDEKICK Composer and the new version of our Player is kick-ass and working but the integration between it, the new account centre, the billing system and Composer itself is still “fragile”.  Add to that the fact that the new version of our website, which is necessary to power the front-end of the new Account Center, isn’t complete yet and we have a recipe for launch disaster.

Although it is disappointing to those who expected to purchase Composer over the weekend, at least one person cites the news as a good example of what to do when you’re not ready to launch a product.

Since the news broke, SIDEKICK has received an unexpected outpouring of support. “Something like 30 direct emails, numerous tweets and FaceBook messages plus we were approached at WordCamp Toronto by many people who offered their support for our choice,” Fox told the Tavern. Several people have commended SIDEKICK for its transparency. “What really got me though was not just the understanding our customers and community have shown but also the praise for our direct and transparent communication.”

Finding The Balance Between Good Enough and Don’t Ship

Despite a lot of talk in the WordPress community around the idea of “just ship it“, SIDEKICK decided to hold off to fix a few loose ends. In an essay by Matt Mullenweg entitled “1.0 Is The Loneliest Number,” he uses Apple as an example of a company that’s not afraid to ship a rudimentary version 1.0 to the public. The essay goes on to describe the idea of ship early, iterate often and how it’s the approach used to develop WordPress.

By shipping early and often you have the unique competitive advantage of hearing from real people what they think of your work, which in best case helps you anticipate market direction, and in worst case gives you a few people rooting for you that you can email when your team pivots to a new idea. Nothing can recreate the crucible of real usage.

You think your business is different, that you’re only going to have one shot at press and everything needs to be perfect for when Techcrunch brings the world to your door. But if you only have one shot at getting an audience, you’re doing it wrong.

The challenge of releasing the first version of a product or service is one many companies are familiar with. Composer is not ready for prime time but the question is, how will Fox and his team determine when it’s ready? “SIDEKICK will never be perfect in our eyes and we waited until the last possible moment to make the call because we wanted to make sure we weren’t releasing simply out of a need for perfection,” Fox told the Tavern. “I can’t speak for the entire community or other startups but I can tell you that while we’re not afraid to release a product that’s not ‘perfect’, we will never release something that doesn’t work as advertised just for the sake of making a release date.”

Where is The Happy Medium?

When it comes to releasing a product, there appears to be a happy medium of being good enough for consumer adoption but not bad enough to delay the release. As a product developer or service provider, how do you determine when your product or service has reached the happy medium and what factors go into the decision? Let us know in the comments.

by Jeff Chandler at November 18, 2014 12:09 AM under software development

November 17, 2014

Matt: Peak Beard

“If, like me, you are a staunch pogonophile and do not believe there is a single man who cannot be improved with a beard, these are happy times indeed.” The Guardian asks Have we reached peak beard?. Also check out their take on the lumbersexual, which a closet full of plaid shirts might indicate I’m trending toward.

by Matt at November 17, 2014 07:53 PM under Asides

WPTavern: WP Slack Plugin Sends Notifications to Slack Based on Events Triggered in WordPress

wp-slack

In a matter of months, Slack has managed to become the favorite communication tool for thousands of businesses, boasting more than 250,000 daily active users, with roughly 30% of them paying for the service. The company recently acquired $120 million to fund further growth and is now valued at $1.1 billion dollars.

While Slack helps teams get things done together, much of the actual work happens outside of the app. That’s why the Slack API offers the ability to add new Incoming WebHooks to integrate outside services. With WordPress powering 23%+ of the world’s websites, it’s important to have an easy way to bring in notices from those sites.

Self-hosted WordPress installations have the option of using the Slack plugin, created by Akeda Bagus, a developer with X-team. Last week we featured the bbPress Slack Integration plugin, which allows you to send notifications of new bbPress topics and replies to your Slack channel of choice. WP Slack performs a similar function for general WordPress events.

The plugin is capable of notifying Slack, based on a few basic events:

  • When a post needs review (status transitioned to ‘pending’)
  • When a post is published
  • When there’s a new comment

Additionally, it includes a slack_get_events filter for adding more events. The documentation provides an example of creating a new event that will notify Slack when a user is logged in:

add_filter( 'slack_get_events', function( $events ) {
    $events['user_login'] = array(
        'action'      => 'wp_login',
        'description' => __( 'When user logged in', 'slack' ),
        'message'     => function( $user_login ) {
            return sprintf( '%s is logged in', $user_login );
        }
    );

    return $events;
} );

Configuration inside the WordPress admin is simple. Once you’ve set up the webhook with Slack, you simply paste it into the Service URL field when setting up an integration:

slack-integration

WP Slack allows you to set up multiple integrations so you can send notices to different channels. Notices can also be temporarily deactivated and turned back on a later time. When you finish setting up an integration, the plugin allows you to fire off a test notification to ensure that it’s working correctly.

channel-notification

Bagus has also developed a suite of free extensions that notify Slack based on events triggered by other plugins:

These plugins make it possible to keep your team notified of new orders on a WooCommerce or EDD-powered store, or even website inquiries from your site’s contact form. Each extension requires the Slack plugin to be installed first.

While the plugin author hasn’t announced plans to add this feature, it might be useful to have support for Outgoing Webhooks as well. That would make it possible for WordPress to get information back from Slack based on public triggers used in the channel. The possibilities for this could be interesting. For example, you could set up a trigger that automatically creates a new draft or perhaps publishes a one-sentence summary of a quick meeting.

The Slack plugin for WordPress is available in the official Plugin Directory. You can also find the project on GitHub where pull requests are welcome.

by Sarah Gooding at November 17, 2014 06:35 PM under slack

November 16, 2014

Matt: Munchery is Eating the Restaurant

Munchery is Eating the Restaurant, a cool write-up of Munchery which I’ve been a long-time fan of and is an Audrey company. Whenever I’m in SF I order from Munchery.

by Matt at November 16, 2014 06:32 PM under Asides

November 15, 2014

Matt: Government Going Open Source

As open source goes mainstream, institutions collaborate differently.

by Matt at November 15, 2014 04:56 PM under Asides

November 14, 2014

WPTavern: WordPress 4.1 Beta 1 Now Available for Testing

WordPress 4.1 beta 1 was released into the hands of eager testers today, just in time for the weekend. John Blackbourn announced the beta and outlined a list of features and improvements that you’ll want to put through the paces. The most visible items include the following:

  • The new Twenty Fifteen default theme
  • New distraction-free writing mode for the editor, enabled by default for beta
  • The ability to automatically install new language packs right from the General Settings screen (available as long as your site’s file system is writable).
  • A new inline formatting toolbar for images embedded into posts.

The items listed do not include everything that’s coming in 4.1, but rather the features that require the most testing before the official release. There are also many improvements under the hood for developers to test:

The Focus project (the new DFW) was merged into core along with the user session UI. So far, reaction to the new distraction-free writing mode has been mixed, with the most vocal feedback coming from those who are not looking forward to turning the feature off on multiple sites. WordPress core contributors will be gathering feedback during the beta period in order to determine whether or not the new DFW mode will be shipped as “on” by default. Having it off by default decreases users’ ability to discover the new DFW mode, but it would also help it to be more universally well-received.

If you want to jump in and help test 4.1 beta 1 with all its exciting improvements, the easiest way is to get hooked up with the WordPress Beta Tester plugin. This will allow you to update your test install to use the “bleeding edge nightlies.” The other option is to download the zip file from Blackbourn’s beta 1 announcement post.

by Sarah Gooding at November 14, 2014 11:15 PM under wordpress 4.1

Matt: Embrace HTTPS

9 Reasons Why News Media Sites Should Embrace HTTPS in 2015.

by Matt at November 14, 2014 10:09 PM under Asides

WPTavern: DevriX and Emil Uzelac Team Up to Produce Masonry, A Free WordPress Theme

Masonry is a new free WordPress theme with an elegant 1-column design. You’d be hard-pressed to find a theme that is easier to set up. It offers just a handful of options built into the native customizer, including the ability to customize the header colors and header background image.

The theme is mobile-friendly, with a hidden sidebar that houses the primary navigation and widgets. It also has support for a footer menu and a social links menu at the top. With the help of the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin, you can have an existing site looking just like the Masonry demo in a matter of a couple minutes.

masonry

The Story Behind Masonry: A WordPress.org Theme Collaboration

There’s a unique story behind the creation of this theme. Masonry was started as a collaboration project between WordPress theme designer Emil Uzelac and DeviX, a development company founded by Mario Peshev and Stanko Metodiev.

Uzelac is most well-known for his work on the WordPress.org Theme Review Team and his popular free Responsive theme that was eventually acquired by CyberChimps. He put out a tweet, announcing his availability:

Uzelac was Peshev’s mentor for the Theme Review Team in 2011 before he promoted him to a reviewer. This was back in the days when you had to pass more than a dozen test reviews before moving on. “Emil is super dedicated to the WPTRT and a great person and should not be left unemployed at any time,” Peshev said. He responded to his tweet, and a theme collaboration was born.

DevriX set out some ideas for the theme and then hired Uzelac to design and develop it. “We have added several things and will keep maintaining it, but we paid him for a full zip file that was (almost) ready to go on WordPress.org,” Peshev said. “Since he’s one of the TRT admins, it was the easiest way to cover the hundreds of requirements there.”

Peshev said that DevriX gets no practical business benefit from the theme, as the company doesn’t perform customization or installation services. He saw it as a good way to give back to the community while also helping volunteers to find more work for their expertise.

Making the Theme Review Team More Visible

As a result of this collaboration experience, Peshev discovered that there is no easy way for people to find and hire those who are skilled at preparing a theme for approval on WordPress.org. He suggested that a directory of Theme Review team members might be a good idea for promoting the folks who have these abilities.

There is no clear way to hire any of them for theme reviews or building a theme following the WordPress.org guidelines. I assume that small and medium agencies would be willing to pay for professional reviews or getting themes built for any reason, which would support both parties. I’ve had several clients paying for code reviews and fixing themes in order to get them in the WordPress.org Theme Directory.

In the past, themes have sometimes taken months to go through the process, after getting rejected a few times and then finally gaining approval. Hiring someone to help prepare a theme to pass WordPress.org guidelines can save a company a good chunk of time. “Given the 4-6 week period to get a theme reviewed, that’s a valuable service,” Peshev said.

A directory would help people in the community to be able to identify the qualified Theme Review Team volunteers available to hire for code review, even for products that are marketed outside of WordPress.org. “Same goes for all the other teams that don’t get props in the Core releases, such as docs, polyglots and accessibility” Peshev said. “In this case, theme reviewers are not listed anywhere and not publicly available for hire (for new themes or professional reviews).”

In the case of Uzelac and Peshev’s collaboration, the end result is a nice free theme for the community to enjoy. With all the volunteer hours put into reviewing themes for WordPress.org, do you think reviewers could benefit from being listed in a directory? Or would this needlessly complicate the relationship between reviewers and submissions on WordPress.org?

by Sarah Gooding at November 14, 2014 10:09 PM under theme review team

WPTavern: Flynn O’Connor on Organizing and Marketing a WordCamp for Developers

WordCamp Vancouver Featured Image

One topic to come out of the discussion surrounding the cost to attend LoopConf is the idea that WordCamps can’t be developer focused. One of the most exciting aspects of LoopConf is the chance to dive deep into technical discussions. WordCamps generally cater to a wide range of skill levels, which some feel prevent these types of discussions from occurring.

There’s nothing in the WordCamp guidelines that state WordCamps have to cater to all experience levels, it’s just what most organizers do based on the needs of their local community. In 2011, Morten Rand-Hendriksen organized an event called WordCamp Developers held in Vancouver, BC. WordPress developers and designers interested in learning about practical, applied WordPress development by industry leaders and local WordPress practitioners attended the event.

Earlier this year, Flynn O’Connor co-organized WordCamp Vancouver, BC Developer Edition. It was a one day event filled with WordPress developer topics including, an introduction to the command line, advanced custom fields, and getting started with unit tests. I interviewed O’Connor to find out how he marketed the event and what he did to achieve a relevant audience.

Interview With Flynn O’Connor

At what point did you realize you needed to have a Developer Edition of WordCamp Vancouver?

This is something that our team discussed after the previous year’s WordCamp completed. There was a desire to not only create a camp for WordPress developers but also a WordPress focused event that would be of interest to the larger tech community within Vancouver to see what WordPress could do. While attending other events like CascadiaJS conference, I found myself correcting a lot of people’s old pre-conceived notions of what WordPress is and can do now.

How did you market WordCamp Vancouver Developer Edition so that a majority of the attendees are developer or designer oriented?

We tried to be clear with our content that this event was going to focus on building with WordPress and not necessarily about end user topics. In emails, on the website, social media and in community posts like the one WPTavern published about our event we tried to get the message out that if you can or wanted to know how to build on WordPress, this would be an event for you.

We also connected with other tech related meet up groups and asked for the assistance in getting the word out about our event and reached out to several schools that offered web development programs and offered their students discount tickets. Even so, there are some people who are going to attend because they’re aware of WordPress and want to see what it’s all about but don’t know how to design or develop for it. From our experience, we’ve found you can’t really stop that.

What type of feedback did you get after the event? Did some attendees complain that the content was over their head?

Yes, we did get some people who said some of the talks were advanced for them. But from the ones I talked to that brought this up, quite of a few of them were not discouraged by this. We can’t cater to everyone and make everyone happy but if we provide our attendees content that will challenge them, then hopefully, we are encouraging them to learn more and helping them to become better developers.

What advice can you give to organizers who want to put on a developer focused WordCamp?

Reach out to the tech community beyond WordPress, not only for attendees but also speakers. Many of them will be happy to help. Don’t be afraid of the content being too advanced for some attendees but try to balance out the talks so that less experienced developers don’t feel overwhelmed the entire time.

Talk to meet up and smaller local event planners to get a sense for your community’s general skill level so you can better anticipate likely attendance levels for the more advanced talks. I am one of the co-organizers for the Vancouver meet up and I focus on the dev branch, so I had a decent idea of how many high level developers in our community would actually attend these events.

Understanding The Needs Of The Local Community

Local Imagephoto credit: arimoorecc

Organizers are encouraged to experiment and break from the mold while still following the guidelines. WordCamp Vancouver Developer Edition proves it’s possible and if you look at their budget sheet, it cost just over $18,000. So not only can organizers create a WordPress developer centric event using the WordCamp branding, the financial support of doing so makes it much more affordable.

One of the keys to the success of WordCamp Vancouver for developers and designers is understanding the needs of the local WordPress community. If there is sufficient demand and the community is large enough, consider organizing an event in your area. There’s also no rules in the guidelines that limit the amount of WordCamps per year in a given city. This means organizers can continue to have traditional WordCamps while organizing a separate event catered to developers.

I want to know from those who have organized 500-1,000 person WordCamps if you plan to branch out and create smaller, niche events while using the WordCamp branding? If so, please let us know in the comments. Also feel free to share concerns, ideas, or ask questions related to organizing a niche event.

by Jeff Chandler at November 14, 2014 08:33 PM under wordcamp vancouver

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 170 – I’ve Got Your Drama Right Here

Since our guest couldn’t make it due to illness, Marcus Couch and I took the opportunity to thank all of the wonderful listeners who responded to our call to action in episode 169. I followed up the first segment with a 10-15 minute rant beginning at 13:25 on WP Drama. Marcus and I agree that it’s a dismissive term and doesn’t offer anything productive to the WordPress ecosystem. After the rant, we discuss the news of the week and Marcus gives his two-word review of Ghost.

Stories Discussed:

WooConf, The First Ever Conference Dedicated to WooCommerce Deemed a Success
Why WordPress Doesn’t Need to Fear Ghost, Yet
John James Jacoby Launches Indiegogo Campaign to Fund BuddyPress, bbPress, and GlotPress Development
Happy Joe Uses WordPress to Train and Help Veterans Find Careers in Web Technology

Plugins Picked By Marcus:

Google Webfont Optimizer finds every Google Fonts request and bulks them together so the site only asks Google once for the fonts instead of multiple times.

Note is a simple and easy to use widget for editing bits of text, live, in your WordPress front-end Customizer. Note was recently reviewed on WP Tavern.

BAW Login/Logout menu enables you to add a real login/logout item menu that autoswitches when a user is logged in or out. You can also configure a redirect for the login/logout action.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, November 19th 9:30 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via RSS: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Stitcher Radio: Click here to subscribe

Listen To Episode #170:

by Jeff Chandler at November 14, 2014 03:01 PM under wooconf

Matt: US Internet Competition

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission in 2002 reclassified high-speed Internet access as an information service, which is unregulated, rather than as telecommunications, which is regulated. Its hope was that Internet providers would compete with one another to provide the best networks. That didn’t happen. The result has been that they have mostly stayed out of one another’s markets.

Why the U.S. Has Fallen Behind in Internet Speed and Affordability. Also has one of my favorite animated GIFs I’ve seen in a Times story.

by Matt at November 14, 2014 02:05 AM under Asides

WPTavern: Get Jetpack’s Markdown Module Without Using Jetpack

Anas H. Sulaiman is a WordPress plugin developer who has created several extensions that extract modules from Jetpack so that they can be used independently. He recently renamed his WordPress.org profile to “JP Bot” and is gradually adding to his collection of Jetpack-extractions:

jp-bot-plugins

One of his most popular plugins is JP Markdown, which essentially duplicates Jetpack’s Markdown module. It allows you to compose WordPress content in Markdown and have it published as HTML. I gave the plugin a test run and found that it works as advertised:

markdown-test

JP Markdown even includes the “Use Markdown for Comments” feature that you can enable under Settings > Discussion. This plugin is a solid option if you like the Markdown module in Jetpack but don’t want everything else that comes with it.

The JP Bot family of plugins extracted from Jetpack currently includes:

Using Jetpack requires being connected to WordPress.com. While some users appreciate the convenience and professional support they receive from the Jetpack team, there are many who have reservations about hooking their site up to another third-party service. JP Bot’s collection of Jetpack-extraction plugins offer you an alternative to many of Jetpack’s most popular modules. For more alternatives to Jetpack, check out 15+ Plugins To Get Jetpack Functionality Without Using Jetpack.

by Sarah Gooding at November 14, 2014 12:22 AM under markdown

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November 24, 2014 04:00 PM
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