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Archive for January, 2008

WordPress Theme: College Theme

Performancing have released a new WordPress theme, designed by Design Disease, my favourite WordPress theme designer, College is a two column theme with an interesting seven colour palette.

College WordPress Theme

It’s a new year and Performancing is excited to get things kickstarted with another free WordPress Theme. Developed by our friends at Design Disease, and available for free download, the College Theme is a two-column theme with sleek, rounded corners and a stylish 7+ color palette.

The College Theme for WordPress would work well for about any blogging application. I can see it being used for a range of projects including music, health, web 2.0, and a whole host of other topics.

I really like this theme, and its use of JavaScript for its tabbed super-footer is really interesting. Check it out over on Performancing.

Categories: WordPress Themes

Questions About Premium Plugin Business Models

A new friend of mine, Jamie Oaster has put up a post talking about potential business models for premium WordPress plugin makers, and basically, if it is worth pursuing creating a premium plugin. This brings us back to the whole GPL versus not-GPL argument that has gone on forever. Jamie raises some very interesting points, and I am very hopeful that the community will head on over to his post and chime in.

Here is a short quote from the post:

But there is an air of change in the WordPress development community and I have tracked down the source of the smell. For large(r) concept plugins which significantly modify or enhance the basic functionality of WordPress, developers are investing serious amounts of time to create and test their plugins. Their time is worth money and I think it is entirely fair that they seek compensation for their efforts. By offering theme designers the opportunity to profit from the captive WordPress.com audience, I believe that Matt Mullenweg / Automattic have effectively given their blessing to the concept of premium themes and plugins. If you can find a sustainable way to generate income in context of the GPL, pick a domain name and start coding!

Jamie then goes on to list potential business models as he sees them. A very important post in the ever changing landscape of WordPress additions. Check it out on Oaster.ca.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

WordPress.com Feed Stats Return

They might not be exactly like you remember them, but statistics relating to your RSS feed views have returned.

From the WordPress.com blog:

You may remember Feed Stats: the beloved feature that we retired last Spring. Well, Donncha came up with something even cooler: a way to track syndicated views on each post.

By “syndicated views” we mean the number of times somebody viewed your post via a feed. We’ll call views taking place on your blog “on-site views”.

We have been collecting data for several weeks and it’s time to show it. Here we have the first manifestation of Syndicated Views, which appears on the graph for each post.

Glad to see they are starting the year off right. I hope to see more data visualization options as the year progresses.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress Plugin Standards

There is a great post on Weblog Tools Collection by Frank, aka Weathervane, who talks about making sure WordPress plugin authors start to come up with a better system for designing and implementing their plugin code.

Naming Conventions

1. Do not append your WordPress plugins with “wp-“ or “wp_.” We know it’s for WordPress, it was in your description. Use an evocative name even if it’s only “joe’s-.“ It’s not just you. When ASP was popular, everything (it seemed) was called asp this and asp that (as in asp calendar, asp blog, asp faq, and on and on).
2. Tell us where we’ll find your plugin access. If your plugin options are in the Admin Area under Options, say so.
3. Don’t create an Admin. Area menu item. Your plugin access has a home in Options or Management or within the other existing Admin. Area menu items.
4. Do not add your plugin access in an unexpected Admin. Area menu item, such as a Plugins submenu item.

I think as we get closer and closer to WordPress 2.5 this March, something should be done to standardize how plugins work, and interact with their user base. The first step was taken with the creation of a plugin repository on WordPress.org and now the next step should be taken: strict enforcement.

There is some great advice to plugin authors in the post on Weblog Tools Collection, and I highly recommend everyone check it out.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

WordPress Sucks? I Think Not!

A friend of mine, Mark from 45n5.com, just recently posted a video about WordPress, letting the world know that he thinks it sucks.

Of course, I couldn’t leave it alone and so I made my own video response to his badly sung song.

I mention how it is not WordPress that sucks, but instead WordPress users that don’t keep up to date, manage their plugins, and give time and energy to maintaining the software that runs their blogs. Mark and some people that have commented on his post bring up WordPress’ inability to manage multiple blogs, though I think this is a weak jab at WordPress when you consider WordPress Mu and that multiple installs can be managed through Subversion, like b5media and other blog networks do.

While I do agree that needing to update my blog for security releases isn’t any fun, and sometimes WordPress has to release many versions to “get things right”, I think that WordPress is still superior to most other blogging platforms. I do have to admit that I wish they would find a way to create an upgrade script for security releases and other minor revisions.

If you love WordPress, maybe you could run on over to 45n5.com and let Mark know why it is your favourite blogging software. If you enjoyed my video, check out Xfep.com for more candid content.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress Wants to Win?

It looks like Automattic, and thus WordPress, really want to win the Crunchies.

Not only has Matt made a post on the WordPress.com blog about it, he has also added a vote graphic to the WordPress.org website.

There’s lots of talk of voting going on right now in America, but we’re here to talk about the best type of voting: the kind you can do early and often.

Automattic and WordPress are up for two awards at the upcoming Crunchies, Most Likely to Succeed and Best CEO. If you like the service you get here, this is a great way to show your appreciation.

With this type of promotion, I have a feeling Automattic will come out on top? I guess that means Matt Mullenweg Toni Schneider will be the Best CEO. What do you think, would you give him that award? Comment below.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress Plugin Bloat: Uninstall Doesn’t Mean Gone

Jeffro put up a great post on Weblog Tools Collection about WordPress and how deleting plugins doesn’t mean that everything with regard to the plugin is gone, as many of them add entries into the database, that sit there doing nothing once the plugin is gone, except for causing bloat, and if you are like me, someone that tries a variety of plugins, you have to wonder what kind of long term effect this has on your database tables.

It is an interesting issue, and while most plugins don’t add very much data, over a long period of time, there could be a fair bit of extra information sitting there, eating up space. Could it be time for plugin authors to add a proper uninstall feature?

Have your say.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

Performancing Awards: Ready for Your Vote!

The Performancing Blog Awards have opened up voting, and so now is your chance to have your say. Is the most influential blogger Darren Rowse or Seth Godin? It would be amazing to see some different people win, but congrats to all those that have been nominated in the various sections.

There are twenty-eight categories, with around five or six choices in each category. If you want to be part of the 2007 Performancing Awards, now is your chance to participate.

The polls are open until January 10th.

Sidenote: eXtra for Every Publisher, a blog I own and operate, is up for the Best New Blog of 2007 category. If you enjoy my writing, please feel free to send a vote my way.

Categories: General

WordPress 2.4 Bumped to 2.5

So it looks like WordPress 2.4, which was originally due out January 24th is being bumped and considered a missed release. The WordPress team has done this to give them more time to get things right, rather than being half done and putting out a less than amazing version. This makes sense to me as they continue to work on the design changes for the WordPress administration panel, among other things.

Here is the message from Matt Mullenweg on the WordPress Hackers mailing list:

In light of the big changes happening in the codebase and admin section, we’re going to push back the next release to be aimed for early March.

This is the timeframe when 2.5 was originally schedule for, so we’re treating the originally planned 2.4 in December as a skipped release, as
a result of both the holidays and the large changes which we weren’t able to start on until late October.

There’s some good stuff in the oven, and we don’t want to rush it.

The new release shall be called 2.5. Various official docs and roadmaps will be updated in due course.

So for all of you that were hopeful, like me, of an amazing WordPress 2.4 release in three weeks, you will now have to wait until early March, though Trac still shows WordPress 2.5 to be released on March 28th.

The consensus on the mailing list is that this is a smart move though I have to admit to being impatient and wanting a new version now. What bothers me about all this is that it is not the first time they’ve changed the schedule of releases since enacting their new fixed release schedule. I guess the latest security release will have to hold me over until March.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress Weekly: Episode One This Friday

So Jeff of Jeffro2pt0 is going to be starting his own WordPress related podcast via TalkShoe starting this Friday. The show will be live, include some interesting guest co-hosts and I look forward to seeing how it plays out.

Here are some details from the post on his blog:

The first episode of WordPress weekly will cover why I and the guest hosts use WordPress. Why we chose WordPress over competing solutions. The floor will be opened on this show which means, we’re liable to discuss just about anything as it relates to WordPress or blogging.

These are the guests that are scheduled or tentatively scheduled to be on the show Friday. Ronald from the Readers Appreciation Project and Brad from Strangework.com. Steven Hodson of WinExtra.com might be able to make it but so far, he is still not 100% sure.

One really interesting thing about this weekly podcast is that you can listen and interact live, making the show more about you, your experiences, and questions in regards to WordPress.

Keep an eye on Jeff’s blog for more details about WordPress Weekly.

Categories: WordPress News