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Archive for February, 2009

WordPress 2.7.1 Released

Fixing 68 tickets, WordPress 2.7.1 is a maintenance release, not a security release, and so it doesn’t appear to be a “have to upgrade right this second” release, but I would definitely give it a go if you have been waiting for a point-one release or if you want to test out the core upgrade feature in WordPress 2.7.

From the WordPress blog:

2.7.1, the first 2.7 maintenance release, is now available. 2.7.1 fixes 68 tickets. You can automatically upgrade from 2.7 to 2.7.1 via the Tools->Upgrade menu, or you can download the package and upgrade manually.

Download WordPress 2.7.1 today.

Categories: WordPress News

bbPress C*nsor Plugin

One of the features that has been lacking in bbPress is a way to censor out the bad words that people will inevitably put into your forum. Many other forum packages have this feature, but bbPress, as usual, is spartan when you do a default installation.

Terry Smith, in conjunction with b5media, has expanded upon the Censor plugin by Michael Nolan so much so that he thought it was a good idea to release and maintain his own plugin for censoring not only forum posts, but also tags, titles and more. It includes an English *bad word* list by default, making it even easier to stop various bad words from appearing on your forum.

The plugin is called C*nsor, and is currently considered a 0.1 release, though I think it is almost ready for a 1.0 release. A very cool bbPress plugin, and one that I can see becoming a standard install on all bbPress powered forums.

Categories: bbPress

Psychology of a WordPress Theme

I have been giving tons of time to thinking about WordPress themes lately, as I gear up to release my own. Much of what I have done regarding my theme was more about what I want in a theme, but I am not sure if that is what the general WordPress using masses need.

What makes a good WordPress theme? What makes people choose one theme over another? Is the front end (the part that visitors see) more or less important than the features in the back end (the configuration and control panel for the theme)?

Why are simple theme frameworks so successful? Is that something that the average user is really interested in, or do they want the front end design to be beautiful right out of the box?

There must be, like all products, a way of influencing people through psychology. Is it the colours used in the theme, the theme’s name, or some special marketing text that really changes a theme from being ignored into being popular? With all of the competition in WordPress themes today, it seems like understanding the various factors that go into creating a popular theme is only getting harder, not easier, despite the growing amount of data. Are we such a mish-mash group of users that there will never be one theme that will be good enough for 99% of us?

In the end, I am sure someone with both a marketing and psychology degree could break this down for me and tell me how simple words, colours and systems provide a path of popularity, and how businesses have been using these techniques for hundreds of years. If you have been thinking about getting an accredited online psychology degree, you’ll want to check out the work I am doing on College Crunch.

Categories: WordPress Themes

WordPress Plugin: Billboard

First off, I want to note that this isn’t a free WordPress plugin. I am writing about it because I think its functionality is really neat, though, personally, I think the price is a little bit high, I understand that within their pricing, they allow you to use the plugin on multiple sites.

Billboard allows you to make lists in your sidebar of various data, very easily. Controlling advertisements, image lists, and more.

Billboard is is a WordPress plugin that allows you to easily add images — like ads, photos, icons — to your widget-ready sidebars.

You can purchase Billboard for $39.95, or gain access to it through the WordPress Theme Club. If nothing else, you should check out Billboard’s cool video, showing how easy it is to use.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

Three eBooks for Branding David Members

Most of you don’t know that I have a consultancy, it is part of how I got the job of writing back on here again. Today, I released three e-books, one of which is available freely, and the other two are available to people that sign up for my private forum.

Someone recently asked me if I intend on selling these e-books seperately, and my response is simple: I hope people sign up to the forum, with the intention of just getting the e-books and end up staying once they see the posts inside the forum.

The three e-books are all about blogging, and the one I am giving away is called Social Media Promotion.

If you’d like to get the other two books, or learn more about all three e-books, please check out my post on Branding David.

I hope you’ll all check it out, and let me know if it was of any help to you.

Categories: Blogging Resources

WordPress Theme: Compositio

Elena, the designer of this and many great blogs in the Splashpress Media blog network has released another free WordPress theme called Compositio.

compositio

Compositio is a two column theme, made to for those who want to put their content at the front with a unique light blue design. Random square shapes are the defining graphics of this theme. They are used throughout the background, bringing a special rhythm to the theme.

A special feature of this theme is the logo changer. ( Thanks to Munzir Rosdi ). You can use the default WordPress setting (“blog name”) or you can use your own logo. Upload your logo in the root folder of Compositio theme and name it logo.png. You can also use the PSD Logo Template in the source folder of Compositio Theme.

I am very excited to see how people use the theme, and its new logo feature. Kudos to Elena and the Design Disease team.

Categories: WordPress Themes

WordPress Weekly New Co-Host: Me, David Peralty

For those that didn’t stop by WordPress Weekly last night, you missed out on an opportunity to hear me chat about WordPress in audio rather than text, as I became the new regular co-host of the WordPress Weekly podcast.

For me, it has been sort of a full-circle thing, as I used to be a regular co-host on the WordPress Podcast with Charles Stricklin, and lately, I have been the regular co-host on Jeff Chandler’s other podcast, PerfCast, and so it seemed like a great fit for me, and a chance to dive back into WordPress.

It was also really nice that my debut was interviewing an old WordPress rockstar, Scott Wallick, who I knew better as the “plaintxt.org guy”, but will now be ScottWallick.com guy.

I really hope you’ll all listen to the episode, and come out on Friday nights at 8pm EST from here on out to participate in the show. It is recorded live, so you can call in or leave messages in the chat room.

Categories: Podcasting News, WordPress News

Help One of Our Own: Blogger in Need

I just got a message from Jeremy Wright, CEO of b5media pointing out something that has happened to one of his bloggers, Cheril Vernon. Cheril lost her house, and her pets to a fire recently, and is without insurance to rebuild. The local Red Cross is doing what it can, but if we could all show our support by giving what we can, then Cheril and her family will be doing much better than they already are.

To read more about the incident, and send in you donation, check out the special page, b5media Blogger Loses Home in Fire, made surrounding this event on b5media’s own site.

Every dollar helps, and remember, you’d want someone to do the same for you if you were the one that lost the house and your pets.

Lastly, if you are on Twitter, Facebook or other such sites, please make sure to message about this, as spreading the word is also very helpful.

Categories: General

Writing Your Own Blog Software: Anyone Still Do That?

I have been playing around with CodeIgniter lately, and re-learning PHP. For those that are interested in picking up what I am learning, please check out Devlounge.

It has me thinking though about blogging platforms. There are so many great options out there that I wonder how often people create their own anymore? Have we come to the point where one platform or another fulfills nearly every need, and those that program their own blog software do so only to prove that they can or are people still programming their own blogging platform because there is something missing from a feature or workflow standpoint?

I have thought about programming my own blogging software, but that is only because I don’t need something very complex, and so it would be easy to write, and would allow me to learn more about programming, and not because I am necessarily missing anything by using WordPress.

If you’ve thought about, or taken on the task of making your own blogging software, let me know why in the comments below.

Categories: Blog Software

WordPress Weekly: Episode 41 – Interview With Scott Wallick

Tonight, Jeff Chandler is back with another episode of WordPress Weekly, live on Talkshoe at 8pm EST and tonight he will be talking to Scott Wallick, the originator of the SandBox theme for WordPress, and someone I have linked to often, better known to most of you as Plaintxt.org.

They aim to talk about the Sandbox theme, as well as Scott’s sale of the theme, and his site. I hope to hear about his future plans, and that he is not only considering the money involved in selling his site, but making sure the best possible person is found to take over the myriad of themes he’s released.

Check out WordPress Weekly this evening at 8pm, or hit up the archive of the show after it is complete. One of the best things about doing a podcast on Talkshoe is that you can interact with it, so if you have any questions for Scott, I suggest you attend live in the chat room.

Categories: Podcasting News, WordPress News

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