Sitepoint has recently released their twenty-fifth episode of their podcast, and this time round they have Matt Mullenweg on to talk about WordPress and more.
Brad: Why donâ€™t you take a second to just tell us who you are for the 1% of the people out there that donâ€™t know.
Matt: Sure. My name is Matt Mullenweg. About 6Â½ years ago now, I started working on a project called WordPress, which is open source blogging software that since evolved to really do just about everything. You can use it for a blog, or you can power your entire web site with it. About a few years ago after that, I founded a company called Automattic which the sort of idea was itâ€™s to bring WordPress to the world, and our biggest project is WordPress.com which gets over 200 million visitors a month.
Some of it gets a bit technical, but if you like that kind of thing, you’ll enjoy the questions chosen and Matt’s responses.
Listen to it on Sitepoint, or review the transcript for a better understanding of what’s going on in the world of WordPress right now.
Looking for a new Premium Theme company to buy your products off of, then you’ll be happy to know Nathan Rice has created a new company called ModThemes.
As you know, I live and breathe WordPress code (pretty much). Iâ€™ve written countless tutorials, built themes, written plugins, even submitted a patch or two to the WordPress core. Letâ€™s just say that when it comes to WordPress, I know my stuff, some of which has recently been added as new functionality to the themes at StudioPress.
So it should go without saying that if Iâ€™m going to be helping run my own WordPress business, itâ€™s going to be top-notch quality with some solid code. You can count on it.
Looks like it could be a smart move for Nathan and team, if he can crack the ever increasing competition in the market these days.
Today, Gravity Forms version 1.0 was released to the general public, and for $39, $99 or $199 you can purchase your own licensed version of Gravity Forms, the ultimate plugin for getting data from your users.
I’ve done a reasonable write-up on my own blog Branding David about Gravity Forms and what it can do for you.
Want to do a visitor survey? Want to do a â€œsend this post to a friendâ€? Want to have user guest post submissions? Gravity Forms can do all of that and more. Iâ€™ve even used it for a basic product inventory system, as well as a tool to sign players up for an online RPG. The uses for the plugin are wide, and according to the Rocket Genius team, theyâ€™ll continue to expand.
With Gravity Forms, a plugin I’ll probably be talking a lot about in the coming weeks, months and maybe even years, coming closer to being released, the team at Rocket Genius have released a plugin to test if your hosting environment will support the plugin.
Gravity Forms requires WordPress 2.8+, MySQL 5+ and PHP 5+ in order to function.
With the complexity of Gravity Forms, and its fairly strict requirements, this is of no big surprise to me. What is surprising is that they took the time to develop a test system. Is this just the tip of the iceberg with regards to the future of WordPress plugin systems?
If complex plugins like this are the future for WordPress, then I don’t see any way around this. I have a feeling that this type of functionality will be built into many plugins going forward, but having a separate plugin for Premium plugins makes sense.
Maybe a test library should be created so that we can have one plugin that manages the requirements testing for all complex plugins. Something to think about…
Will Anderson, @itsananderson on Twitter, saw me ask if there was a Minimum Password Length plugin for WordPress, and if there wasn’t, would someone code something, and Will, being more than helpful, went ahead and whipped one together.
One of the issues I’ve had in business settings is that the people running the blogs don’t necessarily understand the security concerns relating to having blogging software running on their business domain. WordPress does include an indicator of how secure or insecure a password is, but there wasn’t before today, as far as I know, an easy way to force a minimum password limit.
This might get a little confusing, but hopefully you can follow along. Over on Lorelle.WordPress.com, Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today has written a post about reporting abuse and spam to WordPress.com.
If you use WordPress.com, or are thinking about using it, you might want to spend a bit of time hunting down abuse and bringing it to the attention of Automattic, the people running WordPress.com’s hosted service.
As someone who has filed hundreds of copyright complaints over the years, I can say without a doubt that Automattic has been very responsive to copyright complaints. However, there is a very strict protocol that one needs to follow in order to have their complaint acted upon.
Automattic is a U.S.-based company and its servers are located with in the country. As such, it is bound by U.S. law, most notable the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This law provides a safe harbor to Web hosts, such as Automattic, to prevent them from being held liable for copyright infringement perpetrated by their users without their knowledge.
Follow the advice in the post, report abuse, and make WordPress.com a better place for everyone.
I am not even sure that we should be posting about new releases any longer, with the 2.0 branch of WordPress dead, everyone should be running a version of WordPress that notifies you of new releases and so this will probably be the last point release that I talk about on here unless you, the readers, would prefer it otherwise.
For those not in the know, it seems like another security issue has been found. This one is more of an annoyance than a true security issue, but it is worth upgrading for.
Yesterday a vulnerability was discovered: a specially crafted URL could be requested that would allow an attacker to bypass a security check to verify a user requested a password reset. As a result, the first account without a key in the database (usually the admin account) would have its password reset and a new password would be emailed to the account owner. This doesnâ€™t allow remote access, but it is very annoying.
I haven’t posted about one of these in a while, but I really love numbers, and these wrap-ups are just amazing.
Here are July’s stats:
394,609 blogs were created.
5,666,839 posts were published.
418,946 new users joined.
6,594,795 file uploads.
3,762 gigabytes of new files.
839 terabytes of content transferred from our datacenters.
1,253,217,900 pageviews on WordPress.com, and another 1,289,187,116 on self-hosted blogs (2,542,405,016 total across all WordPress blogs we track).
2,146,576 active blogs where â€œactiveâ€ means they got a human visitor.
For those of you that don’t quite understand the data here, or the numbers seem mind bogglingly big, a good example from the data side is that with 3,762 GB of file uploads, that is equivalent to around 900 DVD’s if you had to burn it all to back it up. And 839 Terabytes is 839,000 Gigabytes or nearly 200,000 DVD’s.
A feature I’ve been wondering about for a while is the built-in export tool in WordPress. I’ve always found it really limited in nature and use. It was always designed more as a migration tool or a backup tool than something that you could use to export in various ways, but thankfully, that hasn’t limited others, and now Advanced Exporter could be a plugin that will become part of my standard toolbox for WordPress.
I found out about it from WPTavern and this is what Jeff had to say:
With it, you can easily export a single category of a blog to import into another. That is something many people have wanted an easy way to do for a long time. You can also use the restrictions to create multiple WXR files in case you canâ€™t import a single large file. Also worthy of note as that this plugin was entered into the WeblogToolsCollection plugin competition for 2009.
I’ve had many issues with large export files not being able to import in the past, and while they’ve worked hard on rectifying this issue, it does still happen. I am very excited to see how this plugin does, and I hope it is ready for prime-time use.
The Contextual Partnership Plugin For WordPress Provides Free Advertising To Help Promote Your Blog & Get You Noticedâ€¦
If youâ€™re looking for an effective solution to help get your blog noticed then the Contextual Partnership Plugin for WordPress bloggers could be well worth consideration. Perhaps the most attractive aspect is that there is no cost involved.
According to the developers the plugin is designed to;
Drive more targeted visitors to your blog (or blogs) by strategically linking your blog to and from other bloggers participating in the network. The exact method used to achieve this remains confidential but apparently itâ€™s not a basic reciprocal link exchange – nor the more common 3 way linking arrangement often seen between bloggers.
Enhance the user experience for your blog visitors by providing them with links to other high quality blogs for further information on subjects of interest (and it can do this without you actually loosing the visitor which is a great feature).
Indirectly increase your search engine rankings by building highly relevant incoming links to your blog for keyword terms you define, related to your own niche market.
Not a bad indirect benefit at all.
To better understand how the network works, first you need to know what a â€œcontextual linkâ€ actually is. A contextual link is simply a link â€œwithin contentâ€ of a blog post and â€œwithin contextâ€ of specific keyword terms in that post. For example the term â€œdog trainingâ€ found within a blog post becomes a link out to another blog (related to â€œdog trainingâ€) within the network. Contextual Links are found all over the internet â€“ bloggers interlink their own pages contextually, there are paid advertising programs that allow you to place contextual advertising links and earn per click, and bloggers naturally link out to other websites they find useful â€œcontextuallyâ€ as well.
This is the key to the â€œContextual Partnershipâ€. When you install and setup the WordPress Plugin, youâ€™re asked to provide the URLâ€™s you wish to advertise on other partners blogs, and the keyword terms you want those blogs to use to link back to your own. When a match is found within the network for the keyword terms you provide (and assuming it meets with the Contextual Partnershipâ€™s strategic linking methodology), a link back to your blog is assigned, and your account has a credit removed.
The amount of credits your account holds appears to be directly related to the number of links youâ€™re providing to other partners in the network for the keyword terms they themselves are looking to use to advertise. Apparently for every link you provide for another partner, you earn 1 credit. That 1 credit is then â€œcashed inâ€ to assign a link back to your own blog from other partners whenever a match is found for your own keyword terms. So if you already have 100 posts in your blog, and each of those pages finds a match to provide a link to another partner, then technically you could receive 100 incoming links to your blog as soon as youâ€™ve been approved to participate in the partnership. You also continually earn more points and incoming links as you continue to blog and add more posts just like you usually do.
Thatâ€™s the basic overview and youâ€™ll find more specific information on the plugin website including details of many features not mentioned here (like the ability to select specifically which blog posts you want to include â€“ or nor include in the network)…
Uptake by the blogger community seems to have been extremely good and this new service looks to become very popular. In the first two weeks of launch the partnership already had over 54,000 individual places to place links throughout the network, and within the first 4 weeks over 10,000 advertising links had been allocated between network partners. This is most likely a result to how easy it is to actually setup the plugin and participate â€“ it literally takes 5 minutes to install and setup – although approval can take anywhere from 24-72 hours depending on the moderation queue as only high quality blogs are accepted to participate to keep out the splogs and spammers.
This seems to be one of those services worth giving a shot for a few months, and by the looks of things the developers have some exciting new features in the pipeline to make things even more effective for partners in the future.
You can find out full details and download the plugin belowâ€¦