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Archive for the ‘WordPress News’ Category

WordPress Embraces Social Commenting, Are Google Accounts Next?

Lovers of WordPress.com can finally allow readers to comment using their Facebook and Twitter credentials without having to install IntenseDebate.

As an important touch, we let you stay logged in to multiple services. This means you can stay logged in to Facebook for convenience, but still leave a comment through Twitter or your WordPress.com account. Just click whichever identity you’d like to use, and the selected one will be associated with your comment when it is published. You’re in control of your identity, as you should be. (Official WordPress.com Blog)

Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) is planning on porting this feature for self hosted blogs via JetPack, which should help fill a gap for bloggers who want social commenting without having to embrace third party options like Disqus or Facebook.

Currently there is no option to post a comment using your Google account, although the team may consider the search engine giant in the not so distant future (depending upon demand of course).

For those of you powering your blogs via WordPress.com, have you activated social commenting upon your sites? Also what other services (aside from Google) would you like to see added?

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VaultPress To WordPress Fans: Got Hosting Woes? We’ll Be In Touch

VaultPress (a real time backup and security service by Automattic) has released a new feature that will alert self hosting WordPress fans if their site is experiencing any problems staying online.

We’ve just enabled a new feature for all VaultPress customers that will now automatically notify you via email when we detect a connection error between VaultPress and your site. [...]

If VaultPress is unable to contact your site for five consecutive hours, we’ll send an initial alert email to you. We’ll send additional follow-up alerts to you and then to our concierge support team so we can work with you to make sure your site is protected. (Official VaultPress Blog) Read More

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WordPress For iOS Makes Photo Blogging Fun Again

After many months of waiting, WordPress has finally blessed iOS fans with features that have long been enjoyed by Android, Nokia and Blackberry fans.

While the inclusion of WP.com stats will please data geeks (which requires JetPack or the WP.com Stats plugin), photo bloggers will love quick photo which is even easier than Tumblr’s iPhone app.

As you launch the app, you’ll notice there’s now a button in the bottom of your blogs list. Tap it to launch the camera and take a picture, when you’re satisfied you can add a title or a description (if you want, both are optional), and boom — you’re done! (WordPress for iOS)

It takes only 4 quick taps (from launch to publish) to send a photo to your blog compared to Tumblr’s 6 taps (7 if you start within the dashboard).

For those of you with WordPress Tumblogs, you will be glad to hear that the team is also planning on supporting post formats in the future, although there is no time table as when that will appear (as WordPress has to implement a core patch in order correctly assign the image post format).

Hopefully WordPress will consider other media formats such as video, quotes and audio files (note: perhaps changing between them by sliding the “quick photo” button to the side?), as their mobile apps could help WordPress regain some lost ground against Tumblr.

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WordPress.com Leaps Past 20 Million Blogs

WordPress.com has recently passed 20 million blogs, a notable milestone which will hopefully kill off rumors that regarding the death of blogs (due to the popularity of social networks like Facebook and Twitter).

WordPress.com has also jumped a spot upon Quantcast top million rankings as the blog service has overtaken AOL.com for the 18th spot.

Surprisingly WP.com seems to be within striking distance of Bing.com (who currently occupies the 17th spot), although WordPress.com has a long ways to go before they can catch up to Blogger (who proudly sits at 13).

Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) has continued to release a slew of new features in order to attract new users (such as Writer Helper and premium themes) and it will be interesting to see how long it takes for WP.com to reach 40 million hosted blogs.

Note: With competition heating up from services like Tumblr, what features or services do you think WP.com should add in order to effectively compete in the micro blogging craze that has swept the web?

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WordPress 3.2 Enters Beta With Promises Of Simplicity

The first beta of WordPress 3.2 is out, which promises to not only speed things for your blog (provided that you’re not using IE6), but also a slight redesign of the admin area.

However one of the biggest changes (at least for non-geeks) is the fact that WordPress is finally embracing a simpler posting interface.

Distraction-free Writing. The visual editor’s full-screen composing experience has gotten a major overhaul, and is now available from HTML mode, too. More than ever, WordPress allows you to focus on what matters most — your content. (WordPress News)

Note: Emphasis theirs.

Along with Writing Helper, the new interface should help reduce the friction when it comes to creating a post, as well as appease fans of rival services (like Posterous and Tumblr) who desire simplicity without sacrificing on power.

Fans can test the beta by installing the WordPress Beta Tester plugin, although make sure you use a test blog or site (lest your break a few plugins or your theme in front of your readers).

Note: If you come across any bugs while beta testing WordPress 3.2, feel free to report it in the alpha/beta forum.

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WordPress To JetPack Users: Prepare To Be Amazed!

After celebrating over 100,000 downloads of their JetPack plugin, Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) is teasing WordPress bloggers with hints regarding a future update that may “wow” self hosted fans.

Beyond the recent bug fix releases, we’re investigating WordPress.com’s most popular features and how to engineer them to work inside Jetpack. I can’t say more, but it’s fair to say version 1.2 is likely to contain something impressive – something  no ordinary plugin can currently do. (Official JetPack Blog)

Note: Emphasis mine.

While Automattic isn’t providing many hints regarding their update, they are open to suggestions about which WP.com features they should include along side their surprise.

Unfortunately their comment section isn’t open for suggestions (note: perhaps it was accidently turned off?), although here are a few suggestions from yours truly. Read More

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WordPress: Got Writers Block? Try Writing Helper!

In a bid to help WordPress users get beyond the blank screen and inspire them to create content, Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) has released a new tool to help bloggers combat writers block.

Dubbed Writing Helper, WP.com’s new tool seeks to use the power of man and machine in order to help bloggers create spectacular posts. Read More

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Google: Have You Tried Our WordPress Plugin Today?

For those of you obsessed with all things SEO (at least from Google’s vantage point), the search engine giant has released a new plugin to help make it easier to verify your self hosted WordPress blog with Webmaster Tools.

For webmasters with self-hosted Wordpress [sic] blogs, there’s now a Webmaster Tools site verifcation plugin for WordPress [sic] that completely automates our verification process! [...]

With verified ownership of your site in Webmaster Tools, you can receive specific statistics and information (e.g. relevant search queries, malware notices) about your site directly from Google. (Google Webmaster Central Blog) Read More

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WordPress For Android: The App Is Now Complete

Android lovers will be pleased to hear that their beloved WordPress app has finally added features long enjoyed by your iOS and Blackberry brethren.

You can now easily set the publish date and time in the app when creating a post or page. The date can be set to the future which will set the post status to ‘Scheduled’ and publish on your blog when the time arrives. [...]

At the bottom of the post editor we’ve added a Post Password field to help protect your content. Simply enter a password here and the post will require that the password be entered for viewing on the blog when published. (WordPress for Android)

The Android app also supports HTTP Authentication for self hosted blogs, which means WordPress fans no longer have to choose between mobile blogging an tighter security via select plugins.

Unfortunately for those of you who have installed the app from Amazon’s App store, this update is not yet available (it’s awaiting approval from Amazon’s app tribunal).

However fans of Amazon’s app store can always install a fresh copy from Android Market (which might be wiser in the future, especially if WordPress releases a security update).

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Hackers Breach WordPress.com Servers

Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) was unfortunately targeted by hackers recently and suffered a breach upon their servers.

Tough note to communicate today: Automattic had a low-level (root) break-in to several of our servers, and potentially anything on those servers could have been revealed.

We have been diligently reviewing logs and records about the break-in to determine the extent of the information exposed, and re-securing avenues used to gain access. We presume our source code was exposed and copied. While much of our code is Open Source, there are sensitive bits of our and our partners’ code. Beyond that, however, it appears information disclosed was limited. (Official WordPress Blog)

To their credit Automattic alerted the community regarding the breach, a habit I wish was emulated within other industries (who often inform users days if not weeks later).

Automattic is still investigating the hack although there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of any passwords compromised, however the company is recommending that users change their passwords.

It’s also a good idea for self hosted blogs using WordPress.com services (like VaultPress) to change their WP.com passwords as well.

Note: For those of you who are extra paranoid, you can also change your username as well by visiting your Global Dashboard, then clicking on “Personal Settings” in the sidebar, then scrolling down to the “Account Details” section and clicking on the “Change” link next to your user name.

Although this breach indirectly affects self hosted WordPress fans, it might be wise to verify your hosting companies security defenses, as well as install a few plugins (like Login Lockdown) upon your site.

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