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Archive for the ‘WordPress News’ Category

WordPress Secretly Building A webOS App?

WordPress fans sporting a Palm Pre 2 will be pleased to hear that we may see an app courting webOS in the not so distant future!

Upon visiting webOS.wordpress.org, WordPress fans are greeted with this message:

The blog http://webos.wordpress.org was marked private by its owner. If you were invited to view this blog, please log in below. For more information about blog privacy settings, please visit our support site.

This is the nearly the same message that appeared when WordPress was working upon Windows Phone 7, Nokia and Android before launching them to the public.

Although there are blogging apps upon webOS, most (if not all) of them are from third party developers as the mobile OS has been ignored by all of the major blogging platforms until now.

By courting webOS, WordPress will extend its influence upon every major mobile OS save Bada (from Samsung), helping to strengthen their position as the dominant mobile platform (at least when it comes to blogging upon a smartphone).

WordPress has yet to reveal any details regarding their webOS app, although for those of you sporting the Palm Pre 2 what features would you like to see included within the app?

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WordPress 3.2 Release To Be Better, Faster, Easier?

Core developers are gearing up for the next release of WordPress, with promises that version 3.2 will arrive to the public without a lengthy delay (although truth be told version 3.1 was worth the wait).

While WordPress will also be working on optimizing the software in order to improve loading speeds, it will also boast an interesting feature that may make it easier for bloggers to write posts as well.

Distraction Free Writing. This is our headline “ooh, shiny” user feature. Replace our current fullscreen implementation with something more beautiful, more useful (in terms of line-length and font size), and simpler (only limited RTE functionality). Look at WriteRoom, OmmWriter, http://www.quietwrite.com/ for inspiration. Koop is investigating this, and may crank out a quick plugin to jump-start development efforts (WordPress Development Updates)

Simplifying the interface could make it easier for new bloggers to create posts within WordPress without being distracted by all the bells and whistles of the software.

The upcoming version of WordPress will require PHP 5.2.4 as well as MySQL 5 (note: make sure your web host is aware of these changes), and will also be transitioning away from IE6.

WordPress has not yet released a time frame for when they expect version 3.2 to be available to the public, although those of you on the bleeding edge can install the Beta Tester plugin to experiment with 3.2 (preferably upon a test site).

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WordPress For iPhone Inherits A New Look

WordPress has released a new update to their universal iOS app which sports not only a slicker layout, but also seems to have resolved most of the bugs from the previous version.

Simply select the icons along the bottom of the post editor to edit post settings, view attachments and add media. You can also now upload multiple media objects at once!

‘Pull to refresh’ has been added to the list views of the app. To refresh the list, simply pull down until the arrow flips around and then release[.] (WordPress for iOS)

One of my favorite features is the ability to email commenters from within the app, which makes it easier to reply to readers privately without having to log into your blog via mobile Safari.

As a bonus WordPress has “magically” (to borrow a phrase from Steve Jobs) reduced the amount of time uploading videos to a blog, and has even made it easy to cancel videos uploading midway by tapping upon the clip.

Note: Bug resolved. See update below.

The only “critical” bug I discovered while using the app was the fact that WordPress seems to enjoy silencing my music (even upon third party apps like Pandora) whenever I launch WordPress for iOS. :-(

Music silencing aside, the latest update should resolve most of the issues for WordPress fans (especially those using “unlimited hosting” plans), and is available for free upon the app store.

Update: Apparently the bug (which was also replicated within other apps ironically) dissappeared after syncing my iPhone with iTunes.

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Does Your WordPress Blog Need Jetpack? Answer: Yes!

Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) has released a plugin for self hosted WordPress fans that will make it easier for them to receive some of the features from WP.com without having to scour the WP directory for a plugin.

Today we’re launching the first version of what’s been a dream of mine for several years now, really since my State of the Word presentation in 2009: a way to provide feature parity between WordPress.com and WordPress.org for everybody. [...]

For launch we’ve brought eight of the most-requested features into Jetpack as one easy bundle: Hovercards, Stats, After the Deadline, Twitter widget, shortcodes, shortlinks, easy Facebook/Twitter/WordPress sharing buttons (Sharedaddy), and for our fellow math nerds, \LaTeX. We’re excited about this initial set of features, but we’re even more excited for what’s coming down the road. (Jetpack News)

Automattic is partnering with a number of hosts (including GoDaddy and DreamHost) in order to have Jetpack pre-installed with new WordPress users. Current WordPress fans can install the Jetpack plugin manually from the directory.

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WordPress Mocks “Blogs Are Dead” Myth, Now 18 Million Strong

The team at Automattic (the company behind WP.com) have reached another milestone, as they are now hosting over 18 million WordPress.com blogs upon their servers.

Last month in February the NY Times wrote an article detailing how blog platforms were some how being canibilized by Facebook and Twitter, with only Tumblr showing healthy signs of growth (at least among the youth).

While no one can dispute the fact that social networks are claiming their fare share of online content (at least upon Twitter and Facebook), their presence has yet to starve blogging as a whole and (not surprisingly) they are often used by bloggers themselves to promote their content.

Other blogging platforms are also boasting healthy signs of growth, with Tumblr approaching 15 million blogs, with smaller players like OnSugar (which is a fork of Drupal 4.7) gaining influence as well.

Note: Although there are probably as many self hosted WordPress blogs as there are WordPress.com blogs, there is currently no way to track them all as not everyone installs WP.com stats or Google Analytics within their blog.

According to Network World’s research (who analyzed the top 1 million sites online), WordPress’s total market share is between 6.9% (according to Quantcast) and 12.9% (according to Alexa), respectively.

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WordPress Blackberry App Releases New Beta

The latest beta for WordPress for Blackberry is out and instead of launching a slew of new features for users the team decided to concentrate on something more important instead.

Lots of changes were made under the hood and this is the reason you haven’t seen any update for a while. We thought that security matters, so most of the changes affect the overall app security: We are now using a completely different, strongly encrypted storage model. To make the transition smooth we haven’t added any new features yet. New features will be released in the future. This is the good, the bad is that you might have to re-add your blogs/sites, as well as reconfiguring the app. Draft posts will not be erased, so once you have re-added a blog your old drafts should become available again. (WordPress for Blackberry Dev Blog)

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Watch Out Tumblr, Because WordPress 3.1 Is Out!

After a couple of months of waiting (and lots of beta testing), the latest version of WordPress 3.1 has been released to the masses!

The latest version contains a few extra goodies including the internal linking feature (which in hindsight is something every blog platform should have), although the latest update may help WordPress appeal more to the KISS generation (aka “keep it simple stupid”). Read More

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Needed: WordPress Hosting Report Cards

Whenever a WordPress blog is hacked or (on more rare occasions) thousands of blogs are compromised upon a host, numerous headlines spring up declaring how insecure WordPress is and why users should choose an alternative platform.

Usually by the time a security guru is able to analyze the real culprit (which usually is an insecure web host or an out of date blog), the media is already perpetuating the myth that WordPress is an “unsafe” to use for one’s blog or website.

Although the WordPress community has made upgrading to the latest version as painless as possible, trying to convince cheap web hosts (especially those promising unlimited hosting) to improve security despite the cost can be frustrating affair.

Instead of trying to present guidelines for hosting companies in the hopes that they’ll improve on their own, it might be better for the WP community to establish a “report card” to help inform new comers which hosts will provide the best experience for their site or blog. Read More

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WordPress For iPhone: What Features Would You Add?

After squashing various bugs that kept popping up within the iOS app, the WordPress team is preparing to launch the push notifications for comments (which is currently only available via a third party app).

While receiving alerts about users commenting upon your blog will make it easier for users to respond to readers while on the go, here are a few other features the team might consider adding within the next available update. Read More

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WordPress.com To Fans: Premium Themes Now Included!

Automattic has just announced that bloggers on WordPress.com will now be able to purchase premium themes, a feature that previously was only available for self hosted WordPress blogs.

I am proud to introduce the very first two premium themes on WordPress.com: Headlines and Shelf. [...]

Along with the distinctive features and a gorgeous design purchasing a premium theme like Shelf or Headlines for your WordPress.com site also gives you full access to dedicated support on the WordPress.com forums. The premium themes forum there will be accessible only to site owners who’ve purchased a theme.

We hope to expand the collection of themes on WordPress.com in a big way in 2011. Look for a significant number of both free and premium themes coming your way this year. (Official WordPress.com Blog)

The Headlines and Shelf premium themes were designed by WooThemes and The Theme Foundry, repsectively, with the latter offering users a tumbleblog like experience.

Automattic has not yet publicly revealed the revenue split between WP.com and theme designers, as well as other requirements like whether theme designers have to fully embrace the GPL before selling themes upon WP.com (i.e. no split licensing).

However with WP.com boasting 17 million blogs, Automattic’s market share (which is roughly 50% of all active WordPress blogs) may simply be too large for theme designers to ignore.

(Image Credit: Logic Bomb Labs)

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