WordPress 3.0 Release Candidate 1

May 28, 2010 | 1 Comment

Quickly after WordPress turned 7 this May 27th, the first release candidate of WordPress 3.0 finally comes out.

Two of the biggest new features, custom menus and multi-site support, are in place, while as with the previous beta you’ll notice a much lighter admin area. Also visit this page to check out known issues, and report those others that aren’t on the list.

You can download WP 3.0 RC 1 here or automatically upgrade with the Beta Tester plugin.

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“Surprise Me” on WordPress.com

April 21, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordPress at 7 on 7

WordPress.com users can now enjoy a mystery feature called “Surprise Me”, which can be activated under the Personal Settings page under Global Dashboard > Profile. The announcement won’t reveal what it will actually do, but both the New York Times and BusinessWeek write about it.

They described their creation as an “emotional plug-in,” a virtual artwork to celebrate the “sacred act of publishing,” which the Web has transformed as fundamentally as Gutenberg did and which is, in turn, transforming society.

“Surprise Me” is the result of a collaboration between Matt Mullenweg and artist Evan Roth and was first presented at the 7 on 7 event, which brought together artists and technologists to create a project in under 24 hours.

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A look at WordPress 3.0 custom post types

March 25, 2010 | No Comments Yet

kovshenin.com discusses one of the many new features coming in WordPress 3.0 that will raise its bar as a publishing platform: custom post types.

So what else could be done with WordPress’ Custom Post Types? Well, basically anything. Say you run an online store which of course has some static Pages (such as Contact, About, etc), some blog Posts, cause we’re so 2.0, remember? And Products, which would be a custom post type that contains the product name, description, product price, stock availability, and could even contain inquiries in forms of user comments!

He covers two key code snippets that gets the ball rolling on custom post types: register_post_type (WPEngineer has a great post on it) and custom functions for the edit post screen columns, which are added via a filter and an action:

The action outputs custom columns depending on the type, while the filter simply defines the columns for the Podcasts post type. It’s as simple as that. Note that I trimmed the code a little bit to fit on screen, so you shouldn’t be simply outputing 63:50, but actually count the podcast length 😉

Looks quite simple for those who know their way around PHP, but I expect plugins (and perhaps future releases of WordPress) to integrate interfaces for setting up and customizing post types.

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New features in WordPress 3.0

February 26, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WP Beginner digs into the new features coming in the big WordPress 3.0 release. Also recently, Jane Wells posted a report on the latest developments with the current cycle. Third, WP 3.0 is set to enter feature freeze mode on March 1.

What do these all mean? Now is the best time to get familiar with the new features. As we all know, we’ve got some big ones coming:

(Via WP Tavern)

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Early look at the WordPress 3.0 Menu Management interface

January 29, 2010 | 1 Comment

Over at the WordPress Development Updates blog, there’s an alpha preview of the Menu Management user interface that will be included in WordPress 3.0. Here’s the video:

Here’s a quick preview of the new menu management admin page (still alpha stage).

It highlights the dropdown section, which is the only unfamiliar element. All the rest are borrowed from the widget management screen.

Feedback on the UI is very welcome, either here, or on the dedicated ticket: #11817.

As mentioned in the post by Scribu, the interface is similar to the Widgets page. You can select either a page or a category from its respective dropdown menus, and when clicked it gets sent to the active menu panel on the right. There you can reorder the items. You can also add specific links and the Home link.

This feature can’t come soon enough! People tend to “hack” together site navigation menus in WP themes and for ordinary users editing them is a pain. Making WordPress features more usable through new interfaces like this is always a good thing.

Got feedback or want to keep up with this upcoming WP feature? Bookmark this Trac page.

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New in WP 2.9: Transform URLs to embed codes

January 28, 2010 | No Comments Yet

A very useful new feature in WordPress 2.9 is oEmbed support, which lets you display video and other embed objects with less hassle: all you need to do paste the URL and you’re all set.

First, make sure this feature is enabled under Settings > Media > Attempt to automatically embed all plain text URLs. There’s also an option to set a maximum width and height for the embed objects. Next, create or edit posts like you normally would, and enter the URL in its own line. Save your post and hit the Preview button to check if it’s working.

For example, pasting a YouTube URL (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKtdTJP_GUI) automatically generates this:

If you don’t want WordPress to create embed codes from URLs automatically, use the shortcode.

WordPress has a list of sites you can do this with, which includes sites like YouTube, Flickr, and WordPress.tv. More information about adding support can be found at the Codex page.

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WordPress.com adds geotagging on posts and profiles

November 16, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Going local is one of the hottest technologies on the Web today, and on WordPress.com, you can now geotag your blog posts and profile.

Interested in reading blogs by other people in your area? A quick search will find them, and in the future could even be used to organize local WordPress.com user meetups. […] Geotagged posts get marked up with the geo microformat, geo.position and ICBM meta tags, and GeoRSS and W3C geodata in feeds.

The featureset is pretty modest right now but Jane Wells spells out the possibilities coming near you:

This is just the beginning. Building on this platform, we’ll gradually roll out more geotagging features, such as showing the location of your commenters, the location of poll votes, a live map view of blog updates on WordPress.com, or an annual report showing you where your posts were written and where your comments came from — kind of a blogger’s version of the Dopplr annual travel report.

That will definitely up the WordPress coolness factor even more. For more information, visit the geotagging support page. Using a self-hosted WordPress version? There are plenty of plugins out there for geotagging.

(Via The Blog Herald)

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10 things coming in WordPress 2.9

November 12, 2009 | 1 Comment

We’ve talked about WordPress 2.9 quite a bit already, but Aaron Brazell of Technosailor has a comprehensive list of new features and things to expect when that upgrade notice arrives on your dashboard. He classifies each item according area: themes, plugins, users, and system.

Another important thing to note is that in WordPress 3.0, running PHP 5 will be a requirement. That’s not until a several months from now, but it’s good to be ready.

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“Hello world!” post gets a makeover in WordPress 2.9

November 9, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Weblog Tools Collection reports on the recently agreed upon move to modify the default blog post that comes with every new WordPress installation, the one entitled “Hello world!” People on the WordPress Hackers mailing list thought it would be better to add more meaningful information and links on the starting post, which serves as a welcome mat to every new WordPress user.

A draft of the post’s contents can be viewed here, and will be integrated come WordPress version 2.9. Super convenient!

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Upgrade multiple plugins at once in WordPress 2.9

October 31, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Here’s another new feature coming in WordPress 2.9 that will make maintaining your blog a lot easier. You can now upgrade multiple plugins that have updates available all at once. No need to go through them one at a time. A welcome improvement for WordPress sites of all sizes. Visit WP Engineer for a screenshot of the feature.

There are few details yet but it’s great that we’re getting news about all these new improvements to WordPress before it comes out, so we know what to expect.

(Via Weblog Tools Collection)

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WordPress.com blogs now use mobile themes automatically

October 22, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WPTouch WordPress Mobile Edition

WordPress.com users can now serve mobile versions of their blogs thanks to modified version of WPtouch and WordPress Mobile Edition. People with more capable mobile browsers, such as iPhones and Android-based phones will use the first theme, while other mobile devices will use the second theme.

Mobile visitors greeted by WPtouch will get easy access to posts, pages, and archives. They’ll get fancy AJAX commenting and post loading. If you are using a custom header image, it will be scaled to size and displayed at the top of your blog. When viewing your blog on other phones, the focus will be on loading the blog quickly while displaying the important information about your content.

More details about the mobile themes here.

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Embed media using only URLs in WordPress 2.9

October 16, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Here’s another great feature coming up in WordPress 2.9: easy media embedding using just the URL of the photo or video you want to place in your blog posts.

The catch is the URLs must be enclosed in shortcodes, and that the media must come from one of the predefined media providers: YouTube, Blip.tv, Flickr, Hulu, Viddler, Qik.com, Revision3, Google Video, PollDaddy, DailyMotion.

Of course, there are methods for adding more providers: using (a) wp_oembed_addprovider() function for oEmbed-compatible website and (b) defining a handler/callback function that checks the URL and generates the necessary embed code in its place.

Finally, wp_expand_dimensions() lets you resize the media to the largest dimensions possible given an example width-height ratio.

Read more about these in Viper007Bond’s post.

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the_post_image() in WordPress 2.9

October 15, 2009 | No Comments Yet

In WordPress 2.9, users will now be able to set a representative image per post, one of the most popular features found in advanced or premium WP themes.

The image can be added via the function the_post_image(), with possible parameters 'medium' and 'thumbnail' to indicate the size.

I’m still on the fence about this. On the one hand it’s one of the biggest things that’s missing in in the WordPress core for anybody who wants to transform their websites to more than just a blog. But on the other hand other smart solutions, like the Get the Image plugin, exist. I would love to see the_post_image() expand its feature set to extract the first uploaded image within the post automatically, and provide the option of setting that as the featured image for that post.

Either way, we’re seeing a huge focus on the media management aspect of WordPress in this upcoming version.

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Real-time blogging through IM on WordPress.com

October 13, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WordPress.com users have yet another fascinating new feature to play with that will bring blogging straight into the real-time era. Using a Jabber- and XMPP-based instant messaging (IM) client, you can post and subscribe to WordPress.com blogs, and it all happens inside chat windows. The video below explains how to get started:

At im.wordpress.com we have been experimenting with instant delivery of blog posts and comments. We started by providing a firehose for our partners but that was only the beginning. Now you can subscribe to WordPress.com blogs in your Jabber IM client and receive posts and comments the instant they are published. It is also possible to post to blogs from the chat client. In time we plan to add these real-time features to web pages. Soon the conversations on blogs will be as fast as chat rooms.

Read more about Real-Time Blogs using im.wordpress.com here.

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Custom CSS Revisions for WordPress.com users

October 5, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WordPress.com users who have purchased the Custom CSS Upgrade feature can now access previous revisions of the edited stylesheet. Basically, Automattic has taken the post revisions idea and applied it to your custom CSS editor. Simple, yet very useful idea.

If you’ve ever considered the CSS upgrade, now’s a great time to take the leap. With this new CSS revisions feature, you’ll be able to make changes to the look of your theme without worrying about losing earlier versions, and can see how CSS changes will affect your blog’s appearance.

As usual, us WordPress.org users will have to see if this will come out as a standalone plugin. For WordPress.com users who haven’t heard of Custom CSS, read more about the upgrade here.

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Basic image editing in WordPress 2.9

September 15, 2009 | 1 Comment

Jeff Chandler of WordPress Tavern has recorded a screencast on a major new feature coming in WordPress 2.9, which he discovered in one of the nightly builds. This was the third most popular feature voted on in the WP 2.9 media manager survey from a few months ago.

I fired up my local server today and installed the latest version of WordPress 2.9 and was surprised to see the basic image editing tools already available in the media library. I decided that the best way to display them in action was through video which also gave me another reason to open up CamtasiaStudio. In the video, I show off each individual tool as well as provide feedback on the crop tool as at this stage, does not appear to be user friendly. But, it’s very early in the development stage so it will most likely be better once it hits the public’s hands. Check out the video.

Functions include crop, rotate, flip, undo/redo, and scaled resizing. You can also apply the changes made to all the images in the library in one go—now that’s the most useful feature of all.

Jeff comments that the interface still needs polishing but the features work well. Can’t wait to see what else WP 2.9 has in store for us.

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BuddyPress to ship with a theme framework; will WordPress be next?

August 25, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Social networking platform BuddyPress has modified its theme structure to contain by default a theme framework, basically a parent theme which custom themes can override with child themes.

In BuddyPress 1.1 there will be one single theme to handle everything. BuddyPress will ship with a theme framework that acts as a parent theme. The default theme will be a child theme based on this framework and contains only images and css. Building a new BuddyPress theme will be as simple as creating a child theme based on the framework. If you’re not familiar with child themes a quick google search will bring up lots of useful information.

This makes theme development for a relatively more complex CMS much easier. But what’s more interesting about this is there are several WordPress theme frameworks already out there, and it looks like the BuddyPress development team has taken a cue from that. My question is: should future versions of WordPress also ship with a default theme framework just like BuddyPress? For those who aren’t familiar with the benefits:

When building a new theme you don’t need to re-create every template file. You can override specific template files where needed. Most importantly though, your theme will update automatically with the latest functionality when the framework theme is updated.

In the meantime, however, check out these 3rd-party theme frameworks for WP.

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WordPress.com rolls out URL shortener, WP.me

August 17, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WP.me URL shortener

WordPress.com, whose frontpage just underwent a makeover, has finally rolled out its own URL shortening service, WP.me, to benefit its microblogging crowd. The feature is built right into the post editor: just click on the Shorten button and you can grab a short link 70% smaller than your permalink.

Another great advantage of having this built right into WordPress.com is its rel=shortlink code integrated automatically into the header. Automattic is also proud to say that WP.me will remain spam free, since they are constantly keeping tabs on and removing spam on WordPress.com.

That last feature will probably be the reason WP.me won’t be applicable to self-hosted WordPress sites, but I’m sure lots of WordPress.org would love to have access to the service.

Now that WordPress.com has a shortening service of its own, however, it erases the possibility of WP.com filling that need. So what will it be used for? Matt Mullenweg says it’s still a secret!

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WordPress 2.9 media features survey results

August 3, 2009 | 2 Comments

Results of the WordPress 2.9 media features survey are out. Aside from the detailed breakdown of votes for each feature, what’s interesting is the list of alternative plugins you can use right now while these proposed new features have not been implemented natively.

But rest assured that the development team is attending to the WordPress community’s requests:

The top-voted feature, standalone photo albums, is being worked on as a Google Summer of Code project by Rudolf Lai, under the mentorship of WordPress Lead Developer Mark Jaquith. The “pencils down” date for GSOC is in less than two weeks, at which point we’ll be assessing the state of Rudolf’s project. Hopefully, we’ll be able to incorporate it with 2.9 development, do some testing, amend the code and/or UI as needed, and have this launch with the 2.9 release (in core or as plugin TBD). Undoubtedly, additional functionality will be contributed by core contributors who have also been working on media plugins.

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WordPress 2.0.x now deprecated

July 30, 2009 | No Comments Yet

The WordPress development team is now ending support for the WordPress 2.0.x branch, just a few months earlier than the planned 2010 deprecation.

Many of the security improvements to the new versions of WordPress in the last couple of years were complete reworks of how various systems were handled. Porting those changes to the 2.0.x branch would have been a monumental task and could have introduced instability or new bugs. We had to make hard decisions between stability and merging in the latest security enhancements. Additionally, far fewer people stayed on the 2.0.x branch than we anticipated. I take that as a testament to the new features in WordPress and perhaps even more the features offered by plugins, many of which don’t support older versions of WordPress!

The good news is, there are way fewer people who have left their WordPress installations outdated than updated. If you’re part of that group, though, do the right thing and upgrade now! The advantages—both in features and security—far outweigh the disadvantages.

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WordPress 2.8 sends pings by the hour, not instantly

July 21, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Update (07/22/09): “The delay in ping will change back to direct ping in WordPress 2.8.3.” As posted here.

Curious discovery from En Sur Karamell: changes have been made in WordPress 2.8 to the way pingbacks are being sent. Instead of immediate, real-time notifications pings are now being batch queued by the hour. The post points to the specific code which does so.

To fix the problem you can always modify the code or use MaxBlogPress Optimizer (requires signing up to the developers mailing list), but the question is if the WP development team should’ve announced this change.

For people who don’t really need the real-time benefit of pingbacks, this shouldn’t matter, and can enjoy the optimization this feature change provides. But most blogs don’t really send that many pings, do they? And the author of the blog post argues that now, more than ever, should we be embracing the Real-Time Web—why should WordPress take one step back?

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WordPress 2.8

June 11, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Six months after the release of the previous version comes WordPress 2.8 codename “Baker”, with the slogan “cool, smoother, simpler blogging”. Matt writes that the latest version is a nice fit and finish release for WordPress with improvements to themes, widgets, taxonomies, and overall speed:

  • Load pages, particularly styles and scripts, faster
  • Browse and install themes from the Theme Directory from the WordPress dashboard (just like plugins)
  • Edit theme and plugin code with syntax highlighting using the CodePress editor
  • Enjoy more user-friendly Widgets with a revamp of its interface
  • Use Screen Options to every page in the dashboard
  • And more!

Backup your database and files then hit “update now” in your dashboard. Don’t forget to check out the video above!

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What’s new with WordPress 2.8

June 5, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Here’s another post that checks out some of the new features in WordPress 2.8. If you’ll go through the comprehensive write-up, you’ll observe that a lot of the improvements lean toward usability, accessibility, and performance optimization, which in turn improve one’s overall experience with WordPress. Example:

JavaScript files properly registered via the appropriate script API can now be placed at the bottom of the page. In most cases this is preferable, because JavaScript blocks parallel downloads (browsers need to evaluate it before proceeding) and can delay the time by which a page is usable and also the time by which the rendering is complete. So, unless a JavaScript file needs to be at the top, it can be moved to the bottom for better performance.

Check out the rest here.

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Important announcements from the #wordpress-dev IRC meetup

June 4, 2009 | No Comments Yet

A few heads-up announcements regarding the future of WordPress development at the #wordpress-dev IRC meetup:

  • WordPress 2.8 target release date is June 10, next week.
  • WordPress 2.9 will require MySQL 4.1.2. (Might be good to start contacting your webhost this early to see if yours is compatible, or can be made compatible within the coming months.)
  • Upgrading to PHP 5 from PHP 4 is highly recommended and will pushed for in the future WordPress upgrader. (Another thing to ask your webhost about.)
  • In case you want to check out the IRC meetup, they’re held weekly every Wednesday at 9 pm UTC.

Very useful information to help you prepare for future versions of WordPress. Although WP is pretty easy to deal with when it comes to web hosting requirements, it doesn’t hurt to know about these things even if you’re an ordinary blogger.

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WordCamp SF State of the Word and Q&A with Matt Mullenweg

June 3, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Aside from the merging of WordPress.org and WordPress MU, many other announcements were made during WordCamp San Francisco’s State of the Word, delivered of course by Matt Mullenweg. Check out the summary posted by The WordCamp Report, including this Q&A.

Some highlights:

  • Lots of changes that caused “minor revolutions”: return of Quick Post, threaded comments, 1-click upgrades, etc.
  • WordPress core focuses on speed and simplicity, then “let the people do whatever they want”
  • WordPress themes and the GPL still a big issue
  • WordPress is the fastest growing skill on Elance
  • WordPress.tv
  • WordPress 2.8: coming soon! New features: rewritten Widgets, theme directory built into admin, CodePress syntax editor, multiple galleries per page, per page options for plugins, improved language support
  • WordPress 2.9 to focus on under-the-hood improvements

For more links, catch this round up by Weblog Tools Collection.

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WordPress and WordPress MU to merge!

June 2, 2009 | 3 Comments

Update (06/03/09): Matt himself left this comment:

While WordPress.org-the-website will include more BuddyPress features, that was a separate announcement from the elimination of MU and bringing its code into core WP.

Update (06/02/09): Lorelle VanFossen has a different interpretation of the cryptic merger. It’s anybody’s guess at this point, it seems.

WordCamp San Francisco 2009

At WordCamp San Francisco, where Matt Mullenweg delivered his annual State of the Word keynote, he announced that WordPress and WordPress MU (multi-user) will be merging in the near future. Apparently he told users to “watch out for version 3.0”. There weren’t many details given during the event, which means we’re left to speculate on how this merger will actually happen.

Still, WordPress MU has been less accessible to the ordinary users compared to WordPress given its feature requirements. And BuddyPress, which runs on top of WordPress MU, is a very appealing CMS for those interested in building communities and social networks. So integrating multi-user features into the WordPress is great news.

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7 reasons to get excited over WordPress 2.8

May 29, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Clint Maher lists 7 reasons we should look forward to WordPress 2.8. Search for and install themes within the WordPress admin, manage tags more easily, customize the dashboard components, and so on.

Of course there are many other new features in WP 2.8, including under-the-hood improvements most users won’t notice, so why not give the beta version a spin? Just make sure you’re either in a testing environment or all your files are properly backed up if you’re using it live.

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How to set dynamic body IDs/classes in WordPress

May 28, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Perishable Press lists 9 different ways you can “label” your <body> element using PHP and WordPress—very useful for development themes with special features depending on where you are in a WP site. A lot of them are derived from theme development experts and popular theme frameworks like the WordPress Sandbox.

The 9th way must be mentioned here: when WordPress 2.8 comes out, things will become much easier since it now has the body_class() function. More info about that here (since there’s no page on the Codex for it yet).

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WordPress.com lets you post by email

May 15, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Still on the WordPress.com front, there’s a new feature called Post by Email, which does just what it says: it lets you create and publish new posts straight from your email account.

All you have to do is check out the secret email address assigned to you under My Blogs, then send your blog post to it, and watch it show up on your blog. Formatted text and attached images are all detected. In fact, if you upload multiple images, a gallery is created for them!

If this hasn’t whetted your appetite, here’s a quick run-down of Post by Email features:

  • Transcoding of any video files supported by the WordPress video player (mp4, mov, wmv, avi, mpg, and m4v).
  • Automatic removal of standard signature blocks, with support for manual removal of other signatures.
  • Add your email addresses directly into your address book using downloadable vCards. (You don’t even need to remember the address!)
  • Automatic notification of a published email post.
  • Conversion of YouTube URLs into embedded videos.

Also check out the Post by Email support page for advanced features like shortcodes you can use in your email.

I can’t wait to see all of these features on self-hosted WordPress.org blogs. Although blogging by email is already supported, it’s not quite as streamlined as this.

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VideoPress launches on WordPress.com

May 14, 2009 | No Comments Yet

VideoPress is a new upgrade feature created by the Automattic team for WordPress.com that lets users create high-definition streaming video for their blogs. It’s also great for video podcasting since it crunches all the necessary work you: videos are iTunes and Miro compatible, and they play in the right frame rates you uploaded them with.

Although there’s no official word yet on when this will be available for self-hosted WordPress sites, you’re advised to create your own WordPress.com account to take advantage of the plugin and then embed the created videos on your WordPress.org blog.

Plus, the VideoPress framework is open source, so we can expect to see more free-flowing improvements to it in the future.

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New WordPress 2.8 Widgets interface

April 27, 2009 | 2 Comments

Jeff Chandler of WPTavern takes a look at the new Widgets interface in the upcoming WordPress 2.8:

Just as I had hoped for, the system works like a cross between 2.3 and 2.5 leaning more towards 2.3. On the left, you have a listing of available widgets. On the right, you have sidebars available where you drag widgets from the left, to the right, just like it worked in WordPress 2.3. However, there are a few differences.

While in the latest version you had to switch between sidebars (if you have multiple ones) using a dropdown menu to add or remove widgets, in the new version all the sidebars show up. This is much more convenient because you get to see which widgets you’ve already used and which ones you’ve not. But you can reuse widgets all the same.

Looking forward to more improvements such as this in WordPress 2.8!

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WordPress 2.9 Media Manager wireframes

April 15, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Shane Froebel has posted a PDF of wireframes for the WordPress 2.9 Media Manager via the WP-Hackers mailing list. You can read all about it here.

Once the 2.8.x development started I went AWOL for pretty much 4 months of clear cut no programing. So fast forward to today. The release of my proposed Media Management System for the 2.9.x line. I spent many months without talking or what the status was and talked to a few developer privaily on the direction I was taking it. But after a while I got a pretty good picture on how I envisioned a very updated a slick Media Management System for WordPress.

This feature is set to release in October this year. There’s been barely any talk about the next version of WordPress (which is 2.8), and yet here we are already skipping into WP 2.9. It’s always good to look forward to these things though.

(Via WPLover)

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Improved search for WordPress Plugins Directory

February 20, 2009 | No Comments Yet

In WordPress 2.7 we’re now able to install plugins effortlessly either by uploading a ZIP files from a local drive or by searching the Plugins Directory from the admin panel (see Plugins > Add New). The problem, however, with the 2nd solution is that it was a pain since search results were not helpful at all!

The good news is, the Automattic team has improved its plugins directory search with the help of Sphinx, which is an SQL full-text search engine.

Currently, the search only indexes the plugin’s title and description/installation/FAQ/etc. (from the plugin’s readme.txt file), but we’ll be adding things like authors and tags soon.

Good to hear they’re actually working on one of the most useful aspects integrated into the admin panel.

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WordPress 2.8 feature ranking survey

December 24, 2008 | No Comments Yet

With over 600,000 thousands in just a few weeks, WordPress 2.7 is a sure hit. And that success has a lot to do with the active participation of its community.

Automattic continues to acknowledge this, and they are moving on to develop for the next version of WP, they’re enlisting our help once more in deciding the key features to include in its release.

Right now, the lead developers are thinking the top priorities for 2.8 will be widget management, theme browser/installer and performance upgrades. The rest of the development time will be taken up with bug tickets and additional features/enhancements from a prioritized list. To that end, we’ve posted a new survey for you to help us prioritize features for 2.8. The list pulls from the developers’ “2.7 leftovers” list as well as the most popular features from the Ideas forum. Just rank each feature and tell us your top pick (up to three). You also have the option of adding comments or additional suggestions, but this is not mandatory. For your response to count, you must rank all of the features in the list. The survey has only one page.

Take the survey here. Deadline is on December 31.

Other miscellaneous announcements from the above post:

  • Lead developers will resume IRC chats and discuss weekly progress on feature development. Everybody is invited to participate in these chats.
  • You should submit your ideas for new WordPress features to the Ideas section, not the Trac.

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How to implement WP 2.7 threaded comments feature

December 17, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Aside from the admin redesign, threaded or nested comments is one of the biggest new features in WordPress 2.7. Problem is, if your theme you’re using doesn’t support it yet, you won’t be able to enjoy it!

Thankfully, will.ph has written how you can use comment threading in your WP site.

The feature has been integrated in my theme since 2.7-Beta1 was released, yet only now did I realize that my reference was a bit too technical, even for me, that I decided to write another howto that is simplified. Before jumping in, I would highly advise to disable any comment threading plugin, including Disqus, to avoid any unwanted hiccups. Of course, the decision to do this is all up to you.

Thanks Will!

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WordPress 2.7

December 11, 2008 | No Comments Yet

It’s here! Just a day after release candidate 2 is announced, and months of eager anticipation from by the community, the final version of WordPress 2.7 “Coltrane” is now available for download. Be sure to watch this jazzy video tour (I love how they tied in the customizable features of WordPress to improvisational nature of jazz):

This WordPress release has been a much-awaited one with all its new features: a new look for the admin pages, customizable post panels, automatic upgrades, bulk editing, comment threading, sticky posts, Press This!, and more, giving you a blogging experience that’s flexible and fast.

Download WordPress 2.7 now!

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10+ siginifcant new features in WordPress 2.7

November 20, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Aaron Brazell of Technosailor has listed ten or so significant feature improvements that are coming in WordPress 2.7. If you’re scrambling to get up to speed with the pending WP release and don’t want to hop from one blog post to another, this is a great read! Here’s a rundown of what to expect from the article:

  1. Vertical Menus
  2. Dashboard
  3. QuickEdit and wp-admin Comment Reply
  4. Configurable Layouts
  5. Threaded Comments and Comment Paging
  6. Media Page (this was introduced in WP 2.6)
  7. Complete Plugin Installation and Management
  8. Sticky Posts
  9. Template Tags
  10. Comments API
  11. And Bonuses!

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WordPress 2.7, now with promotional video and slogan

November 10, 2008 | No Comments Yet

If you’re still on the fence about the completely revamped design of the WordPress 2.7 administration interface, this video might help:

It ends with a slogan of sorts for WordPress: “this time, it’s personal”. WP 2.7 is all about making the user experience better, so don’t fret!

Oh, and forget to vote which feature in the sneak peek you think is the best.

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WordPress 2.7 Beta 2

November 6, 2008 | 1 Comment

Just a few days after releasing the first beta, WordPress 2.7 Beta 2 is now out! Based on the announcement, it looks like bug fixes were the focus of this beta release.

And since you can automatically upgrade to the latest version of WordPress from within the admin panel, check it out:

If you have already installed beta 1, you can update to beta 2 via the Tools -> Update menu. Beta 1 does have a bug in the automatic upgrade that breaks certain setups, so be prepared to download and install Beta 2 manually if you experience problems.

Keep this in mind even if you haven’t installed the beta yet, but plan to upgrade to WP 2.7 in the future.

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Keyboard shortcuts in WordPress 2.7

November 5, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Here’s another great feature to expect in WordPress 2.7: keyboard shortcuts. Though WordPress already has several shortcut keys for the Write Post page (documented here and here—the Visual Editor must be turned on), new keyboard shortcuts will be available for managing comments:

  • j – next comment/down
  • k – previous comment/up
  • a – approve comment
  • s – spam comment
  • d – delete comment
  • u – unapprove comment
  • r – reply to comment (Esc to cancel reply)
  • q – quick edit comment

You’ll have to activate them first in your user profile page, and then you’re all set.

(Via WordPress Hacks)

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10 new useful features in WordPress 2.7

November 3, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Demetris of op111.net has written about 10 exciting new things in WordPress 2.7—11, actually! Here’s the shortlist:

  1. Mass-edit posts and pages
  2. Modular edit/write pages
  3. Paginated comments
  4. Quick Edit (Inline Edit)
  5. QuickPress
  6. Recent drafts in Dashboard
  7. Reply to comments from the administration area
  8. Show/Hide modules and columns (“Screen Options”)
  9. Sticky posts
  10. Threaded comments
  11. Widgetomodularized Dashboard

I think blog entries like these are must-reads for anybody who’s wondering if they should take the plunge when WordPress 2.7 comes. It’s best to read up on what’s coming as early as now to avoid FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt).

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WordPress 2.7 Beta 1

November 2, 2008 | No Comments Yet

The first beta of the much-awaited WordPress 2.7 version is out! Prepare for a completely revamped admin interface and all the new features we’ve been raving about the past few months.

Several things to note: WP 2.7 Beta 1 works best in Firefox and Safari (for now). And the final WP 2.7 release is 2 weeks behind schedule.

The downside is more waiting; the upside is the team isn’t rushing to get it out but to polish it the best way possible. It’s slated for November 10th, and while the developers are still trying their best to get it done by that date, a release candidate should be out by then. End of November seems more like the WP 2.7 final release.

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Favorite Actions in WordPress 2.7

October 28, 2008 | No Comments Yet

WordPress 2.7 favorite actions

planetOzh writes about a neat little feature coming in WordPress 2.7 called “favorite actions”. It gives you quick access to sections of your admin panel that you frequent the most. This dropdown menu links to “Add New Post”, “Add New Page”, and “Manage Comments” but as mentioned in the blog entry, this can theoretically be modified with a plugin.

Yet another hint of what’s to come in November!

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WordPress 2.7 on “feature freeze”

October 14, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Ryan Boren has just announced at the WP-Hackers mailing list that the upcoming version of WordPress has gone into feature freeze, meaning there will be no new features added from now on until the official release. Read more details about the new features at this blog post from Performancing.

Jeff Chandler also mentions in there that the admin panel demo by Chris Johnston is still up, so if you want to check out what WP 2.7 currently looks like without having to download and install it for yourself, just login (username: admin; password: demo).

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WordPress.com users can go ad-free (for a fee)

September 19, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Matt Mullenweg has just announced at the WordPress.com blog that based on their experimentation with Google ads, they’ve decided to make displaying advertisements optional—but for a fee.

…Light advertising has allowed us to focus on free features for you guys rather than paid upgrades, and enabled us to invest in infrastructure so your blog is always fast and reliable and never shows a fail whale.

[…]

The No-ads upgrade can be purchased for 30 credits a year ($0.08 a day) through the Upgrades tab in your blog’s dashboard.

So that basically answers two things: (1) it costs a lot to keep things free so they’re running ads, though only at a reasonable amount; and (2) yes, you can finally remove them, though you’ll have to pay for it.

The next question would have to be: will WordPress.com users be able to make money for themselves by running their own ads? Matt says they’re thinking about it, though take note that it will probably a paid upgrade too.

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Sticky Posts for WordPress.com users

September 12, 2008 | No Comments Yet

As Matt Mullenweg had mentioned in a demo of WordPress 2.7 “Crazyhorse” during WordCamp’s State of the Word, there will be a new feature called Sticky Posts. It turns out that feature is already installed on WordPress.com blogs. This is patterned after forum posts which you want to keep at the top of the page for everyone to see.

Chances are WordPress.org users have a blog at WordPress.com, so be sure to try out that feature as we await WP 2.7!

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What’s coming in WordPress 2.7

August 6, 2008 | No Comments Yet

The new features planned for WordPress 2.7 are spreading around in the blogosphere, so here’s what to expect:

Proposed New Features

This is a WordPress Codex article on what will “definitely be in 2.7”. Since it’s in the Codex, it must be pretty official.

Features Planned for WordPress 2.7

This is a report from Weblog Tools Collection based on the discussions at the Codex and informal meetings in the IRC. As WordPress Garage has noted, it appears that WP 2.7 will be “heavily based on existing plugins”. See also Quick Online Tips

WordPress 2.7 Theming May Change Everything

This is a project by Ian Stewart on Parent and Child Themes. He’s put up a Trac proposal and it seems to be working well with the bleeding edge version of WordPress.

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WordPress.com users get 24/7 Support

August 4, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Bloggers on WordPress.com can now enjoy round-the-clock support by sending a message through the support contact form.

This is great news, considering most services out there (blogging or not) usually offer support only if you pay for them. Read more about the announcement here.

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WordPress MU 2.6

July 29, 2008 | No Comments Yet

WordPress multi-user or WPMU is now version 2.6, whose code was based on the standard WordPress 2.6 release. You’ll find similar new features like the return of the “Press This!” bookmarklet, Google Gears support, theme previews, and so on. Donncha O Caiomh has more details.

Download WordPress MU 2.6 here.

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WordPress 2.6

July 15, 2008 | No Comments Yet

After 3 betas and one release candidate, WordPress 2.6 “Tyner” is here. Automattic also put up a short video tour of the new version:

Discussed in the WP 2.6 announcement post are the highlighted features we’ve all been expecting for a few months now:

  • Post Revisions: Wiki-like tracking of edits
  • Press This!: Post from wherever you are on the web
  • Shift Gears: Turbo-speed your blogging
  • Theme Previews: See it before your audience does
  • and many other smaller features and improvements

Ryan Boren discusses in depth SSL and Cookies in WordPress 2.6, which I’m sure is the first of many blog posts to tackle the new stuff under the hood.

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