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August 28, 2014

WPTavern: ProWordPress Subreddit Passes 1,000 Subscribers

reddit

Earlier this year we featured the /r/ProWordPress subreddit on a post exploring various WordPress watering holes. If you’re not familiar with subreddits, they are essentially focused topics where where registered users can vote article submissions “up” or “down.” Subscribing to a subreddit allows you to hone in on specific topics where you have an interest.

/r/ProWordPress was started by Brad Williams, CEO of WebDevStudios and author of Professional WordPress Plugin Development. As a developer, Williams has a strong interest in exploring more technical topics surrounding WordPress. The group recently passed 1,000 subscribers (currently at 1,027 readers) and continues to grow.

prowordpress-subreddit

“I started the r/ProWordPress subreddit to focus on more advanced WordPress topics,” Williams told the Tavern. “r/WordPress is great but will always have more beginner users, so it’s hard for the more advanced topics to surface. r/ProWordPress is a smaller, more focused subreddit with a focus on advanced WP topics.

As the subreddit has grown, r/ProWordPress has become one of William’s main sources of news on WordPress development. More subscribers translates into a wider reach of advanced topics as well as more voting users to curate the quality of articles that float to the top. Williams has the ability to moderate the topics submitted but reports that, unless you have a highly active subreddit, very little work is required.

With WordPress now powering more than 23% of all websites online, the community surrounding the software is growing at breakneck speed. People are working with WordPress every day, building businesses on top of it, and are seeking out places online to learn from each other. Matt Mullenweg recently jumped in on the Advanced WordPress group on Facebook, which has accrued more than 9,000 members. This group explores a wide range of WordPress-related topics but may not appeal to everyone.

While some WordPress users enjoy interacting on Facebook, others are taking to forums such as WP Chat. Different kinds of groups are popping up, reflecting the various interaction styles that WordPress community members use to connect.

“WordPress has such a large user base that it’s hard to have a one size fits all area for all topics,” Williams said. In his corner of the internet, he hopes that /r/ProWordPress will continue to be a nice place to share and read about more advanced topics. In some ways Reddit combines the best aspects of both Twitter and forums, in that you can share articles, vote, and comment to enter into discussions with other members. If advanced WordPress development falls within your wheelhouse, make sure to drop by the /r/ProWordPress subreddit and subscribe to new topics.

by Sarah Gooding at August 28, 2014 11:15 PM under wordpress development

WPTavern: WP Settings Generator: Quickly Create a Custom Options Page Using the WordPress Settings API

photo credit: Leo Reynolds - ccphoto credit: Leo Reynoldscc

Yesterday we featured a plugin, created by application developer Jeroen Sormani, that clones Google Keep functionality in the WordPress dashboard. Sormani has produced a number of other interesting experiment with WordPress, including a little known tool for generating WordPress settings.

The WP Settings Generator is a tool for plugin and theme developers. It generates a custom options page that is fully compatible with the WordPress Settings API standards. The tool is similar to the kinds of generators found at GenerateWP, which lacks a tool for creating settings.

On the config tab you can enter your plugin/theme name, plugin prefix, and text domain. Select your menu position and then proceed to the next tab.

settings-generator

The next screen provides a drag-and-drop interface for adding settings fields:

settings-fields

Once you have added all your fields, you will be presented with your customized settings code, which you can scroll through and copy to your plugin. Although it is designed to create settings pages for themes or plugins, the general consensus these days is that it’s preferable to utilize the native customizer for theme settings.

the-code

After reviewing your code, you have the opportunity to leave a personalized review of the generator. If you find that the code you receive has any errors or seems off, make sure to let Sormani know with a quick comment.

Of course, using a settings generator isn’t going to help you learn how the WordPress Settings API works, but it does give you a quick start for creating options. It’s not so much of a teaching tool but rather designed to eliminate the rote task of writing your own settings. Check it out and let us know if it ends up saving you time.

by Sarah Gooding at August 28, 2014 09:03 PM under wordpress development

Matt: Everything Is Bloated

Tom McFarlin writes Everything Is Bloated, Nothing Is Good.

by Matt Mullenweg at August 28, 2014 05:30 PM under Asides

WPTavern: An Easy Way To Notify Users When Their Comment Is Approved

By default, WordPress doesn’t notify users when their comments are approved from the moderation queue. If you’d like to change that, consider using the Comment Approved plugin by Niels van Renselaar. The plugin is simple to use and configure. After it’s installed and activated, you’ll find the settings in Settings > Comment Approved. It’s important to note that even when the plugin is activated, it won’t send out notifications unless you check mark the box to enable the comment approved message.

Click The Checkbox To Enable The Comment Approved MessageClick The Checkbox To Enable The Comment Approved Message

The text area is populated with a default message using the only two shortcodes available. You can customize this message using standard HTML. Here is what the default message looks like in an email.

Default Approved Message Email ContentDefault Approved Message Email Content

While I like the default behavior to notify users when their comment is approved, you can use this plugin to award first time commenters. For example, you can send them a link to a free eBook or a different promotional item. Once the user’s comment is approved, they won’t see the approval message again.

It’s strange that comment approval notifications are not part of the default behaviour of WordPress. I think it makes sense, especially if the front-end notifies them that their comment may be held in moderation. While I doubt this plugin will prevent commenters from getting in touch with site administrators to figure out why their comment is not displaying on the site, at least they’ll know when it’s approved.

by Jeff Chandler at August 28, 2014 07:49 AM under review

WPTavern: Jason Schuller Shares His Experience Running a WordPress Theme Business

Press75 Logo Featured Image

Jason Schuller who was the previous owner of Press75.com, has published a great post detailing his experience of running a WordPress commercial theme business from 2008-2014. While Schuller describes a variety of ups and downs he encountered while running the business, I thought his reasoning for losing his way in 2010 was fascinating.

As WordPress became increasingly more complex and option rich, so did the demand for themes. The proverbial “gold rush” of the WordPress world hit and new shops were launching almost weekly with themes that were powered by complex frameworks including endless layout, customization, style options and “shortcodes”. In 2010 I began to focus more on the “bar” that had been set by the market and less on why I started Press75 to begin with.

Instead of continuing to focus on what he was so good at doing, he started developing themes to cater to the market which was outside of his passion. The increase in complexity in WordPress coupled with various development techniques he implemented in his catalog of 20 themes became a huge burden, especially when it came to support. One piece of advice Schuller shares that I think is important and hits home for many commercial theme authors is to never forget who you are and what your own style is. Be inspired by what others are doing, but always stay true to yourself.

Schuller is not the first person to learn this lesson the hard way. When UpThemes announced a complete restructuring of their theme business in early 2014, they cited poor infrastructure as one of the main culprits of creating a large demand for support.

Building the themes was easy enough, but then selling, deploying, supporting, updating, and generally making a profit on them was something we struggled with, mightily. With every theme, we introduced a ton of new code that had to be supported and maintained. This was at a time when WordPress was still changing the way themes worked. It made development more difficult.

One of the things Schuller wished he had done is to hire the right people once the business became too much to handle. Not doing so put all of the pressure of running the business on his shoulders. In the post, he shares a few other lessons I think aspiring theme shop owners can learn from as well. If you’d like to hear Schuller tell his story, listen to this special interview I did with him early in 2014.

by Jeff Chandler at August 28, 2014 07:34 AM under press75

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 160 – The Founder Of BruteProtect, Sam Hotchkiss

In this weeks show, Marcus Couch and I are joined by the founder of BruteProtect, Sam Hotchkiss. We learn the circumstances which lead to the birth of BruteProtect and how it operates. Hotchkiss explains the details of the acquisition with Automattic and how it will be rolled into Jetpack. While some people are not happy that it’s being added to Jetpack, we discuss why it’s a huge win. Last but not least, Hotchkiss explains the process he went through to obtain funding and offers advice to plugin authors who may find themselves in the same position.

Stories Discussed:

WordPress 4.0 Adds Custom Icons to the Plugin Installer
WordPress Plugin WP Inject Renames to ImageInject and Introduces New Features
BuddyPress 2.1 Beta 1 Now Available for Testing
Chris Wiegman on Why He Sold Better WP Security to iThemes
WordPress 4.0 Release Candidate Now Available for Testing

Plugins Picked By Marcus:

WP Admin Quicknav adds a simple dropdown box at the top admin edit screens allowing you to quickly jump from one page, post, or custom post type to the next without having to return to the respective listing page. This is easily customized and can be really handy for saving time navigating to specific admin pages.

Comment Approved can be used to notify a user when their comment is approved. This is a great way to keep the communication channel open between you and your loyal readers. You can customize the approval notification enabling you to reward those who participate. This could include an ebook, a link to special content, etc.

WP Is Mobile Text Widget adds a text widget that switches the display text using the wp_is_mobile() function depending on whether the device is mobile or not. This is a great enhancement for delivering a simple, custom piece of text content based on the detection of a mobile browser.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, September 3rd 9:30 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via RSS: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Stitcher Radio: Click here to subscribe

Listen To Episode #160:

by Jeff Chandler at August 28, 2014 07:30 AM under security

August 27, 2014

WPTavern: WP Dashboard Notes Plugin Clones Google Keep in the WordPress Dashboard

wp-dashboard-notes

Dashboard notes can come in handy when working with multiple people on a WordPress site. Even when working alone, you can use notes to collect ideas for posts or to remind yourself of important publishing-related tasks and ways to promote your posts. While there are many varying plugins devoted to creating sticky notes in the dashboard, the new WP Dashboard Notes plugin stands out with an interesting implementation that mirrors Google’s popular note-taking service.

Google junkies will notice that the color scheme of the notes is strangely similar to that of Google Keep, if not identical. The note creation and management process is also very similar in that there is no save button for editing and everything is saved automatically in the background.

WP Dashboard Notes doesn’t add any admin menus. Once installed, you can create a new note by clicking “Add Note” under Screen Options in the upper right corner. After you create your first note, you can add new notes from the black bar within existing notes.

add-note

A new note pops into your dashboard, which you can now edit and skin with one of the preset colors. Like Google Keep, notes can be set as a single note or a list. Users also have the option to set the visibility to ‘Everyone’ or ‘Private.’ Here’s a quick demo:

wp-dashboard-notes

WP Dashboard Notes contains virtually all the same capabilities of Google Keep, minus the ability to upload images. The plugin’s features include:

  • Colored notes
  • List notes or regular notes
  • Public or private notes
  • Edit on dashboard
  • Add as many notes as you like
  • Drag and drop list items
  • No save button needed

Multiple notes arranged together create a colorful dashboard full of ideas and users will see public notes upon logging in.

notes

After testing the plugin I found that it was simple and intuitive to use. The plugin, created by application developer Jeroen Sormani, elegantly merges WordPress and Google Keep functionality to create a useful addition to the dashboard.

You can customize the colors by overriding the plugin’s CSS from another stylesheet. Additional color palettes and per-user visibility settings might make the plugin even more fun, but for now Sormani has kept it delightfully simple.

If you need note-taking capabilities for better collaboration in the dashboard, this plugin works as advertised and goes far beyond most other dashboard notes plugins. WP Dashboard Notes is available for free from WordPress.org.

by Sarah Gooding at August 27, 2014 10:41 PM under Plugins

WPTavern: Matt Mullenweg Hosts Impromptu Q&A Session On Facebook

WordPress co-creator, Matt Mullenweg, stopped by the Advanced WordPress Facebook group and participated in a WordPress edition of ask me anything. After receiving a warm welcome from the group, Mullenweg outlined what types of questions he would answer.

Rules Of EngagementRules Of Engagement

Once the gates were opened, the questions started pouring in. Here are a few of my favorites along with Mullenweg’s answers.

What is the most important thing we can do to support and bring value to WordPress?

Everyone really sets their own path. Think about the thing that makes you happiest, what you consider your gift that you can share with the world, or something that you want to learn a lot more about.

What are your thoughts on the businesses and entire industries that are built around WordPress and what opportunities do you see in the future?

I think it’s awesome there are whole industries built on WordPress, that was part of the idea from very early on. It’s counter-intuitive, but I actually think one of bigger opportunities is in consulting and building sites right now. WordPress can get people 90% of the way there, but that last 10% represents a lot of opportunity for clients from the Fortune 500 to the smallest personal sites.

I’m curious about Automattic’s policy about unlimited vacation days. I have never heard of this policy anywhere else. How does that play out? Seems like such an awesome place to work.

I think open vacation policies are becoming more common, here’s an article that covers the pros and cons fairly well and says 1% of companies offer them now: The Pros And Cons Of Unlimited Vacation Policies

I think it really comes down to hiring. With the right people you can have very liberal policies like this because people think about the organization as a whole and do the right thing. If anything we sometimes have to encourage people to take a bit more time off, something I don’t always set the best example of but I’m trying this week. I’ll be completely offline Thursday through Sunday.

Is the Codex really going to disappear eventually?

We’re not going to take down the Codex until we have something better to replace it. It’s more likely you’ll just see more links default to someplace new and Codex traffic will trail off until at some point, we’ll put it into archive mode.

Do you think now that JSON support in WordPress core is coming, should it be used over RSS for building things like Mobile Apps? What you would recommend?

Whether you use the prototype JSON API or RSS for a mobile app I would say depends a lot on what it does. Think of the JSON API more as replacing XML-RPC.

What would be great for everyone is to start to try and build applications on top of the prototype API, and let the team know where you get stuck or find things hard to understand. I’m extremely anxious to have a cleaner API in core, but I feel strongly that it should remain a plugin until we’ve built a few independent third-party applications on top of it when it’s in plugin form, utilizing every aspect of the API, so we know where it works well and where it’s lacking.

This is a lesson I’ve learned from my experience at Automattic. You can never design a perfect API and anticipate all needs, you really need to use it to solve real problems a few times before you can iterate it to have it be something that works well and that you’ll want to support for many years to come.

This is just a sample of the questions and answers within the conversation that took place on Facebook. If you want to see the rest of them, you’ll need to join the Advanced WordPress group on Facebook. It’s free and the moderators are quick to approve new members.

I’d Like To See More Of These Types Of Events

Conversation With MattImage Courtesy of Bucky Box

This was just a sample of the questions and answers within the conversation. If you want to see the rest of them, you’ll need to join the Facebook group. It’s free and the moderators are quick to approve new members.

Seeing Mullenweg join the Facebook Group and then participate by answering questions was a shock to me. I know from experience that he likes to hang out where discussions of WordPress are taking place but it’s rare that I see him participate in the discussions, let alone host an impromptu Q&A session.

I’d like to see more of these types of events from Mullenweg whether it be on his blog or through a medium of his choice. Perhaps once a month, he can hold a Q&A session at a different WordPress hangout.

The community can be a fickle bunch but I think it would be beneficial if he participated in more discussions outside of what’s going on in core. In his roundup post, Matt Cromwell hits the nail on the head on what it means to some folks to have a direct conversation with Mullenweg.

I hope Mullenweg drops by again in the future. For him it may have been a quick dip into the WP Community. But for boat loads of WordPress developers, it was the highlight of the week.

Just out of curiosity, if you had one question to ask Mullenweg, what would it be?

by Jeff Chandler at August 27, 2014 06:52 PM under matt mullenweg

Lorelle on WP: Two WordPress College Classes Offered at Clark College This Fall

The WordPress I CTEC 160 courses at Clark College are about to close and there are still seats open in the Monday/Wednesday classes. This fall there are two times to choose from. Days from 1-3:30PM and evenings from 6:30-9PM. The 5-credit course covers the basics of WordPress, from content to design. Much of the classwork […]

by Lorelle VanFossen at August 27, 2014 06:08 PM under wordpress help

WPTavern: WP Tech Event Will No Longer Be a WordCamp

nantes-featured

WP Tech is “breaking up with WordCamp,” according to co-organizer Willy Bahuaud. The developer-centric event, previously called WordCamp Nantes WP Tech, is set to be held at the end of November and was welcomed as France’s second official WordCamp.

During the course of working with WordCamp Central, the organizers decided to opt out of keeping WP Tech under the WordCamp umbrella due to a number of conflicts.

“WordCamp Central gave us too many constraints, and we would not have been able to create a great technical event about WordPress,” co-organizer Daniel Roch told the Tavern. “It will be an independent WordPress tech event, like other great events such as Pressnomics, WPSessions, WordSesh or WordUps.”

The organizing team found that some of the WC Central rules would have forced them to change the core concept of WP Tech. “In our case, we wanted to hold WP Tech as a national event, inviting speakers from France to a provincial town (Nantes),” said Bahuaud. However, this poses a problem, as WordCamps are meant to be local events and the majority of speakers have to be from the city where the event takes place.

The second critical conflict they encountered was regarding speaker expenses. “We want to cover speakers’s travel cost. WordCamp central was very firm with this point: we can’t. The WP Tech team was told that the only people’s expenses that can be covered are those who appear on the sidebar of WordPress’ about page.

“WC Central’s position is that traveling to speak at a conference is a legitimate business expense,” Bahuaud said. “But we think it’s not. We believe that if people spent time to prepare a conference, it’s normal to cover their $200 (on average) travel and accommodation costs.”

Additionally, Bahuaud reports that the requirement to use the WordCamp platform for the event’s website was problematic, since it doesn’t allow for extensive customization. The event branding requirements were also an issue. Organizers changed the event name to “WordCamp Nantes WP Tech” but WC Central required further changes to make it compatible with guidelines.

“Four months before the event, rules were still changing and we had to be accountable on each step. It was very frustrating, so we decided to break up with WordCamp, and make our event separate,” Bahuaud explained.

Cultural and Economic Differences Regarding Speaker Travel Guidelines

Jenny Beaumont, a WordPress developer and an active member of the French WordPress community, commented on the conflict with insight on the economic differences experienced by non-US event organizers:

In France, a majority of people in the WordPress community are freelancers, and as such, many of us have a legal status that’s called an ‘auto-entrepreneur’. It’s part of what is known as a micro-regime that gives us a tax break on social contributions, which are very imposing here (45% for regular business owners).

The flip side to this is two-fold: 1) We have a ceiling on earnings, 2) We can’t deduct expenses. It’s this last fact that also influences the desire on the part of WordCamp organizers in France to want to reimburse speakers for their travels costs. WordCamp Paris has been doing it for years, though in light of recent events, may be prohibited from doing so in the future.

Whereas Americans are free to deduct work-related travel expenses as a business expense from their taxes, French speakers do not share that same privilege. At this point in time, WC Central guidelines don’t currently allow for flexibility on the issue of speaker travel, but the guidelines are not written in stone. WordCamp Central is open to further discussion on the matter.

Andrea Middleton clarified the issue of speaker travel expenses today on the make.wordpress.org Community blog. She highlighted the importance of WordCamps as local events and how paying for speaker travel costs doesn’t mesh well with that guideline:

WordCamps are locally-focused, so there’s an inherent disconnect between paying for people from out of town to speak at a WordCamp and that emphasis on local community. Local experts are assets to their communities all year round, whereas visiting speakers don’t typically serve as ongoing resources once they have returned to their home cities.

Middleton suggests the more cost-effective option of utilizing Skype or Google hangouts to pull in out-of-town speakers who are unable to cover their own travel expenses. The idea is that the WordCamp budget can be better used to serve the local community.

“A WordCamp’s primary focus is on connecting local community and lifting up local experts, rather than blowing our budgets on flying people around the world when technology can get them there so much faster,” she explained.

Community members who want to advocate a different opinion on the guidelines have the opportunity to do so. Middleton invites discussion in the comments of her post. She also plans to discuss the issue with contributors at the WordPress Community Summit in October, which will include WordCamp and meetup organizers from around the world. Data from WordCamp San Francisco’s new travel assistance program may also factor into the discussion.

Not every WordPress event has to be a WordCamp. It’s not a failure on the part of the organizers or WC Central if there are irreconcilable differences. If an event finds the WordCamp guidelines to be too problematic, organizers can host it as an independent event. WC Central exists to nurture local pockets of WordPress enthusiasm, but not every event will share that mission. There’s no mandate that all WordPress events have to be WordCamps and many successful events run outside of that umbrella.

Do you think the economic differences in other countries are an influencing factor regarding the creation of new WordCamps? Should cultural and economic differences come into play when it comes to officially-sanctioned WordCamp events?

by Sarah Gooding at August 27, 2014 05:11 PM under wordcamp

Matt: How The Sun Sees You

This video really makes you want to wear sunblock, something I haven’t been as good about this week. (Sorry Mom!) Hat tip: Sara Rosso.

by Matt Mullenweg at August 27, 2014 05:00 PM under Asides

WPTavern: WordPress 4.0 Release Candidate Now Available for Testing

WordPress 4.0 RC 1 is now available for download. Helen Hou-Sandí announced the release candidate today with an update to the project schedule. The official release was targeted for the week of August 25th but will likely be arriving the following week.

“We hope to ship WordPress 4.0 next week, but we need your help to get there. If you haven’t tested 4.0 yet, there’s no time like the present,” Hou-Sandí said in the release announcement.

The easiest way to test RC1 is to put the WordPress Beta Tester plugin on a test site and start running through all the new features, many of which are highlighted on the 4.0 about page in the admin (wp-admin/about.php). If you want a more in-depth look at the new features, Hou-Sandí previewed WordPress 4.0 at a recent NYC Meetup and you can watch the video.

The good news is that plugin and theme authors still have plenty of time to test their extensions against the release candidate for compatibility. Since WordPress 4.0 adds icons to the admin plugin installer, plugin developers will want to put their custom icons in place to improve visibility among all the auto-generated ones.

Over the past month of four beta releases, WordPress 4.0 has incorporated hundreds of fixes and refinements that make it truly a joy to use. Watch for the official release to drop sometime next week.

by Sarah Gooding at August 27, 2014 04:06 PM under wordpress 4.0

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.0 Release Candidate

The first release candidate for WordPress 4.0 is now available!

In RC 1, we’ve made refinements to what we’ve been working on for this release. Check out the Beta 1 announcement post for more details on those features. We hope to ship WordPress 4.0 next week, but we need your help to get there. If you haven’t tested 4.0 yet, there’s no time like the present. (Please, not on a production site, unless you’re adventurous.)

Think you’ve found a bug? Please post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. If any known issues come up, you’ll be able to find them here.

To test WordPress 4.0 RC1, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the release candidate here (zip). If you’d like to learn more about what’s new in WordPress 4.0, visit the awesome About screen in your dashboard ( → About in the toolbar).

Developers, please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 4.0 and update your plugin’s Tested up to version in the readme to 4.0 before next week. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post any issues to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release. You also may want to give your plugin an icon, which we launched last week and will appear in the dashboard along with banners.

It is almost time
For the 4.0 release
And its awesomeness

by Helen Hou-Sandi at August 27, 2014 12:20 PM under Releases

WPTavern: Menu Humility: A Plugin to Put Plugins in Their Place

menu-humility

Giving a plugin a top level admin menu between Dashboard and Posts is somewhat frowned upon among WordPress plugin developers. Although the Administration Menus section of the WordPress codex doesn’t outright forbid top level menus above Posts, plugin authors are strongly encouraged to consider placing their plugin’s menu underneath an existing WordPress top-level menu.

Nevertheless, many plugins assume a higher level of importance by placing their admin menus above WordPress’ core publishing features such as Posts, Comments, and Media. Jetpack is a prime example. As useful as the plugin is, its settings menu is not something that most users need to access more often than posts or comments.

That’s why WordPress lead developer Mark Jaquith created Menu Humility, a plugin that reassigns the menu location for errant menu items. For example, if you use it on a site with Jetpack installed, it will put its admin menu at the very bottom below Settings.

Menu Humility is not a new plugin. In fact, it’s three years old – ancient in WordPress years. After testing the plugin today, I found that it’s still effective at stripping plugins of their assumed preeminence in the admin.

The bottom line is that most plugins don’t require top billing. If you feel that a top level menu item constitutes a plugin getting too big for its britches, then install the Menu Humility plugin to bring it back down to its place.

by Sarah Gooding at August 27, 2014 04:10 AM under Plugins

WPTavern: Chris Wiegman on Why He Sold Better WP Security to iThemes

WordPress Security Expert Chris WiegmanWordPress Security Expert Chris Wiegman

If you’ve ever wondered why Chris Wiegman sold Better WP Security to iThemes, he answers the question in a post on his personal site. The birth of Better WP Security started off as a mixture of features from several of his favorite security plugins. “I started mashing together features of some of the plugins I liked while adding in some of the functionality we wanted as a department (like ‘Away mode’) to produce something that I could manage myself and would make sure I kept off of anyone’s radar by not being hacked,” Wiegman said.

Wiegman goes on to describe the success the plugin had and how much money he was making in donations. At the peak of its popularity, it was downloaded over 1M times with $20,000 earned in donations. This prompted Wiegman to create a premium support channel. “It was so big I was no longer able to keep up and had to implement premium support only for folks who needed it. This was a new revenue stream and the first official revenue stream for the plugin.” The surge of popularity came at a time when Wiegman was teaching and reviewing books for APress. This severely limited the amount of time he had available to develop new features.

iThemes Enters The Picture

iThemes logo 2One day, the founder of iThemes, Cory Miller, reached out to Wiegman for support after he was locked out of his site. “What started out as a rather simple conversation quickly lead to something more. I realized that the medicine the project needed to get off life support wasn’t necessarily something I needed to provide myself but could in fact come in the form of selling the plugin to a group who had the resources to make more of it,” Wiegman said.

According to the post, he reached out to a few other groups but stuck with iThemes because they had products that complimented a security plugin such as BackupBuddy and Exchange. Better WP Security was sold to iThemes on December 1st, 2013 and renamed to iThemes Security. As part of the deal, Wiegman joined iThemes as a full-time employee to continue developing iThemes Security.

Not Every Plugin Has a Happy Ending

What I like most about Wiegman’s story is how a simple idea turns into a solid product. I think a lot of WordPress plugins are created because they scratch an itch or solve a problem. The plugin’s creator usually submits the plugin to the directory with a mindset that it can help others as well. Since WordPress is used on 23% of the web, there’s a good chance that a plugin distributed through the directory will help more than one person.

While Wiegman’s tale has a happy ending, so many plugins never reach the type of adoption of Better WP Security. In fact, quite a few end up in a graveyard of abandonment for any number of reasons. If you find yourself in this situation, read our guide on how to adopt a plugin and put one up for adoption. It could end up being the next Better WP Security or BruteProtect.

by Jeff Chandler at August 27, 2014 03:55 AM under ithemes

August 26, 2014

WPTavern: 3 Quick Ways to Create bbPress Test Data

bbpress-test-data-feature

bbPress 2.5 introduced a host of new importers for AEF, Drupal, FluxBB, Kunena Forums (Joomla), MyBB, Phorum, PHPFox, PHPWind, PunBB, SMF, Xenforo and XMB, making it easier than ever to bring forums into WordPress. bbPress 2.5 also improved existing importers to include better support for importing stickies, topic tags, and forum categories.

If you’re thinking about importing forums into bbPress or starting with a fresh installation, you may want to set up a test site first to see how different themes and plugins will work with your content. There’s nothing more tedious than trying to create a bunch of forums, topics, and replies manually, so you’ll need an automatic way to generate a bunch of demo data.

In searching for bbPress demo data, I found that there’s no standard way to generate it. Several developers have created and shared their own tools. Depending on your development workflow, one method may prove easier than another, so we’ll check out all three.

XML: bbPress Unit Testing Data

The first option is a set of bbPress unit testing data stored in an XML file, which allows you to import it via the standard WordPress import tool. The file was created by bbPress core commiter Stephen Edgar. It gives you 17 forums, including 15 public, 1 private, and 1 hidden.

xml-demo-data

The demo data includes multiple topics and replies and also a group of forums and categories based on the Nested set model.

forums

Technically, this unit testing data is still in process, as it’s currently hosted in a ticket on bbPress trac and is open to further improvement.

Plugin: bbpFauxData

bbpFauxData is another option created by WordPress developer Daniel Dvorkin. It’s a quick and dirty plugin to help you populate a bbPress instance with faux data which seems real, generated by the Faker PHP library, in order to test performance.

bbpfauxdata

Once installed, you can set how many users, forums, topics and replies that you want to generate:

$bfd = new bbpFauxData();

const USERS   = 50;
const FORUMS  = 5;
const TOPICS  = 100;
const REPLIES = 1000;

for ( $i = 0; $i < USERS; $i++ ) {
    $bfd->generate_user();
}

for ( $i = 0; $i < FORUMS; $i++ ) {
    $bfd->generate_forum();
}

for ( $i = 0; $i < TOPICS; $i++ ) {
    $bfd->generate_topic();
}

for ( $i = 0; $i < REPLIES; $i++ ) {
    $bfd->generate_reply();
}

This plugin gives you a little more control over how much demo data you want to generate, as it is geared more towards testing performance. Dvorkin suggests that you bump up the ‘max_execution_time’ and ‘memory_limit’, if implementing this data at higher numbers.

Plugin: Test Data for bbPress

bbpress-test-data

Test Data for bbPress is a plugin created by Rob Mehew, who needed demo data while developing a theme. The plugin creates the following:

  • Adds a forum with nested forums
  • Adds a forum with loads of topics
  • Adds a topic with loads of replies

Test Data for bbPress was created for the purpose of testing themes and includes lorem ipsum for sample text. As with all of the above options, this plugin should only be used on a development site; it is not designed for use on a live site.

Anyone have other bbPress demo data creation tools? Let us know in the comments.

by Sarah Gooding at August 26, 2014 07:35 PM under forums

Matt: BruteProtect Acquired

You can read on the Jetpack blog and the BruteProtect blog about the company, plugin, and service joining Automattic. BTW, BruteProtect has protected this site from 1,663 attacks in the past 28 days.

by Matt Mullenweg at August 26, 2014 05:27 PM under Automattic

WPTavern: Automattic Acquires Parka LLC, The Creators Of BruteProtect

photo credit: Peter Slutskyphoto credit: Peter Slutsky

The parent company of BruteProtect, Parka, LLC has been acquired by Automattic for an undisclosed amount. BruteProtect is a service providing brute force login protection for thousands of WordPress sites. The BruteProtect plugin will be phased out and rolled into Jetpack and will  remain free to use. The services offered by BruteProtect pro are now free for anyone to use. As part of the acquisition, all seven Parka employees will be employed by Automattic and will be part of the Jetpack development team.

Once it’s merged into Jetpack, an announcement will be made to confirm the end-of-life date for the BruteProtect plugin. You won’t have to worry about managing two different API keys since it will function with the same key used by Jetpack. Unless you opt-out, BruteProtect will run at the same time as Jetpack. However, it’s unclear if it will be an auto-activated module when the merger is complete.

The Origin Of BruteProtect

BruteProtect Plugin HeaderBruteProtect Plugin Header

In 2013, Matt Mullenweg published an article with his thoughts on passwords and brute force. The article was published around the same time a large botnet was using brute force techniques to login to WordPress sites using Admin as the username. The article generated a healthy discussion on the WP-Hackers mailing list, especially around the Limit Login Attempts plugin which is commonly recommended to protect against unwanted login attempts.

The discussion prompted Hotchkiss to come up with a better solution. Instead of websites battling the problem alone, BruteProtect brought websites together to fight a common cause, similar to how Akismet works. Little did he know that he was writing his destiny.

Another option to consider would be adding a “Security” plugin to Jetpack.

This could be used to manage a centralized blacklist, as well as to patch security vulnerabilities as they pop up. If all failed login attempts get reported back to Jetpack central, it could blacklist an IP for X minutes/hours after Y number of failed logins on any Jetpack-enabled site within Z minutes/hours.

Since its launch, it’s been installed on 106,836 sites and defended against 135,986,764 brute force attacks worldwide.

BruteForce Protection For The Masses

Having the product remain free was an important part of the acquisition. “I feel strongly that we need to be free and used by as many people as possible in order to provide the best protection and to do the most good,” Hotchkiss told the Tavern.

With BruteProtect now part of Jetpack, millions of websites will be protected from BruteForce login attempts and contribute to the centralized blacklist of IP addresses making the service much more effective. I think this is a huge win, especially for those who use Jetpack. Users don’t have to figure out technical jargon or difficult configuration settings.

What do you think about the acquisition? Let us know in the comments.

by Jeff Chandler at August 26, 2014 05:25 PM under bruteprotect

Post Status: iThemes to partner with Crowd Favorite to take their products to the enterprise

crowd-favorite-ithemes-partnershipToday, iThemes and Crowd Favorite are announcing a partnership where they will collaborate to take iThemes products to a more enterprise-level market.

Practically, this means that Crowd Favorite will contribute developers and other resources to help iThemes better structure and market their products beyond a consumer audience. iThemes will in turn list the enterprise versions of these products within their product pages, as well as work with Crowd Favorite to create enterprise-focused features for their core product base.

The products that are a focus of this collaboration are iThemes Sync, Exchange, Security, and BackupBuddy.

The announcement post calls it more than a distribution partnership, but a joint venture:

The joint venture will be establishing an advisory board that will hold key executives from both companies consisting of myself, Cory Miller, Chris Lema, Matt Danner and Alex King. The goal will be to develop product roadmaps for our target market.

The result of this partnership is even greater alignment fueled by the African proverb widely quoted by both Miller and Lema – “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

The “enterprise” market is an interesting thing in WordPress. There are companies and people working to make more enterprise-level WordPress products, but it’s still a product market that is in limbo. It’s so much more common to cater to a consumer audience with different needs and desires; different products that cater to the enterprise and corporate audience leaves room for a lot of experimentation.

Also noted in the blog post, Crowd Favorite CEO Karim Marucchi highlights three ways to enter a product space: product acquisition, talent acquisition, and — the route they are taking with this move — partnership.

I don’t know yet what pricing will look like for this deal, nor do I know exactly what the profit sharing breakdown is. I do know that both iThemes and Crowd Favorite leadership saw it as a no-brainer; and this is also one of the first strategic product moves lead by incoming Crowd Favorite CTO Chris Lema.

Crowd Favorite hopes to market the enterprise-portion of iThemes’ product suite to corporations, as well as other high-end WordPress and web development agencies. They’re already a bit of a trend-setter in that world — I believe — with their comparatively high-priced RAMP content deployment product. I’ve always been a fan of that product, which has a very specific task that’s pretty high value, and they charge for it appropriately.

You can learn more on iThemes’ announcement post, as well as Crowd Favorite’s.

I see this venture with iThemes as different route for getting access to more products with that goal in mind, and it seems like a win-win from my point of view. I certainly don’t think this is the last such partnership we’ll see, but rather a sign of things to come.

by Brian Krogsgard at August 26, 2014 02:16 PM under Business owners

WPTavern: Editorial Access Manager Adds Granular Editing Control for all WordPress Post Types

photo credit: pollas - ccphoto credit: pollascc

Editorial access is a capability granted only to Administrator and Editor user roles in WordPress. This access is not easily shared to other roles without changing a user’s role or adding extra capabilities. There are several complex plugins out there that will allow you to create custom roles and manage capabilities. But what if you only need to change editorial access for a few posts or pages?

Editorial Access Manager is a simple plugin that lets you control who has access to which posts. It was created by 10up engineer Taylor Lovett, who found that the default roles were inadequate for certain one-off situations. The plugin lets you assign which users or roles have access to specific posts. It adds a meta box to the post editor where you can set editorial access:

editorial-access-manager

Editorial Access Manager has no other settings besides the meta box for each post. For safety reasons, the site administrator will always be able to edit any post. Editorial access is limited to roles that have the “edit_posts” capability, so the Subscriber role is not available by default.

Sometimes creating a new user role is overkill for just a handful of posts or pages. That’s where the Editorial Access Manager plugin comes in handy, particularly for large publications or multi-author blogs. Perhaps you have a contributor or author who you want to pull in to edit a particular post. This plugin is ideal for that kind of scenario. You can download it for free from WordPress.org or the plugin’s home on GitHub.

by Sarah Gooding at August 26, 2014 02:23 AM under Plugins

August 25, 2014

WPTavern: Gitter: A New Communication Service For GitHub Projects

Gitter.im is a new service that provides free and private chat rooms for open source projects on GitHub. It integrates with issue tracking, supports markdown, notifications, and has an activity feed featuring multiple third-party integrations.

In order to use Gitter, you’ll need to sign in using your GitHub account.

Active Channel On GitterActive Channel On Gitter

As you can see from the screenshot above, channels are on the left with the main text window in the center. Users and their online status are shown on the top-right side of the window along with a tab to switch between people and repository information. Activity related to the GitHub repository is displayed below the user information.

WordPress Projects Already Using Gitter

The Metadata UI API and Image Flow WordPress projects are already utilizing Gitter in place of IRC to handle real-time communications during meetings. Unlike IRC where log files are stored on individual machines, Gitter logs the conversation for as long as the channel is active. This makes it convenient to keep tabs on previous meetings and to maintain an archive. There’s also a JSON feed of the messages allowing the archived content to be stored off-site.

When I asked Scott Kingsley Clark, lead developer of the Metadata UI API project, why they chose to use Gitter instead of IRC, he replied with the following reasons.

  1. Public rooms are public, you don’t have to be a user or contributor in the room to read.
  2. Easy sign up (using GitHub.com account)
  3. Continuous chat (easy to catch up, sync up between timezones especially)
  4. The latest activity in GitHub is displayed next to chat window. You can see what’s going on and who’s doing what throughout the day.

IRC doesn’t support media or markdown which are two distinct traits that come in handy when working with GitHub projects.

Gitter Notification SettingsGitter Notification Settings

Gitter provides a few different notification settings. You can be notified of all messages, just those addressed to you, or turn on Lurk Mode. If you want to be notified even when the browser is closed, Gitter has an app available for iOS and Mac OSX. An app for Android will be released at a later date.

As The Beta Concludes, Gitter Announces Pricing Plans

According to an email released to testers last week, the service is moving out of beta. During the beta program, nearly 25,000 developers registered with Gitter, 1.8M chat messages were delivered, and is hosting over 7,000 chat rooms. As part of the move, the service is introducing paid plans.

If you created a private conversation during the beta, it will remain free to use. Additionally, every organization on GitHub will receive one free private room as part of the free plan. If you’re a student or educational organization, you can get in touch with support@gitter.im to receive a discount code. Here’s what the pricing structure will look like when the beta concludes.

Gitter Pricing PlansGitter Pricing Plans

Near the end of the email, Gitter states one of the goals for the company is to keep the service 100% ad-free.

Our goal is to keep Gitter 100% ad-free so that we can entirely focus our attention on building a great product without having to worry about weird money making schemes that aren’t directly aligned the vision of the company.

The service is expected to conclude its beta program this week or next.

If you’re looking for a real-time communication platform that integrates seamlessly with your GitHub project, consider using Gitter. After testing the service, I found it to be straightforward and easy to use.

If you’re using Gitter, tell us about your experience in the comments.

by Jeff Chandler at August 25, 2014 09:11 PM under review

WPTavern: Post Language Project Proposes to Bring Better Support for Multilingual WordPress Content

photo credit: . Entrer dans le rêve - ccphoto credit: . Entrer dans le rêvecc

WordPress global usage on the web is now at 23%, and this year marked the first time that non-English downloads surpassed the number of English downloads. Major internationalization improvements coming in 4.0 will open up the platform even more for those publishing in different languages.

While discussing the upcoming language-related improvements at WordCamp Seattle this year, Andrew Nacin highlighted the fact that only 5-10% of the world speaks English. It may not be long before the majority of WordPress installations are in Mandarin, Spanish, Hindi, or Arabic.

The need for better ways to support multilingual content is already a concern for many international users and agencies. One thing that WordPress core is currently missing is the ability to easily retrieve the language in which a post or page has been written. German WordPress developer Caspar Hübinger is in the early stages of creating a proposal to add a Post Language feature to core.

Why Does WordPress Need Post Language Support?

In outlining the need for post language support, Hübinger cites WordPress download stats from the end of April, demonstrating that 3.9 had been downloaded roughly 1.36 times more often in other languages than the default US English:

Total Core downloads: 6,589,287 (100%)
Default English: 2,807,978 (42.6%)
Others: 3,781,309 (57.4%)

(Data from April 29, 2014)

Hübinger wants to add post_language as a property of WP_Post just like post_author, post_excerpt, and the other variables.

“Offering a basic opportunity to users for them to store the language of their content along with other post meta information would provide a new level of empowerment for both, users and developers,” Hübinger contends.

His proposal is based on the premise that the language of post content serves as:

  • a highly relevant piece of post meta information in general
  • one of the most important parameters for plugin and theme developers to tackle the already complex field of language and translation

Many plugins, in the course of providing translation features, require the ability to determine the language a post was written in, but they all go about it in different ways. Portability is abysmal across plugins such as WPML, Polylang, Babble, Multilingual Press, and others that provide a similar functionality.

All of those plugins, however, do much more than just determining the language of a post,” Hübinger told the Tavern. “They offer UIs for translating content and establishing language relationships between single posts — a field so complex that being built without any core method for language determination, each one of those plugins can become a major headache when a user tries to switch from one plugin to another.

“As a user you’re pretty much locked in to the solution you choose, since not only are connections between original posts and translations gone when you switch plugins, but also the very marker of which language a post is written in simply vanishes or becomes ineffective,” Hübinger explained. If WordPress had a standard way to determine the language in which a post was written, all of these plugins could potentially provide more portable functionality.

The Proposed Post Language Feature

So what would Post Language look like as a feature implemented in WordPress? In addition to providing developers with more tools to add custom language and translation features, post language would also allow users to assign a language selection in the Publish Post meta box:

post-lanugage-publish-box

Hübinger proposes that the select box be populated with the languages previously defined through either the language packs available within the given WordPress install, or a filter. The language selection would return the ISO code for that language and store it in a database field as post meta or an extra field that would have to be added to the database table.

The value for Post Language could then be used in the following ways:

  • should be made accessible through template tags:
    the_post_language()
    get_the_post_language()
  • should possibly affect
    get_bloginfo( 'language' )
    get_bloginfo( 'text-direction' )
    and thus language_attributes()
  • OR should be implemented via a new attribute on a per-post basis, similar to post_class():
    • post_language()

      <article <?php post_class(); ?> <?php post_language(); ?>>
      // ouput:
      <code><article class="foo bar" lang="en-US"></code>

Since not all WordPress sites would need this feature, he suggests that it be disabled by default and enabled via a constant, a filter or perhaps an admin setting under Settings > General.

Hübinger mentioned his idea in a comment on Andrew Nacin’s roadmap for 4.0 internationalization improvements, but he decided to wait until 4.0 is in place before officially proposing the feature. Adding a new property to WP_Post is a major consideration and will likely encounter a healthy debate.

Post Language Support Falls In Line with WordPress’ Mission to Democratize Publishing

Unlike various other CMSs, such as Drupal and Typo3, WordPress does not provide a core feature to publish translations of original content. “You can’t even just publish single posts in more than one language per site without messing up your markup with false language attributes,” Hübinger notes. “Not a problem? Try to get a machine reading a post to you in any other language than English when its markup says it is written in English. You’ll most certainly hear the problem.”

Hübinger believes that raising awareness is key for the Post Language feature to gain momentum. “Language on a per post basis is generally associated with translation in people’s minds, and rightfully so,” he said. “Translation, though, has always been an edge case scenario for our mainly anglophone WordPress core dev team, and rightfully so as well.” Convincing the WordPress community of the case for adding Post Language to core is the first step to making it a viable possibility.

The lack of a post language field juxtaposed with the existence of post formats in core is a continual source of bewilderment for Hübinger, who comes from a multilingual culture.

“I like to say if we have a visual carnival like post formats in core, it is high time to spend some thought on a language API which potentially will affect and benefit a couple of millions more users than fancy post formats,” he said. “Nothing against post formats; I like them. They just make such good contrast when comparing the importance of core features.”

His proposal makes a compelling case for the international community and appeals to the heart of WordPress’ core mission to democratize publishing.

After all, WordPress is all about publishing content, and content inevitably has to do with language. We can’t honestly claim to ‘democratize publishing’ while we continue to ignore the relevance of linguistic aspects regarding content for WordPress users around the world.

Hübinger believes that a Post Language feature can help the project enter a higher level of maturity with one small API feature addition. “While the whole field of translating and multilingual content rightfully has been and will be outsourced into plugin territory, WordPress core needs to provide at least a basic language-per-post API for plugin authors to work with, thus preventing users from locking themselves in with one solution forever,” he said.

Hübinger readily admits that the feature is beyond his coding capabilities and hopes that other developers will join the effort to establish a path for architecture and implementation.

“I am totally open to any self-respecting developers who would like to contribute, fork the repo, set up their own one for the same idea,” he said. “This is about making WordPress better for millions of non-anglophone users, so let’s just get that language API in there in the most decent manner possible!”

Once WordPress 4.0 is released with improved multilingual support, Hübinger hopes to drum up more support and contributors to work on the project before officially proposing it to core. If you’d like to assist on further developing the Post Language proposal, you can find the project on GitHub.

by Sarah Gooding at August 25, 2014 08:38 PM under translation

Post Status: ThemeForest and CodeCanyon introduce mandatory support and renewable packages

theme-forest-support

Envato has announced a change in support terms for ThemeForest and CodeCanyon, which creates a requirement for authors to provide six months of support, and offers buyers “support packs” for renewing support.

Support has not historically been required, but nearly every author notes that support is essentially required for sales purposes. From the Envato market blog:

Our most successful Authors talk about the support they provide being a key part of their success, and most of our authors advertise that they provide support and have done so for some time. However support has not been an intrinsic part of the system and site mechanics.

The new terms are a bit nuanced and will be a bit more complicated for authors that don’t currently offer support. There are also a number of questions left to answer, which Collis Ta’eed — Envato’s CEO — notes in the post.

  • Support will be limited to 6 months
  • Additional support can be purchased in “support packs”, though I’m not sure how that will be structured
  • Support packs will be 70% author revenue, and 30% fee to Envato (something authors seem slightly unhappy about so far, based on what I’ve seen)
  • New rules will be put into effect December 1st
  • Updates will remain part of the initial purchase

Envato hasn’t decided yet how long support packs will last, nor how much they will cost. They are also working out details for support promises, such as how long customers should expect for response times. The announcement post also addresses the very legitimate concern for the definition of support. They clearly state it will be a strict definition to prevent authors from having to provide unreasonable support.

Collis also did not note whether initial item prices will increase to account for the added support requirement. Considering so many authors provide it under the current model, they may not raise prices at all; though it’d be a great time to do it.

Collis also notes that unlimited plans are potentially unsustainable, which is quite a statement for a marketplace that has limited authors to that model for years:

We’re capping support at 6 months because the ‘lifetime’ support that authors sometime promise is often not economically sustainable and ultimately leads to more bad buyer experiences than good. For most buyers, the first few months represents the time when most help is needed. After six months,that ongoing support really is a premium request to the author and should be treated as such. There’s already plenty of signs that this is where the industry is headed.

One of my final questions about this move is in regard to how ThemeForest will create support channels. Many ThemeForest and CodeCanyon authors have already created alternative support channels through their own websites, often citing ThemeForest’s system as difficult to manage. I assume authors will still be able to maintain existing systems, but may have to make adjustments for being able to manage support packs and whatnot within their platforms.

I definitely think this is a good change for Envato to make; it’s honestly way past time. However, I understand why it’s taken a while; as the announcement post indicates, there’s a lot to consider and it’s not an easy change. That’s why they are announcing it now and waiting until December to implement the changes.

I’ll be very interested to hear from authors about how they feel about this change. I have a feeling that a minority of buyers would actually buy support packs, though if they do that will be a nice benefit for authors to make more money on support-heavy customers.

*Image via Envato

by Brian Krogsgard at August 25, 2014 07:47 PM under Business owners

Matt: Plugin Icons

Introducing plugin icons in the plugin installer, the defaults are cool (and that library would be nice to support for Gravatar) but go ahead and start making icons for your WordPress plugins. It adds a nice punch and panache to the plugin experience.

by Matt Mullenweg at August 25, 2014 03:45 PM under Asides

August 23, 2014

Matt: Simplenote for Linux

We have a great Simplenote for Mac client, and a super clean web version, but nothing first-party for Linux. If anyone is experienced with Linux desktop development and would be interested in creating something extremely minimalist like our Mac app please get in touch!

by Matt Mullenweg at August 23, 2014 08:03 PM under Asides

WPTavern: BuddyPress 2.1 Beta 1 Now Available for Testing

buddypress-wallpapers

BuddyPress 2.1 is right around the corner with Beta 1 landing in the hands of eager testers today. The upcoming release includes several improvements that make BuddyPress easier to use, more secure, and faster than ever.

BP 2.1 is set to introduce a totally revamped @mentions interface with built-in auto-suggestion and beta testers will want to put it through the paces. Here’s a quick demo:

mentions

The brand new URL profile field type is also making its way into this release. It automatically creates a link from the URL entered in the profile field.

Highlights for the upcoming release demonstrate continual improvement on the project:

  • New @mentions interface: type a @ when leaving a status update or commenting on an activity item or blog post, and the new suggestions panel will open.
  • Set better passwords with the password strength meter on the registration and user settings pages
  • When a user attempts to change their email address, the new address requires email verification before the change is applied
  • New “URL” XProfile field type
  • Continued performance enhancements, particularly on the Members and Groups directories.
  • Higher quality translations (automatically fetched by WordPress), courtesy of BP translation volunteers

BuddyPress 2.1 also includes a lot of under-the-hood tweaks. This release offers better compatibility with themes that load template content in advanced ways, such as Stargazer. It will also formally deprecate the BuddyBar. The term “Avatar” has been renamed to “Profile Photo,” which is more universally understood and translatable.

All of the features and improvements above could use testing. Grab a cold beverage and take the beta for a spin this weekend. You can download a zip from the Beta 1 announcement post.

by Sarah Gooding at August 23, 2014 06:54 PM under BuddyPress

BuddyPress: BuddyPress 2.1 – Beta 1

BuddyPress 2.1 is going to be our best version yet, and is on track for our an almost-on-time release in just a few short weeks. If you are a plugin or theme developer, or are running a BuddyPress powered site with a development environment available, please download the 2.1-beta1 zip or get a copy via our Subversion repository. We would really appreciate your help testing it out with us.

A detailed changelog will be part of our official release notes, but until then here’s a rundown of some of our favorite changes that could use your eyes. (Check out this report on Trac for a more detailed view.)

  • New @mentions interface: type an @ when leaving a status update or commenting on an activity item or blog post, and the new suggestions panel will open.
  • Set more secure passwords with the password strength meter on the registration and user settings pages
  • New “URL” XProfile field type
  • Continued performance enhancements, particularly on the Members and Groups directories.
  • Higher quality translations (automatically fetched by WordPress), courtesy of our translation volunteers; thanks!
  • Tons of under-the-hood tweaks

Please let us know about any issues you find in the support forums or on our development tracker. Remember this is still beta software, and we don’t recommend running it on a production site quite yet.

Thanks for your help, and we look forward to releasing BuddyPress 2.1 soon!

by John James Jacoby at August 23, 2014 09:20 AM under beta

WPTavern: Helen Hou-Sandí Previews WordPress 4.0 at NYC Meetup

wpnyc

WordPress 4.0 release lead Helen Hou-Sandí recently gave an in-depth preview of the upcoming release at the WordPress NYC Meetup. Her presentation gives a complete overview of the new features that you will see in the official release next week.

Part of Hou-Sandí’s responsibility as the release lead is to help shape the scope, goals and features merged into WordPress. Her presentation includes context for each feature landing in 4.0. She covers how WordPress worked before the new features were added and explains the reasons behind each addition.

She also gives the audience an overview of what it’s like to lead a release and offers insight on managing a large group of volunteers on an open source project. At the end of the presentation she answers more specific questions from meetup attendees.

If you’ve been out of the loop and you want to quickly catch up on what’s coming in WordPress 4.0, check out the recording of the presentation:

by Sarah Gooding at August 23, 2014 12:07 AM under wordpress 4.0

August 22, 2014

WPTavern: EDD Extension Boilerplate: A Quick Start to Creating Add-Ons for Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads launched its open source download delivery system for WordPress in 2012 and has since grown to amass a global network of contributors and developers. The project’s marketplace, which now boasts more than 100 extensions and dozens of themes, shows no signs of slowing down. With global WordPress usage on the rise and digital downloads becoming an increasingly popular vehicle of commerce, EDD is well-positioned to corner the market on download delivery.

Developers looking to start creating add-ons for the platform have a new tool at their disposal. The EDD Extension Boilerplate gives you a head start on building an extension that conforms to EDD coding standards.

edd-extension-boilerplate

The boilerplate was created by WordPress developer Dan Griffiths. His objective was to create a solid foundation for EDD extension developers to use when building their own creations. The advantages of using the boilerplate include:

  • The Plugin Boilerplate is fully-based on the WordPress Plugin API.
  • Uses PHPDoc conventions to document the code.
  • Example values are given, so you can see what needs to be changed.
  • Uses a strict file organization scheme to make sure the assets are easily maintainable.

The boilerplate comes in the form of a plugin that you install, although it has no real functionality in WordPress. After adding it, you’ll need to follow all of the configuration instructions in the readme file for renaming all instances of ‘plugin-name’ with that of your plugin.

edd-extension-boilerplate-settings

The boilerplate also includes libraries, assets, and css/img/js subdirectories as placeholders, so you can easily organize your files. The idea is to tweak a few things in the boilerplate so you can quickly get to the task of coding your add-on, without having to wonder if you’re structuring everything the right way. The EDD Extension Boilerplate is available on GitHub. Bookmark it for the next time you need a quick start for creating an EDD add-on.

by Sarah Gooding at August 22, 2014 07:34 PM under easy digital downloads

Matt: Ten Bloggers on Ferguson

Ten WP bloggers speak out on Ferguson, a really fascinating spectrum of viewpoints from protesters to media to a blog by an anonymous police officer on duty in Ferguson.

by Matt Mullenweg at August 22, 2014 04:01 PM under Asides

WordPress Planet

This is an aggregation of blogs talking about WordPress from around the world. If you think your blog should be part of this send an email to Matt.

Official Blog

For official WP news, check out the WordPress Dev Blog.

Subscriptions

Last updated:

August 29, 2014 01:15 AM
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