The WordPress StackExchange community is currently voting on ads to display in the sidebar of its forums for 2014. Every year the Community Promotion Ads are reset in December. These ads serve to promote anything that the community deems to be important. Usually, the ads are dedicated to promoting information and resources that benefit those in the community as well as potential new members who might be visiting. To be clear, these are not ads dedicated to commercial products.
WordPress StackExchange lists a few examples of Community Promotion Ads, including open source plugins, power tools, events or conferences and anything that might be of genuine interest to WordPress people.
Cycling the ads every year helps to keep them fresh and current. The WordPress StackExchange is a place where many WordPress users turn to for answers and it’s important for community members to vote up the ads that will be the most useful and relevant.
Right now, there are only four ads up for votes, but the WordPress community has many more quality resources that could be included here. They’re still taking new submissions for Community Promotion Ads if you’d like to send in an image and URL. Voting will continue throughout December. You’ll need to create an account in order vote. Once logged in, you can vote up the resources you think will be the most useful to the WordPress community.
On tonight’s show we’re engaged in conversation with Pippin Willamson, developer of many notable plugins including Easy Digital Downloads. Along with his co-host Brad Touesnard, Pippin produces one of my favorite WordPress Development podcasts, Apply Filters.
In our conversation Pippin discusses the development process for creating new plugins, debugging plugin Query Monitor, LinkedIn usage, the podcast and general WordPress observations. So pull up a chair, grab a cold one and join me in my conversation with Pippin Williamson!
Have you ever wished for a better way to navigate pages in the WordPress admin? The UI for hierarchical content makes it difficult to understand the organization of pages and custom post types at a glance.
Inspired by the column view in the OS X Finder, Alex King and the team at Crowd Favorite have created a similar interface for navigating pages/hierarchical CPTs in the WordPress admin. Their new Admin Column View plugin is now available in the WordPress plugin repository.
This plugin introduces a Column View menu item under the Pages menu for viewing content in a more intuitive way.
Admin Column View does more than just redesign the Pages menu UI. It also includes some features that are not easy to see in a screenshot:
This expanded view shows the new page/CPT creation link and colored post status indicators in action:
Admin interaction with the content is much easier to see in Alex King’s video walk-through:
Admin Column View is a very helpful plugin for sites using WordPress more heavily as a CMS. It provides instant context for hierarchical content, showing posts in relationship to those above and below. Plugins like this also open discussion about how the WordPress admin can be improved, although this way of arranging content may not be for everyone.
Last Friday on our weekly podcast Matt Mullenweg said, “I don’t think everyone’s WordPress should look the same.” This statement applies in this instance where sites with a large number of pages or CPTs might benefit from an alternative UI provided to organize content in the admin.
The Admin Column View plugin was designed for the WordPress 3.8 admin refresh, so it won’t be outdated in a couple days when 3.8 is released. Download it for free through your admin panel or via its home on WordPress.org.
ServerPress is a company devoted to making it as easy as possible to set up a local development environment for WordPress. ServerPress has two different editions of their DesktopServer software. DesktopServer Premium costs $99 per year and includes access to priority support, content, additional features and multisite support. The DesktopServer limited edition is free to use but only has access to a limited amount of documentation and support. The limited version is what was packaged on the USB stick. Both editions support Macintosh OS X 10.4.11-10.9.0 and Windows XP/Vista/7/8.
The WordPress version that came with my USB drive was WordPress 3.6. We are now at 3.7.1 with 3.8 around the corner. I contacted ServerPress.com support via email and they promptly replied with an explanation on how to update the version of WordPress that’s used when creating a new test site. DesktopLimited has support for something called Blueprints. Blueprints help accelerate the development process by automating the configuration of new sites.
By placing WordPress versions (zip files) inside of the Blueprints folder, you can select which version of WordPress will be installed during the creation of a new testing site. You can also place commonly used themes and plugins inside of the Blueprints folder. This technique provides a quick and easy way to test themes and plugins on multiple versions of WordPress.
WAMP installs Apache, MySQL, phpMyAdmin, php 5.3, and Xdebug. DesktopServer Limited Edition has all of that plus the ability to install specific WordPress versions, domain name mapping, automated virtual hosts creation and can copy WordPress sites. If you’re going to use WAMP to setup a local environment for WordPress development, it makes sense to use DesktopServer instead as it provides everything WAMP offers and so much more.
While I’ve only scratched the surface, I’ve used the software enough to justify ditching WAMP and using DesktopServer Limited from now on. I invite you to try out their free version and let me know what you think.
We’ve made it easier to navigate and manage pages (and other hierarchical post types) in the WordPress admin.
If you haven’t already subscribed to the Crowd Favorite blog, go do it. We’re posting good stuff over there.
This post is part of the project: Admin Column View. View the project timeline for more context on this post.
Google Glass hasn’t even launched yet and it already has a WordPress plugin. The folks at Weber Shandwick, a PR and communications firm, have developed the first WordPress plugin that interfaces with Google Glass to publish content.
wpForGlass is currently operated by touch, although the creators plan to add voice commands by the time Google Glass officially launches. The plugin makes it possible for users to take a photo or video and instantly send it to a self-hosted WordPress blog. You can also speak a caption before your media is uploaded.
wpForGlass makes use of Google’s Mirror API to transmit your data through Google server. When setting up the plugin you’ll need to have an SSL certificate, ability to set up cron jobs and Mirror API Access in order to create an OAuth 2.0 client ID for your application. It’s important to note that the shared media is processed on Google servers and then downloaded to the WordPress site, which may take a few minutes to process.
This plugin has the potential to be revolutionary for journalism. It creates a fast lane for delivering content and news to people in a live environment. Immediacy and hands-free publishing are the real benefits of wpForGlass. Events can be recorded and transmitted in near real-time by regular people without requiring a live news station camera feed, further exploding the capacity of the blogosphere to be the real journalists on the scene.
The ability to shoot and transmit images and video to a blog in a hands-free environment also opens up a new interactive capacity for bloggers, documentarians and journalists who, until now, have had their hands shackled to a notepad, a phone or a camera while attempting to observe and report.
The wpForGlass code is open source so Glass Explorers can take advantage of it right now and developers can fork it or contribute to improve the plugin.
Release candidate 2 of WordPress 3.8 is now available for download. This is the last pre-release, and we expect it to be effectively identical to what’s officially released to the public on Thursday.
This means if you are a plugin or theme developer, start your engines! (If they’re not going already.) Lots of admin code has changed so it’s especially important to see if your plugin works well within the new admin design and layout, and update the “Tested up to:” part of your plugin readme.txt.
If there is something in your plugin that you’re unable to fix, or if you think you’ve found a bug, join us in #wordpress-dev in IRC, especially if you’re able to join during the dev chat on Wednesday, or post in the alpha/beta forum. The developers and designers who worked on this release are happy to help anyone update their code before the 3.8 release.
Happy hacking, everybody!
One of the most popular modules used within Jetpack is Stats. This module replaces the stand-alone plugin formerly known as WordPress.com Stats. Unfortunately, the most recent update to Jetpack has temporarily broken the Stats dashboard widget. I’ve routinely seen the error message that is shown in the image above but I thought nothing of it. That is until I reviewed the support forum for Jetpack and noticed a thread dedicated to the Stats widget.
According to Jeremy Herve, a developer for team Jetpack, you can still access your stats by browsing to Jetpack > Site Stats. You just can’t view them from the dashboard. There is a block of code that you can use to fix the problem if you’re impatient. For most users however, I recommend waiting as Jeremy assures us that this will be fixed in the next version.
The WordPress Plugin Boilerplate is a popular tool for getting started with plugin development. Many top-notch WordPress developers have contributed to the boilerplate and the 2.6.0 release of the plugin provided a major update.
Using the plugin boilerplate as a starting place for plugin creation, a developer can quickly whip up a plugin in a matter of minutes. But what if you could do that even faster? Brad Vincent, author of the Themergency.com WordPress development blog, created a generator for the WordPress Plugin Boilerplate.
The WordPress Plugin Boilerplate Generator github repo provides instructions for installing grunt-init and using the command line to create your new plugin.
The generator includes all the relevant plugin author information. It also automatically renames all the files correctly and replaces all the necessary variables within the files. The end result is your newly generated plugin, customized and ready for you to start building.
Have you ever logged into a WordPress site, charged with the task of fixing something, but totally in the dark about what changes had recently been made in the admin? It can sometimes be tough to track down who changed what and when they did it, especially on sites with multiple administrators.
Stream is a new tracking tool that provides a log of specific activities performed by logged-in users in the backend. It’s a free plugin on WordPress.org that gives you information on recent logins, menu changes, plugin updates, content created/deleted, widgets activated/deactivated, theme changes, and much more.
The great thing about this plugin is that it doesn’t display information in an ugly old error log style. It creates a beautiful table that fits nicely into the admin design with user avatars and sorting capabilities.
Records can also be searched and the plugin allows you to filter by date, users, context and actions. It even shows which IP address the event originated from. Sorting by actions allows you to find items such as the following: activated, assigned, attached, edited, uploaded, password reset and more.
This plugin might be an excellent solution for those who perform maintenance and troubleshooting for clients. Sometimes clients cannot remember what action they took in the admin to cause changes to the site. The Stream plugin goes a long way to help with troubleshooting. In the very least it can help you eliminate things like changes to plugins or themes while tracking down the source of a problem.
The Stream settings page gives you an option to determine how long records should be saved before being purged. You can set this depending on the amount of user activity you usually have on the site in question. It also includes an option to reset your stream by deleting all of the activity records in the database.
Please note that Stream requires PHP 5.3 or higher. Download the plugin for free from the WordPress plugin repository or via the plugins panel in the WordPress admin. The sooner you have it activated on a site, the sooner you’ll be tracking valuable information.
Developed by Earth People, a web development agency based out of Gamla Stan in Stockholm, the WordPress Plugin checker can find which plugins are installed on almost any WordPress site. Unfortunately, this tool doesn’t list all of the plugins it detects. Instead, it looks to see if any of the plugins developed by Earth People are installed along with the 50 most popular plugins. Despite having a blank index.php file in place to prevent visitors from seeing a directory listing of the plugins folder, the plugin checker was able to determine that the site was using five of the most popular plugins.
While the plugin checker is a neat tool, I’d find it more useful if it listed all of the plugins in use on a website. It wouldn’t need to link to them on the WordPress.org plugin repository since I’d be able to locate them myself. However, I can see how this could raise privacy issues even though there wouldn’t be a way to download any code from the plugins listed.
Scott Basgaard will be our live guest on Friday, December 13th at 3PM Eastern time. Scott is currently employed by WooThemes and is one of the pioneers behind WordSesh. We’ll be talking to Scott about WordSesh 2 which recently took place this past weekend. We’ll also find out what he’s up to these days as well as what he does for WooThemes. If you have any questions you’d like us to ask Scott about WordSesh or WooThemes, submit them in the comments.
WordSesh was like crack for WordPress enthusiasts who joined together on Twitter and eagerly counted down the minutes until sessions began. The event took place over the weekend, kicked off by the DradCast podcast which introduced a catchy new WordSesh rap. In case you missed it, WordSesh presenters cranked out an impressive 24 hours of free WordPress knowledge and each session is now available on YouTube.
Attendance for the event far exceeded that of most WordCamps. WordSesh organizers shared some of their viewership stats on Twitter and the results demonstrate that the event was a hit all over the world:
Despite the overall success of the event, participants noticed a few issues that might be improved for next year. Server performance was a little spotty at first, perhaps due to the number of people trying to live stream simultaneously. They were able to work it out fairly quickly without significant delays. Hopefully, the organizers will be able to find a better-performing hosting solution next time, given how quickly the popularity of this event is skyrocketing after just one year.
Others also commented that the event was slanted towards developers and those heavily involved in operating WordPress product and service businesses. WordSesh viewer David Bisset said, “I would like to see more beginner WordSesh stuff. I spoke to 30-40 people at the last WP meetup and they would have loved to experience that.” He makes an excellent point. WordPress meetups and WordCamps that have a beginner track often get beginners fired up about the software and eager to explore more advanced topics. Adding WordPress beginner sessions might help to expand the audience for the event and bring together users of all levels.
For those who were in attendance, the excitement was palpable. A WordSesh after party carried on in the chatroom after the event concluded, mirroring what often happens at the live WordCamps. Nobody wanted to “go home”. The success of Wordsesh 2 shows once again that the WordPress community loves to share knowledge, collaborate and gather around a good cause. Here’s hoping we can all jump in on another one in six months and smash all the viewership records.
In this edition of WordPress Weekly, our special guest was Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress. After catching up with the headlines, we covered a wide range of topics with Matt such as:
There are a number of things in this interview that provide food for thought. One of them is thinking about all of the changes that WordPress will undergo over the next 5-10 years. Is it possible that at some point WordPress becomes something other than WordPress? Matt referred to this as the Ship Of Theseus or Theseus’s paradox. The paradox raises the question of whether an object which has had all its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object.
Next Episode: Friday, December 13th 3 P.M. Eastern – Scott Basgaard
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 #130:
Very honored to be on Time’s 30 under 30 list alongside some amazing folks across a number of fields. I only have about another month of being under 30, so good to be on these lists while I still can.
Poedit 1.6 was released earlier this week. For many WordPress developers, Poedit is their go-to app for generating language files for extensions. This release introduces a new Pro version of the app with built-in support for translating WordPress themes and plugins.
Poedit 1.6 brings a more polished UI, a completely new translation memory implementation, word count, and improved handling of languages and user-friendly plural forms expressions.
Poedit Pro provides intuitive support for translating WordPress themes and plugins. It automatically sets everything up for you when you create a new translation. This is useful if you don’t know anything about gettext, don’t want to spend time learning it or simply want to add a little bit of automation into your translation process. Of course, you can still set it up manually with the free version of the app.
Poedit Pro costs $19.99 for a license and it comes with direct, personal support from the Poedit developer. The free, open source version of Poedit will continue to get updates and will remain community-supported.
For many within the WordPress community, a post like this triggers nostalgic memories of the first version of WordPress they used. For me, it was WordPress 2.2. Shortly after I started using WordPress, 2.3 was released which introduced the ability to add tags to posts. WordPress 2.3 also added update notifications so that users would know when a new version of WordPress or plugins were available. Which version of WordPress did you start with?
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.
For official WP news, check out the WordPress Dev Blog.
December 11, 2013 03:15 PM
All times are UTC.