Chris Liversidge of Search Engine Land gives an explanation as to why WordPress is not his platform of choice when it comes to multinational search. I was with him up until the point he discussed security where he states that WordPress is plagued by frequent security updates. This is not true. Security within WordPress has gotten better with time, not worse and it’s not like we’re updating WordPress every two weeks. I’m not sure what Chris wants in a CMS platform. One update a year? One update every 3 months that fixes security vulnerabilities instead of getting that fix immediately? ∞
By Jeffro on October 12, 2011
WPBeginner has laid out an interesting question. Do we need a better 404 page for WordPress plugins repository? They think so and I do to. I’ve experienced the issue of clicking a plugin link only to be redirected magically to the plugin repository page without any explanation as to why. From here, I perform a search to find the plugin that I was linked to only to come up empty. In my opinion, the 404 page on the plugin repository should give a few explanations as to why the plugin was not found. It could have been its removal, its suspension, or a bad link but at least give a little explanation. I especially like the idea presented by GraphicsCove in providing a list of 3 or 5 similar plugins. I’d also like to see a little bit of Matt’s witty humor. What better place to put it than on a 404 page.
If you had the opportunity to create the 404 page, what information would you present on it?
By Jeffro on October 12, 2011
In my short look at WordPress 3.3 Beta 1, I highlighted the fact that all menus were going to receive the Flyout treatment. The ability to vertically expand or collapse menus will be disappearing in favor of the flyout animation. Personally, I like the feature as I now get to see all of the menu items without having to click a button. However, many others have voiced their discontent with this User Interface change. In fact, there is a thread on the WordPress.org support forums that is nearing 50 posts specifically dealing with this issue.
Even though I like flyouts, I don’t have any problem with the way menus work in WordPress 3.2. In fact, it was the best of both worlds. I typically use the Icons only approach which has the flyouts while always having the option to see the full menu with the ability to vertically expand or collapse. In the newest instance, that choice has been taken away. This response by Jonschlinkert has some interesting questions that I think would be good to have answered from the WordPress UI Team.
Who was asking you to remove the expand/collapse feature? Can you point us to that request and the support for it? In other words, why is the designer “fixing” something that wasn’t broken?
If you’re interested in seeing how the feature evolved, look at the log for ticket #18382. For the curious, here is a short list of statements made in the WordPress Development Channel from May 31st 2011 to October 11th 2011, talking about the flyout menus. Nothing really exciting to read with the exception of Otto42s comment on September 19th.
Otto42 – they make everything take like 3 times longer to find. i used to just scroll the page and go right to the menu i want.. now it’s a matter of hunting and searching and checking the f-ing flyout menus
If Flyout menus get past beta and are in the final release, that is when we will be able to measure the success or failure of the change. If a major revolt happens, it’s not like reverting the change will be hard and it could come in a follow up point release. At the end of the day though, the folks in the forum thread have to be commended for providing valuable feedback during the beta testing process.
Related But Not Required Reading: Why Hover Menus Do Users More Harm Than Good
By Jeffro on October 11, 2011
WordPress 3.3 Beta 1 has finally been released for the curious at heart to get a glimpse as to what’s coming in the final version. There are quite a few visual changes that you should look out for and provide feedback on. Here are a couple things worth noting.
New Feature Pop-ups – After WordPress 3.3 is installed, you’ll see popups that display information pointing users to new features. When testing, see if the popups close upon clicking the close button. Also see if the popups reappear multiple times. There has been an issue with popups and IE7/8 with them not going away but Alex Mills is betting that those have been fixed as of ticket #18693
Admin Bar Revamp – The Admin bar now sports a darker color. The biggest changes to the admin bar reside within the rearrangement of menu items. Instead of the username and gravatar aligned to the left side of the bar, it’s now all the way on the right hand side. The search box has been moved to the right of the Add New menu link. Updates has been added as a top menu item. However, your website name now shows up on the far left side of the admin bar and this is where you’ll find all sorts of administrative tasks when you hover your mouse cursor over the link. The dashboard link as well as Appearance has been added to this menu item along with an assortment of other options. The drop down menus also look a lot like their Administration panel counterparts compared to the 3.2 version. Last but not least, on the left side of the admin bar, there is a small WordPress icon. This icon acts like the HELP button in typical software. From here, you can get information about the specific version of WordPress, Freedoms, Credits, links to WordPress.org, the support forums, documentation and giving feedback.
Flyout Menus – All of the top level links within the left menu now have Flyouts where as previously, Flyouts only occurred when the menu was collapsed.
Drag And Drop Uploading – I think users will be surprised the most by the new upload media screen. Thanks to something called plUpload which has been added to WordPress 3.3, we can now drag multiple files into the editor. This has also allowed the dependence on Flash within the uploader to disappear as support for HTML 5, Flash, and Silverlight are supported with plUpload. I’ve given it a try with 5 images and it worked great. Users who upload photo sets to WordPress are going to love this enhancement.
One Media Button – In WordPress 3.2.1, there are 4 icons within the post editor that allow you to add some type of media to a post. Images, Audio, Video, and strangely enough, an icon named Media. In WordPress 3.3, all of those icons have been replaced by one icon labeled Media. From here, you simply drag whatever media files you have into the uploader. No more picking and choosing since the uploader is smart enough to distinguish between different media types. You can add your typical meta data after the media has been uploaded.
WordPress 3.3. will have more to offer than what I have listed here but if you plan on beta testing the new version, you now have a couple things to play around with. If you come across something you think is broken or not working as you think it should, the best thing you can do is report it within the Alpha/Beta section of the WordPress.org Support forums while being as descriptive as possible.
By Jeffro on October 11, 2011
Back on August 25th, the guys over at Interconnect/it released a brand new plugin called Spots. If I had to describe this plugin in one sentence, I’d say it was a text widget on steroids.
There are quite a few things that make this plugin very cool to use. The first is that it uses a custom post type which means when you create a spot, you get access to the editor as if you were writing a post. You also get access to all the stuff that’s normally attached to a post with the exception of tags and categories. Because you get to use the normal editor, it’s very easy to add media to the spots that are created without using blocks of HTML as you normally would within a text widget.
After a spot is created, you can add it to any sidebar that’s built for widgets. However, you’re not limited to using spots in the sidebar only. In the Visual editor for writing posts, there is a Spots button which uses a shortcode to insert the spot into a post or page.
Developers can also take advantage of this plugin by using the built in functions. For example, instead of hard coding text into a widget within the footer of a theme, you could turn it into a spot which would enable the end user to customize that spot with whatever they want from the administration panel, not having to touch any code. By doing it this way, theme developers could probably get rid of a couple theme options for text areas or default widget areas.
Spots is an awesome plugin by the crew over at Interconnect/it. People have been wanting WYSIWYG functionality in text widgets since the day they were introduced into WordPress. This plugin does that and so much more. If you’re looking for a replacement for the default text widget in WordPress that provides more flexibility, definitely give Spots a try.
By Jeffro on October 10, 2011
Generally common sense material listed in the article but it’s always good to remind people about these techniques. As far as I’m concerned, just being in the know and having the awareness of what’s going on is half the battle.
On a final note, while website security can seem daunting and intimidating, it’s something that should be approached from a standpoint of keeping aware and in the know such that, if issues do arise on your website, you are able to calmly resolve the issue and get your website back to where it was, knowing full-well the scope of the security measures in place.
By Jeffro on October 10, 2011
Here is something you don’t get to see all the time. WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg and Drupal founder Dries Buytaert shared the same stage at an event called Schipulcon. While catering to the web marketing crowd, the event also has a short but concise mission statement:
To grow community champions that make the world a better place through extraordinary thinking, smart technology and cross-industry creativity.
Schipulcon took place in Houston, Texas which is the hometown of Matt Mullenweg. While some expected the two founders to duke it out, according to some in the audience, it looked more like a bromance.
Video for this session if not currently available but the folks who ran the event have said that the video will be published soon. However, there were a couple of notable quotes that were shared over twitter. Here is just a sampling.
Wordpress founder @photomatt says the next gen for Wordpess is more social and mobile. #schipulcon – via
Cool! Some of the best tech & creative opportunities developed in #Houston like wordpress by @photomatt #schipulcon – via
Though biased, I’m enjoying the contrast & comparison of @Drupal @WordPress It’s friendly now, how long will that last? #schipulcon – via
Our architecture is our greatest advantage over WordPress – @dries #schipulcon – via
“If WordPress wins; Drupal wins. Because it means open source wins.” -@Dries #schipulcon – via
Wordpress @photomatt’s Drupal developer profile is #5665, created 8 yrs ago. Profile lists “simplicity” as an interest. #schipulcon – via
I for one am seriously looking forward to watching the video of this session once it’s released.
Additional photos of Matt Mullenweg and Dries Buytaert can be found within this photoset.
By Jeffro on October 8, 2011
In this episode of WordPress Weekly, I had a roundtable discussion with longtime WordPress community member Eric Mann on a number of topics mentioned in previous episodes. The end of the show featured an interview with Taryn and Martin who are organizers of WordUp Edinburgh to talk about not only the event but also about the WordCamp Guidelines and the interesting dynamic of hosting WordCamp events in the U.K. region.
WordUp – A Fork Of WordCamp
WPCandy Turns 4
Tribute To Steve Jobs
Should Automatic Upgrades be Opt-In?
Plugin Quantity Not Quality
Reasons Not To Upgrade WordPress
Kevin Johns Reaction To The Post Regarding Reasons Not To Upgrade
When Will Automattic Be Acquired?
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Length Of Episode: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Download The Show: WordPressWeeklyEpisode114.mp3
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