This Week in WordPress: SoakSoak Attack and Accessibility Push

This Week in WordPress: SoakSoak Attack and Accessibility Push

This week’s round-up of WordPress news, views and reviews summarized in our daily email newsletter, The WhiP.

Subscribe to The Whip daily for lashings of WordPress goodness.

The WhiP Newsletter #145

Hello dear reader,

Soak up Some Sun

John James Jacoby will spend the first half of 2015 working exclusively on BuddyPress, bbPress and GlotPress after raising $51,500 on Indiegogo. WP Tavern’s Sarah Gooding talks to John about how he’ll be spending his six months.

ManageWP’s news aggregation site has added a cool new plugin discovery feature where you can browse the latest new plugins and even compare plugin features.

Google has blacklisted more than 11,000 domains with the latest malware campaign from According to Sucuri, hundreds of thousands of WordPress websites have been affected.

Sucuri also reminds you how easy it is to inadvertently introduce malvertising on your WordPress website.

On the WooThemes blog, the team have wrapped up 2014 with a post about their highlights of this year.

The duo behind ThemeForest’s top-selling theme Avada have surpassed 100,000 sales.

Lastly, WordPress 4.1 is due out tomorrow.


On the AppPresser blog, find out how Reactor, a hosted app building environment, works and why it’s different.

As part of Elegant Themes’ Customer Spotlight series, digital strategist Marie Poulin writes about how she learned WordPress by taking apart themes and putting them back together.

If you haven’t used bbPress, Jeff Chandler from WP Tavern has put together a great newbie’s guide to using the forum plugin.

Tedious Tasks

Brad Parbs and his colleagues at WebDevStudios have created a new tool for developers who use Varying Vagrant Vagrants for WordPress development. Variable VVV is a script that automates the creation and deletion of new WordPress sites using VVV. The script is based on Alison Barrett’s VVV Site Wizard.

Idea Factory is a new plugin designed to make it easy for WordPress admins to set up a voting system where users can submit new ideas from the front-end. The plugin was created by Nick Haskins, author of the Aesop Story Engine.

On the WPMU DEV Blog, here are seven free plugins to make quick work of tedious tasks.

We’ve also put together a collection of 20 stunning photography themes.

And here are 26 responsive multipurpose themes at Webloggerz.

Over at WP Mayor, the best Google Analytics plugins for WordPress.

A Bit Rich

8 Flexible WordPress Recent Post Plugins (WPMU DEV).

How To Integrate Google Calendar With WordPress (Elegant Themes).

How to Export and Import WordPress Widgets (Kevin Muldoon).

A Simple Guide To Rich Snippets For WordPress (Elegant Themes).

Add Videos To WordPress: 5 Plugins (WP Solver).

Customize the Behavior of the WooCommerce Sale-Flash (tuts+).

Fifty Actions of WordPress – 50 Examples (21 to 30) (tuts+).

Gaming the System

A gamer claiming to work for Microsoft has proven how lazy game review websites are and that you shouldn’t believe everything you read.

All the best for a lovely Monday.

The WhiP Newsletter #146

Hello dear reader,

Failed Revolution

“When a project starts out that way, it’s really hard to guesstimate what the future holds for it. As I continued building on the plugin and making more generalized features that had a wider audience than just my site, it became apparent pretty quickly that others were looking for some of the same things.” Pippin Williamson had no idea his plugin Easy Digital Downloads would become his full-time job.

If you’re using an old version of the Revolution Slider plugin, bad! It turns out the SoakSoak malware campaign is piggybacking on the slider plugin vulnerability exposer a few months back. The latest scare has already compromised more than 100,000 WordPress sites. Find out more at Sucuri and WP Tavern.

WordSesh 3 is on soon. The 24-hour online event feature presentations from people around the world, with one presentation every hour, on the hour. WordSesh will kick off at 12am UTS. If you’re not sure about the time in your timezone, go to

The latest round of updates to the dashboard includes a few features that allow site owners to manage their sites and content from one central hub, no matter what device they’re using.

On the latest episode of WP Watercooler, host Jason Tucker and friends (WebDevStudios Designer Suzette Franck, Automattic Developer George Stephanis and others) discuss cheap WordPress hosting and the factors to consider when choosing a host.

The majority of contestants on the reality show Shark Tank use WordPress.

WP Lift has teamed up with CSSIgniter to give away one of three developer accounts.

A Lonely Business

Curious about Qards? Designmodo’s new plugin is basically a collection of pre-designed cards that you can simply put together and customize in order to create a WordPress website. Kinsta have a great overview of Qards on their blog.

“Freelancing can be a lonely business. You’re often working at home, by yourself, getting little interaction with the outside world. Freelance relationships are hard to come by. Which is a problem, because relationships drive freelancing.” On the iThemes blog, Kevin Hendricks writes about how to develop freelance relationships.

Interested in contributing to WordPress? Developer Tom McFarlin explains how.

On our blog, here’s a round-up of 10 highly customizable and responsive free themes.
And over at Webloggerz, here are some creative WordPress themes for artists.

Peak Performance

How To Add Holiday Notices To Your WordPress Site (Hongkiat).

The Big WordPress Database Cleanup for Increased Website Performance (Torque).

10 Ways to Change the Way Your WordPress Site Works With Functions (CodeInWP).

The Big Debate—WordPress Trackbacks And Pingbacks: Are They Dead? (Elegant Themes).

How To Publish Great Looking Testimonials On Your WordPress Website (Pagely).

Fifty Actions of WordPress – 50 Examples (31 to 40) (tuts+).

Webinar Replay: Getting Started with iThemes Sync (iThemes).


As if Elon Musk wasn’t already well-known as an innovator, his early patents from the 1990s predicted how we use the internet today.

If you’re anticipating serious Serial withdrawals ahead of the last episode this week, Slate have attempted to list the 25 best podcasts ever.

All the best for thoughtful Tuesday.

The WhiP Newsletter #147

Happy holidays dear reader,

Hark! The Accessibility Angels Sing

The WordPress Accessibility Team is pushing for all new themes submitted to the WordPress Theme Repository to be accessible. The team have been increasing their efforts to educate theme authors on accessibility best practices and have created a GitHub repository for sharing WordPress-specific code examples for accessibility, with plans to add resources in the near future. New guidelines are expected to be announced in April, which would then be required from November.

ManageWP have officially announced their new Plugin Discovery Tool, which we linked to earlier in the week. Just like the ManageWP news site helps users browse the best and latest news, the discovery tool helps users browse and search for the best and latest plugins. Torque talks to ManageWP founder Vladimir Prelovac about the new tool.

The release of WordPress 4.1 has been delayed this week, though it’s imminent and should be out today (fingers crossed).

JetPack 3.3 is out and introduces a new centralized dashboard that allows users to manage multiple Jetpack-connected WordPress sites and sites from one location in

The SoakSoak attack just goes to show why it’s important to regularly update WordPress, themes, and plugins. Sucuri breaks down how the attack works.

Post Status’ Brian Krogsgard will be joining WordSesh 3 on Saturday and says he’s got some news that will help explain his recent radio silence.

The folks at WP Engine are getting festive with the launch of GIF the Halls, a free and creative alternative to greeting cards. The service allows you to create your own customized online card and from December 20-24 submitted cards will be projected onto the site of buildings in downtown San Francisco.

Developer Tom McFarlin has teamed up with ThemeFuse to give away a theme and hosting package.

Silent Search

Christmas may be just a week away, but it’s not too late to decorate your website. Torque have listed some great free and premium plugins for dressing up WordPress.

On the WP Explorer blog, Tom Ewer gives a rundown of the WP Product Review plugin.

If you’re looking for a new search plugin, check out the collection at WP Mayor.

And over at WP Squared, 20+ WooCommerce themes.

O Come All Ye Webhooks

Catch MailChimp Updates in WordPress Using Webhooks (WPMU DEV).

How to: Prevent Bruteforce Login Attacks on Your WordPress Installation (WP Lift).

Manage WooCommerce Customer Fields with Profile Builder (Cozmoslabs).

Get a Fast Start with the Mailgun Plugin for WordPress (tuts+).

Goal Setting For WordPress Web Designers (Elegant Themes).

Removing PHP4 Compatibility in WordPress Custom Widgets (WebDevStudios).

WordPress Shortcode – Compare Values (Cozmoslab).

We Wish You a Merry WordPress

“…the web in December 1998 was a much different, much lamer place.” The Washington Post on the 20 most popular websites every year since 1996.

Finally, Google takes a look at the moments that defined us in 2014 in A Year in Search.

All the best for a fun festive season and a happy New Year.

P.S. This is our last edition of The WhiP for 2014. Thank you for your support as we’ve launched and experimented with The WhiP. We love bringing you the latest in WordPress news and will be back on January 5 after two weeks of sun and surf down under.