This Week in WordPress: New Travel Scholarship and SEO Sabotage

This Week in WordPress: New Travel Scholarship and SEO Sabotage

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

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The WhiP Newsletter #157

Hello dear reader,

Life Changer

The WordPress Foundation has announced a travel scholarship in memory of contributor Kim Parsell. Kim, who died in December, attended WordPress San Francisco for the first time last year thanks to financial assistance from the foundation and told friends it was one of the best experiences of her life. The scholarship will be awarded each year ahead of WCSF’s replacement event to a female contributor who has never attended the event before. Community organizer Jen Mylo says she hopes the scholarship will encourage more women to get involved with WordPress.

The new European VAT rules are a bit of a headache if you’ve tried to wrap your head around what it all means. Brian Krogsgard at Post Status has put together what is no doubt the most comprehensive guide to WordPress and the new VAT (Value-Added Tax) rules. If you sell products or services to Europeans, you might want to bookmark this post.

This week’s episode of DradCast features Matt Medeiros, the co-founder of Slocum Studio, host of the Matt Report, and creator of Conductor Plugin.

And another podcast, WPWeekly, features three employees from GoDaddy, including Mendel Kurland, the web host’s first WordPress evangelist.

The Papi Project adds a new Page Type API to WordPress. Sarah Gooding at WP Tavern talks to Fredrik Forsmo, a systems developer in Sweden, who developed the project, which offers a less traditional approach to working with fields and page types.

WebDevStudios is giving its Custom Post Type plugin a UI overhaul and is calling for beta testers. The plugin has been around for five years in the WordPress Plugin Repository, but the interface hasn’t changed since WordPress 3.0.

Big Spender

Find the perfect theme for your next project with the Envato Market Blog’s guide to finding the right theme for your next WordPress project. This is more of a beginner’s guide if you haven’t already spent way too much money on ThemeForest themes in the past.

“What is the shelf life of a WordPress theme? Since WordPress themes provide the design of the site, and since design trends change every few years, is there a correlation to how long a WordPress theme can be sold?” Developer Tom McFarlin ponders the shelf life and feature creep of WordPress themes as his Mayer theme turns one-year-old.

Cute Critters

Chris Lema from Crowd Favorite manages to mix raccoons and plugin support while spruiking Sidekick, a new plugin that lets you create custom tutorials inside the WordPress admin to train people to solve any problems they may be having with your products.

BuddyPress Edit Activity is a new plugin that allows users to edit their activity posts and replied on the front-end, similar to the “Edit Post” feature on Facebook. The plugin is by the folks at BuddyBoss who recently released BuddyPress Global Search.

Freshbooks, TimeTrade and ManageWP feature in Torque’s round-up of freelancer tools designed to help your business run smoothly.

Meanwhile, WP Explorer has also put together a collection of tools for freelancers, complete with plugins (Editorial Calendar, CollabPress) and and websites (Trello, MailChimp).

On the Kinsta blog, Anita Dunai reviews the Project Panorama, a project management plugin for WordPress, and gives it the thumbs up.

Getting Started

Getting Started with WordPress Plugin Development: The Ultimate Guide (WPMU DEV).

The Best WordPress Facebook Widgets (Elegant Themes).

User Field Visibility for Profile Builder (Cozmos Labs).

5 Cool Things Developers Can Do With Reactor (AppPresser).

How To: Allow users to Login to WordPress using Github (WPLift).

Adding Notes, Reminders, and Instructions to Your WordPress Dashboard and Admin Pages (WPMU DEV).


What kind of productive person are you? Is it okay to push off deadlines if you’re balancing more work than one person can usually handle? Find out at Fast Company.

While we aren’t yet zipping around on hoverboards, the future is here and it really is incredible. i09 looks at the 15 predictions that have become a reality.

All the best for a productive Friday and relaxing weekend.

The WhiP Newsletter #158

Hello dear reader,


It seems users have a love/hate relationships with the distraction-free writing experience that came with WordPress 4.1. After Community Organizer (and former WordPress UX Lead) Jen Mylo wrote about how she doesn’t like the new feature as much as the old one, Brian Krogsgard from Post Status attempted to implement some of her suggestions, albeit in the browser inspector. WP Tavern’s Jeff Chandler supports Jen and Brian’s suggestions, which include a full-height editor and moving the “Save Draft” and “Preview” buttons.

PHP and JavaScript are among the most popular programming languages used on GitHub, according to research and analysis firm RedMonk. Jeff Chandler says the results show JavaScript is in the middle of a renaissance and backs up the suggestion 90% of WordPress development in the future could be JavaScript based.

And also over at WP Tavern, Jeff Chandler reviews Sidekick, a new service that allows you to create voice-guided, interactive walkthroughs for any WordPress dashboard.

For the Love of Code

“To truly learn and retain a more advanced development knowledge, you have to yearn to get better. If you don’t want to get better, you will likely never see anything but minor improvement. Your attitude towards learning goes a long way.” Easy Digital Downloads creator Pippin Williamson offers some advice on how to become a better developer.

“If they had a gay Cuban man, a trans man, a dude with Asperger’s, and a light-skinned black man on the speaker list (along with other people), but the audience read all of them as generic white guys, what would that say about the diversity of the speaker roll (knowing that references to the various diverse statuses would appear nowhere in the bios or in the presentations themselves)?” Jen Mylo writes about working a little harder towards truly democratizing publishing.

Rather than blow their profits on, well, stuff, the folks at ManageWP give 10% of their earnings each month to Zivojin Misic, an organization that aims to improve youth education, with a focus on entrepreneurship and IT skills. Nemanja Aleksic writes about having a conscience and giving back to the WordPress community.

The latest episode of Matt Report features Andrew Youderian of the eCommerceFuel podcast.

Easy on the Eye

CodeInWP looks at how and where to outsource WordPress-Related work.

How to create image galleries with the free Photo Gallery plugin at Pagely.

Stories Instead Of Code?

Using a Custom Taxonomy to Add a Location Drop Down (WPMU DEV).

5 Simple Methods for Creating Custom Queries in WordPress (WPMU DEV).

Your Ultimate Guide To Google+ Communities (Elegant Themes).

Write Stories Instead Of Code? Five Steps to Storytelling with Canvas(WooThemes).

More Essential Plugins for WordPress Theme Development (tuts+).

Creating Your WordPress Knowledge Base’s Structure (tuts+).

How To Create WordPress Custom Fields Without Plugins (Hongkiat)

Toasters Have USB Ports?!

And for something completely different, here’s a video on how to mod any toaster to control PC games.

All the best for an awesome Monday!

The WhiP Newsletter #159

Hello dear reader,


“They did everything through a third-party, an internet hitman of sorts, to try to cover their tracks…” WP Site Care’s Ryan Sullivan says someone in the WordPress community waged SEO sabotage on his business, almost taking it down. Whodunnit?

Fortunately, not everyone working with WordPress is a douche bag. WP Tavern’s Jeff Chandler looks at acts of kindness in the community.

“Many people in the WordPress community, in particular, work alone at home as freelancers or with distributed companies. Unless the individual is motivated, this work environment can severely limit healthy social interactions.” Sarah Gooding at WP Tavern writes about tackling depression in IT.

On this week’s episode of WPwatercooler, Jason Tucker and guests discuss what to look out for when choosing a business theme.

ManageWP Orion has launched a closed beta signup for its overhauled site management service.


Brian Krogsgard at Post Status previews Pressnomics and what he’s looking forward to at the conference this weekend.

Split screens and grid-based design comes out tops on WebDesignDepot’s list of essential layout trends to look out for this year.

On the WPMU DEV Blog, we review the top 10 most popular responsive themes.

Learn WordPress

Learn everything you need to know about WordPress in a year with Daniel Pataki’s awesome and comprehensive guide at Hongkiat.

Modern is a beautiful new blog and portfolio theme that’s free.

Recover lost sales from your eCommerce store with these abandoned cart plugins.

Archive your site’s content with the Archived Post Status plugin.

And here are some helpful Google Chrome extensions for WordPress.

Make Your Mark

How to Customize Twenty Fifteen to Make it Your Own (WPMU DEV).

How To Use Twitter For Business (Elegant Themes).

Using WP_Query To Search For a Person (WPMU DEV).

Creating Your Own Widgets Using Various WordPress APIs: Introduction (tuts+).

Maintainability of WordPress Theme Customizer Code (Tom McFarlin).

Making Inline Media Queries Even Better with Breakpoint Sass (WebDevStudios).

Using a Class Autoloader to Improve WordPress Development (Torque).


The most popular password in 2014 is still 123456. Doh!

Lastly, if you use Slack you know it’s awesome. Still, the messaging app’s founder says he has no f–king idea why it’s exploded.

All the best for a thoughtful and productive Wednesday.

Sorry for the break in The WhiP yesterday. We missed you if it’s any consolation.

The WhiP Newsletter #160

Hello dear reader,

Code Execution

10up engineer Drew Jaynes will be the project lead for WordPress 4.2. The core team is planning three releases of WordPress this year in April, August and December.

Brian Krogsgard has launched the Post Status Membership Club. For $99 a year you get articles, video, audio, a newsletter, member deals from the site’s corporate partners and access to a LinkedIn-style directory.

Sucuri is warning Pagelines and Platform themes users to update ASAP after discovering two dangerous issues: a Privilege Escalation vulnerability affecting both themes and a Remote Code Execution issue for Platform.

For the To-Do List

Torque reminds you to stop and think about who your users are and whether you’re actually solving their problems.

Elegant Themes explores the evolution of UI versus UX in WordPress design and what we can expect to see in the future.

Six Revisions offers its tips on WordPress plugin development (taking advantage of hooks, using WP Cron, etc).

Everyone uses Google Analytics, right? Here are five things Google won’t tell you about your analytics and what you can do about it, at WebDesignerDepot.

And over at WebDesignLedger, here are 20 themes for business consultants.

Developer Tom McFarlin has open-sourced his Mayer theme, which is now available on GitHub.

The latest version of iThemes Security includes a new time-saving security feature: the ability to easily change WordPress security keys and salts.

Adapting to the Environment

Loading WordPress Posts Dynamically With AJAX (WPMU DEV).

Getting Started With Google Analytics In Your WordPress Site (WP Kube).

How to Bulk Edit Images in WordPress (WPMU DEV).

How to Set Up a WordPress Development Site with Codio’s Free Cloud-Based IDE (WP Tavern).

Guide: Optimizing Your WordPress Themes for Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer (WP Lift).

An Introduction to Adaptive Design (tuts+).

Knock Out

The first rule of Code-Fight.Club is… Well, how would you know about it if we didn’t talk about it?

Lastly, here’s a game for the designers: How good are you at kerning? 

All the best for a sublime Thursday.