This Week in WordPress: Rate and Review a Plugin Day and LoopConf
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.
Subscribe to The WhiP
The WhiP Newsletter #104 – Monday, October 13
The Right Place at the Right Time
The first PodsCamp was held earlier this month. WP Tavern’s Jeff Chandler talks to organizer Scott Kingsley Clark about the event. If you don’t know what Pods is, it’s a framework that allows users to easily create and extend custom post types, content types, taxonomies, users, media, or comments.
If you’re tired of web hosting reviewed littered with affiliate links, check out HostingReviews.io, a website that documents what people say about their webhosting provider on social media sites such as Twitter.
WooCommerce has launched WooCommerce Recommendations by Graphflow, a plugin that allows you to show “the right products to the right people at the right time” on your eCommerce website.
A Story Worth Telling
Our very own Chris Knowles puts Storyform, a long-form storytelling platform for WordPress, through its paces.
Automattic’s Toni Schneider shares his thoughts on the future of work and distributed companies.
Crowd Favorite’s Chris Lema compares a bunch of page builders, including Beaver Builder, VelocityPage and Page Builder by SiteOrigin. Check out how he ranked them in terms of ease of Use, speed, WordPress integration / WordPress way, design and code left behind.
Episode 165 of WPWeekly focuses on contributing to WordPress.
Sufyan bin Uzayr writes for the Envato Market Blog about multilingual support and eventually gets to the point – the post is about how WPML’s Go-Global Program helps make WordPress sites multilingual.
Drop It Like It’s Hot
WP Explorer runs through how to use the Visual Form Builder plugin to create advanced forms.
50 free portfolio themes on blogger Kevin Muldoon’s website.
30 small business themes for WordPress over at Webdesigner Depot.
How to get notifications when users edit a WordPress post on the WPMU DEV Blog.
How to protect email addresses on your WordPress website on the WPMU Blog.
How to set up the checkout, shopping and accounts settings in WooCommerce at Tuts+.
How to add a feedback form to WordPress on the Elegant Themes blog.
How to manage teams using WordPress on the Elegant Themes blog.
And what you need to know about RSS and duplicate content.
The Science Behind It All
Writer Josh Pollock explains how to use the Pods plugin and Elegant Themes’ theme Divi to transform WordPress into a customizable content management system.
At Tuts+, developer Tom McFarlin continues his series on creating maintainable WordPress meta boxes, while writer Agbonghama Collins continues his own series on WordPress error handling with WP_Error Class II.
Jordi Cabot looks at the science behind A/B split testing at Torque in a post that’s especially helpful if you haven’t done it before.
The story behind tilde.club: or how a guy had a couple of drinks and woke up with 1000 nerds.
Can we autocorrect humanity? (Interestingly, this video has been produced using technology despite its anti-tech sentiment).
Europol’s boss says there are only “around 100” cybercriminal kingpins worldwide.
All the best for an inspiring and thought-filled Monday.
The WhiP Newsletter #105 – Tuesday, October 14
“With the relaunch, NewYorker.com runs on WordPress, a more robust, user-friendly CMS. `We’re looking at almost total upside there,’ Thompson tells me. Because the tools are no longer getting in the way of producers doing their job, NewYorker.com is now able to publish a greater volume of stories every day. The site used to top out at 10 or 12 stories each day: now, it publishes around 20 per day.” The New Yorker shares a few lessons learned since relaunching with WordPress in July.
Tracy Levesque, co-owner of design and development firm Yikes, talks on the Matt Report about how she fine-tunes the WordPress dashboard to “give comfort and ownership” to her client.
“Each platform has its pros and cons, but at the end of the day, WordPress seems the most logical choice; however, Blogger can still be the right choice — it all depends on you.” Ariel Rule compares and contrasts WordPress and Blogger for Elegant Themes. Of course, WordPress wins every time.
“Brand stories, although part of your marketing, are not ads or sales pitches. They’re a summary of your business’s history, values, and persona, all told in your brand’s unique voice.” What’s your company’s story? Brenda Barron writes for the WooThemes blog about how to create a compelling brand story for your online store.
What Works For You
iThemes have released a new security summary dashboard widget in iThemes Security.
Torque runs you through how to choose a great free theme that works for you.
And 15 news and magazine style themes at WP Explorer.
Stop the Press
How to create a development schedule for your WordPress website at WP Kube.
How to build a content-heavy news site with WordPress and NewsCore at WP Lift.
Why you may want to password protect your posts at WPMU DEV Blog.
How to customize the WordPress backend for clients on the Envato Market Blog.
Do It Like A Pro
How do you set up a fresh WordPress install? We show you how the pros do it on the WPMU DEV Blog.
The Conductor blog has an awesome tutorial on how to add UI buttons to the previewer window within the WordPress customizer.
The guys at Tuts+ look at options for WordPress eCommerce (WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads – the usual suspects), and how to use shortcodes and custom fields for footnotes.
“The original hacker ethic was based on commendable, forward thinking values like sharing and openness. Inclusiveness needs to be added to that list.” Automattic’s Toni Schneider writes about nerd culture – the good and the bad.
While we’re on the topic of inclusiveness, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai is encouraging girls to join Code.org’s Hour of Code.
And I’ll leave you with this happy dance party on a train.
All the best for a productive and meaningful Tuesday.
The WhiP Newsletter #106 – Wednesday, October 15
What Gets Your Goat
This coming Friday is the first “Rate and Review a WordPress Plugin Day”(catchy name!), according to WP Tavern. Users are encouraged to say something nice (or not nice) about their favorite plugins (or least favorite plugins).
A troubleshooting handbook is now available for WordPress Support Forum volunteers. The guide explains how the forum works and teaches volunteers how to troubleshoot common WordPress issues they’re likely to see in the forum.
LoopConf, “the greatest conference ever created for WordPress developers,” will be held in Las Vegas next May. Unlike WordCamps, this event is an independent WordPress conference and is not associated with the WordPress foundation.
Twenty Fifteen, the next default WordPress theme, is in the process of being added to WordPress core. If you haven’t yet seen it, it’s a blogging theme.
Everything at iThemes is on sale through October 31.
Crowd Favorite’s Chris Lema wants to know what gets your goat? It’s the comments below the post that are enlightening.
WordPress 4.1 release lead John Blackbourn has announced weekly bug scrubs on Fridays are back. If you’re interested in contributing to core, here’s your chance to get involved in cleaning up Trac.
WP Tally is a tool that displays the total download count for plugins attached to a WordPress.org username (brought to you by the Easy Digital Downloads team).
If you love Comic Sans, you’ll love Comic Sans Roulette, a new addition to the WordPress Plugin Repository. When activated, you’ll have a one in ten chance of having all the fonts on your site replaced with Comic Sans.
35 Google Adsense optimized themes for business websites at WP Kube.
Elegant Themes has an in-depth and very comprehensive guide on how to use the NextGen Gallery plugin.
And eight plugins for editing WordPress (EditFlow, Post Forking, Public Post Review…)
Rock Your World
We’ve got an awesome guide on how to rock your WordPress forms with Gravity Forms conditional logic on the WPMU DEV Blog.
A beginner’s guide to moderating comments in your discussion settings.
WP Lift has a step-by-step guide on how to move your WordPress site to Microsoft Azure.
If you love being organized, check out WP Mayor’s article on scheduling posts and social media with the CoSchedule plugin.
How do you approach creating multiple meta boxes outside of the object-oriented context? Developer Tom McFarlin offers a few rules of thumb.
Are you unintentionally sexist? Automattic code wrangle Kat Hagan has put together a mammoth list of ways men are sexist towards women, even if they don’t mean to be.
All the best for a happy hump day.
The WhiP Newsletter #107 – Thursday, October 16
Short and Sweet
If you didn’t make it to WordCamp Europe, WordPress.tv has posted a Q&A with WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg’s and tech writer Om Malik, and also a video of core lead developer Andrew Nacin discussing the philosophy of WordPress development and the course it should take to keep growing.
Speaking of camps, topic submissions are still open for the upcoming WordPress Community Summit, which will be held in conjunction with WordCamp San Francisco. If you want to have your say, post your submission before the forum closes on Sunday.
Thinking about using AJAX on your site? Developer Tom McFarlin muses over when to use AJAX and other mysteries of the web.
Do you save your snippets? We’ve got a great post on the WPMU DEV Blog about creating a WordPress custom functions bible. We’ve even thrown in a few snippets to get you started.
How to improve your website navigation with mega menus at Torque.
Finally, check out our ultimate guide to WordPress permalinks.
Bait and Tackle
Take your WordPress sites to the next level, whatever that may be, with custom post types.
Even more from Tuts+ on creating maintainable meta boxes, this time on finishing the front-end.
And blogger Josh Pollock tackles working with taxonomies using the JSON REST API at Torque.
Join the Good Fight
Help fight WordPress theme bloat (an oldie but a goodie).
All the best for a terrific Thursday.
The WhiP Newsletter #108 – Friday, October 17
Taking the Leap
This week’s WPWeekly episode features Frankie Jarrett, the project lead at development agency XWP. It’s the company behind Stream, a plugin/service that allows you to track content changes happening to your WordPress site.
And another podcast: the DradCast guys talk to the talented Carrie Dils, a freelance web developer based in Texas.
On the Envato Market Blog, developer Alex Parker offers some advice on how to make the leap from creating themes to becoming a professional developer.
Clean and Tidy
Postmatic is a new plugin that allows you to subscribe to comments and posts by email, and also includes reply by email functionality. Post Status’ Brian Krogsgard talks to Jason Lemieux, one of Postmatic’s co-founders.
Have you tried out CleanTalk? Oliver Dale from WP Lift thinks it could be better than Akismet at fighting spam.
WP Kube has rounded up the 10 most expensive themes and why they cost so much.
Lastly, WP Explorer checks out 20 useful WooCommerce plugins.
Your WordPress database stores all of your website’s content, so what do you do to take care of it? We look at everything you need to know to keep you database in tip-top shape in a mammoth guide on the WPMU DEV Blog.
Here is a simple guide on building an email list in WordPress.
Meanwhile, Crowd Favorite’s Chris Lema shows you how to hide menu items on your WordPress membership site.
And Elegant Themes has a brilliant article on how to better leverage social proof on your WordPress site.
Programmed to Love
Programmatically deactivate WordPress widgets with developer Tom McFarlin’s latest snippet.
Smashing Magazine has a cool CSS-only solution for UI tracking.
The folks at WebDevStudios have put together a great overview of the JSON REST API.
If you sell premium plugins (maybe you’re selling one on Code Canyon or through your own site?), check out WP Mayor’s guide to protecting your premium content from unauthorized reselling.
On the Flipside
Love pancakes and The Walking Dead? Why not combine the two.
All the best for a fun and relaxing weekend.