This Week in WordPress: Post-WordCamp San Francisco Round-Ups and the Evolution of WordPress

This Week in WordPress: Post-WordCamp San Francisco Round-Ups and the Evolution of WordPress

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 #113 – Monday, October 27

Hello dear reader,

State of the Word

The big news from the weekend is, of course, WordCamp San Francisco. If you didn’t make it to the event and didn’t watch the live stream, you can catch co-founder Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word speech at or read highlights at WP Tavern and Post Status.

JSTOR Daily is a new online daily magazine using WordPress designed to make academic journals more relevant to your average reader.

WP Lift has teamed up with Elegant Themes to celebrate the launch of the theme shop’s new social sharing plugin Monarch, with 2 lifetime memberships worth $249 up for grabs.

Diverse and Complex

“The main trigger for forming an advisory board usually happens when the project not only matures but its users and the community becomes so incredibly diverse and complex, that a board has to be formed to balance the needs of all these different types of users.” ManageWP’s Vladimir Prelovac is pushing for an advisory board to lead the WordPress project.

This week Torque talks to Crowd Favorite’s Chris Lema about thinking strategically.

The latest Dradcast podcast features Marketing Press founder Greg Taylor.

Automattic’s Toni Schneider compares the very first website for WordCamp San Francisco to this year’s site.

Lastly, WebDevStudios offers some advice on security and privacy considerations for website owners and developers.

Page Turner

On the Elegant Themes blog, Ariel Rule reviews booking plugins, while Nathan B. Weller takes a look at wiki and knowledge base plugins.

On the WPMU DEV Blog, we check out 9 plugins to turn your WordPress site into an online magazine. One of our new writers, Jenni McKinnon, has also put together a fantastic post on video chat plugins for every situation, from supporting clients to coordinating distributed meetings.

MediaPress is a new media gallery plugin for BuddyPress.

And free resources for WordPress and web professionals at WP Mayor.

Walkie Torquie

How to customize the WordPress post editor at WPMU DEV.

How to customize the WordPress comment form at WPMU DEV.

beginner’s guide to using Akismet to fight spam at Torque.

How to create custom post types at WP Explorer.

How to use featured images in your posts and themes on the Elegant Themes blog.

Behave Yourself

How to create a PayPal buy now button with variable shortcodes at Tuts+.

How to collect donations with WordPress using PayPal at Tuts+.

How to use customer purchase behavior to your advantage on the WooThemes blog.

Building the Next WordPress

“We’re not trying to build the next Snapchat — we’re trying to build the next WordPress,” so says the guy building Facebook’s next big app, which will bring bite-sized forums to your iPhone.

NASA has a new SoundCloud page and there are some great clips from space missions and sounds from space.

“Everybody hits the wall, generally between three and five months. You just think, ‘Holy shit, what am I spending my day doing? This is awful.’” Wired on the people who keep nasty and disturbing stuff out of your Facebook feed.

All the best for a beautiful Monday.

The WhiP Newsletter #114 – Tuesday, October 28

Hello dear reader,

Your Vote Counts has teamed up with The Pew Charitable Trusts, who, along with Google and election officials across the US have developed The Voting Information Project. As the 2014 Midterm Elections draw nearer, bloggers can add a quick shortcode to posts, allowing you to display a search function to help voters find their registered voting address.

“…Every campaign site we’ve done since 2010 has been on WordPress. It’s been a great marriage.” Ben Ostrower, Principal and Creative Director of creative web design and development studio Wide Eye Creative, on why he uses WordPress to build high profile government websites.

Heads Down, Thumbs Up

“When I get up I check my phone to make sure there’s nothing urgent (SITE DOWN emails) but try not to get dragged into work too early. I take a long walk with my dog, then prepare some type of breakfast (usually just a glass of orange juice unless I’m really hungry), shower and get ready. Around 9 am I’m in my home office ready to get to work.” Wondering whether to make the jump to full-time freelancing? A day in the life of WordPress developer Bill Erickson at WP Explorer.

Developer Tom McFarlin muses on the “planned obsolescence” of WordPress themes.

Managed WordPress host Pagely get a big thumbs up in a (sponsored) post at Tuts+.

Lastly, WooThemes organized a WordCamp and you won’t believe what happened next! (TL;DR: a Contributor Day).

Dolly the Sheep

WP Lift reviews plugins for cloning and duplicating WordPress.

Elegant Themes’ new social sharing plugin Monarch is doing the rounds. Here’s a review at Do It With WP.

On the Elegant Themes blog, Brenda Barron reviews PayPal plugins for accepting payments.

If you love theme lists, here’s 20 responsive themes at Code In WP.

And for the developers, six coding playgrounds for testing your snippets.

Speedy Gonzales

On the WPMU DEV Blog today, Daniel Pataki shows you just how easy it is to create custom page templates for things like staff profiles and portfolios.

Get your head around using pop-ups with this guide at Torque.

WP Mayor looks at how to set up the Easy Opt-ins For MailChimp WordPress plugin.

Breaking Point

“Standing on the doorstep of my parents’ house, crying to my mum like a small child. This was the breaking point for me, the minute I finally realized I had depression. In fact I’d been depressed for over a decade. Burnt out. Used up with nothing left to give. It had started back in the late nineties when I took a job with a dot com. I had a boss who was a bully, plain and simple. He shouted, he threatened, he manipulated. I stood up to him, but it drained me. Every day was a battle.” Smashing Magazine’s Paul Boag on how we are not machines and we need to cut ourselves some slack and get help for Geek Mental Health Week.

And to end this email on a ridiculous note, here’s a car riding a magic flying carpet.

All the best for a kind and conscientious Tuesday.

The WhiP Newsletter #115 – Wednesday, October 29

Hello dear reader,


Human Made developers Noel Tock and Scott Basgaard have launched, a platform showcasing people and events relating to WordPress from around the world. The site currently features some fun photos and interviews from WordCamp Tokyo.

More interviews! This time from WordCamp San Francisco, courtesy of Torque.

During WordCamp San Francisco, developers Aaron Jorbin and John Blackbourn user tested three feature plugins planned for WordPress 4.1: Focus, Author Select and Session Manager. Check out the results.

And if you hadn’t already heard, the WordPress project is testing out Slack as the main real-time communication platform, replacing IRC and ad hoc Skype chats. The new information hub for Slack is and all users will be able to access WordPress Slack with immediate effect.

The World is Shifting

The latest Matt Report interview features Zoe Rooney, who has built herself a niche as a “designer’s developer.”

If you have a fear of public speaking, Crowd Favorite’s Chris Lema offers some advice on how to deliver presentations minus the anxiety.

Did you know that 53 million Americans are now freelancing? That’s 34% of the workforce, or 1 in 3 people. That’s huge! iThemes delves into the numbers.


Say hello to Jobs & Experts! Our latest new release is more than just a jobs board. Jobs & Experts makes it easy to connect members of your community who have projects with industry professionals who have skills and expertise. It also provides comprehensive job listings and beautiful expert profiles, all in one feature-packed plugin.

Blogger Kevin Muldoon has put together a monster collection of 150 free WordPress themes.

If that last collection wasn’t enough, WP Explorer has a list of 30 new premium themes.

If you want to know more about blockquotes in WordPress, Elegant Themes has you covered.

Speaking of Elegant Themes, the theme shop’s new social sharing plugin Monarch gets the green light from WP Mayor.

Torque reviews Conductor, which if you haven’t heard of before is a modular layout builder for WordPress.

Charlie is an app that combs through hundreds of sources and automatically send you a one-pager on who you’re going to meeting before you actually meet them. Very cool!

Save and Retrieve

On the WPMU DEV Blog, we have a handy article on how to create beautiful and effective landing pages for your site or your client’s site.

How to easily create pricing tables in WordPress at WP Lift.

We also show you how to take a vacation without giving your WordPress site a break.

Why you should A/B test your online store’s navigation menus on the WooThemes blog.

How to save and retrieve when creating maintainable WordPress meta boxes at Tuts+.

Also at Tuts+, writer Rachel McCollins has an awesome tutorial on how to use the Theme Customizer to work with your WordPress theme.

And developer Paul Underwood has added to his huge snippet archive with a post on how to override a theme template file from within a plugin.

Sweden Sans

In a country that strictly regulates the internet, what’s it like to be web designer in China? Beijing-based designer Kendra Schaefer offers a peak behind the Great Firewall.

Sweden has gone and got itself a national font.

Remember when Google was just a search engine? The internet giant is now developing a pill to detect cancer and other diseases.

And if you’re feeling stuck, design what you know (as part of {Geek} Mental Health Week).

All the best for a fantabulous Wednesday.

The WhiP Newsletter #116 – Thursday, October 30

Hello dear reader,

The Evolution of WordPress

There’s an awesome history of WordPress UI evolution at WP Explorer, from WordPress 0.7 “Gold” up to WordPress 4.0 “Benny.”

If you missed WordCamp San Francisco last weekend, Matt Mullenweg’s town hall Q&A is up on Torque also have a rundown of highlights from the event.

Crowd Favorite’s Chris Lema offers up four stupid reasons why people don’t blog.

Chris also offers some advice on outsourcing projects.

And if you haven’t already, check out this post on how to move your blog to


Choose the perfect free WordPress theme with our comprehensive guide on the WPMU DEV Blog.

WP Lift checks out Sendinblue, SMS and email marketing that integrates with your WordPress dashboard.

Elegant Themes names their top 8 project management plugins for WordPress.

Snazzy Maps is a cool repository of different color schemes for Google Maps.

And WP Squared reviews the Headway Theme Framework.

Proof of Life

Add social proof to your site and boost your street cred with this guide at Torque.

Tuts+ shows you how to build your own social profile widget and display your follow count.

iThemes offers a checklist of 11 things you should do with every new WordPress install.

Master the art of Twitter marketing with writer Kevin Muldoon’s nine tips.

Ground Control to Major Chris

Space oddity Chris Hadfield has trimmed the mammoth collection of 45,000 photos he took from the International Space Station to just 192. Quartz has published some of the best.

You probably know the life expectancy in your country, but how well do you know other social statistics? A UK-based survey on public perception proves our view of the world is probably wrong.

Trick your cat into sitting still.

The Star Wars theme… by goats.

Lastly, lose yourself in Windows 93 (I spent way too long playing Solitude).

All the best for a cool as Thursday.

The WhiP Newsletter #117 – Friday, October 31

Hello dear reader,

Eat My Dust

WP Tavern’s Jeff Chandler takes a stab at guessing where WordCamp US will be held next year.

So what plugins do the WordPress pros use to power their websites? Thirty-nine WordPress enthusiasts reveal their favorite SEO, social media, caching, anti-spam, comment and payment plugins.

The folks behind AppPresser have launched Reactor, a “reimagining of the app building process” that focuses on integrating WordPress content and leaves AppPresser “in the dust.”

WP eCommerce users are urged to update as soon as possible after security company Securi discovered a vulnerability in the plugin. The vulnerability could be used by a malicious user to easily get access and modify private information in the site.

Torque is looking for new writers.

And this week’s episode of WPWeekly recaps last weekend’s WordCamp San Francisco.


Should we have child care at WordCamps? Crowd Favorite’s Chris Lema is organizing it for WordCamp San Diego.

“There’s this perspective in the WordPress development community that results in a bit of divide among those who are involved.” Developer Tom McFarlin is talking about themes, or more specifically the opinion that themes with lots of options are bad and themes without many options or features are good, and how we should just get on with doing what we’re good at because whining doesn’t help.

Out and About

Jetpack 3.2 is out and includes speed improvements and better caching for related posts.

We put the Wordfence security plugin through its paces for our latest review on the WPMU DEV Blog.

Yoast have released the first version of their premium Google Analytics plugin.

WordPress Passwordless Login is a plugin that allows your users to log into your website without a password.

Begin WP reviews Monarch, Elegant Themes’ new social sharing plugin.

Lastly, 25+ responsive BuddyPress themes at WP Kube.

Welcome Stranger

How to replace the “Enter Title Here” text in WordPress (Zemez).

How to collect Bitcoin donations with WordPress (Tuts+).

Paranormal Activity

How secure is your password? Seriously?

Look smart (or just ridiculously eager) with these 15 tricks for conquering email at work.

And to celebrate Halloween, here are 15 scary haunted houses in America.

All the best for a spooky Halloween.