This Week in WordPress: WP Drama, WP 4.1 Beta and Mercury Rising

This Week in WordPress: WP Drama, WP 4.1 Beta and Mercury Rising

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 #127 – Monday, November 17

Hello dear reader,

WP Drama

The first best version of WordPress 4.1 is out and available for testing. It features the Twenty Fifteen default theme, a new distraction-free writing mode, the ability to automatically install new language packs, and a new inline formatting toolbar for images embedded in posts. For developer, there are new features under the hood, including improvements to meta, date, comment and taxonomy queries, a new and better way for themes to handle title tags, and improvements to the Customiser API. The final version of WordPress 4.1 is due out next month.

“What’s drama to some is an important issue to others… It’s the same people that end up creating this rift, this WP Drama, and if there’s one thing that Sarah (Gooding) and I definitely do not do – I especially don’t aim to do – is create rifts in the community.” In the latest episode of WPWeekly, Jeff Chandler rants about WP Drama following the site’s article on LoopConf and defends WP Tavern’s reputation.

Speaking of events aimed at developers, WP Tavern’s Sarah Gooding interviews Flynn O’Connor, who co-organized WordCamp Vancouver, BC Developer Edition.

After last week’s announcement that Microsoft plans to open up access to .NET and Visual Studio, Torque has interviewed 10up’s Jake Goldman, Pods Framework community manager Josh Pollock and Yoast’s Joost deValk about what Microsoft can learn from the WordPress project. is running a competition to win five Multipurpose HTML templates from DealFuel.

Matt Mullenweg has shared dozens of lovely photos taken at WordCamp San Francisco.

Chest Beating

Tuts+ have hailed the success of their translation project, with 100+ volunteers translating 300+ tutorials and articles into 25+ languages since the project began.

Feeling let down by a membership plugin you’ve installed? Crowd Favorite’s Chris Lema says you need to rethink your expectations. (Have you tried Protected Content…?)

How do you gauge feedback from your users? Intercom looks at five mistakes we all make (talking to all users, failing to get ongoing feedback…) and offers some straightforward and simple fixes.

Elegant Themes offers an in-depth and complimentary overview of the ManageWP dashboard.

And web host Kinsta beats its chest over two positive reviews.

On Trac

Masonry is a new free WordPress theme with a one-column design, created as a collaboration project between WordPress theme designer Emil Uzelac and DeviX, a development company founded by Mario Peshev and Stanko Metodiev.

While we’re on the topic of themes, blogger Kevin Muldoon has put together a list of 45 themes with vertical menus.

If you want to contribute a patch to WordPress Trac, but aren’t sure how to go about it, WebDevStudios have put together a screencast to show you how.

And on the WooCommerce blog, the story of Arthur Lhermitte, a Parisian fashion designer who set up his first eCommerce store and had up and running and shipping his products worldwide less than 48 hours.

Easy Fix

Customize Your WordPress Login, Registration, and Profile Pages With These WordPress Plugins (WPMU DEV Blog).

Tracking Your Ranking in WordPress Just Got Awesome (WPMU DEV Blog).

The Easy Way To Create Content Grids in WordPress (WPMU DEV Blog).

Stop Printing Ugly WordPress Pages With This Easy Fix (WPMU DEV Blog).

How To Schedule Tweets For Your WordPress Blog Posts (Elegant Themes).

How To Integrate Twitter With WordPress (Elegant Themes).

50 Filters of WordPress: 21-30 (Tuts+).

50 Filters of WordPress: 31-40 (Tuts+).

Smarty Pants

A five-year-old boy from the UK has become the youngest computer specialist in the world after passing the Microsoft Certified Professional exam. The ambitious youngster hopes to one day launch a UK-based IT hub similar to Silicon Valley. (I’m suddenly feeling really old…)

All the best for a wonderful Monday.

The WhiP Newsletter #128 – Tuesday, November 18

Hello dear reader,

One-Click Wonder

Security service Clef has partnered with one-click web app installer Installatron. The deal means if you ever use Installatron to install WordPress, Clef will work out-of-the-box.

Public Service Announcement: Composer has been delayed. (If you’re thinking, “WTF is Composer?” like I did, it’s a plugin that allows you to create interactive, voice-guided walkthroughs for any website or web app.)

ManageWP’s Nemanja Aleksic shares lessons on how the WordPress management service have grown their support team, not to mention the fact everyone at the company – even CEO Vladimir Prelovac – pitches in to answer support tickets.

The latest edition of Matt Report features Nelson Joyce and Andy Cook, the guys behind LeadIn, a marketing automation and lead tracking plugin for WordPress.

According to the recent WordPress Survey, 25% of WordPress users make a full-time living from the software. So how do you get in on that? Torque gives a brief overview of the opportunities available for those not afraid of a little elbow grease.

“None of us started out knowing exactly what it is that we’re doing, and none of us know the right way to do everything. Kinda trite, isn’t it? Our behavior doesn’t make it look like that.” Developer Tom McFarlin says we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help or learn from others.

Lift Off

WP Lift checks out Oasis Workflow, a plugin for automated WordPress editorial workflow.

Blog much? Check out these free author bio box plugins.

And WP Slack is a new plugin that sends notifications to Slack when events are triggered in WordPress.

Basement AJAX

Making SlideShare Shine in WordPress (WPMU DEV).

How to Create a Landing Page in WordPress (CodeinWP).

Cleaning Up Your WordPress Database To Optimize Your Website’s Performance (Elegant Themes).

Adding Ajax to Your WordPress Plugin (Sitepoint).

All About That Baste

“Three years ago, he was flipping burgers at McDonald’s. Today Mr. Haag, 22, skinny and blindingly pale, makes his living playing Call of Duty.” The story of a professional video game player who earns almost $1 million a year.

It’s all about that baste for the Holderness family, whose Thanksgiving-themed parody has racked up more than 100,000 views.

A Japanese artist trekked across Japan to create the world’s largest GPS drawing for his marriage proposal.

Lastly, how well do you know pixels? Now there’s a fun way to find out. (I’m terrible at it.)

All the best for a super-duper Tuesday.

The WhiP Newsletter #129 – Wednesday, November 19

Hello dear reader,

Community ’n’ Stuff

Automattic has open-sourced its DMCA process documents on GitHub. The company has made the legal documents available in the hope they will help demystify some of the issues surrounding the DMCA process.

WordPress community managers Jen Mylo and Andrea Middleton are stepping down from their roles. Andrea, who looks after WordCamp Central, and Jen, who does, well, community stuff, are both staying in their jobs at Automattic, but will be focusing on other things.

If you’re in New York on December 4, WP Engine and WebDevStudios are hosting a networking event with guest speaker Cameron Barrey, who will share his story of how he built Newark Public School’s websites using WordPress.

Gimme Five

How are you contributing your Five for the Future? All it takes is just two hours a week, which you could be spending in the WordPress Support Forums helping others out. We show you how.

Tech news site Gigaom has used a couple of neat solutions to speed up search on its WordPress-powered site – search server Sphinx and the Scriblio plugin.

Meanwhile, at WP Tavern, 20 people give 20 reasons why you should attend a WordCamp.


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“We should have done this a long time ago and this is fully my fault for not recognizing the magnitude of this issue. I honestly didn’t understand what we were lacking, the gap of WordPress internationalization within our community, or that so many of our existing theme buyers were coming from outside of the United States.” Design and development agency Web Savvy Marketing are producing more than 35 translation-ready themes for localization, multilingual use, and right-to-left language support. CEO Rebecca Gill explains why she wishes the company had embraced i18n sooner.

There are a ton of WordPress podcasts. Seriously, a ton. WP Explorer checks out more than 20. (Okay, so there’s not a ton, but 20 is still a lot!)

If you don’t have a WordPress Meetup in your area, why not organize one? WooThemes offer some tips on how to get one started.


Our CoursePress plugin gets top marks in WP Mayor’s round-up of the best WordPress LMS, course building and eLearning plugins.

Postmatic is a new plugin that allows visitors to subscribe to a new post or comments via email and leave a community by simply hitting reply.

WP Lift has put together a round-up of November’s best free themes so far.

LaunchKey is a free plugin that allows you to login to your WordPress site with biometric face scan and fingerprint scan. DoItWithWP takes the plugin for a spin.

Want to turn your site into a mobile app? The folks at AppPresser look at the pros and cons of some of the builders available and then, of course, spruik Reactor.

Font pairing isn’t easy, so the 25×52 initiative has done it for you with Google Fonts pairing suggestions.

White Screen of Death

Getting The Most Out Of WordPress Shortcodes (Elegant Themes).

Fixing the White Screen of Death (Torque).

Building a Loyal Community By Adding a Forum to Your Website (Torque).

How to Use Mandrill to Send Email in WordPress (Tuts+).

Use Source Control and Diff Tools with WordPress (Tom McFarlin).

Shark Attack

Twitter has made its humongous archive of tweets searchable, so now you can track down any public tweet since 2006.

Now, this is creepy: Can you spot the snipers hidden in these photos? (I couldn’t find them, hence why I suck at laser tag.)

And this is mental: A visual timeline of the future based on famous fiction. (Not looking forward to 2023, though 2188 and 2966 won’t be so bad.)

All the best for a wacky Wednesday.

The WhiP Newsletter #130 – Thursday, November 20

Hello dear reader,

A Drop in the Ocean

Jean Galea from WP Mayor has launched WP Security Bloggers, a website offering a central source for WordPress security news and updates. The site pulls updates from a number of leading security sites and blogs, including WP White Security, Securi and iThemes.

Genesis fans can now get news about their favorite theme framework in one place. The Daily Bolt pulls in Genesis/WordPress related posts and publishes excerpts, saving you having to scroll through your RSS feeds.

WP Commerce have changed their domain name from to

Web host DigitalOcean, now the third-largest hosting provider in the world, is gaining popularity amongst WordPress users. WordPress “droplets” with the company now account for 3.74 percent of the company’s total active users running a cloud server.

The USA Today shares how it uses WordPress to power multiple sites with VIP in an insightful transcript published on the VIP site.

If My Calculations Are Correct…

After WP Kube calculated the cost of starting a WordPress website at $298 last week, Elegant Themes has had another go at the numbers and arrived at somewhere between $72.99 and $33,162.18.

WooThemes have begun regular updates on their support crew. Here’s the latest installment about the WooCommerce Conference and the WooCommerce 101 Video Series.

Chris Lema has been at Crowd Favorite eight weeks now and shares an inside look at what he’s been up to during that time.

Boiling Point

If you use developer Tom McFarlin’s WordPress Plugin Boilerplate, you may want to check out a new generator by WP Chat’s Enrique Chavez. It’s a handy web app that generates a plugin without you having to replace any text strings.

WP Kube offers an overview of Bluehost web hosting and how to set up a new account.

Circles Gallery is a premium gallery plugin that allows you to display your images in, well, circles.


How To Create An Awesome Newsletter Signup Popup For Your WordPress Site (WPMU DEV Blog).

Are You Avoiding These Common WordPress Code Issues? (WPMU DEV Blog).

How To: Sell User Customized Products Online with WooCommerce (WP Lift).

WordPress Comment Moderation: A Guide For Beginners (WP Explorer).

Advantages and Disadvantages of WordPress Frameworks (tuts+).

Back to the Future

Every time you look down at your phone, the amount of force your head exerts is roughly the weight of four bowling balls. Eek!

And here’s an awesome video of skateboarder Tony Hawk on a hoverboard. For reals.

All the best for a brilliant and productive Thursday.

The WhiP Newsletter #131 – Friday, November 21

Hello dear reader,

Mercury Rising

If you have automatic updates turned on for your site/s, you may have noticed you’ve been updated to WordPress 4.0.1. This critical security release fixes cross-site scripting vulnerability. If you haven’t updated to the latest version, go do it now!

WP Engine have launched Mercury, a new enterprise WordPress platform built to provide HHVM (with PHP-FPM failover) to customers who require better PHP performance. The web host partnered with development agency 10up to make the platform a reality.

Twitter has released a WordPress plugin to get people embedding more Vines in posts. The plugin is available to download in the WordPress Plugin Repository.

Security service Securi are encouraging anyone using the WP-Statistics plugin to update to the latest version after discovering a few security vulnerabilities.

WordPress developer Steven Gliebe says would kill off developer packages and bonus themes on every theme shop if he had the chance. Fair enough.

The latest episode of WPwatercooler explores whether WordPress should go corporate.

And the DradCast podcast features John Eckman, the CEO at 10up.

Why, Hello There

WooThemes have launched an official theme for WooCommerce. Say hello to StoreFront, a lightweight and robust theme designed to help you get an online store up and running with minimal effort.

WP Explorer has a list of 20 minimal theme for “discerning designers.”

WP Kube’s reviews Flow Flow Social, a plugin that adds social feeds to your WordPress site.

Meanwhile, the folks over at Hongkiat check out 10 plugins to improve user management.

Picking a Perfect Theme

Maximum Character Length Add-On for Profile Builder (Cozmolabs).

12 Factors For Selecting A Perfect WordPress Theme (Webloggerz).

How To Get More Followers On Facebook And Twitter (Elegant Themes).

Developing for the Plugin Directory (Sitepoint).

Improving WordPress Plugin Development With Composer (Torque).

Yes or No To WordPress Frameworks? (Tom McFarlin).

Mastering the post_class() Function (ThemeShaper).

Use Your Noggin

When it comes to your noggin, you either use it or lose it. Researchers who studied a group of 70-year-olds who had worked intellectually demanding jobs, found they were smarter and had better memories compared to others whose jobs were less cognitively demanding.

Everybody’s favorite search engine has launched Contributor, a crowdfunding tool for publishers. Basically, it allows you to pay sites to turn off Google their ads. Kinda like AdBlock, really.

“Passwords do more than protect data. They protect dreams, secrets, fears and even clues to troubled pasts, and for some, they serve as an everyday reminder of what matters most.” The New York Times explores the secret life of passwords.

And we’ll end the week with this annoying time waster. Enjoy. Or don’t enjoy.

All the best for a lovely Friday and a frivolous weekend.