WP LifeGuard swims into WordPress Video Tutorials

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Feeling like you’re constantly treading water when operating your WordPress site? Worried you might soon run out of energy and drown in Codex articles and Google searches? WP LifeGuard aims to help.

The recently launched service offers over 30 WordPress videos (many of them free) and say they’ll be adding more as they go along. Though not the first WordPress training video site, this one looks very decent. I had a browse through a few of their free videos and it looks like they’ve got things together.

There have been a lot of project launches this week, but this one is probably my favorite. I think video tutorials are the next step in documentation and would love to see some of these free ones eventually make their way over to the WordPress Codex. Perhaps it would be good advertising for them?

WordPress University? Lorelle VanFossen is teaching a WordPress course

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This is cool. Lorelle from Lorelle on WordPress has announced that she’s teaching an introductory course on WordPress at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington that’s worth a whole four credit hours! The class will cover all the basics, but she says that she might be willing to cover more in-depth subjects such as writing themes and plugins. Details on registering for the course are on her blog post if you’re interested.

As a college student myself who just finished his first semester, I think this is really cool. It is very validating to the WordPress community to see colleges and universities recognizing how important WordPress is to the web landscape today. I would love to take a class like this. (Hell, I could probably teach it!)

Is anybody else in college wishing they had course offerings as cool as this? And if you could teach a university course on WordPress, what would you cover?

Okay Themes throws its hat into the theme shop ring

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We’ve got a new kid on the theme shop block, and it looks like they’re going to be aye okay. (Sorry.) Mike McAlister, author of the popular editorial about theme prices here on WPCandy back in May has started a new business: Okay Themes.

Aside from the intriguing name (Just “okay”? Why not “great” or “amazing”?) this is interesting because of Mike’s history with the WordPress theme market. He was a popular author on ThemeForest and started a great discussion by positing the idea that themes are worth a lot more than $35. He’s turned that on his head by offering his four starting themes for $25 a piece. While he claims these are starting prices, it will be interesting to see what happens now that he has his own shop and can charge whatever he wants.

While I know on the last podcast I was rather critical of new theme shops, I think this will be one to watch going forward. You can read his full introduction post here, and be sure to check out the themes!

WP Engine gets a quirky new logo, another WordCamp deal

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Managed hosting darling WP Engine refreshed their website and got a new logo recently. Switching from a plain text logo to a more graphical one that fits the vintage/retro 50’s engine motif of their website. It was reported last month that WP Engine had closed out a round of funding from Automattic. It looks like they’re putting all that money to good use.

What’s the word guys, is it a good addition or a bit over the top? You can see the old version in the screenshot of a post we did a few weeks ago.

WP Engine is also giving away tickets to WordCamp Vegas with free hosting for life as well. You have until the 13th to get as many retweets as you can, so get going!

Headway Themes hits a milestone: 3.0 and a fresh site design

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Headway Themes has just released the third version of their drag n’ drop theme this week. This looks like a big release. Apparently they rewrote the code base from the ground up to improve the speed and allow for greater complexity. They’ve also revamped the user interface of the theme editing area and it looks pretty slick!

They’ve made tons of changes, more than I could cover here. Go ahead and check out the nice blog post they wrote about it. They’re also sporting a nice new site-wide redesign, which happened to be my pick in our last WPCandy podcast (you do listen to the podcast right?) Clay Griffiths and I are both alumnus of WPCoder; it’s really cool to see his business thriving. What about you, commentors? Any experiences with Headway?

WordCamp Atlanta falls prey to domain poaching

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Update: Thanks to the enterprising efforts of commentor Donnacha we have been in contact with Ryan Ward, the domain’s new owner. He says that he means to do no harm with the domain and that he is interested in using it to help promote WordCamp Atlanta. We’ve put him in touch with its organizers and hope it will all be resolved soon.

Update 2: Ryan has directed the domain back to the WordCamp Atlanta’s official site. Kudos to him for doing the right thing!

It looks like there’s trouble for the organizers of WordCamp Atlanta. Apparently the domain atlantawordcamp.com was redirected to the website of an (allegedly) unscrupulous realtor sometime last week. The folks behind WordCamp Atlanta are understandably upset, as apparently this was done without their knowledge or consent.

But it happens to the best of us—though it looks like this incident didn’t have quite the same happy ending. The site can still be reached though the official WordCamp.org domain; all the more reason for camps to stick with official URLs.

To end things on a happier note, tickets for WordCamp Atlanta went on sale last week. As a native of Atlanta, I’m excited! This is going to be my first WordCamp, and I’ve had the opportunity to get to know a few of the folks putting it on so I know it will be great. Anybody else planning on attending?

Themify cuts prices, gives away iPad 2

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It looks like the folks over at Themify have heard the voice of the people and slashed the pricing of their membership clubs, and they’re celebrating with an iPad 2 giveaway. They’ve dropped the pricing of the Standard membership to $69 a year ($89 for Developer access) and completely eliminated the monthly fee.

But enough about that, you want to know how to get the iPad. They’re letting anybody enter, you can purchase one of the new memberships or follow them on Twitter and tweet about it. Be sure to comment and let them know on the official blog post. You can also hit that link up for more details.

Themify is no stranger to iPad giveaways. It looks like they had a lot of success with their last one. It’s always good to see a business responding to the desires of its customers. I’d be hard pressed to find another company willing to lower its prices just because people asked them to!

WordPress.com brings ads to blogs with WordAds

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At the beginning of this month we reported that WordPress.com (the hosted version of WordPress) had inked a deal with Federated Media to bring ads to bloggers on WordPress.com. It looks like they haven’t wasted any time; Jon Burke announced yesterday the release of WordAds, the official name of the new advertising service. In the brief press release he described the need for a “better” advertising service for bloggers and even took a swipe at Google’s AdSense:

We’ve resisted advertising so far because most of it we had seen wasn’t terribly tasteful, and it seemed like Google’s AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad.

Scandalous! The service is starting out in beta, and they are asking that potential partners fill out an application. Prerequisites for the beta include having a domain name and having your blog set to publicly visible.

What do you guys think? Could it really be better than AdSense? I also find it pretty interesting that the name of the service is so similar to Google’s AdWords, but I suppose it fits the naming convention.

We Love WP is getting flipped on Flippa

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The popular WordPress gallery site We Love WP has been put up for sale on Flippa. The auction appears to be going swimmingly, with the price already up to $13,000. This is especially interesting because the rule of thumb in online auctions is to never bid more than 6-12 months of a site’s revenue, and $13,000 is almost twice the net profits over a 12 month period. Some people must really see potential in growing the site!

Fun side note, this isn’t the first time the site has changed hands, we mentioned its first sale way back in 2007. I always find these auctions interesting because of all the details the site owner provides. It’s a unique peak behind the curtains of how a site works on a day to day basis. What do you guys think, is this a good buy?

Theme Force has forced itself out of beta

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Theme Force, the managed hosting solution for restaurants that use WordPress, exited out of beta this week. To celebrate, they are offering a lifetime rate of $29 a month for those who sign up right away. You can also read about their launch and a bit of background on the Theme Force project in their launch blog post.

We covered the Theme Force beta back in June. It’s great to see the service come to fruition. I’m also excited to see all of these vertical integration platforms springing up for WordPress. It might make it easier for various industries to jump head first into WordPress. I can think of a million different industries that could use a service like this: schools, real estate websites, etc. It will be interesting to see if the WordPress community responds.