PliablePress closes its doors

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Michael Martin, founder of PliablePress, announced that they’ve closed their doors. Martin didn’t provide a reason why they are closing their doors, but said:

I’m sorry to say that PliablePress is now closed. If you’ve been with us for a while, this likely comes as little surprise. It’s been a long time since I was able to put a lot of time into our themes, and lately, even the support has suffered badly.

I think that’s the clearest sign that it’s just not fair to keep accepting new signups, so PliablePress is closing down for good now.

Martin has offered up some “lite” support for any users that are having major issues. Additionally, he is refunding anyone that made a purchase in 2012. Lastly, he’s also made all affiliate payments to make right with them.

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Envato offers bounty to get more e-commerce plugins

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E-commerce is becoming more of a hot topic within the WordPress community. Given this realization, we’ve seen plugins like WooCommerce be released free of charge, among other great e-commerce plugins.

Envato, the company behind ThemeForest and CodeCanyon (just to name of a few of their properties), put up a bounty to plugin developers. They see a need for more e-commerce plugins to be available in their marketplace and they’re willing to pay to get those plugins up there.
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ThemeForest dev opens own theme shop

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Matt Alexander has sold themes on ThemeForest for 2 years now, under the username digitonik. He’s ready to break free and start out on his own.

Matt decided to focus on the business side of themes, and offer them in a bundled fashion just like Elegant Themes is doing.

Matt’s new WordPress theme shop is called the “WP Business Bundle.” Props to Matt for being mindful and not violating the registered WordPress trademark owned by the WordPress Foundation.

I caught up with Matt and asked him why he made the move.

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ResponsivePlugin.com will help make your theme responsive

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Responsive design is definiteively a topic for 2011 and converging into 2012. Having a responsive design is more than just having a “mobile friendly” site. It’s about having a site that will look great and functionally work on nearly any device; whether it’s an iPad, a Kindle Fire, an iPhone or Droid, all the way back to the desktop.

Take WPCandy.com for example. If you were to resize the browser, it would work seamlessly without any issues. Not all sites do this, and most WordPress themes are not responsive yet. A few theme and framework creators have started creating responsive themes, but it’s still a long ways away before all of them are.

Enter stage left, ResponsivePlugin.com; created by Marios Lublinski, who runs Dessign.net, a site about creating modern and clean WordPress themes, conceived the idea of helping making all WordPress themes responsive.

There’s no mention yet about whether it’s going to be a free or premium plugin, but I imagine it will be a premium plugin, given that it has its own domain. Most free plugins offered, don’t have their own domain.

I’m really excited about this plugin because, if he can execute it properly, it will help make so many websites responsive and easier to read on non-desktop experiences. It’s a great idea and wish him all the success in creating the plugin.

When the plugin is released, do you think you’ll grab a copy to help make your site responsive?

Gravity Charge will integrate with WooCommerce

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Late last year we first learned about the next rocketgenius project called Gravity Charge. Carl Hancock, co-founder of Gravity Forms and rocketgenius, recently mentioned that he has already been in discussion with the WooThemes team about integration between Gravity Charge and WooCommerce.

I caught up with Carl about the new integration, and this is what he had to say about it:

Because Gravity Charge will have extensive and powerful content access control capabilities, one of the logical integrations would be to use Gravity Charge for controlling access to content, files and downloads and enabling WooCommerce users to use WooCommerce for the checkout process itself.

With those plans in mind from Carl, there’s no doubt in my mind that this is going to be a powerful and functional plugin, providing a great utility for e-commerce website owners.

NASA code site built using WordPress and Bootstrap framework

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Recently NASA announced that it was launching a new Open Source section of its website: http://code.nasa.gov. This is just another step that NASA is taking to help make its code available to the public. The web team over at NASA looked at a number of content management systems available for the website. At the end of their search they decided on using WordPress.

To take it a step further, they ended up using the Twitter Bootstrap framework for building their theme. One really awesome tool that they get to use with this framework is something called “Less.” Less gives greater control over CSS, which allows for the use of variables and many other things within the CSS itself. Normally those kinds of things are not available in CSS, but Less makes that happen.

They also decided to use Super Cache as their caching mechanism for the site.

As I’m such a huge fan of WordPress, I can easily say they made a great choice and that I’m looking forward to seeing what they release on the NASA code blog.

Splinder.com closes its doors, WordPress.com opens theirs and adds an importer

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Splinder.com, a widely popular blogging service in Italy, is closing its doors on January 31st, in just a couple of weeks. In response to Splinder closing its doors, however, WordPress.com has said “come on in” and opened theirs.

WordPress.com has created an importer that will allow you to import your data from Splinder.com so you can still salvage your data and host it for free. The WordPress.com blog post also offers instructions on how to export your data from Splinder.com so you can import it to WordPress.com. In addition to importing data, the post also shows you how to redirect your existing Splinder.com site to your new WordPress.com site, to start the flow of new traffic.

If you’re a user of Splinder.com, do you think you’ll switch to the WordPress.com platform?

Note: the above screenshot is a translated version of splinder.com using Google Chrome.

Peek at what WebDevStudios has in store for 2012

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WDS Tweet

Christopher Cochran of WebDevStudios.com (WDS) tweeted out a teaser of what is to come for their business in 2012. He mentioned premium plugins, themes, and open code bank, better support, and “more!” in just 119 characters. So what exactly does this mean?

I was able to catch up with Brad Williams, a co-founder of WDS, and asked him to shed some light on what Chris is talking about. While still being cryptic about what exactly they have up their sleeves for this year, he was able to tell me that the “open code bank” is going to basically be a library of code snippets that they will likely make available to the public. This code bank could be a great resource to developers; I know I find snippets really useful sometimes.

Brad also touched on premium plugins. At least one of the premium plugins they will be releasing this year is related to their CollabPress plugin.

Brad and his team have a lot of great things going on and I’m looking forward to seeing what they produce this year. If you could ask WebDevStudios to work on one thing this year, what would it be?

Developer chat kicks off planning for WordPress 3.4

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Wednesday was the Weekly WordPress Developer Chat and this week the core team talked over what will be the theme for the WordPress 3.4 development cycle. As pointed out by Jane Wells, while WordPress 3.3 had a lot of features it wasn’t centered around a specific theme. With 3.4 the team will return to having a theme for each release.

In an agile development cycle like the core team is trying to adapt, it’s a really good idea to have a theme to center the release around. It really helps focus the efforts of features and bug reporting, so you’re touching similar files and not jumping all over the place.

As proposed at the core team’s meetup in Tybee, the team is going to try something new. Wells said:

At Tybee meetup, I proposed we experiment with our process to try and overcome some of our historical downfalls (lack of good time estimation, resource bottlenecks, lack of accountability, unknown/variable time commitments/disappearing devs, overassignment of tasks to some people, reluctance to cut features to meet deadline), and the core team worked as a group to come to the following process proposal.

They are going to focus on a few areas from a development cycle side of things: Schedule, Time Commitment, Time Tracking, Scope [creep], and Choosing Teams.

If you could add anything to WordPress in the next release, what would you add?

WordCamp San Diego is on track for March 24th, 2012

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WordCamp San Diego is a go. This year’s WCSD wil be held at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego on March 24th, 2012. But why limit it to just one day? I heard that they may have a second day stationed at a local co-op; I’ll keep you updated as I learn more about that.

WordCamp SD 2011 was organized by Dre Armeda, Tony Perez, and Chris Daley. The trio are back for another year, with all three of them taking the reigns to run this year’s show. They have set up some very interesting sponsorship packages which allow for anyone that wants to support the event. In addition to full event sponsorships, they plan on allowing one sponsor per session at less expensive rates.

I was able to attend (and photograph) the event last year and I had a great time. It was great to meet new people and learn a thing or two about WordPress. Needless to say, I’m really excited for this year’s event.

Will any of you fine readers be attending this year?