WordCamp Norway is just over a week away (oh, and sold out)


WordCamp Norway, Norway’s first ever WordCamp, is coming up quickly—January 14th in fact. If you have your ticket already, congratulations, you beat the rush. It’s completely sold out. If you weren’t able to get a ticket, don’t fret too much; there is still the possibility that more will become available before the event, at a higher price of course.

If you’re attending and haven’t checked the schedule, here’s a quick rundown. Registration starts at 9 a.m. with the welcome speech at 10 a.m. The first presentation starts at 10:15 a.m. with Automattician Hanni Ross presenting the opening remarks for everyone. After that, the schedule splits into three tracks: one for users, another for designers and developers, and the last for businesses. A Happiness Bar will be open between the presentations where you can ask for help and get answers for your WordPress questions.

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WordCamp Atlanta tickets have sold out


If you were waiting to see what your schedule was like before getting tickets for WordCamp Atlanta, you’re too late. All of their normal tickets are gone. There are still a few left for SCAD students but that’s it.

If you were one of the lucky ones to secure a ticket for yourself, the presentations list has been made public. Some of the scheduled sessions include:

  • WordPress End-User Security
  • SEO & WordPress
  • From PSD to WordPress Theme
  • HTML5 & WordPress
  • Implementing Facebook Registration

The entire list of sessions scheduled is huge and available on the WordCamp Atlanta site.

If you’re heartbroken about not being able to attend, the organizers suggest hurrying to pick up a ticket to WordCamp Birmingham because may of the presenters from Atlanta will also be there. They also ask people that can’t attend but already have tickets to consider donating them to someone else by contacting them for information on transferring tickets.

BuddyPress.org gets bitten by the refresh bug


It seems to be the season of change; even BuddyPress.org has the bug. In a recent update, they released a short list of the improvements they’ve made to the site’s design.

First, activity updates have been turned off. The decision to disable this form of contact was made to clear up the confusion of how to best get the support one needs. Now all support requests should be made via the Support Forums. Groups and member directories have also been hidden. The directories still exist but now links to them have been hidden. Since there’s no reason to visit them, they felt it was best to remove the links.

BuddyPress.org has been updated to the latest versions of WordPress and BuddyPress as well, to incorporate the new toolbar that was introduced in WordPress 3.3. Profile, plugins, themes, and showcase page styles have all been updated as well.

While this isn’t everything that has been done, or will be done in the near future, it seems to capture what most people will be excited to see.

If you haven’t checked the redesign out yet, you should really head over there. What other changes have you noticed around BuddyPress.org?

Phoenix speaker application deadline is January 13th


WordCamp Phoenix wants you! Well, maybe. The organizers are still working to expand their speaker list and have put out a call for people who know their stuff.

Do you know a lot about something related to WordPress? Would the community benefit from knowing about one of your practices? Would you like to answer another question? Me too. So if you feel like you have something to offer and want to speak, you can apply on the WordCamp Phoenix site. You have to hurry though. You only have until 11:59pm on Friday January 13th to apply.

As the new year creeps toward us, Twenty Twelve talks begin


Each year since 2010 there is a change in the default theme that ships with WordPress. Following up Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven, the new default theme for 2012 is called (if you haven’t guessed it already) Twenty Twelve. It’s expected to be released with WordPress 3.4.

The WordPress Development team has begun the discussion over the creation of the new theme. Twenty Twelve will be “kind of different from before, generally palatable and something that Matt likes,” says Jane Wells. While no real design has been created for the theme, there is a list of things they would like to include in the new theme. These features include:

  • Single post/permalink view with post formats
  • Variable height header image
  • A mobile version
  • Default to static front page
  • Editor styles the same as the front end
  • Avoid “clever” things that aren’t very useful, such as ephemera widget
  • Start with Twenty Eleven as code base, possibly Twenty Ten as it’s more maintained and popular
  • No featured image in header
  • Default to no header image

No timeline is in place yet for the theme design and development. There’s already a conversation going in the comments over at the WordPress development blog. If you’d like to join in, here’s a handy dandy link, just for you.

So, speak up: what would you like to see included in Twenty Twelve?

WP Ninjas unleash the power of NinjaForms on WordPress.org


NinjaForms launched back in June as a commercial plugin, but recently the folks at WP Ninjas have released NinjaForms Lite into the WordPress plugin repository. NinjaForms normally costs $30 but the version on the WordPress.org repository is, as you might expect, entirely free. There are differences between the two versions, though.

The lite version can do nearly everything the paid version can, but as a free user you won’t be able to:

  • Grant users the ability to create posts/pages/etc from a front-end form
  • Separate long forms into sections to make managing them easier
  • Allow users to save their progress and come back to complete the form later
  • Use powerful pre and post processing hooks

NinjaForms Pro comes with a one year support subscription. Your intended use case will determine whether the free or paid version is what you need. For more information, feel free to check out the WP Ninjas site. Or you can pick up the Lite version on the WordPress Plugin Repository.

What do you use to build forms on your WordPress sites? Do you think releasing a free version of a paid plugin on the WordPress.org directory is a good idea?

Press75 plans to become team effort, add framework in 2012


Press75 has been run and maintained by Jason Schuller for over 3 years now. That’s a lot of work for one person when they’re responsible for 27 themes. Jason has decided it’s time for some changes, so in 2012 Jason will be expanding Press75 from a one-person operation to a team. The team will be small but this change, he says, will allow many other things to happen.

The addition of team members is allowing them to create a new framework for all of their themes, which he says will help streamline the development and updating process for all new and old themes. The new team should also give Press75 more time to focus on expansion. They’re currently working on updating several themes to be added to the theme choices for WordPress.com users. On Demand and Debut are currently awaiting review to be released on WordPress.com.

Right now the Press75 site is also awaiting a complete refresh, which is set to happen sometime in February. If you’d prefer reading about all the changes in Jason’s own words, here’s a link to his post about it on Press75.com.

How long have you known about and used Press75 themes? Are you excited for the changes planned for 2012?

WordCamp Phoenix tickets are now available


WordCamp Phoenix is coming up. This year’s happens February 24-26, which is just two months away! And now tickets are available. While no specific schedules are up yet, there is information on what you can expect for each day. Friday will see the return of “full day” classes. These will take you through all levels of WordPress. If you’re interested, make sure you pick up a ticket early because you have to register for classes separately.

Saturday is the main day, with multiple tracks to choose from. Some of the topics you can expect are WordPress 101, multisite, scalability, and responsive design principles. Along with those, and more, there will be unconference areas, a genius bar and many gathering areas. Sunday will usher in the development and hack day.

Tickets for this year will run you only $35. If you’re interested in classes, make sure you get your ticket fast. As always, more information is, and will be, available on the WordCamp Phoenix site.

What WordCamp are you looking forward to the most in 2012? Why?

Help improve WordPress.org by filling out this survey


Even sites that you know and love needs a little updating from time to time. The WordPress.org team is reaching out to the community for a little insight on what needs changed. They have posted a PollDaddy survey for visitors to fill out.

It’s a short survey, only 5 questions. They focus on why you visit WordPress.org and what you use while you’re there. The last question is the million dollar one: they want to know what you think could make the WordPress.org site better and/or more useful.

If you want to possibly have a hand in some changes, take a few short moments to fill it out.

So what do you think? What do you think would make the site better?

ThemeForce offers up what they’ve learned in new marketing effort


During the early stages of running a business, you learn a lot. If you’re new to the market, there’s even more to learn. What you do with that information determines the direction you’ll head. Over the last few months, Theme Force, the service for helping restaurants build better websites on top of WordPress, has worked hard to make sure they’re going in the right direction.

To start their journey in the right direction, Theme Force has created a website to share what they’ve learned about restaurant websites with the people who need it most, the restaurants. Their new website, Better Restaurant Websites, is a chronicle of their newly gained knowledge (and, handily, also a clever marketing tool). They cover accessibility and mobile features, business features, search engines and social media.

If you’re a restaurant owner that wants something better for your customers, or just someone that’s curious, head over to the site and dig into the feast of helpful information.

Which restaurant in your town do you think has the best website? What makes it stand out?