The Short List: WordPress themes you should check out this week

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The Short List of WordPress themes

Many WordPress themes come out every week. So many, in fact, that few could hope to sort through all of them for any stretch of time. At the same time, not every WordPress theme released is worth much time. There are a lot of copycats out there, and a lot of folks pumping out quick work to try and turn an easy dollar.

Instead of sorting through hundreds of WordPress themes every week or so, trust The Short List to offer up the themes that are actually worth your time to look over.

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Jennifer M. Dodd joins the bbPress commit team

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Photo credit: Jennifer Dodd

Photo credit: Jennifer Dodd

Jennifer M. Dodd joined the bbPress core commit team this week after contributing to the project since the plugin version of bbPress was introduced. bbPress lead John James Jacoby said, “Her ability to iterate and improve on core patches, her outstanding communication skills, and her knowledge of the codebase, make her a great addition to the bbPress team.”

Dodd blogs about WordPress at UncommonContent.com, and you can find a list of her (WordPress/bbPress/BuddyPress) plugins there too.

In the blog post announcing Dodd’s commit team status Jacoby said her first tasks for bbPress 2.3 will be focused on full forum searching. Her first commit after the announcement can be seen here.

Side note: has it really been more than a year since bbPress 2.0 became final? Holy. Wow.

Where WordPress download numbers really come from

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Photo credit: Ryan Imel

Photo credit: Ryan Imel

I fancy talking about WordPress download numbers. I do it a lot. But why not, right? With a growing user base and more and more people using WordPress every release, it’s fun to see those numbers go up.

But nearly every time I bring up download counts someone asks about what exactly is counted. Does it count dashboard upgrades? How about Fantastico or cPanel upgrades? I didn’t know, so I reached out to the WordPress.org folks to find out more.

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Plugin self deactivation

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Jake Goldman wrote up how to make a WordPress plugin deactivate itself given a specific version of WordPress. Why? His plugin was folded in core with 3.5, so there’s no point to running both the plugin and the latest version of WordPress. His technique includes a status message explaining why the plugin was deactivated.

Very clever. Though I would probably add a link to a blog post with more information on the update.

Open source meets business: PressWork closes its doors

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PressWorks farewell screenshot

Photo credit: Ryan Imel

Last summer Brendan Sera-Shriar and Chris Bavota launched PressWork, a drag and drop theme framework. They announced the framework at WordCamp Montreal, saying they created it for themselves as much as WordPress beginners and developers. Sixteen months later, and despite helping “tens of thousands” of users to build their sites with PressWork, Bavota and Sera-Shriar have bid PressWork farewell and closed its doors.

“It was really a scaling issue,” Sera-Shriar told WPCandy. “Basic startup problems 101. We needed staff and time and had no budget.”

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Automattic launches Enterprise: $500/month for unlimited bandwidth

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WordPress.com VIP screenshot

WordPress.com Enterprise, announced on the WordPress.com VIP blog, combines the two aspects of WordPress.com hosting that we’re familiar with: the paid upgrades of WordPress.com with the vetted plugin selection (70 count) and support of WordPress.com VIP. Enterprise is now available for $500 per site per month.

To put that $500 per month in perspective, WordPress.com upgrades (domain name, space upgrade, custom design, etc.) comes it at $99/year and WordPress.com VIP starts at $3,750/month. Enterprise, like WordPress.com upgrades, will cover just one site at a time, while VIP will cover up to five websites.

The Enterprise option does limit users to 70 approved plugins, so full control of sites shouldn’t be expected.

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WP Late Night #31: “Redefining next day shipping” with Nacin and Helen Hou-Sandi

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WP Late Night episode #31

Tonight’s WP Late Night saw special guests Andy Nacin and Helen Hou-Sandi. They each played an integral role in the extremely-recently-released WordPress 3.5, and we all discussed the new version for a solid hour. Listener beware: this one does get pretty heavily into developer topics.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Or you can grab the show in a few other ways:

Full show notes are available just after the jump!

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Miss links already? Add them back with the Link Manager plugin

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The recently released WordPress 3.5 dropped the Link Manager from core — unless you were already using the feature, of course. For many this was met with cheers of “good riddance”, but that might not be you. The Link Manager was there for a reason, of course, and folks still used it.

If you find yourself wanting to use the link system in a new install of WordPress, or would like to bring it back on an upgraded install where it went away, try out WordPress Lead Developer Andrew Nacin’s Link Manager plugin. It’s available on WordPress.org and will add back the classic featured back to your install.

If you’re using the Link Manager and reading a WordPress blog like this one, I’d be curious to hear what you’re using it for exactly. Drop by in the comments below and let me know.

Fun times today: watch the WordPress download counter rocket up

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With WordPress 3.5 out of the gate just moments ago, you’re no doubt firing up your dashboards to run the upgrades for yourselves. Definitely do that, but for fun today I would also recommend pulling up the WordPress download counter and watching that number shoot  up fast.

3.4 saw well over 28 million downloads during its cycle (almost 29 million, really) and it’s not that often you can see this download counter as low as it will be today. Turn up some Elvin Jones and keep this one open in one of your browser tabs.

Happy upgrade day!