This morning Automattic released version 2.0 of their Jetpack plugin. This, the tenth release of the plugin, includes four new features: publicize, post by email, infinite scroll, and photon.
The first few features will sound somewhat familiar if you’ve used WordPress.com in the past. Publicize allows you to post to various social platforms when you publish, post by email lets you, well, post by email, and infinite scroll will automatically load your posts as visitors scroll down your page instead of requiring they click to view the next set of posts.
Pagely is announcing a number of new partnership opportunities today for their managed WordPress hosting service. They’ve spent months prepping their in-house API in order to offer a revamped reseller program, and even cooler, a partner program that allows theme and plugin shops to offer seamless hosting services to their clients.
The underlying infrastructure is the same for both the reseller and the partner API programs, but how Pagely partners with users of each program is different. The partner API program is especially exciting, and I’ll explain more about it later in this post. But Pagely is offering more today than the new API. They are also running a birthday deal.
Pagely is turning 3 years old in September, and to celebrate they are offering a really low price of $19 per month for six months of service, for any plan. That’s $30 off the basic plan and $780 off for their pro plan. If you’ve ever wanted to try Pagely, then you should do so now.
Now, let’s talk about this API
The WordPress.com homepage has a purrty new look for logged out users. The team at Automattic created a more modern look that targets potential new users directly. The post image above is from one of the new slides letting users know that WordPress.com is a perfect place to blog your cat pictures. There are a few other slides for other… umm, niches.
The new design also shows a couple of random themes from the .com theme showcase (which also just got a small redesign and some performance enhancements) as samples of what is available. And there’s a fancy graphic for all the networks you can share content on from within the platform. The option to enable a custom domain is also highly visible.
In case you are wondering, the headline font on the new design is Lato Ultra-Light, which in my non-designer-and-therefore-worthless-opinion, looks delicious.
Go give it a look if you haven’t seen it yet. It’s likely many WPCandy readers are logged into WP.com most of the time, but now you know what your friends will see when you recommend to them the easiest way to get started with a blog.
edit: I’ve learned (thanks Matt Thomas!) Joen Asmussen was primarily responsible for the redesign. Go say hi to him on Twitter if you liked his work!
Periodically, I hear about a plugin that just makes me say, “Yes!” Today is one of those days. Raven Internet Marketing Tools, the company behind some incredibly popular SEO and internet marking tools, has released a free WordPress plugin that makes creating schema data dead simple.
Raven worked with well known WordPress developer Andrew Norcross to create the plugin, aptly named Schema Creator. Though the announcement for Schema Creator is not yet live, the plugin is available in the WordPress plugin repository for your consumption. I’ve given it a spin myself, and considering I already knew Andrew Norcross was a great developer (seriously, follow him on Twitter or something), I’m not surprised that it works exactly as advertised.
How to use the Schema Creator plugin
WordCamps are happening at an ever-greater speed; Matt’s State of the Word mentioned that around 30 WordCamps are scheduled to happen yet this year. Wow. The event craziness is definitely happening this weekend, with WordCamp Grand Rapids, WordCamp Montreal, and WordCamp Portland all taking place right now.
If you’re at home — or at the very least not cloned and therefore not at all three events — then use the information below to follow these current WordCamps in whatever ways you can.
- The Twitter hashtag for WordCamp Grand Rapids this weekend is #wcgr. There isn’t a live stream or anything, but you can follow the WPCandy liveblog of the event since I’ll be in Grand Rapids all weekend.
- WordCamp Montreal will be using the #wcmtl hashtag on Twitter.
- WordCamp Portland is using the #wcpdx Twitter hashtag. Keep an eye on that one around 1pm Portland time, since Matt Mullenweg will be there doing a town hall event.
If you’re going to be at any of the events above, or just pay really good attention and see anything worth drawing attention to, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Spurned on by a few tweets earlier this week, discussions around a review process and volunteer team for the WordPress.org plugin directory is picking up momentum. Following responses to Jake Goldman’s tweet:
The following evening (and nearly running right up and against our WP Late Night podcast recording) Otto hosted a Google Hangout where those involved in that initial discussion could air their thoughts. The Hangout included more than a dozen folks like Shane Pearlman, Jake Goldman, John Hawkins, and WPCandy alum Brian Krogsgard.
You might remember when the Automattic Theme Team announced their _s theme on ThemeShaper back in February. This week the team announced Underscores.me, a new home for the framework theme and those who build websites with it.
The personified theme (which is always fun, of course) says this on the home page (emphasis mine):
Hi, I’m a starter theme called _s, or underscores, if you like. I’m a theme meant for hacking so don’t use me as a Parent Theme. Instead try turning me into the next, most awesome, WordPress theme out there. That’s what I’m here for.
I find this interesting in a theme climate where everyone is promoting the use of theme frameworks – almost exclusively – as parent themes. Automattic’s team here, though, sees the theme’s goal differently. Ian Stewart, Michael Fields, and Lance Willett were the primary authors of _s, though twelve other folks receive credit for tweaks to the theme via Github on their site.
Have you used _s for a project? Do you think it stands up against other theme frameworks – particularly any of the paid ones?
Matt Mullenweg gave his ninth State of the Word presentation at WordCamp San Francisco this weekend to a standing room only crowd at the Mission Bay Conference Center. He recapped the year’s highlights, reflected on projections from last year, and named a few challenges that WordPress faces at the moment.
A number of the things he covered won’t be news to many of you who read WPCandy often, but some of it well. Check out the full recap below (or the blow-by-blow from the weekend’s liveblog) for all the details.
photo via Daryl’s slides
Wireframes for a new WordPress media management interface
have emerged on the Make WordPress UI blog. Daryl Koopersmith posted the wireframes, and noted that he worked very closely with Dave Martin, Andrew Nacin, and Mark Jaquith on the project. I should forewarn you that they are amazing
. You really, really need to check them out.
The presentation is a complete walkthrough of managing media, including the a proposed process for adding and editing both images and galleries. And much more. Really, read it.
A few things in the proposed workflow are especially interesting to me:
- The entire interface would be overhauled
- With the new system, you’ll likely be able to insert multiple galleries into a post via the UI
- Galleries should be able to include images not attached to the current post (the idea of “attaching” media could change entirely)
- The window would not be a new pageload of WordPress. It would operate similarly to the link manager. Aka, it will be very fast.
- Intuitive drag and drop sorting
- Consistent “Add Media”, “Edit image”, and custom header UI
- Images could be dragged straight to the editor to add them
Please remember that these are wireframes, not code. Some or all or none of this could be included in WordPress 3.5/6/7. However, as any WordPress development armchair quarterback could tell you, a media overhaul has been in high demand for a while. It looks like the team is really dedicated to it right now.
Go read the post. And read the comments. There is a great discussion going on. Also, there will likely be a lot of discussion about this at WordCamp San Francisco, especially for the Sunday hack day. There are two relevant tickets to the project on Trac: #21390, and #21391.
Major kudos to the UI team. I’m quite happy about this, and I bet most of you are too!
WP Engine announced on their blog today that they have launched seamless git integration into their platform for WordPress developers. Up to this point, version control has seen relatively little integration in the WordPress community, despite it being common practice in many software applications. Seeing a major player in the WordPress hosting business integrate version control directly into their systems is pretty exciting.
If you aren’t familiar with version control, check out this visual guide to get familiar with the concept. However, most of us have probably had at least some experience with it, and projects like Github (recently funded for $100 million), are completely focused on version control, have absolutely exploded in popularity.
WP Engine has guided documentation for creating your initial repository based on their built-in snapshot feature, so that developers who didn’t previously use version control (and should) can quickly get up to speed. Of course, some customers don’t need version control, and can continue to utilize WP Engine’s staging and production setup as they always have. Version control offers considerable power, but it can get very messy if you don’t know what you’re doing. I recommend you check out these resources if you are new to the concept of working with git.
Those of you familiar with git will feel right at home. The integration they’ve developed from the git codebase is based on git-push-to-deploy, and operates similarly to other services like Github and Bitbucket, except that it is integrated directly from your local install to your hosting environment. Users can deploy to a staging environment or directly to production.