Post to post relationships and the limitations of WordPress

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WordPress Post to Post relationships

After recording the WPCandy Podcast last night with Ryan, we had a bit of an after the show show open discussion. I brought up something I remembered hearing a while back on a 5by5 podcast where I believe a guest of Jeffrey Zeldman’s said that WordPress couldn’t handle a website like IMDB, the popular Internet Movie Database.

I wrote down the comment to remember for later, because I had a feeling it was a bit presumptuous. Justin Tadlock, a very well respected WordPress developer, happened to be around the after the show show and was the perfect person to ask about my IMDB WordPress challenge.

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Running an Open Theme Marketplace

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One of the best things about working on the internet is being able to engage in open dialog about your business. Recently one of our ThemeForest authors, the very talented Mike McAlister, weighed in with a thought provoking post here on WPCandy. From the rate at which comments flew in, it was obvious this is an important discussion to be having.

WPCandy have very kindly allowed me to write an editorial in response to the post and the comments. I hope I can add a little more to this important conversation!

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A Hypercritical Analysis of $35 WordPress Themes

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This editorial was contributed by WordPress theme developer Mike McAlister, whose themes are available on ThemeForest. You can read more about him in his author profile below the editorial.

Your site has those fancy drop-down menus you always see around the web. Not just the one that drops down, but the one that drops down and then out, and down and out with the really slick fading transitions. It took you zero hours to code.

Your homepage features a really unique display of your portfolio items, sliding and zooming them in and out with a custom effect (designated in a custom theme options panel, of course). Adding your portfolio items was as easy as sending an email.

Your site also has 20+ custom page templates, 50+ layout and styling shortcodes, color options, video support, custom twitter widgets and working contact forms. Not to mention it is professionally designed, coded, validated and supported by some of the best talent on the web.

Your site is absolutely amazing and it cost you a total of $35. Less than an oil change, especially if you have a coupon.

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Is Tumblr the new WordPress?

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Today’s editorial has been contributed by Joshua Strebel, co-founder of Page.ly, the Managed WordPress Hosting company.

Yes, this post title is filled will juicy controversy. Intentionally so. However consider it from the following point of view.

In the rare cases someones cancels their service at Page.ly we ask them to share with us a reason why. The following is real feedback from a recent corporate customer that is part of the Viacom media conglomerate.

…[We] just want a blog we can easily theme and post to, not [run] a site primary off it. WordPress is over-complicated over-kill for this, Tumblr works fine and is much easier to deal with…

Wow.

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Jetpack means more than features for dot org users

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Jetpack is being celebrated as a cool new tool that brings features of WordPress.com in to WordPress.org. That’s true. But I think recognizing it as this, solely, is burying the lede 1. Jetpack is also a bold new business move for Automattic, one which deserves some further unpacking.

Jetpack is now a direct line in to WordPress.org Dashboards for Automattic. When (not if) Automattic releases a new software as a service, a simple update to Jetpack will bring that news in front of a serious number of WordPress.org users. This is a big step for Automattic, since up to now their reach has been mostly within the walls of WordPress.com. Now Jetpack is not only available for anyone to use 2, but it will come preinstalled with one-click installs of WordPress with a number of hosting providers.

That means big numbers.

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How can post formats be improved?

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So far most of the criticism towards the post formats feature in WordPress 3.1 has been about the formats being a standardized list that cannot be customized. But from the perspectives of portability and usability, I would say a mere standardized list doesn’t go far enough.

The argument for sticking with a standard set of post formats is that a user should be able to switch themes without losing the formatting of their posts. There are nine new formats and these do seem to cover most uses: aside, gallery, link, image, quote, status, video, audio, and chat.

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Speak up: What are the most anticipated moments of WordCamp Phoenix 2011?

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WordCamp Phoenix 2011

Whether you’re at WordCamp Phoenix this weekend or not, you likely reviewed this week’s schedule and made a few mental notes: “that would be cool”, or “really? wow!”, and perhaps “gadzooks! can’t miss that!”. Okay, you’re less likely to have thought that last one, but you see what I mean.

What looked most intriguing to you this weekend? Whether you’re attending or not, what would you be sure to attend, no matter what? Is it the design track? The development track? Or perhaps the after party or the Sunday workshop? Share your vote in the poll below and get into specifics if you care to in the comments below.

I hope at least one of you is looking forward to my “Unfunny puns and other stupid blogging tricks” prezo on Saturday night. It will be in the far corner of the parking lot. At midnight.

Let’s stop calling WordPress themes “premium”, whether they are or not

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There seems to be a constant groan running through the WordPress community lately. It started as a low hum, barely perceptible. It grew over time, and now you can’t even mention it without others joining in a chorus. So let’s just join hands, support-group-style, and say it together:

We will stop using the word “premium” to describe WordPress themes.

There, doesn’t that feel better? I feel better.

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Why WordPress breadcrumbs are almost always pointless

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breadcrumb fail whale

Breadcrumbs are a very popular navigation feature in WordPress websites. And the vast majority of the time, they are entirely useless. In fact I think I can argue that they can be negative to the overall user experience.

The purpose of the breadcrumb is to show the user where they are in a website, providing clickable archives of each layer. They can be a great feature in the right theme or on the right site, but I have seen very few implementations where breadcrumbs provided any benefit at all.

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The future of the premium theme business

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The WordPress community has many times been divided by the legitimacy or ethical purpose behind the premium theme business. There are the camps that believe all things created for WordPress should be free in line with the open source value WordPress was built on. Then there are the camps who have fought to show that there is a need for paid themes in the marketplace and that there is nothing wrong with earning a nice profit for their work. Regardless of which camp you stand in, there is no argument that premium products have made WordPress better as a whole and that the ultimate client, the end user, has benefited greatly from these tools. But where is the premium theme market heading and will these ʻethicalʼ concerns be a thing of the past?

More and more developers and designers are entering the market and creating their own themes or child theme. Theme provider sites such as ThemeGarden, ThemeForest, and Mojo Themes are quickly growing and bringing great competition to the “Big Four” theme companies. Then there are a plethora of theme frameworks such as Genesis, Startbox, Carrington, Thematic, and Xtreme One that are beneficial but may further complicate – or dilute – the premium market place. Finally, it also appears that many of the WordPress purists are finally coming to grip with the reality and value of paid products as long as they adhere to the WordPress GPL.

What does the mean for the premium theme business?

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