My experience looking for an RSS service to replace Google Reader

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rss-all-logos

This morning I spent some time investigating feed readers and services to replace Google Reader. A lot of internet users have been since Google announced Reader is going away this summer. It’s easy to pull up a list of possible alternatives, but ultimately I found it necessary to just dig in and try them out to see which works best.

I dug in, and here’s what I found out.

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An update on The WPCandy Quarterly #2!

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Moleskine with WPCandy Quarterly stickers, button, and pencil

I’m happy to announce that we’re finalizing the second issue of The WPCandy Quarterly, in the last stage before sending it off to the printers. It’s an exciting — but busy! — time, and we’re most psyched to be so close to getting another issue into everyone’s hands.

We have an amazing roundup of contributors for this issue. We have David Bisset, co-organizer of the upcoming WordCamp Miami, WooThemes’ own Ryan Ray, total pro developer John Bloch and the creator behind Builder, Chris Jean, all on board. And that’s honestly just — to abuse a cliché — the tip of the iceberg.

We’ll be teasing the issue further over the next couple of weeks, and you can expect a final release date soon as well.

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Review: Professional WordPress Design and Development, 2nd Edition

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Professional WordPress Design and Development 2nd Edition

Let’s start this review with an honest admission.

While in the 90s I collected (and read, mostly) tech books like they were going out of style. These days I barely get my hands around a book, let alone consume it.

Frankly, I don’t have the time. I have three kids (two are twins) and a wife. I have a mortgage. I co-organize WordPress meetups, and head up a WordCamp committee. That’s not including the remaining bits of time i form together to approximate a “life”.

But what’s the point of this admission? To prove to you that I only have time to devote to reading books that meet a certain level of quality and useful content – not to mention only those that age well. And I am confident in saying that Professional WordPress Design And Development is one of those books.

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jQuery and WordPress: “A shift from PHP land to Javascript land”

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jQuery desktop photograph

WordPress is one of — arguably the — most popular content management systems in the world built on PHP. Many of the platform’s major features and enhancements since 2004 have been entirely written in PHP. Project lead Andrew Nacin, however, says that in the future much  more will be built in JavaScript.

“I think [WordPress 3.5] actually signifies a shift from PHP land to JavaScript land for pretty much everything we’re going to do in the future,” Nacin told WPCandy. “That’s been happening for a few releases now, if you look at most of the major features over the last three or four releases.” WordPress 3.5 brought the re-imagined media uploader, really taking the basic drag and drop uploading of version 3.3 to a new level. WordPress 3.4 introduced the theme customizer which allows users to make changes to any compatible WordPress theme in real-time.

“[These features] all very much JavaScript heavy because they have to be,” Nacin said.

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WPCandy Podcast 35, with special guest Jake Caputo

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WPCandy Podcast #35

Jake Caputo started up quite a discussion this week centered on his being prohibited from speaking at WordCamps due to listing split licensed themes on the ThemeForest marketplace. Jake was kind enough to join me on The WPCandy Podcast to chat about his editorial and the state of the community on this divisive issue.

He also stuck around to discuss other WordPress news this week, and offer a couple of WordPress tips. It’s a fun episode, have a listen below!

You can follow Jake on Twitter, see his work and read his blog at Design Crumbs, and listen to his podcast Please Advise.

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Sergey Biryukov receives commit access for the 3.6 cycle

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sergey-wordpress-profileWordPress Lead Developer Andrew Nacin announced today that Sergey Biryukov will enjoy guest commit access to WordPress for the 3.6 cycle. He will act as the resident bug gardner, Nacin said, and will be working to clear old and new tickets and fixing bugs.

You’ll recognize Biryukov if you spend time lurking around in Trac, or of course if you’ve used any one of his twenty five plugins.

Nacin had great things to say in the announcement:

Sergey’s Trac activity can best be described as omnipresent. He has had many hundreds of contributions, large and small, accepted to WordPress core. His contributions are always thoroughly researched, with links to related tickets and changesets often going back to a previous decade.

Congrats to Sergey for the recognition, and here’s to a great 3.6 cycle! If you’re planning on contributing to 3.6 in some way, speak up in the comments below.

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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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.