WordPress Weekly Recap – March 10th

Next week is an exciting week at iThemes Training as we have a four day Recurring Revenue Summit covering why recurring revenue is the lifeblood of a freelancer, how to build and package a revenue generating package for your clients, methods of using membership sites for a revenue stream, and even exploring alternative ways of creating a revenue stream.  

Plus, next Wednesday at 1pm CDT we’ve got Rebecca Gill coming back to talk about creating an exceptional customer journey with your website.

WordPress News

  • WordPress 4.5 Beta 3 is now out and available for testers to give it a “once over.” We are getting really close to the full release of WordPress 4.5. Several of the new features coming in WordPress 4.5 are:
    • theme logo support
    • visual editor improvements
    • better inline link editing
    • a bunch of new inline text shortcuts
    • a remake (and improvement) to the comment moderation screen
    • the ability to test responsiveness in the WordPress Customizer
    • improvements to the image size generator
    • the ability to login using email addresses
    • a new wp_add_inline_script() function
    • customizable embed templates
    • and a bunch of other improvements and bug fixes.
  • There is an excellent article about the economics of Web Hosting (https://kinsta.com/blog/economics-web-hosting) Wrapping your brain around financial number breakdowns like this can help you find new financial stream that are possible to create with your current (and future) clients.
  • If you haven’t found http://heropress.com yet you are missing out on some great stories and behind-the-scenes explorations of many contributors within the WordPress ecosystem. Topher DeRosia has put together a great collection of stories that details how many people in the WordPress community have overcome barriers in life, work, and personal struggles.  If you are looking to be inspired or to be encouraged, make sure you have this site on your radar.
  • Sitepoint has put out a helpful post on working with databases in WordPress that is a good post to bookmark or save to Evernote for people working with WordPress every day. (http://www.sitepoint.com/working-with-databases-in-wordpress)
  • Many people are searching for a replacement for Mandrill after they announced the elimination of the free levels that many WordPress users have been using.  We’ve got a post looking at a bunch of alternatives for WordPress transactional emails.
  • This past week there was a pretty serious security vulnerability in a fairly popular WordPress plugin. (https://blog.sucuri.net/2016/03/when-wordpress-plugin-goes-bad.html) It turns out that a “developer” by the name of wooranker pushed an update to a plugin (that hadn’t been updated in 10 months) that opened a back door to people’s servers. Whether the plugin’s ownership had changed hands or someone had figured out how to take over a plugin’s ownership is still unknown.  But this situation is a good reminder of two things:
    • Make sure you are only using plugins and themes from developers you know and/or trust.
    • Make sure you ALWAYS have backups (even backups that go back a while).
  • During last week’s Pressnomics event they previewed an interview with Alex King, who passed away after a battle with cancer.  http://pressnomics.com/2016/03/our-interview-with-alex-king Its an excellent interview with an individual who has had a deep impact in the WordPress community and direction of the project over the years.
  • */RANT BEGINS*/ In a growing world of “WordPress Developers” we see an increasing number of copy/paste developers who are pulling pieces together from StackExchange and “forking” current plugins without attributing the original authors or even mentioning its a fork.  But it gets even weirder when you look at the code and you still see original “plugin descriptions” that have nothing to do with what the plugin is supposed to do, which leads most people to think that a plugin is just another copy/paste.  Please check the code of plugins or developers you are unfamiliar with and if you see flags like function names or plugin descriptions that have nothing to do with what they claim their plugin is about… please AVOID installing those plugins because you will be in for a world of hurt when something actually needs to be updated. */END OF RANT/*
  • Do you understand WordPress file permissions and how those numbers assigned to files and folders actually work.

WordPress Plugins

  • Do you want to use something other than Gravatar for users on your WordPress site.  Letter Avatars uses the first letter of their username (or email) on a brightly colored background.
  • Do you have guest posters or people who write for you.  Now you can check that your content is unique and not a copy of something that already exists on the internet with the Free Online Plagiarism Checker plugin.
  • While many may be unhappy with the future of Mandrill, MailChimp is still a powerhouse for sending and managing a mailing list.  This MailChimp for WordPress plugin provides excellent integration with your WordPress site.
  • Do you need an easy chart implementation for your WordPress site? It doesn’t get much easier than using the Easy Charts plugin.
  • The perfect plugin for anyone providing a mobile/responsive aspect for their clients. This Mobile Call Now & Map Button will allow people to press the button and the mobile phone will either dial the number or enter the address automatically into their phone’s mapping application.

I wanted to thank those of you who write me and let me know about plugins, news, tutorials and other pieces of content many of you create. I love adding that type of information to our WordPress Weekly Recap posts. You can also let me know about things you come across by emailing benjamin @ ithemes.com. Until next week … have a great day.

 

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