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WordPress News: Lots of WordPress Releases, Love Blogging and WordPress Contest, Scott Wallick, Akismet News, Permalinks, and More

WordPress NewsThis week’s is WordPress News: Release Week News, WordPress 2.7.1, BuddyPress, WordPress MU, and More Releases, and I’ve covered a lot of WordPress news you can use:

It’s Release Week. WordPress 2.7.1 Beta 1 released for testing. WordPressMU updated. BuddyPress Beta 2 released. WP Scanner beta released. WordPress.com releases January stats. Akismet updated and improved. WordCamp.tv releases more WordCamp videos from last year. Scott Wallick releases his sites for sale. Kym Huynh of WordCast released from hospital, and does blogging with WordPress suck?

The audio version of this post can be heard here or is available for download as the WordPress News Summary for February 5, 2009.


If you missed last week’s edition on the Blog Herald, it was WordPress News: Logogate, WordCamps Everywhere, WordPress.tv, BuddyPress, WordPressMU, WordPress Plugin Podcast, and More.

Here are some highlights for this week you do not want to miss, followed by WordPress Events, WordCamps, and Meetups coming soon.

WordPress 2.7.1 Beta 1 Released

The first WordPress 2.7.1 Beta has been released and is undergoing testing. It is a maintenance release with 66 tickets fixed. Expect the final release within the next week or so.

Scott Wallick Selling Plaintxt Site and Sandbox WordPress Theme

Scott Wallick is offering for sale his popular site, plaintxt.org, and his “brand” which includes the Sandbox WordPress Theme, which is GPL and not for sale, to move onto new projects. The Sandbox Theme has long been touted as the next “default” WordPress Theme and set the standard high for other Themes to follow with a rich microformats and a powerful CSS framework.

I’ve been a huge fan of the Sandbox Theme which I use here on , and wish Scott the best of luck with his sale and all the endeavours the future holds for him. Scott, you’ve been an invaluable member of the WordPress Community and helped change it permanently. Your absence will leave a big hole and you are welcome to return any time. Thanks for everything you’ve done for so many millions of WordPress users.

WordPress.com News

The January Wrap-Up for is in and includes a new WordPress Theme, the launch of , and breaking the 2 billion mark for combined pageviews across all WordPress.com blogs. 372,519 blogs were created, with 393,836 new users, and 553 terabytes transferred the WordPress.com datacenters. Almost 9 million comments were posted across 1.4 million active blogs.

With the recent announcement of LiveJournal layoffs and closing, many are transferring to WordPress.com. They reported 7,111 LiveJournal imports.

There have been three WordCamp events so far this year in Las Vegas, Indonesia, and Whistler, BC, Canada.

In a blog post featuring photographs, WordPress server guru, Barry Abrahamson let it leak that WordPress.com is working on adding some “cool gallery features” to WordPress.com blogs that are currently found on the Neat! WordPress Theme which add navigation links to the images (next and previous) and a link to take you back to the main post from individual picture pages, increasing gallery navigation and function.

Blog Design Contest on WordPress.com

The first blogging design contest has been announced for called “I <3 Blogging Design Contest” co-produced by Infectious. This isn’t a blog web design or WordPress Theme contest. It is a graphic design contest. Design a “why I love blogging and WordPress” graphic design and if yours wins, it could be printed and sold on laptop and iPhone skins around the world through the Infectious store. Let your creative self loose and show the world how you would design what blogging and WordPress mean to you.

BuddyPress News

BuddyPress 1.0 Beta 2 has been released and all components and Themes are available for download. Hundreds of fixes have been patched and fixed since the first beta and now will sync up with WordPressMU releases for the eagerly anticipated WordPressMU social media and networking WordPress Theme and Plugins.

I got a chance to interview Andy Peatling of BuddyPress at WordCamp Whistler, so stay tuned for that video coming soon.

WordPress Fan Blogs and Podcasts

I’ve added to the WordPress fan blogs and podcasts I feature on the . They currently include highlights and news from:

Akismet News

In “Akismet: Make Commenting Easy,” Akismet reported that CAPTCHAs are now officially dead and useless, and cite a report by ZDNet that a quarter of a million CAPTCHAs are easily broken by bot and human spammers every day. I’ve been reporting the death of CAPTCHAs for a long time. I hope the final nail has been pounded into that coffin, personally.

Akismet also reports they have improved the accuracy of their blog reporting stats for counting and tracking blog comment spam. There is no Plugin upgrade required.

WordPress Permalink Structure and Strategies

Dougal Campbell highlighted conversations on efficient permalink strategies for WordPress from the WordPress mailing lists, in an attempt to understand how to properly structure our blog permalinks to speed up how WordPress process them.

Otto of Ottodestruct made this important point to consider:

For performance reasons, it is not a good idea to start your permalink structure with the category, tag, author, or postname fields. The reason is that these are text fields, and using them at the beginning of your permalink structure it takes more time for WordPress to distinguish your Post URLs from Page URLs (which always use the text “page slug” as the URL), and to compensate, WordPress stores a lot of extra information in its database (so much that sites with lots of Pages have experienced difficulties). So, it is best to start your permalink structure with a numeric field, such as the year or post ID.

Due to this discussion, the article on Using Permalinks was updated to say that using categories within the permalink structure is not “helpful” and may actually increase the number of queries to resolve the post link. The preferred format currently is to preface the post title with numbers representing dates rather than text like categories, such as:

%year%/%month%/%day%/%postname%
%year%/%month%/%postname%
%year%/%post/%postname%
%postid%/%postname%

 

WordPress Events, Meetups, and WordCamps

Here are some WordPress-related dates and events to put on your calendar.

February 2009

Finding WordPress Event News: In addition to our weekly , you can learn more about the various WordPress and WordCamp Events on the official WordCamp Central site, The WordCamp Report, Yahoo Upcoming events for WordPress, WordPress Meetups Upcoming Events, and Upcoming: Public events tagged with “WordCamp”.



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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

12 Comments

  1. Posted February 5, 2009 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    HI Lorelle. Thank you for the info re: permalinks… I never gave it a thought until now.

    Rod, rodrose.com

  2. lvsblog
    Posted February 6, 2009 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    I am curious, if established bloggers have been using %category%/%postname% and they want to follow the new guidelines, what is the recommended means of switching permalink structure? I have seen a couple of different methods described in various places to prevent broken links. I am wondering what would be the best method. Any ideas?

  3. Posted February 6, 2009 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Lorelle. It’s high time I stopped being a developer and tried my hand at being a user. ;-)

    • Posted February 7, 2009 at 1:12 am | Permalink

      You are welcome, and I’m excited to see what you do using WordPress instead of putting all your energy into abusing it. :D Good luck with your ventures and remember you are much adored here.

  4. Posted February 6, 2009 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I can’t imagine changing my permalink structure as advised is going to do my incoming links any good?

    • Posted February 7, 2009 at 1:10 am | Permalink

      If you are using a current version of WordPress, changing your permalink structure will not impact any WordPress incoming links. HTML links and static file links, yes, if you change those within your permalink structure, but changing WordPress permalinks will not impact those.

  5. Posted February 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Ta Lorelle. I’ve not only changed my permalinks but ditched the “Permalinks Moved Permanently” plugin which has been hanging around on my site for a couple of years now. Seems WordPress can find the posts regardless now.

    • Posted February 8, 2009 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      Good to know. Ain’t it sweet when you figure out you don’t have to work so hard. :D

  6. Posted February 8, 2009 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    With the recent announcement of LiveJournal closing, many are transferring to WordPress.com.

    As the lack of a link might suggest, there has been no such announcement. There were a number of layoffs at the company’s offices in San Francisco and many LJ users were frightened into moving or backing up their content elsewhere (never a bad idea, regardless of where you blog). LJ is still open to signups and planning their 10th anniversary celebrations in April.

    While I’m not optimistic about the site’s future, reporting their demise is at best premature, at worst irresponsible. Still, the great thing about blogging is that there are always readers prepared to check the facts on your behalf ;)

  7. Posted February 9, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the news about Akismet. Stats across the board are driving me a little crazy, and I’m wondering if you have run across this problem before:

    I have both the standard WordPress stats and the ShortStats plug in on my blog. The stat counts are DRAMATICALLY different, and I don’t know which one to believe. Example: WordPress will say I got 24 hits on something while ShortStats will say I got 45 unique visits plus 220 hits and 67 RSS. I know I’m still super-small, but I still want to know how many people are check out my site.

    Any help deciphering this would be greatly appreciated!

    • Posted February 10, 2009 at 12:33 am | Permalink

      Stats will be different depending upon when the Plugin or statistics tool gathers the information (is it real-time like Woopra, delayed by an hour, two, six, 24?) and how it counts. It also depends upon the version of the Plugin you are running. Some of the older versions of ShortStats had problems and I’m not sure if it has been updated to work with the latest version of WordPress.

      Tracking feeds is even harder. If you have any feed redirects, it might not count them.

      It’s not a clear cut thing. Different programs handle the numbers very differently. And honestly, if you are into exact numbers, then slow down and refocus. The stats often don’t tell you the information you really need to know. You may have 220 hits, but what are they coming for and how many of those were conversions to return customers. Think of them as general numbers to give you an estimate over time and you’ll do better, but find out how each stats package works to find out why there might be some discrepancy.

  8. Posted February 12, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Lorelle! Appreciate the insight.


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  1. [...] maintenance probably involves upgrading to WordPress 2.7.1, server improvements, and possibly the reported news of some “cool gallery features” that may add navigation links for image pages, and [...]

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