So, the other day after I woke up, I caught a glimpse of the calendar and was hit by the sudden realization that it was going to be March in a couple of days… MARCH, of 2015! Where does time go? (*sigh*) Not that I’m complaining, but… no, I’m definitely complaining.
Time goes by way too fast!
All whining aside, the year has already brought about some great news and products from the realms of WordPress. In this month’s WordPress News Round-Up, we’ll be covering some of what’s been taking place in the world of WP and other great articles from around the web.
This Month in WordPress
WordPress Core Maintenance Release
February saw an update to WordPress that fixed 21 bugs that were found in the software. Some were likely hoping for something with a little bit more interesting to this update, but according to WordPress.org, the 4.1 release went off without much of a hitch so there wasn’t much to address in this update. The update was still needed and did fix a few things so thumbs up!
WordPress iSO Gets Visual
All you writers on-the-go may be happy to hear that the WordPress app for your iPhone finally has a visual editor added to make writing from your phone or tablet a bit more enjoyable. Though the Text/HTML editor available in the app does give you the most flexibility to formatting if you know your way around code, it did limit many who needed a way to write and publish but who didn’t have HTML knowledge. The update also brings the choice of adding more image sizes directly into your post.
Jeff Chandler over at WPTavern gave it a test run and after the initial test said that even though he “struggled with adding block quotes, the visual editor is a nice departure from HTML mode.” The update seems like enough to try the app out again myself. What do you think about it?
BuddyPress broke? No, it didn’t break per say, but it did do something pretty exciting.
It broke its record for downloads made in a single day — 10,107 of its 2.2.1 update to be exact.
The plugin is one of the most popular ones around with more than 2 and a half million downloads, and its record download day just goes to show that improving a digital product like this is always a good idea.
Divi and Monarch Get Updates
The Elegant Themes community had an additional treat this month with updates to the two most popular products here on Elegant Themes — Divi and Monarch.
February 5th saw the Monarch 1.2 update, which has some new and improved features to make us all smile a bit.
- Auto-updating Follow Counts
- Left and Right Floating Sidebar
- Share From Any Network
- Add Share Buttons to Your Homepage
- All-time Network Share Stats
- Track Your Most Shared Content
- Individual Post and Page Stats
- New Pop-up and Trigger Options
- Bug Fixes
If that wasn’t exciting enough, Divi also had some sprucing up of its own. Right on the heels of Monarch 1.2, Nick accounted that Divi 2 was now multilingual!
With the update to the beloved theme, Divi now supports 32 language translation and has full RTL (right to left) support meaning that even more people around the world can take advantage of the using the theme. Choosing your language preference is as simple as the click of the mouse, and Divi does the rest for you.
The update also comes with smart font selections to help narrow down the font choices depending on the language you choose and the team has even added fonts to make sure there is a great font choice for every language that is currently available to use with Divi.
Also, for all those curious about what’s been happening behind the scenes at Elegant Themes with regards to the Extra theme, then you’ll want to check out Nick’s most recent post:
- The Silent Progress Of Extra, The Evolution Of Divi, And A Glimpse Into The Future Of Elegant Themes
Highlights From The Elegant Themes Blog
- How To Make Your WordPress Website Multi-Lingual | Need to figure out a way to make your WordPress site support multiple languages? Then you’ll want to read Brenda’s blog post on different methods for doing just that.
- How to Create Your Own Affiliate Program with WordPress | If you’ve been wanting to boost sales on a certain product or generate leads to your site by adding an affiliate program, but you don’t want to go through the hassle of joining a site like Commission Junction or Share-A-Sale, then Nathan’s post is sure to be helpful and enlightening as the post offer tips for doing this on your own site.
- 7 Creative Ways to Take Advantage of Your WordPress Site’s Footer | Just about every WordPress theme comes with the option of a site footer. The question is, just what should you put there? Brenda jumps on the topic and offers some creative suggestions to make your footer work for you.
- A Basic Guide To WordPress Theme Customization | Changing the style of a theme can be… complicated if you want to do more than what is offered in the theme options. If you want a basic rundown of how CSS works when making changes to a theme, then Daniel’s article is a great place to start.
- Converting HTML Sites to WordPress Sites | Continuing with the theme of technical posts, Nathan tackles the topic of how to go about converting your HTML site to WordPress. He offers some great suggestions for doing this yourself and just how to go about doing it.
- How To Optimize Your Google Plus Profile Page | Many people have Google Plus profile pages, however, most don’t bother to optimize them. For the average person, this won’t be a particular issue, but for those who are starting or who wish to gain a firmly planted online presence, then optimizing your G+ profile is just one of the many online profiles that you shouldn’t ignore. I dive into the areas of your profile to focus on, what you should put in those areas and why.
- How To Drive Massive Referral Traffic From Pinterest In 2015 | Much like Google Plus, Pinterest is yet another new-ish social media platform that can be huge in your online marketing efforts. Dan (one of the new and rather talented/knowledgeable writers here on Elegant Themes) gives actionable steps you can start taking today so that you can dominate Pinterest this year.
- Beyond Google Analytics: The Best WordPress Analytics Tools on the Web | Tired of the look that Google Analytics brings to the online metric measuring table? You wouldn’t be the only one. Nathan offers some pretty cool alternatives to measuring the analytics of your site.
- Akismet: What Is It, and How Do You Set It Up? | Raise your hand if your hate spam. Yup, me too! Akismet is a great WordPress plugin to help you handle comment spam. If you want to use the plugin but are on a tight budget, then be sure to read this post as I’ll show you how to setup the plugin and get it for a great price!
Other Great WordPress Related Article From Around The Web
- Create a Custom WordPress Login Without Plugins | Customizing the WordPress Login area of a WP site is one that many have decided to do in order to create a more rounded brand. However, some people want to do this without using a plugin. Iain over at Line25 shows how to do just that.
- Peter Nilsson Envisions The Future Of WordPress As An Application Framework | Waseem from Cloudways interviews Peter of WP Daily Themes on the topic of WordPress. Peter has some interesting ideas as to what WordPress will become in the future.
- Twoople—The Live Chat Plugin To Make Life Easier | Live Chat is gaining popularity as a great way to provide better customer service to your online customers or viewers. Twoople is a new live chat service that integrates with WP and has some features that make it a bit different than others out there.
- 30 Experts Share The Top *Non-Obvious* WordPress Plugins That’ll Make You a Better Blogger | Want to know what high-end bloggers like Pat Flynn, Zac Johnson, and Neil Patel think are great plugins to use and that make you a better blogger? Then you’ll want to read this article by Karol on CODEINWP.
- A Comprehensive Guide to WordPress Menus | Dialing it back to basics, Kevin Muldoon dives into WordPress menus and offers a great guide and options for the feature in WP.
- 5 Speed Optimization Myths | There are a ton of tips out there offering solutions to speeding up a WP site, but which is actually fact and which is fiction? Lucy at WP Rocket debunks 5 myths that may surprise you. Be sure to read this one.
Articles About SEO, Social Media, and Online Marketing
This is a new section in this month’s round-up post. Since many of you are looking for more information about these subjects, I thought it might be nice to add this section to help you out a bit more. Let me know if you like this and I’ll be sure to keep adding them.
- Demystifying Epic Content: How to Actually Create It (Not Just Jabber About How Important It Is) | Everywhere you turn, you’re bound to hear that creating epic content is how to drive traffic to your site, but how does one go about creating that? Sonia at Boost Blog Traffic masterfully knocks one out of the park on the subject. It may be a longer read, but it’s worth reading.
- How to Use Twitter Lists for Business | Are you new to Twitter and wondering how to make the most of it? Few know and use the feature of Lists in Twitter, but they can be huge to growing your following and driving traffic to your business. If you want to know how to do this, then be sure to read this post by Aaron over at Social Media Examiner.
- The Ultimate Guide to Hashtags | Just how important are hashtags, how many should you use, and does that amount change depending on the platform you’re posting too? QuickSprout created a great infographic to help you figure that out.
- Why SEO Is Actually All About Content Marketing | There’s been some confusion out there about whether or not Content Marketing will overtake SEO in the future, but Niel Patel is tired of hearing about. He covers why content marketing and SEO are essentially one in the same.
- Building Online Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses | Online Marketing is important for every business, but building a strategy for small business is a bit different than crafting one for bigger companies out there. Morgan with Moz explains how to structure your strategy for your small business.
- Want More Traffic That Actually Converts? Follow These 4 Steps… | Brian Dean’s blog, Backlinko, has quickly become one of the new go-to blogs for learning about SEO and driving traffic to your site. Why? Because his methods are unorthodox and insanely effective. This post is proof of that.
- 13 Simple Questions to Help You Draft a Winning Content Strategy [Free Worksheet] | If you don’t have a content strategy for you business, then you’re missing out. However, it’s understandable if you’re confused about where to start. If you’re not sure how to get started with your content strategy, then be sure to check out this post on CopyBlogger.
- An SEO Beginners Guide to Permalinks and Slugs | Getting back to the basics of WordPress, Joe over at WPKube breaks down permalinks and how to set them up for SEO.
Wrapping It Up
There was a ton of great articles and content published to the web this month. Did you guys find any about WordPress, SEO or similar topics that you thought were well worth the read? Be sure to share them with the rest of us.
Article Thumbnail by Max Monkik via Shutterstock