To help you stay up-to-date with the latest WordPress news and trends, we are now offering an on going series of WordPress tips, tricks, news, events, and more in the form of a monthly series. Each article will cover the latest WordPress-related awesomeness from the community. This monthly list will be a compiled source for you to use at your leisure. Strap in your seat belts and enjoy the ride!
This Months WordPress News
Back in April WordPress 3.9, also known as “Smith,” was released. After more than 9 million downloads were reported after just 3 weeks, the team at WordPress announced a new release 3.9.1 which is a new maintenance release. The new release fixes 34 bugs in 3.9, which includes numerous fixes for multisite networks, customizing widgets, and updates to the visual editor that make it more user friendly. Changes to the new audio/video playlists feature have been made to improve overall performance.
If you already have WordPress 3.9 installed then 3.9.1 should automatically update with your approval.
If you want the latest release Download WordPress Here or venture to your Dashboard → Updates and click Update Now.
WordPress 4.0 Beta 2 is also now available for download and testing. This means developers are onto the stage of bug fixes and documentation in preparation for the release in late August. Find the Version 4.0 schedule on WordPress’s Get Involved section of their website. It is advised to only use the beta for testing purpose as there are still some kinks to work out but with August approaching more and more WordPress users will have access to some great new features.
A summary of changes was announced which include:
- Selectable language when installing WordPress
- Improved formatting functions
- Improvements to editor resizing. You can now resize its top and bottom bars when needed.
- Widgets in the Customizer area are now loaded in a separate panel.
- Media library gets a new grid view in addition to a list view
- An overall refreshed plugin install and search experience.
Below are some screenshots of the new additions coming with WordPress 4.0
Upon installing WordPress for the first time you are greeted with a new prompt asking what language you would to use while installing WordPress. Proceeding this form is the famous 5 minute install.
Media Library – Grid Layout
A new view for the media library is now available in a Grid format. This view is fully responsive and a pleasure to use when compared opposed to the current list view.
Media Library – Image Overlay and Navigation
Clicking on a thumbnail displays the image and meta data in a new overlay which allows you to navigate from one image to the next with some new navigational arrows.
The plugin search and installation process is another great new feature with a fresh new look. Check out the new plugin details modal as well as the new grid view when searching for an extension. I love the new design.
If you take a look at a plugin and click on its title, a new overlay come across your entire screen. The new design is a huge leap forward. Here is an example of the JetPack Plugin. Notice the new look, layout, and navigation available.
Below is a compiled list of some of the new and exciting plugins released this month. There a new plugins being added to the WordPress plugin library every day. These plugins captured our interest immediately. Give them a try and tell us what you think.
Portfolio Gallery is a great plugin for adding specialized portfolios or galleries to your site. There are various view options for your images to choose from. If you aren’t satisfied with your portfolio section, be sure to give this plugin a try or use our Elegant Builder.
The WordPress Social Sharing Optimization Plugin makes sure that, when your post is shared on the various popular social networks, it always looks good. This means that the correct rich pin and open graph meta tags are added so that your title, featured image, and so on are all included correctly. No matter how your webpage is shared, this plugin will make sure it’s optimized correctly.
Spam sucks. More often than not you need to monitor your WordPress comments carefully. The BotDetect WordPress Plugin steps in to rid your site of unwelcome guests. For all of your form fields or input fields you can opt to use a CAPTCHA tool to make sure those entering information are indeed users of your site and not bots. Included are 60 different styles of Captcha image styles that can blend in with your current WordPress theme. Also available are audio Captchas, offering up to 10 secure and accessible audio styles.
WP-Review allows you to add a complete review system to your WordPress website. Create reviews, choose from stars, percentages, or points for review scores. The icons used offer retina support, WordPress Multisite support and unlimited color schemes.
Using reviews is a great way to offer more insight on products or services you sell. Reviews provide more information your users will trust rather than taking your direct word for it. Give the WP Review plugin a try.
The NS Feature Posts plugin will add a checkbox field to each post you create called Featured. From here your post will get a custom output which you can set to be the top most post on your blog. This is similar to pinning a post on your Facebook page.
The Swifty Page Manager plugin provides an alternative interface to ordering your websites structure. With an enhanced graphic user interface you can now rearrange your pages within WordPress in a simple manner. You can edit the page’s name, status, and more right from the manager.
Some Of Our Best Blog Posts From July
- How To Price Your Services: A Guide For Web Designers
- We Are Building A Better Social Media Plugin, And It’s Called “Monarch”
- Getting Started with Git
- How To Add A Newsletter Signup Widget To The End Of Your WordPress Blog Posts
- The Best WordPress Popup Optin Plugins To Help You Gain More Subscribers
Upcoming WordPress Events
Attending an event geared towards WordPress is a great way to learn WordPress from front to back. Learning from talks, interviews, demos, tests, and your peers are all great ways to fully understand the many features included with WordPress. You may be surprised to learn about things you never thought were possible. Attending events or WordCamps is a great way to network with other WordPress advocates. Use each other’s skills to make the job of using WordPress easier than ever before.
In case you haven’t registered for a WordCamp near you there’s still time. Check out the camps for August
- WordCamp Columbus – August 1 – 3 – http://2014.columbus.wordcamp.org/
- WordCamp NYC – August 2 – 3 – http://2014.nyc.wordcamp.org/
- WordCamp Fayetteville – August 2 – http://2014.fayetteville.wordcamp.org/
- WordCamp Omaha – August 9 – 10 – http://2014.omaha.wordcamp.org/
- WordCamp Russia – August 9 – http://2014.russia.wordcamp.org/
- WordCamp Maine – August 15 – 16 – http://2014.maine.wordcamp.org/
- WordCamp Grand Rapids – August 15 – 16 – http://2014.grandrapids.wordcamp.org/
- WordCamp Birmingham – August 16 – http://2014.birmingham.wordcamp.org/
- WordCamp Montreal – August 16 – 17 – http://2014.montreal.wordcamp.org/
- WordCamp Boston – August 23 – 24 http://2014.boston.wordcamp.org/
Post image via shutterstock user Bloom Design