This Month In WordPress — The November 2014 Edition

Posted on November 30, 2014 by in Editorial | 4 comments

This Month In WordPress — The November 2014 Edition

What does this post signify? Yup, you guessed it. It means that November is over and December is right around the corner. Can you believe it? Yeah… me either.

November was a fast-paced whirlwind month, and I’m sure December will be the same in terms of life and WordPress related news.

Below we have yet another roundup of WordPress news from November. Hopefully, you find something enjoyable to read while you cozy up to a fire with a cup of hot cocoa (fingers crossed).

WordPress In November

WordPress 4.0.1 Security Update

WordPress Update

WordPress

The 4.0.1 update for WordPress that was released back on November 20th has been labeled a “critical security release.” The update fixes 8 rather important security issues and 23 bugs found in 4.0, including one issue that has been in WordPress 3.9.2 (and previous versions) that has a cross-site scripting vulnerability — I’m not entirely sure what that means, but apparently it’s a big deal as it can compromise your site’s security.

Just as a side note, one bug I noticed which seems to be gone with the new update is in the Post Editor.

While editing a post in the previous version of WordPress, anytime I would turn one paragraph into two, the post editor would glitch out and automatically duplicate the paragraph in the area that it had been originally, thus creating duplicate content.

I also ran into the Editor auto-correcting words that I didn’t want to change (*argh*). This created a huge headache for writing and editing in WordPress in general, but it hasn’t been an issue on any of the sites I write on that run on the new update. Did anyone else run into this issue? (*shrug*)

If you haven’t already updated to the newest version of WordPress, then now may be a good time to backup your site and update.

WordPress 4.1 In Beta To Be Released In December

More exciting news from WordPress — 4.1 is now in beta and set to be released to the world in December. So far, that timeframe looks like a go. There are quite a few improvements added in 4.1, including one that should make quite a few happy, namely, being able to download new language pack from your General Settings area.

Looks like December will be an exciting one!

Akismet 3.0.3 Update

Akismet by Automattic

Akismet by Automattic

Akismet saw a minor update to the plugin. According to the blog, there were a few glitches that were fixed:

it (the update) gives you more control over how Akismet deletes old spam comments: the maximum age and number per batch are both filterable. You can also disable Akismet’s debug logging even if you have WP_DEBUG enabled. Lastly, we’ve removed the “Check for Spam” button from the Spam folder; that just seemed reasonable.

Jetpack 3.2 Update

Jetpack Plugin

Jetpack Plugin

The 3.2 release for Jetpack is one that many people should be happy about — the biggest one being the speed improvements that have been made. The update has hugely improved the time it takes for the Related Posts module to cache (took it down from over 12 hours to now only a few minutes), and they’ve tweaked things to be a bit more streamlined so that Jetpack doesn’t make as many requests when loading from the server.

According to the Jetpack blog, this update when coupled with the Photon module will vastly improve site speed. Another small but convenient update is that of the centralized posting option. Since Jetpack requires a WordPress.com account in order to connect to a self-hosted WordPress site, you can now login to your WordPress account and post to any of your sites that you have connected there. This eliminates the need for multiple logins across your WordPress sites to write and publish posts. However, to me, this also means that your password for WordPress.com should be updated to something stronger (assuming that it’s not a strong password to begin with).

Blogging U. Releases New E-books

Blogging U. by The Daily Post

Blogging U. by The Daily Post

Did you know that WordPress has a Blogging University? Yup, they sure do, and it’s pretty awesome! With the success of their Writing 101 and Writing 201 courses on Blogging U. they decided to release 2 e-books:

  • Writing 101: Build a Blogging Habit
  • Writing 201: Finding You Story

Both e-books are free to download and come in PDF and .epub format, as well as available to download to a Kindle device or Kindle app.

Other Great Stuff From Around The Web:

  • 7 Best Free Author Bio Box Plugins for WordPress | Looking for an author bio box other than the default one given in WordPress? WP Beginner lists 7 of the best free options available on the WordPress market.
  • 20 Reasons To Attend a WordCamp | Still trying to decide if attending a WordCamp is worth it? Jeff Chandler, who was recently interviewed by Waseem Abbas, links over from his post to Waseem’s blog where you can hear 20 reasons to go to one from 20 different members of the WordPress community. All and all, they each have valid points.
  • WordPress Resources: Best WordPress Podcasts | Freddy over at WPExplorer created a great list of the best WordPress podcasts. If you haven’t started listening to any WordPress podcasts, then you may want to change that. Many of the podcasts are by well-known people in the WordPress community and they all have a plethora of knowledge that you are free to soak up at your leisure.
  • Fixing The White Screen of Death | When someone brings up the topic of The White Screen of Death, my initial reaction is to hiss at them and scurry off in true vampire fashion — I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. If you ever think you’ll run into that dreaded white screen (which will likely happen at least once in your lifetime), then Al’s post could be of great help. Here he dives into why you might be having the issue and ways to fix it.
  • WordPress Plugins to Increase Audience Interaction and Engagement | Have a blog that’s seeing decent traffic, but it’s seeing no or minimal engagement? Shaun at WPExplorer covers a few nice plugins that can help change that.
  • Optimize Your Twitter Account with Followerwonk | Twitter is still a viable social media platform. Nida Rasheed, over at Kevin Muldoon’s blog, gives an overview of Followerwonk for taking advantage of the platform and utilizing it boost your mastery of Twitter altogether.
  • The Blogger’s Bucket List: 20 Must-Reach Milestones on the Path to World Domination | Why add this post to the list? Because blogging is the long life partner of WordPress and it always will be. This post takes a sort of comedic approach to blogging, however, all the information found in the post is bound teach everyone something new. If you’re going to read anything today, check out this post.
  • What SEO Used to Be Versus What SEO Is Now | It’s one thing to read a blog post about SEO but it’s another thing to read a post from someone who actually knows what the heck they’re talking about. Neil Patel dives into the differences of old SEO practices and the new and refreshed practices that everyone should be keeping tabs on.
  • Creating WordPress Theme Options With the Theme Customization API | Here’s a post for the more technically skilled in the WordPress community. Daniel walks through how to put additional customization options in the WordPress customizer area using the WP_Customize_Manager class.
  • 6 Ways to Streamline Your Online Store’s Checkout Process | If you run an e-commerce store, then this post should be helpful. Brenda covers a few nice points on how to make it easier for your customer’s to checkout in a fluid motion.
  • Chris Lema Discusses WordPress, Blogging & Life | Yeah, I’ll say it — Chris Lema is awesome. If you’d like a bit of insight into this WordPress Jedi’s mind, then check out this interview.

Highlights From The Elegant Themes Blog

  • How To Use WordPress as a CRM | CRM systems and tools have been considered something separate from WordPress, but did you know that you can turn WordPress in a Customer Relations Management tool? Ya sure can! Nathan covers some cool plugins to help turn your site into an awesome CRM tool for your online business toolkit.
  • Lessons Learned Blogging as a Freelance Writer | Blogging and freelance writing is fun and interesting career that I dove into close to a year ago. I’ve learned quite a few things along the way and I’ve shared a few of those lessons for both bloggers and aspiring writers in this post.
  • How To Get More Followers On Facebook And Twitter | Social Media is a powerful element for most, if not all, sites and blogs. However, gaining a social media following is one that tends to stump many. Brenda touches on a few tips and tricks for gaining followers on two of the most popular S.M. platforms — Facebook and Twitter.
  • Getting The Most Out Of WordPress Shortcodes | Nathan covers what shortcodes are and he lists some great shortcode plugins to use for WordPress.
  • How To Integrate Twitter with WordPress | Yet another great post by Nathan on the topic of Twitter. Here he lists various ways you can use Twitter in WordPress.
  • WordPress vs Weebly: Customization Meets Drag-and-Drop | Brenda gives a comprehensive overview of both the WordPress and Weebly platforms.
  • Using The Jetpack Plugin To Supercharge Your WordPress Website | There are a few different opinions about the Jetpack plugin, but it does have its strengths. This post covers some of the best modules to activate in Jetpack to help take your site to the next level.

Wrapping It Up

November has been a great month in WordPress, and December ramping up to be just as amazing. Did you come across any great articles this month that are worth sharing?

Article Thumbnail by Author Max Griboedov vis Shutterstock

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4 Comments

  1. Great article

  2. When are we going to get some new themes? Or when will some of the older themes get updated? (responsive)

    I know Divi is your main theme now, but it’s a shame there are no more frequent releases. At best it gives us some inspiration.

  3. Thank you for the nice monthly wrap-up. I especially appreciated the “Other Great Stuff …”. I found some interesting things and gained a bit of insight along the way.

  4. Hi Ariel,

    I’m a little (okay, very) late to the game, but THANK YOU for mentioning “The Blogger’s Bucket List: 20 Must-Reach Milestones on the Path to World Domination” and saying such nice things about it.

    That’s my baby. (Not literally, of course.) I wrote it. 🙂

    It’s such a fun discovery when you find a tidbit from the past like this. Thank you for the kind words, Ariel, and keep up the great work!

    -Kevin

    P.S. This is the point in my comments where I usually say I will tell my friends about your great website, but I already do that. Elegant Themes is awesome. 🙂

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