Well, it’s finally arrived. 2014 is all wrapped up and 2015 is ramping up to be yet another exciting year. I still can’t believe how time flew this year!
To wrap up the year in a truly elegant fashion (see what I did there? *wink*), here is the best WordPress related news from the month of December.
WordPress In December
WordPress Core Update — Oh, Dinah!
The minds behind WordPress decided to end the year with a bang with the release of WordPress 4.1. The release was affectionately named “Dinah” after the ever amazing and soulful jazz singer Dinah Washington. (Did anyone else catch that all the recent releases have been attributed to Jazz artists?)
The release has quite a few nice things that have been cleaned up and added including a slight update to the distraction-free mode, new options for selecting a language for WordPress (after install), easier options for editing media in your post, and much more.
The WordPress update also came with the new theme release called, Twenty Fifteen which looks to be one of the best, if the not best, annual theme release from the WordPress team to date.
Jetpack users may be happy about the new 3.3 update to the popular plugin. The product now offers users a dashboard management feature which allows them to access and manage many aspects on both .com and .org WordPress sites.
This new feature includes the ability to update plugins and access all your sites’ that are connected with Jetpack.
If you’re a Slider Revolution/RevSlider user, you’ll want to pay attention to this section of the post most of all.
In the middle of December, a huge malware attack, nicknamed SoakSoak, hit around 100,000 WordPress power sites — a pretty big attack on the popular Content Management System. The team at Sucuri did some digging on the attack and discovered that the reason it was so large and effective was due to a vulnerability in old versions of the Slider Revolution plugin.
Google has blacklisted quite a few of the sites hit by this attack, and recovering from the damage is bound to be a long road for more than a few.
If you bought a theme from a site like ThemeForest that bundled the plugin in your purchase or you believe that you may have the plugin on your site (either active or inactive), now is the time to get things figured out. Even if you haven’t been using the RevSlider there is a large lesson to be learned in this attack — namely that updates are not just important, but they are vital to a healthy site.
The WordPress Plugin Directory Just Got A Bit of Competition
It takes a quite a bit of sorting and research to find a free plugin that is actually worth using. But with the help of the new section on ManageWP.org, finding the best of the best is now much easier.
The Best New Plugins section, as it is named on the site, helps those seeking a new plugin for their site by narrowing down the selection by category and then by rating. You can view the plugin details, download plugins and even compare plugins to see which is the best choice.
It a pretty cool tool, and one that we all should bookmark.
Other WordPress Related News In December
- Best WordPress Deals for Christmas and New Year 2014 | If you’re looking for some great deals on WordPress related products before the end of the year, then check out the post on WP Kube. You’ll find some great coupons on top WordPress products to help you get yourself a little something nice before the new year.
- Using Vagrant To Setup A WordPress Test Environment | This post is a bit on the technical side, but sure to help quite a few. Daniel’s post on the WPMU Dev Blog explains what Vagrant is, how it works, how to set it up on your test site and where to go from there.
- 6 Ways To Improve Your Blog Posts | Whether you’re a casual or professional blogger, learning how to improve your blog posts is something we should all aim for. Longtime blogger, Kevin Muldoon, offers up some prime tips on how to improve your posts.
- Handy Free Chrome Browser Apps and Extensions for WordPress Users | Google Chrome and WordPress come together in this post by Joe Fylan on WPLift. If you use Google Chrome, then these extensions could be a nice little add-on to your browser.
- How To Complement Your Online Store With a Powerful Social Media Strategy | Everyone knows that Social Media can be a powerful part of their marketing strategy, but how does one actually go about a winning plan? Elegant Themes’ own Brenda Barron dives into the topic. If you run an online store, you’re going to love her tips even more.
- How to Automatically Log out Idle Users in WordPress | If you run a blog that has multiple users on it, but you also want to bump up security, then this may be something you didn’t think of before. Learn how to automatically log out inactive users or authors on your WP site with this article over at WP Beginner.
- The Ultimate Step By Step Guide for Getting Your First 1000 Blog Visitors | This post title is sure to catch a few eyes. Getting traffic to both new and old blogs can be a tricky path to tread alone. This post on WP Mayor gives a walkthrough of how you can get your first big number of visitors to your blog.
- Manage Your Own Affiliate Program(me) Directly From Your WordPress Dashboard with AffiliateWP – Plugin Review | If you’ve been thinking of adding an affiliate program to your site or online product, then this review could be just what you’re looking for. Joe dives into the popular plugin, AffiliateWP, and cover what it does, how to set it up and where to go from there.
- The Quick and Dirty Guide to Creating Your “Bribe to Subscribe” in Record Time | Does this sounds like you? You have traffic to your site, but your subscription number are slim. If that’s the case, don’t fret — we all have struggled with this at some point. These tips by Jenna Dalton on Boost Blog Traffic are great for helping those who are struggling to nab newsletter subscribers.
- 100 Lessons Learned from 10 Years of Blogging | Wouldn’t you love to learn blogging lessons from someone who has been extremely successful? Well, now you can. Niel Patel tells of 100 lessons he has learned in his decade-long blogging journey. Don’t worry, the post won’t take too long to read but it’s definitely worth the time doing so.
Highlights From The Elegant Themes Blog
- How To Add Pagination To WordPress | Pagination is a nice user-friendly addition that some blogs lack. Thankfully, adding it to your WordPress site isn’t all that difficult. Jay offers tips on how to do this both manually and with the use of plugins.
- A/B Testing With WordPress: The What, Why, And How | A/B Testing is a more of a science than an art, but it is easier than it sounds. In this post, I explained what split testing is and what you can use to help your conversion rate on your site.
- A Quick Guide To Creative Commons Image Plugins For WordPress | Searching for pictures to use in posts can be time-consuming. However, with the use of Creative Commons Image plugins, it doesn’t have to be so hard. Nathan gives some plugin suggestions that are sure to help your posts along the way.
- How To Add Open Graph Meta Tags To WordPress | Using Open Graph Tags in WordPress sites is becoming quite popular these days. If you want to keep up with the trend, then Jay’s post will help you to integrate the tag function into your site to help boost your Social Media exposure and sharing.
- The Big Debate—WordPress Trackbacks And Pingbacks: Are They Dead? | Trackbacks and Pingbacks are not new to WordPress, but are they actually worth the time using? There is a bit of a debate about these — most people hate them while others find them useful. But what’s your take on the systems? Be sure to add your thoughts to either side of the argument.
- A Simple Guide To Rich Snippets For WordPress | Yet another trend on the rise is the use of Rich Snippets. Nathan’s guide makes it easy to understand what they are and offers great suggestions for implementing them in your blog or site.
- How To Manage And Monitor Your Online Reputation | It is a common saying that it takes a lifetime to build a good reputation and only one moment to destroy it — kind of a scary thought when you think about how much of our lives are up for grabs in this online powered world. If you want to keep the power in your hands, then Brenda’s post is sure to resonate with more than a few.
- How To Hide The Fact That Your Website Runs On WordPress | WordPress is great, but not everyone wants the world to know that they’re running their site on it. Want to hide your WP loyalties? KeriLynn shows methods for doing just that.
Wrapping It Up
2014 has been one of the most exciting years for me so far, and I’m sure that many of you can say the same thing. The new year is sure to bring more great blog posts and products in the WordPress community and it’s been an amazing journey to get to know the community here on Elegant Themes.
I hope you all have had a great December and that the new year brings you even more awesomeness!
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