At the end of July, the Editorial team at Elegant Themes decided to start producing a monthly article series that gathered together all the best WordPress related news and articles under one roof. August proved to be an exciting month in the WordPress community, and we wanted to make sure you guys got to gulp down all the best digital juice from around the web.
Ready? Here it goes!
WordPress News In August
WordPress: Update, or Not To Update? That Is The Question.
If you’ve been keeping up with the latest WordPress updates, then I’m sure you know the rumors about the WordPress 4.0 update being just around the corner. Is that true? Yes, and no.
Rumor of the update began to spread back in July when the initial beta test was first released. Now with it nearing September, many wonder when the release is scheduled for.
According to Helen Hou-Sandi (one of the leads behind the WordPress 4.0 project), the release of the WordPres 4.0 Beta 4 test on the 15th of August would likely be final beta-test before it goes live. While I’m currently writing this, there are rumors that the release will happen before the end of August, but I’ve yet to have that actually confirmed. So far, it seems like an altogether underwhelming release, but it’s always good to keep up-to-date regarding the topic.
Sarah Gooding over at WP Tavern, and Elegant Themes own, Kevin Muldoon, have written up some nice articles surrounding the software update.
- Helen Hou-Sandi Previews WordPress 4.0 at NYC Meetup – WP Tavern
- WordPress 4,0 Is Just Around The Corner, And Here’s What It Has In Store – Elegant Themes
The team as Automattic seem to be hard as work with multiple updates across many of their WordPress related products as well – but I’ll get to that in a bit.
Jetpack Plugin: Yay, Or Nay?
At the end of July, Jetpack released an update that revealed a new logo along with the added feature of a Portfolio Custom Post Type. August gave many of us some time to test things out and build an overall opinion about things.
Now, for as great as the idea of Jetpack may be, there are some (myself included) who wonder if the plugin is really all it’s cracked up to be.
WPMU Dev’s, Chris Knowles, takes a deeper look into the plugin and answers a valid question: Will Jetpack Supercharge or Super Bloat Your WordPress Site? If you use Jetpack, I highly suggest you read Chris’ insights on the plugin – it’s quite the eye opener. Also, Josh Pollock wrote a nice post about the Portfolio Custom Post Type here on the blog. Be sure you check it out:
Akismet Plugin: Updated And Strutin’ Its Stuff
Good news for all you anti-spam Akismet lovers. This was yet another plugin/product by Automattic that got a bit of a makeover. Akismet 3.0.2 was released towards the middle of August to fix some performance issues within the plugin. On the much more exciting side of things, a few days following that initial update, the team released an update to the Akismet Dashboard.
The look of the new dashboard is designed around creating a better overall user-experience, but only time will tell if people truly like the redesign features or not.
BuddyPress Plugin: For Beta Or Worse
The 23rd of August brought exciting news from the BuddyPress blog when they announced the release of their BuddyPress 2.1 Beta test. The update will change how things work with @mentions in the software along with quite a few “under-the-hood” tweaks and changes. If you’re a BuddyPress user, then keep your eyes and ears open for the up-coming update.
Monarch: Release Your Digital Social Butterfly
Though it hasn’t been released yet, Nick recently wrote a post that takes a closer look at the new plugin that he and dev team have been working on. Monarch is a Social Sharing plugin for WordPress. I have used and tested quite a few of these types of plugins, but Monarch looks to be one of the most promising plugins to date. Be sure to check out Nick’s recent post on the new plugin:
Other Great Related Articles From Around The Web
- 8 Effective Plugins For Optimizing Your WordPress Site For Mobile | Raelene covers 8 different plugins and softwares that will help you design a more mobile friendly version of your site. She even mentions Elegant Theme’s own HandHeld Mobile Plugin as a viable option. (Yeah!)
- Here’s A Quick Way To Find WordPress Developers When You Need One | In need of a WordPress developer but don’t know where to find one? Then this article should be pretty helpful. Ruby mentions a few of the best places to search for your new developer.
- How To Actually Get People To Join Your Email List | The money is in the list, or at least that’s what the gurus say. Darnell Jackson’s guest post touches on some nice points on how to grow your email list.
- 40 Useful Tools To Manage and Grow Your WordPress Blog | Who doesn’t want a better blog? The tips over at WPBeginner list an astounding amount of plugins and other tools to help you build a better blog.
Highlights From The Elegant Themes Blog
It seemed only right to highlight a few of the articles from the Elegant Themes blog. In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights from this month.
- The Best WordPress Chat Plugins And Why You Should Use One | Brenda dives into why live chat options on your site are a great customer service ploy, and covers a few of the great plugins that are available to use. Her article brings up some valid points, so it’s definitely worth the read.
- Before You Start A WordPress Web Design Business, Read This | Truly one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time – and I’m not just saying that. Joyce expounds on the reality of freelancing in the modern world. If you’ve been in the freelance web design trade for a bit, then this article will really speak to you. If you’re thinking of jumping in to web design, then you should definitely take a look at this post.
- How To Design For Conversion Using The Divi Theme | Not trying to toot my own horn here, however, with Divi becoming one of the most popular themes in the WordPress market, this seemed like a good article to mention. Even though the article was based around using Divi, the post still has viable information for anyone looking to design or redesign a site for better conversion.
- WordPress Conferences Are On The Rise, Why You Should Attend | WordPress WordCamps and meetups are becoming increasingly popular. Andy touches on some of the reason for this, and why it is worth your while to attend some of these.
Wrapping It Up
August proved to be an exciting month in the WordPress community, and September is sure to bring some pretty great stuff as well. We’ve got some pretty great posts lined up for the blog, but we wanted to make sure to include you guys in the mix.
Is there anything that you really want to see up on the blog? We really want to hear from you guys, so be sure to comment below and sign up for the newsletter if you haven’t already done so.
Bye-bye August. Hello September!
Thumbnail Photo by Author ArchMan via Shutterstock.com