Well, the year is already just past half over, but the team at WordPress.com thought it fitting to just now release Twenty Twelve, their yearly theme.
We will talk all about what makes this theme great, along with taking a look at some other changes made to WordPress.com this week.
For you .org users, we have a gaggle of new plugins to talk about and review.
The first order of business is the release of the annual default theme for those WordPress.com users.
Twenty Twelve is the next iteration of the WordPress.com theme legacy, and it offers a simpler, more graphical solution to creating a website. As you read this Week in WP, you will see that the common theme with WordPress.com this week and in the near future is the simple but professional look of a graphical page. The idea is to make the page look as graphically pleasing as possible with almost zero effort from the user.
These graphical tweaks include new homepage templates and menu titles that seem to “glow” when highlighted. The website is also designed to look very clutter-free.
Additionally, Twenty Twelve is responsive, which means a pixel perfect display that changes depending on what sort of device is used.
All in all, the new theme is just what a new, yearly iteration should be. It has all of the trappings of last years look, with an updated look and a better interface to make it look good. Anyone with a WordPress.com account should download it.
WordPress.com theme store
With the release of the Twenty Twelve theme, the WordPress team now has over 200 themes. Something has to be done.
Luckily, the team has made finding their free themes super easy with an improved interface. The new interface allows the user a more graphical representation of the offered themes. It also has an improved filtering system, with search options by color, style, feature-set, and more specific filters.
The benefit of the new theme page? Easier and more personalized access to the perfect free or premium theme for the WordPress.com blogger or website owner. Truthfully, the .org side of WordPress still offers plenty more in the way of options. But for the traditional blogger or very basic user, this is a welcome addition to the WordPress family.
WordPress.com Right Meow
The advertising interface to WordPress.com also got a major redesign this week in an attempt to capitalize on the modern blogger. WordPress.com has had its opening page changed to look more friendly to the uninitiated, with advertising to cat lovers and “foodies”, the two most seemingly popular topics in modern web posting.
The redesign includes an easier to use menu bar with more of a graphical interface, bright colors, and a focus on social media.
Realistically, this is the perfect market for WordPress.com, as it displays a free and easy to create blog creator with ties to all of your social media. In today’s market of bloggers, this is the perfect recipe for success.
Content for Money
This week we are looking at plugins for those of you looking to sell stuff on your WordPress powered website. The first plugin is Content for Money. This plugin is created by Panagiotis Angelidis and is a free way to charge money for certain pieces of content on your website or blog.
The plugin works as advertised, but I found there to be a bit too much in the way of manual input. For example, in order to select which content has to be premium, the user must input a “paycontent” bracket before and after the content you wish to be premium.
The plugin also only works with PayPal for the paid content, but being able to specify how much to pay for each piece of content is really nice.
This is a really great base feature for those who want to make the video portion of their content paid or some sort of similar treatment. It may be a bit unfriendly to the common user, who has to do some custom work to get the plugin functioning correctly.
Finally, the second plugin we are going to take a look at is Spider Catalog, from Webdorado. This is another free plugin with a paid counterpart. For additional support, custom color options and so forth, the price of $19.99 is the only way to go.
The purpose of Spider Catalog is to organize your eCommerce shop into a catalog, for different purchases.
The idea is that you can spread all of your items on one convenient catalog, so that the user can search for exactly what they want, and find it with ease, a name, and a picture. For those diverse websites with lots products to sell, looking into a catalog may be the way to go.
Summer is Over…
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Stay out of the dark. Stay out of the cold. See you next week!