Hello WordPressers! 236 years ago, this nation declared its independence and freed the people from oppression.
Today, and three million WordPress 3.4 downloads later, WeekPress is here to celebrate the Fourth of July and free the WordPress community from the boring!
This week sees the release of the first 3.4 update as well as Google taking over the iPhone and iPad App Store.
WordPress 3.4.1 is here to protect the country and the world of WordPress users from security holes found in the original 3.4 release. It does this and adds some cool new features as well.
- Structural improvement for permalinks
- Theme Page Templates always detected
- Better compatibility with many PHP servers
- Support for image uploading on iOS 6 (Note: iOS 6 is still in beta)
If there were any issues with your website and customer or personal information being stolen, this update has fixed those issues. For the most part this update is designed for those among us who are dong back-end editing of WordPress powered websites and blogs.
The one standout client here are developers currently using Apple’s new iOS 6 operating system beta, slated for an official release in the fall. The update adds support specifically to image uploading functionality. But this is a sign of more to come.
As the updates are released by WordPress, there should be even more support of the new operating system for early adopters of the platform.
This Week in Themes
It would not be a Fourth of July extravaganza without a nod to the laws that set this country in place.
As a special shoutout to the founding fathers who put the laws in place, the first new theme we will look at today is a legal theme. The Elegant Legal WordPress Theme is the perfect tool for anyone interested in creating a legal website or even a self-promotion website.
The website offers quite a lot for the user:
- Simple and Elegant Interface
- Testimonials Widget for Customer Reviews
- Custom Icons for Social Media Linking
- Flexible Areas for Widgets
- Multiple Color and Style Options
The benefit to the Elegant Legal Theme is the ease of use and also the amount of content that can be included within the simple page. The menus are easy to navigate and access.
The testimonials widget allows for the display of customer reviews and testimonials on the side of the page to further promote any business or blog. As is mentioned, the website conveys professionalism as well as trust, which in the legal business is paramount to success. The theme just arrived, and can be downloaded here.
Classifier is an interesting find of a WordPress theme, as it allows the user to create and manage a website of classified ads. Think of Classifier as your place to go for a more vibrant Craigslist or Yellow Pages template. Here are some of the features the Classifier offers to those looking to sell product on a WordPress based website.
- Free or Paid Memberships
- Full Information Forms for Product
- Tabbed Categories for Large Product Assortments
- Different Content Layouts
Classifier just launched but is self-aware of its potential and reach. The theme makes it easy to design and manage a list of clients who have profiles as well as clients who may be paying for membership.
For the website curator, being able to post pictures, information, pricing options, and other product specific features allows for the sale of just about any product and quick changes on the fly.
Classifier is a fantastic way to reach any target market for any product with the same website theme. Who knows, maybe “Joe Classsifier” is the new Craig Newmark.
Download the Classifier theme here.
QuickLogin is a new plugin that enables the user to have a basic, elegant login screen within their own webpage.
The login box appears above the other content on the page, allowing for logins without taking the user out of the website experience. It also allows for custom pictures, colors, a dark/light motif, and a register link.
All of the above features can be easily accessed from the “Settings” of the plugin, making for a clean edit of the content without knowledge of source code.
For users who have wished for the ability to have a cool and functional login screen for their website, this plugin is a slam dunk. It works as advertised with little actual work on the part of the user. It is a fantastic way to make your website look more professional and tell passersby that you mean business. For those looking to easily manage a website with unique users, there is absolutely no reason not to scoop up this plugin.
Get QuickLogin here.
The other plugin for this week is the Easy Author Box plugin allows the user to place an “About the Author” type below a post on your website. Included in every box is:
- The Name of the Author
- A Picture of the Author
- A Bio of the Author
- Links to the Author’s Websites and Social Media
On paper, Easy Author Box is a great idea. It is a consolidated way to display the information of an author to the masses.
Unfortunately, in practice, the plugin offers no real benefit to the user. For starters, there is no way to simply edit the way the content from the plugin is displayed. What is meant by this is there is no simple “Settings” option for the plugin. All changes must be made using html, which defeats the purpose of the plugin in the first place.
Secondly, there is no way to edit what is displayed in the box specifically. The Easy Author Box only takes into account the information within the WordPress profile. This means that the bio for the “About the Author”, has to be the “Bio” from within WordPress and the Author name has to be the preferred name from within the WordPress “Name” section. This hardly makes the ability to have a signature useful.
Finally, there are many compatibility issues with the plugin. It did not work with my responsive theme, and the plugin page even specifies that it is designed to work with the base Twenty Eleven Theme.
The plugin idea shows lots of promise. Unfortunately, at this time, download is not recommended.
Apps of the Week
Much like the original American settlers, who were not content with staying in Europe, Google is not content with staying exclusive to their Android platform anymore. This week marks the launch of major Google applications within Apple’s iOS platform.
Google’s massive web browser is now available as an iOS app. Many of the great navigation and Google Sync features are present even on the bite size app. The user interface is designed to mimic that of its computer counterparts for easy browsing.
While the app works well on the devices, it cannot possibly hold up to the included Safari browser, which is rooted to the phone, making loading pages faster than Chrome. It can be tough to recommend any web browser
The new app is also designed to speak with other Google apps that will sync together over Google’s network. So for the user with a love for all things Google, it may be a wise decision to take the speed hit and start using Chrome. It is already out in the App Store.
One of the aforementioned apps that Google Chrome will sync with is Google Drive, which also saw an iOS release this week. Google Drive is an initial 5 GB data backup and cloud retrieving and sharing app. It works as advertised, allowing the user to save information to the iPhone and iPad and retrieve it elsewhere with the same Google ID.
The only negative to the service functionality of the app is the inability to cloud edit documents. One of the big deals of the computer-based Google Drive is the ability to share documents and files and edit them over the cloud, saving the edits for a group of people to see. This feature is missing from the iOS app version.
Negatives aside, for the Google connected user, the addition of these apps are welcome in the iPhone space. It allows for greater sharing of content across platforms. It is a step in the right direction.
The Fourth is Upon Us!
No matter if you are busy working on a web design project or something different entirely this week, make sure to take your head away from the computer and enjoy some time with friends and family.
What did you folks do to celebrate our nation’s birthday this year?
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