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WeekPress #8: WordPress Updates

Greetings WordPressers!

This week saw the addition of a lot of content straight from the developers of WordPress.

There were new themes added and new changes made to the WordPress we know and love, by the creators of WordPress.

This is the first week we also recorded a webcast for the WeekPress series. We really wanted to record everything in Google+ Hangouts but ran into some technical issues with the process. Hopefully next time!

(If you don’t see the video click here.)

Toolbar Notifications

The developers of WordPress have made it easier than ever to navigate the dashboard and toolbar in WordPress.

They have a added a boatload of keyboard shortcuts to both toolbar functions and specific dashboard items.

Here is a list of the new shortcuts:

  • N: Open/Close Notifications
  • J: Navigate up notifications screen
  • K: Navigate down notifications screen
  • R: Reply to a comment notification
  • A: Approve/Unapprove a comment
  • S: Spam/Unspam a comment
  • T: Trash/Untrash comment

This works well with the new community update launched last week, allowing easier access to comments within the WordPress profiles and WordPress Core forums.

All told, this addition to the WordPress formula will be integral to the day to day tasks of running a website.  I know I am a sucker for a good shortcut key, and I am sure you are too!  This update takes a lot of the work out of the more menial tasks of running the website to enable more time for website editing and content creation.

Site Stats

The Stats page has been updated to run every piece of statistical information about your website in one spot at one time.

WordPress Site Stats

The idea with the new stats section is to make it both streamlined for user access and also to make it run faster with less fluff so that precious seconds are saved in discovering user and customer trends.

For those of us who love to track the activity and performance of our websites, this is a better and easier way to view the results.

Lovebirds Theme

Also out of the minds of the WordPress team comes the Lovebirds Theme for wedding and special events displays.  This theme was created by Caroline Moore.

The theme features a cursive text option, to make announcements that more regal and eloquent.  Sidebars allow for the posting of different items.  In the case of a wedding, these items may be time and location, activities, a story about the couple, etc.

It is a very simple theme more suited to the bloggers and event planners out there, but what is does, it does very well.

Lovebirds is a clean, simple, and effective theme from the the WordPress “Theme Wrangler” herself.

This Week in Plugins

The first plugin we will look at today is Notification Bar from thinkrahul.com.

Notification is a very simple plugin that allows the user to place a call to action on the top of their page with a clickable link.  The plugin comes with a few different color options to differentiate the notifications, but other than that does not offer a ton of features.

This is great for people who are just starting to create their website and want to post a subscription call to action for mailing lists.

This plugin is also wonderful for those that want to quickly post something about a news alert or some sort of coming attraction on the top of their page.

Premium Contents Plugin

The second plugin of the week comes to us by way of Stefano Lissa and is a very exciting plugin.  Premium Contents does just as the name implies – allows you to make exceptions to access some of your content.

For example, if you wanted someone to pay to access a certain video series or blog, you can now do that. The plugin connects with PayPal and allows the curator to set how much the subscription costs and for how long right from settings.

This is not the only application for the plugin however.

You can also set different levels of clearance.  Pay is the ultimate level, but there are also options for 18+ content – making you verify your age before accessing the content – and for free subscriptions. The latter would be a great way to gather emails.

The plugin works well and enables the curator to edit what is displayed on a WordPress-like edit page with forms for every individual aspect of the sign up process.

Speed Up Your Performance Too!

Automattic isn’t the only company speeding things up around here.  Our team at Slocum Studio can help optimize and host a website as well, with much less hassle!

If you have any news to share next week, let us know!

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