[tweetmeme] This month a client of mine (Michelle Silverman) is featured in an article in Realtor Magazine titled Winning With WordPress. WordPress is a hot topic right now in the real estate world, and for good reason. In such a competitive industry, smart agents are adapting quickly to meet the changing needs of their tech-savvy customers head on. WordPress allows agents to build sites that integrate social media tools and low-cost, do-it-yourself approaches into their marketing mix, helping them get found, showcase their listings to buyers and generate leads that increase their business.
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3.0 is here, and it’s packed with awesomeness. I do all of my website development on WordPress these days and there are a lot of great additions in this release that I’ve been waiting on for this site, as well as on client projects. They’ve made the maintenance easier with bulk update functionality for plugins and the software, you now have custom post types for products, newsletters and real estate listings, and you’ve got a heck of a lot more control in the widget area. Here’s a 3 minute video overview on the new release, as well as an hour long video (bottom) where Matt Mullenweg talks at length about some of the updates, why they went that way, and shares some of the vision and philosophy behind what Automattic sees in WordPress’s future.
I recently found this video series on the theme forest community blog and thought it was so valuable that it was worth sharing with my readers. If you’re like me, you learn a heck of a lot better from being shown than from reading manuals and how-tos. This series of 7 videos put together by Drew from Themeforest.net is a great resource for visual learners looking to get into WordPress design. I just wish I had had it 2 years ago! Hat tip to Drew.
I’m pretty psyched about the direction that WordPress seems to be going with 2.7. Customized dashboard? Moderating comments right from the back end? Right on. Personalization and usability in the UI is where it’s at.
I’m humbled and excited by all the positive attention that the redesign of my blog’s been getting these past few weeks and I’m honored by how well the new look has been received by the WordPress community.
After being featured on the WordPress Premiums Showcase, PJ’s Best Of August Picks, and Mark Forrester’s Blog my traffic has more than tripled and random people from all over the world have been sending me email, asking me about WordPress design and Premium Themes.
As many of you know, this blog’s proudly sporting a customized “Woo” Theme, so I was particularly psyched this weekend to have the new design included in the launch of the brand new WooThemes showcase. Of course, I was twice as psyched when Adii, one of the Web’s top WordPress theme designers, contacted me over the weekend to interview me and get some of my thoughts on the new design and WordPress Premium themes. Among other things, we discussed blog design and why the choice to go Premium is an important blogging decision. I also shared some breif thoughts on blogging trends like lifestreaming. Adii posted a transcript of the interview this morning on the WooThemes blog.
[tweetmeme]Below is a list of links to the very best reading out there on Hacking WordPress and building a better blog. I’ve also included a list of links to designers and others who are significantly advancing WordPress through innovative theme development and plugins. If you know of a post or resource that I have not included yet, please add it in the comments! I’ll constantly update this list as I find more of the good stuff.
Adii’s running a contest that WordPress theme designers can’t miss. Along with re-releasing upgrades of all the Premium News Themes this week (Live Wire, Original, NewsPress, Flash News & Gazette Edition) Adii’s made a new All-Inclusive Developer’s Package available. The package includes Developer’s Licenses for all 7 themes, allowing the owner to use any theme on as many websites as they wish. The package is available for purchase at $499.95, which is a fantastic deal for any aspiring designer (this aspiring designer definitely thinks so!).
So what’s Adii’s contest about? It’s pretty simple – you can win yourself a copy of the new All-Inclusive Developer’s Package by blogging about the contest. Right on. Being a hardcore photoshop and wordpress junkie, I’ve always wanted to dive into WordPress theme design development. I so admire the functionality that Adii’s team has packed into the Premium News Theme designs, but being a self taught coder, I’d have to go to great lengths to add all that functionality in myself. To start out on projects with one or two of Adii’s function-packed designs would be a dream – being able to leverage the care that’s been put in on the back end would really allow me to focus all my energy on tweaking the designs and turn the themes into something unique and different.
My personal favorite of the 7 is the Gazette Edition. I’ve had my eye on it for a while, and I’m pumped that Adii’s added the recent Live Wire-inspired upgrades. The rotating featured post section, along with the prime ad spots makes it a perfect candidate for my next blog project redesigningtheworld.com, a blog focusing on rethinking design(s) we take for granted. I’ve been psyched about the project and I’ve been hunting for just the right theme, so winning this contest would make my year. It’s so important to launch a blog with a great, unique theme and Adii’s work continuously sets the bar for WP design. In this humble blogger’s opinion, his attention to details like the Premium News Theme’s admin panel (making populating ads, video, flickr streams etc a cut and paste job) do so much for people who want to focus on content, not code. Attention to those kinds of details make him a trend-setting designer, and set him apart from other Premium Theme designers like Brian Gardner and Michael Pollock. In any case, that’s my two cents. Until April 4th, I’ll be sitting on the edge of my seat.