WordPress.com VIP at SXSW

Headed to SXSW? We’d love to see you there.

We’ll be co-hosting a party on Sunday night with Sailthru:

logoSailthru and Automattic present
Party for the People
benefiting charity:water
March 10 at 7pm, Stubb’s BBQ
Event Page

Automattic will also be hosting a Happiness Bar at the SXSW Trade Show. Stop by to pick up some swag, chat about WordPress, get technical support, or meet some of our colleagues.

And finally, members from the WordPress.com VIP team will be there! We’d love to catch up with you in person. If you or your colleagues will be at SXSW, be sure to let us know.

See you there!

Oscar Night with the WordPress.com VIP Liveblog Plugin

One of my favorite parts of watching live television events is the second screen experience — the running commentary from liveblogs and Twitter that stream onto my phone or laptop.

The staff at National Post were totally on top of this Sunday night, creating an incredible multimedia liveblog experience for The Oscars. Using our Liveblog Plugin, they pulled together a collage of smart (and funny!) commentary, beautiful images, YouTube clips, tweets, and even animated gifs.

We also enjoyed following along Caroline Westbrook’s liveblog on metro.co.uk’s site as she authored an impressive 150 updates over the course of the night  — pulling together a mix of tweets, videos, photos, and updates.

Not familiar with how the WordPress.com VIP Liveblog Plugin works? Take a look at this video. It’s super easy, featuring content insertion from the front-end of the site, and drag-and-drop image uploads.

The Liveblog Add-On is $500 USD per month, with an annual subscription, for VIP SaaS Hosting clients. This includes unlimited liveblogs, and an unlimited number of users visiting, viewing, and receiving updates — all powered by our massive WordPress.com cloud infrastructure. If you’re interested in using the LiveBlog plugin or learning more, please get in touch.

New on WordPress.com VIP: The Dish

Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish announced last year that they were going independent, and now they’ve successfully launched their new site on WordPress.com VIP with the help of our Featured Partners10up and TinyPass.

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The new site created by 10up is beautiful and fast, featuring responsive design and infinite scroll. Using TinyPass, readers can purchase a subscription (or make a donation) to The Dish, or simply log in if they are already a paid subscriber.

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A big thank you to The Dish team as well as 10up and TinyPass, who helped make the entire site migration and launch happen in just four short weeks.

Check out The Dish at http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/

Interested in going VIP? Get in touch.

Recent Mobile Launches on WordPress.com VIP

We’ve been really impressed with the mobile sites that have launched on VIP recently, many of which are responsive websites. Here’s a quick roundup of recent mobile launches on WordPress.com VIP.


Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 6.45.54 PMQuartz

Quartz’s fully responsive theme is blindingly fast, and scales whether you’re looking at it on a phone, tablet or laptop. The site looks and feels like an application. You can read more about Quartz’s innovative design here and here.


mzl.lbnlkphx.320x480-75LocalTV

LocalTV’s mobile app (available in both the iTunes and Android stores), is powered by a custom mobile theme that is wrapped into an app. It also receives “rich” push notifications, meaning they can push HTML updates.


Time.com Chooses WordPress.com VIP for Person of the Year Website

When TIME.com started planning their Person of the Year coverage in 2012, they knew the whole world would be watching the announcement. They chose to publish the site on WordPress.com VIP, and in the first few hours of the site going live, traffic instantly skyrocketed – 3,000 retweets, 7,000 Facebook shares and links from every major media outlet around the world.

TIME.com’s managing editor Cathy Sharick took the time to answer a few questions for us about why they chose WordPress, how they approached creating the website, and how they assembled the site in just two weeks.

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Continue reading “Time.com Chooses WordPress.com VIP for Person of the Year Website”

What’s Coming Up With WordPress 3.6

Some really neat features are going to be included in WordPress 3.6, which is rolling out this spring.

Here’s a quick peek at the road ahead (but know that everything listed here is tentative, as it is still under development):

Overview: The focus of WordPress 3.6 is “Content Editing,” paying special attention to editorial workflows, revisions, autosave, editing, and post formats.

Autosave: The goal of 3.6 is that users should never lose posts because of “expired cookies, loss of connection, inadvertent navigation, plugin or core errors on save, browser crashes, OS crashes, cats walking on keyboards, children drooling in keyboards, etc.” This may include autosaving to the browser’s local storage, and log-in expiration warnings. They are also looking at a post locking functionality to prevent people from overwriting each other’s changes.

Editorial Flow: The features to be added to 3.6 are custom post statuses, which is the ability to add custom statuses like pitch, assigned, in-progress, etc., and draft revisions, which allow edits to already published posts be saved as drafts before taking place of the original post. They are currently seeking use cases for both features to better understand how they will be used.

Revisions: The revisions tool will get a little TLC — bug fixes, better user interface, and adding visual representation of what was added/removed in each revision.

Post Formats: The big update to Post Formats for 3.6 is the admin user interface. They are currently seeking wireframe ideas for the user interface for each post format (i.e. chat, quote, link, image, video). Folks from our Featured Partners are contributing to this feature: Helen Hou-Sandi from 10up is lead, and Pete Mall from Range is backup.

Custom Menus: The main focus for 3.6 will be improving the user interface for custom menus, which users have found confusing. You can follow developments on this ticket.

Where can I find out more information?

If you’re not familiar with Make WordPress Core, it’s a good blog to visit. It tracks the open-source development of WordPress, and is the homebase of much of the development discussion.

How do I get involved?

Want to help make WordPress better? Take a peek at the Core Contributor Handbook, or sit in on the weekly developer chat. Lots of members of the VIP community contribute to core, so you’ll see familiar faces.

New Liveblog Features: Editing Posts, “Smart” Updates

Have you seen our liveblog premium add-on? Since we launched it in September, we’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback.

A quick re-introduction: the liveblog plugin allows you to quickly update a post on the fly from the front-end of your website. It’s super simple, no outside embeds necessary. You can even drag-and-drop in photos, and embed tweets by pasting in the tweet URL. Take a look at our full documentation of liveblog features.

Below are the new features we’ve added this week. Download the liveblog plugin here.

Edit Previous Liveblog Posts

The ability to edit posts was the most-requested feature from VIPs. We’re happy to announce that this feature has been added. To edit a previous post, all you need to do is scroll back in time, click “edit” on a post, and you’ll be able to rewrite history.

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“Smart” Updates

This feature makes it easy for your readers to enjoy your liveblog without being overwhelmed with updates.

If the reader’s browser is sitting at the top of the post, new updates will automatically appear, highlighted in yellow.

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However, if your reader has scrolled down the post to catch up on previous updates, liveblog will wait to update with new posts. Instead, a notification bar will appear at the top of the screen. When the reader clicks on the bar, the new updates will resume loading at the top of the page.

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Post times are also now relative, which means it will display as “2 minutes ago,” with the time updating every minute.

Archive Liveblog Posts

Once the event has wrapped up, you can archive your liveblog. This means that visitors will still be able to see the blog, but the editing tools will go away and the post will stop polling for updates.

You can archive and re-enable a liveblog from the Edit Post page.

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When a liveblog is archived, your editors will see a notification that says the liveblog must be enabled to accept new posts.

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We’ve loved watching our VIPs use the liveblog premium add-on. National Post used it to cover Lance Armstrong’s interview last night, and TVLine used it for the Golden Globes on Sunday. Big Ten Network liveblogs games every Wednesday, and Time.com has used it to cover high traffic events like the iPhone 5 announcement.

Special thanks to Matt and Zack at GigaOM for their help with the smart updates feature, and everyone else that has submitted bugs and feedback. You can see GigaOM’s use of the liveblog with the recent Facebook event.

For VIP SaaS Hosting clients, the Liveblog Premium Add-On is $500 USD per month, with an annual subscription. This includes unlimited liveblogs, and an unlimited number of users visiting, viewing, and receiving updates — all powered by our massive WordPress.com cloud infrastructure.

If you’re interested in giving the liveblog a try, please get in touch!

Easier Twitter Embeds with WordPress.com

Did you know that you can embed tweets into your WordPress.com posts by simply pasting in the tweet URL on its own line?

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That’s all there is to it. The content of the tweet will magically appear in your post, complete with the avatar, clickable links, and the date.

 

You can do the same thing when embedding YouTube videosInstagram photosHulu clips, and Spotify songs.

No more screenshots or messy embed codes. Easy peasy.

A New Plugin Directory with New and Updated Plugins

It’s a new year, and we have a new VIP Plugin Directory for you to explore. Because we know you’re busy, here’s a curated list of new and updated plugins for you to check out.

Column Shortcodes

Sometimes you just need to divide your page into different columns. With this plugin, you simply select a column shortcode and it will add the column to the page.

Document Feedback

Document Feedback helps close the loop between documentation writers and readers by appending a simple feedback form to Pages (or other post types that you specify). Readers are asked whether the document answered their question or not.

Taxonomy List Widget

This plugin creates a list (bulleted, number, or custom) of non-hierarchical taxonomies as an alternative to the tag cloud. Numerous formatting options are provided, including maximum numbers of terms, term order, truncating of term names, and more. List styles are fully customizable, with built-in support for bulleted lists and numbered lists.

NBCS Advanced Blacklist

Handmade by the VIP Community! By NBC Sports

This plugin adds two new blacklists to WordPress’s blacklist feature: one which blacklists only complete words in comment content, and another which will be checked only against usernames, e-mail addresses, user sites, and IP addresses (but not comment content). In addition, the plugin features a user-friendly interface allowing administrators to see exactly what effect each blacklist would have if a given term were added to it.

Updated Plugins:

  • SEO Auto Linker helps you automatically add links into your content. The latest updates include support for nofollowing links, the option to use unicode word boundaries, and a few bug and performance updates.
  • WP Help allows site operators to make documentation for the site’s authors and editors, viewable in the WordPress admin. The latest update includes drag-and-drop reordering of the documents list.
  • Safe Redirect Manager lets you safely and easily manage your website’s HTTP redirects. The latest updates include the ability to bulk delete redirects from the manage redirects screen, and wp-cli coverage including subcommands for creating, deleting, and listing redirects, and importing .htaccess files.
  • EditFlow introduces editorial team collaboration tools to WordPress. The latest update includes “scheduled” as a status you can see in “Posts At a Glance,” and a few bug fixes.
  • Co-Authors Plus assigns multiple bylines to WordPress content. The latest update allows you to add your own columns to the guest authors table, and includes a few bug fixes.
  • Ad Code Manager allows you to manage ad codes through the WordPress admin in a safe and easy way. The latest update allows you to set operator logic for conditionals on a code by code basis.
  • Add Meta Tags automatically adds HTML meta tags to your site. The latest update added compatibility support for Yoast meta keys, Google News support (contributed by VIP Metro UK), and new filters (contributed by VIP BGR).
  • Uppsite helps convert your website into an application for smartphones with just one click of a button. The latest updates include improved support for galleries, media, and other customization options.

VIP Feature: Even Easier Embeds

Did you know that users of the WordPress.com VIP platform can easily add embeds to their posts?

For VIPs, iFrames, Objects and Scripts can be easily inserted into posts using the text editor, no shortcode needed. We protect the embeds behind the scenes, so that users don’t have to worry about inserting unsafe code on their websites.

 

Also, embeds from YouTubeHuluInstagramVimeoBlip.tvCNNMoney videoDaily MotionGist or Rdio can be added in one line. Editors can simply copy the URL in the browser bar while they’re viewing a video or photograph, and paste it into the post editor on its own line. We’ll automatically handle embedding the content.

For more information, visit the embeds documentation page. Have questions about VIP? Don’t hesitate to contact us.

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