Archive for April, 2015

All WordPress.com Sites Protected Against Zero Day Vulnerability

You may have seen news of a new zero-day vulnerability regarding comments in self-hosted versions of WordPress 4.2.

All WordPress.com sites — including WordPress.com VIP sites — are not vulnerable: your WordPress.com sites are protected by the Akismet anti-spam service, which is already blocking those comments.

Filed under: Security
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A Large-Screen Interface and Filters for Notifications

A few months ago we released a new notifications interface on WordPress.com — we made notifications faster and created a more unified visual experience to match what users see in the iOS and Android apps. Today, we’re releasing filters for notifications and a new design for large-screen desktops, both of which will help make managing your notifications easier and more efficient.

Filters

There may be times when you want to see only a certain type of notification, such as just comments or just likes. You can now use the brand-new filter bar to do just that:

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 9.50.55 AM

The notifications filter bar

We’ve included filters for Unread, Comments, Follows, and Likes. The Unread filter comes in really handy to make sure you’ve responded to notifications on your site that you may have missed! When you’re ready to view all of the notifications together again, just click back to the All tab.

A two-panel interface for large screens

We’ve also added a great new interface for users on web browsers with large screens. Click on a notification, and you’ll see a detail view slide out in a separate panel, so that you can still view your notifications list and browse to the next one easily:

Two-column Notifications

Two-column notifications

You can still use keyboard shortcuts to navigate the panel on desktop browsers as well, so make sure to take advantage of that to become a notifications power user!

Both of these improvements arose from user feedback — thanks so much for continuing to share your thoughts on how to make the WordPress.com experience the best it can be.

Filed under: Notifications
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Enable Two-Factor Authentication on Your Account

Because we want to make WordPress.com accounts as secure as we can, we’ve made it easier for you to set up two-factor authentication for your account, so you can take advantage of the top-of-the-line security standard.

WordPress.com has supported two-factor authentication (2FA) since 2013. Also known as two-step verification, two-factor authentication allows you to protect your WordPress.com account with both a password and a time-sensitive code you get from your mobile device.

To enable two-step authentication, tap your profile picture to jump into the “Me” section and hit the Security tab. Click on “Two-Step Authentication,” and initiate the setup wizard. You can opt to use an independent mobile app, like Google Authenticator or Authy, that will generate access codes for you, or you can get codes texted to your phone via SMS. 

 

Once two-factor authentication is set up, when logging into your WordPress.com account, you’ll use both your account password in addition to the unique code you receive, ensuring that nobody but you can access your information.

Our teams work around the clock to ensure that WordPress.com is the most secure place to host your website and blog content. We encourage our wonderful users to leverage all of the security measures out there, and hope that two-factor authentication will become a part of your daily blogging routine. For extra help, check out our support documentation.

Filed under: Security
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New Themes: Ecto and Coherent

Today, we’d like you to meet the two newest themes added to the WordPress.com collection: Ecto and Coherent.

Ecto

Ecto Site Demo

With a light color scheme, bold typography, and full-width images that draw readers straight to your content, Ecto is perfect for blogs of all kinds.

Inspired by the Casper theme, Ecto lets you add a personal touch to posts and pages with large featured images in the header area. Ecto also includes these features:

Read more about Ecto on the Theme Showcase, or activate it on your site from Appearance → Themes!


Coherent

coherent

Meet Coherent, a simple theme with a robust structure. An optional full-screen featured image lets you give posts visual impact; without one, the theme is more subtle and keeps the focus on your words. An elegant sliding panel houses navigation, social links, and widgets, keeping things streamlined.

Coherent supports:

Read more about Coherent on the Theme Showcase, or activate it on your site from Appearance → Themes!

Filed under: Themes
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Ensuring Your Site is Mobile-Friendly

Today, Google released a change to its algorithm that gives higher search scores to sites it deems “mobile-friendly.” Curious WordPressers might be asking:

  1. How can I be sure my site is mobile-friendly?
  2. What can I do if my site is not mobile-friendly?

1. See if your site is mobile-friendly

Visit Google’s mobile-friendly test link and enter your site’s address (e.g., http://dailypost.wordpress.com or http://automattic.com). Google will then analyze your site and declare it mobile-friendly or not.

Did your site pass? YAY! Pass GO and collect $200 from the Community Chest.

2. What can I do if my site is not mobile-friendly?

If your site failed Google’s test, you might be using an older theme that’s not responsive. Responsive themes change their layout slightly when someone visits via tablet or mobile phone to ensure that important content like the site title, post titles, and post content can be read on smaller screens.

Goran is one example of a responsive theme. Here’s a sample of what it looks like on desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones:

Goran's layout changes slightly to make sure important content comes first, regardless of the type of device you use to view the site.

Goran’s layout changes slightly to make sure important content comes first, regardless of the type of device you use to view the site.

There are two things you can do to make your site mobile-friendly:

  1. Switch your theme to a responsive theme. Here’s a search on the Theme Showcase returning all our responsive themes to help you choose.
  2. If you’d prefer not to switch to a responsive theme, you can enable an option that will show a mobile-friendly, responsive theme to your mobile visitors only. Go to My Site(s) → WP Admin → Appearance → Mobile in your dashboard. Click on the Yes radio button to enable a mobile-friendly theme, and click on the Update button. You’re set.

Filed under: Mobile
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Social Media Icons Widget

Now available in a widget dashboard near you, we present the Social Media Icons Widget! No longer do you have to fiddle around with complicated HTML code to add beautiful social media icons to your blog or website.

With this new widget, you can add icons for the most popular social networks in no time. The icons are linked to your social media profiles, making it easy for your readers to follow your latest status updates.

The Old Way

complicated-text-widget

The New Way

social-widget-opened-no-arrow

Currently, we support adding social media icons for the most popular social networks, including:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • GitHub
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo

If you want to add an icon for a different service, you can do so with a bit of HTML.

After you save your widget, check out your blog to see how the snazzy new icons look. Then grab yourself a cup of tea, and watch your follower count skyrocket! :)

front-end

Filed under: Social, Widgets
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New Theme: Cyanotype

It’s the time of the week again, Happy Theme Thursday! We’re pleased to present a new free theme, Cyanotype:

Cyanotype

cyanotype

Cyanotype, designed by yours truly, is a monochromatic blog theme with a bold, yet simple look that sets your blog apart from the rest. Pick your favorite background color or image to lend your personal flair.

default
green
red
yellow
strong-red
image

Cyanotype also supports the following popular features: Custom Header, Custom Menu, Social Links, Site Logo, Featured Images, and Widgets.

Read more about Cyanotype on the Theme Showcase, or activate it on your site from Appearance → Themes!

Filed under: Themes
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Keep Connected! Expats and Nomads Blog Around the World

We don’t write blogs purely for ourselves — we write them to be read. For people who live far from family and friends, blogs serve twin readerships: they give the intrepid traveler a simultaneous way to chronicle travels for a broad audience and update those back at home.

We love following the worldly adventures of these four expats and nomads, and we’re sure their friends appreciate the virtual lifeline, too!

Wish I Were Here

Writer J.D. Riso is a self-identified dromomaniac — a person with an uncontrollable desire to wander. Wish I Were Here is her record of a lifetime of global peregrinations, told in in musings and photos.

wish i were here

Her blog isn’t a real-time travelogue, which makes it all the more fascinating. You might find yourself reading about the legacy of Communism in Bratislava, Slovakia; the urban renaissance of Skopje, Macedonia; violence against women in Papua New Guinea; an unexpected epiphany in Narita, Japan; or an unwanted travelmate in Costa Rica. Wherever the destination, J.D.’s keen eye, unflinching honesty, and rhythmic reflections create a strong sense of place, heightened by her well-chosen photos.

Like the look of J.D.’s blog? She uses the Hemingway Rewritten theme with a whimsical custom header.

Travels with Tricia

Tricia is a communications professional and citizen diplomat — a traveler engaged in cultural exchanges, not just tourism.

travels with tricia

Her most recent posts take us on a stroll through Genoa, Nevada; a tour of the Enzo Ferrari museum in Modena, Italy; and an afternoon at the beautiful monastery in Ettal, Germany. Past posts let us tag along on trips to Marrakech, Morocco; Toronto, Canada; Luang Prabang, Laos; and dozens more destinations.

For those who finish one of her posts inspired to pack a bag and get on the road, each one ends with planning pointers: maps, logistical information for any locations mentioned in the post, recommended lodgings and restaurants, and other helpful local links.

Are Tricia’s bold photos and clean layout just what you’ve been looking for? You’ll find them in the Photographer theme.

American Life. The Italian Way.

Maura Malfatto Elia moved from Italy to the United States thirty years ago, but still has her Italian accent. She offers thoughtful commentary on both her home and adopted countries at American Life. The Italian Way.

american italian

Maura reflects on the differences between the educational systems in the two countries, looks at the Italian influence on the US in a post about Montessori Schools, and talks with other Italians about the experience of being an expat in the US. Her blog is just getting started, but her posts and perspective already have us intrigued.

Maura’s high-impact home page comes courtesy of the new free theme Cubic.

Experimental Expats

Rob and Diane of Experimental Expats are technically expats-to-be. They’re about to turn the last page on the American and Canadian chapters of their lives and start a new one — in Malaysia.

experimental expats

So far, Experimental Expats has followed Rob and Diane as they’ve prepared to retire, sold their California house, and filed the paperwork needed to become Malaysian residents. In six more weeks, the site will transition to their expat adventure, as they finally touch down in their new Malaysian home.

Experimental Expats has clean menus, a custom header, and a flexible two-column layout — it must be the Twenty Twelve theme!

Want to do a little more armchair traveling? Here are a few more great blogs to fuel your wanderlust:

  • Oh God, My Wife Is German follows the (often unintentionally) hilarious life of an American expat adjusting to a German wife and German life.
  • Kate Goes Global follows Spanish-born Katharina as she moves from Spain to Switzerland to the UK, and racks up thousands of other travel miles.
  • TinyExpats proves that a nomadic life isn’t just for twenty-something singles — this blogger, her spouse, and their two daughters are now in Pardubice, Czech Republic, following stints in Hamburg, Germany; Shanghai, China; and Moscow, Russia.
  • Om the Road is true evidence of our increasingly boundary-less world — it’s written by an Australian and Hungarian who first met in Peru and now live in Indonesia.

Filed under: Community
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Field Notes: Hispanicize 2015

Automatticians, the people who build WordPress.com, participate in events and projects around the world every day. Periodically, they report back on the exciting things they do when not in front of a computer.

Two weeks ago, Happiness Engineers Karen Arnold, Marjorie R. Asturias, and Jamil Abreu, as well as Code Wrangler Damian Suarez, attended the sixth annual Hispanicize conference in downtown Miami, Florida. The event, which took place from March 16-20, is billed as the “largest annual event for Latino trendsetters and newsmakers in journalism, blogging, marketing, entertainment, and tech entrepreneurship,” drawing over 2,000 attendees. Marjorie shares her experience meeting and getting to know some of the most influential bloggers in the Latino community. 

The statistics are hard to ignore: with an estimated number of about 53 million in the United States, according to the 2012 US Census, Hispanics represent one of the fastest growing segments of the US population. The majority (62%) speak English or are bilingual. They’re the most active users of social networking sites.

Walking the halls of the InterContinental Miami, I felt the energy driving those numbers. Sponsors eager to tap into this thriving demographic rolled out the red carpet — literally, in some cases — and splashed out on swag-filled, interactive booths. At night, attendees could take their pick: Independent film premiere? Awards ceremony featuring Miss USA? Concert featuring some of the hottest Latino musicians? Yacht party (this is Miami, after all)?

The most memorable part of the event, though, was meeting the bloggers, whose presence was the crown jewel of the conference. It seemed as if nearly all of them had WordPress sites, and they didn’t hesitate to express their love for all things WordPress! They poured into the Happiness Bar, emptied our swag tables, asked questions about everything from Akismet to Yoast, gave lots of hugs, and took lots of photos. Latinos are renowned for their close family ties, and everyone who came to our booth definitely went out of their way to welcome us as part of their blogging familia.

Karen and blogger Laura Tellado
Marjorie with bloggers and marketing consultants Erin Chase and Toni Anderson.
Damian engineering happiness at the Happiness Bar!
WordPress.com was a proud sponsor of Hispanicize.
Jamil helping out a blogger with a tricky WordPress question. They needed to be near an outlet because her laptop was running out of power!
Busy morning at the Happiness Bar!
Bilingual Code Wrangler Damian helps out a user in his native Spanish.
Ending a busy day with some music and dancing with friends. So Miami!

We hosted a full day of WordPress sessions on Tuesday — dubbed WordPress Latino Day! — where we shared tips on getting started with WordPress, popular plugins, and little-known but critical features available on WordPress.com. We also offered several other sessions on SEO, social media, and responsive design. Damian and Jamil conducted popular bilingual workshops especially for beginning bloggers.

Packing up the booth at the close of the conference on Friday evening was a melancholy affair. We’d made so many new friends and connected with an engaging and passionate community of bloggers. Sure, being in the same room with Miss USA and Don Francisco, the longtime host of the Univision powerhouse variety show Sabado Gigante, were pretty thrilling moments, but nothing beats sharing WordPress stories with fellow bloggers.

Special thanks to Kathy Cano-Murillo (of Crafty Chica fame!), PR guru Vanessa James, and Sebastian Aroca for helping to spread the word about WordPress, sharing their connections, and even getting us access to exclusive events! We hope to see more of y’all in 2016!

 

Filed under: Community, Events
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New Theme: Lingonberry

It’s Theme Thursday, and we’re happy to present a brand new free theme for your enjoyment.

Lingonberry

Lingonberry WordPress theme

Lingonberry is a bright, personable blogging theme by Anders Norén with bold colors and accents and a playful, modern twist. Formatted posts stand out from the rest, space for your site logo adds a personal touch, and footer widget areas for additional content give your posts and pages plenty of room to shine. Lingonberry also adapts to your device, for a flawless reading experience no matter the screen size.

Lingonberry on multiple devices

Get to know Lingonberry on the Theme Showcase, or give it a spin by activating it from Appearance → Themes!

Filed under: Themes
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