A Word from the Founder – Matt Mullenweg

Here are some of the interesting points that came up in a recent extended interview J.J. Colao of Forbes.com did with WordPress Founder and CEO Matt Mullenweg. Talking points were shared on WordPress releases, market share, funding, revenue sources, mobile, and other interesting insights about the future of WordPress and Automattic.

  • On Web Presence: WordPress now powers 22% of the Web, including Forbes.com
  • Mullenweg became CEO of Automattic in January 2014 after being chairman for 8 years.
  • On WordPress releases: The next WordPress release isn’t expected this year but Mullenweg hopes maybe in a year or two.
  • Automattic is basically a big experiment hoping to create something that’s fully open source to the core, that becomes a big Internet-scale business.
  • Revenue composition is 80% from WordPress.com subscriptions, 10% each from WordAds and VIP
  • People who are hosted on Amazon or GoDaddy or those places also have a set of products for them under Jetpack.
  • On Mobile: A new interface that works fluently whether you’re on the desktop, a tablet or notebook is currently being built targeting half or a plurality of active users by the end of the year.
  • On the future of Automattic and WordPress: 10 years from now, Mullenweg wants it to be an organization that has thousands of people – to build, in a completely distributed, open source fashion, a 10 or 20 thousand-person company.
  • On Mullenweg’s management style and hiring policies: “Don’t worry about whether your team hired someone that put you over budget for the year. Something like that has nothing to do with creating great products.”
  • On Touch Technology: “We’re not going to launch anything anymore ever again, that’s not responsive. I want to be more of a mobile company but as we do that I don’t want to lose the things that make us the engine of the independent Web.”

Mullenweg’s aggressive and visionary approach to delivering a product that is open, diverse, and which can be widely adopted by tens or thousands or millions of users is not an easy task. But then again, to quote his own words, “I didn’t sign up for easy.” Here’s to an exciting WordPress future for the world wide web.

Check out the complete transcript of the interview on Forbes.com

WordPress Slider Mania

Sliders are staples in websites nowadays. A homepage without a slideshow seems an oddity considering the media intensive content this generation craves for. For all the benefits sliders give website owners, there are indeed some sliders that really standout from the rest. Below is a listing of 5 of the most popular sliders available in the market today:

Slider Revolution

Considered the most popular plugin in the Envato marketplace, Slider Revolution is a slider definitely worth considering. This plugin features tons of unique transition effects, an image preloader, video embedding, autoplay that stops on user interaction and lots of easy to set options to create your own effects. This plugin is one of the few that offers full screen slideshows, it is also noted for enabling almost any type of content that can be put in a slideshow, and, it is quite popular for its responsive feature as well. The plugin also enables easy slider creation using Visual Builder. Using its animation builder, you can conveniently drag and drop captions, and, create your own custom animation easily. Slider Revolution also allows you to integrate SEO optimization measures on your slides thus further improving your page’s performance on search engines.

Royal Slider

This slider plugin was created especially for mobile devices. What makes Royal Slider standout is its affinity toward touch screen interfaces. Create your own custom slideshows and css3 banner rotators with images, videos or HTML content in slides, allow dynamic population of data from Flickr, Instagram, Featured posts and even WooCommerce products, display vertical or horizontal thumbnails with the plugin’s photo gallery. While it doesn’t have much of fancy transition effects, Royal does guarantee a stable, accessible, high performance slider experience on any device. RoyalSlider is tested on Mac, PC, iPad 2, iPhone 4, HTC Desire, Lumia 920, Surface, Blackberry PlayBook and even on Kindle Keyboard

Layer Slider

Layer slider is most noted for its use of cutting edge technology to give you more than 200 preset 2D and 3D slide transitions to give you the smoothest slideshow experience available. At the very heart of this slider is its layered design that enables you to have 3D like slideshows. Easy to use interfaces enable you to create your slideshows in a WYSIWYG manner which include live previews, drag and drop slider builder, etc. The plugin supports responsive layouts, multiple layouts and touch screen gestures to ensure that your slideshow experience is the same regardless of device. Layer slider is SEO friendly allowing you to build semantic markup with custom attributes that search engines can index easily.

Slider PRO

This fully responsive and mobile ready slider plugin in comes with 150+ options to help you set-up your very own slideshow. The plugin allows you to dynamically load content from your content. Slider PRO also enables you to add animated or static layers into your slideshows to create 3D like slides. The plugin uses a user friendly media loader to enable easy population of content into your slideshows. Slider PRO offers 100+ transition effects which can be optimized into hundreds of possible variations.

Touch Carousel

This slider plugin was created with mobile devices in mind. Touch carousel enables touch navigation on iOS, Android and Blackberry devices. Over 20 settings are available to control speed, layout and slideshow. Touch carousel allows you to slide any post type including WooCommerce and Jigoshop content. You can select content based on taxonomy, popularity or date.

5 Most Popular Page Builder Plugins Roundup

Drag and drop customizations via Page Builder plugins are quite popular because of the ease it provides in creating multiple layout configurations without messing with code. There are several page builders available in the WordPress market today. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Visual Composer

Visual Composer is #1 Best Selling drag and drop frontend and backend page builder with 70k+ websites already powered. This plugin offers drag and drop page building with an intuitive user interface. What makes Visual Composer convenient is its front end page building capabilities. Visual Composer allows you to choose from 40+ different page elements or use custom shortcodes. The plugin also allows you to design your pages in a responsive way. The developers offer lifetime updates free of charge and has lots of tutorials available to help you use the plugin. The capabilities of Visual Composer may also be extended with premium add ons like Templatera or Easy Tables. You will be able to take full control over your WordPress site, build any layout you can imagine with no programming knowledge required.

Live Composer

Live Composer is a front-end WordPress page builder plugin with 28+ modules packed with functionality and styling options that allow countless variations to be made easily and without any coding. Live Composer offers front end drag and drop page building capabilities to your themes. It is designed to turn any theme into a feature packed beast. Live Composer comes with 28+ modules with easy customize options for each. Each module can be adjusted for device specific options making sure your pages look great on tablets, smartphones and desktops/laptops. You also have the option to create your own modules for specific functionality. Live Composer comes with special post types like Projects, Galleries, Downloads, Testimonials, Staff and Partners and transferring what you do on one page to another is easy with Live Composer’s Templates system.

Awesome Builder

Awesome Builder is a WordPress Drag & Drop Page Builder and shortcodes generator that offers the best solution you need to build a modern web page in the easiest way ever. This plugin widgetizes your pages allowing you to drag and drop your widgets into any section of the page. No need to create new modules. You can use existing widgets on your website. You can also use 25+ widgets included with the plugin but it will work with any widget you have. The plugin also enables a responsive layout for your pages. Awesome builder supports animation for each widget you add. Awesome Builder supports full width, background color image and video support.

Parallax One Page Builder

Parallax One Page Builder enables you to create your own one page website in just a few minutes. With this plugin you can create unlimited landing page with more features options and unlimited sections each with parallax effects as you enable. The plugin also comes with gallery and portfolio capabilities included. The first section gives you 7 slide gallery you can use with images, color or YouTube video. Each section there after can have an image, color or YouTube video as background. Plugin employs custom SEO for improving your sites web search results.

Drag and Drop Shortcodes

Drag and Drop Shortcodes is a great WP plugin with intuitive drag&drop interface and lot of elements to choose from, like: Accordions, Stats Counter, Knobs, Alert Boxes, Animation Box, Price Boxes, Progress Bar, QR Code, Service Boxes, Tabs, Team Member, Map, PayPal Buttons, Member Only Content, Tooltip, YouTube, Vimeo and self hosted HTML5 video. Drag and Drop shortcodes offer convenient page building capabilities using a highly intuitive backend interface. The plugin comes with a lot of page elements including Video, Stats Counters, Progress Charts, etc. Draggable sections and column allows you to present content as you see fit. Animation options, parallax and video backgrounds help you enliven your content even on the most boring default themes. What makes this plugin even more special is that it allows you to create your own modules with shortcodes.

Happy Birthday WordPress!

WordPress celebrates its 11th year this May and it can only get better. It may be a bit more quiet than last year’s 10th year celebration but things have been equally if not more exciting than ever. Here are some interesting statistics you need to know about WordPress (.com and .org).

  • 11 Years
    It’s been 11 years since WordPress was first released – May 27, 2003 to be exact.
  • 22% Usage, 60% Market Share
    According to W3Techs.com, WordPress is used by 22.3% of ALL the websites, which translates to a content management system market share of 60.0%.
  • WordPress 3.9 – Downloaded 19.3 million times
    WordPress 3.9 which was released fairly recently has already been downloaded more than 19.3 million times (as of this writing).
  • 2,531 themes, 101,742,042 downloads
    – in the WordPress Theme repository alone with approximately more than 10,000 themes available in the marketplace.
  • More fun embed stats from partners and friends that their users have embedded WordPress short codes on their sites:
    Twitter – 32,978,750 (as of May 2014)
    YouTube – 12,933,230 (as of Apr 2014)
    Flickr – 14,952,725 (as of Apr 2014)
    Vimeo – 29,158 (as of May 2014)
  • WordPress localized in 140+ ways. Find your language here.

Happy Birthday, WordPress!

Best WordPress Plugins to Boost Your Business Site’s Performance

Most corporate websites are extensions of real-world businesses that want to create an online presence. In the real world, these companies most likely have real-time tools and metrics in place to determine how the business is doing at any given point. Reports and analysis are part and parcel of normal operations as is marketing campaigns and feedback. Does this apply to the company’s online presence?

The online address of a company serves as a virtual business card cum portfolio cum marketing tool which the company can use to expand their reach. It is not unusual for business owners to expect that the same measurables to be derived from their corporate website. The ability to track, measure, and analyze data extracted from online activities is one of the key things a business owner needs to be able to do to be able to asses the effectiveness of the corporate website.

Here are some of the best WordPress plugins and tools you can use to enhance the efficiency of as well as measure the viability your business website.

Site Security and Backup

iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security)

iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) gives you over 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site. On average, 30,000 new websites are hacked each day. WordPress sites can be an easy target for attacks because of plugin vulnerabilities, weak passwords and obsolete software. iThemes Security works to fix common holes, stop automated attacks and strengthen user credentials. This plugin hides common WordPress security vulnerabilities, preventing attackers from learning too much about your site and away from sensitive areas like your site’s login, admin, etc. iThemes Security works to protect it by blocking bad users and increasing the security of passwords and other vital information. This plugin monitors your site and reports changes to the filesystem and database that might indicate a compromise, works to detect bots and other attempts to search vulnerabilities, and makes regular backups of your WordPress database, allowing you to get back online quickly in the event of an attack.

WordPress Backup to Dropbox

WordPress Backup to Dropbox keeps your valuable WordPress website, its media and database backed up to Dropbox in minutes and on a regular basis. Simply choose a day, time and how often you wish your backup to be performed and just wait for your websites files and an SQL dump of its database to be dropped in your Dropbox account.

Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security is a free enterprise class security plugin that includes a firewall, anti-virus scanning, cellphone sign-in (two factor authentication), malicious URL scanning and live traffic including crawlers. Wordfence is the only WordPress security plugin that can verify and repair your core, theme and plugin files, even if you don’t have backups. Key features include: real-time blocking of known attackers, two factor authentication used by banks, government agencies and military world-wide for highest security authentication, includes a firewall to block common security threats like fake Googlebots, malicious scans from hackers and botnets, block entire malicious networks, etc.

Site Statistics and Analytics

Google Analyticator

Google Analyticator adds the necessary JavaScript code to enable Google Analytics logging on any WordPress blog. This eliminates the need to edit your template code to begin logging. Google Analyticator also includes several widgets for displaying Analytics data in the admin and on your blog. It supports Universal (analytics.js) and traditional analytics (ga.js), includes an admin dashboard widget that displays a graph of the last 30 days of visitors, a summary of site usage, the top pages, the top referrers, and the top searches, supports outbound link tracking of all links on the page, including links not managed by WordPress, and many other features to support Google Analytics on your site.

Google Analytics for WordPress

Google Analytics for WordPress plugin allows you to track your blog easily with lots of metadata, views per author & category, automatic tracking of outbound clicks and pageviews. This plugin uses the asynchronous Google Analytics tracking code, the fastest and most reliable tracking code Google Analytics offers. It features simple installation through integration with Google Analytics API where its as simple as authenticating and selecting the site you want to track. You can also easily connect your Google AdSense and Google Analytics accounts.

Site Content Management

Editorial Calendar

The Editorial Calendar plugin makes it possible to see all your posts and drag and drop them to manage your blog and gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog.

Zedity™ The Easiest Way To Create Your Content

Zedity™ is an innovative Editor to create your posts or pages amazingly easily, quickly and hassle-free with no technical skills required. It gives you total flexibility and unprecedented possibilities to create any desired design, as easily as if done on a piece of paper. Key features include: content in posts and pages that scale down accordingly to your responsive layout, additional content boxes (color box, document box, HTML5 box), audio and video embed capabilities, snap and alignment positioning, and so many other features.

WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache plugin creates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. Performance enhancement features include: Generating static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog, Minify HTML (decrease the size of page), Minify Css (decrease the size of CSS files), All cache files are deleted when a post or page is published, Enable/Disable cache option for mobile devices, Leverage browser caching which reduces page load times for repeat visitors, etc.


WordPress SEO by Yoast

WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, designed and developed by WordPress Consultant Joost De Valk, is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview and page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.

WordPress 3.9 – Jimmy Smith

If you haven’t updated your WordPress version yet, now would be the perfect time to do so. WordPress has just released WordPress 3.9 and as it has been tradition, this release was named after another music legend, jazz organist Jimmy Smith.

As was posted in a previous article, WP 3.9 includes many refinements that will improve the multimedia experience of both site owner and site visitors. Check out the features below:

WordPress 3.9 Key Features

Improved visual editing

The updated visual editor has improved speed, accessibility, and mobile support. You can paste into the visual editor from your word processor without wasting time to clean up messy styling.

Edit images easily

With quicker access to crop and rotation tools, it’s now much easier to edit your images while editing posts. You can also scale images directly in the editor to find just the right fit.

Drag and drop your images

Uploading your images is easier than ever. Just grab them from your desktop and drop them in the editor.

Gallery previews

Galleries display a beautiful grid of images right in the editor, just like they do in your published post.

Do more with audio and video

Images have galleries; They’ve added simple audio and video playlists, so you can showcase your music and clips.

Live widget and header previews

Add, edit, and rearrange your site’s widgets right in the theme customizer. Preview your changes live and only save them when you’re ready. The improved header image tool also lets you upload, crop, and manage headers while customizing your theme.

Stunning new theme browser

WordPress 3.9 comes with the beautiful new theme browser – Twenty Fourteen.

(source: WordPress.org News)

WordPress 3.9 is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard.
ETA: WordPress 3.9.1 update is now available

Web and WordPress News Roundup for April 2014

Hello spring, farewell winter. Time to get out of the house, grab a comfy chair, watch the snow melt and catch up on the most interesting news on the web today. Here are some of the most interesting posts and articles buzzing right now in the big www.

WordPress Music Themes April 2014

Music fan sites are a great way to bring together people who have a common interest in a specific musician, a music genre, bands, etc. If you are thinking of putting up a website for that type of audience, here are some of the latest music themes you can check out:

Dubstep – Premium Music WordPress Theme

Dubstep is a WordPress theme for bands, musicians, DJs, clubs and everyone involved in the music or entertainment business. This theme supports every post type that a music & entertainment theme would need such as: intuitive Events Management (ability to set date, time, venue, location, and map coordinates; provision for normal and recurring events, tickets support); Discography Management (ability to share your music with fans using either self hosted audio files using the powerful soundManager2 or embedded sounds from SoundCloud); Artists Management (display an infinite number of favorite artists, colleagues, or band members (their albums, tracks, or playlists) and categorize them easily; Media Management (share videos either self-hosted or from services like Youtube, Vimeo etc. and create endless interactive custom photo galleries from your events using templates or sliders).

SoundBlast – Music Band WordPress Theme

Sound Blast Premium WordPress Theme is a WooCommerce ready theme especially designed for bands and music websites. This easy to modify theme features include: Album + Track Management (options include Now Playing, Download, Play Only, and Buy Now), Slider Management, Event Management, Gallery Management, Sidebar Management, Powerful Theme Options + Page Builder, 2 pre-made color variations.

MusicVent – Premium Music & Event WordPress Theme

MUSICVENT Premium WordPress Theme is a modern, responsive, and a well-thought out HTML5 WordPress Theme for Music & Event related Personalities/Studios. The theme’s clean Lines & minimal design approach truly highlights the artist(s) and the work(s) showcased. Its unique design and streamlined navigation makes it easy for fans, music aficionados, potential producers, talent scouts, etc., to go through the website get the information needed and take the necessary action after. The 6 built-in page templates (Albums, Artists, Events, Gallery, Bloglist, Contact) are organized and give you or users everything that is needed. Transition and animation effects like black and white photos display their full colors when hovered over. It also includes 2 homepage layout options (fullscreen image slider and fullscreen video background) to choose from according to the audience you are targeting.

RockOn – Multipurpose Music WP Theme

RockOn! Premium WordPress Theme is a WooCommerce ready multipurpose music theme for singers, artists, music bands or musical events created using Twitter Bootstrap, with a responsive design which makes it a perfect fit for all devices. This theme includes features such as: Event Management using one of the best event management plugins – WP Event Manager, 100% responsive 3D Layer Slider, Sidebar Managerusing CrunchPress “CP” framework, WooCommerce Shop Catalog Grid OR Full Layout also Masonry (Filterable), and so many other features.

NOISE – Onepage DJs & Band WordPress Theme

NOISE Premium WordPress Theme is a cool, creative and modern theme perfect for musicians, DJs, bands and other music related professionals or businesses. Built with smooth and sleek CSS3 and AJAX animations including a unique spectrum analyzer to help you visualize music automatically on every single track. You can easily manage and display your artists, albums, audios, images, videos, events dates and sell your items (tickets etc.), allow users to rate music, and share instantly on their social networks. It also comes with 2 different players (SimplePlayer widget and Extended Player) to give users control over every single track played.

Music Club – Music/Band/Club/Party WordPress Theme

Music Club Premium WordPress Theme is the best WordPress theme for music, club, party, radio station, bands or even entertainment magazine. It comes with great features for music such as: a floating music player at the bottom of the page, a traditional boxed player for those who prefer something familiar, an Event post type that come with a ticket button with 5 tickets status, a Music Album feature which when clicked, automatically fetches all songs in an album to the floating player. Other outstanding features include a Page Builder, Revolution Slider, GoodLayers Importer, and other great music tools, to help you build a power music website users will truly enjoy.