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WordPress Tip: WordPress 2.7 and Beyond – Keynote by Matt Mullenweg at Wordcamp Utah 2008

Sep 27, 2008 • general, wordpress

(live blogged)

During some preliminary technical issues …

Jane says, "I can feel the nerdiness vibes increase …." And then checks her blog and sees that she just won another bloggy award.

Someone twitters that he doesn't know a single person at Wordcamp. Guy next to me searches Twitter and finds his tweet. I follow him. Then Shannon points out that the guy who sent the tweet is sitting right next to me. Same table. Holy smokes.

Technical issues solved, Matt gets into his presentation.

WordPress Stats

Matt mentioned some stats about WordPress:

  • 2.8 million downloads of WordPress in 2007; 11 million downloads in 2008
  • 11 new releases of WordPress.org this year
  • Bloggers write the equivalent of "an English Wikipedia and a half" per month on WordPress.com blogs alone
  • 230 million unique people viewed posts on WordPress.com blogs
  • WordCamps have increased -- 14 so far this year, 4 happening today, 10 upcoming. In places all over the world: China, South Africa, Philippines.
  • 5 billion spam comments caught by Akismet in the last year

There's a new type of spam sneaking through: (1) spam that is praising/flattering; (2) spam that copies your other comments, but changes the URL; (3) spam that comes from third-world spam sweat shops. Akismet's challenge is to identify spam even when bloggers approve the comments.

New WordPress Developments Accomplished This Year

  • The iPhone WordPress App. 100,000 installs of the iPhone app so far. Very popular in San Francisco, not so much in China.
  • WordPress Theme Directory. The central repository filters out shady themes that have hidden sponsor links and other backdoor practices.
  • WordPress Zeitgeist. More blogs than they thought: 5.6 million WordPress.com blogs, even more with WordPress.org and WordPress multi-user blogs.
  • PHP 5. High adoption of PHP 5; WordPress may make it a standard.
  • Intelligent tails/Better plugin stats. WordPress developers will look at the popularity of plugins and track usage to plan for future inclusions in the core.

Top 10 WordPress Plugins

  1. Akismet
  2. All-in-one-seo pack
  3. Google-sitemap generator
  4. Next-gen gallery
  5. Stats plugins
  6. Wp-db-backup
  7. Caching plugins
  8. WP Automatic Upgrade
  9. WP-polls
  10. 10. cforms (contact forms)

The average blog has 4.96 activate plugins. Plugins allow users to create a unique, customized blog. Other blogging platforms have more features than WordPress, but they can't complete with the 3,000+ plugins that WordPress provides through its community.

Planned Features for WordPress 2.7

  • Dashboard Redesign. The new design is based on usability eye-tracking tests. Expandable/collapsible navigation on the left.
  • Drag and Drop arrangements. You can drag around the various components on the Write page. Ability to hide and show the components you want.
  • Sticky posts. Ability to keep a post pinned to the top of your home page.
  • Single Insert Media button. The upload media button automatically figures out what type of media you're uploading.
  • Quick Inline Editing. Ability to edit posts without fully refreshing the page. Ajax technology.
  • Comments API. Update and moderate comments from your mobile device (rather than just write and edit posts).
  • Dashboard comment replies. Reply to comments directly from the Dashboard.
  • Threaded comments. Ability to thread comment conversations automatically, or allow users to thread their comments (insert replies below the relevant comment rather than at the end). Threading helps the conversation make sense.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts. Similar to the abundance of shortcuts in Google Reader.
  • Automatic plugin install in browser. Ability to install new plugins directly from within your blog, rather than FTPing them. They'll attempt to do this with themes too. This is WordPress' attempt to seamlessly integrate the strength of its community.

WordPress 2.7 will be available in November.

What's After WordPress 2.7?

  • Automatic upgrades. You'll have the ability to update directly from within your blog.
  • Web host updating. When a new release is available, WordPress wants to ensure all web hosts have the latest version.
  • Security. The list of federal agencies using WordPress is extensive (includes Homeland Security, FBI, NSA, military divisions, Treasury, etc.). WordPress wants to ensure the platform is secure (even with all the vulnerability from plugins).
  • Media. WordPress will do more with videos, slideshows, photos, and other media.
  • WordPress as Hub. WordPress wants to incorporate all the activity you do online. For example, when you post to Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr, it should show it on your blog (or be included in your blog's database).
  • BackPress. Integrate the frameworks of other platforms more seamlessly into WordPress to allow sharing or transferring of information (BBpress, BuddyPress, etc.).
  • Fashion + Tattoos. More WordPress apparel.
  • Year of Themes. More and better themes (similar to Prologue), as well as themes with integrated plugins. Matt says, "Themes are where the action is."
  • Screencasts. WordPress hired a help author (I believe), who is creating 40-50 screencasts. They plan to integrate the screencasts throughout the WordPress interface.
  • WordPress TV. Broadcasts of the Wordcamp sessions that take place throughout the world.

See Matt's blog at http://ma.tt

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Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.