I’ve been using WordPress for a few years now, and since March, I’ve worked at C. Murray Consulting, where I primarily develop websites on WordPress and BuddyPress. Originally designed for blogging, recent upgrades have transformed WordPress into a full-featured content management system. Thanks largely to its humble roots, WordPress has a number of advantages over its competitors. Below are the top five I’ve identified as both a user and developer:
For complete details on the latest release of my Tag Dropdown Widget plugin for WordPress, visit http://plugindev.ethitter.com/2010/08/tag-dropdown-widget-v1-7-now-available/.
The following first appeared on my employer’s site, cmurrayconsulting.com.
Today’s release of WordPress 3.0 brings some exciting enhancements and new features that strengthen the software’s position in the realm of content management systems. For developers such as us, two sets of features in particular should prove invaluable in implementing WordPress-based solutions for our clients.
First, version 3 expands WordPress beyond the traditional blogging constructs of posts and pages by allowing users to specify custom post types. These custom types can function either like posts, organized linearly, or like pages, having a hierarchical structure. This feature builds on the custom taxonomies introduced in WordPress 2.9, which let users expand the organizational options for content beyond just categories and tags. Now, combining custom post types with custom taxonomies, users have complete control over how content is organized and displayed.
Custom post types don’t just let users segregate press releases from product pages, for example, but also simplify the addition of fields specific to each post type. A product post type could include pricing and availability, whereas a press release could hold media contact information. Following this example, separate taxonomies can be assigned to each, reaffirming a clear organization of content.
A few weeks ago, I stopped by my local Verizon Wireless store. In the course of conversation, the subject of the iPhone inevitably came up. Rather than the standard “I don’t know” response, the gentleman helping me gave a somewhat cryptic but clear response: “Someone, somewhere, is making an announcement on June 26.” Playing along (albeit a bit taken aback by his forthrightness), I mused that the person making this announcement might be wearing a turtleneck and tight jeans while standing on a starkly-black stage. The Verizon employee nodded affirmatively.
While I understand that rumors appear and disappear regularly on this subject, never before has an employee of Verizon Wireless provided such direct responses when I’ve brought up the iPhone’s availability on the carrier’s network. Some may respond with skepticism founded on doubts that store employees not at a managerial level would have such knowledge, but if the announcement does come on June 26, I can only suspect that Verizon’s preparations for the melee that will ensue include informing its entire staff of its plan for handling the throngs that will turn out for the device. The staff alone needed to process all of those individuals looking to transfer their service from AT&T will likely require a carefully coordinated effort on Verizon’s part.
Come the end of June, I can only hope that this rumor is confirmed as my upgrade eligibility date follows soon thereafter.
Foursquare, the location-based service where users check in and earn badges, is becoming a victim of its own success. Recently surpassing one million checkins per week, the service has experienced very short, intermittent interruptions.
Twice in the last two weeks, I’ve encountered Foursquare’s version of Twitter’s now-infamous “Fail Whale.” In Foursquare’s case, the outage notice depicts a a mayor adorned with a cracked crown accompanied by the message, “Looks like we’ve got some problems on our end. We’re on it though – stay tuned!”
Granted, a short outage once a week is nothing to complain about, but it further confirms the service’s growing popularity.
This past Thursday, Sirius|XM released its Premium Online streaming application for the BlackBerry Curve (8500 & 8900), Bold (9000 & 9700), Storm, Storm2 and Tour. As a longtime subscriber to Sirius (and, in the interest of full disclosure, a shareholder), I must admit I got overly excited about the announcement. My excitement waned, however, when I realized that a separate subscription is needed after the seven-day free trial.
Since switching this site to the Intense Debate (ID) commenting system, one function I missed was the ability to integrate reCAPTCHA into my comment forms. While I understand some are not fans of the system that adds nearly inscrutable text to a form that then must be typed in to the accompanying box to continue, the mechanism does significantly reduce the volume of comment spam.
reCAPTCHA challenge - the obscured text must be entered into the box below it before a form is submitted