WordPress

WordPress Premium Plan now includes Google Analytics

After years of maintaining and hosting my own WordPress and Drupal sites myself, last year I decided to give WordPress.com a trial run for one of my websites. I opted to subscribe to WP's Premium plan over their Business plan. The initial quantity of content for my website was low and I could not justify the higher cost of the Business plan for this site.

Overall, my experience with WordPress.com has been pleasing. While it may be cheaper to host and manage your own website (WordPress is available as free open source software), there is definitely less hassle with letting WordPress the service do the heavy lifting for you. I can see a day coming where I host all my WordPress sites on WordPress.com.

Mailbag: DRUD Tech Launches ddev Community Open Source Toolkit

Last week, I received an email inviting me to take a sneak peak at a press release that became public today. In the email, I was asked if I would be interested in hearing "news from new open source startup, DRUD Tech, founded by a couple of long-time Drupal contributors". According to the email, the company has been in "stealth mode" quietly working on their new product which is ready for launch this week. Given that I'm a long time fan of the Drupal content management system of course I said yes.

WordPress 4.8 introduces four new widgets

WordPress 4.8 is named "Evans" in honor of jazz pianist and composer William John “Bill” Evans.

WordPress 4.8 is now available and introduces users to new content management tools including three media widgets covering images, audio and video. The "Evans" release also includes link improvements, an updated text widget that supports visual editing, and an upgraded news and events section in your dashboard. 

When Matt Mullenweg announced the release of WordPress 4.8 he mentioned that this new version was built with you in mind. While the updates seem minor, he indicated that users will find that the improvements intuitive enough that "you’ll welcome [the changes] like an old friend".

Uncle Sam Wants You To Update Your WordPress Plugins

In times of war, you may be asked what you can do for your country. In modern times, your country may be asking you to do your part by updating your WordPress plugins.

The United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), through the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), issued a public service announcement last week recommending website administrators to update their Wordpress sites. More specifically, the bureau wants you to update your third-party WordPress plugins.

WordPress 3.9 Refines Media Experience

WordPress 3.9 has been released with a number of refinements that WordPress hopes you'll "love". The changes and new features are solid but perhaps not as many as we've come to expect given past WordPress point releases. Some of the new features that can be found in WordPress 3.9 include improvements in the media editing experience, gallery previews, and live editing of widgets and headers.

The Photographer's CMS: WordPress 3.5 plus Photocrati 4.5 Bryan Ruby Sat, 12/15/2012 - 06:50

A few days ago, WordPress 3.5 was released and I originally planned to write the typical "what is new in WordPress" article similar to what I've done in the past for CMS Report. However, I thought this time around I would also discuss how I'm using WordPress to support the website of one of my favorite photographers, Karen Ruby of Dakota Imagery. Certainly, in this article there is no cause for you to suspect my opinions are biased with regard to her photography skills despite the fact we've been married for 11 years and she is the mother of my child. In this article, my goal is to not only provide WordPress and CMS users something interesting to read but also to point photographers to a WordPress package that my wife and I have found works quite nicely to support her photography business.

Open Source CMS, Market Share Report, and White Elephants

Last weekend, digital agency water&stone, released their 2011 Open Source CMS Market Share Report. I consider this report one of the few non-bias and detailed surveys that come across my desk each year. The report isn't perfect, but the report does help give a good snapshot on the state of who's who in the world of open source content management systems.

You are most definitely going to want to take a look at the details in the report. The findings in this year’s report were based on a survey of more than 2,500 CMS users and additional research into a wide variety of measures of market share and brand strength. I'm still combing through the survey and taking note of the interesting individual nuggets of information that can be found in the results of the survey.

WaterandStone's 2011 Open Source CMS Markert Share ReportNot surprisingly, the report confirms the ranking position of open source's three most dominate Web content management systems in the market. The press release itself summarizes the results this way:

PHP-based systems WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal continue to dominate the web content management space. But, while the Big Three remain unchanged from last year, the Report concludes that WordPress retains a clear lead in the face of decreasing competition from Joomla!.

The decreasing competition from Joomla! can be seen most noticeably in the decrease of installations reported by the survey respondents in 2011 compared to 2010. The survey does note that this dramatic drop is likely due to the Joomla! community aggressively promoting the survey last year. This year, the promotion efforts were not coordinated and less influential. I only point this out because this is an example of where the report isn't "perfect" via inconsistencies in the yearly survey sample introducing  a margin of error in the trend comparisons. 

Judging Five Overall Best Content Management Systems

This year, I had the privilege of participating as a member on the judging panel for Packt Publishing's Overall Best Open Source CMS Award. As I mentioned last month, WordPress was declared the winner of the award followed by MODx, SilverStripe, DotNetNuke, and finally XOOPS. Since the award announcement, I've had a lot of inquiries asking me how and in what order did I rank the content management systems. I decided to wait for a month before my posting my rankings of the Web applications because I wanted focus to remain on the declared winners and not my individual choices.

My rankings for the Overall Best Open Source CMS (with number one being the highest) were:

  1. WordPress
  2. DotNetNuke
  3. SilverStripe
  4. MODx
  5. XOOPS

Each of the judges on the panel, selects their top three CMS from the five included in this category. The judges are given a lot of reign for how they rank the CMS and may consider a number of factors such as performance, usability, accessibility, ease of configuration and customization, scalability and security. Despite the criteria given, the fact is the best CMS is the CMS you determine is best in meeting your project requirements. In other words, you may find that all five CMSes in this category meet your project needs or in some cases none of the given applications will meet your requirements. Despite how I ranked the CMS you still need to do your own homework before choosing what your "best" CMS.

The Dangers of Reviewing Open Source CMS

The April issue of Adobe Edge contains the article, Review of open source content management systems. The article provides an overview of what the author describes as "five of the top open source software (OSS) solutions". The five open source CMS included in the author's list are CMS Made Simple, Drupal, Joomla!, WordPress, and XOOPS. After reading the article, I found myself wondering how we "reviewers" can actually improve our reviews of open source CMS. More importantly, I've come to the realization that I can no longer claim to be non-biased in which CMS I believe is the best out there.

The author does a fine job in the article describing the similarities and differences between the CMS being reviewed. However, one of the issues I have in this article and many others I've read that review CMS is the big jumps in the conclusion:

Drupal, Joomla!, and XOOPS are best for building an e-commerce site because all three offer:

  • Inventory management
  • Support for third-party payment processing mechanisms (such as PayPal)
  • Modules for shipping and sales tax calculators
  • Shopping cart functionality

While it is true that Drupal, Joomla! and XOOPS can do e-commerce, none of these CMS can do that straight out of the box. I can just imagine a shop owner or design company trying Drupal, Joomla!, or XOOPS for the very first time and wondering, "how the heck do I get a shopping-cart into the CMS?". While the author does hint in the article that third-party modules are needed to make the e-commerce work, I think the author would have been better off better explaining that "some work is required" to get those features into the CMS.