WordPress 2.7 Coltrane

Named after Jazz Musician John Coltrane, WordPress 2.7 was released yesterday and promises breathtaking beauty and inspiration. I haven’t downloaded yet, but will do soon….

In the meantime check out the promotional video. It’s pretty sexy.

Spam vs. Ham

Akismet is probably one of the best WordPress plugins out there. Since my first installation of Akismet, 14,732 spam comments have been caught and eliminated. Today, Akismet 2.2 was launched and along with the usual bug fixes, came stats. The stats provide you with a graph showing how much spam was caught per day and a yummy pie chart with spam vs. ham! Personally, I would have called it nifty pie chart, but whatever, this is so geeky; I love it!

Twenty Something Theatre presents SubUrbia

If you were one of the lucky ones who saw the highly acclaimed play “The Fever” earlier this year at the Beaumont  you’ll be happy to hear that another Twenty Something Theatre production is now coming to theatres. SubUrbia by Eric Bogosian, produced and directed by Sabrina Evertt, is the story of a group of suburban twenty-year olds who gather outside their local convenience store to welcome home an old friend who is returning after a successful national tour with his rock band. His arrival in a limousine with entourage in tow precipitates an all night whirlwind of drinking, sex & violence.

This new production also comes with a new website for the Theatre company. Working with Andrew Lewis, a very clean, elegant design was put together and built using WordPress allowing Sabrina to make changes and updates as needed.

If theatre is of interest to you, be sure to catch Suburbia from August 19 – August 31, 2008 at the Playwrights Theatre Centre on Granville Island.

Tickets are available at the door, at Ticket Tonight or by calling 604-684-2787.

WordPress 2.5 is a welcomed improvement

WordPress version 2.5 was released just a week ago with a bit of grumble from the web community but overall I think that it’s a major improvement. This week I upgraded 15 blogs and installed 3 new ones and I must say that everything went without a hitch. I held my breath for quite a few minutes while upgrading one particular blog from version 2.0.2… but nothing broke and everything seems to be in working order.

I must say that the interface has come a long way. I really like the work that the Happy Cog folks and the WP community have created. My favourite component is the image uploading. Having the option to add different types of media and a window pop-up makes it much friendlier.

In the past I’ve used the flexible-upload plugin for re-sizing my images but this new version has made it no longer required.

The only glitch that came about was with the admin drop down menu plugin. If you were a fan of this plugin and upgraded to 2.5 you’ll notice that your navigation has completely disappeared. Just remove that plugin and everything will be back to normal.

If I were to complain about anything with this new version is the absence of post-id. These id numbers are very useful when building sites to be used as CMS. Let’s hope that they bring this back.

I also noticed that when you insert an email address, the tinyMCE interface no longer gives you the alert box telling you that it will convert your email address into the right HTML code. Instead it just sticks your email address into a url, which of course makes no sense. Maybe this is something that needs to be added, but I’ve never enjoyed fiddling with tinyMCE. Has anyone come across this and found a solution?

Bluelime Media may need to rebrand…

One of the biggest changes that we’ve seen this year is that clients are no longer asking for a static website but instead want to maintain their own site. This has been great, but now I think that we’ll have to change our name to something like WordPressLime Media. The number of WordPress (WP) sites we’re churning out is huge. The exciting thing about working with WP is seeing how far we can push the design. We work with a lot of different graphic designers here and it’s been challenging at times figuring out how we can convert their ideas into WP templates. Here are the latest ones we’ve been working on:

Read more…

Google Calendar for your Website

Louise’s great suggestion for putting your business on the Google map reminded me of another way to use Google’s tools for your business: a Google Calendar. You can share your calendar with selected viewers, say, to keep your family or partners in the loop. If you want the whole world to know when your Tupperware party is, you can make your calendar public to anyone with just a few clicks. (Do they still have Tupperware parties? OK, maybe you want to list your naughty toys party instead. Whatever floats your boat…)

You can take it even a step further, and include a public calendar in your own website to list your events or schedule. When you sign up for a Google Calendar you can create more than one calendar — so if you had a Bed & Breakfast, for instance, a calendar for each room could show when it’s booked.

There are certainly more advanced and customized ways of doing some of these things, but this is some great functionality if you’re on a budget.

How to add a public calendar to your WordPress site

Calendar testEvent details popup

If you’re comfortable with the teensiest bit of HTML tweaking this is really easy to do.

  1. Create a public calendar at google.com/calendar
  2. Make a page in WordPress
  3. Go to the Google Calendar Details screen and copy the code for including the calendar in your website
  4. Paste it into your WordPress page. Note, you’ll need to switch from Visual view to Code view in your WordPress editor. You may also need to adjust the width and height to fit your page layout.

Your website calendar page will be kept up-to-date because it loads all the events you add within the Google Calendar interface, each time your page is visited.

That’s it. Neat trick, eh?