WordPress has grown and changed over the years, from a simple blog system into a full-fledged CMS. In that time, it’s gone from a basic white theme to a bright blue and then a more subdued grey and tan that we all know and love today. Along the way, it’s picked up a ton of features, and the world of computing has shifted from desktops to mobile and tablets. It’s time for some changes.
WordPress 3.8 is finally here today, and along with the extra new features and bug fixes you’d expect, it also includes a surprisingly nice new redesign that, while largely the same as before, makes the WordPress dashboard look far more modern and at home on any of your devices.
It was only six months ago that I was testing, and seriously enjoying the newly released Barley, and its intuitive take on website management. Featuring tag-based installation, editing that is almost entirely inline, and a beautiful admin area, it has been a hit with web designers looking for a client-friendly option.
Few in the web industry would describe WordPress as the leanest editing machine, nor as the friendliest environment for the hapless, technophobic business owner. But can a plugin really outdo the system it is plugged into?
Early last November, designer and writer John O’Nolan published his idea of a lighter WordPress fork focused on writing: Ghost. The original concept page showed a beautifully redesigned dashboard that focused on the stats and info that matter to writers, combined with a post editor that let you write in Markdown and preview the live post at the same time. The concept took the web by storm, racking up hundreds of comments on Hacker News and beyond — and even drawing interest from WordPress’ creator, Matt Mullenweg.
Nearly 11 months and a wildly successful Kickstarter later, and backers finally have the first beta of Ghost to power their blogs. It’s a Node.js and SQLite powered CMS that’s been coded from scratch instead of the original idea of a WordPress fork, and it’s already a totally different blogging experience than anything you’ve ever used. It’s attracted thousands of individual backers, as well as corporate sponsors from Envato and Code School all the way to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (of all surprising things). It’s easily the most exciting thing in blogging right now.
Nearly all of the apps, platforms and services we write about on AppStorm are pretty specific in their purpose. Twitter sticks to restricted-length communications, YouTube focuses on video clip-based entertainment, and Evernote does nothing other than document filing. One app, one task. It works pretty good.
Given that we use many of these apps on a daily basis, you have to wonder why there haven’t been more attempts to combine some of these services. FriendFeed was, perhaps, the most prominent and successful entry into the mashup genre, although it fell by the wayside, despite a peak of 1.2m unique visitors per month.
The makers of Needly clearly feel that the fusion of web-apps is an idea worth revisiting. Billed as “Google Reader + Basecamp + WordPress,” it seems intent on providing a hub of browser-based services. Is this the plain madness it sounds like, or rather some kind of genius idea that should have been done already? Read on to find out.
I’m a geek. I love things like web development, design and blogging. I love writing and photography. I adore music. In fact, I love them so much that I take pictures, write and design for a living. In fact, despite the fact that I have my own blog and maintain other websites dedicated to personal interests, like music, I’m starting my own creative services company in the upcoming month.
Because I’m initially going to be the sole proprietor of this company, starting it is easier than you might think both legally and financially. But I do need a website. And even though I love coding and web development, I also hate it (not unlike many professional coders I know). So I’d prefer to leave the fine art of web coding to the professionals. That’s why I’m considering Squarespace 6. Things have changed a lot since we last looked at Squarespace. Let’s find out what’s new.
Maybe you’ve been thinking recently about starting a blog and just don’t know where to start. Well, have no fear. After encouraging a few friends on Facebook to write a blog, I’ve learned that most people don’t know where to start and what site they should use for the most flexibility.
I’ve spent a good deal of my time in the past few years writing for blogs, whether it be personally or professionally. I’ve had experience with all three of the Big Blogging Platforms, which is my affectionate term for WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger. You can start a blog for free with all three of them. Let’s take a look at the platforms and see what they’re capable of.