Hello to all my new Followers

From November 10th through November 29th, my little site received an average of 10-12 new Followers each day, for a total of 223 new Followers. An all time record and quite odd given that from the start of this site in 2011 until that time, 225 people followed this site. Sounds strange, no?

So, I ask this out of a genuine curiosity to understand this phenomenon. How did you find (and why did you follow) my site?

One Size Upgrade Fits All? Get Outta Here!

The past couple of weeks have seen a startling rise in the number of WordPress.com users posting in the Community Forums wondering how they can purchase a single upgrade to enhance their free WordPress.com website, most particularly the Domain Name and Domain Mapping upgrades. As most of the current forum volunteers have been around for some time, we were confused why these same users weren’t able to access these individual upgrades from their website’s Dashboard>Store>Store as we could.

Today, the picture became much clearer when a new WPcom user posted in the forums that when she clicked on the link to the Store in her site’s Dashboard, she ended up on a special page in the New Dash that only offered her either the Premium Bundle or the Business Bundle. Individual upgrades were not available to her.

After digging a little deeper into the New Dash, it does appear that WordPress.com recognizes that the custom Domain Name and Domain Mapping upgrades are make or break features for many users and these upgrades are still available through the “Domains” link in the Upgrades sidebar. (see Update 2 below)

But, and it’s a big one, any other individual upgrade (No Ads, Extra Storage, Custom Design, VideoPress, Site Redirectetc.), other than the ones mentioned above are no longer available to new WordPress.com users. This means that new users who run out of storage space after a while and want to buy only the 10GB space upgrade are being forced to purchase $80 worth of unwanted upgrades to do so. New users who want to try their hand at CSS now have to buy $69 worth of additional upgrades just to do so.

It would not be an exaggeration to say I am astonished and disappointed at this move by WordPress.com to the point where I feel I can no longer recommend using the site as readily as I once did. Many of these additional upgrades within the two offered bundles are not going to be used by most users and the cost of setting up a self-hosted site, and possibly other managed WP hosting, may fall within this price range. When time and research allow, I’ll post back with some relevant links.

Your thoughts in the comments are welcome.

Update: The full monty as revealed by Staff, finally.

Update 2:  On the Domains page, I was able to click through to map a domain I own without problem. The new user, however, was not. They were re-routed back to the bundle. Thankfully, Staff later reversed their decision and these two upgrades are available to new users as well, for now. (See comments below.) As I am fond of saying, WPcom is a continual work-in-progress and may go pear-shaped without warning.


Blog 2014: Free WordPress themes that display bylines


A very helpful post from Daniel Greene with a current listing (as of July 2014) of WPcom’s free themes that display author name/byline or not.

Originally posted on Daniel Greene:

This is an update to a post I wrote in September 2012 titled WordPress.com themes that display author bylines, which listed free WordPress themes of 2012 that displayed bylines on both posts pages and single posts, single posts only, or not at all. My 2012 post served as an update to another blogger’s post Author and profile displayed or not (Panos, 2009; 2011). This present post covers all free WordPress Themes for Blogs at WordPress.com from January 2012 through July 2014.

Byline Displayed Screenshot of a byline displaying in a post info/meta section

A matter of style

Displaying an author’s name is a matter of style, not content. As I wrote in WordPress themes not showing author bylines explained, the author’s byline is on every WordPress post and posts page. It is always there in the HTML; whether it is displayed or hidden is an effect of CSS that makes up the theme. It has no affect on search engine optimization…

View original 307 more words

Afterthoughts on WordCampIL

not the official WCIL banner

I chronically write my post-WordCamp summary about a month after the event and this time is no different. At least I’m consistent. :)

This year’s #WCIL took place at the end of May and a day before we left on a long-planned and long-awaited, 2-week vacation to Norway. Knowing that I was not yet packed, my time at WCIL was really limited this year. While I found the few sessions I attended interesting, most of my time was spent networking and reconnecting with folks I haven’t seen in a while (apparently much to the consternation of a few people sitting behind us, sorry!).

Click on each image to read a bit more about each:

One of the biggest changes to earlier WordCampILs, next to the move to the Tel Aviv area, of course, was the addition of several sessions in English. In my view this also contributed to the nearly 400 WordCampIL signups and according to the stats that were shared at the beginning of the day, apparently 70% of those were first-time attendees. While not all 400 showed up, it was clear that  both the change in venue and English language sessions contributed to the explosion in interest.

What was missing from the day’s sessions, for me personally, was a continuation of getting one’s feet wet in WordPress (the standalone software), following last year’s Getting to Know WordPress (Hebrew link).  When I look at the above statistic, it doesn’t tell me how many of those 70% newcomers were developers or users and catering to everyone’s WP needs in a one-day event is, of course, a challenge. While there are plenty of resources (free and paid) on the internet to learn WordPress, face-to-face interaction  is always first priority for me.

Sadly, by mid-afternoon I had to say goodbye to WCIL and, therefore, missed the last 3 sessions of the day. My empty suitcase and a 03:30 wake-up call were waiting for me at home.  All in all, it certainly was worth it!

WordCamp Israel – May 27th in Tel Aviv

WordCamp Israel-the official banner

A stunning 400+ WordPress enthusiasts signed up for WordCamp Israel this year. That’s a new record and even before the event schedule was published! You can check out the schedule here, and the list of speakers here.

Given previous years, we know that not all 400 WP’ers will be attending the event, but it’s not entirely clear how to let the organizers know that.  So if you find you won’t be able to attend and want to free up your place for someone on the waiting list, either use the email address info at wordcamp dot org or the contact form on the WCIsrael website.

Remember: WPcomMaven will be there as well and I’d love to meet you and talk about setting up and getting the most out of WordPress.com. Drop me a note in the comments here or use my contact form.

See you Tuesday in Tel Aviv!


Registration is open for WordCampIL


banner-wcil 2014_2

With a little less than 3 weeks to go before WordCampIL, registration is officially open.

Mark your calendar:

When: 27th May 2014
Where: Google Campus, Tel Aviv
Hours: 09:00-18:00 (subject to change)
Cost: Nothing

While there’s no fee this year thanks to Google’s generous donation of their co-working Campus space, you still need to register ahead of time. Last year’s WordCamp in Jerusalem saw nearly 250 WordPress enthusiasts, so lock in your place now. (And hurry! 75 people signed up within 3 hours of registration opening.)

I’ll be there the entire day, so if you’ll be attending WordCampIL this year and would like to chat about WordPress.com, leave a comment on this post or use my contact form.