I’m currently taking an extended vacation from posting, but wanted to pass along a couple of updates:
Since there has been no public announcement from WordPressdotcom/Automattic about the changes to the Business plan upgrade following the forum thread this past May, it seems those changes are in the testing phase for the time-being.
There have been some interesting forum threads which illustrate the limitations of the current Business plan set up. For example, some features that you might want to activate, like new user registrations for your membership site or forum, means your users must still sign up first for a WordPressdotcom account.
Where Are the Free Themes?
As of this post, the current number of themes available in the Theme Showcase is 354, of which 140 are free themes. WordPressdotcom only announces the introduction of free themes, so it seems that the number of free themes being released is decreasing over time. The current trend is to update popular free themes to include WordPressdotcom’s newer features and to retire older themes that cannot be updated. While I think this is a good thing overall for users, it also pushes/encourages users to buy a Premium theme as a standalone upgrade. Arrivederci, “Theme Thursday.”
Getting a new enterprise off the ground is surprisingly complex! At this point I’ve read more Terms of Service contracts than I ever thought existed, not to mention ogling oodles of plugins to make your WPcomcierge experience both fun and productive. Expecting to launch in Q4/2017. Provided I don’t lose my mind first. Kidding!
The featured image in this post is from our short vacation in Lago di Garda, Italy. Enjoy your summer holidays wherever they may take you!
With very little information to go on, it looks like WordPressdotcom has taken the final leap to enter the full, managed WP hosting arena by offering its Business plan users access to a wider range of plugins and custom themes through the Calypso dashboard. This includes access to WooCommerce and forums like bbPress and BuddyPress.
Other than new-to-me WPcom staff commenting in a community forum thread and an updated support document on the differences between WordPressdotcom and WP.org, there’s no official announcement yet to verify this change in the Business plan.
Update as of half an hour after publishing this post: a more-familiar Staff member answered in the community forum thread and confirmed that this change is official. Users who already have the Business plan upgrade can get more help and information via live chat.
WordPress.com just released to its users the Lodestar theme (by Automattic’s Mel Choyce), which is also available for WordPress.org users. It’s a beautiful one-page business theme designed to highlight the best features of your organization.
One-page business themes have caught on hugely over the past couple of years. Initial set up of these themes can be challenging, but the reward is the ease of maintaining it after set up and, more importantly, a site that works well for business owners without a lot of continuing effort. While some themes in the below list are not strictly defined as “one-page,” popular free themes with a special front page template include:
One tweak that I would love to see included in theme “Content Options” on all the above themes is the ability to set the image overlay opacity without having to upgrade to either the Premium or Business Plans in order to modify the theme CSS. It’s a small tweak but certainly would be appreciated by users.
There’s been a lot of speculation from WordPressdotcom users about when we would see ORG’s new default theme, Twenty Seventeen, released here. Staff advised:
Twenty Seventeen is on the way, but it has some completely new features that are not entirely compatible with WordPress.com, so we’ve been working behind the scenes to get everything ready so the theme will work correctly when we launch it here.
I’m guessing this refers to the REST API endpoints, which you may recall only 2 short weeks ago was in Tech news headlines as it was used to deface standalone WP.org sites (ORG not COM).
So we’re still waiting (much like our in-the-works e-commerce solution), but Lodestar is the theme that Twenty Seventeen is based on.
WordCamp Jerusalem this year has come and gone. Presentation slides have since been added to the event website (video soon?) and some of slide packs are in English although the presentation itself may have been given in Hebrew.
Here are the talks I attended; With the exception of “Getting to Know WordPress”, all presentations were in the General Track (non-techy):
צילום: שלשה עקרונות, שלשה יישומים באתר שלך (Photography: Three principles and 3 implementations on your site)
This was the first talk of the morning that I arrived late to (see below) and was immediately sorry that I was late. Yael gave some excellent tips on how to best photograph portraits, apartments and products for the web. As with most things photography, lighting is the key.
היכרות עם וורדפרס ועוד… (Getting to Know WordPress and more)
My first real encounter with getting under the WP hood and into the engine. Geared for beginners Chen’s talk gave me an insight into what I’m gladly getting myself into, just don’t ask me yet to use a stick shift.
משנים את העולם – וורדפרס לעמותות וארגונים חברתיים (Changing the World with WordPress for Non-Profits and Charitable Organizations)
I wrote earlier about this talk and my disappointment that WordPress.com was not mentioned as an option for budget-strapped NPOs and other charitable organizations. If you look at this particular developer’s slides from WordCamp (in Hebrew), you’ll understand why Omer would not suggest it to his clients, but it’s still an option for the vast majority.
Continue reading “WordCamp Jerusalem 2013: A Belated Wrap-up”
More companies are making their way to WordPress.com to build their web presence either as a blog or as a full website (as long as e-commerce is not the primary function of the site). And what’s not to like? On signing up and agreeing to the Terms of Service, a company gets a free or low-cost website with all updates and security handled by Automattic, excellent SEO built right into the platform, an excellent up-time record and, if a company chooses to buy the Domain Name Upgrade, there’s also easy branding or integration with the company’s existing website. If you are comfortable with not having total control over your website, mostly in the areas of plug-ins and use of special code, WordPress.com is an excellent choice for business.
Continue reading “Doing Business on WordPress.com”