How-To: Keyboard Shortcuts

Are you missing the underline and justify text buttons in the WP-Admin Editor? Several users have noticed their disappearance and commented about it in the community forums.

You can still use keyboard shortcuts to perform the above actions. If you need a reminder, you can find them by clicking on the ? in the second row of toolbar buttons above the editing box. If you don’t see that second row, click on the Toolbar Toggle button at the far right of the first row of buttons.

Editing Tools in the WP Admin/Classic Editor

While this change doesn’t affect those writing in the Calypso Editor, it’s an additional annoyance for users who favor writing in the WP-Admin Editor.

One caveat worth mentioning: Justifying text may cause issues in responsive-width themes when viewing on certain devices.

This gives me an opportunity to repeat a poll from a couple of years ago where you let us know which editor you are using. Let’s see if things have changed since then. This poll will close 1 week from today.

Other recent news is the collaboration between Google and WordPress.com which allows you to directly publish to your WordPress.com or Jetpack-connected site from Google Docs, including all the formatting, images and all. Have you tried it yet?

Build Your WordPress.com Site-The Tutorials

Two of the biggest hurdles you need to overcome when starting out on WordPressdotcom is theme choice and basic site set up. Up until now the first resources have been Learn WordPress.com and your own theme’s Showcase page, which gives detailed set up instructions for each available theme. While these resources are useful, they can be too long or not concise enough if all you want to do is get your site set up and running quickly.

In addition to Build Your Website in 5 Steps and Set Up Your Blog in 5 Steps, WordPressdotcom recently added specific Tutorials for niche bloggers, but they are really great for anyone just getting started. Currently offered are:

Each tutorial is full of suggestions and tips for selecting a theme, editing your About page (more on that in a future post here), adding a Contact page, setting up a static front page, creating a customized navigation menu, adding images, sharing to social media, adding mailing lists and many more topics. If you want to dig deeper into each of these topics, links are included to separate articles in the WordPress.com Support site, as well as to each tutorial’s demo site so you can see what the final results look like.

These tutorials are an excellent resource for new users, especially when done together with Blogging U’s courses on everything from Blogging 101 to Building a Business Website.

UPDATED: A new site tutorial: Build a Site to Help Sell Your House Tutorial

WordPress.com Reveals its Newest New Dash Editor

editor-announce1If you’ve been following the story, you know that the New Dash Post and Page Editor has been a continual work-in-progress since its introduction. This week, WordPress.com revealed the latest iteration of the Editor, according to the News announcement, based on feedback received from its users and is designed to be used on all devices, laptop and mobile.

While offering several major improvements to previous versions, this version of the New Dash Editor is not final, as @designsimply (WPcom Staff) explains in the Support forum thread dedicated to feedback.

Updates to bring in more features will be ongoing. If you find something you love is missing, make a note here and we’ll keep track of the requests so that data can be used as one part of future decision-making. We also look at other factors such as usage stats when making decisions.

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Singing The New Dash Editor Blues

Since about 2011-12, WordPress.com users have been redirected to the New Dashboard (“New Dash”) after logging in on the main WP.com log-in page rather than to their primary site’s Dashboard. This change coincided with the introduction of the WordPress.com Reader and “Freshly Pressed” to the New Dash.  The “Quick Editor” was added and allowed users to select a Post Format to make a quick post on their site directly from the New Dash.

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One Size Upgrade Fits All? Get Outta Here!

Updated: 30 July 2015: See update at the end of this post.

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.

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Moar Changes Do Not Necessarily Mean Better

reader-redesign-compact
Reader in a Resized Browser Window

Unless you never use it, or haven’t heard the uproar in the Community Forums, you may have missed that a new version of the WordPress.com Reader was sprung on unsuspecting community members this past week. I only noticed the changes when it seemed that most of the post text was gone, replaced with a featured image and overly large, and in some cases pixellated, post titles. It seems that this change was done to make the Reader even more accessible and friendly to mobile users even without using any WordPress.com app.

As of today, however, I no longer have any issues at all with the Reader redesign. I exported the OPML file of all the sites I follow and am now reading them elsewhere. I apologize in advance for the possible lack of page views on your sites as a result.

Even though I can get along without the Reader, the redesign of the “My Blogs” tab impedes my ability to manage my sites efficiently.

What changed:
From a simple text list with direct links to key dashboard functions (Manage Pending Comments!) to a widely spaced vertical index (MOAR SCROLL!) with site thumbnails (what, I don’t recognize my own children?!) and only partially useful links. I ask you, how many times a day will I need a direct link to my Sharing settings or Customize my site? Obviously someone thinks I will.

And I’ve already posted at length (ha!) about my thoughts on the change to the “Comments I made” New Dash tab.

So, dear WordPress.com, maybe a community-wide survey about how we community members would like to use our WordPress.com New Dash would be in order.

What do you think?

WordCamp Jerusalem 2013: A Belated Wrap-up

wcjeru-2013WordCamp 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”