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1. One Central Hub for All Your Content

Last week, we announced a few updates to the WordPress.com interface, including faster stats and enhanced site management on both desktop and mobile devices.

Our push to make all WordPress.com sites faster and easier to access and manage continues. This week, we’re thrilled to unveil a few brand-new features that allow bloggers, publishers, and business owners to run their sites and manage their content from one central hub, no matter what device they’re using.

From new blog post and page management tools to Jetpack site integrations, we hope you enjoy the latest additions as much as we do!

Centralized post management

You can now access all your posts from one convenient location, whether you write one personal blog or publish on multiple sites. Quickly sort through published, scheduled, drafted, or even trashed posts for one or all of your sites at once!

manage-all-posts

A visual preview of each blog post lets you scan your content to edit, view, publish, or trash from a single list. Another new functionality we’re excited to introduce today: while “Blog Posts” is selected, you can hop to another blog’s post list using the site selector in the sidebar.

Easy access to pages

For many site administrators, managing pages is just as — if not more — important than post management, so we’ve extended to pages the same functionality that lets you review all your posts from one place.

You can look up any of your pages, and then publish, un-publish, or trash them, all directly from your WordPress.com dashboard. Editing pages is also just one click away, regardless of the number of sites you run.

One WordPress dashboard for all your sites

Screenshot of the All My Sites button

We also have great news for those of you who have both self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com sites. The new WordPress dashboard gives you access to all your Jetpack-connected sites as well as to sites hosted here on WordPress.com, and allows you to manage your posts, pages, and plugins from the same central hub.

Tell us what you think!

For some, individual-site management in the classic WP Admin dashboard will continue to be the go-to. That said, today’s updates include some entirely new features that are only accessible in the new dashboard. To tap into multi-site posts and pages lists and manage all your WordPress sites under one hood, we encourage you to try out the new interface.

We want to thank all of you who’ve shared constructive feedback with us — it helps us immensely in our effort to make the experience even smoother. Whichever dashboard you fancy, we hope you’ll take the updates for a spin and continue to share your thoughts with us!


Filed under: Dashboard, Features, Jetpack, New Features, WordPress.com

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2. Emoji Everywhere 🎃

Emoji? What are they?

“Emoji” is a japanese term meaning “picture character.” It’s a standard for showing smileys and other little symbols inside text. But unlike traditional smileys that are made up of a sequence of letters like :), every emoji has its own letter.

🌷 🌹 🌺 🌻 🌼

Emoji blossomed on smartphones, where quickly picking out an emoji is often faster than typing out a long sentence.

Today we’re rolling out hundreds and hundreds of emoji across WordPress.com — 872 to be exact.

emoji

Do they look familiar? That’s because Twitter has graciously decided to open-source their entire set, allowing anyone to use them. We’re already busy preparing to add these to Jetpack, so WordPress.org users can join in the fun too.

Before today, emoji you inserted into your posts on the go wouldn’t always show properly for all your visitors. While the nice little bunny (🐰) would show up fine when seen on your iPhone or Android, desktop visitors might just see a nondescript square: square

Today’s launch means emoji will now show up properly on every device, no matter if it’s a smartphone, desktop, or tablet. Thanks, Twitter, we appreciate it! 💗

How do I use them?

Inserting emoji in your posts is most easily done on a smartphone or tablet, though it varies how smartphones let you do it. Here are instructions for Android and iOS.

If you’re antsy to insert new emoji from the comfort of your desktop, here are a couple of tricks:

  • Mac users on Mavericks or newer can insert emoji by tapping Command + Control + Space while in a text editor.
  • Windows users on version 8 or newer have a special touch keyboard with emoji support (see instructions with pictures).
  • Windows users on version 7 and below can copy/paste emoji from this cheat sheet.

Have fun with the new emoji!

🐵 🐶 🐷 🐸 🐹


Filed under: Better Blogging, Design, New Features

12 Comments on Emoji Everywhere 🎃, last added: 11/6/2014
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3. Emoji Everywhere 🎃

Emoji? What are they?

“Emoji” is a Japanese term meaning “picture character.” It’s a standard for showing smileys and other little symbols inside text. But unlike traditional smileys that are made up of a sequence of letters like :), every emoji has its own letter.

🌷 🌹 🌺 🌻 🌼

Emoji blossomed on smartphones, where quickly picking out an emoji is often faster than typing out a long sentence.

Today we’re rolling out hundreds and hundreds of emoji across WordPress.com — 872 to be exact.

emoji

Do they look familiar? That’s because Twitter has graciously decided to open-source their entire set, allowing anyone to use them. We’re already busy preparing to add these to Jetpack, so WordPress.org users can join in the fun too.

Before today, emoji you inserted into your posts on the go wouldn’t always show properly for all your visitors. While the nice little bunny (🐰) would show up fine when seen on your iPhone or Android, desktop visitors might just see a nondescript square: square

Today’s launch means emoji will now show up properly on every device, no matter if it’s a smartphone, desktop, or tablet. Thanks, Twitter, we appreciate it! 💗

How do I use them?

Inserting emoji in your posts is most easily done on a smartphone or tablet, though it varies how smartphones let you do it. Here are instructions for Android and iOS.

If you’re antsy to insert new emoji from the comfort of your desktop, here are a couple of tricks:

  • Mac users on Mavericks or newer can insert emoji by tapping Command + Control + Space while in a text editor.
  • Windows users on version 8 or newer have a special touch keyboard with emoji support (see instructions with pictures).
  • Windows users on version 7 and below can copy/paste emoji from this cheat sheet.

Have fun with the new emoji!

🐵 🐶 🐷 🐸 🐹


Filed under: Better Blogging, Design, New Features

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4. New Themes: Editor and Sequential

Today, we have two new free themes ready for you!

Editor

Editor theme: simple two column layout, lightly colored with left sidebar

Meet Editor, a new addition to our theme collection designed by Mike McAlister at Array. Geared toward personal bloggers and photo bloggers, Editor features big typography and images and a tab-based sidebar with a spot for featured posts, a site logo, and a social links menu. Editor makes it easy to put a personal stamp on your site or blog.

Learn more about the free Editor theme at the Theme Showcase, or preview it by going to Appearance → Themes.

Sequential

Sequential: Front Page

Crafted by Thomas Guillot, Sequential is a contemporary, clean, and multi-purpose business theme.

Sequential offers three custom page templates — including a few Front Page Template options — to customize your business, corporate, or professional site. In addition to other features, like a Social Icons menu and the ability to upload a Site Logo, you can also choose from several default color palettes.

Learn more about the free Sequential theme at the Theme Showcase, or preview it by going to Appearance → Themes.


Filed under: Themes

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5. Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 8

We’re back with a new collection of our favorite stories from across all of WordPress.


1. Books for the Broken-Hearted

Hannah Richell

Hannah Richell’s husband Matt was killed in a surfing accident in July. In a recent post, Richell writes about finding comfort in reading words written by people who have also experienced the shock of losing a loved one — people like Joan Didion, C.S. Lewis, and Cheryl Strayed.

2. The Shame of Poor Teeth in a Rich World

Sarah Smarsh, Aeon

An essay about growing up poor in America, and the role of teeth as a class signifier.

3. Giving Up the Ghost

Lynn Cunningham, The Walrus

Lynn Cunningham smoked cigarettes for fifty years before making a decision to quit and get help by visiting the Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center in Minnesota.

4. The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed

Adrian Chen, Wired

Adrian Chen travels to the Philippines, where he meets the employees who work for content moderation companies that scrub objectionable content from social media sites.

5. ‘Before I Write a Word, I Need to Know Clearly What I Want to Say’

Ed Odeven Reporting

An interview with Baltimore-based author and sportswriter John Eisenberg.

6. Talking Shit about Hemingway and Thoreau with ‘The Toast’ Founder and ‘Texts From Jane Eyre’ Author Mallory Ortberg

Elisabeth Donnelly, Flavorwire

The beautiful thing about Texts From Jane Eyre, based on Ortberg’s original column for The Hairpin, is that it offers exactly what it says on the cover: the Western canon is parodied and spoofed through the silly modern invention of texting. Ortberg’s comedy is shot through with love and deep literary knowledge, highlighting the silly and outrageous subtext bubbling under classics from Lord Byron to Nancy Drew. It’s hilarious, wickedly smart work that also serves as a fantastic reading list.

7. Pot Kids

Kate Pickert, Time Magazine

Inside the quasi-legal science-free world of medical marijuana for kids.

8. On Modesty

Anna Vodicka, Shenandoah

An essay about modesty that recalls the author’s girlhood in a conservative community and challenges the mixed messages of women as both “Eve” and “Jezebel.”

9. One of Us

Jennifer J. Roberts, Boston Magazine

Memories of being a Southie kid and black in a mostly white neighborhood in Boston.

10. An American Dream Deferred

Eli Saslow, Washington Post

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Eli Saslow profiles Javier Flores, an undocumented immigrant who was hoping that an executive action by President Obama would prevent him from being deported to Mexico and forced to leave his wife and U.S.-born children behind in Ohio. Flores is now in La Mixtequita, Mexico, with few options to reunite with his family.


As always, you can find our past collections here. You can follow Longreads on WordPress.com for more daily reading recommendations, or subscribe to our free weekly email.

Publishers, writers: You can share links to your favorite essays and interviews (over 1,500 words) on Twitter (#longreads) and on WordPress.com by tagging your posts longreads.


Filed under: Community, Reading, WordPress, WordPress.com

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6. Vote in Today’s US Midterm Elections

i-voted-stickerToday, across the United States, Americans will go to the polls and vote in the US Midterm Elections.

Voting is our most fundamental responsibility as citizens — without it, our American democracy wouldn’t exist. WordPress.com is a platform that gives everyday people the ability to share their voice and we’re asking you to take advantage of this voice — by exercising your right to vote today — November 4th, 2014.

We want to provide our US-based users a set of resources to help them make a smart, informed decision when it comes to who they will vote for. We also want to provide a toolkit so that they can get more information on where to vote, which issues are at stake and of course, after voting occurs, a way to show their pride and encourage others to go get out the vote.

We’ve teamed up The Pew Charitable Trusts, who, along with Google, and election officials nationwide, have developed the The Voting Information Project (VIP). Together, we’re offering cutting-edge tools that give voters access to the customized information they need to cast a ballot on or before Election Day. The Voting Information Project is offering free apps and tools that provide polling place locations and ballot information for the 2014 election across a range of technology platforms. The project provides official election information to voters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and voters can find answers to common questions such as “Where is my polling location?” and “What’s on my ballot?” through the convenience of their phone or by searching the web.

if you’re eligible to vote in the US Midterm Elections, take advantage of these tools and share them with your readers.

It’s super easy using the [voterinfotool] shortcode. Just create a new post or page and drop the shortcode in (or click here to create a new draft with the embed prefilled). If you want to customize the experience a bit more you can drop in code directly from the Voter Information Tool with options like height, width, and colors and we’ll convert it to a proper embed code.

After you vote, either by mail, or in early voting, OR on Election Day, please embed the I Voted badge into your WordPress.com site or blog and share it with your audience, along with friends throughout your social network. Here’s how to install the I Voted badge:

  1. Go to your blog’s dashboard.
  2. Look under the Appearance menu for the “Widgets” option.
  3. Locate the “I Voted” widget and drag it to the sidebar of your choosing.
  4. Give the widget a title (optional) and hit the save button. Your badge will now be displayed for all your readers to see.

Be sure to encourage every eligible voter to exercise their democratic right to vote!


Filed under: Community

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7. Early Theme Adopters: Kelly

Kelly, which was designed by Automattic’s own Kelly Hoffman, is an inviting, fun theme for bloggers of all stripes. Its clean, one-column layout makes it perfect for text-heavy posts, but can be just as ideal for a tumblelog-like stream of images.

With bold featured images, the ability to customize the header and the background, and three widget areas in the site’s footer, you can make it your own with just a few quick tweaks. Here are some examples of the theme’s versatility.

Curated Style

curated style

Curated Style, a Toronto-centered fashion blog, makes great use of Kelly‘s out-of-the-box look. The theme’s cursive font in the header injects a stylish playfulness, while the generous white space in the posts makes the images of Toronto’s fashion scene stand out.

The blogger behind Curated Style effortlessly added a few personal touches, like a patterned custom header image, a splash of bright pink in the custom background, and an easy-to-navigate custom menu.

The Lens Less Traveled

lens less traveled
Created by a photoblogger based in the Southeast (of the US), The Lens Less Traveled shows how radically different Kelly can look with just a few small changes.

The site uses a more neutral palette than the theme’s trademark bright greens and pinks, as well as a serif custom font instead of the default cursive. The focus is squarely on the gorgeous photography, like the picture above, taken in a state park in Georgia. The splashy featured image in each post creates a particularly striking effect, drawing viewers in and enticing them to explore more.

Lorenzo Setale

lorenzo setale

Taking Kelly in a very different direction than its default design, Italian software developer and entrepreneur Lorenzo Setale recognized the theme’s inherent strengths, and used them to create a tailor-made look for his site.

The dark background and sans serif font join forces to become a modern, clean canvas for Lorenzo’s thoughts, while the theme’s original focus on readability and balance stay as effective as ever.

Have you customized Kelly as well? Is there another theme you’d like to see featured in this series? We’d love to hear your input!

 


Filed under: Customization, Themes

12 Comments on Early Theme Adopters: Kelly, last added: 8/6/2014
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8. Veterans’ Blogs Offer a Glimpse into Life on the Front Lines

Last week was the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the start of the Allied landing in Normandy, France, that contributed to the end of World War II.

While some marked it with (deserved) pomp and circumstance, we observed it by reading the latest from some of our favorite veterans’ blogs on WordPress.com:

Carrying the Gun

Then-infantryman Don Gomez served two tours in Iraq with the US Army in the early 2000s. After a stint in graduate school and a dissertation on the experiences of Iraqi soldiers during the Iran-Iraq War, he re-upped and heads to Afghanistan later this summer as a Second Lieutenant.

carrying the gun

His blog, Carrying the Gun, is a mix of  thoughtful essays on everything from modern soldiering to women in combat to the transition from soldier to civilian. Sprinkled throughout are photos and letters from his Iraq deployments — a fascinating portrait of the life on the front lines.

O-Dark-Thirty

O-Dark-Thirty is a literary journal for veterans, current military personnel, and their families. Created by the Veterans Writing Project, it helps those who have served tell their stories — and makes sure those stories are accessible to the rest of us.

o-dark-thirty

The magazine is home to The Report, which publishes unedited fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and The Review, an edited quarterly journal presenting the best literary writing on the veterans’ experience. Browse the latest entries for a poetic take on the forgotten veteran, a fictionalized encounter between German and Russian troops, and a writer’s memoir of a day spent driving his wounded brother to yet another hospital.

O-Dark-Thirty accepts submissions year round — find their guidelines here — and the Veterans Writing Project holds workshops around the US.

Paving the Road Back

For many soldiers, especially those who have served in combat roles, returning to “regular” life brings a new set of challenges. In Paving the Road Back, psychiatrist and Warrior Wellness Unit director Rod “Doc” Deaton gives those who serve our veterans a deeper understanding of the stresses of this transition.

paving the road

Readers seeking information on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will find analyses of the ethics of PTSD diagnoses and the relationship between PTSD and other psychiatric disorders, along with the stories of real veterans (fictionalized, to protect their privacy). “Doc” also provides the transcripts of his podcast, “Beam Me Up, Scotty,” and a variety of additional links and resources.

For more reading, check out:

  • Firefight, blog of Rick Kurelo, who served with Canadian forces in Bosnia and Afghanistan and recently published a book on his experiences.
  • Fever Dreams, the official site of Brian Castner, Iraq veteran and author of the bestselling book The Long Walk.
  • Voices from Warwhich provides writing workshops for veterans interested in telling their stories.
  • Jason Lemieux, a former Marine and current human rights advocate.
  • True Boots, the blog of Army vet and frequent NPR guest Kristen Rouse.
  • From the Green Notebook, where current Army officer Joe Byerly discusses military life and leadership best practices.
  • Grand Blog Tarkin, a collaborative blog at the intersection of contemporary warfare and science fiction covering “the full range of war and warfare across the multiverse.”

Filed under: Community, Reading

11 Comments on Veterans’ Blogs Offer a Glimpse into Life on the Front Lines, last added: 6/15/2014
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9. A Blog-to-Book Adventure: Mommy Man’s Jerry Mahoney

Writer and superdad Jerry Mahoney chats with us about his new book based on his popular blog, Mommy Man, and his experiences blogging on WordPress.com.

10 Comments on A Blog-to-Book Adventure: Mommy Man’s Jerry Mahoney, last added: 5/21/2014
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10. From Modern Art to Medicine: Exploring Museum Blogs

With International Museum Day approaching on May 18, let's browse the blogs of some museums on WordPress.com -- from premier art institutions to science and natural history organizations.

10 Comments on From Modern Art to Medicine: Exploring Museum Blogs, last added: 5/19/2014
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11. Planet Automattic: April 2014

One WordPress.com staffer challenged the others to a month-long blogging challenge... and you'll never guess what happened next! (Spoiler: we blogged a lot.)

10 Comments on Planet Automattic: April 2014, last added: 4/30/2014
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12. Early Theme Adopters: Hemingway Rewritten

In our Early Theme Adopters series, we focus on bloggers creating great-looking sites with the most recent additions to our Theme Showcase. Today, let’s visit some of the sites that are already using Hemingway Rewritten, a free theme that makes both words and images shine.

10 Comments on Early Theme Adopters: Hemingway Rewritten, last added: 4/23/2014
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13. WordPress.com by the Numbers: The March Hot List

Another month is in the books! The WordPress.com community made March a month to remember with an avalanche of great achievements. Here's a look at some of the highlights.

10 Comments on WordPress.com by the Numbers: The March Hot List, last added: 4/2/2014
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14. New themes: Tonal, Gridiculous Pro and Mina Olen

Whether it's a business-friendly design or a minimalist look you're after, this week's crop of new themes delivers the goods.

11 Comments on New themes: Tonal, Gridiculous Pro and Mina Olen, last added: 3/13/2014
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15. Monday Morning Edition

In case you missed it, a quick recap of the past week on WordPress.com.

8 Comments on Monday Morning Edition, last added: 3/4/2014
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16. Make a Great First Impression with a Homepage

Most bloggers display their latest posts first — reverse chronological order is the classic blog format, after all. Many WordPress.com users, however, choose to build a static front page — a homepage — that creates a website feel and brings your long-term content to the front.

A well-designed homepage has always been a staple of major websites, like The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation — a WordPress.com VIP partner. You don’t have to be a large company or non-profit organization to see the advantages of a homepage, though. Artists and other creative professionals enjoy the benefits of portfolio sites and personal pages to showcase their talents. Increasingly, so do personal bloggers across a wide variety of niches. To give you a taste of what a homepage can do for your blog, here are some sites that use this option in a smart, creative way.

Groovy Bow Sequence

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 1.43.54 AM
Claire, the Seoul-based kindergarten teacher behind Groovy Bow Sequence, put together a sleek-looking homepage for her travel-focused personal blog

She uses Moka to great effect. The theme offers the option of adding a splashy post slider to the homepage, enticing visitors to click on Claire’s striking landscape images and read her posts, while still maintaining the easy navigation and streamlined look of a fixed front page. While sites with a homepage often still feature a blog section, Claire has opted to forego one altogether, presenting some recent posts on the homepage itself, and letting the rest be easily accessible through the sidebar menu.

Alexandra Corinth

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 1.18.07 AM

Writer-blogger Alexandra Corinth deploys a homepage — and especially her site’s primary menu — to direct readers to her various writing projects, from her young-adult books, to her multi-genre portfolio, to her personal blog.

She chose the clean, easy-to-navigate Suits, and kept most of the theme’s out-of-the-box look. The focus here is on her content, and her homepage is a distraction-free zone — visitors will only find an author’s portrait, along with a short bio tucked into a Text Widget in the sidebar. They can then quickly decide which section of the site to explore first.

redstuffdan

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 1.20.20 AM

Dan, the blogger behind redstuffdan, is a retired expat living in the southwest of France. His blog is mostly about his art — a mixture of photography, digital art, and painting — and he’s opted for a homepage to showcase his creations. Right beneath a short introductory text to his site, visitors quickly plunge into a colorful tiled gallery full of Dan’s art. The gallery’s composition can be modified whenever new material is uploaded — just because the page is “static” doesn’t mean it can’t be updated and refreshed.

For the rest of the content on redstuffdan, the sidebar gives visitors easy access to the site’s top posts and pages, most recent posts, as well as to older content through monthly archives.

Up From The Deep

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 1.21.16 AM

Up From The Deep is the labor of love of Mark Ellinger, a musician-turned-photographer who chronicles the gentrifying streets of San Francisco’s grittiest neighborhoods. Creating a homepage allowed him to highlight the different types of writing on his site: a blog to which he uploads new photos regularly, as well as long-term project pages, like the ones on the Tenderloin and Mid-Market neighborhoods.

The homepage layout features a selection of images that whet the visitor’s appetite, and its primary menu leads not only to the site’s main content, but also to an extensive bibliography page and a Prints page, where interested readers can order copies of images from Mark’s website.

Creating a homepage

If you’d like to try out a front page that isn’t populated by your latest posts, setting one up is a breeze. Go to the Settings → Reading tab in your dashboard, and select “a static page.” Then, choose your desired page from the “Front page” drop menu, and you’re set. If you wish to add an optional blog section to your site as well — where your posts will be displayed in reverse chronological order — specify a separate “Posts page” in the second drop menu. Note that you can also set up a homepage from the Customizer, where you’ll need to go to the “Front” panel.

Looking for more ideas for your homepage? Here are a few more examples to inspire you:


Filed under: Better Blogging, Customization, HowTo

10 Comments on Make a Great First Impression with a Homepage, last added: 2/12/2014
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17. The Day We Fight Back: Protest NSA Surveillance on Your Blog

Today, a broad coalition of interest groups, websites, and people around the world are joining together to fight back against government surveillance. We’re supporting the “Day We Fight Back” on WordPress.com and have created a banner that you can easily add to your WordPress.com blog to get involved, too.

The “Stop NSA Surveillance” banner shows support for this important cause and provides a link to a page of resources to help visitors to contact members of the US Congress to support much needed anti-surveillance legislation. For more information, please visit thedaywefightback.org.

How to add the banner to your site

Here’s how to add the banner to your site in three steps:

  1. In your WordPress.com dashboard, go to Settings  Protest NSA Surveillance.
  2. Click on the checkbox labelled Protest Enabled.
  3. Click on the Save Changes button for the change to take effect.

The banner will remain on your site until midnight on your blog’s time zone. Here’s what it will look like:

no-nsa


Filed under: Community, Privacy

10 Comments on The Day We Fight Back: Protest NSA Surveillance on Your Blog, last added: 2/11/2014
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18. New Themes: Outspoken, Studio, Sorbet, Ampersand

Happy Theme Thursday, all! Let’s jump right in and say “Hello!” to four awesome new themes.

Outspoken

Outspoken by WPShowerOutspoken, by new seller WPShower, is a premium magazine theme with loads of customizable features. Multiple front page configuration options allow you to tailor the presentation to your liking, while generous featured images let your visual content stand out.

Studio

Studio by Pixel UnionStudio is a new, minimal, grid-based portfolio theme by Pixel Union, designed for photographers and curators. It’s simple, sleek, and powerfully flexible, pairing chiseled aesthetics with crystal-clear organization.

Sorbet

SorbetEnjoy a taste of Sorbet, a colorful, mouth-watering treat for your personal blog or website. Post formats highlight your best content, while secondary content remains tucked away in the header, allowing your posts to take center stage. If you’re seeking a fun, playful new look for your site, Sorbet is just the theme for you!

Ampersand

Ampersand by Okay Themes Ampersand is a clean and professional portfolio theme for creatives by Okay Themes. Featuring a minimal, responsive layout, Ampersand looks just as good on your mobile device as it does on your desktop.

Outspoken, Studio, and Ampersand are premium upgrades, while Sorbet is free. Check out each theme’s showcase by clicking on their screenshot above, or preview them on your blog from Appearance → Themes.


Filed under: Themes

17 Comments on New Themes: Outspoken, Studio, Sorbet, Ampersand, last added: 1/31/2014
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19. Blogging on the go just got easier and more fun: Introducing WordPress for iOS 7

Apple just released the new version of their mobile operating system, iOS 7, with a new user interface that streamlines both form and function — it’s colorful and intuitive, but stripped-down and clean. Apple fans have been abuzz since they announced the update a few months ago, and we started …

10 Comments on Blogging on the go just got easier and more fun: Introducing WordPress for iOS 7, last added: 9/20/2013
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20. Digging In the Dashboard, Part II: Features for Longform Posts

As we discussed in the first installment of Digging in the Dashboard, WordPress.com has so many great features that it’s tough to be familiar with them all. I’m still discovering new ones myself! Let’s keep the discovery going with three more features that might be new to you. This time, …

12 Comments on Digging In the Dashboard, Part II: Features for Longform Posts, last added: 9/27/2013
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21. WordPress.com News and Numbers: The September 2013 Hot List

After a red-hot August of publishing news and impressive numbers, we wondered what was next for the WordPress.com community. Here’s a snapshot of September: You blew up the internet. Again. Month after month, we’re blown away by what you publish. Talk show host Matt Walsh‘s post, “Dear parents, you need …

11 Comments on WordPress.com News and Numbers: The September 2013 Hot List, last added: 10/9/2013
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22. NaNoWriMo 2013: Want to Write a Novel?

It’s just a few days until November, and you know what that means: National Novel Writing Month, better known ’round these parts as NaNoWriMo, is near. Have you always wanted to write a novel? We know some of you have been waiting all year for this month! For those of …

14 Comments on NaNoWriMo 2013: Want to Write a Novel?, last added: 10/28/2013
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23. Embed a Follow Button for Your Blog

Today, we’re excited to introduce a new way for people to engage with your WordPress.com blogs: an embeddable version of the Follow Button that you’ve seen in your toolbar for some time now. Like similar buttons you’ve seen for other social networks, this Follow Button can be added anywhere on …

11 Comments on Embed a Follow Button for Your Blog, last added: 11/1/2013
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24. New Themes: Adventure and Basis

We have a special treat this Two Theme Thursday: new premium themes from two of our most popular sellers, Organic Themes and The Theme Foundry.

Adventure by Organic Themes

Do you have stories to share from a trip to timeless Angkor Wat, or a camera full of images from the surreal landscapes of Iceland? Organic Themes are back with their fourth theme here on WordPress.com, the travel-inspired Adventure theme.

Whether it’s a trip around the world, or a personal journey that needs to be told, Adventure has been designed to share your travels with excitement and grandeur. A tight top menu and customizable logo allow the sweeping, full-width images to command any viewer’s attention. Bold, clean typography and a fully responsive design ensure the tales of your voyage are crisp and clear on all devices, from the smallest phone to a full desktop.

Organic Themes knows that to share your adventures, you need a choice of layouts and page formats. Adventure is bursting with no less than six custom page templates, including a specialized home page template, three-column and full-width layouts, slideshows, and more. Every experience will have the right showcase for it to excite your readers, while easy-to-use social icons allow everyone to stay up-to-date with all of your travel adventures.

Strap on your pack, and let the Adventure theme be your journal to the world.


Basis by The Theme Foundry

We released The Theme Foundry’s Collections theme just a few weeks ago, but they’re already back with their first foray into business themes: Basis.

This is not your usual WordPress business theme; being The Theme Foundry, they’ve taken the business theme into the next generation with a built-in HTML builder app. This unique app allows the user to quickly and easily add product features, highlight services, and create slideshows for demonstrating the best your business has to offer. Keeping your business website fresh, dynamic and exciting is simple for even the least technically-inclined on your team, with a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to further tweak the layout and order of each of these sections, without any coding necessary. Just watch:

Of course, it wouldn’t be a theme from The Theme Foundry without sharp, clean typography, responsive layouts for mobile and tablets, and a strong sense of aesthetic and design. Basis also includes a Minimal Mode which, by removing the site header and navigation, further simplifies your landing pages for maximum impact.

Your business deserves more than just a website; let Basis be the foundation of your business web presence, a valuable tool for keeping your customer base engaged and coming back.

Adventure and Basis are premium upgrades for your blog. Get more information on their Theme Showcases (Adventure, Basis), or preview them on your site from Appearance → Themes.


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12 Comments on New Themes: Adventure and Basis, last added: 11/21/2013
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25. New Theme: Awesome

We’re excited to announce the launch of a new Graph Paper Press theme here on WordPress.com, the aptly-titled Awesome.

Awesome by Graph Paper Press

Awesome is a theme that stuns from the start, with full-width images, video, and other post formats; bold yet elegant typography; and a strong visual balance. Necessities like menus and social links are accessible yet cleanly tucked away to one side, showcasing your content distraction-free in a single sharp column. At the bottom, three distinct footer widget areas Awesome keep all the power of sidebars at your disposal.

Awesome: mobile narrow view

Awesome: mobile narrow view

Post formats are treated with care in Awesome. Videos, Images, Galleries, Asides, and Quotes each get a crafted treatment to maximize impact. Videos are presented full-screen at the top of their post, while Galleries get large, dramatic layouts. Not to be outshone, Asides and Quotes flow with eye-popping color highlights.

Of course, Awesome is fully responsive and adapts to all mobile devices, from the smallest phone right to the biggest display. Custom Headers and Custom Backgrounds are supported as is a a logo uploader; tweak and preview changes in real-time with the WordPress Customizer.

Awesome is simply that; an awe-inspiring display of your content, bold and confident.

A premium upgrade for your blog, you can get more information on the Awesome Theme Showcase, or preview it on your site from Appearance → Themes.


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4 Comments on New Theme: Awesome, last added: 12/24/2013
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