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julianprofeta   julianprofeta Julián Profeta's TIGblog
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Personalize Your Blog with the New Custom Design Upgrade

Today we’re excited to bring you Custom Design, a powerful new tool that combines easy to use, code-free font selection from Typekit and a beautiful CSS editing interface with world-class support from our famous WordPress.com Happiness Engineers.

You’ll find both new features—Fonts and CSS—under Appearance → Custom Design in your dashboard. Custom Design costs just $30 a year, and both features include a free preview so you can try them out first.

Example of Custom Design landing screen.

Fonts Made Super Easy

The Font Editor provides a visual preview of your blog with over 50 gorgeous premium Typekit fonts—from foundries like Mark Simonson, exljbris, FontFont, and the League of Moveable Type—and allows you to easily modify the size and style of your fonts. It works with all themes, no coding skills required!

Example of choosing fonts with the Font Editor.

We worked closely with Typekit on this new tool—incorporating their long experience with delivering beautiful fonts on the web—to create the best experience possible. With the Custom Design upgrade comes the ability to manage all your Typekit fonts settings from within your dashboard; you no longer need to make a roundtrip to Typekit and back to update the fonts on your blog.

If you are already using Typekit fonts on your blog, you are grandfathered in—meaning your fonts will continue to display as they do now but you’ll have limited editing and functionality. To take advantage of all the new features, we encourage you to upgrade to Custom Design.

CSS Backed by Expertise

This popular tool received a visual refresh with its merge into the Custom Design upgrade. If you know your way around a cascading style sheet, you can use the CSS Editor to really put a personal touch on your blog and create an entirely new design.

CSS editor in action.

If your site already has custom CSS enabled, it will continue to work as it does now, and visitors will see no changes to your design. Furthermore, you’ve been upgraded to the new Custom Design package for free, so you now have full access to all the new features, including the Font Editor.

Along with the CSS Editor updates we’re making the WordPress.com CSS forum officially supported by the WP.com Happiness team. Bring your CSS customization questions to the forum and you can get expert help.

From your feedback—and by seeing your cool customizations in use all over WordPress.com—we know that design tools on WordPress.com are put to good use, so we hope you love this new upgrade. Fonts are now incredibly easy. We’re now helping you craft your CSS. Let’s make something beautiful.

If you’d like more details on the new upgrade, head over to Custom Design.



June 15, 2011 | 12:06 PM Comments  {num} comments

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julianprofeta   julianprofeta Julián Profeta's TIGblog
Julián Profeta's profile

Your Own Domain Address on WordPress.com? Absolutely!

Here at Automattic we feel really lucky to be able to interact with so many WordPress.com users through our awesome Happiness Engineers in Support, meeting WordPress users and lovers at various global WordCamps, and even Matt runs into WordPress users when he’s on a plane (is there a better way to get Support? We think not. But let him sleep a little).

One of the most common questions we answer is, “Can I have my own domain on WordPress.com?” The answer to that question is a resounding YES!

We are happy to give you a free website at WordPress.com (something like anyaddress.wordpress.com) but if you want to also use your own domain, you can do that very easily.

You don’t need to create another site – you simply need the inexpensive Domain Mapping Upgrade. In layman’s terms, domain mapping just means pointing example.com to your anyaddress.wordpress.com site, so when your friends visit example.com they will see your super-cool site hosted at WordPress.com, and example.com will remain the visible address.

That’s it!

  • Have a domain already, but want to put your WordPress.com site on a subdomain (like blog.example.com)? We can do that, too. Read How to Map a Subdomain.

After you map your domain, make sure you Update the Primary Domain to your shiny new personalized domain so when people visit your example.com site, that’s the address that stays visible in the address bar. Instructions for doing that are in each of the above posts, or you can find it under Upgrades > Domains on that blog’s dashboard after you’ve completed the domain mapping process.

Oh, and we’re not jealous, either. If you ever decide to transfer the site off WordPress.com, you can take your domain with you, too. Check out How to Transfer a Domain and if you prefer one of our super talented Happiness Engineers to move your entire website for you to a self-hosted WordPress solution, check out Guided Transfer.

Spread the Word!



June 14, 2011 | 1:06 AM Comments  {num} comments

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julianprofeta   julianprofeta Julián Profeta's TIGblog
Julián Profeta's profile

World IPv6 Day

To show our support for IPv6, and as part of our IPv6 migration plan, we have enabled dual stack connectivity on our blog on this occasion of World IPv6 Day. If you view this site over IPv6, you will see a visual indicator confirming access from IPv6:

What’s IPv6?

For those of you who don’t know, IPv6 is the next-generation Internet protocol, which offers a large number of IP addresses, 296 (= 79228162514264337593543950336) times of what IPv4 has to offer. A typical IPv6 address looks like 2001:db8:cafe::1, compared to an IPv4 address 192.168.148.1. IPv4 space is quickly becoming exhausted, necessitating the migration to IPv6. You can read more about IPv6 in its Wikipedia entry or in the free book, The Second Internet. You can use IPv6 tunnels if your ISP does not offer IPv6 connectivity yet. Using http://test-ipv6.com/, you can verify IPv6 connectivity.

Behind the Scenes

This is powered by 2 load-balancers running nginx, and connectivity to IPv6 internet is through IPv6 6in4 tunnels provided by Hurricane Electric Tunnelbroker, as our datacenters have not enabled IPv6 yet.

Plans

This is not the end. Once we have native IPv6 connectivity, we are planning to roll out IPv6 connectivity for all sites on WordPress.com, and maybe all Automattic sites as well. Stay tuned for more IPv6 announcements…



June 8, 2011 | 11:06 AM Comments  {num} comments

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julianprofeta   julianprofeta Julián Profeta's TIGblog
Julián Profeta's profile

Post Comments Using Twitter and Facebook

Starting today, visitors to your blog can use their Facebook or Twitter account to leave comments. This saves everyone a few steps and gives visitors control over which identity they use.  It’s a win for everyone.

As an important touch, we let you stay logged in to multiple services. This means you can stay logged in to Facebook for convenience, but still leave a comment through Twitter or your WordPress.com account. Just click whichever identity you’d like to use, and the selected one will be associated with your comment when it is published. You’re in control of your identity, as you should be.

Depending on your theme, you may notice the comment area looks different than before to make room for these new features. We also intelligently choose to use a light or dark visual style for the comment box, depending on the theme you are currently using.

And since you know your readers well, you can now change the text above the comment box to be whatever you like. We recommend using the default we are applying to new blogs, “What are you thinking?”, as questions often encourage more comments, but you can change it to whatever you like by going to your dashboard, then Settings → Discussion.

We know you like comments and this will help you get even more. Stay tuned for better Twitter and Facebook integration features, coming soon.



June 7, 2011 | 2:06 AM Comments  {num} comments

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julianprofeta   julianprofeta Julián Profeta's TIGblog
Julián Profeta's profile

New Theme: Twenty Eleven

Last year on WordPress.com we introduced the world to the first new WordPress default theme in 5 years — the first annual default theme — Twenty Ten. Now it’s our pleasure to introduce you all to its successor, Twenty Eleven.

The Twenty Eleven Theme

It might look familiar. :) Yep, Twenty Eleven started life as the Duster theme before it made the theme big leagues. But it’s not just a renamed Duster. There are tons of really cool improvements and features packed into it — more Post Formats, beautiful new header images, alternate color schemes and layouts, even custom link colors. All those features add up to the best part of Twenty Eleven: just how customizable it is. It looks great as a blog, a showcase of all your posts, and even a tumblelog or photoblog.

The Twenty Eleven Showcase Template A Twenty Eleven Photolog The Twenty Eleven Theme

If you want to know more about the cool new features in Twenty Eleven we’ve made a page that outlines them all on the Theme Showcase. You can read up on Twenty Eleven there and check out a live demo or just simply activate it on your blog and start experimenting! And if you have a self-hosted installation of WordPress you haven’t been left out of the fun. You can wait to give Twenty Eleven a shot when WordPress 3.2 is released in about a month or try it out right now with the beta version and upcoming release candidates. We’re looking forward to seeing how you use Twenty Eleven on your blog.



June 6, 2011 | 2:06 AM Comments  {num} comments

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julianprofeta   julianprofeta Julián Profeta's TIGblog
Julián Profeta's profile

3 New Ways to Attract More Twitter Followers from WordPress.com

We love to create new features on WordPress.com, but we also like to make it easier for you to connect your site with other popular services. We’ve teamed up with the folks at Twitter several times over the years, and we’re thrilled to help them unveil the new Follow Button to the world for the very first time today.

The new Follow Button makes it easy for your readers to follow you on Twitter without ever leaving your WordPress.com site. Here are three ways to incorporate it on your site:

1. Add the new Follow Button to posts, pages, or text widgets. You can even show a count of your followers, customize the colors, and display a link to your Twitter page. Check out the Twitter Follow Button support document for all the details.

Here’s a working example of what the new Follow Button looks like:

Follow @wordpressdotcom

2. Embed fully functioning Tweets on your posts and pages with Twitter Blackbird Pie. The new Follow Button will appear in the upper right hand corner of the Tweet.

WordPress.com@wordpressdotcom
WordPress.com
3 New Ways to Attract More Twitter Followers from WordPress.com http://wp.me/pf2B5-1QT

3. Activate the Twitter Widget on your site’s sidebar to display the Follow Button below a list of recent Tweets.

We hope the new Follow Button will help you to boost your site’s reach and exposure. Don’t forget that there are additional ways that you can integrate Twitter with WordPress.com:

  • Add a Twitter sharing button to the bottom of your posts or pages with the Sharing feature
  • Tweet new posts automatically to your Twitter account with Publicize


May 31, 2011 | 4:05 AM Comments  {num} comments

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julianprofeta   julianprofeta Julián Profeta's TIGblog
Julián Profeta's profile

Now More Than Ever: Just Write

Writers are as different as the stories they produce, and their ideal writing environments vary no less. One thing most writers agree on, though, is that one of the toughest challenges is overcoming distraction. At WordPress we’ve always believed that when you’re using the application, the focus should be on what’s most important — your content. In the spirit of making things faster and simpler, today we are introducing a couple of changes to your dashboard that will make it easier for you to just write.

A Fresher, Faster Dashboard

The most noticeable change is that the dashboard looks a little different. Nothing drastic, just a little facelift intended to make managing your content easier. Moving the left menu up means more room if you tend to keep a couple of sections open at the same time. Fiddling with the font sizes in the header also created more vertical space, so you can make your writing window/post box bigger on the editing screens (you can drag the lower right corner if you use the Visual editor, and/or change the default height of the writing window in Settings → Writing). We’ve also replaced the icons in the Visual Editor toolbar with new ones designed by Ben Dunkle, the same person who designed the navigation icons for the dashboard, that we think are less distracting and fit better. You’ll also be saying goodbye to the “New Post” button that used to live in the header. We’ve added an “Add New” menu to the admin bar instead, for faster, easier content creation. Oh, I almost forgot — we’ve made a number of performance improvements to make everything in the Dashboard run just a little bit faster. Yay!

Goodbye, IE6

With this update, WordPress has discontinued support for Internet Explorer 6. It has required increasingly complex code trickery to make the WordPress dashboard work in the IE6 browser, which was introduced 10 years ago and does not support current web standards. Even Microsoft is counting down to IE6′s extinction! If you try to log in to your Dashboard using IE6, it will be pretty broken — but don’t worry, you’ll see a red alert box that provides a link you can use to upgrade. What do we mean by broken? This is how the new dashboard looks in modern browsers:

WordPress viewed in Chrome browser

WordPress viewed in Chrome browser

…and this is what it looks like in IE6:

WordPress viewed in IE6 browser

WordPress viewed in IE6 browser

So please, if you’re still using IE6, upgrade!

While we were at it, we started looking at other older browsers, and it makes us cringe a little when we see people using them, because the web could be so much better for them (not to mention more secure) if they would update to their favorite browser’s current version. Starting with this update, if you log in to your WordPress site using an outdated browser, an orange alert will appear on your Dashboard screen letting you know, and will provide links to the browser updates and to Browse Happy, where you can learn a little more about your options.

Approve and Reply

This is a small improvement, but it feels huge. If you’re like me, sometimes you might not want to approve a comment unless you have written a reply. It used to be that if you clicked to reply to a pending comment in your Dashboard, your reply would be published but not the original comment. I know, I know, it’s not like it is difficult to click an Approve. But! We’ve made it better anyway. :) Now when you reply to a pending comment, the subwit button will say “Approve and Reply,” and will perform both actions at the same time. After using this for less than a minute I was completely hooked.

Introducing Distraction-free Writing

The other big change — one that we love — is a major upgrade to the full-screen writing experience. The normal posting screen is great: you can set it up the way you want it, and you can add and edit every piece of metadata related to your post in addition to writing it. Sometimes you just want to focus on writing, though, without all the extras, right? If that’s how you feel, you may have used the full-screen writing mode in the Visual Editor  before, accessible by clicking a blue screen-shaped icon in the top row of the toolbar. That full-screen mode took up the full browser screen, which was cool, but then your lines of text went all the way across, making it harder to read and edit your creations. The Visual Editor toolbar stayed up top, which was handy if you wanted to add a picture or a link, but was a little bit distracting because of the colors. And if you zoomed or resized your browser, that was not good.

Everything about this feature revamp is designed to relax you, and allow you to find your groove without distraction. There’s a lot to point out — because hey, we’re proud of it — and the new look is quiet and deceptively simple.

  • It’s available for all users, whether you use the Visual Editor or HTML. Visual Editor users will notice a more laid-back icon to enter distraction-free mode, and HTML users will see a new [fullscreen] button. Click one and you’re on your way.
  • Distraction-free writing mode still takes over the browser window, but the writing area is optimized for a comfortable line length and easy reading and editing. Editor styles set by themes are also supported.
  • The formatting header is shown when you first arrive on the screen, to orient you, then fades away so you can focus on your writing. Move your mouse to indicate that you want access to these items and it will magically reappear.
  • Only the most-used formatting and embedding icons are shown, reducing visual noise, along with a Save button in the upper right (you’ll need to go back to the regular editor to publish), and the word count in the lower left.
Distraction-free writing, with toolbar

Distraction-free writing, with toolbar (move mouse to activate)

Completely distraction-free view

Completely distraction-free

  • Keyboard shortcuts are supported.
  • You can switch beween Visual and HTML modes while in distraction-free writing mode.
  • Have I mentioned how restful this screen feels when you’re writing? Well, I have now. :)

I never used to like full-screen mode for writing, but I love distraction-free mode. Try it, and I bet you will, too!

Tip: make your browser go full screen if you really want to be distraction-free. Press F11 on Windows, or Command+Shift+F on a Mac. To disable full screen, use the same keyboard shortcut, or move your mouse to the top of the screen to reveal the menu.

Get Featured on Freshly Pressed

We hope you’ll enjoy these updates as much as we do. As always, let us know what you think, but this time, let’s mix it up:

  • If you encounter a bug, something looks weird/broken, or you need help with the new distraction-free writing feature, please let us know in the special distraction-free writing support forum instead of leaving a comment about the problem on this post. Note that we’ll be continuing to touch things up as needed based on your feedback for the next couple of weeks.
  • There’s also a new distraction-free writing support page for reference.
  • Leave your feedback on the design update in a comment on this post.
  • To comment on the new  distraction-free writing feature, go try it first! Write a post and see how it feels. Give it a “just write” tag. Then come back and tell us what you thought about the experience and give us your feedback in a comment on this post. Include a link to the first post you wrote in dfw mode so we can check you out.

I will personally read every first “just write”-tagged post that is linked in the comments within 48 hours. I will (completely subjectively) choose my five favorites posts and feature them on Freshly Pressed, and will also send the authors a WordPress swag pack (buttons, stickers, maybe a surprise or two) as a prize. Note: I am easily swayed by correct spelling and grammar, so be sure to make use of the built-in spelling and grammar checker!



May 19, 2011 | 1:05 AM Comments  {num} comments

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julianprofeta   julianprofeta Julián Profeta's TIGblog
Julián Profeta's profile

Batters Up: Major League Baseball Now on WordPress.com

Attention baseball fans, today we’re launching a triple-header of new themes just for you.

We’ve partnered with MLB.com to bring its Fan, Modern, and Retro blog themes to WordPress.com. The designs range from minimal (“Modern”) to loud (“Fan”), and there’s even a throwback to old MLB Club logos and styles for a bit of nostalgia (“Retro”, of course).

Fan Modern Retro

But that’s not all: you can also customize each of the MLB themes with your favorite team’s colors and logo. So whether you prefer O’s to A’s, pinstripes over blues, or Red Sox instead of White, we’ve got a theme for you.

We would also like to welcome the MLB.com blogging community, and thank them for waiting patiently in the bullpen while we prepped their new home here at WordPress.com. MLB bloggers: if you have any questions, please review our FAQ about the transition to WordPress.com, read our support guides, or feel free to get in touch.

So go ahead and join folks like Tommy Lasorda, Ozzie Guillen, Keith Olbermann, and thousands of other blogs of summer, by heading over to Appearance → Themes  → Friends of WordPress.com  in your WordPress.com dashboard to activate an MLB theme, and  Appearance → Theme Options to pick your favorite team.



May 17, 2011 | 2:05 AM Comments  {num} comments

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julianprofeta   julianprofeta Julián Profeta's TIGblog
Julián Profeta's profile

Now share Google Docs and Google Calendars

For many of you, your WordPress.com site isn’t just about communication, it’s about collaboration, too.

We’re taking collaboration and sharing one step further today at WordPress.com by enabling you to embed  presentations, documents, forms, spreadsheets, and calendars created with Google Docs and Google Calendar.

We’ve had a lot of users request this functionality from our awesome Happiness Engineers, and we are listening.

To get started sharing Google Docs and Google Calendars, just copy/paste the code provided by Google into a post, page, or text widget, and you’re done!

We’ve created two new Support documents to guide you through this step by step:

Note: if you’re sharing a private (not public) document, the viewer will have to be logged into Google and have permission to access the document.

Get sharing!



May 9, 2011 | 12:05 PM Comments  {num} comments

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julianprofeta   julianprofeta Julián Profeta's TIGblog
Julián Profeta's profile

New Theme: Vertigo

Today we are excited to introduce a new, beautifully designed, free theme called Vertigo. It makes great use of WordPress post formats. It has a charming, hitchcockian typeface for site and post titles. And it’s dark.

The Vertigo Theme

With Vertigo you can set your own accent color for links, which is used in several places throughout the theme, if you don’t feel like red is a good fit for your blog. You can also have a second color of your choice for the site title by using the settings in Appearance → Header.

The theme is inspired by the design work of the late Saul Bass, Art Goodman, and Dave Nagata. Based on the original design by Matthew Buchanan. We hope you like this new theme and start creating incredible blogs with it. As usual, go exploring on the theme showcase.



May 9, 2011 | 2:05 AM Comments  {num} comments

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