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WordPress was borne of initial idea seeding via B2 (Cafelog) in 2001, which was launched by Michael Valdrighi. In 2003, cofounders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little forked B2 and created WordPress, an Open Source blogging and now content management system estimated to power the largest number of websites of any individual product (20%). Through the largest thriving community of any website management system, WordPress has grown to include theme designers, plugin developers, webmasters and site developers. With the power of participants, WP now can power anything from small individual blogs to large multi-user social communities to business websites. Core contributing developers include Ryan Boren, Mark Jaquith, Matt Mullenweg, Andrew Ozz, Peter Westwood and Andrew Nacin. WordPress has just recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary.

WPCommunity was started as an extension of Web Developer Tom Ford who found WordPress in the early days looking for a solution to power a group of large websites that had outgrown their flat HTML infrastructure. Needing more features, WordPress was chosen based on another user who was kind enough to put together a comparison chart of several platforms, with detailed information. The way this individual was able to present this side by side comparison using WordPress ultimately led to giving it a shot...which led to massive experimentation to the different things it could do. The heavy and growing demand for assistance led to offering such, bringing us to today. Tom Ford has contributed to various other development agencies including TC Websites, and WPML. (as well as solving countless technical issues and working through many full website builds).

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      • ~Highlights~

      • APR 23, 2014

        ThemeLab, a popular site dedicated to WordPress theme topics has been acquired by Syed Balkhi. ThemeLab has been a valuable resource of information since 2007. Leland Fiegel, the site’s previous owner made a positive mark within the community when he published an in-depth post explaining why users shouldn’t download and use themes from shady sites discovered in Google.

        Don't Download Themes From Shady Sites

        Don’t Download Themes From Shady Sites

        According to the about page, the acquisition took place in 2013. During the time of acquisition, Balkhi and his team have revamped the site and turned it into a commercial theme shop. The site’s mission statement fits in with a trend we’ve noticed with commercial themes in general: “While most companies are focused on either design or functionality, our approach is to bring the best of both worlds with a special emphasis on usability.”

        As a WordPress user watching from the sidelines, I’ve noticed that themes have become extremely complex over the last several years. The race to add more features, more options, more shortcodes, and more of everything has led developers to lose sight of what’s more important: usability.

        Beginners who are just starting out no longer find WordPress to be easy. A lot of this has to do with themes because that’s their first encounter. Having to go through 600 options just to get the theme to look like the demo is beyond silly.

        All of the free themes released on ThemeLab have been retired and are no longer available for download. Tutorials published by Fiegel will be updated as necessary with new ones on the way.

        What’s Next For Fiegel?

        ThemeLab has been an excellent resource of information within the WordPress community over the years. It’s awesome to see Fiegel has found the right buyer with the right price. In a detailed post on his personal blog, Fiegel explains what the past six years have been like running ThemeLab as well the lessons he learned.

        His next endeavor is called Pluginferno and focuses on commercial plugins for WordPress, addons for existing popular plugins, plugin reviews, and commentary about the WordPress community in general.


        He’ll also be entering the commercial theme market through PowerTheme. There’s not a lot of information about the site but it will sell 100% GPL licensed themes. Both sites give Fiegel a fresh start. The lessons learned from running ThemeLab should make it easier for his new endeavors to be financially successful.

        Interview With Syed Balkhi and Leland Fiegel

        Join us tonight at 7 P.M. Eastern as I interview the former and current owner of ThemeLab during a live Google Hangout. We’ll talk about the deal as well as the history of ThemeLab with Fiegel at the helm. You can listen live and chat during the interview via the Podcast page on WPTavern. If you have any questions you’d like me to ask either guest, leave them in the comments.

        APR 23, 2014

        Akismet is one of those quiet utility plugins that works in the background of your WordPress site without a lot of fanfare. When it’s doing it’s job, your blog comments stay spam-free and you never think twice about it. Forgetting to activate Akismet on a new site will quickly remind you of just how much spam is targeted at WordPress sites.

        Akismet 3.0 is a major rewrite of the plugin that improves its efficiency in handling the worst spam that hits your site. When you visit your Akismet settings you’ll see how many days of your life Akismet has saved you as well as some new stats and graphs demonstrating the plugin’s effectiveness. Here’s an example from a small, personal blog:


        Akismet 3.0′s Silent Discard Feature Improves Performance

        In addition to an easier signup and configuration process, this version introduced a silent discard feature that identifies and outright blocks the worst spam comments.

        Throughout the course of improving Akismet, the team found that approximately 80% of spam is so bad that it could be flagged as “pervasive.” The silent discard feature causes pervasive spam to bypass the spam folder entirely so that you’ll never see it.


        The plugin previously had a relatively ineffective option that allowed site owners the ability to automatically discard spam on older posts. This didn’t do much to block the worst spam and users found it to be confusing.

        Akismet 3.0 remembers your selections for this previous feature and applies them to the new silent discard feature. In most cases this means that the silent discard will be automatically turned on when you update the plugin. For users who are new to Akismet, the default setting is to store the pervasive spam in the spam folder for 15 days. The silent discard feature will need to be turned on from the plugin’s configuration page.

        There are some very compelling reasons to turn this new feature on. When announcing the silent discard option, the folks at Akismet said that “enabling the feature can result in significant reductions in your storage and resource usage requirements.” This is especially true on sites that are always publishing new content. Silently discarding the most pervasive spam, instead of storing all of it for 15 days, frees up the storage and resources required to display and manage those spam comments in the admin.

        Akismet has zapped more than 135 billion spam comments and track backs to date, and the service is getting smarter at defeating the worst spam. The most important spam-fighting feature of 3.0 is the ability to silently discard pervasive spam before it even has the chance to land on your doorstop and get logged in your database. Turning this option on is a no-brainer. If you haven’t yet updated your plugins or have been waiting to update to WordPress 3.9, Akismet 3.0′s silent discard feature is another reason to get moving on those updates.