A FRESH WORDPRESS
The WordPress.com Dashboard Gets a Beautiful Makeover Each day, you blog, you create, and you make things with your WordPress.com site. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the code that runs WordPress.com gets updated dozens of times a day
The WordPress.com Dashboard Gets a Beautiful Makeover
Each day, you blog, you create, and you make things with your WordPress.com site. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the code that runs WordPress.com gets updated dozens of times a day, as we deploy improvements. While you can’t see the vast majority of those changes, there is one improvement we can’t wait for you to see: a brand-new, redesigned WordPress.com dashboard featuring better contrast and the oh-so-lovelyOpen Sans typeface.
Back in April, I shared our goals for the WordPress.com dashboard redesign:
- It should have a simple, uncluttered design; free of excessive decoration and focused on your content.
- It should use webfonts for beautiful, legible typography that’s consistent in every browser.
- It should have a responsive design that’s tailored to desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones.
- It should do all this while retaining the familiar, user-tested dashboard interface that millions of users already understand.
We’ve redrawn all the icons, we’ve opened up spacing, we’ve moved to Open Sans as our default typeface, and we’ve increased contrast to make the dashboard as beautiful on the inside as your blog is on the outside:
Beautiful new icons and stronger contrast are two elements of the dashboard’s redesign.
Opt in to responsive goodness
We’re also hard at work on a responsive design, so you can view and work in your WordPress.com dashboard on your smartphone or tablet. It will be available for everyone later this year, but you can preview it today. To enable the responsive dashboard, go to Profile and click the checkbox next to: Enable experimental responsive design (MP6). If you’ve previously opted in to our design preview, you’ll have this enabled by default.
The responsive dashboard is tailored for smartphones and tablets.
We hope the redesign makes creating things with WordPress even more enjoyable.
Special thanks to the early adopters who took the new dashboard design for a spin and took the time to share their feedback — your thoughts and ideas were a big help as we iterated on the design and fixed bugs.
Since the dawn of time, humankind has yearned for control. While we can’t give you more control over most of your life, we can give you more control over your widgets. And today, with the new widget visibility tool, you can configure your widgets to be shown or hidden only on certain pages.
Widgets are a way to add new content (like your Twitter stream, a tag cloud, or a link to your blog archives) in the sidebar, header, or footer of your site. To see the widgets you have available to you, log in to your WordPress.com dashboard and click on Appearance » Widgets. To add a widget, simply click on it and drag it up and over to the right of the widget screen, into the Default Sidebar, Header Area, or Footer Area section of your site. Then, to control visibility, expand the widget and click the Visibility button next to the Save button.
For example, if you wanted the Archives widget to only appear on category archives and error pages, choose “Show” from the first dropdown and then add two rules: “Page is 404 Error Page” and “Category is All Category Pages.”
You can also hide widgets based on the current page. For example, if you don’t want the Archives widget to appear on search results pages, choose “Hide” and “Page is Search results.”
Visibility is controlled by five aspects: page type, category, tag, date, and author, but each visibility rule is handled separately, so there isn’t a way, for example, to only display a widget on posts that are categorized as “Summer” and also tagged with “Picnic.”
The visibility panel is available today in every widget for every user on WordPress.com; visitAppearance » Widgets in your blog’s dashboard to take control. Or, to learn more about using widgets on your blog, check out our recent Introduction to Widgets series: Widgets 101,Widgets 201, and Widgets 301.
The WordPress for Android App Gets a Big Facelift
We’re constantly working on updates to our mobile apps to make your WordPress.com experience on the go the best it can be. Today, we’ve jubilantly released version 2.3 ofWordPress for Android to Google Play. After updating, you’ll see right away that this release includes very exciting updates to the user interface. Let’s dive in to what’s new!
You’ll notice a fresh, new look. We’ve taken into account Android’s “Holo” style guidelines and implemented the Action Bar interface throughout the app. If you’ve used any other apps designed for Android 4.0 or higher, you’ll feel right at home with the new design. Your Action Bar provides easy access to common actions such as creating a new post, refreshing, and sharing to other apps.
We also couldn’t resist making the Action Bar in WordPress blue.
The older-style dashboard interface has been replaced with a Menu Drawer for quick and easy navigation to other areas of the app from wherever you are. You’ll find all of the same actions the dashboard had, but with the addition of some nifty new ones.
To access the menu, simply tap the arrow next to the WordPress logo – in the top-left corner of the app — or swipe from the left side of the screen. If you’re on a large tablet device, the menu will always be visible, which takes advantage of the extra screen space. If you have multiple blogs in the app, you’ll see a drop-down list at the top of your Menu Drawer that you can access to quickly switch to another blog to work with, right in the app.
When you leave the app, it will remember the last selection you made in the Menu Drawer so when you return, you can pick up where you left off.
Other new features
In addition to the revamped app interface, you’ll find these new features as well:
- View Site option. A View Site option has been added to the Menu Drawer so you can view your blogs from within the app.
- Admin area access. You can access the wp-admin areas of your WordPress.com blogs by loading the Dashboard option in the Menu Drawer.
- Faster loading. The WordPress.com Reader now takes advantage of caching for faster loading.
- Updated look and feel. Settings have been converted to use the Android standard for preferences, giving them the Holo look and feel on supported devices. Many views have been updated to the Holo look and feel as well, including the post editor and all list views.
- Improved post editor experience. The post editor now has an expandable content area, which makes it much easier to navigate around the post content when you’re editing.
- Improved image uploading. If a post has an image but fails to upload the image, the post will be saved as a draft first — instead of published — so the image upload can be corrected.
New on WordPress for Android: Notifications
New on WordPress for Android: Notifications
Need to get your WordPress.com Notifications on the go?
With version 2.4 of WordPress for Androidyou’ll see all your Notifications right on your Android device.
Step away yet stay connected
- wordpress infographic (Photo credit: strebel)
With the new streamlined Notifications view, you can step away from your computer but still stay connected to your readers. With just a few taps you can:
- Read comment threads and reply.
- Moderate new pending comments.
- Get stats highlights.
- See your new followers and follow them back.
- See who liked your posts.
Don’t need so many notifications? You can turn off specific notification types (for example “Likes”) in the Settings panel. You can also mute entire blogs if it gets too noisy.
Additional improvements and bug fixes
We also added a few more nifty features in this release:
- A new menu icon has been added that matches up with the latest ‘Holo’ design guidelines.
- Settings and Sign out options have been added to the overflow menu for easier access.
- New fonts added for easier readability.
- … and many more small bug fixes and reliability improvements.
ANDROID 4.3 COMES OUT TOMORROW.
I’LL WATCH FOR IT BUT I’M NOT Holding my breath.
On a device? Tap here to download WordPress for Android directly. If you’re not on Android you’ll instead get redirected to the app for your device.
What’s Next & Calling Contributors
This update was a big one and we want to make sure to keep the momentum going. We’re currently looking at adding notifications to the app so you can keep up with what’s happening on your WordPress sites while mobile and on the go. What would you like to see added to the app?
We’ve got some great new features in the works including improvements to Media, Account Setup, and the Reader.
How do you like the new Notifications?
Drop a comment there to let them know!
You can send feedback on the forums at http://android.forums.wordpress.org
Don’t forget that WordPress for Android is an open source project. Want to get involved? Check out make.wordpress.org/mobile to get started.
- What is WordPress? (teksocial.com)
- Tools For WordPress Bloggers – Jetpack (teksocial.com)
- WordPress.com launches MP6 dashboard redesign (poststat.us)
- Google+ Update Coming Later Today, Brings Enhanced Notifications, New Menu, And More (androidpolice.com)
- Six Android apps you need now (reviews.cnet.com)
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