WordPress Design Thoughts

Greg Storey just wrote an article that claims:

In several ways I think WordPress has a lot going for it functionally but in order for the software to seriously gain market share the developers need to recognize that design is needed to complete the product. […] And if WordPress can’t figure this out their application will always look like the welfare option in blog software.

As this is something we’ve been focusing on a great deal in the new 1.6 release, and WordPress.com users get to interafct with the new interface every day, I’m curious to hear some feedback from the community on this.

More Dashboard Experiments

A few more changes to the Dashboard tonight. First we’ve dropped down the number of “top” blogs and highlighted more “up and coming” blogs. This list should change more and be a bit more dynamic.

Second is we’ve re-enabled the “incoming links” section which we had to disable before due to timeouts. However this time it’s pulling from the new Google Blog Search, so it’ll be interesting to see how the results look.

WordPress.com Invites

The easiest (and cheapest) way to get a WordPress.com invite is to fill out your email on the front page notify form. We’re going to start randomly selecting people from that list starting today and will be adding a few more almost daily.

Now would be a good time to check your email filters and maybe whitelist wordpress.com so your invite doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

New Dashboard

The content on the Dashboard has been significantly redone to give you something to enjoy this weekend. Thanks to some code-fu from Andy we are now tracking a lot of interesting stats from across all the WordPress.com blogs.

The first thing you’ll notice is we’re highlighting the top blogs of the day across the network. Next you’ll see where there used to be the WordPress Planet feed we now highlight the most popular posts of the day and the latest from around the site.

I’ve also added links to the top blogs to the front page of WordPress.com.

A lot of you have let us know you loved the “community posts” feature we had in the activity bar so we’ve expanded in ways that hopefully make the dashboard a much more interesting place for you. As a nice side-effect, the dashboard loads about ten times faster now.

As always, let us know what you think and any thoughts or suggestions you may have. It’s getting better every day. 🙂 

More Invites

If you’re a current user of WordPress.com and you’ve run out of invites, let me know. I may be able to bump your number back up a bit. We’re also looking into ways we can grant invites after a certain amount of usage or time automatically, but for now just let us know how many awesome people you’ve invited already and how you want to include more. 🙂

Admin Bar

We’re experimenting with something new, now when you’re logged in across WordPress.com you should see a blue “admin bar” across the top of your blog and others with a few handy links, including “Edit this page” if you’re on your own site. This is only shown to people who are logged in.

I’m curious what people think of this, and what other sort of stuff would you like to see in your admin bar?

A few updates

It’s Labor day so we’ve been working extra hard for you. Here are a few of the latest improvements on WordPress.com:

  • Managing links works better.
  • You can now use extended entries with the “more” WYSIWYG button.
  • You now get less generic profile information on registration.
  • Invites are a lot smarter — it prefiles a lot of information for people you invite.
  • When you invite someone you’re automatically added to their blogroll on their new blog.
  • Feedback form works in IE.
  • The cool fade I alluded to before is now in full effect. (Delete some more posts and comments.)
  • It should be faster now (and we haven’t even moved to the new servers yet).

All the electricity problems have been solved in the new colo and thanks to the super-human Jason Hoffman everything has been racked and stacked and we’ll begin configuring them this week.