Even though WordPress.com has a couple of months to go before its 6th birthday, forgive StumbleUpon the small faux pas just for the cool present of the WordPress.com Stumble browser bar.
Go discover something new and Stumble your favorites.
More like the Power of WordPress Confusion! While presenting a great timeline and info, if you were confused before about the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, this infographic won’t do much to clear it up. Read the rest of this entry
Better Image Resizing!
Who doesn’t like visuals served up next to their written text? It adds spice to even the most well-written blog post and in the case of blogs serving up photos as the main course, images provide the entire meal. I’m not going to dish out the whole discussion around how images should be handled in WordPress, because that scope is huge and depends much on what is decided for the stand-alone version of WordPress. So, for the purposes of discussion here I’m limiting my wish to image resizing.
One of the many features of WordPress.com that I love is the ability to change themes easily to one of the over 100 available themes. While written words generally have no trouble transitioning to a new theme (unless you’ve used special fonts, colors, etc. extensively in your posts/pages), images in your blog posts can really suffer due to the automated image resizing that takes place to accommodate your new theme’s posting width. There are two aspects in play here: the image size/weight in kilobytes to speed up page load time and the size of the image in pixel dimensions (which is the main focus being addressed here).
Image Resampling: Looking at the WordPress.com Support Doc on Image Optimization, you can clearly see the difference in the quality of the two photos shown there. Even though they are the same pixel dimensions, the resampled photo at the bottom of that page (78kb) has severely lost both sharpness and color. For purposes of comparison, compare that image with this one resampled from the original by Yahoo’s “Smush.it” and weighing in at 67.8Kb:
Image Resizing: Looking at this photo on my photoblog, click through to the originally uploaded photo (1024×768 pixels) linked at the top of that page. The photo in the attachment page has been automatically resized to fit the theme’s attachment page width, but the image quality has suffered as a result.
If you are a new blogger or one with just a few posts with images, manually resizing existing images to fit your new theme while still maintaining image quality may be an annoying inconvenience. However, if your blog has been around for a while or you post frequently or your blog is photo-centric, you may not readily consider switching to a new theme, or at least not without some trepidation. Knowing that WordPress.com has a better image resizing engine, one that would maintain your image quality, would make this a non-issue.
(For what it’s worth, the whole discussion surrounding the trade-off between image size/weight and page loading time is so important that not surprisingly Google is also getting more heavily in the act. )
After an early morning ride with Lisa and two other fellow WordCamp attendees followed by an extra strong cup of coffee, WordCamp Jerusalem is underway. Miriam Schwab thanked the people arriving from Tel Aviv for their extra efforts in making their way to the conference (we were on the road at 07:15, before I normally even wake up).
And at that point yesterday, the WiFi at the Jerusalem College of Technology, a religious school, filtered access to WordPress.com, as well as to other sites apparently. As several people pointed out this was rather ironic given the driving idea behind WordPress. Fortunately, twitter continued to work and, besides the inevitable moaners and wailers, the twitter stream for #wcjeru was very active.
Overall my experience at WordCamp this year was on a completely different level from earlier WordCamps I attended and serious kudos to WordCamp Jerusalem for not only bringing in gifted and professional local WordPress developers/designers but also for tapping into the web design community as well. The most interesting session I attended during the day was “UX Cookbook: Creating Delicious WordPress Sites” where Barak Danin of UXI.org.il talked about how users experience your site and how you want them to experience your site. I came away with a lot of insights and more importantly, lots of questions that I will now try to answer.
Networking was an important and, thankfully, built-in part of the WordCamp Jerusalem program. There’s no question that when so many people who regularly see one another at conferences of this sort get together there will be networking involved. Having time to talk, swap information and brainstorm ideas with other WordPress enthusiasts acts as an incubator for further collaborations. One idea I chatted over the lunchtime break with Yoav Farhi was the possibility of a local WordPress.com meetup. Stay tuned! (And for those of you looking for the “How to go from zero to hero” learning site for WordPress.com that Matt mentioned, it’s there in my sidebar under Blogging Gurus.)
Needless-to-say, the Town Hall meeting at the end of the day with Matt Mullenweg was the highlight of the day for me and many people. Matt talked about the development of WordPress, complimented the local community for being so active, was asked questions about WordPress usability and the future of WordPress and also said he liked the beaches in Tel Aviv.
So, Matt, here’s a small souvenir to take home from a beach a bit south of Tel Aviv, a lively reminder of why the beaches here are just so darn hot. (Back to the version posted originally, which appears to have been replaced officially due to concerns about the music first used, an ABBA/dance mix.)
Again, kudos to Miriam Schwab and her team (and, of course, the sponsors) for putting together an event that set the standard for future WordCamps in Israel.
More event posts you might enjoy:
- Gil Reich does Best of WordCamp Jerusalem
- Video of the Q&A session with Matt (via @ Felix Wasserstein-w/blog post in Hebrew)
- Photos by Elad (where the back of my head got lots of exposure. )
- Photos by Lisa (a different Lisa than the one mentioned above.)
- Photos by Reuven
- Photos by Eyal Sela
- Photos by WCJerusalem
- Israeli Security Hates the iPad (oops)
- Photos by Matt
- Behind the Scenes of WordCamp Jerusalem
- וורדפרס: מגרסת מילים
- חוויות ורשמים מוורדקמפ 2010
- WordCamp Jerusalem 5/9/2010 (in Hebrew)
- (If you know of any more, please add them in the comments.)