WordPress 3.8 Parker features an Updated WordPress Dashboard

WordPress 3.8 Parker was released only a few days ago on December 12th, 2013 and the latest iteration of the world's most popular blogging and content management system has just gotten a major backend design update.  Checkout the refresh below when I updated one of my other websites, CarNewsCafe.

WordPress 3.8 Oscar

wordpress 3.8 parkerThe new WordPress dashboard and backend is much cleaner and seems to be more inline with how a lot of WordPress themes look nowadays.  I imagine this is not a coincidence on the part of Automattic, the company that handles WordPress development.

The new backend uses Open Sans font, which most people probably didn't know about but it works well in the WordPress dashboard.  The idea is to make things less cluttered and easier to read and manage.  In addition icons have been updated and they are now vector based which means they can scale to your screen.  That means they load faster and work better.

Dashboard Color Schemes

wordpress dashboard color schemeIn addition to the udpated look you now have options in terms of what colors you want the WordPress dashboard to look like.  There are currently 8 options to choose from which includes Default, Light, Blue, Coffee, Ectoplasm, Midnight, Ocean, and Sunrise.  The idea is to provide more options and better contrast to be easier on the eyes for WordPress users and admins.

If you have a WordPress website that a lot of different people access, a user can individually choose what WordPress dashboard color scheme they prefer.  A pretty cool update to the backend.

WordPress Twenty Fourteen ‘Magazine' Theme

wordpress twenty fourteenFor WordPress 3.8 Parker there is also a new theme called Twenty Fourteen (2014).  It has the layout of a magazine which seems to be what a lot of people use WordPress for.  The new theme is by far the cleanest default WordPress theme Automattic has come out with.

Other WordPress 3.8 Improvements

In addition to all these cool updates to WordPress 3.8 Parker there are several other nice updates.  This includes better theme management which allows you to see more advanced previews of themes you might want to switch to.  Also the widget menu is easier to handle.

It seems that the WordPress team also has improved the functionality of WordPress for mobile phones and tablets.  Creating and managing posts should be easy no matter what device you are using now.

There are other WordPress tweaks you might notice too.  For instance if you check your plugins page eeactivted plugins are highlighted in white while active plugins are in blue.  (I personally find this confusing.)  Also there is no “Quickpress” in the WordPress dashboard anymore and in it's place you will find a “Quick Draft” box.

wordpress quick draftAt first I was apprehensive about the WordPress 3.8 update since I've been using WordPress for awhile.  Automattic didn't change too much and they make ease-of-use a top priority unlike a lot of other open source software.  After a few days I really like the updated WordPress dashboard and backend.  It is definitely faster and snappy and I imagine that Automattic developers worked hard on improving the WordPress core code to achieve this in addition to reworking the design.  Kudos to everyone that contributed to WordPress 3.8 Parker.

By the way WordPress 3.8 was codenamed “Parker ” after the great Alto saxophone player, Charlie Parker.  Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress, likes to use Jazz musicians to codename WordPress releases since he is Alto saxophone player.  WordPress 3.6 Oscar was named for Oscar Peterson and WordPress 3.7 Basie was named after Count Basie.  Matt Mullenweg and these these other Jazz giants might be great musicians but they don't have singing dogs. 🙂

If you haven't updated you WordPress website(s) or blog(s) to WordPress 3.8 I would recommend you do it to enjoy the new features.  I would encourage you to make a backup of your WordPress installations before you pupated though.   You never know what might happen in an update and it is always a smart precaution.

If you are used WordPress 3.8 Parker are you thoughts about the updated and new dashboard?  Do you love it or hate it?

I bought .ME domain name, for Me

me domain nameAbout a week ago I bought a .ME domain name which just happens to be my first purchase in the .ME domain extension.   While the domain was not my first choice for what I wanted I bought this particular .ME domain name for same reason most people buy a domain name nowadays, it was available. 🙂

Even though a lot of web entrepreneurs are familiar with the .ME domain name I know a lot of people that read and follow my website might not be.  I did write about the .ME registry accepting application for premium domains awhile ago.

Since this is my first .ME domain name I thought this would be a good time to do a quick write-up and explanation of the .ME domain extension.

What is a .ME Domain Name?

The .ME domain extension is what is known as a country code top level domain (ccTLD) for the the European country of Montenegro.  Many ccTLDs that used to be restricted for use within only a certain country, like .ME for Montenegro, have been opened up for registration to general public.  That means you or I can register the domain name.

In terms of search engine optimization (SEO) there is no disadvantage to using some ccTLDs nowadays.  Google considers many ccTLDs like .ME good for global and generic use.  In addition to other domain extensions like .IO, which Google changed their mind about.

Where is Montenegro? What goes on There?

Like I said, Eastern Europe.  Look at a map.

The most famous local that has “taken place” in Montenegro is James Bond playing Texas Hold'em Poker against Le Chifre in the movie Casino Royale.  (In the original story Bond plays Baccarat.)  Of course no part of the movie was actually filmed in Montenegro to my understanding.

As to what else goes on in Montenegro I unfortunately do no know.  Hopefully there is a lot of high stakes gambling and beautiful women.  Maybe I should go find out!

What are you going to do with a .ME Domain Name

It is not a domain name I plan to build a website on and I honestly do not think it has any resale value.  You are welcome to offer me a million dollars for it.  I will gladly accept.

If you don't offer me any money for it my plan is to use this domain as a URL shortener most likely for this website in addition to my other web properties.  While there are tons of URL shortening services there are many advantages to using your own domain name to shorten your URLs.  A lot of free URL shortener services allow anyone to pull statistics on your click through rates for those shortened URLs.  Not good if you don't want your competition to know this information.  It also enables you to brand all your URLs even if they are shortened.  In addition it gives you greater control if you take down an article and you can have shortened URLs be even shorter since you are the only person using the domain.  Also, it's just plain fun and cool.

Can you Enable Privacy on a .ME Domain Name?

Yes. I have whois privacy enabled on this .ME domain I bought through NameCheap.  What is interesting is most ccTLDs domain extensions do not allow for domain privacy but it seems with .ME they do.

How much does it cost to register a .ME domain name?

It's not crazy expensive but you are paying more each year since there are not as many registrations of the domain as more popular extensions.  Average pricing runs about $15-$17 dollars but this will vary depending the domain registrar you use.

Since there is a higher yearly cost for renewal I wouldn't register a .ME domain name and not do anything with it.  You should have a plan to use it either as URL shortener, like I will, or develop into something awesome.

Do you like .ME?

I hope you do and you like my blog.

Anyway, this is what I now about .ME domain names and the extension.  If you have anything to add or opinions about .ME, (get it?) feel free to leave a comment below.

HostGator offering 51% off ALL Hosting plans Today!

UPDATE: I no longer recommend HostGator for web hosting due to slow sites and bad customer service.

I thought I would let people know about this amazing deal that HostGator is offering today only.  You can get any HostGator hosting plans for 51% off which includes shared, VPS (Virtual Private Server), and dedicated server plans.

hostgator

If you have considered buying hosting to start a website or already have a HostGator plan but think you need another for running clients websites or just want another account, then today is when you should purchase another HostGator plan.  People who already have a hosting plan with HostGator are eligible but there are a few catches, like always.

Please note that current clients are eligible to take advantage of this offer on additional hosting accounts only. In order to receive the discount on an additional account, current clients must keep their original, existing account open and in good standing in order to continue receiving the discounted rate on their new account.

What's surprising about this deal is that HostGator is offering dedicated servers as part of the deal as well.  Usually these 1-day hosting deals are only valid on shared and VPS hosting plans.  Since dedicated servers plans are quite costly I am pretty surprised HostGator is offering the 51% off deal on dedicated servers too.  I guess they figure most people will not want or need a dedicated server, which is accurate.

I have hosted with HostGator  in the past and they are a great hosting company with excellent support.  I am not hosting with HostGator currently, although this deal will probably tempt me back, I do recommend them for people getting started online.  However, I do have 2 main complaints with HostGator;

  • Ads in cPanel: If you buy a shared hosting plan HostGator runs ads in the cpanel, which is backend interface where you manage sites.  This really annoys me as I already gave them money for services, I mean you don't need to advertise in the backend. 
  • Chat/Email Support can Be Slow: When I was hosting with them HostGator support was great.  People on the phone were always helpful and able to answers my questions.  I found email support took awhile to get back to me though and chat support was sometimes backlogged for 25+ minutes.

Something you might see people complain about on hosting forums is that HostGator is now owned by Endurance International Group (EIG).  This bothers a lot of people within the hosting industry as a majority of EIG companies have sub-par hosting and support.  Also most of the supposedly “Unlimited” hosting promised by EIG isn't really unlimited.

While you should realize “Unlimited” hosting doesn't ever mean truly unlimited, HostGator is the only EIG company where unlimited isn't something they just say.  Someone I know who runs a WordPress Multisite group of sites that gets 250,000 plus hits a month on HostGator isn't anywhere near the limits of his plan.  Few shared hosting plans, even EIG companies, will allow that sort of traffic.

Even though HostGator is not perfect my friend Aaron likes to say, “For $10 bucks a month, you can't beat them!”  It is honestly hard to disagree with that.  (It's $10 a month after the discounted rate if you choose to stick with them, which a lot of people do.)

This HostGator deal is valid today, May 29th 2013, until midnight Central Daylight Time (CDT) I believe.  The coupon code for the hosting promo is OHSNAPPY.   You should not have to paste the coupon code to receive the 51% discount though.  The correct coupon code will automatically be inserted on all orders that are placed today when signing up for a new account.  If you have an existing account it seems like you might want to contact HostGator billing to take advantage of the deal.

8 Reasons Math Teachers are Nazis in Disguise

What makes Math Teachers so evil and despicable? Well most have yet to realize it, but Math Teachers are Nazis in disguise.  Here are 8 reasons why;

math teachers are nazis

1. Everyone Hates Them

Everyone hates math teachers!  Sure, they might have fringe supporters but in general everyone hates them and what they teach.  Hating them is just part of life.  Did you get up wake up this morning?  Did you login onto the internet?  That's what hating math teacher Nazis is, just a natural part of life.

2. Excellent Propaganda

Math teachers have learned from their past Nazi brethren the art and power propaganda can have.  Not only that but they have become quite good at it over the past few years.  Somehow they have gotten politicians and the media to promote STEM, and acronym for Science Technology Engineering Math.  They are promoting STEM in a seemingly endless propaganda campaign to make themselves more appealing to the masses.

Since these Neo-Nazis in disguise have made this a hot term now and are cycling through an excellent propaganda machine.  It's making them slowly gain support to their fringe political party.  We must stop STEM and these Math Nazis from prevailing!

3. Hate Disagreement

It's a well known fact that math teachers HATE anyone that disagrees with them.  Present a solution to a math problem differently to what they taught you, and they will freak out.  (Mainly because they were not smart enough to think of that.)  This is just another trait which shows you math teachers are Nazis in disguise.  Since Nazis hate disagreement too, it's so obvious.

4. Brainwashing

Math teachers have been brainwashing children for years into believing their ideology is perfectly normal.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  In reality their “math cult” and Nazism is a radicalized view of the world.  Who the fuck needs to know Geometry, Trigonometry, Algerbra, and Calculus?  Nobody!  Just like nobody needs to read that book that Hitler wrote in prison.

They want everyone to think the same way, that math it cool.  Luckily Math Nazis haven't realized their brainwashing has yet to work!

5. Liars

Math teacher Nazis are the biggest liars in the Nazi party.  They like to tell, “If you learn this math you can get a good job.”  If that was true why the hell are they standing in front of a classroom teaching a bunch of kids that don't want to learn math?  Like that was a job they actually wanted… please!  Another clear example that math teachers are part of the Nazi party, since they are Liars!

6. Communicate in Code

Nazis used to communicate in code that few people could understand.  It took allied forces years to crack the Japanese and German Enigma codes in which they communicated to launch air strikes, submarines, and move troops.

Math teachers communicate in code that nobody can understand as well.  It's just not something that they publicly want people to know about.  Have you every tried to decipher their code?  It's friggin impossible unless you have another math nazi that can help you decode it.

7. They Like to Make People's Lives Miserable

Math teachers continue to make millions of people's lives miserable for years on end.  They've been doing it for years without anyone truly noticing, yet they are still getting away with it.  The only difference with the Nazis of 1940's is that they were caught and put on trial.  Since math teachers are Nazis in disguise it is only a matter of time before the same fate awaits these evil souls on earth.

8. They are ruining the World

The devastation that math teachers disguised as Nazis are causing is unimaginable.  Think of the countless children's lives they are ruining?  These evil Nazi souls are slowing destroying and ruining the world!

Conclusion

Math teachers are Nazis in disguise and all my points prove it! If you agree, which I know you do, then please share this post and let the world know. We can not tolerate Nazis in our classrooms, we must not let them almost take over the world again. We must fight them!

*Happy April 1st!