WordPress MU 2.8.5 Released

wordpress-mu-logoFor those of you that may not have noticed, yet, WordPress MU has updated to version 2.8.5. Recently, WordPress MU has been making great progress in following closely behind WordPress in its release schedule. If you are running WordPress MU on your site, please make sure to upgrade to the new version.

With WordPress MU, you can easily login to your administrative control panel and update all of your blogs with a few simple clicks of the mouse. Once you login, you’ll see a notification at the top of the screen informing you that WordPress MU 2.8.5.2 is available, along with a link to update your installation.

Once you have backed up your WPMU database and all of your WPMU files, you can simply click “Upgrade Automatically” button to quickly and easily update your WPMU installation.

WordPress Launches Plugin Compatibility Checker

Everytime blog software provider WordPress launches a new version, there’s always talk that people are afraid to upgrade because of compatibility issues with the plugins they use. Most worry that their WordPress installation will break after the upgrade.

WordPress security guru Mark Jaquith has posted on the WordPress blog about a new “plugin compatibility tester”. Mark notes, “As part of our continuing efforts to make WordPress core, plugin, and theme upgrades as painless as possible, Michael Adams developed and launched a beta of a new “Compatibility” feature in the plugin directory, powered by your votes. When viewing a plugin in the directory, select a WordPress version and a plugin version from the drop-downs. If there has been feedback about this WordPress / plugin version combination, we’ll show you what percentage of responses marked that combination as compatible vs how many marked it as incompatible.”

The information from the voting is also included in the WordPress API. Now the key is getting enough people to vote to make the responses accurate. Perhaps if they add the voting mechanism into the plugin page inside of the WordPress install, that might help get more people to vote.

Using TimThumb with WordPress MU

A few days ago, I saw a post on Smashing Magazine outlining ten tips to give your WordPress blog a little more personality. While most of the tips don’t really apply to the blogs on which I’m currently working, tip number two piqued my interest.

Tip number two explains how to display a list of “related posts” at the bottom of each post, and tells you how to add icons to each of those related posts. Unfortunately, when I attempted to implement the tip on one of my WordPress MU blogs, I found that it didn’t work for a few reasons.

  1. The tip uses a meta element called “post-img” which, as I’ve found since attempting to implement the tip, isn’t a standard WordPress element.
  2. TimThumb doesn’t work with WordPress MU out-of-the-box.

So, I set out trying to figure out how I should implement the tip. Following are the results of my tinkering.