vmc communications, llctaxi farevmc communications, llc
Select Page
9 Best WordPress News Sources for 2021

9 Best WordPress News Sources for 2021

If you use WordPress in any capacity, it’s a good idea to stay informed about the platform and it’s community. Three types of news in particular should be paid special attention to: official WordPress announcements and development updates, prominent third party development updates (specifically, those of the tools in your “WordPress Tool Kit”), and finally, broader WordPress Community conversations including users and thought leaders. If all of these news “types” are in your feed (or inbox) then you’ll be empowered to better understand and use WordPress as well as plan long term decisions based on current conversations and development.

In this post, we’ll run down the very best WordPress news sources to follow for 2021 and beyond. 

Let’s dive in!

The Best WordPress News Sources for 2021

The list below isn’t exhaustive, but is a great start to populate your favorite RSS reader. What’s more, these sources aren’t listed in any particular order, so feel free to run the rule over the ones that pique your interest. Without further ado, let’s get started!

1. WPTavern

The WPTavern home page.

No list of the best WordPress news sources would be complete without WPTavern. It’s been running for over a decade, and while it’s seen some personnel changes over the years, its core offering of up-to-date WordPress news is still strong.

The types of articles you’ll find on WPTavern are focused on what’s happening “under the hood” of WordPress. Given this, posts are generally developer-focused, and you can get a feel for the reader base from the comments section.

Speaking of which, most articles have a healthy discussion within the comments section. We’d argue this is a great way of getting to know how the “back end” community feels about certain topics:

The WPTavern comments section.

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that WPTavern has been owned by Automattic – the developers of WordPress – since 2011. However, this hasn’t affected the quality of the output in our opinion, nor has it introduced any explicit bias in which stories are covered.

Visit WordPress Tavern

2. Post Status

The Post Status home page.

Next up, Post Status takes the focus of WPTavern and ramps it up a notch. It’s billed as a community for WordPress professionals, and as such, is the first place many budding theme and plugin creators go for their daily news fixes.

The site is run by Brian Krogsgard, and iThemes’ Cory Miller joined as a partner in 2020. Both are experienced WordPress professionals, backed up by an equally impressive team. Between them, Post Status offers a number of channels to receive the latest WordPress news. While the site was initially known as a straightforward news site, it’s now grown to include a newsletterand podcast (which we’d recommend subscribing to).

However, if you need more from Post Status, you could also purchase a membership. This offers well-researched industry insights, a private Slack channel, and much more. While there is value in its free offerings, Post Status’ subscription tier is likely a valuable investment for many WordPress developers.

Visit Post Status

3. Twitter

The Twitter website.

Among the primordial soup of Tweets, you can find some of the earliest-breaking WordPress news. Of course, you have to know where to look. The beauty of the platform is that there are plenty of ways to source quality industry updates.

For example, you could simply follow all of the news sources on this list, and wait for them to Tweet content. Alternatively, you could also follow the developers of WordPress products, and get firsthand insight into what’s happening with various companies. 

Of course, you’re also going to want to follow topics using hashtags and other trending search terms to find the news you want. Some popular options related to WordPress include:

  • #wordpress
  • #wp
  • #webdevelopment
  • #webdesign
  • #seo
  • #plugins

You might also look into hashtags related to specific plugins or themes you’re interested in. For instance, #divi features some updates and content related to our flagship theme and page builder.

To find the latest content using the hashtags you’re interested in, just type them into the search bar on the Explore page:

Overall, using Twitter to get your WordPress news is a double-edged sword. It can provide lots of valuable information, but you’ll need to have a strategy for sorting through its ocean of content.

4. Ma.tt

The Ma.tt website.

Including the site of Matt Mullenweg – the co-creator of WordPress – is, on one hand, a no-brainer when it comes to finding WordPress news. However, we’ll admit that Matt doesn’t only publish platform-centric posts. In the spirit of WordPress itself, Ma.tt is a blog, and topics are discussed somewhat at random.

For example, you’ll find posts about the acquisition of Tumblr there. However, you’ll also get a yearly “What’s in my bag?” post, discussions on live streaming equipment, and much more.

On the surface, Ma.tt isn’t going to be a place you’ll get early breaking WordPress news. However, when it comes to getting inside the mind of a leading entrepreneur, you can’t beat it. At the very least, reading the content here is going to help you understand why you read the stories you do, and why those decisions have ultimately been made.

Visit Ma.tt

5. Make WordPress

The Make WordPress website.

When it comes to WordPress news, you could consider Make WordPress an almost perfect blend between Ma.tt, Post Status, and direct developer updates. It’s not a bonafide news source per se, although when it comes to official WordPress updates, it’s the place to be.

For the uninitiated, the Make WordPress website is essentially a microsite for contributors to the platform. As such, you’ll find dedicated areas for ThemesPluginsMarketingCore code, and much more. The primary purpose of these different teams is to provide a central repository for updates and resources. However, given that the channels are public, it’s also a great way to get WordPress news on any aspect of the platform.

Our advice is to subscribe for updates through an RSS reader. It could be noisy at times, as some of the posts aren’t designed as reading material for end-users. However, for upcoming updates and changes to WordPress’ offerings – the Block Editor being a perfect example – it’s a goldmine of information.

Visit Make WordPress

6. Developer Blogs

The Elegant Themes blog.

We mentioned direct developer updates in the last entry, and following specific theme and plugin blogs will also net you plenty of WordPress news. While the blogs on product sites are often centered around content marketing, you’ll also find changelogs, updates, and other news-worthy tidbits.

There are a few tips we recommend for filtering out the noise here. First, see if your RSS reader can filter based on taxonomies. If so, check out the blog of your chosen WordPress product for any categories or tags that relate to news.

Also, we don’t recommend following all of the developers you can find. Some of the more important ones – such as Automattic, Yoast, and of course, Elegant Themes – will likely be all you need.

Second, see if the product developers run personal blogs. It could be that these sites don’t contain anything WordPress-related. However, in some instances, you’ll find greater insight into the decisions by the company as a whole, which ultimately gives you more information.

7. WP Content

The WP Content home page.

Next on our list is a modern throwback to the old ManageWP.org aggregator. That site sadly doesn’t exist anymore, although WP Content looks to take its place. So far, the fledgling site succeeds.

It’s a community-driven website that aggregates WordPress news and ranks it accordingly. Since the lists are user-driven, it means these articles are genuinely the most engaging for other WordPress users. As such, you can see at a glance what the WordPress community is currently taking notice of.

What’s more, there are dedicated comments sections for all posts, so users can discuss the relative merits of each inclusion. This is going to give you greater insight into how the WordPress community enjoys (or doesn’t enjoy) the information it receives.

Visit WP Content

8. Torque

The Torque website.

Our next entry is a site that’s been around for a similar timeframe as WPTavern. However, Torque is more of a classic content site. In other words, it offers how-to’s and tutorials, alongside hot takes and editorials on current WordPress events.

Therefore, we’d argue that while its content is valuable, Torque is going to be more of a secondary source of WordPress news. Given that it offers content that expands on the latest WordPress happenings, you’ll want to consider Torque articles alongside previous breaking news, rather than as a go-to source for the latest. However, Doc Pop’s News Drop and Torque’s Social Hour are great listens that stand on their own.

Also, it’s worth noting that Torque is part of the WP Engine group. This is, of course, similar to WPTavern and Automattic. In our experience, we’ve also seen no bias or control exercised by WP Engine. As such, it’s a fine source of WordPress news that you’ll want to add to your list.

Visit Torque

9. Wordfence

The Wordfence blog.

Finally, we have a WordPress plugin developer we’d like to single out. While the Wordfence blog doesn’t contain current WordPress news reporting, it does offer something just as interesting.

Wordfence is often a leading source when it comes to security issues surrounding WordPress products. You’ll often find very detailed breakdowns of recent vulnerability fixes in various WordPress themes and plugins. In addition, the Wordfence blog has also investigated Direct Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and their actors, and much more.

When it comes to security – and more importantly the work the Threat Intelligence Team does to uncover WordPress vulnerabilities – this blog is worth its weight in platinum. We recommend subscribing for daily updates in order to help keep your sites safer.

Visit Wordfence

Conclusion

Rather than a need for gossip, keeping tabs on the latest WordPress news is vital to understanding how the community as a whole operates. What’s more, key updates and developments can only be found “straight from the horse’s mouth.” As such, subscribing to one or more news sources will help you keep a finger on the pulse of the WordPress community across a broad range of roles.

How to Reduce the Size of JPEG and Other Image Files

How to Reduce the Size of JPEG and Other Image Files

The images you use on your website are one of the most important elements. Not only do you want to have visually compelling imagery, but you also don’t want those images to be so large that they slow down the load time for your site. One of the main reasons a site will lag is because the images included in it have not been resized for optimal site performance.

In this article, we will explore manual methods for reducing image sizes in Photoshop including changing the file type, resizing, and compressing files using the Save for Web function. If those looking for something more automated, we’ll also look at some plugins and web-based options.

Changing The File Type

“File Size” for an image file refers to the number of pixels per inch. Generally, the more pixels per inch, the more information the file holds, thus, the bigger its size.

The two most common file types for images are JPG and PNG.

  • PNG – Portable Network Graphics  – This file type is mostly used for graphic files like logos, icons, illustrations, and text. When edited in a photo editing application like Photoshop, these files don’t lose much data when you manipulate or compress them. They are referred to as “lossless” for this reason. These files tend to be bigger in size for this reason.
  • JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group – This is the most common file type you’ll find for most images on the internet. This file type can manage millions of colors, can be highly compressed while preserving quality. These are referred to as “lossy” because the process of compressing them removes pixels from the image.

Either file type can work. Which one you choose really depends on your site, the number and type of photos you choose to use.

Here is a sample photo. Its original format was as a JPG file.

I used the File>Save As command in Photoshop and chose the PNG format and completed the save function.

When I changed the file type, the size of the file went from 646 MB to 1.3 KB. As noted above, PNG files are typically larger, so for this type of picture with a lot of color and detail, you may be better off staying with the JPEG version to ensure faster load times. If you know your image needs to be able to scale larger without losing resolution, go with the PNG version.

Note that there are many other file formats available. I’ve focused on JPEG and PNG because they are the most popular.

Manual Resizing in Photoshop

In Photoshop, you can use the Image>Image Size function to manually resize your image. The tool looks like this:

reducing file size in photoshop

You can see the current Image Size and pixel Dimensions are noted at the top of the tool. Any adjustments you make here will change the size.

Fit To is a drop-down list that has preset sizes and pixel settings.

resizing image files in photoshop

If I choose the first option in that list to adjust the dimensions and pixels per in (ppi) I can see how the file size will change.

resizing image files in photoshop

You can experiment with these settings to determine whether a standard size from the drop-down will work, or if you need to manually change the width, height, or resolution options to get the size you need.

Save for Web Function

Save for Web is different from Save As in that the web option removes metadata (details about the type and origin of the image) from the file before saving. This function is specifically meant for images that will display on the internet, so it can be a very fast way to resize while maintaining quality.

Find the Save for Web option by navigating to File>Export> Save for Web:

resizing images in photoshop

When the Save for Web window opens, you’ll notice another benefit of this function. If you select the 2-up tab at the top, you can see a comparison of the original image side-by-side with the changed image.

resizing images in photoshop

From here, use the presets in the upper-right corner to choose the JPG format and adjust the quality as you wish. After you make changes, you can see whether or not your new file is up to your quality standards via the image preview, and you can validate the change in file size by looking at the data under each image:

Note that you can also change the size by using the width and height fields in the lower right corner. Because this article is specifically looking at resizing, we aren’t covering the other options shown in the Save for Web screen, but you can read here for more detailed information.

WordPress Image Optimization Tools

Photoshop is a great option if you like to turn the dials yourself to reduce image file size yourself. If you are looking for something more automated to help with resizing your images, there are a good number of WordPress plugin options that can help. Here’s a list of a few popular options and a brief description of their benefits:

Imagify – Optimize all your images in one go, resize with ease and restore photos to their original versions when needed. It’s affordable too. This plugin is free to download and includes 20 MB of file space. Other options are $5 per month for 500MB and $10 per month for unlimited space.

ShortPixel – No file size limit and one API key for multiple sites allow for great utilization for this plugin. They also offer one-time and monthly plans for budget flexibility.

Optimole – For the data-oriented, Optimole offers a dashboard where you can review optimization stats. Their free plan allows for 5,000 visitors per month and unlimited bandwidth.

For a more complete comparison of these options and a handful of others, see this article.

Web Resources for Image Optimization

If you’re in a pinch for time and/or money, there are plenty of free online image optimization tools.

Compressjpg allows you to upload multiple files and resize them all at once. It also has a feature that will convert iPhone HEIC format photos to JPEG. Other similar sites are Tinypng well as Image Compressor.

Canva Pro is another popular site that not only resizes but also allows you to design and animate images, as well as format them for web or social media use. Its layout is intuitive and easy to use.

Wrapping Up

Don’t underestimate the importance of optimizing your images. Slow sites not only turn off viewers, they don’t get traction on Google search either.  Fast-loading, sharp images can provide that little extra something that sets your site apart from the rest. An optimized site will keep visitors coming back for more.