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Wordpress News & Analysis

What's New for You This April in Open Source CMS

WordPress is the world's largest open source CMS. So it's really not surprising that it's also a prime target for hackers worldwide.

Just this week, the US FBI issued an alert about the potential danger of individuals sympathetic to Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists abusing vulnerabilities in the WordPress platform.

"Successful exploitation of the vulnerabilities could result in an attacker gaining unauthorized access, bypassing security restrictions, injecting scripts, and stealing cookies from computer systems or network servers. An attacker could install malicious software; manipulate data; or create new accounts with full user privileges for future Web site exploitation," the alert explains.

The FBI noted that the perpetrators of the attacks against WordPress are not terrorists themselves. Rather, they are hackers "using relatively unsophisticated methods to exploit technical vulnerabilities" in the name of the terrorist group "to gain more notoriety than the underlying attack would have otherwise garnered," the FBI maintains.

In any event, the FBI recommends any site running WordPress use some reasonable precautions:

Now let's move on to more pleasant open source CMS news.

Stop Being Stupid: Many WordPress Users Are Security-Less

WordPress users have a common enemy when it comes to security. Themselves.

At least that's the contention of a new survey by CodeGuard, which shows WordPress users own lack of security knowledge may be putting their sites at risk. CodeGuard CEO David Moeller claims users aren’t up to date on security or backing up their files adequately to protect their content.

Of course, he has reason to say that: CodeGuard provides cloud-based website backup services. Still, the growing issue of security problems are hard to ignore.

SQL Injection and Little Bobby Tables: How to Protect Your CMS

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If your eyes glazed over at the recent announcement of an “SQL injection” vulnerability in WordPress, take heart. You’re not alone.

SQL injection attacks are a common kind of security flaw, but are subtle enough that it’s hard for regular folks to understand what’s at risk.

In this article we’ll walk you through the basics: what “SQL injection” means, what risk it presents to you, and what you can do about it.

What's New in February for Open Source CMS

It goes without saying that WordPress is big — the Goliath of free and open source content management systems (CMS). WordPress is the number 1 CMS system currently in use, and increased its usage on more than 2 million domains since June 2014.

But what about the others? Who is bigger than who?

Sydney, Australia-based BuiltWith.com tracks such things on an ongoing basis. So this month, we thought we'd share the latest statistics on the web's leading open source platforms.

What's New in January for Open Source CMS

WordPress, the Goliath of free and open source content management systems (CMS), closed the year with the release of a new version named in honor of yet another musician.

Version 4.1 — aka "Dinah" — honors singer and pianist Dinah Washington, one of the most popular black female recording artists of the 50s. She was posthumously inducted to both the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Matt Mullenweg, the founder and CEO of WordPress' parent company, Automattic, and a musician himself, blogged that the new version "helps you focus on your writing" and that the new default theme, appropriately named Twenty Fifteen, "lets you show it off in style."

Mullenweg said the blog-focused theme is designed for clarity and has "flawless language support" through the use of Google’s Noto font family.

Writing is work — and this version aims to make it easier through something called a distraction-free writing mode. When you start typing, all of the editing tools disappear, "letting you focus solely on your writing." The tools "instantly return when you need them," Mullenweg explained.

Not sure if this will actually make writing any easier, but it's a novel option that perhaps some of the platform's massive user base might find worthwhile. For the record, WordPress powers more than 46 percent of the World Wide Web, according to BuiltWith, which monitors such things.

What else is new in free and open source CMS this month? Plenty.

What's New in November for Open Source CMS

It's been a, well, interesting month for free and open source content management systems (CMS) communities.

Thousands of websites running Drupal, one of the world's most popular open source CMSs, may have been compromised by a "highly critical" security flaw. But Imperva, an IT security firm, claims attacks against WordPress, the world's most popular CMS, are even more prevalent.

Jahia named the ever mobile Kevin Cochrane — the former CMO of Mindjet, the former CMO of Open Text and former vice president of digital marketing at Adobe — to its board of directors. But no one, including Cochrane, has yet addressed his abrupt departure from Mindjet. Could Cochrane be planning to relocate from San Francisco to take up an office and deeper role with Jahia in Paris?

Ghost, a relatively new CMS created by John O’Nolan — former deputy head of the WordPress user experience team — continues to wow critics who, for obvious reasons, keep comparing the platform to WordPress. O'Nolan, meanwhile, who funded the project with a $300,000 Kickstarter campaign, just keeps creating. His recent efforts extend to creating a company culture. We'll let him explain: 

We’re very much trying to choose our culture and make it one that we’re proud of. We encourage open and frank debate, but always with civility. ... Recently we also published a set of clear community guidelines. The crux of it is pretty straightforward: Don’t be a dick."

With that in mind, let's take a look at what's new in free and open source CMS this month.

WordPress, Squarespace Offer Content Management To Google

When Google rebranded its Enterprise Business as Google for Work, it signaled a return to the small business space. Now WordPress and Squarespace have announced they have joined the Google for Work Partner Program — a logical step in this refocus.

The partnerships give Google for Work users access to two of what are arguably the most agile small business content management systems (CMS) on the market.

What's New in October for Open Source CMS

Wordpress is the biggest name in open source content management systems (CMS), powering more than 47 percent of the entire Internet, according to BuiltWith.

And last month more than 900 WordPress developers, content creators, and users gathered in Sofia, Bulgaria for the largest European WordPress conference to date, WordCamp Europe. The first WordCamp was held last year in Leiden, The Netherlands.

But if you missed it, don't worry. You have other chances to learn about the world's most popular CMS, including a Big Media and Enterprise Wordpress meetup in San Francisco on Nov. 4 at the Automatic Lounge, 132 Hawthorne St. It's open to developers, product managers, and editorial teams who run large, high-traffic WordPress sites. 

Next month, Wordpress is also holding VIP Training Days, its intensive, one-day, in-person training courses led by a team of WordPress.com instructors. The sessions will be held Nov. 4 to 6 in San Francisco and Nov. 11 to 13 in New York City.

The courses are designed for both self-hosted and WordPress.com VIP sites/superusers/developers. Most of the material will focus on core WordPress functionality/features.

What else is new in open source CMS this month?

What's New in September for Open Source CMS

2014-5-September-Benny-Goodman-1970.jpgThere are plenty of free and open source content management systems (CMS). But no platform is as big or as common as WordPress. WordPress powers more than 12.7 million websites — an astounding 47.38 percent of the World Wide Web, according to BuiltWith, which monitors such things.

And just yesterday, WordPress released Version 4.0, named “Benny” in honor of jazz clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman.

"While 4.0 is just another number for us after 3.9 and before 4.1, we feel we’ve put a little extra polish into it. This release brings you a smoother writing and management experience we think you’ll enjoy," the team at Wordpress stated. It also introduces a redesigned look for its plugin and media library pages.

What's new?

  • A new Details Preview allows users to view their uploads in an "aesthetically pleasing, endless grid"
  • Easier video embedding
  • An editor that expands to fit content as users write, while keeping your formatting tools available
  • Improved plugin resources and search capabilities.

So You Think You Know WordPress

2014-15-August-My-Name-Is.jpgYou’re ready to develop your website. You're looking for a web CMS that’s secure, cost-effective, easy to maintain and customizable for your business. You wouldn’t consider WordPress, right?

This stigma has plagued WordPress, especially when compared to other available tools like Joomla and Drupal.

Website Shutdown Averted? WordPress, Drupal Release Security Updates

web cms, Website Shutdown Averted? WordPress, Drupal Release Security Updates

The message today to the millions of users of WordPress and Drupal content management systems: Fire up those security updates.

The web content management system (CMS) providers released security updates this week after an industry expert tipped them off to a potential attack that shuts down websites and servers running on the WordPress or Drupal engine.

Nir Goldshlager, a security researcher from Salesforce.com's product security team, first caught the potential bug.

In a blog post, he wrote that he detected XML Denial of Service in both WordPress and Drupal. This phenomenon, he wrote, is predicated on a well-known cyber attack, known as the XML Quadratic Blowup Attack.

What's New in August for Open Source CMS

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A fact many of us learned in high school — that popularity has its downsides — is proving to be true in the world of open source content management systems (CMS).

Take WordPress — the most popular CMS in the world, powering an astonishing 47.4 percent of all sites on the Internet, according to BuiltWith, a website profiler, lead generation, competitive analysis and business intelligence tool.

July, to use a shameless cliché, was both the best of times, and the worst of times, for this inordinately popular platform. New research from 34SP.com found more than half of UK small businesses are using WordPress as a CMS, thereby “finally blowing away its image as just a blogging platform."

The same study also confirmed a few things that were not included in the official results, including the fact 31 percent of 34SP.com clients who use WordPress call wine their favorite beverage (Jägerbombs really disappointed with just 1 percent of the votes) and only 13 percent have more than 500 friends on Facebook. What does this have to do with anything? Nothing. So let's move on.

In a 'Troubled' WCM Sector, Analysts See 3 Innovators

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Fireworks may explode in the night sky as the US celebrates the Fourth of July weekend, but things are much quieter in the web content management market.

The frenetic pace of nine-figure WCM acquisitions of the past four years ended before Christmas, and the once-deep river of venture capital funding for fledgling players ran dry long ago.

Market shifts and technology trends -- the somewhat surprising strength of mobile, the stampede to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), a growing infatuation with digital marketing -- were missed by many players, leaving the field "fragmented" and "troubled," according to fresh research by Matt Mullen and Alan Pelz-Sharpe at 451 Research.

What's New in July for Open Source CMS [Infographic]

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You know it. You love it. And now Dominic Smith, a senior writer and content strategist at Rackspace, the Windcrest, Texas-based CMS hosting company, has confirmed what anyone reading this probably already knows.

"Chances are good that a big chunk of the content you’ll read on the web today is being delivered through an open source CMS," he wrote in a recent blog post. "FedEx and The Washington Post are using Drupal. Coca-Cola France and Sony Music are using WordPress. Harvard and IHOP use Joomla!"

What's New in June for Open Source CMS

Thumbnail image for ed-schipul-with-helicopter.jpgWho has time to handle post-CMS deployment needs when there's so much to do developing the platform? That's the thinking of the creators of Tendenci, an open source content management system (CMS) project for associations and other nonprofits (NPOs).

Last week, the software development company spearheading the Tendenci platform launched a web alliance marketing program. It enables leading providers of marketing and website services to partner with Tendenci "to accelerate the success of the large installed base of websites powered by the Tendenci CMS platform," the Houston, Texas-based company claimed in a press release.

Establishing "an ecosystem of leading service providers" allows Tendenci to focus on developing its CMS platform, according to company founder and CEO Ed Schipul. He said Tendenci has more than 1 million users and powers "hundreds of websites" for NPOs, associations and other cause-related organizations worldwide.

Schipul quit his full time job as a software consultant for a large petroleum corporation in 1997 to start his own web marketing company. He began selling Tendenci CMS worldwide in 2004 and released it as an open source product in 2012. 

Schipul describes himself as an amateur photographer as well as a drone builder and pilot, who just wants to "Organize and Connect the World's People" — and "Do Good."

What else is new in free and open source CMS this month? Read on.

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