Some Useful WordPress.COM resources

Thanks to everyone who came to my WordUP! presentation on WordPress.COM. Here are some resources that I have found valuable.

Follow the News — I subscribe via emails. Much of it talks about blogging or particular bloggers but they also announce new features and new themes via the blog.

Money back on upgrades. Most upgrades have a 30-day money-back guarantee. This includes premium themes.

The easiest way to view and search for a .com theme is here: and I like the first one.

Beware the theme demos. You may need to get a custom design upgrade ($30/yr) to achieve the look that is displayed.

There is a new post editor at .com that I assume will find its way to .org. The ‘classic’ editor is still available too.

Stay Tuned!

I’ve vetted themes for clients and have a short list I recommend. I’ll gather my notes and post the list here. Good timing for me as I’m adding a new .com client.

Useful Links

How to create a basic site in the .com universe.

.com Support

Support Forums

I will be talking about the WordPress.COM system at WordUP on Saturday

In MinneapolisWordpress Logo Tilted.

Most of my web development business is done with the .org variety of WordPress. But lately I have started offering consulting services to businesses and nonprofits that can’t afford a custom solution and more importantly can’t afford hosting and maintenance. In the past, when I knew their budget wasn’t great enough for a .org soluion, I would tell them that WordPress.COM is a great solution. The problem here is most don’t have the time to figure out how to get the site up and configure pages, a blog, the menus, social media sharing, etc. So I offer a site-building package via WordPress.COM that sets up the scaffolding and teaches them how to enter content in pages and posts.

On Saturday I will be presenting about WordPress.COM to the WordPress.ORG digerati at WordUp. I doubt if they will want the package mentioned above. Instead, I’ll let them know the latest news and features about the .com WordPress variety. Automattic (owners of WordPress.COM and contributors to WordPress open source code) often test new features pre-contribution to the open source version. There is also the JetPack plugin which plugs you into WordPress.COM from a WordPress.ORG site and integrates many .com features. (One of the handy integrations with JetPack is the ability to share content with your social media sites like Twitter and Facebook when you publish a post.)

All of us custom developers have relatives and friends who want help (usually on the cheap) building a site. A .org installation — at any level — is pricey especially when you include the hosting and maintenance. But a .com solution is very affordable. Basic level is free but generally you would want to point a domain to your site ($13) and turn off the .com advertising. If you need more design control, for $30/yr you get access to the CSS and a slew of fonts. (You can register a new domain at for $18/yr and that includes the “point a domain” charge.)

It would be relatively easy for you (as a .com developer) to help your friend or relative set one up and show them how to post and add pages. The cool thing about going the .com route (rather than SquareSpace for example) is now they have a WordPress site and content can be exported to a .org installation when/if they need a more custom solution. As for the themes, many of the .com themes have .org variations.

I gave this presentation two years ago. A lot of cool upgrades have happened at since then. You can now purchase the Business package for $299/year. It includes all the upgrades already mentioned plus unlimited storage and eCommerce via Ecwid or Shopify. All fees for premium themes are included too!

There are many more approved themes too. The count today stands at 301. (No custom themes allowed at .com.)

And hot off the presses is Google Apps integration for your domain. It costs $50 per user (same as if you bought Google Apps outside of but it will be integrated into the WordPress dashboard. I’m curious to see how this will work.

My session on Saturday will be a quick overview — 25 minutes.

And if you don’t have the time or inclination to help your friend or relative, you can send them my way!

Moving everything to one location

Photo of large building being moved by a small truck.

This blog began in spring of 2013 by porting over the remnants of my Posterous microblog. Previous to that, I began my blogging pre-Posterous over at Blogger/

As of Oct. 1, you should find all of the blogger content back to February of 2004 available here. Some images — particularly links back to Flickr — may not be displaying.

The next step will be to port this over to my main site.

Of course there are still remnants of me all over the web.

Animated GIF with a movie countdown from 8 to 2

Films we might see on Saturday, June 7

It is cold. It is rainy.  Good day to see a film in Minneapolis. Here are my choices if you want to stay away from the Big Box Office and if you are going with someone who is not into sex and violence bundled together.

If you have opinions about any of these, let us know.

Also see St. Anthony Main, Film Society. They are showing Finding Vivian Maier which we have seen.

Edina Theater

** Ida at 4:30 (MY PICK. New Yorker liked it.)

Poland 1962. Anna is a beautiful eighteen-year-old woman, preparing to become a nun at the convent where she has lived since orphaned as a child. She learns she has a living relative she must visit before taking her vows, her mother’s sister Wanda. Her aunt, she learns, is not only aformer hard-line Communist state prosecutor notorious for sentencing priests and others to death, but also a Jew. Anna learns from her aunt that she too is Jewish – and that her real name is Ida. This revelation sets Anna, now Ida, on a journey to uncover her roots and confront the truth about her family. Together, the two women embark on a voyage of discovery of each other and their past. Ida has to choose between her birth identity and the religion that saved her from the massacres of the Nazi occupation of Poland. And Wanda must confront decisions she made during the War when she chose loyalty to the cause before family.

Lagoon Cinema

Chef at 5:30

Chef Carl Casper suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner, he is left to figure out what’s next. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife, his friend and his son to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen — and zest for life and love.

The Immigrant at 4:30 (my 2nd choice. City Pages liked it.)

Ewa Cybulski and her sister sail to New York from their native Poland in search of a new start and the American dream. When they reach Ellis Island, doctors discover that Magda is ill, and the two women are separated. Ewa is released onto the mean streets of Manhattan while her sister isquarantined. Alone, with nowhere to turn and desperate to reunite with Magda, Ewa quickly falls prey to Bruno, a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution. The arrival of Orlando – a dashing stage magician who is also Bruno’s cousin – restores her self-belief and hopes for a brighter future, becoming her only chance to escape the nightmare in which she finds herself.

On my Way at 4:20

Now in her early sixties, former beauty queen Bettie finds herself jilted by her lover and left alone to deal with the financial problems facing her family’s restaurant. What begins as a quick drive to clear her head turns into a full-fledged road trip, and along the way there are chance meetings , an ex-Miss France gala, renewed ties with her estranged daughter and grandson, and possibly, at the end of the road, love…

Uptown Cinema

The Dance of Reality at 4:10 (this sounds pretty interesting. 3rd choice)

Produced and directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, this film is his first in 23 years. The legendary filmmaker was born in 1929 in Tocopilla, a coastal town on the edge of the Chilean desert where the film was shot. It was there that Jodorowsky underwent an unhappy and alienated childhood as partof an uprooted family. Blending his personal history with metaphor, mythology and poetry, The Dance of Reality reflects Alejandro Jodorowsky’s philosophy that reality is not objective but rather a “dance” created by our own imaginations.

Heights Theater
Chef at 4:30