Blogs Update Phase 2.2 – WordPress 4.1.2

This update took place Friday 24th April 2015 between 8am and 9am. There was 4 minues downtime.

The server will be shut down only for a short period of time but there could be intermittent disruption to the service should be considered at risk for the hour. The previous  update took only 12 minutes.

The Plans for this release are listed below, as usual this depends on the results of testing:

Upgrade of WordPress to 4.1.2

This will include the features added in WordPress 4.1

and bugs fixed in 4.1.1 and the 4.1.2 security release

Upgrade to new Akismet version for spam protection

Theme Changes

The Twentyfifteen, yoko and p2 themes will be added to this release.

The Spectrum News Theme will be retired. Existing blogs that use the theme will continue to do so. It will not be able to be selected in the Theme chooser for new or existing blogs. We will turn this theme off completely in six month, blogs with the ‘Spectrum News’ will need to be changed to another before then.

Addition of Plugins


Jetpack is a multifunction plugin from

We will be installing a customised version of Jetpack which will remove features that require a account. Details of the modules Glow Blogs will be able to use are at the end of this post.

Syndication Plugin

This will allow blogs to pull in, via RSS, content from other sites. For example a school with several department/class blogs could pull all posts (or a category of posts) onto one main blog.

Attachment Search

This plugin will allow the search in a blog to be extended to attachments, files and images attached to a blog. This will provide more functionality for blogs that are for sharing resources.

You should not use this plugin if you are keeping content and file attachments behind a password protected post!


The deactivation of the Anarchy Media Player Plugin

This plugin is no longer supported so this means we would have to use scarce resources to keep it working, secure and up-to-date. As most of its functionality has been replaced and improved on by the built in WordPress media handling we are deactivating the plugin.

See for details of how to use the built in WordPress media embeds instead of anarchy.

Jetpack Modules

These are the modules that will be available in Glow Blogs.

NB the first screen on the Jetpack page in the Dashboard shows mostly modules that are not available in Glow Blogs. Click the link to see all.

  • Beautiful Math* – LaTeX is a powerful markup language for writing complex mathematical equations, formulas, etc.
  • *Carousel* – With Carousel active, any standard WordPress galleries you have embedded in posts or pages will launch a gorgeous full-screen photo browsing experience with comments and EXIF metadata.
  • *Contact Form* – A contact form is a great way to offer your readers the ability to get in touch, without giving out your personal email address. Each contact form can easily be customized to fit your needs. When a user submits your contact form, the feedback will be filtered through Akismet (if it is active on your site) to make sure it’s not spam. Any legitimate feedback will then be emailed to you, and added to your feedback management area.
  • *Custom CSS* – The Custom CSS editor gives you the ability to add to or replace your theme’s CSS, all while supplying syntax coloring, auto-indentation, and immediate feedback on the validity of the CSS you’re writing.
  • *Custom Content Types* – Organize and display different types of content on your site, separate from posts and pages. To enable a custom content type, head over to Settings → Writing → Your Custom Content Types to activate either “Portfolio Projects” or “Testimonials” by checking the corresponding checkbox. You can now add projects and testimonials under the new “Portfolio” or “Testimonials” menu item in your sidebar.
  • *Extra Sidebar Widgets* – The RSS Links Widget allows you to add links to your blog’s post and comment RSS feeds in your sidebar. This makes it easy for your readers to stay updated when you post new content or receive new comments. The Twitter Widget shows your latest tweets within a sidebar on your theme. It’s an easy way to add more activity to your site. There are also a number of customization options. The Facebook Like Box Widget shows your Facebook Like Box within a sidebar on your theme. It’s a great way to let your readers show their support. The Image Widget allows you to easily add images to widget areas in your theme. It’s an easy way to add more visual interest to your site.
  • *Gravatar Hovercards* – What’s a Hovercard? Hovercards enhance plain Gravatar images with information about a person: name, bio, pictures, their contact info, and other services they use on the web like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Hovercards offer a great way to show your internet presence and help people find your own blog.
  • *Infinite Scroll* When you write great content, all you really want is people to find it, right? With the Infinite Scroll module and a supported theme, that’s exactly what happens. Instead of the old way of navigating down a page by scrolling and then clicking a link to get to the next page, waiting for a page refresh—the document model of the web—infinite scrolling pulls the next set of posts automatically into view when the reader approaches the bottom of the page, more like an application.
  • *Markdown* – Markdown lets you compose posts and comments with links, lists, and other styles using regular characters and punctuation marks. Markdown is used by writers and bloggers who want a quick and easy way to write rich text, without having to take their hands off the keyboard, and without learning a lot of complicated codes and shortcuts.
  • *Mobile Theme* – There’s a good chance that visitors to your site will be using a smartphone, and it’s important to provide them with a great reading experience while on the small screen. Jetpack’s mobile theme is optimized for small screens. It uses the header image, background, and widgets from your current theme for a great custom look. Post format support is included, so your photos and galleries will look fantastic on a smartphone. Visitors on iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and other mobile devices will automatically see the mobile theme, with the option to view the full site. You can enable or disable the mobile theme by clicking the “Activate” or “Deactive” button above.
  • *Omnisearch* – Search once, get results from everything! Currently supports searching posts, pages, comments, media, and plugins. Omnisearch plays nice with other plugins by letting other providers offer results as well.
  • *Sharing* – Share your posts with Twitter, Facebook, and a host of other services. You can configure services to appear as icons, text, or both. Some services have additional options to display smart buttons, such as Twitter, which will update the number of times the post has been shared. The following services are included: Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, StumbleUpon, PressThis, Digg, LinkedIn, Google +1, Print, and Email. Additionally you can define your own custom services.
  • *Shortcode Embeds* – Shortcodes allow you to easily and safely embed media from other places in your site. With just one simple code, you can tell WordPress to embed YouTube, Flickr, and other media.
  • *Site Icon* – Site Icon lets you create an icon for your site. This icon will be used as favicon, mobile icon, and Tile on Windows 8 computers.
  • *Site Verification* – Use these tools to verify that you own/control your website with other external services like Google, Bing and Pinterest. Verifying your site allows you to access advanced features on these other services (e.g. Webmaster tools, or getting a verified badge). We’ll just add an invisible meta tag to the source code of your homepage.
  • *Holiday Snow* – Makes it snow when it’s Christmas.


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