Category Archives: Releases

All the latest news about new releases of the Glow Blog Service.

Glow Blogs October 2016 Release News

We are getting close to a new release on Glow Blogs. This will consist of several enhancements and some behind the scenes fixes.

Although the final date and content of the release is, as usual, dependent on testing this an outline of what is planned.

This will happen on Tuesday 18th October, 2016 between 16:00 and 17:00. We expect that the service will be unavailable for only a few minutes but should be considered at risk for the whole period.

Some changes to the e-Portfolio plugin:

  • Ability to Edit Profile Tags
  • Profile Tags are Visible on Posts
  • Display Categories on Profiles
  • Removal of old ePortfolio Themes, the blogs using the old ePortfolio themes will be switched to the standard TwentyFourteen starting on Thursday 6 October in preparation for the release. More information: Removal of old e-Portfolio Themes

Other changes may include:

  • Contributors can Upload Files.
  • ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ buttons from Yammer can be added to posts.
  • Google Embeds, embed Google documents (docs, sheets, slides, forms, images, videos etc) on a post.
  • The Dashboard Message will Include Information About Storage Capacity of Sites

Glow Blogs Update September

Glow Blogs has just had a small update which included:

Speeding up the loading of the Local Authority Home pages.

Add the ability to add O365 Forms, Office Mix and Stream.

You can embed all of these by pasting the URL into the post editor. No need to copy the embed code.

Example Form:


Screenshot of the Form editor, click to expand:



and a gif showing how easy it is  click to expand:


Removal of old e-Portfolio Themes

A reminder that the old ePortfolio Themes in Glow Blogs will be removed as part of our October release. Please share this widely with any schools that are using the old ePortfolio solution.

There is information on how to convert an old ePortfolio to use the new plugin here the help blog. Including a screencast.
NB you will not lose your old ePortfolio or any content, but the them will change to TwentyFourteen and the old profiling functionality will be lost.

More e-Portfolio Help

WordPress update July 2016

The recent Glow Blogs release incorporated a new version of WordPress, this add features from both WordPress 4.4 and 4.5 to Glow blogs some of the highlights are listed below, taken from Version 4.4 « WordPress Codex and Version 4.5 « WordPress Codex

Features from 4.4

Responsive images:
WordPress now takes a smarter approach to displaying appropriate image sizes on any device, ensuring a perfect fit every time. You don’t need to do anything to your theme, it just works.

Embed your WordPress content:
Now you can embed your posts on other sites, even other WordPress sites. Simply drop a post URL into the editor and see an instant embed preview, complete with the title, excerpt, and featured image if you’ve set one. We’ll even include your site icon and links for comments and sharing.

For example I’ll paste in the url for a recent tip page from this site:

Follow Blogs from My Sites

  • New Theme – Twenty Sixteen
    Modern take on the classic blog design
    Flexible header and fun color schemes will make your content shine
    Mobile-first and responsive

Features from 4.5

Customizer Improvement
Device Previewer Buttons in the customizer controls footer shows how your site looks in mobile, tablet, and desktop contexts before making changes to its appearance. Theme installer previewer has the same function.


Visual Editor Improvement
Inline Link Editing enables users to direct URL input without switching to modal dialog.


Version 4.5 adds new shortcuts in Visual Editor.

  • Use `your code` to transform my code
  • Use --- to transform <hr /> create a rule

Comment Refinement
Refreshed Moderate Comment Screen has formatted comment content for display, navigation via a text link, updated message styles and so on. The comment form now enforce the maximum length of each field.

Optimization of Image Generation
Image sizes are generated more efficiently and remove unneeded meta, while still including color profiles in Imagick, for reduced sizes of up to 50% with near identical visual quality.

Glow Blogs July 2016 Release

The Next Release of Glow Blogs took place on Tuesday 19th of July.


It consisted of:

  • Removal of 4 Woo themes.
  • Upgrading of WordPress to 4.5
  • Events Plugin, this will allow the creation of ‘events’ in addition to posts and pages and have calendar views of these events. See Event Organiser — WordPress Plugins.
  • Addition of TwentySixteen Theme (the default for new blogs will continue to be TwentyFourteen)
  • Embed of Google Calendars
  • Embed of Scratch Projects
  • Addition of .dot and .otf files to the permitted file types for upload.
  • New Blogs Landing Page
  • Follow blogs from the My Sites page
  • Enhancement of ‘Remove me from this blog’ to avoid accidental removal.
  • Additional Language packs for Blogs dashboard. This means that users can set the language they wish to use in the blog administration.

Help for all of these features will appear soon on the Help blog.

Spectrum News is the only one of the woo themes that will affect many blogs. You may want to change this theme before it is automatically turned off. I have sent a list of blogs using these themes to LA key contacts.

There are some notes on the help blog:
Spectrum News to TwentyFourteen

As always please get in touch if you have any questions.

More on the release:

That list is automatically updated as we are using the display-posts plugin and a short code of:

[display-posts tag="july-2016-release"]

Glow Blogs Update July 2016 Release: Old Theme Removal

We are planning a new release on Glow Blogs in July. This will consist of some improvements to the service, fixes and updates. I hope to post more details soon.

As part of the release we will be removing some themes that are currently disabled. These include the old e-Portfolio themes and 4 Woo themes.

This will have an impact on some existing sites. Sites that using these themes will switch to the TwentyFourteen theme.

We would suggest that it will be better to manually switch themes before the release.

e-Portfolios cam switched to another theme and updated to use the new e-portfolio plugin.
There is help for converting an old them to a new one on the help blog:
Converting an Old e-Portfolio to a new one
Converting an Old e-Portfolio to a new one: Tags to Profile Tags

Of the four Woo themes the only one with more than a very few sites is Spectrum News.
There is a page on the help blog with notes on converting a Spectrum News site to using the TwentyFourteen theme:
Spectrum News to TwentyFourteen | Glow Blog Help

Please get in touch if you need more information.

I will be sending Key Contact a List of Public blogs using the Spectrum News theme for their LA shortly.

Glow Blogs Update 27 April 2016: Glow Blogs Reader

There was a new release on the Glow Blogs Service on Wednesday 27th April 2016 between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

The main focus of the release was the addition of the aggregation functionality to the Glow Blogs service which will allow teachers, students and non-teaching staff to see an aggregate view of latest blogs posts from blogs (public, private and Glow-only blogs) that they choose to follow. For further details about the functionality see Glow Blogs Reader

Glow Blogs Update 4 April 2016

There will be a new release on the Glow Blogs service on Monday 04th April 2016 between 16:00 and 17:00. We expect that the service will be unavailable for only a few minutes but should be considered at risk for the whole period. The main change in this release is the display of cookie policy notification informing users of cookies being used in the Blogs service.

Glow Blogs Update 15 March 2016

There was a new release on the Glow Blogs service on Tuesday 15th March, 2016.

The main component of the release was an upgrade to the Jetpack plugin: this fixed the problem with Site icons that appeared in the most recent release, it will also change the Jetpack menu in the Dashboard. Previously this lead to a home page with the setting page being in a submenu item. The main link will now lead straight to the setting page. This should improve workflow.

There will also be a change in the Translation Plugin/Widget added in the last release. It was initially deployed as active on all blogs. This could lead to a problem if you moved to a second blog after turning translation on. The plugin will now need to be activated on a site-by-site basis. If you have already added the Google Translation Widget you will need to activate the plugin after this release.


Glow Blogs Update March 2016

There will be a new release on the Glow Blogs Service on Monday 07th March 2016 between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm.
We expect that the service will be unavailable for only a few minutes but should be considered at risk for the whole period.

The main focus of the release is upgrade to WordPress version 4.3.3 and a new Translation plugin along with some minor bug fixes.

Addition: Translation Widget
This can be added to your blog from the widget page.

Fix: Video files .mov and mp4 files now playing properly on browsers and devices
These files did not play on iOS devices and gave poorer performance in some browsers.
This is now fixed. It also improves MP3 audio playback.

Remember that playback of media files depends on the media file, the browser & operating system.

Change: the featured Jetpack modules, this now makes more sense, showing useful modules on the main Jetpack page.

Fix: Attachment Search plugin
This plugin broke the search across pages on a site, this is now fixed.

The Attachment Search plugin is useful if you are providing a lot of file resources. It includes information from file uploads including the file names and descriptions in search results.

Please get in touch with any questions or concerns.