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A Crash Course In Writing For The Web

Written by Alex Denning on in News 2 comments

A lot of our most popular themes here at WPZOOM are magazine themes. Something that plays a big part in these themes’ popularity is that they allow anyone to set up a blog and start publishing their own web-magazine.

Chronicle Theme

This, over the last couple of years, has transformed a lot of niches into thriving communities which are powered by the news, opinions and editorials pouring out of these WordPress-powered blogs.

The downside to this digital publishing revolution is that because it’s so easy to set up a good-looking site and pour your thoughts into it, everyone’s doing it and this means you need to do something to stick out from the crowd and make your voice heard.

In this post I’ll walk you through some of the techniques you can use to do exactly that; think of it as a crash course in writing for the internet-age.

Understanding your audience

The most important thing you need to do is to establish who your audience is, and once you’ve got that sorted, you need to start understanding them. Questions like “who am I writing to”, “what do people want to find out when they visit a story” and “how are people reading the content” are all important, and establishing the answers to those will go a long way to helping you understand your audience.

originmag Theme

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What to actually expect in WordPress 3.6

Written by Alex Denning on in Resources 6 comments

WordPress 3.6 has been a long time coming. Whilst the three 3.6 betas have more or less made it out on schedule, the decision a couple of weeks ago to remove the all-new Post Formats UI from core and (for the moment) move it to a plugin has put the release back a long way.


Furthermore, the removal of Post Formats has meant virtually all of the “Here’s What’s In WordPress 3.6” posts which do the rounds in the blogosphere before every WordPress update are out of date. Worry not, though! Here’s what you can actually expect to see in WordPress 3.6.

Stuff you’ve always wanted, you just didn’t know it

That’s pretty much the best way I can sum-up the new features going into 3.6: the features you’ve always wanted, you just hadn’t quite realised it yet. Much like Apple’s new Mavericks version of OS X, WordPress 3.6 makes a bunch of changes and improvements which will go a long way to improving the general user experience.

They’re not particularly revolutionary features, they’re just really handy ones.

Here’s a summary of some of those new features:

  • Vastly improved autosaving.
  • Improved handling of multi-author posts through “post locking”.
  • More intuitive comparison of post revisions.
  • Much cleaner custom menu creation.
  • Improved handling of video and audio embeds.

There’s also a bold new default theme, Twenty Thirteen, which once you get to grips with the fact it’s a default WordPress theme with lots of colour, leaves you with an excellent starting point theme  — as any default theme should.

Excited? Me too. Here’s all of that in some more detail. Continue Reading

5 Ways To Give Your Site A Boost With Jetpack

Written by Alex Denning on in Resources 3 comments

Automattic’s free Jetpack plugin can be a little confusing to new users, but it offers some incredibly helpful features and by taking a little bit of time to set it up, you can vastly improve the experience visitors have when visiting your site — as well as making your life easier.


In this post I’ll run down five of the ways you can use Jetpack to boost your WordPress-powered site.

0. Installation

Before we get to that, though, I’ll walk you through Jetpack’s slightly confusing installation process. Whilst Jetpack largely acts just like any other WordPress plugin, in that you can install it straight from the plugin repository, it also acts unlike any WordPress plugin in that it insists you hook it up to a account and moans at you loudly until you let it.

Whether this is a acceptable behaviour for a plugin has come up for debate in the WordPress community a lot — with the general consensus being it’s not — but if you can get past the annoyances of intrusive banners, once you’ve installed the plugin you just need to hook it up to a account so that Jetpack can connect to’s servers in order to power some of its features.

If you’ve not already got a account, the huge banners will walk you through that process. With all that set up, we’re ready to look at some of Jetpack’s features. Continue Reading

The Cost of Startup Maintenance: WPZOOM’s Monthly Costs

Written by Alex Denning on in News 5 comments

The awesome thing about being a startup which sells digital products, as WPZOOM does, is that it’s possible to work as a distributed team all over the world, taking advantage of some awesome tools.

Chris Coyier started the ball rolling back in October last year, with a list of all the “web developer-y services” he pays money for every month. I’ve done the same, and with Pavel’s help, this is a list of all the web services that WPZOOM pays for every month.

This doesn’t include things like salaries or office costs; it’s just web services we pay for. Intrigued? Here goes!


VPS Hosting – $149.95/month

This is the obvious one to get started with: our VPS hosting which keeps the whole site online. With hosting you really do get what you pay for, so for us it’s worth paying for quality hosting.

Vimeo Plus – $59.95/year


Vimeo Plus is the upgrade to the standard Vimeo account, allowing Unlimited HD videos, HD embeds and customisation of the Vimeo Player. It’s a solid, professional service and we use it for embedding our video tutorials onto our documentation pages.

There are notable free alternatives here — specifically, YouTube — but the Vimeo player just gets out the way and lets you the content, and it’s worth paying for that experience.
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What is the ZOOM Framework?

Written by Alex Denning on in Resources 2 comments

When you’re browsing through WPZOOM’s themes, you may notice that our themes all mention they’re “powered by” the “ZOOM Framework”.

You may have consequently wondered what that actually means.

Seasons is powered by the ZOOM Framework!

In this post I’m going to answer all of those questions for you and explain everything you need to know about the ZOOM Framework, and how it should inform your decision to purchase one of our WordPress themes.

What does it do?

The ZOOM Framework is essentially the “base” all of our themes are built on. As the foundation for all of our WordPress themes, this means it’s built into the theme and you don’t have to worry about it being there, you don’t have to worry about purchasing or installing it separately and you don’t have to worry about whether updates to the framework will break your theme.

The ZOOM Framework is built in to all our WordPress themes.
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