Posts Tagged ‘Wordpress’

Welcome WordPress 3.7 “Basie”

WordPress 3.6 Basie

Today, WordPress 3.7 was released bringing with it some impressive improvements to the WordPress platform. At OAK, we have worked extensively with WordPress, and we are avid fans of this platform. Using WordPress, we have built some amazing solutions for our clients such as Pathways to Prosperity, Impact Academy, Apollo PTC, and TiECon Canada.

We put together a quick round up of some of the new features in WordPress 3.7 “Basie”.


Automatic Background Updates
This is an interesting feature to add. Automatic updates are now available for minor version of the core WordPress, which can also be extended to theme and plugin updates by choice. For more technical details of this update, check out Codex page
Considering projects like iOS and Google Chrome have already introduced this concept, it was time for WordPress to improve their core and ensure their installations are secure.


An Improved Password Meter
We’re just going to come out and say it – everyone is worried about WordPress security. Of course, some of the obvious security holes are due to weak passwords. And to address this, WordPress is helping users pick better passwords. As well, they increased security by implementing a new password meter which uses Dropbox’s zxcvbn library, a significant improvement in our opinion.


Enhanced Search
It’s no secret that WordPress search is weak. So one of the new features of WordPress 3.7 “Basie” is an improved search functionality. With this feature, you can now tell WordPress search to return:
  • Full sentence matches in post content
  • Full sentence matches in post titles
  • Any search terms in post titles
  • All search terms in post titles


Better Global Support With Language Packs
Samuel “Otto” Wood has a great overview of this new feature. With “language packs” you can now get faster and more complete translations. These language packs are separated from the WordPress core and they are maintained independently from plugins and themes.


Data Queries
With this update, data queries have been significantly improved. Check out the WordPress Codex for more details – but essentially, it is now easier to query based on a slew of data parameters.


Accessibility has been improved in a few locations, including table rows and colour contrasts in the default themes. For more information you can check out the Make WordPress blog.


A small, but much needed improvement in Multisite. A new wp_get_sites function has been introduced to replace the get_blog_list function, which has been depreciating for a while and was in need of an update.


New functions, classes, filters & actions
Looking at the WordPress release page, we find that six new classes have been introduced, along with ten new methods of existing classes. All these new functions, classes, filters and actions will definitely help us developer better WordPress sites.


In our opinion, WordPress 3.7 is a major achievement. This update addressed issues and improved some much needed features to makes it easier to design and develop WordPress websites.

Congratulations to everyone involved, especially Andrew Nacin, Jon Cave and Dion Hulse – and the 211 other people who have helped to push WordPress forward.

Why Templates Are a Bad Idea

When creating a website, templates can be seen as a knight in shining armour – saving us time and effort on the website design and development. Using a template is an easy solution to creating a website. It’s basically a premade website that is just missing pictures and custom content. There are many different free or paid templates available with a wide variety of predesigned layouts, colors, and widgets.

Templates are especially useful for people like me, who don’t know how to code, but want to create a great looking website. They are even helpful for companies like OAK Computing, who specializes in software development. However, from our experience using templates we have formed a different point of view. Let me tell you why we think Templates are a bad idea. Read the rest of this entry »

The Story of Apt613’s New Site – Partnering with OAK Computing

There Once was an Apartment and an OAK

Back in 2011, at a networking event in town, Apt613’s François Levesque made an open request asking for help with an improved calendar for their site.  OAK’s Manu Sharma, ever present at such events and a huge fan of Apt613 (as we all are at OAK) stepped up instantly, recognizing that this partnership would bring good things to Ottawa’s community engagement.

From Calander to Full Redesign

As with any good design process, it all starts with some lengthy (sometimes coffee accompanied, sometimes beer accompanied) conversations.  What’s working?  What’s not?  What’s your goal?  How do you want to scale?   All of these have to be answered.

And what the conversations illuminated was that Apt613, with its thousands of daily readers, had outgrown its present template WordPress solution.  They now needed a custom WordPress solution to suit their new needs:  look fantastic, flexibility to highlight specific content, spotlight events, advanced search, maximize automation and minimize required training. Read the rest of this entry »

Apt613 & OAK: A Community Partnership

We are absolutely thrilled to announce the launch of Apartment613’s new website later today (stay tuned, it’ll be live at around 9:00 pm)!  As Apt613’s technology partner, OAK has been working zealously to redesign, re-architect, develop and launch a fresh and innovative web presence for Apt613.  As a part of this commitment, OAK will also provide on-going technical support to ensure that the rivoting content of Apt613 continues to be presented and shared to Ottawaians in the best possible way.

A Little About Apartment613

Apt613 is Ottawa’s go-to community website, committed to connecting people to their neighborhoods.  Written and produced by a group of passionate & eclectic individuals whose goal is to uncover the pulse of the city, Apt613 profiles “exciting people, places and going ons”; that is, the world of art, dance, music, food, fashion, politics, love, opinion, and anything interesting in the Ottawa scene.  Apt613 is a platform for participation and community building, only 3 years old, but already the gold standard in Ottawa.

Read the rest of this entry »

9 Steps to a Better WordPress Installation

As WordPress continues to gain popularity, tools and methods to enhance its usability and flexibility will increase as well. So too, however, will attacks on WordPress-based blogs and websites.

With both of these developments in mind, a secure website is imperative, but not at the expense of usability. This article will show you nine steps to achieving both of these goals.

Five steps to a more complete and usable WordPress installation

Let’s start with the less complex steps. These five steps are part of the setup of your WordPress blog, but are often skipped, especially by those who have installed multiple instances of WordPress. Read the rest of this entry »

Latest Enterprise Project: New OCRI website launched

OAK is proud to announce its most recent enterprise project, OCRI’s new WordPress based website. Please visit the website at:

This was a significant project for us, not just because OCRI is such a big name in Ottawa but also because OCRI’s web needs were distinctively unique. OCRI’s reason for migrating to WordPress was to leverage WordPress’s powerful CMS abilities to pull information from its many different web presences representing different OCRI initiatives while presenting it all in a clean, organized, and highly automated fashion.  Read the rest of this entry »

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