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The WordPress.com Blog

We’ve launched themes especially for people planning and documenting their weddings, like the elegant themes Forever and Ever After, and the charming, playful Lovebirds and Blissful Blog themes.

Here, we’ll take a quick look at how brides-to-be gather inspiration, how couples can share event details with their guests, and how folks in the industry — like wedding planners and photographers — showcase their work and exchange ideas within the community.

Snapshots & My Thoughts

At Snapshots & My Thoughts, Ailee explores a number of interests — decor, travel, photography, and lifestyle — but also dedicates a section to planning her wedding. Browse the wedding category to read about her big day, from her wine country venue in Northern California to details that have inspired her along the way, from crafty invitations and maps to floral and cake ideas. The subtle, elegant, and feminine look of her blog complements the overall aesthetic of…

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The WordPress.com Blog

Within Automattic’s Editorial team, we feel pretty lucky — we get to spend a fair amount of time each week reading your posts, in a constant bid to find strong, original writing and photography and share it with the WordPress.com community via Freshly Pressed. Here are just a few posts that resonated with us this week.

An Open Letter to the Girl I Pretended To Have a Crush On in Eighth Grade

Adolescence is fraught with anxieties — about growing up, about fitting in, and sometimes, even about hiding who we really are. We enjoyed Michael Hobbes’ sharp, reflective post, An Open Letter to the Girl I Pretended To Have a Crush On in Eighth Grade and we’re not the only ones who noticed his fine writing — the post was one of the Top 5 Longreads of the Week last week.

You were the first girl I pretended…

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The WordPress.com Blog

Earlier this month, during Responsive Theme week, Cheri highlighted BeatRoute, a Canadian alt-monthly focusing on local music. We (and you) were impressed by how BeatRoute made the free Oxygen theme their own, so we thought we’d dig a little deeper into the ways they’re taking advantage of Oxygen’s many features to create a bold, easy-to-navigate online magazine.

Let’s take a look at the standard Oxygen layout and BeatRoute’s home page side by side:

Oxygen and Beatroute layouts
You can see that Beatroute is using many of Oxygen’s standard features, like the home page slider and custom menus, but with tweaks to make it their own.

Featured Posts Slider

Out-of-the-box, Oxygen displays posts in standard blog style on the front page but gives you the option of using a slider to highlight posts magazine-style; you can designate up to six posts as “sticky” to feature them in the slider. As BeatRoute shows…

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VideoPressWedding

WordPress.com is all about making your special day something to remember, and you’ll now find that there are a number of beautiful themes for sharing your wedding with friends, family or the world at large. Earlier this week we looked at some creative uses of these wedding themes, and today we’ll talk about why and how you might want to use the VideoPress upgrade, a wedding theme, and one or more of the various WordPress mobile apps to capture even more of your memories. We’ll be looking at weddings specifically, but you can apply a lot of the ideas here to your bar mitzvah, graduation ceremony, birthday party, Thanksgiving, or any other important event you’d like to remember.

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The WordPress.com Blog

Last year we launched wordpress.com/restaurants, giving restaurants the ability to quickly and easily build a site with menus, maps and directions, an OpenTable reservations widget, and more, along with an elegant new free theme. Since then, we’ve seen restaurants from venerable favorites to underground supper clubs using WordPress.com to entice customers with websites as beautiful as their signature dishes. Here are a few whose sites (and menus!) we love:

POSH

Posh Restaurant, Scottsdale AZPOSH is an “improvisational restaurant” in Scottsdale, Arizona where Chef Josh Herbert creates custom menus for each evening’s crowd based on seasonal ingredients and personal preferences. Using the Confit theme developed especially for restaurants, he’s able to give potential patrons a feel for the restaurant with a custom background photo showcasing the restaurant’s interior while maintaining a clean overall feel.

We particularly like the way he’s loaded up the left sidebar with all the key things a customer…

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Last month, we attended the Modern Language Association’s annual conference in Boston, Massachusetts, and had a great time talking to educators about how WordPress.com encourages in-class conversations to keep going and keeps students and parents up to date. Today, we’re taking a closer look at how some tech-savvy teachers are using WordPress.com to create educational experiences that seamlessly blend the traditional and virtual worlds.

The Paper-Free Class Experiment

My name is Mr. Hays and I teach 8th grade Language Arts. I am a National Board Certified teacher, and I have been reflecting on my role as a teacher this past summer. This year, I  have decided to try a radically different approach to teaching. I want to step away from the traditional classroom for a while and see just how much we can do online.

With The Paper-Free Class Experiment, Florida middle school English teacher James Hays has built…

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The WordPress.com Blog

This week’s Freshly Pressed posts continued to impress us with the range, depth, and honesty of the material being put out into the world by WordPress.com bloggers. As a community, you’re bold, not afraid to put yourselves on the line, and committed to chewing through important questions, even if you don’t always have the answers to them. That makes for heady reading, and passionate, opinionated conversation in the comments afterwards.

If you’re looking for something to read this week, we’ve picked three posts that share a preoccupation with trying to be authentic in a high-speed world that often demands that we’re anything but. How do you stay true to yourself when the world around you so actively encourages vapid, “phony” responses to seemingly inescapable situations? In three very different posts, this week’s selection of bloggers tackle that question in their own way.

I Confess. I Cheated.

We face these kinds…

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The WordPress.com Blog

Every couple weeks, we’re sitting down with an Automattician to help you get to know the people who work behind the scenes to build new features, keep Automattic running, and make WordPress.com the best it can be. This week, we’re very pleased to introduce you to Ms. Kathryn Presner. Everybody, say hey to Kathryn!

What’s your role at Automattic?

As a Happiness Engineer, I help WordPress.com users solve every kind of issue imaginable: from setting up custom menus to custom DNS records.

I love troubleshooting users’ problems and finding solutions — it’s incredibly satisfying seeing someone go from frustrated and confused to delighted and enlightened. I especially enjoy “seeing the lightbulb go off” when explaining WordPress basics to beginners.

The best part of my day is when a user tells me I’ve totally lived up to my Happiness Engineer designation, which — let’s be honest — has to be…

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The WordPress.com Blog

Recently, Michelle announced the launch of WordPress.com/portfolios. If you take photographs, record music and video, illustrate and paint, or design things, you can build a portfolio here on WordPress.com, using one of our portfolio themes.

I was curious to see how painters use WordPress.com as an ultimate canvas to compile and display their masterpieces. If you’re a painter looking for ways to build your online portfolio, find inspiration from these artists:

Fatima Ronquillo

Born in the Philippines and now living in New Mexico, self-taught painter Fatima Ronquillo paints classically inspired portraits. Yet her body of work also evokes magical realism — it’s playful and even eerie. Fatima’s gallery of paintings covers seven years (click on “Works” in the menu to browse back to 2007), so take the time to browse her collection. She uses Portfolio, a premium theme in our Theme Showcase.

Under the “Representation” tab, she’s created pages for…

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The WordPress.com Blog

Did you know you can get notifications about new comments, new followers, likes on your posts, and more with the WordPress for iOS app? It’s a super convenient way to keep up with your blog even when you’re away from your desk. With version 3.4 of WordPress for iOS (available now on the App Store), you get all this in addition to posting, checking stats, and reading your favorite blogs.

Version 3.4 of WordPress for iOS: Notifications, showing on iPad Mini and iPhone 5

Mobile notifications

WordPress for iOS connects directly to your WordPress.com blog and shows you the same notifications you get in your WordPress.com toolbar, but with a twist: You also get push notifications for everything happening on your blog. It’s the quickest way to approve or reply to a comment, since you’ll know about it as soon as it’s posted. With the built-in threads, you can easily see any comments your readers are responding to and keep up with conversations…

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