Read All Your Favorite Blogs in One Place

by Erica Johnson
If you feel like it’s a chore to keep up with all your favorite blogs, you can now read posts from all the blogs you follow (even the ones that aren’t on WordPress.com!) in one convenient place on the WordPress.com home page:

Your reader displays all the posts across all the blogs you follow in the order they were published, with the most recent content appearing at the top. You’ll see an excerpt of the introduction to each post, the first image in the post, and thumbnails of any other images that the post contains.
You can even like and reblog WordPress.com content directly from the reader (we’re working on bringing reblogs back to the toolbar!) using the icons in the top right corner of each post:

Whether you’re at the computer or using the WordPress app on an Android or iOS mobile device, having all the posts from the blogs you follow in one place makes it easy to find the updates that are important to you, and skip over the ones that aren’t.
Click in the toolbar at the top of any WordPress.com site (you must be logged in to see it) to add new blogs to your reader. For directions on adding blogs from Tumblr, Blogger, and other services to your reader, check out the support document on managing the blogs you follow.

Discover New Blogs, Too

To find some awesome new WordPress.com blogs you might like, check out the Recommended Blogs section of the reader:

Right now you can browse blogs in twelve different categories, and we’ll be adding more very soon.

Use WordPress.com as a Real-Time Information Network

If you want to see what people are saying about your hometown, favorite sports team, or a concert you attended last night, add any topic to your reader to create a stream of all posts published with that tag.

You can add as many topic streams to your reader as you like. You’ll notice frequent updates being published under general topics like “art” and “books,” but you can also add more specific topics like “Picasso” or “J. K. Rowling.”

Want less email?

Each time you follow a blog, new posts from that site will appear instantly in your reader, and you’ll also receive them by email. If you prefer to receive email notifications on a daily or weekly basis, or not at all, you can change your default email settings from the bottom left corner of your reader. You can also change your email notification preferences on a per-blog basis.

Find Friends on WordPress.com

Want to see if any of your Facebook and Twitter friends are on WordPress.com? Give the Friend Finder a try:

So, how will you use the reader, and what can we do to improve it?

Reblogging is Back!

by Erica Johnson
As we mentioned last week, you can like and reblog posts directly from your reader, which displays a stream of all the updates published on all the blogs you follow from your WordPress.com account.

We’ve also brought the reblog button back to the toolbar that appears at the top of the screen when you’re logged into WordPress.com. Note that you’ll only see the like and reblog options while you’re looking at individual posts.
For example, you’ll see this on the left side of your toolbar while viewing http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/read-blogs:

And your toolbar will look like this while you’re browsing the home page of en.blog.wordpress.com:

How does reblogging work?

Reblogging is a quick way to share posts published by other WordPress.com users on your own blog.
When a post is reblogged, it shows up with a link back to the blog it came from, the first image in the post, an excerpt of the post’s introduction (if it contains text), and thumbnails of any other images that the post contains. It also shows any comments left by the person who reblogged the post:

Reblogs published on blogs you follow will also appear in your reader:

What happens when my posts get reblogged?

An excerpt of your post will be published on the reblogger’s site (with a link back to your original post), and you’ll receive a reblog notification in the post comments (you might need to approve it first):

You’ll also receive an email notification of the reblog.

Can I stop my posts from being reblogged?

Only posts on private blogs cannot be reblogged. Keep in mind that all reblogs contain a link back to your original post, so the more people reblog your posts, the more likely it is that you’ll attract new visitors (and perhaps new followers, too!).

What happens if I reblog a reblog?

If, for example, Stephane reblogs a WordPress.com announcement on his site and Lori reblogs Stephane’s reblog, Lori only re-publishes any comments Stephane made about the announcement. If Lori wants to share the original announcement, she should reblog the post from en.blog.wordpress.com, not from Stephane’s reblog. But if Stephane leaves a really clever comment, Lori might want to share it by reblogging his reblog on her site.

Can I edit a post I’ve reblogged?

You can go back and edit the comments you left when you reblogged a post, but you cannot edit any parts of the original post excerpt (including the post title). If you like, you can add categories or tags to the post. Reblogs show up under Posts → All Posts in your dashboard, and they can be edited the same way you edit your own posts.

New Theme: Newsy

by Philip Arthur Moore
It’s been an extra big week in the news ’round these parts, so much so that the launch announcement of our latest premium theme seems like an extra extra good way to headline our Friday.
Newsy is a versatile business and news-friendly theme that offers up to ten different layouts, four footer columns, custom link and accent colors, and a custom site header. Brand and content-focused editorial teams will love publishing with this theme.

Newsy: Home Page Newsy: Home Page

Designed by Themify, Newsy comes with an impressive set of Theme Options that afford you a great deal of flexibility with how you choose to display your website. Easily control your site’s sidebar positions, home page and archive page post layouts, and navigation bar search box visibility.
You also have the ability to change your site-wide link and accent colors. A few quick adjustments via the options panel will truly have the effect of individualizing your site and making it stand out from the crowd.

Newsy: Accent and Link Color Examples Newsy: Accent and Link Color Examples

Up to ten different layouts in Newsy can be achieved by simply altering your widgets and Theme Options. A wide sidebar, narrow sidebar, and two mini sidebars come rolled into Newsy, as well as additional post display and sidebar alignment options.

Newsy: Wide Sidebar Left, Narrow Sidebar Right Option Newsy: Wide Sidebar Left, Narrow Sidebar Right Option

All of this is controlled either from within Appearance → Widgets or Appearance → Theme Options. The goal with Newsy is maximum flexibility without the headache of manually configuring a thousand theme options. In this case we really can say that less—well, fewer (options)—is more. 🙂
Newsy is a premium upgrade for your blog at $85 for a lifetime subscription. Read more about its features on the Theme Showcase or dive right into previewing it on your blog from Appearance → Themes.

New Theme: Fresh & Clean

by Michelle Langston

Today we’ve got a new theme for you that is so fresh and clean that it’s called…Fresh & Clean. Designed by AJ Clarke, Fresh & Clean is a responsive, spick-and-span theme that lets you put your best content forward with minimal frills.

Fresh & Clean utilizes Featured Images to help you to easily transform your blog into a stylish online portfolio. There’s a featured slider on the front page that highlights Sticky Posts that have large Featured Images. All other Featured Images appear as prominent thumbnails next to their respective posts.

Not looking to build an online portfolio at this time? No problem, Fresh & Clean is great as an all-purpose blogging theme! Take a moment to read more about Fresh & Clean and its features on the Theme Showcase.

Get Married With WordPress

by Ian Stewart

One of the most important events of your life might just be your wedding. It also might be one of the craziest, disorganized, mixed-up times of your life too. We’d like to help with that a bit with a free wedding theme we call Forever. Along with a handful of cool features we’ll get to below, Forever makes it easy to wrap your wedding up in a neat little blog on WordPress.com. You can show off every one of your best photos and highlight every important detail leading up to the big day and beyond.

The Forever Theme

Forever makes it easy to welcome your family and friends to your blog with a dramatic personalized home page. The design is bold and clean with lots of room for large, colorful photos of the happy couple (that’s you!) in an optional featured post slider and home page excerpts.

You can also easily customize the color scheme and get Forever to match your wedding colors with only a few clicks. You can update the background color (or add your own pattern) from the custom background page in your blog dashboard and even change the color of the all the links from the Forever Theme Options page.

We also built in a special Guestbook Template that lets your guests take over a page of your choice with their best wishes for you … and maybe a few embarrassing stories 🙂 … as comments.

And, of course, Forever works seamlessly with all the other WordPress.com features you love; emails sent to your blog followers every time you post, contact forms (perfect for RSVPs), custom domain names (like robandlaura.com instead of robandlaura.wordpress.com), customized fonts and CSS with the Custom Design upgrade (great for changing your blog title to a handwriting font), and everything else.

And it works especially well with our new Milestone Widget.

Save The Date!

Forever also sports a custom design for a new widget we call Milestone. You can find it in your blog dashboard at Appearance → Widgets and it’s pretty easy to use. Just pick a title for your event, a date and time, and a special message for the big day, and you’re ready to go. Now you have a special save the date widget for your Wedding on every page of your blog.

 

The Milestone Widget in Forever

If that sounds pretty awesome and you want the Milestone widget available for your non-Wedding blog too, you’re in luck. We’re also making the milestone widget available to every theme on WordPress.com right now.

Enjoy Forever

To find out more about our new Wedding Theme, Forever, check out the demo site and visit the Forever theme showcase page. Or just go ahead and activate it on your brand new Wedding blog. 🙂

Here’s to your wedding and your wedding blog on WordPress.com. Cheers! (That means you have to kiss now.)