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As WordPress continues it's battle to compete with the likes of Wix and Squarespace, this week we saw the launch of the new plugin directory design to match the recent theme directory design. We also saw some new design recommendations being released to push developers towards creating more attractive theme designs in an effort to boost the quality of themes available. It's pretty basic stuff, such as targeting your theme towards a specific use, making sure body text is readable with correct font sizing and line-heights etc, but should help as there is still some quite poorly designed themes appearing on a regular basis in the directory.

Last week saw the launch of Layers, a free page builder by Obox themes and this week saw Adii Pienar ( co-founder of WooThemes ) join the company with a 30% investment. The future is looking great for Obox, they seem to smashing it with Layers - take a look at this interesting post on their blog where they describe how the launch went went they hit the top of Hacker News and Product Hunt.

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Finally, another nice launch that caught my eye is Pickle, by Jason Schuller who founded Press75. It's a WordPress theme / hosted solution with a custom back-end aimed at restaurant owners to help them create simple sites for their businesses. Once the rest API is completed we should start seeing a lot more exciting apps with custom admin solutions like this.

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On with the news, have a great weekend everyone!

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Oliver Dale is the founder of Kooc Media, An Internet Company based in Manchester, UK. I founded WPLift and ThemeFurnace, find out more on my Personal Blog. Thanks!

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