Are you in love with the new WordPress.com smilies? Their modern look is a bit more expressive and endearing than the old emoticons. If you view them side-by-side, there is simply no comparison, especially when you zoom in:
Although there is a ticket open for updating WordPress core emoticons for self-hosted sites, there’s no telling when that might move forward. In the meantime, if you cannot wait to get the new smilies, Janneke Van Dorpe has created a plugin that adds them to self-hosted WordPress sites, essentially filtering the old ones to convert them to the set used on WordPress.com.
The New WordPress.com Smileys plugin is hosted on github. If you view the code for the plugin, you can see the whole list of smilies included. It works in just the same way as the emoticons on WordPress.com.
I tested the plugin and found no issues. All of the standard and secret emoticons work as advertised. Many thanks to Janneke Van Dorpe for putting it out there for others to use. If you frequently use emoticons within WordPress, adding this plugin will instantly give all your old smilies a face lift. There’s no need to wait for modern smilies to arrive in the WordPress core. Download the New WordPress.com Smileys plugin from github to get them now.