Archive for category WordPress
While this Blogs Theme has worked well for me while I was primarily blogging about blogging, my recent change in focus is making me rethink my theme. Let me know if you have any recommendations. There is something you should know before recommending a theme though; I am cheap. I am only interested in free themes. I don’t want anything too cluttered or too boring or too vibrant. That’s not being too picky is it? I’m in no hurry to make the change either but I’m sure changes will be coming in the next week or two. I’m finding that I’ll do pretty much anything to pass the time and get my mind off of my pending divorce. Heck, I’ve even started reading the Bible. For those of you that know me; yes, you read that right. Me, the atheist/agnostic, is reading the Bible. Wow, how did I get on that topic. This post was only meant to warn you that a design refresh will be coming soon. That’s all for now, but seriously, send me your free WordPress theme recommendations.
Do you know who Dexter Gordon is? He is the namesake of the next version of WordPress and possibly the inspiration of some Metallica tunes. Speaking of, the revs of beta and release candidates for WordPress 2.3 are over and now it’s time for the main event. This release includes native tagging support, plugin update notification, URL handling improvements, and much more. Here’s a quick rundown of some new features:
- Native tagging support allows you to use tags in addition to categories on your posts, if you so choose. Weâ€™ve included importers for the Ultimate Tag Warrior, Jeromeâ€™s Keywords, Simple Tags, and Bunnyâ€™s Technorati Tag plugins so if youâ€™ve already been using a tagging plugin you can bring your data into the new system. The tagging system is also wicked-fast, so your host wonâ€™t mind.
- Our new update notification lets you know when there is a new release of WordPress or when any of the plugins you use has an update available. It works by sending your blog URL, plugins, and version information to our new
api.wordpress.orgservice which then compares it to the plugin database and tells you whats the latest and greatest you can use.
- Weâ€™ve cleaned up URLs a bunch in a feature we call canonical URLs which does things like enforce your no-www preference, redirect posts with changed slugs so a link never goes bad, redirect URLs that get cut off in emails on similar to the correct post, and much more. This helps your users, and it also helps your search engine optimization, as search engines like for each page to be available in one canonical location. More info here.
- Our new pending review feature will be great for multi-author blogs. It allows authors to submit a post for review by an editor or administrator, where before they would just have to save a draft and hope someone noticed it.
- There is new advanced WYSIWYG functionality (we call it the kitchen sink button) that allows you to access some features of TinyMCE that were previously hidden.
Before you upgrade your WordPress blog, check out their “Preparing for 2.3” post. I usually give my upgrades a week or two before I take the plunge and upgrade. I like to hear any stories of upgrade issues or plugin incompatibilities before jumping in. As with any upgrade, BE SURE TO PERFORM A BACKUP before you begin.
Potpourri can be defined as “any mixture, esp. of unrelated objects, subjects, etc.” Well, todays version of WordPress Wednesday will touch on a few topics in the world of WordPress. By just touching on the topics this week, I reserve the right to get into greater detail on each one in future posts.
I have to start out with the announcement that Release Candidate 1 has now been released for WordPress 2.3. The developers have been busy fixing bugs since the last beta release. You can help them get ready for the final release by downloading and installing this release candidate. Don’t forget to report any bugs you find.
Yesterdays post could have been a WordPress Wednesday entry in that it was all about a plugin that I just installed. It’s the “Buy me a beer” plugin, but I’ve decided to ask for Latte money instead. The plugin ads a link to the bottom of every post and/or to the sidebar via widget. It works by directing you to your paypal account to send latte money into my paypal account, only $3.50.
You can support WordPress by buying a t-shirt from them. They carry both mens and womens t-shirts and only recently have allowed people from outside the United States to buy them. They currently only seem to offer them in this lovely red, but given the popularity of the item, I’d be willing to bet that more colors will be following.
I know nobody likes to read documentation, I’d rather chew off my left arm that read some documentation. WordPress has a decent layout to their WordPress Documentation that makes it easy to find the information that you want. It’s woth a gander if you’ve got a few extra minutes.
That brings us to the end of this weeks WordPress Potpourri. It may not have smelled as nice as some varieties of potpourri, but I hope it at least didn’t stink. Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to catch every weeks installment of WordPress Wednesday. You can even get every post delivered right to your email.
Every Wednesday, I bring you a bit of news or info regarding WordPress. This usually revolves around a plugin that I’ve deployed or news on current or future upgrades. This weeks edition brings you possible employment opportunities. WordPress has it’s own job board for many things WordPress. The opportunities range from becoming a developer on the WordPress project to designing WordPress themes to simply blogging. If you are looking for another source of income, check out the board and give it a shot.
Many of you have created your blog to make some extra money, so these opportunities might help you toward that goal. Me? Sure, I’d like to make some money from this blog, but for the time being I get my kicks from giving you some info to help your blogging career out. By the by. . . remember that to make money from your blog you need readers so subscribe to this blog and don’t miss another post!
I don’t know how many of you pay attention to your WordPress dashboard, but for those of you who don’t you may be interested to know that you can be a beta tester. Currently, beta 2 is available for download and install. This would be a great opportunity to setup a test blog to try out some new functionality and to test if your theme works with the new version.
If you are running a WordPress blog, you already have the site hosted somewhere. I don’t know about your host, but hostmonster gives me unlimited subdomains. This is where I have recently setup a test site to try out new themes, plugins, WordPress versions before moving them to production. Having a test site and taking advantage of the WordPress beta program can give you an advantage over your competitors when it comes to utilizing new technologies and also result in less blog downtime.
This is also the perfect time to ask for some help from fellow bloggers. Send a few of them an email with the url of your test site and ask them to test it for you. Be specific as to what you want them to test or what type of feedback you are requesting. I’m willing to bet that not too many bloggers out there have a test site that is used in this way. You may go years without having an issue without a test site, but the first time an upgrade causes havoc on your site, you’ll be happy that it is only a test site that experiences downtime.
This weeks edition of WordPress Wednesday is brought to you by the little plugin “No Self Pings.” We all agree that backlinking to older posts is good for your blog. It keeps those older posts fresh and gives your readers a better chance to find those hidden gems. There is a downside to those internal backlinks, “comment clutter.” Comment clutter is all of those internal pingbacks that appear in the comments of the linked-to post.
Sure, there are those of you out there that think the more comments that appear in a post, the more authoritative it will appear. For those of you out there that think this way, the No Self Pings plugin is NOT for you.
However, if you would rather avoid the unnecessary clutter, you may want to consider the No Self Pings plugin. This plugin is very focused in what it sets out to accomplish. Its one simple task is to stop your blog from listing these pingbacks in your blog posts.
Installation is a snap. Download the plugin, copy the folder to your plugins folder, and activate it on your plugins page. How do you feel about comment clutter?
If you like this edition of WordPress Wednesday, subscribe to this blog and don’t miss another post.
I just realized that I missed last weeks WordPress Wednesday. How could you let me get away with that? This week, I’ll go over a very useful plugin to help you with Search Engine Optimization, the “All in one SEO plugin.” I’ll give you 3 guesses as to what this WordPress plugin will help you accomplish.
- Help you hunt water buffalo’s with a snow shovel.
- Help you find the perfect birthday present for your significant other.
- Help you optimize your blog to improve your search engine organic traffic.
If you chose option 2, women like jewelry and men like video games.
If you chose option 3, you are right on the money. Now on to the details. . .
This plugin is installed just like the majority of plugins, by ftp’ing the all-in-one-seo-pack to your plugins folder and enabling it in your WordPress management console. Once enabled, start by configuring its options.
As the name implies, this will be the title of your homepage. This is independent of any other option. If not set, the default blog title will get used. You can see my home title by looking in the title bar of your browser where you will see my title of: BlissLogs – where blog learning meets blog teaching
The META description for your homepage. Independent of any other options, the default is no META description at all if this is not set.
A comma separated list of your most important keywords for your site that will be written as META keywords on your homepage. Donâ€™t stuff everything in here.
After setting these options site-wide, you can next optimize your individual posts. While writing a post, customize the page title to include some keywords you want those search engines to find your site with. Not only do you need to put those keywords in your post title, put them in the keyword field as well. Doing so will add them to your meta tags and help your site get found by search engines. One option that is often overlooked in this plugin is the “optional exerpt” section.
This is where you tell Google what to display when someone gets a preview of your post on their Google search. Enter something catchy here to get the searcher to visit your site.
I haven’t even touched on every SEO option that this plugin covers so my recommendation is to install and use it immediately. If you want to learn more WordPress tips, subscribe to BlissLogs and read them daily.
The WordPress software is a great tool.Â Unfortunately, there is more to having a great blog than just running a great tool.Â If your just starting your own blog then your next step after installing WordPress should be to pick a them that that best suits you and your blog.Â If you are a seasoned blogger and have always questioned your blog theme, now is the time to change it.
For the new blogger.
You’ve installed WordPress now you want to dress it up.Â Picking your WordPress theme is more important than what many bloggers think. If your blog is to be a professional site with authoritative information, you should pick a theme that reflects that professional view Â :neutral:Â .Â If your gunna run a humorous site, pick a fun theme Â :grin:Â .Â The professional theme should be “clean”.Â It should have basic colors, but not too many; and professional (semi-boring) fonts.
For the experienced blogger.
You’ve been running your blog for quite a while now, but your starting to question your blog theme. What was a new and current a couple years ago may be dated (out-dated) now.Â Keeping the same look is good, to a point.Â Sometimes it is time to switch.Â No matter your blogging software, chances are that you have a plethora of themes to choose from.
For all bloggers.
Just because you have picked a theme, you’re still not tied to it. Take my blog for example.Â The header didn’t come with the text “BlissLogs”.Â An hour with the original theme’s header and photoshop and viola, I have a customized header.Â Many themes also come with a .css file that contains all your standard formating.Â In this file, you can change the blogs font, the color of hypertext links, etc.
The moral to this story is to pick your blog theme carefully and make it you.
Have you upgraded to WordPress 2.2 yet? . . . . . Have you re-read your older posts for flaws? Following my upgrade, I found what I like to call, garblygook. Any “special” characters in the post was converted to something that becomes unreadable. I found that WordPress did this to frustrate bloggers around the world. We’ve had it too easy for far too long and WordPress has decided to knock us down a step or two.
Lucky for you, I’ve found a way to resolve the issue. But why did it happen? In the simplest terms, WordPress changed the charset in it’s default config file while not changing the charset of your database. Think of it this way. . . Your blog is reading from your database in U.S. English while your database is storing it in U.K. English. (U.S. English: OK, I have had enough, I am going to the bar. . . U.K. English: Eeeh man, ahm gannin te the booza.)
To fix the problem, edit your “wp-config.php” file for your WordPress blog. Find the line that reads: “define(‘DB_CHARSET’, ‘utf8′);” and comment it out by preceding it with //. The line will now look like:
This is the easy way to fix it, but it comes with a warning. The next time you upgrade you WordPress installation, you may have to do it again. SO DON’T FORGET!
The more complex, yet more permanent solution, is to convert your database character set. This solution is much more involved and not for the week of heart. If you want to attempt this and need someplace to start, let me know and I’ll be glad to help you out.
Welcome to the first WordPress Wednesday at BlissLogs. Every Wednesday, expect to find some information related to WordPress and its plugins. Some weeks will give you tips on using WordPress and some will help you deploy and configure the various plugins.
This week, I’d like to reiterate the benefits of editing the timestamp of your posts. It seams that this topic has been blogged about to death, but if you don’t use it; maybe you should re-consider. You may tend to blog in batches, but don’t want to release them all at once. There may be a special date, such as a holiday, coming up and you have a great thought on a post topic, but don’t want it released till that date. You may go on vacation, but still want regular postings on your blog. All of these are great reasons to post date your blog entries. Do you have any other reasons to post date your posts?
Editing your timestamp in WordPress couldn’t be easier. When writing a post, expand the Post Timestamp section in the right sidebar and enter the date and time you want the post to be published. When you have completed the post, simply click on the publish button. That post will not appear on your blog until the time and date of your timestamp.
Don’t forget to visit again next Wednesday for the next WordPress Wednesday and next Monday for the next GooGoo for Google Mondays. If you don’t want to miss one of these topics, be sure to subscribe to my full RSS feed.