Tip: add a widget anywhere with the_widget()

February 28, 2011 | No Comments Yet

Here’s a very useful tip for everyone comfortable with customizing their WordPress themes: you can add any widget anywhere on your site, not just in your sidebar or widgetized areas, using the template tag the_widget.

Here’s the syntax:

<?php the_widget($widget, $instance, $args); ?>

This post by Shailan explains how to find the widget class name and arguments to use in the code. Refer to the Codex for the names of the default widgets. Want to create your own widget? Valums shows you how.

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Customize Acceptable Upload File Types

February 21, 2011 | No Comments Yet

WordPress Garage points out that there’s a limited list of allowed file types that you can upload via the WP admin. For certain custom sites, since WordPress is being used for everything these days, that may need to be modified and Chris Meller shows us how.

As of WordPress 2.2, there are 35 allowed file types configured in the default install. While there’s no admin-based tool for editing this list (nor any plugins that I’m aware of), it’s not at all difficult to add your own…

The idea is to add a custom function inside your theme’s functions.php to be used as a filter. In that function you can then add specific file extensions and their corresponding mime types. On the other hand, to remove a file type that’s allowed by default, use the function unset().

Sounds simple and painless! Of course, keep in mind that limitations are put in place to keep WordPress secure, so tread carefully. Also, for reference, there’s a list of the accepted filetypes at the WordPress.com Support section, but that may vary on a self-hosted install.

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Pinoy WordPress Theme: Classique

February 14, 2011 | No Comments Yet

Classique WordPress theme

Classique is a dark, 2-column, coffee-themed WordPress theme by Alex San Diego. No demo is available, but it’s fluid width, widget ready, and even contains PSD files to customize.

Download Classique

Other news around Asia

Vietnam comfort women is still an issue

South Korea leads FDI investors in Vietnam in 10 months

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Go Freelance with WordPress

February 7, 2011 | No Comments Yet

WordPress isn’t just a thriving free, open source community, it’s also a very popular business, from premium themes and plugins to large-scale websites. Want a piece of the profitable WP pie? DesignM.ag demystifies one particular aspect of the business: how to freelance with WordPress.

The guide covers not only the techie WordPress jobs like design and development, but also other careers in copywriting, photography, and journalism:

Built right into WordPress are a host of image and gallery features. You can upload, resize, and crop your images. You can align them around text, add captions and links. You can have a page of thumbnails which link to a larger version of the shot. All of this is part of the core WordPress software.

That’s an interesting take on going pro with WordPress you don’t get to see often, so make sure to have a look. It doesn’t stop there, though. There are dozens of site types you can build with WP, and that means different types of freelancers that can take advantage of the publishing platform.

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WordPress Theme: Duotone

January 31, 2011 | No Comments Yet

You might remember the smart, color-matching photoblogging theme released by Automattic called Monotone. As a holiday gift to WordPress.com users, an updated version called Duotone has been released, with the following new features:

  1. Manually choose your blog’s background color instead of automatically doing so
  2. Edit three widget areas at the bottom of the theme
  3. Display EXIF data from your photos

WordPress.com users can enjoy this theme instantly, but for self-hosted users you’re not left out: download the theme here. View the demo here.

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WordPress Plugin: BuddyPress Template Pack

January 18, 2011 | No Comments Yet

BuddyPress Template Pack transforms WordPress themes into BuddyPress-ready ones. This makes getting into BuddyPress a whole lot easier.

Now you can use BuddyPress with your single site installation of WordPress, and you can keep your existing theme. Seriously, could BuddyPress have made it any easier for you to add social networking to your site? I know I can’t wait to try it out this weekend, how about you?

Just follow the steps once the plugin is installed, and if you want to go back, rest assured that none of your theme files are modified. The plugin requires the BuddyPress add-on, which also comes as a plugin. Your WP install should be at least version 2.9.1 too.

Download BuddyPress Template Pack

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Make your WordPress site iPad ready

January 17, 2011 | No Comments Yet

WPLover has a straightforward guide on getting your WordPress-powered site optimized for the Apple iPad. It basically says you don’t have to do anything since like the iPhone it comes with the Safari mobile web browser, but there are a few tips and links if you’re concerned about an iPad-specific experience.

Biggest thing to remember: the iPad does not support Flash. If you can manage to do so, provide an alternative video source using the HTML5 <video> element.

Another helpful site is iPad Peek, which loads your website as it would on an iPad—both landscape and portrait modes. You can very quickly check any quirks without having to run out and get one.

No word yet on whether Automattic is releasing an official WordPress iPad app, but it would be interesting to see how much more you can do on a larger resolution mobile device now.

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15 snippets for functions.php

January 3, 2011 | No Comments Yet

You don’t need to buy the book Digging Into WordPress to get a hold of this essential list of custom functions for your functions.php file. There are a ton of things you can do with a tricked out functions.php, letting you forgo plugins and completely avoid hacking the backend code. From controlling excerpt lengths to loading scripts to customizing the admin, everything’s practically in there.

Perhaps one important thing to remember here is that the functions.php is located in the currently active theme folder, so if you like changing up your blog’s look quite often, don’t forget to bring the custom functions along. You can download the complete functions.php file at the end of the post.

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8 Free BuddyPress Themes

December 20, 2010 | 1 Comment

Looking for a good, free BuddyPress theme for your site? WPMU.org has compiled a list of the best ones out there. From dark to light to Facebook lookalikes, these free BP themes should get you started on social networking for free:

  • Blogcaster
  • Malleable
  • Unplugged
  • Cosmic Buddy
  • Fishbook
  • Jukt Micronics
  • Jet Green Theme
  • BP Nicey

The pool isn’t so large right now but as with WordPress, expect BP themes to blow up in the next few months and become a thriving business all the way into highly specialized and premium themes. This is only the beginning.

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Time for These SEO Myths to Die

December 6, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Unless you’re in the thick of the search marketing business instead of the fringes, it’s quite accurate to say that a lot of the practices are downright mythical. Search Engine Land wants to debunk 36 of those once and for all. Here’s #4:

Having an XML Sitemap will boost your Google rankings. I just heard this one from a fellow panelist in an SEO session at a conference I presented at within the last month (I won’t mention who, or which show.) This made me cringe, but I bit my lip rather than embarrass and contradict them in front of the audience. Should I have spoken up? Did I do the audience a disservice by leaving this myth unchallenged? I struggled with that. In any event, Google will use your sitemaps file for discovery and potentially as a canonicalization hint if you have duplicate content. It won’t give a URL any more “juice” just because you include it in your sitemaps.xml, even if you assign a high priority level to it.

Most of the items in the list apply to Google and may or may not work the same way for other search engines such as Yahoo. For example, meta tags do not carry weight for Google but for Yahoo, they do.

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10 things about social media

November 30, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Juned Sonido writes 10 personal observations and lessons about social media. Here’s the second item on the list:

It is not just the number of posts or messages delivered. It is the message snd the ties – human ties – ties that binds people together. Social Media are social networks, blogs, forums, and a number things. Social Media is everywhere digital and non-digital.

A lot of the points boil down reinforce the idea that it’s less about the new technology and more about one’s own actions. They are just tools, and they do not give you the right to spam and mislead people. Be respectful, be useful to the people you are reaching out to.

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Check your web host file permissions first!

November 23, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordPress security issues come and go, and while some stay because it’s tough to get the crud out, other times it’s because site owners overlook an important part of keeping their hosts protected: file permissions.

A properly configured web server will not allow users to access the files of another user, regardless of file permissions. The web server is the responsibility of the hosting provider. The methods for doing this (suexec, et al) have been around for 5+ years.

Matt Mullenweg warns against web hosts and other security announcements that place the blame on the WordPress software without first checking if proper file permissions are in place.

Devlounge has an old but still applicable article on protecting your wp-config.php files, for starters. This article on WP Tavern also tackles the issue above and shares more file permission advice especially on shared hosting accounts.

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WP e-Commerce crash course

November 18, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordPress has been used for any type of site out there, including e-commerce websites, and one of the biggest reasons for that is the WP e-Commerce plugin. If you’re thinking of trying it out but have no idea where to start, this crash course by 1st Web Designer should help.

If you have not ever created an e-commerce website before, then this crash course is best-suited for you. I am considering that you are totally an idiot when it comes to e-commerce websites. At the end we will also talk about how a developer can integrate e-commerce features in his WordPress theme. So I will say this tutorial will take you from beginner level and at the end you can continue with creating e-commerce websites with WordPress as a developer.

It can also give you a good idea of the plugin’s capabilities and limitations—no use trying to force it into submission when there are specialized shopping cart systems that can do the job in a less hacky way.

Still, let’s hope WordPress provides more functionalities that can push it in the direction of creating ideal WordPress-powered online shops in the same way BuddyPress paved the way for a WordPress-powered social network.

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Optimize WordPress loading time by 75%

November 12, 2010 | No Comments Yet

So we’ve confirmed Google is factoring in site speed into their search ranking algorithms, but what exactly can you do to your WordPress site to make it load faster? David Kadavy shares his own website optimization story by doing the following:

  • Move from a shared hosting service (in this case Dreamhost) to VPS (virtual private server) hosting
  • Install the W3 Total Cache plugin
  • Use a CDN (content delivery network) such as Amazon Cloudfront: this works well with W3 Total Cache, which is why he recommends it over other WP caching plugins
  • Optimize with CSS sprites, inline styles and scripts, Gzip, and other recommendations from Yahoo.

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WordPress Theme: Motion

October 29, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Motion WordPress theme

Motion by 85ideas is a dark, 2-column blue and green theme with a watercolor-on-paper texture and transparency. It contains 5 widget areas in the header, sidebar, and footer. This theme is also available for WordPress.com users.

Download Motion

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WordPress Theme: Kirby

October 22, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Kirby 2010 default WordPress theme

Kirby by Ian Stewart started out as an idea for the next default WordPress theme when version 3.0 comes out. It’s a white, gray, and black theme with large text, ample white space, and what looks like a modern retelling of the default theme Kubrick we’ve come to know and love. There are two sidebar areas and four widget areas in the footer.

So I made the Kirby Theme. Actions speak louder than words, right? In the same way, code speaks louder than ideas. What better way to show off your ideas for a new Default Theme than to actually code one up? I get a fun project and you get a new Theme.

It has indeed been adopted by the WP development team as the new default theme and is now called Twenty Ten. It’s going through several tweaks until it’s fit to be called the predecessor of the great Kubrick. If you don’t want to wait until WP 3.0 to come out to use this theme, it’s available right now in the Themes Directory.

View Demo | Download Kirby

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Tip: use shortcodes anywhere

October 15, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Shortcodes are meant to be used for post and page content, but with a little custom code you can make them work elsewhere, as shown in this article:

  • Text Widgets
  • Template Files
  • Comments
  • Excerpts
  • User Descriptions
  • Category, Tag, and Taxonomy Descriptions

I think the most crucial piece of code to remember here is the one for theme files. Just add the line do_shortcode('[foo]'); and that will obey shortcode syntax. Super convenient! Also check out this list of custom shortcodes. For WordPress.com users, there are a bunch of media shortcodes already built in.

See also: how to use widgets anywhere.

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WordPress .htaccess tips

October 8, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Controlling how URLs behave and who access your site rely on the .htaccess file, and while some of the things it can do have a comfortable interface inside WordPress, there’s so much more to explore. WP Shout goes from A to Z of those possibilities.

For example: if you need to stop spambots, try denying no-referrer requests with this code:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} POST
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} .wp-comments-post\.php*
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !.*yourblog.com.* [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^$
RewriteRule (.*) ^http://%{REMOTE_ADDR}/$ [R=301,L]

Need to study the somewhat cryptic .htaccess language further? Head over to Apache’s official documentation.

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Get Your Message Across Clearly, Whether You’re a Blogger or a Beauty Queen

September 30, 2010 | 2 Comments

For many of us, communicating in English is not just an option but a requirement. Is it because more people can understand us when we speak that way? Or is it because we appear to be more intelligent and more successful?

Whether you’re writing a blog post or answering a question in the Binibining Pilipinas pageant, it is more important that what you say makes sense.

Our priority should not be to speak in a language that makes us look better, but in a general method that communicates our ideas more clearly. The choice of language is just part of that.

How do you get your message across clearly? Although this list is generally aimed at bloggers, you’ll see that it applies to anybody who wants to reach out to a group of people, large or small. Yes, even beauty queens.

Find your target audience. What is your blog about? Which types of visitors will find your blog interesting? Your target audience will help you figure out the tone, length, frequency, and depth of your blog posts. If you crack a certain joke, will they find it funny? If you write about a new topic, will they still understand it, much less comment on it? This is why surveys, polls, and statistics are very important; they give a very good idea of who you’re dealing with so that you can better prepare for it next time. (Beauty pageant metaphor: Find your strength and play it up. Remember that you’ll have to appeal to many different audiences too: your hometown crowd, the foreign crowd, and the judges.)

Organize your thoughts. At the heart of blogging is writing, and if you don’t know the basics of building around a main idea with the different techniques you’ve learned in school, better brush up on that. Form an outline of what you want to say, then expound on it. (Beauty pageant metaphor: This is especially difficult since you have zero preparation time for the questions you’ll be asked. Think fast, don’t stumble on your words.)

Keep it simple, keep it real. Don’t use complicated words or excessive paragraphs just to give others the illusion that you’re the expert. People are considered smarter when they can turn complex ideas into really simple-looking ones. And if you’re not that smart, don’t even try to cover that up; your audience will figure that out sooner or later. (Beauty pageant metaphor: Need I say more?)

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Three Truly Unique Themes

September 24, 2010 | 2 Comments

I’ve come across three unique themes for WordPress a few days ago. Turn your blog into Twitter, a contact manager, or even a “coming soon” page before your site actually launches.

These aren’t Pinoy made but they’re definitely worth checking out. Malay n’yo, you might actually find them useful!

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Protect Your Most Valuable Blog Resource, Stop Content Scraping and Plagiarism

September 17, 2010 | 8 Comments

There’s a very popular saying amongst bloggers, and it goes: content is king. As a blogger, your content is your most precious resource. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to let sploggers and feed scrapers take that away from me. Not if I can help it. Not if you can help it. How?

Label your feeds with copyright notices.

Add your name, website, and URL (site URL or post URL) to your feed so that when it is read elsewhere, others will know where it really came from.

Recommendation: FeedEntryHeader Plugin. Many feed customization plugins exist, but I like this particular plugin because it affixes the necessary information before the content of the post rather than after, as feed scrapers usually truncate the content. And if you can help it, spell out the URL in plain text to your website or blog post rather than link to it using HTML. Scrapers will definitely want visitors to think they didn’t steal someone else’s content.

Feedback: Do you use summaries instead of full feeds because you don’t want scrapers to access them? Or do you provide both?

Block questionable visitors.

If they can’t find your blog, they won’t be able to take advantage of it.

Recommendation: AntiLeech Plugin. This plugin ideally stops potential scrapers from accessing your website content and instead feeds them fake content. You can enter either IP addresses or User Agent strings that identify the scrapers. Read more about AntiLeech here.

The tricky part is figuring out who your enemy is. They will have to scrape your feed first for you to know about it, right? You can use ©Feed to figure out who is reading your feeds, but more often than not they actually send trackbacks to your post once they’ve scraped it, so you can get their IP address from that as well.

Feedback: Where do you find your IP address blacklists?

Disable hotlinking.

Hotlinking is a term that describes how other people use your content with your own server bandwidth, which is how much data your server transfers over a period of time. Every time someone loads your website, all those files that get loaded is equal to a certain bandwidth. So if people keep hotlinking your photos, music, or videos, your bandwidth quota for the month (or quarter or year) gets used up. Now hotlinking may not be an issue for you—if you have lots of bandwidth, and don’t care about attribution or who uses your content. Normally it is; it’s bad netiquette. If you do care, you need to stop people from hotlinking.

Recommendation: Hotlink Protection Plugin. Enter the file location which you want to protect, and if an external website loads any image from it, a different image will be displayed (which is customizable). Since images are the most common target anyway, this plugin will suffice.

Feedback: Do you host your own images or do you hotlink them from sites like PhotoBucket?

*Note: What the plugins can accomplish can also be done in less straightforward but more flexible methods like PHP programming, .htaccess editing, cPanel configuration, web applications.

Take action.

Protecting your content isn’t just about setting up defense mechanisms. You should be vigilant enough to find out if you’ve been scraped or plagiarized and then do something about it.

Recommendation: 6 Steps to Stop Content Theft. These are six long and tough steps, but if you value your work, you will be thankful when it gets you through:

  1. Detection
  2. Preserving the Evidence
  3. Contact the Plagiarist (if Practical)
  4. Contacting the Advertisers (optional)
  5. Contacting the Host
  6. Contacting the Search Engines

Feedback: Do you think Filipino bloggers stand a chance in a battle against plagiarism, with all these (US-biased) steps that need to be accomplished?

Feedback: Do you know that Creative Commons Licenses like the CC Attribution 3.0 License have been ported to play nicely with Philippine copyright laws?

Sugod mga kapatid!

Right now, fighting plagiarism especially in the form of sploggers and scrapers is very tedious. Hopefully things get easier in the future, but for now, at least we stand a very good chance against it.

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Pinoy WordPress Plugin: Sideblog

September 13, 2010 | 1 Comment

Want to write about miscellaneous topics, but they don’t quite fit into the main purpose of your blog? Sideblog, created by Ilonggo developer Kates Gasis, is a great solution to that.

Choose at least one category to use in your sideblog, then configure how it will be displayed (typically as a list) and how many will be displayed. Finally, you can also set whether these sideblog posts will appear in your feeds.

Download Sideblog | Plugins by Kates Gasis | View Example

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Pinoy WordPress Plugin: Comment Hilite

August 24, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Show some comment love by highlighting notable comments on your blog posts with Comment Hilite. This WordPress plugin is 100% Pinoy and is made by Markku Seguerra.

Download Comment Hilite | Plugins by Markku Seguerra

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Improve your WordPress search results page

August 17, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Most of your visitors will probably arrive from search engines looking for something particular in mind. Make your blog as search-friendly as possible with this set of improvements from Pro Blog Design. Here’s one of the tips:

2 – Highlight the Search Terms in Results

When you search on Google or any other major search engine, the words you searched for are highlighted in the results to make it easier for you to scan. We can do the same with your search results page.

Little tweaks should go a long way!

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Count your feed subscribers for blog contests

August 10, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Let’s not ask why subscribing to one’s blog is a common criterion for all the blog contests out there; let’s be thankful Thaya Kareeson over at Weblog Tools Collection has written a helpful tutorial for keeping track of new subscribers to your RSS feed.

The technique involves adding a special contest code that appears only in the feed, which subscribers can use to indicate they are indeed subscribed:

A known solution to this problem is to include a special contest code into your RSS feed and not have this code visible on your website. That way each contestant will be forced to grab the code from your feed and submit the code via comments to verify that they have subscribed to the RSS feed.

Even if you’re uncomfortable with editing PHP, all you have to do is copy the code given in the article and you should be good to go. All in all, this is a smart technique that should help you out for your next blog contest!

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7 popular features for a better WordPress theme

August 3, 2010 | No Comments Yet

ForTheLose.org lists 7 useful “trends” that designers/developers might want to incorporate into their future WordPress themes:

  1. Tabbing System
  2. “Featured” Post Display
  3. Post Thumbnails
  4. Cross-Browser Transparency
  5. Animated Dropdown Menus
  6. Modal Boxes
  7. Theme Options Pages

The term “trend” doesn’t seem too descriptive in this case. Yes, these features are popular right now and any theme author could attract more users by incorporating them, but they’re popular for a reason, and that’s because they actually improve one’s experience while using the theme—whether as a blog reader or a webmaster.

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Improve your WordPress installation with SQL hacks

July 29, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Jean-Baptiste Jung shares how you can perform very useful tasks and tweaks for your WordPress blog with the use of database SQL queries. Database manipulation may be a bit advanced for the average WordPress user, but for those who are curious, this article is a great start as the tutorials are not really intimidating at all.

Here’s the shortlist:

  1. Creating a Backup of Your Database
  2. Batch Delete Post Revisions
  3. Erase 5000 Spam Comments in a Second
  4. Change the Post Attribution
  5. Manually Reset Your Password
  6. Change Your WordPress Domain Name
  7. Display the Number of SQL Queries on Your blog
  8. Restore Your WordPress Database

View other WordPress posts on Smashing Magazine here.

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Tips on keeping your WordPress blog secure

July 22, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Make Tech Easier shares 11 tips on keeping malicious parties from penetrating your WordPress-powered blog. Here’s a snippet:

7) Change your login name

The default username is admin. You can make it more difficult for the hacker to crack your login credential by changing the login name.

You can never be too careful about these things, so be sure to follow the tips mentioned in the article.

(Via)

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Tip: create a blogging workflow

July 15, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Chris Brogan writes that keeping up a steady blogging pace is no easy task, so you need to be ready with goals, tasks, tools that can help you out when that “blog drought” comes.

See what makes the front page of Digg.com (or your industry’s most likely haunt) – learning by emulating is an important blogging skill. Don’t be a clone, but if you pick up some tricks from writers you come to admire, all the better.

The article contains lots of excellent tips for those who still haven’t quite kept up with their blogging routines. It’s useful for amateur and professional bloggers alike.

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Pinoy WordPress Theme: Midnight Makoy

July 8, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Midnight Makoy

Midnight Makoy is a dark, 3-column WordPress theme by Yan of FubarGenre.

Midnight Makoy started as an alternative design for the Himantayon Pro theme, which I created for Himantayon.com back in August. I used more or less the same design elements as in Himantayon Pro, but with an entirely different color scheme. Here’s hoping you’d like it.

It uses a blue and dark gray color scheme and supports the Gravatar and Pagenavi plugins. Download and preview the theme here.

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Danny Arao: “Huwag kang mag-blog kung…”

June 30, 2010 | 1 Comment

UP MassComm professor and journalist Danilo Arao advises people not to blog if their only goal is to make money. This is an ever familiar subject for those who’ve been blogging for a while now. But it’s good to have a sound perspective from mass media and the academe.

Salamat sa kapitalismo, maraming mapanlikhang paraan para kumita sa blogosphere. Pero ang mga mapanlikhang paraang ito ay malinaw na tahasang panloloko sa mga online visitor. Dahil ang blogosphere ay bahagi ng public domain, kinakailangang maging responsable ang mga blogger sa pagbibigay ng tamang impormasyon sa publiko.

Read the follow-up post here.

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How to build a WordPress site in 5 hours

June 25, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Max Limpag explains step-by-step how you can create a WordPress-powered site (not just a blog) from paper to the screen in no more than 5 hours. He also shares useful tools which aided in his process, such as the Yahoo! UI library, Aptana Studio, Bluefish, and FileZilla.

His proof of concept can be viewed at Tungkaran.com.

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Speaking Our Native Tongue on the Web

June 17, 2010 | 1 Comment

When WordPress Philippines first launched, I left a comment saying we should try to write in our native language. We it owe it to all our heroes who died fighting for our right to be free. Language is one of the most important signs of sovereignty. And besides, if you’ll look at the sixth box of links at the footer, all those foreign WordPress sites are written in their own language!

It appears blog provider giant Blogger has translated its service to “Filipino” and this has got me thinking. Google owns Blogger. Google also provides localized versions for several other services for us Pinoys. Several other sites do, too. But what does a “local” version mean, really? Is it the Filipino language? Or is it Tagalog?

Filipino o Tagalog? Ano ba talaga, kuya?

Google Language Tools: When you select Filipino as the language of your choice in viewing Google Search, the abbreviation in the link is “tl”, which clearly stands for Tagalog.

Google Directory: When you click on the Filipino language under World Languages, it is actually linked to Tagalog.

Wikipedia: There is no Filipino language version of Wikipedia, only Tagalog, Bikolano, Cebuano, Chavacano, Ilokano, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Waray.

All of this is pretty ironic considering the page on the topic Filipino says:

Note: “Philippino” and “Philipino” are misspellings of this word and are not considered part of standard usage. Pilipino is used to describe the people of the Philippines. The term “Filipino” is commonly used when you are talking or writing in English or other foreign language. “Filipino” is the Philippines’ national, official and constitutional language (While the Filipino language is largely based on Tagalog, pure Tagalog has slight differences to Filipino).

This is the accepted definition of Filipino, as well as Filipino versus Tagalog, right? Then why do these websites—which are multi-million dollar companies no less—assume that in order to be a little more user-friendly to its Filipino visitors, it should create a custom language version in Tagalog instead of Filipino? What gives them the right to do so? As Filipinos, should we accept their bad judgment on something that affects no one else but ourselves?

Philippine-based wiki competitor WikiPilipinas has acknowledged this and created a Filipino language version of its wiki. But then there seems to be no Tagalog counterpart along with other provincial languages. So did they drop the Tagalog because it’s essentially Filipino anyway?

Ano ang problema?

I know I’m getting into a huge debate here, one that might never ever be resolved so long as our country remains an archipelago, so long as we have strong affinities for provincial languages, even foreign ones. After all, we are a nation of provinces and a nation of balikbayans. Our national language has never been that strong especially in the midst of the languages we’ve had to deal with.

But I am not asking you to be a little more patriotic (especially in the spirit of the EDSA Revolution, whose anniversary we commemorate on Monday) by choosing to write in our own language. I just want to underline what we may be overlooking:

On the web, is it correct to say that a Filipino speaks only Tagalog? Are these two terms interchangeable?

Should we be content that websites like Google consider Tagalog as the language of choice for Filipinos?

Should we be content that other Philippine languages from Cebuano to Waray are represented on some websites, but not the lesser known but equally Pinoy ones?

The Web is as liberating as speaking in one own’s tongue. Blogging, for example, lets you do exactly that. How lucky are we to find a new medium by which we can express ourselves as Filipinos? Other times, however, our identity as a people gets eroded just because a website assumes and restricts, despite the best of intentions. We accept it because we know technology still hasn’t found a way to seamlessly translate any language into another. Or is it because it just doesn’t matter anymore?

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WordPress 3.0 Release Candidate 1

May 28, 2010 | 1 Comment

Quickly after WordPress turned 7 this May 27th, the first release candidate of WordPress 3.0 finally comes out.

Two of the biggest new features, custom menus and multi-site support, are in place, while as with the previous beta you’ll notice a much lighter admin area. Also visit this page to check out known issues, and report those others that aren’t on the list.

You can download WP 3.0 RC 1 here or automatically upgrade with the Beta Tester plugin.

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Child Themes, Hooks, Actions, Filters simplified

May 27, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Ready to take it to the next level with WordPress? Here’s a 5-minute guide on essential advanced features to WordPress theming: child themes, hooks, actions, and filters.

The old, boring way is you open the theme files, starting from index.php, changing all <h2> tag to <h1>, then moving to the other files: archives.php, tag.php, category.php, doing the same thing over and over again, hoping you don’t miss anything.

Gah!

That is not clever because a) it’s too much work, and b) when the theme is updated, you’re screwed.

Wouldn’t it be better if you could just a) write the change once, have it applied globally, while b) at the same time not modifying the theme’s code?

Of course the answer is yes. Understanding how these four concepts in WordPress work is essential to building on a theme framework, creating plugins and widgets, and make developing with WordPress faster.

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Wear WordPress bling with WP Jewels

May 26, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WP Jewels earrings

Love WordPress and want to show it off on your body? You could buy a t-shirt or get tattooed, but how about some jewelry? WP Jewels is an independent store that peddles WordPress jewelry. Currently there are two products: dangling earrings and a pendant, both sporting the WP logo.

The online store policies are standard: free shipping to the USA, payment is via PayPal, and there’s a 30-day money back guarantee. Oddly enough this store doesn’t seem to be running on WordPress, which takes away from how “hardcore” of a WP fan the creator of the site really is.

But the question is, how much of a WP fan are you? Would you wear WordPress jewelry?

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Tip: exclude posts with custom post types

May 25, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Alex King shares a not-so-obvious fact about the upcoming custom post types feature for WordPress 3.0:

No, the real power of custom post types is more subtle – it removes those posts from default queries.

Right now it’s quite cumbersome to set up and get custom post types running on your WordPress blog, but once you get over that hurdle (there are a number of plugins that create a user interface for you) that tip is a great thing to remember. You might have a portfolio section you’d like to keep updated but don’t need to display in the “normal post stream”, or showcase your collection of favorite books, movies, songs you’ve been consuming. Put another way, “custom post types are really pages”…and more. They can be anything you want them to be.

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WordPress 3.0 to drop blog importer and TinyMCE

May 24, 2010 | No Comments Yet

There’s been a bit of a slowdown in the WordPress RC and final release schedule yet again, but here’s an important heads up from this week’s developer chat: In an effort to reduce server memory consumption and delays in the releases, WordPress 3.0 is dropping several core features. One is the WordPress Importer, which can then be installed as a plugin.

Another is the TinyMCE script, the most popular WYSIWYG editor out there. It’s not clear if eliminating it is a permanent move since a lot of people are dependent on creating properly formatted posts with it, but more details should follow when the new WP 3.0 releases come.

Read updates on the rest of the WordPress developer chat for 5-20-10 here.

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50 traffic sources for your blog

May 21, 2010 | No Comments Yet

QOT has a list of 50 websites that can help drive traffic to your own blog. They’re divided into the following categories:

  1. eBook directories
  2. Blog directories
  3. Social media
  4. News and aggregation sites
  5. Podcast directories
  6. Video marketing
  7. Article directories
  8. Guest posting
  9. Document sharing
  10. RSS feed submissions
  11. Ping submissions
  12. Blog communities and forums

A lot of these are common knowledge to those who have been blogging for a long time now, but it’s great to have a list of sites compiled in one place for you. The bottom line here is to get your content out there; you can’t just create a blog and rely solely on Google search results to bring traffic in. Be creative and find your niche.

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Stricter guidelines for WordCamps

May 20, 2010 | No Comments Yet

There are a lot of helpful tips for organizing a WordCamp that can be found at the official WordCamp how-to site, but what’s got people buzzing is the announcement of stricter guidelines about who can and can’t be associated with an event, from individuals to companies in various roles as organizers, speakers, and sponsors. This all depends on whether they comply with WordPress philosophies.

Lately there have been a number of WordCamps accepting speakers, sponsorships, door prizes, etc from people/companies acting in violation of the WordPress license (GPL v2) with regard to their themes/plugins. It is the official policy of WordCamp that WordCamps not provide publicity/a platform for such individuals/businesses. They are welcome to attend, but WordCamps may not have non-GPL-compliant people as organizers, sponsors, or speakers.

It’s only fair that WordPress stand its ground on matters relating to the GPL, WordCamps included. For participants who aren’t as familiar with the software, its community, and philosophy, WordCamp is the perfect venue to discuss those things.

I’m curious to see if any part of this controversy will affect the upcoming WordCamp Philippines 2010.

The complete list of guidelines can be found at WordCamp Central.

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WordCamp Philippines 2010 venue announced; answer their survey

May 19, 2010 | 1 Comment

WordCamp Philippines 2010 schwag from Automattic

This week the WordCamp Philippines organizers have announced the venue for the conference to be held on October 2: it’s back to College of St. Benilde in Taft Ave., Manila in partnership with the Association of Information Management. It’s also been announced that Matt Mullenweg will be gracing the event, so better RSVP on the event page now.

You’re also invited to complete a short survey which covers your expectations for the event. Also note that the entrance fee will cover lunch, schwag, and a WordCamp Philippine shirt.

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WordPress Plugin: Vote for Plugins

May 18, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Vote for Plugins lets you help contribute to the WordPress.org plugin ratings without having to leave your admin panel.

The WordPress.org plugin directory has a neat rating system that lets users rate plugins both on overall quality and on compatibility with specific WP versions. However, its usefulness is stymied by poor integration with WordPress itself. To try to remedy that, I’ve created a plugin that lets you vote on plugins directly from your Dashboard.

Once installed you’ll be asked for your WP.org account details so your vote can be counted. Then at the plugins list, you can indicate whether a plugin you’re using works or is broken, and give it a rating from 0 to 5 stars.

Vote for Plugins is an easy candidate for canonical plugin or even a core feature, considering the useful information it can add to the community.

Download Vote for Plugins

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Mark Jaquith on WordPress and web hosting

May 17, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordPress lead developer Mark Jaquith sounds off on the state of web hosting companies and their lack of support for the publishing software. He emphasizes two of the biggest issues WordPress users have when it comes to maintaining their installs: caching and security.

People ask me for hosting recommendations all the time. I have a few decent hosts that I’ll recommend, but I don’t have any hosts about which I can say “use them, because they know how to host WordPress, and they’ll support you.” I’d like nothing better than to have a dozen such hosts to recommend by this time next year. WordPress is here to stay, and it’s time for web hosts to adapt!

This is just the first of many voices from WordPress community leaders cementing an initiative for better WP support, as mentioned in the State of the Word at WordCamp SF 2010. I think the greatest lesson here is never to settle with just any web host. With so many choices out there and your own site and brand on the line, choosing a proper, WordPress-friendly host should be top priority. You can’t afford not to.

As for the web hosting companies themselves, it’s a great opportunity to improve their game and offer specialized services that help with the upkeep of their respective client websites. A win-win for all.

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Matt’s State of the Word at WordCamp SF 2010

May 14, 2010 | No Comments Yet

If you missed the notes Matt’s keynote address at this year’s WordCamp San Francisco, here’s the full video finally posted at WordPress.tv and embedded above.

Look how far WordPress has come in the span of a year. We’re still awaiting the final release of WordPress 3.0 for the much-touted WordPress MU/Multi Site merge, but we’re also getting a bunch of other exciting, game-changing features such as custom post types, a new default WordPress theme every year, canonical plugins, security checks, and more.

Can’t wait to see what will be added to this keynote when WordCamp Philippines 2010 comes around in October.

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Reasons you should and shouldn’t use WordPress

May 13, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Killersites.com points out several advantages to using WordPress in building websites as opposed to purely static webpages:

If you haven’t guessed it already, using WordPress in your day-to-day web work WILL have major economic advantages – in a nutshell, you will be able to provide a lot more for your clients for a lot less work! This will lead to you landing more web design contracts and making more cash because the extra WordPress skills will allow you to charge more for your time.

On the other hand, WP Fun emphasizes its disadvantages in back-end maintenance, which is technically a whole other job outside of building websites, but is slowly merging with it anyway.

Which of these two win the argument? While I agree with WP Fun that you shouldn’t just go into a project hastily deciding to use WordPress, using static HTML files is not the only alternative solution, especially if a web designer’s concern with clients is ease of use. There is no interface to deal with in static webpages but you can use lighter and/or hosted CMS solutions too.

That’s just one factor to consider. Other factors like extensibility with plugins, security, support, community, etc. should definitely affect your decision to choose a publishing platform. WordPress tends to win out because of those.

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Microsoft loves WordPress

May 12, 2010 | 2 Comments

WordPress on Microsoft at MIX Online

While the culture of WordPress and open source software are closely tied with the Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP stack, that doesn’t mean the publishing platform doesn’t accommodate other development stacks like Microsoft’s. And don’t forget that one of the most popular desktop blogging software is Windows Live Writer!

So MIX Online has opened a new website called WordPress on Microsoft, which aims to provide tips on running WP-powered sites with Windows Server, SQL Server, Windows Azure, and SQL Azure and useful tools like Incarnate.

Why are they doing this? The simple answer is love:

  • Love of technology
  • Love of web developers and web designers
  • Smart business

If you’re running WordPress on a Windows Server or wondering how you can, head over to WP on MS for advice straight from experts. The Getting Started page is a great jump-off point.

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The Jazz Musicians of WordPress

May 11, 2010 | 1 Comment

Carmen McRae

All the major WordPress releases are named after famous jazz musicians. For example, pictured above is Carmen McRae, who was celebrated in WordPress version 2.9. Want to know more about all the artists WordPress honored over time? WPMU.org has a great tip: music discovery engine Last.fm actually has a tag for that, called wordpress-release-jazz.

  • 1.0 Miles Davis
  • 1.2 Charles Mingus
  • 1.5 Billy Strayhorn
  • 2.0 Duke Ellington
  • 2.1 Ella Fitzgerald
  • 2.2 Stan Getz
  • 2.3 Dexter Gordon
  • 2.5 Michael Brecker
  • 2.6 McCoy Tyner
  • 2.7 John Coltrane
  • 2.8 Chet Baker
  • 2.9 Carmen McRae

This means you can listen to these musicians’ songs, watch videos, and check out similar artists with on that site. It’s a great fusion of geekiness and music that the WordPress developers, especially Matt Mullenweg, established, and that aficionados of either or both can enjoy.

See the WordPress Roadmap for a complete list of the jazz musicians honored per release. I wonder whose music we’ll be enjoying when WordPress 3.0 drops.

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WordPress 3.0 Beta 2

May 10, 2010 | No Comments Yet

The second beta of WordPress 3.0 was released May 6. This is a little behind schedule as the Release Candidates should be out by now.

Following the successful post-WordCamp San Francisco code sprint, we are now ready to release the second beta of WordPress 3.0.

The update focuses on improvements to the menu interface and the WordPress importer/exporter. Everyone is encouraged become a beta tester with the help of the beta tester plugin.

Download WordPress 3.0 Beta 2

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Pinoy WordPress Theme: Baller Basic

May 7, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Baller Basic WordPress theme

Baller Basic by Jorge Cosgayon is a highly customizable 2-column theme that has 5 widget areas, 4 color schemes, 3 featured post options, and blog post layouts, and more.

One of the strengths of the theme is the powerful Features functionality, allowing you the ability to choose from one three ways to feature your posts via the FFN Carousel plugin: using a single category, using custom fields, or emulating a Magazine functionality.

The post boxes come from Derek Punsalan’s The Unstandard theme, while built-in support for other plugins include FFN Carousel and WP-PageNavi.

Download Baller Basic

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Google Living Stories for WordPress

May 4, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Targeted mainly at news websites, Google Living Stories makes covering an on-going story more convenient and navigable. Old but still working examples are found at this Google Labs website, but now everyone can enjoy the same functionality on their own sites as a plugin and theme package for WordPress.

Here’s a list of features from the Labs site:

  • “All in one place” – all the articles developing around a single story can be found on a single URL, and you can navigate around them much more quickly
  • “Easy to explore” – browse either by timeline, themes, people involved, or multimedia
  • “Smarter reading” – new additions to the story are highlighted while older news is summarized

Grab the code here. Take note that this isn’t just a fancy way of displaying developing stories, but a new content format which Google has open sourced.

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