Is WordPress Use Advisable for Small Business Sites?

October 24, 2012 | No Comments Yet

Image: smashingmagazine

WordPress is one of the most preferred blogging tools used by bloggers but is it advisable for use in small business sites when there is no intention of establishing a blog?  Many believe that it is .  The advantage lies in the fact that WordPress is a blogging platform which makes it easy to publish and change content.

WordPress can be used for a site, a blog, or both.   Putting up a blog is not necessary although a business owner can be depriving himself  of a wonderful opportunity to   further establish online presence from just having an official site.  The system provided for web content management can be obtained for free but users should be know that it still packs considerable power when it comes to serving small to medium-sized businesses. It is the platform to beat in terms of flexibility and support.

WordPress is said to be quite fit for optimization efforts.  The varied themes and plugins that can be used  have allowed for unlimited possibilities to web developers to makes sites as responsive as can be to the requirements of the business.  WordPress developers are many and they are able to provide assistance and support to those encountering problems  with the use of the blogging tool.  It is also easily installed and is compatible with different hosting sites.

WordPress also makes it easy to add content without  requiring any knowledge or specific expertise to be possessed.  Nothing can dampen writers’ interest more than a site that is very difficult to handle since most of the time will have to be given to understanding how everything works.  The creative initiative is often disturbed by technical concerns.

So, is WordPress advisable for use in small business sites ?  The answer is a resounding yes.  It removes the guesswork especially while starting a site and can be configured to perform as it is required.

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Moderating Comments Through WordPress

September 1, 2012 | No Comments Yet

Blog owners using the WordPress platform are provided several options to effectively manage the comments received by their site.  This is done through moderation of incoming comments.  This allows the site administrator to decide what for him or her constitutes spam and what are allowed to be accepted as legitimate comments.

There used to be a time when all sorts of comments are accepted and welcomed but that was a long time ago when spammers still have their sights set on other venues.  With the advent of spam and abusive comments, the need for site administrators to have the tools to moderate incoming comments more strictly arose.  WordPress has beefed up its services to address this issue more effectively.

The basic commenting features provided by WordPress include the options to unapprove, delete, designate as spam, edit, and reply.  The edit feature is quite handy for removing specific parts of what appears to be a legitimate comment that may be offensive or appear spammy.  There is also an option to disallow commenting for specific posts or all posts.

A number of plug-ins have also been made available to further improve the commenting experience through WordPress.  There are several anti-spam plug-ins such as Akismet, Bad Behavior, and Comment Timeout.  Commenting can also be encouraged through BlogFollow or Show Top Commentators. The appearance of comments can be improved through plug-ins that can filter bad words, number the comments, or highlight comments of the blog author.  Commenting features can also be expanded to include emoticons and by allowing commentators to preview and edit their own comments.

There a a lot of other options such as enabling gravatar so that an image accompanies every comment.  If the blog author wishes to emphasize a post that has received numerous comments, this can also be done.  Conversation between blogs can also be improved by quoting previous comments or having the option to make a comment visible only to the author.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 news roundup

April 29, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordCast has compiled a list of all the WordPress 3.0 articles and and videos they can find. From the official Codex page to video walkthroughs and reviews of the latest features, there’s no longer any reason not to be informed before the final release ships.

Also watch out for their upcoming podcast episode where experts discuss the future of WordPress. For now, the links and videos in the said post will prepare you for that conversation.

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wp-config.php code snippets for autosave, post revisions, trash settings

April 28, 2010 | No Comments Yet

These are useful lines of code modifying the default settings on post revisions and autosave intervals, which you can insert in your WordPress site’s wp-config.php file at the root folder.

define('AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL', 160 );

Explanation: Set the length between autosaves to 160 seconds.

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false );

Explanation: Disable post revisions completely.

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 3);

Explanation: Limit the number of post revisions to 3. (Tip: install Revision Diet so you don’t need to do this manually, and you can also delete excess revisions created beforehand.)

define('EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS', 0 );

Explanation: Disable the Trash functionality completely.

define('EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS', 30 );

Explanation: Set the number of days between the contents of the WordPress Trash bin are completely deleted—posts, pages, comments, etc. This will be done automatically and without confirmation.

Even more snippets can be found at the Codex. Though I hope that in the future, WordPress can integrate these as configurable settings in the admin interface.

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8 WordPress “did you know?” features

April 22, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Dave Refern uncovers 8 WordPress features that you may not know about. He refers to the under-the-hood behavior of the publishing software that aren’t so common knowledge unless you’ve been tinkering with it long enough. Find out how you can automatically empty the new Trash feature in a specified number of days, load the hidden advanced options page, show the full WYSIWYG editor, and more.

My personal favorite is the fact that renamed permalinks don’t turn up a 404 not found error but redirect themselves to the new ones. Very considerate, WordPress!

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Marghil Macuha on SEO at iBlog 6

April 20, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Missed iBlog 6? You’ll be happy to know that both Carlo Ople and Marghil Macuha himself blogged about his SEO talk at the 2-day event. New Media Philippines posted a summary of basic SEO practices while Macuha.com posted links to SEO e-books you can download for free.

The first most important rule is to SEO keywords that are actually being searched for. There’s no point in going through the grueling process of link building if they keyword you’re targeting isn’t even worth the effort. Marhgil explained that a good tactic is to make posts that provide solutions and answers, something that I already tackled in a previous post.

Download Marghil’s slides here. Hope the other speakers can also post their presentations online!

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Pinoy Blogfest 1.0 on April 17

April 13, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Pinoy_Blogfest 1.0

Gadgets Magazine, together with several other commercial sponsors, is holding its own blogging event this weekend called Pinoy_Blogfest 1.0 at the Richmonde Hotel in Ortigas.

Should bloggers observe journalistic ethics? Can Bloggers make money from their web presence? Is there a blog copyright? These are the issues that Pinoy_Blogfest 1.0 will seek to address.

The programme is as follows:

08.00 am Registration
09.00 am Opening of Exhibits / Networking Opportunities
09.30 am Welcome Remarks / Keynote Speech “Ethical & Social Responsibility of New Media” / Light Snack
10.00 am Plenary Panel / “Optimizing the Economic Potential of your Blog” (Abe Olandres) / “Bloggers as Media Practitioners” (Ira Panganiban) / “Creating a Bloggers’ Code of Ethics” (Yvonne Chua)
12.00 nn Lunch / Luncheon Speaker (Coca-Cola CSR)
01.30 pm Breakout Session I / A. Technology & Trends / B. Photography / C. Home: Digital Living
03.00 pm COKE Break
03.30 pm Breakout Session II / D. Mobile Networking / E. Gaming / F. Food & Travel, Health & Fitness
05.00 pm Networking Opportunities
05.30 pm Cocktails / Announcement of Blog Competition Criteria & Entry Guidelines
06.30 pm Entertainment / Raffle
07.30 pm Closing

Fifty to sixty free tickets will be raffled off but the regular rate is Php2,500, inclusive of meals. Ask for a registration for by emailing gadgetsmag.events@gmail.com. Call 332-4005 for more information.

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Google factors site speed into search rankings

April 12, 2010 | No Comments Yet

The search marketing and blogging circles have been buzzing about this for a few months now but Google put out the official word on site speed as a new factor in search result rankings just a few days ago. Webmaster Tools lets you measure the speed of your enrolled sites under Site Performance. The blog post also links to other tools like Page Speed.

It’s interesting to note, however, that Google itself says less than 1% of search queries will be affected by this new site speed signal. In any case, faster is usually better both for your visitors and for your site maintenance costs, not just your pagerank. Matt Cutts puts it nicely:

I know that there will be a lot of discussion about this change, and some people won’t like it. But I’m glad that Google is making this step, both for the sake of transparency (letting webmasters know more about how to do better in Google) and because I think this change will make the web better. My takeaway messages would be three-fold: first, this is actually a relatively small-impact change, so you don’t need to panic. Second, speeding up your website is a great thing to do in general. Visitors to your site will be happier (and might convert more or use your site more), and a faster web will be better for all. Third, this change highlights that there are very constructive things that can directly improve your website’s user experience. Instead of wasting time on keyword meta tags, you can focus on some very easy, straightforward, small steps that can really improve how users perceive your site.

Looks like some site spring cleaning is in order!

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Cebu Blog Camp 2010

April 5, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Cebu Blog Camp

The first Cebu Blog Camp will be held on May 22 at the CAP Auditorium, CAP Complex.

Cebu Blog Camp is an event that focuses on honing the skills of bloggers offline. This event will gather a large number of bloggers all over Cebu to discuss the latest developments on the Web, Search engines, and making money online.

No details on the topics and speakers yet, but the about page gives details on the organizers. Registration begins today. The event is free of charge but only the first 200 signups will enjoy seats. Always great to see new blogging events all around the country like this.

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Pampanga Blogging Workshop on April 24

March 26, 2010 | 1 Comment

Blogging 101 Hands-On Workshop will be held on April 24 at the Universe Internet Cafe, SM City Pampanga from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm. This intensive workshop taught by Janette Toral is organized by the Pampanga Bloggers. Here’s an outline of the event’s proceedings:

  1. Introduction to Blogging
  2. Find and monitor blogs and topics of your interest
  3. Set up and configure your first blog
  4. Blog ethics (Yes! There is also blogging ethics)
  5. Content Development Process Explained
  6. Monitor Blog Performance
  7. Promotion and Advertisement
  8. Trends in blogging
  9. How to make money and make a living out of blogging

Registration is Php800. Register here. Great to see the northern part of the Philippines mobilizing its own blogging groups and events!

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A look at WordPress 3.0 custom post types

March 25, 2010 | No Comments Yet

kovshenin.com discusses one of the many new features coming in WordPress 3.0 that will raise its bar as a publishing platform: custom post types.

So what else could be done with WordPress’ Custom Post Types? Well, basically anything. Say you run an online store which of course has some static Pages (such as Contact, About, etc), some blog Posts, cause we’re so 2.0, remember? And Products, which would be a custom post type that contains the product name, description, product price, stock availability, and could even contain inquiries in forms of user comments!

He covers two key code snippets that gets the ball rolling on custom post types: register_post_type (WPEngineer has a great post on it) and custom functions for the edit post screen columns, which are added via a filter and an action:

The action outputs custom columns depending on the type, while the filter simply defines the columns for the Podcasts post type. It’s as simple as that. Note that I trimmed the code a little bit to fit on screen, so you shouldn’t be simply outputing 63:50, but actually count the podcast length 😉

Looks quite simple for those who know their way around PHP, but I expect plugins (and perhaps future releases of WordPress) to integrate interfaces for setting up and customizing post types.

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New date for WordCamp Philippines 2010

March 23, 2010 | No Comments Yet

There’s a new date to mark on your calendars for the third WordCamp Philippines: October 2. Last December the organizers set August 28 as the date to save, but it got changed to work with Matt Mullenweg’s schedule.

The date for the third iteration of one of the most anticipated blogging events in the Philippine blogosphere is set. Mark your calendar, folks. WordCamp Philippines is on October 2, 2010 and we’re announcing it this early — that’s how excited we are!

WordPress developer and Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg will be back to attend the event.

The event is still in the planning stages and the organizing team welcomes your suggestions. Together, we can make this year’s version a community effort. So get those creative juices flowing and tell us your ideas in the comments section.

And the more the merrier, right? Help us spread the word about WordCamp Philippines 2010. Tell your friends, blog about it, plurk it, tweet it, post on walls, or make smoke signals.

Let’s get the ball rolling!

Other than that, no new details yet, but stay updated with these links:

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WordPress admin toolbar bookmarklet

March 19, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Tommy of iamnotagoodartist has created a nifty bookmarklet that displays all the tools in the WordPress admin right on your blog’s front page.

Using jQuery, it appends the default WordPress admin menu to whatever page you’re currently on and styles it with CSS, fixing it to the top right corner. Assuming you’re on a site that’s running WordPress (and it’s installed in the domain’s root), you now have instant access to the entire administrative back end (sans any pages from custom plugins, etc) from the front end.

You’ll still have to login to access those pages but anything that saves clicks sounds good in my book. The post also links to a GreaseMonkey script that loads the tools automatically.

One major caveat: this bookmarklet works only for WordPress sites installed at the root. Hopefully that will change soon.

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WordPress admin cheatsheet proves it needs a sitemap of its own

March 16, 2010 | 1 Comment

Need to find your way around the WordPress administration interface? While the expanding/collapsing menus to the left may seem useful enough, perhaps you might want a view of all the pages you can visit at once. Enter the WordPress Cheatsheet by Andy Wibbels.

WordPress gets a bit more bloated with each new release and it can be overwhelming when you’re first diving in.

The existence of this cheatsheet indicates there’s something glaringly lacking from the WordPress back-end, and that’s a sitemap of its own. The developers should take note of this and add it to a future release.

Since it’s already feature freeze on WordPress 3.0 as of March 1, then the next one after that.

Download WordPress Cheatsheet

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Sharpen your commenting skills too!

March 15, 2010 | 1 Comment

So you’ve learned the ropes of blogging, both the publishing and maintenance sides to it. But how are you doing on the commenting front, or have you put no thought to the way you interact on other people’s blogs? Good thing Quick Online Tips can answer why you should be honing your commenting skills as part of your blogging regimen.

Thousands of blogs are waiting for you to read. Many excellent bloggers are posting great content every day. It is easy to subscribe to far too many blogs, skim the posts and leave nothing of value behind. It is doubtful, no it is ridiculous that you would subscribe to hundreds of paper magazines. Consider, if you had to pay for all your blog subscriptions. Would you do that? Far better to read a few, become involved and comment with purpose and quality..

The post also mentions some of the cardinal rules of commenting: add substance, don’t spam, take a deep breath before resorting to flaming. Bottom line: commenting isn’t quite as refined an art as crafting posts, but with more discussions on them that could change.

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WordPress ModGuide

March 8, 2010 | No Comments Yet

DriftwoodCMS.com has a comprehensive compilation of resources called the WordPress ModGuide, which contains just about every tip, trick, hack, code snippet, or plugin to help customize your site.

WordPress is open source and the php code is free for all to use. And use I have giving credit where it is due whenever possible. Here is my gift back to the WordPress community. All of the links on the page are free resources. Spread the knowledge.

All the links can be found on a single page and even includes non WP-specific categories like SEO and social networking. You can also share a resource that isn’t on the list. A must bookmark!

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More than a dozen useful WordPress database queries

March 1, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Secure, clean up, and optimize your blog with 10 “life-saving” SQL queries from Cats Who Code. Most of them are short and should work by simply copying & pasting them into your database manager. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Manually change your password
  2. Transfer posts from one user to another
  3. Delete post revisions and meta associated to those revisions
  4. Batch delete spam comments
  5. Find unused tags
  6. Find and replace data
  7. Get a list of your commentators emails
  8. Disable all your plugins at once
  9. Delete all tags
  10. List unused post meta
  11. Disable comments on older posts
  12. Replace commentator url
  13. Replace commentator email adress
  14. Delete all comments with a specific url

The article also recommends an SQL WordPress plugin so you don’t have to go anywhere else to execute the queries. If you’re not familiar with SQL, the best way to learn is by example! As a precautionary measure, however, make sure to have a database backup ready before doing any database manipulation.

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New features in WordPress 3.0

February 26, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WP Beginner digs into the new features coming in the big WordPress 3.0 release. Also recently, Jane Wells posted a report on the latest developments with the current cycle. Third, WP 3.0 is set to enter feature freeze mode on March 1.

What do these all mean? Now is the best time to get familiar with the new features. As we all know, we’ve got some big ones coming:

(Via WP Tavern)

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Blog Action Day on Feb. 25: The Real Heroes of EDSA

February 24, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Blog Action Day: The Real Heroes of EDSA

The Kabataan Partylist is inviting everyone to participate in the Blog Action Day this February 25, in commemoration of the EDSA Revolution that took place 24 years ago. More specifically, it celebrates the people who participated and made it happen, hence the title “The Real Heroes of EDSA”.

We may have been too young then or were not even born yet, but we can ask them to recount their tales of real-life heroism to us. What prompted them to join the uprising? What were their thoughts and feelings? What did they wear, eat, chant? How did it feel to be able to be surrounded by overwhelming unity and patriotism among millions of other heroes marching in the streets on those three historic days.

Blog Action Day posts linking to the announcement will be posted as early as 12 noon on Thursday. It’s interesting to see a partylist spearheading an online mass action this time.

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Filter out political ads from Google AdSense

February 22, 2010 | No Comments Yet

As the 2010 presidential election on May 10 draws near, candidates are campaigning more aggressively than ever, including online. However, as much as Filipino bloggers enjoy making money from advertisements on their websites, inadvertently endorsing politicians doesn’t sit well with a lot of people. Carlo Ople’s tutorial on removing political ads from Google AdSense should help out with that. He also cites another reason to do this:

Here’s a more compelling reason to filter ads though – adsense earnings. I noticed that the CTR of my various sites went down over the past few months. I decided to observe for a week and I noticed that my blogs are being flooded by political ads. Not just from Manny Villar, but also from Bayani Fernando and Mark Jimenez. It looks like my site visitors are sick and tired already of politics to the point that they refuse to click them at all, hahaha!

If you’ve tinkered with AdSense long enough, you probably know how to do this already. If you don’t, the instructions are straightforward: go to AdSense Setup > Competitive Filter and enter the URLs of the sites you’d rather not advertise on your blog.

What the tutorial is missing is a complete list of political candidates’ websites, which would make the filtering process even more convenient.

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iBlog6 schedule posted & registration open

February 19, 2010 | 1 Comment

iBlog6 has opened its doors for online registration, on this page. The 2-day event is completely free, so there’s absolutely no reason not to sign up now. The schedule has also been posted, which indicates the difference between the talks on April 16 and 17:

The first day (April 16) is targeted for businesses and entrepreneurs wanting to understand how to tap blogs as a medium to promote their products and services. The second day (April 17) is meant to everyone interested about blogging.

Edit: No word yet on there will be an afterparty this year. Keep up with all the updates at the iBlog site.

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DigitalFilipino Social Networking Awards 2010 call for nominations

February 10, 2010 | No Comments Yet

The call for nominations for the DigitalFilipino Social Networking Awards have opened. The competition, which is part of the 2010 Social Networking Conference, recognizes the Philippines’ best efforts in social media and social network marketing & advertising. Here are the categories:

  • Social Network
  • Virtual Worlds / Games
  • Social News, Bookmarking, Media Voting
  • Photo / Video / Media Sharing
  • Ratings / Reviews
  • Forums
  • Micro-blogs
  • Blogs
  • Search engine marketing

View the last year’s winners here. The social campaigns must have occurred from April 1, 2009 to March 10, 2010. Judging criteria will be equally divided among the following: design, creativity, copywriting, impact. Deadline for nominations is on March 13.

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Ask and earn at WP Questions

February 9, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WP Questions

Do you have an important WordPress question that you’re willing to pay money for it? Or are you so confident with your WordPress knowledge that you deserve to earn from it? Try WP Questions.

It’s not official, but looks like an interesting premise. It fills in the gap between answering common problems and hiring for full-blown WordPress projects. Need a template tweak here or a bug fix there? If it’s a very specific task or problem, and you’re running out of time, this should do the trick.

Questions close automatically after 3 days and the asker has to pick the winning answer. The asker is also in charge of setting the price for the question. Listing fee is 9%; payments go through PayPal. Read more about the rules here.

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