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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BuddyPress can now run on WordPress single user

January 5, 2010 | 1 Comment

Great news for everybody itching to run BuddyPress but are still having second thoughts running WordPress MU: BP no longer requires WPMU! The latest trunk version can now run on single-user WordPress (that’s the original flavor of WP we all know and love) and these are all you have to remember:

  1. Install WP Single User.
  2. Make sure Pretty Permalinks are turned on.
  3. Download the BuddyPress Trunk here.
    Scroll down to the bottom and grab the zip archive.
  4. Unpack it and upload to your wp-plugins directory.
  5. Make sure you move the bp-themes folder to the wp-content/themes directory and you should be good to go. The BP theme folder shows up automatically in the Appearance tab in WP 2.9.

I didn’t expect that this would happen before the WordPress-Wordpress MU merger, so this is a pleasant surprise. Read more details on this forum thread.

As an aside: this is the first time I’ve heard of WordPress being referred to as “single user”. Of course, this is just the counterpart to the term “multi-user” for WPMU, since we all know WordPress can have multiple users/authors in one installation.

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How to use the WP.me URL shortener for self-hosted WordPress

December 21, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WordPress.com users have enjoyed the WP.me URL shortener since August, but here’s a neat discovery for self-hosted WordPress users, courtesy of the folks at WP Tavern: if you upgrade to WordPress 2.9 and install the WordPress.com Stats plugin, you can get to use WP.me too. Once you type in a post title, a “Get Shortlink” button will appear right beside the “Edit” button for the post permalink. For example, the clicking on said button gives us the shortlink http://wp.me/pely2-Aq.

What do you think of the requirements? Stats buffs probably won’t mind grabbing yet another analytics plugin if they haven’t already. But upgrading to WordPress 2.9 this early might still be discouraging.

What exactly is more attractive about choosing to use WP.me over, say, native post ID-based permalinks instead? Probably the number of characters you can save with a much shorter URL.

But take note that both Google and Facebook have just rolled out their own URL shorteners in goo.gl and fb.me. Seems like the URL shortening arena is getting more serious competition than ever.

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Tip: editing post permalinks is easier than you think!

December 10, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WPLover shares a neat discovery about editing WordPress permalinks: you can type your custom link text as you would your post title, spaces and all, and it will fill in the hyphens and change the text case for you.

Usually, since permalinks are written in this-kind-of-format-with-dashes, I would have to write that way manually: must carefully keep them lowercased and dashed properly.

However, I just found out that you could simply write your title normally there (with alternating cases and spaces, even)

It’s a tiny little thing but can save you a lot of time customizing those permalinks for readability and search engine optimization. Have you discovered some other time-saving feature built into WordPress?

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Google’s Matt Cutts praises WordPress for SEO

August 31, 2009 | 1 Comment

Take it from Matt Cutts, head of the Web Spam team at Google: WordPress is a “fantastic” choice for search engine optimization. That’s what he said at his talk at WordCamp San Francisco last May. Here’s the presentation video:

And here are the slides:

According to Matt, “WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) SEO”. He goes on to explain PageRank calculation, and what you can do within WordPress to improve search engine ranking, from tweaking post permalinks (hyphens are best, followed by underscores; but no spaces are the worst) to securing your WP install (add .htaccess to your wp-admin folder and update often!).

(Via HowToMakeMyBlog)

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33 social bookmarking codes for your blog

August 7, 2009 | No Comments Yet

ProBlogDesign has compiled a list of codes you can use for automatically saving your blog posts on popular social bookmarking sites such as Delicious, Digg, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Technorati, and more—33 all in all.

The codes are made especially for WordPress theme files, making use of post title and permalink template tags instead of having to install special plugins. The upside to this method is having complete control of what displays on your blog, plus it takes up less resources compared to a plugin version, like Sociable or ShareThis. Either way, social bookmarking is a popular and oft-recommended way to get your posts out there, so make sure you have this feature on your blog.

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Google says don’t use pretty permalinks!

September 26, 2008 | 2 Comments

We all love our WordPress pretty permalinks, don’t we? Aside from making our blog post links a lot more readable for other people, we’ve always believed Google favored them over the obscure dynamically generated URLs. Well Google has set the record straight in a recent entry at their Webmaster Blog.

While static URLs might have a slight advantage in terms of clickthrough rates because users can easily read the urls, the decision to use database-driven websites does not imply a significant disadvantage in terms of indexing and ranking. Providing search engines with dynamic URLs should be favored over hiding parameters to make them look static.

Here are Google’s recommendations:

  • Avoid reformatting a dynamic URL to make it look static
  • Keep your URLs short (this applies to all URLs, whether static or dynamic)

Does that mean we shouldn’t be taking advantage of WordPress’ built-in URL rewriting system just to avoid penalties in the search engine optmization department? I’ll take readability over PageRank anyday, thank you very much.

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WordPress 2.6.1 Beta 1

August 8, 2008 | No Comments Yet

WordPress 2.6.1 Beta 1 is out. You might want to grab it now, or wait until an official release arrives, which Ryan Boren says will arrive around the time of this year’s WordCamp San Francisco.

Here’s another tip from him:

With 2.6.1, we’re continuing our trend of releasing a dot one release about a month after dot zero. We want to get fixes for the inevitable dot zero bugs into your hands without a long wait. If you’re happy with 2.6, you can ignore 2.6.1.

There are over 50 fixes, a lot of which address the typos in code and major bugs—like the 404 error that turns up when your permalink structure is /index.php/%postname%/.

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