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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Google SEO Report Card

March 4, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Google SEO report card

Grab the Google SEO Report Card and see how Google grades not your sites, but its own sites in terms of a dozen different categories.

These optimizations are intended to not only help search engines understand the content of our pages better, but also to improve our users’ experience when visiting our sites. Simple steps such as fixing 404s and broken links, simplifying URL choice, and providing easier-to-understand titles and snippets for our pages can benefit both users and search engines. From the start of the project we also wanted to release the report card publicly so other companies and webmasters could learn from the report, which is filled with dozens of examples taken straight from our products’ pages.

The great thing about this is: first, Google is leading by example and is using its own products; second, Google is being transparent, as most of their sites don’t even make the passing mark. But whether it’s Google’s sites or yours, it’s not too late to try! Perhaps Google can also come out with an automated tool for checking these SEO criteria as part of Webmaster Tools.

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Plugin Readme files now support video

February 23, 2010 | No Comments Yet

A new feature that will benefit WordPress plugin authors and plugin users alike: you can now add video in the readme.txt file of a plugin. This information will be displayed in the WordPress Just like WordPress posts & pages support shortcodes and oEmbed, so do plugin readme files now. There are two ways of doing this: oEmbed, by entering the URL of the video in its own line, and shortcodes, by entering the type of video and the URL in between square brackets, e.g.:

  • [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EiKx_WSesk]
  • [vimeo http://vimeo.com/173714]
  • [wpvideo OO4thna8]

The feature currently supports three video providers: YouTube, Vimeo, and VideoPress. It must also be noted that object embed codes (the usual way of embedding videos on websites) is not supported, just the two methods above. View the test example here.

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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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11 WordPress One Minute Podcasts

February 8, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Tris Hussey has compiled all the episodes of his show, the WordPress One Minute Podcast, in one page. It’s perfect for WordPress users who are just starting out, covering some of the most popular tips in blogging with the platform. The current list so far:

  • Ep 1: Pasting from Word
  • Ep 2: Disable the default admin account
  • Ep 3: Turbo-charge admin panels
  • Ep 4: WP.com vs WP.org
  • Ep 5: Press this bookmarklet
  • Ep 6: Sidebar widgets
  • Ep 7: CPanel file manager
  • Ep 8: Pretty Permalinks
  • Ep 9: Upgrading plugins
  • Ep 10: WP to Twitter
  • Ep 11: All In One SEO Pack

From dealing with Word-formatted text to acquainting onself with the All in One SEO Pack, consider the list a virtual pocket guide for WP, if not for you then for a friend or loved one who just got into ‘Pressing. It’s an interesting take on the podcast format, which normally contains several different topics and long-winded discussions on each.

It’s also worth noting that Tris is currently writing the book Using WordPress, so keep your eyes peeled for developments on that.

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The best and worst SEO practices in 15 minutes

January 6, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Love it or hate it, we can all stand to learn from these easy dos and don’ts in search engine optimization by WebConfs.com.

If you’re pro-SEO then you probably have heard some of these tips before, but it’s always nice to brush up on them very few months or so. If you’re anti-SEO then looking at this table might show you how it’s not all bad, and a lot of the techniques are just the “best practices” out there.

The biggest dos? Unique, keyword-rich content. Biggest don’ts? Cloaking, duplicate content, and Flash. Check it out!

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An unofficial WordPress.com Gallery FAQ

December 18, 2009 | No Comments Yet

The WordPress Gallery is one of the most powerful features introduced to the software to date, but it’s also pretty tricky. You can read the official support page for it, but long before that came around this FAQ was published. It’s more than a year old but it’s still a useful reference for anybody who uses the Gallery all the time.

Can I have a Page that displays all my existing Galleries?
To make a separate “Gallery” Page, make a new Page and then locate the Post ID number of the Galleries you wish to include in your Gallery Page (see above). In the HTML Editor, type in the gallery shortcode, together with the relevant Post ID. It will look something like this [ gallery id=”210″ ] (without the extra spaces after and before the bracket). You can also adjust the settings for number of columns and thumbnail size for each individual gallery displayed on that Page.

Note that the FAQ was created for WordPress.com users, although from the looks of things a lot of it applies to self-hosted users as well.

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24 days of WordPress during the holidays

December 8, 2009 | No Comments Yet

The lovely folks at WPEngineer have started a WP Advent Calendar—a WordPress-themed countdown of sorts in line with the holiday season. It’s like 24 ways but for WordPress, or perhaps a winter counterpart to Summer of Code.

Here’s something from Day 3:

Imagine that it is possible to break into the blog, or potentially damage the entire web space of the server. I wouldn’t like to pay the invoice of your provider for the damage and surely don’t want to lose my whole website and files. And all this because you wanted to save $59!

If you want to have a special theme, buy it! The theme developer also provide support within the $59, also many developer help with customization, updates and much more. A pretty good deal in my opinion.

So take the advice and rather buy a premium theme than download it for “free” somewhere else. The same applies also for premium Plugins.

What a great way to spend Christmas, if I do say so myself!

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An “ultimate” WP 2.8 optimization guide

November 30, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Still on the subject of keeping your WordPress site in tip-top shape, StoreCrowd has compiled the Ultimate WordPress 2.8 Optimization Guide. It’s a long list of code snippets, plugins, tools, and tips to improve the performance of your blog. For example:

Use a CDN or Subdomain for Static Files
Serving all your images from the same domain can means that your browser is waiting to download all the items one after the other. Lets say you have 12 items, if you split these out across 3 subdomains then they can be downloaded concurrently (as there’s 3 sources), instead of the browser waiting to download them from one source.

Check it out!

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WordCamp Philippines 2009 talk: WordPress in the Wild

November 26, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Markku Seguerra just blogged about his talk in this year’s WordCamp Philippines called “WordPress in the Wild”:

WordPress used to simply be a blogging app and not much more. It’s growth in the past few years though has pushed it to adapt a more extensible structure to allow for other uses beyond blogging as well as various other customizations. These changes made it more appealing to a wider range of users, but at the same time it also introduced some performance bottlenecks that become apparent when your blog rises to be just a bit too popular. Ah, the price of success.

His slides on WordPress deployment, performance, optimization, and security are embedded in the post, but scroll down for all the important links and points covered by his presentation. A bit on the technical side, but definitely a must-read for everyone running a WordPress website.

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Plugin problems? Try these steps

November 3, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Don’t panic! Daily Blog Tips has a list of things to do when a WordPress plugin you installed suddenly stops working or breaks your site.

  1. Try to de-activate the plugin
  2. Rename the plugin via FTP
  3. Delete the plugin via FTP
  4. De-activate all the plugins via PHPMyAdmin

There are several ways to disable your plugin and it will depend on how “broken” the situation is. The higher the number the more drastic the measure. The concept should apply to themes as well—try deactivating using the WordPress admin first, then try it through your FTP client, and so on.

Good luck!

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Using WordPress MU for universities

October 20, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Jim Groom, a contributor at the WPMU Development for Education group, has published an FAQ on running a large scale WordPress MU installation in a university setting. He lists what plugins were used, details on creating custom themes, and more nitty-gritty stuff like hardware configuration.

How many staff/partial FTEs are needed to support your instance?

As of right now, I do the majority of user support with the actuall system. But our division 5 and 1/2 FTEs, though I think most of the support has been relegated to me, and it has not burned all my time, but as UMW Blogs becomes bigger and bigger, and more “Systemic,” the time devoted to it becomes greater. But, in anticipation of the next question. WordPress has made any barriers to new users very easy because the interface is so slick and user-friendly. And the fact that it is open source, and has an insane community behind it makes our jobs as instructional technologists so much easier, cause we can integrate new features on the fly.

What do you see as the biggest barriers that new users have to overcome in using WP?

Well, I think that is WP’s strength, and why we used it, because it’s interface is so user-friendly we haven;t had to invest too much time at all in user training.

WordPress MU is a bit more tricky to maintain than standard version, though with its upcoming merge with WordPress.org should change things. Read the whole FAQ here.

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20 bloggers turned entrepreneurs

September 11, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Income Diary lists 20 people who started out as bloggers and have come a long way since. Find out where the likes of Perez Hilton, Darren Rowse, Tim Ferris, and Michelle Malkin are today because they started blogging.

Darren’s success has earned him great fame and he was awarded the Best Web Development Weblog blog award in 2006 for ProBlogger. In 2007, he was also named in the Forbes Celebrity List. In the following year, Darren co-authored the book ‘ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income (Wiley) and founded TwiTip – a blog dedicated to Twitter Tips. Preferring to live a simple life, Darren lives in Melbourne, Australia but does frequent traveling for numerous speaking engagements.

They’re newsmakers, kingmakers, book authors, and celebrated public figures just like celebrities. These condensed success stories should inspire you to take your blogging to the next level, and maybe someday lead you to something infinitely rewarding.

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Reporting spam and plagiarism on WordPress.com

September 3, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Jonathan Bailey has a helpful guest post at Lorelle on WordPress discussing how you can help rid the WordPress.com community of spam and copyright abuse.

It’s easy to see why spammers would want to get on WordPress.com, with a PageRank of 9, great SEO and a built-in community, it could be haven for junk content. Many do try but the admins have been surprisingly effective, for the most part, at keeping them at bay.

He explains how WordPress.com can help you take down blogs infringing on your copyright and are using the hosted blogging service to spam unsuspecting victims. This is important whether you’re a WordPress.com user or not; you may very well be a blogger whose posts were scraped and published on their servers.

Now the folks running WP.com keep a watchful eye whether or not you get to the spammers and scrapers first, but it pays to help out too. Visit the Complaints section of WordPress.com for more information.

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Tip: use WordPress MU for your client sites

September 1, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Are you a designer or developer building WordPress sites for your clients? Here’s a tip: use WordPress MU. Pro Blog Design has a step-by-step guide to tweaking a WordPress Multi-User installation to streamline your client site development process. Just add a handful of plugins (for privacy and blog defaults) and edit several backend files and you’re all set.

Brilliant idea. No need to create new databases, upload files, and install WordPress everytime you have a new client. One of the trickier aspects of WPMU has been addressed too:

Installing WPMU is a slightly different process than regular WP. Basically, don’t edit the config file. Let the installer run. For the purposes of this tutorial, pick a subdirectory installation to give you client blogs in the format of yourdevsite.com/client1/.This way, we won’t have to tinker with the server to enable wildcard subdomains.

Since these are just client demo sites, you won’t really need subdomains for each new blog. But if you really must use them, better make sure your web hosting requirements support it.

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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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Taking things too far: blogger blackmail and false advertising

July 29, 2009 | No Comments Yet

It’s no secret that the Internet is a pretty empowering arena for those who work hard enough, but sometimes people are so drunk in their power that they cross ethical boundaries. If you’re going to blog or advertise online, make sure not to do these things:

Don’t do false advertising. Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror writes about Civony (formerly Evony), an online game that uses misleading, sexed up ads just to lure people into playing a civilization simulation game.

Don’t extort or blackmail companies for free schwag. Valleywag reports about an incident during a recently held blog conference abroad in which a blogger threatened to write negative press about Crocs if she would not get a pair that day.

How low can you go? It’s news like these that give the online media and marketing industry a bad rep! Both bloggers and advertisers should stop abusing the medium and exercise discretion when doing business.

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Desktop blogging clients you can use

July 15, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Sometimes the WordPress Add New Post panel lacks certain features bloggers are looking for when they’re composing their articles. Loose Wire Blog has compiled a list of desktop-based blogging clients, both free and premium, for your perusal.

A number of them are not just for WordPress, though, so if you’re looking for WordPress-specific clients, you might want to browse this list at the WordPress Codex. If you’ve used some of the listed clients before, why not contribute to the Codex and summarize their features there?

The WordPress Publisher Blog has two specific recommendations: Windows Live Writer and Marsedit.

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Use one WordPress installation on multiple sites

May 12, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Here’s an interesting experiment: how would you like to run a single WordPress installtion of multiple webistes? Duane Storey tried just that and the details are all here.

There are a lot of other reasons why you might want a single WordPress install for multiple blogs. First, if you make backups of each blog’s data from time to time, you might end up with a complete WordPress package for each website you host, even though ultimately 90% of those files are identical (basically only themes, plugins and custom content vary). Second, if you run a hosting server with a PHP caching engine (which most do), it’s likely that the cache keeps track of data using the complete path to the file, which ultimately means the cache effectiveness will decrease proportional to the number of sites (aka WordPress installations). If all the installations on a server shared one common WordPress install, you’d only have to cache that one set of PHP files — effectively you could keep WordPress in a compiled state in memory for all of your sites.

The caching argument sounds very compelling. The key to the setup is having a more flexible wp-config.php file, coupled with some URL remapping. Check out Virtual Multiblog for WordPress for a similar approach.

Sounds complicated? Or exciting?

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Force WordPress theme CSS changes immediately

May 5, 2009 | 2 Comments

Theme authors: if you’ve been tweaking a WordPress site’s CSS file, the changes you’ve made usually don’t immediately show up for the blog visitors without a forced refresh. The reason: web browsers usually keep cached copies of site files. Mark Jaquith has a neat fix that allows you to grab the latest version of the CSS file and override the cached one automatically.

Just use this line of code in your header.php file:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="<?php bloginfo('template_url'); ?>/style.css?v=<?php echo filemtime(TEMPLATEPATH . '/style.css'); ?>" type="text/css" media="screen, projection" />

This automatically updates the ?v= part every time you modify the file. Boom. Now everyone instantly sees your changes.

This should also work for other files like your Javascript files.

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Shorter WordPress blog post URLs for microblogging

April 25, 2009 | No Comments Yet

No need to send your blog post URLs through a URL shortener like TinyURL or bit.ly because you can just use WordPress’ built-in system! Here’s proof.

Remember Marghil’s “Plurk This” code for WordPress? It takes advantage of the post_ID permalink to use the shortest post URLs as possible, since in microblogging, every character saved counts.

Plus, since you’re using your own blog URL, followers will know exactly where your link is going, increasing the chances of their clicking on it.

Something to remember next time you promote your latest blog post on Twitter or Plurk.

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Blogger to WordPress tutorial

April 10, 2009 | 1 Comment

Gemma Baltazar (The Lady Programmer) has written in a guest post on JaypeeOnline a step-by-step tutorial on migrating from Blogger/BlogSpot to a self-hosted WordPress website. It’s very detailed, complete with screenshots so you know exactly where to click and tweak.

This is just part 1 of, so watch out for the next installment!

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Beautiful and SEO-friendly titles for WordPress

April 7, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Even without transforming a WordPress-powered site into a full-blown CMS, there are a lot of sections to a WP site, e.g., posts, monthly archives, search results, static pages, and so on. One thing that helps keep visitors from getting lost when they dig deeper into these sections is knowing exactly where they are, and that’s by the titles of pages.

Learn how to customize those section titles with the help of this tutorial. Not only does it make for a better user experience, it gives plus points in the search engine optimization department as well!

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Keep your blog credibility amidst sponsored events (redux)

April 1, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Marcelle Fabie has written his own version of the previously featured blog credibility tips by Jayvee Fernandez, and his strategies are, shall we say, more aggressive:

  1. You are a VIP. Act like one.
  2. Don’t attend if the freebies are not worth your while.
  3. Never shell out!
  4. No matter how compelling, don’t blog about the event! You have better things to blog about!
  5. Always invite a MOB with you when attending these blogger events!

Bottom line: you’re the customer, you’re the one with the purchasing power, so it makes sense for companies, PR people, and the media to be at your beck and call, right? I’m sure the event organizers will agree as well.

(Happy April Fool’s Day!)

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10-step ritual after installing WordPress

January 20, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WordPress is a cinch to install, and that means this 10-item list of things to do right after installing WordPress shouldn’t be too much trouble, either. Here’s the list:

  1. Change the Admin Password and Manage Your Authors
  2. Edit Permalinks
  3. Upload Your Theme and Activate It
  4. Add Your Categories and Change the Default
  5. Activate Akismet
  6. Install Google XML Sitemaps
  7. Install WordPress Database Backup
  8. Test Your Blog With Dummy Content
  9. Add your RSS feed to Feedburner
  10. Activate your Analytics

It’s a great guide for those who haven’t gotten the hang of tweaking their blog to get their whole system in place. Is there something else that you’re doing that wasn’t mentioned on the list? Additional tasks you might want to consider:

  1. Put security measures in place—a must!
  2. Rearrange the dashboard blocks and write post panel for a more streamlined blogging workflow
  3. Construct your blogroll
  4. Integrate social media (Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Technorati, etc.) into your blog and vice versa
  5. Add a contact form so people can get in touch with you for non-comment matters and other feedback
  6. Consider advertising options

What’s your post-installation ritual?

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10 WordPress hacks

January 15, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Take your blog to the next level with this list of neat WordPress hacks, compiled by no less than Smashing Magazine and written by Jean-Baptiste Jung. Here’s what to expect:

  1. Display AdSense Ads to Search Engines Visitors Only
  2. Avoid Duplicate Posts in Multiple Loops
  3. Replacing “Next” and “Previous” Page Links with Pagination
  4. Automatically Get Images on Post Content
  5. Using Normal Quotes Instead of Curly Quotes
  6. Deny Comment Posting to No Referrer Requests
  7. Using CSS Sliding Doors in WordPress Navigaton
  8. Display a Random Header Image on Your WordPress Blog
  9. List Your Scheduled Posts

Each tip may seem difficult at first, but all you have to do is follow the instructions and you’ll be good to go. Perfect for beginner and advanced WordPress lovers!

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SEO: WordPress 2.7 comment pagination causes duplicate content

January 12, 2009 | 1 Comment

Here’s an important heads-up for all the SEO-conscious bloggers out there: the new comment pagination feature in WordPress 2.7 apparently produces duplicate content, which is frowned upon by search engines like Google. Quick Online Tips reports:

When I checked my Google Webmaster tools today, it notified me of hundreds of duplicate title tags and duplicate meta descriptions pages on our site which were not there before. A quick look at this duplicate content issue revealed it was caused by multiple comment pages.

By default, a WordPress 2.7 installation will break the comment list into multiple pages if they exceed 50 comments. You can change this setting and other comment-related options by visiting the Discussion page in the admin panel.

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How to secure your WordPress installation

November 13, 2008 | 1 Comment

MyTestBox.com shares several important tips to keep your WordPress install secure. Here’s a summary:

  • Your “plugins” directory is NOT secured by default!
  • Choose a strong password!
  • Rename the administrative account!
  • Backup your database!
  • Log all your $POST variables!
  • Plugins that need write access!
  • Encrypt all communication within “wp-admin” directory! (if possible)
  • Tighten up the file permissions!
  • Of course, update your WordPress!

The last one is the simplest and easiest to follow, especially with the release of WP 2.7. You should at least make sure that you upgrade to the latest version of WordPress.

The blog post also contains links to other articles on hardening WordPress and dealing with hackers, so read it now!

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The list to end all lists on How to Blog

May 26, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Look no further than Skellie’s blog for answers on all your blogging questions. Read The Pocket-sized Guide to Blogging. It’s not too long, not too short. It’s just right.

Take for example her straightforward advice about getting comments:

How to get more comments

  1. Respond.

Don’t you all agree? Skellie better provide an printer-ready version of the list; I’m sure thousands of bloggers will be asking about it!

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