7 WordPress Tips & Tricks

7 WordPress Tips & Tricks

I thought it might be useful to list 7 of my best posts here so you don ‘t get lost while browsing my blog by jumping from a post to another.

Let ‘s start with the start:

  1. How to install wordpress “ Here I wrote a whole guide on how to install wordpress. To be honest, I didn ‘t like the famous 5 minutes installation guide  on wordpress.org so I wrote my own. The tutorial posted on this page explains how you can create a new blog from scratch using cpanel, ftp, etc. Of course, there are other ways, some of them even easier (maybe) like Fantastico. But your hosting company has to upgrade their software right after the release, so you depend on many factors. Anyway, it ‘s one of the many solutions, test it and rate it.
  2. How To Display A Static Page On Your Home Pageby default, wordpress shows the latest 10 posts on your main page. This can be good or bad, depending on your preferences. The good news is that you can change this setting from the admin. To find out more about this, just click on the link in the title of this paragraph.
  3. Top recommended WordPress Plugins “ A small personal wordpress plugins collection. I think you must have them (or at least some of them) installed on your blog to make your life easier. The post includes: All in one SEO pack, google xml sitemaps, social bookmarks and few more. Check them out.
  4. How to recover your admin password (if the password recovery feature doesn ‘t work) “ you may think this will never happen. But it does ¦ it did happen few times for me so I thought it would be great to let others know how I did it before they quit trying and get a new fresh wordpress installation losing all their data.
  5. Top 10 WordPress anti spam plugins “ Another collection of mine, this time to help me get rid of spammers. Yep, they attack blogs too (and attacked mine as well). The best seems to be akismet but there are few other options from which you can chose your destiny, so read the whole post before you make a decision (and maybe test them one by one).
  6. How to integrate Google Analytics with your blog “ A common problem for bloggers is to have their google analytics code installed on their blog so they can track traffic. This post explains exactly what you need to do to have it working.
  7. The best permalinks structure “ If you don ‘t know what permalinks are, then search this blog and you will find a post explaining that for sure. In the 7th post listed here I explained what ‘s the best way to have your URLs listed and why is that.

 

Getting started with videoblogging

Getting started with videoblogging

Many people are saying that videoblogging is the next generation of posting products and ideas on the internet. When you watch a video, you don ‘t need to stay near your pc to read all the post, but instead you can do your daily work and simply listen to it, or just stay relaxed and watch the video if it contains useful images (not just a person speaking in front of you).

The bad part is that videoblogs require a lot more disk space on your server and better bandwidth (and a streaming software as well) so it ‘s not that easy to move to it.

People like to see what they ‘re going to buy. Therefore, if you look at this from a business perspective, you get a lot of benefits because puting a presentation video on the internet is like having video advertising for free where you can display your products and services. Some people would like to see the proof that they ‘re getting their money ‘s worth before spending them.

On the web things are pretty much static right now unlike in television in which all are moving. If you something that ‘s moving you ‘ll get attention for sure, and if the video is good enough, people might buy your product even if they don ‘t need it. If you ‘re just starting a business, you don ‘t need to invest too much, you can just start at home. All you need is a camera (I ‘d say a good one, not just a webcam) a microphone, a video software, some lights and you ‘re good to go.   You need to invest in a good camera because the better the resolution is, the better the output is and you want to present your goods in an optimum way ¦

Light is very important so make sure you illuminate the whole area when capturing images. The brighter the area, the crisper the images will be.

Another very important aspect is your voice. You need sounds, especially your voice during the video.   The software can be any as long as it does the job. You simply need to be able to cut bad angles, tune the video for its best quality and export it in a format for the web.

As for the downsides, I already named few of them: diskspace and bandwidth for the server. On the client side, I ‘d say it might slow down a little the visitor ‘s computer but not that much but they can experience high load times if they ‘re on dial up or any kind of slow connection. Their connection speed must allow them to view a video real time for the best experience, so be careful with that.

Well, that ‘s about it. I ‘ll let you decide if you ‘re going to use videoblogging or not. Oh.. and by the way, you can merge text blogging with video blogging, meaning you can integrate videos in your current blog. That ‘s good news :)

Blog Software For All Your Blogging Needs

Blog Software For All Your Blogging Needs

Anyone who has writing abilities (or simply they just think they have it) has a blog on the internet these days. There are lots of blogging softwares that are easy to use and don ‘t require technical abilities so everybody can aquire a blog online.

For some of us, blogs are their projects for their daily living, as they talk about their life or bring tribute to friends and family. Furthermore, blogs assume a profound meaning to endorse a product, supply information on a topic, post tutorials, and the list could go on. Simply pick a subject and you can find a blog for it on the internet.

Blogs can be written by politicians, sports people, musicians or even kids. The fact that anyone can compose and regarding any subject matter under the sun, complaints about certain write-ups are an issue. A lot of blogs are mentioning names. So, please bare in mind that you have to be very careful and take a lot of responsibility when posting to a blog and avoid saying things that can become controversial.

Why having a blog?

  • 1. Simply as a hobby or daily dairy “ You can write about your daily activity, friends, what ‘s going on with your life or how you feel in a given moment.
  • 2. Topic blogs “ these blogs are focused on a single topics, like sports, politics, computer hardware, etc. They are frequently read just like magazines.
  • 3. Marketing blogs “ corporations are into blogs as well. A blog can be a very powerful instrument for business communication forming eagerness and anticipation regarding their products and services offered, or used as tool within the company, keeping employees well informed about company issues and news.

Build your own vs. others software

Maybe a lot of software developers will tell you that using ready made sofware packages is pointless. Well, they ‘re right somehow, because we all have our own needs and requirements and you cannot find a solution ready to meet all of our requirements. On the other hand, the existing sofwares were built after years of research and many of their features aren ‘t just random picked. Besides, building your own, even if you ‘re a developer can take a lot of time and resources to build one from scratch and since the blog is the place you need to write, you better focus more on writing posts rather than code.

Where to host my blog?

It ‘s simple. You have 2 choices: one would be to pick an existing platform that provides a hosted service (like blogger, typepad, live journal etc). You can have it setup really fast and in only few minutes you can start writing. A second option would be to have a self-hosted solution. Of course, there are few advantages and disadvantages. It is better because you don ‘t rely on anyone and you don ‘t risk to have your blog shut down for no reason (which can happen on hosted platforms) but at the same time, you ‘ll be needing some techie skills to be ready to start. The most used platform for self-hosted blogs is wordpress, but there are few more like Movable Type or Textpattern.

WordPress Spam

WordPress Spam

WordPress Spam

WordPress Spam

Spam is a huge problem these days, and not only for email accounts. It ‘s done by automatically posting random comments or promoting commercial services to public services. Blogs can be spammed too. In fact, everything that requires posting and user action/comments can be spammed (forums, boards, blogs, guestbooks, wikis, etc). Any web application that accepts and displays hyperlinks can be a target for spammers. WordPress spam is done using the commenting feature of wordpress, therefore the term comments spam . By posting links, spammers help increasing the pagerank of a website and the traffic coming from refering websites as well.

A variety of anchors are used by spammers: images, regular link text and even whole paragraphs.

The smiley WordPress spam techinique

WordPress spam usually comes in this format: nice post, thanks  and a link at the end of the post with a smiley ( :) ) as the anchor. Many wordpress owners won ‘t notice the comment has a link because it ‘s hidden by that smiley, as wordpress parses the smiley text into an image. The html looks like this:

"Nice post, thanks <a href="http://spamdomain.com"> : ) </a>

It ‘s quite easy to spot it. Everytime someone posts a comment on my blog I ‘m getting an email with a notice (I don ‘t remember if that ‘s default, but there ‘s an option for it in the settings menu, just look for it and you ‘ll find it). Since my email is powered by yahoo, I see the html because yahoo transforms it into regular text (for the same purposes, html is not allowed if not properly set) and I can see it ‘s spam.

Another clue would be the comments admin area of WordPress. Depending on your blogs css version and settings, links are underlined (I assume this is happening for most WordPress versions). Therefore, you can check for smileys in the comment before you approve it and see if they point to some external link.

How to block WordPress Spam

Fortunately, protection against wordpress spam is available. There are many ways to fight against it and, depending on your imagination, you can come up with more.

  1. Disallowing multiple consecutive submissions “ You won ‘t see too often users to reply to their own posts. Well ¦ spammers will do it. So a possible solution would be to check if the current user IP is not the same with the last one and if a specific time period has passed. However, this can block multiple users behind the same proxy and using the same public IP. It ‘s up to you if you use this or not
  2. Keyword blocking “ this can be one of the most effective ways to block wordpress spam. You will eliminate spam simply by banning names of popular pharmaceuticals or casino games etc. for instance, viagra .
  3. Nofollow “ it ‘s added by default in the newer WordPress distributions. When a search engine finds the nofollow tag applied to a hyperlink, it breaks the process, so even if you link to some external URLs, they won ‘t be considered as links by the search engines. Google announced in 2005 that hyperlinks with rel= nofollow  attribute would not influence the link ‘s target ranking in the search engines index. Yahoo and MSN also respect this tag.
  4. Validation (CAPTCHA) “ a method used to detect robots. Before a form is validated, a random text verification is required to the end-user.
  5. Disallowing links in posts “ simply, would cut any link posted in a comment by the user or simply transform it into regular text.
  6. Redirects “ instead of displaying the direct link to the actual target, it would display a link to a script on the same server that redirects to the correct URL.

These are few ways to protect your blog against WordPress Spam. In case I missed something, you can post a comment and tell me (make sure you don ‘t include any link, lol =) ). In a future post I ‘ll name few plugins that would help you fight against WordPress spam.

The Best Permalinks Structure

The Best Permalinks Structure

The default permalink structure for wordpress is something like his: http://blogname.com/?p=123, where 123 is the internal ID of the post. I totally disagree with that structure and I ‘m not the only one in this world who thinks meaningless and useless for SEO purposes. It doesn ‘t help in any ways your rankings or your placing in the SERPs. This is obvious because one of the most important rules for SEO is having the keywords in your URL/titles. Honestly, I don ‘t understand why they choose that as default, but that ‘s not so important.

The pretty structure is something like this: http://blogname.com/2008/10/27/some-post-name. Now, the big question is: which permalinks structure is the best one? I ‘ll let you decide that, but, for me, one thing is for sure: the post name has to be in the URL. WordPress comes with few options for the permalinks structure:

  • Day and name, which is actually Ëœyear, month, day and name ‘. This helps the reader too as it ‘s like searching through the blog archive. You have the year, the month, the day, so you can easily find the post.
  • Month and name, which is almost the same with the first option just that the day is missing
  • Category and post name, for instance http://blogname.com/some-category/some-post-name. This format is used on a lot of new blogs lately. Some say that the category name is relevant to the post name, and hence improve SEO.
  • Post name, meaning just blogname.com/some-post-name. This 4th one is used on a lot of blogs as well.

WordPress offers you the possibility to go even further with your imagination, using the structure tags in your permalinks to create a custom permalinks structure. According to Ëœcodex ‘, these are the structure tags you can use in your permalinks settings page:

  • %year% “ The year of the post, four digits, for example 2004
  • %monthnum% “ Month of the year, for example 05
  • %day% “ Day of the month, for example 28
  • %hour% “ Hour of the day, for example 15
  • %minute% “ Minute of the hour, for example 43
  • %second% “ Second of the minute, for example 33
  • %postname% - A sanitized version of the title of the post (post slug field on Edit Post/Page panel). So This Is A Great Post!  becomes this-is-a-great-post in the URI (see Using only %postname%)
  • %post_id% “ The unique ID # of the post, for example 423
  • %category% “ A sanitized version of the category name (category slug field on New/Edit Category panel). Nested sub-categories appear as nested directories in the URI.
  • %author% “ A sanitized version of the author name.

You can use Ëœ- ‘ or Ëœ/ ‘ to separate them, eg: /%category%/%postname%-%post_id%/

This isn ‘t a SEO blog so I ‘ll let you decide which one is the best permalinks structure for your blog. I personally support having post name and id and nothing else. Why? It ‘s because your post name will contain your keywords. Therefore, if the URL is short, the keyword density will be high(the concept is called relative weight of keywords). I don ‘t encourage having only the post name in the title, and here ‘s why: if you do that, the rewrite rules may make it impossible to access pages such as your stylesheet or the /wp-admin folder. That ‘s why it ‘s best to include some numeric data in the post, for instance the post ID. This will prevent you from having 2 posts with the same URL (I know you wouldn ‘t name 2 posts the same, but you might have 2 posts with the same name in different categories, etc ¦ you never know).

One thing I forgot to mention is that if you already made some posts and published them with the faulty structure, there is a plugin that will help you redirect the old URLs to new ones. Here ‘s the link.

Hope this helps,

How to Install WordPress

Ok ¦ now you know what a blog is and you ‘ve been thinking of starting your own. You also heard of the term Ëœwordpress ‘ but you don ‘t know exactly what is it all about. In just few words, wordpress is the most used blogging platform on the planet. It is a free open source platform that lets you create and publish your blog. You just install it on your website and you ‘re good to go.

There is really no difference between a blog and a regular website. It ‘s just that the blog means a specific type of website: a web log or a personal diary. That ‘s it.

WordPress will basically build your website. You can choose from various skins to make it personal. You can have widgets, banners and so on. You can organize your posts in categories, timeframes and the most recent ones appear by default on your home page. If you wish, you can change that setting to display a static page. WordPress also has a complete, well designed administration area where you can manage everything on your website: you can add new categories, create posts, add pictures, embed videos, music, add links and many, many more things, all in one single online administration area.

Installing it is really easy if you are familiar with uploading files through FTP to your website. If you don ‘t know what that is, then read this guide and you ‘ll find out. If it ‘s still too complicated, there are hosted versions also, which are free and don ‘t need to have a website. I recommend having your own name on the internet though ¦

I wrote a guide on how to install wordpress which you may download and read.

You can download it using the form in the upper right corner.

Get it now and start blogging :P

How To Post Articles With WordPress

Writing a post is a very important feature for wordpress ¦ actually I consider it the most important feature. I ‘ll make it really short now and explain in just few words Ëœhow you can make a post on your blog using wordpress ‘.

It ‘s very easy. Basically there are 3 main ways that you can use to post on your blog. I ‘ll start with the most used, which is the one in the administration area. I assume this post will be read only by people new with wordpress, if you already made a post you know how to do it, so what I ‘m doing now it ‘s kinda` useless.   Ok, so, here we go: let ‘s say you installed your blog or someone else did it for you and you want to make a post. You must have the admin info (user and password) to do that, so if you don ‘t have them you must ask for them. Having those ready, you need to go to Ëœyourblogurl.com/wp-login.php ‘. After you ‘re logged in, you will see your dashboard. That ‘s not important for now. You just need to click on the button named Write  (you can find it in the upper left corner if you ‘re using newer versions). Once you click on that button, you ‘re automatically taken to the post writing area (using the same write button, you can go and write a static page or a link, but Ëœpost ‘ is the default option).

Now, you ‘re in the writing area. Enter the title, then start writing your post. Make sure your title is search engine optimized (eg. contains a keyword you want to target, etc). When you ‘re done, scoll down and you will see the tags  area. There you must enter your tags(or keywords). That ‘s not a must, but it ‘s important for SEO purposes. If you scroll down even more, you ‘ll see the categories area where you can include your post in one or more categories. That ‘s about it. When you ‘re done, just hit save  to save it or publish  if you want other people to be able to see it. Please note that if you don ‘t publish it, it will still be saved, but it won ‘t be available for others.

That ‘s it, you wrote your first post using wordpress.

Earlier in this post I was saying about 3 ways to write a post on wordpress. The one above was the first one. The other two aren ‘t so much used, but they ‘re very useful. Another way to post to your wordpress blog is using the XML-RPC protocol. XML-RPC enables a background communication channel for to manage your blog. Don ‘t worry, it ‘s quite secure so you can use that too without being afraid of something.

It works like this. First, you have to enable it. You can do that by accessing the writing settings page ( Settings  > Writing ). If you go to that page, you ‘ll see this:

XML-RPC

 

Enable the WordPress, Movable Type, MetaWeblog and Blogger XML-RPC publishing protocols.

To have XMLRPC enabled, just check that checkbox and hit Save changes .

If you have this setting enabled, you can use external posting services to post remote, schedule posts, post multiple articles at once, buy content from PLR websites, etc (a lot of tasks, really). I ‘ll come back with more info related to XML-RPC in a later post.

The third way is Ëœemail publishing ‘. To be honest, I didn ‘t use that, but I assume it logs in to your email account, it grabs your email messages and posts them on your blog (based on some user/password of course as you could get a lot of spam emails going online as posts) “ I strongly recommend being carefully with this one :)

Hope it helps and hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please share it with your friends.

Thanks,

How to recover your password if the recovery tool from wordpress doesn ‘t work

recover password

recover password

Yes, I forgot my password

And guess what? I went to that page where you enter your email or username and receive a link on your email.

Pretty easy, right?

¦

NO!

Unfortunately, when you install wordpress, it generates a key for you that will be used to recover your password. Therefore, in the email, you get a link like:
domain.com/blog/wp-recover.php?key=somestringhere.

Here comes the problem: wp includes the &  when generating these keys (and for some reason it seems to include it everytime I install a blog, lol), but the &  char is used to separate the request variables sent by GET. That ‘s why, when you click on that link, you get a wrong key  error, because if the key is 1234567&9, wordpress will get only 1234567, which is wrong (duuh).

Solution? I have one that I use. I just open phpmyadmin on my server, go to wordpress database in the wp_users table and change that key to something else (of course, 1234 won ‘t do as you might get up one day with all your posts deleted ). After I ‘m finished with that, I do the process again and I ‘m able to set a new password.

How To Display A Static Page On Your Home Page

SEO special discount offer

SEO special discount offer

In this short post, I will teach you how to have a static page displayed on your home page instead of the regular: latest 10 posts (or at least 10 is the default number).

By default, wordpress displays your latest posts (latest first). However, this can be changed to show a static page for your home page. To change this setting, go to your settings menu and pick reading from there.

Please note that you must have a static page in order to display it. By default, WordPress creates a static page and puts it on your blog, but some delete it because of the hello world  content (so did I). If you don ‘t have any static page on your blog, you won ‘t even be able to see that setting.

Here we go: on the reading settings page, you ‘ll notice you can choose between latest posts  (the number of posts can be changed as well) and a static page. To make your home page static, pick static and choose one of your pages.

That ‘s it :)

Note: make sure you have a navigation panel or your sidebar includes a link to latest posts or archive or something. Otherwise, your visitors won ‘t be able to check your posts and will see only your static content.

Hope it helps,

Four Ways to Make Money Using WordPress

If you ‘re here, it means you are interesting in making money online using the best blogging platform man kind has ever seen and you either didn ‘t make any money online so far or you ‘re simply trying to improve your marketing skills.

Either way, you ‘ve just come to the right place: the WordPress How To Planet.

Our guest today is an ebook, an astonishing collection of ways you can cash-in your blog (if you have one), four simple ways that can make you forget your current life as you know it at the moment. In fact, they ‘re so simple you don ‘t ever think about them ¦ yet ¦ very POWERFUL.

It ‘s called the WordPress G4 and you can read more about it on its homepage at http://thewordpress-goldmine.com/.

I ‘m telling you, this is just brilliant and it won ‘t take you more than a couple minutes to implement, so I strongly believe it ‘ll be worth your time ;)

I mean ¦ you can keep on struggling with your current ¦ whatever you were doing, or you could check out this website and become a successful internet marketer. Now it ‘s your turn. Make your choice, I made mine and I don ‘t regret every single penny.

Have a good one ;)