Author Archive

9 Ways to Make Your WordPress Blog “Smart”

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on
April 29th, 2009
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HOW-TO, WordPress FAQs

Many of you might be confused by the title and the term “smart”. To me a “smart” blog is a blog that behaves differently depending on its visitors’ behavior and characteristics. A simple example of this is a blog that displays a list of today’s most popular posts on the sidebar. The list changes based on visitors’ behavior so to this is definitely a smart blog feature. There are plenty of WordPress plugins out there that do this for you automatically (e.g. Top 10), but that is not the point. The point here is that having the ability to morph your blog per visitor activity can assist you in meeting your conversion goals (whatever they may be). A list of popular posts is quite a simple feature, so let me take you to another level by showing you more ways to make your blog smart. List of “Smart” Features to […]

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How to Highlight Search Terms with jQuery

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on
April 10th, 2009
in
HOW-TO, WordPress FAQs

A neat way to spice up your WordPress search page is to highlight search terms within your search results. I’ve seen some tutorials on the net on how to do this, but I haven’t found one that highlights both title and post content and is a drop-in modification for WordPress. Today I will bring you this drop-in hack for highlighting search terms on your WordPress blog. Installation 1. Copy and paste the following code into your theme’s functions.php file: function hls_set_query() { $query = attribute_escape(get_search_query()); if(strlen($query) > 0){ echo ‘ <script type=”text/javascript”> var hls_query = “‘.$query.'”; </script> ‘; } } function hls_init_jquery() { wp_enqueue_script(‘jquery’); } add_action(‘init’, ‘hls_init_jquery’); add_action(‘wp_print_scripts’, ‘hls_set_query’); If you are having issues with copy-paste from this blog, here is a link to the same code in a txt file: Code to insert into functions.php 2. Copy and paste the following code into your theme’s header.php file (just before […]

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Plugin Review: Post Templates

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What is Post Templates? If you find yourself writing posts and pages on a regular basis which have the same structure, then this plugin would be a great addition to your WordPress plugin arsenal. Written by Vincent Prat, Post Templates plugin helps you save time blogging by letting you save and recall templates for writing posts and pages. Screenshots To create a template from scratch, you can use the new admin bar group “Templates.” After clicking “New Post Template”, you will be brought to the edit template page. After you’re finished creating your template, you can create a post from that template through the template edit page itself or the template management page. To create a template from an old post, you can use the “Templatize” button on the post listing page. What I Like About It What I love most about this plugin is simply what it does. I […]

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Plugin Review: cSprites for WordPress

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responses

What is cSprites for WordPress? cSprites for WordPress plugin helps speed up your blog by reducing the number of requests made for images. When activated all images within a post will automatically be stitched up and displayed properly as compressed CSS sprites. Screenshots Before activating, all images within a post are being retrieved using separate requests. After activating, all images are stitched together into one compressed image and retrieved using only one request. The plugin then uses CSS magic to display these image sprites properly within the post. Features Quality and style settings let you specify the compression level for the stitched up image sprite. Ability to include/exclude certain types. Cache expiration tuning. SEO Options for SEO nerds. What I Like About It cSprites for WordPress was written to do one thing (convert all post images into compressed image sprites to speed up your blog) and it does it very […]

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Top 10 Characteristics of a Great WordPress Plugin

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by
on
March 28th, 2009
in
WordPress Tips

Like most of you, I have experimented with many WordPress plugins. I have seen a lot of great plugins and also a lot of bad plugins. I am a bit of a WordPress plugin developer myself, and I admit that I borrow many ideas from other good WordPress plugins. From that experience I have consolidated these good ideas into a checklist that you can follow when reviewing or coding a new WordPress plugin. Here are my picks of the top characteristics that make a great WordPress plugin. 10. Easy Installation I have seen plugins that require you to modify code after plugin activation to be able to get it to work properly. The instructions were documented clearly in the readme.txt file, but most of the users seem to have missed it (I could tell from the frustration in the plugin support thread). Not everybody reads the installation instructions inside the […]

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WordPress for iPhone Version 1.2 Available

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The new version of WordPress for iPhone (and iPod touch) app is now live and available for download in the iTunes App store. This version has a lot of fixes/enhancements that many people (including me) have been waiting for. I’ve been playing around with version 1.2 for a little bit and here are some of my first impressions. New Features (and Some Comments) Landscape mode with extra wide keyboard This is probably the most desired feature for this application simply because it is physically painful to type a full length blog post in the iPhone portrait keyboard. I am glad that the portrait keyboard restriction is now a thing of the past! Link creation help I wasn’t sure where this feature was hiding at first, but I soon found the trick to invoking this feature. Basically anytime you are writing, you can type something that resembles a link (for example […]

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How to Track RSS Subscribers in a Blog Contest

45
responses
by
on
March 15th, 2009
in
HOW-TO, WordPress FAQs

Let me start off by saying that this post will not talk about how to get sponsors, how to determine prizes, or how to determine rules for a blog contest. This post will talk about how to tweak your WordPress blog to solve the biggest problem in running a blog contest to gain RSS subscribers. Problem The issue here is that there is no easy way to track if each contestant has actually subscribed to your RSS feed. Without the ability to confirm RSS subscription, anybody can just claim that they have subscribed to your feed and get a free entry into the contest. Solution 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 […]

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