Friday, December 4, 2009, AM | 5 Comments
I take part in a couple of online discussion forums and many folks have problems with installing and working with WordPress (WP). The WordPress online community is quite big now and many more are joining and using WP platform. This small attempt is dedicated to those folks who are the newest of the new to this community of bloggers.
WordPress is arguably the best blog platform on the Internet. It’s free and Open Source. Many individuals have, over the years, developed it and they are still at work enhancing it.
WordPress is a blog publishing application and Content Management System (CMS). It was first released in May 2003 by its co-founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little as the successor to b2/cafelog. It is powered by PHP and a SQL data backend.
As of September 2009, WordPress is used by 62.8 million websites in the US and 202 million websites worldwide, according to Wikipedia. Enough with that. Let’s talk about some goodies like WordPress blog platforms.
Table of Contents
Benefits of blogging
The word Blog is a combination of weB+LOG and that is exactly what it is. It is your diary or journal, whether personal or professional or commercial for that matter.
The big difference between a blog and a website, to me, is the ability of interaction between you or your organization and the customers when you blog. In a typical website environment, usually Contact through email is the way to communicate with customers and also through discussion forums.
When you post an article, your regular customers can read and make comments on it right away. And that is why many business owners have wised up to the use of blogs, to deliver their business message through the power of blogs.
Here are a few reasons why you will want to become a blogger.
For a personal blog, what a better way to say what you want to say, within reason perhaps. It is like the Hyde Park in London.
Your webmaster is out of the picture
No more wait for the webmaster, as in the case of a website, to make some changes and add or delete something from the website. Here you do things yourself. So get a blog – it ought to save you some time and your sanity, too.
Publish yourself instantly
If you ever built a website, you know what I am talking about. It involves your HTML publishing software, an image editing software and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software – then you’ll begin the endless process of create, save, upload, view, tweak, save, upload, view. I know. I have a website where I have some fixed content that I tweak and add more content to it.
Communicate with your customers constantly and effortlessly
Would you like your prospects and customers to share their comments, feedback, ideas, and concerns with you? Blogging is the place where you and your customers can engage in some fruitful communication.
Take charge through blogging
If you blog regularly and consistently to add value to your readers, you will begin to develop a readership that likes and trusts your style, thoughts and opinions. Because you are the moderator and administrator of your blog, by default you get into a leadership position.
Podcasting made simple
Podcasting is the distribution and syndication of media files – audio and/or video. This attribute can be used in any kind of blogging – personal, professional or commercial.
Photo and Image galleries
You can easily showcase your family and business pictures. Might be under a log in control.
Possibilities are endless
Blogging can move your business forward – whether its bridging the gap with your customers, saving time and money, achieving stronger search marketing results, enhancing your credibility, or even distributing your multimedia.
Blogging can also be fun and personal. Think connecting families abroad, via text, audio, video, photos.
Let’s talk about Weblog software platforms, shall we?
As you know, I use WordPress Weblog software. But this is, obviously, not the only software of its kind in the market. Weblog, or more commonly known as blog, has moved from an edgy mostly American phenomenon to a global, main-stream activity responsible for a major share of the Web’s content.
In 2008, Technorati – the granddaddy of blog directories – tracked more than 133 million blogs. That’s a big number. In other words, if not exactly, close to 133 million people were in one form or another involved in blogging.
The term has evolved into such everyday talk as “Do you blog?” or “I blog everyday” similar to “I tweet a lot.” The presence of blogs is apparent on search results and social media sites.
The similarity to CMS – Content Management Service – and the potential to influence conversations with consumers make selecting weblog software all the more a critical business decision.
Weblog software is essentially designed to make possible the creation, maintenance and syndication of blogs and their content.
Most basic, yet most important features of any weblog installation include:
- Support for authoring, editing and publishing content entries
- The ability to easily create or edit titles and permalinks (URL structure) and post dates
- The presence of common support, and categories or tags
- The support for trackbacks or pingbacks
More advanced features include:
- Web syndication (offered through RSS or ATOM) capabilities
- Post moderation and even posting API’s, which can enable blogging from mobile devices via SMS or email
- Blogging directly from any number of third-party applications such as plugins
Types of Weblog software
Weblog software comes in two varieties:
As individuals and businesses get more experience with blogging, they often move towards more robust and customizable platforms. wordpress.org or movabletype.org are ideal for open source advocates.
Third kind of software
There is a third kind of software called Compendium that takes a unique approach to blogging in that it is built to support multiple bloggers and has a singular focus on leveraging that collective brain power for the purpose of influencing the impact of search marketing and social media.
There you have it. Take your pick. If you are novice, start with the proprietary software or if you are more experienced and you know your way around, then move up one step to open source blog software.
Benefits of WordPress
WordPress is an open-source blogging engine or platform. It gives you full control and flexibility. Best of all, it is free. It has developed, over the years, a strong community of personal, professional and commercial blogs.
So when you start blogging, you will be one of the, literally, millions of bloggers that use WordPress.
The following are some of the benefits of using WordPress blogging platform:
Ease of use
As admin, when you are developing your blog, WordPress gives you tools and utilities that are essentially easy to use and you have full control of your environment.
Well! it is free – Depending on services your host server provides, with WordPress you can have as many blogs as you desire.
Strong community of developers
When you start using WordPress, you would be in an environment and community of some excellent developers. These developers create modules of code, called “plugins”, which offer enhanced performance and functionality for your blog. There are many plugins available for free downloads from developer blogs.
WordPress installation is quite easy
If I can do it, so can you. Almost all host servers offer a utility called Control Panel – more frequently known as CPanel which has several features, one of which is Fantastico. The latter lets you install WordPress software with just one click.
Themes and templates
An abundance of WordPress themes are available, mostly free. You can modify your theme files with a lot less effort than some other blogging platforms.
In addition, there are many talented creative developers in the WordPress community who create themes or design layouts that enable you to switch your blog theme with the ease of 1-click. Simply upload the designer theme, and activate it in your WordPress.
Ping blog directories
Pinging is a notification to blog directories that your blog has a new page addition, and encourages them to visit your blog and index it into its database. Other blogging platforms limit you to set a default ping to only one blog directory.
You can categorize your posts in a more organized fashion. Simply add categories and sub-categories for easy organization and usability for your blog.
A Comment is a feature that encourages your visitors to offer feedback or participate in a discussion about your postings.You can choose to either receive comments or not. You can also choose to moderate comments, in order to manage derogatory comments from appearing on your blog comments.
You can blog for profits. If your articles and posts are informative and beneficial to viewers, they will repeatedly visit your blog and take part in discussions.
This way, you can increase your readership, more visitors will come and if you have set up your blog to accept adverts from companies, you will benefit from it monetarily as well.
Free or paid hosting service
When you start looking for a place to host your site, your first decision will be whether you will need a free or paid web host. Well, there are lots of free web hosts out there.
The biggest advantage is that they are free, the disadvantages are that usually you will have to put up with advertisers banners/popups and/or any other kind of advertisements on your site. These help the free web hosts to stay free.
Usually, you do not have much resources or features included in a free web host package. In my opinion only the simplest and less popular sites should consider being hosted by free hosts.
Some major differences between the free and the paid hosts are:
The number of features offered by paid hosts (like more disk space, access to multiple programming languages, databases, SSL servers, regular backup, guaranteed up time, access to server configuration files like .htaccess and to raw logs and statistics).
Better financial stability of paid companies, and the availability of technical support. So if you expect to spend more than couple of hours making your web site, and you expect to get profits from it, we recommend paying for your hosting.
Furthermore the prices of the web hosting services are falling down to very affordable levels – for even $5 a month you can get a paid host with more than enough features, web space and transfer.
Before you start blogging, understand blog types
See if you like any of the blog types that you can select and blog about.
Perhaps the most common blog of them all. This is considered as the online personal diary or journal.
These are blogs about a particular business, may that be selling cell phones, ebooks, stocks or it could be about credit cards, mortgages and such.
If you are a writer/author, you select a topic and start blogging about it.
Pick up a certain niche that you are good about. May that be a product or service, just start blogging.
If education is your specialty, this is for you. Teachers and education administrators will blog about it.
It functions as an internet forum. It allows two or more bloggers to post discussion on the net.
This kind of blog is written by two or more writers.
Scientists blog about their findings and research.
Blog about anything
The fact of the matter is you can blog about anything your heart desires. The important thing is to blog about something that you know about.
More importantly, blog about a topic that you are most interested in and in the process whatever you learn, you share it with the rest of the world. And that’s what blogging is essentially about.
The difference among these three blog engines or platforms is that you have to download WordPress onto your computer. So there is a certain installation involved whereas blogger and FreeWebs don’t need installation. You just have to come up with a name of your blog.
You choose a name and go through the process of registering to create a log in. In case of blogger.com, your blog address would look like http://yourblogname.blogspot.com and freewebs.com would have http://www.freewebs.com/yourblogname
I went through each one and created log in on all three blog engines. VodaHost helped me installing WordPress. That is where I park my blog and my website. I haven’t tried to install it myself. But really, I don’t think it would be any bit hard.
WordPress has two websites:
WordPress.org – blog engine or platform or blogging (downloadable) software
WordPress.com – host server or the hosting platform. This is where you can get a free blog of your own when you sign up with them.
I have chosen WordPress to be my blog platform for these reasons:
WordPress is a powerful Open Source blogging platform. Arguably, the best blog software in the industry. It is free to download and has some very rich features.
You can easily customize the outlook of your blog. You can download a variety of WordPress themes available online, mostly free.
WordPress has intuitive administration which any one can handle with a lot less hassle.
Compose a post or a page and immediately publish it to your website.
I have parked my website at VodaHost which offers support for installing WordPress on their host.
To create a blog, you need to have the following:
First of all, you need a running server where you will park your blog.
Basic PHP and HTML knowledge in order to be able to make necessary changes in whatever template you choose to work with.
FTP software is available absolutely free all over the Internet to upload blog files from your computer to the server. A good one that I use is BlueFTP which comes with BlueVoda Website Builder. You can download and install BlueFTP on your computer right here.
Two platforms associated with WordPress
WordPress is a software and/or hardware blog engine or platform with which you can create a blog (Web Log) of your own on the topic of your choice.
WordPress is a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. More simply, WordPress is what you use when you want to work with your blogging software, not fight it.
You can create a blog on one of two platforms:
With wordpress.com where you sign up, get an account – it sends you email to the email address you provide whereby you confirm your email. You log in with your user ID and password and viola, you can start blogging right away to your heart contention for free, absolutely free.
You do not have to have another host server. You would be using WordPress own server, right there and then.After you sign in, your blog address would look like http://YourUserID.wordpress.com/. At this point, WordPress has already set you up with their default theme that you can start working with.
It also provides a number of other themes for you to choose from. Try different themes and see which one suites you better or rather preferably with your blog topic of hobby or business.
This is to download software from wordpress.org. For this to work, it’s a good idea to have your own domain name, parked and registered on a host server of your choice.
The hosting services will email you the login information (a combination of UserID and password.) As you can see, I have implemented my blog on platform 2.
Choose Web host for WordPress
The following is a list of Host servers. They all support WordPress blog engine. They all have at least, at a very minimum the following properties:
- No hardware to buy or lease
- Instant setup
- Unlimited sites and databases
- Automatic scalability
- Compute power approximately equivalent to that of a 1.2GHz modern processor
- 50GB of high-performance storage
- 500GB of monthly outgoing bandwidth
As I stated above, these properties are the very minimum. Each individual web hosting service has a lot more than the bare minimum.
- BlueHost has been providing hosting solutions to thousands of business and personal web sites since 1996. Their internet hosting package helps businesses and individuals get high-powered service at a fraction of the cost.
- BlueHost is here to secure your business.
- They can provide you with the highest level of support with their friendly and patient support staff waiting to address your needs.
- CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR BlueHost.COM NOW
- Reliability is the key to success on the Internet.
With their high quality redundant system, you can be sure that your data is always available for both you and your customers.
- HostMonster has been providing hosting solutions to thousands of business and personal web sites since 1996. Their internet hosting package helps businesses and individuals get high-powered service at a fraction of the cost.
- CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR HostMonster.COM NOW.
- Whether you are new to hosting and have minimal needs or a corporation looking to minimize overhead – or anywhere in between, IX Web Hosting has the right hosting package for you!
- CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR IXWebHosting.com NOW.
- Host Gator provides Shared, Reseller and Dedicated hosting solutions.
- Their services are designed for both beginners and professionals.
- All of their shared plans include a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
- 24/7 support and a 45-day money back guarantee.
- CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR HostGator.COM NOW.
- From a basic Web site to a massive online superstore, they have the perfect full-service hosting solution for every need and every budget.
- Their hosting plans offer 99.9% guaranteed uptime, best-of-breed routers, servers and firewalls and the best 24/7 support and maintenance on the Web.
- With Go Daddy hosting and servers, your online presence is secure, reliable and lightning-fast. Best of all, every plan comes with a rich feature set to help you make the most of your site.
- It’s no wonder that millions of satisfied customers have made them the world’s largest hostname provider.
- CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR GoDaddy.com NOW.
After you download WordPress to your computer, you then have to upload the files to the host of your choice. For that service, you would need a utility called FTP (File Transfer Protocol).
There are a bunch of free FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software utilities. Any of the following will do the job after you download it.
There are two distinct ways you can install WordPress software – Manual and Auto (one click) installation.
WordPress Manual Installation
Installing WordPress is not that hard. Teli Adlam over at http://www.optiniche.com has one of the best explanations. Watch the video below.
I would just state the major steps in installing WordPress software.
Set up database
One of the just downloaded files is called wp-config-sample.php. As the name suggests, it is a sample file that you have to set up with your host-provided database information. This is explained in the video down below.
Open the file in your text editor, for example, Windows Notepad. After you make appropriate changes, save the File/Save As wp-config.php. Now you have two files as config files – wp-config.php that you have to upload and wp-config-sample.php that remains on your compter.
Using an FTP utility
Upload all files in your WordPress directory including sub-directories to a directory under public_html, appropriately named for your business or personal blog. Three files you do not have to upload, namely, license.txt, readme.html and wp-config-sample.php. Just mask them out before upload.
Establish your blog title, email address and login
In your browser address bar, type in http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/install.php. Just follow the video to enter your blog title and email address.
Next step is to change your password from the default to your own. When you login, click Users->Your Profile and change your password.
- And that is it.
- WP: famous 5-minute install – descriptive not a video
- WP: watch the video by Teli Adlam.
WP: Auto/One Click Installation
You can install WordPress yourself as I stated above or do what I did. I chose VodaHost as my host server. They provide CPanel.
When you register with them, they email you with your login – login for CPanel, email and the host itself. Through the host service, all you need to do is a couple of clicks and enter a few data here and there and the host service does it for you.
You just select the name of the directory under public_html directory on the host, a few clicks from you and viola, WordPress is installed for you.
Another great advantage – depending on if your web host supports it – of installing it this way is to have more than one blog with a different database.
If you look at the Multiple WordPress installations using a single database it shows a way of installing multiple instances on the same database.
I followed it, naming wp_ differently but for me it did not work. Try it, may be you can make it to work.
Pros and Cos
Pros and Cos of manual/auto installing WordPress software on your host.
You would learn the ins and outs of installation, enough that you can give someone else the same instruction that you learned.
Auto/One Click Installation
You are interested in blogging, not the nitty gritty of installing WordPress. Let the host service take care of that. The installation procedure given by the host is self-explanatory.
WP: post revision control – I am using the latest WordPress software and it comes with Revision Control (RC).
WP: auto-save – As long as you have wp-config.php opened now, look for a DEFINE statement that has AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL in it.
Getting started with blogging on WordPress
Now that you have installed WordPress software on the server of your choice, it is time to start blogging. Before you do that, there are a few things I learned about the whole setup. I like to share them with you.
Register and Login
Now you must log in to your wordpress on the server. The very first time when you enter your domain name in the address field of your browser, WordPress goes through a few steps by default.
They have a couple of themes one of which is called Default. It displays that. They have another one called Classic.
Scroll down and at the bottom, you would see a heading called Meta. Under it, one of the items is Log In. It probably has another item called Register.
If you are not registered with WordPress, register with it. Then log in and you would go straight to the Admin Area.
If you do not see Meta at the bottom of your blog, then in the address filed of the browser, type in http://www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin/ and it will bring you to the Register and Login panel.
This is what you should see on a line-by-line basis.
Dashboard (top left corner) Howdy: UserID Log out Help Forums Turbo (top right corner)
Your-Blog-Name Visit site
Write Manage Design Comments
Posts Pages Links Categories Tags Link Categories Media Library Import Export
By default, you are in Write/Posts panel ready to start blogging or posting.
At the top right side, there are items called Settings Plugins Users
Click on Settings and on the page you should see the description of your blog.
You can change Blog Title and Tagline.
Give title and write your post. Keep saving it but do not publish it till you are ready to do so. You can always come back and edit your post. Posts have dates and time attached to them along with comments and category that you installed them in.
Same here. However, pages do not have dates, comments or categories. Depending on your theme that you are using, pages are the menu items. You click on it and it gets downloaded. You can create more than one page. I have Home which is hard coded in my theme. I, then, added About, Make Money, WordPress Help etc.
In order to have your blog in a decent structure and ease your visitors’ navigation throughout your posts and pages, you should categorize your posts.
A new category is created from the Manage menu, Categories section. In order to move a post from one category to another, you should click on Manage > Posts and click on the chosen post to edit it. Pick a category and save the post in.
You can also delete a category. Be careful to do it, because it does not ask you to confirm.
In WordPress your visitors have the option to leave comments on your site. This feature creates a dynamic interchange between you and your readers. You can moderate your visitors’ comments via the Comments tab in the WordPress administrator backend.
You have a number of options that you can set for your Comments. They are listed under Settings -> Discussion.
This is the place where the site administrator decides:
- if comments are allowed,
- if pingbacks and trackbacks are acceptable,
- and what constitutes Comment Spam.
- On this SubPanel you also control the circumstances under which your blog sends you e-mail notification about certain events for your site.
Please, make sure you press the Save Changes button once you are ready with your setup.
Changing a Theme
In the default WordPress installation, there are a couple of templates you can choose from. You can find them in your WordPress administration area under the Design -> Themes menu. You can change the theme simply by clicking on the desired theme name or thumbnail.
If you would like a new WordPress theme for your blog web site other than the themes that come with your WordPress software, first of all you will have to download it to your local machine. I have given some links on the page right after when your done reading this post.
Once you have the new WordPress theme on your local hard drive, you have to upload it under the ‘wp-content/themes’ directory of your website. Extract the file in your computer and then upload the content in the desired folder via your FTP utility.
Now, that you have the new theme uploaded on your site in the right folder, you can see it in your WP admin panel and select it as a default theme for your site.
Default WordPress uses www.yoursite.com/?p=123 for your post URLs, which is not URL nor search engine friendly. You can change the Permalinks setting through Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks.
This page gives you options to choose from. One of the options is Custom Structure in WordPress 2.6. Personally, I like to set the Permalinks (Custom Structure) to /%category%/%postname%/ so that when a post gets displayed, I know exactly what category it belongs to.
Custom front page
By default, WordPress displays your blog posts on the front page. But if you want to have a static page, for example, a Welcome page instead, you can set that in Dashboard > Settings > Reading.
Just select Static page option and then select your Welcome page. Make sure that Welcome page or whatever page you want to be your front page already exists for obvious reasons.
WordPress is composed of files and databases. In order to backup your WordPress blog, you need to backup both your files and databases. It is always advisable to perform regular backups in order to avoid any data losses.
In order to backup your files we recommend using FTP and copy them to your local hard drive. After that you can easily upload back the files and your site will be restored. If you are not sure which folders should be copied please copy the whole ‘public_html’ folder or the WordPress directory.
Free WordPress templates and themes
Following is a collection of WordPress blog themes and template resources, all are free and mostly unique. This post will be updated as new resources are found. Some websites are slow to download but it might be worth the wait.
I chose Cars for my blog from http://www.templatepanic.com/article/cars-wordpress-theme.
I made some changes to it. In the original Cars, the header shows a choice between red, blue and white templates. I liked white so I masked out the other two options.
On the sidebar, the headings like Sponsors, Recent Posts etc., as well as the bottom, are now highlighted with the same color as the header.
People interested in learning how to build a WordPress theme from scratch or, more specifically, for those interested in taking an existing design and converting it into a beautifully working WordPress theme.
People interested in integrating WordPress with their existing website. One of the best ways to go about integration is to take your existing website and build a WordPress theme out of it, then apply that theme to your WordPress blog and voila, if all has gone well you have a perfect integration.
It can require some handiness with CSS, but the principles covered in this tutorial will get you well on your way. Learn CSS.
My WordPress template setup
After I downloaded WordPress software to my computer, I used BlueFTP – comes with BlueVoda Website Builder, to upload all the files and sub-directories to my hosting server where I had already parked my website. I chose the wordpress as sub-directory under public_html – the same public_html that was set up for my website.
Come to think of it, I should have something else instead of wordpress sub-directory, something more in tune with the topic of my blog, because if I want to have another blog, that will have its own name. Right now, the sub-directory ‘wordpress’ does not make much sense.
I, then, logged in to my server through WordPress login screen. I went over most of the options on the menu to see what each does.
Then, I added ‘Recent Posts’, ‘Categories’, ‘Archives’, ‘Recent Comments.’
Next thing I did was to set up the navigation bar. When you click on Write/Page and select the name for the page and write your contents for the page, then you save and publish it. When you click on Visit Site, you would see the page name on the navigation bar.
When you scroll down, you see ‘Advanced Options’. Right now, I don’t know much about them. But I am learning.
In my template, the Home page is hard coded. That is where your posts would go.
Next, write some posts and tag them. They are meta tags. When users search for something using a search engine, they enter some keywords for whatever they are looking for. Make sure you add the right keywords for the post.
Next is an option to add category in which you want your post entry to go into.
For the posts that I have now, I added new category called ‘blog particulars’ and check marked it so my posts about blogs would go in there. The ‘blog particulars’ appear in ‘Categories’ that I had created as widget.
In that widget, I clicked on Edit and checked the last two options, namely, ‘show post counts’ and ‘show hierarchy’. I did not check the top one because I did not want drop down menu.
Each post that I write, it goes under the ‘Recent Posts’ widget.
Collection of WordPress plugins
There are several wordpress plugins and many more in the wordpress plugin database. It is probably not possible for every one to use all plugins on one WP blog. However, you can download as many as your application requires and make blogging a bit easier.
The WP plugin database is in beta right now, but still you can use some plugins.
By the way, a plugin is a computer program that works with a software application to provide a specific function. WordPress plugins can add specific features to expand a blogs functions.
The database has chapters on plugin management, admin tools, comment plugins, meta data, media, themes, styles and layouts and WordPress fixes and a whole lot more. Make sure that you read plugin submission instructions as well as documentation that they offer.
In any case, some plugins are not very well written, and when installed, can mess up your blog. So just be careful. Search it through a search engine, read any reviews and if satisfied, install and use it then. One of the better ways to know if a plugin is OK, see if any one else is using it.
Following is a list of plugins that can be ‘safely’ used. Some I have used, others I got them through search engines and reviews. They can be useful for your blog. Use your better judgement.
If you have a blog that has excellent traffic on a regular basis, you must save your SQL server resources. WP Cache works by caching Worpress pages and storing them in a static file for serving future requests directly from the file rather than loading and compiling the whole PHP code.
This plugin avoids building the page on the server again. This is good for slow servers as well.
WP PageNavi adds a better paging navigation to your WordPress site. It is nice if you have a lot of posts because it allows your visitors to skip from page to page.
Sociable appends a list of the social bookmarking sites (ie. Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit) at the end of your posts and allows your visitors to bookmark. I am using this plugin and it works very well.
Ajax Post Rating
WP Post Ratings adds a 5-star Ajax rating system to your posts or pages. It works extremely well. Most CSS gallery sites use this plugin.
Digg this is a WordPress plugin that detects incoming links from Digg.com to your wordpress post and automatically display a link back to the digg post, for people to digg your story. When a digg is first recognized, it will send an email to the site’s admin.
Admin Drop Down Menu
This plugin is very functional. It will save a click. For example, on the Dashboard menu, instead of click Write, then click Page; you can mouseover Write and click Page. We all know that, in most cases, a click initiates a page load. This plugin will save one click and one pageload. I was reading reviews in forums, some users had incompatibilty problems with other plugins.
Adsense Deluxe is probably the best Adsense plugin available on the web. Very easy to use: first you define your ad code through the Admin options, then insert a HTML snippet (“<!–adsense–>”) into anywhere of your post content, and it will automatically repace it with your ad code.
One of the popular WordPress plugins, Sideblog is the best way to post short notes on the sidebar. It gives you options to define the sideblog category, how many entries to display, and whether to exclude from RSS feeds.
Google Sitemap Generator
If you need to generate a XML compliant sitemap for search engines, Google Sitemap Generator is the best choice (supported by most popular search engines: Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, and MSN).
Besides the plugins mentioned above, like I stated in the beginning of this post, there are a bunch of them in wordpress.org plugins. Just go through the listings and pick the ones that are suitable for your blog. Some plugins, by the way, seem to be superficial and has no significant value to a blog.
How to install html code in a widget
After you have registered with your Web Host, log in to your WordPress. The URL for login is http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-login.php.
Once you are in Dashboard, scroll down to Appearance on the left menu, click on Widgets. If you are running a template with more than one sidebar, select the sidebar you want to install the widget in.
Look over to the left side and you will see a bunch of different types of widgets. Look for the text widget and drag to the sidebar. The widget would “open” by default.
Give your widget a title. Add your code in the space provided. Click Save and then Close. Click Visit Site to view your blog with its new Widget.
If you are adding Adsense to your blog, the ads may not show right away. Give it 10 minutes because Google needs to crawl your blog’s content and find relevant ads.
Auto-save feature of WordPress
As long as you have wp-config.php opened now, look for a DEFINE statement that has AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL in it. If you do not see any, that means WordPress software will auto-save your file every 60 seconds or 1 minute by default.
In order to have your own control over the autosave as far as the auto-save interval, you add the following statement between the above two extremes:
“DEFINE (‘AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL’,xx);” without the quotes.
The xx is the number counted in seconds. So let us say you want the interval set to 10 minutes, you add the following statement to your wp-config.php file.
“DEFINE (‘AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL’,600);” without the quotes.
The auto-save does not create another instance, it just overwrites the previous one as long you do not click on Save. After Save, you work on the same post, it will create another RC.
Please! do not set the auto-save interval to false as in RC. You never know. If your browser freezes up on you or your computer crashes, you do not want to lose your work.
The default set at 1 minute is just fine. It does not bother me any way and the reason is I have never noticed the auto-save in operation, period. Remember the old adage: “if something works, don’t fix it.”
How to control post revision
I am using the latest WordPress software and it comes with Revision Control (RC). It looks something like this:
- 17 October, 2008 @ 23:10 [Autosave] by your USERID
- 15 October, 2008 @ 10:18 by your USERID
- 15 October, 2008 @ 10:17 by your USERID
- 15 October, 2008 @ 10:17 by your USERID
- 15 October, 2008 @ 10:14 by your USERID
- 15 October, 2008 @ 10:05 by your USERID
The date and time above will be hyperlinked to your file(s) and it will show your UserID.
This gets created when you write a post and Save it. You want to make a change to your post, you open it for Edit, make the changes and Save. This process creates an RC every time you open a post for Edit.
Now open up your wp-config.php file. Each dot php file starts with “<?php” and ends with “?>”. If you do not see the DEFINE statement that has WP_POST_REVISIONS in it anywhere between these two extremes, then your RC is set at unlimited revisions. Any time you make changes in your post and click on Save (pages do not have RC), it adds up one entry to the RC.
The RC keeps piling up. That means, it chews up disk space on your server. Because each revision that you see is a complete instance of your post.
In order to remove RC from your post completely, you add
“DEFINE (‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’,false);” without the quotes.
anywhere between the two extremes. I would not suggest it though, because, as an admin, you should have a record of at least some number of previous revisions that you feel comfortable with saved on the server.
In order to keep RC with your posts and limit it to a certain number, then you add
“DEFINE (‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’,xx);” without the quotes.
The xx is the number you want to limit to. Presently, as admin, I have it set to 6. For a new post, it will not go beyond your set number. However, when you make that change, the old posts will still have the previous number. In that case, in order to refresh your post, you open up a post and just click on Save. That will implement or execute the new statement.
By setting you RC to a certain limit, you essentially delete all instances beyond your set number. That means you do not have to manually or somehow else delete your old revisions. You can delete it through phpMyAdmin panel in your server cPanel.
However, I would not advise doing it that way, though. The reason is it involves certain database query that you add to your WP Installation table prefix. If you are not familiar with database query and such, just do not attempt doing it.
If I ever want to set the number from 6 to 4 or lower, I modify the DEFINE statement to the new limit, open up the posts for Edit and click on Save. That refreshes the RC. I know it is a laborious work to do it for all posts, but that is the safest way of doing it.
E-Commerce shop plugin
Did you ever wonder about how to set up an e-Commerce shop on WordPress platform? You would find several different methods of doing it. However, the easiest is setting up a WordPress plugin.
The instructions for installing e-Commerce plugin to set up your shop in WordPress is given in WordPress blog. These are simple and straightforward instructions.
You can download the plugin when you click at the above link. You can also click directly at http://www.instinct.co.nz/e-commerce/
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In a Nutshell
Remember when you make any kind of changes after WP installation, you have to FTP that file back to the server in its proper sub-directory.