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Archive for January, 2006

WordPress Theme: conzep

A little too bright for my tastes, but conzep does a nice job as a two column theme for WordPress.

Well I don’t know is it a good new to you or not. I would like to share this theme to the WordPress world. Once you own a WordPress blog and like this theme, called conzep, you are extremely welcome to get a copy and apply it to your blog, as well as tell a friend about it.

Check it out at www.jooe.com

Categories: WordPress Themes

WordPress Plugin: X-Comments

I think this is a very inventive plugin. It allows you to show users comments you have made on other blogs, on your own blog, so that they can track down where you have been, and things that interested you. It is currently not ready for prime time, so you might not want to try it out unless you have some PHP knowledge, but I could see myself using this once it is out, and working well.

X-Comments is my very first plug-in for WordPress. In fact, it’s my very first experience with PHP and MySQL. I’ve been running it on my site for about a month now and so far I’ve had absolutely no problems. The plugin is most definitely in an early alpha phase but there are a couple sites running the plugin and I’ve gotten no negative feedback so far. Anyways, I’ve created this page to chronicle future releases of the plugin so bookmark this page and check back often. Without any further adue, I will get on with the details of the plugin…

What Does it Do?

X-Comments creates nifty little links on your sidebar that direct your readers to your comments on other sites.

Head on over to Daily Dose of Dave for all the details, and to download it.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

WordPress Theme: Haizeak v3.0 Released

It seems that the theme creation has slowed down a little for WordPress now that the 2.0 version is out, but atleast people are working on refining their themes to make them work better and look better. Haizeak version 3.0 is now out, and here is what the site says about it:

I’ve added a screenshot for those on WordPress 2.0, and have taken all the plugin/syndication related stuff out the downloaded version so it should work straight away. It’s all pretty basic, and should be dead easy to customise further if you’re like that. The idea of this version was to present the typical blog site arrangement in the smallest possible area whilst keeping the clarity and typography as clean as it was in Haizeak v2.0.

The code has it’s roots in Pool (available from the WordPress site), so before anyone decides to attack me for not coding this in notepad from the ground up, please acknowledge that imitation is a form of flattery.

So head on over to Haizeak.com and download a copy.

Categories: WordPress Themes

BloggingPro Update: Comments Enabled

We have enabled comments on some recent posts and will be looking to enable comments back on all posts, as we try various methods to keep comment and trackback spam to a minimum, while allowing you all to voice your opinion.

Categories: General

Technorati Tagging of Posts

One thing that I don’t think enough people are taking advantage of is the multitude of Technorati tagging plugins for WordPress. Tagging your blog entries is like yelling out to the world “I have a story about this!” and so it brings in a few more people to that post than you would have had without tagging posts.

Over on my personal blog I have begun tagging posts, and surprisingly traffic is up around ten percent compared to before I had the tagging system in place.

More in the past than currently, Technorati had some less than nice comments thrown its way due to downtime, and errors, but I, personally, have not seen or heard too much on those problems in the last while. Infact, I have seen a few compliments about Technorati cleaning up its act and becoming a more responsive tool.

What is Technorati?
A website that tracks what is going on with blogs in the world. It is one of the largest sites keeping track of what is going on in the Blogosphere (the world of weblogs). Currently they are tracking 25.1 million sites and 1.9 billion links.

The system uses what they call tags to categorize content. One post can have many tags because one blog post might have multiple subjects. You decide what tags to assign your content, and that is how Technorati files it. It is like giving your post a category, but many feel limited by categories and only assign one or two per post, where with tags you can be a little more crazy. I on average assign around four tags per post, as I feel this allows me to cover all the main areas that the content would fit in, while not tagging every word or keyword, which would be rediculous.

Any type of blog can use Technorati tags, and they are simple to add. They are just a specialized URL that links to technorati that goes right to the category that you specified for the tag.

mce_href=”http://technorati.com/tag/[tagname]” rel=”tag" >

Don’t forget to replace the [tagname] with the actual tag you want to use. To use two word tags like Movie Guide, you have to use a + symbol to replace the space. So the url for that tag would be http://technorati.com/tag/Movie+Guide.

Which Plugins Work for WordPress?
By now, I am sure you are thinking, well there has to be an easier way. And there is, especially if you are using almost any blogging engine that allows plugins. For this article we are going to talk about WordPress.

WordPress does not allow an easy Technorati tagging method out of the box. You have to add what are called plugins (third party created files that augment WordPress’ abilities).

Some of the plugins available for WordPress 2.0 include:

  • Automatic Meta

    This plugin will automatically generate and include HTML Meta Tags and Technorati Tags based on the full text of your post. When you save your post (and before you publish it) the plugin checks to see if any tags have been associated with it. The Autometa custom field showing the auto-generated tags. If no tags are found then it generates them based on the content of the post.

  • SimpleTags*

    SimpleTags is a WordPress plugin that will allow you to easily generate Technorati tags at the bottom of your blog entries. There are several plugins already available for this purpose, but they all require you to use custom fields within WordPress. The SimpleTags plugin eliminates this need, so you can now easily generate tags with your preferred method of posting, be it by email, a blogging tool like w.bloggar or from WordPress itself.

  • Bunny’s Technorati Tags

    Bunny’s Technorati Tags provides you with template function to easily display Technorati tags for your posts. The tags are stored in a Custom Field, so this plugin does not require any modifications of the database structure. The plugin adds a text input for that custom field in the appropriate admin pages.

* – I can recommend this plugin, as I currently use it, and have not experienced any problems.

There are other plugins that allow an easy addition of this feature in WordPress, but most have not been updated lately to work with the newest version of WordPress.

Other Articles on the Subject
I don’t think I can convey enough, how useful Technorati tags can be to focusing your content, bringing in new visitors, and increasing your blog’s traffic. And so, I have a few other resources you might want to check out under the same subject.

Three simple actions that doubled my website traffic in 30 days

Technorati Juice

HOW TO: Boost Your Blog Traffic

Technorati tags: an introduction

Categories: Blogging Tools, WordPress Tips

Plugins and Themes use GPL License

One of the greatest things about WordPress and the WordPress community is that the plugins and themes are all released under the GPL License but for some people this poses a problem, and I can understand why.

Some developers and designers would like to make a some money off of the hard work that they do. Some spend ten or twenty or even more hours creating a theme like Michael Heilemann who is the creator of the Kubrick theme, and who is working on the K2 theme for WordPress. Doesn’t such an individual deserve some monetary compensation? Or should the warm fuzzy feeling they get from working on such a widely respected design and code structure be enough of a reward?

Currently, I have seen a few offerings for packed installs of WordPress being distributed for a small fee. In them, many themes, and plugins are packaged together. The themes are modified to take advantage of the plugins and so the person has done some extra work to make WordPress more versatile when first installed. So then when a person takes that package, and that hard work, and spreads it around the net for free, should the person that originally took the time to make everything work correctly be upset? I have also seen places where downloading their WordPress theme requires a payment of a couple of dollars, but if that person turns around after downloading it and distributes it to the world, is there anything the theme author can really do except hope that more people come to their site, than the person giving it away for free?

I think the GPL is great, and I think that the original authors should always get credit for their hard work, in the form of a link back to whatever site they want. I also believe that providing a service is much more reasonable when it comes to WordPress, but I wish there was a better structure to compensate the individuals that take massive amounts of time out of their day to create beautiful themes, and plugins for the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of WordPress users.

I am sure that if Michael Heilemann was given even just one American dollar for every five Kubrick and K2 installs, he would need to buy another apartment to hold it all. Think about that for a minute next time you complain about a plugin, theme or even WordPress, as the majority of the people that make the software work as well as it does, are doing so for free, using time they could instead be working on a project that would make them money.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress Theme: Milc3 3.5

Just recently Milc was released, but graphically flat looking, it was in need of a little bit of an update, and that is exactly what Milc3 is. More round, and a little nicer to look at, the basics of the design is the same, but it looks much better in my opinion.

Kubrick’s default WordPress theme and my own Milc theme are the proud mother and father of this new baby. Maybe Milc3 doesn’t seem that different from Milc, but in fact the whole graphics have been re-done from scratch. I’ve used various tools to make this theme, to name a few: notepad, Paint Shop Pro 7 and 9, FlashFXP, UltraEdit 10, and some other smaller tools.

Grab it at damn.be

Categories: WordPress Themes

WordPress Plugin: Netflix

A Netflix information display plugin for WordPress 2.0 is out thanks to AlbertBanks.com

I have created a plugin for WordPress that lets you display information from your Netflix account. This includes movie titles and cover images from your queue, recommendations and recent activity. Inspired by Jimmy Oliver’s MyNetflix Plugin.

I would jump on this, if I had a Netflix account. Great plugin, none the less though.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

Help Problogger, Darren Rowse, choose a Domain Name

Darren Rowse is running a contest over the next two days for $100 US to help him pick out a domain name.

Now before you start submitting domains names on any topic here are a few guidelines:

  • The domain name must currently be available (not for sale etc) – so check their availability (you can do this here)
  • I’d prefer a .com name
  • Submit your ideas via this contact form (I’ll not do this in comments because no sooner will you submit your ideas than others will start up blogs on them – comments have been turned off on this post).

In terms of topic – here’s the brief (and a warning that it’s vague at this point):

I want to the blog to be written in a similar tone to ProBlogger but to have broader appeal. It won’t be targeted towards bloggers but towards…. well humans. It won’t be helping them earn money…. but is more about helping people get the most from life in a broad range of topics. It will include tips, inspiration, story and discussion. It’ll probably have a slight technical/web bent, but will be broader than that and will tackle emotional, spiritual and relational posts. It might even have a bit of a ‘dad’ focus.

If you win, share some of the loot with me….Please…

Categories: General

WordPress Plugin: Blog Copyright

Blog Copyright is ready for WordPress 2.0, and so I figured it deserved a mention here. Big “ups” to those updating their plugins.

Blog Copyright is a WordPress plugin that displays a dated copyright mark. When displayed on general, category, search and author queries it provides a range of dates (first-last post years); on single posts, Pages and archive queries the year for the content will be used. Name, copyright term and reservation of rights text can be fully customized through tag parameters, or completely overridden with a custom field.

Blog Copyright is not so much a new plugin for me as a collection of code I’ve been using for a while, just now wrapped up in plugin clothing.

Check it out at: http://guff.szub.net/blog-copyright/

Categories: WordPress Plugins

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