Archive for June, 2006
Do you know WordPress inside and out? Can you install WordPress? Are you willing to help clean up some bugs? Well, they are holding an official Bug Hunt next week, and the efforts put in will help thousands of WordPress users around the world. In the notice they put up, they say they need people of all skill levels, so please devote some time, and help make the next releases of WordPress the best they have ever been.
Bug Independence Day is July 4th! To help shake the bugs out of the upcoming 2.0.4 and 2.1 releases, we’re holding a Bug Hunt next week. We’ll be finding and fixing bugs and cleaning up the bug tracker. All are welcome to join us in the #wordpress-bugs IRC channel as we go on the hunt. We’ll get things started at Midnight between Tuesday, July 4, 2006 and Wednesday, July 5, 2006 San Francisco time and keep going for 24 hours or until everyone gets tired. We’ll have folks keepng vigil at all hours so drop by at whatever time is convenient to you.
All you need to help out is the ability to install and run WordPress, folks of all skill levels are invited to join. We need people testing as much as we need people coding. (If not a little more.)
Read all about it at WordPress.org
Bannage allows you to do just what the name implies: Ban.
Introducing, Bannage, a plugin for WordPress that allows the administrator of a wordpress powered site to ban comments via usernames, email address, ip address or URI. If you have fallen victim to spam comment entries and such plugins as Akismet are not getting 100% of it. You can attempt to prevent spam using Bannage!
Ban comments by:
3. Email Address
4. IP Address
Allows multiple entries for each ban type.
A great idea, as I can think of some IP Adresses I would like to ban. Though no doubt I have to be careful, as those spammers are crafty people. Check it out at Justin Shattuck’s blog.
If you are looking to create a bit of userfriendliness for those out there using the A9 toolbar, Arne Brachhold has come along and made it into a WordPress plugin to make things easier for you.
SiteInfo is an open standard which allows you to specify information that will be displayed in a toolbar menu. This allows the A9 toolbar (or other toolbars that want to use SiteInfo) to display a menu about your site, when a user is on your site.
This plugin generates the SiteInfo information from the data of your WordPress blog. You can choose what you want to display at the SiteInfo WebMenu including Pages, Categories, Archives and Search.
Check it out at his site Home of Arne Brachhold.
Lorelle on WordPress mentions a few “bugs” that she has noticed.
You race home and rush to your computer to see if anyone has left you a comment on your blog only to find a bunch of Anonymous folks have left comments on your WordPress.com blog.
Before you hit that SPAM button, this is not comment spam. It is a trackback. Itâ€™s something nice! Someone has written about your post! Normally, WordPress would capture the link and text of that post and it show the title of the article and an excerpt of the article around the link to your post. The new anonymous bug brings it up empty. Because the trackback doesnâ€™t feature the name of the article, itâ€™s blank. WordPress interprets it as â€œanonymousâ€ and automatically labels it such.
Hopefully this problem, like many others, will be fixed relatively fast by the WordPress.com folks. I really think it is great that they have Lorelle watching over the WordPress.com developers shoulders. If you are having this problem as well, it is best to make it known that you are, so they can figure out what might be causing it easier than if only one or two people report it.
Yeah, I know it is a long title, and don’t worry, it is not something I have written. Over at Webloghits.com they have an article up by the same name going over some really great tips for any WordPress blog user, not just those looking to make some money or increase their online “fame”.
Adding a favicon can spiff up your blog a bit and is very easy to do with this free online favicon generator. A favicon is the tiny little icon you sometimes see to the left of the web site address in your browserâ€™s address bar. You can create a favicon with the image of your choice. Instructions on how to add the generated favicon to your site are included after you generate it.
The defaul 404 error page is pretty basic. When I say basic I mean that. It simply says â€œError 404 – Not Foundâ€. You may want to add additional info other than this. To edit your 404 error page, click on Presentation in the dashboard, then Theme Editor, then click 404 Template on the right.
Man, I love Problogger.net sometimes. They have some of the most interesting articles and links to other very interesting articles. One such article comes from Anne Handley who has been asking bloggers a simple question “What is the Biggest Lie About Blogging?”. What a stir such a question can make.
Jeremy Wright chimes in at the end letting the world know his thoughts, and he is so right on the money in my opinion.
A few of his include:
1. Bloggingâ€™s just a fad.
3. Donâ€™t ever admit you did something wrong.
5. Donâ€™t have a personality if youâ€™re blogging for business.
9. Without open comments, itâ€™s not a blog anyway.
13. Itâ€™s impossible to make money blogging.
23. You need to be able to write to blog.
32. Too many people are already blogging; you canâ€™t cut through the noise.
33. You have to be an A-List blogger or thereâ€™s no point.
36. Bloggers are good looking, funny, and are the life of any party.
Check out the original post, and be sure to read the comments.
Scott from Plaintxt.org recently was looking into the challenge I created, and was hoping to have something ready in time despite the fact that BloggingPro has never once featured any of his previous submissions to the WordPress theme community.
When I searched for myself and realized he was right, we had never once featured one of this themes, I felt horrible, as Scott has been a big player in making simple, content centric themes for WordPress.
I thought that to rectify my horrible oversight, I would feature all of his currently released themes today.
A light theme, easy to customize and build on, Barthelme is fluid and two column. It contains some great integrated features and options which you might like:
- Theme options menu within the WordPress admin menu, featuring
- control over fonts and font sizes
- ability to alter layout and text alignment
- Intelligent browser titles (e.g., â€œBarthelme Â« plaintxt.orgâ€)
- Widgets friendly, ready to use
- Hack- and error-free CSS
- Standards compliant XHTML 1.0 Strict validation
You can read all about Barthelme at Plaintxt.org’s Theme Page, as well as see images, thanks to a flickr gallery of what it looks like, both on the user and admin side.
Honestly, my favourite theme from Scott, is blog.txt. It is a two column, elastic theme that is lightly styled and very clean and professional looking.
On his site he says:
An elastic, two-column layout for WordPress 2.0+. Itâ€™s styled, but light with less than 300 lines of CSS. With its (somewhat) unique theme options, you can easily make blog.txt into something resembling a CMS.
Just like Barthelme it is standards compliant XHTML 1.0 Strict with hack and error free CSS. Check it out at Plaintxt.org.
A three column theme for WordPress that really does not have much wrong with it, partially because it is one of the leanest themes I have ever seen, especially for a three column theme.
It is not one of my favourites, but the simplicity gives itself to being easy to customize, which is a very important aspect of a theme in my opinion. It is XHTML 1.0 compliant as well.
Check it out at Plaintxt.org.
Another of my favourite themes from Plaintxt.org is Simplr. It is mainly a one column theme, with a two column footer. It displays one story and looks good doing it. It is light on colours and graphics which means it is all about the content.
As with the rest, it is XHTML 1.0 valid, and has error and hack free CSS. Check it out at Plaintxt.org.
Last, but not least we have veryplaintxt, which is as the title states, very plain. A simple theme that again lets visitors concentrate on the content, and the simplicity makes it easier to cusomize.
Grab it from Plaintxt.org.
All of these themes show how simple, yet effective a WordPress theme can be, and how with some time and effort you can make something clean, lightweight, and effective. Check out all the themes, and keep an eye on Scott, who is working on some new ones, which will hopefully be out soon.
While not really on the subject of themes or plugins, I think it is still worthy of talking about the problems that many bloggers find themselves having, and since many plugin and theme authors have blogs, I thought I would take a second to talk about a great article that Darren Rowse pointed to today.
Wendy Boswell has written a post called “How to get things done working inside and outside the home” at LifeHacker, which talks about finding balance in her at home work and her life.
From Darren Rowse’s thoughts on the subject:
Thereâ€™s something quite addictive about blogging that most full time bloggers have to face at one time or another. Itâ€™s probably some mix of the allure of being the center of attention, mixed with the excitement of the chase of the story and readership, mixed with way it can open up doors to new friendship and opportunities.
But there comes a point where many bloggers need to think about creating healthy boundaries around it in order to maintain other relationships, work on our physical well being and to just have a life.
I totally agree, and I feel as though I have come close to burn out in my struggle to do the best I can at my job as a professional blogger. It never feels like enough, it is hard to quantify time spent on a variety of tasks, and thus days can seem like they sprawl on forever. You just have to find time for yourself. The web will be there when you get back. I really need to take this advice to heart, and hopefully these two articles will help remind you to do so as well.
Akismet has done a great thing and introduced a tiered Enterprise pricing service starting at $50 a month for 5 commercial blogs. They have also added a new level of service for those using the Akismet API for various other tools beyond the original WordPress blogs it was created for.
The first thing you’ll notice is the Enterprise access now has several price levels starting from $50/mo based on how many blogs you have. This should allow more flexibility for businesses just getting started out.
Second we’ve seen a lot of use of the Akismet API for things which aren’t blogs at all, like feedback forms, guestbooks, and more. For this type of use people might find it easiest to purchase commercial use based on the number of calls they make to Akismet, so we conjured up a new system called the Access API, which also starts at $50 a month.
Read all about it over at the Akismet Blog.
Darren Rowse of Problogger.net has put up his A to Z of Professional Blogging, a list that includes basically every service or application you might need for blogging, many of which Darren has used himself to become the problogger he is today.
Following is my A to Z of Professional blogging including blogging tools, platforms, services and ways of making money from blogging (in fact whether you blog for money or not much of what follows should help you improve your blogging).
I hope you enjoy it and feel free to share your own tools and services in comments (Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ll have missed some).
Check out this great list.