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Archive for August, 2006

Sandbox Revisions Run Wild

Scott from Plaintxt.org has goaded me into responding to a recent post he made called “The Future: A Dialogue” where he talks about how great Sandbox is being received by the WordPress.com crowd.

First off, I have to admit, Sandbox is really great, and I hope that it is given top consideration when WordPress 2.1 comes out as the Default WordPress Theme.

The default for Sandbox is really ugly, but it is very great for people to play with and learning to customize the look and feel of their WordPress site.

BUT, I still think that the Skins that Scott holds in such high regard are nothing more than ports of previous themes for WordPress. We have a K2 knockoff, ChinaRed lookalike, a Kubrick wannabe, and then Literary Life, which seems to be the only original theme he lists in his skins section of his article.

Keep in mind that these were all completed within seven days of first release of the Sandbox (and those are just the ones I found). Seven days with changes to the Sandbox? Well done all, and take that, Blogging Pro.

Take what? A bunch of conversions, and one original skin? I am a little underwhelmed. It is nice that the community has taken advantage of Sandbox, but this is by no means any great feat. I would love to see ORIGINAL skins for Sanbox, so if your blog has taken Sandbox to the extreme, let me know. Let’s see if we can show Scott something a bit better than a bunch of ports from current themes.

Categories: WordPress Themes

WordPress Podcast Episode 4 Released

Just wanted to post a quick note to let everyone know that Charles has released another great WordPress podcast.

The topics covered include:

  • WordCamp 2006 recaps, including video, audio, photographs and BBQ. (The Blog Herald has some very good coverage including a podcast.)
  • Changes at WordPress.com:
    1. $15 U.S. a year to edit your own CSS. (Randy Walker and Tony Street debate if this is a good idea.)
    2. Domain-mapping beta test.
    3. Allowing private blogs.
    4. Menus to report spam and mature content.
  • Bryan Veloso barely gets unpacked before tackling changes to the admin page.
  • Redeigned login page, coupled with an argument for Sandbox over Kubrick. Will the winner of Undersigned’s theme competition end up as the default?
  • Indranil’s theme Brown
  • Create N Place plug-in allows you to write new blog posts right on the front page of your blog.
  • Why cause problems for people using accountability software like x3watch from XXXChurch.com, when it’s so easy to just update Bad Behavior?

Interestingly enough they now have an advertisement for another podcast at the end. That did not take long. I would love to hear other’s thoughts on this podcast.

They are quickly approaching episode five, and almost were going to wait another week to put out episode four, due to the lack of really good topics. I know this will get better as fall approaches for the Northern Hemisphere, but by how much? Where are all the great plugin makers and theme designers?

Categories: WordPress News

BloggingPro Vacation: Speak Your Mind

I am heading for a vacation for the last two weeks of August, my first one in a year, and while I am gone, I would love BloggingPro to continue, and so I figured that stealing a page from someone great by asking my readers to help keep content going would be a good idea.

So if you have an opinion on a piece of blogging software (WordPress, Movable Type, TextPattern, or anything else), are doing something great with WordPress that you want the world to know(Plugin, Theme, Extension), or have an article you were thinking of writing that would be great for BloggingPro, please send it in with your contact details, and you might be featured on BloggingPro.

Contact me at [email protected]. Submissions start from today, until the end of the month, as I will be back to work September 1st.

Categories: BloggingPro News

Searching for that Perfect Domain

I don’t know about you, but I have spent hours on various sites searching out a good domain to use for my sites. If only there was a faster way to search quickly though my list of ideas. Well, recently I bumped into Instant Domain Search.

Using a bit of AJAX, the Instant Domain Search shows if the domain you are looking for has been taken for .com, .net. and .org as you type it.

I really enjoyed it and as WordPress.com gets into the domain hosting for their blogs, everyone will be looking for an easy way to find one, and this is it.

Categories: General

WordPress and eCommerce: Time to Get Serious

Martin Neumann, from ePublishingDaily, was looking at my post on paying for WordPress plugins and how I thought the e-Commerce area is really lacking in great plugins, and could be a great niche market for someone willing to put the effort in, and so he expands on that in his post.

I haven’t done too much research in this area (just an hour or so and some quick reading ) – so who knows, there might already be thriving groups of plugin developers going down the e-commerce route. If so, let me know.

Hmmm, makes me think about heading over to RentaCoder and contracting a developer to make me the ultimate plugin for selling information products via WordPress.

Are there any plugin maestro’s out there with any ideas – preferrebly in regards to paypal and general ecommerce facilities for WordPress – drop me a line. We might discuss a joint venture or two.

He does mention two e-Commerce plugins that are already out there, but from what I have heard, neither are all that great. I look forward to seeing what people come up with. I think something like Shopify for WordPress would be perfect.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

Challenges Facing Young and Older Blogs

Darren Rowse has a great post up on the challenges facing younger and older blogs, where he describes some of the things I have made it through when I first started my personal site, and outlines some of the hurdles I have to overcome over the next while.

Some of the challengegst facing older blogs that he writes about includes:

  • Managing Large Archives
  • Staying Motivated
  • Battling Bloggers Block
  • Finding Fresh Post topics to Blog About
  • Managing Trolls and Disillusioned Readers
  • Comment Management
  • Dealing with Copycat Blogs
  • Setting Priorities
  • Disillusionment with a Niche

Now that he has outlined these challenges, I hope he starts a series on how to combat them, as some of them have me scratching my head, especially managing large archives. Anyone else having problems with any of these, or solutions that they have found?

Categories: Blogging Tips

WordPress: Your Wish, My Command

Bryan Veloso, of Automattic now, has asked his audience, “what do you want to see in the WordPress Admin?” Starting with the Post Screen, he is starting a series called YWMC, or Your Wish, My Command, where he takes some of what his audience says and impliments it in the WordPress admin.

Right now, Avalonstar’s admin is blank. I just stripped out the CSS for WordPress’ back-end? Why? You guessed it, I’m going to start my own study and testing to get ready for my implementation of the Shuttle Project, Atlantis. This is going to be the first in a series of posts (I promise), in which I’ll be asking for relevant opinions about each part of the administration system.

I thought they had this all figured out with Shuttle. What the heck is going on? Is he trying to come up with a better Shuttle? Or have Shuttle and Avalonstar YMMC and then mix them together for a new “Shuttle” administration panel?

Well, whatever happens, I hope to see some updates to the WordPress Admin, sometime around WordPress 2.1’s release, as I have been drooling over the Shuttle mockup images for long enough.

Categories: WordPress News

WordCamp Overview

Martin Neumann has compiled a great list of WordCamp information and posts on WordCamp from around the web. His thoughts on the event and those that covered it is not only amusing, well written, and fun to read, but very true.

Firstly, for those outside of America, I must give great kudos to Matt over at The Blog Herald who sent a couple of citizen journo’s on the ground reporting it live.

I’ve been a bit disappointed with The Blog Herald ever since they took over from Duncan Riley earlier this year, but this effort puts them back on the map for me. Together with their recent introduction of podcasts I’m back on the bandwagon.

As far as I know, the only real competitor to The Blog Herald is The Blogging Times. I’ve been quite disappointed with their coverage of this event. And here I thought they were going to kick Blog Herald’s ass covering the blogging industry … and this WAS a blogging industry event! I’d suggest Chartreuse (who’s now a part owner of The Blogging Times) start slapping them around a little and start focusing more.

The list of sites and posts at the end of his post shows you a little of just how far the WordCamp word spread. Kudos to Automattic and those that reported on the great event. Maybe next year I will be able to come.

Check out the full post at his site gonzoblog.wordpress.com.

Categories: WordPress News
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WordPress.com Paid Upgrade Ideas

Matt Mullenweg has posted on WordPress.com’s blog asking users and visitors alike to post what they think should appear under the paid upgrades page. He also reminds anyone that WordPress is not going corporate and trying to make everyone pay fees. They are just trying to make sure they can keep paying for the servers that keep the popular service running.

So this is an open thread. Suggest, kvetch, wish, fantasize. Is there anything we’re not doing today that would provide enough value that you’d be willing to pay for it?

So far the popular vote is aiming towards adding Google Adsense posting abilities, or domain mapping so people can get their domain’s hosted, thus allowing them to stop using the .wordpress.com subdomain. What would you add as a paid service? Micropayments everywhere I turn around. I sometimes feel like I am being “fee’d” to death.

Categories: WordPress News

How to use WordPress to Run a Magazine News Website

Max Limpag has posted about his work converting WordPress to run a magazine/news website.

WordPress, however, is an extensible website content management system that can be used to run magazine-type websites. Here are steps I took to turn this online magazine on Cebu from a blog into its current presentation. I’m still working on it, though, so you might encounter issues.

For those interested, I will be releasing this theme (based on Nautica05 of Open Source Templates) and in two flavors: one as one-click install blogging template and another as framework for a magazine-type website.

He goes over things like categories as sections, index page as portal, category pages and of course summary blurbs, and explains more or less what he did for each area of the site. A very interesting read that might help you in some of the other projects or similar projects you might be doing.

Check it out.

Categories: WordPress Tips