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Archive for March, 2009

WordPress Plugin: WP OptIn

If you are looking to grow your e-mail list, stop using pop-ups, and start getting your commenters subscribed.

WP OptIn is a WordPress plugin that allows your commenters to subscribe to your email newsletter or auto-responder simply by checking a box automatically placed in your comment forms. The plugin integrates with Aweber, ConstantContact, or MailChimp to subscribe commenters without an extra subscription step.

A paid WordPress plugin, WP OptIn is $29, but for the affiliate marketing guru looking to expand their e-mail subscription list, this could be a fast, and effective way to do so. If you are interested, check out the dedicated site they have for the plugin at WPOptin.com.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

Kubrick Retire? Never!

Recently, there has been a re-opening of the discussion on if Kubrick should be replaced as the default WordPress theme. While I am not a fan of the Kubrick theme itself, I find the creator, Michael Heilemann an interesting guy, and his work in Kubrick deserves continued support from the WordPress users of the world.

I think it is the original, classic theme that should be replaced, and Kubrick should become the new “classic” theme being replaced, but not displaced by a new default theme for WordPress.

I think WordPress users could still learn a lot from Kubrick, and be inspired by it. Also, it has the right amount of design for someone starting blogging.

Here are some thoughts from Jeff Chandler about the whole issue:

The way I see it, if you attack the root of the problem and replace Kubrick with a base theme that contains everything DD32 mentioned, this could do nothing but positive things for the WordPress community. First time theme developers would have an excellent base to start from and learn a thing or two in the process with documentation included within the theme.

I disagree with Jeff, and think that too many WordPress “gurus” expect early WordPress users to understand how to change a theme, but if that were the case, I think far more people would use the built-in header change tool that comes with Kubrick by default, rather than sticking with the stock settings.

Categories: WordPress Themes

WordPress Plugins for RSS Tweaks and Management

Over on Mashable, Sean P. Aune has posted a list of eighteen WordPress plugins that can help you manage or tweak your RSS feed.

Real Simple Syndication (RSS) enables site owners to automatically syndicate their content to readers in an easily digestible format. There are a number of WordPress (WordPress reviews) plugins to help you manage your blog’s RSS feed, track subscribers, and much more.

Unfortunately the post doesn’t delve into which ones are worth using for the average WordPress user, so if you have a preference for a few of the plugins listed, please let me know in the comments below.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

WordPress Paid Plugin: WP Quiz

Looking for a way to add an unlimited number of quizzes, with an unlimited number of options to your blog posts, and you aren’t liking the current choices online? Over on WickedFire, a member nicknamed wdmny has released WP Quiz.

For $40 USD, you can purchase the plugin which will allow you to make quizzes inside your WordPress administration panel.

You don’t need to use an external service to put quizzes in your blog, and while I don’t the online quiz marketplace very well, I can understand how marketing experts might want to use this to bump up page views, or otherwise collect information.

A very interesting plugin, only available on WickedFire currently.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

WordPress: Google Summer of Code

WordPress is back, approved for the Google Summer of Code, and is looking for people interested in spending a summer deep within WordPress’ world.

For the third year in a row, WordPress is participating, and this year we’ve got project suggestions ranging from core functionality to plugins and BuddyPress development. You name it, we want you to propose it. It’s true, competition is fierce, but hey, if you’re already hacking WordPress, you’re ahead of the pack as far as we’re concerned. Applications are being accepted as of today, and the deadline is on April 3, 2009.

They’ve put up a great list of potential options including working on the import/export and theme frameworks.

If you are interested in the Google Summer of Code, check out WordPress’ page.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress Plugin: Better Search

Search has always been a sore spot for many WordPress users, and there are a number of people that have tried to fix it through various plugins, and today there is a new one called Better Search.

Better Search will provide contextually search your WordPress blogs and then list the results based on relevance. By using a template file you can completely control the look and feel of the search results page.

Additionally, the plugin will track the searches and allow you present a “search heatmap” of the most popular searches.

Looks like a great start to a plugin that could really make great changes to the search results that WordPress.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

WordPress Elite: 10 Awesome .htaccess Edits

There is one file that is barely understood by most WordPress users, and that is .htaccess. Most of us understand that it is what controls the pretty permalinks that most blogs take advantage of, but there are other amazing things that .htaccess can do, and if you dig deep enough, you can change how your WordPress blog behaves.

Cats Who Code has a great list of ten .htaccess hacks that will do interesting things. From redirecting your RSS feed to Feedburner, to banning spammers from your blog, .htaccess can be a powerful ally in making your blog the envy of the blogosphere.

Take some time and look at these .htaccess edits, and don’t stop there, as many people have been writing amazing edits for a long time now for all sorts of sites that could easily be applied to your WordPress blog.

Categories: WordPress Hacks

WordCamp Chicago: Are You Attending?

So, I have been looking at my schedule, and my finances, and one of the only conferences I will be able to make it to this year will be WordCamp Chicago. Coming up this June 6th through 7th, it is being considered the go-to event for WordPress fans on the eastern side of the USA.

With amazing organizers, such as Lisa Sabin-Wilson, Brian Gardner, Wendy Piersall, and Cory Miller and speakers like Brian Clark, Jeremy Wright, and the one-and-only Matt Mullenweg, it is shaping up to be a star studded event.

Did I mention that I’ll be there?

So if you are planning on making it out to WordCamp Chicago, please let me know, as I’d love to meet up with as many people as possible. And if you haven’t bought your ticket yet, there are only 115 left, so jump on getting it before the event is sold out.

Categories: WordPress News

13 Most Essential Plugins for WordPress

NetTuts, one of my favourite sites on the web, has posted a list of what one blogger thinks are the most essential WordPress plugins. While many of them are very useful, I don’t know if all thirteen can be considered “most essential”.

Some like Akismet, are essential, but you don’t have to really seek them out as they are included with every WordPress installation, and others like Custom More Link, aren’t what I’d call “essential” in the slightest.

Check out the list, and let me know your thoughts. Did they forget something truly essential? Should they have listed some plugins that compete or duplicate some of the features to provide for choice? Have your say in the comments below.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

WordPress Theme Trends and Implementation Instructions

For the Lose has a great post up about WordPress Theme trends and how you can implement some of those features in your blog today.

What are blog posts? Blog posts, when you really look at them, are nothing but walls of text. So what separates them from a page from a high school textbook? Blog posts have personality. You gain readers by being able to implement your personality into your posts. You have to make them feel comfortable, reassure them that they’re reading your posts for pleasure, not because they have to.

Things like tabs, post thumbnails, and theme options pages are mentioned, and instructions are given regarding each one. If you have ever wanted to “pimp your WordPress theme”, this post might help you do that in a way you might not have thought possible, if you aren’t a programmer by nature.

Categories: WordPress Themes