Archive for the ‘Blogging Resources’ Category
Performancing has recently announced the reopening of the Performancing Marketplace.
Prior to its brief hiatus (due to software migration) the Perf Marketplace had been an active portal for buying and selling of blogs, software, and related services. The new Marketplace aims to bring this back. With a free-flowing format (forum-based), Performancing hopes that users can have meaningful exchanges of information and fruitful trades of products and services.
Along with the recent free signup promo for the Hive and the reopening of the Jobs board, the Marketplace relaunch is just one of the efforts the Performancing team is doing to ensure a vibrant community of new media professionals. Sign up now for free, or browse the current listings.
One of the goals of operating a website or blog is to make them stand out among the sea of other sites and blogs on the internet. You want to be as unique as possible to enable recall and put your own mark of individuality. One of the best ways to do this is by producing code that is especially made for your website or blog. But producing code can be a herculean task especially if you know little more than a little HTML coding. What you need to do if you are looking to make code is to hire a company to do the code development for you. The challenge is to find the company that is best suited to meet your needs and have the skills and experience to deliver quality work. One company that has built a reputation for delivering high quality, professionally done code for websites is PSD2HTML.
PSD2HTML is a well respected company that specializes in converting web artwork to working code, like PSD to HTML. The company ensures that it comes out with quality output by hiring experienced web experts who produce codes that meet their clientsâ€™ specifications.
Using PSD2HTMLâ€™s services brings many benefits to a client. One of the biggest advantages is PSD2HTMLâ€™s commitment to customer service. The company values customers so much that it has implemented a 24 hour live chat option that allows clients to get instant feedback with regards to their project. A click on the live chat button will bring the client immediately to a PSD2HTML staff who can discuss the details of the project. Even though the live chat staff is available only on weekdays arrangements can be made to extend work on weekends if it is necessary.
Feedback can also be obtained by using the other contact options available to the clients. Clients can send messages through an online contact form or they can call PSD2HTMLâ€™s telephone number at +1 877 721 8040. This close collaboration with the client is PSD2HTMLâ€™s way of ensuring that the client will get exactly what he asked for.
Whatever the markup needs of the client, PSD2HTML can address them. The PSD2HTML website has recently undergone a welcome facelift that has made the site easier to navigate and find the information that clients need. Among the services that PSD2HTML offers are:
â€¢ Templates for WordPress, Blogger and other blog engines
â€¢ Dreamweaver templates
â€¢ Email templates
â€¢ Design to semantic code conversion
The number of services that are being offered is easily more than what are currently made available to developers and website owners. This wide array of services is what makes PSD2HTML so popular and a â€œgo toâ€ place for developers.
PSD2HTML has made using their services easy for its clients. IT has made the whole ordering process more streamlined and easy to follow. A client will gather the files that he will submit to PSD2HTML then fill out the order form. He specifies all of his requirements in the form like browser compatibility and certain compliance parameters. The comprehensive order page enables the client to truly â€œpersonalizeâ€ his requirements, ensuring that what he gets exactly fits his needs. PSD2HTML allows for an unprecedented level of personalization that few companies can provide. There is actually a space within the order form that lets clients include other details that are not included in the established categories. Any extra information that the client wants to provide can be included here.
The client then completes payment in order to end the ordering process. Payments to PSD2HTML is very convenient because of the number of payment options available. In addition to Paypal and Google Checkout options, the company has recently implemented a new Direct Payment option that will let clients pay using major credit cards. Knowing how much the client will pay is also made easy by PSD2HTML. Getting a final quote is not a problem because each option that the client chooses is priced accordingly and is immediately reflected in the final price. This allows the client to add or delete options on the fly to see which configuration would fit both his needs and his budget.
After the whole process has been completed, PSD2HTML will provide the client with instructions on how the files will be received after it has been converted. The deadline set by the company is guaranteed, which is a big plus for any client since they will know exactly when to expect the final product.
And when it comes to quality, clients should never worry. PSD2HTML has built a reputation for making quality work. In fact, it has recently garnered an ISO 9001 : 2000 certification that proves it adheres to international quality standards.
This is a guest post by Brad Leclerc. Brad is a writer for Cogniview, the leading producer of PDF to excel conversion tools.
Traditionally writing was something people did while tied down to a desk. Whether using paper, a typewriter, or a computer, if you were writing, you were most likely at your desk. If you were away from that desk when you thought of a great idea, you’d have to take notes and reconstruct them into an article/story/etc later once you got back to that desk.
Thankfully that’s getting to be less and less of a problem, which is extremely important with the explosion of blogging.
There are many ways to get some writing done from wherever you happen to be when you feel the need or desire to write. There are many ways to blog (or write anything really) instantly, from wherever you are. Each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages compared to going and sitting at that desktop system. Let’s look at the three major ways people blog on the go… Read More
Most of you don’t know that I have a consultancy, it is part of how I got the job of writing back on here again. Today, I released three e-books, one of which is available freely, and the other two are available to people that sign up for my private forum.
Someone recently asked me if I intend on selling these e-books seperately, and my response is simple: I hope people sign up to the forum, with the intention of just getting the e-books and end up staying once they see the posts inside the forum.
The three e-books are all about blogging, and the one I am giving away is called Social Media Promotion.
If you’d like to get the other two books, or learn more about all three e-books, please check out my post on Branding David.
I hope you’ll all check it out, and let me know if it was of any help to you.
Performancing.com has launched its advertising network, Performancing Ads. I’ve been playing around with the system for much of the latter part of development, and I can say I’m impressed. It’s simple and intuitive enough for anyone to easily use and understand, and yet you have the essentials of a good ad server, network and marketplace.
You can check out Ryan Caldwell’s Performancing post on 10 reasons why you should try Performancing Ads. A recent post by Darren Rowse on problogger.net threshes out some details, and David Peralty gives his opinion on the upsides and downsides of Perf Ads on XFEP. Jeff Chandler has a collection of links and reviews over at performancing.com.
Personally I really like the fact that you can book your own ads into your own sites. This means you can practically use Perf Ads as your ad server, or at least to fill in for those times when ad sales are slow.
Perf ads supports both image ads and text links, so you have the best of both worlds: image ads for brand marketing, and links for search optimization and to get a message across. Performancing also promises early, synchronized payout, and will pay out 60% of revenues. Perf Ads also has an affiliate program, where members can earn $10 credit from every successful referral, and 5% residual commissions from each sale by referrals.
Disclosure: Blogging Pro and Performancing are both owned by Splashpress Media
I remember visiting one central resource for WordPress themes, the ThemeViewer. Since December 11, 2007 things literally stopped.Â No new theme uploads… with the latest count beingÂ 1,618 themes andÂ 4,190,494 themes downloaded.Â Very impressive numbers and I guess it would have multiplied many hundreds of thousands over if it continued.Â According to the latest post, that site was up for an upgrade… for its code backoffice, indexing, theme upload, theme integrity, seach and download processes.Â Well, I’ve waited and waited… until finally this news from WordPress.org .
Itâ€™s been a long time since themes.wordpress.net stopped accepting new themes. Since then most theme authors have been distributing their themes from their own sites, without a good centralized place for people to browse, search, comment on, and rate themes. With the success of the plugins directory, weâ€™ve wanted to have those same benefits in a theme directory. Today is the day we start making that happen, with the introduction of wordpress.org/extend/themes/.
Yeehaaa!Â Now something for me to check where I know the code would be clean and right.Â Love the new skin the site dresses up now,Â actually it’s dressed like the WordPress plugins site.Â Which I thought was cool and generally useful.Â I visited the new page and saw that currently there are 3 themes uploaded… and check this out… 772 downloads so far.Â I tried to see how downloads move, hey it jumped from 667 to 772 in 15 minutes.Â Not bad at all.
So anyway, is this goodbye to my usual WordPress theme spots?Â Maybe not as quickly as I’d like.Â I’ll continue the old routes until I see a substantial amount of themes at WordPress.org.Â Hoping that it will be sooner than I think.
BuzzLogic has recently launched its advertising network in Beta, with a promise of $2 CPM (cost per thousand impressions) to bloggers. That rate seems very lucrative, but of course it’s just for a limited period. BuzzLogic’s guarantee is as follows:
- Guaranteed $2 CPM, up to $200 per month, during beta period(June 18 – July 18)
- Get in on the ground floor of a new kind of network based on influence
- Access to great brands and advertisers eager to work with you
According to BuzzLogic, their main purpose for this high payout is to get enough interest of bloggers. They expect the beta users to be able to help the BuzzLogicCommunity Team to get feedback the performance of the ads–what’s working, what’s not. BuzzLogic will eventually develop other blogger tools based on influence to help bloggers not only understand their own influence but to leverage that influence to get higher CPMs for ad inventory.
Some limitations of the program, though, are that only traffic from the US will be counted as eligible impressions, and that the beta program will end on July 18th. Still, $2 CPM is an interesting proposition, particularly for blogs that have high traffic.
I’ve been finding myself around WordPress these past days.Â Either it’s for a personal blog, a company blog or some other blog I’m working or playing with, it’s all WordPress.Â TrustÂ me!
While I’m lovingÂ those WordPress themes, I’ve always thought how I could make my own.Â Not that I’m artisque or, as they say,Â ”left-brain gifted”… I’m just curious.Â
Received this Google alert today about the release of “WordPress Theme Design” by Tessa Blakeley Silver from PAKT Publishing.Â Sold for US$35.99 right here.
Allow me to quote a brief book description below:
This title will take you through the ins and outs of creating sophisticated professional themes for the WordPress personal publishing platform. It will walk you through clear, step-by-step instructions to build a custom WordPress theme. From development tools and setting up your WordPress sandbox, through design tips and suggestions, to setting up your theme’s template structure, coding markup, testing and debugging, to taking it live it reviews the best practices. The last three chapters are dedicated to additional tips, tricks and various cookbook recipes for adding popular site enhancements to your WordPress theme designs using third-party plugins.
Whether you’re working with a pre-existing theme or creating a new one from the ground up, WordPress Theme Design will give you the know-how to understand how themes work within the WordPress blog system, enabling you to take full control over your site’s design and branding.
Check this book out, it might be worth something, specially if you’re just about to make that jump with me and actually do your first theme!Â
Oh, and by the way, this book is also designed to help you understand the current theme you’re stuck with!Â Unravel the mystery of your current theme!
Since the 2.x release of WordPress, the blogging platform has more and more been praised because of its versatility. Obviously, WordPress is mostly known as a blog platform, but depending on your creativity, you can do much more with the very flexible platform.
No limits are set and over the next weeks we will dig a little deeper into some of the ways WordPress can be used, helping you with the (coding) basics to use WP as more than a blogging platform. For now I will list the different options WP can be used for. This list is not limited.
Blogging obviously is the main usage of WordPress.
Because it is very simple to upload images with WordPress soon users started to regularly post photos, using WordPress as a photoblog. Until the release of WP2.5 photobloggers had to use the custom fields to upload thumbnails for the archive or to create a filmstrip in the footer. With the new media uploader in WP2.5 this is not longer needed. WP now automatically generates a medium sized and a small thumbnail. Thumbnail sizes can be specified in the settings and used for the archives display or a filmstrip.
There aren’t many photolog themes for Wp and even less generate the photolog feeling with only one picture on the mainpage and a click on the picture goes to the previous entry. With the arrival of the Monotone Photolog Theme for WordPress theming in this area soon make become more popular. AFAIK Monotone officially is only released for WordPress.com, but can be retrieved from the SVN Directory.
Tumblr is a popular platform, perfect for quick blogging items people stumble upon. I mentioned in my previous entry that Chyrp a great self-hosted platform is for your own tumblog (?!), but also WordPress can be used as tumble-engine.
Using WordPress as a tumblelog is not difficult: there are several themes to make your Wp blog more tumblr-alike and there’s even a Quick Post plugin for WordPress, providing the blogger with bookmarklets to easily submit content to their WordPress powered tumblelog.
Start tumbling with WP in the true self-hosted spirit!
Since several months there has been a rise in the number of premium themes for WordPress, many of them focusing on providing a newspaper, magazine alike look for WordPress
Revolution by Brian Gardner was one of the first really popular ones, together with Mimbo, which initially was released under the GPL and later evolved into a second, Pro version, with custom image uploader.
Magazine themes for WordPress rely heavily on the usage of Custom Fields and Conditional Tags.
Most magazine themes have featured posts, use many thumbnail images on the main page and display recent entries from different categories. The success of a magazine theme IMHO heavily relies on the quality of the top navigation bar.
The real success of WordPress isn’t just the blog platform software, but the whole community around. And the great plugins. WP-eCommerce is one of the more extensive plugins, powering a complete online store front-end, based on WordPress. The competition in the eCommerce area is heavy with options such as the hosted Shopify platform or the well-known open-source osCommerce software., but when it comes to ease of use and features the WP-eCommerce plugin can compete with all of them and according to the plugin homepage even powers more shops than osCommerce does.
Contact Manager and Customer Relation Management
Both Design Intelliction’s WP-Contact Manager and Slipfire’s WP-CRM plugins prove that there really aren’t any limits to WordPress’s versatility.
WP-Contact Manager is a theme for WordPress using several plugins, Wp-CRM is a full-blown plugin, inspired by WP-Contact Contact Manager and 37Signals’s Highrise.
With both options it is easy to maintain, publish your contact list online.
The excellent Prologue theme for WP offer every blogger a Twitter alike platform:… without the 140 characters limitation.
Use it for your company, with your friends or just for fun!
The theme is slick, fast loading and depending on what you tweet… fun! Prologue even allows comments. I reckon FriendFeed Comments is the perfect addition to this theme.
Other Usage Options
As shown so far, there really are no limits set to the way Wp can be used. I use this blogging platform as a personal wiki, tumbling interesting topics. Other bloggers, developers use WordPress as a CMS, although it isn’t entirely clear to me what Content Management System really means in this matter. Smarter navigaition? *Nuke alike left sidebar or is every blog per se a CMS?
I am sure with time more and more ways to use WordPress will appear.
Update: As Andreas notes in the comments, WordPress can also be used as job board with the help of the RecruitPress plugin.
Franky writes in his free time at iFranky and can be followed on twitter. Be warned, his twitter account is heavily G&T powered!
Although WordPress.com and many other bloghosting platforms offer many advantages, as outlined in a previous entry by David Peralty many people prefer to host, more even own their content. One can think of many reasons to host their own content, other than the most heard customization limits wordpress.com usually faces:
- Freedom to switch services or hosting company;
- SEO advantages;
- Easy to correctly forward when switching domains and keep traffic;
- Upload space only limited by hosting plan;
- Complete backup freedom;
- Freedom to criticize the platform you use, without having the fear to be shutdown;
Once you have decided to host your blog yourself and settled on a hosting plan, there are many freely available blog software options. I this entry I will list the most known platforms with their pros and cons and examples of blogs on using those platforms.
WordPress is without any doubt the most popular blog platform today. Since its creation in 2003, as a b2 fork, Wp has been 100% open-source, although highly controlled by Automattic.
The community around WordPress is very active, both in theme and in plugin development. There are millions of blogs running on WordPress and thousands bloggers write about WordPress topics. Over the last months WordPress, especially older installations, have regularly been hacked, mainly by link spammers.
The actual version of WordPress is version 2.5.1, a bugfix and security fix released on April 25, 2008.
- Active, supporting community;
- Thousands of plugins and themes available;
- Regular updates and known update cycle;
- Easy installation and upgrades (via Fantastico if offered by webhoster);
- Low learning curve to start using the platform;
- Search friendly permalinks and tag system;
- Supports both PHP4 and PHP5.
- Security QA: WordPress has been the subject of many security vulnerabilities over the last 12 months. Hacks have both been public and unpublished;
- Only supports MySQL database;
- Active grayzone community releasing themes with hidden spam/ads;
- WordPress has no built-in caching system;
- Upgrades usually require (automated) database changes;
- No multiple blogs option (WordPressMU comes to aid);
- Arguably, Automattic’s strangehold on WordPress.
Since December 2007, Movable Type again is available as a free (open source) platform, released under the GNU/GPL license. Movable Type is written in Perl and offered by Six Apart. Once the most used platform, MT lost its popularity in May 2005 when founder Mena Trott announced a new licensing and pricing structure. Many MT users switched to WordPress. More than 3 years later Six Apart released MTOS.
The actual version of MT is 4.1.
- Multiple weblogs support;
- Static page generation (dynamic page generation available in the settings);
- Easy template tags structure;
- Support for severable databases (MYSQL, BerkeleyDB, PostgreSQL, SQLite);
- Standard OpenID and Typekey integration;
- Active community;
- Known to be secure.
- Written in Perl. Not every (small) webhoster might have an update Perl configuration;
- Installation has to be simplified;
- Many MT users have often cursed MT after upgrades broke their site;
- Less themes and plugins available than for WP;
- The administration panel requires a rather high learning curve to get used to. And find everything.
Featured Blogs Running MT
The excellent ExpressionEngine platform probably is one of my favourite platforms. EE comes in different flavours: the free ExpressionEngine Core, a lite version or the full blown, purchasable, ExpressionEngine CMS (pricing details here). ExpressionEngine Core is a great and fast blogging platform, easily customizable. Although the Core version rather limited is in its functionality, with some investigation one will immediately discover the possibilities.
ExpressionEngine Core is offered by EllisLab and the most actual version of ExpressionEngine is 1.6.3. A preview of ExpressionEngine 2.0 can be seen at Gearlive.
- Easy installation;
- Active community;
- Written in PHP, supports both PHP4 and PHP5;
- Fast page rendering;
- Easy template tag structure;
- Excellent and easy to understand documentation;
- Extensive statistics module;
- Powerful admin utilities, such as SQL Manager and Search and Replace.
- No multiple blogs support in the Core version;
- Complex administration panel with high learning curve;
- Limited license (commercial use not allowed);
- Less plugins and templates available than for WordPress;
- Although the template tag structure very easy is, it might take a while before one really knows how to make EE theming easy;
- Only supports MySQL;
- Not all the features from the full version can be replaced with existing add-ons.
Featured Sites Running ExpressionEngine Core
Habari was already in the news here at BloggingPro and certainly is one of the blog platform to watch. Started by some of the core members of the k2 theme for WordPress the idea behind Habari is simple: a blog platform with the most cutting edge technology.
The current release of Habari is 0.4.1 and nothing describes Habari better than the words of Anil Dash, Vice President at Six Apart in a Metafilter thread:
I work with the team that makes another blogging app, and at least from the standpoint of the quality of the code and application design, Habari is inarguably better. As Sean notes, though, it’s not very mature, so the user experience for a non-technical user would likely be worse. Where you’d make the tradeoff of whether it’s worth it depends on where you reside on the continuum from programmer to non-programmer. Some of the technical things I love about Movable Type (which I use) include support for database abstraction, support for multiple blogs, and a well-designed infrastructure for things like templating — Habari does all of those things very well for a young application as well.
- Cutting edge technology, PHP5.2 required;
- Support for both MySQL and SQLite (PostgreSQL support is planned);
- Apache 2.0 license, following the meritocracy principles;
- Support for Apache, Lighttp and Nginx server;
- Respected and blog experienced core developers.
- Cutting edge technology, PHP5.2 required;
- Very young community and software, only few themes and plugins available;
- Apache2.0 license: sometimes discussion, decision can take ages.
Featured Blogs Running Habari
Surprisingly Michael Heilemann and Khaled Abou Alfa are still running WordPress.
Chyrp is the last addition to this list and probably the most unknown platform. Chyrp is a lightweight and fast blogging engine, perfect if you want to run your own tumblelog. Chyrp is an awesome platform if you mainly blog about new discoveries, repost videos and links. It offers everything you need when all you want to do is blogging.
Other than listing all the pros and cons of Chyrp, I’ll rather tell you to try out the very unique Chyrp Demo platform.