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Archive for the ‘WordPress Tools’ Category

Will WordPress Embrace VideoPress On Android And The iPhone?

Despite the fact that my Blackberry brothers have been experiencing the joys of videohood on their beloved smartphones, iPhone users (along with their Android friends) have no official way of posting videos to their WordPress blogs.

While lovers of the iDevice can get around this by using BlogPress and CellSpin, the videos are hosted upon YouTube or CellSpin’s servers respectively, which may not appeal to many bloggers.

This all may change thanks to the release of Google’s Nexus One, not to mention WordPress’s upcoming Android app (which has been in the works since last October) in which WordPress may finally embrace mobile video blogging via VideoPress. Read More

Categories: WordPress Plugins, WordPress Tools
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WordPress for iPhone 2.0 Video

If you are a WordPress user who owns an iPhone and you still don’t know, there’s this free application on the iPhone called WordPress for iPhone that let’s you write posts, upload photos, edit pages, and moderate comments on your WordPress blog just by using your iPhone.

To know more about this plugin you can watch the video below from WordPress.TV which gives a basic introduction of what the application can do.

The app supports both WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress and is currently in version 2.0. Best of all, it’s free!

You can grab it on the AppStore by clicking here.

Categories: Important, WordPress Tools

WordPress Launches Plugin Compatibility Beta

Before, there was no way of finding out whether your plugins would still be compatible if you would upgrade your WordPress other than crossing your fingers and trying it out for yourself. If no problems were encountered then, hooray, lucky you. If problems did arise then you have no choice but to revert back to the previous version and hope that the plugin developers would make haste in making their plugin compatible.

This is the main reason why most people are afraid to upgrade to the latest version of WordPress. Thank God WordPress is always on the lookout for better ways of making things easier for its community. Alas, comes the birth of the Plugin Compatibility Beta.

Compatibility Check

If you would drop by the WordPress Plugin Directory you would notice that there is a new section titled “Compatibility” found on the right sidebar of every plugin homepage . This is a new feature that aims to help inform people on whether a version of a plugin is compatible on a particular version of WordPress based on the votes casted by those who have already tested it.

compatibility-viewing

So if you’re not sure whether you should upgrade, just check out the Plugin compatibility consensus of the plugins your using. Though it doesn’t tell us exactly what made the plugin incompatible, at least it gives us a good overview on whether we should continue the upgrade or not.

Powered by the WordPress Community

Of course, this feature would not work without the input of the community as it is mainly powered by votes. If you do happen to experience any problems with your plugins, then please take the time to inform everyone else! All you have to do is to go to the Plugin’s page and log in to vote.

compatibility-voting

The voting process is simple. Just specify the version of WordPress and the plugin and click on whether it is “broken” or if it “works”. After that, WordPress would automatically log your vote and it will be added to the “consensus” along with the votes of other users.

WordPress warns users, however, that this feature should not be used to report any minor issues with the plugin. You should only vote “Broken” if the plugin is indeed broken to the point that it is unusable or causes problems with your blog. Otherwise, it might give an inaccurate consensus.


Plugin Compatibility is still in Beta so we should expect more improvements to their system soon. I am hoping that Worpdress would soon integrate this inside the WordPress Dashboard for easy access.

More power to WordPress and its community!

What do you think about this new feature? Do you have any other suggestions that could make it better?

Categories: Important, WordPress Tools

Screencast: WordPress 2.9 Image Editing

For the longest time, I’ve been waiting for WordPress to handle images better, and allow built in editing tools. Most people don’t have Photoshop, or even understand how to use most basic image editing tools like Irfanview, and so building in a crop and resize tool into WordPress will further lower the barrier to placing images on blog posts, and potentially save bandwidth as people can choose what they want the public to see in a much more fine grain way.

Jeff Chandler has gone ahead and done up a screencast showing the basic tools available so far in the release. He does note that this might not be the final way the tools are set up, but it does give you some idea of what is being worked on for the next release with regards to image editing.

I fired up my local server today and installed the latest version of WordPress 2.9 and was surprised to see the basic image editing tools already available in the media library. I decided that the best way to display them in action was through video which also gave me another reason to open up CamtasiaStudio. In the video, I show off each individual tool as well as provide feedback on the crop tool as at this stage, does not appear to be user friendly. But, it’s very early in the development stage so it will most likely be better once it hits the public’s hands. Check out the video.

If you want to check out that screencast, head on over to WPTavern.com.

Categories: WordPress Tools

48 Resources, Tips, Tricks & Themes

While we weren’t part of the list, (for-shame!) I did want to point out the 48 Resources, Tips, Tricks & Themes post on Thinkdesign.

Today I’m bringing you a bunch of WordPress resources. As I’m sure your aware, WordPress is my tool of choice. The wonderful thing about WordPress, is you can do just about anything with it. So I’ve compiled this list in hopes of showing you some cool things you can do with your WordPress site that you might not have known. This list includes general resources, inspiration, quality themes, along with a bunch of tips & tricks (from beginner to more advanced) Enjoy!

If you are just getting into WordPress, or you are thinking about it, this list has a great number of resources that I check out nearly daily, making it perfect for any level of WordPress user or fan.

While many of you that read this blog will probably know nearly all of these sites, hopefully there will be a few that catch your eye that you haven’t frequented because the best way to learn something new about WordPress is to find those hidden gem blogs.

Categories: WordPress Tips, WordPress Tools

23 Extremely Helpful WordPress Cheat Sheets

Over on 1st Webdesigner, there is a list of twenty-three WordPress cheat sheets and resources that you’ll find helpful if you are having issues remember which code to put in to include your theme’s stylesheet or display comments. I really love these types of resource posts because the cheat sheets are one of the fastest way to get a new user up to speed when they are interested in seeing an overview of what makes WordPress tick.

Most of them are in PDF form, so you’ve been warned. If your computer chokes on PDF’s, you might want to look elsewhere, but these files are worth having. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up the same piece of code in the Codex, only to run and do a Google search regarding the function.

If you need a WordPress quick reference sheet, check out those listed on 1st Webdesigner’s list.

Categories: WordPress Tips, WordPress Tools

Freelancing with WordPress – WPCandy

The past few days, WPCandy.com has been running some great articles about using WordPress for freelancing. From dealing with project management, to managing contacts, to setting up a portfolio, and (as of today) even invoicing.

If you’re doing much in the way of freelance blogging, or just want some ideas of how you might better organize your own projects using WordPress as a management tool, I highly suggest checking them out.

They each focus on a very specific set of needs and how WordPress might fill those needs (and at times suggests better options), so it’s pretty easy to mix and match a solution that could work for just about anyone.

Here’s a tidbit from the “project management” article to get things rolling…

After checking out all these options Iʼve found the “WordPress-as-Project-Management-System” experience to be extremely lacking. The options are either simple enough that they could be replaced with Google Docs or a simple notebook or so complex that trying to use them is nearly impossible. There simply is no killer project management plugin for WordPress… yet.

I think it is worth noting that the best replacement Iʼve found for Basecamp is an open source project called Project Pier which does almost everything Basecamp does. Itʼs even themeable and they have some pretty slick options. If you want a self-hosted project management solution, Project Pier is definitely the way to go.

Check out WPCandy.com for the original articles, and a pile of other fun stuff.

Categories: WordPress Tips, WordPress Tools, WordPress Tutorials
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What Can You Do With WordPress MU?

Andrea of WPMUTutorials, has a guest post over on WPTavern about what you can do with WordPress MU.

Here’s a little preview…

With the recent news coming out of WordCamp San Fransisco, and even the buzz from WordCamp RDU, interest is high in WordPressMU, the multi-blog version of single WordPress. We don’t know when, exactly, the merge of the two will be rolled into one package and released, but more code is being blended almost every day.

In case you haven’t checked out WordPressMU, not only is it the software that powers wordpress.com, and has a much talked about plugin suite called BuddyPress, it is flexible enough to power multiple blogs on separate domains.

She goes on to explain some of the benefits of using WordPress MU (and soon, just WordPress in general), which is actually a longer list of interesting features you might expect. Well worth checking out if you run multiple WordPress sites.

Categories: WordPress Tools
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WordPress iPhone App Update

Just a quick note to all you iPhone (and iPod touch) users out there. The WordPress iPhone App has been updated to be compatible with OS 3.0.

It seems like there are also big UI changes in the works for a future update, and they sound pretty nice.

Categories: WordPress Tools
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College Crunch: WordPress as a CMS

For the last few months, I have been working on College Crunch, a site devoted to online colleges, college life, and more.

When we started the project, I knew it was going to be large in the number of pages and whatnot it used, but we decided to go with WordPress because it was a platform we knew well. Installing the blog, getting some plugins set up, and having a designer make it all look pretty was easy, actually using WordPress on a day to day basis has had some drawbacks.

Managing Pages

When you have hundreds of pages and posts, set up in WordPress it can become annoying to manage. Slowly wading through the pages, or trying to search out what you want can be frustrating. The page management feels incomplete. Also, moving many pages from being a sub-page set in one area to being a sub-page set in another area feels awkward.

I have tried out numerous page management plugins, but they have either caused errors, or left something to be desired.

Listing out Sub Pages

As I created more and more pages, I needed to list them out, and doing the xhtml link for each page I added was a pain. I had to install Exec-PHP to allow me to add some PHP to the pages, and using built-in WordPress functions, I was able to automate the process.

The code I used to list out child pages:

    < ?php
    global $id;
    wp_list_pages("title_li=&child_of=$id&show_date=modified
    &date_format=$date_format&sort_column=post_title"); ?>

Blog Posts are Less Important

Blog posts are only a small piece of the site. We knew we wanted to have a blog section, and that it was really going to be used to drive traffic and links, more than comments and community, but we left comments open and moved the blog section to the College Crunch Gazette. This left us able to use the front page for a variety of things.

We highlighted the blog posts pretty heavily on the front page, though only a percentage of our visitors come from the front page anyways.

Post Images

Each one of our blog posts have an image attached to them so that on the front page we can use the Post Image plugin to highlight posts in an effective way. The posts that don’t have an image automatically show a graduation cap image on the front page. This has been great at drawing attention, but looks bad if the trend is to not include an image, as I am bad for not doing.

Search

I am not a fan of WordPress’ built-in search, and even after taking some ideas from Joost de Valk’s make search suck less post, I am still not happy with the type of results it gives. I might push for us to switch to Google’s Custom Search, and integrate it as best as we can into the design of the site.

Conclusion

WordPress is very malleable, which is great, but it doesn’t come with very many, or very well thought out CMS features and that has been more than a little frustrating.

Sure, we could have gone with another platform to run the site, but that would have meant a learning curve, and learning curves slow down site development and launching. I really hope that more people take the time and energy to develop plugins for WordPress that will allow it to act more like a CMS, and that College Crunch will be able to continue without too much frustration until they exist.

Categories: WordPress Tips, WordPress Tools