Tag Archives: WordPress

GoCodes Redirection Plugin 1.0

Introducing my latest WordPress plugin: GoCodes, the redirection plugin for WordPress.

Have you ever had to give someone a shortened version of a URL? Maybe you’re a podcaster, and you need to say “visit mydomain.com/2008/01/03/my-post-with-a-long-url/ for more info.” Wouldn’t it be useful if you could just say “go to mydomain.com/go/mycoolpost/ ?” Sure, you could use a service like tinyurl.com, but that’s still not too great if you need the URL for a podcast. It’s still awkward to read-out “tinyurl.com/27asr9,” isn’t it? It’s less professional too. GoCodes let’s you create shortcut URLs to anywhere on the internet, right from your WordPress Admin. Whether you need it for podcasting, printed publications, or affiliate programs, GoCodes will do the job for you.

You can read more and download the plugin here.

WordPress Theme of the Month: Illacrimo

It’s February 2008, and this month’s featured WordPress theme is Illacrimo.

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Don’t you hate it when you’re reading a blog, and you’re trying to find that post on Page 23, but the only way to get there is by clicking the “Next page” link over and over and over and over…

Don’t do that to your blog’s readers. Use WP-PageNavi.

WP-PageNavi allows you to replace the annoying “Next/Previous” links with a much better pagination solution. The Next and Previous options are still there, but some new numbered links are added. It’s similar to the bottom of Digg.com.

By the way, if you run into a (WordPress) blog that doesn’t use WP-PageNavi, here’s a tip: Just change your current URL to http://www.theblog.com/page/23/. Problem solved. :D

How to Feature Your Best Posts in Your Sidebar

Looking for a way to feature some of your better posts? Here’s a method I’ve been using for a few months (visible on the index and the screencap to the right).

The five most recent posts that I’ve marked as “Featured” will appear in the list, along with a “view all” option that takes the clicker to a custom date-based archive.

How does it work? It’s done with multiple loops and categories.

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Start Using Polls on Your Blog

Polls are a great way to solicit opinions, and add some community to your site.

With a poll, a user can just click a button to give you their two cents. Meanwhile, it takes a lot more effort to leave a comment. Which do you think your readers prefer? While comments allow them to say anything they want, polls enable a quick multiple-choice response (which can be very useful). Also, I’ve found that blog posts with attached polls tend to generate more comments.

Once you decide you need a poll, you need to actually add one. You have plenty of choices for implementing your poll. Here are a few of the better services/scripts:

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Code in WordPress Posts

Have you ever tried to put a snippet of HTML/PHP/etc in a tutorial you were writing? The best way is not entirely obvious.

Many will recommend using a plugin for the simple act of displaying code snippets. I recommend, instead, doing it manually. Here’s what you need to do:

Note: I assume you are using the WYSIWYG “visual editor”. If you’re using the other one, the steps will be similar, but there may be be some differences. If you’re not using the visual editor, then chances are you already know how do this.

  1. Open your preferred text editor.
  2. Write your code snippet in it.
  3. Use the Replace tool to change every instance of ” to ". Do the same with angle brackets, and any other symbols that need to be replaced with character entities. Technically, you can just paste everything into the WordPress WYSIWYG editor (and it will convert everything), but you will still need to replace the quote marks with "s.
  4. Copy and paste the code into the WordPress editor.
  5. Switch to the “Code” tab, and put some <code> tags around your pasted snippet.

That’s it. Do you really need a plugin for that?

8 Tips For a Blazing-Fast Blog

No one actually likes waiting. Some of us are just better at it than others.

The internet seems to be a parallel reality where time passes differently, slow at times, fast at others. Web pages seem to take eons to load, no matter how fast your internet connection is. I remember having to wait more than a minute for most pages to load (that was back when I had dial-up). Nowadays I have a DSL connection that generally runs in the 700k-900k range. It’s a lot faster, but not fast enough. Sure, some pages load lightning-fast, but others still seem to crawl along. While they’re not taking over a minute to load, it sure seems like it.

While you’re using the web, time flies by overly quick. It seemed like it was taking an hour for that video to load, but it was really only five minutes. So why is it four o’clock? Oh yeah, you logged-on to World of Warcraft for a few minutes… But how does that come-out to be an hour?

Do you get what I’m saying?

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WordPress Theme of the Month: Visionary 1.1

Visionary is this month’s highlighted WordPress theme.

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Permalink Optimization

If you’re reading this, you probably know what a permalink is. This article is about optimizing your permalinks for both search engines and your readers. That said, do not change your permalink structure if you can help it. If you’re starting a new blog, put a bit of thought into your permalink structure of choice. Otherwise, you should probably leave them alone. By changing your permalink structure, you’re basically killing off all of your search rankings and incoming links (kind of defeats the purpose). However, if you are an .htaccess expert (and feel like setting up a complex redirection scheme), you could update your permalink structure (though I’d still advise against it).

Some of the More Common Permalink Structures

WordPress’s default format for permalinks is http://www.yourdomain.com/?p=456. The number “456” is the numerical id for the post. If your permalinks look like this, then change them immediately. They’re not very user-friendly, and they won’t rank well in search engines. Even if you’ve been blogging for awhile, you can go ahead and change them. Doesn’t that contradict what I said earlier? No, because the default permalinks always work, and will just redirect people to the updated URL.

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WordPress Plugin: Accept Submissions For Posts

The TDO Mini Forms WordPress Plugin allows you to create a form on your blog that allows people to write a post on your blog. Submitted entries are saved as drafts for your approval.

You will find this plugin useful if you run a blog that’s big on collaboration. For most of us, however, it’s probably a better option to accept guest posts the “normal” way, by setting up a contributor account, letting your guest writer write a post, then approving it.

It’s an interesting concept, though I’m not about to use this plugin on any of my WordPress-based sites. However, if you accept a lot of guest articles then this may save you a bit of time and effort.