Oct 14, 2007 by Matt | Posted in Blogging
Imagine this scenario: You have a personal, and somewhat random, blog that you write on for about six months, then you decide that you want to start a new blog on a specific topic instead (or in addition to) so all those people don’t have to weed through descriptions of your lunch so they can find the secret to beating level 29 in Donkey Kong 73. So you decide to start a gaming blog. The only thing is, what if you want to put some of your better content on the new blog instead? Google doesn’t like it when you re-post something on a different domain.
I ran into this problem myself. I’d, for about 6-7 months, been blogging at http://redwallhp.ntugo.com. Eventually I decided to start blogging here instead, so I revamped this site into a blog. Then I launched NTugo. I was quickly out of time for my old blog. I’d mainly posted computer stuff on there anyway, so Webmaster-Source and the NTugo blogs covered me fine.
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Oct 11, 2007 by Matt | Posted in Design, Featured
Do you have a bunch of useless stuff cluttering your post pages? Are there things there that should not be? Are there things that could be implemented better?
Don’t put it off any longer, it’s time to clean-up your post pages (the single.php template in WordPress).
First of all, get rid of that “DiggIt” widget. If someone’s going to digg your post, then they’ll find a plain text link sufficient. Also, you save yourself the embarrassment of having “0 Diggs” stamped on all of your posts. Get rid of it, and save yourself an HTTP request to Digg’s servers.
While you’re removing the DiggIt widget, kill some of those social bookmarking icons. Keep them down to five or less. You can use the wonderful Share This plugin to sweep them under a virtual rug, gaining you a cool “Share By Email” form as well. If you want, you can keep some of the more commonly used bookmarking links if you want, but Share This can replace the rest.
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Oct 7, 2007 by Matt | Posted in WordPress
WordPress 2.4 will be released on December 12, and 2.5 in the following May. According to Blogging Pro, we will be seeing “some very visible changes to the WordPress administration panel.” What does that mean? Will the admin be redesigned? We could do with a change from that blue color, and dropdown navigation would be nice.
Personally, I’d like to see an improved admin, along with the following:
- An RSS template, so we can customize our feeds
- WYSIWYG (or WYSIWTH if you prefer) editor fixes. I’m tired of the editor “fixing” code I write (or paste) into the code tab. If I paste in a YouTube video embed, then I want it to work. I don’t want the code mangled into dysfunctional rubbish. The same goes for the way it replaces <div> tags with <p> tags.
- I want my Technorati inbound links back! Who’s bright idea was it to use Google Blog Search instead?
- 301 Redirection. If I change a post slug, the old one should automatically redirect to the new one. It would also be nice to be able to set-up redirects manually. That way, if you do some podcasting or something like that, you can say visit www.myblog.com/bg70 instead of a full permalink.
Those are the major things that I want fixed, and something tells me we won’t see many (or any) of my biggest complaints addressed in WP 2.4.
By the way, Westi on WordPress will be posting updates on the development of WordPress 2.4, so keep an eye on the blog to see what’s being added. The posts are tagged WordPress 2.4, so grab this RSS feed to get the updates.
Oct 5, 2007 by Matt | Posted in WordPress
301 redirects are useful for numerous things. If you change a post slug is WordPress, then you can place a 301 redirect so anyone going to the old URL will be redirected to the new one. This had the added bonus of letting search engines know (when they re-crawl your site) that they need to update the URL they have stored. Others use 301 redirects when they use affiliate links, so no PageRank is passed on, and so if the affiliate URL changes, they can update their links by just changing the redirect target.
There are plenty of ways to do 301 redirects. You can use the PHP Header() command, you can edit your .htaccess files (using the mod_rewrite feature), etc. Mod_rewrite is generally the most versatile method, but it’s a big pain in the neck.
The Urban Giraffe blog has released a neat plugin that handles all of this for you. Their 301 redirection plugin makes it insanely easy to add custom redirects. I’d thought of writing a plugin like this before, but it looks like they beat me to it. Take a look.
Sep 28, 2007 by Matt | Posted in WordPress
You know that convenient spot on the WordPress dashboard that shows links leading to your blog? Guess what. As of WordPress 2.3 it doesn’t work anymore. Some genius thought that instead of pulling the list from Technorati, they should use Google Blog Search instead. Now instead of seeing a list of recent incoming links, it seems to be more of a list of your recent posts. What’s with that? I hope they patch it soon.
Here’s an example:
What was the reason behind this change (could it be loading speed?), and why didn’t they notice the bug I just discovered?
Sep 27, 2007 by Matt | Posted in WordPress
Yes, I know there are still a few days until November. I figured I’d publish the November theme a little ahead of schedule though. This month’s theme is called The Morning After.
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Sep 9, 2007 by Matt | Posted in Blogging
You’ve heard of Speedlinking, right? Examples: BlogBuzz, Weekly WTH, Speedlinking. NorthXEast.com defines Speedlinking as
“The Speedlinker (named in honor of Problogger Darren Rowse) is a post where you link up a series of posts from other blogs that your readers would be interested in, usually with a brief description attached.”
Speedlinking is easy to do, sends some of your PageRank Power to other blogs (which is good by the way), and can help your blog out in numerous ways. You’re by no means limited to Speedlinking the way others do it. You can do it like Darren Rowse, or you could do it like the Weekly WTH and attempt to be funny. Develop your own style.
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Aug 26, 2007 by Matt | Posted in WordPress
Do you run a multi-author WordPress blog? When it gets bigger, someone may (eventually) want the ability to subscribe to a single author’s posts. It’s possible, and it’s ridiculously simple to do. Don’t underestimate the power of the WordPress Template Tags!
You can add an Author RSS subscription link to any post page with a simple line of code:
<a href="<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>/?feed=rss2&author=<?php the_author_ID(); ?>"><?php the_author(); ?></a>
This will output the post author’s name, linked to an RSS 2.0 feed of their posts. Easy!
I’m surprised that so many people don’t realize you can do this.
Aug 12, 2007 by Matt | Posted in WordPress
This month’s highlighted WordPress theme is Blog Oh Blog, which is a copy of the design used by BlogOhBlog.com, the creator of the theme.
It’s a three column layout, with a fixed 990px width, and plenty of good spots for sticking AdSense ads. It’s fairly simplistic, though not too much so. Take a look and download it if you wish.
Jul 7, 2007 by Matt | Posted in WordPress
Vertigo Red is a great theme, available in both a 2-column and a 3-column version.
For the uninformed, “2-column” means the theme has a content column and a sidebar. “3-column” means the theme has two sidebars.
In the case of Vertigo red, the two sidebars are both on the right. This is a current trend, that works well for some sites, though it limits the space available for content. Personally, I’d go with the 2-column version (which is the one pictured to the right).
Vertigo Red is a traditional-style blog theme, listing the most recent posts down the front page, unlike the innovative Gridlock theme, which only shows three posts on the main page.