Category Archives: WordPress

Adding a Delicious share button …

Do you utilize WordPress.com for your website or blog?

Deutsch: Neues Logo Delicious (seit) English: ...

Image via Wikipedia

If you do then you are likely aware of the share options that were implemented.

You may also have noticed that Delicious was not one of the options included.

So how do you create a share button for Delicious?  Utilize this information after clicking on “Add a new service.”

You can then add the service along with the other “Share” options.

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Tips for Optimizing WordPress Blog

Do you have a WordPress blog that is self-hosted?  Consider using these tips to optimize it?

English: The logo of the blogging software Wor...

Image via Wikipedia

The beauty of WordPress is in how easy it is to adapt for different tasks. One can extend it with just a couple of lines of code. In this post, we’ll review 10 shortcode snippets that will tweak and optimize your WordPress theme. You can add all of these code snippets to the functions.php file in your WordPress theme.

Limit The Excerpt’s Word Count

One thing that can go wrong in WordPress magazine themes is when users include too many words before the more tag. Sure, they could handcraft the excerpt in the dedicated field, but on a website that has hundreds of posts and on which the text above the more tag has always been used as the excerpt, going back to create excerpts for all of those posts by hand would be cumbersome. In this case, we can limit the number of words shown in the excerpt by using this code:

1 add_filter('excerpt_length', 'ilc_excerpt_length');
2 function ilc_excerpt_length( $length ){
3     return 10;
4 }

Here, we’re using a WordPress filter hook, which is a function that parses and (usually) modifies data before it gets stored in the database or displayed on a page. In this case, we’re setting the number of words shown in the excerpt to 10.

Add A Favicon Using A WordPress Hook

Hooks allow us to insert custom code without touching the template. This gives us a lot of flexibility, because now, whenever we need to change something, we only have to change the function that’s plugged into a certain hook. For example, you can add a favicon to your website without touching the header.php file, just by plugging a function into the wp_head hook:

1 add_action( 'wp_head', 'ilc_favicon');
2 function ilc_favicon(){
3     echo "<link rel='shortcut icon' href='" . get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . "/favicon.ico' />" . "\n";
4 }

The favicon.ico file should be located at the root of your theme. We’re now using an action hook, which is a function that is triggered at specific points during an execution by WordPress’ core. In this case, the hook triggers any function that’s attached to it when a page is launched in the browser. But other hooks can be triggered when saving a post, registering a user and so on. Some themes even have their own action hooks, which, like WordPress’ core action hooks, can be used to launch functions at specific points of an execution.

Redirect WordPress Feeds To FeedBurner

It’s great that WordPress offers feeds out of the box. But if you want statistics about your subscribers, you’ll have to use FeedBurner or a similar service. To redirect your feed to one of these, use the following snippet. Thus, if you try to go to http://www.smashingmagazine.com/feed (http://www.smashingmagazine.com/feed), you’ll be redirected to FeedBurner’s feeds for Smashing Magazine (http://feeds.feedburner.com/smashingmagazine).

1 add_action('template_redirect', 'ilc_rss_redirect');
2 function ilc_rss_redirect() {
3     if ( is_feed() && !preg_match('/feedburner|feedvalidator/i', $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'])){
4         header('Location: http://feeds.feedburner.com/smashingmagazine');
5         header('HTTP/1.1 302 Temporary Redirect');
6     }
7 }

Replace http://feeds.feedburner.com/smashingmagazine with the URL for your own feed from FeedBurner.

Go to the source to see additional tips for optimizing your self-hosted WordPress blog.  Are there other things besides these tips that you have utilized?

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Securing your WordPress blog

It’s important to take precautions to prevent hackers from finding ways into your blog site.  Here are some to implement:

You do not need to have excellent programming or technical knowledge to do any of these:

Use a strong password

As it is with all the other passwords that you maintain for your online banking or other secure transactions, your password for WordPress should ideally be made up of upper and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols used as a better security measure. It is surprising how many people use passwords like “password”, “iloveyou” and “123456″.

Regardless of how strong the password is, it is recommended that you change your password at least once every 3 months.

Do not reveal your WordPress version

Hackers can plan a specific attack on your website if they know the security issues that the version is faced with. The version of WordPress is usually included in the theme that is used. To remove this information from your website:

  1. You need to log in to your WordPress dashboard and Go to Appearance > Editor.
  2. Click on the Header file on the right hand side.
  3. When you see codes on the left, search for a line that looks something like: php bloginfo(’version’); ?>” />
  4. Delete this and click on the “Update File” button.

(Source: ZMD94)

Go to the source to find out other precautionary steps to take.

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WordPress 3.05 now available

If you host your own WordPresssite you want to make the switch to version 3.05 which came out earlier this week.

WordPress

Image by Adriano Gasparri via Flickr

Why you ask?

Because the update is a security hardening one.

The release addresses a number of issues and provides two additional enhancements:

Two moderate security issues were fixed that could have allowed a Contributor- or Author-level user to gain further access to the site.

One information disclosure issue was addressed that could have allowed an Author-level user to view contents of posts they should not be able to see, such as draft or private posts.

Two security enhancements were added. One improved the security of any plugins which were not properly leveraging our security API. The other offers additional defense in depth against a vulnerability that was fixed in previous release.

You can download 3.05 here if you don’t want to do the auto-upgrade.

 

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Easier to move to self-hosted WordPress

The logo of the blogging software WordPress.
Image via Wikipedia

Have you started your blog on WordPress().com, and then thought about moving on to a self-hosted WordPress installation? The move gives you more freedom, but it also hurts your blog’s SEO rankings. Now, however, WordPress offers a solution: Offsite Redirect.

The new feature, which can be accessed in your dashboard under “Upgrades,” lets you permanently redirect your WordPress.com blog to another web address. The upgrade is not free, but it costs an affordable $12 per year.

Once you purchase the upgrade, you can manage your redirect under Upgrades -> Domains, where you can change the destination URL (or suspend the redirect) as you please. (Source: Mashable)

For those WordPress users that don’t self-host yet, what do you think of this move?

Powered by ScribeFire.

 

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Creating a local host for your WordPress blog

(H/T – E1evationLLC)

Although I still use the freebie hosting site I’ll have to seriously consider doing this once I move to self-hosting my WordPress blogs.

Many of us have personal blogs or blogs that make us a second income. And we don’t want to go upsetting our readers by coding and developing them on the Internet. Imagine if every time you visited MUO there were design changes, buggy issues or features constantly being moved about and deleted!

So developing your WordPress blog offline is the best option because you don’t interrupt readership (assuming the blog is online already and you’re simply updating), you don’t have to upload pictures and media and you can view your blog easily without it being live on the internet for everyone to see you shoddy design work. The easiest way to do this is to learn how to set up a blog offline. This is done by creating a host on your PC which acts like a host on the Internet such as GoDaddy. (Source: How to set up a WordPress blog on your PC using a local host – MakeUseof)

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The top blogging platform …

WordPress
Image via Wikipedia

when the choice is WordPress or Typepad:

On Monday we asked all of you to vote between WordPress and Typepad in order to figure out which blogging platform should reign supreme. The fight wasn’t even close, though.

3,102 votes were cast, and with 87% of vote, WordPress destroyed Typepad. WordPress garnered 2,714 votes compared to Typepad’s mere 267 ballots (9%). 121 of you decided to call it a tie. (Source: Poll: WordPress overwhelms Typead in Reader Vote – Mashable, Social Media Guide)

I’d be curious if the results would be similar in a poll involving WordPress and Blogger.

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Useful blogging tools

Image representing WordPress as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

If you utilize the WordPress platform, there are tons of tools to utilize that make things run smoother.  Here are some that were highlighted by Six Revisions.  (H/T – E1evationllc on Twitter)

1. ScribeFire

ScribeFire is a Firefox plugin that gives you an array of useful features and options for writing posts. You can drag and drop content from a variety of sources (which the WordPress Visual Editor currently doesn’t fully support), manage and leave notes on your posts, upload files via the built-in FTP, create timestamps, and manage uploaded images. ScribeFire is the tool of choice for bloggers that need moar cowbell than what the WordPress built-in editor affords them.

2. WordPress Helper

Whether you’re new to WordPress or an experienced veteran blogger, you’ll find WordPress Helper to be a much-welcomed addition to your blogging arsenal. WordPress Helper notifies you of new WordPress versions, gives you the ability to set custom keyboard shortcuts, and places useful help files, accessible by right-clicking on the page on a PC, at your finger tips.

3. Screen grab to WordPress!

If you include a lot of screenshots in your posts, you should check out the free Firefox add-on, Screen grab to WordPress!. You can save a web page as an image, and then use the tool to automatically upload it to your WordPress site with a click of a button.

4. WordPress scanner

With WordPress Scanner, you can sleep easier at night knowing that your blog is safe from known and potential security vulnerabilities. WordPress Scanner is available as a web-based application, or as a WordPress plugin.

5. Broken Link Checker

Broken Link Checker is a WordPress plugin that essentially checks your hyperlinks to see if they’re still active. It scans your posts and pages to check for broken links and then notifies you via the WordPress Dashboard if there are any broken links found. You can set specific times for when the link-scanning occurs and it’s recommended you pick a low-traffic time of the day to do so.

6. Google Syntax Highlighter

If you’ve ever tried including code snipplets in your WordPress posts through the WordPress Visual Editor, only to find out how it mangles your prettily-formatted code, you’ll love Google Syntax Highlighter, a WordPress plugin that handles preformatted code in your WordPress posts and pages. Google Syntax Highlighter makes it much easier to display code on your posts and colors (“highlights”) the syntax for better readability. If Google Syntax Highlighter isn’t for you, check out WP-Syntax, WP-Chili, or SyntaxHighlighter Plus.

7. Insights

Insights is a WordPress plugin that assists you in finding and gathering information and media for your blog posts. Insights gives you the ability to search existing blog posts for specific information and an intuitive interface for searching external websites and services such as Flickr, Youtube, Wikipedia, and Google Blog search – all from within the WordPress interface.

8. Windows Live Writer

There are but a handful of notable Microsoft applications – Windows Live Writer is one of them. Windows Live Writer is a free desktop application that’s compatible with WordPress (along with other popular publishing platforms like Blogger and Typepad). You can write posts offline and upload them whenever you’re ready to publish.

If you’re a Mac user, check out ecto or Thingamablog (a cross-platform desktop app for Linux, Mac, and Windows users).

(Source: 15 Useful Tools for WordPress Bloggers – Six Revisions)

Go check out the rest of the tools highlighted.  Just keep in mind that if you use the free .com platform offered by WordPress some tools may not be useable.

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