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Archive for WordPress

Aug
06

WordPress and its Evolution

Posted by: Char | Comments (2)

wordpress-logoI was just reading a post at WPBeginner on the Evolution of WordPress – definitely worth taking a look at as they have included screen shots of each major release.  It is hard to believe that WordPress, a completely free, open source piece of software has inspired so many to push it to the next level with every update.

In the beginning of the WordPress era, there were a handful of passionate developers who created free themes around the WordPress platform. Now there are literally THOUSANDS of free WordPress themes and hundreds of premium WordPress themes which will allow you to have WordPress morph into about any use you can imagine.

As the WordPress developer community continues to push the envelop of its capabilities, the end result is a platform that is easier to manage, customize and use as a business tool. Even non-techies can customize their own sites easily using premium themes from the likes of Studio Press, iThemes (especially their Flexx theme) and now the super flexible and friendly Headway theme. One of the benefits to using a premium theme over a free theme is there seems to be a better support network in place so you can get questions answered as you need them.

WordPress has come so far in 6 years – I’m sure the next 6 years will see some amazing new additions to make my favorite web development platform even better than it is right now.

Categories : WordPress
Comments (2)

One of the web statistics we all look to increase is the number of actions per visitor. The higher the number, the more pages of your site visitors are viewing during a session, and the more likely they are to suscribe to your RSS feed or mailing list, purchase your product or services or simply become a new regular reader. In the past I have used the Yet Another Related Post Plugin and really liked it. The plugin matched tags and categories from previous posts and displayed them as a list of related entries at the end of each post.

A few weeks ago I discovered a new related post plugin – LinkWithin (thanks to Heather at Celiac Family) that displays your related posts along with images it generates automatically from images it finds in your posts:

Example of Link Within Plugin

Looks nice, right?

The plugin is called LinkWithin and is custom made for your site. You visit their site, enter your email address and your site name, let them know what platform you need the plugin for (they support WordPress, Blogger and TypePad as of now) and your plugin is created instantly and ready for you to save to your computer.

The install is easy – from your WordPress dashboard select Plugins, Add New and Upload the file from your computer, Activate and you are in business.

The one thing I realized quickly was that the plugin worked great on WordPress themes that were more traditional, meaning the home page was not set up with excerpts or a fancy magazine style layout. However, many of my sites that would really benefit from this plugin were using Studio Press themes that displayed as a magazine style layout on the home page. The LinkWithin widget would show up on the home page and it looked horrible.

Now for the good part! The team behind LinkWithin ROCK. I dropped them a quick email and let them know my challenge. I got an email response from a person almost immediately thanking me for using the plugin. She also let me know, not only would they make a version just for my sites with magazine themes, but that they are working on the next version of the plugin that will give users more input. Features in the next version will include things like whether to show the plugin on the home page, weighting categories or tags more, the number of related posts displayed and more.

And now for the real test – does the LinkWithin plugin really help increase the number of actions per user? YES!  I can see in my stats when visitors click through the LinkWithin widget to go to another story and the number of actions per visit has increased on each site I have the plugin installed on.

Have you tried Related Posts plugins? Which one do you prefer?

Categories : WordPress
Comments (15)

WordPress 2.8WordPress, which is undeniably one of the most amazing pieces of open source software to ever be developed, is getting ready for its next release – WordPress 2.8. While WordPress 2.8 is still in beta (round two at the time of this post), it appears that this already powerful and easy to use platform is about to get even better.

One of the highlights of this latest update is the ability to upload and activate a theme through the dashboard, much like you can do now with plugins. This is a huge plus – especially when you consider that the average WordPress user is intimidated by FTP.

Rather than rehashing what others have already put together so nicely – check out the following articles on the the new features for WordPress 2.8, its benefits and a very cool tutorial.

The official word from the Codex – WordPress 2.8

Kim Woodbridge spells it out in her post on WordPress 2.8: Upcoming Features and Enhancements

Clint Maher keeps it positive with Seven Reasons Why WordPress 2.8 is Better than Ever

Justin Tadlock has three posts on WordPress 2.8 already – The Complete Guide to Creating Widgets in 2.8, Custom Taxonomies in WordPress 2.8, and Tag Descriptions in WordPress 2.8.

I have not heard when the official release date for WordPress 2.8 actually is, but suspect it will be sometime in the next month or so. Have you tried the beta? What did you think? Do you think that the newer versions of WordPress are better or worse than the WordPress of old (2.1 and 2.3)?

Categories : WordPress
Comments (3)

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