Archive for June, 2009

Curious WordPress Plugins

June 30th, 2009

I bet you’ve seen hundreds if not thousands of lists of the “best”, “useful”, “must have” etc. WordPress plugins. But have you ever come across strange, odd, even funny plugins? I have, and thus decided to share these findings with you. Some of the plugins described below might be actually fruitful and some are completely useless, but all of them are rather curious.

This nice plugin has one goal - to check your posts and change all “worpdress”, “WordPres”, “worldpress” etc. to a proper “WordPress”. If you have a problem of misspelling this is a great helper. You can also add your own commonly misspelled words and use the plugin to change the abbreviations to the full words.

CA-Weekday WordPress Plugin
Nice little thing that will change the boring day names like Monday and Tuesday to funny names like Rest Day, Back to Work Day, Still Back to Work Day and so on.

The TimeZoneCalculator WordPress Plugin
This plugin might actually be useful for a travelling blogger as it calculates and displays dates and time across different time zones.

Give a Beer
This is the widget that lets your visitors to give you a virtual beer. Funny little thing for beer lovers.

Fun Facts
I find this plugin to very interesting and entertaining. It adds a sidebar widget that displays interesting, weird and curious random fun facts.

My Worst Posts
Everyone shows their best posts that are most commented, this widget on the contrary shows the less commented posts. Who knows, maybe someone would like to comment? ;)

I’ve come across a number of strange translating plugins. They might be useful if you’d like to make your reader decrypt your posts or if you want to target the post to someone who knows the language or just have some fun with your content.

Pig Latin
Translates all your messages into Pig Latin.

Fun Filters hack
Translates posts and comments into Elmer Fudd, Pig Latin or any other silly language.

Text Filter Suite WordPress Plugin
If you are a fan of pirates, pirate stories and everything connected to them you’ll love this plugin. It converts your posts into “pirate talk”.

Well, do you have some strange or funny WordPress plugins to share?

Take Care Of All of Your Readers: Create a Mobile Version of Your Blog

June 25th, 2009

In nowadays world everything and everyone is moving fast and time becomes more and more precious. Small wonder that everything mobile is so popular. Mobile technologies give the opportunity to safe time on doing small but so important things like checking your email or reading updates of your favorite blogs. And as everything here is about WordPress and blogging you may guess what the point of this post is going to be - mobile version of your WordPress blog of course.
Remember my post about the WordPress version for iPhone? Well, I assume not everyone has iPhone, thus lets figure out how to create the mobile version of your blog for everyone - iPhone and not iPhone users. There are actually several ways to create beautiful and lightweight version of your blog for mobile phones:

#1 MoFuse
This service is a very simple way of creating a mobile version of your blog. All you have to do is to put your URL and complete the necessary registration and your desired mobile version is ready in no time.

#2 Wirenode
Pretty much the same service as MoFuse, creates your mobile version in about two minutes.

#3 Google Mobile Optimizer
Official mobile site creator from Google creates the version in seconds. All your content, links and images will be nicely put into your mobile version.

If you want to create a mobile blog from scratch without doing the initial coding this is a good solution. The site offers a number of customizable templates for mobile phones, the whole process of creating a mobile blog here looks pretty much like building a common blog - you select a theme and edit it to look like you want it to be. That’s it.

And here are some useful tutorials on the subject:

* Make a mobile version of your blog with Google Reader

* Create a mobile version of your blog with plugin

* Creating Mobile Version of your blog with branding and customize it

Once you have your blog mobile version created don’t forget to put a link to it on your blog or improve your code to redirect those visitors who browse your blog through mobile phones to the appropriate version.
Taking care of all of your readers you give them another reason to come back to your blog, thus do consider creating a mobile version of your weblog if you still don’t have one. : )

Do you know more ways to make a mobile version of a website?

WordPess plugins for Your Blog Security

June 23rd, 2009

We already discussed the protection of your WordPress based websites, but precautions can never be excessive, thus here are some good working plugins for you to secure your blog.

* WP Security Scan
Very good plugin, it scans your weblog backwards and forward for security issues, carefully checks passwords, database security, admin protection, file permissions.

* WP AntiVirus
This little helper carefully checks your WP theme for malicious code. If someone inserts anything malicious to your code you’ll be alerted. I recommend to enable a daily scan.

* Secure Files
With this plugin you are able to upload/download files from outside of the web document root, thus your blog will be more protected. You can restrict file downloads to logged in users.

* AskApache Password Protect
This powerful plugin will secure your WP Admin with htaccess password protection. No unwanted bot will be able to enter your website.

* Secure WordPress
Good working plugin that will hide your WP version info from non-administrators and your plugin directory from the visitors.

* Sabre
No bots will be able to register at your weblog with this plugin. Among other measures it adds image verification or math test to the registration process.

* WordPress Exploit Scanner
Searches your blog inside out for anything suspicious. Not only it checks your files, comments, posts and database, but also examines the list of your plugins for unusual file names

* WordPress Firewall
This cool plugin easily identifies and stops most obvious attacks. It detects suspicious parameters and responds with a 404 error page or a home page redirect.

Do share WordPress security tips you know at the comments below.

Best Travel Blog Free WP Templates

June 18th, 2009

Summer is the time for vacations and adventures and I’m pretty sure many of you would like to share your travel impressions and experiences with relatives, friends and strangers. Of course you can carry your trip photos with you and show them to every person you meet, but I think launching a travel blog is much more convenient solution. Thus I’ve collected the best free vacation blog themes. Describe your cruises, flights and resorts you’ve been to or only plan to visit, share your pleasant and unpleasant experiences with airlines and travel agencies, show the maps and photos of your adventures, give other people valuable info about the places you’ve been to and help others to have the time of their life during their vacations. These are the mere things you can do with the WordPress themes presented below.

* Beautiful Beach
best free travel wp theme

This brilliant 3 columns, right sidebar theme is designed by Tamara Smith and is perfectly suitable for your personal travel blog. It’s creative header tempts to leave everything, forget about important things to do and go to the seaside immediately. :)

* Travel 4 Theme
free vacation wordpress theme

Dave Waldheim has created this awesome wp theme to suit any blog dedicated to travels and vacation. The theme is 2 columns, right sidebar, widget ready and features a nice header with beautiful pictures of tourist places.

* SW Travel2 Blue
free travel blog template

I love this widget ready, 2 columns, right sidebar theme by stephenweb for the awesome header it features. The beautiful beach, bright sky, the palm and two empty lounges inviting you to seat on them, isn’t it the way you’d describe the Paradise? :)

* Holiday Blue
best free vacation wordpress skin

This plane and simple design created by mywpthemes is a very good choice for a personal blog related to traveling and vacations. This free theme is 2 Columns, Left Sidebar and Widget Ready, the blue and pale yellow color scheme make the design very attractive.

* Exotic Vacation
best free vacation WordPress skin

This amazing widget ready, 2 columns, left sidebar theme by Brian is my personal number one for today. It is so brilliantly designed, the navigation is very comfortable and intuitive, the color scheme is calm and attractive and I really love the details as the bird on the top of the direction sign and the plane at the sky.

So, where do you plan to go for a vacation this year?

Useful WordPress Tutorials

June 16th, 2009

As you may have guessed from the title - below are some WordPress tutorials that you might find handy. I tried to pick up the most easy to follow and fruitful in results tutorials.
If you’ve been wondering how the WP themes are created here is a small roundup of the best tutorials on designing WordPress themes for beginners:

* So You Want to Create Wordpress Themes, Huh?
Actually this is not a one tutorial but a series of 16 lessons on almost every aspect of Wordpress theme development. I think every beginner should read this.

* How to Create WordPress Themes from Scratch.
This is a step-by-step tutorial in 3 parts on how to design a WP theme from scratch. This is a very popular tutorial, clearly written and easy to follow. Great place to start if you are looking for a comprehensive guide on designing and coding a theme.

* How to Create a WordPress Theme from Scratch.
Another step-by-step tutorial in two parts, covering the basics of WordPress theme development.

If you have updated to the latest WordPress version below are tutorials you might find handy:

* The Ultimate Wordpress 2.8 Optimization Guide will teach you how to speed up your blog.

* Build A WordPress 2.8 Widget With The New Widget API is a very good tutorial if you plan to create a widget for your new WordPress.

* Tag descriptions in WordPress 2.8 will teach you how to add descriptions to your tags and answer the question why you should add them at the first place.

Are there some tutorials you’d like to share with us?

P.S.: Don’t be shy and submit your wp themes to WPDaddy free WordPress themes collection. ;)

WordPres 2.8 Baker

June 12th, 2009

wordpressAs you remember I already announced a new WordPress version 2.8, but it was a beta. Well, science June, 10 you can download a complete WordPres 2.8 Baker. The version is named in honour of the famous vocalist and trumpeter Chet Baker.
All the features described in my previous post are still there: improved plugin search and widget user interface, per page option for plugins, more than one gallery at a page etc. The most notable feature of the new WordPress seems to be the ability to browse themes within the Dashboard. This new feature makes changing colours, number of columns and width a fast and easy task. Besides WordPress 2.8 is much faster in work. Generally the new version looks pretty much the same as 2.7 but with some changes here and there. There are 790 reported bugs fixed and over 180 upgrades are listed here.
You can download the new version here.
So, if you’ve already tried the WordPress 2.8 do share your comments below.

Is your content easy to read?

June 10th, 2009

The readability of your blog posts is the key to your success. You expect your readers to get the message put in the blog posts you write, but how can they if your blog is not comfortably readable? Below are few tips to help you improve your blog readability

* The post should be clearly separated from the design. The beginning and ending of your posts should be visually obvious.

* Be neat. No one likes too long articles even if the subject is interesting. You most likely can say in 20 words the same thing you said in 45 for instance.

* Underline the links. Links are expected to be underlined, thus do not disappoint you readers :) Thus if the links are expected to be underlined nothing else should.

* Don’t break up the posts with the adverts. Putting the ads in the middle of the posts you just annoy your readers and distract them from the article.

* Use italics and bold. If the reader doesn’t have time to read the whole post you’ll help him skim through the text highlighting the key elements. Note that if you use italics and bold there’s no need to change the color and size of the highlighted words.

* Put the post images at the beginning of the post. Post images are used mainly to attract attention, thus they work best when put at the top of the page.

* Centre the images that are a part of the article (charts, diagrams etc.) Thus you’ll show the reader that the image is a part of the text not just an element of decore, and don’t forget to skip a line before and after the picture.

* Use common fonts. Make sure your posts are written with common fonts that everyone has.

* The sidebar should be short. The sidebar competes with the post for attention, thus the sooner it ends the better.

These are only few things to consider when writing a readable post.

What else do you do to improve your blog readability?

Best Themes of the May 2009

June 2nd, 2009

I try to show you the most creative wordpress themes from WPDaddy collection every now and then, well, today I’m going to show you my personal top5 of the free wp themes that have been submitted to the gallery during the May 2009.
Olive Todd
personal page wp theme
Designed by WPThemerz this two columns, right sidebar theme is widget ready and perfectly suitable for any personal weblog. I especially like the design of the header and the footer of this theme performed in green color palette.

best personal blog wordpress theme
This is a 2 columns, right sidebar, adsense and widget ready theme from skinpress. What I like about it is the good color palette of gray and a beautiful air balloon icon for rss feed. The theme is great for any personal blog.

Wedding Romance
free wedding wordpress theme
If you are running a business anyhow connected to weddings or would like to launch a personal blog dedicated to the most romantic day of your life you’ll love this 2 columns, left sidebar, widget ready theme developed by FreeWebsiteThemes. I like the design elements at the body of this theme and its header reminds me the gorgeous movies of the past.

Halloween Pumpkin
free WordPress theme
This is one of my most favourite themes from WPDaddy collection of free wordpress themes. Maybe it’s because Halloween is my favourite holiday or maybe because this 2 columns, right sidebar, adsense and widget ready theme from Costume Finder is so nicely designed. If you love Halloween as much as I do you’ll love this theme either.

Ducks and boating
Best Free WordPress Theme
I like everything about this 2 columns, right sidebar, widget ready theme designed by John Skinner. Not that I love sea and boating that much, but the quality of the design and the cute duck at the header made me name this free wp theme number one of the May 2009.

Do you have your personal favourites at the WPDaddy themes collection?