Two New Ways To Get WP News

I got word of two projects today which may be valuable sources of information dealing with WordPress within the near future. The first is called WPSource.com. WPSource.com is an aggregation website that displays the 5 most recent headlines from major players within the WordPress community. The site features a fancy drop down animation once a headline is clicked.

WPSource Screenshot

A small excerpt from the post is displayed with a read more link at the bottom of the excerpt. When you browse to WPSource for the first time, it takes a little while for the page to load which can’t be blamed fully on the domain itself as it’s pulling the 5 headlines from outside sources. Even though this is a work in progress, I would like to see either fav icons of the site listed along side the headlines or some other images to really give the site some spice.

Our second contestant is adii who is building a community oriented project which will be a WordPress magazine which will highlight content from the thought leaders within the community of WordPress. The types of content that will be aggregated include: general and misc WordPress news, themes, designs and designers, plugins and development.

WordPRessMagazine Project

As you can already tell at a glance, both projects are circling around to the same conclusion but displaying the results in two different ways. Even though adii does not have a public demo, I can already tell you that I enjoy seeing the aggregated content displayed in this fashion versus WPSource. If the ability to subscribe to the specific categories will be possible in this iteration, I’ll have it give this design bonus points as it will help me condense these feeds into my Feed Reader.

When I look at this design mockup, I sometimes feel confused by where the post is being aggregated from. However, I enjoy the fact that this design will place more importance to the favicon as it’s use and importance has gone through the floor.

As it stands, WPSource is farther ahead in development as they at least have a working demo/project online that works. However, once the Magazine project comes online, it will definitely give WPSource a run for it’s money. One nice thing about both of these projects is that they are aggregating content from a wider variety of members within the WP Community instead of aggregating the usual suspects which Planet WordPress already does. May the best project win!

Is It WP Or MT

If it weren’t for the Welcome To Movable Type text, I wouldn’t believe it. Mark has created a Movable Type plugin which mimics the WordPress back end in almost every way. Why was this done you may ask? According to Mark, this was more of a joke than anything else, but the plugin is real and it helped to prove a point that alternative interfaces could be created for MT with little effort required.

MovableTypeWordPressDashboard

Based on the comments thus far, many people are impressed as well as shocked to see such an accurate rendition of the WordPress back end on Movable Type. Although Mark obviously prefers to use MT as his platform of choice, he undoubtedly has a soft spot in his heart for the clean, slim lined WordPress back end which after the release of WordPress 2.5, may not exist anymore.

At any rate, I was just as shocked as anyone else to see these screenshots as well as the demo. No need to be upset, although there does appear to be a rivalry between the two platforms. Aaron Brazell, a big WordPress fan himself of B5Media chimed in on the design and he said it was cool. I think likewise and I hope the comments on that MT plugin continue to be positive and not end up turning into a flame war.

If you want to see a live demo of this plugin in action, check out MT-WP BackEnd Demo (username: demo password: demo)

Please let me know what you think of this plugin and it’s similarities.

List Of WordPress Plugins I Use

Wordpress PluginsOver the past few weeks, I have had a number of individuals ask me questions regarding the plugins I use on this site. I thought I would take the time today to tell you every plugin installed and in use on this blog. This article took 2 hours to write and I hope it answers most of your questions. If not, ask away within the commenting section of the article. At the end of this list, let us know which plugins you suggest to use. Enjoy!

Plugin//Version//Description

AddThis Sidebar Widget 1.2 – AddThis is an awesome plugin that gives users the ability to bookmark a specific page to one of any number of bookmarking services such as Digg, Delicious, Technorati, ect. Instead of having a ton of icons or badges for each service, I can use one image which makes it easy to implement and use. You can see this plugin in action by clicking on addthis plugin at work

Akismet 2.02 – I don’t think enough can be said about Akismet. Akismet was created by Automattic as an anti spam application. It’s one of the best around and without it, I would of had to manually delete 2,500 entries which have been detected as spam. If you are running WordPress, make sure this plugin is activated.

AskApache Google 404 2.2 – This plugin has turned my WordPress 404 Page into something useful. I wrote a detailed review of this plugin here ( Add Google Ajax To Your WP 404 Page ) and it has become the second most viewed article on this blog. Google 404 adds an Ajax powered search into your 404 page. When someone ends up on a 404 page, the terms that generated the error are automatically plugged into the search bar which generates a Google search amongst your own blog, the internet, images ect. To see it in action, visit http://jeffc.me/blabla

Dagon Design Sitemap Generator 3.1.2 – This is one of two sitemap generator plugins that I use. This plugin is highly customizable and gives me the options of how I would like to display my sitemap to the public. When you visit http://jeffc.me/my-sitemap/ the output comes from this plugin. Works seamlessly in combination with my Google XML Sitemap generator.

Digg This 1.0.2 – There are many WordPress plugins that center around Digg but this one is still one of my favorites. When anyone submits one of my blog posts to Digg.com, I am notified by email and a Digg button is automatically placed on the right side of the post. The plugin works by detecting a referral url from Digg. You can customize where the digg button shows up within your post as well as a few other options. To see the plugin in action, visit ( Migratr – Backup And Migrate Your Online Photos )

Dofollow 2.1 – I covered this plugin more in depth here ( You Comment I Follow ) Essentially, this plugin strips the “REL=NoFollow” attribute from a commenter’s URL. This is good for Google juice to be applied to those that comment on your blog. It’s also a good showing of appreciation to those that engage in the conversation through comments.

FeedBurner FeedSmith 2.3 – This plugin finds all the ways to subscribe to your blog and consolidates them into one feed using FeedBurner. This ensures accurate feed reader statistics. It’s one of the first plugins you should install when you begin a WordPress blog so that it’s as accurate as possible.

Get Recent Comments 2.0.2 – This displays the most recent comments/trackbacks on the sidebar. I have implemented this plugin near the top center of the page called MOST RECENT COMMENTs by adding the hook into it’s own div container. There are a number of different formatting options to display this plugin which make it highly customizable for your situation.

Google XML Sitemaps 3.0 – This is purely a Google only sitemap plugin. What I like most about this plugin is that it creates sitemap.org compatible sitemaps which are supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN and Yahoo. This plugin combined with my other sitemap plugin covers my blog at all angles.

JS Toggle Boxes 1.4 – Js Toggle Boxes provides a means to add a plus symbol or a minus symbol to a div element that contains an unordered list. Using a combination of Javascript, CSS and cookies, readers of this site can now show or hide at least 6 different content blocks.

Live 0.4.1 – Wrote about here ( WordPress Real Time Browsing Stats ) Live gives WordPress admins the chance to see who is browsing what in real-time. The plugin provides information such as IP address, whether the user is on a page, comment, or a hit from an RSS aggregator, and referral URL. This is probably one of the most used plugins I have installed to monitor what’s going on. I’ve been anxiously awaiting a new version which promises additional functionality.

Live Comment Preview 1.7 – I came across this plugin while reading a blog post on how to make your WordPress blog Web 2.0ish. Powered by Ajax, this plugin gives readers a chance to preview their comment in real-time before it’s published. You can use the provided preview function to add a PREVIEW area anywhere on your site. It’s nice to know what your comment will look like before it’s published.

Most Viewed Widget 1.0 – This is an addon for another plugin called WP-Postviews which I’ll get to later. This widget will take the posts with the most number of views and display them as a widget or wherever you place the hook. You can modify the plugin code to determine how many articles are shown in the widget.

MyAvatars 0.2b – I covered MyAvatars here ( MyBlogLog And Gravatar Support ) in light of the recent Gravatar acquisition. MyAvatars displays avatars from both MyBlogLog and Gravatar. The best of both worlds it would seem.

MyBlogLog Widget 2.0 – In order to use a MyBlogLog widget, you first have to visit MyBlogLog.com and create one. Once you get the code for the widget, paste it into a TEXT based widget. This is essentially how you add any 3rd party widget to your site.

Optimal Title 3.0 – One of the first plugins I’ve ever installed, Optimal Title mirrors the function of wp_title() exactly, but moves the position of the ’separator’ to after the title rather than before. This is what enables me to have links within the title bar of your browser that look like this

Optimal Title

Notice how the name of the post comes before the actual title of my page. I read this was supposed to help with SEO but I’m not sure if it has or not.

Related Posts 2.04 – This plugin returns a list of related entries based on active/passive keyword matches. The relation happens automatically and so far, it has worked out pretty well. This plugin becomes more accurate as you publish more posts. Not a good plugin to use if you have under 30-50 posts.

SezWho WP1.2 – SezWho is a comment rating/reputation based service. Users rate on comments for a given post which can in turn, leverage ratings of a commenter on other blogs. Replace the concepts of Gravatar with comment rating and user reputation and you should get the idea behind the service.

Share This 1.4 – Another awesome plugin that consolidates what would be a number of different images or badges into one easy to access control panel. ShareThis gives your users the oppurtunity to share a post with others through social bookmarking or by email. This is one of my favorite plugins as it provides so much functionality in such a tidy, neat package.

Subscribe To Comments 2.1.1 – This plugin adds a check box to a comment form which gives users the chance to subscribe to a particular page and it’s comments. After you subscribe to a post, each time a user comments on that blog entry, an email will be sent to your account letting you know someone has carried on the conversation. In my opinion, this is a function that should be supported out of the box.

What Would Seth Godin Do 1.3 – This plugin gives me the chance to configure a default welcome message to brand new visitors of the site. It uses cookies so that after a configured amount of times, the welcome message disappears. The welcome message contains the text “Welcome to my blog, if you enjoyed reading this, perhaps you would like to subscribe for more RSSLINK” Not sure if this has contributed to my RSS subscriber count but I haven’t had any complaints.

wp-cache 2.1.2 – The oh so infamous Wp-Cache. You almost have to use this plugin if your using WordPress. Wp-Cache is a very fast caching module that is actually modules within modules. This plugin has been known to withstand the Digg effect as well as the Slashdot effect. How’s that for noteworthy. I have quite a few issues with WP-Cache that I can’t seem to figure out but I’ll post about those some other day.

WP-PageNavi 2.20 – If you scroll to the bottom of this blog’s home page, you should see the numbers 1, 2, 3, ect in little squares. That is actually the PageNavi plugin in action. This plugin is just an advanced version of pagination which gives users more control over the navigation of the blog.

WP-Polls 2.21 – What good is a blog or website without a poll? This plugin is pretty much the defacto standard for polls within WordPress based sites. The poll is powered by Ajax, can be customized to match your template, supports multiple selections for answers, and the ability to use more than one poll at a time. There is also a Poll Archive page that be added to your site if you so choose.

WP-Polls Widget 2.21 – This widget works along side WP-Polls and displays the actual polls as a widget within your WordPress Template.

WP-PostViews 1.20 – This plugin provides a way for you to see how many views a particular blog post has. You can configure this plugin to show guest views, registered member views or both. I use this plugin just to provide me with “at a glance” statistics for posts. It’s a good feeling to be reassured that people are reading what I write.

WP-Print 2.20 – WP-Print adds the ability for users to print specific articles. The plugin contains options to allow users to print comments, posts, pages, or a combination of everything. I’ve added this functionality to my blog just in case someone feels to the need to print out a tutorial or something.

WP-Stats 2.20 – Displays your WordPress blog statistics. This plugin ranges from general blog statistics to plugin statistics. The plugin statistics are actually stats from a number of other plugins created by Lester Chan that you may have installed on your blog.

WP-UserOnline 2.20 – This plugin gives you and your user’s a chance to see who is currently browsing your blog. The plugin shows which registered members, guests and search engine bots are on your site and which URL they are currently browsing. It also provides a referral url to see where that user came from.

WP AJAX Edit Comments 1.1.1.4 – Reviewed here ( Digg Like Comment Editor For WordPress ) is a plugin written by Ronald Huereca of the Readers Appreciation Project. This plugin gives administrators and regular users the ability to edit their own comments within a given time frame. The plugin pretty much works in the same way that the Digg commenting system works. As I have always said, every blog should provide some sort of way for a user to edit their comments. This plugin is a nice solution to that problem.

WP_EasyReply 1.0 – It becomes tiring typing out something like @whoever each time you want to reply to someones comment. This plugin does that task for you, albeit with a little bit of help. Out of the box, EasyReply provides a link which automatically puts each user account name that has commented since your last reply into the comment box. With a little bit of hacking, I was able to get this plugin to perform the mundane task of typing out @username which is a time saver and a blessing for my fingers. To read how I hacked this plugin for my own purpose, please read ( WordPress Comment Reply Plugin )

Conclusion:

Wow. Can’t believe I’m finally finished with this article, 2 hours later. At any rate, I hope this article answers everyone’s questions as to which plugins I’m using. Installing and configuring the plugin is one thing, how you implement the plugin into your template is a different ballgame. I’ve used a bit of creativity on my blog but it shouldn’t be too hard to discover which content blocks are using which plugin.

Please share your experiences and or implementations of the plugins above if you use them. If not, please tell us which plugins you use and why.

My WordPress 2.3 Upgrade Experience

I’m writing this post within the new fancy WYSIWYG editor which is nothing more than the same editor with the exception of a new button. The new button shows me quite a few new formatting features but my favorite one is the UNDO button.

So far, my WordPress upgrade experience has been pretty good. I did encounter an upload problem in which a few folders were uploaded into other folders. In other words, some folders were not overwritten like they were supposed to be. I fixed this and re-uploaded the files which allowed the WordPress upgrade script to properly update my database.

I believe there is a bug that was created after my WordPress installation was upgraded. As you can see below, the area of my dashboard which would normally show incoming links to my site from outside sources, is now showing my own blog posts from my front page. I’m pretty sure this is not supposed to happen. This never occurred during any other WP upgrade I have performed. I have since created a forum post about it on the official WP forums to see if it’s a bug or not.

WordPRess 2.3 Bug

I knew about the tag importers being added to WordPress 2.3 but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out where they were. I eventually located them within the MANAGE-IMPORT area of my WordPress admin panel. After clicking on the importer for my Ultimate Tagging Warrior plugin, all of my tags were imported into the native tagging features implemented into WP 2.3 I also experienced numerous wordpress.wp_post2cat does not exist errors which were being generated by the UTW plugin, so be sure to disable it once you complete your upgrade.

I want to give a very big thank you to everyone responsible for the automatic update notification feature. This is an invaluable time saver. After my upgrade was complete, I discovered 5 plugins which had an update available for download. The notification window provides a direct link to the plugin on the wordpress.org site where additional information along with the plugin files can be located.

Last but not least, if you are experiencing trouble with WordPress, the best place to find help is the WordPress.org forums. However, before creating a new post, be sure to perform a search to see if your question was already answered. There is nothing more annoying on a forum than seeing 50 different forum threads on the same topic which has already been answered.

You’ve read my experience, now it’s time to share yours by leaving a comment below.

WordPress 2.2.3 Released

Wordpress.com logoWordPress version 2.2.3 has been released. The release is slated as a “security and bug-fix” release. Considering this fixes a few security issues, it is highly recommended that you upgrade your WP install to the latest version ASAP. Considering WordPress 2.3 is around the corner, this upgrade is probably not going to sit well with a few people.

Two of the fixes in the latest version of WP are rated as “high priority“. Those two are labeled as, 4704 Invalid RSS2 Comments Feed and 4720 Users without unfiltered_html capability can post arbitrary html There were also a number of files that were changed. To see a complete list of these file changes, be sure to read WordPress 2.2.3 File Changes

Download the latest version of WordPress here http://wordpress.org/download/ Pardon me, as I commence with the upgrade! If you don’t hear from me by Monday, you’ll know why.

WordPress Real Time Browsing Stats

Sizlopedia.com LogoEver wanted to see who is browsing your site in detail and in real time? Now you can, using WordPress Live, a live blog statistics plugin.

WordPress Live gives WordPress site owners the ability to track IP addresses currently browsing the site while also being able to view which posts/pages that IP address is browsing. The plugin divides stats into three categories: Page hits, Feed hits, and Comments. There is actually a speed bar which allows you to control the speed in which the plugin refreshes. Move the slider to the left, the refresh is quicker, move the slider to the right, the refresh rate is slower.

This plugin is really cool and from what I could tell, is only accessible through the backend of your WordPress install. If you’d like a plugin which displays a similar set of data on the frontend, check out the WP-UserOnline 2.11 plugin written by Lester Chan.

The only downfall WordPress Live has is the lack of documentation. The plugin lacked a read me file and there are no concrete installation instructions published on the authors site. If your familiar with how to install WordPress plugins, you shouldn’t have a problem with this one.

WordPress Live In Action

Be sure to check out Headzoo.com to download the WordPress Live Plugin. So far, I’m digging it.

WordPress 2.2.2 Released

WordPress LogoJust wanted to pass along that WordPress 2.2.2 was released the other day. This release includes only security and minor bug fixes so they should not cause any plugin or theme compatibility issues, so you have no good excuse not to upgrade.

 

Click here to see the list of bugs and security upgrades that took place. One of these fixes was a CROSS SITE SCRIPTING Vulnerability. These things are popping up all over the place.

Download the latest update here