Category Archives: WordPress

WordPress.com Blogs Become More Mobile-Friendly

iphone-wptouch

If you’re among the many bloggers who are using WordPress.com to host your blogs either as a free or premium account, WordPress got some good news for you. All WordPress.com blogs are now mobile-friendly, well at least for the iPhone and Blackberry devices.

Being mobile-friendly means that all blogs hosted on WordPress.com can now be displayed using an optimized WP Touch theme, provided of course that readers are using the iPhone or Blackberry devices when viewing your blogs. Readers with these devices will have easy access to blog posts, pages and archives. In addition, they will also get access to a fancy AJAX commenting and post loading interface. The mobile theme will also scale down blog headers to fit it on the screen of these mobile devices.

But how about your blog readers who are not using the iPhone and Blackberry devices? WordPress.com will be using the modified WordPress Mobile Edition to display your blogs.

Now, take note that this will be the standard default settings for all WordPress.com blogs. So, if you don’t want this feature activated you may disable it by going to Appearance – > Extras in your WordPress.com dashboard and disable “display a mobile theme when this blog is viewed with a mobile browser.”

Review: Contextual Partnership Plugin

The Contextual Partnership Plugin For WordPress Provides Free Advertising To Help Promote Your Blog & Get You Noticed…

If you’re looking for an effective solution to help get your blog noticed then the Contextual Partnership Plugin for WordPress bloggers could be well worth consideration. Perhaps the most attractive aspect is that there is no cost involved.

According to the developers the plugin is designed to;

    Drive more targeted visitors to your blog (or blogs) by strategically linking your blog to and from other bloggers participating in the network. The exact method used to achieve this remains confidential but apparently it’s not a basic reciprocal link exchange – nor the more common 3 way linking arrangement often seen between bloggers.

    Enhance the user experience for your blog visitors by providing them with links to other high quality blogs for further information on subjects of interest (and it can do this without you actually loosing the visitor which is a great feature).

    Indirectly increase your search engine rankings by building highly relevant incoming links to your blog for keyword terms you define, related to your own niche market.

Not a bad indirect benefit at all.

To better understand how the network works, first you need to know what a “contextual link” actually is. A contextual link is simply a link “within content” of a blog post and “within context” of specific keyword terms in that post. For example the term “dog training” found within a blog post becomes a link out to another blog (related to “dog training”) within the network. Contextual Links are found all over the internet – bloggers interlink their own pages contextually, there are paid advertising programs that allow you to place contextual advertising links and earn per click, and bloggers naturally link out to other websites they find useful “contextually” as well.

This is the key to the “Contextual Partnership”. When you install and setup the WordPress Plugin, you’re asked to provide the URL’s you wish to advertise on other partners blogs, and the keyword terms you want those blogs to use to link back to your own. When a match is found within the network for the keyword terms you provide (and assuming it meets with the Contextual Partnership’s strategic linking methodology), a link back to your blog is assigned, and your account has a credit removed.
The amount of credits your account holds appears to be directly related to the number of links you’re providing to other partners in the network for the keyword terms they themselves are looking to use to advertise. Apparently for every link you provide for another partner, you earn 1 credit. That 1 credit is then “cashed in” to assign a link back to your own blog from other partners whenever a match is found for your own keyword terms. So if you already have 100 posts in your blog, and each of those pages finds a match to provide a link to another partner, then technically you could receive 100 incoming links to your blog as soon as you’ve been approved to participate in the partnership. You also continually earn more points and incoming links as you continue to blog and add more posts just like you usually do.

That’s the basic overview and you’ll find more specific information on the plugin website including details of many features not mentioned here (like the ability to select specifically which blog posts you want to include – or nor include in the network)…

http://www.contextualpartnership.com

Uptake by the blogger community seems to have been extremely good and this new service looks to become very popular. In the first two weeks of launch the partnership already had over 54,000 individual places to place links throughout the network, and within the first 4 weeks over 10,000 advertising links had been allocated between network partners. This is most likely a result to how easy it is to actually setup the plugin and participate – it literally takes 5 minutes to install and setup – although approval can take anywhere from 24-72 hours depending on the moderation queue as only high quality blogs are accepted to participate to keep out the splogs and spammers.
This seems to be one of those services worth giving a shot for a few months, and by the looks of things the developers have some exciting new features in the pipeline to make things even more effective for partners in the future.

You can find out full details and download the plugin below…

http://www.contextualpartnership.com

Or alternatively you can download the plugin directly from WordPress…
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/contextual-partnership-link-exchange-plugin/

What Makes WPUnlimited Different?

Earlier this week, I released WPUnlimited, a new WordPress theme system that I hope everyone will enjoy.

While I am talking about it endlessly elsewhere, I wanted to cover one of the key differences that I think coders will really enjoy in using WPUnlimited: traditional theme files.

So you might be asking yourself why traditional theme files is important or worth mentioning, but one of the issues I have always had with Thesis, a theme I enjoyed was the fact that opening header.php didn’t really give me a normal WordPress header.php theme file. It was just a call to another PHP file, making the whole customization aspect a nightmare for a beginner programmer.

A good example of the difference is to look at a popular WordPress theme’s index file, which only includes something along the lines of: html_framework();

Just that one line… no mention of includes for headers or footers, no loops, nothing.

This leaves someone looking to customize how posts are displayed with the horrible task of digging through files to see where that PHP code is, and how they can manipulate it.

WordPress Unlimited’s theme files look very much like you’ve seen since the Classic theme was created, with easy to understand header, footer, and index pages that makes editing the theme easy for anyone immersed in WordPress already.

As a side note, WPUnlimited also has a great affiliate program, so if you enjoy the theme, I’d love it if you passed it on to your friends, and earned yourself a 40% commission on any of your sales. Even if you don’t buy WPUnlimited, you can sign up for the affiliate program. Check it out, it could be a great opportunity to promote the next amazing WordPress theme.

WordPress’ “GPL” and Theme Mess

So if you follow WordPress news at all, you may have heard about a crazy thing happening right now where Automattic removed around two hundred themes from WordPress.org’s theme directory. Many of these themes were removed as they didn’t fit with Matt’s vision of the GPL. Some themes were released freely, under the GPL but were really a promotion and marketing effort for companies looking to sell themes. I didn’t have any problem with this, but it seems that Automattic does, and themes that linked back to companies that sell themes that aren’t under the GPL were removed to “protect” WordPress users.

I think this is ridiculous. I, for one, am glad that I use custom themes, and Thesis, a great premium theme. I wish that Thesis was able to be part of the WordPress theme directory to take advantage of the update and upgrade system now in WordPress core, but since Matt doesn’t agree with their business model, he punishes them directly.

Matt blames theme creators for not thinking creatively when it comes to building a business around theme development, but if he keeps cutting off their arms when they try to find ways to build a business, eventually, they will give up and move on to something that gives them a better return on investment regarding their time.

Maybe this issue will become the seed of a new mass exodus to another publishing platform? Do I hear Habari waiting in the wings? I’ve been told numerous times that Habari will let theme developers easily build a business around their themes for that platform.

This all wouldn’t bother me so much, except that Automattic is making huge boatloads of money off of WordPress and that is in large part thanks to all of the community support the platform gets.

More Reading:
Automattic putting the boot to premium theme developers
WordPress.org Pull 200 GPL Themes
200 Themes Removed From WordPress.org – Matt Explains Why
More Hypocrisy from Mullenweg and WordPress with new themes jihad

PicApp Launches WordPress Plugin

During my time working with PicApp, I mentioned how useful a WordPress plugin would be to quickly embed images from PicApp onto my blog posts, to which they responded, “we are already in the beginning stages of working on one.”

Their understanding of the niche they were trying to fill was part of the reason they didn’t need me sticking around as their Community Manager and I am happy today to announce that they have launched their WordPress plugin for PicApp.

Even better, it is in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory, so it will be easy to keep track of any updates and over one thousand people have already downloaded it.

Having hard time finding affordable, yet high end, images for your blog? problem solved. Access millions of updated images, of any topic (news, celebrity, sports, events, creative and more) directly from your WordPress environment and add any image easily to your post. The images, legal and free to use under the license terms, will enhance your blog content, improve its SEO and attract a significantly larger readership.

Moving PicApp from a destination site where you have to do everything, and bringing it inside the WordPress administration panel is genius, and PicApp deserves huge kudos for doing this.

If you haven’t given PicApp a try before because you felt it took too long to add the images you wanted to your blog, check out the new PicApp WordPress plugin.