WordPress-3-9: Keep Calm and Carry On

Many WordPress.com users don’t know their sites are guinea pig sites that new WordPress software upgrades are tested on. The upgrades are done by Staff and introduced about a month before the developers fix the breakage and tweak the code and make the upgrade available to WordPress.org users for their self hosted sites. Continue reading

7 Reasons Why I Like WordPress.com Hosting

WordPress.com is not only a great place to start blogging but it may even be your last stop. When you self host a WordPress.org install you are on your own. Managing your own install isn’t a cake walk. The learning curve is steep and takes lots of time – time you won’t be spending on content creation. I’ve been there, done that and returned. Continue reading

Moving Your Blog from WordPress.Com to WordPress.Org: Resources and Tips

Moving my blog from WordPress.com to a self-hosted site using WordPress.org software was far easier than I ever imagined. The process is not nearly as terrifying, complex, or time consuming as some would lead you to believe if you are prepared. Continue reading

WordPress Fly Out Menus Coming Soon

WordPress 3.3 Beta 2 has been released  and that means more changes to WordPress user dashboards are coming soon. Expand and collapse menus will be replaced by fly out menus.

Update! They have arrived.  Drag & Drop Media Uploader & Flyout Dashboard Menus

expanded menucollapsed menuCurrently we can have our left dashboard menu sections simultaneously expanded in as many sections as we wish. (See the image on the far left. )

That ability to leave the menu sections I used frequently expanded allowed for ease of navigation back and forth and it’s the way I’ve been operating.  That  won’t be possible with flyout menus.

The sub-menu items still appear when you click the main item but in another box. (see the last image).

Only the active menu item opens up to reveal the sub-item and we will not be able to have more than one sub-menu open at a time.

I love the flyout menus when a menu is collapsed. However, I hate that I can’t have multiple menus expanded at once. It makes working in the admin extremely slow. That’s really my only gripe. — Justin Tadlock

The issue for some will be that the option to keep menu items of our choice open will disappear. I’m preparing in advance by operating with only one sub-menu item at a time and I’m not liking it.  See also: Admin menu doesn’t expand/collapse in 3.3 beta 1. Why? (78 posts)
fly-out menu

Related posts found in this blog:
New WordPress.com Admin Bar Draws Attention
WordPress HTML editor font change

WordPress HTML editor font change

wordpress icon I’ve been a WordPress blogger for 5 years and I’m really frustrated by this change. I have experienced many changes here at WordPress.com and although some have been frustrating none were an actual barrier to me using the editor in both modes — this one is a barrier.  :(

I can read and quickly scan the font in the Visual editor with ease. Thankfully, it has not been changed but the Consolas font in the HTML editor is a completely different story.

The font stack use in the HTML editor is Consolas, Monaco, Monospace. If you computer does not have Consolas, then your browser will use Monaco. If it does not have that, then it will use Monospace. If it does not have that, the browser will use another font.

Consolas is a new Microsoft font.

Consolas is aimed for use in programming environments and other circumstances where a monospaced font is specified. All characters have the same width, like old typewriters, making it a good choice for personal and business correspondence. The improved Windows font display allowed a design with proportions closer to normal text than traditional monospaced fonts like Courier. This allows for more comfortably reading of extended text on screen. OpenType features include hanging or lining numerals; slashed, dotted and normal zeros; and alternative shapes for a number of lowercase letters. The look of text can be tuned to personal taste by varying the number of bars and waves.

I’m visually challenged and I normally use the HTML editor a great deal of the time. The font change is so terrible that I am being forced into using the Visual editor. Therefore I posted into this WordPress.org thread titled Return the html editor back to a sans font instead of the new Consolas font, begging that the font change to Consolas in the HTML editor in the WordPress 3.2 version be reversed.

I also submitted the following for consideration:

I am looking towards the future as well. I would like to see  inclusion for WordPress.com users and parity with WordPress.ORG users when it comes to BETA testing new WordPress versions in developmental stages.

When the 2.5 upgrade was in development and being BETA tested by WordPress.ORG bloggers there was a demo site set up that we WordPress.COM bloggers could use and post feedback to. Is it possible that Staff and the our WordPress.com developers would consider doing the same for WordPress.com bloggers prior to upgrades in the future?

I’m suggesting this because most WordPress.com users are not to my knowledge conversant in coding and geek speak. In fact WordPress.com has always emphasized that we do not need to be conversant in code we can just blog. WordPress.org also emphasizes one click installs and implies one does not need to be code conversant to run a WordPress.ORG install. I think it’s unlikely that most WordPress.com users would be inclined to set up and run a WordPress.ORG install site simply for BETA testing purposes of WordPress version upgrades in development.

If WordPress.com users were provided with a demo site they can “test drive” what’s proposed and provide feedback from their non-coder non-geek  speaking POV. I think that would be valuable feedback that would create party between the different types of users. Then the claim that the core WordPress upgrades are built on the feedback of millions of WordPress users will have more integrity, because at present the feedback from millions of WordPress.com users is not being facilitated.

Thank you, in advance, for reading my submission.

P.S. If this is not the correct venue for submitting my BETA testing parity for WordPress.com users suggestion please inform me where the correct place to post this is and I will post it there.

Discussion

I would like to discuss two related  issues with my readers in this post.

1.   I’m wondering what my readers think of this font change in the HTML editor.  Do you find the Consolas font to be more or less “readable” than  the previous font?

2.   Do you support my parity between WordPress.com and WordPress.org users suggestion?  Specifically, I asked for a BETA testing demo site to be set up  so that millions of WordPress.com users can experiment with new WordPress versions in development and provide their feedback to WordPress developers along with WordPress.org users?

3.   If such a demo site were made available to you as a WordPress.com user then would you use it and provide your feedback to WordPress developers?

UPDATE: If any of my readers would care to cast a vote, there is a poll on the change to the font in the HTML editor at the top of the right hand sidebar on WordPress Tips.

Please vote!
HTML editor font: more user-friendly and readable before or now? …

Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

globe, boxes, computer mouse The most common reason for moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org is the desire to make money from advertizing and/or affiliate sales. In reality if your WordPress.com blog does not currently attract 1,000 – 1,500 unique visitors every day, and your traffic stats do not demonstrate a growth trend, then it’s unlikely that you will earn much more than what’s required to cover web hosting costs.  Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org means you will have added responsibilities so don’t hurry into self hosting thinking you will be handsomely paid for the effort.

WordPress.com bloggers frequently ask:  “What’s involved in moving to WordPress.org and self hosting?” That’s a good question.

If you are moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org you will have to purchase a domain name (if you do not already have one),   hire a web host , install and configure the WordPress.org software, export your blog content out of your WordPress.com site,   and then import it into the  WordPress.org software install.

Your domain name should be short, memorable, and easy to spell. Wherever possible your domain name and blog title should be the same.  For SEO include keywords in the URL and tagline that reflect your “brand”.  Your domain name is your own, it’s portable, and you can have an email address and blog on the same domain. Having your own domain means provides increased opportunities to: build your own unique brand, online presence, and reputation; and to assist your followers (readers, clients and customers) to recall and locate your site very easily.

Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org means you will have additional responsibilities and if something goes wrong, you have to figure it out  and fix it.  Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org means you will be responsible for all installations, all WordPress.org software upgrades, all backups and all troubleshooting. Current backups are critically important. They must be done frequently and the database must likewise be backed up frequently. If you have recent backup and something goes wrong, you can reasonably easily restore your site and not lose much data.

Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org means your new site will be starting all over again when it comes to earning authority and Page Rank.  The Google Page Rank and Technorati authority and rank for your content belong to the root blog ie. the original WordPress.com URL for the blog.

Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org means  purchasing domain mapping  or an offsite redirect, so readers will  seamlessly transferred between the URLs.   Because when  you purchase a domain name and move your content from WordPress.com to WordPress.org  a new URL all the old links will be broken and visitors will experience a 404 (page not found) if you don’t.

If you are moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org then WordPress.com offers a guided transfer service where they set up your new site and move everything over for you. If you prefer a do it yourself move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org  you can use this comprehensive  Setting up a self-hosted WordPress.org install guide and  Moving Your Blog from WordPress.Com to WordPress.Org: Resources and Tips

  1. Purchase a domain and hire a web hosting provider
  2. Register a wordpress.org account and locate resources
  3. Download a FTP Client
  4. Upload the most recent  self hosting version of wordpress.ORG software into your new site
  5. Select and upload a theme
  6. Select and upload plugins
  7. Export/Import your WordPress.com content into your new site
  8. Import your Links (blogroll) into your new site
  9. Change the visibility of your WordPress.com blog to private
Related posts found in this blog:

Translation widget for WordPress.com blogs

translation flags globe
There are code restrictions on WordPress.com blogs. The software is programmed to strip some codes like Javascript to preserve security.  WordPress.com is a multi-user platform which means we all share the same underlying files and bad script introduced on one blog could bring down many.

When looking for a translation widget last year I uncovered the fact that although the Google translation widgets could not be used there was a workaround. You can view it in action on my Translation page and it can also be accessed by clicking the “Translation available” link in the widget at the top of my sidebar. The code I used  courtsey of fellow blogger ismailimail produces a 3 column table providing 53 language links. I simply copied the code, replaced the blog URL in the code I was given with my own blog’s URL,  created a static page, pasted the code into the HTML editor, and published the page.

Well when I was out surfing the internet I found a Free Website translation button.

Free Website translation at the click of a mouse – free and without registration!

Fully automatic website translation is now possible and all at the click of a mouse!  Free-Website-Translation.com offers a homepage translator service/tool for everyone.  Simply create a button (widget) for your homepage that allows visitors to your site to immediately translate the website into their own language.

With the translation quality of Google™ Language tools, homepage translation is available for everyone – fully automatic and into over 20 languages.  Web page translation has never been so easy!

If you click the big “get your button” button on the site and use the code provided it will be a Javacript code that will be stripped out by the wordpress.com software.

But if you copy the code that I post below into a text widget, or copy and paste the code into the HTML editor on a post or on a page it will work.

Note:  Make sure that when you copy the code into your text widget or blog post the code’s double quotation marks are not “curly” but “straight” quotation marks.  The fontin this theme a serif font which uses curly quotation marks.  Copy and paste the code,  but before clicking “save” or “publish” check whether the quotes came out in a “curly” format and if so, simply re-type the quotation marks so they are “straight”.

<a id=”ftwtranslation_button” style=”border:0;” href=”http://free-website-translation.com/”><img src=”http://free-website-translation.com/img/fwt_button_en.gif&#8221; alt=”Website Translation Widget” /></a>

translate button code

To see how your readers can use this click the TRANSLATION button.

Website Translation Widget

Once you are on the site scroll down past the “get your button” and  locate the box illustrated below.  Select the Original and Target languages and then type a URL into the Website address box.  Click the Translate! button and Google translate will do the rest.

Now you can go back copy the code I provided above and use it in a text widget on your own blog.  Happy blogging! :)

 free website translation button





WordPress: Create a random post icon

wordpress icon

Click for random post

It’s easy to post a link in a text widget in your wordpress blog’s sidebar that when clicked will display a random post found in your blog. You can use anchor text or not. Simply place the code into a text widget and display it at the top of your blog’s sidebar for reader convenience.  But did you know that the random post URL can be linked to an image of your choice? This post is a step by step tutorial for wordpress beginners.

Here’s just a little easter egg for you to play with: Try adding ?random to the end of your WordPress.com URL and it will redirect you to a random post on your blog. You can link to that address like any other, either in your post or a widget. Update: Based on a suggestion in the comments, I’ve added this to the admin bar so when you’re logged in and you hover over “Blog Info” the first menu item is a random post link. — Get Random

Simply replace example URL with  the Random Post link in the choice you make below.

Example 1 link without anchor text:

http://example.wordpress.com/?random

Example 2 linked to anchor text: Click for random post

<a href=”http://example.wordpress.com/?random”>Click to read a random post</a>

Example 3 linked to an image:

Draft post

  1. Create a draft post that you will later delete.
  2. Select a small image to link to and upload it into your Media Library.
  3. Fill in the Alternate Text.
  4. Type “Click for random post” into the Caption.
  5. Fill in the Description.
  6. Hover over “Blog Info” on the Admin bar and a dropdown menu will appear.
  7. Hover over “Random Post” and copy the URL onto your clipboard.
  8. Paste that URL into Link URL
  9. Click the “Insert into post” button and when that it complete click the X to close the image details box and return to your draft post.
  10. Switch to the HTML edior and copy the image code provided there onto your clipboard.

wordpress image detail box

Text Widget

  1. Proceed to Appearance > Widgets select a text widget and drag and drop it into the position in your sidebar that you want it to appear in and open the widget.
  2. Paste the code you copied out if the HTML editor into it.
  3. Click “Save” and “Close
  4. View the front of your blog. Click your tmage and view a random post.
  5. Delete the draft post as you are done.

Links: No-Follow and Do-Follow

pagerank imageIn the beginning all links were do-follow.  However, it didn’t take long before blogs were being inundated by those who left insincere comments lacking in value just so they could get a backlink, so the original reason for the introduction of no-follow links was spam.

Do-follow comment links do pass on PageRank. No-follow comment links do NOT pass on PageRank. If you need more information on link juice and  how it is passed please read The rel=nofollow debate: Let’s Try and Get To Grips With It

Today many blogs and content management systems, including WordPress,  Blogger (Blogspot blogs), Typepad and most of the main blogging platforms have no-follow links enabled by default on comments and to change the links to do-follow links that pass PageRank action must be taken. On WordPress installs  a plugin must be installed. On  Blogger (Blogspot blogs) you have to download your blog template’s HTML source code and remove the rel=”nofollow” in the comments area.

How different search engines treat do-follow and no-follow links

Different search engines interpret and treat no-follow and do-follow links in different ways.
  • Google follows no-follow links but does not pass on PageRank  to outbound links.
  • Yahoo follows no-follow links but excludes the link from all ranking calculations.
  • Bing may or may not follow a no-follow link,s but it does exclude it from ranking calculations.
  • Ask.com does not adhere to no-follow.

If you use Firefox browser a quick and easy way to find out if blogs have do-follow links is or not is to  use the SearchStatus addon that will highlight all “no-follow” links on a page.  It will also display Google PageRank, Alexa rank, Compete ranking and SEOmoz Linkscape mozRank anywhere in your browser, along with fast keyword density analyser, keyword highlighting, backward/related links, Alexa info and more.

Expert advice on no-follow and do-follow

Matt Cutts of Google has provided advice about PageRank and the no-follow attribute. If you are considering changing your links from no-follow to do-follow, then you may find the video below to be helpful.

Brett from Michigan asks Matt Cutts of Google:
“Are there negative SEO implications to having a blog with do-follow comments?
What about commenting on do-follow blogs?”

Question: Can having do-follow comments on my blog affect its reputation?
Short answer: Yes.
Question: Are there negative implications to having a blog with do-follow comments?
Short Answer: Yes.
For full answers please watch the video.

Can having dofollow comments on my blog affect its reputation?

Last year Matt Cutts also announced that page rank sculpting (the manipulation of no-followed and do-followed links) is no longer effective. Previous to that no-following comments directed more link juice to your other links but that no longer applies. Google has already done the math and has devised a way to stop manipulation.

The old practice was …
You have a PR 5 page
You have  5 links on that page
Each link gets 1 a bit of PR
You apply rel=”nofollow” to 4 links
1 page gets PR 5,  the other 4 get nothing.

The new practice is …
You have a PR5 page
You have 5 links on that page
Google knows there are 5 links
If you apply rel=”nofollow” to 4 of those links
the 1 remaining normal link gets PR of 1

spam canAdvice when changing from changing from no-follow to do-follow

Changing your  blog from no-follow to do-follow means you must become more vigilant about the kind of comments you approve and  post. These days there are not only bots leaving comments, there are also humans who are paid to leave bogus comments. That means that you will have to exercise discretion, moderate all comments, and be very careful about screening them. Hence it pays to run a bad neighborhood checks on any links that give you a “hinky” feeling.  The rule of thumb is it looks link a spam comment, it probably is so don’t post it.

Also keep in mind the reason that no-follow links were introduced. It’s not always a good idea to brag about your blog being do-follow and to promote it as a do-follow blog. Hanging up a “this is a do-follow” blog sign will definitely result in some people making opportunistic comments just so they can get a “juicy” link.  If you are considering changing your links from no-follow to do-follow you may find this article to be helpful: Do You DoFollow?

Linking ReCap

  1. Write high quality articles that others in your niche will want to backlink to and discuss.
  2. Avoid linking to unrelated sites.
  3. Avoid entering reciprocal link exchanges with unrelated sites.
  4. Link only to related sites in your niche.
  5. Avoid creating “blogrolls” or long lists of links.
  6. Exercise discretion by moderating all comments, trackbacks and pingbacks, and be very careful about screening.
  7. Build authority by leaving quality comments on related blogs.
  8. When it comes to commenting on do-follow blogs, remember do-follow passes PageRank from the linking site to all the other links  so (a) your PageRank 0 blog doesn’t really benefit, and (b) the more (spam/real) comments you get on a blog the less Page Rank there there  is to allocate among the links out anyway.

Related posts found in this blog:
Understanding Backlinks
Understanding Reciprocal and Non-Reciprocal Links
Natural Linking Strategy for Bloggers
Getting the Perfect Link
SEO Basics for on Page Optimization
Link building strategy: Locating similar sites
Links: No-Follow and Do-Follow

Setting up a self-hosted WordPress.org install

wpstuffThe pros and cons of being free hosted by WordPress.com or self hosting a WordPress.org software install are summed up very well in this support documentation entry –  WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org The first step towards eventualy managing your own WordPress.org install can be purchasing your own domain and domain mapping. You don’t need to leave WordPress.com to do that, and the sooner you do this, the better.  The reasons why acting early is better than waiting are found in my blog posts below:

Do I need a Domain?
How and why to get your own domain

Bloggers Get Your Own Domain
Self-hosting: What’s Your Hurry?

If you are an experienced WordPress.com software user, and have the skill sets required to set up and manage your own self hosted WordPress.org install then the instructions for making the move are easy to follow. But if you are not skilled at WordPress.com  blogging, and also lack the skill sets required to self host your own WordPress.org install then acquiring those skills first is recommended.

Required skill sets for self-hosting a WordPress.org install

Richard, who answers questions on the WordPress.com support forums as I do,  provides the following advice:

You will be responsible for all upgrades, installations,  backups and troubleshooting. If you install a theme or a plugin that negatively affects your blog, then you have to figure out what went wrong and fix it. Sometimes it is a conflict with another plugin, sometimes is it is just a poorly written plugin.

If you install a plugin with a security flaw, and your blog is hacked, you had better have a good, recent backup or you might just lose everything. I cannot stress the importance of frequent backups. I’ve been called into many situations where there were no recent backups (or none at all) and no backups available from the host, and there was nothing left to recover, so in one case, 3 years of postings virtually every day were gone. Only about 15% of them could be recovered by copy and paste from Google cached pages, the rest were simply gone.

I’m not trying to scare anyone off, just letting them know what is ahead. In the last 3 months, I’ve helped to recover a total of 35 blogs that were “hacked.” Luckily in most cases we were able to recover most of it, but the average cost of recovering one is about $500. Think about that when you ponder if backing up your blog is really that necessary.

WordPress has done an outstanding job of jumping on security issues and making WordPress as secure as they can right out of the box, but the thing you have no control over is the web hosting company and their server configurations, and some of them are not all that secure.

For self-hosting figure an average monthly total cost (including cost of a domain name) of about $10 to $25 generally, but that all depends on storage and bandwidth requirements.

Most bloggers I know that take this route to make money via advertising do not make up for their hosting and domain registration costs, and with literally millions of people downloading and installing  Adblock plus on their Firefox browsers each month, fewer and fewer people are seeing ads. Adblock Plus for Firefox has been downloaded from the mozilla.org site 98,112,095 times as of the end of October 2010. I installed it years ago and have literally seen no ads in that time. If one comes up that it does not block, I simply right click and zap it and never see it again.

Setting up a self-hosted WordPress.org install

1.   Purchase a domain and hire a web hosting provider

Locate the web hosting requirements for WordPress.org installs and the recommended web hosting providers. If you haven’t previously purchased a domain and domain mapping then this is where to begin.  If you want to redirect yourblogname.wordpress.com (as well as all of your permalinks) to your new domain name, then that’s what the Offsite Redirect upgrade does this.  It seamlessly forwards traffic to your new domain.  Expect to pay $6 to $15 per year for the domain name. Many web hosting providers also offer domain purchasing or you can buy your domain separately.

Once you hire a web host, they will give you the DNS information for your account. You then go into your domain management here and change the DNS records to point to the new web host. It will take 24-72 hours for that change to propagate through all the world-wide internet nameservers and then you can put together the blog on the new web host. Typically the DNS changes will settle down after 12-24 hours, but sometimes it takes longer. It just depends on how busy the internet nameserver system.

2.   Register a wordpress.org account and locate resources

Your password will be emailed to the address you provide.  Resources are found in the codex – Getting started with WordPress.org

Getting More Help

3.    Download a FTP Client

FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol. It is used to moves things from your computer’s hard drive to your server.  Using an FTP client is required for uploading themes and plugins in order to customize your site. FTP clients are free and readily available on the internet.  Filezilla Client is one that’s commonly chosen as it’s a fast and reliable cross-platform FTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface.

4.   Upload the most recent  self hosting version of wordpress.ORG software into your new site

Download the most recent version of wordpress.com software.  Upload/install and configure the WordPress software, including creating a MySQL database. Most webhosts have a one-click installer script, but they are not always running the latest version of WordPress in which case you will have to immediately do an upgrade to WordPress. This can get involved if your host does not by default give enough memory to WordPress and sometimes it requires that you create a php.ini file to override the default memory settings so that you can run the upgrade from WordPress. Set up all the different things on WordPress (time offset, permalink structure, etc.)  Resource > First Steps With WordPress

5.  Select and upload a theme

Upload a wordpress.org theme – themes directory If you find and install a theme of your liking from the internet (be careful of the source for that theme as there are some bad actors out there that are including malware in theme files).  It’s sad but true.

6.  Select and upload plugins

Upload plugins of your choice  – plugins directory Heed the warning re: themes above as malware may show up in plugins as well.

7.  Import your WordPress.com content into your new site

Export the contents out of your WordPress.com blog out of  it to your desktop and then import them into your new worpress.org install.  The export file will contain your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, and tags.  Note that you will be given the option to include attachments such as images and pdf files, etc. in the export.
There are internal file size limits, so if you have a lot of content, you might have to open the export file in a plain text editor and break it up into smaller files so that it will import. You need to read up on this as there are specific parts of the file that have to be in each of the chunks.

8.  Import your Links (blogroll) into your new site

Your Links (blogroll) must be separately exported and there are two methods you can choose from.

9.  Change the visibility of your WordPress.com blog to private

When your move is completed change the visibility of the WordPress.com blog to “private” so there is no duplicate content issue and keep it as a back-up blog. You can use the export function on your WordPress.org install to periodically export/import an XML file from the new blog to maintain current backup of content.

Have a blog launch party!   :)

Discussion:

Do you have a WordPress.org install
Have you considered moving your blog to WordPress.org?

Related posts found in this blog:
Why I switched from Godaddy (WordPress.org) to WordPress.com
Become a WordPress.org Blogger: Free Video Tutorials
Tutorial: Setting up a self-hosted WordPress.org blog
WordPress Blog Import and Export

Blogging and Troubleshooting

don't panic buttonWe all experience those situations when we click and expect a specific thing to happen and something else presents. The examples are endless and varied including not being able to log-in to your blog account or logging in and then experiencing  problems.

Unable to access my blog!

A few months ago I started noticing that occasionally I cannot log into the dashboard, no matter how many times I tried.  Now I don’t login on the wordpress.com home page. I  scroll down and click on the link to the forum and login there.

Dashboard is Messed Up!

All of a sudden my blog, hosted by wordpress.com, is a mess. All images are suddenly displayed on the front page in a complete mess. Articles cannot be reached from the dashboard when I´m logged in.

White page with nothing on it!

The good news is that some issue can be easily fixed. So don’t push the panic button and try the following troubleshooting techniques instead.

1.  Browser issues

Indent stopped working

All of a sudden I can’t get the “indent” icon Row 1 icon numbered 10 (Indent – move text further right) in the Visual editor to work.

Images not visible!

I recently added a slide show of my photos from photobucket onto my blog. They are visible on my friend’s computer but not on mine. How do I make them appear please.

2.  Flash issues

Can’t see my stats

For the last 2-3 days I could not see the stats graph. I think may be a problem from my computer/settings because I opened my blog dashboard from another computer and the statistic graph is clearly displayed.

3.   Self hosting issues WordPress.org installs

  • Problems can be caused by updating to the latest WordPress version,  but using a theme that has not been updated and is not compatible with it.  You can find the theme designer’s support forum for you particular theme and see if there are known issues and solutions.
  • Issues can also be caused by plugin incompatibilities.  You can find the plugin developer and see if there are known issues and solutions.

4.    Connectivity Issues

The way you connect to the internet (mobile, satellite, DSL, dial-up) and to your blog,  and how many proxy server jumps etc. it takes to connect can cause problems. There maybe be problems with your ISP and/or with the proxy servers. There may be problems with your web host. Check for known issues with your ISP and/or with your web host.

5.   Operating System Updates and Security Program Issues

Sometimes operating system and/or security system updates can cause problems so check for known issues. When you make adjustments to your browser settings — changing privacy settings, deleting cookies or increasing security — you will need to close your window and restart the browser before those new settings become effective.

For WordPress.com bloggers

If none of the above work for you then please file a support ticket with WordPress.com Staff. To streamline the process  do not forget to include details in your support ticket.  Staff need to know what operating system you are using, which browser and version of it you are using, if you tried another browser or not and what the results were, whether or not your Flash is up to date, and how you are connecting to the internet and to WordPress.com.

Supplying these details in your support ticket means Staff won’t have to engage in a back and forth email exchange with you to obtain relevant details. Then  they can identify the source of the problem and provide a solution quickly.

Best wishes for a happy ending.  : )

No paragraph spacing in post-page editor

Guest Post by Richard

This is just a quick, short post about some recent issues people are reporting with the post and page editor at wordpress.COM, but it also applies to self-hosted blogs using the software from wordpress.ORG.

If you are having problems getting a blank line between paragraphs in the visual editor, it might be something as simple as the editor not properly coding the paragraphs. In other words, somehow the formatting got changed to something other than “paragraph.”

First, make certain you have the lower second row of icons showing in your editor. If you do not, then click the “kitchen sink” icon at the end of the top row of icons (square with several lines of dots).

Editor lower left cornerNow, look in the lower left corner border area of the editor content window. If all is right, you should see something similar to the image at left: “Path: p” (click for full-sized view).  If you see anything that doesn’t contain “p” (such as div), then the editor is not set for standard paragraph spacing and that is why you are not getting any blank lines between the paragraphs. How did this happen? That is a million dollar question with no real answer, but give the following solution a try when you lose the blank line between paragraphs.

With all the text in the post or page selected (highlighted) go to the style pulldown at the left end of the lower tool bar (image at left) and select “Paragraph” from the pulldown. Your blank lines between paragraphs should magically appear and from that point forward, you should be alright—until the next time it happens, and it probably will. Just remember this solution. It has always fixed the issue for me.

Why I switched from Godaddy (WordPress.org) to WordPress.com

Why I switched from Godaddy (WordPress.org) to WordPress.com
by guest blogger Brad of canadiantechblogger.com
For those who are unaware of it, I recently moved my tech blog canadiantechblogger to WordPress.com free hosting.

The first question is why would I do such a thing?

Continual frustrations, annoyances and poor value for my money

I switched from my old hosting provider (Godaddy), to WordPress.com because Godaddy was giving me issues every other week, or had caching issues, and did not support gzip (fully) etc. Plus the $5/month I was paying was not worth it.

With my web hosting renewal date a month away I did an assessment of where I was at, where the blog was at, and what my stats indicated about my readership.

On a web hosted WordPress.ORG install my blog was  like a stand alone island. By moving my blog content  free hosting at  WordPress.com and having them domain map to it my blog and I could be  part of a community and that provides opportunities to promote my blog more effectively.

On a web hosted WordPress.ORG install I not only had web hosting problems to cope with but I also had to do my own WordPress and plugin updates and solve any technical problems that arose on my own. Although these were not a  challenge for me,  the fact that Staff do all the updates and solve all  technical problems on free hosted WordPress.com blogs that cannot be solved by the volunteers who answer questions on the support forums was very attractive.

WordPress.com is better for my blog

I am glad I moved to WordPress.com (with timethief’s advice!). I could have moved my blog to blogger, but I like wordpress.com better.

WordPress.com has a much better community. People can find your blog via tags and categories on the WordPress.com global tag pagesrelated posts, or even the homepage! Blogger doesn’t offer any of that.

The switchover and clean up

‘Yes’ the switch was easy (for the most part). It was a simple export of my blog contents  via the tools menu in my wordpress.org install and an import into my wordpress.com blog.  However,  I quickly realized that I had over 200 posts with videos to convert as wordpress.com does not supporting HTML embeds and uses a shortcode instead.  It took me over 6 hours to do it, but its all done.  :) With all the post converts I was able to remove 17 dead end posts, and about 80 dead links.

I also noticed that Google Analytics, Woopra, Wibya, Widgets, etc. would not work due to code restrictions. But that’s fine as the in-house WordPress stats program is perfect on its own (hence why it was made).

I am also not allowed to have any advertising on WordPress.com which is fine as, unless you make to the front of Digg/Reddit/etc.  you won’t make anything much when it comes to income. I am perfectly fine with wordpress.com adding its own advertising when it needs to.

Conclusion

I no longer have to pay $5/month for hosting, don’t have to worry about backups or downtime, bandwidth limits, loading time/issues, and I don’t have to worry about hackers.

All I need to pay is $25 a year to pay for domain mapping ($10 @ wordpress.com), and domain renewal costs ($15 @ godaddy).

So I am saving $35+ a year, and at the same time supporting the best blogging community.  :)

I had a few blogging casualties though. CTB games, GWasurans, forums, wiki, etc where removed but that’s fine since they where ghost-towns.

I host my gaming review blog, and software review blog here on WordPress.com since I created them, so I am really getting my moneys worth.  :).

Overall it was worth it. Great community, and care free hosting are well worth a few hours of converting, and paying a few dollars per year.

Related posts found in this blog:

Bloggers Get Your Own Domain

Self-hosting: What’s Your Hurry?

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Self Hosting: What’s Your Hurry?

woman at computerThe free features available for free hosted blogs at wordpress.com are great. There’s a such a wide variety available that no matter what kind of a blog you have in mind,  or what premium features you need, wordpress.com is not only a great place to start blogging,  but may even be  your last stop.

Continue reading

Bloggers Get Your Own Domain

If you are serious about blogging, if you intend to use a blog in any commercial way and/or to create a professional reputation,  then whether or not you decide to have a free hosted blog at wordpress.com or hire a web host and self host a wordpress.org blog, I recommend purchasing a domain as early as possible.

photo credit
This is because blogs on subdomains like wordpress.com or blogspot lack the credibility that those on their own domains have, and a domain name tends to give your website an aura of respectability.

Your domain name should be your website name. For SEO include keywords in the URL and tagline that reflect your “brand” Your domain name is your own, it’s portable, and you can have an email address and blog on the same domain.

Having your own domain means provides increased opportunities to:

build your own unique brand, online presence, and reputation;
assist your followers (readers, clients and customers) to recall and locate your site very easily.

I have chosen to purchase two domains and domain mapping from wordpress.com One of my blogs is a self hosted wordpress.org blog and one is being hosted by wordpress.com.

As many folks are confused about what the differences are between wordpress.COM and wordpress.ORG I just linked to the best breakdown of all, and below is a video comparison.

Recommended reading:

How to Register Your Own Domain Name

So, You Want Your Own Domain, Huh?

Related posts found in this blog:

How and why to get your own domain
Self hosting: What’s your hurry?

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An interview with timethief

friendshands

My friend  Shirley, who has a great emerging blog called Proof Positivity asked some questions that led to a mini interview answer.  I decided to publish it here for your reading pleasure.

Shirley is a former City Year corps member who believes in making a difference that is what is at the root of her blog  Proof Positivity. Her  goal is to create a television news show based on community service, good deeds, and positive news.  So please visit her blog and witness the good work she is undertaking.

When and where it all began – Blogger

I began reading blogs in 2003 and I started my own private blog on Blogger. In early 2006 I chose to found a public blog on Blogger because it was the biggest free blog webhost, and because I assumed it was the easiest blogging to learn how to use. A few days later I got a wordpress.com blog too. Almost I immediately noticed how poor Blogger support was and how long it took to get assistance. In contrast,  I discovered that I preferred wordpress software and wordpress.com forum volunteer support was great. It was backed up by excellent staff support too, so I gravitated there.  I also discovered that the wordpress.com global tagging pages brought my blogs traffic but that Blogger didn’t have such a social network equivalent.

Continue reading

Become a WordPress.org Blogger: Free Video Tutorials

The Internet has made it possible for anyone to publish content to a worldwide audience and blogging has become the new national pastime no matter where you reside. Some get paid to blog and others pay for the privilege of blogging on a particular site or with particular software.

WordPress.org and wordpress.com software are different and offer two wordpress alternatives to bloggers. Many wordpress.com bloggers  begin blogging on the free hosted platform and some eventually move off  to  self hosting their own wordpress.org software on their own domains.  I have discovered a set of excellent video tutorials that I would like to recommend to bloggers who are making that move.

camcorder

camcorder

Video 1 – Why You Should Use WordPress
Video 2 – How To Get Your Own Domain Name
Video 3 – How To Get A Web Host
Video 4 – How To Install WordPress
Video 5 – How To Upload Files To Your Webhost Using FTP
Video 6 – Choosing A WordPress Theme For Your New Blog
Video 7 – How To Install And Use WordPress Plugins
Video 8 – How To Create Your First Blog Post And Blog Page
Video 9 – What RSS Is And Why You Need It
Video 10 – How To Use Feedburner For Supercharging Your RSS Capabilities

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How to copyright your digital works

stick'em up

Copyright Law: 12 Dos and Don’ts – Click the title link and find 12 Do’s and Dont’s that will clarify what you can and what you can not do as an online publisher.

As the blogging phenomenon expands, copyright concerns become quite important. Technology makes it really easy to copy, modify and share information, whether we talk about text, images, audio or video. The problem is that the vast majority of people do not have a clear understanding of the Copyright Law, which might result in illegal and costly mistakes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators.

Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright — all rights reserved — and the public domain — no rights reserved.

cc spectrum

cc spectrum

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Related posts found in this blog:
Content theft: The come and get it solution
Splog Off! Dealing with content theft
SplogSpot: Dealing with content thieves
Copyright: Fair Use Limitations
What is copyright?

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Content theft: The come and get it solution

Although I do not get paid to blog, I take my blogging very seriously. I invest time and energy into researching and writing my posts. I have a strong sense of ownership of my words and that means I’m “attached” to what I write. I know that it is my attachments and aversions that prevent me from becoming a more open minded and generous person.  And, I’m constantly working at breaking away from and letting go of the attachments and aversions that lead to the creation of negative emotions.

I have just read A Radical Solution to Blog Content Piracy and I’m mulling over what I read.  Below is an excerpt but please click through to read the whole post.

Two big blogs, maybe more, have adopted a radical approach to copyright. You are absolutely free to copy, paste, steal, modify, and otherwise manipulate whatever you find at the wildly popular Zen Habits and The Simple Dollar. The content on both blogs is public domain.

come & get it

come & get it

This decision by  two notable bloggers, who have decided to “give it all away”,  is one that is a 360 degree turn about from my current policy posted on my Copyright & Disclaimer page which states:

“All content in this blog created by the blog owner is the property of the blog owner and protected by U.S. and international copyright laws and cannot be stored on any retrieval system, reproduced, reposted, displayed, modified or transmitted in any form, electronic or otherwise without written permission of the copyright owner except as noted below.

A brief excerpt of content (up to 50 words) may be quoted as long as a link is provided back to the source page on this blog.”

Part of that consideration is that my policy reflects how I treat the writing of other bloggers. If I were to change my policy how would I view those who do maintain the position that I currently take?

Conclusion: I’m not ready to change my policy at this time but I do want to know what my readers think.

Discussion questions:

  1. Do you get paid to blog?
  2. What is your current copyright policy?
  3. Would you consider introducing a come and get it policy?


Related posts found in this blog:
Splog Off! Dealing with content theft
SplogSpot: Dealing with content thieves
Copyright: Fair Use Limitations
What to do about copyright
What is copyright?

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How to make money online

fist full of money

fist full of money

I’m fairly sure that many who hit on my last post How to make money by blogging assumed that I was going to give them some magical secret making quick bucks.

The bottom line is that if you do not know:
how to be a skillful blogger;
how to create an archive full of quality content;
how to structure a search engine optimized blog;
how to promote your blog;
how to establish and maintain a faithful and growing readership;
and, if you have not accomplished all of the foregoing, then monetizing your blog is premature.

There are many ways to make money online both by blogging and without blogging. You will have to locate the associated links for yourself using Google’s search engine to research the following 25 ways to make money online.

(1) get paid to make friends
(2) get paid to surf
(3) get paid to search
(4) get paid to buy and sell ads
(5) get paid to read email
(6) get paid to review products and services
(7) get paid to take surveys
(8) get paid to blog (sponsorships and affiliate schemes)
(9) get paid to blog (paid per post)
(10) get paid to write
(11) get paid for advertising (passive schemes)
(12) get paid to pay online games
(13) get paid to shop and eat
(14) get paid to use your cell phone
(15) get paid to visit sites
(16) get paid to post comments
(17) get paid for mystery shopping online
(18) get paid for buying music online
(19) get paid for testimonials
(20 get paid for tips
(21) get paid to chat
(22) get paid to be an online coach or tutor
(23 get paid to an affiliate
(24) get paid to give advice and answer questions online
(25) sell items on ebay

This is part two of a three part series.

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Google Chrome: not shiny yet

Posted by Richard

After this forum post by Ella in the WordPress.com forums, and Teck’s comment here on this blog, I was about ready to change the title of this post to “Google Chrome: NOT ON YOUR LIFE,” but with a little time going by (and taking the time to try it out), and a post by Matt Cutts (Googler) on his blog, one of the two – the Chrome end user license agreement (EULA) – thorns have been removed, or will be shortly according to Matt. (Note to Google: One size does not fit all!) The other one – the potential piece of malware installed with Chrome that Teck reported – is still a concern although it was not installed on my computer when I did the installation. During installation I told it not to send information on crashes and such back to Google, so perhaps Teck did not disable that at install. And there are other concerns as well including some apparent security issues. I’m not going to repeat the sloothing of others, but will include links to things I think you should be aware of.

This isn’t going to be an indepth review of features and such, but simply my observations from several hours of use over a couple days. I’ll start with general impressions and then move into how it functioned with WordPress.com and the stand-alone WordPress software from WordPress.org. At the end of this post, I will list some good sources of information if you wish to look further.

Do keep in mind: Chrome at the time I’m writing this is in Beta, which means it isn’t finished. Hopefully the issues will be taken care of by the time it reaches actual “ready for prime-time” release.

[Update 1: Warning! There have been a few more security holes uncovered and reported by Information Week, and the security issues are not something that will be caught by antivirus software or spy software, so don't expect them to keep you safe. Please read the article and be very careful until Google gets these issues resolved.]

Continue reading

Google Chrome: A New Browser for Windows

google chrome

google chrome

Today my Blog Catalog friend, sayzlim notified me that Google has released it’s new browser Google chrome and that he loves it. I’m interested in hearing feedback with regard to how it works with wordpress so please feel free to share your feedback.

Google Chrome (BETA) for Windows

Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.

Features:

One box for everything
Type in the address bar and get suggestions for both search and web pages.

Thumbnails of your top sites
Access your favorite pages instantly with lightning speed from any new tab.

Shortcuts for your apps
Get desktop shortcuts to launch your favorite web applications. Learn about Google Chrome »

Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier. Read about why we built a browser.

See also the youtube video: 10 features of Google Chrome

Realted post found in this blog: Google Chrome: not shiny yet

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How to Become a Better Blogger 5: Your Online Presence

identity

Building and promoting your online presence

You can have the best web site on the internet, but if no one knows it’s there – what’s the point? Things to consider in your promotional strategy: Online advertising with Google/Yahoo; Search Engine registration and optimization; Privacy Policy; Copyright and Disclaimer. Continue reading

Avoiding the “more tag” woes

Posted by Richard

The WordPress post editor, both at WordPress.com and in the self-hosted software from WordPress.org has a “more tag” function in the editor. When the “more tag” is inserted into a post and the post is published, there will appear a “read more” or “continue reading” link where the more tag was inserted which splits the post. Clicking on the “read more” will take the reader to the permalink post page, and allow them to read the rest of the post. It is particularly useful on long posts.

Keeping several simple things in mind can go a long way toward avoiding the “more tag” woes.

  1. Always put the more tag on a separate line, not within a paragraph or at the end of one (before hitting return/enter). If a more tag is placed within a paragraph, the ending paragraph tag effectively ends up on the full-post page (permalink post page) which means that on the main page, that ending tag will be missing as far as the browser is concerned, which will cause the rest of the posts to go wacky.
  2. Never put the more tag within a blockquote, or an ordered or unordered list. Just as placing a more tag within a paragraph will cause problems, placing it within a blockquote, ordered or unordered list will cause the same problems for the same reasons.
  3. Never apply formatting to a more tag (italic, bold, center, etc.). Again, the ending formatting tag will, as far as the browser is concerned, be on the full-post page and the formatting in the previous posts will go all strange.
  4. If the more tag is going within a section of text that has special formatting (italic, bold, center, etc.) end the formatting before the more tag and then start it again after the more tag. Again, failure to end the formatting prior to the more tag will cause the same issues as outlined in 1 and 2 above.
  5. It might be a good idea to go to settings > writing in your dashboard and select “WordPress should correct invalidly nested XHTML automatically” and then click “save changes at the bottom of the page. This will not automatically fix all more tag issues, but it could very well fix a few here and there when you have a lapse of memory.

Related posts found on this blog:
Using the read more tag in a WordPress blog

FAQ’s at WordPress.com
Formatting issues with the “More” tag
Splitting posts with the “More” tag

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