Create a Featured Posts Page with the Display Posts Shortcode

rsz_1featuredpostsbannerList posts are ubiquitous and due to their numbers (no pun intended) they often get a bad rap. I have been disappointed to note that readers are not locating my list posts and I want to feature them on a static page in index form that will auto-update as I publish more. This post explains how I did that on my Featured Posts page by using the display posts shortcode. Continue reading

Create List Posts with the Display Posts Shortcode

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In Use the Display Posts Shortcode to Effectively Feature Content I introduced two ideas.  The first idea was using the display posts shortcode on static pages to create index pages. The second idea was creating list posts as another way of featuring older content especially pillar posts AKA evergreen content.

In this post I’m sharing some examples of my experimentation with the using different variations of the display post shortcode and the results the shortcodes produced.  Continue reading

Use the Display Posts Shortcode to Effectively Feature Content

Bloggers reveal their expertise around specific topics by publishing original content articles that offer clear value to readers. However, as blog posts are displayed in reverse chronological order when new articles are published the earlier ones migrate off front page of the blog and that means drawing attention to them is a challenge. Continue reading

Weekend Blogging Reads and Resources

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I know it’s not Friday when I usually publish this weekly feature but I can do more reading so why wait? Happy reading!

Five Things You Should Not Do On Your Home Page - Most people immediately press X button on their browsers after seeing cluttered home pages. If you want to avoid it, here are few things that you should not to do on your home page. Continue reading

Feedburner on the Rocks?

On July 26th of this year, Feedburner had made a decision to shut down its Twitter account, an account that it had not posted to in over a year. That same day, they also announced that they were shutting down their AdSense For Feeds blog, a blog that they hadn’t posted anything to since October 2010. –  via Feedburner – Is The Sky Really Falling? Continue reading

Waiting for Twenty Twelve?

2012 image I have been eagerly watching the theme announcements while awaiting the introduction of the new default WordPress Twenty Twelve theme. Twenty Twelve, will be a part of the next major WordPress release, version 3.4. Primary development of 3.4 will likely begin around the 3rd week of JanuaryContinue reading

WordPress.com Rolls Out 3.2

For those with self hosted WordPress.org installs, WordPress 3.2  is in Beta testing and expected to launch at the end of June. The new version will have enhanced features, including a faster load time to conform to the new Google algorithm.

As  WordPress.com site is on continuous roll-out on Thursday morning we awoke to find WorPress.com was running 3.2 . Immediately noticeable were Admin navigation bar,  Dashboard and Visual Editor changes.   Some users  discovered Wordpress has dropped support for IE6. The dashboard will still load for IE6 users, it just won’t function very well. The bigger concern for users is that IE 6 is less secure. WordPress is made to work with modern browsers. If you visit your Dashboard using an outdated web browser, we’ll let you know there’s a newer version available. Browse Happy.

Jane Wells summarized the new WordPress 3.2 — in Now More Than Ever: Just Write

“In the spirit of making things faster and simpler, today we are introducing a couple of changes to your dashboard that will make it easier for you to just write.”

  • A Fresher, Faster Dashboard
  • Make your writing window/post box bigger on the editing screens (you can drag the lower right corner if you use the Visual editor, and/or change the default height of the writing window in Settings → Writing).
  • Goodbye, IE6 – With this update, WordPress has discontinued support for Internet Explorer 6.
  • Simultanous Approve and Reply (comments)
  • Introducing Distraction-free Writing – a major upgrade to the full-screen writing experience.

What’s Next?

The new default theme for WordPress 3.2 is Twenty Twelve. It’s based on the Duster theme but comes in both a light and dark version.  It features:

  • Random rotating header images.
  • Color and layout options.
  • Additional post formats. ( Here is the official, current listing of all free themes provided by WordPress.com that support post formats. Asides, Links, and Galleries, etc.)
  • CMS-style slider home page option.

Discussion

I have tried out all the new features. I tend to be resistant to change and reluctant to adapt. However, I’m also curious so when any new feature appears I do try it out in my test blogs. I’m not overly impressed by most of the changes and I am grieving over the loss of some older features.

I do like the “Add New” drop down menu. I do like the simultaneous approval of moderated comments and replies.

I don’t appreciate the moving of the privacy setting notice that used to be right next to the blog tile and was immediately visible to me into the “Right Now” module.  I now  have to click into the “Right Now” module to confirm the visibility setting this is an added click and that fails to impress me.

I’m not finding that the page loading time is faster. It seems to me that every page takes longer to load but I haven’t timed this so perhaps my perception is incorrect.

I won’t be using the Distraction Free Writing feature.    I have now experimented with this full screen writing feature in my test blogs and I’m grateful that it’s optional because I will not be using it.

  • I found the white screen to be glaring and distracting.
  •  The full array of Visual editor  icons are not available and I particularly missed the he undo and redo icons. I found the lack of the full array of icons to be inconvenient and having to switch back and forth to locate the icons I wanted to use to be an annoyance.
  • I found this to be extremely disconcerting and annoying:  “The formatting header is shown when you first arrive on the screen, to orient you, then fades away so you can focus on your writing.  Move your mouse to indicate that you want access to these items and it will magically reappear.”
  • I did not encounter a bug, or any breakage I simply found Distraction-free Writing to be distracting.  Those with IE7 browsers report the toolbar is obscured by the dark-gray WordPress “universal toolbar.”  Others have reported that it takes It also takes several attempts to successfully upload an image into a post.

I’m wondering feedback what my WordPress.com readers think of these WordPress  3.2 version changes and hoping they will post comments outlining their experiences with them and responses to them.

Promote Your Blog: Increase Traffic

I think this Beginner’s Guide will be helpful if you are looking for basic how to’s. I can also recommend a comprehensive tutorial. The Learn WordPress.com  tutorial is divided into progressive levels and presented as a series.

In a nutshell promoting your wordpress.com blog will be more effective if you:

  1. Verify ownership of  your blog with the major search engines-  WordPress.com makes search engine verification easy; and note the factors that expedite search engine indexing of your content — OMG! I can’t find my blog on Google
  2. Link your wordpress.com username to your wordpress.com blog;
  3. Employ basic blog promotion strategies like creating an About page and including a blog description on it;
  4. Create blog title and tagline that define your brand;
  5. Focus on content creation – regularly publish high quality, original content posts and build a faithful readership;
  6. Tag your posts with categories that are specific to the topics in the blog post;
  7. Invest time and energy into relationship building by leaving meaningful comments on other blogs, in forums and on websites related to your blogging topics;
  8. Use wordpress.com in house promotion opportunites;
  9. Join social media sites like Twitter and social networks such as Blinklist, Delicious, Digg, Facebook, Fark, Flickr, Furl, Magnolia, Newsvine, Reddit, Stumbleupon, Technorati, etc. and display sharing icons or buttons below your posts for visitors to use.