5 Plugins to Sell Things on Your WordPress Site

One of the best ways to make money with a WordPress blog is to start selling things. Whether that’s actual products, e-books or services, there are many WordPress plugins that will help you monetize your blog. You don’t need to rely on just advertising to monetize your blog.

Here’s our roundup of the best e-commerce plugins for WordPress. Some can turn your blog into a full fledged content managed store or allow you to easily sell Amazon.com products on your site.

watch alive in divx The Meerkats release

WordPress e-Commerce

monitoring coumadin programs
This plugin is a powerful, full fledged plugin that will turn a WordPress site into a complete storefront. It features everything you need to take payments, create a cart system, list products and integrate with popular social networking websites. It supports many cool features such as templating, coupon codes and much more. The basic version is completely free while there are affordable add-ons that increase functionality. You can create a paid membership website easily with this WordPress module in addition to be able to sell anything.

Download WordPress e-Commerce here

eShop

eShop is another full featured plugin that will turn a WordPress site into a store. It has many awesome features, such as:

  • Utilizes WordPress pages, or posts, to create products
  • Various methods available for listing products
  • Products can have multiple options
  • Upload downloadable products
  • Basic Statistics
  • Download sales data
  • Various shipping options
  • Admin has access to an Order handling section
  • Automatic emails on successful purchase
  • User configurable email templates.
  • Configurable Out of Stock message.
  • Basic Stock Control
  • Google Base Data creation
  • Various discount options
  • Several payment options

download mike stern between the lines Scrooged movie
Download WordPress eShop here

Unfaithful psp

WP Easy PayPal Payment Accept

If you just wanted to sell something simple like an e-book, there’s no need to develop a full fledged store to sell it. The quickest and easiest way is to accept PayPal as payment and integrate a simple Paypal Cart system. This great plugin will help you do just that. It’s pretty easy to use and accepts PayPal payments for a service, product or donations in multiple currencies. It can be used in the sidebar, posts and pages.

Download WP Easy PayPal Payment Accept here

WordPress PayPal Donation Plugin

If you don’t want to sell anything or charge your readers for access to your content, then you can ask for donations. This plugin makes it really simple to integrate the PayPal donation system into your blog. It will create a page that you can use to encourage donations to your blog. It also includes a nifty graph bar that can track how much you’ve earned towards a goal. It supports multiple currencies so you can accept donations from all over the world.

Download WordPress PayPal Donation Plugin here

Amazon Showcase WordPress Plugin

This plugin provides a quick and easy way to introduce your Amazon.com Associates affiliate account into your blog. Amazon’s program is a great program to join. It’s free to join and you’ll earn commissions for every purchase made by someone who comes through your website. This is a pretty awesome plugin that will allow you control all aspects of products being displayed on your site.

Download the Amazon Showcase Plugin here

We highly recommend trying these plugins out if you are trying to monetize your blog or website. What’s your favorite plugin to sell things on WordPress?Dark Reprieve ipod

WordPress 101 – What is WordPress?

If you are new to blogging, then you are probably not sure what it is and what WordPress is all about. So here are some basics to help you understand what blogging is, what content management is, and how WordPress came about.

Just What is Blogging?

Blogging is simply content arranged in descending order, back in time about any particular subject. This blog focuses on WordPress. So, we write posts dealing with WordPress. Blogs have made it easy for anyone to setup a website and write about their interests.

Blogs also have several other important elements such as the ability to let users comment, archiving, searching, category management and a host of other features that can be added with additional software.

I hesitate to say that a blog is like a diary, because that implies that all blogs are simply personal diaries. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, there are millions of blogs about millions of different subjects with very few personal diaries gaining any real popularity

What Is Content Management?


Back in the early days of the Web, if you wanted to have your own website about a subject, you needed to write it from scratch in HTML and update it manually. While this was fine when websites were simple, it quickly became very time consuming to update a website when there were hundreds of pages of content, let alone thousands.

This where content management systems come in. A content management system manages content in a database. Content is called from a database and displayed on a page automatically when a page is loaded. This means that you can have thousands of pages of content, managed efficiently in a way that makes maintaining a website easier. This means that people could now focus on the actual creation of content, rather than the technical aspects of maintaining it.

When the blog format was developed, it did not take long for blogging platforms to develop. Blogging Platforms such as Blogger or WordPress became basic content management systems for blog content. They were easy to use and develop. This led to an explosion in blogs. Several millions blogs are created everyday in the world. Everyone has something to say. And a lot of them are saying it with WordPress.

WordPress History

In the spirit of open source software development, WordPress was created from another blogging platform. WordPress came about from the work of Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, who developed WordPress and released it into the wild.

It’s popularity hit critical mass when Six Apart, the company behind another popular blogging platform called Movable Type, changed it licensing agreements, leading to many users migrating their blogs to the free and open source WordPress platform.

WordPress has been under active development for nearly 6 years and has thousands of developers contributing to the project, thousands of plugins that extend functionality, thousands of customized themes and many business success stories.

Why Is WordPress The Best Choice For Blogging?

WordPress introduces simplicity into blogging. It works right out of the box, it’s easy to maintain and it’s backend is extremely powerful. This allows anyone to create a huge blog and run it successfully. Some of the biggest blogs on the web use WordPress. It just works.

It’s ease of use coupled with the thousands of themes and plugins available, mean that you can get WordPress to do pretty much anything you would need it too. All at little or no cost. Because of the popularity of WordPress there are countless experts on the web that can help you solve any problem you may be having.

Another great aspect of WordPress is that it can be hacked into being a simple content management system, meaning that you can take it beyond a blog and create a full featured website. Perfect for developing websites or blogs for businesses.

The Future of WordPress

The future of WordPress is secure, it’s under active development and now has the backing of several companies that maintain the overall codebase. It’s popularity means that it won’t be going anywhere and that new features will be continuously added and old features improved. So, if you’re looking for start you own blog and want to do it in the best way possible, then WordPress is your best bet.

Inferno divx

How To Move Your WordPress.com Content to a Custom WP Installation

Moving On Up

I have been helping out a very design and web savvy friend lately with a new enterprise she is undertaking using the WordPress sandbox. I find this interesting because this friend was actually far ahead of the curve when it comes to blogging as she used to run an excellent blog site that was in fact built from scratch some eight or nine years ago. Her original site used some custom php and MySQL underneath a handsome and clever design to essentially post articles, link them to one another and even used categories for navigating through the content.

These days that doesn’t seem quite so impressive since anyone can sign up for a free blog at Blogger.com or WordPress.com and be up and running in minutes.

But as I have mentioned before, these free blog services eventually come at a price. The new user will quickly discover that any sort of “premium” features – specialized plugins, extra storage space, custom domains and even themes are paid services and soon enough they will find that they need the extra tools but fear they can’t abandon all the content they have so painstakingly created.

The good news, as I explained to my friend, is that moving from (most) of these free services to a custom WordPress installation (WordPress is by now unquestionably the blogging platform of choice) is a lot easier than one might suspect. Here are the instructions as outlined at the WordPress Support Edtv movie full pages:

“1) In the old blog, go to Tools -> Export

and download the XML file to your computer.

2) In the new blog, go to Tools -> Import and upload the XML file you downloaded in step 1.

Note: This will move your your posts, pages, comments, categories, and tags; any uploads and images will need to be manually transferred to the new blog.”

First Things First

Of course, before any of this is possible, you will need to set up an account with a Host Provider (I mentioned several of these in my article about getting started) and then register your own domain name.

Once you are all done with that, you will likely use Fantastico or Simple Scripts to do a quick install of WordPress on your new server, be it a shared or dedicated option.

Then you will likely want to follow the many excellent tips and resources on this site to get everything humming along smoothly.

Finally, from your admin panel, select the Import option, locate you exported XML file and upload. Presto, watch your new, very own, infinitely expandable, with no one watching your back, WP site magically repopulate with all your old content. Couldn’t be easier.

But Before We Go…

One caveat, I did mention in my article about Tags and Categories that when importing from a Blogger.com account funky things can happen between tags and categories. In this case, you may want to do some cleanup and reorganize your tags and categories before going live.

About the Author:
Keram (follow him on twitter @ConstantChange) is a new media consultant, music producer, actor and writer who opines on SEO at blogging-fool.com and society at theculturepin.com. Listen to his podcast at KeramCast.com

WordPress As A Video Site – Themes and Plugins

WordPress vs. Joomla as a CMS

WordPress is deeply customizable and has evolved into a full content management system or “CMS” for many publishers, but it still isn’t the best choice for video sites – that crown is still held by Joomla, likely because it approaches the content not as a blog but as a way for navigating through a lot of content pulled from a database. Although this is essentially what WordPress does – WP still thinks like a blog – that is to say, it is hungry for updates so that it can post them on its front page, and have those updates commented upon by readers who subscribe to its RSS feed.

Joomla, on the other hand struggles as a blogging platform and instead excels at cataloging your content much like a library catalogs and displays book, allowing that content to be voted upon and rated, building communities and so on. They are both capable of much the same things, but they come at it in very different ways.  furthermore, someone with knowledge about installing and running a WordPress site does not necessarily share the tools for installing and running a Joomla CMS.  Again: they are two different animals.

As WordPress slowly saturates the market as a full-blown CMS, we are on the lookout for ways in which people are solving both community building (in the sense that its readers can maintain profiles that go beyond a comment history) and as a multimedia platform.

While most successful port of the YouTube idea to WP are expensive custom jobs, there are a couple of solutions emerging for the rest of us worth a look.

Video Themes and Solutions for WordPress

First is WordPress Video Theme – a design that does a very simple thing: it integrates the ability to embed video right in to your template’s back end. The upside is you need to know nothing about coding or even third-party plugins to use it. The downside is that because it is expressly designed to display videos in its posts (to retain the integrity of its overall formatting) you must link a video in every post or you will be stuck with a big empty white space before your text appears. It also affords you the ability to switch between seven different color palettes on the fly.

22-year old designer Malan Joubert has been more than generous in giving this one away.

Good Burger ipod

It is not an ideal solution, but it works, and its free and at the very least you can get a chance to tinker around with a solution to this problem.

Wordpress Video Theme

A free WordPress Video Theme by Malan Joubert

Next is an excellent video theme from the good people at Woo Themes called, appropriately WooTube. This premium theme automatically resizes videos on your site for a clean consistent look and even has the WPPost-Ratings plugin built in so readers can vote on their favorite videos. The difference between WooTube’s integration of the rating system and doing it yourself without any knowledge of CSS is WooTube makes it look good. It also features a customized sidebar for displaying past videos without any need for installing third party plugins.

how deep is your love.mp3

WooTube - a premium video theme from WooThemes.com

WooTube - a premium video theme from WooThemes.com

WooTube can be purchased in one of two ways: as a single license (meaning you have permission to use it on one site) for $70 and multi-sites for $150, or as part of a Woo Themes club membership. Visit the site for details.

A last thing to look at is Viper’s Video Quicktags


The Spirit buy

– not a theme, but a plugin that allows you to embed videos from a wide variety of sites including YouTube, MySpace, Metacafe, Vimeo, Dailymotion and others, customize the appearnce of the video player and define other behaviors.

Once installed the plugin option appear within the WYSIWYG of your post editor. It doesn’t break your theme in any way, (I have tested it with over 25 different themes) and get you into the world of video broadcasting from your Worpdress blog. What it doesn’t do, that a good theme does, is display past videos, who watched them, how much they were liked and so on. These are the keys to making a successful video site, and WordPress isn’t quite there yet.

Here is a list of many other video plugins for WordPress worth taking a look at; as always, try some out and see what works best for you.

While there are dozens of amazing highly customized themes for multimedia by frighteningly talented designers out there, most of them aren’t available to the common blogger without a budget.  The resources above, however, should get you on your way.

About the Author:
Keram is a new media consultant, music producer, actor and writer who opines on SEO at blogging-fool.com and society at theculturepin.com. Listen to his podcast at KeramCast.com

5 Plugins for Managing Your WordPress Database

The backbone of your WordPress website is it’s database. It’s where all your valuable content lives. Because of this, it’s important to become familiar and comfortable with managing your database. As your blog grows, it will become larger and unwieldy. When this happens, things can go wrong. So it’s important to have backups and to know how to troubleshoot WordPress database issues.

Below are five plugins that will help you manage your WordPress mySQL database.

Search and Replace

The Namesake hd

This plugin does one thing and it does it well. It will run a search through your entire database and do a find and replace. Why would you ever need to do this? Well, if you moved domain names for example, you would need to manually replace all your internal links to make them point to the new URL. With this simple tool, you can find all the old instances of your URL and replace it with the new one.

Download Search and Replace

WP-DB-Backup

Backing up is very important. Many people don’t realize that they need to keep a copy of their database handy in case something happens. It is very hard to recover from losing your database. Databases like to go wonky and get corrupted. Sometimes your site will continue to work even when this happens. Then one day, it will stop working. So, you need to make regular backups of your database and keep all of them. That way you can restore your database back to a time when the database wasn’t corrupted. The great thing about this plugin is that it will automate the backups and then e-mail them to you.

Download WP-DB-Backup

Figment Thinking WordPress Database Table Optimizer

You need to occasionally optimize your WordPress database. That means cleaning out empty tables, old data, etc. This plugin will make database optimization simple.

Download Datable Table Optimizer

WP-Cache

Your database is hosted on it’s own server and every time a page is loaded, information is pulled from the database. If you got a sudden burst of traffic from a social networking site, it could bring your database server down. This plugin will help prevent that by creating static HTML pages automatically if a post becomes popular enough. The only downside it that internal Statistic plugins won’t register the static page and you’ll have to always refresh your theme when you make changes.

Download WP-Cache

WP-DBManager

This is a fantastic tool. It will give you complete control over your entire WordPress database. It allows you to optimize your database, repair your database, backup your database, restore your database from a backup, delete backup databases, drop/empty tables and run mySQL queries. It will also allow you to setup automatic schedules for backing up and optimizing of your database. This is an excellent tool to have and it’s very worth learning how to use it. It could save your blog one day.

Download WP-DBManager

Using the plugins above, you will have much more control over your WordPress database. It is very important to keep an updated backup because bad things can sometimes happen and the worst thing of all is losing your posts and pages.

Do you have any other WordPress database plugins you recommend?

Tips For Upgrading SimplePress Forum For WordPress Correctly

In a recent article here at WP-Blogger, I wrote about the importance of building community and finding a simple solution for integrating a (free) forum on your WordPress site.

Simple:Press Forum was the easiest and also best realized solution to this problem. But now with WordPress version 2.8 looming, some necessary updates had to be made to the plugin, if you can call it that – I think I would rather call it a suite for all that it accomplishes so seamlessly within a WordPress installation. Here are the installation and upgrade instructions depending on your situation.

There is also an important notice at the end of these instructions for those upgrading that handles a small bug in the installation process in some cases.  Please be sure to read this before performing your upgrade.

Also, please be sure to back up your database before performing any of the following actions.  One way to do this is right at your cpanel level, another more efficient way to do this right from within WordPress is to install and use the WP-DBManager.  If you don’t and things go wrong, it’s not my fault, and I can’t help you.

Having said that, the procedure is fairly straightforward and relatively bulletproof; I performed this install and/or upgrade on at least six sites and had no problems.

First Time Installation of SimplePress Forum On Your WordPress Site

UPLOAD: Upload the plugin to your WordPress ‘plugins’ folder. Simple:Press Forum must reside in a folder named ‘simple-forum’ directly inside the ‘plugins’ folder. WordPress 2.7 and 2.8 users may be able to use the automated zip file upload from within the ‘Plugins – Add New’ page. If not, use a standard FTP client for the upload.

ACTIVATE: Once fully uploaded, Simple:Press Forum should appear on your WordPress Plugins page listing. Click on the ‘Activate’ link on the Simple:Press Forum entry.

INSTALL: Unlike most plugins, Simple:Press Forum is not installed when activated. A new ‘Install’ link will appear against the plugin entry – or you can select ‘Install’ from the new Forum menu. Select ‘Install’ to load the Simple:Press Forum installer and click on the start button.

Upgrading From Versions 4.0.0/4.0.1/4.0.2

DEACTIVATE: If you are upgrading from version 4.0.x there is no need to remove the old Simple:Press Forum files or folder unless you plan to use the WordPress 2.7 or 2.8 automated plugin zip file uploader – this tool requires the old files to be removed first. If not using this tool then start by deactivating Version 4.0.x which will prevent users from seeing errors while the new plugin files are being installed.

UPLOAD – ACTIVATE – UPGRADE: Follow the instruction for a ‘First Install’ above. Note however, that the menu item will now be labelled ‘Upgrade’ and not ‘Install’.  Click this button and on the following page, confirm you want to perform the upgrade.  If everything goes as planned you see a pop-up window confirming this that also inludes some notes on the latest revisions.  You can click X to close this window and go back to choosing options for your forum.

If you see an error message appear across the top of your page, read the Important Note below to fix it.  It takes just a second.

Upgrading From Versions 3.X.X

Begin by removing all of the old plugin files. If you are upgrading from ANY version older than 4.0.0 then it is necessary to first remove ALL of the old plugin files. After doing this, follow the instructions above for an Upgrade.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

If you perform the upgrade and see a scary line of code appear at the top of your pages talking about an error finding this or the other, it isn’t your mistake.  It is a known bug discovered after the release of this upgrade that appears in some instanced.  To fix it, simply go to your Admin panel, go to the Forum section that now exists as a result of your SimplePress installation, and be sure you are under the  Manage Options section.  This should bring you, by default to the Global settings (if not, the click the Global Tab.)

In the section on the left labelled  WP Admin Pages Access make sure there is an ‘X’ beside the option titled “Block User Access to WP Admin Pages.”  Make sure to click the Update All Options button at the bottom right of this page.

You may see the error one more time, but after that it will be corrected.

Visit the downloads page for Simple:Press Forum for WP to get the files.

About the Author:
Keram is a new media consultant, music producer, actor and writer who opines on SEO at blogging-fool.com and society at theculturepin.com.

Top 10 Professional Business WordPress Themes

Of all the pretty WordPress themes out there, there aren’t that many suitable for a business to use as a blog or corporate website. Many WordPress themes are geared toward niches or are over designed to be flashy. While they may look nice, this doesn’t make them that useful for a business looking to create a simple or professional website.

Below are the 10 best free professional business themes that we could find. They are all very pleasing on the eyes and can be used for any business, regardless of what your main purpose is. Check them out:

Primepress

primepress

Primepress is clean and powerful. It works well as a website for a business, corporation or simply as a blog tacked onto another existing website. It’s CSS files and images are easy to alter so that you can integrate it into any existing website easily.

Download Primepress

Corporate

slide3

This is a simple two column theme. It’s not flashy and has plain colors. But it’s simplicity is deceiving. It’s simple colors and layout means that it can be easily customized to fit your company’s color scheme and logo.

Download Corporate

Blue Business

blue-business-10 tracey fragments the free

Another simple two column theme. It can be customized to suit your needs and has graphics that can easily be edited. It’s not the most advanced theme, but it does the job.

Download Blue Business

Notepad Simple Business Theme

something about us mp3 download

notepad_orange

This is a very simple, professional brochure style theme. It’s a free theme from a premium WordPress theme developer. Best of all it included 13 color schemes that you can easily change between. It’s nice layout and extensibility makes it a good choice for a simple website.

Download Notepad Simple Business

Several3

several3

I love the colorful layout of this theme. The best part of this theme is the header at the top that you can use to show off your content. The layout it clean and well laid out.

Download Several3

Modern

modern

This theme is clean, light and has an easily editable CSS file. Perfect for a simple business website.

Download Modern

Another Corporate WordPress Theme

corporate-theme

This theme uses a clean corporate themed color scheme. You can customize any aspect of it. Looking at it, it just looks professional.

Download Another Corporate Theme

CorporateMag

02-34_corporatemag

This theme is slick. It’s got a few more features that you could use in more advanced company website. This goes beyond a simple brochure like website. This is a full fledged, feature rich website. All in one nicely designed theme.

Download CorporateMag

Individual

02-15_individual

This theme is very colorful, but not too colorful as to look unprofessional. It’s got an interesting layout that sets it apart from other WordPress themes. A very good business theme package.

Download Individual

heaven project the movie

Ashford

09-37_ashford

Ashford is a very nicely designed theme. But it’s so much more than just a theme, it’s turned into it’s own powerful web development platform that makes it scalable enough to use on a major corporate website. Definitely worth checking out.

Download Ashford

The Witches of Breastwick movie download Using WordPress For Business

As you can see, WordPress can easily be used for business websites and blogs. The key is finding a theme that does not come off as cheap or non-professional.

Do you have any recommendations for business WordPress themes?

WordPress 101: Managing Users

Your readers are your bread and butter and how you decide to interact with them from the get go will determine how successful your blog becomes. Your blog cannot be successful without loyal readers. It needs to be easy for people to leave comments; if it’s a pain then you won’t get many comments.

Also, at some point you may decide to introduce contributors to your WordPress blog and you’re going to need a way to manage them. You don’t exactly want a contributor to have admin rights on your WordPress blog, so to control different levels of user permissions, WordPress has several different levels.

Types of WordPress Users

  • Subscriber – This is someone who simply reads your blog and leaves comments.
  • Contributor – Someone who can read/write posts but they do not get published, they get sent to a moderation queue.
  • Author – This allows someone to write and publish their own posts.
  • Editor – Can write posts, publish posts and manage the posts of others.
  • Administrator – Can control every aspect of your blog.

Deciding What User Level to Give Out

It’s important to think about this. This is YOUR blog and you don’t want to give out too much control to other people. Unless you are in partnership with someone, you should never, under any circumstance give out administrative rights to a user on your blog.

If you want to invite contributors to write for your blog and give contributor level access, all their posts will go into a queue. After a while, this may come to annoy your contributors as they have to wait on you to see their posts go live. There are also significant limitations built into the contributor user level. For example, they cannot upload pictures or embed any content. This will quickly become a headache if you have to continually upload images for them.

The next option would be to give writers Author level access. This give a little more freedom to them. They’ll be able to do the same things as a contributor but they’ll also be able to upload images and publish their own posts. If you allow writers to publish your own posts, it would be wise to lay out guidelines for them to follow. Such as what time to publish, what kind of images they can use, overall content guidelines, etc. This is a good level of access to give, you don’t give up too much power but your contributors will have a little more freedom.

If you want someone to be a more hands on that Author level, you could give them Editor Access. This will allow them to edit and maintain any content on the site, their own and others. They can moderate comments, edit posts, delete posts, delete pages and ban users. Give out this level sparingly as you are giving up a lot of control.

The next level above Editor is Administrator. An admin can control every aspect of the site that all the previous user levels can in addition to controlling themes, plugins and overall site settings. This is same amount of power that you have. Give it out sparingly or you could find yourself losing complete control of your blog.

User Generated Content

A lot of WordPress blogs can be altered in a way to accept user generated content. It should be well considered about what type of content you’re willing to allow on your site. People will push the barriers until they meet resistance. So, if you choose to allow user generated content (other than comments) it’s a good idea to do a few things:

Make them register for Contributor Level Access – This will help fight spammers and makes sure that people who want to contribute are willing to go through the necessary steps.

Keep them at Contributor Level Access – At first at least. You’ll want to approve all content that goes up on your blog. As time goes on and you can begin to trust your community, you can remove this roadblock so that when users submit content, it goes live immediately.

Clear out Abusers

download love songs mp3

– If someone is abusing their privileges, simply get rid of them. You can easily delete a user account. To prevent them from registering again, use a plugin like WP-Ban to ban their IP address from your site completely.

Conclusion

Allowing users to contribute to the success of your blog is an important aspect of blogging. That being said, each decision you make should be considered and implemented with a strong will. Never forget that it’s YOUR blog. Your users make contribute to it’s success, but at the end of the day you have to live with it.

How To Ban Spammers in WordPress

As blogs become more popular, spammers are become more and more of a problem. Spambots are becoming more and more bold in the ways they crawl websites and the content that they generate in comments.

It will happen to every blogger. One day, you’ll look at your stats and see that one page is getting literally thousands of pageviews a day. However, when you compare those thousands of pageviews with your actual unique visitor numbers, things don’t match up. This is a pretty good sign your site is being assaulted by a Spambot repeatedly. Who knows why they do it, or what they intend to do with it, you need it to STOP. It will clog up your bandwidth and make the rest of the site move slow.

So, how do you fight them off?

Well, there are a couple easy ways to deal with spammers in WordPress. The first is to manage your comments to block unwanted users. The second is to ban certain bots from crawling your site at all.

WordPress Comment Spam

Cougar Club download

Most WordPress users keep their comments moderated to deal with spam. If you do get spam comments, all you have to do is mark them as spam and WordPress deals with them. I also highly recommend installed Akismet spam protection – it’s free and will save you a lot of headaches.

However, before you mark something as spam, it’s not a bad idea to block their IP completely. To do this, pull up their comment and copy the IP address from the spammer. Take that IP address and go to the Settings –> Discussion Menu and add them to the comment blocklist. If you do that, they won’t be able to comment on your WordPress blog anymore.

Helpful Tip:

Ban a range of IP’s. Many spammers have different IP’s but you can block them as well. For example if a spammer is commenting with:

192.168.1.175

192.168.1.176

You can block them by using a wildcard:

192.168.1.* – This will block the whole range of IP’s addresses from 192.168.1.001-192.168.1.255.

You can take it even further and block:

192.168.*

But be careful doing this, you can inadvertently block legitimate visitors from your site. IP’s can change frequently.

download 21 grams free WordPress Bot Spammers


This is different from comment spam. This is when one bot continually hits a page over and over. First you need to peer into the IP records in StatPress, the WordPress Web Statistic Plugin I frequently use and look for the IP address that keeps hitting the site. The easiest way to ban someone from even having access to your site it to get the WP-Ban plugin The Last Sin Eater rip . This is an invaluable tool. Once you enter the individual IP’s addresses, the bots will not be able to access your site at all.

Once you block the little bot spammers, your pageviews should go back to normal levels. You can use the same wildcards to block IP’s in WP-Ban that you can in the standard WP comment banning.

Click here to download the WP-Ban WordPress Plugin

.

Good luck battling WordPress Spammers!

What’s your favorite way to block Spammers?

Three Plugins To Transform Your WP Site Into A Video Portal

A Watershed Year for Online Video

In 2009, YouTube saw a 56 percent increase in traffic and finally hit a new benchmark – users are uploading 20 hours worth of video per minute to the site. This remarkable statistic may have something to do with the improved functionality of the webcam response tool that now allows users to start recording video with one-simple click.

And although online video is not quite ready to dethrone the venerable TV set, online video is almost a must-have element to any good online destination.

Here are three potent and easy to install plugins that will help transform your WordPress blog into a video-ready CMS:

wordTube for WordPress:

Per the developer site’s description: “This plugin manages the JW FLV MEDIA PLAYER 4.3+ and makes it easy for you to put music, videos or flash movies onto your WordPress posts and pages. ”

Well, let me say that “easy” is a relative term.  Compared to Viper’s Video Quicktags (see below) wordTube is not so simple.  It requires you to create an .flv (Flash video) file to begin with, or yes, you can link to an existing Flash video file (for example a YouTube link) and then drop a line of code into your post manually that looks something like: [media id="media id"]

That in itself isn’t so hard, but it can become a bit tedious when you just want to copy and paste something from another site into a post.  The adantages of wordTube, however are the extended power you get from integrating the JW FLV player into your WordPress installation; everything from building video jukeboxes, to custom skins for your player to integrating LongTail ads becomes available.  There is also a long list of plugins that add further functionality to the player available from the site at www.longtailvideo.com

.

Another cool thing about wordTube and it’s ability to work with audio or images alone, is that you can create a jukebox for music or images and thus build a radio station or photo gallery to your liking.  Or even a music jukebox with cover art.  To see an example of this, visit the Streaming Indie Jukebox at LA music blog MusicZeitgeist.com

It supports .flv or .swf, sound files as MP3 and JPG, GIF or PNG grafic files.

Viper’s Video Quicktags

This delicious little dish makes serving up video from a wide variety of media sites as simple as copy and pasting the appropriate video link into an input field.  The plugin does the rest.

Sites currently supported include:

Highly recommended for ease of use and selection.  Furthermore you can use the plugins WYSIWYG backend to alter the player’s behaviors – from disabling related videos, to offering high quality options to the color of the frame.

Smart Video Plus

A relative but powerful newcomer is Smart Video Plus which is very different from any other WordPress video plugin you will find on the net as it’s not dependant on using any [tokens] or [tags] to embed media, nor does it need a list of supported video sites for you to choose from as this plugin allows video embedding from absolutely every video site online that supports embed code.

It can be used as a standalone plugin or integrated with a free custom optimized theme available from the developers site.

Some of the plugins features include the ability to:

  • Search Videos From Over 30 Top Video Search Engines!
  • Choose Videos From Over 100 Million Pre Cached Media Files!
  • Mass Embed The Media You Choose Directly to Your WordPress!
  • Change All The Video Meta Titles, Descriptions & Keywords!
  • No Downloading, No Uploading, No Copy & Paste, No Duplicate Media!

So there you have it – three ways to start becoming your own online broadcaster.  I’d love to hear from you if you have tried any of these and how they worked out for you.

About the Author:
Keram (follow him on twitter @ConstantChange) is a new media consultant, music producer, actor and writer who opines on SEO at blogging-fool.com and society at theculturepin.com. Listen to his podcast at KeramCast.com

Useful WordPress Plugins You May Have Overlooked

There are thousands upon thousands of WordPress plugins with more cropping up every day.  Every once in a while something from the “Why Didn’t I Think of That” category pops up and I would like to share some of those with you.

Ever feel like you have a great idea for a blog but you either don’t have the time to develop it into a full post, or just haven’t formulated the full concept?  Rather than create a bunch of drafts, you can now sketch out a quick list of to-do posts and Aha! moments with Post Ideas by developer Aaron Robbins.

Where Post Ideas goes beyond the old method of saving drafts is that it allows you to track keywords and research URLS, and perhaps more importantly, sort your sketches by name, date or priority.  Love it.

How about batch processing for your blog?  Any photographer or music producer knows how important batch processing can be to both save time and keep consistency between a large number of files.  Well, here are again in the “Why Didn’t I Think of That” department because a blog, with its ever-growing number of posts develops in voice and direction over the course of its life and eventually you may want to go back and adjust a lof older articles to better reflect the direction in which your site is headed.

Enter Mass Post Manager for WordPress which enables you to delete all posts and comments in a category and / or reassign all posts from one category to another.  This is especially useful if you find that in the early days of your blog, when you were still working things out, you created too many categories or eventually found more concise categories with which to organize your content.

If you have ever been a fan of the Yet Another Related Post Plugin (YARPP), a tool that searches your database by categories, keywords, titles and other criteria and then outputs a list of suggestions to older posts at the end of your article, then you may have found that it can stress your shared server out if not handled with care.  Another solution is to create an effective and powerfully visual callback to a related post by placing  graphic sticky or Post-it note on top of your article.

Vishal Monpara’s awesome WordPress Sticky Post Plugin shows the designated post on top every post on your blog.  It isn’t really a substitute or replacement for YARRP, but, it is a very cool way of drawing attention to another article by working over top of your existing theme.  It currently supports both WordPress 2.1 and greater and WordPress MU 1.1.   Check it out and see if you like it.

Speaking of WordPress MU (Multi-user) – an announcement came from San Francisco this week that WordPress MU will soon be merged into WordPress itself.  This is very exciting indeed as MU allows a standard WP blog to be transformed into a full-fledged social networking portal.  Tighter integration between the two will mean a lot of optimization and ideally, improved ease of use, adding to the eisting power of WordPress significantly.

Have you ever suffered from long URL-itis in your comments section?  Now that everyone seems to have wised up to good SEO practices, we are seeing URLs that can run the length of a long-winded sentence.  You know the kind I mean: http://whatever.org/this-post-is-about-the-time-I-went-to-Mount-Rushmore-and-took-a-picture-with-my wifes-family.html

WP-Chunk to the rescue! This plugin gracefully shortens URLs within submitted comments.

A final plugin to strongly consider for any blog is Secure Files

The Name of the Rose

by Trevor Turk.  This definitely falls into the category we discussed earlier about things that should have come pre-installed with WordPress, in that it allows you to upload and download files from outside of your web document root for security purposes.

This is especially important for blogs that have multiple authors – since the nature of image and CSS that can be uploaded from a post-creation backend are not protected in the same way that your database is protected by being restricted only to registered users with sufficient access.

Placing the uploads directory outside of your install’s root directory can save you from malicious or to be euphemistic “accidentally uploaded” files that can damage or harm your site or server.

Have you ever tried any of the plugins on this list?  What has been your experience with them?
About the Author:
Keram (follow him on twitter @ConstantChange

Wild Things 2 divx

) is a new media consultant, music producer, actor and writer who opines on SEO at blogging-fool.com and society at theculturepin.com. Listen to his podcast at KeramCast.com


5 Plugins to Share Your Posts

A huge part of success as a blogger is making it easy for people to share your content. Person to person recommendations are very powerful to a blogger, especially if a person has thousands of Twitter or blog followers. It’s important to make it easy for anybody to share your posts with people they know. Thankfully, there are many excellent WordPress Plugins for sharing posts.

Sociable

This is the mother of all sharing plugins. It creates a bar at the bottom of posts that can be customized to allow readers to submit a post to your preferred social networking site. You can completely customize the list and show as many as you want. It really makes submitting to sites like Digg and Reddit really easy. It’s a powerful plugin with a wide user base, so people know to look for it.

Download Sociable here

WP-Email

This plugin does one thing and one thing well, it allows readers to e-mail a post to a friend. It’s a great way for readers to share your best posts. I also find this to be a useful feature on many websites just to send posts to myself. It’s easy to install and doesn’t require and coding or template changes to get working. It also tracks every post that’s shared so you can see what posts are creating the most buzz with readers.

Download WP-Email here sleeping with ghosts placebo mp3 download

Add to Any: Share/Bookmark/Email Button

This is a great all in one plugin. It allows you to easily let readers submit posts to over 100 social networking sites, bookmark with their browsers and popular bookmarking sites. It also has an e-mail post button built in. This plugin has a lot of functionality and is a great addition to any blog. Perfect if you don’t want to mess with several plugins to do different things.

Download Add to Any here

ReTweet Badge – Tweetmeme

Tweetmeme

is becoming the de facto tracking method for links on the huge Twitter network. The Tweetmeme website aggregates links on Twitter and keeps track of how many people have tweeted a post. This little plugin puts the ReTweet badge on all your posts so that you can see the current Tweet count. When the badge is clicked, it takes them to their Twitter account where they can then Tweet it themselves. With the popularity of Twitter growing bigger every day, this is an important plugin to have.

Download ReTweet Tweetmeme here A Room with a View

ShareThis

This is another all in one solution that you can customize. ShareThis is very similar to the ubiquitous AddThis button. It creates a widget on the site that allows users to share posts on a variety of social networking sites, e-mail them or send them across their instant messenger account. This is the only sharing plugin that integrates chat as well. Pretty powerful little tool, if you’re okay relying on a third party for your post sharing.

Download ShareThis here

So there are a few ways you can allow your readers to share your posts. What’s your favorite plugin for sharing your blog content?

WordPress Backup Strategy

It will happen to every blogger one day, you’re blog will crash and you’ll need to recover it. Every WordPress blogger needs to prepare for this, preferably sooner rather than later. Just like keeping your computer backed up, you need to back up your blog regularly and methodically so that you can recover in case of a disaster.

There are two important elements to any WordPress backup strategy and that’s: Your Database and Your Files. These two elements are what make your blog tick. Luckily, I will also present a solution if you’ve failed to backup and need to recover your WordPress blog without a backup. It’s not the easiest solution but it might be your only option.

Your Database

This is by far the most important thing to keep backed up. Your blog content, from posts to comments lives in the database. Without the database, WordPress cannot function and your content will not exist. Databases have a tendency to get corrupted and not be recoverable. There have been many examples lately of social media websites that ceased to exist simply because their database failed and there was not an uncorrupted backup.

So, you need to backup your database often and keep EVERY backup. That way if your database gets corrupted you can go back in time and restore it to before the database got corrupted. So how do you backup the database?

For the technically inclined, you can log in to the the database and back it up manually. But most bloggers won’t know how to mess around in the database admin panel and will need a simple solution. That simple solution is the WordPress Database Backup Plugin . This creates an area within your WordPress dashboard that will allow you to control and schedule backups.

Personally, I recommend setting a weekly backup schedule and having the backups e-mailed to you. I use Gmail for my e-mail, so that backup is kept in multiple safe locations. This will also protect you if for some reason your computer happens to crash.

You can recover your blog from just a database backup, if necessary. However, to make sure your theme, plugins and other files are safe, you need to backup your server as well.

Your Files

Sicko trailer

When you self host a WordPress blog, your files are kept on your personal web server. I recommend regularly backing up these files as well. While it’s possible to restore your blog from just a database backup, you would otherwise lose all your customized settings such as a custom theme or plugin. And this can be a real pain, especially if you do a lot of tweaking with your theme files.

I save this backup once a month since there are a lot of files that need to be backed up. It’s a slow process, but simply make a folder on your computer and download your entire web server to that folder. If you have some spare time, I would even recommend doing it once a week if you have the space.

This will also come in handy if you eventually need to move web servers or if some files get corrupted, you can just roll back to the previous backup. Keep in mind that your content such as blog posts and comments are not stored anywhere on this part of the web server. You can’t recover your blog from just backing up the files unless you have the database as well.

It’s also a good idea to keep your backup on an external hard drive as well, in case something happens to your computer (I’ve had this happen before).

If You Do Neither


Lets face it, blogging involves a lot of work. Marketing, writing, and designing to name a few things. That is why backing up can slip the minds of even the most successful bloggers. So, what do you do if you didn’t back up anything and your blog goes down?

Well, you are not totally out of luck. Chances are your wonderful content still lives somewhere on the the web. If you can gain access to the database, you might be able to at least get some of the content from it.

If you can not get any content from the database, you might want to see what you can find on the web. For example, when Google indexes your site, they create a cached copy of it. If you move quickly you can find all of your blog posts on the web by doing a ‘site:www.yourdomain.com’ search in Google. Then simply view the cached version of the posts and pages.

From there, you would have to manually cut and paste your content back into a new blog. It may not be the best solution, but you could at least recover some of the content.

Just remember, the more you back up your data, the easier it will be to recover when something does happen.

Top 10 Photoblog WordPress Themes

While there are many decent content management systems out there to run a photoblog, many cost money or are hard to customize to fit your needs. This is where WordPress comes in to help. It makes a great platform to run a photoblog because it has everything necessary to run one built right in. If it doesn’t have something, one of the thousands of plugins available will help you add the features you need.

The hardest part of using WordPress as a photoblog is finding a theme that works with photos. Most of the themes available are geared more towards blogging using text. Luckily, there are many fantastic photoblog themes out there, even free ones!

Here is our roundup of the 10 best free photoblog themes to showcase your photography.

Nishita

nishita

Nishita is a simple, minimalist photoblog theme. What I like about it is that the design is broken up into blocks. Best of all, if you don’t like the color scheme you can easily change it by altering the CSS file. This makes it east to customize to your own standards.

Download Nishita here. download no man s land the rise of reeker divx

Nautilus

nautilus

A lot of photoblogs shrink your images to make them fit into the design, Nautilus is great because it doesn’t do that. It makes the image the most prominent object on the page. The theme stays out of the way so that you can show off your art in the best way possible. I really enjoy this theme and have come across a few sites that are utilizing it.

Download Nautilus here.

PhotoWP

photowp

Many Photoblog themes are white or gray, this one is black. I think the dark colors help bring out the shadows in your pictures and make them POP. Very cool theme. It also makes it easy to add more details about your photos as you can see in the screenshot above.

Download PhotoWP

Matchstick Men movie

Zack 390

zack390

Another simple, white theme. What separates this one from the rest is the way it displays older pictures at the bottom. You can also display videos using the theme, which I think it really useful if you maybe want to have a videoblog that features just videos. This theme is perfect for multiple uses.

Download Zack 390

Monotone

monotone one quiet night mp3 download

Monotone is by far my favorite photoblog theme. It looks like many other photoblog themes out there, but what sets it apart is that the theme color scheme will change based on the color content of the current picture. This means that your blog theme will always match the picture you have up. It’s actually one of the coolest features I have seen built in to a free WordPress theme.

Very very slick.

Download Monotone

AutoFocus

autofocus

AutoFocus isn’t really a straight photoblog theme. It’s more of way to create a whole site around your photography. It displays your pictures in a really unique way. Very much worth exploring if you need to create a portfolio site. It looks proffessional enough that you could use it to advertise your work, as well as services and other offerings.

Download AutoFocus The Clock Watcher movie The Mummy ipod

Dolichocephale

The Art of Self Defense video

dolichocephal

This theme makes your photos look like they’re on an old fashioned slide. I love the black background. It makes pictures POP out at you. I also like the fact that it is really simple and does not distract your viers from your images. Very cool theme, especially if you do black and white photography.

Download Dolichocephale

Grain

download dark reprieve divx
grain

Another black and gray based photoblog theme. It’s sharp and well laid out. I would definitely give this one a try.

Download Grain

Ellie Parker trailer

Linquist


picture-24

Linquist is a pretty basic photoblog theme with great styling. The posts and comments are displayed along with the images. What I like is that all the descriptions and stuff are displayed next to the images. This makes it easy to add in text about the photo, location, etc. It also makes it easy for readers because they can click on the comments link to leave some feedback.

Download Linquist

PhotoPress

peformancing-photopress

This is an awesome photoblog theme for WordPress. It’s light, airy and displays images beautifully and large. There is no clutter or sidebars, just your art.

Download PhotoPress

So there you have it, a good list of photoblog themes you can use to showcase your photgraphy on your WordPress blog (or site). Have you used a different photoblog theme? If so, feel free to let us know what your favorite WordPress Photoblog Theme is.

Using SimplePress As A One-Stop Community Builder For WordPress

Even as I write this the good people at Automattic are announcing a much-touted integration with Buddypress – a social networking plugin/addon for WordPress.  For a long while I have studied and experimented with transforming WordPress into a full-blown CMS like my much-beloved PHPNuke (now abandoned by its orginal creators) portal at freedom.constantchange.com The Name of the Rose movie full

but the solutions have been daunting or piecemeal.

There are countless articles written about how to integrate a forum into your WordPress blog, some which require WordPress MultiUser (WPMU) some that sort of work but don’t hook in well enough to the existing user base or require extensive modding and hacking to make it feel that way.

Some sites, including the famous power blogger Darren Rowse’s Digital Photography School blog use vBulletin, beautifully integrated by power-designers like Matt Brett Transsiberian video .  But vBulletin costs a grip of cash.

So after testing out a wide variety of forum solutions for WordPress, I finally stumbled upon an easy to install, free and perfectly useful plugin that sets up a phpbb style forum that hooks right in to your site’s existing registered user base and seems, by all appearances and my experiences thus far, to work beautifully.

That solution is Simple:Press.

To get it going, simply do a search for Simplepress from your Admin->Plugins->Add new search line, click install and you are good to go.

Almost.

Once the plugin has installed, you will see a new section in your Admin panel called “Forum”.  At the bottom it will offer you the option to install (again).  Click this and it will perform an extensive database update wherein it populated your databases with all the necessary tables for your new forums.

One of the beautiful things about Simple:Press is that it creates a new page for your Forums automatically.  It also creates a new field in your Posts pages so that any post can be turned into a forum topic.  Nice.

Once installed, you will want to go to your new Forum Admin section and start tweaking things to your liking.  This is actually quite important as the display, function and dynamic of your forums can be changed dramatically (and success or fail) based on your configuration.

Also take note of the Style tab where you can choose from a variety of pre-packaged color and design schemes, one of which will likely blend in with your site quite nicely.  Of course all of this can be further customized with some more advanced under-the-hood tweaking.

After working with the configuration, you will have to create the forums themselves.  This starts with creating a Group which is the top-level category, and then subsequently, the Forum itself.  A little planning is in order here, especially if you have never managed a forum.  The tendency is to make too many groups covering topics that should in fact be forums or even simply topics.

So if you think of Russian Dolls where a small version fits into a larger version, the Group is the top level, for example “General” then the Forums can be broken down into sub-categories like “Food,” “Entertainment,” “Tech,” and then you or your readers will create topics below those:

General->Food->Reviews G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra divx

Forums are an excellent way to build a community in and around you blog and keep people coming back for more.

One of the most important things to realize, however, when you build a successful community around you blog is that you are also building a brand, and that once that brand is being used by the public, it belongs to them as much as much as it does to you and with that comes greater responsibility.

For now, rest assured that Simple:Press is an easy and effective way to keep the conversation going at your blog into the wee hours, to nurture new relationships and to transform WordPress into a truly useful content management system, and more importantly, a community.

Download Simple:Press Forum for WordPress now.

About the Author:
Keram is a new media consultant, music producer, actor and writer who opines on SEO at blogging-fool.com and society at theculturepin.com.  Listen to his podcast at KeramCast.com

The Power of Retweets and How To Harness It In WordPress

By now you have heard the famous story of actor Ashton Kutcher challenging CNN to be the first to reach one million followers on Twitter. The very next day the great Oprah herself signed up for a Twitter account live on her television program. Two days later Barbara Walters followed suit on the View.

There is no question that Twitter has invaded the mainstream and grabbed it piece of Web history. WE have discussed the importance of integrating Twitter into your website in various articles, so today I want simply to point you to one of the hundreds of options for using Twitter within your WordPress blog but in this case, with the focus of displaying how many ReTweets any of your posts has tallied up.

Retweets are, by definition, when another Twitter user likes a link that you have “tweeted” and re-posts it by giving you, or whomever the original poster was, credit for the link.

The Retweet button is for website and blog publishers that want to encourage their audience to Retweet their content on twitter by both offering a tweet button and a dynamically updating stat counter that shows how many times your post has been retweeted.

While implementing it is as easy as copying a small piece of javascript into your site.  Visit this page to see to code:

http://help.tweetmeme.com/2009/04/06/tweetmeme-button/

We are fortunate enough, however, as WordPress users, to have a ReTweet Button from TweetMeme as a WordPress plugin!

To find and install it, simply navigate to your plugins tab from your admin panel and click “Add New.”

In the searchline, enter “Tweetmeme Button” and it should come right up. Click install and then set the options to your liking from the settings section of your Admin panel and you are on your way!

About the Author:

Clear and Present Danger dvd

Keram is a new media consultant, music producer, actor and writer who opines on SEO at blogging-fool.com and society at theculturepin.com.

Top 10 Most Elegant Premium Themes

I get asked this question a lot: Why would I pay for a WordPress theme when there are so many for free?

While there may be many beautiful and well designed themes out there for free, a majority of them are not very good, not very powerful and certainly not scalable. If you’re looking to build a massive website, you’re going to need a professionally designed WordPress theme that will do exactly what you need.

Many theme design companies have sprung up to fill in this market niche and there are lots of great premium themes out there. By far one of the best things about purchasing a premium theme is that you get product support to help you implement the theme successfully. Here’s our choices for 10 Elegant and Powerful Premium WordPress Themes.

Studiopress Lifestyle

lifestyle

This is by far one of my favorite premium WordPress themes ever created. It’s versatile, powerful and has a wide range of applications. The killer feature is the featured content slider on the homepage. You’d be surprised at how many people click those links. The design color scheme is easily changed and you have built-in ways to display your ads.

Buy StudioPress Lifestyle Here

Price: $59.95

Wootube by WooThemes

wootube

WooTheme is another great theme developer. This theme is perfect if you want to start a full featured Video blog. Sure you can turn any old free WordPress theme into a videoblog but this theme is built solely for the purpose of displaying video beautifully. Worth the investment if your looking to create a video portal or clone of Wine Library TV.

Buy Wootube Here

Price: $70

Black Canvas

blackcanvas

Another beauty from Studiopress. The focus of this theme is displaying images beautifully. This theme is perfect if you’re looking to run a photoblog. I love the black background, perfect for displaying all your images. With StudioPress you’re not just paying for design, you’re paying for a powerful backend and great tech support.

Buy Black Canvas Here

Price: $59.95

Puretype by Elegant Themes

puretype

Puretype is one of those perfect little WordPress themes. Perfectly suited to a simple blog or to a magazine style site. This theme is powerful and can manage a lot of content. The color scheme on this theme is simply beautiful. Best of all, it’s a cheap premium theme as you only have to pay a yearly membership fee to have access to all the themes from Elegant themes.

Join Elegant Themes Here

Price: $19.95/yr

WP-Premium

wppremium_screenshot

There is a free version of this theme, but the premium version offers substantially more functionality. The biggest difference is that you get more color schemes to choose from out of the box. This theme is easy to use and implement. I highly recommend it.

Buy WP-Premium Here

Price: $49.95

Arthemia

arthemia-premium-home-1

This is a great magazine style premium theme. It’s killer feature is it’s built in automatic thumbnail generation, to make integrating images into all posts a breeze. The design is clean and the layout functional. It basically turns WordPress into a full fledged content management system.

Buy Arthemia Here

Price: $70

Yamidoo

yamidoo

This is another slick magazine style premium theme. It’s layout isn’t that much different from Arthemia, but it’s color scheme is different and has a very elegant featured article slider for the front page. I would definitely give this theme a shot.

Buy Yamidoo Here

Price: $69

Traveler

traveler-theme

This theme has one purpose, it’s perfect for starting a travel blog. It does this very well. You can customize the theme so that it fits the travel theme you’re going to blog about. It’s clean and feature packed so that you can build the next killer travel blog. Travel blogs are very popular right now so it’s a good idea to have a theme that will allow you display as much content as possible.

Buy Traveler Theme Here

Price: $79.95

NewsPress by WooThemes

Night of the Comet the movie


newspress

This is a great little theme from WooThemes for building a news centered website. Perfect for a community newspaper or small niche magazine. You can customize the colors and layout using WooThemes powerful backend that they build into their themes. Best of all, right now you get two WooThemes for the price of one. Not a bad deal.

Buy NewsPress Here

Price: $70

Proof of Life trailer Basic by Elegant Themes

basic

Don’t let the name of this theme deceive you. Basic may look simple, but it’s a very powerful theme that’s packed with useful premium features. I love the look and feel of it and you can easily change the color scheme. Another excellent theme from Elegant Themes.

Join Elegant Themes Here

Price: $19.95/yr

Love a premium WordPress theme that isn’t listed? Feel free to leave a comment and tell us about it.

Monetizing Your WordPress Blog

Many people get into blogging so they can make extra money. It’s very rare that you’ll get rich by running a blog. However, running a blog can make you extra money on the side or bring about perks you may not have thought of.

Here’s our quick guide to effectively monetizing your blog.

Google Adsense


This is by far the quickest and easiest way to monetize a WordPress blog. Google Adsense is a great program. If you’re unfamiliar with it, basically Google places ads on your blog relevant to the content on the page and when they’re clicked, you get a share of the ad revenue. It can add up quickly or slowly over time. It’s easily integrated into WordPress with some helpful plugins, but really you can place ads without resorting to using a plugin. Nothing feels better than getting that first check from Google.

Affiliate Programs

Google Adsense revenue will only earn you so much. Eventually you’re going to want to place ads that are relevant to your readers. The best way to do this is join affiliate programs. These work different than being part of ad network. Instead of getting a share of click revenue, you get a commission for any sale generated from the ad. If you have good traffic and join a popular affiliate program, the money will add up quickly. Some great places to start are Commission Junction and Linkshare.

Homegrown move Direct Ad Sales

Eventually, your blog will get popular enough that you’ll be able to cut advertising deals directly with advertisers. This will pay off more than contextual ad services like Google Adsense. How do you find advertisers? Find companies that deal with products in your niche and simply approach them about advertising. You’d be surprised at how many people will want to take you up on it. Sometimes it will take persistence, but it will pay off in the end. I highly recommend that you put together an advertising packet that shows your usage stats, traffic numbers, etc so that you have something to show potential advertisers.

Bartering

This is actually my favorite method of advertising. This is where you exchange ad space on your blog for a good or service. It works great if you really want something, can’t justify spending the money for it and have a great resource like empty blog ad space. Twitter is actually a great place to ink a bartering deal. On your contact form page, it’s not a bad idea to mention that you’re willing to exchange goods and services for ad space.

Free Stuff

Even if you don’t have advertising and your blog gets popular you will inevitably get free stuff, especially if you’re an authority in your niche. Make it easy for people to contact you by having a contact form they can fill out. There are many WordPress plugins that will help you setup a contact form quickly and easily. It’s very rewarding to get free stuff in the mail, knowing that it came because of your hard blogging work.

Flipping

This is the more adventurous route. Flipping is where you simply build up a blog, get it popular then turn around and sell it. That way you don’t have to deal with the stress of monetizing it and you get a flat price. The most important thing to remember about flipping is to be realistic. A niche blog that’s been around for a few months and doesn’t get much traffic is not worth thousands of dollars. People are also starting to buy floundering blogs, turning them around and then selling them on for a profit. It can be very exciting but also very stressful.

What’s your favorite method of monetizing your WordPress blog?

Shrooms film

5 Websites Using WordPress As A CMS

WordPress is extremely powerful and can be made to do anything with the right resources. It’s so much more than a blogging platform. That is by far the most exciting aspect of the platform. The WordPress backend is so powerful that it can drive huge websites with thousands of pages of content without even blinking an eye.

To give you an idea what is possible with using WordPress as a full fledged Content Management System, here are some examples of mainstream websites using WorPpress as a CMS.

Martha Stewart

martha

Yes, domestic Goddess Martha Stewart has a blog and it’s running on WordPress. It’s a sharp design built well to integrate into the content filled MarthaStewart.com. Good job Martha. You know how to entertain bloggers properly.

MarthaStewartBlog

10 Downing Street

10downingstreet

This is a fantastic implementation of WordPress on a big scale. The site uses WordPress as a great way to show off content easily. They’ve also implemented various social networking websites very well. I love the simplicity of this website, a site that one would expect to be huge and elaborate.

Number 10

Mental Floss

mentalfloss

Mental Floss is a fantastic print magazine and they also put out a ton of great stuff on their website, which is entirely run on WordPress. They’ve obviously done quite a bit of customization but the result is an impressive amount of content managed in a useful and efficient manner.

Mental Floss Magazine

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist dvdrip

Digital Photography School

Clear and Present Danger movie download


dps

DPS started out as a blog but it has turned into so much more. It’s a full fledged community driven by WordPress. The theme is heavily customized along with the backend, but the imprint of WordPress is unmistakable. They’ve managed to take one giant blog and split it into 3 blogs, all using the same installation of WordPress. A beautiful design well implemented and thought out.

Digital Photography School

Boy’s Life Magazine

boyslife

Boy’s Life was one of my favorite magazines as a kid and it’s great to see that they’ve embraced WordPress in such an excellent way. Their design is unique and they’ve managed to present lots of content in a useful way. There’s a lot of great stuff on this site and they’ve managed to implement it well. Very cool.

Boys’ Life

Many Others…


Besides these sites, there are many others out there that are also utilizing WordPress as a CMS. As time moves on, I suspect than more and more websites will start using WordPress. Mainly because it is free and very easy to use on the backend. Plus plugins and themes make it really easy to customize to your needs, regardless if you are using it for a blog or website.

What’s your favorite use of WordPress as a CMS?

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc dvdrip

Keeping Your WordPress Folders Secured – Important Tip

I once had a reader show up on one of my sites who became a bit obsessive about the community and when I eventually had to ask them to moderate their endless barrage of posts and comments and replies they came back at me with the creepy response that they had been snooping around the backend of the site and that they had some experience with hacking and that I should be more careful.

I asked them what exactly they were looking for and they filled me in that it was nothing in particular – a lot of people like to hack things just because they can, for bragging rights or even in some cases to test and help out the hackee.

Whatever the case, I learned my lesson.  One of the most important steps you can take to preventing unwanted snooping around your virtual back office is to ensure that the contents of your folders are not easily viewable by simply typing in their path in a browser line.

To see what I am talking about – go to your own website and add

/wp-content/plugins/

to the end of your main URL.

What do you see?

Now remove what you added above and instead append:

/wp-content/themes/

Here’s a third one to test out:

/wp-content/uploads/

If that doesn’t spook you, it should.  Not all plugins and themes are created equal; some are still in early development and may be filled with vulnerabilities, and security leaks that can be exploited.  Affording someone with the know-how and malicious intent an easy glance at all the plugins or themes you are using, is like handing a ball of chum to a hungry shark.

In the third example, you are allowing anyone a direct download link to anything you may ever have uploaded through your site.  This may include images you changed your mind about using, software, mp3s or whatever else.  It kind of defeats the purpose of all that nice formatting, affiliate marketing and newsletter sign-ups forms doesn’t it?

The solution is really very simple:

Create an empty text file and rename it index.html

Drop that file into the top level of each of those directories (for example, using an FTP client, drag and drop your empty index.html file right onto your “Themes,” “Plugins” and “Uploads” folders), and any other directories that do not already have an index file (make sure to look for index.html, index.htm and index.php How the West Was Fun dvd – you do NOT want to overwrite these or even put the above file in a directory that normally uses any of the above, or it will potentially break your site).  If you don’t know what you are doing, make sure you back up your site first.

The above can also be handled by using an .htaccess file, but not everyone will be able to implement an .htaccess file, so I feel the above method for at least keeping the contents of these folders private is the best one for those of you less familiar with advanced hosting methods.

I found a nice article and discussion thread that echoes the idea above, and also offers some additional security tips at DailyBlogTips.com

Be sure to read the comments posted in response to their article for more insight and ideas about working with this matter.

About the Author:

Keram is a new media consultant, music producer, actor and writer who opines on SEO at blogging-fool.com

mp3 nirvana all apologies rape me

and society at theculturepin.com . Listen to his podcast at KeramCast.com and find him on Twitter @ConstantChange

Man in the Chair film

.
Sin City download