How To Bulk Edit Posts

When it comes to editing your existing posts, nothing takes up more time than having to edit a bunch of posts at one time. Manually going into each post and changing things like categories and tags requires a lot of button clicking and page navigation. Plus you have to remember to save each change before going back and finding the next post.

Luckily, WordPress has a bulk edit feature that makes this chore much quicker (and easier). However, a lot of people do not know about this feature because it’s sort of hidden within a drop-down menu. This is especially common for new users of WordPress who are not real familiar with the dashboard.

What Does It Do?

The bulk edit feature allows you to modify data for more than one post at the same time. You can change things like categories, tags, authors, and comment settings. You can also do things like decide whether or not the posts should be “sticky.” This is very useful if you are looking to modify a bunch of posts with one single action.

It sure beats manually going into each individual post and changing the data. I’ve done this a few times in the past, long before I noticed the bulk edit feature.

So How Do You Use It?

It’s actually very simple. All you have to do is go into the edit posts screen, and then select the boxes next to each of the post you want to edit. Once you select which posts to edit, you then click on the bulk actions drop-down menu, which is located at the top and bottom of the edit posts screen. Then simply hit apply.

Here’s a quick video that breaks down the process and shows you what you can do with the bulk edit function:


It Saves Time

This feature will definitely save you time when trying to manage your posts. It’s especially useful if you make changes to your categories and tags, since you can modify them for a bunch of posts at one time. The days of manually editing a bunch of posts are long gone, unless of course you want to modify the actual content of the posts.

Give it a shot the next time you find yourself wanting to modify a few posts.

Justin Wright is a WordPress consultant, designer, and blogger at Zoopmedia

.  Justin also blogs for his personal blog, Life of Justin.

The Difference Between Tags and Categories

When I first started blogging, I categorized and tagged like crazy, thinking it would be great for SEO. As I gained more experience blogging I started to realize that simple was better and I began to rethink my strategy for categorizing content. I started to think that maybe putting posts in a ton of categories and tags might not be such a good thing. Here are some things to consider when it comes to tagging and categorizing your WordPress content.

What Are Categories?

In the simplest explanation possible, categories are simply a hierarchical way to organize content. Let’s use a bucket analogy for this. If you create a category then it’s basically a giant bucket for anything that fits into that category. If you write 10 blogs posts that are somehow related to one subject, they would go into that one giant category bucket.

Categories have a hierarchy, meaning that you can organize sub-categories under categories to narrow things down. The way you organize these categories determines how WordPress displays them. For example, in WordPress when you click a category it will take you to a page that will display the title and excerpt from all the articles that have been placed in that category. Also, you can place a category slug on that page, a short description of everything in that category (which is wise for SEO purposes). If you’re theme supports drop-down menus, then sub-categories will usually be displayed under those menus.

What Are Tags?

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To make things a little more confusing, tags are another way to categorize content. But instead of creating a giant bucket of related articles, you’re creating a smaller bucket for only 1 or 2 blog posts. Tags are perfect for blog posts that don’t have their own category, but you’d like for them to be parsed in a way that treats them like they have their own category. But tags are NOT categories.

Tags don’t have a hierarchy like categories do. You cannot arrange tags under other tags, tags are linear and each exists as the same weight as other tags, unlike categories. Also, in WordPress, you cannot place slug descriptions on a tag page. However, a Tag page will look very similar to a category page when you click it.

What Are They Not?

It’s a very difficult to distinguish the difference between tags and categories but the simple way to say it is: Tags are NOT categories and categories are NOT tags.

SEO Issues

You need to be careful in what you allow the search engine to crawl. For example, if you tag things like crazy, that means that you’ll have the same content in multiple parts of your blog. The search engines are notorious for penalizing this type of duplicate content. So, it’s important to edit your blog sitemap so that the search engines aren’t crawling every single tag and category of you’re site. So, what should you let them crawl?

Simplicity Strategy

I like the idea of the search engines having free reign over the content. So, I usually arrange it in a way to avoid too much duplicate content. Search Engines understand the architecture of WordPress, so it’s important to exploit that.

The best way to avoid duplicate content issues is to apply the simplicity doctrine, also known as KISS. What this means is that when running a WordPress blog, you should be very selective in how to categorize or tag your content.

My winning SEO strategy is to create a small number of categories (24 or less) and only select ONE category for a blog post. If you feel you have a great post that deserves it’s own category, think long and hard about this. Will you be writing more posts in the category? If not, then simply Tag it. If you become selective about how your posts get categorized, then you’ll understand quickly what should be tagged.

I simply use tagging as a way to describe content that DOES NOT deserve it’s own category. I let the search engine bots crawl it all and I’ve had no SEO issues.

One last thing worth noting is that it’s important for people to be able to easily browse your categories and tags. So, it’s a good idea to have a category drop down menu in the sidebar, as well as a tag cloud so that people can easily find what subjects they’re interested in.

How do you deal with categories and tags on your own blog?

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.

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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

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– 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.

What Your WordPress Sidebar Can Do For You

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Besides the actual blog content that you develop, the WordPress sidebar is the most important element in your blog. Good sidebar implementation will sink or swim a blog, so it’s important to know everything that your sidebar can do you for.

Here is a breakdown of some of the common uses for your sidebar to help grow your blog:

About


The sidebar is an excellent place to insert a few sentences about what your blog is about. This is especially useful is what your blog is about it not exactly clear from it’s title and domain name. Think long and hard about what exactly your blog is and write some boilerplate text about it that you can use in many places, including your sidebar.

Advertise

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The most valuable real estate on your blog is your sidebar content. Because of this you’ll have a lot of eyeballs looking at it, it’s important that you place a majority of your ads there. This can be anything from a skyscraper banner ad to simple 125×125 ad blocks. They will fit perfectly in your sidebar. Do not make the whole sidebar ad centered, because readers will the just ignore the ads. The ads must be crammed in between content readers want so they get noticed.

Communicate

You can use your sidebar to communicate directly with your readers. Be it the intentions you have behind the site or links to a contact form or forum. Make it easy for people to contact you. If they can contact you quickly and easily then you’ll have many excellent opportunities come your way.

Engage

Your sidebar is also an excellent way to engage your readers. The WordPress sidebar is a great location for a site wide poll asking readers a question. It’s also a good idea to put the most recent comments in the sidebar. This will give readers and sense of ownership and encourage them to post even more on the site. This also fits in with communication. Make is easy for your readers to get in touch with you.

Browse Content

I hate blogs that make it difficult to browse the rest of the content. Oftentimes on new blogs, when content moves off the front page, it disappears into an essentially inaccessible archive. Don’t let this happen. Feature the most recent posts, most popular posts, a tag cloud, categories and archive listings. Also, give them a search box so that they can search your site quickly and easily. Your content is your most valuable asset, make it easy for people to find.

RSS Feeds

Syndicating your blog will only help your blog, so make it easy for your readers to subscribe to your content. On most blogs, the RSS subscribe icons are at the top of the sidebar, sometimes with huge icons. A subscriber is way more valuable than a onetime reader, so make it easy for them to subscribe.

You can also insert other RSS feeds into widgets into your WordPress sidebar. If you have other blogs you want to feature or any other content with a feed, this is a great way to display it.

Social Networks

Social networking should be a part of any successful blog. Make it easy for people to find you on social networks and many have widgets that you can put into the sidebar. One of the most popular social networks right now is Twitter, so make it easy for your readers to find your Twitter feed.

Blogroll

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The second most important blogging real estate after advertising is your blogroll. A successful blog must connect and build relationships with other blogs. This helps build traffic, relationships and goodwill. Links are a valuable commodity in the age of Google. Don’t give out links to just anyone, make sure you link to relevant blogs in your niche. Reach out to other bloggers before linking and most of the time, they will be thrilled to do a link exchange.

How Have You Used your Sidebar to Grow Your Blog?

How to Upload Plugins and Change Your Theme

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One of the biggest benefits of WordPress is its ability to be extended with useful plugins and beautiful themes. If you’re just starting out with WordPress, it can be very confusing as to how you actually add new plugins and themes to your blog. This post will teach you how to upload and set up plugins as well as load new themes. Here’s how:

Where to Upload Plugins

Plugins have their own folder on your webserver within the WordPress installation. By default all plugins live in: root/wp-content/plugins. This is where all of your new plugins will go. When you download a WordPress plugin it’s compressed as a Zip file. You need to unzip the file and this will give you the folder where the plugin lives. Next, you simply need to upload that folder into the plugins directory.

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To upload to your FTP server, you will need an FTP program such as CuteFTP or Cyberduck for the Mac. You’ll need to enter your webserver login details to login to the server. Once you done this, you simply navigate your server like you would the folders on your computers. Find the WP-Content folder and then once you’re there find the Plugins folder and open it. All you have to do at this point is upload the plugin directory that you downloaded. Times may very, but it will take a minute or two to upload. This is only a third the step in installing a plugin. Next you’ll need to activate it.

How to Activate Plugins

To activate a plugin you’ll need to login into your WP-Admin interface. Once there, find your way to the plugins tabs. When the page loads you’ll see all your presently activated plugins. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you’ll see a list of your installed but inactive plugins. The plugin that you just uploaded should be on the list. Click activate and the plugin will be turned on. Now, you’ll need to setup the plugin to do it’s job.

Changing Plugin Settings

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Some plugins will work as soon as you activate them, but many of them will need some settings changed before they do their job. For example the Google Analytics plugin needs your GA code in order to do it’s job. Usually, the settings for the plugin you just installed with be under the Settings menu. If you can’t figure out how to change the plugin settings, it never hurts to consult the read.me file. Usually the read.me file will provide you all the information you need to know.

Test, Test, Test

It’s not uncommon for a new plugin to break your site. So, as soon as you get things setup, you need to test your blog. Visit it, browse your posts and make sure that everything works right. If content is not displaying correctly, immediately deactivate the plugin and see if things correct. If they do, then you’ll need to troubleshoot or find a different plugin to do what you were trying to do.

Where to Upload Themes

Uploading themes is very similar to the process of uploading plugins. Themes live in the root/wp-content/themes folder. This is in the same FTP neighborhood as the plugins folder. When you download your theme it will come packaged in a zip file which you’ll need to extract. Then, just like you do with a plugin, upload the theme into your themes folder. Themes will take longer to upload as there will be a lot more files for it to upload.

How to Activate Themes

Once the FTP upload is complete, log into your WP-Admin and go to the Themes section. When the page loads you’ll see all your themes that you can currently choose from and your new one should be there. Click it and it will give you a preview of what your blog will theoretically look like if the theme is activated. Keep in mind that, oftentimes this preview is wrong as a theme may have special settings required for certain things to work.

Special Theme Settings

Things may not look right at first because the theme may have custom settings that need to be changed. Usually a theme will have it’s custom settings under the Theme menus. Custom settings can be anything from ad-codes, categories slug info or sidebar placement. Make sure that everything you expected with your theme is setup.

Test, Test, Test

As with plugins, themes can easily break your website or display it in an all together unexpected way. Once you have activated your theme and changed the necessary settings, it’s time to browse your site and make sure that everything is displaying correctly. This is a process that may take hours as some themes will require tweaking to make sure everything is correct. If your site ends up broken, deactivate the theme and return to what you had set up before.

10 Settings to Change Right Away

WordPress is hands down the best blog platforming available. It works right out of the box and is really easy to use. However, there are a few things you should do every time you setup a new blog. Here is a breakdown of the 10 things you should change when you first start a new blog:

1. Delete the Default Posts

Nothing looks more unprofessional than a brand new blog with it’s “Hello, World” posts still on the site or in the archive. Delete them right away. This will make your blog look more professional right out of the gate. If you want things to look even better, then have at least 5-10 posts already published before you turn your blog on.

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2. Change the Default Theme


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There are now probably millions of blogs out there now that used the default WordPress theme. You need to separate yourself from the pack and have a less used design. You literally have thousand of options on the theme front. Take the time to find a theme and alter it to suit your needs. You’ll thank yourself later.

3. Change Your Blog’s Tagline

Go to your general settings in the WordPress dashboard and immediately change your tagline. By default it says “Just another WordPress Blog.” I’ve been many established blogs that still have that as their tagline. Take five minutes to come up with something unique. It will look more professional in the long run.

4. Change your Timezone

Also in the general settings, change your timezone to your own. This will save you lots of frustration when you can’t figure out why your scheduled posts aren’t going out on time.

5. Select Your Permalink Structure

Many WordPress blogs leave the default permalink structure which is a mess and doesn’t give search engines a good idea of what a page is about (it will be PHP links with ? and other symbols). Immediately change your permalink structure so they appear as something like this: http://www.yourblog.com/category/post.

You can customize it any way you want, but I recommend the simple day, month, year, subject format. It’s pretty standard. Keep in mind, on a self installed WordPress installation it may take approximately 30-60 minutes for the new permalinks to work.

6. Activate Akismet


Register for an account at WordPress.com to get a WordPress API Key. This will allow you to use the spam fighting goodness of Akismet. Akismet is a fantastic tool for battling spam on your blog and you’re going to need it. As soon as you turn a WordPress blog on you’ll begin to attract spambots.

7. Activate Key Plugins

Be sure to install and activate all the key plugins you’re going to be using. This could be your SEO plugins, analytics or more mundane things like your Twitter feed. Activate them all at once so you don’t have to keep going back and forth to the Plugins page to do so.

8. Set-up Widgets

By default, WordPress chooses the sidebar widgets. You need to change this immediately to the specific ones you are planning on using. It’s best to do this after you’ve activated all your plugins as some widgets may depend on the relevant plugins being activated. Be sure to arrange the widgets the way you want and always double check how they look by having your blog open in another window.

9. Enable XML-RPC Publishing

This is a relatively minor setting to change, but if you plan to use your own software program to post to WordPress and bypass the dashboard, then you’ll need to activate this checkbox. It will allow you to use powerful tools like MarsEdit to post to your blog in a much faster way.

10. Setup Categories

Before you start posting, you need to decide on what categories your content will go in. It will look terrible to have all your posts in the ‘uncategorized’ category. It can also get unmanageable to come up with your categories on the fly as you post. It’s best to sit down beforehand and come up with a category structure that you’ll stick to.

So there you have it, a rundown of the things you should change right after you setup your blog. The next step is to install some plugins. Check out the post 10 WordPress You Need To Install First to get a good idea of which ones you should start using right away.

Your First WordPress Installation

wordpress_logoMany people shy away from self hosting their own blogs because they think it’s too complicated. That actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you get a few basics down, hosting your own WordPress blog is the way to go. Not only does it give you a lot more options, but it also looks a lot more professional.

A lot of people are quickly turned off by free blogs hosted on sites like Blogger and WordPress.org. If you are still unsure about hosting your own blog, check out an article I wrote a few weeks back that covered the key differences between free blogs and self hosted ones here: WordPress.com Vs. WordPress.org

So here is a rundown on what you need to do to get your self hosted WordPress blog up and running.

What do you need to host your own blog?

  • Domain Name
  • Hosting Account
  • SQL Database
  • FTP Client
  • WordPress Install Files

You can take care of getting a domain name, hosting account and SQL database all in one go when you choose your hosting provider. Most webhosts allow you to buy a domain name when you buy hosting and this simplifies the process greatly. Webhosts like GoDaddy will do all this for you. When you’re looking for a webhost, look for one that includes a domain name, includes ample bandwidth, provides at least one SQL database and FTP Access.

There are many free FTP clients out there for Mac and PC. A quick search will get you one. You’ll need an FTP program to upload the WordPress files to your webserver.

After you’ve found your webhost, what do you do next?

Step 1 – Domain Mapping

Once you signed up with your Webhost, make sure that the domain name you purchased is pointed at your webserver. Many webhosts will have done this when you signed up. Some you’ll have to make the changes yourself. Consult the documentation of the webhost you chose to make sure.

Step 2 – Log into your FTP account


Once you’re domain is pointed, you should be able to use an FTP program to log into your webserver. When you get there, there will be a few files there. Take a look around, get used to the environment.

Step 3 – Upload WordPress Files


Once you’ve gotten comfortable exploring your FTP server, it’s time to upload the WordPress Installation files, which you can download from WordPress.org.

Unzip the files, open the folder and copy all the contents of the folder to your root directory (the first place the program takes you when you log in) on your webserver.

This uploading process will take awhile, depending on your connection speed (uploads to GoDaddy take forever).

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Step 4 – Set Up Database

Once you’ve got the WordPress files uploading, now is a good time to setup your SQL database. The SQL database is where all your content will live once you start posting on your blog. Go to your webhosts control panel and look around for the settings for Databases. Follow their directions to set one up. Once you have, be sure to note the name of the database, the username, password and server address. You’ll need this for the next step.

Step 5 – Initial WordPress Setup

Once the files are done uploading and your SQL database has been set up successfully, it’s time to run the WordPress installation. Open your web browser to your domain name and if you’ve done everything correctly and little prompt will come up, instructing you to begin the WordPress installation process.

Follow the prompts and when it’s time to give your database details, use what you created in the last step.

Once all this is done, WordPress is installed and you’re ready to go.

Step 6 – Initial Login


When the installation process is done, point your browser to www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin and log in for the first time using the credentials you created during the installation process. The first thing you should do is change your password to something you can remember. After that, you can begin blogging.

You now have a WordPress blog up and running. The next step is learning everything you can about using WordPress. Luckily, we cover everything you need here on WP-Blogger. So check out some more of our posts to learn more about your WordPress blog.

How to Fight SPAM in WordPress

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To the uninitiated, dealing with SPAM can become a huge pain the butt when running a WordPress blog. Thankfully, there are many ways that WordPress enables you to manage SPAM that reduces the time necessary to deal with it.

Most people don’t start dealing with SPAM until there is a problem, for example when their mailbox has been filled with hundreds of SPAM comment e-mails. It’s important to think about SPAM from day one so that it doesn’t suck your time into a black hole down the road.

Akismet – Activate it Right Away


Akismet is the ultimate spam fighting plugin for WordPress and it comes with every new installation of WordPress. It’s true that I don’t know how it works. But that doesn’t really matter because it does work.

The problem is that many people fail to activate it properly and don’t receive the benefits of Akismet protection. To use Akismet, you need to get a WordPress.com API key. My guess is that you have no idea what that is. Am I right? No worries…

The keys are free and not that hard to acquire. All you need to do is go to WordPress.com and sign up for an account. It doesn’t matter if you never use the account for blogging. WordPress let’s you have an account even if you aren’t using it to blog. Once you’ve activated your account, you’ll be given a WordPress API key.

From there, you can copy the code and then go to your WordPress admin panel on your blog and navigate to the Akismet settings page. From there, it’s just a matter of pasting your API key and activating it.

Once you’ve done this, it will knock most spam dead in it’s tracks.

Image Verification


Another way to battle SPAM is to prevent them from commenting in the first place, that’s where image verification comes in. You’ve seen them all over the web, those cryptic little boxes that have hard to read text that you need to enter into a box.

Well, there’s an easy to use solution for WordPress called Recaptcha

. You can download the free WordPress plugin and sign up for a free account at Recaptcha.net. Make sure to activate your account and set up the free API keys. Once you’ve done this, people will be required to pass an image verification test before they are allowed to comment on your blog (unless they’re logged in).

This plugin is a great way to stop any spam comments that Akismet might have missed.

WP-Ban

If you have a persistent spammer that keeps getting past your SPAM fighting ramparts or a bandwidth thief that’s using your valuable bandwidth thief by continually loading and reloading the same pages, then WP-Ban is your friend.

WP-Ban is a WordPress plugin that allows you to ban IP addresses. This means that if you have a persistent spammer, they won’t be allowed to even access your website. You can look at your stats in Statpress

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(another WordPress plugin) to find the IP’s of people abusing your websites.

With these three simple steps, you can solve your SPAM problems and keep your website nice and clean without having to spend a lot of time managing SPAM. As your blog becomes more and more popular, you will see how important it is to set up a good spam fighting system from the beginning.

About the Author:
Justin Wright is a full-time blogger, WordPress Expert, and digital nomad. You can check out his Digital Nomad Blog to follow him on his travels around the world. He is also the founder of zoopmedia, an online media company that provides blog services.

Using WordPress.com or WordPress.org

When it comes to starting a blog, many people would rather opt for the easy choice and have someone else do all the technical stuff. They take advantage of free Blogging Services such as Blogger or WordPress.com to launch their blogs. While, this is perfectly all right if you don’t have big plans for your blog, it is a bad choice to make if you one to take your blog to the next level.

If you want to be serious about blogging, you need to have your own hosting for your blog as well as your own domain name. Here’s why:

Negatives of Using WordPress.com


If you use WordPress.com you will have several major issues facing you that will cause you problems down the road.

Your Blog Is Stuck On A Subdomain – While you can pay to use your own domain on WordPress.com, many people don’t know this. And if you’re going to pay to use your own domain, you might as well pay for hosting as well. Subdomains aren’t as valuable from an SEO perspective and it does not look very professional if you’re looking to create your company’s presence on the web.

You’re Stuck with Their Themes

– WordPress.com only gives you a choice of 60 themes to use. This is a small fraction of the thousands of WordPress themes available out there. They also make you pay for the privilege of changing your own themes characteristics.

You Get Storage Limitations – While they offer 3GB of storage for your content, if you run that out, they make you pay for more.

Ads you Can’t Control The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer full Wolf rip – WordPress reserves the right to place ads on your site. Ads that you can’t control. They wants $30/year to remove this.

Limited Users

– WordPress.com limits you to 35 users, so if you’re looking to create big community – you’ll quickly run into that limit. Again, you have to pay to remove the limits.

Absence of a 301 Redirect – WordPress.com traps your content on WordPress.com. While you can export it and then import it elsewhere, doing this will completely destroy any search engine rankings you may have developed. That means you would basically be starting out your blog from scratch and any site linking to your old will go nowhere.

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Benefits of a Self Hosted WordPress Blog

If you host your own WordPress blog you pretty much aren’t hit with the built-in limitations of WordPress.com. If you have your own installation of WordPress, you can:

  • Host on your own domain name
  • Choose any theme you like or build your own
  • There are no storage limitations
  • Put your own ads on the site and don’t have to answer to anyone about it.
  • You can have unlimited visitors.
  • If you have to move your blog, you are able to use redirects without losing search engine rankings.

When you add up the cost of how much it would cost you to use WordPress.com premium features, it actually adds up way more than it would cost you to just buy a cheap hosting account and host your own blog.

By hosting your own WordPress blog, you also get credibility right out of the box. It shows you’re a blogging expert, that your taking blogging seriously. It is also light years more professional if you’re using WordPress to blog about your business.

Become Your Own Publisher With WordPress – The Basics

One of the most important moves a blogger can make is to take and maintain control of their property from the start. Although WordPress.com buy Woodland Café is an easy way to get started, it doesn’t take long before its limitations become painfully apparent: custom domains, themes, additional storage, plugins are all considered “premium features” some which require small investments of your hard-earned money as you build your  self-publishing empire that ultimately remains out of your control.

Alternatively, for an average of fifty five dollars a year, you can purchase a shared hosting solution at companies like GoDaddy, Bluehost, Hostgator The Bear movie or Hostmonster that allow you to install a full-fledged version of WordPress at no extra cost and that offers virtually limitless customization and expandability, not to mention as many email accounts based on your custom domain name as you could ever desire.

In this article I want to explore some of the additional benefits and features available in your own custom WordPress installation and how to optimize your setup so that you can get the most mileage from it at the outset.

First things First

Come up with a great domain name and register it.  Any host provider worth its salt will offer the ability to purchase and register a new domain name right from its main interface.  By doing so through your host provider you will save a number of steps so that you can jump right into installing your own WordPress.org installation.

You will also be the true owner of this domain name and the WordPress account and no one can take it from you. I will discuss how to choose a great domain name in a future article.

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