Jun 19 2010

Upgrade to WordPress 3.0

Published by under Blogging

Word Press 3.0 Is Here

The Information Sells upgrade to WordPress 3.0 seems to have gone smooth as silk.

If you are going to upgrade, here’s my advice (I assume your blog is already at WordPress 2.9.2 If you are at an earlier version – follow the steps below to upgrade to the current version, then upgrade to 3.0 Don’t jump from, say, WordPress 2.6 directly to WordPress 3.0):

1. Be sure all your plugins are compatible with 3.0 and upgrade to the most recent version of all your plugins before you upgrade.

2. Be sure your theme is compatible with WordPress 3.0 and upgrade to the most recent version of your theme before you do the WordPress upgrade

3. Back up everything. If you are an Amazon s3 subscriber, do a manual backup to S3 using the Automatic WordPress Plugin If you are not an S3 subscriber, try using the WP-DB-Backup plugin and the WordPress Backup plugin (yes – use both).

4. Disable all plugins. Theoretically, WordPress will go into maintenance mode and disable your plugins. Also theoretically, nothing will go wrong, so you don’t need to back up, either. Back up, then disable all plugins.

5. Upgrade. I use BlueHost and have never run into any trouble using the automatic core upgrade. If, however, you have found that on your web host, you cannot automatically upgrade plugins, that you must enter your FTP password everytime you want to download a theme, or anything else happens where you have to do a step or two more than WordPress’s default upgrade requires – then I’d suggest you do the manual upgrade instead of the automatic one.

And there you are – WordPress 3.0!

This upgrade has gotten a lot of attention, but you may find that the new features are pretty underwhelming for a regular user with a single blog. Anytime anyone has to use the word “taxonomy” to describe a feature, my eyelids begin to droop.

Many of the new features are improvements to “the core,” that is, the guts of WordPress. Their value will become more evident in future versions, where you will not have to tweak the code to get them to work.

So is it worthwhile to upgrade? Yes – there are very important security features included in this upgrade. You should always keep your WordPress installs up to date. Is it necessary to upgrade today? No – you can safely wait another week to make sure all your plugins and your theme are compatible. But this upgrade has been in the works for a long time and most developers have been keeping their software up-to-date, so you shouldn’t have a problem upgrading.

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Mar 22 2010

Learn To Build An Ecommece Site

Published by under Web Sites

HOW TO BUILD AN ECOMMERCE WEB SITE – WITHOUT WRITING A LINE OF CODE
A 3 Part Series Exclusively for Members of the Web Sellers’ Circle

If you’ve sold on eBay or Bonanzle, Amazon or Etsy for any time, you’ve probably wondered if you couldn’t make more money by also selling on your own web site. This short series will teach you how to build such a site – no matter your level of technical expertise. 

This 3 Part Series is an exclusive Web Sellers’ Circle Seminar. You must be a member to register.

EPISODE 1 – LAYING THE FOUNDATION FOR YOUR STORE
Wednesday, March 24, 7:00 EDT; 4:00 PDT

This episode will cover the 5 tools you must have for an eStore

  • A PayPal account
  • A Domain Name
  • A Web Hosting Account
  • A Web Site Design
  • A Shopping Cart & Inventory

Where do you get them? How musch will it cost? How hard will it be?

EPISODE 2 – BUILDING IT OUT
Wednesday, March 31, 7:00 EDT; 4:00 PDT

This episode will get you beyond the bare essentials. We’ll cover optimizing your software for ease of use (for both you and your customers); SEO; Privacy Policies and Contact Forms.

Plus the most important Add-Ons and Plugins – where to find them and how to install them.

EPISODE 3 – ADDING THE SHOPPING CART
Wednesday, April 7, 7:00 EDT; 4:00 PDT

Finally, we’ll look at several shopping carts, both free and paid versions.

  • How do you integrate your payments with your cart?
  • How do you add inventory?
  • How many items do you need just to start?
  • How much does it cost?

If you are following along with the classes, when this series is done, you’ll have a fully functioning store online, ready to sell and accept payments. And you’ll have done it all yourself – like the enterprising bootstrapper you are. Congratulations!

Remember- these classes are a part of the Web Sellers Circle membership package. No charge to register if you are a member. All classes will also be recorded for posting on the site.

I hope to see you on Wed., March 24 (7 PM Eastern, 4 PM Pacific time)

Check here for information on how to register for the How To Build an Ecommerce Web Site class(es)

Find out more about Joining the Web Sellers Circle here  Huge savings on annual memberships now available.

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Mar 04 2010

How To Add A Fan Page to Facebook

Published by under Video

You’ve heard the statistics by now:

  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populous country in the world, behind only China and India
  • Facebook had over 40 Million users in January, 2010
  • Facebook users are glued to the site and spending more and more hours there every month (up 10% just from Dec to Jan)

Facebook is the Number 1 social media site by a wide margin. Yet it can be baffling to navigate.

It has grown so quickly, that the usability of many features lags far behind the demand for them.

Cindy Shebley of  The Web Sellers’ Circle, put together a short video to answer a question she received about how to add a fan page to your Facebook profile.

Take a look:

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Feb 16 2010

How to Extract Audio from a Flash Video

Published by under Audio

Although we all love watching video webinars, sometimes you just want to listen to the audio when you are away from your computer – maybe when you are driving or exercising or just relaxing outdoors.

You can’t add an FLV file to an MP3 player – but you can extract the audio from a webinar and convert the sound to an MP3 that can be played on an iPod or any other MP3 player.

This short video will show you how:

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Feb 15 2010

Shrink The Web

Published by under Blogging

   

Small, Medium, and Large Size Images from Shrink The Web

Have you ever wanted to add a thumbnail picture of a web site to illustrate a post?

If you’ve tried, you know it can be difficult to make the picture small enough to fit your project while still keeping the image sharp enough to be identifiable.

That’s where the free tool, Shrink The Web, comes in.

Once you sign up, all you need to do is enter the URL of the site you want, choose the size of the image, place a line of code where you want the image, and – presto – your image will appear.

There are a few limitations to the free version. First, you can only do 5,000 screencaps per month (or 179 per day). That shouldn’t be much of a hardship for the average blogger. More annoying, however, is that free accounts can only snap the home page of any URL. For instance, since this blog isn’t the front page of the Ghost Leg site, I can’t use Shrink The Web to capture an image of the front page of Information Sells – I can only get the front page of Ghost Leg Media. (See the image in the right hand corner of this post.) The Pro version starts at $9.95 per month and can go up to several thousand dollars, depending on the features you want. For most of us, free will do just fine.

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Feb 06 2010

Easy, Cheap, Reliable – Amazon S3 and Amazon CloudFront

Published by under Video

Amazon CloudFront

Trust Your Content to the Cloud

If you do anything on the web, sooner or later you are going to need a place to store files.

You may want to host photos for your eBay auctions without having to worry that the service you use will suddenly go out of business or raise prices. Or you may want to add video to a blog or web site without paying the overhead for streaming. Maybe your photo blog was frontpaged on Digg, and you are suddenly over your bandwidth limit.

Or maybe you just want to know you can grow without paying now for bandwidth you’ll need in the future.

AMAZON WEB SERVICES

With Amazon S3, you not only get unlimited storage and bandwidth – you only pay for what you use.

And it gets better still …

Until June, 2010, S3 is offering free data transfers in (i.e., uploads) up to 50 Terabytes. If you are just getting started, it will cost you nothing to add all you files, no matter how many or how large, to your S3 bucket (until you cross the 50 TB line).

Actual data transfer is charged at $0.15 per GB for the first 50 TB (it goes down from there). That equals 100 GB of bandwidth for $15.00 – with no overage charges, no server throttling, no demands that you move from shared to dedicated hosting.

And of course, you only pay for what you use. If you use 10 GB, you pay $1.50.

I don’t think there’s a better deal.

Pair Amazon S3 with Amazon CloudFront, and you have incredibly fast, distributed content for pennies.

DISTRIBUTED CONTENT EQUALS FASTER DOWNLOADS

What’s Distributed Content?

Instead of downloading directly from your S3 Bucket (whatever the physical location of its server) Amazon CloudFront calls the original content in your Amazon S3 bucket. CloudFront is a global network of what Amazon calls “Edge Servers.” When someone clicks on the link for one of your videos or a web page with your photos is loaded by someone’s browser, the Edge Server closest to the end user serves the content.

The result? Faster performance.

That’s pretty cool (although maybe not worth the added cost for small users), but what is truly amazing is the new streaming servers that have been added to CloudFront. These servers work with the RTMP protocol, offering  streaming video at a fraction of the usual cost and with no need for complicated set ups.

STREAMING VIDEO vs. PROGRESSIVE DOWNLOAD

Most web video, especially on blogs and non-commercial web sites, is a type called “Progressive Download.” Before the video starts to play, a predetermined percentage of the video is downloaded to the user’s computer. As the video continues to play, more is downloaded.

If the download cannot keep up with the viewing, the user experiences “buffering.” The video pauses while it waits for more data to be transferred. The bottleneck can be on the viewer’s computer or on the web server, but the effect is the same: viewer frustration. In fact, one study suggests that 81% of viewers click away if a video stops to buffer.

By contrast, streaming video plays as it is downloaded.

Streaming has other advantages:

  1. Only the protion of the video that is actually viewed is downloaded. If a user clicks away 2 minutes into a 10 minute video, you won’t pay the transfer costs for the unwatched portion of that video.
  2. The video is never stored on the user’s computer for playback. This makes it harder to pirate the video.
  3. “Seek” is enabled by streaming. For instance, if I am watching a 25 minute video, and I know that the part I want starts at 22 minutes in, with streaming video I can pull the scrub bar to 22 minutes and immediately see the relevant portion of the video. With Progressive Download, I have to wait until 22 minutes of video have been downloaded. There is no “jumping ahead.”

S3 FOX and CLOUDBERRY

Amazon S3 has a somewhat opaque interface. It is, in fact, downright difficult to work with.

Fortunately, the free S3 Fox for Firefox or Cloudberry S3 Explorer for Internet Explorer offer a familiar FTP like interface that make working with S3 a snap. Both also offer CloudFront integration.

The set up for all these services is a tad complicated. But the payoff, for you and your users, is well worth the effort.

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Jan 31 2010

A Simple Way To Automatically Add New Blog Posts to Your FaceBook Pages

Published by under Blogging

I spend a fair amount of time writing blog posts, and I’d like to get as much mileage out of that content as possible. At the same time, I want to keep adding new content to my FaceBook Fan page… but there are only 24 hours in the day.

Something’s got to give.

Or does it?

How would you like to have a short excerpt from each new blog post added automatically to your FaceBook profile? There is a WordPress plugin called “WordBooker” that will do just that.

In this short tutorial, I’ll show you how to find the plugin, add it to your blog, and configure it so that FaceBook’s security settings allow it to write to your FaceBook page and WordPress allows Facebook comments to be automatically posted back to your blog.

It’s a great way to get new readers for your blog while adding fresh content to FaceBook.


This text will be replaced


After inatalling the plugin, if you receive the error message that Wordbooker lacks permission to publish to fan pages, use the following URL which will give you a dialogue box where you can grant permissions.

http://www.facebook.com/connect/prompt_permissions.php?api_key=0cbf13c858237f5d74ef0c32a4db11fd&v=1.0&ext_perm=publish_stream&enable_profile_selector=1

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Jan 03 2010

The Sale You Didn’t Know You Lost

Published by under Product Development

a roll of money rests on a table

Are you leaving money on the table?

It’s bad enough when you know you lost a sale. At least then you can take whatever steps are necessary to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

But what about the sale you didn’t know you lost?

Must your customers jump through hoops before they reach your shopping cart? Do you offer them the payment choices they want instead of just the one that is convenient for you?

Is there a third party vendor standing between you and your customer who is costing you sales?

Consider this story:

I was ready to buy a piece of software for this blog. It is reasonably priced; it works as promised; and I can see lots of uses for it.

I wanted to buy it before the close of 2009, for tax purposes. I went to the developer’s site, credit card in hand, ready to click the buy button.

But PayPal got in the way.

PayPal will only let you pay by credit card if your PayPal account is empty. I was expecting a recurring fee to be charged to my PayPal account the next day, so there was a small balance.

I tried three different times to pay by credit card – but PayPal insisted on using the small amount in my PayPal account and charging the rest to my credit card. For reasons irrelevant to this discussion, I was neither willing to split the charge nor empty the account.

So the sale was lost.

You could say this was through no fault of the product developer – after all, it was PayPal’s policies that got in the way. But all the developer had to do was offer an alternative payment method, such as Google Check Out, to make the sale.

Don’t leave money on the table. Resolve that in 2010, your customers will never leave empty handed when you could have sold them exactly what they wanted.

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Jan 02 2010

Are Things Harder Than They Need To Be?

Published by under Web Sites

cannot see over the wall

Stopped By The Barrier

No matter how fast you run or how hard you work, when you run into a wall, you are stymied.

Sometimes you can only peer over the wall, wondering why everyone else seems to be getting ahead.

Sometimes you just bang your head into the wall until you give up.

The wrong tools turn a simple job into an endless chore.

Installing and updating WordPress should be insanely easy these days.

If your web hosting comapny makes it hard – find another web host.

Annual hosting plans from companies like BlueHost or HostGator offer everything from unlimited domain accounts to one click installs for applications like WordPress or Simple Machine Forums – for less than $100.00.

Your time is worth money – and saving $2.00 or $3.00 a month is no savings at all when your website doesn’t perform correctly.

Here’s a checklist. If you answer no to any of these questions, your life is harder than it needs to be.

  • Can you install the latest version of WordPress with a simple mouse click?
  • Can you update WordPress from within your blog with a single click?
  • Can you browse, install, and activate plugins and themes without ever leaving your Admin panel?
  • Can you keep your web site, plugins, and themes patched and up  to date easily?
  • Can you host multiple web sites and blogs, each with its own domain name, on a single account for less than $10.00 per month?

On the other hand, if you answer “Yes”  to these questions, your web site needs upgrading:

  • Are you charged over bandwidth limit fees?
  • Are you running out of space for video or audio files?
  • Do you have to enter an FTP password and configure FTP settings if you try to use WordPress’s plugin or theme updater?
  • Is updating plugins such a hassle that you are afraid to even try the new WordPress version upgrade?

I use and recommend BlueHost orHostGator (and I earn a small commision if you buy a plan after clicking on these links), but there are other good, inexpensive web hosts as well.

Any time you spend reviewing hosting options for the new year will be time well spent.

Don’t struggle with your site unnecessarily. Make it a New Year’s Resolution to spend your time creating content – not struggling with outdated service providers. Once you see how easy it can be, you’ll never agree to run an obstacle course again.

Photo by Giuseppe Bognanni Released under Creative Commons License

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Dec 24 2009

Happy Holidays

Published by under Blogging

From everyone at Ghost Leg Media and Web Sellers’ Circle – have a happy holiday and a joyous new year.

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Dec 23 2009

Info Product Developer’s Wish List

Published by under Product Development

Are you looking for last minute gifts for your favorite Info Product producer (or yourself?) There are some great deals this holiday season, on both hardware and software.

HARDWARE

canon_hv40CAMCORDERS and DIGITAL CAMERAS

These run the gamut from cheap to expensive – but you ought to find something for even the pickiest photographer or videographer.

Canon Camcorders

  1. Canon VIXIA HV40 HD HDV Camcorderhas been named Camcorder of the Year every year since the HV line was introduced. It hasn’t dropped in price this holiday season as much as it has in other years, but a camcorder of this quality is still a great deal at $699.00
  2. Canon VIXIA HF200 HD Flash Memory Camcorder is a great choice if you want to record to flash memory instead of tape. It costs under $600.00 at Amazon.
  3. Step up to the Canon VIXIA HF20 HD Dual Flash Memory with 32 GB Internal Memory for just $100 more right now at Amazon.

Flip Style Camcorders

The hottest pocket camcorder this season isn’t made by Flip.

It’s the Kodak Zi8 HD which not only shoots in 1080p High Definition but has an external microphone jack.  The improved video quality and the external mic jack – combined with the under $200.00 price tag – might make this the perfect web video camcorder. This is also the first pocket camcorder to offer expandable memory via SD/SDHC memory cards. Kodak has definitely raised the bar with this camcorder.

Digital SLRscanon_rebel_t1i_top

There’s only one choice under $1,000.00 for serious photographers – Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR

This spectacular DSLR not only takes amazing still photos – it brings the 1920×1080 High Definition video pioneered on last year’s pro grade EOS to the consumer market. There is no consumer or prosumer camcorder with interchangeable lenses and variable focus. Except for the Canon DSLRs!

The picture quality – bot still and video – is amazing and the reviews have been rapturous. The only drawback is that there is no external microphone jack.

MICROPHONES and AUDIO

If you want good video, you first need good audio. No matter how good your camcorder, the onboard mic is going to produce, at best, mediocre sound.

The solution?

An external microphone (which is why, of course, you should never buy a camcorder that doesn’t have an external microphone jack)

 

rode

 

The Rode VideoMic should be your first (and probably last) choice for a shotgun microphone on a handheld video camera. I use one with my Canon HV20, and the microphone and shock mount dwarf the camcorder. But the Rode is lightweight and high quality, making it perfect for smaller camcorders. The included shockmount keeps the microphone well away from any camera noise. For the price, you won’t find anything better.

The RodeVideoMic also has a line of accessories, including a Mini Boompole and DeadCat Windshield.

For indoor shoots, a lavalier microphone is a must. You can pay hundreds for a pro quality mic with an XLR connection. But if you are shooting web video, the difference in quality will be imperceptible.

The Audio-Technica ATR-35S Lavalier Microphone offers great sound at a low price. It has a minjack that plugs directly into your camcorder’s microphone jack. The only downside to this microphone (and the Rode VideoMic) is that it is a mono microphone. If you are shooting voiceovers and narration, this isn’t really much of a drawback, however.

Want to go wireless instead? Try the AUDIO TECHNICA PRO88W-R35 Microphone. It’s an omnidirectional clip on, with 2 channels for interference free recording. This is a VHF wireless microphone, rated for between 100 to 300 feet. Don’t expect to get anywhere near 300 feet unless you are working under perfect conditions. Fortunately, info product videos rarely require that sort of range.

SOFTWARE (for WINDOWS PCs)

camtacia-xDScreencasting

If you want to do screencasts, there is only one choice: Camtasia Studio, from TechSmith.

Yes, there are cheaper (and even a few more expensive) options, but if you want to look like a pro – then use the tool the pros use. Camtasia is far and away the number one choice for screencasting.

Video Editing

Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Pro will give you everything you need in a video editing package. It can handle high definition and standard definition videos, has an excellent collection of effects and transitions built in, and includes DVD Architect for burning DVDs.

If you want to move up to Vegas Pro 9, don’t forget their upgrade deal, good until the end of the year. You can save hundreds of dollars by taking advantage of this offer.

Digital Juice’s 12 Days of Christmas Sale has more great offers than you’ll believe:

  • Compositor’s Toolkit (Vol 1 or 2) is $199.95
  • StackTraxx are 2 for $24.95
  • BackTraxx Vol 1 or 2 for $69.95
  • Any Pro Single from the Editor’s Toolkit for $9.95
  • Any Theme Kit for $9.95
  • Plus deals on DJ Fonts, reflectors, and stock footage.

If you want to give your videos a little something special, now’s the time to become familiar with Digital Juice.

Photo Editing

Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 may not have all the bells and whistles of it’s big brother, but it has plenty for the average product producer.

There are precious few photos that require no editing. Great film photographers performed their magic in the darkroom. Today’s digital photography is tweaked on the computer. Sure, the true artist is still the person behind the camera, but why tie your hands when you can let your imagination fly?elements8

Get Elements and learn to use it. You’ll not only improve your photos but you will find that you can create great graphic elements for your web site or videos.

But what if the image you need isn’t found in nature – but online? Then you need SnagIt from TechSmith. SnagIt does so many things besides simple screen caps, it deserves its own post.

If you make PowerPoint presentations, do software tutoring, teach eBay or other internet related classes, you need SnagIt. In fact, if you’ve ever tried to explain anything to anyone in an email, and given up in despair after five pages of describing where to click next — you’ll immediately recognize the value of screen capture software. And in this category, SnagIt leaves all competitors in the dust.

Sound Editing

Audacity, the free, open source audio editor, may be all you ever need to record and produce your audio. It can output sound files as WAV or MP3. And it has a host of free plugins and filters available.

Packaging Box Shots

Any eBayer will tell you: If there is no picture, you won’t sell it. But what do you do when there is no physical product to take a picture of (like an ebook for instance)? You turn to Box Shot software.

Quick 3D Cover from NervePreserve must have the ugliest web site ever produced for a top notch graphics product. Don’t let the web site fool you – Quick 3D Cover is a top notch product. It has a series of pre-made templates for hardcover, paperbound, and spiral bound books; open and closed DVD cases; CD cases; CD and DVD disks; iPhone and SmartPhone screens; computer monitors; binders and more. If you need a simple to use, high quality, retail ready product shot for your info products, Quick 3D Cover will do the job.

True BoxShot also creates great looking books and DVDs. Like Quick 3D Cover, it has a set of pre-defined templates – but that’s where the similarity ends. True BoxShot lets you rotate the art in 3D. You can change perspective and angle by simply dragging your mouse.

LEARN TO USE IT

This is the gear we use at Ghost Leg and Web Sellers Circle use when creating books, DVDs, CDs and screencasts. If you want to learn more about using these products to create your own products, please join us at The Web Sellers Circle. There is a 21 Day trial membership for only $1.00. Or you can save even more by taking advantage of our Annual Membership Sale. Right now, a full year costs only $125.00 – less than 35¢ a day.

Affiliate Disclaimer: The links to products on Amazon are all affiliate links. I will earn a small commission if you buy the product after clicking on the link. Non-Amazon links are not affiliate links and will not generate commissions.

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Dec 21 2009

Get Sony Vegas Pro 9 for Only $149.00

Published by under Video

Sony Vegas Pro 9

Sony Vegas Pro 9


Sony has an amazing upgrade deal on Vegas Pro 9 – you can upgrade any version of Vegas Pro or any version of Movie Studio to Vegas Pro 9 for only $149.00

You’ll get the full, boxed, retail version, including DVD Architect Pro. This is a must have upgrade if you shoot and edit in High Definition video or want to render to Blu-Ray.

The upgrade from Vegas 8 is a good deal – but the upgrade from a $40.00 version of Movie Studio to the $600.00 version of Vegas Pro is unbelievable!

Vegas Pro 9 retails for about $600.00.  If you don’t already have a copy of Vegas, go buy Movie Studio for $40.00 and you’ll end up saving $400.00

Here are the links (not affiliate links):

Upgrade any version of Vegas Pro:

http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/upgrade/vegaspro?keycode=64328

Upgrade any version of Movie Studio

http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/upgrade/moviestudiotopro?Keycode=64328

Happy Holidays!

(h/t to Perry Lawrence. I knew about the Vegas 8 to Vegas 9 upgrade, but didn’t realize Movie Studio was eligible until I read his newsletter)

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Dec 19 2009

WordPress 2.9 Released

Published by under Blogging

WordPress 2.9 is now available. However, I’d suggest you hold off updating, at least for a few days, until you are sure your theme and any essentially plugins are compatible with the new version.

Beyond compatability, I’ve run across a few puzzling deletions in the final version.

First – on the Plugin Upgrader. The buzz has all been about Bulk Upgrades for Plugins – but several people have reported that it is missing from the final, released version of WordPress 2.9

It’s not missing. It’s just another victim of WordPress’s User-Hostile interface design.

You’d probably expect to find the Plugin Bulk Updater in the Plugins section. But it is not there. Instead, it’s tucked away under Tools | Upgrade | Plugins. Bad design – great feature. 

Prior to the full release, there was talk of a built in URL shortener. This has, apparently, been available on WordPress.com for some time. The report I read said the new Short URL button would appear in the Post Edit window, right beside the permalink. But – not on my blog it doesn’t.

Of course, these are quibbles. There are many behind the scenes bug fixes and improvements that will make this a worthwhile upgrade (eventually). But it will be interesting to hear where the much ballyhooed features disappeared to.

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Dec 15 2009

How To Fix Problems With WordPress Publish and Visibility Panel

Published by under Blogging

Word Press Under The Hood

Word Press Under The Hood

Although I am not  programmer, I help a lot of people install and maintain their WordPress blogs and web sites. By and large, WordPress is troublefree – but eventually, no matter how good the software, something is bound to go wrong somewhere for someone.

This week, I ran across a puzzling WordPress 2.8x bug that I’d never seen before.

It seems to strike only under very particular conditions, so there isn’t much documentation about it. After much Googling, I found a tip from NellCooper on the WordPress support forums that helped.

Here’s the Problem:

If you use Firefox, when you click on any “Edit” link in the Publish panel of WordPress 2.8x – nothing happens. The slide open panel does not slide open.

These links will not work

These links will not work when clicked

So you can neither schedule a post for later publication nor password protect a post. Clicking on the link just jumps the cursor a few lines down the page.

Oddly, the links work fine in Internet Explorer 8. For some people, they also work in Chrome.

But whether you are using a Mac or a PC, the Edit links will not work with Firefox if – and this is a big if – you also cannot use WordPress’s built in Plugin and Theme upgrade option.

With most web hosts, when you click the “Add New” link for themes or plugins, the theme is downloaded and installed automatically. However, with some web hosts, you will have to either enter your FTP credentials before the plugin or theme can be accessed or you will have to manually download the item to your computer and then unzip it and then finally upload the plugin to your site as WordPress users did before WordPress 2.7.

If you find yourself in that boat and then find that your Publish panel links no longer work after an upgrade to WordPress 2.8x, try this:

  1. Update any out of date plugins
  2. Disable all plugins
  3. Close Firefox
  4. Reopen Firefox and try the Edit links (plugins are still all disabled)

If the links work, hooray!, you are half way home.

Now go back to your plugins and re-enable them one at a time. After each plug in is enabled, re-test your edit links.

If you find a plugin conflict, deactivate or delete the plugin.

The combination of Firefox, a plugin conflict, and a mis-configured web server may not be the only cause for this dilemma, but it is a common one and the easiest one to troubleshoot.

You may also find, if the plugins are not the problem, that your theme is causing the conflict. Sadly, that is harder to fix. You may have to choose between using the Edit links and keeping your theme. Or, perhaps, moving to a different web host.

WordPress logo by S. Diddy Released under Creative Commons license Wrench from Microsoft clip art. Composite image by Ghost Leg Media


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Nov 10 2009

The Amazon Kindle Reader for the PC

Published by under Publishing

The Kindle Reader for The PC

The Kindle Reader for The PC


Amazon has just released the Kindle for PC

It’s free.

This isn’t hardware – it’s software that you run on your laptop or desktop computer (Windows only for now) that allows you to read Kindle encoded eBooks.

This is good news. I’ve finally been able to check  MobiPocket books that I created for a handheld Mobi Reader (like the Palm) on a Kindle to see if the formatting translates – and I am pleased to say it does.

If you make eBooks – you’ve probably heard you can just upload a text file or Word doc to Amazon and have the file automatically translated to Kindle format. While that is technically true, most of those books look bad. They certainly don’t look like professional ebooks.

Learning to make MobiPocket books is relatively easy – and Amazon, which owns MobiPocket, automatically adds any book in the Mobi catalog to the Kindle catalog.

There is money in making ebooks for the Kindle – so look to this as a new revenue stream.

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