Tag Archives: plugins

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

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.


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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

BackUps Made Simple

rusted car abandoned in desert

Are You Ready for Disaster?

Are you ready for disaster?

How recent is your most recent backup of your blog? (You do back up your blog, don’t you?)

WordPress is complicated.  MySQL databases are complicated.  Your web host is probably complicated.

Is it really wise, then, to rely on fate to keep your blog safe?

Backing up a WordPress blog is not difficult.

You can do it manually by following the backup directions on the WordPress Codex. The directions are explicit, illustrated, and relatively easy to follow if you are comfortable navigating the back end of a web site.

If the thought of messing about with MySQL databases or phpMyAdmin makes you queasy – there is another solution:  a plugin.  WP-DB-Backup is the most popular, although there are others.

WP-DB-Backup simplifies the process while still giving you control over what (in addition to the core database) to include in the backup. If  you worry about statistics or other data stored by plugins – add the plugin’s tables to your backup.

If a truly complete backup is necessary for your peace of mind, you can do a full backup of all tables and data once a week and a core-only backup on the other days.

WP-DB-Backup also offers the choice of where and how the backups are stored. You can save them to your server, download them to your desktop, or have them sent by email.

In fact, if you choose to email the backups to yourself, you can select a regular set-and-forget backup interval and automate the process.

If you accept the defaults (core databases only) , the backup file will be well under 1 MB. Choose a backup schedule that matches your posting frequency, save the last 5 or so backups, and you should be well armed against blog eating gremlins.

Photo by visulogik Releaed under Creative Commons License

Another Top 10 Plugins List

At WordCamp in New York, Matt Mullenweg listed the Top 10 Plugins for WordPress, measured by the volume of downloads. The list isn’t really surprising, but it is instructive. If you want to know what other WordPress users find useful, take a look at these plugins:

Word Press

10. cforms
9. wp-polls
8. WP Automattic Upgrade
7. wp-cache
6. wp-db-backup
5. WordPress Stats
4. Nextgen-Gallery
3. Google-Sitemap-Generator
2. All-In-One-SEO-Pack
1. Akismet

They can all be found in the WordPress.org Plugin Library

What WordPress Plug Ins Must You Absolutely Have?

The Allure of the Plug In

The Irresistible Plug In

What’s the truth about plug-ins? Are they the fastest way to cripple a WordPress blog? Or are they the essential ingredient that makes WordPress blogs so useful?

The answer – as you probably guessed – is both! A bad plug in can take down your blog. Even a good plug in can go bad and suddenly render your blog invisible.

Ah, but those good plug ins are irresistible…

Plug ins (which WordPress likes to spell “plugins”) are tiny add-on bits of code that extend the ability of your blog to do something cool (what geeks call “functionality”).

For instance, if you want to add Google Analytics to your blog’s code, but you don’t want to copy and paste the script into every single relevant template on you blog, you’d look for a Google Analytics plug-in to do the work for you. And you’d be in luck, because there are so many to choose from.

As the 18 pages of results for “Google Analytics Plugins” above demonstrates, finding just the right plug-in can be difficult. Be prepared slog through apparently unrelated plugins while you do your research and comparisons. When the task seems overwhelming, try doing the search on Google (instead of WordPress.org). If you want to confine your search just to WordPress.org, so you can quickly check comments and download history, use Google’s Advanced Search option and confine the search to the domain “http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/”

What Plug Ins Can Do For You

You can divide plug-ins into several major categories. Some will improve your blog’s SEO. Some will improve your readers’ experience. Some will make the day to day management of your blog easier. Some will improve your blog’s appearance. And some will enable your readers to recommend your blog to new readers. No two blogs need the exact same set of plug-ins, but most blogs will benefit from a handful of plug-ins in each of these categories.

SEO

Although WordPress is pretty well optimized for SEO right out of the box, you can always improve the default installation with one or two SEO plug-ins.

READER EXPERIENCE

Better navigation through your blog means better internal linking. And better internal linking is something both Google and your readers will appreciate. Try adding a Recent Posts widget to your sidebar or a Related Posts plug in to your posts. There are lots of plug ins that will do the job, so read the reviews before you decide. And don’t hesitate to disable one and try another. Here are a few I like:

  • Similar Posts and WordPress Related Posts both add links to other posts on your blog with suggestions for related reading.
  • Breadcrumb NavXT helps readers find their way about your blog. Some themes have breadcrumbs already built in.
  • Search Suggest makes WordPress’ default search much more useful by suggesting similar terms, instead of returning a “No matching posts” result, if a reader mistypes or misspells a word.

SITE MANAGEMENT

There are two parts of blog maintenance you don’t want to lose control of: your RSS feed and WordPress updates. Automate them!

  • Feedburner Feedsmith will integrate all your feeds into your Feedburner account. Readers will be able to subscribe more easily, without the confusion of dozens of sidebar chicklets.
  • WordPress Automatic Upgrade will guide you through the nerve-racking process of safely upgrading your blog. Considering how frequently WordPress issues upgrades, this plugin is essential.

APPEARANCE

Eye candy may not be as important as content, but the best blogs are a feast for the eyes as well as the mind. Take advantage of plug-ins for photography, text formatting, and anything else that specifically relates to your niche.

BOOKMARKING, SHARING, SOCIAL MEDIA

There are so many plug ins for social media that I don’t even know where to start in recommending a few. You’ll want to use those that are most relevant to your readers. For instance, you might want to add a Subscribe to Comments option to your RSS feeds. You’ll want to enable Digg, StumbleUpon, and Delicious recommendations, in both your feeds and your posts. Be sure to closely check both the “Optimize” and “Publicize” features in Feedburner. To avoid sidebar clutter, consider an all-in-one typ plug-in such as

Photo by imjustincognito Licensed under Creative Commons