WordPress Stuff – July 20, 2009

Keeping Your WordPress Blogs Safe

I am only sending out an email about this to the lead agents who responded to my last request for a response. To me, that says they are serious about learning the techniques and methods that I am trying to teach, and why would I even bother telling the folks that do not respond?

Just a few words about blogs. There is a LOT of information out there about blogs but I wanted to share with you some of the tidbits I have discovered.

* Use WordPress, not Blogger or some other proprietary blog platform. There are an incredible number of themes and plugins for WordPress, much more so than any other platform, allowing you to customize literally to your heart’s content. Not to be argumentative, but a valid argument can be had with virtually any experienced blogmaster and this would be the overwhelming concensus. Sure, Google OWNS blogger but that fact in itself does not really gain you anything if you do everything else properly.

* Use an attractive and functional THEME. There are trainloads of free WordPress themes out there, and a Google search on “wordpress themes” will keep you busy for weeks. As a start, there are about 900 free WordPress themes available for download at http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/

* Use themes that can accommodate WIDGETS. It would seem that one sidebar is sufficient, whereas using two sidebars, unless done quite creatively, can easily tend to look crowded and confusing.

* Compose your SIDEBAR thoughtfully. Is there really a need to have a calendar and the current date and temperature? No, so leave it out. Again, keep it simple and clean. The widgets I would suggest for your sidebar would be Archives, Popular Posts, and of course Related Links. Related Links would be the title that you would use to replace the useless stuff that comes in the default “Blogroll” and these would be links to your site(s), like your T1 site, your Ethernet site, your MPLS site, etc. Use good and appropriate anchor text for these links.

* PERMALINKS: Put a descriptive name with your posts. It is not useful to have an indexed post which is referenced by the URL “http://my-t1-blog.com/post-id=839290425”, right? I mean, where is the visitor’s incentive to want to go visit that URL? Under Settings then Permalinks, click the radio button for “Custom” and use the form “http://my-t1-blog.com/%postname%/”. (Without the quotes of course and use your own blog’s URL). So in this case, this change will show that indexed and perhaps archived post to read “http://my-t1-blog.com/why-you-need-a-t1-line-from-telarus-today”, or in other words, use the title from that post instead of a number.

* Use PLUGINS where appropriate. Plugins were designed specifically to make your WordPress blogging life easier. The minimum set of plugins I would suggest and why I suggest them are below, and they can all be found and downloaded free from http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/

Plugins:

* Google Sitemap Generator: This plugin generates a sitemap for search engines to pick up. Search engines give priority to sites with optimized sitemaps.

* Auto Tagger: This plugin uses Yahoo! to determine keywords related to the content of the article. These keywords are then added as tags to your blog and show up on your posts meta keywords. It’s always best to create your own tags in WP when writing a post, but just in case you forget this plugin will create them for you.

* Sociable: This plugin adds links to the bottom of every article allowing your users to share your articles with popular social networks such as Digg, Technorati, and Twitter. This helps people find your site when they are searching popular social networking sites and hopefully brings them back to your blog for more.

* Ping Optimizer: Blog pinging notifies blog servers that your blog has recently published new content. It shares your content across other networks, increasing your blog’s exposure, but excessively pinging these servers can get your site banned or blocked from future blog pinging. So you have to make sure that you are pinging these servers when necessary. This plugin will handle when and when not to ping these blog servers, optimizing how often you ping.

* Akismet: This plugin is included with every WordPress installation. This plugin protects your blog from comment spam. Monitor and protect your blog from comment spam.

* Simple CAPTCHA: CAPTCHA is a form utility to protect your blog from comment spam by web bots. A CAPTCHA places an images with random text that the user must manually type to submit their blog comment. This utility verifies the commenter is human, cutting down the potential for comment spam.

Summary

I hope this has been helpful and you can put it to use. Again, do not abuse blogging or social bookmarking, but if used wisely and cautiously, it can provide a lot of good quality links and traffic.

I appreciate you and your efforts and look forward to continuing to work with those of you who are as serious about this as I am, so that we can both reach our goals. I appreciate your leads and your efforts with Telarus, and you need to know that I do take leads very seriously, since without QUALITY leads, neither of us make money.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions, comments, or suggestions.

God bless,

Jon Arnold
Telarus Senior Technical Consultant & Authorized Sales Agent

President, JA Communications Group Inc.

Office: 321-779-5238
Mobile: 321-223-5238