Category: WordPress

Top WordPress Plugins for 2010 (Part One)

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One of the best things about WordPress is the community of savvy developers who create all those wonderful plugins. If you visit the WordPress Plugin Directory, however, you’ll find over 8000 available plugins to give your WordPress site a little extra bling.

Phew. That’s a lot to pick from. Unless you like to experiment ALOT, how can you possibly know which ones you should be using? So, with that in mind, here are 5 of my top WordPress plugins for 2010.

Top WordPress Plugins

1. Stop Comment and Trackback SPAM With Akismet

If you get any traffic at all to your site, you will get some SPAM comments and trackbacks. The more traffic you get, the more SPAM you get. And you certainly don’t want Viagra ads popping up (no pun intended) all over the comments section of your site. So, you need some protection.

Akismet, created by the same folks who develop WordPress, is an awesome first line of defense. In fact, it’s the only SPAM plugin we use on all Solostream sites. The only minor drawback is you need to set up an account at WordPress.com, and get an API key to make Akisment work. And if you’re using it for a commercial site, you’ll need to shell out $5 per month.

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How to Use the WordPress Image Uploader and Image Editor

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Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve spent some time playing with the new WordPress image editor that shipped with WordPress 2.9. It’s pretty cool and something you should play around with if you use any images on your site. I went ahead and did a short video tutorial covering the important parts. The video runs about 6 minutes.

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How to Back-Up Your WordPress Site Consistently and Automatically

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It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. There’s a SNAFU with your web host, and they tell you that your website is no more. It’s gone. Kaput. Like Elvis, it has left the building. And worse, they don’t have a recent back-up of the data. Or worse still … they don’t have ANY back-up copies of the data.

Think it can’t happen? It can. And it does. But it doesn’t have to be that big of a problem if you’re prepared for the worst.

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Video: How to Install WordPress Themes

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This is a short video that walks you through the WordPress Theme install process.

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Video: How to Install WordPress

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This is a short video that walks you through the WordPress install process. If you host offers WordPress Auto-Install, you probably want to watch this video instead.

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Video: How to Auto-Install WordPress

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As the title suggests, this is a short (5 minutes) video that walks you through the WordPress Auto-Install process.

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WP-Sublime WordPress Theme Demo Video

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I managed to get a new demo video posted on YouTube this morning. The video is a little over 5 minutes long, and it shows you how easy it is to customize our latest WordPress theme, WP-Sublime. If you’d like to embed this video on your own site, just grab the embed code from the video or from the YouTube page.

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Mastering Image Uploads/Inserts with Solostream WordPress Themes

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We received a thoughtful inquiry from a customer recently who wanted to know how to better understand the manner in which images are managed within our themes. This is naturally too good a topic for just one customer so we thought we would share our complete explanation with everyone.

At this time, our most popular themes incorporate the functionality of “Get The Image” to generate thumbnail images that appear in Feature Articles and Post Excerpts. There is some confusion as how this tool works and what happens when you use it. Without further ado, here’s our best explanation.

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Protecting Your Site When Making Updates and Edits

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We’ve all heard of Spring cleaning sessions. Well, for whatever reason, Solostream customers have created an equivalent phenomena right now — Fall Update/Upgrade/New Plugin season. Perhaps this is being triggered by the soon-to-be-released WordPress 2.7.

The rash of activity has triggered an important conversation with our team that we need to share with you. One of the most painful (and frustrating) experiences in working with technology is the moment of a major crash when installing an update or the unintended disruption of a feature or service when a new plugin is installed on a site.

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How to Add a Header Image to the Simplicity WordPress Theme

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I get a lot of folks who want to add a header graphic to my Simplicity WordPress theme, so I figured it was time to just write a tutorial on it. It’s really pretty simple to do.

Step 1: Understand the Dimensions

The header of Simplicity is the wide, blue area at the top where you see the blog name and description. The width of the header is 940px wide. That means any header image you place there needs to be no wider than that. As for the height, well that doesn’t really matter. The header height will expand to fit.

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