Sexy Bookmarks Social Buttons Plugin Review and Settings

I’m in the process of refreshing my site and integrating it with new Google+ features. I had an old Add to Any share button at the bottom of my posts and no Facebook Like or Google +1 button. So, I added a plugin that gives me all those features and more.

Here’s a video review and settings overview of the Sexy Bookmarks plugin that lives up to its name for adding social plugin buttons to your site.


Be sure to visit the Resources page for more videos, tips, and downloads.

New WordPress 3.1.3 Security Features

A month in advance of the major 3.2 release scheduled for the end of June, WordPress released version 3.1.3 yesterday, which includes several new security features that harden the code against hacker threats. Two in particular caught my eye, and one matches the trend of unusual hits I’ve seen in my site statistics. See why these updates are important and what other measures you will want to take to protect your site.

Is Your Host Safe?

The new security feature that caught my eye first, and should send a chill down everyone’s spine, was “Improves file upload security on hosts with dangerous security settings.”

Since hackers can clog the pipeline on any server so that nothing can get out (read Why so Many Websites Have Been Down Lately), you would think that they would take every precaution necessary to secure WordPress installations. But they don’t. I never cease to be amazed at how many hosts defer to the 1-click installation process, knowing full well that it is not secure (read WordPress 1-click Installation is not Secure).

Securing your installation requires a real geek. Not a pseudo, pretend geek, or even a designer trying to sweeten the deal by giving you a discount on a hosting package. Purchase the hosting yourself and get a pro to install WordPress. (Shameless self-promotion – BlogAid offers fully secure, turn-key installations and you won’t get either of those things from the 1-click way of doing it.)

Login Page Security

A few weeks ago, while digging deeper into my site’s analytics, I noticed that my login page was getting an unusually high number of hits. I assumed it was from failed hacker attacks, and that notion was confirmed by this WordPress release. [Read more...]

New WordPress iOS for iPhone and iPad Review and Tutorial

WordPress for iOSAs most of you know, I LOVE my iPad. I take it everywhere. But, it’s not very handy for updating my WordPress sites. That changed today, with the announcement of an updated WordPress iOS (Operating System) for iPhone and iPad. I got it immediately, and here’s my review and how to use it.

This is a long post, but I know you want to put this app through its paces, so I included everything you’ll want for an initial how-to. And, you’ll want to read it through to see the one feature it lacks that has caused me to temporarily uninstall it.

Get It

You can download the app from iTunes. You can read about on the WordPress.org iOS page and read the announcement on the WordPress.org blog.

Using It

Once you open it, you’re presented with three choices. They are:

  • Start a new blog at WordPress.com
  • Add blog hosted at WordPress.com
  • Add self-hosted WordPress blog

I chose the last option and was asked for the URL of my site, plus the Username and Password. Now, if you don’t already have security features setup on your device, this would be a good time to add them. You certainly don’t want folks to wipe out your site if your device gets lost or stolen.

The next message I received was that XML-RPC services were disabled on my site. Simply put, it means that I had not set up my site to be updated via a remote login.

You can enable this feature by going to your site and clicking the Settings > Writing link from your Dashboard. Scroll down to the Remote Publishing section and check the box to enable XML-RPC updates. Then click the Save Changes button. [Read more...]

Get Distraction – Free Writing on WordPress Now

You don’t have to wait for WordPress 3.2 to come out in late June to enjoy distraction-free writing with a big text editor. You can enjoy it now, plus create your own pre-publish checklist too. And, the four tricks I show you in this video work great for smaller laptop screens too.

Plus, I’ll show you the modules that WordPress left out of your text editor page that you need to add back and start using for better SEO.

See all videos in the BlogAid WordPress Video Tutorials library.

New WordPress 3.2 Features

WordPress 3.2 is scheduled to be released near the end of June. The beta version is out and I’ve given it a test drive, including the new Twenty Eleven theme. Some folks are making a big deal out of nothing with a few of the improvements, and totally skipping the real news on the upgrade. Read on to see what I mean.

New Theme

On the surface, and at first glance, the new Twenty Eleven theme looks like something new. But with closer inspection, you can tell it is basically a combo of the Duster theme, which was based on Twenty Ten, and the old Kubrick theme, which was the de facto standard for years.

Twenty Eleven WordPress Theme

Twenty Eleven Theme

Header Changes

There are more options for the header and color schemes, including flexible header heights. And, you can elect to randomize the header so viewers see something different each time they visit. Not sure this is a good idea for anyone who wants to secure their brand in the mind of the viewer.

Layout Options

And, there’s one more page layout option. All WordPress themes come with two page options that include a sidebar, or a wide page (no sidebar). The new theme simply adds an option to place the sidebar on the other side of the page.

Screenshots

There are several sites with screenshots of the new admin pages. I literally had to go to the admin pages of a 3.1.2 site to compare side-by-side with my 3.2 beta site, and I still can’t see any appreciable difference. [Read more...]

Customize Your WordPress Navigation Menus

Custom navigation menus give you the ability to highlight pages to your site visitors and improve your SEO. They also allow you to keep certain pages out of your navigation menu. And, if your theme supports them, you can also easily customize your category menu.

In this video tutorial, I show you two ways to customize the order in which links appear in the main navigation menu of your site. I’ll also show you how to make child pages. Plus, you’ll see how to make custom menus based on blog post categories.

WordPress Magazine Style Theme Review

LifeStyle is one of the oldest, most popular of the StudioPress themes. However, they have significantly updated it in late 2011 and the video I had made is no longer a good representation of what you’ll find, so I removed this video. You can see a list of all videos in the BlogAid WordPress Video library.

Magazine style themes have become very popular in the last couple of years. Many new site owners are drawn to their visual appeal without really understanding how the theme works and if it is a good fit for their content. In this video theme review, I show you all the elements of the theme, how it works with your content, and what’s easy or costly to have customized.

For this review, I’m using the LifeStyle child theme from StudioPress. It has been around for years and is still one of their best selling themes.

How to Choose the Perfect Website Type for You

Websites come in all shapes, sizes, platforms, and functions. There is no one-size-fits-all format. The type of site you need depends entirely on what you want to accomplish. Following are three questions to help you get what you need and avoid expensive pitfalls in both time and money.

1. What do you want your site to do for you?

This is the single most important question for you to answer as a website owner. It sets the tone for every other choice you will make in the process. Following are examples of site types and what they’ll do for you.

Online Brochure – serves the same function as a paper brochure of your products and services. This is a good site type for: [Read more...]