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Considering Writing Some WordPress Tips?

Do you want to write a WordPress tip? I encourage you to do so, either on your blog, on the , or for the , the online manual for WordPress Users. It takes a lot of volunteer work to create a body of work for WordPress users to rely upon to help them blog better with WordPress, so all help is always welcome.

However, would you please do a few things for all WordPress fans everywhere first, before you publish your WordPress tips?

  • Search First: Search the web first to find other articles written on the same subject. If those are good, don’t write yours. If they can be improved upon, then write yours. If you find a lot, reconsider writing the topic and find a new one. Or find a totally new perspective on the same subject. We really need new and improved tips, not redundant.
  • Write Well: Read Tips For Writing Good WordPress Tips for tips on how to write even better WordPress tips.
  • Label It Appropriately: Is it a tip, technique, how-to, advice, guide, hack, or the only way to do it? A tip shows you one method, a technique explores the method, advice is a suggestion on how to, a guide is a step-by-step instruction, and a hack is a change to the underlying code. Use keywords and make sure the title and opening paragraph defines the lesson to be learned clearly.
  • Write It If It Fits Your Blog Purpose: As much fun as we love having with WordPress, if your blog is about sports, don’t blog a WordPress tip. Don’t disrupt your blog reader’s attention with something totally unrelated and unimportant to them. If you REALLY want to write a WordPress tip, add it to the wealth of WordPress information and resources in the so everyone can enjoy it.
  • Make Code Code: There is nothing more frustrating to someone who finally finds the answer they’ve been seeking on WordPress than to copy the code off the page and find out it doesn’t work because the author failed to convert the quote marks into text-based quote marks. Please, read and following the guidelines for writing and publishing code in your WordPress Blog posts.
  • It’s WordPress: Help searchers find your WordPress tip by spelling it WordPress not wordpress, WordPress, Word Press, or any of the other many variations. Do not use WP as few actually search for the initials when they are hunting for WordPress tips. It’s a Plugin not Plug-in nor plugged in. Use the keywords that name and describe what you are doing to help those searching to find your tip. The more you help them find you, the faster you’ll be the answer to their questions.
  • Volunteer Your Time on the WordPress Support Forum: To really get an idea about what tips and needs WordPress users have, spend some time reading and volunteering to help on the . An hour or two a week is often enough to share your expertise with other WordPress users. The more you learn about what they are asking, and how to best respond to their needs, the better and more valuable the WordPress tips on your blog will be.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a community to help make WordPress the success it is. Help us make WordPress even better by adding your tips, techniques, guides, and hacks on using WordPress to the community’s documentation collection.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

29 Comments

  1. Posted January 2, 2008 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    If blogs are compiling tips from other sources and imposing their own licenses / copyright?

  2. Posted January 2, 2008 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    I don’t care that the official spelling is “WordPress.” I will always spell it “WordPress,” along with many others. Anyway, the major search engines ignore case when you search… so it doesn’t matter whether you use a capital “P.” It’s just another stupid thing like the www/no-www argument.

  3. Posted January 2, 2008 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    It’s just another stupid thing like the www/no-www argument.

    That’s the most ignorant thing I’ve seen so far this year! Granted, the year is young… but wow.

    Why would it be so hard to spell a name properly?

  4. Posted January 2, 2008 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks for writing this Lorelle. This has given me some food for thought in sharing what knowledge I can with the WordPress community.

    I’ve tried to register at the support forums several times, for whatever reason, each attempt fails. So I share what I can on my blog. After being a moderator on another large support forum for a few years, honestly, I’m glad I cannot register. I don’t want to get sucked into that again. ;-)

    Being a convert from a prominent CMS system, I tend to share more about how to use WordPress as a CMS. So, hopefully, my little tidbits can help others use WordPress in that way.

  5. Posted January 2, 2008 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I like the link for tips on writing wordpress tips… :)

  6. Posted January 2, 2008 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    It shouldn’t matter if its written as WordPress, WordPress, or wordpress. They all say the same thing. They all share the same spelling. In fact, if you go to Google and do a search using any of the three, you get the very same results – 90,900,000 matches. Capitalization doesn’t matter.

    People should blog their own tips so they can remember it. For instance, I wrote a tip on how to make the whole header area one big clickible link for no other reason so I personally could access the info in the future.

  7. Posted January 2, 2008 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    @ redwall_hp:

    The issue of spelling WordPress is not one just of search engines. That comes with the spelling of Word press or Worp dress or WP. What matters is that it is a trademark. That is how it is supposed to be spelled.

    What also matters is that many people judge you by your writing style, grammar, and spelling. While it’s not important to the world in general, many look upon the use of WordPress as lack of attention to detail – thus, dismissing your tips. It’s the details that can kill you.

  8. Posted January 2, 2008 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    @Mark: It doesn’t matter if the content stolen is a WordPress tip or any content, it is treated the same way.

    However, code is a little harder to “claim” as one’s own. If someone is compiling whole posts and claiming them as their own, with the code inside, you can request that they show excerpts and links only, and treat it like any other copyright violation. But copying just the code without the content, unless you can directly prove it is yours, and only yours, and that you were the original creator of the code, it’s a much harder battle.

    So much WordPress code has been passed around and copied, you and I and Matt are probably among the few who would really know where the source was. :D And where the skeletons are buried.

    Is that what you were asking about?

  9. Posted January 2, 2008 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Actually Rick, I do the same thing. I blog about tips that I would like to access in the future in case I forget. This has the added side bonus of sharing that tip with others.

    As for blogging about a WordPress tip, I’ve written up a two part (in depth) guide on WeblogToolsCollection.com on how to turn your desktop into a web server and thus, install a fresh copy of WordPress onto your machine or migrate an existing WordPress install to a local machine. So far, a ton of people have enjoyed the guide.

  10. Posted January 2, 2008 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    @ Jeffro2pt0:

    Actually, that is the number one reason why people blog about WordPress tips, whether or not it has anything to do with their blog purpose. Often, new WordPress bloggers do little else as they are eager to share what they learn as they blog. Which is why there are currently 2,370,000 search results for “install WordPress” on Google. :D

    Nothing wrong with it, I’d just love to see all these great tips be more accessible to all WordPress users, which is why I work so hard to encourage them and to publicize them when I find them.

  11. Posted January 2, 2008 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    You are doing great by all us new WordPress beginners, Lorelle. The themes you highlight in this post will be taken at least a bit seriously, by those who take themselves at all seriously.

    … But I did notice (in a humorous vein) that WordPress v2.3.2 Visual Editor Spellchecker reports both “WordPress” and “plugin” as misspellings. ;-)

    Ted

  12. Posted January 2, 2008 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    @ Ted Clayton:

    Yeah, just can’t train ‘em right these days. :D

  13. Posted January 3, 2008 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    Yeah Lorelle, I’ve also thought about what it would be like to harness the knowledge of the thousands of WordPress.com and WordPress.org users. How cool would it be to do a search on a WordPress specific search engine and find posts that are detailed and too the point. The search engine wouldn’t have any splogs in it’s search index and thus, provide accurate, relevant results every time.

    Sounds like a potential startup idea :)

  14. Posted January 3, 2008 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    I understand your point about not writing duplicate content, but it’s nearly impossible to write something completely original. And I realize you acknowledge it’s okay to write duplicate content if you have a fresh perspective or can do a better job; however, duplicate content has value even if you don’t provide a fresh perspective or do a better job provided you just explain something a little different than someone else. For example, if I give driving directions to my house I may tell someone to turn right at the gas station on the corner. My wife, however, might say turn right when you see the library on the left side of the street. The rest of our directions might be identical, thus no real “fresh perspective”; however, one person might see the gas station and someone else might see the library. There is no telling which set of directions might work for someone until, of course, they get lost. My point is that duplicate WordPress tips have value even without a fresh perspective because everyone learns a little different than everyone else. I might say “directory” and you might say “folder” when giving some technical directions. That slight change might make all the difference for someone reading the instructions.

  15. Posted January 3, 2008 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    I do write some at my blog. For those who are interested please visit my wordpress tips page :)

  16. Posted January 3, 2008 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Good perspective Bret. Duplicate WordPress tips that are even slightly different also gain an advantage when they’re rewritten because they will show up in more places. For instance, someone might regularly visit your blog and read the WordPress tip which they may not have read anywhere else.

  17. Posted January 3, 2008 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    @ Bret:

    You make a good point, but mine is better. :D If you are one of hundreds of thousands writing instructions on how to install WordPress, and only among 25 writing tips for customizing the query posts feature, how much more likely is it that your tip will be found, and wanted, and needed, than one of hundreds of thousands all saying basically the same thing?

    In other words, add to the body of work, don’t just duplicate, whether or not what you say is new or different. If it’s been done, link to the good ones. If it hasn’t been done, become one of the good ones.

  18. Posted January 3, 2008 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    There are quite a lot of tips about the internals of WordPress, and that is commendable. One of the things about flexible tools like WordPress is that it can be used in multiple ways.

    I get fascinated by reading about using the same piece of code or technology in an innovative way. This can be really valuable in understanding the tool since it shows what there is by explaining what we can do with it.

    Thanks for making the point Lorelle. It is so easy to miss what we can contribute to the community in the our daily chores.

  19. Posted January 4, 2008 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    “What matters is that it is a trademark. That is how it is supposed to be spelled.”
    You’re taking trademarks too literally. Being a trademark doesn’t mean that’s automatically the “correct” spelling. It’s a matter of personal preference. The developers can spell it that way if they want, but they cannot force everyone to spell it the way they prefer.

    Okay, the “correct” way to spell NTugo (NTugo.com) is “NTugo.” But I don’t care if people spell it Ntugo. Mozilla Firefox’s “official” shorthand is “FX” but everyone says “FF.”

    Who the hell cares what the trademark is? There are PLENTY of people who write “WordPress,” and it’s perfectly acceptable to not put the extra capital in.

    Yes, it should be *spelled* correctly (nothing throws your credibility like a post full of misspellings), but it’s ridiculous to say that everyone has to put an extra capital in your name just because it’s a trademark.

  20. Posted January 4, 2008 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I always find it extremely frustrating when people are posting plugins/hacks etc and they don’t say which version of WP their using/testing it with. I always have to scour the comments to find if it works for other people on x version of WP.

  21. Posted January 4, 2008 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    @Han: Good point, I often ( always? ) forget to mention that. :-x I usually automatically assume everyone is using the latest, which is usually not the case.

    @Chris: The www/no-www argument is important. Think of all the space and time we can save if we got rid of those 4 characters. Also, people end up splitting their Google rank in half without knowing it.

  22. Posted January 4, 2008 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    @Troy – I suffer from unfortunate quoting skills. :-)
    I was actually referring to properly spelling the product name being called a dumb argument.

  23. Posted January 5, 2008 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Well I must say, I enjoyed reading your material.

  24. Posted January 5, 2008 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips, Lorelle!
    I’ve also worked on some WP tips, specifically on plugins.
    Unfortunately mine aren’t technical tips, since I suck at techie terms :mrgreen: hence it’s more of how WP and its plugins serve a purpose.

    Hopefully tips aren’t just tips, but they’re also motivators ..that yes, everyone can do this, and there are people out here that are willing to give time to help. Such as Lorelle.

    Hope everyone would give time to check it out.

  25. Posted January 5, 2008 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Hello Lorelle
    this days a user wrote an email to me:

    ” Hi texto, I have a blog with wp tutorials and wp plugins. I have a problem, I would like to have random posts from a certain category. Could you give me the code…..”

    I didn’t know should I laughing or crying. He offers wp tutorials and he said that he offers wp plugins and asked me for this simple code.

    So I hope a lot of young bloggers would read your article and try to find out their niche.

    I offer lot of code examples, but I do this in my way. I’m using code plugins, but sometimes I warn to copy and paste code.

    Maybe it is frustrating for some people to type codeexamples. Maybe they would not spent their time for this. Maybe they would like to have the knowledge and time from the (code) author and would like to use only copy and paste to get a good result for their own blog.

    But it is my time to write this code examples and it is my time to change all the > ie. and it is most of the time my knowledge to create this examples or ideas.

    So I think they could type code examples sometimes without being frustrated about this. This deal is really no overcharge. ;)

    have a nice time and kindly regards
    Monika

  26. Posted January 5, 2008 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    @ Monika:

    There is a difference between team players working together and those who just use others. I understand this totally. We help as best we can, but it always infuriates me when blog about that which they don’t understand. You’ve made a very good point. Thanks.

  27. Posted January 6, 2008 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I finally got around to writing my own tip which can be found here. Basically, I think I have a better way of doing something found in the WordPress (note the capital letters :)) FAQs.

  28. Posted January 7, 2008 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Since my blog is all about WordPress tips, I should send all future writers and contributors here and let them read this :)

  29. Posted January 10, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Just been reading my blog stats – thank you for the mention :)


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Considering Writing Some WordPress Tips? Do you want to write a WordPress tip? I encourage you to do so, either on your blog, on the WordPress Support Forums, or for the WordPress Codex, the online manual for WordPress Users. It takes a lot of volunteer work to create a body of work for WordPress users to rely upon to help them blog better… [...]

  2. […] Considering Writing Some WordPress Tips?: A couple times I year I remind people that the world of WordPress would not be so wonderful if it weren’t for all those who contribute WordPress tips to the WordPress Codex and on their blogs. A big hug to all who donate and volunteer their time and effort to help make WordPress great! […]

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