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Blog Exercises: Ingredients of a Professional Site

Two questions on the same day triggered this blog exercise. I was asked by a student in my WordPress class recently what defined a “professional blog.” I told him it was one that met all the criteria for a well-designed, well-formed site that met web standards. This is a good definition, but lacked specifics. A […]

Blog Exercises: The Domino Effect

I recently created a domino effect on one of my sites. The Domino Effect is based upon the traditional game of domino pieces stacked standing upright in rows, typically in a straight or curved path carefully spaced close together. Knock over the first one and it falls against the second, and third, knocking down each […]

Blog Exercises: Trackbacks Come Again No More

The power of trackbacks is to track the discussion of articles on your site across the web. They are generated automatically by the post when it is published, sending a trackback response to your site. When the referring site owner moves their site, makes a domain name change, or does a total makeover that causes […]

Blog Exercises: Own Your Site and Protect Yourself

I hear it every day. A webmaster, developer, or designer does the site owner wrong and the site owner is victimized, helpless, and frustrated with what to do next. I’ve gotten calls in the middle of the night from people around the world trying to get help recovering their WordPress password because their “web guy” […]

Blog Exercises: Make an Elephant Out of a Fly

G.I. Gurdjieff said, “We have made an elephant out of a fly.” A friend of mine and fellow college professor, Mark Smith, is a dedicated follower of George Gurdjieff, a Russian spiritual leader. He’s been sharing some of his teachings with me. This one caught my attention and immediately had to be added to these […]

Blog Exercises: How Much Does Your Blog Cost?

How much does your blog cost? It should be a simple question. Do you have an answer? The costs associated with a blog are the costs associated with any website. There is the cost of the domain name, if you choose to have a custom name. In general, it is about USD $15 a year, […]

WordPress Anniversary: WordPress and Evil

As I look back on the ten years of WordPress, there is a dark side to blogging. While many blamed WordPress for the evil, like guns, WordPress doesn’t cause evil, people cause evil. In fact, WordPress, Automattic, and the WordPress Community has fought longer and harder against the evil doers in the world than most […]

Blog Exercises: Trackbacks

Trackbacks are like an invitation to a party. It is also like legitimate gossip. Trackbacks are notes telling you that someone is talking about you. Trackbacks are part of the important connections that form the true sense of the “web” on the Internet. WordPress and most modern publishing platforms generate trackbacks automatically. As common as […]

Blog Exercises: The Don’ts of Blogging

Did you know there is a Blogger’s Code of Conduct? It’s on Wikipedia. Initiated by Tim O’Reilly, it is as follows: Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog. Label your tolerance level for abusive comments. Consider eliminating anonymous comments. Don’t feed the trolls. Take the […]

Blog Exercises: What is the Name of Your Site?

What is the name of your site? In WordPress, every site has a title and a tagline or subtitle. What is yours? Choosing a name for your site can be a challenge and your next Blog Exercise in this year-long series of exercises to help you improve your blog. Sometimes choosing a name for your […]

DuckDuckGo: The Search Engine You Need to Meet

Recently, DuckDuckGo has been turning up in my referrers list. Curious about the name, and thinking it was a spam site, DuckDuckGo needed investigation. Seems I’ve been missing out on what could be the major competition to Google as a search engine. Here is a quick summary of what I learned about DuckDuckGo. It is […]

Blogrolls Gone in WordPress. How to Save Your Links.

For the past few months, rumors were flying that WordPress was going to remove the Links/Blogroll feature of WordPress. As of August 2012, it is now gone from many WordPress.com. MacManx, Happiness Engineer at WordPress.com, recently stated: The Links section was removed from the core WordPress.org software, which means that it will probably be removed […]

201 WordPress Books

As part of my project to bring WordPress into colleges nationally, I did a quick survey of how many books have been published about WordPress. I was asked by several major publishers to publish the first book in English on WordPress but had to decline due to my traveling schedule and work load, so it’s […]

What are the Essential WordPress Plugins You Can’t Live Without?

In my WordPress session at Barcamp Portland this past weekend, one of my favorite questions started the discussion: What are the most essential, must-have WordPress Plugins? My answer? None. Okay, not really. My honest answer is one: Akismet. Spam is the bane of our web experience. It comes in our emails and site comments. While […]

Help Needed with WebVisions WordPress Theme Developers Panel

Webvisions is in Portland, Oregon, May 16-18, 2012, and I’ll be there again this year leading an awesome panel of WordPress Theme designers and developers, and I need your help. For over eleven years, Webvisions has been the go to conference for exploring the future of design, content creation, user experience, and business strategies on […]

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