Category Archives: Wordpress

wordpress tweaks

Writing WordPress Blog In Other local Languages

Recently I designed a website for one of my client who has a requirement, that his site should be in his local language. Here the example is Tamil, a south Indian language, if you are not aware of this language, no problem. The question is “How you write a post in local language in your wordpress blog/site?”.

Actually the unicode character set helps you to write in any language. Transliteration tools are the best tool to write in any language, most of us are aware of it, if not here is the short description. Google’s transliteration tool residing at google.com/transliterate helps you to generate a your post in appropriate language as you type in the words of your language as phonetic English words resembles the sound of the word in your language. If it is difficult to understand what I said in the above sentence, just try using the tool.

Here is the hack for wordpress to accept your language. We know all of our data are stored in MySQL database and the database used by WP uses utf-8 default. Just changing the default preference, your unicode data will be accepted by WP. for that you need to open “wp-config.php” from WP installation root folder.

Find these lines

define(‘DB_CHARSET’, ‘utf8?);
define(‘DB_COLLATE’, ”);

and disable it by adding double slashes ( // ) before the line starts, like

//define(‘DB_CHARSET’, ‘utf8?);
//define(‘DB_COLLATE’, ”);

save it. Presto…!!!! Now everything works fine as you want.

Note, with out this WP hack, your unicode char set will not be accepted by your MySql database so all the letters will be replaced by question marks like ??????????????? ??? ????? ??????.

Warning: editing wordpress codes needs experience in it, at least when editing critical lines. If any problem occurs due to modifying you are the sole responsible to it. Any way you can over write these files with original WP files to rectify the problem (if occurs).

Speeding Up WordPress To Load Faster

Bloggers optimize their blog for Search engines, indeed most of the blogs and communities discuss seo to the core, but only some bloggers bother about optimizing their blog for users. Yes! I mean not only the design and layout of your blog/site theme is important, the speed also matters in satisfying the visitors. In common a blog should load in few seconds, if it takes longer time like 5 to 10 seconds then definitely your blog frustrates many visitors. I hope no one’s blog takes loading time longer than 10 seconds.

To optimize your wordpress site/blog to perform better at the time of loading, we have to do some tweaks in wordpress and going to change other factors that affects the speed of loading. Before that benchmark your blog’s loading time with other competitors, for that we have ‘WhichLoadsFaster’ by RyanWitt and you can access it at alvistor.com/speedtest/. Okay lets get into topic.

Theme Efficiency

Themes play major role in the speed. Themes with heavy graphics, background pictures or images, and javascripts will slow the loading speed. Usually Premium Themes performs better in the speed, if you are not a developer just go for premium themes or design a theme yourself, or alter your existing theme. My next article helps you to design a faster theme, so stay tuned to alvistor.com

Plug-ins

Don’t think that all your plugins are wrote well and is very important for your site/blog to work. Keep the active plugin numbers very low(around 10) and choose high rated quality plugins. In case of mine WP-Greetbox, Syntax Highlighter, DDAddsig, highslide are plugins which affects alvistor’s speed, but its important is little more than speed, so I decided to keep that and I disable all other plug ins which affects the speed. You have to decide which one is to be disabled and which is left enabled.

Hosting Solutions

WordPress is already in good form to work better for you and still updating, and coming to your plugin, yes it is also, because it works for all the others in the world, so if your blog shows up some speeding problem, that may because of your hosting providers. Compare your speed with alvistor.com/speedtest/ , then if you are not satisfied then it is time to choose one of the recommended hosting solutions given in the bottom of the page.

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total cache is a best performance plug in for your wordpress platform, which takes your blog to next level of speed.

Using this plug in you can make a “page cache” which responds to the requests and sends the data from the cache instead of processing the request, so the processing time is saved.

You can also add your theme javascript file to this plug-in, if you want to minify it and attach at the bottom of your loaded page to perform better.

Image Compression plug-in

If you have many images in post or page, you need to compress it in order to load it faster. “Smush.it” by yahoo is a type of loss less image compression technique, and WP-smushit do that seamlessly at the time of image upload in wordpress gallery in background. If you own a photo gallery site or blog, you need this definitely.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

cdn is the most important for blogs/sites which has larger traffic from all over the world. cdn helps to reduce your server’s burden by delivering some archive files like themes, css, js, images etc. There are many cdn providers like amazon, maxcdn, and many, but the cheapest and best is cdn provided by vps.net which also provides cloud hosting is reasonable price, buy cdn from vps.

For Developers

All the above tips are for wordpress users, if you are a developer, see my next article to improve the speed of your site/blog. Next article is not only for WordPress theme developers, but also to other developers.

[Next article on alvistor is "How to design a faster loading Website" for web developers - Sign Up for our E-mail updates below]

Customizable WordPress Theme – Weaver 2010

WordPress, the blogging platform used by most of the bloggers. Even though the platform is same to every blogger, the blog design can be chosen from the thousands of available wordpress themes. Everyone has their own needs and tastes when coming to the blog design and layout, so they search for a good theme that suit their needs. Some of them design their own theme, to do that they have to be well strong in html, css, php and wordpress codex. What if a naive blogger who don’t know to code or design a theme, who needs to customize a theme on his own. Here comes the Theme frameworks.

Thesis, Genesis are kind of wordpress themes, but actually a theme framework, which helps you to edit your themes from your wordpress admin interface with easy interface. But the pricing of the both frameworks comes around $80.

Weaver 2010 is an alternative for these theme frameworks which comes for free. Basically ‘weaver’ is not a theme framework, instead it is a customizable theme, works based on set of sub-themes. Weaver is a child theme of wordpress’s default TwentyTen theme. You can customize any sub-theme of ‘weaver’ with simple check box interface. Almost every part of the theme is customizable but not all. If you need all the freedom to change the themes you need a good knowledge in CSS, if not your ability to customize is limited.

Weaver is a good choice for a blogger/webmaster to edit their theme’s header, header menu, footer, widgets, layouts, colors, background, other effects of a theme in no time in much convenient way. Check out Weaver Site for more details and to download it. I personally use this for my client’s sites and it works well with WordPress MultiSite.

Blog Post Update To Twitter Tweets

A Blog’s success is measured by the traffic it gets, and mainly it is the loyal traffic. The readers who follow the blog can be the loyal visitor. People use Twitter to follow blogs like using RSS and Facebook Page. So a blogger should update the blog post title with link to twitter as a tweet.

The normal way for WordPress Hosted blogs are relying on the plug-ins like “Twitter Tools”. But the problem is it has some little bit difficult start up process of obtaining the OAuth keys for naive bloggers and some of the hosting has problem running the plug-in scripts in Twitter tools and other plugins related to it.

But there is an easy solution by Feedburner that I recommend for WordPress hosted blogs. If you using Feedburner for delivering your feeds, then with a single click you can post your blog update to twitter as a tweet with the blog title and “goo.gl” shortened link to your blog post. To set this up after logged into your Feed burner account corresponds to your blog, go to “publicize”, and the “socialize”. Now you can add multiple twitter accounts which should tweet your blog update automatically.

If you are not using FeedBurner for burning your feeds, the you should use “Twitter Tools” plug-in for tweeting.

WordPress MS (3.0 & above) Media Upload Problem

WordPress Multisite media upload problem is problem not every one met. This wpms media problem mostly appears for people in dedicated IP address hosting and in shared hosting. If you don’t have this problem then skip this post, you don’t need this.

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I already wrote the solution for media upload problem for wordpress 2.9 multi user (WP MU). After the release of WordPress 3.0, WPMU is vanished as WP 3.0 has every feature that where in wpmu. That is WordPress MS (multi site).

For WordPress MS you just have to enter the below code in your .htaccess file in your root of the hosting space.

Before doing this step, Read WordPress Media Upload Problem Solved to know why we are doing this step.

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RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /

#uploaded files
RewriteRule ^(.*/)?files/$ index.php [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !.*wp-content/plugins.*
RewriteRule ^(.*/)?files/(.*) wp-includes/ms-files.php?file=$2 [L]

# add a trailing slash to /wp-admin
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^.*/wp-admin$
RewriteRule ^(.+)$ $1/ [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
RewriteRule . - [L]
RewriteRule  ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(wp-.*) $2 [L]
RewriteRule  ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(.*\.php)$ $2 [L]
RewriteRule . index.php [L]

<IfModule mod_security.c>
<Files async-upload.php>
SecFilterEngine Off
SecFilterScanPOST Off
</Files>
</IfModule>

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Delete all the content in .htaccess before pasting this. When comparing to wpmu this code for wpms just have only one small modification that the new wordpress has changed the file blogs.php in mu to ms-files.php. so changing this will effect this media problem.

A New Contextual Search For Publishers – Apture

Contextual Search is the most important functionality for an website or blog. Because a with the help of contextual search a visitor may search what they want in the site, it mainly reduces the bounce rate if the user gets what he needs without going out of the site.

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I had came across some contextual search service for alvistor.com. Now alvistor.com have ‘Google Custom Search’ integrated well with the theme, it works great in both performance and monetizing. When I browse for some information I saw this Contextual search bar on the top of that particular website, that was so good. Immediately I look for more information about it.

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Apture – This new contextual search bar which integrates with your website after a single copy-paste code in your blog or website. The major reason which attract me as well as your visitor is its ease of use. That is, to search about a word in your website the user just have to select that particular text instead of typing it in the search form. The search result shows in the right side of the page without going to another page, and the listed search result of wikipedia, opens in the same window, videos plays in the same window and even the slide show of the resultant images. Which decreases the bounce rate of your site.

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The one thing ‘Apture’ lags is you can’t make money with the search, where as Google CSE shows the adsense ads with the results, which is not possible with this new search bar and so the reports of searches. If they provide this facility in future we can stick to it, or else we can code up for the same functionalities with Google CSE.

Grab Apture for your site

Note: Bloggers -> add an HTML/Gadget and paste the code inside. Save the changes.

Others -> Just paste your code before </body> tag.

WordPress MU Media Upload Problem Solved

Recently I came across this wordpress MU media upload problem while working with one of my client’s WPMU site. The main difference between WordPress single and WordPress MU is Redirection. WordPress never involves in redirection while wpmu is fully dependent to redirections.

The WordPressMU media problem is ‘when you upload media files to blog’s files directory it won’t displays in the post even after the successful upload. This happens because the media file uploaded to individual blog directory like

“wp-content/blogs.dir/o7/files/2010/05/img.jpeg” where the syntax is “wp-content/blogs.dir/blog id in #/files/year/month/mediafilename.ext”

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When you update this image to your post, you will find the link as follows

“http://blog07.yoursite.com/files/2010/05/img.jpeg” . When you try to view the image in browser, WPMU redirects this link to blog’s particular files directory according to the blog id. So when you have problem in redirection the it affects the media upload feature of WPMU sub blogs.

Most of the folks using WPMU is in shared hosting have this problem. When you try to install WPMU first it will create a .htaccess.dist file, you can replace it with .htaccess file to solve this problem. If you don’t have that or problem in updating httpd.conf file given in WordPress documentation installation file you can update the following code in your .htaccess file.

Delete all content in your .htaccess file and replace it with the following code,

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /

#uploaded files
RewriteRule ^(.*/)?files/$ index.php [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !.*wp-content/plugins.*
RewriteRule ^(.*/)?files/(.*) wp-content/blogs.php?file=$2 [L]

# add a trailing slash to /wp-admin
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^.*/wp-admin$
RewriteRule ^(.+)$ $1/ [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
RewriteRule . - [L]
RewriteRule  ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(wp-.*) $2 [L]
RewriteRule  ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(.*\.php)$ $2 [L]
RewriteRule . index.php [L]

<IfModule mod_security.c>
<Files async-upload.php>
SecFilterEngine Off
SecFilterScanPOST Off
</Files>
</IfModule>

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If you still have problem in media-upload feature, check with your media-upload options in your admin tabs in wp-admin controls. set the minimum upload limit to some what high then previous.

For queries about this comment here….

WordPress MU Sub Domain, Wild Card DNS

WordPress is famous for its 5 minutes few click installation. But most of the bloggers experience that WPMU installation is not easy. Many of the wordpress users face problem while installing wordpress MU or when trying to make it work for sub domain blogs.

WordPress MU has all the steps as same as installing wordpress, all you have to do extra is some tweaks in server settings. Many stuck in this step. The people install wpmu in dedicated server don’t face problem if they follow the steps in wordpress mu blog for installation.

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This for people who would like to install WPMU in shared or vps servers. The problem here is some of the users don’t have permission to edit httpd.conf file in their server and some don’t have rights to edit DNS settings. If this is your problem in installing WPMU in your hosting account then just follow the simple tweak given below.

All you have to do is just add a sub domain as follows in your hosting account with the help of cPanel, Plesk or other server tools that you have. Go to ‘add sub domain’ menu not ‘add on domains’ then add ‘*’ sub domain redirecting it to the root.

click “sub domain” -> “add” -> enter ” * ” without quotes in sub domain name -> enter “public_html/” in directory text box without quote, then add it.

after adding you should get a subdomain like below in the sub domain list

*.yourdomain.com not redirected    pointed to  public_html/

optional :  so if you want to install wpmu in other shared add on domain then simple enter that domain name like below,

*.addondomain1.com pointing to public_html/addondomain1.com/ where wpmu is installed.

Your tweak is finished and now you are ready to go with you wpmu. Read fully to know more…

If you still have problem I am glad to help you if you post a comment here.

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Don’t worry about other settings like <virtualhost> settings in httpd.conf and adding data in DNS settings. Everything is optional. The above tweak works fine with all the hosting services without much work.

Note : How it works?

wordpress mu is handling multiple blogs with same wordpress files which is installed in the root directory. when we enter the blog name like “blog1.alvistor.com” it searches for files in blog1.alvistor.com, all that we have to do is to redirect the blog1.alvistor.com to “alvistor.com” so to do this for every sub domain blog like blog2.alvistor.com, blog3, blog4, etc we to add a redirect for every blog.

Just by adding a * as a subdomain ( * is a wild card here) every alphabets and numbers are assigned for * and all the blogs are directed to root directory. Now simply wpmu handles the others.

However this will not work for media upload in wordpress post editings, to avoid media upload issue in wpmu please check out the posts in related posts.

CRM For WordPress Internet Marketers

Internet marketing today has many plus points. Millions of internet marketers using WordPress, the open source CMS (content management system ) for their marketing. why?

  • It is use to use for naive users, no programming skills needed to deploy a wordpress site for the business
  • suitable for small and medium sized businesses (WordPress is Free – Open Source)
  • Availability of  plug-ins to increase or add desired functionality
  • It leads to Green Marketing.

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One of the important functionality for a good marketing website is CRM – Customer Relationship Management. WordPress itself fails to provide this functionality to its users, but the plug-in facility bridges CRM to WordPress CMS.

WordPress-to-Lead for Salesforce CRM is a plug-in, which is the ‘must have’ plug-in for the internet marketers who has a contact form in their website in means of CRM. This plug-in will helps you to manage your customers.

To get benefit from this valuable thing you should subscribe to salesforce.com, and you will need a organisation ID provided by them to bridge the plug-in from salesforce to wordpress.

The following video will show you how it works.

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How ever SalesForce charges you to provide this service, any business needs investments, the result may good while you can track of your customer. Any way just have a 30 day trial experience and evaluate yourself from the result.

Did You Know?

The first item sold online directly by a company was a packaged holiday sold by Thomson Holidays, UK, at 10.15 am on the 2nd March 1981 when a customer made the purchase in a travel agent’office in Harlow,England. This was B2B.

The first B2C sale was in May 1984 when Mrs Jane Snowball of Gateshead, England purchased groceries from the local Tesco supermarket using her home television that had been modified to communicate with a computer. What she actually purchased was never recorded.

The very first item sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer for $14.83. Astonished, Omidyar contacted the winning bidder to ask if he understood that the laser pointer was broken. In his responding email, the buyer explained: “I’m a collector of broken laser pointers.”