Posts tagged wordpress

Duplicate

Moving or Duplicating a WordPress Blog

DuplicateI’ve been using Wordpress on various projects over the years and one of the things that has always been a bit disappointing to me is the difficulty of moving a blog, from a development site to production or from one host to another. It’s easy enough to use the export content function, but in configuring and building a good-looking and working blog, there are so many configurations, widgets, menus and more that are setup and need to be setup again that I always spend way more time than it seems necessary going through all the entire CMS to make sure I’ve made all the updates.

I recently helped a friend move their move and since he had a ton of custom work done on it, I didn’t want to go through this process again. Instead I used a great plugin called Duplicator which made the process amazingly easy.

  • First, you download and install the plugin in the WordPress CMS of the blog that you are wanting to move.
  • Next, you run the plugin and create a “package set” that you will need to download to your local computer.
  • You then will need to create an empty MySQL database on your new web server.
  • Then upload your package set to an empty directory on the new server.
  • Click the installer file, enter a few configuration file entries and in a few minutes, you will have moved you WordPress site to a new host, exactly as it was on the previous one.

I’m no WordPress guru, but this plugin worked exactly as described and is one I will certainly look to use again if I ever have the need.

Photo credit: Flickr user JimmyMac

 

PostRank

Another Helpful WordPress Plugin – PostRank

I’ve been scrolling through a my Google Reader blog RSS feed, trying to catch up  on several weeks of posts that have somehow passed me by – it’s crazy how intense the heart of the winter season can be sometimes – in any case, I was reading a post by Chris Brogan, a long time favorite blogger of mine who had posted about PostRank and I figured that I’d try it out myself. I’ve written before how I like to use this blog, and testing out new plugins is one of the many things that I do like to do with this “sandbox”.  PostRank integrates directly into the post admin page of WordPress and looks like this:

There’s also a component that shows directly on your dashboard which shows “engagement” generated both on and off blog over the past 30 days.

To me, this is great information, as it allows me to see what content is engaging people so that I can hopefully write more on topics that are of interest to my readers, and to be able to measure that interest both on and off-site in a simple and easy to understand way, such as how the PostRank plugin does, is great. Does anyone else have tools that they use to measure the engagement of their content?

Blog Makeover

Time for a Blog Makeover

Blog MakeoverMaybe it’s been sitting on the sofa while my wife watches all of her “makeover” TV shows, you know the ones, the beauty makeover and home renovation shows that are all the big programming fills these days?! In any case, I think that catching bits and pieces from those has finally prompted me to do a refresh on the Resort Marketing blog. After a good chunk of browsing around a whole slew of themes I finally landed on Mystique by digitalnature as I liked a lot of the built-in components to it along with the fact that it uses the very nifty 960 grid system design layout and I liked a clean and simple look, which I feel it affords.

For those of you that work with WordPress, you have possibly dealt with the difficultly of testing a them out before it’s activated – there is a “preview” option, but it’s difficult to see how all of your widgets, images and plugins will work with the them in a preview. I followed instructions I found on WordPress.org and on a Mac, it’s a sweet and simple process to setup a dev environment on your local machine, there are also instructions for doing the same on a windows computer that look just as quick. Once installed locally, you just need export your blog via the export function under “Tools”, import that file into your new dev environment and then start testing and tweaking new themes to your heart’s content. I couldn’t find a quick and simple way to transfer my new theme with my header and background images to production, but since I had already created my images and configured the blog, simply copying the theme elements via FTP and then making a few quick tweaks had me up and running with a “madeover” blog in very little time, but with quite a bit of confidence that I’d tested and made sure that things will be running smoothly.

I’m interested to know what you think of the new look for the Resort Marketing Blog so please leave me a comment with your thoughts and also, please let me know  if you find anything that didn’t make it smoothly through the transition, enjoy!

Photo credit: Flickr user Patrishe (I added the text)
WordPress Logo

10 Tips for Configuring a WordPress.org Blog

WordPress LogoI’ve had my blog on a self-hosted WordPress.org installation for about a year now and I really like it. Particularly at a time when I hear that WordPress.com had an issue that caused them to go offline for over an hour, which means that there were over 10 million blogs that were inaccessible for around an hour on this past Thursday evening.

  1. Pick a theme that is clean and fits your content. There are a lot of pretty or tricked out themes to choose from, remember that it’s your content that people will be looking for so choose accordingly.
  2. Think of a category and tagging scheme that (once again) is appropriate for the content that you are posting.
  3. If your theme doesn’t have it’s own SEO support built in, add a plugin like HeadSpace2 or  Greg’s High Performance SEO.
  4. On the SEO topic, make sure you have a site map plugin, like Google XML Sitmaps and have submitted and had your site verified with Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools and Yahoo!’s Site Explorer although Bing will very soon be providing search results for Yahoo!
  5. Setup Feedburner for readers who want to subscribe to your blog either via RSS or email, this also is a way to track how and where your RSS content is consumed. There are plugins to help setup the RSS part and even to display your feed stats in your blog’s dashboard (Feed Stats for WordPress).
  6. I also recently began using a plugin that puts a line of text in the footer of your blog’s RSS feed, which will allow readers who are reading your post in an RSS reader or even inserted in someone else’s post to know where the content originated at.
  7. Be sure to license the ideas and content that you publish on your blog with a Creative Commons license.
  8. Do your mobile readers a favor and add a plugin like the WPtouch iPhone Theme to allow your iPhone, Android and other smartphone users a mobile optimized browsing experience.
  9. If you’re like me and reference your own posts, it’s good to install the No Self Pings plugin to avoid getting a ‘pingback’ each time you link to one of your own posts.
  10. Keep your WordPress software install as up to date as possible in order to keep up with the most recent security patches and also consider installing security plugins like Secure WordPress and WP Security Scan
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