7 Plugins to Save Time With the Dashboard

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As bloggers, we spend a lot of time working on a range of different tasks. This includes things like checking stats, monitoring ad revenue, and interacting on social media.

That leaves us with a lot of sites to log into. But by adding a few WordPress plugins, you can pull some of this data back into the WordPress dashboard, which saves you time by giving a quick snapshot overview of everything.

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6 Ways to Power Up WordPress Comments

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Extend WordPress Comments

It’s a relatively simple process to add some flair to your blog comments these days. I want to look at 6 of the best free tools and give you a quick overview of the benefits of each.

Let’s start with one you’ve likely heard of before…

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Validate Forms in WordPress with jQuery

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Validate WordPress Forms with jQuery

Update (1 Feb 2013): I’ve updated the script here, primarily to jump to the latest version of the bassistance plugin.

This article will teach you how to add validation to your WordPress comment forms, using jQuery.

With validation, users can submit their comment and instantly see if they’ve hit an issue. There is no need to submit the page and get WordPress’ default “There is a problem…” page. Instead, errors are displayed inline instantly.

In our example, we will build a plugin which you can drop into any theme and will work instantly.

Just like last week, you can see the finished product in action on the demo site. And you can download the completed files here.

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Best Way to Have Quality Comments Only?

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Quality Comments

I love reading the comments on each article I post. If you leave one, you’re near guaranteed I’ll reply to you directly and keep the conversation going.

The trouble is that after a day or two of an article being live, the spammers descend and the lovely, informative comment thread descends into “great article, agree with your points, visit my site”. It’s just not cool…

We’re working on a full redesign to Pro Blog Design, and one of the things I’m most interested in is this comments issue. How can I make sure the comment threads stay in that awesome-to-read stage from the first few days when an article is written?

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Use the Transients API to List the Latest Commenter

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Transient API

The Transients API is a WordPress feature that I had never heard of until a few weeks ago, when I wrote a post on getting your Twitter follower count in plain text.

On that post, Otto left a comment with a different way of getting the same result, using the Transients API. Instead of using cron, which can be complicated, transients allow you to use just one or two lines.

In this post, I want to show you how to use transients, and to do that, we’re going to build a simple script that will list the latest commenter on your blog, along with their avatar. The end result will look like the image above.

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Advanced WordPress Comment Styles and Tricks

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Advanced WordPress Comment Styles

Comments are gold. There’s little a blogger loves more than to see a whole list of comments posted on his/her article. It’s great to know people want to engage with you, and they can add a lot to an article.

However, if comments are not done well, they can be difficult to read and follow, or even just downright boring.

What we’re going to do first is create a custom comment callback that allows us to specify the way the comments are output, then lay out the structure for the comment list and reply form, add extra functionality such as author-only styles, implement comment subscription options and spam protection, and, finally, we’ll add nice CSS styling to everything we’ve done.

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7 Essential Elements of Blog Design

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The blogosphere continues to expand almost on a daily basis, and as a web designer we often inform clients of the numerous benefits of attaching a blog to their site. It is always a great way to continuously update your readers as to what new developments are being made in your business and what to look for as they stick with you on this journey.

This in turn, keeps your site well trafficked by the online masses as new content is added on a regular basis. And while there are a plethora of points and elements that are vital when designing a blog, some take precedence over the others.

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