Bloggers, Get Familiar With Your Database

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database-server All of your posts, settings, and every other piece of data about your blog are stored in a database. Sooner or later, you are going to have to access that database directly, especially when things go wrong.

Thankfully, the level of knowledge a blogger needs to have about their database is very low. It’s easy to get to grips with, and you’ll be glad of it when that fateful day eventually comes.

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Should You Upgrade WordPress?

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security
Image by Heraklit
WordPress 2.5 came out just under 2 weeks ago, and since then there have been a stream of “Reasons to Upgrade” posts. Well, what about reasons not to upgrade?

The Security Thing

Security is a good reason to upgrade, but it’s not always as good a reason as it might seem. Some blogs over-emphasize the risks of security, to get you to upgrade.

For instance, the normally excellent Weblog Tools Collection wrote about security holes due to free themes, and then said “The moral of this story is that you need to upgrade your WordPress blog now to WordPress 2.5.”

Upgrading to WordPress 2.5 will not solve exploits coming from your theme. You must resort to other measures to do that. As a respected WordPress authority, it wasn’t fair for them to imply otherwise.

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XKCDesign: WordPress vs MovableType

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I’m trying something new at Pro Blog Design today; a web comic. It will be my attempt at humour, based on design and blogging.

Depending on you, we’ll either keep it up, or get rid of it. Please vote in the poll below, or leave a comment, to let me know your thoughts.

So without further ado, here’s issue 1, WordPress vs Movable Type.

1-wordpress-vs-mt

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10 Best Plugins To Get More Comments

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Comment Functionality Comments are one of the most important aspects of blogging, and something that all bloggers appreciate. And yet, comment areas are a typically boring affair.

By making commenting a more enjoyable experience, you will encourage more commenters to return to your blog to check up on previous comments, and to leave new ones.

Use A Visual Text Editor

The default comments field is boring, and quite limited. It is possible to write your own HTML tags in the comment, but that’s a nuisance that you won’t do often. It’s usually easier to just leave out the formatting, isn’t it?

NicEdit is just 30kb in size, and gives a full featured text editor. Check out the comments field of this post to see it in action. It’s much easier to format a comment this way.

For anyone; NicEdit.

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How To Set Up a Sideblog

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Since writing about the benefits of a sideblog, the idea has taken off. Sideblogs are a great way of quickly updating your readers. However, you’re still left with the problem of how to set one up.

There are various methods, including the use of Twitter or Tumblelog and then importing an RSS feed. However, those methods don’t give enough control for me, so the method I’m using is done entirely in WordPress.

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Paid Theme Directory is Fine By Me

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WordPress logo Matt (Creator of WordPress) has just announced his plans to set up a directory of paid themes on WordPress.com. The initial reaction has been both good and bad.

Before I give my thoughts on the ups and downs of this, here’s a quick run-through of the facts.

  • Matt removed all sponsored themes from the free WordPress.org directory a few months ago.
  • The new theme directory is only for WordPress.com (The free blog host).
  • Automattic (Matt’s company) will take a 50% cut from all sales.
  • All themes must be “original, link-free, not published before, and GPL-licensed.”

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13 Tags to Delete From your Theme

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Snip the superflous. Free themes are designed to be as easy to install as possible. You simply upload your theme, activate it, and you’re done. It knows your blog’s name, description, feed URL and everything else.

In order to know all of this, the theme uses PHP tags to get the information. However, it has to use these tags every time a page is loaded.

As most of the information never changes, you can delete these tags from your theme, and replace them with normal text. That way, your server has less to process next time around.

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