Tag Archives: wordpress plugins

Four Things I’ve Noticed Lately

I love visiting a lot of blogs and leaving comments where I can. Because I’m all over the place, I tend to start noticing some things that maybe others hadn’t noticed. There are 4 things in particular I’m going to mention today.

by Steven Bridger

The first is that I’ve noticed on many blogs this thing at the bottom of the comment area asking me to click the box to prove I’m not a spammer. I thought that was a little odd until it hit me that it’s come about because of a new plugin called the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin, created by Gail Gardner and Andy Bailey. This is in response to problems they and others have had with Akismet, something I don’t have a problem with but I understand the issue. Many people have said they haven’t had a single bit of spam since adding it; a couple of people said they’re still getting some. Still, it might be a nice addition for some of you to check out.

The second is that I’ve noticed that WordPress.com blogs aren’t sending me email asking me to subscribe to comments anymore. Man, that was greatly irritating to me, as you know if you’ve read this blog, because that’s the reason I was hesitant to leave comments on those blogs, just as I still am with Disqus blogs. I also noticed that I haven’t gotten that message from the last two Intense Debate blogs I wrote a comment on as well. Now, here’s the other side of that. To date, I’ve only gotten two notifications from blogs I’ve left a comment on as it pertains to any of these, and both were WordPress blogs. This tells me that either the owners of the blogs have to go in and select to send notifications to people they respond to or it just doesn’t work for everyone for some reason. I’ve tested this by going back to see if people have responded to a comment of mine, and if they have then I know I never got the notification. I’ll just ask those of you who have WordPress blogs on their site to check out your settings.

The third thing I’ve noticed seems to be happening only to me, unless other Firefox users have seen it but haven’t said anything. This is in relation to the CommentLuv plugin, which I absolutely love. Lately it seems I visit some blogs, write a comment, and the CommentLuv thing doesn’t see my blog. I thought that was wonky and decided to write the folks about it. However, I closed my blog once, popped it back up, went to the same site and put my information in and suddenly it was working again. This tells me the problem is with Firefox and not CommentLuv. I have absolutely no idea what that’s about or how to fix it. I do know that I went through the last update for Firefox and maybe it’s related to that somehow. But I haven’t been able to find on the search engines where anyone else has complained about this.

The fourth thing is that it seems that Twitter Tools (discontinued 10/12) isn’t fully working properly. In this case, if I write a post in advance, when it posts Twitter Tools doesn’t show it. It probably took me a couple of weeks to notice this, and it seems to be holding true for all 3 of my blogs. If I post immediately, it goes there, but otherwise, it’s a no-show. This is problematic because I write most of my posts beforehand and schedule them, and if I have to go back and post the link manually it defeats the purpose of having the plugin to begin with. On this one I’ve seen other people complain, but to date there’s been no real fix for the issue, though many think it’s related to the Twitter oAuth thing we all had to do back in August.

That’s all I have. If you’ve noticed anything odd, or wish to comment on any of the above, please share.

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Count Per Day Plugin

One of the people I write for had this WordPress plugin on his site that I hadn’t noticed until relatively recently, and I thought it would be interesting to run it at least for a little while to compare it to Google Analytics.

It’s called Count Per Day, and it’s creator, I believe, must be German, since you initially will see German on the site, but if you scroll down you’ll see it in English as well. Anyway, what it does is give you all sorts of stats about your blog, similar to Analytics, except it’s real time. In other words, if I left the blog for 3 hours and came back to look at the stats, they’d be different, even if only slightly. Well, that’s assuming I had visitors of course.

I wanted to see if the numbers I got from Count Per Day would be much different than what I get from Analytics. Strange as it always seems to me, you get different numbers from different places even though they’re supposedly looking at the same thing. I stopped looking at the numbers from my host because they just seemed, well, overwhelming when compared to that Feedburner box you see on the right side there. Analytics seems to make more sense, but every once in awhile it goes wonky; no idea why.

Since I installed it on September 9th, I decided to do a comparison from that point. Since it’s a live plugin, I know the numbers won’t match totally, but if they’re close then it’s all good. Count Per Day, which I’m now going to call CPD, shows I’ve had 6,211 visitors since September 9th; Analytics says I’ve had 1,119. I’m thinking that’s a pretty drastic difference. CPD shows I had 516 visits yesterday, Sunday; Analytics says 80. Already this isn’t going all that well.

Let’s look at some individual posts. Both show that my post on cleavage is still my most visited post, but CPD says it’s been visited 845 times since the 9th, while Analytics says it’s been visited 460 times. After that there’s no agreement on the rest of the top 10 at all, and I mean which posts have been visited the most by whom.

Am I confused? Absolutely! But who do I believe, and what to make of it? Man, I wish I knew. My mind tends to believe Analytics more than CPD. I keep thinking if I were actually getting the number of visitors the plugin tells me I’m getting that I’d almost have to be generating more income from this blog than I do. At the very least I should have way more subscribers to my RSS feed than I have with those kinds of numbers.

I’m not sure how long I’ll keep the plugin, especially if I’m not believing the numbers. My ego loves them, but the logical part of my mind doesn’t trust them. If you want to give it a try and see if your numbers are closer to reality, go for it.

Money Machine

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Two New WordPress Plugins

If you haven’t noticed, there are two new things on my blog that I have yet to talk about, and I owe both of them to two guys and two WordPress plugins.

The first was recommended by our friend Sire who wrote a post titled Wassupblogs Posts Are Copyright Protected With Digiprove. Yeah, long title, but he did bring to my attention this plugin from a company called Digiprove. What it does is adds a copyright to the bottom of each post that proves it’s from you originally. That way, if you have to fuss at someone because they’ve stolen your content, which happens often, and you need backup proof that it’s yours, the digital sign is there.

I’ve noticed most people who steal my content also steal other things of mine that sometimes don’t work for them, such as my ReadSpeaker plugin. This means that my copyright thing will be at the bottom of whatever they steal. Well, at least it’s supposed to be. One, it won’t go back and update it on previous posts, although I’ve found that if you go in and make an update to any older posts that it will add the proof. Two, every once in awhile it will skip an article if you’ve post-dated it, which is irritating but easily correctable. You have to sign up for the service, though it’s free for most of us, and then you’re good to go.

The second plugin was recommended by our friend Dennis while we were talking via instant messaging. He kept asking me why I didn’t have a retweet button on this blog, which I used to have, but the plugin I was using (the name of which escapes me now) kept locking up this blog. I asked him what he was using and he said Topsy. Now you’ll notice that at the top of each post, to the right, is this little box that you’ve probably seen on a host of other blogs. It makes retweeting easier if you choose to share this article. It also makes my friend Scott happy since he’d been copying my full blog links, which didn’t give him any room to add a comment, as this plugin also creates one of those tiny urls that are prevalent all over Twitter.

Anyway, if you’ve been looking for something that can handle this issue for you, there you go; enjoy.

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010-2019 Mitch Mitchell

Automatically Install WordPress Plugins

Man, the things you can learn. I’ve been using WordPress for over six years. There’s a lot of things I’ve learned along the way.

One of the best things about WordPress concerns plugins. They add functionality to most of the things we do, and when they work they’re great. When they don’t work we just get rid of them, plain and simple.

They’re easy to get to. Most of us will see something about one we want to try on a blog. I’ve written about many plugins on this blog including No Self Pings and All In One SEO; it’s not always positive.

I just learned something new about plugins. Turns out you don’t have to go anywhere to download one and then load it onto your site before you can do something with it. You can bypass all that noise and load it directly onto your blog through your plugins area in your administrative area.

What you do is click on Add New, and it takes you to a new screen most of you have probably never seen because I hadn’t. Then you use the search menu there to look for your plugin. If you know the name, you type it in there; if not, and you’re looking for a plugin that might do something specific, type that in.

You’ll come up with a list of plugins that pertain to your topic. If you knew the name of a particular plugin, it will be at the top. All you do is look to the far right of that plugin, click on Install, and the rest is history. All you’re left to do after that is click Activate, and you’re all set.

I can’t believe that all these years I’ve gone through the process of downloading a zip file to my computer, opening it up, moving the file out of there to my computer, having to upload… well, I’m betting y’all know the process as well. This is drastically simple, and it lends itself well to trying out a bunch of plugins and getting rid of them pretty quickly.

There you go; once again, we’ve all learned something new and easy; don’t ever try to say I don’t ever teach anything around here. 🙂

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

Andy Bailey Interview

Something special for y’all today. Andy Bailey of CommentLuv fame, has agreed to an interview on CommentLuv, plugins, and business in general. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb in saying this was one of the most important plugins of 2008, in my mind, and has helped the blogging community greatly; at least those who use it. This is great stuff; I hope you enjoy it:


1. Tell us about your business/businesses/websites.

The Comluv network was set up to act as a hub/portal for the 10,000+ users of the Commentluv plugin so they can register their site urls, see who clicks their links and looks at their info. It’s also a place where anyone with an internet connection can start a WordPress blog with the Commentluv plugin already installed for free.

There are lots of features on the site that are set up so new bloggers or those with limited free blogs can move to the next step of blogging. They can try out a new blog or import their old one and if they are happy with what they can do on a WordPress platform, they can carry on (for free). If they then go on to take their blogging a bit more seriously or want to make some income, they can become a supporter and get access to things like domain mapping and other awesome upgrades in the future like a global commentluv search engine or custom CMS themes and an ecommerce shop theme.

I have a number of other sites and run a web design company too. (oh and a Chinese Takeaway & delivery shop)

2. What made you think about doing CommentLuv in the first place?

It was to fulfill a need, I wanted to reward my blog readers. Not the ones who came, looked and went but the ones that took the time to comment and build a discussion around my posts. There were a few other widgets that got released at the time that were supposed to do that but I found that they only rewarded the blogs that were already popular, the more hits you got, the more links you got etc. I didn’t think was fair just to reward those who needed it the least, that didn’t make sense! so I wrote commentluv to level the field and reward every blogger who comments with a titled backlink to their site.

It was only for my own site and the first version only worked for people that commented who had wordpress blogs themselves, but as soon as it went on my blog, people started asking for a copy. The rest, as they say, is history.

3. How do you find the time to work on it?

It’s my hobby, my passion. It consumes every spare moment!

It’s harder and harder to put the time in because it’s getting more and more complex with a hundred new ideas and (sometimes) bugs to fix every day. If it was my entire job then I’d be fine but I run a Chinese takeaway and a company too so it’s even harder to find the time to go through code, answer support, write new content, make tutorials, market the site, visit bloggers, catch spam, delete spam and all the other ‘normal’ things that having an online life means.

But, after saying all that, I wouldn’t change it for anything. I luv it.

4. Have you only received positive comments about it?

The comments I receive are wonderful, I regularly get emails, phone calls and sometimes donations via paypal from happy users. It’s what keeps me going when I see someone write a long and detailed post about commentluv or start a series of posts about how to use commentluv blogs with proper comments to increase site traffic/community.

The only negative comments I get are from users who didn’t read the instructions properly or are trying to do everything too quickly without making proper backups. I can fix most problems pretty quickly because there’s only a few things that can go wrong with a script include so they normally cheer up when it starts working!

Overall, there always seems to be something positive to read about it every morning in my inbox.

5. Have you made any money from it?

Nope. Not a dime. In fact, it costs me money from my own pocket! That’s ok though, there are avenues for passive revenue like the Adsense that appears on the search page and some of my own 125×125 ads I show create a commission payment now and then which helps with the server costs.

There’s plenty of time to make money! I think I can just worry about making the site good, the features work and keep it improving and when that happens, just the sheer amount of traffic and being able to communicate with over 10,000 registered users (now) and the millions who see the comentluv badge below a comment form in an instant will surely open up monetization opportunities.

I do have ideas and code ready for when the site is fully stable as a free option and the userbase goes over 50,000. Things like a supporter option where a user can pay a small monthly fee and get more space, use their own domain name, access to a newsletter software, CMS themes and other ‘premium’ options for paid subscribers only but I think it’s important to get the free side of the site completely stable first before I start trying to make money from it.

I have implemented adverts on the main site and users of comluv can signup to be an affiliate for selling those and make 50% of the fee, maybe that can bring in some revenue to pay for the awesome server I had to upgrade to but, this is my hobby, I enjoy it and if I didn’t do it, I’d spend more on radio control helicopters or start drinking at the pub so I’m not too worried about getting-rich-quick. (unless I get completely bought out by one of the blogging/commenting platform companies!)

If I do it right and get the site and plugin popular enough and used by enough people, there wont be any need to charge anyone anything. If I can continue to find ways for people to make money from their site, all I’ll need is a tiny piece of it for providing the platform they use to make it and I’ll be set. 1% of 100 peoples effort is the same as 100% of my own. Imagine if I got 1% of a million peoples effort? No need to do the math.

6. Have you won any awards from it?

Yes, I won the WPMU plugin contest with it when it went to the new 2.0 version. I got a free WPMU premium account as part of my prize which has been instrumental to me being able to build the new network site. Best thing I have ever won from my pc (apart from a massive lottery syndicate win from my online lotto business).

7. How does one go about creating a plugin?

It’s easy peasy, I didn’t know anything about php before I got a version of wordpress installed! Everything I learnt about programming came from the web, for free. Just start simple, find some tutorials to get you started and the rest is just making the format of the file correct. Don’t try to make a new akismet or cforms straight away, try a flickr image widget or other simple get and display plugin and ask around on the wp forums or visit the squillions of wp specific blogs.

8. With everything going on, do you still have time to blog?

Blogging helps me release the words in my head that have no place elsewhere, it’s my inner-monologue on screen sometimes. It helps me remember what I’m doing if it’s down on paper/keyboard too! I wish I had more time to make the type of posts that are floating around in my head but, I can’t have commentluv and have that type of blog experience at the same time so I try to do the best I can with what time I have.

That to me is the best thing about blogging, I do it because its fun, its nice to reach out and touch people without ever leaving the comfy man-cave that is my office and there are no obligations or standards of performance quotas to reach. If you think it, you can blog it. If you don’t have time, never mind!

9. Do you have another plugin on the horizon?

I have about a billion ideas and quite a few proof of concept scripts floating around the pc. I have a cracking one in mind for twitter and some “make it so anyone can do it” plugins too but, with the popularity of commentluv and the sheer amount of effort it takes to keep a plugin and site up to date, there’s not much hope for releasing them (yet)

10. Have you achieved everything you expected or hoped for with CommentLuv?

All I wanted to do was reward my readers and provide a way for others to do the same without needing a degree in computers or an established community so I guess you could say I have achieved everything I first expected from commentluv but there is so much more to be discovered and added. I really want another day in the week, hell, even an extra hour a day would make a difference!

11. One last question; what’s up for Andy Bailey next?

I’d really like to get a good company as a partner, someone with a team of programmers, developers, designers and marketers so I could hand over the maintenance and feature updates to them and concentrate on coming up with the good ideas and seeing them through to fruition. I already have a book of notes and folders of code for what I would like to add to the site to help people with the blogging, even make them an income but as always, time (or the lack of it) and supporting the users of the existing fruits prevents me from working on them enough to share them.

The sky’s the limit though, as long as I have a keyboard and an internet connection I will always have something to do ‘next’.

As I said, great stuff from Andy. If you’re not already on CommentLuv, you should be, and if you are, let Andy know how much you enjoy it. I did.