Category Archives: Blogging + CMS’s

4 WordPress themes ready for advertising

I’ve been doing some research into WordPress themes that are built with space and/or widgets ready for advertising, so I thought I’d share some of my findings. Here are four of the top-ranking, responsive designs.

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“Bangkok Press” Theme

Bragging rights:

  • 7 video tutes on YouTube help you with set-up
  • localization ready
  • drag and drop page builder
  • 1800 downloads; 210 ratings; 5-star average

Bangkok Press, above the fold on a 1280 x 800 monitor (not shown actual size):

Bangkok Press, above the fold

Learn more: Theme info page on ThemeForest

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“Deadline” Theme

Bragging rights:

  • widgetized home page
  • localized and translatable
  • English, French and German translation files included
  • 2600 downloads; 360 reviews; 4-star average

Deadline, above the fold on a 1280 x 800 monitor (not shown actual size)

Deadline, above the fold

Learn more: Theme info page on ThemeForest

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“Gonzo” Theme

Bragging rights:

  • built to work with AdPress, and still be responsive
  • built-in review system; lets users rate products, for example.
  • can use Facebook comments on-site
  • 3700 downloads; 385 ratings; 5-star average

Gonzo, above the fold on a 1280 x 800 monitor (not shown actual size):

Gonzo, above the fold

Page showing ad sizes available.

Learn more: Theme info page on ThemeForest
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“Sahifa” Theme

Bragging rights:

  • built-in review system; lets users rate products, for example.
  • 9 advertising widgets
  • translation-ready
  • 2700 downloads; 385 ratings; 5-star average

Sahifa, above the fold on a 1280 x 800 monitor (not shown actual size):

Sahifa, above the fold

Learn more: Theme info page on ThemeForest

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All four themes, as seen on a mobile phone:

If it’s likely that users will be viewing your site on their smartphone — and that’s more and more true every day — you should check any themes you’re considering on one or two mobile devices. This will help you think through which one works best at that size for critical features like navigation. Note that in the four themes shown above, the advertising disappears on two of them.

ad-ready themes, mobile view

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Why I like ThemeForest

  • You can quickly see how many times each theme has been downloaded, and every theme is ranked by users.
  • Every theme includes a link to a fully functional, populated example.
  • “Comments” page gives you a feel for how often developers run into problems with the theme, and how responsive the author is.
  • The filtering system for searching for a theme with certain features just rocks! (WordPress could learn a thing or two from them.)
  • And yes (full disclosure), I get a commission if someone buys a theme via one of my referral links. (You could, too!) But I only recommend companies I have used and love.
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WordPress user roles

matroyska-dolls-550-390

Administrator, Editor, Author… Can an Editor control pages? Can a Contributor delete media files? The various roles available to users of WordPress sites can be confusing.

I’ve created a simple chart outlining most of the common tasks involved in creating and maintaining a site, and showing which types of users are able to do what. Click on the image below to view it full size.

wp-user-roles-chart_10-28-2013.pdf

Hope this is helpful!

Should my entry be a post or a page?

The difference between posts and pages can sometimes be confusing — especially if your site uses custom menus that contain a mix of pages and categories.

So if you’re trying to figure out whether the new content you’re posting should be a post or a page, this post vs. page info graphic should help you figure that out. (Click the link to see the graphic as a large page.)

post-vs-page2-700x280

Note: These instructions are for a template which uses a “slider” (aka, slide show) on the home page. That criteria would also apply to a site that has one or more featured images on the home page. If your site has neither, just ignore that decision box.

How to create a PayPal button on a WordPress site.

oversize-paypal-button-w-cursor-440x240

If you use the standard approach to creating a PayPal button on a WordPress.com site, WordPress strips out some of the code, and the button won’t work. (The standard process works fine on a WordPress.org site. Log in to your PayPall account, click the “Merchant Services” tab, and follow the prompts from there.)

However, there is a simple way to create a “Buy Now” button so that it will work correctly on a WordPress.com site.

Choose a button image to use. Here are a few addresses of images you may find suitable:

https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_buynow_SM.gif

https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_buynow_LG.gif

https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_buynowCC_LG.gif

https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_paynow_SM.gif

https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_paynow_LG.gif

https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_paynowCC_LG.gif

To download it, right-click on your chosen image and choose “Save image as.” Then save it to wherever you like. (You could also create your own button, if you’re handy like that.)

Now, do the following:

1. Log in to your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com/.

2. Click the “Merchant Services” tab.

3. Click the large button that says, “Create payment buttons for your website.”

4. Choose the type of button you’d like to create, and complete the form.

4.5 – IMPORTANT: Do NOT do anything with the “Customize button” box. Doing so will create code that invalidates this method.

5. Click the yellow “Create Button” at the bottom of the form.

6. ALSO IMPORTANT: Don’t use the HTML code in the first box you see. Click the “Email” tab, then select and copy that code.

Now, go back to the WordPress window, and on the page (or post) editor screen, insert the button image (the one you downloaded earlier), just as you would any other image. While still in the image upload window, look for the field titled “Link URL”, and paste the PayPal email link there. Click “Update” in the image upload window, click “Update” on your page or post editing screen, and you should now have a fully functioning “Buy Now” button on your site.

Find free images to use on your blog

Sure, you can use Google Images, but those aren’t always copyright free — and you should use only copyright free images or images for which you’ve purchased copyrights.

You may already know about low-cost options like iStock and StockFresh. But here are a few good sources for images that are both copyright free and cost free:

owl eyes from Photo Pin

Photo Pin – Good quality images, for the most part; the search results can be a little wonky, though. (The image above is from Photo Pin. Photo credit: Hamed Saber via photo pin cc )

Morguefile – The search works fairly well, but the image quality is very uneven. There’s a lot of bad stuff (bad composition, terrible lighting, no creativity, etc.), but there’s also the occasional gem.

Wikimedia Commons – This collection leans heavily toward historical, technical and scientific collections. For example, you can find drawings by Van Goghmaps of cities, or anatomical plates of the human body. (Art nerd heaven!)

Here’s a post listing four other sites (in addition to Photo Pin) that are good sources for free image.

WordPress can do it!

10 — nay, 17 — nifty things you can do in WordPress

As I’ve been learning WordPress, I’ve begun amassing a collection of how-to’s. I just created a new page where I’ll be posting those, for my future reference — and yours! I’ve got 10 11 17 things posted so far; I’m sure there will be more to come. Check it out!