April 25, 2010

WordPress – 5 Must Have Plug-ins

WordPress – 5 Must Have Plug-ins

by Deloris Mansfield – April 25, 2010

Last week we reviewed blogging pink viagra for women powerhouse, WordPress.  In this Tech Tip, we’ll look at some tools, widgets and plug-ins to optimize your site to its fullest potential.As stated in the last Tech Tip, there are two versions of WordPress – .com and .org.  To enhance your WordPress.com site you have some basic widgets available from the WordPress Dashboard.  Under the drop down menu for Appearance, you’ll find a Widget tab that displays about 30 different widgets for your sidebar(s).  Unless otherwise, noted, these tools and plug-ins are for use with WordPress.org.

All in One SEO Pack

One of the most popular plug-ins, All In One SEO Pack, is streamlined for some best practices for WordPress SEO. Some benefits include:

  • Fine tune Page Navigational Links
  • ONLY plug-in to provide SEO Integration for WordPress e-Commerce sites
  • Support for CMS-style WordPress installations
  • Automatically optimizes your titles for search engines
  • Generates META tags automatically
  • Avoids the typical duplicate content found on WordPress blogs
  • For beginners, it works out-of-the-box. Just install.
  • For advanced users, you can fine-tune everything

WordPress Comments Notifier

Brought to you by Google, WordPress Comments Notifier works just like gmail notifier. It's a great tool that lets you know when new comments are posted to your blog and allows you to manage/reply/edit your comments directly from your desktop. The program sits in the System Tray and keeps checking your blog for new comments.  If there is something new you'll see a popup window in the bottom-right corner of your screen. You can then open this window and moderate comments right from your desktop.

Visitor Contact Forms

It's rare to find a web site without a way to contact the author.  The safest way is via a Contact Form. No worries about bots scraping your site to grab your email address for spamming.  This simple WordPress plug-in has these key features:

  • Geocoding – Know the location of people contacting you
  • Captcha Spam Protection
  • Auto Responder
  • Contact Manager
  • Google Maps
  • Twitter Follow
  • Skype Status

For WordPress.com users, you too can have a simple contact form, just insert this code [contact-form] into the HTML section of your Contact page.


In Tech Tip 257 we looked at ways to monetize your blogs and web sites through affiliate marketing. A simple plug-in, 123Linkit easily integrates WordPress with affiliate marketing. It analyzes relevant keywords and ranks them in relevancy to your post. Then it matches those keywords to the appropriate affiliate links. Write your post as you normally do and then click on "Add affiliate links". It cloaks the links and changes the keywords into regular hyperlinks.It’s free to use, however 123LinkIt will do a 70-30 revenue share. You get 70 cents on each dollar of commission.  Right now, it only works with Commission Junction merchants such as Geeks.com but they say more networks are on the way.  Perfect for those who really don't want to be bothered with all that is involved with affiliate marketing but are open to making a few extra bucks.

WordPress e-Commerce

If you're looking for full service e-commerce shopping cart tool for your web site and products then consider a WordPress Shopping Cart Plugin that is truly easy to use.  Just like WordPress, the WordPress e-Commerce plug-in is an Open Source project, which means everything from the documentation to the code itself, was created by and for the WordPress community.If you're just looking for a simple donation or subsciption payment plan try Easy Paypal.

Even More Plug-Ins

As just stated, WordPress is an OpenSource project so people all over the world are constantly contributing to it by adding new plug-ins. You can search the Internet and find countless plug-ins, themes and tools.  Mashable has a nice list of about three hundred.   These aren't necessarily reviewed by the WordPress community so exercise caution before downloading any files.As we mentioned last time, WordPress.org is where the rubber meets the road in terms of blog development. You're only limited by what code exists.  The only caveat is that since it's OpenSource, it's kind of like the Wild West out there with no one entity overseeing the countless plug-ins. Check to make sure the developer has stayed on top of their project and that it is compatible with the version of WordPress you are using.  You can search the WordPress Plug-In Repository for a list over 9,000 available plug-in and tools with ratings, reviews and compatibility. 

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April 21, 2010



by Deloris Mansfield – April 18, 2010

Blogging has come a long way since we first talked about it back in 2006 with Tech Tips 61-64. What started out more as a personal journal has morphed into a professional/business, media/journalism tool. Now, organizations like the New York Times and MTV use blog software to power the “Comments” sections and more on their web sites. Media outlets like CNN, MSNBC and Fox News have editorial blogs.  No doubt your own hometown newspaper’s online version utilizes some form of blog software as well.We covered many of the blog platforms three years ago in Tech Tips 130, but today, the de facto leader of the pack is WordPress. WordPress is to blog, as Kleenex is to tissue as Xerox is to copier. We’re not going to delve into the history of WordPress in this Tech Tip but if you’re interested, you can learn more here.  An estimated 200+ million web sites are powered by WordPress. As stated on their web site: "[WordPress] hosts CNN's Political Ticker, Dow Jones' AllThingsD; NFL, Time Inc's The Page, People Magazine's Style Watch; famous bloggers like Mark Cuban, John Scalzi, and Joy Behar; corporate blogs for Flickr and KROQ; and many more.


Let's get the big one out of the way right now. WordPress is FREE but as robust as you could want. You can have as many blogs as you want under just one account.  They can be whatever you choose them to be; share them with the public or keep it private.  You can display the full content of your post or just excerpts and it allows you to password protect your blog. WordPress has built-in RSS feeds to distribute your most recent posts or categories. If you'd rather have more of a web site than blog look, simply make your front page a static page rather than the most recent posts.You get full Comment moderation so that you can approve or delete remarks. Another advantage is WordPress's proprietary overnight viagra spam filter – Akismet – which keeps the junk out of your Comments section.You can add "widgets" to your sidebar and rearrange them by simply dragging and dropping them. Some of the widgets included with WordPress are Links, Search Form, Pages, Categories, Calendar, your tweets from Twitter, arbitrary text or HTML and lots more. New widgets are added all the time. It's a snap to add Media such as pictures, video, audio, polls and even files like PDFs, Powerpoint presentations, Word documents.  You can create galleries and slideshows of your photos, artwork etc.Constantly on the cutting edge, there are plenty of WordPress Apps for iPhone, Blackberry and Android, as well as Apps for Desktop and Microblogging. Check them all out here. Since WordPress is an Open Source project, it gives you an OpenID identity. WordPress OpenID lets you create an online identity that you can use anywhere where OpenID is supported.  To find your OpenID, go to the WordPress Dashboard and under Settings you'll find an OpenID tab.This only scratches the surface of the power and potential of WordPress.  Explore the web site for more information.


Themes are design templates that affect the visual layout and appearance of your blog. Think of it like a "skin". Currently, there are more than 1,100 free themes to choose from for WordPress.org and more than 75 at the freely hosted WordPress.com, with more constantly added. You have your choice of single column themes or 2-3 columns or sidebars. Changing the appearance is a snap with WordPress.com, just click a button and you're done. The sky's the limit if you are hosting your own WordPress blog with thousands of free themes, just do a Google search. If you're looking for a more high-end, versatile look, shop around at sites like PremiumPress.com or Thesis.


There are basically two versions of WordPress*.  If you’re just looking for a fast and easy way to set up a nice looking blog with some cool bells and whistles, then your best option is the free version you can access at WordPress.com.  You’ll have a personal URL for your blog such as yourblogname.WordPress.com and the site is hosted for free by WordPress.  You can tweak your site with sidebar widgets, Polls, Calendars and more but you are limited to what WordPress.com has to offer. They do offer upgrades for things like CSS editing and custom domains but for a fee.If you want ultimate control over your site, then consider WordPress.org.  While the software itself is also free to make use of all it has to offer, you’ll need a domain name, a hosting company and an FTP Program to upload the WordPress files to your server. WordPress Software uses a PHP and MySQL platform,  so make sure your host  supports PHP/MySQL. The PHP coding language creates the look and feel of the web site while MySQL stores all the content like your blog posts, options and comments.*Presently there is a third version of WordPress, WordPressMU for multi-users. It allows you to  run unlimited blogs with unlimited users with a single install of WordPress. Universities would be a prime example of a WordPressMU user. WordPress.com is itself a WordPressMU account.  However, word has it that WordPressMU is going to be incorporated into WordPress 3.0 which is in Beta testing since the beginning of April 2010.


You might consider signing up for hosting with Godaddy or Dreamhost which offer One Step WordPress installation.  They do all the work for you.  A domain name and hosting will probably run you around $100 per year. Check for deals. You can research and compare different hosting companies at WhoIsHostingThis.com.  But again, make sure your host supports PHP/MySQL.There are numerous fee-based FTP programs such as WS_FTP, FileZilla, FTP Explorer. However, if you use Firefox as your browser, there's a FREE FTP Add-on called FireFTP. FireFTP works with Mac and Windows based systems and once installed, is easily accessible from the TOOLS tab in the browser. Doesn't get any easier than that.


There are plenty of resources to guide you through the WordPress world.  We highly recommend  “WordPress for Dummies, Version 2” by Lisa Sabin-Wilson.  You might want to check your local library for a copy first, as Version 3 is set for release in August, 2010.   Lisa walks you through all the basics as well as the advanced features of WordPress in very clear but not over-simplifed steps.  You can also check your area's community college or Adult Education Program for classes to attend.  If you're more of an online student, check out Jeremy Phillips' KickTheWebGeek.com (no relation).  He's currently offering 14 clear and concise video tutorials for $1.  Yep, just a buck and he'll have you up and running on WordPress in about an hour.  There are also more videos than you could ever watch available at WordPress.TV.


While you might want to start out with WordPress.com to get your feet wet, WordPress.org is where the rubber meets the road. The possibilities are endless with a plethora of plug-ins you can use.  Next week we'll look at some of the top plug-ins and WordPress tools to really make your site stand out. You can build a full e-commerce web site, utilize it as a Content Management System and much, much more.   And once you've got that site up and running, revisit Tech Tip 257, where we discussed making money with blogs and web sites.Do you use WordPress? Let us know in the Comments section some of your favorite tips and tricks and plug-ins.

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April 19, 2010

U.K. Passes Internet Censorship and Disconnection Law

Call To Action by Tim Jones

Late Thursday night the U.K. Parliament passed the controversial Digital Economy Bill, which grants the U.K. government sweeping new powers to control access to the Internet.

The Digital Economy Bill has been the subject of heavy entertainment industry lobbying and widespread concern amongst U.K. citizens and telecommunications companies because it included provisions that would allow the U.K. government to censor websites considered "likely to be used for or in connection with an activity that infringes copyright," and disconnect the Internet connection of any household in the U.K. with an IP address alleged to have engaged in copyright infringement. Despite the many concerns expressed with the Bill's provisions, including questions by some Members of Parliament about whether these provisions could be used to block access to the Wikileaks website, the bill was rushed through organic viagra Parliament — apparently with several amendments that we're still assessing — after only two hours of debate in a special late-night "wash-up" session.

If you're in the U.K., we encourage you to join the Open Rights Group's campaign and express your views to your MPs now. You might also want to switch to an Internet Service Provider that understands the implications of the Digital Economy Bill and is willing to commit to protecting your civil liberties, like Talk Talk.

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April 17, 2010

ACTA Treaty: Can Seize, Destroy Your PC, Electronics

by Bill Lindner infopackets.com on 20100312 @ 12:44AM EST

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a far-reaching proposal that the U.S. government has insisted was too sensitive to be exposed to the public. Now that the 44-page (PDF) has been leaked, it’s easy to see why the U.S. wanted to keep it a secret. (Source: die-linke.de)

ACTA, in its present form, is heralded by the Film and Music industries and their fight against piracy. However, if upheld, citizens will pay a heavy price for their privacy.

Gov’t Can Search, Seize and Destroy Electronics

Former President George W. Bush and current President Barack Obama both favor ACTA, which is a result of countless millions of dollars in international lobbying money from the media industry.

ACTA was designed to enact the constant monitoring of everyone’s online activities — both legitimate and non-legitimate — and gives border agents in the U.S. and other member states the power to search and seize your equipment without a warrant. Effectively, it gives these officials the power to destroy U.S. citizens’ laptops, iPods or CDs if the agents suspect they might contain copyright-infringing content.

The worst part about giving border patrol agents the power to search and seize your electronics is that the U.S. citizens will be paying for it without their knowledge.

U.S. Keeps ACTA Secret from Public

Surprisingly, there are only a few nations named in the treaty that support the U.S. government’s intentions of keeping the terms of ACTA secret. Dutch officials ‘accidently’ leaked a memo from a secret ACTA negotiation meeting in Mexico detailing who supported keeping ACTA secret from citizens of member nations.

Belgium, Portugal, Germany, Denmark, South Korea and Singapore all supported keeping ACTA secret, with Denmark being the most vocal supporter of secrecy.

ACTA Secrecy Raises Questions

The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, Austria, the UK, and Japan all supported releasing ACTA details to the public. Japan and the UK were particularly vocal about transparency. Canada, Australia, ordering viagra and New Zealand weren’t listed in the memo, but have also advocated transparency.

The U.S. fought to keep the terms of ACTA secret, and with the help of a few nations supporting secrecy, successfully prevented ACTA details from being aired. Despite their best attempts at secrecy, much information about ACTA had already been made public due the the whistleblower websites like Wikileaks.org.

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QuickTime Alternative 3.2.0

Publisher: QuickTime Alternative
Last updated: April 15, 2010
File Size: 18.3 MB
OS Support: Windows XP/Vista/7
License: Freeware
Downloads: 10,065
User Rating:   (12 votes)
Select rating 5 (Best) 4 3 2 1 (Worst)

Click here to begin download

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Publisher's Description

Play QuickTime files (.mov, .qt and other extensions) without having to install QuickTime Player.

QuickTime Alternative is a trimmed down version of QuickTime that contains only the essential components needed for playing QuickTime content that is embedded in webpages.

Advantages of QuickTime Alternative are:

* Quick and easy install
* Ability to make an unattended installation
* No background processes
* No unwanted stuff and other nonsense
* Smaller size

Media Player Classic and ZoomPlayer are capable of playing QuickTime files by using the QuickTime framework that gets installed by QuickTime Alternative. Other players require DirectShow filters to be able to play QuickTime files.

If you want to play QuickTime files in Windows Media Player or another DirectShow based player, then it is recommended to install the K-Lite Codec Pack. That contains all the DirectShow filters that are required to play QuickTime files.


– Media Player Classic: this is a full-featured player which has internal decoding support for DVD, MPEG-2, MP3, order viagra online uk MP2, AAC, AC3 and DTS. It also has internal support for opening Matroska and Ogg containers. Media Player Classic is also capable of playing QuickTime and RealMedia content if those codecs are installed.
– QuickTime Codecs: required for playing QuickTime content.
– QuickTime DirectShow filter: allows you to play QuickTime content in all DirectShow enabled players.
Without this filter QuickTime content can only be played in Media Player Classic.
– QuickTime plugin for Internet Explorer: allows you to view QuickTime content that is embedded in a webpage. It is installed together with the QuickTime codecs.
– QuickTime plugin for Opera/Firefox/Mozilla/Netscape: allows you to view QuickTime content that is embedded in a webpage.
– Extra plugins for QuickTime: plugins for viewing some special formats that are sometimes used on webpages.
– CoreAVC: is an external filter for Media Player classic
– CoreAAC: is an AAC DirectShow filter decoder based on FAAD2

What's New:

* Updated Media Player Classic to version rev. 91
* Updated QuickTime framework to version
* Updated MOV Download Tool to version 1.1.1

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