blogging

Export feature comes to wordpress.com, making it truly the best place for new bloggers to get their feet wet

Posted on June 12, 2006. Filed under: blogging, WordPress Themes, WordPress.com |

WordPress.com finally offers the ability for users to export their blog entries to an xml formatted document. This gives wordpress.com users the flexability of moving their blog to, say, their own webserver where they have the full version of WordPress installed.

I had previously posted about how great it is that WordPress.com has an import feature, but where was the export feature — well now we have it.

While WordPress.com is truly an amazing blogging environment/platform/community, and certainly the best way for new users to start blogging, some may outgrow it, finding they want the full functionality offered by installed wordpress on their own server. The main differences between wordpress.com and running wordpress 2.0.2 on your own server include your choice of plugins, themes (there are over 875 free wordpress themes available for download or you can create your own), the ability to serve up google adsense ads and utilize javascript within your blog, etc.

For those who want to get a glimpse at what using wordpress is like, but are too intimidated to deal with installing it themselves, etc, wordpress.com just may be the perfect solution. Without question they will grow to love it. The only question is whether it will spark the desire to take the plunge and go with WordPress 2.0.2 — and now, if they want to do that, they can easily bring their blog with them by using the new export feature!

Thanks wordpress! Been waiting for this one!

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WordPress.com Stats – more than meets the eye – you can customize them to show stats for as many days as you’d like

Posted on March 27, 2006. Filed under: blogging, feature requests, WordPress.com |

It's nice that WordPress.com provides us with the ability to view some vital items from our blog's statistics in the Dashboard|Blog Stats area. And I love the graph that shows the traffic over the past 30 days (although I wish you could click on any of the points in the graph and have it show you detailed stats for that particular day, rather than just the number of visitors).

However, it's disappointing that wordpress.com is setup by default to just show you your detailed stats for the previous seven days. But while there isn't a link for it on your stats page, you CAN actually see stats for as many days as you'd like – you just need to modify the URL.

For example, when you click on Referrers from your Blog Stats, it shows you all of the referrers for the past 7 days. But what if you want a more detailed history of referrers to your blog? No worries! Simply change the url from the default one of:

https://YOURSUBDOMAINGOESHERE.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=stats&view=referrers&numdays=7

to replace the 7 at the end to the actual number of days you want stats for – 30, 60, 90, 100, the choice is yours to make!

The same logic holds true for viewing Search Engine Terms – just change the 7 in the below URL to whatever number of days you'd like:

https://YOURSUBDOMAIN.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=stats&view=searchterms&numdays=7

 

And, of course, the same is also true for Top Posts – replace the 7 below with the number of days you want to see Top Posts for:
https://YOURSUBDOMAIN.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=stats&view=postviews&numdays=7 

 

You can even change it for Summarized Stats of Top Posts – change the 30 below to your chosen count and presto:

https://YOURSUBDOMAIN.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=stats&view=postviews&numdays=30&summarize 

 

 Hope that helps some of you access some of the stats for your blog that you may have thought were buried 🙂

And thanks, wordpress.com, for keeping our stats for so long and making them accessible – now if only we could have a user interface from the dashboard to get at them instead of tweaking the URLs (hint hint – and while I'm at it, how bout offering summary reports for Referrers and Search Engine Terms, as well?) 

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Problem with posts disappearing days after importing them from TypePad to WordPress 2.0.2

Posted on March 27, 2006. Filed under: blogging, problems, WordPress 2.0, WordPress 2.0.2 |

I asked for help on this in WordPress Support, but got no response from anyone in the community:
One of my posts has disappeared and I can't reimport it from TypePad, either!!
On friday I noticed that two of the posts that I had originally created while still hosting How to Blog
at blogging.typepad.com but which I'd since ported over to WordPress had up and disappeared. I had exported all of my
posts/comments/trackbacks from TypePad and then imported them into WordPress 2.0.1 on March 7th (and then later upgraded to
2.0.2).

The posts *did* originally get imported, comments
and all, and were reachable at:

http://www.emilyrobbins.com/how-to-blog/starting-a-new-blog-get-your-own-domain-name-do-not-use-a-subdomain-of-typepadcom-wordpresscom-blogspotcom-etc-334.htm

http://www.emilyrobbins.com/how-to-blog/trackback-spam-a-nightmare-for-typepad-users-while-wordpress-anti-spam-filters-and-plugins-make-for-smooth-sailing-291.htm

Now when one clicks on either link, it generates a 404 error.

The first post is entitled, "Starting a new blog? Get your own domain
name! Do NOT use a subdomain of typepad.com, wordpress.com,
blogspot.com (etc)", and the second one, "Trackback spam a nightmare for TypePad users, while WordPress anti-spam filters and plugins make for smooth sailing".

I have NO idea how and when these posts all of a sudden disappeared but I can guarantee you I sure as **** didn't delete them.

I figured – don't panic – I can just reimport the posts with all of their comments and trackbacks. So I logged back into my old typepad
account and exported my posts and then found the posts in question and
created a txt file that just contained those posts, and their corresponding comments and
trackbacks. I then went to wordpress's IMPORT feature, and chose to
import from movabletype. When I browsed to the file and told it to
import it, I get the following error message:

1. Post Starting a new blog? Get your own domain name!
Do NOT use a subdomain of typepad.com, wordpress.com, blogspot.com
(etc) already exists.

Yet any searches for any of the text from the title or the body of
those posts (either from w/in the blog search itself OR the admin search)
do not turn up either post. The posts aren't listed in my archives, and as
I mentioned, going to their original link now returns a 404 error.

I'm more than a little bit concerned here, for a number of reasons:

  • How did these posts disappear? Why aren't they showing up anymore on my blog (not even as a draft) when I manage my posts?
  • As the posts no longer appear to exist on my blog, why won't
    WordPress allow me to reimport them (and it's comments and trackbacks)?
    How can it say that the posts already exists (which they should…) if they aren't accessible anywhere on the site or from within the wordpress
    interface?

Very disturbing – and also troublesome that noone in WP support bothered to even take a stab at addressing my question..

Has anyone else experienced problems with posts disappearing from their WordPress 2.0.2 sites?

Update: I've been able to import the posts themselves by subtly changing the post names — yet WordPress 2.0.2 still refuses to import all of the comments and trackbacks for those posts!  This is so bizarre – and I really don't get it, because when I was still in the phase of deciding whether to move from TypePad to WP, I'd experimented with exporting from typepad and importing into wordpress in the location How to Blog currently resides, although I hadn't announced the move and still left the TypePad site up with comments open.  When an existing post would get new comments or trackbacks, all I had to do was re-export the site from typepad and re-import it into WordPress for it to discover the new comments and trackbacks….so why can't it find them for these 'vanishing posts'??

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‘How to Blog’ blog finally moved from TypePad to WordPress

Posted on March 8, 2006. Filed under: blogging, WordPress 2.0, WordPress 2.0.1 |

Well it’s official! I finally moved my blog on How to Blog from it’s old location at blogging.typepad.com on TypePad to a new WordPress powered site at http://www.emilyrobbins.com/how-to-blog/

Please check it out and update your bookmarks, inbound links, and RSS feeds accordingly 🙂

I’m really excited to finally have my main blog powered by WP, but right now am stuck in the awful tedium that accompanies making such a switch (especially since I didn’t use my own domain name for my TypePad site..) — I hope I don’t lose all of my traffic as a result of the switch since TypePad doesn’t support 301 permanent redirects — I’ve gone from PR6 to PR3 and hope it my pagerank and traffic are restored soon…

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Next Blog surfing implemented on wordpress.com

Posted on February 10, 2006. Filed under: blogging, WordPress 2.0, WordPress.com |

How cool!  One of the features I requested appears to have been implemented (and I’m sure I was the only one who requested it and am the sole reason it got implemented (not) but it’s still uber-cool to see your ideas come to life 🙂

The admin panel at the top of the screen that appears when you are viewing a wordpress.com blog now has a new link on it that says, “Next Blog”.  Clicking it takes you to another wordpress.com hosted blog that’s been (I assume) randomly selected.  If you see something cool you like, you have the option to “Add to Blogroll”.  Not interested?  Click “Next Blog” and surf on over to see what the next blogger has in store for you.

I love this because it emphasizes the community feel of having a wordpress.com blog.

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How to Add Technorati Tags to your WordPress.com posts THE EASY WAY

Posted on January 7, 2006. Filed under: blogging, WordPress 2.0, WordPress.com |

OK, so it took me a minute but I figured it out.  If you read my last post, I was trying to figure out how to get the uber-cool FireFox extension Performancing to add technorati tags to my posts, as I’d read it was capable of doing (and since this ‘feature’ is noticeably lacking  on WordPress.com, although Lorelle has a great post about a tagging bookmarklet for wordpress.com users)

Anyway, the mystery wasn’t such a mystery if I’d taken a closer look at the settings dialog box.  In addition to their being a box to check to automatically add the technorati tags to your post, there’s another checkbox (which also is unchecked by default) to ‘Show Extra Publishing Features’.  This needs to be checked in order to add the technorati tags to your post.  Once you’ve checked that, you’ll notice that your editor now has a new button to the right of the post title called “Publishing Options”.  Clicking that opens a sidebar window wherein you can enter your technorati tags in a comma seperated list.  Note that there is also a button there that says, “Add Tags to post” — if you have your settings set to auto-add the tags you do not want to click this button because it will then add the tags twice.

As this will be my first post utilizing this feature, I’m excited to see how it turns out!

UPDATE: Now that I’ve published the post and seen how it works, it is clear that it is a super-easy way to add technorati tagging to your posts, helping you get indexed better for the appropriate keywords on technorati without having to add them all as categories.  However, Lorelle’s version of adding tags to your posts does so in a way that I prefer — making the links for each of the tags search her blog for posts with that tag, rather than taking them to the technorati site.  Much better implementation of it, in my opinion.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

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Cool FireFox 1.5 extension named Performancing let’s you easily blog to WordPress.com and other blogs straight from your browser

Posted on January 7, 2006. Filed under: blogging, WordPress 2.0, WordPress.com |

This is my first post to my blog using Performancing, which, once you give it the account information for your wordpress.com blog (it also works with blogger, movable type, wordpress installs on your own host (for which you have to choose ‘custom blog’), etc) allows you to post directly from your browser.  It makes it particularly easy to blog about any page you happy to be surfing past, which is very cool.  And you can set it up for as many blogs as you have (I for one have lost count)

Not only is the wysiwyg editor easier and faster to use (and less quirky), but it also provides more functionality (such as increase and decrease text size, change text color, full justify as an alignment option, and blockquotes.  You can also edit the html directly really easily, and supposedly it is supposed to also allow you to add technorati tags to your posts and automatically insert them for you (which is the main reason why I installed this FireFox extension)
.  I checked the option in the settings to have it auto-add the tags, but I don’t see anywhere to actually specify the tags you want to use (and finally figured out that I needed to also check the option to show advanced editing options.

Will post more about this tool later after I’ve used it more.  Let’s see how succesfully it publishes this to my blog (and how quickly…)

In answer to the ‘how quickly’ question — oh my god is it uber-fast!!  (Possible bug though — this line was previously bolded, and upon reediting the post it now shows up as unformatted text…)

I can see myself falling in love with this beautiful firefox extension

See my next post for instructions on how to add the technorati tags to your post

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

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WordPress.com sporting some new theme options

Posted on January 5, 2006. Filed under: blogging, WordPress Themes, WordPress.com |

As you can see, I’ve changed the presentation of my blog to take advantage of one of the new themes that’s been added to the (hopefully continually growing) list of themes one can use here at WordPress.com.  The theme is called Regulus, by Binary Moon, and one of the coolest things about it is the degree of customizability that it offers.

At present, when you select the Regulus theme for your WordPress.com blog’s presentation, you can customize it by clicking on Presentation in your dashboard, and then clicking the tab for Current Theme Options.

You can choose from 8 different Header Images (wouldn’t it be cool if we could upload our own??)

There are 5 color schemes to select from.

Then you have sidebar options, wherein you can choose to include (or not) the following blog items:

  • Show Calendar
  • Show Meta Content (login, Site Admin, etc)
  • Display Admin options (only for admin user when logged in) – btw, I think this option is pretty cool
  • Show recent posts
  • Show all archive months
  • Use Link Categories in blog roll

You can also provide some personal information about yourself which will then be used to automatically create an about page for you.

Now, if only every theme gave us such flexibility!  (I’m never satisfied).  I’d also like to see the ability to customize the font and text colors (so many of the available themes have color schemes wherein the hyperlinks don’t stand out very much), the ability to not only select what’s in the sidebar but also the ORDER in which those items display, I could go on and on.

In the meantime, let’s just stick with the gushing excitement over the theme options that WordPress.com coupled with Regulus provides, and look forward to hopefully more themes that are as customizable in the future so that our WordPress.com blogs can reflect our own personal styles a tad more 🙂

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Welcome to WordPress Blogging Tips at blogging.wordpress.com

Posted on September 6, 2005. Filed under: blogging, WordPress 2.0, WordPress.com |

I recently received an invite to WordPress.com, a hosted multi-user version of WordPress that I assume aims to compete directly with TypePad, Blogger, and other hosted blogging platforms. As those who have used WordPress know, it is an extraordinarily versatile and feature-rich blogging platform that is hard to beat — unless you a) don't have web hosting; b) don't have access to mysql databases (something your webhost should be able to install for you); c) don't feel comfortable or know how to use FTP to upload files; and/or d) want to customize the look and feel (theme) of your blog, but aren't familiar with php or css.

WordPress.com is a hosted, somewhat modified version of WordPress (actually it's based off of the WordPress Multi-User code) that takes all of those worries away, but at the expense of offering less customizability and power than the downloadable/install-on-your-own-server version of WordPress. I've got to say that it's very impressive for a free hosted blogging solution, and easily knocks Google's Blogger out of the water (categories and trackbacks are critical features that blogger doesn't have), but it will remain to be seen whether the final public version of WordPress.com bulks up it's feature set a bit more in order for it to dominate the hosted blog field and be the platform of choice over Six Apart's TypePad for those who are more interested in blogging than in mucking with code.

I run the website How to Blog, which used to be hosted on TypePad but I finally took the plunge and ported it over to WordPress. On that site I have documented my own experiences with learning how to blog, comparing the different blogging platforms and tools, and providing tips and tricks to help other bloggers get going.

Here at WordPress Blogging Tips, you can expect more of the same – but the focus will be for WordPress users – especially wordpress.com users.

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    About

    A ‘How To Blog’ guide for Wordpress users, with tips and tricks, theme and plugin info and reviews, and more

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