1. Low Cost to start with:

Its open source and thus the platform itself is free to use and develop on – starting on WordPress is like less than half the cost of custom developing from scratch or using any other robust CMS.

2. Additional Functionality with Plugins:

WordPress community is huge and developing everyday – they contribute in the form of plugins which gives you additional functionality at ease and most of them are free or really low cost. Try to only use plugins which are regularly updated as it means the developer is active and it was not just a onetime thing.

3. Simple to Develop:

In comparison to any other robust Content Management Systems present out there, WordPress has the simplest of the code and is very documented – makes it really easy and simple to start developing on wordpress for anybody.

4. Beautiful Design for Branding:

Because of the flexibility of its code, the framework has no limitations in terms of design as most other CMS’s has – you can do anything to it in terms of design – no limitations really.

5. Fast Launching:

All the above factors makes the site development really fast and save you a lot of valuable time.

6. Themes – multiple prebuilt websites/blogs:

There are a huge bunch of themes available for use – free or low cost. If you are starting with a new concept then you can start with one of them rather going custom to start with – and as you grow and know your business better then you can start customizing – all depends on your business model. Just make sure that the theme you are selecting is not only just good to look at but has the simple management of the functionality in the backend so you can manage it simply (themes are not simply designs but a complete site but most of them available in the marketplace focus only on the design as thats the only thing an average person understands – the frontend).

7. SEO friendly:

It is built to be sear engine friendly – pings every time you do any update on the site. Apart from that there are multiple free plugins available for you to extend the SEO functionality and manage it easily all by yourself.

8. Updated very easily:

WordPress has regular updates and you can simply implement that with click of a button. Even the plugins are the same. So your website is tuned to the latest developments.

9. Easy Content Management:

Writing content in the backend is as simple as writing in MS Word. Also, you can play around with the placement of the features and add new features yourself mostly all by yourself – just make sure that the developer utilizes the power of wordpress when working on your site (making the sections widgetized to the extent possible).

10. WordPress as a Company itself is run by smart innovative people and though it is open source it has a huge funding behind it for them to push developments on the platform itself – if you are a business owner you will understand the importance of this – its not only the product but who is behind it and how much money they have as its not a one day use thing

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I had some transactions to do on Paypal and I have tried opening it but it simply wont load – nothing happens on the page actually. So I called up my friends in Europe and India and it was the same result for them.

I went to Pingdom and according to it the site is loading but surprisingly it takes 17+ sec – pingdom tests are from US servers – Its night time in US and so I cant confirm this with anybody. Here is the test link.

So I tried to ping and traceroute the site to see the response and make sure that its not only me or the few people I know – here’s the result – the website is actually not loading – it gives me the assumption that the website is down which is highly unlikely as I cant believe that Paypal can be down for an hour – but does this mean Internet Service Provider’s Server issues – and that also simultaneously with so many of them in multiple countries (Macedonia, India, Singapore)!

Paypal Ping

Paypal Traceroute

Maybe some of you can throw some more light to understand this problem! What other test tools are there for a non techie person like me? How do we really find out an issue if our website is down?

Update: After 1+ hour, its still down – same results for everyone I know!

2nd Update: Rankflex says the URL is not valid… hehehe I dont know if we can rely on these online tools or is it something really wrong with ISP’s – Paypal website still not opening by the way – I am giving up checking now and getting back to other work!
Paypal URL not valid

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About 3 years back we as a Web Design and Development Company, decided to chose WordPress as the only platform we will develop blog/websites on. The progress since then proves that our decision was right. Some of the achievements of WordPress as underlined by Matt in the recent Wordcamp in San Francisco and what it means to us:

  • 14.7%  of the top 1 million websites in the world are now powered by WordPress (one year ago it was 8.5% only)
  • 1 in every 5 new domains created in US are running on WordPress (for new sites its easy to get started with WordPress – design, functionality and cost wise)
  • 500 Thousand downloads in the first 48hrs of the 3.2 release (its not only how big the community is but almost everybody is active as well)
  • 200 Million plugin downloads (how actively and beautifuly the community is contributing – proven by the use of the plugins)
  • 92% of wordpress users now use it as a CMS (most important stats as per my understanding as I have noticed over years many a people using wordpress without harnessing any of its powers which is a shame)
  • WordPress Maintains a zen like process of core development allowing it to be adaptive, flexible and open to extension (why we all love wordpress – its the only platform which is flexible and well documented for us to mould and develop further upon to make it even more stronger and beautiful as per the reuqirement of individual projects)

Also, a very creative infographic on WordPress Facts, Figures & History:
Wordpress Facts Figures History

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TimThumb 2.0 – Use it to avoid your WordPress from getting hacked

WordPress has been long criticized for security issues although by just applying certain steps one can make it secure and with proper regular backup policy, one need not worry at all.  You must be wondering that why am I talking about security suddenly – well, TimThumb one of the popular library that is used in various WordPress themes has serious security flaws that can be compromised to hack the servers. The flaw was found by Mark Maunder and has started working with the Ben Gillbanks, original developer to come up with TimThumb 2.0. Here’s what Matt has to say about the whole issue around it and how following standards can make life easy in the eco-system -

Because the code is commonly embedded in themes it’s not easy to discretely update like it would be if the code were a plugin, and even when a theme is updated people are hesitant to update because they often customize theme code rather than making child themes, so if they were to overwrite their theme with a new version they’d lose their modifications. That, combined with the severity of the flaw, means that this is one of the more serious issues in the WordPress ecosystem in a while, even more than normal because it wasn’t in core.

Not that it was Ben’s fault – he never would have imagined that TimThumb would grow to such a level and that most of the theme developers  would start using it instead of WordPress API. I’m not the coder kinds, however according to Ashish Saini, WordPress can generate multiple size of the uploaded images, so if one sticks to the WordPress coding standards then this issue is not an issue for them. We ourselves have been using TimThumb and didn’t realize that it had such a serious flaw [our bad]. We’ll be reaching our clients and will apply TimThumb 2.0 on their WordPess setups to avoid such an issue.

Akismet further becomes de-facto as Anti-blogspam!

HubSpot, internet marketing company has announced the integration of Akismet in their blog platform. I wouldn’t say that it was an expected move, however looking at how blog spam has increased it has become really important for blog platform providers to come up with strong anti-spam solutions. Here’s what Hubspot had to say -

Akismet is the best-in-class comment filtering system available today, one that monitors millions of blogs and forums and keeps up to date on the methods and tricks used by spammers in real time. Akismet has prevented over 30 billion spam comments from appearing on websites over the years, and now HubSpot is also offering you this same high level of protection.

Now there are few services like Akismet, although Akismet seems to be the most effective till this point of time. Although, it’ll be fun to test these services at a bigger level. Here’s the list of anti-blogspam services -

Till this time, I’m kind of sold for Akismet & Defensio – do let us know what you think about them.

Varnish + Apache = Is it better than Nginx?

Well, that’s one question whose answer is yet to be figured. I recently managed to setup a VPS of 512 MB RAM with NGINX, PHP, MySQL, APC along with WordPress Multisite + Custom domain mapping and it all works great! The server is running without any issues and handling decent amount of traffic. The setup doesn’t have WP Super Cache, however I reckon that if I throw WP Super Cache in it then it’ll become one ultimate server setup for hosting WordPress sites.

Although I’m wondering if the whole setup can be just be replaced by Varnish + Apache and the reason, it got me thinking was because I recently stumbled across the article by Donncha, Developer of WP Super Cache. He recently installed Varnish along with Apache and has seen good results. Here’s why Donncha did this setup even though he was on NGINX setup a while back -

I have tried Nginx in the past but could not getting it working without causing huge CPU spikes as PHP went a little mad. In comparison, Varnish was simple to install and set up.

One of the reasons, why a developer will prefer this setup over Nginx setup is because Apache has better support available on the internet and works flawlessly with WordPress. Anyway, if you are the one who loves to play around with servers, are using Apache and want to please your server by removing the load on it then follow this article.

I hope you’ll enjoy this roundup. I’ll continue with these kind of roundups from now on to keep you all up to date with the best links and articles from the WordPress community.

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Automotive industry is one of the biggest industry in the world, it’s got shine, glamour and best of the lot speed! And for a blog to be successful in automotive blogs category, they need to have all those qualities as well. Today in our inspirational blog design series we bring forward some of the wonderful blogs that are pretty popular in the automotive blog category. In fact, Car Advice Australia blog [number 3 in the list] has been one of the success stories in the blogging world. Here’s a small quote from the interview of Alborz Fallah, owner CarAdvice.co.uk taken by Yaro Starak, renowned blogging guru.

I don’t know how much his blog generates today, but 12 months ago it was making $30,000 a month, so I expect the site generates at least half a million dollars a year now. I do know the site was professionally audited (necessary when you take on capital investors) and valued at 5 million dollars!

Well, that’s quite a motivating story and you should definitely read that interview. Other than that, don’t forget to check out the list of great Auto blog!

11 Automotive Weblogs That Are As Beautiful As BMW!

1. Auto Blog

autoblog blog design

2. Left Lane News

leftlane web design

3. Car Adv ice

caradvice wordpress design

4. eMercedesBenz

emercedesbenz web design

5. German Car Blog

germancarblog web design

6. Car Throttle

carthrottle wordpress design

7. Hemmings Blog

hemmingsblog blog design

8. Road&Track

road&track web design

9. Auto Observer

auto-observer wordpress design

10. Autosavant

autosavant blog design

11. Family Car Guide

familycarguide wordpess design

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Celebrity blogging is one type of blogging that attracts lots and lots of attention if done right. Perez Hilton has been one of the biggest success stories not just in “celebrity blogging” but overall blogging industry. Celebrities always attract lots of attention and well, a blog about them will surely attract the attention as well and that’s what we love about celebrity blogs, they attract lot of comments and lots of interaction happens among readers .

This triggered the idea of posting a list of celebrity blog & beautiful designs in our “Inspirational blogs & designs series“. We thought that it would be cool to post something about celebrities and so here is the list of the blogs that are popular than even celeb magazines or the ones that even celebs don’t miss to read for their daily dose of gossips!

14 Blogs That Even Celebs Don’t Miss To Read

1. I’m not obsessed

m-not-obsessed blog design

2. The Superficial

the-superficial web design

read full article →

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In Blog Design Studio team, most of us are foodies! We all love to try various cuisine’s and dishes and being the internet junkie’s we always turn to food blogs for new recipes. In fact, CopyKat Recipes is one food blog that we open almost every day of our lives, not only because we’ve been working on this awesome and very popular food blog since long but for the fact that, Stephanie has definitely shared some really awesome recipes on it! So we thought, that in the “inspirational series” the next post should be about Beautifully Designed Food Blogs. Well, Literally Feast your eyes and soul with some awesome looking food blogs that’ll make you hungry once again!

Delicious Looking & Professionally Designed Food Blogs

1. CopyKat Recipes [Yeah! We totally love our work ;) ]


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