Google Fonts Directory & Font API

Google Font Directory

Not long ago, I wrote a post about how one can utilize font web services like Typekit & Fontmeup to improve the typography of the webpages. Although, in order to utilize the actual power of these services one needs to shell out money from their pockets. Well, in order to fight the issues of improving the typography of the web pages, Google has come up with Google Font Directory. This is made possible with the help of CSS3 that allows web designers to use fonts that are stored on the web.

Prior to this, we were using WP Cufón, a WordPress plugin that lets you use the Cufon technique to display various fonts on the web page with the help of javascript. If you are interested in knowing the working behind Cufon then check out this link. However, with the launch of Google Font API, one can easily use the fonts available in the Google Font Directory. Thanks to Adrian, who has created WP Google Fonts, a WordPress plugin already using the Font API. We are currently running this plugin to improve the headings [h1, h2, h3....] of our posts and pages.

WordPress 3.0 RC1 is out! Expect the final version soon

WordPress 3.0 - The ultimate one!

WordPress 3.0 - The Ultimate One!

Last week, WordPress 3.0 RC1 was released. RC1 is supposed to be almost the final product where the bugs are generally not available. You can take version RC1 as the last step towards releasing the stable version. Well, it stable enough that it may get released as the final version, however with more than 20 million people using WordPress, it is a possibility that there may be more bugs that can be reported. We’ve already discussed about the upcoming and much awaited features like Custom Menus, improved custom post types, merger of WordPress MU as mult-site in WordPress 3.0, so I wonder if its necessary to talk about it again?

Although, If you are testing the RC and come across a bug, you can:

Happy BirthDay WordPress!

Cake with WordPress Logo

On 27th May, WordPress turned 7! I’ve been late in wishing WordPress a happy birthday! Although, I did read somewhere – Its Better to be late than never! And I’m still wondering that what would be the apt gift for this occasion, may be you can suggest me something!

Its been 7 years and WordPress has grown from  b2/cafelog fork into a powerful CMS that is competing with the likes of Drupal, Joomla and other established content management systems. I’m sure writing this blog post would have been nostalgic for Matt. He shared that there are more than 1500 developers who are actively contributing in the development of WordPress and I must say that its an achievement! Motivating people to contribute together and to build a master piece like WordPress is really a commendable job and they all deserve millions of thanks from every WordPress user.

I remember that how I liked Blogger over WordPress in its early days, however as it was embraced by developers and I learnt new stuff, I realized that if I want to be a professional blogger, then it has to be WordPress and nothing else! Aha! not only for Matt, its kinda nostalgic for me too :)

I would like to once again wish Matt, team Automattic, those 1500 developers, plugin developers, theme developers [;)], those who use WordPress, those who spread the word about WordPress, in fact anyone who loves WordPress for making this a success!

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google-god.jpg

[image credit : LTSeo]

For hundreds and thousands of businesses, the term “Google is God” is true. It helps business owners to generate their living-hood and the best part is that they ensure that it can help in every possible way and that too with ease! Google provides various tools that help webmasters in ranking your website well in Google’s search engine index. Here are some of them -

Google Adwords

To start with a commercial product, Google Adwords is the program that helps you in generating targeted traffic for your website. It lets you target the visitors from every possible manner. You can target visitors specific from a city, state, country and who are searching for specific terms. This is now considered to be de-facto of getting the most targeted traffic!

Google Adsense

If Google Adwords is for business owners to get targeted visitors, Google Adsense is the program that helps business owners in making money from the visitors they get on their website. I’m sure that there would be no one on the internet who wouldn’t have seen those ads. Well, there are business who’ve made millions out of it!

Google Analytics

How many people are visiting my website? Where are they coming from? Whey are they going to? Well, there are whole lot of questions like these that get answered by Google Analytics, one of the most powerful tool given for free by Google! It integrates with Google Adwords & Google Adsense to give us the overall picture of the traffic of the website!

Google Webmaster Tools

GWT is one tool that tells you if there are any broken links on your website. If Google is able to crawl your website to include in the index or not. It gives the ability to control the speed of Google Bot’s visit, finds out if your website is infected from malware. It also tell you that if your website is loading slow for users. Isn’t that a must have a tool?

Google Keyword Tool

Google keyword tool is a true gem! As a business owner, you can find out that what exactly visitors are searching for. With the correct strategy, a business owner can easily get their website ranked for the right keywords and thus can reap the benefits easily!

Google Ad Planner

This tool from Google can help you in digging out some very useful information about the competing websites. Not only that, it can certainly help in finding out that what all keywords one should target. After all, choosing the right keywords means eliminating maximum competition!

Google Traffic Estimator

This little nifty tool will help you find out that how much traffic will you get for the keywords that you are eying on. Of course, this is integrated with Google Adwords and thats why you see Google Adwords Logo on top of it. But does that matter when they aren’t charging a single buck from you?

There are other fantastic tools that will surely help you in one way or the other. I’m sure that you’d find them equally useful – Google Zeitgeist, Google Trends, Google website optimizer and Google Insights for search. If you know any other tool, please share it with us and I’ll include it over here.

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Image Credit - AyudaWordPress

I’m completely sane and I haven’t ditched WordPress for Blogger at the moment. I’m talking about the time when WordPress was pretty young and like the infamous “browser wars”, blogging world was buzzing about “Clash of Blogging platforms!” It was nearly 4 yrs. ago when I started jumping in Blogging and at that moment, WordPress was already giving good fight to Google’s Blogger. Questions can be asked that why am I writing about this after so many years, the answer is that Keith has asked this question from everyone. Don’t forget to post your response too!

So, coming back to the question – during that time, I was super excited about every product from Google and Blogger was no exception. My technical knowledge was limited to fixing up Windows and I was just trying to take dip in the world of being a true webmaster.

So Why Did I Ditch WordPress?

  1. Ease of Use – Blogger has always been a wonderful platform for those who are technically challenged. At that time, WordPress was considered to be choice of techies and surely wasn’t as easy as Blogger.
  2. Not extensible – WordPress at that time didn’t have as many powerful plugins as we have now. However, there were already lots of hacks, tutorials available for Blogger. I’ve learned almost everything with the help of mighty Google. It didn’t take me any time to play around with Blogger that much.
  3. Fear of screwing up things – Even though techie by nature, the initial hitch of trying something more techie gave me chills. I always had the question “what if” haunting me. However, there was hardly anything in Blogger that scared me. There were times, when I wanted to put Flash widgets in my blog and found it super difficult in WordPress where as Blogger made me feel as if I’m home!
  4. Google’s branding – When you know that such big name is behind a service then you feel comfortable. You know that nothing will happen to your blog if you don’t do dirty things. However, WordPress was only developing at that moment. So, my inclination was more towards Blogger.
  5. Not many beautiful designs – Blogger’s template engine has always been pretty similar to the normal HTML, so it was very easy for designers to create templates for it. For this very reason, there were ample amount of beautiful templates for blogger as compared to WordPress.

Keeping those points in mind, I decided to ditch WordPress against Blogger, however after few months of Blogging, I realized that if I have to become professional blogger, I would have to shift my Blog to WordPress and face my fears. The moment, I got the feeling of having no other option, I decided to take the step and since then I’ve been using WordPress. I was actually surprised to see that, things were tremendously easy in WordPress and with in no time, I was playing around with it pretty comfortably.

Now I can’t imagine my life without WordPress, not only it helps me keep our blog running smoothly, it helps me in earning my bread and butter too. Moreover, there are far too many resources available that ensure that you are never stuck even if you have any problem.

What was your reaction when you first used WordPress? Were you scared like me or was your reaction like that of Keith’s? Do share your experience with us or write a blog post as I did.

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Google reader has been the best web-based RSS reader and one of my personal favorites too. Although, upon logging for the first time in the day, I realized that Twitter was able to rub its status update feature on it. In this update, Google lets you choose that which all people you would like to “follow” (doesn’t that sound like Twitter lingo) to get the updates from them.

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Google adsense team has started this wonderful five-weeks educational series where they’ll tell the bloggers and webworkers to speed up their business in the time of recession. They’ll tell us that how we can make use of Google tools to increase the revenue. The posts will be updated every thursday, so keep an eye on this page or subscribe to their RSS feed.

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Few days back, Google introduced a new feature in its Adsense program that lets you customize the font size of the adsense units. Back in February, Google came up with the feature of letting the publishers to change the fonts of their adsense units and now with the ability to change the fonts, we publishers have got more options to optimize the adsense units for better results!

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There were times when search engine optimizers were completely against Flash based websites and suggested the webmasters to not have flash based content on their websites. However, after Google made changes in how its bots dealt with flash content, we can be rest assured that we’d see more use of flash in blogs or website designs!

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