multi-author-blogging.jpg

[Image Credit - Hongkiat ]

Some of the most successful blogs that we see on Technorati Top 100 blogs are multi-authored blogs and most of them are powered by WordPress. Most of you can imagine that if running a successful single author blog can be a daunting task then how difficult it will be to manage a blog that has multiple authors. Be it advertising, blog metrics or logging activity there are various factors that a webmaster has to look into and with help of these plugins, it’ll only become easier -

Must Install Plugins for Multi-Author Blogs

1. Author Advertising Plugin – This plugin allows blog admins to create a revenue sharing program utilising one of the many advertising programs out there i.e Yahoo, Google Adsense, Amazon, Allposters etc. It can also be used as a banner manager, author photo/website widgets etc.

2. Members – Members is a plugin that extends your control over your blog. It’s a user, role, and content management plugin that was created to make WordPress a more powerful CMS. The plugin is created with a components-based system — you only have to use the features you want. The foundation of the plugin is its extensive role and capability management system. This is the backbone of all the current features and planned future features.

new-roles.jpg

3. Blog Metrics – This plugin displays number of posts per month, average number of words per post and various other metrics in the dashboard. The reports are generated of overall blog statistics and is extremely useful in multi-author blogs as the reports are generated for individual authors as well.

4. Co-Authors Plus -Allows multiple authors to be assigned to a Post or Page via the search-as-you-type inputs. Co-authored posts appear on a co-author’s posts page and feed. New template tags allow listing of co-authors. Editors and Administrators may assign co-authors to a post. Additionally, co-authors may edit the posts they are associated with, and co-authors who are contributors may only edit posts if they have not been published (as is usual).

5. Author Exposed – Author Exposed is a simple WordPress plugin that allows your visitors easy and elegant way to see more details about the post author. This plugin pulls the author’s details from the profile and is linked to a hidden layer (div). By clicking on the author link the layer pop’s up with author info gathered from the profile page, plus gravatar photo, if author email is assigned with one.

author-exposed.jpg

6. Quick Notes On WP Dashboard – If you blog with multiple persons, you can leave a message for the others. In the plugin file, you can determine, what capabilities a user must have to read the notes, and what capabilities he must have to write/modify them. By default, Authors and higher can write, and every registered user can read. Great Add-on for true collaboration.

7. BuddyPress – BuddyPress makes the whole WordPress as a social networking site. It literally adds Facebook like features in a WordPress install. It’s a great plugin for a blog with multiple authors.

8. WordPress to SyslogWelcome to the Home of OSSEC.jpg – WPsyslog2 is a global log plugin for WordPress. It keeps track of all system events and log them to syslog. It tracks events such as new posts, new profiles, new users, failed logins, logins, logouts, etc. It also tracks the latest vulnerabilities and alerts if any of them are triggered, becoming very useful when integrated with a log analysis tool, like OSSEC HIDS.

9. Future Calendar – It adds a simple month-by-month calendar that shows all the months you have future posts for (and the current month no matter what), it highlights the days you have posts for, and as an added bonus if you click a day the Post Timestamp boxes change to that day, month and year (although it doesn’t check the edit timestamp box to avoid accidental changes).

10. User Photo – Allows a user to associate a profile photo with their account through their “Your Profile” page. Admins may add a user profile photo by accessing the “Edit User” page. Uploaded images are resized to fit the dimensions specified on the options page; a thumbnail image correspondingly is also generated. User photos may be displayed within a post or a comment to help identify the author.

11. Post by Author – This plugin will show the last X posts by the current author either at the bottom of every post, or where you manually specify in each post. Using the built-in options page, you can choose the number of posts to show, set the header text, choose to show the post dates, select the format of the date, and choose whether or not to include the current post in the list.

Bookmark and Share

typography.jpg

Typography definitely plays an important role in enhancing or diminishing the overall look of any web design. And all the web designers/developers were stuck with certain font families, even if they wanted to use the font of their choice, they couldn’t do it freely without compromising on various aspects. Of course, there were other ways too and I would love to include all those methods along with their pros & cons.

siFR (Scalable Inman Flash Replacement)

Scalable Inman Flash Replacement (sIFR) is an open source JavaScript and Adobe Flash dynamic web fonts implementation, enabling the replacement of text elements on HTML web pages with Flash equivalents. sIFR embeds a font in a Flash element that displays the text, preempting the need for a font to have been manually pre-installed on a user’s system. [via : wikipedia]

In even simpler words, instead of showing the normal text – it is replaced by Adobe Flash’s text and the font embedded in that flash file is used to display the text. You can add shadow, effects to the text and the best part is that its cross-browser compatible and thats why its loved. However, siFR is often criticized for making the pages load slower and is not supported by iPhone.

Cufon

Cufón aims to become a worthy alternative to siFR, which despite its merits still remains painfully tricky to set up and use [This is not the case, if you are using WordPress]. Some of the benefits of Cufon over siFR are that it loads faster, no plugins are required. [Via - Github]

Of course, nothing comes with cons. Cufon comes with the inability to highlight and copy/paste, not all fonts are supported. However, still its one of the preferred methods of using other fonts. We are using Cufon on this blog, so it can be a good example for you to look at.

There are other ways as well like Typeface.js, FLIR (Face Lift Image Replacement), however as browsers are getting better in supporting CSS3 – the better its becoming to improve the typography of the webpages. Although, with this method, copyright issues often come into play. In order to avoid these issues, few web services have come up with a model where by paying some fee, web designers will be able to choose various fonts (without worrying about licenses) for their website and the fonts will be served from their servers. Here are these services -

Typekit.jpg

Typekit

Typekit is one such service that has partnered with type foundries and have taken care of the legal issues. They let you choose the fonts using their web based editor. They have a plugin for WordPress, that lets you integrate this service with ease. There is an option of free plan and if you have one blog, you should definitely try this service.

fontmeup.jpg

FontMeUp

FontMeUp is another service that allows you to use any font on your website. They have a similar concept and have hundreds of fonts to choose from. They also have a free plan and a WordPress plugin.

So after, looking at the benefits of these services, I’m tempted to use these service for this blog. I’ll notify as soon as this will be applied and will try to post the results as well. Personally, I see no reason for not trying these services and why any one else shouldn’t. Will you be using these to improve the typography on your blog or will you be going via existing ways?

Bookmark and Share

Spam In Blogs

I am sure, I don’t need to explain anything about Spam over here. Blog spam is nothing new and there have been already many articles written about it. However, I still get questions like “What is the best strategy to avoid spam comments?” Just to kick start things, I would like to mention the definition that has been given in everybody’s favorite website i.e. WikiPedia -

Spam in blogs (also called simply blog spam or comment spam) is a form of spamdexing. It is done by automatically posting random comments or promoting commercial services to blogs, wikis, guestbooks, or other publicly accessible online discussion boards. Any web application that accepts and displays hyperlinks submitted by visitors may be a target.

How to fight comment spam

There are various plugins although in my four years of experience as professional blogger, I’ve come across only handful of plugins that have done wonderful job for me. They have been shared by lots of experienced bloggers over and over again and here I am, who would like to share it with you one more time!

akismet.jpg

1. Akismet – This wonderful service from Automattic has been consistently helping thousands of bloggers in fighting blog spam. Not only it is available for WordPress, it has been extended for various other platforms like Movable Type, Drupal etc. There is no reason, why I would not suggest this plugin to any person who is using WordPress.

WP-SpamFree.jpg

2. WP-Spam FreeScott Allen has rightly described it as an Extremely Powerful Anti-Spam Plugin! Its so powerful that it literally makes your blog secure from all the comment spam. Although, this plugin is infamous for using extra resources from server. If you have a high traffic blog and get lots of spam comments, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t be using this plugin. Personally, its my favorite among all the plugins that I’m listing over here.

3. SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam – Another wonderful plugin for fighting spam on blogs. It not only helps to fight blog comment spam. It also can be extended to fight automated registrations and automated contact form submissions. This plugin uses a familiar trick of fighting comment spam i.e. CAPTCHA verification. It has lots of configuration options and if you don’t want to rely on automatic anti-spam plugins like Akismet & WP-Spam Free then this plugin will easily serve the purpose for you. [Plugin Homepage]

stop-bad-behavior.jpg
[Photo Credit - ScoopDog]
4. Bad Behavior – This wonderful script has been developed to fight against spam bots. It’s not specific to WordPress and is available for other content management systems. Its pretty light on servers and has been made available on plethora of CMSes. It has done a wonderful job in keeping this blog spam free from long time and will continue to do so!

recaptcha.jpg
5. reCAPTCHA – reCAPTCHA is a service that is used by thousands of popular websites to fight spam bots. The service can be easily integrated in a WordPress blog with the help of this plugin. I like this service/plugin because it definitely has proven its effectiveness to fight the spam bots and also because it helps in digitizing various books. Here’s what they have to say about digitizing the books part -

While the world is in the process of digitizing books, sometimes certain words cannot be read. reCAPTCHA uses a combination of these words, further distorts them, and then constructs a CAPTCHA image. After a ceratin percentage of users solve the ‘uknown’ word the same way it is assumed that it is the correct spelling of the word. This helps digitize books, giving users a reason to solve reCAPTCHA forms.

I hope that you’ll find these plugins useful enough (just the way I have) to keep you blog spam free!

Bookmark and Share

At start of the day, as soon as I logged in my Skype account, Oliver gave me the link of the twitter status message on which Justin Tadlock showcased his upcoming coming project i.e. role management plugin. I was slightly shocked to find out that Oliver found the link on Twitter as I always thought that he wasn’t on Twitter. Guess what! Even though he is our lead designer, we both were not following each other!

read full article →

Bookmark and Share

WordPress, Firefox and many open-source projects are great however, because of their open nature, they generally get targeted by hackers & notorious fellows. Its pretty important to keep your blog software up to date, if its based on any open-source code as the security breachers tend to attack on old codes.

read full article →

Bookmark and Share

Rajesh needs no introduction in WordPress community as most of you already know him as the author of popular “Platinum SEO Pack” plugin for WordPress. Few days back, he released another plugin that allows blogger’s to blog in various Indian languages (Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada) and in Arabic too!

read full article →

Bookmark and Share

Daniel recently found out that how the old feedburner address was not getting redirected to the new feed address, that were assigned to all the feeds after Feedburner started shifting to Google servers. This means that all those bloggers, who didn’t update their feed address will have to move a lil bit and will need to update their blog’s feed address.

read full article →

Bookmark and Share