How to manage a multilingual blog with WordPress

10/02/2010

how to manage a multilingual wordpress blogWe all know WordPress is one of the most versatile and easy to use CMSs, with plenty of features which made him one of the best blogging platform available on the market. However it still lacks and adequate support for multilingual blogs, for instance when we’d need ot post the same article in more than one language at the same time.

If the CMS itself does not provide enough support for this feature, we can sort thing out pretty easily with a few plugins:

  • Google Ajax Translation, this Google API makes available translation to users on your blog frontpage. It is not to be considered a proper WordPress plugin but it works just as good.
  • WPML Multilingual CMS, with this plugin we would be able to get a fully working multilingual blogs in just a few minutes. No need of any change inside the source code or tables, it works straight out of the box.

     

  • qTranslate, with this plugin we would be able to manage content in different languages from the WordPress editor, through automatic translation and permalink management.

 

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How to scan your WordPress for vulnerabilities

24/10/2009

scan-wordpress-vulnerabilities-exploitA news realase of WordPress has just been made available and is supposed to fix several security flaws, as explained here on the WP blog.

WordPress got so popular that any security update can actually be crucial, considering the amount of websites using it. Recently a well-known vulnerability allowed a worm to spread around affecting several blogs, according to this article. Still, there’s something more we can do to make our WordPress installation safer.

The WordPress Exploit Scanner extension can scan for well-known vulnerabilities and exploits which might affect your WordPress installation. In order to be used you just need to download, the extension, upload it on you server, active it by the extensions dashboard and a link will pop-up on your general dashboard.

Once you run the extension (it might need a few minutes to complete the task) the report you get is extensive. The plugin analyse in depth every single file, looking for malicious code embedded into standard file. It’s pretty useful, even if a standard report can require some programming knowledge to be fully understood. It’s a very neat tool, I guess it should be included in every WordPress standard setup.

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How to add Google Analytics into WordPress

7/08/2009

360analitycs mailchimp wordpress plugin
Analytics360 integrates Google Analytics into WordPress

MailChimp has relesead Analytics360, a WordPress plugin which brings Google Analytics in your WordPress dashboard.

I recently came across this really useful wordpress plugins which basically integrates your Google Analytics account straight into your WordPress installation.

I’m quite of an analytics freak I must say, I spend way to much time flickering through browser tabs checking all the different analytics accounts I have.

This WordPress extension comes quite handy, especially when running multiple accounts on the same service (Google Analytics in this case).

360 Analytics does not reduce or modifiy the quality and quantity of information you usually get about your website when logging into your Google Analytics account.

The plugin comes straight from MailChimp and can be used in conjunction with their email marketing services to track the performance of your email campaigns on your site traffic.

By the way: I should start considering how effective are WordPress plugins in terms of marketing… this very extension is quite of an example)

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SEO truths from Matt Cutts at WordCamp San Francisco 2009

1/06/2009

We all know SEO is not science: most of SEO practices come from direct experience or reliable source but there’s som much uncertainity that makes everything blend into doubts.

That’s the reason why advices coming straight from Matt Cutts or the Google webmaster blog should be taken definetely seriously. We’ve already seen Matt getting into certain topics put into the spotlight of the SEO community and giving useful (altough sometimes ambigous) insight.

This time he realeased a bunch of slides he presented to the 2009 San Francisco Wordcamp

Following is a resume of the main points he discussed:

Crawlers and PageRank algorithm

  • Google spiders go crowling pages in a pagerank order: highest pagerank pages get crawled before pages with a lower pagerank
  • Being relevant and reputable is the actual criteria that works behind the Page Rank

Keywords and content optimization

  • When it comes to keywords, put yourself into the user shoes: think about what he would type in his search string
  • Do not think about stuffing your pages with keywords: write naturally.
  • ALT attribute are handy (3-4 relevant words)

WordPress

  • Set your permalink to domain.com/post-title (setting -> reading -> custom permalink structure /%postname%/)
  • Modify your titles and file names (urls) acconrding to the content

This is the powerpoint format. Slides are also available from Google Docs.

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How to create custom profiles and reserved areas on WordPress

18/05/2009

Restrict access to users on WordPress

restricted-access-to-wordpressHave you ever thought of make some content of your WordPress blog available only to certain users? Do you need to restrict access only to a certain type of users to selected blog pages or post? Ever thought of create a reserved area for registered users on your WordPress blog?

Some time ago, while working on a client’s project with a*dult content, I came up with the idea of restricting access only to a certain type of users. This would have avoided any problem with underage visitors. The thing was that he only wanted to use WordPress, because it was the only content management system it was familiar with.

So I started thinking how this could be sorted out. Actually WordPress does not come out of the box with such a feature. What we needed was some sort of plugin able to distinguish between users according to some extra information.

The issue was promtly solved with two different plugins:

  • Disclose Secret allows to restrict access to certain pages or posts only to users complying with certain criteria.
  • Cimy Extra Fields for WordPress makes some more data available for any users. This extra fields can be used to distinguish in between differents types of users therefore setting up specific access to content

With these two plugins we can manage access to any type of content for any type of users, even feeds, archieves, homepages and search results.

WordPress is indeed versatile and fully customizable. However, if you really want to create reserved areas for users with a secured login procedure, there’s plenty of CMS out there which can do this job pretty well, even through a SSH connection.

Still, if you just want to make sure that you blog is read only by the right people, this might be the best option: simple, easy to deploy and safe enough.

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