I’ve been having an awful lot of fun this week setting up a couple of blogs for clients, friends and family. Of course I’m always tweaking this one, as I’m sure you may have noticed, but it’s always interesting to start with a blank canvas and build according to the writer’s unique needs and desires. I thought I’d share with you some of the things that I found, some great old stand-bys, and where and how to implement them. We’re WordPress Centric ’round here, so if that’s not your flavor, you might want to skip this.
First I thought that I would try the plug in that’s gotten so much buzz lately; the Google Analyticator. I came to Google Analytics a little late in the game as I’ve been using Sitemeter for so long that I didn’t really see the need to change. Wrong. Google Analytics is so much more powerful with so many different ways of looking at your traffic and your readers. The Analyticator makes it very easy to install your code to each page, but there are also some other features making it really useful, like putting the code in your footer with the click of a button for faster load times, tracking your adsense information etc. Useful stuff!
404 Notifier: A great one for anyone, but especially if you’ve had your site for a long time and there have been several incarnations of it, there are most definitely old links to pages that no longer exist from other blogs, forums, etc. With 404 Notifier, every time someone gets a 404 error from your site, you’re notified (by email or RSS feed) of the page they were looking for and you can then either modify your 404 page to send the visitor elsewhere in your site or simply create another file of that name. Very cool.
Blog Icons might be my favorite one this week – because I’m insane for customized icons. This one lets you easily add your customized Apple iPod Touch / iPhone icon, favicon and feed image to your blog. Go ahead and look, take your iphone and visit colormepink.com – click on the “+” and choose “Add to Home Screen”. Now you have my pretty butterfly icon right there, easy access!
Post Ideas: This is great. Instead of the 300 drafts I would sometimes wind up with, Post Ideas keeps your ideas, target tags and links you want to reference. When you’re ready to write the actual post, click “Write This” and it converts your idea into a New Post and deletes it from Post Ideas. I added a link to this page of my admin panel on my Iphone as well, so I can jot this information down when I’m out of the house. Note: This is compatible with WP 2.7.1 the link is under “Tools” instead of “Manage”.
The last one I’ll talk about today is Podcasting, another one by the developer behind Google Analyticator. Of course you can use it for podcasting, but I needed a way to take a client’s audio file from their commercial and add it to their website for easy listening. This was a simple, elegant way to do it. The best part is, it was so easy to teach the client how to do this for themselves. Yay!
I can’t say enough about WordPress and the community of talented developers working on a never ending stream of great plugins and themes.