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WLTC: How to Track RSS Subscribers in a Blog Contest

RSS icon girl
Creative Commons License photo credit: GeekMom Heather

As some of you may know, I have been writing on Weblog Tools Collection (WLTC) quite a bit lately. In this post, I would like to highlight a good tutorial I wrote on WLTC in case you guys might have missed it. The tutorial talks about one of the most important components of a blog contest: tracking RSS subscribers.

Blog contests are great tools for helping you gain readers. There are many great theories out there on the web about how to run a blog contest, but there are no tutorials that talk about how to track RSS subscribers in these contests. The tutorial will show you two simple WordPress hacks that is needed to be able to track RSS subscribers in a blog contest. Check out the full tutorial here.

Win WordPress Plug-in Development Book

This contest has ended! Thank you everybody for participating! I will be announcing the winner tomorrow morning!

WordPress Plug-in Development BookLast week I reviewed Vladimir Prelovac’s WordPress Plug-in Development Book: Beginner’s Guide.  Today I would like to give the book away!

How to enter

You will only need to do two very easy things to win:

  1. Follow @madeinthayaland on Twitter and stay followed until at least the end of the contest.
  2. Tweet about this contest using the following text:

    Just entered a contest to win V.Prelovac’s “WordPress Plug-in Development” Book. Win by following @madeinthayaland and RT! http://is.gd/s7iM

When does the contest end?

This contest has ended! Thank you everybody for participating! I will be announcing the winner tomorrow morning!

This contest will end on April 17th, 2009, 11:59pm EST.  I will be announcing the lucky winner in the morning of April 18th, 2009.  Good luck everybody!

Sponsor

This contest is sponsored by Packt Publishing, publisher of WordPress Plug-in Development: Beginner’s Guide.

WLTC: How to Highlight Search Terms with jQuery

Highlighted Search ResultsIn this post, I would like to highlight a good tutorial I recently wrote on Weblog Tools Collection in case you guys have missed it.

The tutorial shows how you can easily hack your WordPress blog to highlight search terms using some jQuery magic.  I particularly like this method because it is an easy modification and jQuery will let you highlight any text within any HTML element no matter if the text is in the post title or in the post content area.

Read the full article here.

Weekend Links – Apr 11, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is the day I turn 26 years old.  For those who don’t know me yet, let me tell you a little bit about myself.

Who am I?

I am a full-time software engineer with a strong passion for web technology.  I started OMNINOGGIN as a personal blog in 2007 in an effort to share my knowledge in the general field of software engineering.  I wasn’t getting many readers by 2008, so I finally decided to niche-ify this blog into a blog that mainly talks about WordPress and a few other web development topics.

I developed my first WordPress plugin and wrote my first WordPress article in March 2008.

Now I have have authored 8 WordPress plugins and have written quite a bit of articles about WordPress on OMNINOGGIN.  In addition to that, I make it a point to write on Weblog Tools Collection about once week.

What I learned in the past year?

  • The good
    • WordPress is a wonderful platform and I enjoy developing plugins for it very much.
    • To have a popular blog, it’s 80% what you know and 20% who you know.  Focus on writing great posts/plugins and the rest will take care of itself.
    • Sugar, Spice, and Vitamin blogging strategy works quite well for me.
    • Writing more documentation and troubleshooting guides for your own plugin helps save you a lot of time spent on support.
  • The bad
    • Developing WordPress plugins for free will never make you enough money to compensate for your time spent, but it does get you more traffic.
    • Supporting a popular WordPress plugin is exhausting!

Do you enjoy my plugins and content?

I didn’t want to do this, but I just had to ask since it’s my birthday.

I spend a lot of time writing plugins/articles and I make them available for free.  If they have helped you in anyway, or if you are using them for commercial purposes, then I would love it if you can support me by any of the followinig methods:

Of course this is not mandatory, but it would make a really great birthday gift!

What’s next?

I will continue to support and make updates to my current plugins, but I don’t see myself releasing any more plugins unless I think they will be as revolutionary as WP Greet Box and WP Minify.  I will also be launching a support forum for my plugins to encourage community discussion/support rather than just 1-on-1 support in comment forms.  With plugin support taking less time, I hopefully can focus on more WordPress articles and tutorials for you all!

Book Review: WordPress Plugin Development

WordPress Plugin Development Book CoverWhen I told one of my friends that I am reading Vladimir Prelovac’s WordPress Plug-in Development (Beginner’s Guide), I got the following response from him:

Just what we need… more beginners developing insecure wordpress applications. As-if it isn’t already the #1 hacked application on the Internet…

I completely disagree with this statement.  A book like this will help the WordPress community more than harm it.  Everybody has to start somewhere right?  How else better than to start with a beginner’s guide that shows you the proper way to code a WordPress plugin (with security in mind)?  I have finished reading this book and I am quite excited to share some insights. Read on…

Test WP Greet Box with refspoof Firefox Add-on

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As a quick tip, one of my readers, Luciano Passuello, suggested a great Firefox Add-on called refspoof for testing WP Greet Box WordPress plugin.

Upon installation, you get another address-bar-like toolbar that you can use to type the referrer URL to spoof.

refspoof referrer bar

If I enter something like “weblogtoolscollection.com” into the bar and press enter, I get the the same page with the added referrer info. Because of that, my wonderful WP Greet Box plugin properly displays the Weblog Tools Collection banner:

WP Greet Box Weblog Tools Collection banner

I think the WP Greet Box administration interface already does a great job at displaying what your greeting message will look like, but it is always good to be able to see it along with the rest of your theme.

Released WP Greet Box 4.9

WP Greet Box 4.9 new featuresWP Greet Box version 4.9 is here!

What’s new this release?

This version of WP Greet Box has the following enhancements.

  1. Added the ability to keep displaying the greeting message until after the user clicks close for the first time. After that, the greeting message will not show up for that user anymore.
  2. Added support for icon links so icons are now clickable.
  3. Fixed default CSS display for when the greet box is too long compared to the greeting message.
  4. Fixed PHP cookie writing outside of place bug in PHP mode (Thank you Daniel from Bonetree Blog!).
  5. Fixed cookie bug in PHP mode (causes message to show up too often).
  6. Fixed some XHTML stuff.
  7. Fixed other minor bugs.

Read on…

Weekend Links – Apr 4, 2009

Tutorial: WP Minify Options

This post will explain the various options in WP Minify WordPress plugin.

Basic Options

Enable JavaScript Minification

When checked, all JavaScript files will be extracted from the HTML output and be minified and served as one compressed JavaScript file.

Enable CSS Minification

When checked, all CSS files will be extracted from the HTML output and be minified and served as one compressed CSS file.

Enable HTML Minification

When checked, your HTML output will also be minified.

JavaScript files to exclude from minify

You may specify any patterns for excluding any Javascript files from the Minifying process. The entries are line delimited so if you specify:

prototype
wp-greet-box/js
googlecode.com

Then the following Javascript files will not get included into the Minifying process if it’s being enqueued via wp_enqueue_script():

  • http://example.com/wp-includes/js/prototype.js
    (matching first rule)
  • http://example.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-greet-box/js/functions.js
    http://example.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-greet-box/js/onload.js
    (matching second rule)
  • http://jqueryjs.googlecode.com/files/jquery-1.3.2.min.js
    (matching third rule)

CSS files to exclude from minify

Works the same way as the “JavaScript files to exclude from minify” option except that this field will filter out CSS files.
Read on…