Instructions to update to wordpress 2.8 without any down time and trouble

WordPress 2.8 was released a day before, i’m sure most of you want to upgrade to the latest version of wordpress. Here are the instructions on upgrading to wordpress2.8 with out any downtime or hastle.

You can update from your dashboard directly like you install a plugin, It’s very simple. WordPress is gettting better day by day and the improvement is exponential 🙂 . Follow the below instructions if this doesnt work for you. Before anything backup your wordpress database.

  1. Backup the wordpress database through your cpanel or by using this database backup plugin http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-db-backup/
  2. Now delete all the files except, wp-content folder and wp-config.php
  3. Replace the above deleted files with the files from wordpress2.8.

Here are some common mistakes done by bloggers while upgrading.

  1. Deleting all the wordpress installation folder. This way you will loose your wp-content folder, where your themes,plugins and the uploaded files are stored. You need not upgrade this folder. So dont ever delete it.
  2. Are you looking for your posts in the installation folder?? They can not be found there, they are stored in your sql database. In order to backup your posts you have to backup your database. You will not loose your posts if you delete your wordpress install directry or mess with it. So dont worry as long as your database is safe and you have its details.

Tips to choose a theme for your wordpress powered blog.

Please your readers with a clean look
Please your readers with a clean look

With wordpress as a blogging platform you have lot of themes to choose from, choosing a theme is a tough job with thousands of themes around. Here are some tipsto help you choose a theme for your blog.

  • Decide a colour scheme for your blog. Colours speak a lot of emotions so choose them with care. If you already have a logo for your blog choose a theme that fits your logo. Don’t choose dark colours unless your niche or logo demands it, make it pleasing for your readers eyes. Black/dark grey on white is ideal for reading.
  • Check the top blogs in your niche and make a list of features that you would like to have on your blog, make sure that the theme you choose provides all the features, if it doesnt provide all the features see if you need see if you can add them yourself.
  • Before testing a theme on your blog, write at least 3 posts,
  1. One including a list.
  2. One with an image.
  3. Comment on one post and leave one post uncommented.
  • In general, websites feature some standard layouts. Which layout you choose is based upon your needs, imagination, and potential inclusion of additional features like feeds and advertising in additional columns. Themes with widgetised footer are becoming popular these days, advantage with these themes is you get some extra place on your blog. If a person is scrolling till the end of the fotter, then he is genuinely intersted in your blog and you. So its a ideal place for wrting a short about me and placing links to your other blogs.
  • Fluid width versus Fixed width

I prefer fixed width over fluid width, with fixed width you have control over how your blog looks to users with different resolutions. Another disadvantage with fluid width is the long lines, if the user has high resolution. Its hard to read long lines compared to short lines of text.

  • Do not choose themes with heavy graphics, they take lot of time to load and your users may not be patient enough to wait till it loads.
  • Keep the blog design simple and usable.
  • Will you be able to grow with the same theme? As your blog grows you may want new features or room to add new things. Some themes won’t offer much flexibility or room for growth. Be sure that your theme isn’t going to limit you.

Resources..

  1. http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/
  2. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/05/18/100-amazing-free-wordpress-themes-for-2009/

Task

Choose a theme for your blog follwing the above suggestions. If you already have a good theme, check top blogs in your niche and make a list of features you would like to have in your currnet theme.

Post how you accomplished this task in the discussion thread located here

After you have choosen your theme, there are some things to be cleaned and some minor tweaks to be applied to your theme. I will write about them in my next post.

Updates from the forum

Here are some resources pointed by Julius Santos @ DialysisPostings.Com

and for WordPress resources:

Adding Custom CSS and JavaScript to your wordpress posts.

You may use different HTML elements like lists, tables, paragraphs on your post and it’s quite possible that you want the element to look differently in different context. There are two ways to achieve this

  1. Add a class for each post in the style sheet of your theme. If you have some 20+ posts with element styles specific to them , they would make your css file extremely lengthy and thus increasing the loading time and wasting ur bandwidth.
  2. Add the styles in the custom field for each post.

To implement the second idea


<?php
$id = $wp_query->post->ID;
$css_docs = get_post_meta($id, 'custom_css', false);
$js_docs = get_post_meta($id, 'custom_javascript', false);
if (!empty($css_docs))
{
	echo '<!--Custom css for '.get_the_title().'.-->'."\n";
	foreach ($css_docs as $css)
	{
    	    	echo '<style media="screen" type="text/css">'.$css.'

</style>'."\n";
        }
}
if (!empty($js_docs))
{
	echo '<!--Custom javascript for '.get_the_title().'.-->'."\n";
	foreach ($js_docs as $js)
	{
		echo '<script src="'.$js.'" type="text/javascript"></script>'."\n";
	}
}
?>

Get Approved for Google Adsense

You get money from adsense only if you have a decent traffic. There’s no point in applying for it immediately after you setup your website as you are most likely to end up with your account being rejected if you apply immediately after setting up your website without any content.

Google’s AdSense Program Policies and the Terms and Conditions are probably two of the most informative articles that you must read before applying for adsense.

How long should i have to wait before applying for adsense?

There’s nothing like you must wait for 30 days or 90 says before you can apply for adsense, the only thing is you should have decent content on your blog/website and have some decent traffic. Once approved into adsesne you can use the same publisher ID to display ads on multiple websites. So if you have a aged blog with some traffic on blogger or any other network apply with that url.

Tip: Blogger blogs are easily approved.

If you are previously banned from adsense for click fraud

Google takes click fraud very seriously, if you are previously banned from adsense for click fraud, then apply with a different name, email address and residence address. It’s always tempting for new bloggers and webmasters to click their own ads and asking friends to click on their own ads, don’t ever do that. You will be banned for life time for doing so.

Adsense is like a duck laying golden eggs, handle it with care.

Content

Make sure that your content is in compliance with adsense program policies. You may apply with a site that is in compliance with adsense and later use that account to publish ads on all your other sites.

Note: Google verifies all the sites on which your ad code is displayed  manually and may ban your account or domain from adsense if they are not in compliance with their program policies.

Age

You must be 18 years or older to apply for adsense. If you are not above 18 years you can apply with your elder bro or dads name.

Get a adsense account without having a website

If you haven’t created an Adsense account before, then apply through HubPages. Google will approve your account before you even need to write or publish any content.

That’s right, no need to create content before applying to Google Adsense when you’re applying through HubPages.

Read the Hubpages FAQ here.

Sign up for Hubpages here.

Once you’ve registered a Hubpages Author account go to Affiliate Settings (it’s in your My Account page, under Affiliate Settings).

On the “Affiliate Settings” page you’ll see next to where it says “Adsense” a link to “Sign Up”. It will then ask “Do you already have a Google AdSense account?”. If you say yes, it’ll ask for your Publisher ID and then in a few simple steps you will have linked and activated your Adsense Publisher ID to your Hubpage account. However you’re here to start an account, so select No.Tick the box for “I have read and understand Google’s terms of service” and click the button “Signup for AdSense” and away you go!

Immediate things to be done after installing wordpress

This post is written targeting the budding bloggers participants,  all the points except 1,3 are applicable to any general blog.

  1. Save your ftp login details carefully.
  2. Backup the wp-config file in the blog directory.
  3. Create a administrator account for your self from the temporary administrator account we provide, and delete the temporary administrator account.
  4. Update the title and tag line of your blog, to update goto settings->general
  5. WordPress is installed in the directory /blog to keep your root directory clean. So your blog will be having url of this form by default http://buddingbloggers.com/blog/?p=11 . This makes your url unnecessarily lengthy,also this is not a good SEO practice. To give your blog url of the form http://buddingbloggers.com/?p=11
    1. Go to the settings -> General panel.
    2. In the box for WordPress address (URL): change the address to the new location of your main WordPress core files. Example: http://buddingbloggers.com/blog
    3. In the box for Blog address (URL): change the address to the root directory’s URL. Example: http://buddingbloggers.com
    4. Giving wordpress its own install directory
      Giving wordpress its own install directory

    5. Click Update Options. (Do not worry about the error message and do not try to see your blog at this point! You will probably get a message about file not found.)
    6. Copy the index.php and .htaccess files from the blog directory into the root directory of your site (Blog address).  If .htaccess file is not already present, create one yourself and upload it. Change its permissions to “666”
    7. Open your root directory’s index.php file in a text editor
    8. Change the following and save the file. Change the line that says:
      require('./wp-blog-header.php');
      to the following, using your directory name for the WordPress core files:
      require('./blog/wp-blog-header.php');
    9. Your wordpress administration url will be http://buddingbloggers.com/blog/wp-admin/ and your blog url will be http://buddingbloggers.com
  6. Change the Permalink
    The default looks like

    http://buddingbloggers.com/?p=N

    This is called ugly link structure and not good a good SEO practice. To give your blog a URL structure that pleases search engines
    In the Settings ? Permalinks panel, you can choose one of the “common” structures or enter your own in the “Custom structure” field using the structure tags.This is the one I commonly use on all my blogs /%year%/%monthnum%/%category%/%postname%/ you can also try

    • /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%/ (Third one in wordpress admin panel )
      Using date in the url makes it easy for your readers to find out how old the post is
    • /%postname%/ (Only post name)

    wordpress-permalinks

    Structure tags

    %year%

    The year of the post, four digits, for example 2004
    %monthnum%
    Month of the year, for example 05
    %day%
    Day of the month, for example 28
    %hour%
    Hour of the day, for example 15
    %minute%
    Minute of the hour, for example 43
    %second%
    Second of the minute, for example 33
    %postname%
    A sanitized version of the title of the post (post slug field on Edit Post/Page panel). So “This Is A Great Post!” becomesthis-is-a-great-post in the URI (see Using only %postname%)
    %post_id%
    The unique ID # of the post, for example 423
    %category%
    A sanitized version of the category name (category slug field on New/Edit Category panel). Nested sub-categories appear as nested directories in the URI.
    %tag%
    A sanitized version of the tag name (tag slug field on New/Edit Tag panel).
    %author%
    A sanitized version of the author name.
  7. Delete the hello world post or update it with your blog intro.
  8. The most addictive thing for bloggers are stats, the daily raise in your stats gives you the motivation to deliver your best. The best stats plugin available for wordpres is WordPress.Com stats http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/stats/ .
  9. Install the akisment spam plugin, both akisment and wordpress.com stats plugin require the api key, I will explain how to get a api key in mynext post.
  10. Browse the wordpress themes directory and select a theme that matches your needs and site content. http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/

Maximize your chances of getting selected.

We really felt the need for this post after getting some crappy applications. There were 20+ applications the first day and none were selected. They are the kind of people who would stretch their hand at everything that is called free, without even bothering to know what it is. So if you are one of them please do us a favour by not applying.

We get lot of applications every day. We don’t have the enough man power to reply to crappy applications.I have given my staff strict instructions to not to forward me the applications that are incomplete and inaccurate. Incomplete applications will never reach my desk and never be reviewed.

Two main factors that we take into consideration while selecting you for this sponsorship program are

  1. Your writing skills and your knowledge in your field.
  2. Your writing skills and your knowledge in your field.

Your selection will be based on the content in your current blog or the blog posts you write. These two fields help us know your writing skills. If you don’t give us a url to your blog or submit your posts, we cannot know your writing skills and we are left with no choice but to send your application to trash.
Can I submit a url to my blog and the posts??
Yes, you can submit your blog url and blog posts to maximize your chances of getting selected.
Minimum and maximum length of sample posts??
There is no maximum and minimum length for the posts, two decent 300 word articles should get you selected.

Another major factor that influences your selection is this question.
Tell us about your experience in the topic you choose to blog about, and tell us why we should select you??
Your answer to this question tells us how motivated you are about blogging. If you don’t know why we should select you then don’t bother to apply.
Why do we ask Age,Gender, Address, Education??
We ask these questions to know more about our participants and for administrative purposes. Your answers to these questions have no weight in the selection procedure.
FYI: There are no age restrictions for this program.
How to select the domain name??
.Com domains are always the best domains, try to pick a .com domain name. please check if the domain you asked for is available before applying for it.

Please note that domains like satish.com, satishtalks.com, techsatish.com will not be selected. Don’t associate your name with the domain.
You can check the domain availability here
http://godaddy.com

These resources should help you in choosing your domain name.

Good Luck

Satish Gandham