Generating New Blog Ideas

February 26, 2011 — 6 Comments

Where do you get your ideas from?

So writing blog articles can be a passion and a burden all at once. Often times as bloggers we find ourselves coming up with awesome ideas but maybe not capturing them in the moment. I often times get the best darn ideas when I’m taking a shower, or driving in my car. I’ve started to capture these thoughts as soon as possible. Most new smart-phones have audio voice recorders on them. If you have a smart-phone with this feature, use it. It’s such a BOSS tool you can just hit record and capture all those amazing ideas before they go to waste.

Find a way to capture those thoughts, no matter how silly, stupid or crazy.

Also, I recommend keeping a notepad in the bathroom. I know this sounds crazy. But when we are in the bathroom we are usually performing mundane tasks and we are on auto pilot. Being on auto pilot allows our thoughts and minds to wander and take us on adventures and journeys that might lead to some totally kickin content.

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Easily add suggest Search To Your WordPress Blog or Website!

We are all familiar with suggest and corrective search with Google. Why not offer your visitors that same experience on your WordPress website or blog and in turn yield a higher conversion rate on your site?

Suggest Search for WordPress

Find What You're Looking For!

Thanks to Joost deValk over at Yoast, we now have a very easy method for enabling the search functionality that we all long for. Joost wrote this plugin leveraging Yahoo’s API for suggesstive search. This is also great for those that are searching on your site for something and misspell something.

In order to add this funcitonality, you can simply download the plugin or install it from within the WordPress dashboard. Once you have instaleld and activated the plugin, you will then need to add two lines of code to your “search.php” file. The easiest way is to use the “editor” from your WordPress dashboard. It can be found under the “appearance” section of your admin options.

I always recommend making a backup of any files before editing them. Once you are in the editor open up your search.php file, and below the “no posts found” message, add this:

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Use client side browser caching to speed up your site or blog.

use browser caching to speed up your site or blog

Ok, not that kind of cash! "cache" mmmkay?

So there are several tutorials I will be writing that have to do with optimizing your website or blog. The first one we will cover is simple and easy. Hopefully you have easy access to your “.htaccess” file so we can modify it. Depending on your web host you might be accessing it via FTP, or SSH (secure shell). I highly recommend making a backup of your .htaccess file before editing it so if something goes dangerously  wrong you can put it back to the way it was.

We are going to leverage the client’s web browser to cache the files from our website so once they load the page and surf to other pages the load times will be much faster than the first visit to the first page. Often times there are graphics, fonts, video and other files that load on every page. Well, why not let the client cache them and load from memory?

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If you are annoyed with the collapsing menus on the left hand side of your WordPress Admin menu, change it out!

Fluency is a really awesome plugin that requires little configuration and adds all sorts of sexiness to your administration back-end. Most bloggers may not care about the look and feel of the admin menu but your client might. The other neat feature is it changes the look of the login screen, and it’s brand-able. You can use your own logo to replace the boring look in the upper left hand side.

Fluency provides the following features:

New features

  • Compatibility with WordPress 3.0
  • Add your own custom link to your custom logo on the WP login page
  • Display your own custom logo at the top of the WP Menu once logged in.
  • Turn Hover menus on/off
  • Turn Hot Keys on/off
  • iPad friendly menus
  • Improved support for Opera 10.5+
  • Added ‘Coffee’ color scheme (set in your profile) (2.3.1)
  • .pot file now included for those wishing to translate Fluency (2.3.1)
  • See changelog for full list of changes/additions

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Create a custom login URL for your wordpress admin login

customize wordpress admin login URL

Let's Get Custom!

So if you are new to using WordPress you might sometimes forget what the login URL is to access your administration page. By default the login link would be “” and this will load the screen for you to login. If you would like to simplify this login URL you can do this easily by modifying your “.htaccess” file which WordPress creates when you install it. It is located in your root directory of wherever you installed WordPress.

There are a couple of ways you can modify your .htaccess file. I prefer to do it through a secure shell connection but you can also modify it and upload it via your favorite FTP applicaction. We will do it both ways. First way is via secure shell. I open up a terminal window is OSX or in Windows you can use putty. I have a quick video on using putty here at the bottom of the post.

The first thing I do is tell it that I want to connect using the command:  ssh  If you are using a web host that allows you to use secure shell this is a great way to access your website securely. If not, you can use the FTP method to modify your .htaccess.

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WordCamp Atlanta

It's Coming! BOO YA!

Last year I attended WordCamp Atlanta, and Birmingham and had a blast at both. I think I enjoyed the Birmingham WordCamp a bit more simply because it was in the summer time, and it was in another state and I enjoy getting out of here from time to time. The WordCamp Atlanta conference was in January of 2010 and we had a hellish week of snow, ice and bitter effin’ cold that made for a hasteful getaway post conference. One of my favorite things about WordCamps & BarCamps is the after party of getting to know fellow bloggers, web designers and developers.

Having the opportunity to mingle with people IRL (In Real Life) that you know from the interwebs is an awesome experience because it really bonds that connection that you have worked to build online. WordCamp is a conference of WordPress users, developers, and enthusiasts to learn from each other with somewhat formalized sessions that are topic based.

Genius Bar – Another awesome aspect to attending WordCamp is having access to experts. You can walk right up to them to ask a question, open your laptop to show an error or problem, and get instant help from people who have been developing and using this fantabulous web software we call wordPress.

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Using social media can be a great way to create awareness and generate traffic to your site. It’s a natural step in the progression of building on online presence. Facebook is a great way to build community, interaction and awareness. So here is our humble page thus far. We are less than a week old and have 2 people who like the page which is infinitely more people than we had when we started :)

Feel free to LIKE us on Facebook, but only if you really like us. Ok, even if you don’t we will be forever in your debt with gratitude.

Like Us on Facebook

Scattered Blogger is on Facebook.. Like.. a ..BOSS

Optimizing your WordPress settings for success.

This is the fourth video of the [Get Started] series especially for WordPress beginners.

Optimizing WordPress Settings

Time To Configure for Optimization

So before we fire off writing posts and pages in our new WordPress site, we want to make sure we have our settings optimized. What do I mean by optimized? We essentially want to make sure we are optimizing the foundation for success. Our work-flow, SEO, and process for publishing can be much easier if you have everything setup correctly ahead of time.

Let’s start with a setting that catches even the most seasoned blogger. The time setting.

WordPress Timezone

Make Sure To Set Your Timezone!

So if you wanted to “schedule” a post to publish at a certain time and date, it is important to make sure your site knows what time it is for you. Missing this is setting is a common mistake and can be configured under the General Settings of your website.

If you would like to publish content from a third party or remote connection, you will want to make sure you enable Remote Publishing under the Writing settings.

Remote Publishing

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We are ready to bust out the shell and do some crazy WU-TNAG hax0ring!

This is the third video of the [Get Started] series especially for WordPress beginners.

Installing WordPress from subversion

Let's Hack Some Stuff!

Ok, this process will make us feel like cool hackers because we are going to do something very very full of awesome. We are going to install WordPress (Like a BOSS) from the WordPress subverison repository. Why would we wna tot do that Josh? I gladly answer with “because we can, and it’s totally awesome” I hope that suffices.

Obviously this is not the only way to install WordPress. But I guarantee once you do it once or twice, you will see the advantages of this. Here are some actual formulated reasons:

  • Installing from subverison guarantees you are installing the latest stable build
  • You are installing from the server so it is super fast
  • Makes upgrading a snap
  • Streamlines workflow for installing multiple websites or blogs
  • Securely connect to your server without using FTP which is NOT secure
  • You just look cool doing it

I work on a MacBook Pro, but I made a screen-cast on windows as well so Windows users don’t feel left out on the fun.

We are going to run the command from the codex website:

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Configuring your webhost to prepare for your EPIC WordPress Installation!

This is the second video of the [Get Started] series especially for WordPress beginners.

You're Locked & Loaded

Locked & Loaded - Let's Get Serious

So we have our domain name, now what? Well my friends and fellow fraggers we begin by getting our DNS information from our web hosting provider, then we head on back to Godaddy or your respective domain registrar and tell them where we are going to park this beautiful new creature we call our website. (That’s right, LIKE A BOSS)

What we will do in this exercise is:

  1. Create the new web space for our website
  2. Specify our DNS information at our domain registrar
  3. Create a username and password to access our new web Ponderosa
  4. Create a database servername, and database along with username and password
  5. Play video games and frag kids in the UK to celebrate our success.

Ok so maybe not everyone will join me on step 5, but it’s a good way to destress.

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