Category Archives: WordPress Plugins

With Facebook for WordPress, What’s Going to Change?

WordPress is admittedly the most used CMS(content management system). It caters to a wide range of siteowners. From small scale websites to tech news giants, everybody can rely on its robust yet flexible website management. On the other hand, to promote their content every webmaster has to rely on social media. Facebook, for long, has provided a feisty marketing tool for every business out there. From the time Open Graph came to existence, webmasters had no other choice but to code their apps to integrate Facebook’s social experience with their WordPress blogs. Thankfully with the new plugin it won’t be a strenuous task anymore.

facebook-for-wordpress-intro

Let’s start with the installation. Follow the simple steps below to activate the new plugin.

1. Download the Facebook plugin for WordPress.

2. You can either upload it to your blog’s hosting server with your ftp client or you can use your WordPress account. A quick tutorial is available here.

3. Once you have succesfully uploaded the plugin, go to Plugins > Inactive and scroll down to activate the Facebook plugin.

4. Now in order to use the plugin you will need to register a Facebook app. You don’t need to be a coder to do that. Just go to The Facebook Developers page and create a new app.

NOTE: If you already have an app registered with Facebook you can go directly to the app and copy the App ID and App Secret. Skip this step and start from step 6.

5. Now add the page name (your blog name would be a good choice here), namespace(optional, entering your blog name is recommended) and Heroku web hosting(optional). Once you are done, you will be redirected to the app page where you will get the App ID and App Secret. These will be needed for configuring the plugin. Scroll down and you will find an option where you will need to mention how your app integrates with Facebook. Click the first option “Website with Facebook Login” and enter your full blog URL i.e including the http://. Once done press the button Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

register-app-facebook

facebook-app-id-secret

6. Now that you have your App ID, App Secret and namespace go back to your plugin configuration page and enter them. After, you have completed the activation you will be presented with a settings page for the Facebook plugin. Choose the options you wish to and save the necessary changes after you had configured them. We’ll discuss more on the configuration changes and how it effects your site layout in a later post.

Every WordPress is meant to add additional capabilities to the CMS. Facebook for WordPress implements the latest social attributes of Facebook for your blog.

1. Social Publisher: This is indeed something new and helpful if you own a multi-author blog. True you could already share posts automatically on Facebook as they were published. However, if your authors too can showcase their posts on their personal timeline, that would mean some additional traffic from their friends and followers. Apart from these any author can mention the names of their friends to post on their timeline as well.

2. Send and Like buttons are primitive if compared with the rest of the functions the plugin offers. It adds a Like and Send button to the top/bottom of any post of your blog to let users share it with their Facebook friends.

3. Subscribe Button: This definitely helps any blog to promote their authors and in turn their content. So far top blogs with reputed authors used to have this feature(but was not limited to). The hassle of coding is no more there, all you now need to do is ask every author to authorize the app from within their WordPress accounts. Doing this will show a subscribe button at the end of the post.

4. The comments section is also something that was popular already. It also comes bundled with other features with this plugin.

5. Recommendation Bar: Technically this is the only significant feature that comes for the first time along with the plugin release. This adds a sticky bar that shows article recommendations to readers. The readers can use the Like button there to like the post they are on or turn on the social reading. This can serve as viral marketing as friends of the reader will see a ticker or news feed entry that says “X read THIS POST on THE BLOG”. Until now this was possible with the selected social readers after the last f8 keynote.

facebook-for-wordpress-social-reading

What it means for a reader?

So as the behemoth of social marketing integrates more easily with the most popular blogging platform expect more clutter in your already populous news feed. Apart from that if you really love sharing what you read, it would be a more pleasant experience for you.

What changes for a webmaster?

Thankfully, a lot. Less coding and more functions. A caution, do not overdo. Sometimes less is more. With more sharing features you will enjoy better visibility on the social network but similar to other plugins your site load time will be hit. Sticky bars are good but at the same time can be annoying too. As you are a better judge for your readers, the decision rests upon you.

Why was it launched? How does it make up for Facebook?

As you have noticed, apart from the recommendations bar everything was already there. This might just be a compilation of the Facebook sharing features. My personal opinion is that the recommendation bar feature is what motivated Facebook to launch this plugin. Since Facebook is planning on a better functional search (and Bing’s social search) their repository should be rich in content. Apart from pages, updates and other things the social reader will take the user engagement to the next level. The less known blogs (with low sharer counts) can also include their content now in a much simpler way. This seems even more relevant as Facebook went on the IPO way and is struggling so far. A new opportunity based on search ads sounds too lucrative to dismiss. Now considering their proximity to Bing they are less likely to go for a head-on clash with Google(Bing already enjoys that rightfully). So improving the internal search for content might be a way out of this.

Think of me as an elitist but I will still bank on the facts that Facebook has already done a great job in luring users. A better platform with better search will only make things better for them(and hopefully a boost for their IPO) and for a right mind that should not be considered evil. There’s nothing personal, it’s all business.

Jetpack Brings A Lot Of WordPress.com Goodness To Your Self Hosted WordPress Blog

No, this is not about Mozilla’s experimental project (which has been also coined the term Jetpack). Automattic has just launched Jetpack, a new plugin which brings WordPress.com goodness to self hosted WordPress blogs i.e blogs that are hosted with WordPress.org.

With the Jetpack plugin for WordPress, webmasters or bloggers who don’t use WordPress.com and prefer using the open source CMS version can access features that depend on WordPress.com.

Installing Jetpack on Your Self Hosted WordPress Blog

Getting started with Jetpack is easy, you can either visit the homepage and download the files (740KB). Else you can do a search for Jetpack(without quotes) under Add New Pluginsin your blog’s administration area. I would prefer the latter option because this method does not require downloading the plugin, opening up an FTP client and uploading the files to the Wp-content/plugins directory.

install-jetpack

Once you have installed the plugin, you will have to connect your WordPress.com account with the plugin preferences. If you do not have a WordPress.com account yet, you know where to start

connect-jetpack

In the next page, simply enter your WordPress.com credentials and click Authorize Jetpack

authorize-jetpack

After you have authorized the plugin, you should be automatically redirected to the Jetpack settingspage of your blog, where you can choose the features you want to use on your self hosted WordPress blog.

jetpack-install-complete

Plugins And Features That Comes Bundled With Jetpack

Oh My, so many stuff under one hood. Yes, Jetpack brings a lot of WordPress.com features to your self hosted WordPress blog with a single click. You can individually handpick the features or plugins you want to use or choose all of them in one go.

This is quite similar to the first Fantastico installation provided by Dreamhost and some other hosting providers. If you have the experience of installing a new WordPress blog using Fantastico, you might know that some hosting providers provide a default bulk plugin and theme setups, after you’ve installed WordPress.

Following plugins and features are provided with Jetpack:

  • WordPress.com Stats: This one is a must, if you want to check your blog stats within your WordPress administration area. Simple, concise site stats with no additional load on your server.
  • Twitter widget: Display the latest updates from a Twitter user inside your theme’s widgets.
  • ShareDaddy: The most super duper sharing tool on the interwebs. Allow your website visitors to share content on Facebook, Twitter and many more social networking websites.
  • Gravatar Hovercards: Show a pop-up business card of your users’ Gravatar profiles in comments.
  • Wp.me Shortlinks: Enable WP.me-powered shortlinks for all of your Posts and Pages for easier sharing.
  • Shortcode Embeds: Easily embed videos from sites like YouTube, Vimeo and SlideShare.
  • After the Deadline: Helps you write better by adding spell, style, and grammar checking to WordPress.
  • Latex: Let’s you mark up posts with the LaTeX markup language, perfect for complex mathematical equations and other über-geekery.

WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg says:

Every time we launch something new on WP.com the first question is always asking how people can get it for their self-hosted blog. Now you can have your cake and eat it too — host your own blog, completely under your control and with the freedom of the GPL, and still get all the cloud goodies of our hosted service. It’s the best of both worlds.

You can head over to Jetpack’s FAQ page to learn more.

Learn to make your First PHP WordPress Plugin in 10 Minutes

WordPress is fantastic. Take out word for it. Even Techie Buzz runs on WordPress! One of the reasons why this blogging platform is so famous is due to its vast and vibrant community that creates, shares and modifies plugins.

grey-m

Plugins are tiny (or large) pieces of code that extend your site to do a lot of things. According to WordPress itself, Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine, from sending your new posts to Twitter automat[t]ically to having HTML5 MP3 players with a minimal interface.

Now, Jay Harley, the founder of Heaven Interactive and an avid web programmer has put up a very short primer on making your own WordPress plugin in PHP within ten minutes. This Graphical User Interface (GUI) plugin works off your WordPress Admin Dashboard.

The tutorial assumes that you have a solid grasp of PHP and some experience with WordPress. It also builds up on concepts introduced by a few WordPress plugin-authoring books such as WordPress Plugin Development (Beginner’s Guide)

While the tutorial is not as fleshed out as a real introductory class on plugin development, it sets the stage for further development by you, the developer. If you have always wanted to write your own WordPress plugin, this is that ignition that you have always wanted!

Start making your own PHP WordPress plugin in ten minutes.

How To Create Your Own Comic Site In Minutes [Webcomics]

The literary meaning of comicis pertaining to comedy. If we look back at our childhood, we’d all remember how much we used to love comics. We’d all love and some may fanatically collect strips of Spiderman and X Men. Times have changed, mediums have shifted but the love has not.

The newest rage and most preferred way to start a new comic these days is through the internet. It’s called a Webcomic. If you haven’t been living under a rock, you probably are aware of the popular xkcd. There are also other popular comic publications/sites like Doghouse Diaries and Explosm. To give expression to your thoughts in a graphical form, you no more need a publication house. It can all be done through the internet, in minutes, all by yourself. Even better, you’ll be saving paper!

So if you have got the artistic talent to draw and the capability to put people into fits of laughter, this is where you should be starting out. Read on to see how you can create a comic site, or a webcomic in minutes.

Webcomic

fa442c55cf0f4497bec28cb30d515d49 Webcomic is a plugin for WordPress that helps you set up and manage comic sites in little time. It is inspired by the ComicPress theme that was probably the first theme specifically built for a comic site. It works together with its sister theme Inkblotand surpasses ComicPress with features like Flash comic support, user-submittable transcripts, multi-comic support, support for loading entirely different WordPress themes based on the current comic, advanced storyline navigation, WordPress MU support, and internationalization support. The plugin also provides support for independent comic libraries. With ComicPress, people often complained about the lack of flexibility. Webcomic won’t let you feel that. If you decide on this, don’t forget to checkout the video tutorials.

3 WordPress Plugins to Add Snow Fall Effect to Your Blog

For this chilly winter season, why not intrigue your blog readers with a nice snow fall effect?   If your blog is based on WordPress, then here are three cool plug-ins which enable you to add a snow fall effect to your blog with ease.

Let It Snow!

This plug-in enables you to customize the snowing effect to suit your blog’s design. It provides you with options to set limits for,

  • The maximum number of snowflakes that can exist on the screen at a given time.
  • Maximum speed of snowfall in vertical and horizontal directions.
  • The maximum number of active flakes etc.,

The interesting part of this plug-in is that, you can see all the snow settling at the bottom of the screen. Nice isn’t it?

Snow, balloons and more

This plug-in enables you to add nice snowflakes, leaves, drops and balloons that can float on your blog. You can choose the number of snowflakes and limit the plug-in to specific posts or pages. It provides you with options to set limits to the wind strength, snowfall speed etc., You might want to check out a live demo of this plug-in here.

Snow Storm

Snow Storm is a similar WordPress plugin which enables you to add a snow effect to your blog with all the snow accumulating at the bottom of the web page.

7 WordPress plugins that help your blog’s maintenance

If your website or blog is based on WordPress, then here are some of the best plugins that help you with maintenance.

Broken Link Checker: Checks your blog for broken links. It monitors links in your posts, pages, blogroll and custom fields. It detects missing images and broken links and notifies you on the Dashboard. You can also search and filter links by URL and anchor text.

Maintenance Mode: This plugin will come handy when your web site or blog is under construction or maintenance. It adds a splash page to your blog to let visitors know that the blog is temporarily down for maintenance. Administrators once logged-in, can have full access to the blog including the front-end.

WP-DBManager: Enables you to backup, optimize, restore and repair your WordPress database. It supports scheduled backups. You can even drop/empty tables and run selected queries.

Site Maintenance: This plugin puts your site under maintenance mode by sending a ‘503 Service Unavailable’ status to visitors.

WP Security Scan: Scans for security vulnerabilities in your WordPress installation and suggests corrective measures. It checks database security, passwords, file permissions, WordPress admin security and more.

AntiVirus: It’s an effective plugin to protect your blog against spam injections and other exploits. With this plugin you can perform a daily automatic check to make sure your blog is secure. You can do a manual testing and obtain immediate result of the infected files.

Trash Manager:   With the new functionality – Trash introduced in WordPress 2.9 by default you cannot directly delete posts, pages and comments. They have to be moved to Trash first, and then deleted. To make it easier for you, Trash Manager adds ‘Delete Permanently’ link to post, page and comments list. This enables you to delete them directly without having to move them to Trash first.

Twitter Fans Widget WordPress Plugin

Many blogs and websites sport fan widgets, which is officially available for fan pages on Facebook. However, if you also have a account for your blog, you can only display a twittercounter widget or a custom icon which leads to your twitter account.

twitter_fans_widget

Twitter Fans Widget is a new and interesting WordPress plugin, which will allow you to display a Twitter Fans Widget similar to Facebook widget for your site. Once you have installed the plugin on your blog, go to Appearance > Widgetsand drag the Twitter Fans widget to wherever you want to display it.

Add the twitter username and the number of fans you want to display on the widget, and customize the colors for the widget. Once you are done, save the widget and reload the site to view the Twitter Fans widget in action. By the way, you can follow us @techiebuzzer to get the latest updates delivered directly to your Twitter timeline.

Thanks @loyals

Download Twitter Fans WordPress Plugin

Best Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

There are more than thousands of social bookmarking plugins available for WordPress and out of those you would be definitely confused on which plugin you should be using. Its the same case with me too! I’ve shifted to as many plugins as I could to get the best out of it. Through my experience of switching and using many different plugins, I’ve prepared a list of which I rate them, the best” and would love to share it with you.

SexyBookmarks

sexy

Sociable

sociable

ShareThis

sharethis

Social Dropdown

social-dropdown

Digg Digg

digg-digg

SocioFluid

sociofluid

SociBook

sociobook

I Love Social Bookmarking

social_bmarking

Gregarious

gregarious

Use PostgreSQL for WordPress Instead Of MySQL

MySQL is the preferred database for , however not everyone likes MySQL and there is no easy alternative to make WordPress use another database.

If you want to use PostgreSQL with WordPress there is a that will allow you to do it without making any changes to the internal WordPress codebase.

PostgreSQL for WordPress (PG4WP) gives you the possibility to install and use WordPress with a PostgreSQL database as a backend. It works by replacing calls to MySQL specific functions with generic calls that maps them to another database functions.

When needed, the original SQL queries are rewritten on the fly so that MySQL specific queries work fine with the backend database.

Support for other database can also be added if the appropriate drivers are written for them.

We tested this out on a local installation and were able to use PostgreSQL with WordPress without any issues.

The only problem we see with the plugin is that you need to perform a fresh install for this to work, however it might work on older installations if you are able to import the MySQL database to PostgreSQL.

Download PostgreSQL for WordPress (PG4WP)

WordPress Plugin Update Email Notifier

Here is a quick plugin I wrote called Plugin Update Email Notifier, the basic function of this plugin is to send out daily/weekly/monthly notification to administrators if there are any new plugin updates available for their blogs.

Many administrators do not usually login to the admin dashboard, thus missing out on new plugin updates made available by plugin authors.

Many a times these plugin updates are critical and may address a crucial flaw in the plugin or add a exciting feature, to keep you up-to-date on the new updates available for plugins you use (or also those that are deactivated) without having to visit the admin dashboard, you can use the plugin update email notifier plugin.

It runs in the background on a daily/weekly/monthly basis and checks for updates available in plugins and emails you a digest.

Installation is simple, just download the plugin and upload it to your plugins folder, once you have uploaded the plugin, activate it.

VERY IMPORTANT: Once you have activated the plugin don’t forget to set up the plugin to run according to your needs, this setup is required so that the plugin knows when to run and send you email updates about it. Just head to the settings page and change the settings accordingly, if you do not want to change the settings just hit the Save Settings button once.

plugin_updates_notifier_options

You can choose to receive updates once a day, once a week or once a month, by default the updates will only include active plugins you are using, however you can choose to get updates for inactive plugins as well.

If you want to stop receiving emails for plugin updates, you can choose that option too without having to disable the plugin.

Here is the format in which you will receive plugin update emails.

plugin_updates_email_template

If you choose to get updates for inactive plugins, the plugin will flag it in the email making it easier to decide whether or not you need to head to the admin dashboard to update the plugin.

Hope you find this useful, took me just two hours to code, however there are still other huge I am working on and will release soon, keep an eye out for them.

Right now the plugin is hosted on Google code, will move it to WordPress extend as soon as the plugin gets approval.

Download Plugin Updates Email Notifier