July 2009
« Jun   Aug »

My Second 50 Days of WordPress – Part II

When I’m gone
You will remember my name
I’m gonna win my way
To wealth and fame

I’ve now been live for about 100 days. Initially, my main focus was building the blog nicely. You can read about my theme, plugins, feeds and mobile version in My First 50 Days of WordPress – Part I. The focus of the this post is further validation, authoring, SEO and traffic driving. I don’t like buttons and badges on sites as they slow things down, but I decided I’d keep a separate page with all of them – Tools, Buttons and Badgers. This page will be a continuous work in progress.

New Plugins

Firstly, I’ve added a few more plugins and painlessly upgraded to WordPress 2.8.1:

  • BackUpWordPress - a useful plugin to ensure you don’t lose anything. It even emails you your backups.
  • GZippy - enables GZIP HTTP Compression to your pages (not static files like .js or .css which can’t be done by a plugin as it is an Apache level thing) which reduces bandwidth and latency significantly
  • Robots Meta – I’ve used this to stop search engines indexing my archive, category and tag pages. I only want my home page and posts in their indexes. Also a good place to store your verification codes for Google, Yahoo and Microsoft WebMaster tools.

WordPress for iPhone App

I’m a huge iPhone fan, and use the free WordPress for iPhone app to write my posts on the underground. One warning – the Mofuse plugin breaks this and you get the dreaded NSXMLParserErrorDomain rubbish. The short explanation: Mofuse detects the user agent of a request to decide if it should redirect a user to the mobile site. Unfortunately, it uses quite a blunt search for this, so any user agent with “mobile” or “iphone” in it becomes a mobile version. WordPress for iPhone has a user agent that includes “wp-iphone”, so Mofuse redirects the XML-RPC requests to your mobile domain which doesn’t do XML-RPC. I’ve mailed the creators of the plugin so hopefuly they’ll fix this soon. In the mean time, you’ll need to change the code of your plugin yourself by adding this at line 95 of mofuse.php (I’m on version 0.9o):

94: if (stripos($mf_ua, ‘iphone’)!==false || stripos($ua, ‘ipod’)!==false) { $mf_isiphone=1; }
95: if (stripos($mf_ua, ‘wp-iphone’)!==false) { $mf_isiphone=0; } // ADDED THIS LINE
96: if (stripos($mf_ua, ‘android’)!==false) { $mf_isandroid=1; }


Twitter for Traffic Driving

I’ve posted about this earlier in Twigger Happy Self Promotion. I get more traffic from Twitter than from organic search, which is why I’m mentioning it here before SEO. As mentioned in the previous post too, I’ve stopped being a douchebag and only tweet about a blog posting once, unless I have real updates. Flogging the same horse gets you unfollowed. The most important thing is to engage people, and follow people that talk about your areas of interest. Hopefully some will follow you back, and give you the much needed retweets to expand your audience. Here are the Twitter tools I use:

  • TweetDeck (and Tweetdeck for iPhone) – you need a good client to keep on top of the game. I like running a few searches for topics of interest so that I can keep up with the breaking news and meet folk that have similar interests to me. I also love the grouping functionality so you can make sure you don’t miss tweets from the most important Tweeple you’re stalking.
  • Twitterfeed - this is hooked up to my RSS feed and posts a Tweet once, normally about 30 minutes after I publish a post. I’m thinking about turning it off.
  • Twilerts - can run a search and email you daily which the results. I used it to track the results of my stupid CMS quiz. It turns out it’ll only do 100 results per day though.
  • BackTweets - Great site. I use it to send me an email whenever someone links to my domain. It understands all the URL shorteners out there so does something a simple seach can’t
The Twitterverse - Click for Large Image (cc) www.briansolis.com + www.jess3.com

The Twitterverse - Click for Large Image (cc) www.briansolis.com + www.jess3.com

WebMaster Tools

When it comes to SEO, these should be your first point of call. The three big players all have their own, and it is well worth getting account with all of them and fixing all errors. They each tell you different things. They’re still indexing more than I want them to.

SEO Checkers and Directories

I use the following sites to check if all is well – I probably run them about once a week. Between them, I think they check most things:

  • Multipage Validator – Recently found this site, which checks multiple URLs using the W3C HTML Validator. Only does about 200 pages but stil useful
  • WebSite Grader – Checks all manner of things, including entries into various directories
  • Web Optimisation Web Page Analyser – checks things related to the download speed
  • popuri.us – quickly checks your rankings, postions in a few places – see image below
  • Technorati - I’ve added my blog and check the positions there. I only have one fan. Me.
  • Alexa - The daddy of ranking sites. I’m only just in the top million
  • Cacheability Engine – Check how well your site caches. I need to do work here still


In closing

This post has been a bit of a brain dump of the tools I’m using. Probably as much for me to remember them as for others. I hope some people find it vaguely useful and I’d love to hear from you if there other things I’m missing out on.

  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

1,297 comments to My Second 50 Days of WordPress – Part II