WP Programming

January 1st in Wordpress SEO, Wordpress Training by .

A lot of fellow bloggers have asked me in the past how I got my start as a SEO professional for WordPress. WordPress is a wonderful CMS, and it does give you a good chance to get ranked higher on search engines if you know what you are doing. SEO for WordPress is not that much different from regular SEO. It’s just that WordPress has some known issues (e.g. duplicate content, permalinks, …) that you could fix easily if you have a basic knowledge of search engine optimization. For more advanced tactics, you won’t need to look for a WP specific resource. The are plenty of powerful SEO resources that give you a basic knowledge of search engine optimization, but if you want to get your hands on one that teaches you everything you need to know to optimize your WordPress blog for search engines and beyond, here are 3 courses you should consider picking up:

SEOBook: the best search engine training program on the web bar none. It got me started with my own journey in the world of search engine optimization, and it can help you gain a deep understanding of SEO over time. There are plenty of training modules and videos you can watch to pick up all kinds of tips. Add SEO tools that are available on this site, and you get a lot of bang for your buck. [click to continue…]

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August 30th in Wordpress Books, Wordpress Training by .

Twitter has quickly become “THE” community to be a part of. Not only it’s a great community to network with others and build relationships, but it can help drive lots of traffic to your blog as well. So if you have a WordPress blog, you can’t afford not to be involved on Twitter. But Twitter is more than just talking about what you are doing every minute or what you plan to eat for lunch. It’s about connecting with others and providing them with content that makes them want to come back for more. Perhaps the best way to get a handle on Twitter is learn from the masters. Thankfully, many top Twitter experts have written books or created courses on this very topic. So as long as you are willing to spend some time to get through them, you should have no trouble becoming a tweetmaster.

If you are looking for a killer resource to take your Twitter game to the next level, here are 4 cool resources (and books) you should consider reviewing:

The Twitter Book: a book by the legendary Tim O’reilly. It’s one of the best Twitter books around. The book shows you how to get started with Twitter and how to effectively push your business and brand on Twitter.

Twitter Power: Joel Comm needs no introduction. His Adsense books dominated the best sellers charts for long. Twitter Power shows you exactly what you need to do to dominate the world of Twitter. [click to continue…]

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August 20th in Wordpress Books by .

Search Engine Optimization All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers))

A lot of bloggers assume that once they switch from Blogger or other platforms to WordPress, their site is going to show up higher on Google’s search engine result pages. There was a time when some experts actually gave WordPress a big edge over its competitors as far as SEO was concerned. But these days, if you want to show up at the top of the search engines, you’ve got to work at it. Choosing the right keyword and writing magnetic content goes a long way towards helping you get better rankings on Google and other search engines but having a long-term SEO strategy always pay in the long run.

Search Engine Optimization for Dummies is a wonderful book by Bruce Clay, a SEO legend, that shows you how to optimize any website for search engines. The books starts from zero and shows you how to take your website to the next level by optimizing all aspects that are deemed to be important by search engines. The book starts with an overview of how search engines work, and what they deem to be important when ranking a website. So you won’t have to follow instructions that others give you without understanding why they are important.

The keyword research section is rich and a must read for everyone. A lot of people tend to go overboard with their keyword research and target too many keywords per page. Bruce discusses what you need to look out for when conducting your keyword research. The author doesn’t just show you how to research keywords. He also discusses how you can develop a real keyword strategy for your website. Your keyword research process never stops. You always have to be on the top of things and find new ways to get ranked high on Google. But having a long-term strategy, you can keep targeting popular terms and grab more traffic share in your niche.

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August 14th in Wordpress Training by .

I am a serial book reader. Every new book that comes to the market, I try to get and read as soon as possible. You can always catch up with the latest developments in your industry by following blogs. But design books are also a solid choice if you want to learn the latest techniques and find out about the latest developments in the design world. But a lot of people prefer listening, watching, and seeing things done than just reading about them. That’s exactly what you get with interactive video courses on the market. Video courses are particularly useful if you want someone to walk you through a new technology in the shortest time possible. I personally prefer learning the basics in video format before moving to more advanced topics in advanced books and blogs. But your taste maybe different.

Total Training (and Lynda.com) are the two video training services that I have used on a consistent basis in the past few years. I admit that I am not exactly a master in Adobe products, but I have picked up a lot of good stuff from these training videos. Total Training courses are especially impressive as they teach you how to do things and show them to you in a straightforward manner. So you never miss a step and won’t have to spend time trying to figure out how to do things you just watched a video on.

Total Training courses are designed for newbies and intermediate designers. They keep you up to date with the latest technologies such as Web Expression, Flex, CS4, and beyond. They also show you how to master Photoshop and Elements. These are technologies that you will need to know about if you want to make it as a designer. So if you are hoping to get started with a career in design, Total Training courses come in handy. [click to continue…]

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June 3rd in Wordpress Tips, Wordpress Training by .

I have been writing this blog for a while now, and while I have tried to cover a whole lot of WordPress topics, I have not posted on how to get started with WordPress and go from beginning to advanced fast. There is just too much to learn and no matter how advanced you are, chances are there are more things you need to learn about WordPress. That’s why I have decided to create this list to discuss tools and resources you can refer to take your WordPress game to the next level.

WordPress for Beginners

  • WordPress Entrepreneur: learn how to setup, customize & use a WordPress website. Easy to read and makes you dangerous when it comes to WP.
  • WordPress Foundations 2.7: Second Edition: a great book that shows you what you need to know to find your way around WordPress.
  • WordPress for Dummies: the best book to get started with WordPress if you have no idea what you are doing.
  • Easy Guide to Blogging (vol.1 ): a good video training course that teaches you how to get started with WordPress blogging. Excellent for beginners. Don’t want to read a book? Then, this is for you.

Theme & Plugin Development

  • How to Theme WordPress: learn how to develop a theme for WordPress fast. Learn what you need to do to develop attractive themes. Great video course.
  • WordPress Theme Design: a complete guide to creating professional WordPress themes fast. A smash hit by Packt Publishing.
  • How to be a Rockstar WordPress Designer: this guide shows you how to create your own themes and make money online from your art work.
  • WordPress Plugin Development: another Packet Publishing book that covers WordPress plugin development. Lots of sample code and clear instructions on how to write killer plugins.
  • WordPress On Crack: if you need someone to take your hand and show you how to write cool plugins from start to finish, this is the guide you should read. Comes with video training movies as well.
  • Total Training Library: a great way to stay on the top of the latest developments and technologies in the world of design. Master everything Adobe with Total Training video training.

Advanced: Programming and API

 

  • Ajax: The Definitive Guide: the best AJAX book on the market hands down.
  • jQuery UI 1.6: a lot of top theme developers use jQuery for their dynamic themes. If you have no idea what this technology is all about, here is a good place to start.
  • Twitter API: a must read book in my opinion. The more you know about Twitter, the better you can use it to push your WordPress business to the next level.
  • Facebook Cookbook: whether you want to get more out of Facebook Connect on your WordPress blog or want to know about what it takes to write Facebook/Wordpress apps, this is great book to read. It has lots of examples and is very hands on.

WordPress Blogging

  • Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read: you may get real good with WordPress but if you can’t write a blog the right away, then you are not going to get a whole lot of visitors. No one wants to know what you have had for your lunch. So instead of writing about that, read this book to find out what works.
  • Blogging To the Bank: more advanced tactics to write killer blog posts and make a living online from blogging.
  • WordPress for Business Bloggers: if you are working for a corporation and have been asked to take over their business blog, then this is the book you should read. It shows you what you should do and not to do with a business blog.
  • ProBlogger: written by legendary blogger, Darren Rowse, this book walks you through everything you need to know to develop a community around your blog and make money online.

WordPress as a Business

  • Start Your Own Blogging Business: if you plan to start a business around your blog, you need a guide to walk you through the steps you need to take to build and grow your business. This books shows you what you need to keep in mind when starting your business.
  • How to be a Rockstar Freelancer: if you plan to start your own WP consulting business, you need to read this guide to learn what you need to do and avoid to make it big.

WordPress Hosting

  • DreamHost: my current web host. They are pretty decent and the support is wonderful. The one click WordPress install is very useful ($50 off coupon: WPJEDI)
  • Wpwebhost: tailored towards the needs of WordPress site owners. Supports WordPress MU as well.
  • Blue Host: used by a whole lot of small businesses for blogging, pod-casting, and …
  • HostGator: another top host for WordPress sites. Compatible with many third party services.
  • Yahoo!: Yahoo! web hosting is a top hosting service for all types of websites. You can’t go wrong with Yahoo! (Coupon Code: WHMS35OFF).

WordPress Themes

  • Business themes: 45 cool premium themes that get you started with your WordPress corporate site fast.
  • Blogging Themes: 52 premium themes for anyone interested in blogging professionally.
  • Vlogging Themes: 12 best WordPress themes for video bloggers. Allow you to post your videos to your vlog easily.

Social Media

  • Twitter Power: a killer book by Joel Comm that shows you how to get the most out of Twitter.
  • Twitter Hacks: learn everything there is about Twitter on this Twitter-exclusive Squidoo page.
  • Twitter Tips, Tricks, and Tweets: another book on Twitter that teaches you how gain and grow your follower list fast.
  • Facebook Marketing: learn how to take advantage of Facebook to push your WordPress blog.

Tools

  • Bookmarking Demon: if you need free traffic for your blog, this is one killer tool to try. Let’s you submit your blog posts to social media sites fast.
  • Social Maximizer: a service that will automatically submit your blog posts to social networking sites. It’s 19 cents per submission which is pretty cheap.
  • Social Submitter: submit your sites to social bookmarking sites easily with Social Submitter.
  • EzineArticles Marketing: learn how to use article marketing to drive traffic to your WordPress blog.

There you have it. Whether you are a complete beginner or fairly advanced with WP, you can still get a lot of value from the above resources. The good thing about being a WordPress user is that you will have to be on your toes all the time and never stop learning. It’s all fun though.

Your turn: please feel free to share your favorite WordPress tool/guide here.

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March 23rd in Wordpress Books by .

WordPress Plugin Development (Beginner's Guide)
WordPress Plug-in Development: Get your copy here.
Wordpress is one of the best content management systems out on the market. Not only it’s a free powerful CMS, WordPress also relies on its community to enhance its functionality by coding themes and plugins. Writing WordPress plugins is not very difficult if you know what you are doing. The only problem is where to get the proper information on how to do it.

A lot of these coders have to spend hours to research the ins and outs of the WordPress platform and read a handful of books to get a handle of the platform. With WordPress Plugin Development, you get it all in one package. The author takes you through the process that you need to go through to develop sophisticated WordPress plugins.

What I like about this book is the fact that it is hands-on. You don’t get a book that just delves into the theory behind writing plugins. The author shows you the way and takes your hand as you code your first set of WordPress plug-ins. Here are the plugins that you will have written by the time you are finished with the book:

  • Digg This: add Digg This functionality to your blog.
  • Live Blogroll: enhance your blog’s blogroll.
  • The Wall: create a shout box for WordPress plugin.
  • Snazzy Archives: beautifies your archives.
  • Insights: access your articles and Flickr images from within the WordPress edit page.
  • Post Types: enhance WordPress’ backend as you wish.

As you can guess, the plugins that you code get more complex as you delve deeper into the book. Every single plugin that you write in this book teaches you valuable information that you can use for the next. By the time, you are done with the last plugin, you’ll know exactly how to deal with custom fields, change the backend, and write sophisticated plugins to pretty much do anything you want.

Creating a WordPress plugin is more than just writing the code. You also want to think about security, deployment, and compatibility issues. WordPress Plugin Development teaches you how to:

  • Master the WordPress code base, WordPress’s plug-in architecture, and the plug-in application programming interface (API).
  • Manipulate data, handle user roles and permissions, and posts.
  • Use actions and filters to write more sophisticated code.
  • Customize menus, sub-menus, and the plug-in admin panel.
  • Use AJAX and jQuery to write more dynamic plug-ins.
  • Integrate your plug-in with WordPress panels and the tinyMCE editor
  • Work with third-party APIs such as Flicker or Digg API
  • Localize your WordPress installation.
  • Publish your plugin to WordPress Plugin Repository
  • Create safe WordPress plugins to protect the users against hackers.

Overall, WordPress Plugin Development another smash hit by Packt Publishing. This is a great book for anyone who’s interested in writing professional plugins for the WordPress platform. The book is very different from those books that teach you how to write “hello world” code but don’t show you how to code properly. The author walks you through the process of writing a few simple and complex WordPress plugins, and he shows you what you need to look out for to write better, more secure code. If you are planning to get into the WordPress Development business, you must read WordPress Plugin Development.

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March 19th in Wordpress Books by .

I am a WordPress junkie. There is no shame in that. But you don’t have to be a WP junkie to appreciate a good WordPress book when you see it. The guys as Packt Publishing have 3 smash hits for WordPress bloggers that teach you everything you need to know to blog and design WordPress blogs like a pro. Let’s check them out:

1. WordPress Theme Design: for a long time I searched for a good book that talked about how to design my own WordPress theme. I guess the guys at Packt publishing heard me out. WordPress Theme Design is a sweet book that teaches you the ins and outs of a typical WordPress theme and how you can create your very own theme. You get sample code and all kinds of tips that you can take advantage of to get into the business of building WP themes.

2. WordPress Plugin Development: WordPress theme development is only one part of the equation. If you want to create your own WordPress factory, you’ve got to be able to write your own plugins too. Packt Publishing’s book on WordPress plugin development is going to teach you how to write WordPress plugins like a pro!

3. WordPress for Business Bloggers: You know how to write your own theme. You know how to write your plugin. Can you actually write for your own blog? WordPress for business bloggers is a solid how-to-blog book that shows you exactly how to write business blogs like a pro.

There you have it folks. Packt Publishing is one of the best technical publishers in the world. Their books on Open Source content management systems are often very solid. But they have hit a triple with their top 3 WordPress books. If you are looking to learn WordPress inside and out, you should consider picking up these books.

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