WordPress MU vs. – WordPress MU and BuddyPress plugins, themes

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WordPress MU vs.

September 9th 2009 in Community

I’m thinking about, over the next few weeks, revisiting a series of posts I put together way back in the day looking at WordPress MU vs. other multi blogging platforms.

Especially given the (allbeit somewhat distant) integration of WordPress MU into regular old WordPress – thus making this more of a WordPress (with special emphasis on MU) vs. post.

But, regardless of all of that, first we’ve got to figure out the state of the play regarding which platforms we should compare against, and as such I present to you this analysis of where WordPress sits in terms of the rest of the main blogging platform players.

There are actually two groups of players… the also-rans and the market leaders.

The also-rans – as far as I can see – are all dying a sorry slow death as far as stats are concerned 🙁

And they are, specifically TextPattern, Nucleus, b2evolution and Movable Type.

In terms of traffic they’ve been on the decline for some time and it doesn’t look like thy are going to reverse that process:

alsorans1

And the same can be discerned in their search performance, lo how the mighty have fallen.

aslorans2

And then there are the contenders, which – in that inexorable pattern are doing a serious rich get richer thang.

These are, specifically, Joomla, Drupal and – of course – WordPress.

cointenders1

In terms of traffic they are all increasing (although only wordpress.org does so significantly – possibly as a result of the rise of wordpress.com).

contendors2

And in terms of search they are all much, much stronger… with Joomla making a particularly strong showing (maybe people who use Joomla google more… or maybe it means something in dutch 🙂

Think I’ve got it about right? Or am I missing a platform?

For my mind the main articles should be:

WordPress MU vs. Drupal
WordPress MU vs. Joomla
WordPress MU vs. Movable Type

Am not sure if people are that interested in textpattern / nucleus / b2evolution to make those comparisons – again, lemme know if you disagree.

And feel free to run your own stats tests on Google Trends for Websites or Google Insights for search.

Photocrati – Photography WordPress Themes | Theme Lab

This is just a quick announcement post about a photography blog I recently came across with an interesting business model: selling WordPress themes on the side. As you can imagine, they are photography-oriented themes.

Photocrati Themes

At the moment, they have five different themes priced at $59 each, or you could get them all for $99. All of these themes look great and would be ideal for a photography portfolio of sorts, with an accompanying blog.

If there are any photographers here, would you consider buying themes like this? To any bloggers out there, do you find this niche WordPress theme selling model interesting?

WordPress Plugins for Flickr and Post Order « Peter Cossey

WordPress Plugins for Flickr and Post Order

There’s a couple of WordPress Plugins that have hit my radar this week. The first is a Flickr plugin that offers full integration to your Flickr photos via the Flickr API. The plugin is by Joe Tan and is called Flickr Photo Album. It can create a dedicated /photos page on your blog where all your Flickr images are organised in their sets. It also includes a Flickr button on your Post edit interface for inserting pictures and sets.

The second plugin is called postMash and lets you change the order of your posts, kind of like hacking the get_posts() function in your theme except via a plugin instead. Postmash project page.

How to Get a WordPress API Key to Activate Akismet Plugin

Akismet is one of the plugins that every wordpress blogger use. Aksimet is free, regularly updated, comes inbuilt with
WordPress
set up file and works like a charm. Once installed, Akismet keeps a close look on all comments made on your blog and if it suspects anything suspicious, it marks them as
spam and send to the spam folder. But many new users get confused when they try to activate Akismet and it asks for a API key to get activated. Don’t worry, API key for Akismet plugin comes for free and it takes just a minute to generate your unique
WordPress
API key.

How to get Akismet API key

Remember that unless and until you get a
wordpress
API key
, Akismet spam feature won’t work on your blog. However you can generate one Akismet key and use that on all your blogs to activate Akismet.

How to Activate Akismet

  1. Navigate to WordPress and sign up for a free account.
  2. When asked, select the second option – “Just a username, please.
  3. Akismet Api no

  4. After successful registration,
    WordPress
    will send a verification email to your email. Remember to provide actual email address.
  5. Open that email and scroll down to find
    WordPress
    .com API key
    . It looks like the below screenshot.
  6. Enter Akismet Api key to activate Akismet plugin

  7. Copy that API key and paste in your Akismet API Key field. Click on Update.
  8. Now you have got your Akismet plugin successfully verified.
  9. akismet verified

  10. You are done.

Remember to keep that email safe. You might need that API key no to verify Akismet on other

How to import a BlogSpot blog into WordPress

If you have a blog at blogspot.com and decide to switch your hosting to wordpress.com you can import all the posts and comments by using the WordPress Import feature. The automated process also has import functions for LiveJournal, Movable Type and TypePad, or another WordPress blog hosted elsewhere.

Although all the posts and comments get transferred, widgets in the sidebar are ignored. You would have to re-create those from scratch. Blogger ‘Labels’ are preserved as WordPress ‘Categories’.

To start the process go to the WordPress admin area and choose
Tools > Import. Then choose which blogging system you want to import from.

Please note: To use the importer with Blogger you must have a Google account and an upgraded blog. If you have an old-style Classic template you will need to switch to the new Blogger system (screenshot). The blog must be hosted on BlogSpot, not externally via FTP.

Step 1 – Authorize the transfer:

It would be helpful to login to your Google Account before you begin the import process. Then you can simply click the “Grant access” button and continue.

Step 2 – Select a blog to import:

If you have more than one blog attached to a single Blogger account all of them will be listed with an “Import” button for each blog. The example below shows just one.

Step 3 – Author mapping:

On Blogger you have one username, and on WordPress another username. The author mapping process allows you to establish an association between the two usernames.

Once these 3 steps have been completed the import proceeds automatically.

An experience of importing 2000+ posts

I was contacted by Kenny Smith, who wanted to replace a  pre-Blogger-in-Beta blog on his site. He sent a write-up of his experience:

“My Blogger blog was on an FTP-hosted site, so the first step was to temporarily convert that to Blogspot. That was easy to do inside the Blogger platform. I had more than 2,000 posts to move over to WordPress which was a problem because Blogger is capping the export at 500 posts now. Trial, error and Google searches taught me that I could export the whole thing to a WordPress hosted blog. So I simply created a MYURL.wordpress.com and exported everything from MYURL.blogspot.com – This was effortless.

The next problem, though, came when I tried to export to a hosted www.myurl.com/wordpress/ site. The step is to save the data from the myurl.wordpress.com site on your machine as an XML file. This is easily done within the WordPress platform. The problem was in trying to export that from desktop to www.myurl.com/wordpress/ After two days in tech support conversations with the WordPress folks (who were VERY helpful) we decided that my ISP was timing me out. So what I would see after trying to export 2,000 posts would be 1,734 or 1,722 or 1,755. This got frustrating quickly. Especially while deleting them all, 15 posts at a time.

The answer is a fairly simple one… … Take that XML file and segregate the data, perhaps by months or years if you’re dealing with thousands of posts, into several XML files to prevent the time out. WordPress’ tech people helped me break mine down into three XML files instead of the one I’d been trying and it all uploaded on the first attempt thereafter.

And now, the only really problem I have is an issue of the dates. Everything is written like it took place one day later than it really did. However, I seem to have 2,053 posts on the wordpress site, and I was trying to import 2,055. 99.9 percent is a nice success rate thanks to this extra step in the workaround and a little help from Nick at WordPress.”

Why switch to WordPress.com?

Advantages:

The list of features in which WordPress.com outshines Blogger is quite long. They are summarized in this table: WordPress vs. BlogSpot. There are even more plus points for WordPress.com:

  • Quite a few Blogger widgets added after 2006 depend on JavaScript. They won’t show up in many types of mobile device or browsers in which JavaScript is disabled. Google services rely heavily on client-side scripts which add significantly to download times. Outside towns and cities in America, Europe, and wealthy countries in South East Asia, broadband penetration has been minimal. Elsewhere, it’s confined to major cities. A 2007 article in PC World magazine noted that Rural America is doomed to Dial-Up. It looks like Google Inc. only cares about catering to city slickers in prosperous nations.
  • Since before Blogger-in-Beta was launched Google ignored some quite basic features that were requested by users in Blogger’s “Features and Suggestions Wish List” (replaced with a Google Group). No static pages, no post excerpts and no ‘import’ feature, except from another Blogger blog. The Blogger development team have spent a lot of time on script-dependent widgets and gadgets for the sidebar. Someone should remind them that content is king, not gimmicks. Widgets are nice, but it looks like “add-on” scripts are a higher priority than basic features.
  • Photo bloggers get a better deal with WordPress.com. In posts, you can add a photo gallery with a single tag, and a Photoblogger Theme was added in April 2008. The Blogger alternative is to add a Slideshow widget to display thumbnails from Picasa Web Albums, which are unusable without JavaScript in any case.

Disadvantages:

  • I got fed up with a constant stream of spam comments for deletion in my WordPress dashboard. Especially as there were very few genuine comments for moderation. It’s true that if you ignore the Akismet spam queue they’ll be deleted automatically after a while, but it’s difficult to ignore them as a few might have been falsely tagged as spam.
  • Blogger makes it easy to change fonts and colors in themes. At WordPress.com you have to pay for an upgrade before you can do that.
  • It has been said elsewhere, but the dashboard Blog Stats really don’t compare to the free tracker scripts available from SiteMeter and StatCounter. The graph looks nice, but it’s done with Flash® so you can’t right-click to save it. The SiteMeter PNG-format bar chart looks great and includes a table of visits and page views for each day of the month. WordPress doesn’t identify the search engines which sent visitors and Search Engine Terms are cropped at 40 characters. I understand that unrestricted third-party scripts could be a security risk, but it should be possible to allow users to enter account parameters and generate safe code on the server. The StatCounter team would love to cooperate. They wrote about it on their blog:

For security reasons wordpress don’t allow you to install javascript code on blogs hosted by them i.e. wordpress.com blogs. We’re sure though that, if enough of you request the full StatCounter code on your wordpress.com blogs, then Matt & Co would be happy to oblige! We would certainly be happy to work with wordpress on this.   http://blog.statcounter.com/?p=49

WordPress (Version 2.8.1) Released

The latest stable release of WordPress (Version 2.8.1) is available in two formats from the links to your right. If you have no idea what to do with this download, we recommend signing up with one of our web hosting partners that offers a one click install of WordPress or getting a free account on WordPress.com.

What’s Next?

With our famous 5-minute installation, setting up WordPress for the first time is simple. We’ve created a handy guide to see you through the installation process. If you’re upgrading your existing installation, we’ve got a guide for that, too. And should you run into any trouble along the way, our support forums are a great resource, where seasoned WordPress experts volunteer their time to help you get the most out of your blog.