Microformats and WordPress- the next big thing?
If you have no clue what MicroFormats are, don’t feel bad- most people don’t.
A good place to get started is at the site http://microformats.org but if you just want a simple explanation: it’s a way of tagging (identifying) something with a standardized label that makes it easy for search engines to find the correct data- and for you to be able to exchange it in a standardized way.
A perfect example is the vCard standard- which stores your contact data in an easy to exchange format.
The importance of being able to tell what data is, is almost as important as the actual data.
The second approach involves the use of specialised WP plugins to create microformat-ted content right from your admin panel. This seems to be the cleaner and more streamlined method.* The exact steps to take will differ depending on the microformat type and plugin you use. Therefore, Iâ€™ll just list the plugins available for WordPress, and a link to relevant documentation (if available):
1. Multiple format plugins:
o Structured Blogging – Supports hReview, hCalendar, hCard, and various other elemental microformats (i.e. XFN, relLicense, relTag, and XOXO).
o WP-Microformats – Supports hCalendar and hCard. Adds buttons for each microformat to your Write Post panel, each of which toggles the relevant popup form.
2. hReview plugins:
o hReview WordPress Plugin – Adds the appropriate form fields (which you can toggle on/off) in your Write Post/Page panel.
o WP-Movie Ratings – Movie reviews published via this plugin are in the hReview microformat.
3. hResume plugin:
o hResume Plugin – Creates a new page for your resume, marked up in the hResume microformat.
4. hCalendar plugin:
o uPress WordPress Plugin – Adds the appropriate form fields to your Write Post panel. Screencast guide for WP 2.0 available.
5. hCard plugin:
o WP Microformatted Blogroll – Creates a new page for your links, marked up in the hCard, XOXO and XFN microformats.
6. MicroID plugin:
o MicroID Plugin for WP – Automatically attaches a MicroID to your blog, each post, as well as each comment. More information on this microformat is available.
7. XFN-related plugin:
o Happy Pals – This isnâ€™t exactly a plugin for the XFN microformat itself, but it does automatically apply CSS classes to any rel attached links (e.g. rel=”friend”), so you can apply custom styles denoting the various relationships in your links.
* Besides plugins, there are custom WP themes with support for the hAtom microformat. A few examples are as follows:
1. Sandbox Theme
2. Strangelove (Modified Kubrick) Theme
You may also be interested in more information regarding hAtom support for WordPress themes.
Another tool for microformating is geotagging- where posts are linked to geographic coordinates. We used the geopress plugin for a real estate site in Dayton.