Making WordPress even easier

If there is one thing that seems overly complex to new WP users it’s FTP. I’m not quite sure why, maybe it’s the overly complex/techie look of most FTP programs (we like Transmit for the Mac- very sexy and sweet)- or recommend the FireFTP plugin for Firefox.

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol- and it’s a fancy way of saying- copy files from your computer to a Web server. Not so hard. But, when it comes to loading a new plugin or theme for WordPress you used to have to go through all these steps:

Backup your Database

Once you’ve found a plugin or theme in your browser (preferably Firefox)- download it to your computer

  1. Unstuff it on your computer
  2. Open an FTP program and connect to your site
  3. Navigate to the WP-Content folder
  4. Browse your computer to find the file you’ve downloaded
  5. Upload it to the WP-Content folder
  6. Open your WordPress admin, go to Plugins or Presentation and activate the new addition.

Along comes Anirudh, and he writes this one click plugin- and all that goes away!

OneClick for WordPress | Thought Outflux | Anirudh Sanjeev
OneClick is a WordPress Plugin Firefox Extension combo which will change the way you look at wordpress forever. It reduces the effort needed to install a plugin or a theme for wordpress to just one simple click. It’s excellent for admins, non-techies, people with restrictive firewalls, and just about anyone who uses wordpress and installs plugins and themes.

Not only does this WordPress tool backup your files, providing role-back if your new plugin may bork your WP install, it has auto update notification (if he releases updates to it- a norm for Firefox installs- but not for WordPress, yet) so you will never be using the old version.

The one caveat is that it may be harder to delete some of your new themes or plugins- unless you go through his provided file nuke protocol.

We probably will stick to using our FTP process (we bill by the minute 🙂 – but for many of you, this may be another key to making WP the easiest system on the planet for publishing on the web.

If you do like his plugin- please go to the plugin rating contest and give him a thumbs up!

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Best WordPress plug-in ever? The Subscribe to Comments Plugin

A year after writing about how a po-dunk restaurant went viral with a conventional signboard with inflammatory messages, the conversation in comments is still going on. Even with the URL of the restaurant clearly in every picture- I still get search hits- and, why? Because the comments add to the content, and the newness of the material.

The main reason the comments are still coming- the Subscribe to Comments Plug-in which notifies everyone who has commented that there is a new comment on the subject via e-mail. Yes, I know you can subscribe to a feed for comments, but, the reality is- this is easier- just tick the box as you comment, and off you go.

I could have written the post below- and I highly advise you to read the little tutorial they present on set-up:

boojies » Tips: Increase the Stickiness of Your Site with the Subscribe to Comments Plugin
I didn’t realize just how useful this plugin is until I used it on someone else’s site. I fell in love with it. It’s beneficial to both the reader and the blog site/publisher.

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Press It, the semi-secret WordPress content generating tool

UPDATE: Dec 2017- Press it is now called Press This and is a plugin you have to add.

To create this post, to teach you how to use the Press It function of WordPress, I thought it was best if I actually used it to write the post. So, just like you would, I did a Google Search for “How to use WordPress Press It”. To get to the top of Google, it never hurts to link to content that’s already at the top (lesson 1).

Looking at the Google results- I saw the WordPress Codex link. And while it’s number one, I’ve often found the codex a little rough for reading. Looking over it, I was right. So, I looked to my online “friend” Lorelle. Her posts are usually pretty on the money. So, I clicked on the link and it took me to her post. Note- this is IMPORTANT- it took me to HER POST, not her site. For Press it to work, you need to select an article or post that has a unique url. Her site url is

this post has the url:

See the difference? A post can be one of 10 or 20 or so in reverse chronological order, or it can stand alone. You need the post alone. In most blog applications, and most CMS (content management system) systems- the way you do this is to click on the headline, or look for a link that says “permalink”. This will isolate the article you are interested in.

Now, I should mention, you need to do what Lorelle explains here at the beginning as a “click and drag to your link toolbar”- or what WordPress says to “Right click on the following link and choose “Add to favorites” to create a posting shortcut.”

However, there were changes from WordPress 2.5 to 2.7. In 2.5 you made the Press It link  from the “Write post” page of your WordPress admin area- it’s at the bottom of the page. In 2.7 it’s been moved and renamed, now appearing in the Tools are of your left Dashboard column. However, you still do the same thing- drag the link to your toolbar, or bookmark/favorite it.

So, I’ve clicked to Lorelle’s post- then I highlight the part of her post I want to put on my blog to comment on. Then I look to my toolbar where I have the “Press it” bookmark stored- and click it. Voila- her highlighted content is in my write post pane- with her headline (more about this in a minute).

It’s below- and to show that I didn’t write it, I’m going to select it all and use the “Indent list/Blockquote” button from my Visual Text Editor tool bar (it’s the 7th icon over- with a blue arrow pointing at lines to move them right).

WordPress Power User Features – Just Press It « Lorelle on WordPress
With every installation of WordPress comes a little gem called Press It. It is a javascript “bookmarklet” found on the Write Post screen in your Admin. It’s at the very bottom. If you click and drag the link to your Link Toolbar in your Internet browser, it will put the javascript on the bar for you to quickly click and use.

When visiting a site you want to create a link and post about on your blog or website, just click the link and a window will pop up with either your site’s login or, if you are already logged in, a condensed version of the Write Post screen. Inside will be the title filled out with the title of the website you are visiting if there is one and a link in the Editing textarea. You just fill in the text, mark the categories, then save it as a draft or private or publish it.

Now, this is even more powerful than you first may think. If you select text on the page and then click Press It, the text you highlighted will be copied and pasted into the post. Wow That is cool and I love it. What a great feature.

You can learn more about how to use the Press It in the WordPress Codex.

When I want to return to my writing, I use the “Outdent” button (to the left of the blockquote button) and we’re back to normal. Depending on how your theme is configured, your “blockquoted” text could have a pair of apostrophes {“} or a line on the left side, or appear in a bubble, or shaded area. All this says is: “this content is quoted.”

I never use the Title of my quoted text for my title- instead, I write my own. Their title will appear as the link at the top of the blockquote. Remember, this is my take on it- not a wholesale steal. One thing about Pressit- it doesn’t know what to alt title the link- so you have to do it. Select the link, click the link tool- and write a descriptive explanation of what the link is to. While Lorelles post title is pretty clear- it’s not great: so I wrote: Link to Lorelle on WordPress explaining the PressIt function (roll over the link to see this text). The “Title” function is critical for blind people- and a good habit to adopt. Think of one of those links with a million digits and letters, a blind person wouldn’t know what the link is taking him to- and remember, Google is just like a blind person.

So, we’re almost done. Only a few things to pay attention to.

If we’re Pressit’ing from a WordPress site- this works like clockwork. But, if you are quoting a TypePad site or other CMS- you may need to find a “Trackback” address that may be different than the article’s “permalink” or direct URL. This is because WordPress is elegant- and the others, well, they aren’t.

So- get that “Trackback” url and paste it below your post window in the area called “Trackback” (it’s below the upload tool- and usually under the “optional excerpt” pane). Put it in and then make sure to add your post to some categories- and hit “Publish” and you are done.

Now, while you are so proud of yourself for adding someone else’s content to your site, legally- there is one other fringe benefit, if all of this works right: there will now be a comment (or trackback) on Lorelle’s site, with an excerpt and a link to this post. Voila, we’ve built a link and a relationship! Yee-Haw!

Some people with a lot of readers don’t allow comments anymore- just trackbacks to their posts. Need an example- look at Seth Godin’s blog. Note- I have to use one URL for the post, and a second to create a trackback since Seth use TypePad.

Now- while that may seem like a lot, it’s really easy once you get the hang of it. Hopefully, this step-by-step instruction post will help.

Remember, good content brings more readers, more links, and more google love, so make sure what you add to someone else’s content actually adds value to their post.

Lorelle, how’d I do?

Here is a video tutorial :

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