Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

More WordPress Editor Shortcuts

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Computer keyboardThe last post introduced WordPress Editor Shortcuts that use the CTL key + a letter (Command key + letter on a MAC). This post continues with the same theme of using keyboard shortcuts while blogging with WordPress. These keyboard shortcuts use the Alt + Shift keys to signal the command.

Here’s a list of the Keyboard Shortcuts that use the ALT + SHIFT + Letter:

What do you want to do?

  1. Align Center
  2. Align Left
  3. Align Right
  4. Distraction Free Writing (Full screen)
  5. Help
  6. Insert Image
  7. Insert Link
  8. Insert More tag
  9. Insert Page Break tag
  10. Justify Text
  11. List – Bullets
  12. List – Numbers
  13. Spell – Check
  14. Strikethrough Text
  15. Quote
  16. Remove Link

Letter

  1. c
  2. l
  3. r
  4. w
  5. h
  6. m
  7. a
  8. t
  9. p
  10. j
  11. u
  12. o
  13. n
  14. d
  15. q
  16. s

More WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts

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WordPress Editor Shortcuts

Monday, July 21st, 2014

When you start out blogging with WordPress, using the visual editor and icons on top of the editing box are easy and convenient. When you become a power blogger and blog from different devices like your phone, your tablet, and your desktop, you get in a groove and don’t want to lift your fingers from the keyboard to get the mouse. It is at this point that it becomes easier to use the editor shortcuts.

Here’s a list of the Keyboard Shortcuts that use the CTL key (Command key on a  MAC):

What do you want to do?

  1. Bold
  2. Copy
  3. Cut
  4. Italicize
  5. Link: Insert/Edit
  6. Paste
  7. Redo
  8. Select All
  9. Underline
  10. Undo

Letter

  1. b
  2. c
  3. x
  4. i
  5. k
  6. v
  7. y
  8. a
  9. u
  10. z

More WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts

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How Long Should a Blog Post be?

Monday, May 5th, 2014

In catching up on my reading this morning, I followed a link to a guest post on OkDork.com written by Henry Wing (@HenryWing) one of the co-founders of BuzzSumo, a company that

“… provides insights into the most popular content online and the influencers sharing it.”

The post is about Why Content Goes Viral. Mr. Wing shares the top 10 reasons that content goes viral. In summary,

  • Lists are good, and “10” as in “Top 10” (reasons why, things to do, questions to ask) is the magic number
  • A post can go viral even when there is a lull in sharing for a week or more.
  • Images help a post get shared
  • Posts that evoke positive emotion are more likely to be shared. (Awe, laughter, amusement, joy were most popular)
  • Longer blog posts get shared many more times than shorter blog posts.

Average Shares by Content Length

 

This makes sense to me. With all the information that blips in front of our eyes each day via social media, email, surfing the web, the pop ups pushing requests at us when we click through to websites, etc, it feels like a novelty to discover longer pieces, and I suspect that readers have a greater appreciation for the author who took the time to write something more involved than a 140-character announcement about his/her status. Perhaps, they might even have a heightened interest in finding out what is so important that the author was compelled to write so much.

In my experience, well-thought out pieces tend to consist of more words because the author lays the ground work, introduces the topic, tells how he/she feels about the topic, explains how he/she came to the understanding that he/she did, presents other points of view about the topic, cites empirical data, and so on. That takes a lot more words.

For a lengthy post to be worthy of reading for me, it is not important whether I agree with the author or not. It is important that the author did the research, states his/her position and discusses how he/she came to feel the way they do in a thoughtful, respectful manner. I have always had greater appreciation for teachers, presenters, speakers, authors who know their material, have planned what they want to share, have a roadmap to getting there, and are practiced and confident in their delivery.

So how many words should your blog post be?

According to BuzzSumo, somewhere between 2000 – 10,000 words will get you increased sharing. Check the graphic above for numbers related to the social media platforms in which you participate.

With less than 500 words in this post, guess I won’t be going viral real soon :-).

Learn more about why content goes viral by visiting the websites in the credits below.

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THE Must-Have WordPress Plugin: Limit Login Attempts

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Limit Login Attempts is THE must-have plugin that every WordPress blogger needs to install TODAY.

Limit Login Attempts does just what its name says; it counts consecutive login attempts and disallows further attempts from a location when the max number of attempts allowed at one time has been reached.

Limit Login Attempts Admin Screenshot

Limit Login Attempts Admin Screenshot on a live WordPress website

By default WordPress allows unlimited login attempts either through the login page or by sending special cookies. This allows passwords (or hashes) to be brute-force cracked with relative ease.

Limit Login Attempts blocks an Internet address from making further attempts after a specified limit on retries is reached, making a brute-force attack difficult or impossible.
(from the Limit Login Attempts plugin page)

 

The location is locked out for a period of time (default 20 minutes), and over time, the location is locked out for a longer period of time when other lock-out criteria is met. All of the plugin’s parameters (number of retries, lock-out period of time, notification to admin, etc) are customizable. Above is the Limit Login Attempts admin screen customized for a WordPress power blogger who is the only person who maintains the blog.

How to interpret the Limit Login Attempts admin screen

If this blogger fails to enter a correct username-password combination within 3 tries, the blogger has to wait 20 minutes before attempting to log in again. If the blogger gets locked out 4 times (has made 12 unsuccessful attempts to log in), he/she is locked out for 24 hours. These are more than reasonable parameters because power bloggers tend to know and remember their log-in credentials.

Limit Login Attempts Statistics

Total number of lockouts…Limit Login Attempts has been installed on this WordPress website for a little over a month. You can see that it has already enforced 426 lockouts.

Why do you need this plugin?

Because WordPress is a hackers dream, and you need to protect yourself.

WordPress is open...
WordPress is an open-source software product. Open-source means that the program code is available to everyone in the world, including you – to view, use, tweak, exploit!

WordPress is prolific…
There are about 1 billion websites (watch total number of websites grow). A little over 20% of those are WordPress-based. That’s about 2 hundred million websites. If you are a hacker, you want to make a name for yourself by impacting as many websites as possible. Imagine writing a  hack that could affect 200M websites.

Taking security one step further…

When Limit Login Attempts sends a message to the admin (in this case, the power blogger), the blogger sends me the IP address so that I can permanently deny access to the website.

Notes:
– Limit Login Attempts displays a notice with the remaining number of login attempts a user has
– If you get locked out AND you are a client of Adventures Online, call us and we’ll clear the lockout.

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How to Change the WordPress Admin Interface Colors

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Since January, I’ve been upgrading WordPress websites and blogs to WordPress 3.8.1. After each upgrade, I test, and then I ask my clients to take a look and provide their feedback. One comment I have been hearing a lot is how dark the new WordPress Admin Interface default color scheme is.

Here’s a look at the WordPress admin interface in earlier 3.x versions. Although it is simple, the change in the width and color of the border lines made it look like there was depth to the design.

WordPress dashboard in earlier 3.x versions

 

Here’s the WordPress admin interface default color scheme installed with WordPress 3.8.1. Flat, straight color changes; no depth.

WordPress dashboard in version 3.8.1

Kind of dark for my taste, too.

The VERY good news for WordPress bloggers is that the new admin interface colors can be changed. Well, actually, the color scheme could always be changed. Before, we only had two schemes to choose from – so it felt like we had no choices. With this new version of WordPress, there are 8 color schemes to choose from. Here’s a look at the differences in the admin interface color scheme choices.

WordPress dashboard color schemes

To change the color scheme for the WordPress admin interface *:

  1. Log into the dashboard
  2. Hover over “Users” on the (left) menu and choose “Your Profile”
  3. When your profile customization page displays, you will see the choices as shown above in the “New Choices” section. Tick the circle to the left of the color scheme you prefer.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of your profile and click Update Profile.
  5. You will see the results immediately.

Rinse and repeat if you want…This is easy enough that you can do it as many times as you want until you find a color scheme that fits you! And when you get bored, come back and do it again!

* The admin interface color scheme display is a personal choice, so, this process will need to be repeated for each User.

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