What is going on at wplancer?

I know that I have been very lasy at writing lately; the blog has been a target of dust; thanks to those who have like to have a look what is going on. Well,  a lot has been going on on the background.

I have been very busy working with my clients mostly on WordPress projects. I will discover them lately on by one. Work has been good, but sometimes slow as I have been changing workplace. Now I have a kinda new small office. I like that a lot and I think it will make me work better and write more for my dear readers.

I am planing to change the design of the blog. I am planing something more 2.0. Also I am planing to launch my first free theme soon. I am working on these two too. I am planing to give more time to writing too and I am working on strategies that might give me more time to do that. Any suggestion would be very appreciated.

A lot has been going on out there too. WordPress 2.6 with a lot of new features is coming forth; right now it is in the beta 3 version. Those who will need an upgrade with the stable version can drop me a line and we can fix something. I am very tolerable in the price with the clients that contact me from the blog.

Today I read also an article about browsers war at fourhourworkweek suggested by Matt. I was sad to see that more than 38% of the visitors of that blog is still using Internet Explorer (IE), but I am very happy to announce you that only 14.65% of my visitors so far is using IE. Lately I have been thinking to join the Save the Developers movement for stoping designing for IE6, IE7 is far better.

This is all what I have to share with you at this time. I hope to be more active at writing on the future.

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Upgrading WordPress in Ten Easy Steps

It came to my mind to write an easy and short how-to to explain for not very techy people the way to upgrade their self-hosted WordPress, when one of my clients asked me why her admin interface was showing that she should upgrade WordPress to the latest version. She thought she had already done that. In fact she had, but to the version 2.5. Now it is a long time WordPress version 2.5.1 is available. Well, this can help my client to upgrade WordPress herself, but I would love also this this help hundreds of others. Enough with the words, let us begin.

Step 1 – Create an FTP account: Many know what FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is and already have their accounts. Well, those who do not have one can create it in their Administration Panel that their web host has provided them with. I hope you FTP-have-nots find this process easy.

Step 2 – Download an FTP application: There are many. To keep it short I recommend FileZilla , free/open source and easy to use. After you download it, you enter your FTP account info in it and have the files of your WordPress listed in it. To use it is very easy, as i previously said. You have there two environments, the online and the offline one. To upload or download by FTP just drag and drop files or right-click and use the menu.

Step 3 – Export the information to XML: This is done in case something goes wrong with the upgrade. This is not a real database backup, but you have your articles and comments at safe after you do so. To do that you just have to go to Manage => Export . Than follow the easy steps that it provides and export a copy of your content.

Step 4 – Deactivate all plugins: In your admin panel, under the Plugins menu, deactivate all plugins that you have there. Some plugins may conflict with the upgrade process because of the changes to WordPress, so this is another must.

Step 5 – Download the latest version of WordPress: To do so, just go to wordpress.org download section and get the latest version of WordPress in .tar or .zip. Make sure that you download goes fine because if not all the files are downloaded or there have been problems, you might have problems to run the new version properly, if not have errors all around.

Step 6 – Delete the old WordPress Files: You have to do so, unless your upgrade will not be successful. If you try just to overwrite the previous files, you will have problems as not every single file gets overwritten correctly. Keep in mind, you should not delete or overwrite in any way this files and folders :

  • wp-config.php file;
  • wp-content folder; Special Exception: the wp-content/cache and the wp-content/plugins/widgets;
  • wp-images folder;
  • wp-includes/languages/ folder–if you are using a language file;
  • .htaccess file–if you have added custom rules to your .htaccess;
  • robots.txt file–if your blog lives in the root of your site (ie. the blog is the site) and you have created such a file.

Step 7 – Upload the New Files: Upload the right files from your computer’s hard drive to the appropriate WordPress folder on your site. Make sure that you do not overwrite the files and folders mentioned at step 6.

Step 8 – Upgrade Database Structure: Do not be afraid, this is very easy. Just do so: If WordPress is installed in the root directory, point your browser to: http://yoursite.com/wp-admin/upgrade.php. If WordPress is installed in its own subdirectory called blog, for example, point your browser to: http://example.com/blog/wp-admin/upgrade.php. And wait for the upgrade success message.

Step 9 – Update Permalinks and .htaccess : Update your permalink structure, if you like it, into your .htaccess file. In your Options->Permalinks panel update your Permalink Structure and, if necessary, place the rules in your .htaccess file. This will happen when the .htaccess is not writable; you should have a tool to paste the code into it or otherwise it should be writable.

Step 10 – activate your Plugins: Now it is time to activate your plugins that you need or like. You can do that the same way back as you deactivated the plugins. It will be a loss of time to go on with this point.

And we are done. I hope you find this little effort of me to serve the community a good one. Any feed back would be very appreciated. Thanks!

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10 Websites Where You Can Find Web Design and Developement Jobs

When I begun my web design freelance career and had not any faithful or returning client if mine, I was often in the position of job/project searcher, so I browsed through many sites searching for a job or project. During these experiences, I have collected an handful of job listing sites, not bidding ones (which I hate) and I have listed them below for you, with respective description for each one. I hope you will find this post helpful and I will you all the best with your freelance or full-time job.

1. Freelance Switch Jobs

The perfect job listing site for every freelancer. It is a very rich job listing site. It is a little different form other jobs listing site as there the employer lists the advert for free whereas the freelancer has to pay a little money per month to have access at the contact of the employer, just $7 per month. They say this makes it possible for less freelancers to apply for jobs, but I am afraid this statement has made to many to subscribe. Make a try yourself.

2. WordPress Jobs

Perhaps this is not the most appropriate to be listed the second, but it has helped me a lot to find many projects, so I am paying her (metaphor) back. You will find there a lot of WordPress-oriented jobs. I presume that every web designer and developer knows WordPress, is aware that it is invading the web. There you can find programming and designing jobs, which means that it is not a must to know WordPress very well, to find a job there.

3. Authentic Jobs

Authentic Jobs is a great place to find freelance and full-time web related jobs. They are quite expensive on companies that list their job requirements there and my own impression is that there you can find great jobs and you must be a well prepared web person to chosen. They say that since 2005 they have been listing in their site jobs form big and well known companies such as t MSNBC.com, The Motley Fool, Turner Sports Interactive, ESPN, Phinney Bischoff, Garmin, Sony BMG and many others.

4. Fresh Web Jobs

This is another good web jobs listing site. There, expect the fact that you can find good jobs you can even register and make this as a job central where you can collect jobs from other sites that you are interested. As I use Google Reader for this purpose, I did not explore completely this feature, but if you are interested you can do it yourself. If not, Make sure to bookmark the page in your favorite way so you can come and search for jobs whenever you need or like to.

5. Krop.Com

Krop is a neat job listing site, not saying much of itself in word, leads you to deduct its importance and power form its content and look. You will find there a long list of web jobs that vary from web designers and developers to directors of tech and so on. You won’t want to miss a bit of it.

6. Smashing Magazine Jobs

At Smashing Magazine jobs you can find a proper job for yourself. It lists quite professional jobs, the kind of Krop does. It is part of a great online design-oriented magazine and you can profit even of the its content. You do not have any reason to miss it.

7. SitePoint Marketplace

At SitePoint’ Marketplace, a great website for designer and developers, there is a section named ‘Looking to Hire’. There are frequent web jobs. I have found many jobs there and I have found it to have great potential. Do not forget to subscribe even here an see if it is good for you.

8. ReadWriteWeb Jobs

The Read/WriteWeb job board provides job opportunities for Web Technology and New Media professionals, at startups and tech firms all over the world. At least this is what they say. If you find yourself very professional and are looking for a professional carrier in a big tech firm, go there and have a look.

9. Slashdot Jobs

They say that they connect 9 million IT professionals and developers on Slashdot, SourceForge, Linux.com, Freshmeat, IT Managers Journal and Newsforge with the companies looking for the brightest minds in the technology industry. Very impressive; don’t lose the chance.

10. 37signals Jobs

They say that companies such as The New York Times, CNET, Facebook, Adobe, Trek, and American Express use their job board. Another chance not to lose. Go there and explore it yourself.

What I do:

I have subscribed to the RSS of all this sites and read them every time I need another project. When I find something I for me, I just apply; it is simple.

You can make this list longer adding sites at the comment section and contributing to the community. Or you can give me a feedback about how you found the article; it would be very encouraging form me.

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How do you like my new domain name?

I have lately changed my domain form www.xixblog.com to www.wplancer.com. Well, you might like to hear some explanation about this decision of mine.

As a matter of fact I am against changing the domain name of a established site because the content is already indexed in the search engines and you will loose the traffic coming from them. However, I decided to change my domain name because I found more pro arguments out there. Find some below please:

  1. My past domain had a spelling error because of my dyslexic nature – however, I made use of it.
  2. My past domain name was meant to have another niche form what it switched to.
  3. My new domain describes better my niche.
  4. My new domain is cute.

This is it. I would love your opinion about my decision and my new domain. Thanks a lot!

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10 Bulletproof Strategies for Promoting Your Blog

Every blogger has to promote their blog to get into the market and reach their goals. Blog promotion might seem a little scary, but it is not that difficult to promote your blog. Find below ten promotion strategies that will work for you to make your blog well-known and profitable.

1. Write fresh, qualitative and unique content to make visitors read, comment and refer to your articles. Not only will worth-reading content keep visitors coming back, but it will make others come at your blog through referring links. Good articles will rise the authority of your blog and will make you a well-known author.

2. Post at regular bases to keep the interest of the visitors active and make them come back to get more form your blog. This will find it worthy to subscribe by email or get the RSS feed of your blog to stay tuned. And the most they subscribe and come back to your blog, the greater will your blog grow and so will your fame and revenue.

3. Interact with your visitors through fanatically responding to their comments. They will translate this into a welcome and will feel comfortable at your blog. Once you give them pleasure and make them feel important, you will have them come back, if not for your posts, for your good company. This is a good way to make keyboard (the time of pen is done) friends; remember. friends are there in good and bad times.

4. Comment in other blogs of the same niche regularly and try to say as much worthy comments as you can. This will make you an authoritative commenter out there and curiosity will push more and more people to visit your blog through the link under your commenting name. This will bring you a good number of visitors, including the blog owners. The same as you do with your commenters, don’t you? As a matter of fact this is a social give-and-take relationship.

5. Run a contest at your blog and give away some money, free ad space or something else valuable for bloggers. Make this in exchange to a blog post in their blog about the contest you are running or ask them to subscribe to RSS feeds or by email to your blog or both. This will boost your traffic and bring a lot of people at your blog. Remember, do not run a blog contest yet unless you have a good number of articles that visitors can browse through the content and not be the contest post the only post that they read.

6. Get your blog reviewed by someone who has a niche blog and offers blog reviews. Make sure you ask this to someone who has a well-known blog and gets a lot of traffic. Don’t forget that generally you get what you give, so prepare for different prices in different authority blogs. This will bring to your blog a lot of traffic and brand your blog a little bit out there.

7. Submit your blog into directories to have some extra traffic time and again by people interested in your niche. This is a good away to get traffic and it it mostly free, even though there are some payable directories. Choose what you think is best for you and submit.

8. Blogrolling, link and banner exchanging is another great way to get traffic. While blogrolling might be a natural result of your good content and/or the good friendship you have with other bloggers, you can always ask blog owners in whose blogs you have an interest for link exchanging or banner exchanging. I would consider this a very good way of promotion and branding. Also there are several sites out there that offer banner exchange so prepare some banners for your blog and go hunt there for niche blogs.

9. Use your blog URL in your signatures such as forum signatures and email ones. After you do that go posting in your preferred forums and reply to emails even to say thanks – thanking is virtue. This will be helpful.

10. Make use of relevant keywords and description Meta tags. Go to your template files in which case 99% you will be using WordPress so go directly to header.php file and edit the META keyword and META description with the right info about your blog. This will help you get indexed in search engines. Also, when posting a new post, make sure to chose the most piquant keywords of the post and submit them to the tags field just below the post text area. The tags will be individually indexed by Google, isn’t this a great news.

Now move you lazy guy, get to work to implement these strategies and boost your traffic, your income and your authority out there. Good luck and do not even think to NOT give me a feedback of what you read here; this would be the implementation of strategy number 4, right?

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