Useful WordPress Widgets from 2014

This is a list of widgets from 2014. I like to see how the widgets fared over time. One I had looked at fairly recently. Some don’t apply to me, like the Opening Hours widget, which would be really good for a brick and mortar business website.

Source for the full list: 20 Incredibly Useful WordPress Widgets | Elegant Themes Blog.
I’m going to try Biographia. It hasn’t been updated in 3 years but… it sounds interesting, if a bit complicated from the description in the review.

biographica

8. WP Biographia

WP Biographia allows you to add a biography box to your website. It is, by no means, a simple plugin. The settings area has seven different pages. It allows you to define whether the bio is displayed before or after the content area on posts, pages, RSS feeds, archives, and your home page. It can also be displayed in widget areas.

Blog Content When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

Not every post needs to be text based content.

If you have a camera, take photos and illustrate rather than explain.

Let the image speak for you. You may not be ready to jump into video posts but these days it isn’t difficult to edit an image online to create something unique. Add text to the image and create a quote post. Turn an image into a background your readers could use on their own sites and devices. A calendar doesn’t have to be the year, take it one month at a time and that gives you something to post each month.

List posts are popular.

Consider a list of the best sites/ resources in your topic/ niche. Or, take it to Amazon and find products people would be interested in. Write up a review (an idea not on the list below).  Use a list post to highlight your own best posts of the month or year or all time. A playlist may not interest you. I don’t have one myself. Music choices can be personal, more than you want to post on a business site. An alternative is a reading list, the books you have found useful in your business, or for building/ keeping your web presence.

So, there are quite a few options for the days you feel less than brilliantly creative and can’t make yourself write a post.

VIDEO
1 | YOUTUBE VIDEOS
2 | PERISCOPE VIDEOS
GRAPHICS
3 | PRINTABLE INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE
4 | BACKGROUND IMAGE
5 | PRINTABLE CALENDAR OR ORGANIZER
PHOTOS
6 | INSTAGRAM POSTS
7 | BEHIND THE SCENES
LISTS
8 | ROUND UPS
9 | PLAYLIST

List source: 9 Ideas for Blog Content (When You Don’t Feel Like Writing)

Miscommunication?

I don’t think this is sending the message they really want the public to receive.

It almost made me laugh. I come from a background of small business owners, often working on call seven days a week. I myself have mainly been in customer service or freelancing which has few days off, lots of being on call and I only get paid if I show up and keep working. So, I was surprised and then almost laughed out loud when I saw this come up on a website for a union. unionjobSource: The Media Union of BC

Using Nulled Plugins and Themes

I hadn’t heard of nulled plugins and themes, as a phrase. I do sometimes look at plugins and themes beyond those offered on WordPress.org. I like shopping for plugins. I especially like trying them out and seeing if they magically make blogging easier in some way. Most don’t do what I hoped they would do. Some don’t even start once they are activated. Some give errors and won’t even load. Some load and activate but then I can’t find the plugin settings on my dashboard.

Some aren’t free.

Some plugins and themes come with a catch, hidden at times. This is what is meant about the risk in using nulled plugins or themes. You may be importing extra code to your site which is active behind the scenes. You may be advertising another site, for free. Or, you could be running a harmful code which will seem to originate from your site (and it may because you took a risk on a plugin or theme).

I will not say you should stick to the WordPress Plugin Directory 100% of the time. I don’t plan to. But, know there is a risk and don’t load up any theme or plugin without finding out how it works, what it does and what others have said about it.

It is really hard to resist when you see those premium plugins and themes available for free. The catch is that those freely available nulled premium plugins and themes are not actually free; they take your website as the payment. To put it simply, these nulled plugins and themes often contain malicious code which can do all sorts of things like redirecting users to other website(s), injecting links, creating backdoors, spamming other users, etc. In the worst case scenario, this malicious code in the nulled plugins or themes can effectively take down your website or blog.

The moral is, never use nulled plugins and themes. If you want to install a plugin or theme (be it free or premium), only download and install that plugin or theme from a reputable source like the developer’s website or WordPress repository. If you have already installed a couple of plugins or themes and want to test them for any malicious code, you can use Theme Authenticity Checker to check the plugins and themes.

Source: Make Tech Easier

Little Free Library

What if you could have a tiny library on your own front lawn? Share your books and (hopefully) get new books to read from neighbours and passersby? Would you build it and hope they come along?

Little Free Library enthusiasts are encouraged to build their own designs, or they can easily follow instructions for the classic Little Free Library kit on the group’s website. The website also…

Source: Little Free Library: Tiny House-Shaped Boxes Let You Take a Book or Leave One | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

Little Free Library – Go to the source for more ideas.

Social Popularity Checker

Why hasn’t anyone made a plugin like this? It would need a shortcode to place it on blog pages and posts, not just left as a sidebar widget. Great way to show advertisers your site is worth a paid ad. Likely other good applications for this too. My brain is just focused on advertising and promotions today.

socialpopularitycheckerCheck popularity of your website on different social networks

Source: Social Popularity Checker

Why didn’t Klout do this?  Popuri has something like it but not as much detail.

Down For Everyone Or Just Me?

I found this as a link on a 404 page. It’s a great way to redirect people back to your site, if all is well. If not, then they will know your site is actually down.

Type in your own link if you want to check your own site. But, it really seems like a better option for 404 pages than checking your own link.

If you are having trouble getting a site to load and you don’t know why… clean your browser cache. Surprising how often that works.

CaptureSource: Down For Everyone Or Just Me -> Check if your website is down or up?

The Dangers of Sitting

Sitting requires a person to remain in one place. This can be dangerous for health and safety reasons.

Standing allows for quicker reactions. People already standing can jump, dash or run that much sooner than someone who starts from a seated position. When action is needed sitting down isn’t a great option.

Musical chairs is a game where sitting is dangerous. Players compete for the dwindling number of chairs each time the music stops. Falling out of a chair, being pushed from a chair, or not getting a seat at all, keeps the game challenging. Even getting a chair doesn’t keep you from having someone attempt to sit on you.

There are health reasons to avoid sitting too. Long periods of being seated can cause poor circulation. Break up sitting time with light exercise. Stand up, stretch and walk in place for five minutes. Just five minutes will be enough to bring circulation back to your limbs.

Consider going back to bed for a nap as a better alternative to the dangers of sitting.

Written as a writing test for a website. Posted here as a quick and easy way to get the word count and spellcheck at the same time. What would you write on the topic “The Dangers of Sitting” with 250 words, or less?

Vulnerability in WordPress

I’ve linked to an older post (2014) but you should always update WordPress as soon as possible. The ironic thing about using popular software is that it is vulnerable to attack, more than the less popular software. So, you choose WordPress for features, community support and reliability… and those are the same reasons the spammers, hackers and so on choose it too.

When you choose to run Windows, WordPress or other popular software know there are more security risks. Be aware, keep up with updates and if you’re upset about this and would rather not deal with vulnerabilities quite so much… choose something else with less community support/ interest. Basically, pick which drawback you can live with.

If your website runs on a self-hosted WordPress installation or on Drupal, update your software now.

Nir Goldshlager, a security researcher from Salesforce.com’s product security team, has discovered an XML vulnerability that impacts the popular website platforms WordPress and Drupal.

via – Major Security Vulnerability in WordPress, Drupal Could Take Down Websites.

What Happened to the Canadian Blog Awards?

Seems like both the Canadian Blog Awards sites have finished in 2014.

Canadain blog awards gone

I hope both of these sites are saved in the Internet Archives.

Have we gone beyond the blog? Is that why the blog awards fizzled out? No one seems to have offered to take over as the Awards closed or faded out. I think blogging is the culprit, more than the Internet. Blogs aren’t built or kept the way they used to be. So blog awards can’t be created that way either. It’s the age of the application, the mobile web. I’m not an expert (don’t even want a cell phone) but I think it’s a shame to see Canadians on the web lose a resource like the blog awards.

What do you think?

Has blogging become out dated? How do you use the Internet these days? Do you even have a site?

 

Categories and Judging Criteria for those interested in what the awards were about:

  • Best Art, Crafts, Cooking and Other Creative Activities Blogs
  • Best Political Blog
  • Best Collaborative/Multi-Author Blogs
  • Best Family Blog
  • Best Food and Drink Blog
  • Best Funny Blog
  • Best GLBT Blog
  • Best Health Blog
  • Best Law Blog
  • Best Music Blog
  • Best New Blog
  • Best Pet Blog
  • Best Personal Blog
  • Best Pop Culture Blog
  • Best Personal Life Blog
  • Best Blog Post
  • Best Religion and Philosophy Blog
  • Best Science and Technology Blog
  • Best Sports Blog
  • Best Travel and Expat Blog

 

  • Activism & Social Justice / Activisme et la justice sociale
  • Agriculture & Nature / Agriculture et nature
  • Art & Crafting / Art et artisanat
  • Arts & Entertainment / Arts et spectacles
  • Business & Career / Affaires et carrières
  • Education / Éducation
  • Family & Parenting / Famille et parentalité
  • Fashion & Design / Mode et design
  • Food & Drink / Cuisine et breuvages
  • French Language / En française
  • Green Living / La vie écologique
  • Group Weblog / Blogue collectif
  • Health & Wellness / Santé et bien-être
  • Humour / Humour
  • LGBTQ / LGBTQ
  • Life / La vie
  • Lifetime Achievement Award / Prix pour l’ensemble des réalisations
  • Placeblog / Blog sur lieu
  • Politics / Politique
  • Religion & Spirituality / Religion et spiritualité
  • Science & Technology / Science et technologie
  • Sponsored & Product Review Blogs / Sponsorisé et compte rendu des produits
  • Sports & Recreation / Sports et loisirs
  • Topical / Topique
  • Travel / Voyage
  • Writing & Literature / Écriture et littérature

The jury uses a number system to value the criteria and weight their decisions. The weblogs in each category will be judged against two divisions of elements: Design and Content. Each division’s elements will be awarded 0 to 2 points — 0 if the element is poorly executed, 1 if the element is average, and 2 if it is excellent — for a possible perfect mark of 20 points.

Design

Usability and accessibility — Is the website user-friendly and easy to navigate for people of all abilities?

Functionality — Do all of its components function properly?

Interactivity — Are a comments section and author contact information available? Are its interactive components (including comments, audio, video, etc.) effective and functional?

Aesthetics — Is the website pleasing to look at? Is its design original?

Content

Originality — Is the content original and creatively expressed?

Intelligibility and clarity — Is the content well-written? Are the content’s messages clearly and effectively delivered?

Currency — Is the content timely? Is the weblog updated on a regular basis?

Transparency and authenticity — Is the author’s purpose and realness both trusted and apparent?

Attention to detail — Has the content been edited for spelling and grammatical errors? Is the content arranged for ease of consumption?

Engagingness — Is the content interesting? Does it contain broad appeal within its genre?

In the second and final round of judging, Category Fit will be added as an extra criterion for an additional score of 0 to 2 points, and weblogs with their own domain name (weblog.com rather than weblog.blogspot.com, for example) will have an additional point added to their final score.