Quick blog random update..

I’ve spent the last two weeks working on some plugins and a design for this blog. It’s been good fun and I needed to get rid of the template from wp themes but it took up a lot of spare time. Now that the design is out the way I’m planning to spend a lot more time on some decent quality posts. I don’t want to be a churner (alex king blog).

As for the update, I’ve created my own theme for the blog and added some nifty little features. I wanted to do something a little different and so I’ve moved the “sidebar” content in to a “top bar” (trade mark). On a single post page I’ve used the WP 2.3 Related Posts plugin to put relevant articles in the top bar. I’m not completely happy with the features of this plugin as it only compares tags so I may end up writing my own that caches a full text search.

Other plugins I’m currently using are:

  • {{post id=”rb-internal-links-plugin” text=”RB Internal links”}} (for linking to internal posts)
  • {{post id=”random-blog-article-plugin” text=”Random Blog Article”}} (for the blog random favourite above)
  • Popularity contest (for the most popular articles)
  • All in one seo pack (doing a good job at SEO for the blog)

The blog has only been up about two weeks and its only been on search engines and external sites about a week but I’ve had what I would consider a reasonable number of visitors (125). Thats more than I had even hoped for the first month! Hopefully once I’ve built up the content of the site a little more that number will increase dramatically. Still waiting on my first comment though! 🙁

My second plugin

RB Internal ExampleAs promised I’ve written another wordpress plug-in. I am hoping this plug-in will become a useful tool for bloggers when linking to posts and pages within their sites.

When I came to link to a couple of pages from my {{post id=”extras” text=”Extras”}} page I presumed there would be an easy way to do this. I couldn’t find one anywhere and there didn’t seem to be any plugins either. I took a look at the plugin ideas forum over at wordpress and it seems I wasn’t the only one wanting a simple and flexible way to add internal links to my posts.

For more information and to download the beta version of this plugin visit the {{post id=”rb-internal-links-plugin” text=”plugin page”}}.

Random Blog Article WordPress Plugin

Introducing my first ever word press plug-in: Random Blog Article v1.0 (yay!).

Having set-up wordpress and had a play around I was very impressed by

  1. the usability of the administration panel
  2. how powerful and yet easy to install the plugins were

I did some research in to how wordpress had done this and discovered that making a plug-in myself wouldn’t be too difficult. On a side note, if you are interested in developing a plug-in, definitely start here: Writing a Plugin

On to the plug-in (at last). For more information on what it does, how to download it and how to install it, click {{post id=”random-blog-article-plugin” text=”here”}}.

Put simply it is a replacement for the blogroll only it displays just one random article from each of your favourite blogs and, by default, only one at a time. More than one at a time will have to wait for v1.1 if people take up any interest. At a set interval the current blog and article is replaced with a random new one via AJAX.

Using the admin panel page you can add as many of your favourite blogs to the plug-in as you wish, all cached to keep things speedy.

Random Blog Article PluginRandom Blog Article Plugin Admin Panel

Take a look at the screenshots or just scroll to the top of the page for a preview.

It is in-fact a lot like the “Hot Blog” plug-in I’ve seen on the WordPress Stats dashboard page. I couldn’t find any plug-ins like it, hence writing my own. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were in fact hundreds and I was just looking in the wrong place but at least I can say I tried! 🙂

I’m thinking for my next plug-in, something that will allow me to easily link to other posts and pages within a blog without having to put in the full URL. That way if I ever change my permalink structure (for some strange reason) I don’t have to go back and change all my links. After some research I could only find one other plug-in like it which was Easy Post-To-Post. Please let me know if there is already a better way of doing this and I’ll stop reinventing the wheel.

Testing cat link

The history of a website

Having just launched the blog I’m setting up as many SEO tools as I can, ensuring that the blog has a reasonable chance of getting any audience at all. I just set up the site in Google Webmaster Tools and noticed that google already had data for the site.

My first reaction was “blimey, that was fast!” thinking that Google had started to index my site in under 12 hours. After a little research I realised that Google had kept data from the last owners website in its records. To no surprise it seems my blog name is a little unoriginal.

Thanks to the way back machine I managed to find out a little about the previous site. I’m not sure how it was styled but at least you get to see the content. I wonder whether the data Google has from the previous site will have any advantages or disadvantages to my future rankings.

I’ve never really thought about the history of a domain name before but in tribute to the previous random blog: http://web.archive.org/web/20070504032044/http://www.blograndom.com/