10 Ways to improve a WordPress Blog

Some of you might have noticed that a day doesn’t go by without something on this blog changing. In the true spirit of Kaizen I continue to aspire to and climb the learning curve of WordPress – always learning something new and testing “things” out – thus facilitating perpetual change and improvement that in a nice sort of way has become a hallmark.

Where will all this lead? (Who cares… the journey is most rewarding)

The fact is that WordPress is a joy to work with. Why do I say this? Because…

- It is a very stable product and continues to evolve at a rate of knots.
– It’s absolutely 100% free.
– Extremely well supported by developers and users.
– Has an incredible collection of plugins available which allow for a myriad of added value features.
– Has a depth and a flexibility which would spin the head of the most devout of Buddhist monks.

Just to give you an example – the last week here’s what I’ve been busy with (yes… you guessed it “10 things”!):

1) Upgrades performed on about 4 of the plugins. On average 4 to 6 of my WordPress plugins have code updates released every week.

2) Tidied up the footer. The footer is the section that sits at the bottom of every page. If you go to the bottom of the page now you will see what I mean.

3) Been chipping away at the Stats page (again). A couple of things added here – another couple removed from there – and a bit of a tidy up just to keep things looking trim. If you go to the page you will now see a line that reads “Projected visitors per year” – at present and based on current trends this blog gets just under 100,000 visitors per year and an average of around 250 per day!! Go check it out for yourself!


An example of some of numbers available from the Stats page

An example of some of numbers available from the Stats page



4) Implemented a “nofollow” rule for all external links. If you want to learn a little more about the “nofollow” and “noindex” meta tags just read this.

5) My Google Page Rank hit a 4 this week.

6) Been rationalising the number of plugins I run and as a result been doing a little “spring” cleaning – tossing out some plugins without sacrificing any of the value added features. How? By moving some of the PHP code from the plugin itself into the WordPress theme (functions.php). I’m down from 65 plugins to approximately 53!!

7) Tested and implemented what in WordPress terms is called a child theme. If you want to learn all about child themes read this. It’s essentially a framework that makes life much simpler when WordPress or parent themes are upgraded. I use K2 as my parent theme which is being updated every few weeks. The child theme approach makes the upgrade process that much simpler.

8) Have implemented a new feature on the blog which I think is really cool. The feature is based on a WordPress plugin by the name of Acronyms. Rather than go into a whole technical blurb about how it all works – here’s a practical example. See the words below? Just hover the mouse over them and see what happens! I will slowly build up a dictionary of “Tok Pisin” language terms. Interestingly, what ever terms I put in the dictionary will be applied to all posts!

Tok Pisin

AVI

UNITECH

buai

IMHO

haus man

WTF

bilum

ROFLMAO


9) Been helping out on a few forums. It’s a way of giving something back to the WordPress community and is in itself an excellent vehicle for learning.

10) Ah yes… almost forgot! Upgraded my K2 theme to the latest revision: r749. Each release has bug fixes as well as enhancements.


The Author

5 responses to “10 Ways to improve a WordPress Blog”

  1. Joeri

    AH! Rob! so from this perspective I might abuse your vast wordpress knwoledge and geekyness to help me shed some light on the process of updating wordpress versions? (…I admit.. I still haven’t done it…)

  2. Joeri

    thanks for the help so far.
    -I am hosetd
    -it does provide the scripts
    -I am pretty sure…..
    -only 2 plugins: Avatars and WPG2. I have no clue whether they are compatible. I’d assume so.

    wp 2.7.1 comes with a ‘ handy guide’ for installation. Maybe I should set aside the ‘macho-behavior’ for a bit and actually READ a manual for a change ;-)