Automattic Acquires WooCommerce

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automattic-transIt looks like the parent company of WordPress is looking to expand on its good fortune and its online presence thanks to a recent purchase.

Automattic, owners and creators of WordPress, has begun to finalize the acquisition of WooCommerce, a company that specializes in providing e-commerce tools.

It’s origins stem from WooThemes, which began operation in 2008.

WooCommerce states that their software assists over 600,000 websites, and through a software plugin enables sites to transform into webstores.

While the basic version comes free of charge, features such as appointment booking come with a cost.

It’s believed that this is Automattic’s largest acquisition to date, with an estimated price tag of $30 million including stock.

There were no further comments as to how WooCommerce will feature into Automattic’s plans in the future but it wouldn’t surprise many if they took advantage of the expanded e-commerce possibilities.

Christopher A. Smith

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WordPress For Android Updated

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WordPress For Android UpdatedWordPress for Android has been updated today to version 3.5.

Plenty of new features have been added.

One new feature of note is that the app interface is now compatible with the Material Design theme on Android.

Icons, avatars, and colors have all been updated.

Here’s a list of new features added:

Material redesign and overall redesign (round avatars, new icons, color scheme update).

Mentions auto-completion in comments (start typing [email protected] for the username of another user on your blog, within a comment area).

New grid layout for Media Library on tablets.

Fetch blog visibility status on first login.

Bug fixes.

The new version is available here.

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Live.js – The Key To CSS And JS Auto-Refreshing

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 Live.js - The Key To CSS And JS Auto-Refreshing	Live.js, a JavaScript file, is an interesting tool created by Martin Kool. With this script, you can not only automatically check for modifications to your CSS and JavaScript files, but you can refresh them too.

With this tool, you can access the text editor on one part of your screen, and a web browser on the other. Whenever changes are saved in the editor, it reflects the updates in your browser immediately. This definitely helps in speeding up development time for users.

Though many text editors offer HTML previews, they work only for plain.html pages. But with the Live.js for WordPress plugin, it works on any webpage, including a working WordPress theme.

Live.js for WordPress Plugin

Once you download the plugin, rename the folder to “pbd-livejs” after you unzip it. You can also view it on Github.

The Live.js plugin automatically adds Live.js to your theme. It will do so when you’re working locally, and logged in. Just remember not to use this script on a live site.

Created for development purposes, the plugin keeps the script out of your theme code. It’s not required that the plugin to be present in the files on your server.

Live.js also supports detecting HTML changes, which has been disabled by the author. When enabled, it “flashes” in your webpage since it loads every second or two.

– Ady Sachdeva

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Parent Company Of WordPress, Automattic, Valued At $1 Billion

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Parent Company Of WordPress, Automattic, Valued At $1 Billion A current round of venture capital funding has Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, valued at around $1 billion.

The WordPress platform powers 22% of websites worldwide.

Besides creating the software behind the WordPress platform, Automattic also offers services related to WordPress, such as editing and curation.

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Learn How To Protect Your Blog From Plagiarism

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Learn How To Protect Your Blog From PlagiarismContent theft has become a part of the online world, which a blog writer, or publisher might experience at some point. What you can do, is make it tough for content thieves to steal content from your blog, that you have put so much effort into writing. Despite the fact that there is no particular way to stop it 100%, there are methods you can use to make things difficult for content thieves.

The first thing to do is to use a copyright notice on your blog, which is very important to let people know that you are aware of your rights. This is not sufficient alone, and you’ll require some other important tools as well.

It’s necessary to first check if your content has really been stolen or copied by anyone else. For that, there are tools available, which help you determine that.

One such tool is Google Alerts, which are email alerts from Google that keep you updated on any specific keywords and phrases being copied. You simply copy a phrase or any keyword of your content and Google will send you notice via email, if that phrase, or, the blog post is published anywhere, anytime, on the web.

Secondly, you can also use a plagiarism checker. For instance, you can use Grammarly, Plagium, and Copyscape, among others.

Here is a list tools to help you protect your content from being stolen.

1. WordPress SEO

The WordPress SEO tool by Yoast is a plugin available for those using WordPress. You can use codes with this plugin to your RSS feed, and whenever your post gets republished on any other website, a link will be inserted that will point back to your site.

2. Tynt

Like WordPress SEO, Tynt will also let you know the number of times your content gets copied. You can insert codes in your web pages as provided by this tool, which will tell you if your content is copied and pasted by adding a link back to your website.

3. Google Authorship

The third tool is Google Authorship, which is a content marketing strategy. This tool lets you add your name or brand with your content into Google’s search index. By using this tool, you can definitely increase your ability to control your content. This is because you can use your photo next to your content in search results. This way, it will become easy for you to prove the ownership of your content, and it also becomes easier to remove stolen content in case you file a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) complaint.

4. Copyscape

Copyscape is a renowned service for providing plagiarism detection. With Copyscape you can check an entire URL for plagiarism. Copyscape also allows you to use the “Protected by Copyscape” notice on your blog.

5. Grammarly

Grammarly is another tool that provide proofreading and grammar checking service. It also allows you to check your content for plagiarism.

6. Plagium

Plagium is another tool to check plagiarism. Here, you can check an entire URL and find out if your content has been copied.

7. Plagiarim Check by Smallseo Tools

This is another plagiarism checker available online. This tool allows you to identify the original source of any copied or plagiarized content.

By using the above tools, one can definitely make plagiarism tough for content thieves.

– Ady Sachdeva

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Top 5 WordPress Game Arcade Themes

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Top 5 WordPress Game Arcade themesIn this collection, we have picked the top 5 WordPress Game Arcade themes, which will not just make your website captivating, but will give you a competitive edge:

1. Next WPA

The Next WPA Arcade theme for WordPress has a unique arcade design with a Sliding Featured Games Panel. You can choose from five available styles. Some of the unique features of this theme are 9 Category Blocks that are easy to add from the Theme Options, Integrated Social Sharing Buttons, 336×280 Ads Before game loading with timer from Theme Options, Integrated User Panel with Avatar, and Options and Favorite Games Drop Down all games listed in the footer. Users can perform multiple tasks using Theme Settings such as changing the Logo, or banner exchange, or background. This theme is available for just $35.

2. Gameleon – WordPress Arcade Theme
The Gameleon Arcade theme for WordPress comes loaded with numerous features, some of which include a powerful Admin option panel, compatibility with MyArcadePlugin Pro, unlimited color options, powerful post description block, frontend profile editor, custom dashboard skin, notification bar pro, etc. A regular license of this theme can be bought for $55.

3. Tricera Arcade Theme
This is a highly flexible theme designed to deliver high performance, and generate Adsense revenue. The distinguishing feature of this theme is its vivid colors that are apt for an arcade game website. The Tricera Arcade Theme has optimized advertisement spaces, elegant thumbnails, and, above all, versatility. It’s compatible with the latest versions of all browsers. The basic requirement of this theme is the MyArcadePlugin Lite or the MyArcadePlugin Pro. Built on the XHTML 2.0 / CSS 3.0 Architecture, this theme runs on the jQuery Framework. Multiple Game Play Layouts, Razer Sharp Graphics, Social Buttons, and Google’s Rich Snippet Enabled, are some of its features.

4. Arcade Basic
Those who love the minimalist look will love this theme. The Arcade Basic is a theme designed by c.bavota. It is a lightweight, fully responsive, arcade theme. The backend of this theme is strong, as the designer has used SASS, Compass, and Bootstrap 3 to build this theme. The theme offers support for 8 post formats including Video, Image, Link, Aside, Status, Audio, Quote, and Gallery. Some of its features are options to show or hide meta, full-width page option, and compatibility with bbPress and BuddyPress.

5. Triqui MochiAds Arcade theme for WordPress
Designed by an Italian programmer Emanuele Feronato, the Triqui MochiAds Arcade theme is for advanced users. The mandatory plugins that help in running this theme are Mochi, WP-Page Navi, WP-PostRatings and WP-PostRatings Widget, Akismet, WP-PostViews and WP-PostViews Widget, and WordPress Reset. Triqui MochiAds is a decent theme with a homepage layout like the Gallery theme. Some of the features of this theme are: CSS only rollover effect on game selection, interesting places to display ads, highly commented css and php files, and a list of all games in the footer.

– Ady Sachdeva

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Tips To Make Your WordPress Blog Popular

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Tips To Make Your WordPress Blog PopularThe popularity of WordPress as a powerful blogging platform cannot be negated in any way. Be it a free WordPress.com blog, or a self-hosted one, thousands of people start blogging every day. The important thing to consider is that out of the thousands of blogs created daily, how many sustain and remain popular for long? Do they get regular comments, or do they have to shut down in a few months due to the blog not being as popular as they wanted it to be.

Let’s discuss some useful tips to make your WordPress blog popular:

1. Concentrate on a single topic

Many people have the habit of writing about different things and about life in general, which doesn’t appeal to some readers. Though, one or two of their blog posts may appeal to people, the extensive range of content might keep visitors away from your blog, or, prevent them from coming back for more. To make your blog popular and interesting, you should focus on a single topic, and stick to it. In case you want to broaden it a bit, you can write about topics related to the one that you have focused on. This way, you’ll be able to do justice to your blogs, and make people interested in your posts.

2. Make friends with fellow bloggers

It’s quite probable that you may not be the only one posting blogs on the topics that you have chosen on the internet. There may be many others writing about the same thing. So you must look for fellow bloggers blogging on similar topics, and participate on their blogs by commenting something that is relevant and beneficial to the post. There are some bloggers who even allow commenters to leave a link and their name on the comment space. This will benefit you in terms of receiving new visitors and building rapport with fellow writers.

3. Join groups that support blogging

You can also join groups and forums that help in promoting your blogs on the right platform. Groups like bloggers.com that supports blogging is a great way to promote your blog, and find similar blogs too. The so-called “blog carnivals” are another great way to promote your blogs, and to introduce readers to similar blogs by different authors.

4. Try to keep many visitors on your blog

One benefit of offering related content is that more and more people get interested in your blog. When the reader gets all the related material of a particular topic in one place, they definitely like it. Try to use a small preview image, along with your post, rather than posting plain content.

5. Use guest bloggers

If you have Guest blogger writing on related topics, it will help in establishing your blog, along with making you an expert on the subject matter. A good way for bloggers to find guest writers is through MyBlogGuest. Be careful with guest blogging activities, and only work with guest bloggers and websites that are reputable, as guest blogging is now being closely examined by Google for link spamming schemes.

6. Involve visitors and encourage them to comment

If you receive comments from your visitors on your post, it means that they have followed your post and have things to say about it. Even if you get comments, your readers might not have shared your site or bookmarked it. In such case, you can reply to your readers and engage them to form a bond, so that the readers keep coming back.

7. Include social sharing widgets in your blog

A few small Social Sharing buttons on your website can really boost your blog’s exposure. At least the basic ones like Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon, can be used without making your blog look messy.

I hope these points help you in making your blog popular. Happy Blogging! Stay tuned for more tips.

– Ady Sachdeva

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Can using too many WordPress Plugins kill your site?

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Can using too many WordPress Plugins kill your site?WordPress is a popular platform, and the list of free plugins that WordPress offers is in the thousands.

The important thing to notice is whether you as a blogger need to use all of them. There are people who love to use numerous widgets. Do you know that using several plugins might impact negatively on your readership? In this post we’ll discuss how using too many plugins can harm your audience level:

1. By slowing down your website

The most disturbing feature of using too many WordPress plugins is that they may slow down your website. When a reader of your site visits a page on your website, each plugin you use, sends a server request. When the number of readers increases, the numerous plugins you use on your slow things down by sending multiple server requests.

2. Some plugins are not safe

Though a plugin might work very well, it may not be secure. Some plugins, mainly the free ones, sometimes come under the scrutiny of hackers who try to hack your site through them. It’s better to stick to the necessary ones to avoid any hassles.

3. Maintenance of free plugins could stop at any time

Those who are using the maximum free plugins should be well prepared, as these plugins might close down someday. You cannot guarantee that free plugins will last forever. If that happens, your site will suffer badly. Besides, the more the plugins you use, the higher the risk of any one of them them shutting down.

4. Plugin conflicts

Often, there are conflicts on a site when one plugin is not compatible with another, and you are using them both. In certain cases, we’ve heard many stories of website content disappearing from a site after the blogger installs a plugin that’s not compatible with another one already in use. That is why having a backup of your site’s content on a regular basis is a must.

To conclude, it’s good to use WordPress plugins that are most required for your site, rather than picking and installing many, just to impress your readers. Use updated plugins, and also protect your site with security features. If possible, try to test the plugins on a backup version on your local computer before using them on your live site.

– Ady Sachdeva

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How to speed up your WordPress site

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How to speed up your WordPress site

To ensure that your website runs fast, it’s important to find out which WordPress plugins could slow down your site. A fast loading website definitely attracts more visitors, and there are many WordPress plugins that can slow down your website.

The process of finding these plugins is very easy, and it requires the help of a plugin called the P3 Plugin Performance and Profiler.

Here’s how you can use this plugin:

First, install the plugin. There are two ways of doing this. You can download the plugin from the WordPress.org site, or, go to the plugin section of WordPress admin dashboard and click the “Add New” option. Find the plugin by typing its name: ‘P3’.

Once you install the plugin, you can look for the scan page in your WordPress admin’s ‘Tools’ section. This will be present under the ‘P3 Plugin Profiler’ title.

Next, scan the plugin by clicking the ‘Start Scan’ button. Scanning will take some time, and it’s better if you do it a few times so as to get an average result. You might get marginally different results each time.

The next step requires you to analyze the results. For this, you can click on the ‘View Results’ button. By doing so, you can check speed statistics and a pie chart that will show you the individual run times as well.

Next, it’s time for you to act on the results. Consider all the plugins that are installed and being used, and decide if you really need all of them. Maybe you can choose for a more lightweight alternative to that plugin or plugins.

In the last step, just do a re-run of the test, and see the impact of the changes that are made. Do it a few times to ensure the accuracy of the results.

Benefits

Although this exercise won’t make your website faster instantly, it will help you understand which plugins may be part of that slowdown.

Having a lean site without unnecessary plugins also means less possibility of conflicts, and less updates in the future.

Once your work is done, you can deactivate the P3 Profiler and reactivate it in the future, if required.

– Ady Sachdeva

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Top 5 WordPress Dashboard Plugins

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Top 5 WordPress Dashboard Plugins

Bloggers always have many tasks to perform. Things like monitoring ad revenue, checking stats, as well as interacting on social media are some of the tasks that bloggers spend time on.

All these things require time. Now, with the availability of a few helpful WordPress plugins, bloggers can save time by performing tasks from the WordPress dashboard. By doing so, bloggers can see a quick snapshot overview of everything, thereby saving time.

Here are my picks for the top 5 plugins WordPress dashboard plugins:

1. Analytics 360

With the help of the Analytics360 plugin, you can pull together Google Analytics and MailChimp data straight into your dashboard. This can be done by means of displaying them on a subpage under the WordPress dashboard. With this plugin, you can easily access analytics tools such as managing mailing lists, and visualizing site traffic, all  without leaving WordPress. To use this plugin, you do need a Google Analytics account, but you don’t necessarily have to be a Mailchimp user. This plugin makes life easy for a blogger by letting you access robust analytics tools without leaving WordPress.

Some of the features of this plugin are:

  • Ability to visualize a site’s traffic trends
  • Chart the growth of your mailing list
  • Break down traffic through search and direct referrals with Google Analytics

2. Feedburner Stats (reworked for PHP 5.3)

This is another simple plugin that allows the user to view and manage FeedBurner stats from within the WordPress admin interface. This plugin is based on Feed Stats for WordPress. Here, the stats for your feed can be visualized from “Feed Stats” page that is placed in the “Dashboard” of WordPress. You can view statistics like Subscribers, Hits, Reach, Item Clickthroughs and Item Views.

3. Twitter Tools

The Twitter Tools plugin allows you to create integration between your Twitter account, and your WordPress blog. Using this unique plugin, WordPress users can easily manage their Twitter posts. The main benefit of this plugin is that it allows you to Tweet directly from the dashboard. You do not need to open another browser tab to do so.

With this plugin, you can automatically Tweet about new posts. You can also create a collection of Tweets and publish them on your blog. You can even Tweet from any page on the blog.

This plugin offers the following features:

  • Connect numerous Twitter accounts
  • Collect tweets from your Twitter accounts
  • Generate a blog post from each of your tweets

4. Full Comments on Dashboard

The Full Comments on Dashboard plugin is a very effective plugin that displays full comments in the Recent Comments Box in WordPress. Though the Recent Comments Box in WordPress assists in handling and replying to comments easily, it displays only the comment excerpt. To view the full comment, the user has to load another page. But now, with the availability of the Full Comments on Dashboard plugin, this limitation can easily be bypassed. This plugin extends the default widget to feature the full comment, thereby making it easy to reply properly.

5. Plugin Central

The Plugin Central is an all-inclusive WordPress plugin solution. This plugin manages all other plugins for WordPress. With the help of Plugin Central, you can easily install plugins by naming them. You can also link them to a zip folder and add several plugins together. You can update all your existing plugins directly from the dashboard.

The main features of Plugin Central are:

  • Install plugins directly by either naming them or by using the URL to the zip file.
  • Allows easy movement of your plugins from one blog to another with the help of the multiple-plugin installation feature.
  • Shows the plugin status on the Dashboard of plugins that needs to be updated.
  • Enables updating of all plugins with one click.

– Ady Sachdeva

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