'Blogs' Category

AdSense Publishers Need a Privacy Policy

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

According to JenSense, the Google AdSense terms and conditions requires all AdSense publishers to have a privacy policy. Their current T&C state:

You must have and abide by an appropriate privacy policy that clearly discloses that third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your users’ browser, or using web beacons to collect information, in the course of ads being served on your website. Your privacy policy should also include information about user options for cookie management.

To me it’s not clear that you have to publish your privacy policy on your Web site, but the privacy policy proposed by JenSense seems quite simple and clean so I will give it the benefit of the doubt. So without further a due, here’s Da Vinci Planet’s privacy policy.


Tips for Avoiding WordPress 2.3 Upgrade Problems

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Keeping up with software updates is considered best practice, but it can be a pain. WordPress is no different. All my previous WordPress upgrades have been smooth, but I was reluctant to upgrade from 2.2 to 2.3 because I was using the Jerome’s Keywords plugin (which enables tagging) and feared that it would conflict with the native tagging support in WordPress 2.3. That was before I learnt that WordPress 2.3 has import support for plugins like Jerome’s Keywords, Ultimate Tag Warrior, Simple Tags, and Bunny’s Technorati Tag. The nagging knowledge that I should upgrade finally won me over this week, but my fears realized and it took me a few hours to get my site back up. Here’s what I have learned. (more…)

Making Money From Blogging

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

John Chow has a fascinating post (and blog for that matter) on how he is making money from blogging. He decided to monetize his blog as an experiment to see if he could make money for himself from the Internet. John, like most Web professionals, has experience in telling others how to run their Web sites, but he wondered if he could make money himself… like most Web professionals do! Turns out he is doing very well – good enough to make it a full time job, but he also shows that it takes dedication and hard work. (more…)

Web 3.0: The Semantic Web

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

There is so much hype around Web 2.0, yet very few people seem to really know what it is. I recently heard about someone suggesting that they were going to redesign their site this year to “make it Web 2.0â€?; and next year to “Web 3.0â€?. I thought that Web 2.0 was a stretch for many companies and few understood it, never mind Web 3.0! What is Web 3.0 anyway?! I figured this was just big talk, but decided to look into it because Web 2.0 is very real and I guess eventually a newer generation Web will follow Web 2.0. (more…)

Productivity Tools: Screen Capture with WinSnap

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

WinSnap is a great little application that can replace regular Windows screen captures. Previously mentioned FastStone Capture is great for scrolling screen captures like Web pages in browsers, but WinSnap is great for regular CTRL+Prnt Scrn replacement. It can be configured to automatically modify the image border to rounded corners or PhotoShop-style shadows.  This is particularly useful for us bloggers who like to capture images and post them to our blogs. Older versions are free (for personal, educational and non-commercial use) and as a bonus they have a portable version, so this application needs to be added to my list of essential portable applications. The free version is available here.

WordPress 2.1

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

I upgraded to WordPress 2.1 today, mostly motivated by the editor updates. The upgrade itself was painless and all of the plugins seem to be working fine. The only problem was that embedded YouTube videos didn’t work. This was a good opportunity to test the new editor and I was able to fix the videos by getting the embed code from YouTube and replacing the code in the posts using the new “code” view of the editor. The new editor is a bit better than the old one, but I like the improved image handling. The autosave is also great. Here are some of the key features (more…)

Make WordPress RSS feeds use <!–more–> tags

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

WordPress has a very useful more tag (<!--more-->) that publishers can use to split their blog posts so that only the part before the <!--more--> tag is displayed feedburner1.gif on their blog homepages while the whole posts are displayed on the post/content pages. The purpose of this *teaser* is to encourage interested readers to either click on ads or to continue reading by clicking on the “more” link and get more page views for ad sales. Unfortunately WordPress’ default RSS feed does not obey the <!--more--> tag and only offers Full or Summary syndication. Full syndication is what users want, but publishers are reluctant to do that because their RSS subscribers would get everything in their their RSS readers and they wouldn’t need to click-through or browse to the publisher’s Web site. The Better Feed plugin solves that problem and Da Vinci Planet’s feed looks a whole lot better now :)

How Do HTML Title Tags Affect SEO?

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

It is said that title tags are one of the most important of the on-page factors for SEO. So I put it to the test. A couple of weeks ago I implemented the SEO Title Tag plugin for WordPress which updated the HTML titles of my pages to be “more SEO friendly”.


The idea was to give keywords more importance in title tags by placing them first, e.g. a page formerly titled “Da Vinci Planet ›› Blog Archive ›› Essential Portable Apps” is now titled “Essential Portable Apps | Da Vinci Planet“. Google’s search results pages have since updated and are now showing the “SEO friendly” page titles. The results are somewhat surprising! (more…)

WordPress Tag Cloud and other SEO tips

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

While doing research on SEO for WordPress, I discovered a few plugins and tips that I really liked. There are thousands of SEO tips out there and you have to identify which of them are applicable to your site and also practical to implement. Likewise there are many WordPress SEO plugins available, but many are outdated or do not work with all Web sites. For instance, I was surprised at how many SEO professionals pumped tagging and more specifically tag clouds. Tagging and tag clouds could, if implemented correctly, have huge SEO potential. The best WordPress plugin for tagging and tag pages is the Ultimate Tag Warrior. It’s perfect; except it doesn’t really work on IIS because (ideally) it uses permalinks (i.e. uses .htaccess). I would love to use this plugin on IIS so I am working a doing that. (more…)

Create a WordPress blog on GoDaddy.com

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

In this post I will try to explain how to set up a WordPress blog using goddady.com hosting services. The assumption here is that you have decided on a domain name(s) and have a reasonable idea of what your theme will be. There are many hosting providers that offer similar services, but I will focus on godaddy.com because they offer low cost hosting and domain registration with everything a serious blogger needs. Godaddy.com has WordPress prepackaged so you don’t need to pre-configure MySQL or FTP upload WordPress (their support site doesn’t mention this!). Here’s what you need to do:

1. Create a hosting account
To start off you will need to sign up for a hosting account and choose a domain name for your blog. Go to the Hosting Plans page on the Go Daddy site. The Economy Plan is usually suitable and currently costs $3.59/month for 12 month. You need to choose between Linux and Windows hosting solutions and I’d recommend Linux because it works nicer with WordPress (particularly permalinks). You typically do not need any of the optional services that they offer, but you may consider the Private domain registration ($4.99 per year) to hide your personal info from public whois. You can add a domain name for $1.99 (+ $0.25 ICANN fee). The total charge, for 1 year, will be around $50.32. That will be your only cost for this setup. Once you have paid you may have to wait a few of hours for your hosting set up to complete.

2. Install WordPress
Next you need to install WordPress into your site. To do this, browse to godaddy.com, log in to your account and then go to Hosting & Servers and go to My Hosting Plans. Select Open next to the hosting account that you would like to add WorPress. In the Hosting Manager look for click on Value Applications, locate WordPress and click on install. You need to enter basic WordPress administration info, submit, wait a couple of minutes and it’s installed. Besides WordPress, you will also see many other applications that are readily available, including Coppermine image gallery, SiteBar, AdvancedPoll and PmWiki wiki.

After installing WordPress, Go Daddy will show a link to launch the application. By default WordPress will be installed into the /wordpress folder. To change that could be tricky, but you could do it by using an FTP client to connect to your site (create an FTP account by going to Manage FTP Users in the Host Manager) and renaming the wordpress folder to the name of your choice, then you need to browse to the admin page in the new folder (i.e. http://yourdomain.com/new_wordpress_folder/wp-admin/index.php) and update the path info in the Options | General section. If you want to run WordPress as your root application, you will need to move the files to your root folder – possibly by downloading and then re-uploading the files to root (make sure you know what you’re doing!).

3. Familiarize yourself with WordPress
This is where the fun starts! :) After you get WordPress working you need to familiarize yourself with the Web application by checking out the admin tool and reading the documentation. You will want to create a theme or choose one from the many available on-line (mostly free) and enhance it by installing plugins and adding Web analytics, RSS feeds, etc..

4. Useful resources

WordPress Codex
Emily Robnins, How to blog – a comprehensive list of themes.

WordPress Codex

Add Google Analytics to your WordPress blog

Monday, August 28th, 2006

Google Analytics is arguably the best free Web analytics tool available. It’s free and they have now made it available to everyone. To sign up go to google.com/analytics and login using your Google account info. After creating an account you will be guided through the steps to set up your first profile. Copy the tracking code or keep it close for the next step.

There are two ways to add the tracking code to your WordPress blog: 1) by installing a plug-in and 2) by editing the theme source pages directly.

Install a Google Analytics plug-in.
There are a number of plug-ins available for free and they are mostly similar and very easy to use, including:

Edit your WordPress pages directly.
This is probably the no so smart option, but since I did it I might as well mention it. You will need to edit the source of your theme pages. Login to your WordPress admin tool, select the Presentation tab and then Theme Editor. The Header (header.php) or Footer (footer.php) is normally the best place to insert your Google Analytics code, but make sure that you insert it after the <body> tag in the Header or before the </body> tag in the Footer, depending on which file you inserted the code. After saving the file, preview your blog and view the page source to verify that the tracking code has been inserted. Google Analytics can can lag a few hours to show traffic.