Plugin Review: WP-DBManager

by Matt Lawrence on April 29, 2010

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This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Plugin Review

The original plan for this week’s post was to start testing Plugin Compatibility for WordPress 3.0, but that will have to wait a week.

The reason?

A plugin I found saved me from losing around four months worth of posts over at Dallas Sports Fans, where I am currently the managing editor.

Recently, Dallas Sports Fans suffered a database error that could have been disastrous if it wasn’t for the WordPress PlugIn WP-DBManager by Lester “GaMerZ” Chan. This plugin repaired the database, which saved DSF.

Read the Solution!

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Using WP-SuperCache to Improve Performance

by Matt Lawrence on July 8, 2010

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This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Plugin Review

We all love WordPress for its dynamic functionality and ease of use; however, anyone who has a high traffic blog understands that these luxuries comes at a performance price. The dynamic abilities of WordPress are provided by a combination of programming logic and data. Each time a visitor requests a page, the web server must process the PHP code which contains the logic and access information stored in a MySQL database.  As the number of concurrent users grows, this process slows down your WordPress site.  You may even see a lovely server error or white screen if you overload your hosting.

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WordPress Plugin: Subscribe to Comments

by Matt Lawrence on April 15, 2010

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This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Plugin Review

Building a community is one of the goals that most bloggers share, and chances are your current comments section has room for improvement.

Paying attention to your comment section can improve user experience with your website, which in turn helps it grow. Today we will look at Mark Jaquith’s plugin Subscribe to Comments and how it can improve user experience on your blog.

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Backing Up Your WordPress Database: Simplified

by Matt Lawrence on February 4, 2010

Database Backup WordPress
This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Plugin Review

Backing up your database preserves the information in your posts and pages, as well as other important stuff that your WordPress powered blog uses to function.

Making a copy of your database is like taking a snapshot of your blog at the exact moment that you back it up. Anything you write or do after you backup your WordPress database will not be included in the backup.

There are several ways to back up your WordPress database and a varying level of expertise is involved with each way. This post will focus on the easiest way for a WordPress user to back up the database.

Read More for 3 Steps to your Database Backup


A Look at: WordPress SEO Plug-Ins

by Matt Lawrence on January 20, 2010

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This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Plugin Review

WordPress is a powerful CMS / Blogging software with one fatal flaw: it does not come with a way to modify your title tag and meta tags. Don’t freak out though, as there are plug-ins that will allow you to modify these all-important elements for SEO.

Having control of your title and description tags is one of the most important steps you can take to optimize your blog for search engines.

In this post I will cover the most important SEO elements for your page or post, and then we will take a quick look at the All in One SEO & Platinum SEO Plug-Ins for WordPress. All In One SEO and Platinum SEO are the two plug-ins that I use in our blogs, as well as the blogs of customers, to overcome the lack of SEO granularity that come standard with WordPress.

More on Options for WordPress SEO


Build Your Own Social Network with BuddyPress

by Matt Lawrence on April 1, 2010

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This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Plugin Review

Recently Derick and I had the pleasure of attending the Dallas/Fort Worth WordPress Meetup and the topic of this meetup was BuddyPress. Before looking at BuddyPress I want to give the contact information for the DFW WordPress Meetup:

Dallas WordPress Meetup
“Open to anyone interested in learning how to build a website, start a blog, and build traffic to their website. We also discuss the technical aspects of WordPress, and social networking topics such as Twitter”
Website: Dallas Fort Worth WordPress Meetup
Twitter: DFWWP

Going into this Meetup I had heard about BuddyPress, but had never taken the time to play around and get acquainted with this WordPress Add On. The reason I call it an Add On is that it is hard for me to call BP a plugin because of how powerful it is.

Michael J. Pratt was the presenter for the DFW WordPress Meetup on BuddyPress. He runs a BuddyPress-driven site for West Point Alumni, contributes to the BP core, and you can follow Mike on Twitter @mikepratt. Mike’s presentation covered the different ways that you can use BuddyPress to create your own social network. This was great because Jerod an I are always looking for ways to grow our Sports Blogs, and this was clearly the next step that we needed to take.

During the presentation the topic arose of large vague social networks like Facebook and how they have a major flaw. You can’t talk about all of the things that you want because your family, friends, and co-workers see all of your updates. However if you create a social network that is focused on one subject you can create better interaction between users.


WordPress Plugin: WP to Twitter Install & Setup

by Matt Lawrence on October 1, 2010

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This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Plugin Review

Seamlessly integrating your WordPress blog and your twitter account, all you need is a few minutes to properly setup the WP to Twitter plugin. The WP to Twitter plugin gives you plenty of options, such as and integration, different author accounts, and many other options. This post will cover what you need to do to get your WP to Twitter plugin setup, if you need help with the advanced options just leave your questions in the comments.

Last week we covered why you should use the WP to Twitter WordPress Plugin, in this weeks post we will cover the installation and setup of WP to Twitter. Before you begin you will need to make sure that you have the following:

  • A WordPress powered blog
  • A Twitter account
  • a or account to shorten your URLs

If you are missing any of the above you need to sign up for them before proceeding. Below you will find a screen cast and instructions to help you set up the Plugin.