Simple Way to Get Plugin Status in WordPress

Active plugin volcano.

I have previously written on how to determine if a widget is active. This is helpful for widgets, but not for plugins.

WordPress has a couple of different functions that help you determine plugin status. They are both located in wp-includes/plugin.php

  • `validate_plugin()` spits out an error if the plugin file does not  exist or has an invalid header. This lets you know that the file is there.
  • `is_plugin_inactive()` lets you know if the plugin is not active (using the `is_plugin_active()` function)

A function to get plugin status

Using these two functions, I put together a one-size-fits-all function `get_plugin_status()`. Continue reading “Simple Way to Get Plugin Status in WordPress”

A WordPress Developer's Tips for Using Panic Coda

Panic CodaI use Panic Coda for coding. I like its Mac-style interface and it “fits” me well. There are some items that are frustrating, including a lack of auto-complete for functions you’ve already used in your code. Here are three tips to improve your coding experience. Continue reading “A WordPress Developer's Tips for Using Panic Coda”

Introducing IDX+, WordPress Real Estate & IDX Done Right

I’m happy to release IDX+, the best WordPress IDX solution.

Enhance dsIDXpressIDX+ is a project I’ve been working on for months. It was born came out of necessity: a client told me “there is no perfect solution for WordPress real estate websites.” After looking into it, I realized he was right.

IDX+ is the solution to your real estate website’s problems. Continue reading “Introducing IDX+, WordPress Real Estate & IDX Done Right”

Selling BoulderSEO.com

A great domain goes up for sale on GoDaddy.

BoulderSEO.comI have put the BoulderSEO.com domain up for auction: with the upcoming release of the top-secret WordPress real estate plugin, I have chosen to sell this prime property.

The BoulderSEO.com auction will be ending in 18 hours, so if you’re into Colorado, Denver, Loveland, or Boulder SEO (you get the idea!), check out this auction.

You will instantly rank well with this great domain.

Currently priced at only $660 – it’s a great deal! With literally no work done on the site since April, 2009, I still get 1-2 leads/month from this site. This domain will pay for itself in a month.

Go to the auction.

WordPress Real Estate Plugin: Stay Tuned…

You may have noticed this blog has gone un-updated. That’s because I’ve been working on an awesome new plugin.

WordPress + Real Estate + User Data + SEO

In the past, I’ve written posts about how to optimize your WordPress real estate website for SEO and I’ve created a Trulia plugin for WordPress.

This WordPress real estate plugin changes the game of what you can do with your WordPress website — and for how much money. No longer do you need to pay tens of thousands of dollars for an indexed IDX solution.

Next week I will release a beta version, so stay tuned for the formal announcement.

Easy Content Deployment for WordPress: RAMP

RAMP allows you to make all the changes you need in your staging environment, then selectively push these changes to your production site. You can set up a new section of your site, upload some images to fill out a nice carousel for it, and add a link to it on your home page. Once this content has been reviewed and approved, you can go to your RAMP page, select these content changes, and push them to your production site.

via Easy Content Deployment for WordPress: RAMP.

This would be really handy for larger WordPress sites.

Yourls Google Analytics Link Tagging

In my last post, I wrote about the benefits of using YOURLS, a self-hosted link-shortening service. I’m finding that YOURLS is great, but it’s not perfect. Some of the issues I have experience are part of what you get using most URL shortener services.

Some of the downsides of using link shorteners are:

  1. Google Analytics doesn’t always capture the original referrer (and I have no clue how they do the rest of the time!).
  2. When generating links using the bookmarklet (or in this case, also the Yourls installation), there’s no easy way to add campaign, source, medium, content, and term tags for Google Analytics to track.
  3. Yourls doesn’t allow query strings on URLs by default, making overriding existing campaign tags difficult/impossible. For example: `http://katz.si/t?utm_source=2300`

I’m not the only one who wanted these things, so I’ve created a plugin that adds Google Analytics tracking to Yourls. It’s very cool.

Continue reading “Yourls Google Analytics Link Tagging”

YOURLS URL Shortener

YOURLS LogoI was having trouble finding the right URL shortening service. My requests for shortening were not too picky. I wanted two simple features:

  • Good statistics that are visible only to administrators
  • Edit the long URLs after generating shortened links

…but not one service has both features:

  • http://sn.im has editable URLs, a bookmarklet, but no stats. Oh, and they kept on deleting my links.
  • http://bit.ly has great stats, name recognition, but the links aren’t editable and the stats are public.
  • http://goo.gl is the fastest service (so they claim), they have good stats (maybe the best, since they include OS & browser information), but they don’t have editable links or private stats.

Other smaller offerings may have had both features, but they also seem unreliable. I wanted control of my links. Continue reading “YOURLS URL Shortener”

The Google +1 Sprite Animation

How the +1 Button Works

Google +1 Button The +1 Button uses an advanced sprite technique to simulate an animated `gif`. The animation occurs when hovering over search results with +1 enabled, and the shine moves across the button. (The image to the right is an animated `gif` I made…)

The +1 Button is not an animated `gif`, however. It’s a sprite image that moves a background image across the “window” of the button using Javascript. The code, if you care, goes something like this:

`onmouseover=”window.gbar&&gbar.pw&&gbar.pw.hvr(this,google.time())”`

The sprite image Google uses for the +1 button is below:

Google +1 Sprite

Pretty neat, huh?

Yeah, the +1 Button animation is pretty neat…
…now turn it off!

Oh goodness gracious, the animation is annoying. After hovering over one search result, it’s obvious how awful the animation is and I want to claw my eyes out with a rusty nail. I wanted to find a way to disable the animation. Continue reading “The Google +1 Sprite Animation”

Trulia Plugin for WordPress

Easily add TruliaMaps to your website!
Add a Trulia maps widget showing homes in your area, without touching any HTML or code. This plugin allows you to configure tons of options; check it out today!

The Trulia real estate plugin includes options for:

  • Map size
  • Map, Satellite or Hybrid map type
  • Slideshow – automatically cycle through houses. Choose how quickly the slideshow displays, or to turn it off.
  • Map Background and Text colors

Easily add a real estate map to your page or post using “shortcodes”:

`[trulia city=”Bethesda” state=”MD”]`
will show a map for Bethesda, MD real estate.

`[trulia zip=90210 rotate=10 size=panorama]`

will show a wide map of the 90210 real estate for sale, and will rotate showing listings every 10 seconds.

Shortcode

[trulia title=”Boston Real Estate” align=right city=Boston state=MA background=”#cccccc” color=”#333333″ size=large rotate=10 logo_color=gry]  The following shortcode produces the map seen on the right:

`[trulia title=”Boston Real Estate” align=right city=Boston state=MA background=”#cccccc” color=”#333333″ size=large rotate=10]`

The plugin has shortcode support with the following setting options:

  • `size` – Choose between `large` (default), `small`, and `panoramic` map sizes.
  • `title` – Modify the text of the map heading.
  • `zip` – Standard ZIP code
  • `city` – Name of the city.
  • `state` – Two-letter state abbreviation.
  • `rotate` – How quickly, in seconds, do you want the listings to auto-rotate. Defaults to `0` (off).
  • `map_view` – Choose between Map (`map`), Satellite (`sat`), or Hybrid (`hyb`) views for the map images.
  • `align` – Align the map to the `left`, `right`, `center`, or `none`
    Note: uses WordPress CSS classes to achieve aligning; some themes may not support this.
  • `color` – HEX value for map heading text color (`#efefef`, for example)
  • `bg` – HEX value for map background color (`#cccc33`, for example)

Please leave support questions/issues and comments below!

This WordPress real estate plugin was made possible with the support of the Koitz Group, Bethesda, MD real estate experts.

Recent Projects & Lessons Learned

There’s been a lull here on the SEODenver.com website. That doesn’t mean I’ve been standing still. What have I been up to?

I’m going to tell you a bit about these projects and something I’ve learned from each of them. Continue reading “Recent Projects & Lessons Learned”

Paginate Links in WordPress Link Manager

Links are not first-class citizens in WordPress

In developing the a website for professional genealogists, I was tasked with creating link directory functionality in WordPress. I didn’t want to install some big plugins; I wanted to use the Links Manager that’s built in to every WP install out of the box. There were two problems, however:

  1. Link categories are not hierarchical, and;
  2. There is no pagination in the Links Manager: all links are displayed on one page by default.

My client’s website will have over 20,000 links; having them all on one page was simply not an option.

I didn’t want to create a new Post Type or Taxonomy; Links are already the right tool for the job. I moved forward creating the custom solution, and am sharing the results of that development here. The result of the project was a successful deployment of a crazy amount of links (see an example on their Iowa genealogy resources page). Continue reading “Paginate Links in WordPress Link Manager”

Export Bit.ly Link Data as CSV

Finally, a way to download Bit.ly link data as a CSV.

Bitly Download CSV
Would you care to download a CSV of your Bit.ly links? WINNING!

Download the plugin from WordPress.org

Bit.ly is one of the most popular link shortening services, and rightly so: it is stable, easy to use, and has pretty looking statistics. One thing Bit.ly does not do is export data. There is simple no other Bit.ly exporter out there.

The Bit.ly Exporter plugin allows you to export up to three years of daily click data for your links. This allows you to analyse click data like you always wanted to! All you need is WordPress. Continue reading “Export Bit.ly Link Data as CSV”

SEO WordSpinner Removed from the WordPress Plugins Directory

Today I found out that the SEO WordSpinner plugin is no longer available via its WordPress Directory page. I emailed WordPress plugin-master Mark Riley asking what was up, and he just emailed me back:

Hi,
There were some complaints about some SEO plugins.
Your plugin was among those checked and given it’s purpose is not suitable for the directory now.

Mark.

If you’re a fan of the SEO WordSpinner plugin, email WordPress now to show your support!

Continue reading “SEO WordSpinner Removed from the WordPress Plugins Directory”

Google Instant Scraper – The Best Tool for Google Instant SEO

Optimize your site, find niche keywords

Introducing: Google Instant Scraper, a powerful free tool for niche marketing and keyword research. Find high-traffic, relevant long-tail keywords in seconds.

How the Google Instant Scraper works:

  1. Enter a “seed” keyword (or multiple keywords separated by commas) and choose how many levels deep you would like to scrape;
  2. The Scraper gets results from Google Instant for that keyword. These are level 1 keywords.
  3. For each level 1 keyword, the Scraper gathers results from step #1 and adds them to the list. These are level 2 keywords.
  4. Repeat #2 and #3 for levels 3 and 4 keywords
  5. The list is sorted by the # of queries, and the excluded keywords are removed from the list

In this way, the Instant Scraper builds powerful, targeted keyword lists in seconds…for free.

Continue reading “Google Instant Scraper – The Best Tool for Google Instant SEO”

Hierarchical Link Categories for WordPress

Download the plugin on WordPress.org

If you’ve ever tried to use WordPress’ built-in bookmarks / links manager, you know that its limits can be frustrating. One of the biggest issues I’ve encountered is that the link categories are not hierarchical.

Let’s say you have a tech blog and you link to a lot of pages about TV’s. You may want to categorize the links under TV > Plasma or TV > LCD. With the existing system, you cannot.

Enter the Hierarchical Link Categories plugin

Continue reading “Hierarchical Link Categories for WordPress”

{Gravity Forms Shortcode Explained|Gravity Forms Shortcode – A Detailed Explanation}

This post is about Gravity Forms, a WordPress contact form plugin.

I know about Gravity Forms…but what are shortcodes?

Think of shortcodes as a placeholder for where other content will be displayed: instead of “Insert a Gravity Forms form here,” we use the `gravityform` shortcode. Learn more about shortcodes on WordPress.org.

The Gravity Forms `shortcode` has five pieces:

`

Oops! We could not locate your form.

`

  1. `id` (required) – The ID of the form, as displayed on the Gravity Forms Edit Forms page in the Id column
  2. `name` (required) – The name of the form.
  3. `title` – Show the title to users? Default is true; set to “false” to disable
  4. `description` – Show the form’s description to users? Default is true; set to “false” to disable.
  5. `ajax` – Submit the form without refreshing? Default is false; set to “true” to enable.

Gravity Forms Shortcode Examples:

`

`
Will result in Form #1 being displayed without a title or description, with no-refresh entry submission. Continue reading “{Gravity Forms Shortcode Explained|Gravity Forms Shortcode – A Detailed Explanation}”

Google Rewrites Your Search Result Titles for Relevance

Google is changing your titles for you…whether they’re “optimized” or not!

Google is overruling your title tags when they determine that your content headlines are more relevant.

Previously, I had only seen this behavior when there were not well-structured title tags, keyword-stuffed title tags or no title tags at all. This has been well documented and discussed. This is the first time that I have noticed Google taking a more aggressive stance in rewriting title tags that have been well crafted. Continue reading “Google Rewrites Your Search Result Titles for Relevance”