5 things you may not know about WordPress

After recently going through the process of setting up WordPress and this site, I feel I have learnt certain things that may help other WordPress users. This article is a report of my experience.

1) You can post to WordPress using Windows Live Writer offline blog writing software. The software at first glance appears to be just for Windows Live Space blogs, however, you can easily use it for self hosted WordPress blogs. It has the added advantage of posting plug-ins, Automated pinging (sends pings to blog search engines when you post), and because it is offline software there is no page loading waiting time, so writing blogs becomes much easier. There is a beta version 2.0 of the software here: Windows Live Writer 2.0 Beta

2) In WordPress 2.2 widgets are now standard. Widgets are a form of plug-in that are easy to install and use, they tend to require no understanding of any web programming to use. If you are using version 2.2 of WordPress you can access the widget panel under the presentation tab of your admin dash. If you are using an older version you need to install the widget plug-in. The theme you are using must also be compatible for widgets to work.

3) You can organize posts and articles on your homepage/index page using category groups instead of just listing them in reverse chronological order like a standard blog. My homepage is organized this way. Using this method you can organize your WordPress like like a news site or magazine. Investigate yourself using Max.limpag.com

4) You can insert plug-in and php code into Wordpress 2.2’s widgetized sidebar using this plug-in code : Exe PHP. This is particularly useful for adding old plug-ins that don’t have widget alternatives. Install the widget above, then use it to execute the php code that runs the plug-in that you want to use… simple right?

5) You can have Feed Burner manage your rss feeds instead of using the standard WordPress feeds. You only need to install this plug-in: Feed Smith. For more top wordpress plugins check out shankrila or blogigs for some Adsense Optimized WordPress Themes.

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Free Stock Image Sites

It’s quite a difficult task to find clean, crisp, relevant, yet legal images to use on a Website. If you understand what copyright is you will know that you can’t just grab any old image you see on the web and place it on your own site. So where do you get images from? Stock photography is the answer for many web designers – well those that aren’t the sort that carry around a digital SLR in their bag anyway. The problem here for most small sites is that a good stock image doesn’t come cheap, and I hear you saying…”why pay when I can just download free images from the net”. Good question. To get to the point, your main concern here should be legality. I am certainly not going to trust any old “Free Clip-art download site” where you don’t so much as even see a legal notice or licence for the image you are getting. However I have found a few sources of free legal downloads of stock images where the licensing of the images is very clear. These photos are sometimes referred to as public domain images.
Free Stock Image sites:
SXC <- Has many free images, with some extra sharp premium paid images which cost.
Morgue File <- All free, a good source for images.
Dreamstime <- Has some free images, mostly pay images.
Image After <- All free images.
Vecteezy <- Very cool site with some free vector images, and sorted by licence type (source of bikini image above).

Good luck pic hunting.

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