Tag Archives: Lists

20 Of The Best Free Magazine WordPress Themes

If you are looking to pay for a magazine theme, the first place I would start is Elegant themes…for $39 you get access to 77+ professional themes that are constantly updated and added to.

List updated regularly

This article was originally created in 2008, however, a lot of the themes that were cool in 2008, are now relics, and because this page still receives a lot of traffic, I wanted to update it to keep it current. There are more than 20 WordPress Magazine themes in this article, however, I have added a few premium themes into the mix. Why have I put premium themes into a post titled: “20 Of The Best Free Magazine WordPress Themes” – I am no longer a huge fan of free themes. Often the authors create free themes to build backlinks to their sites, and then take the theme offline, or turn it into a premium theme. With free themes you often have no support. With free themes you almost always have to leave a footer link on your site, which is bad for SEO. Of the 20 free themes that were in this original article that I wrote in 2008, only 2 of the theme links were still live, and freely available when I went to edit this article in April 2011…For me the $20-$40 you spend on a premium theme is the easiest decision you should have to make when creating a new site or upgrading your theme. Still, as the original article was about free themes, I have included 20 new free, and great themes in this article. All premium themes have been labelled as such, so don’t fill the comments form with complaints. Hope you find this a useful resource.

Backlight (Premium) | Demo or Buy

Backlight is a premium WordPress theme by Theme Junkie. It’s a professional looking theme ideal for a tech blog, or a technology aimed online magazine. It clean, crisp and light weight theme. For $39 you can pick up this theme + 2 other Theme Junkie Themes, or you could join their Theme club for just $49, and gain access to all their fantastic themes.It has some fantastic features such as:

  • Content slider
  • Ad management
  • Localization
  • Customized widgets

Minimosity (Premium) | Demo or Buy

Minimosity is a fantastic Magazine theme available Themeforest.  It is very versatile with light and dark styles. It is a responsive theme, so adapts to your screen size depending on what device you view it on. It has all the bells and whistles you expect from a premium theme such as a content slider, and a very useful and powerful admin customization section. A fantastic option. Features:

  • Responsive
  • Content Slider
  • Built in Reviews
  • Light or Dark Skin
  • Customizable 404 page
  • Retina Screen Support

The Source (Premium) | Demo or Buy

The source is probably my favorite of Elegant themes magazine themes. The full width content slider at the top looks stunning, and it’s simply an around looker in regards to design.  You of course get access to Elegant Themes entire collection for just $39 a year, so this is a very popular option. The Elegant Themes community is huge with over 140,000 customers. Features:

  • Perpetual Updates
  • Four Unique Colors
  • Localization
  • Shortcodes
  • Page Templates



The Morning After (Free)
| Demo and Download

The first of our free themes, the Morning After is a very clean light weight magazine theme. It’s now hosted by Woo Themes, who employed/bought out the original author.  As it’s supported by a large marketplace like Woo Themes you don’t have to worry about the usual free theme draw backs such as a lack of support or random links in the footer. However, as it’s free you do need to leave their homepage link intact in your footer if you use theme theme.

 

Arras (Free) | Get it | Demo

Arras really is an outstanding theme, that continues to be developed and supported, and somehow has managed to stay free. There is a support forum to help you with any issues, but this theme is truly fantastic, and a real steal for free.

 

Megazine (Premium) | Demo and Download

Megazine is yet another of the fantastic responsive magazine themes available on Themeforest. It comes with a drop and drag page builder which basically gives you endless customization options in a similar way that the very popular thesis theme does. This is an awesome theme.

  • Drag Drop Page Builder
  • Drag Drop Slider Manager
  • Unlimited Color
  • 6 Footer Layouts
  • 4 Blog styles
  • Shortcodes
  • 15 Pre-Defined Background Patterns

Megazine

Big Feature (Premium) | Buy & Demo

Big Feature is another Themeforest theme. It’s the most popular theme in the magazine category on Themeforest, and there is a good reason for this…it’s an awesome, clean, well coded minimalist magazine theme, few a huge feature at the top. This makes it ideal for product, or service based blogs or website. It’s been well supported with 7 updates since it’s original release.

  • Many page templates
  • Shortcodes
  • 4 Free Childthemes
  • Cufon font replacement enabled

 Mimbo (Free) | Demo and Download

Mimbo is one of a few surviving themes from the original article I wrote in 2007. It’s a free theme by Darren Hoyt. It’s has been updated 6 times since the original 2007 release, when it was of the first WordPress themes to make use of a non blog standard layout, using categories for layout rather than the standard, latest at the top design. It’s a really classy theme, particularly because it’s free. There is even a child theme option if you don’t like the standard design.

 

Newscast 4 in 1 (Premium) | Demo & Buy

Newscast is a flashy magazine theme, that makes great use jQuery. It’s loaded with street appeal, yet it’s very clean in design. A great option available on the Themeforest marketplace.

  • Sleek Image preloader
  • Contact Form and News Submission Form
  • Working ajax/php contact form
  • Custom Sidebar News Widget
  • Custom advertising Widget

Table Theme (Free ) | Download & Demo

Table is a awesome free theme by Theme Junkie. It comes with all the great features of their premium themes, such as an easy admin panel, ad management, and localization. A very good free options for the budget designers out there. ps…it looks nicer than the screenshot when it’s not loaded with Adsense ad blocks.

Big Foot (Premium) | Demo or Buy

Big Foot is another premium theme from Theme Junkie. It comes with all the great features of their other themes, and has a very slick design. A great option for a tech / design blogger.

  • Localization
  • AD Management


5 WordPress PHP Code Snippets

Assign an image to post ID

This snip assigns an image to each unique post ID from WordPress, which in this case I have made a gif. If you put a file in the image folder in your root directory of your WordPress install called 8.gif – the 8th post you made on your blog will be assigned that image wherever you place this code. If there is no image for that id (you haven’t put a file called 8.gif in yet) it assigns the image called logo.gif. You can change any of the directories, file extensions, and the alternative image name to suit your own needs. You can find the post ID by looking in manage posts from your dash. You should use this code in template files.

<?php 
$image = “$id.gif”;
if(is_readable(“./images/$image”)) 
{
echo “<img src=’/images/$image’ alt=’alt tag’  />”; 

else 

echo “<img src=’/images/logo.gif’ alt=’alt tag’ />”; 

?>

Continue reading 5 WordPress PHP Code Snippets

5 Ways To Control How Google Displays Your Content

Google Meta Tags

As a blog owner or webmaster, traffic from Google search is likely one of your largest sources. Google traffic to Pingable ranks 2nd only behind StumbleUpon traffic. So how can you control what content Google indexes, or how it displays your content search engine result pages (SERPs)?

Using the following Meta Tags you can control how Google displays your content, and what it displays. You use a meta tag by placing them in the head section of your HTML code.

  1. No Cache<meta name=”googlebot” Content=”noarchive”> – Will stop Google caching your content. Google keeps a cache of your content, and a link to it is available in Google SERPs.
  2. No snippet<meta name=”googlebot” Content=”nosnippet”> – Will stop Google displaying the short snippet of text beneath the title in SERPs.
  3. No index<meta name=”googlebot” Content=”noindex”>– Will stop Google from displaying the page you include the tag on in their SERPs.
  4. No index Image<meta name=”googlebot-image” Content=”noindex”> – Will stop Google form indexing an image.
  5. Setting an expiry date on your content.<meta name=”googlebot” Content=”unavailable_after: 25-Dec-2007 12:00:00 EST”> – Will create an expiry date for your content, so it is not displayed after a certain date. Useful for excluding content in a paid members area.

Why stop Google showing some of your content?

Apart from the obvious scenario where you have commercial / or paid content that you don’t want shown, there is the important issue of duplicate content. A site is penalised filtered for having the same content on different pages, using the above meta tags you can control which pages are indexed and which are not and avoid displaying duplicate content.

Visibility of content

The visibility of your content, and how it’s displayed in Google SERPs is a key part of SEO that is often overlooked. Using the following meta tag you can tell Google what to display in the snippet for each page.

<meta name=”description” content=”informative description here”>

Controlling Meta tags in WordPress

Headspace is a fantastic WordPress plugin which makes life much easier dealing for different meta tags, keywords and descriptions in WordPress. It enables you to have individual meta descriptions and keywords and much more for each page on your site.

www.pingable.org

12 Well Designed BlogSpot Blogs

There are some fantastic Blogspot blogs out there. But all too often I see fantastic content laid out in a cookie cutter style theme that I have seen 100’s of times before. I decided to make it my mission to find some well designed and unique blogspot blogs to showcase. Below are 12 Blogspot blogs that have either unique or well designed themes:

Nobs Tutorials

IT Log

Your Jobs

Popcorn Not Included

Music From The Pants

Simon So

Bicycle Design

The Brand Builder

Blogger Templates

Firewalker

Designklub

Chicken Girl Design

Food For Design

All The Best

Update: Added 2 more: nobs Tutorials and IT blog to the top of the list.

www.pingable.org

5 Simple CSS Tricks

  1. CSS Image Replacement

    System fonts can look ugly, and appear rigid. Using CSS you can replace text with a beautifully formed anti aliased image, yet still have all the accessibility and SEO benefits of text headings.

    Inline:

    <h1>Hello World</h1>

    CSS:

    h1 {
    display:block;
    width:100px;
    height:0;
    padding:30px 0 0 0;
    background-image:url(“heading.gif”);
    overflow:hidden;
    }

    Example of fonts

    The first image is a system font in the browser, see the edges of the “S” are rigid. The second is the same font as an image, the third is a non system font with a shadow, because you can use any font and apply effects to them when using Image Replacement.

  2. Rounded Corners Without Using Images

    To create CSS objects that have rounded edges without using images you can use the following technique:

    Inline:

    <div id=”container”>
    <b class=”rtop”>
    <b class=”r1″></b> <b class=”r2″></b> <b class=”r3″></b> <b class=”r4″></b>
    </b>
    <!–content goes here –>
    <b class=”rbottom”>
    <b class=”r4″></b> <b class=”r3″></b> <b class=”r2″></b> <b class=”r1″></b>
    </b>
    </div>

    CSS:

    .rtop, .rbottom {
    display:block
    }
    .rtop *, .rbottom * {
    display: block; height: 1px; overflow: hidden
    }
    .r1 {
    margin: 0 5px
    }
    .r2 {
    margin: 0 3px
    }
    .r3 {margin: 0 2px
    }
    .r4 {margin: 0 1px; height: 2px
    }

  3. RSS Feed Icon Without Using an Image

    With the increasing importance of RSS, finding crafty ways to display an icon is a useful skill. This method displays a tidy RSS icon without using an image.

    Inline:

    <a href=”http://pingable.org/feed/” class=”feed”>FEED</a>

    CSS:

    .feed { border:1px solid;
    border-color:#FC9 #630 #330 #F96;
    padding:0 3px;
    font:bold 10px verdana,sans-serif;
    color:#FFF;
    background:#F60;
    text-decoration:none;
    margin:4px;
    }

  4. Size Fonts Without Using Pixel Units

    It is important to size text using a method that is not absolute, so it can be enlarged for better visibility in a browser.

    CSS:

    body {
    font-size: 80%
    }

    p {
    font-size: 1.1em;
    line-height: 1.2em;
    }

  5. Using Images For Bullets

    An easy method to create list with images as your bullet points:

    Inline:

    <div id=”navcontainer”>
    <ul id=”navlist”>
    <li id=”active”><a href=”#” id=”current”>Item one</a></li>
    <li><a href=”#”>Item two</a></li>
    <li><a href=”#”>Item three</a></li>
    <li><a href=”#”>Item four</a></li>
    <li><a href=”#”>Item five</a></li>
    </ul>
    </div>

    CSS:

    #navlist {
    list-style-image: url(images/arrow.gif);

    www.pingable.org

10 Purely Evil Ways To Make Quick Money Online

The original article I wrote on this page was getting pretty dated. I wrote it more than three years ago in 2007, more for entertainment. Sure a lot of these methods work, or at least did at the time, but I wasn’t an experienced marketer. In 2013, I am a bit more savvy, and I have a bit more to offer on the topic. Seeing as this article still gets a few thousand visits every month from people looking for information on how to make quick money online I wanted to update it make it more current. I hope you enjoy the article and find it useful.

10 More Purely Evil ways to Make Quick Money Online in 2010

  1. Write crappy Internet marketing eBooks

    The idea is to promise the world in the title. Something like: “How I make $500 Every Day with less than 20 minutes work”. Then you fill the eBook with common sense SEO information freely available online on many forums and blogs. This method is evil because the content should be free, it’s common sense for most IM’ers, and the headlines of these eBooks always over promise. Plenty of people make more than $500 a day online using SEO, but I bet the eBook isn’t a golden ticket to success. You will find many such eBooks on Clickbank, and on the Warrior forum.

  2. Youtube CPA offers

    There is a lot of traffic to be had on Youtube. IM’ers (Internet Marketers) are always after methods to make money from it. CPA= Cost Per Action….so you get paid if someone does some particular action, like sign up for something, or fill out a form or survey. The method here is to upload a video that has a chance of going viral. A popular music video that has just been released, or re-upload an ad for a new technology product. Then place a link in the video description that links to a domain with a CPA relating the video. ..if it is a music video, you might get some conversations from ringtone offers and they pay well. You should also watermark the video with your link to help get more interest.

  3. Share Pirated eBooks

    Plenty of people are looking for free copies of the eBooks I mentioned in the first step, but they don’t really want to pay for them. If you are sneaky you will find places to download these ebooks. The method is to share these ebooks on other dodgy forums, but before uploading them, update all the affiliate links in the ebook with your own affiliate links. You might make some money?

  4. Autoblogs

    I mentioned these in my first list back in 2007, but I called them scraper sites. The idea is the same. You setup a self-hosted WordPress blog, then use automation software like WP robot to pull fresh posts from other blogs. Most of these will eventually find their way to the google sandbox for duplicate content issues, so the idea is to make lots of them, and keep making new ones all the time. Some will probably make you some money.

  5. Sell footer links in WordPress themes

    The idea here is that you make a WordPress theme…you will need to use something like Artisteer if you don’t have any wordpress experience. Or you could pay someone to make a half decent theme. If the theme is any good you shouldn’t have too much trouble selling links in the footer. You then give the theme away for free. Add it to all those WordPress theme directories out there. Anyone who installs the theme will be giving the people who have paid for the links valuable backlinks, so they will be happy. You will want to encrypt the footer so people don’t remove the links though.

  6. Give away free websites

    This is kind of an offline method, but it does work. Your task is to give away free websites. You target small businesses, or Mum and Dad types working from home. The package comes with a free domain, and 2 hours of setup time. I would set them up with a self-hosted WordPress blog, and chuck on a professional looking theme. There are plenty of them out there. The catch is that they must signup to your hosting service to get the free site. You then sign them up to your Hostgator reseller hosting service which you sell them for something like $19.95 a month. You only need to signup 2-3 clients to be making a profit, and if you are a really good face to face marketer, 200 clients will make you a pretty good living at $4000 a month. Another strength to this method is you also have a set of clients to sell SEO services to, or premium theme subscriptions to sites like elegant themes, or theme forest. I don’t think this method is that evil, in fact it’s a fairly solid business plan. But it does pray on the fact that a lot of people don’t understand the costs of web hosting, or the business involved with selling reseller hosting.

  7. Sell text links

    You don’t even need your own a site. All you need to do is find blogs that have high PR, build up a good list. Then sell link packages on IM forums. Something like 10X PR5-6 links. A tool like Scrapebox is great for harvesting good links. When people buy packages, post comments on these blogs, where the URL links back to the person’s site. Probably good to target do-follow blogs like this one.

  8. Facebook marketing

    Our goal is to make a popular fan page on a niche topic. First you need to setup a new Facebook account. You don’t want to lose you actual account if this goes wrong, so make a new one. Add a nice looking picture as your profile of someone who looks real. Now you need to add as many friends as possible. There are methods to speed up this process but the goal is to get a few thousand friends. Lots of people are vein with facebook friend numbers and want to look like they know lots of people, so will happily add you if your normal enough looking. Once you have a good amount of friends, you setup a fan page about your niche topic. Something like weight loss is good, or acne if you have lots of younger friends. Title your page with a catchy title that has good keywords, as it will show in facebook search. Now suggest your page to all of your new friends. When someone “likes” your page, a link goes in their newsfeed saying they like your page. If you get enough likes things can go viral here and it can grow pretty fast. Once you have a good amount of likes, you start adding regular content relating the niche to your page.…”read this great inspirational weight loss story” etc. Every now and then put an affiliate link to a CPA offer that relates. Content you add to the page gets added to their feed, so it will get looked at by many of them. If you have a good amount of followers you can make good dosh using this method.

  9. Twitter spamming

    Like Facebook, twitter is a huge social network that is growing all the time. Tweets have a very low click through rate, so you need thousands of followers to make money from twitter. It can be used for legitimate business, or for sending out spam DM’s or tweets. The trick is to try and get followers from a certain demographic so you can target them with CPA offers. If you have a CPA that only pays for female traffic from the US, follow lots of females for the US and hope some follow you back. Blatant IM Twitter spammers will follow 100’s of people at a time, then un-follow those that don’t follow back.

  10. The Black Hat SEO Method

    Black hat SEO is a term that defines SEO that is less ethical. Although not always illegal it tends to involve morally questionable techniques. Either link spamming, or some form of deception. Tools of the trade are software like Scrapebox, SE Nuke, Xrumer and Bookmarking demon. These are all very good link building tools that can effectively build the link profile of a site very fast, but be careful, these tools can also cause carnage.

Please read on below to read the original 10 methods from 2007…

10 Purely Evil Ways To Make Quick Money Online

Everyone loves money, but making it online isn’t all that easy if you have morals. If you don’t, this article will give you some great tips to make quick money online. Before I start I need to state that I don’t condone any of these methods, and they are used at your own risk. I don’t take responsibility for any damage you may do.

  1. Set up a Proxy Server

    Set up a web site that serves as a Proxy, so people can browse blocked sites at work, and kids can browse blocked sites at school. As an ICT teacher I know kids want nothing more than to have access to all their favorite game and social networking sites, and many of them know about proxies. The most common script I see when I am blocking students is: CGI Proxy, it is great because it allows people to use sites that require a log in. Here is an auto installer for it. CGI Proxy Auto installer. You will need to have an ad, probably and Adsense block in the header, so ads are shown when people browse. The main drawback of this method is that if your proxy site does become popular it will probably be blocked by school Internet servers. So if you wanted to try this method out, I wouldn’t shell out any money on a domain name, or expensive hosting.

  2. Create a Screensaver with Embedded Adware

    Create a screen saver that bundles adware (Zangocash), so whenever someone installs the Screensaver, you make affiliate money. You need to upload your Screensaver to as many Screensaver sites as possible. For a full write up on the details of this method, read: Blue Hat SEO’s How To Make a $100 per Day

  3. Dodgy P2P Sports Links

    Set up a blogger account using an anonymous email account, then use it to share p2p links to live sporting events. I have seen people earn great money fast using it. It works particularly well for sharing live Cricket using the software Sopcast. The Indian Sub Continent love p2p links for cricket matches, particularly when there are big games involving India, Bangladesh, Pakistan or Sri Lanka. You can use Sopcast to embed a p2p media player showing the channel with the cricket on it, then surround it with lots of Adsense ads. I have never seen Google remove any of these blogs, nor have I heard of any Adsense account being suspended for doing this. Someone tried to sell a successful attempt using this technique on Sitepoint, and he showed his earnings for the period of the cricket world cup of $1200 US. So timing is key here!

  4. Online Poker

    I love poker, and playing online, I cashed out $800 for about 4 months of on and off play, which is more money than I have made through anything else online. The key to making money with online poker when you are starting out is to take advantage of the various signup offers and bonuses. The idea is that poker rooms will give you a cash incentive bonus, where if you play a certain amount of hands they will give you free cash. In their minds you are a beginner so you will probably make them more money in the process, but if you learn to play tight, and only play very good starting hands, and fold the rest you can clear good money with only an small amount of skill. As playing tight requires a lot of patience, once you get the hang of it you can speed things up by playing 3-4 tables at once. Do some research for free poker bonus’s, and you will find plenty of sites and forums with advice to get you started in the evil world of online gambling.

  5. A MySpace or Facebook Resource Site

    Levi from Internet Marketing Sucks has a great plan to make money by setting up a MySpace resource site. He even provides a script and instructions that will help you on your way. It’s not particularly evil, and rather crafty, but it makes the list anyway.

  6. Set Up a Private Torrent Site and Tracker

    Recent news about raids on the owner of oink’s house would suggest that this is a very risky business, especially if you live in a country that will police such activities. The torrent scene is massive, as such there is great money to be made by those that are crazy enough. The idea is to make it private, then set up a scheme where you have “donations” to pay for your server, and donators get extra upload credit. Also have lots of pay per click advertising and you will be away, making plenty of cash. But I would make sure your cash heap is large enough to fight a legal battle if you get caught.

  7. Search Engine Arbitrage

    Arbitrage is where you buy something for a certain value, with the intention of selling it on for a greater value. You can use search engine marketing to buy traffic from one network, Google Adwords, then send that traffic to a landing page that has advertising on it for another network, Yahoo. The idea is to create a landing page with very little actual content, and format it so that ads appear to be content. Then your unsuspecting visitor may click ads thinking it is content. You will need to test different networks and keywords, but you can make good money using this method. It is purely evil though as it fills the net with rubbish sites.

  8. Set Up A Network of Scraper Sites

    A scraper site is a web site that pulls content from other sources, for example you could have a site that pulls the top 10 stories from the rss feeds of digg, reddit, delicious. It’s probably a good idea to use keywords to narrow down your results to a certain topic. Then plant lots of advertising around the content, especially Adsense. As you don’t have any real content you are never likely to get many inbound links, so to rank, you will need to build up a network of sites, then link them to each other to help your sites rank in search engines. You could combine this method with 7 to create some seriously evil sites.

  9. Volunteer At a Directory Site Like DMOZ

    Then takes bribes to list certain sites. Or email people who are on the list and tell them that if they don’t pay you, you will boot them off the directory. People do this, believe me. Read about the DMOZ Shoemoney Extortion.

  10. Become a Spam Marketer

    Everybody hates spam, but some people obviously open it from time to time. Get creative with your subject lines, and spam away. It is illegal in some countries so be careful. Basically the idea is to find some pay per click advertising scheme that allows you to advertise via email, or include a link from the email that has advertising on it. You will want to find some tools to automate this process, but I’m not telling you where to find them. Another form of Spam that seems to be very popular is WordPress spam. All you need to do is set up a landing page on a dodgy domain that sells dodgy pharmaceutical products or any form of ppc or ppa advertising and spam away, automating comment posting on blogs that link to your landing page. It’s surprising how many sites don’t block spam properly.

I know most of this stuff is pure evil, but people actually make good money using these techniques. Ok, now go and spread some evil.

The Top 15 Web APIs For Your Site

Machine-based interaction is a common feature of Web 2.0 sites like Digg, Facebook and Dilicious, and these days it goes well beyond simple web feeds. An application programming interface(API) is what allows programmers to write applications and widgets that interact with services on these sites. The API gives them web-based access to data and functions from such sites. For example using the GoogleMaps API one could pull data and mapping information from Google that enables users of a site to view an embedded map of the location of a business.

Although typically using an API does require some expertise in programming, many of the APIs which are being released by sites are well documented with good examples on how to implement them, WebAPI. This article also details many of the user created scripts which have been generated using the various API’s which will give end users something to play with too.

15 – MediaWiki API

With over 2 million articles Wikipedia is a valuable resource, the Mediawiki API allows access to this content. Sites based on the MediaWiki API include Wikitravel, Wiktionary, and WikiNews.

14 – Upcoming

The Upcoming API allows you to take data from the Yahoo site upcoming.org. It’s useful if you want current events information on your site.

Yahoo Upcoming

13 – Audio Scrobbler API

Last FM uses the Audio Scrobbler API to gather information about music you listen to. It is also the source of many various “is currently listening to” plug-ins for various applications.

12 – Ebay API

Ebay’s API is very comprehensive, and supports almost all major web scripting options, including flash and Ajax. It has a sandbox for testing scripts, and offers you sample script blocks which it calls widgets to help you getting started. Visit Widget Blog Ebay for some examples.

11 – Facebook API

Everyone knows about Facebook, it’s a hugely successful social networking site, that my girl friend assures me is very addictive. The site has loads of code samples, application creation guides and libraries for developers to play with. As Facebook is completely driven by user generated content it has a huge market of users just waiting to get their hands on fresh content, so for those that have the skill the Facebook API is a goldmine. Visit Mashable to read 10 awesome things built on the Facebook API.

10 – Feedburner API

As you may already know Feedburner is an RSS feed creation tool. The API gives developers a few toys to play with, the best of which is the Feedflare API which allows you to add new functionality onto Feedburner feeds.

9 – Google Search API

The Google Search API Is a AJAX Search API that lets you put Google Search in your web pages with JavaScript. Google gives you some very useful examples of sample code to use.

8 – Yahoo Search API

You may not believe it , but the Yahoo search API is actually more popular than the Google alternative. You can use it to create a simple spell checking tool or site wide search widget… useful stuff

7 – Windows Live API

The API for Microsoft’s portal contains a whole heap of different APIs for different MS services. Here is some of the applications that have been created using the API,  Windows Live API list, which includes content ranging from Halo 3 user guides to major league baseball videos.

6 – Google Ajax Feed API

With the AJAX Feed API, you can download any public Atom or RSS feed using only JavaScript, and easily mash up feeds with your content, and each other. It is super fast and is the quickest way to display real time RSS content on your site. Dynamic Drive’s gAjax RSS Feeds Displayer is a great example of a script created from this API.

5 – Digg API

Using the Digg API you can access individual stories, comments, or data on particular user activities. For some examples of the Digg API is action check out: 7 awesome things built on the digg API, Who’s digging You and Digg Comment Spy.

Digg API Flickr API

4 – Delicious API

Although the Delicious API is not as complex or comprehensive as most of the other APIs featured, it is so simple, you can see results just by typing a URL into your browser. You can also write data to Delicious such as adding bookmarks or renaming tags. for example:

http://del.icio.us/api/posts/add?description=Pingable&url=www.pingable.org

..would add Pingable as a bookmark in to your delicious account after a username and password challenge.

3 – Google Maps

The Google Maps API is probably the most implemented API on the net. It is used in applications such as Google flight simulator.

2 – Flickr API

The Flickr API gives two way access to the site and some of its features and photos. Tasks that can be completed using the API include creating new sets, editing comments, changing photo notes, as well as pulling existing data from the site. Here is some examples of the Flickr API in action.

1 – <a
href=”http://www.youtube.com/dev”>YouTube API

A very popular Number 1, because the YouTube API is both simple, and purely limited only by your imagination. Data which can be pulled from YouTube includes: Video titles, rating, length, tags, url, your favorites, your friend list and the thumbnail location. For an example of the YouTube API in action check out : CoverPop, and you may also want to check out: A YouTube and Google Map Mashup.

Other API resources: GotAPI , API finder, Mashery and a full list of Google APIs.

Digg and flickr icons from: ilemoned.com Web 2.0 Services Icons

Some of the content in this article was inspired by “The Top 20 APIs for your site” article in issue 167 of .net magazine.

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15 Common Web Design Mistakes That You Should Avoid

  1. Content that’s not written for the web i.e., non-scannable text.
  2. Page titles with low search engine visibility, think key words in a combination that entices.
  3. Content that looks like an advertisement or content that is an advertisement, I don’t care which books on Amazon you enjoy, they wouldn’t be listed on your site if you weren’t making affiliate money from them.
  4. In-your-face advertising i.e., blocks of AdSense that push your real content below the fold/scroll.
  5. Violating design conventions – see CRAP Design.
  6. Opening new browser windows. Let the users decide, they will come back if your content is good.
  7. Non-standard links, hyperlinks should be underlined, hyperlinks should be obvious, there’s no reason to confuse novice users. Also strikethrough is being used to indicate a visited link – this is silly and should be avoided as it can be easily confused with corrections which is what strikethrough should be use for.
  8. Over using Flash, Flash requires a plug-in, don’t use it unless it actually provides functionality which you cannot gain through other means.
  9. Browser incompatibility, check what your pages look like on other browsers.
  10. Scrolling text, marquees, and constantly running animations.
  11. Complex URLs, they are not good for search engine hits or usability. Avoid.  
  12. Long scrolling pages, break it up, use excerpts if you have to.
  13. Poor navigation. Try and find some old content on your site. Is it easy?
  14. Overly long download times. Use Photoshop or other applications to optimize images for the net. Read points 12 and 8 again.
  15. Too many animations. They are hard on the eye. If you must use them, use for emphasis.

Even in an ever changing environment, such as the net, you must always consider the user experience before and above everything else.

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16 Top Tips To Tune Your Writing Skills

Following on from the article Ten Writing Errors That Makes Your Blog Less Good, I want to look at some more writing tips.

Writingclasses.com lists George Orwell’s 12 Writing Tips, some key points include:

  • What am I trying to say?
  • Could I put it more shortly?
  • Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?
  • Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  • Using i.e or e.g correctly – The term i.e. means “that is”; e.g. means “for example.” And a comma follows both of them.

Words Words Words looks at The Top Ten Tips for Improving Your Writing (dead link), some of the highlights include:

  • Before you can be a writer, you must be a reader.
  • Know your audience.
  • Simple is better.
  • Don’t listen to your friends, listen to your critics.
  • Write what you know.

Vandelay Design discusses 10 Keys to Effective Writing for the Web:

  • Use headings and sub-headings.
  • Use short paragraphs.
  • Include links in the article.

Daily Writing Tips looks at 10 Rules for Writing Numbers and Numerals:

  • Spell small numbers out.
  • Don’t start a sentence with a numeral.www.pingable.org

20 Tricks To Drive Traffic Away From Your Blog

  1. Use 5 Adsense blocks on every page, especially when you’re blog is new.
  2. Get music to play automatically when people visit…doesn’t everybody love “Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar on Me”?
  3. Have so much blogger bling (plug-ins, badges, etc) that readers can’t tell the difference between content and bling.
  4. Use fonts that are too large, too small or too difficult to read. 
  5. Use a color scheme with poor contrast…light colors on light background.
  6. Don’t optimize images for the web – making your page loading time 7 weeks long.
  7. Use a rainbow colour scheme with rainbow gradients everywhere
  8. Don’t offer RSS feeds.
  9. Use a visible feed counter when you only have 2 subscribers.
  10. Don’t use points or subheadings and write posts that span 10 pages with no paragraph breaks.
  11. Design a site that is only usable in one web browser.
  12. Never trackback to other blogs – who needs links anyway?
  13. Never leave comments on other blogs, never reply to comments left on your blog or emails relating to your blog.
  14. Turn comments off. (is it really a blog if you don’t have comments?)
  15. Delete comments just because they disagree with you.
  16. Use popups…or pop unders for that matter.
  17. Require registration in order to leave comments.
  18. Use flashing GIF’s especially nice big ones that will give some of your readers a fit.
  19. Have a misleading title 🙂

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