WordPress Rotating Header Images no Plugins

The first time that I saw rotating header images was on Chris Pearsons personal blog Pearsonfied.com and I really liked the feature a lot. If you do not already know Chris is the man responsible for the well designed Cutline WordPress Theme that actually comes with an implementing tutorial for adding the rotating image headers including the images. This may be the answer you’ve been looking for if you do not mind changing your entire theme just to get image rotations up top.

Anyway since I do not want to change my entire theme and with a little from my friend Google I was able to locate quite a few methods in which to accomplish the fabulous image rotation. As always I will only be explaining the route that I choose for my site. If you are interested in some possible plugin solutions you can find a few at Lorelle’s site. 

Unfortunately for the novice I did not decide on a WordPress plugin this go around and instead I with some good old code manipulation. Given the fact I am not an expert by far in the department of; php and css it took a little time to figure out how to make this work with my theme.

Rotating Header Images Step 1:

  • Copy the php code here (below rotator apart header)
  • Save it to notepad
  • Save the file as rotator.php
  • Open your FTP program
  • Make a new folder (random)
  • Upload the rotator.php to the random folder
  • Find images now that meet header height & width
  • Upload those images to the random folder

Rotating Header Images Step 2:
The coding if your using the Misty theme your in luck because that is what I use and I have already figured out the coding to make this all work.

Go to your style.css file in your dashboard and you have to find out what attribute your theme uses to place your header image and you have to place the URL to the random folder which has the images and the rotater.php file. Once again if you are using the Misty them then just find #headerimage and copy the code below.

#headerimage {
clear: both;
background: #fff url(http://jakeldaily.com/random/rotater.php) no-repeat 0 0;
margin: 0px;
color: #fff;
height: 175px;
}

Congratulations to those of you that have finished this task and successfully made it work for your theme. I must admit immediately after I got it to work with my test images I went directly to Flickr and starting stealing images to put into my new rotation. Then thirty minutes into my image stealing frenzy I realized something! This is my personal blog and why am I putting other peoples pictures into the image header focal point of the site.

A light blub went off at this moment and that is when I decided to start looking through my personal travel pictures and use them (travel date & place right hand corner) in my rotating image header. My intentions are to have ten images in total in the next few days and at the moment I have six to include; Ferrari Vegas, Venice Italy, Attre Belgium, Bognor Regis UK, Maldives, and Alicante Spain.

 

Get The Magazine Look with Pullquotes

Get The Magazine Look with Pullquotes

Give your blog the magazine look with pullquotes! The publishing industry has been successfully using pullquotes for years. The professional touch that adds style and usability that helps the reader scan your articles efficiently.

There are a few methods that you can use to get pullquotes on your site, I’m will only be explaining the method for which I used. The code below of course can be customized to your liking colors, fonts and backgrounds.   

The Code: Copy into style.css:
q {float:left; width:9em; display:block; margin:0.25em 0.75em 0.25em 1em; padding:0.5em; border:3px double #ccc; border-width:3px 0; color:#484848; background-color:#ffffff; text-align:center; font:bold 1.3em/1.3 Georgia;}

q.q2 { width: 200px; margin: 5px 0 5px 15px; padding: 5px 0; border: 3px double #aaa; border-width: 3px 0; font-size: 1.4em; text-align: center; float: right; }

To Insert Pullquote in the Post: 
<q>Your Text Here</q> — quote shows left
<q class=”q2″>Your Text Here</q>  — quote shows right

To Insert (Option 2) Pullquote in the Post:
Quicktags Wordpress Plugin : The quicktag is an excellent plugin for the lazy guru blogger. With quicktag you just add your code into the simple user interface under options and when you return to the editor your button will be available for quick use of adding the pullquotes or any other function you want to quickly use while writing. 

Quicktag Interface:

WP Editor:

WordPress Pullquote Plugin Options:
Fancy-Pullquotes Pugin : Negative effects if deactivated and RSS trouble according to comments.
Nerdaphernalia Pullquotes: I actually installed this plugin and it has an excellent user interface located under the presentation tab but I was unable to make the pullquotes show up when adding the required markup tag in the post. 

WordPress Plugins Equal Traffic

I remember back when I first start this blog back in February and was completely new to the WordPress world! Little did I know WordPress was just an empty shell just dying for a plugin or two. Do you think WordPress did this purposely since they knew programmers would do them a favor in return for traffic to their new plugins?   

I’ve actually had thoughts of designing a plugin in return for traffic!

To get started I made the famous list that millions of other bloggers have posted ‘The Best WordPress Plugins’ that I use for this site.  There are so many plugins being made everyday you could almost start a site just talking about new plugins.  Here are 5 more to take a look at but I personally only use the duplicate content cure for this site.

My Favorite Plugin 

Have you ever received an email after commenting that welcomes you to the site? At first you may have thought that was really nice for the blogger to email you personally welcoming you, right. Well sorry to burst your bubble but that is a plugin also called comment relish and I highly recommend it!

DoFollow Promotion and WordPress Plugin

I think is was around April that bloggers started jumping on the dofollow wagon for removing the nofollow tag off comments in order to give readers that comment a full backlink.

To be honest I had not given this much thought until yesterday when I came across a list of 170 + blogs created by CourtneyTuttle & GeekySpeaky that have already removed the nofollow tag.

After viewing the list it got me thinking that I should give in and remove the nofollow tag from my site also.  The second thing that crossed my mind was to also use this list for promotion of my recent change and to get 170 + backlinks by visiting each site and commenting with something relative. 

A time consuming endeavor commenting on every blog on the list but I guestimate that at least 20% will become readers after checking my site out from the comment, making it all worthwhile to me!

Wikipedia defined:
nofollow
is an HTML attribute value used to instruct search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index. It is intended to reduce the effectiveness of certain types of spamdexing, thereby improving the quality of search engine results and preventing spamdexing from occurring in the first place.

In order to remove the nofollow tag I came across two plugins that can be installed and then activated:

I ended up installing the Semiologic plugin since I was unable to get the Kimmo page to resolve it must have been down at the time of trying to reach it.  The Semiologic was simple to install just upload it to the plugins folder then go to dashboard and click activate – finished no configuration was need.

Permalinks – Turn On SEO URLs

I first posted on this on 9 Mar 2007 and still four months later I see that new bloggers are not taking care of this from the start.  As you can see from the post below even I was guilty of it taking almost 8 weeks before I updated. If you have not turned on your permalinks you are like an invisible needle in a hay stack.   

======Permalinks Take Care Of This======

I was actually wondering about this around 8 weeks ago the time it has been since my first post on 10 February 07 but I have been so busy installing one million plugins I just forgot about fixing the permalinks.  This is a mistake that many bloggers including myself make and it will definitely cost you a lower search ranking by Google.  It is somewhat easy to correct depends on your level of computer competence.

Dynamic URL & SEO URL explained;by default WordPress names its URL with a generated sequential number each time you post a article.  The number is then placed after your domain name and looks like this http://jakeldaily.com/?p=50 to Google and other search engines this does not mean anything.  Therefore the search engines have to then spider your content to figure out what your articles are about. On the other hand if you are using SEO URLs you’re your url will look something like this http://jakeldaily.com/review-my-blog-link-back-batch-2/.  With SEO URLs it is much easier for the search engines to figure out instantly what your posted articles are about. 

For WordPress turning SEO URLs on go to options in the WordPress control panel and then choose permalinks.  In this window you have four choices for the way you would like your site URL to be displayed by default, date and name based, numeric, and custom.  You should select use date and name based but I recommend that you use custom to display the post name after your domain name; to do it just input /%postname%/ 

Important step:before WordPress can update your site to SEO URLs you must first make an adjustment to your .htaccess file.  FTP to your site and find your .htaccess file, should be located in the root folder and then you have CHMOD it to 666 afterwards when WordPress have updated your permalinks structure you should change it back.  If you want your blog to achieve its full potential you need to make this change now do not put it off. 

If you are unsure on how to change the permissions of the .htaccess file and you are using Cute FTP 7.0 find the .htaccess file in the root directory and right click it then at the bottom you will see CHMOD click it.  In the next window you will see 644 in an input box change that number to 666.  After you have updated the permalinks go back and then change it back to 644 and click then apply.

Creating a Faded Web Page Background Image

This is something that I have been interested in for quite some time but have never gotten around to looking into how to do it until today. The process is really simple you just need the right code and then the image. To create the image you will need Adobe Photoshop.I know that not everyone will have this program so you can find 30 free images at BittBox.

Now for those that have Photoshop; the size of the image is a 1px  500px and to give the faded apperance you use the gradient tool. Click the tool then take the cursor and drag it done the middle of your image.  The image results afterwards is in the screen shot below before I used the tool the image was just the dark gray at the top. There are other opitions with the gradient tool besides the one that I used; that you can use for different background effects.

The Code for WordPress & Blogger:

WordPress:
Presentation => Theme Editor => Style.css

Find the body { and add the url for the image like below:
background: #E7E9E9 url(‘http://jakeldaily.com/grayfade.png’) repeat-x;

Blogger:
Settings => Template => Edit HTML =>

Find the body { and add the url for the image like below:
background: #E7E9E9 url(‘http://jakeldaily.com/grayfade.png’) repeat-x;

The #E7E9E9 is the color that will display at the bottom after your image repeats horizontal once across the top. The URL of course is to the location of your image file and .gif, .jpg, .png will all work with the code.  Bloggers you must have some type of hosting or image storage.

What are your thoughts on faded web page backgrounds?

How To Increase Blog Comments

Welcome Comments– Ja Kel Daily Dot Com is still very young only four months old and growing with 152 posts and 958 comments. At present according to the amount of post to comments readers are commenting at a rate of 15%.  I am unsure what would be considered a successful comment to post ratio but I would like to see a rate of at least 30%. So I invite you now to leave a comment negative or positive, it is the only way that my blog will achieve better standards.

Responsive Comments– You can not expect your readers to comment if you are unwilling to respond back to comments that are left. If a reader leaves a comment make sure to respond at least within 24 hours from the time the comment is left.  When responding to your readers’ comments you are adding value to your blog and at the same time you are showing respect for the person taking the time to comment. 

Easy Comments– If you want people to comment do not make it a requirement to register first.  I do not have any research proof behind this but if I had to guess I would say that 98% of the time a person will not leave a comment with this as a requirement to leave comments.  I know that I have never left a comment on a blog that has required registration before leaving the comment.  If you are using registration for the sole purpose of blocking out spam comments then I suggest turning it off now and using achiket spam instead.

Top Comments– Reward your top commentators by acknowledging them with a top commenting section in your side bar and prizes to the top commentator within a specified timeframe when available to give. To install WordPress plugin for Top Commentators download, note unable to get it to work with the sidebar widget.

Ask Questions – This is something that I have not been doing as of yet and that is asking questions of my readers. To start you can include a question in the title or in the first sentence of your post as an effective way of attempting to get a response from readers.

Policy Comments– Set the rules for comments on your blog (comment policy) readers will feel more comfortable commenting. In my opinion a more controlled commenting environment is more attractive to the reader and shows that you run an organized blog.

Start Debates – There is nothing better than starting a debate.  To achieve this post an article that has a controversial side to it and watch as the comments start coming in. 

Be Modest– Yes I am very modest and first to point out that with out Microsoft’s spell check you would be spending most of your time correcting my spelling while reading my blog.  I think that people respond to modesty and are more likely to respond to your articles as apposed to an article that is written in way that is off-putting to the reader.

Be Polite – Last but not least try to always be polite when responding back to your readers.  I know that readers can be harsh at times, making fun of your spelling, grammar, or just your overall article and you are ready to go to war with them in the comment section.  Just admit it if you were wrong or state your opinion in the most polite way that you can deem possible.

RSS Feeds by Email with FeedBurner

Login into Feedburner click the publicize tab at the top on your tool bar. Then on the right hand tool bar click email subscriptions in this menu under the subscription management header just copy the code for the form. 

Login into your WordPress dashboard click presentation then theme editor and on the right hand side your files will be listed click the one labeled sidebar.php.  Now copy the code into this file in the location you would like it to appear in your side bar.

<li class=”sidebox”>
<h2><?php _e(‘Full Feed Rss’); ?></h2>

Feedburner Email Subscribe Code
Subcribe in a Reader code

</form>
</li> 

If you want to add the additional Feedburner subscription button on the email form. Now click Chicklet chooser and select the new standard small subscribe in a reader icon scroll to the bottom and copy the html code. 

Go back to your WordPress dashboard and copy the code into the sidebar.php file under the email subscription code but be sure to place this code above the tag </form> so that it will appear with the email subscribe form.  That’s it! If you are using widgets for WordPress I do not have any advice sorry since I am not using them I can not advice on the subject.

Go try it out and subscribe to my RSS Feeds by email and never miss another post from Ja Kel Daily! 

Paypal Button In a WordPress Post

How do you place a Paypal button in a WordPress post or Blogger post for that matter? After receiving an email from a reader stating that they do not have Paypal I realized that I was only catering to people with Paypal for my blog links promotion. Since I knew that Paypal allows credit card payments through their website buy it now button I knew this was the step I needed to take in order to resolve this issue.

Really easy fix I thought and then I tried placing the Paypal buy it now button inside the post and everything looks alright, but when I clicked on the button only an error message displayed. You can effortlessly put the buy it now button code in the sidebar just fine, but then that has know relation to your post.

The Fix:

<a href=”https:/paypal URL code”><img src=”https://paypal img code” /></a>

Login to Paypal click on; merchant services, buy buttons, enter data for item, choose your button, select no to encrypt.

Now you should see two sets of code: the HTML code for websites and Link for emails code. To make the button work in WordPress or Blogger post what you need is the image code from the first box and the URL code from the second. Take both code parts and now combined them like the example above.  It’s that easy!

We use the Paypal button on our advertise section view the source code.

Google Supplemental Index Problems

Nathan Metzger of Not So Boring Life has a very interesting article that I found through Chow’s site about getting your blog out of the google supplement index. According to Nathan back in April Chris Garett did a great article on supplemental index problems that he was having on his WordPress blog. 

Supposedly the Google supplement Index is where the undeserving pages go in the end.  The first step in taking care of this problem is downloading the Firefox browser if you do not have it and then downloading the SEO for Firefox plugin.

What is the Supplemental Index?
Lots of SEO masters believe that content that isn’t worthy ends up in the supplemental index. While this is certainly true, if you’re running a wordpress blog it is more likely that you’re simply dealing with duplicate content issues. If you make a post today on a default wordpress setup, there are about 5 different URLs you could type in that would give you the exact same content.

After downloading the plugin just go to your site and then right click your site and select SEO for Firefox then Lookup this page.  Now you should see a data window just like the screen shot above.  According to the stats I have 2,960 pages in the supplemental index and according to Nathan this means I have a lot of duplicate content.

How can you reduce the number of supplemental pages? By using the robots.txt file you tell Google what it can and cannot index on your site.  To get a better understanding of how to format the text file I used Nathan’s and Chow’s files as a starting base for mine. After you have completed the file just upload it into your root directory it’s that simple.

If you do not want to upload and configure the robots.txt file, Chris Garett offers an altertive method. Just add this code in your header template just above the title tag.

<?php
if((is_single() || is_category() || is_page() || is_home()) && (!is_paged())){
echo “<!– ok google, index me! –>”;
}else{
echo “<!– google, please ignore – thanks! –>”;
echo “<meta name=””robots”” content=””noindex,follow””>n”;
}
?>

For now I have gone with the robots.txt because this is the recommendation by all SEO experts but maybe later down the road I may try the php script just to see what happens. Nathan has seen a 20% increase in traffic so I am hoping for the same. I will give update soon!