I selected Akismet for blocking spam comments based on user product ratings. It was easy to obtain a key and I was able to test it by creating a Spam comment, which now shows up in the Widget. While researching Akismet, I ran across a post on Tech & Life Insights describing additional steps that can be taken to control spam. It provides a list of words to blacklist in Word Press, along with instructions, which I followed. Read the article here.
Subscribing to comment discussions by email
Subscribe to Comments was the second plugin I tried (after Subscribe to Comments Reloaded). The first plugin may have been fine, but for some reason, there was no option to leave comments. I knew comments were available on my assignment 1 sandbox pages and thought they were available on the /424 page when I began, but didn’t notice when they disappeared.
First I looked at the comments section of the Constructor layout (under appearance, customize), but that didn’t seem to help. I then deactivated the plugins one by one and in various combinations over the course of a couple of days. I looked at each template file under Appearance, Editor by comparing them with the parallel files in the sandbox version of the site, which still had comments running. The last thing I did was to compare the layout of each section of the page (under Customize). I was shocked to find that the Homepage layout I chose made all the difference and changed it back to “default”, which restored the comments.
Once I was able to subscribe to comments and receive email notifications, I added Subscribe Remind which added a “subscribe to comments” reminder with a link at the end of each post. I also installed Subscribe to Comments Now! which allows readers to subscribe without leaving a post. Each of these plugins worked well in tests.
Plugin for sharing posts to social networks
I chose Sociable based on its simplicity and familiarity. Since I have seen it used may times, I know how to use it and hope those visiting this blog will, too (or will find it easy to use).
Plugin for RSS syndication
The RSS feed that came with the Constructor theme worked great, so I left it where it was. I was able to subscribe in email and seiberspace is listed under my RSS feeds right after Apple Hot News. Initially I thought it wasn’t working, but now know there is a delay after posting before a notification is received.
SEO Optomization extension
I tried TGIF.net SEO, then settled with Simple SEO based on ease of use. It allows me to provide alternate titles and change the menu output for any post/page. I then registered with Google and completed some additional free search engine registrations. In testing Google, I am now able to find the site. With additional testing, I can now search for defined key words, such as ‘wort travel’ and (near the top of page 2 of the search results), find: Oct 24, 2010 … WORT – September 2010 – Online Travel Resources. If you would like to listen to the tech report segment, select the link below, …
seiberspace.org/424/?p=46 - Cached
I installed the plugin for Cincopa Gallery thinking I would use it for audio so I could upload larger .mp3 files than Word Press supports (>25MB). I was allowed to upload a couple of files and embed the script in my posts. Everything worked great. A few hours later I started getting a message that I used my monthly traffic quota. I could “go (Cincopa) Pro” for $80 per year, but wasn’t sure if this was the nicest gallery tool for the price. I decided to think about signing up for the 14-day trial, which required a credit card transaction.
A few days later, I received an email with a discounted price, so I signed up for Cincopa Pro. I am using their gallery plug-in for the Death Online post to see how much bandwidth will be used in a month before using it for other multimedia.
The second gallery plugin I installed was Flickr + Highslide. I am using it to display Learning Space photos from my existing work Flickr account. It works by simply adding strings to posts or pages.
I decided to try another Flickr plugin called Flickr Gallery for my Travel Photos. I haven’t decided which one I will ultimately keep, but this plugin works well, too.
I signed up for AdSense and received a confirmation email within 24 hours. I appreciated that I could limit the types of ads that would be displayed on the site. I added a widget in the footer of my page that has been displaying varied ads. Some are for travel, some are targeted to my location.
I am using the ICS Calendar plugin for my events calendar. I configured it so it doesn’t show times, since I didn’t want to provide that level of detail in a public space. It required that I place my calendar output file in an accessible spot, so I added it to the web storage space I have on a document storage service called My Webspace. The calendar is viewable as a widget in the Extrabar (left) sidebar.
+Support for mobile users
I am using a simple product called IamMobiled for mobile support. It works well on my iPhone, which now displays the content of the pages first and the sidebars beneath.
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