WordPress News

A Look At The Company Behind WordPress Automattic

Automattic was founded back in 2005 by Matt Mullenweg.

The company is best known for its ownership of and ongoing development of the world’s most popular open source blogging software,

Automattic Head Office

San Francisco Office of Automattic

Automattic owns products including:

WordPress News

Official Canadian Olympic Website Built On WordPress

Checkout the Official Olympic website for Canada which was launched today. The site is built on the WordPress platform and will be updated on a regular basis.

Olympic Website Canada

The website includes links above the header to Youtube and RSS so you can get notified by email when new content is added to the site.


According to Google, the site has over 82,000 pages of content which probably explains the reason why the website takes over 5 seconds to load which is more than 5 times slower than this site.

Plugins Used On This Site

Great site with an excellent navigation menu and really cool picture galleries.

Want a website like the Canadian Olympic Website? Download my free guide to getting started with WordPress


Not a hard site to replicate when you know exactly which tools where used to build it.

WordPress News

WordPress Gallery Shortcodes

Gallery Shortcodes for WordPressDid you know every WordPress installation includes a built in gallery?

You’ve probably heard of the next generation gallery (NGG) plugin as its the most popular plugin for adding galleries in WordPress, however, you may not need to use it.

Native WordPress Gallery

I’ve already written about how to add a gallery in your posts & pages using the native WordPress gallery and now its time to discuss the different shortcodes you can use to customize your gallery.

WordPress has already created short codes for the native gallery which you’ll find on their site.

The gallery shortcode is used in a Post or Page to display a thumbnail gallery of images attached to that post.

When you upload images to that particular post, they are added to the gallery for that post and can be displayed in a gallery by inserting the gallery shortcode in your Visual editor.

If you want to use the native WordPress gallery to display more than one gallery in the same post or page, you’ll need to install the Multiple Galleries Plugin or create custom shortcodes using the WordPress gallery shortcodes.

Supported Gallery Shortcode

You can view a list of the supported gallery shortcodes on the WordPress codex.


The jQuery Lightbox For Native Galleries plugin, once installed, will display your images in a full size lightbox.

Have Your Say

Have you tried the native WordPress gallery shortcodes in your theme?

What do you think about it compared to other galleries like NGG?

WordPress News

Download WordPress 3.4 With Manual Update & Installation Instructions

WordPress 3.4 is now available for download.

This is the latest and greatest version of WordPress to be released to date featuring a new theme previewer.

Download WordPress 3.4 Here

Once you have downloaded and updated WordPress manually, you can also update WordPress 3.4 to the latest nightly build from your WordPress Dashboard > Updates.

New Theme Previewer

Makes it easy to fully preview a new theme before you activate it, You can also customize the theme before making the switch.

Theme Previewer
Add HTML Links In Image Captions

Important: before updating, please back up your database and files.

You will be using a development version of WordPress which you can update to the latest nightly build automatically or download the nightly build and install it manually.

WordPress Updates

Installing WordPress Manually

If you are new to WordPress and haven’t yet installed WordPress, you’ll need to install this version of WordPress (3.4) manually as its in Alpha Beta stage and not available for automatic update unless the developer version is already installed.

Here’s several ways you can install WordPress manually:

  1. How To Install WordPress Manually Using a 5 Step Process
  2. How To Install WordPress Manually Using File Manager
  3. 5 Ways to Install WordPress

Whats New In Version 3.4

HTML Links In Captions

You can now add html to your image captions which means you can add links to the bottom of all your embedded images if you wish.

WordPress 3.4
WordPress 3.4 Enables You To Add HTML links in Your Image Captions

Video – WordPress Goes Green

WordPress News

WordPress VIP Featured Partner Program

WordPress VIP Partner

On March 14, 2012, WordPress announced the launch of their VIP Featured Partner Program. This comes after Automattic launched VIP for Web Hosts last year and partnered with WPEngine to provide VIP Support for Web Hosts.

In November 2011 Automattic also participated in a round of funding for WP Engine’s managed WordPress hosting.  Other investors included Eric Ries, Joshua Baer, Loic Le Meur, and Dharmesh Shah and totaled $1.2 million.

 VIP support for webhosts has partnered with these VIP services to provide a seamless integration with the WordPress platform — all services are certified and supported by the VIP team.

Hosting companies that participate in VIP Support for Web Hosts leverage the VIP team’s expertise to support their own WordPress environments.

From the WordPress VIP blog:

This morning we debuted a project that I’m really excited about—our new Featured Partner Program. Our VIP team is now working with select partners to integrate their services with WordPress, connect them with our VIP clients, and collaborate to support the integration and provide a seamless experience for our users.

WordPress News

WordPress 3.3.1 Security Update Released

WordPress Security UpdateWordPress 3.3.1 is now available.

This maintenance release fixes several issues with WordPress 3.3, as well as a fix for a cross-site scripting vulnerability that affected version 3.3.

Update your WordPress installation immediately

Here’s a list of the fixes

  1. wp_print_styles() causing mid-page scripts/styles to bleed into admin
  2. Multi-site Upload Limit Stuck at 50MB
  3. Wrong widget count on dashboard ryan
  4. Multisite: No Database Prefix causes strpos(): Empty delimiter
  5. Never show two flyouts at once
  6. $userdata not populated properly
  7. Toolbar shows a warning on a second call
  8. Unwanted backslash in output
  9. Users list ‘Change role to’ allows for changing logged-in Admin role to Subscriber
  10. current-menu-item and current_page_item classes incorrectly added to custom menu items with no URL value.
  11. Remove .button styling from _default_wp_die_handler()
  12. Press This #message is ugly (3.2 to 3.3 regression)
  13. Quick Edit/Reply missing tabindex causes <tab> to miss Update Comment/Reply button
  14. Script Loader dies in 3.3 on no-JSON PHP

You really should backup your sites files & database before updating especially if you have made changes to the WordPress core files otherwise your changes will be lost.

WordPress News

What Is a Custom Post Type?

All types of post content are stored in your database. If you login to phpMyAdmin, click your database and click the wp_posts table, you’ll see what i mean.

Within the wp_posts table of your database you’ll find a column named post_type. More on this below.

What Are Custom Post Types

A custom post type is a new post type you create yourself using php code and/or a custom post type plugin. Its called a custom post type because its not a default WordPress post type.

When you create a custom post type it gets added to your database column under post_type and also in your WordPress admin screen with the name you have chosen to call it. Watch the video for more info.

Many WordPress Developers are now using custom post types to customize themes and extend WordPress since the release of WordPress 3.0

Post Types in phpMyAdmin Database

Go to cPanel > Databases > phpMyAdmin > yourwordpressdatabase > wp_posts to view your post_type column which displays the default posts types for WordPress


Default Post Types

To understand more about what a custom post type is, you can look at the default post types already in use in the WordPress core files which are:

  1. Post
  2. Page
  3. Attachment
  4. Revisions
  5. Menus
All the data for these 5 main post types is stored in the wp_posts table which you can view in the above screen shot.

Themes Custom Post Types

Custom Post Type TemplatesMany premium themes offer custom  post types via page templates.

If your theme doesn’t offer these type of custom post types, you could create them yourself and create the custom templates to go with them like in this image.

This screenshot shows 3 custom post types for Slides, Portfolio & Feedback which this theme offers.

Custom Post Types

Since the release of WordPress 3.0 you can now add your own custom post types.

This can be done manually using php code or by using one of those great extensions we all love, a plugin.

Custom Post Type UI Plugin

This plugin allows you to create custom posts types & custom taxonomies in WordPress.

The plugin is the most successful plugin out of the ten plugins developed by Brad Williams who is the author of Professional Plugin Development. It is also currently the most popular free plugin for creating and administering custom post types.

How To Create a Custom Post Type – Video

I hope this gives you a better understanding of what a custom post type is so you can more easily create a custom post type for yourself.

I’ll write more about how to use the custom post type plugin as well as how to create a custom post type function using php code soon.

WordPress News

WordPress Screen Options Guide for Newbies

WordPress - Screen Options

The Screen options tab located in the top right hand corner of your edit post screen displays your screen options. Once the tab is clicked the screen options drop down so you can see all the different modules and columns you can customize on your post edit screen.

Post Screen Options

Screen Options - Show on Screen

Its here you can easily customize what modules & columns you want to show or hide on your post & media library screens.

Media Library Screen Options

The screen options are different when you are using the Media Library as opposed to the Post screens.

Media Library Screen Options

Even if you have thousands od images in your media library, you can choose to show only a few if you wish using the screen options. This will help the page load faster and use less resources.

Showing/Hiding Modules and Columns

Simply check or uncheck the modules or columns you wish to hide or show using the screen options. You can also drag the modules to create your own custom layout for your admin screen.

If you ever have trouble finding any columns or modules in your post screen, i suggest you take a look in the screen options to see if they are hidden/unchecked.

WordPress News

What are WordPress Custom Fields?

Custom Fields allow you to add information to your posts. WordPress, by default displays a custom field box below the post editor depending on which theme you are using.

The custom field data is paired using a Name (key) and a Value (information). WordPress calls this meta data.

Custom fields require 2 parts to work. The custom fields (1) and the php function code (2)

If you’re a coder or Developer then custom fields like custom post types are great for customizing WordPress. If not, try a theme which already includes built in custom field settings so you don’t need to edit PHP code or install a plugin. More on this below.

Custom Fields

If you wanted to add a link to an image or post, you would insert a name for the custom field (key) and a URL (value).

Custom Fields Box

Theme Custom Settings

If you’re a non coder then you may find creating custom fields a problem as you also need to add PHP code to your themes php files to make your custom fields function.

The best solution in this case is to find a theme which includes built in custom settings or install a custom fields plugin.

Both solutions are discussed further on in this tutorial. Some themes display their own custom fields which are not offered in the WordPress default theme.

For example: The Canvas theme by Woo Themes offers built in Canvas Custom Settings.

Here’s a look at what i am talking about:

Canvas Custom Settings

As you can see in the screenshot above, Canvas has its own custom settings which replace the WordPress custom fields. The custom fields already built into the Woo framework on each post allow you to add a unique image for each post which will be displayed on the homepage, category & tag pages.

You also have custom fields for different layouts and the option of embedding video into the posts using the custom field. These are the most popular examples of custom fields which have already been coded into this theme & framework and don’t come standard on most free themes.

Where Do i Find Custom Fields

The custom fields module is located below your editor in the post edit screen. In the latest WordPress versions, you may need to click on the Screen Options tab located top right of your screen and select Custom Fields checkbox to display custom fields below your editor.

Some versions of WordPress hide different modules including the custom fields module in the screen options.

You should now be able to scroll down and find Custom Fields.

Screen Options - Custom Fields

Video Introduction to Custom Fields

Default WordPress Custom Fields

Here’s a screenshot showing you what custom fields look like in the 2011 default theme for WordPress, Twenty Eleven. The custom fields you will find below your post editor screen only provide the Name and Value fields.

Edit Post - Add New Custom Field

This is ONLY part of the function which creates a working custom field as you also need to add PHP code to make your name and value fields function.

Custom Field Plugin

One of the easiest ways to use WordPress custom fields, if you don’t want to edit PHP files, is to install a plugin. There’s a large range of plugins which cover both custom fields and custom field templates (already include the code).

NGG Custom Fields Plugin

As an example, you can read more about the Next Gen Gallery NGG custom fields plugin which shows you the basics of how custom fields work to make images clickable to a URL.

Using Custom Fields to Display Post Images

One of the most common uses of WordPress custom fields is to display a unique image for each post. To create a custom field you’ll need to add both a Name and a Value in the custom field provided.

You will also need to add php code to make the custom field work as it won’t work simply by entering a name and value.

Once you have setup your custom field(s), they will show up in the drop down menu on each post so you can easily use them over and over again without having to edit code in your themes files again.

Some themes already offer built in custom settings which makes it super easy to use custom fields, however, if you’re using a theme which doesn’t offer a custom field already incorporated into your theme, you will need to make use of WordPress custom fields manually.

One of the greatest benefits of setting up a custom field is, once its setup, you can use it on any post quickly and easily without having to edit your themes php files again.

WordPress News

Directory of Professional WordPress Web Designers, Developers & Theme Providers

If you’re thinking about hiring a WordPress Professional, here’s a list of some of best to help you choose the best person for the job.

Tip: You’ll find the best WordPress web designers generally specialize in one or two theme frameworks and therefore understand all the ins and outs.

Brought to you by Automatic (WordPress), Thesis & Genesis.

Premium Theme Web Designers

WordPress Specialists

WordPress News

A Complete Guide To Using a Navigation Menu in WordPress

The WordPress menu system is one of the best parts of WordPress. It makes creating and adding a navigation menu to your blog an easy thing to do. Menu’s aid in navigation by helping your readers find the content they are searching for.

In this post we”ll discus the most popular menu topics including:

    1. Create New Menu – How To Create Your First Menu
    2. Add pages to menu – Adding Pages to your Menu
    3. Custom Links menu – Adding Posts, Links, Categories & Tags to your menu
    4. Activate menu – Adding a Menu to your blog
    5. Create a drop down menu – Creating Multi Level menus
    6. Arrange order of pages – Customizing the order of your menu links
    7. Custom Menu Widget – How To Add a custom menu in your sidebar or footer
    8. Custom Menu Video – How To Create a Custom Menu
    9. Free WordPress menu plugins – Advanced menu features
    10. Premium Menu plugins – Add the Ultimate Menu to your WordPress site

Depending on the Theme you have installed, you can add a menu:

  1. Before your header
  2. After your header
  3. In your Sidebar
  4. In your Footer

Most free themes only allow for one menu to be used so if you need more menus i suggest you take a look at some premium themes which are more flexible and provide technical support. You can create as many menus as you like however you can only use one menu at a time unless your theme allows for the use of multiple menus

Create a New Menu

You’ll need to create a menu before you can start adding posts, pages, external URL”s and other features of the menu system.

1. Login to your Dashboard

2. Locate the Appearance tab in the left sidebar and click on the Menu link

Dashboard-Appearance-Menu3. Click on the + tab and add a Menu Name


4. Click Create Menu


How To Add Pages To Your Menu

  1. Click Add to Menu from your list of existing pages by selecting which pages you want to include in your menu. You may select from your Most Recent pages, View All pages or use the Search box to start adding Pages to your menu. Save your menu after adding pages to it.

Add Pages To Menu

How To Add Posts, Categories, Tags & Custom Links To Your Menu

Use the Custom Links panel to add Posts, Categories and Custom URL’s to your menu. Simply add the destination URL and a label for the tab then click Add to Menu and the link will be added to your menu.


How To Add a Menu To Your Blog

  1. Under Theme Locations, select the menu you would like to use, highlight it and click Save. This will activate the menu you have chosen to be displayed in the default location on your blog. You can create as many menus as you like but are limited to how many you can display depending on the theme you are using.


Arrange Drop Down Menu-SubMenu

Adding a drop down menu to WordPress is very easy. Simply Add New Pages, Posts, Custom Links etc to your menu then arrange them in the order you want them in the drop down.

Hold down your mouse pointer on the items you want in a sub menu and drag them a little to the right, underneath the parent you want them included in the drop down.

This creates  sub menu items under a parent page or Heirachy as some call it.


How To Change The Order of Your Menu links

The WordPress menu system also allows you to easily and quickly change the order of all your menu links, pages, posts etc. Simply drag them into any position you choose.


How To Add a Custom Menu Widget in your Sidebar

You can also use the default custom menu widget and drag it into any widget area your theme offers. Then its simply a matter of selecting which menu to display and clicking Save. Navigate to Appearance > Widgets and drag the Custom Menu widget into any widget area.

1. Drag the Custom Menu widget into your widget sidebar

Available Widgets-Custom-Menu-Widget

2. Select menu from the drop down and click Save. You can also add a catchy title.


Custom Menu – Video

Watch the video on how to use a Custom Menu. This video refers to the free hosted blogging platform however, the same applies to free software for self hosted bloggers.

Free WordPress Menu Plugins

Many WordPress developers create both free and premium menus for WordPress. Not unlike themes, premium menus offer free technical support and upgrades for life. You’ll find a range of free Menu plugins in the WordPress plugin directory however the default menu system included in your WordPress installation is excellent.

WP Page Navi is the most popular free page navigation plugin for WordPress: It replaces the basic ← Older posts | Newer posts → links with a more advanced paging navigation interface.

You’ll need a basic understanding of both PHP & CSS code editing to use this page navigation plugin.

Premium WordPress Menu Plugins

UberMenu – WordPress Mega Menu Plugin

The Uber menu plugin for WordPress is the most popular premium menu plugin and allows you to add image icons to your menu. If your not familiar with CSS & PHP coding then this plugin is for you. Preview Uber Menu here.


The Thesis theme for WordPress offers you the flexibility to add multiple menus before and after your header as well as add a menu your footer.

 More WordPress Menu Resources

      1. How To Add a New Footer Menu To The Thesis Theme for WordPress
      2. How To Add a Second WordPress Navigation Menu In Thesis Using Custom PHP Script
      3. How To Add a New Footer Menu To The Thesis Theme for WordPress
WordPress News

WordPress Dashboard Widgets

The WordPress dashboard consists of the Home screen and Updates screen. It may also include Stats for certain plugins which you install to your blog  later. The dashboard consists of eight panels which are referred to as modules or widgets and may increase in number after you install plugins.

Its here you are provided with an overview of some of your WordPress administration options.

The eight modules which are included in a new installation of WordPress located in your Home screen are:

Right Now
Recent Comments
Incoming Links
Recent Drafts
WordPress Blog
Other WordPress News

You’ll also find a tabs for
Screen Options

Under the Updates screen you’ll find links to update your WordPress core installation, Plugins and Themes.

Dashboard Home

Screen Options

Screen Options



Right Now

Dashboard Right Now

Recent Comments

Dashboard-Recent CommentsIncoming Links

Dashboard-Incoming LinksPlugins


Dashboard-QiuckPressRecent Drafts

Dashboard-Recent DraftsWordPress Blog

Dashboard-WordPress BlogOther WordPress News

Dashboard-Other WordPress News


WordPress Core Updates

WordPress Updates

WordPress Updates for Plugins & Themes


Caution: Make sure you backup any custom changes you have made to your WordPress files and Templates before upgrading your WordPress core installation or you may loose them.

WordPress News

wp-config.php Sample File

This is a sample wp-config.php file which is included when you download WordPress manually or install WordPress using a software script.

Your wp-config.php file will be automatically edited with your new database access details when you install WordPress automatically using a one click installation script in cPanel provided by the best web hosts.

If you are installing WordPress manually, you’ll need to edit the wp-config.php sample file manually.

Most of the time you will only need to edit the following access details in Bold including:

  1. Database Name – Database Name used by WordPress
  2. Database Username – Username used to access Database
  3. Database Password – Password used by Username to access Database
  4. Database Host – The hostname of your Database Server

You’ll create these details when you create a database using the MYSQL Database Wizard in the databases section in your cPanel web hosting account.

WordPress News

How To Find Your Page & Post I.D’s

How do i find Page ID in WordPress?

You can find your Page or Post ID by hovering your mouse pointer over the Edit button located just under your post/page title next to your Permalink URL.


Once you hover your mouse pointer over the Edit button next to Get Shortlink you’ll see the post/page i.d in the lower left hand corner of your browser ate the bottom of your screen.

This screen shot shows my WordPress page id is 14225

Post id WordPress

Why would you need to find your post/page id?

If your adding custom PHP functions then you may need to specify what function you want working on specific pages/posts using conditional tags.

Adding additional navigation menus and displaying custom header images on specific pages/posts and categories are just 2 of the custom functions you can create with the Genesis design framework which you’ll need the post/page i.d’s.

WordPress post ID

Plugin To Display Post-Page I.D

Here’s a plugin
which displays your post and page i.d’s in your Dashboard.

Reveal I.D's

How About You

Do you know of any other ways to find your posts and page i.d in WordPress?

WordPress News

What is WordPress? The World’s Most Popular Free Blogging Software

WordPress is free blogging software which you can use to create a blog for your business or personal interests.

WordPress is open source meaning it has been developed by volunteers and is available for download and easy one click installation from your hosting providers.What-is-WordPress

WordPress is a great tool you can use for blogging and to manage your content like blog posts and website pages (CMS – Content Management System). The software is powered by PHP and MySQL.

PHP code creates all the different functions for your site and MYSQL manages all your data in databases normally accessible from your control panel (cPanel).

Other features which the platform offers is a plugin system which is a bit like a software addons or extensions.

The plugin system makes is super easy to add your own custom functions to your website or blog without any need to understand PHP code. Simply install and activate the chosen plugin from a long list of 30,000+ free plugins.

Premium plugins are also available which normally offer technical support as part of the package.


WordPress also offers a theme system which makes it super easy to change the appearance of your site.

There are thousands of free themes to choose from as well as a good range of premium themes which normally offer much more flexibility, design options, easier customization and 24/7 technical support in some cases.

Themes are made up of images, CSS code and custom functions which adds styling to the appearance of your site.

WordPress Themes

Adding content to your site is made easy by the use a the WordPress editor which is a bit like writing a Microsoft Word document.

No knowledge of coding is required and you can easily update and publish blog posts on a regular basis.

WordPress includes a RSS feed which makes it easy for your blog subscribers to access frequently updated content in a feed reader or via email. No need for them to find your site every time you publish new content.

Other advantages of using WordPress for your website or blog are the built in search engine optimization – Seo features which increase your chances of a higher ranking with Google and other search engines.

Social Media sharing is another major feature built into the platform as well as commenting which helps your audience and subscribers engage with your site and build trust, credibility for more targeted business leads.

Social media can be a great source of new subscribers, readers and business leads. You can also build a social network using buddypress which runs on the WordPress platform.

Social media plugins also help create a content delivery network so you can share you posts to a huge global online network.

WordPress BuddyPress

WordPress is the most popular free blogging platforms on the planet and the latest update v3.4 has been downloaded over 30 million times.

The reason for this is because it is now very easy for anyone to install the software and start blogging within minutes.

Once you have chosen a domain name for your site its simply a matter of choosing from a list of the best hosts who offer a one click installation service.

The platform can also be used as a website with static pages for your business or a special event without the need for any technical knowledge. No coding skills required. & – You can (1) Download and install a free software script called To do this you need a web host who meets the minimum requirements.

The platform is completely customizable and can be used for almost anything.

There is also a service called which lets you get started with a new and free hosted blog in seconds, but varies in several ways and is less flexible than the version you download and install yourself.

WordPress News – The Best Free Hosted Blogging Platform With Your Own Domain is the best free hosted blogging platform which offers a range of upgrades which make your blog more professional. vs. is a free hosted blog service. You do not have to download software, pay for hosting or manage a web server. However, does not permit uploading themes or plugins.

On the other hand, is free software which you install to your own web host. You can install themes and plugins, display ads, and edit the database.  Take a look at the vs. post for a comparison.

Can i use my own domain name? offer a paid upgrade if you want to use your own domain on your site. This is called domain mapping and can be used with a domain you buy from or with an existing domain you already own.

Mapping your own domain to your blog is one of the best upgrades you can take up if you want to keep using the free hosting provided by rather than transfer to your own self hosted powered blog.

You may also map a domain from an existing website or blog you already own to a sub domain: This way you can add a free hosted blog to your existing self hosted website or blog.

Before Upgrading – Important Notes from

The Domain Mapping Upgrade does not enable the permission to use advertising, any kind of prohibited code, or upload additional themes or plugins. With the domain upgrade, your blog will still be hosted at, which means that you will not have FTP access to your files and you will still be required to abide by the Terms of Service.

Start Domain Mapping With Your Own Domain

Register a New Website Domain

  1. Follow these instructions if you just want a custom domain for your blog, and you want to do it as quickly and easily as possible.

Map an existing domain to your blog

If you already own a domain you will need to follow these Step by Step instructions.

Mapping a domain  your already own like to your existing blog will create a redirect from your old address to your new custom domain.

Login to your existing domain managers control panel and click on nameservers or DNS and change the settings to these 3 addresses.


If you need help with changing the nameservers your existing domain manager should be able to change these settings for you which is very simple.

It can take up to 72 hours before your nameservers change across the entire world wide web however it normally takes about 4 hours. Once this completes Go to Settings -> Domains in your blog’s dashboard, enter your own domain into the form and click the Add domain to blog button. You will then need to pay for the upgrade for it to work properly.

Domain MappingTo fully complete the domain mapping process Go to Settings -> Domains page, select the radio button next to the domain you just mapped to your blog, and click the Update Primary Domain button and you’re done.

Note: Once your name servers have changed all your existing email addresses and any custom additions or changes you previously made to your domain will no longer work. It is best to fix these issues by contacting your domain manager before you make the changes unless you are experienced with the technical aspects of domain management.

Mapping a subdomain to your blog

Follow these instructions if you already have a website, and you want to add a blog to it under a subdomain (such as
Login to your existing domain managers administration panel and Add a CNAME record. Don’t change your Name Server information if you want to map a subdomain. The CNAME should look something like the following (include the fullstop at the end of each domain name): IN CNAME

Once the CNAME record has been added and verified, go to Settings -> Domains and add the subdomain to your blog. After this you will need to pay for the upgrade and complete the mapping process within your dashboard.

Once payment has been completed go to Settings -> Domains, select the radio button next to your custom domain, and click the Update Primary Domain button.

How do i start blogging?

To start blogging with you will need to visit their site and follow their instructions.

To start your own self hosted blog using the free platform, follow these instructions.

Start your own self hosted WordPress blog using the free software or transfer your blog from to

Conclusion: Upgrading your blog to your own domain is a great idea so you start building links, authority and page rank for your own benefit rather than benefit Free hosted blogging comes at a price!

More WordPress Blogging Resources

  1. Free Hosted Blogging Comes At a vs
  2. How To Move Your Blog From To
  3. 3 Best Blogging Platforms Are The Most Popular Free Blog Sites
WordPress News

WordPress Post Tags Help Navigation, Increase Page Views & SEO For Your Blog Posts

Ever wanted to learn more about WordPress post tags? There are different types of tags and different parts of WordPress which are referred to as tags.

The tags i am talking about here are post tags which are sometimes referred to as labels.

What is a tag?

WordPress Post TagsA tag is normally a keyword which is used to describe the contents of a blog post, article or social media entry.

You should try and use a keyword for your tag which is included in your post title and group related content within a category using the same tag.

Categories are like the table of contents in the front of the book. Tags are like the index.

Categories give you a wider search range. Tags help your readers narrow down the search for that content within a category.

WordPress Post Tags

WordPress Post Tag CloudYou can find your post tags in your WordPress dashboard (admin panel) under categories on the right hand column. Some bloggers tend to insert too many tags in my opinion which is incorrect.

I believe its best to use one tag  which is one keyword for Seo as your posts should only target one main focus keyword anyway.

Using too many post tags can also clutter your site and confuse your readers.

Using a keyword so one tag links to blog posts which contain related content within a category is best. This would not be the case if you want to use tags as categories. As i already have categories, i don’t need to use tags for the same purpose.

If you don’t have categories, then i suggest you use the same tags for related posts.

WordPress Tags, Categories

Tags can link to multiple categories and contain multiple posts linking to one tag. This is the reason i suggest using a unique keyword for each tag.

The search engines like unique titles and i also believe they like unique tags  which make it much easier for searchers to locate specific content rather than search again through a list of links which they would normally have to do if searching through a category.

WordPress Tag Cloud

WordPress Post Tags ExampleWordPress offer a large range of tag Cloud plugins which you can install to display your most popular tags in a widget. Displaying your tags in a cloud format makes it easy for your readers to find your content using the keywords in the cloud.

Another option is to display your tags in a list in your sidebar like i have done here in my right sidebar. The results from my stats tells me post tags are used far more often by readers to locate content than category links which i have listed in the footer.

WordPress Tags for Pages

Tags are normally used in posts and WordPress comes complete with a tag system already installed by default. You may also use tags on pages by installing a WordPress tag plugin.

WordPress Tag Plugin

WordPress offers a range of free tag plugins which you may install rather than use the default tag system. Most plugins come with a widget so you can place your list of tags or tag cloud in any of your sidebars, footer or any other widget area.

Simple tags plugin is one of the best and most popular plugins for creating post tags. Its free and has been downloaded about 1 million times.

Related Posts Tags

If you are using a related posts plugin or widget then i suggest you should consider using tags on posts which are related so your related posts are grouped together.

If you use unique tags on all your posts then your related posts plugin will not return accurate results for related posts if it functions based on the same tags.

If your related posts plugin is based on categories then creating unique tags will not effect your related posts results.

Conclusion: Getting repeat traffic from the search engines by people looking for specific content is made easier when you use categories and/or tags.

Do you use post tags and if so, how many tags do you normally insert per post?

WordPress News

WordPress Error – How To Fix The White Screen of Death FAST!

WordPress ErrorEver suffered a WordPress error message and experienced ‘The White Screen of Death’?

Also known as a stop error, WSoD, whitescreen, White Box/Screen of Doom, or simply White Death).

These are all terms which mean you have broken something caused by PHP code after editing or adding code, installing a poorly coded plugin or upgrading and or editing a poorly coded WordPress theme.

The Fix

  1. Login to cPanel or FTP
  2. Locate File Manager
  3. Navigate to the plugin or file that’s caused the error
  4. If its a new plugin or theme that’s caused the error, simply delete the folder that contains the plugin or theme.
  5. If the error is caused by a coding mistake, locate the code and delete the code which you added and click save

The reason i recommend you use File Manager in cPanel rather than FTP is because it normally includes a built in code editor so you can easily inspect and delete the problem code rather than having to open Notepad++ in as well.

Alternative Method

1) Check your .htaccess file

.htaccess can be tricky. The easist way to see if your .htaccess is the cause of this error is to rename the file. Rename .htaccess to .htaccess_old

After renaming your .htaccess file, clear your browser cache, and then check the site.

If this resolves the issue, then you know where the problem is. You can modify the .htaccess code, or just create a new one.

If it does not resolve the issue, then rename the file back to .htaccess.

2) rename the wp-content/plugins folder

If this resolves the problem, you know it was one of your plugins. You will have to re-activate the plugins one by one to determine which one cased the problem. Once it is found, you should see about installing a new version, consulting the plugin developer/vendor, or just not using it.

If it does not resolve the issue, then rename the folder back to wp-content/plugins

3) rename the wp-content/themes folder or use phpmyadmin to change the theme you are using

If this resolves the problem, you know it was your theme. In this case, you should install a new version of that theme, consult with the theme developer, or pick a different one.

If it does not resolve the issue, then rename the folder back to wp-content/themes.

Still Not Fixed?

If you can’t fix the error, contact your forum if your using a premium theme or your web host may help you solve the problem.

Otherwise you can hire someone to fix your broken site or post the error message on one of the best WordPress forums.

WordPress News

How To Update WordPress Manually

Searching for the easiest method to update WordPress to the latest version? If you don’t have access to automatic WordPress updates then updating WordPress manually is the only option you have left.

There are several reasons you may not be able to update WordPress to the latest version automatically or you may want to try out the latest Beta version which doesn’t offer automatic updates at this time.

WARNING: The WordPress update process will affect all files and folders included in the main WordPress installation. This includes all the core files used to run WordPress, the Akismet plugin and the WordPress default theme . If you have made any modifications to those files, your changes will be lost.

Check New WordPress Requirements before updating
To run the latest WordPress version your host needs both:

PHP version 5.2.4 or greater
MySQL version 5.0 or greater

The requirements have changed as of WordPress 3.2.

The minimum requirements for WordPress 3.1 are PHP 4.3 and MySQL 4.1.2.

Recommended for better security – suPHP: This is not a requirement however we do recommend you use a host which offers suPHP for increased security.

Backup Your Database & Files

Always a good idea to backup your content before begin the manual update in case you want to revert to the old version. You may change your mind after you install the Beta version for a particular reason and want your site back to the way it was before.

Check Plugins

If you’re updating WordPress before your plugin authors have tested their plugins with the latest version of WordPress then you could run into trouble. Installing the Beta version of WordPress would mean most, if not all plugin authors haven’t had a chance to test against the latest WordPress update yet.

O.k.  Time to start updating WordPress manually using a 3 step process.

Manual WordPress Update

First step:

  1. Download the latest version of WordPress here
  2. Unzip the files
  3. Delete your existing old wp-includes and wp-admin directories on your server (Using FTP or File Manager).
  4. Upload the new wp-includes and wp-admin folders (directories) to your server.(using FTP or Shell Access SSH)
  5. Open the wp-content folder and upload the individual files from the new  folder to your existing wp-content folder (Using FTP, File Manager or Shell SSH), overwriting existing files. Do NOT delete your existing wp-content folder. Do NOT delete any files or folders in your existing wp-content directory (except for the one being overwritten by new files).
  6. Upload all remaining new individual files from the root directory (folder) of the new version to your existing wordpress root directory.

Caution: If you have customized your themes without renaming them, make sure not to overwrite those files, otherwise you will lose your changes.

Second Step:

Update WordPress by logging in to your dashboard and follow the update instructions. You will probably need to upgrade your database simply by following the process and clicking upgrade.

Final Step: You may need to:

  1. Clear your cookies
  2. Delete or refresh your cache if your using a caching plugin like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache
  3. Re activate your plugins if you deactivated them before upgrading WordPress (recommended)

Your update has been successful and you can now play around with the latest version of WordPress.

Tip: To avoid losing any custom changes you make to the WordPress core files after you update, you may consider creating your own child theme which will save all your custom coding in a separate directory and therefore not be overwritten when you update to the latest version in the future.