• scissors
    June 14th, 2010HARTPlugins

    I´ll Give You All I Can...I have added the Smooth Slider plugin to this blog. You can too .. if you go to your wordpress dashboard “Plugins” section in the sidebar, “Add New”, and then search for “Smooth Slider”.

    The smooth slider is that featured box above the title of the posts. If I think a post is informative for others, or extremely interesting (opposed to just being a waste of cyberspace and me ranting and raving about nothing) then I will attach the post to be displayed in this section. I have tested several sliders and other featured content gallery type plugins because on Battling For Health blog .. everytime I try to reinitiate a paid plugin that I bought called “Action Popup” … I receive error messages on the page – something to do with the Ajax or java or some stupid thing. I know that this plugin does NOT fix that problem, but of all the features of the other plugins and sliders .. I liked this one the best and is simplest for my needs.

  • scissors
    April 8th, 2010HARTPlugins

    I’ve recently added a new wordpress plugin to my blogs … called “AmazonFeed“. You need to be an affiliate of Amazon, and get the Amazon API code and the Amazon Secret Access Key from Amazon Web Services .. plus your server requires the module “MCRYPT” which allows AmazonFeed to encrypt communication with Amazon as per Amazon regulations.

    Check out the bottom of any post!

    I have set up the plugin to find either (1) Books or (2) All options .. books, videos, electronics, and software and appear at the bottom of each post, search based on my existing tags used in the post. Check out my tags, and the “Related Amazon Items” below … are they relevant? I didn’t check before posting….

    Here’s some information from the Plugin Author’s website but, all you have to do is search in your dashboard under Plugins / Add new / search for “AmazonFeed”.

    I installed it on Tuesday, and already I have had over 65 clicks and earned $2.30 commissions on my BFH site (yeah, i know doesn’t sound like much but, it’s greater that $0.00). I’ve had less luck on my PetLvr site, but only because most posts recently are about WHS and tags include dog names, instead of pet rescue, or pet adoption etc. I’ve modified my usages sinced Tuesday on that :D. As for this blog, I just activated it prior to publishing this post.


    This plugin will allow you to turn your WordPress website or blog into a money making machine while at the same time offering valuable additional related materials to your visitors. It will automatically search for and display products from Amazon.com which are specifically related to the topics you write about. Once you install the plugin, you simply have to decide if you want to show products related to your Categories or Tags and the plugin can do the rest. All you have to do is continue writing about your favorite subjects and the plugin will offer related products to your visitors.

    Even though it is capable of being fully automatic in this way, it also includes powerful controls to tailor exactly how it functions. You can customize the keywords used for searching on any given post or even disable the plugin completely. You can also customize the heading that is shown, the number of results shown and many other aspects of how it functions.

    * Automatically load category or tag related products from Amazon.com.
    * Earn rewards as an affiliate, simply by entering your affiliate tracking code.
    * Provide valuable additional content to your visitors on the topics of your posts.
    * Total control to tailor results for any given post.
    * Excellent content caching for lightning fast response times.
    * Ability to disable related products from being displayed at all on any given post.
    * NOT JavaScript based, meaning it is not hidden from users with no JavaScript capability.
    * Easily managed sidebar widget support.
    * Many more great features you’ll just have to explore.

    More Information:

    For more information about this plugin, visit the plugin homepage at: www.warkensoft.com/products/amazonfeed-wordpress-plugin/

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  • scissors
    December 18th, 2009HARTBlogging, Plugins

    I have just activated the Backtype Connect wordpress plugin on this blog. What I find interesting, is that I have been using this on my PetLvr blog for about two weeks now, and it really does find other social media comments about the blog post! This includes people tweeting your posts, mentions on friendfeed, comments on digg and reddit – etc – and then it integrates them with your regular comments!

    People seem to read more, or want to comment more – when they see other people commenting already.

    With twitter, I am using SocialOomph.com (formerly known as TweetLater.com) to email 100% mentions of my @PetLvr and other twitter names .. but, sometimes there are kind tweeples out there that RETWEET my content, but don’t have space or time to include the @PetLvr in their tweet – just the shortened URL. Backtype Connect finds these social comments and adds them to my blog and helps me recognize WHO my tweeting friends so I can praise them and add them to my “Super Tweeters” list (and #fridayfollows etc)

    Just go to your plugins in your dashboard, ‘Add New’ and search for “Backtype Connect” and install.

    And, speaking of which .. if you are unfamiliar with how Backtype Connect works .. go check it out and input your blog URL or one of your posts that you know has been RT’ed.

    Backtype Connect Features

    * Display comments from other blogs, Twitter, FriendFeed, Digg, Reddit, and more
    * You can configure exactly what sources you want to display related conversations from
    * Summarize, display comments inline, or append them to the end of your comments section
    * Your readers can even respond to the comments BackType Connect displays

    Currently, we support conversations from:

    * Twitter – tweets that link your posts
    * FriendFeed – on the entries for your posts
    * Digg – on the submissions for your posts
    * Reddit – on the submissions for your posts
    * Hacker News – on the submissions for your posts
    * Other blogs – whenever someone links one of your posts


    Note: It is recommended that you backup your database before installing

    Go ahead and RETWEET this post from the TweetMeme button at the top right of this post and then come back, hit refresh and see your comment RT show up!

  • scissors
    October 7th, 2009HARTNewsletter, Plugins

    I Should Be Sending Out Newsletters

    I’ve been blogging since Mid-May 2005 and although I do offer the option to subscribe to our RSS Feed via email (via Feedburner) – not many people have been subscribing. I mean, I have just about 1,000 subscribers on the 40-50 blogs of the HART-Empire Network .. (and to you subscribers who have signed up .. THANK-YOU!) .. but I feel I should have a LOT more subscribers by this time in 2009.

    But, why would you sign up for my newsletter? I’m not sending out newsletters. Actually, on half my blogs I don’t think I am even sending out daily recaps of my RSS Feed. But, to be honest .. even if everything was working correctly and I was on the ball .. I just don’t have any clue how to send out newsletters with Feedburner!

    This isn’t one of those “Uh-Huh” moments .. as I’ve known about this problem of mine for years. I just wasn’t sure how to fix this or what I should be doing. I’ve received many recommendations by my online friends and forum buddies but there was one article that really got me convinced: Chris Garrett did a post Why I Switched to Aweber for my Blog E-Mail Subscribers back in April 2008.

    The Aweber Option

    Email Marketing $19/Month!
    About a year and 2 months ago (July 2008) I signed up with Aweber .,.. paid $193.80 in advance for a full year .. and never really did much with this. I mean, it wasn’t a total waste, as I do have a subscription option in my sidebar of PetLvr.com/blog/ but certainly not effective. I haven’t promoted it at all – and, what’s worse – I didn’t take the time of day how to use the information that I was collecting.

    At the end of July 2009 when renewal came up – I figured I had two options:
    (1) Quit or
    (2) Try again

    Well, I blame myself for not spending the time to learn Aweber and utilize it – not the fault of the service – so I renewed it for another year and decided to try it once again. You can sign up to Aweber on a monthly basis ($19/month) but this is a long-term venture, if I can get this to work for me, and I opted for the annual renewal price one again $16/month).

    Now It’s Time To Get In Your Face!

    I’m not really a fan of popups, or popunders, or terrible messages preventing you from leaving site .. but I’ve been eyeing the popup on Cindy KingCross Cultural Marketer and International Sales Strategist. Cindy uses Robert Plank’s Action Popup which is a paid plugin for both wordpress and non-wordpress sites. At this time, I have tried it on my wpMU environment (HARTmarket.com) and it doesn’t work. But this is a great plugin and works on every other site.

    What I like about this plugin is that you can set the background to different colors, adjust the popup size, time, height, width and also decide when to have the popup arrive in your blog. Another important consideration for me was, that there is no hidden “X” button. If you click anywhere anyplace the popup goes away.

    Purpose of ME Collecting Emails

    1) I want a permanent solution. Currently, with the Feedburner email option .. I have various sites that do not use Feedburner, and that excludes me from allowing my readers to view the RSS via Email. Also, if I ever get big and wanted to change Feedburner, I would have to ask everybody to OPT IN once again to any new system. I may as well start from scratch – well, practically – and do this right once and for all.

    2) I really do want to get to know my readers and let my readers know me. I wish to periodically give free stuff away to my readers and/or recommend non-free stuff that I might make a small commission or referral free. I want to do secret polls and pass along secret sites that everybody else is not able to access. And most of all, I would like to find out better the needs of my readers and what they are looking for that will help me better serve them.

    3) Viewing my site, via email. Although I hope you sign up to my RSS feeds, I personally think that most people would prefer to receive email updates with the option to eventually read an RSS feed. Generally, once a feed runs through the Feed Reader, and you view an article, it will eventually fall off the table. With Gmail, it’s easier to search your Gmail account for research on blog topics – if you are subscribing to many newsletters – because you have already weeded out the garbage from the general search engines.

    4) Heck! I want to sign up to my own newsletters to find out what I’m doing in my network 🙂 Currently, besides myself, I have other writers publishing everyday, and automated content drip feeding in the stores and although I should be reading 30-50 sites a day .. it’s time consuming. I prefer myself to read the recap of posts once a day – believe it or not! Once you start checking your email (or RSS Feed Reader or Twitter) it is quite easy to get lost in the forest and forget to walk out and do other stuff.

    So? When Do I start!

    I will be doing this for every site I have, and eventually this one too! I want to push .. and ASK MY READERS if they want to subscribe to my newsletter. I think this will be good for me, to know who is really interested in my sites and see the people subscribing .. instead of gawking over random analytic and other statistic data.

    Check out my Santa’s Gift Secrets Blog to see this script in action!

    And If You Don’t Want To Subscribe To My Newsletters?

    Well .. you don’t have to! I hope that you do not STOP coming to my sites, just because of this popup. I can assure you that if you sign up to my newsletter, there won’t be any future popops! 😀

    But seriously folks (bahroompah!) I will be setting the plugin to eventually stop after “X” visits, so if you haven’t signed up by a certain amount of visits, it won’t bother you anymore. Also, I’m on a HART-Timeline .. meaning that this won’t be an instantly Snap=My=Fingers and this is set up on all my sites … and why not?

    I just decided this course of action this afternoon!

  • scissors
    July 15th, 2009HARTBlogging, HART-Empire Network, Plugins

    Anaglyph-meI’ve decided to add TweetMeme’s “Retweet Button” to all my sites. I am a fan of twitter, and although I have added the Wp-To-Twitter wordpress plugin which, included with other social media buttons appears at the bottom of each of my posts, I think this is complimentary. I remember looking at this plugin early on, and didn’t want anything to do with it because I never saw the RT’s .. it was all going to @tweetmeme, but they changed that. Also, I was receiving a conflicting cron error message with my other twitter plugins (tweet this and wp-to-twitter) so I assumed having more than one twitter plugin will always conflict. This one doesn’t conflict!

    The tweetmeme button shows the number of retweets of the post, so I can see how many people LUV the post 😀 .. plus I have configured it to mention @PetLvr (me!) so I know our posts have been retweeted. It’s easy to install – just like all wordpress plugins .. go into your dashboard, click Plugins, then click Add New .. and search for “Tweetmeme” .. and install, then activate. Simple 😀

    A few things of note ..


    When I activated the plugin for the first time, the plugin appeared next to every post on the front page. Personally, I think that is overkill, because I am using the “Evermore” plugin to show only a few paragraphs of each post with the [more] link, and the button seemed to overwhelm the front page!

    So – this is what I did. I’ve edited the single.php page (or appropriate file where the single post is being displayed) and placed the following code .. just before the content is displayed:

    < ?php if (function_exists('tweetmeme')) echo tweetmeme(); ?>
    < ?php the_content(); ?>

    In the Tweetmeme settings, I ticked “Manual” instead of automatically placing the icon at the top or bottom of the post because I manually added the code to the template. I also added the RT @PetLvr so I receive notice everytime someone retweets one of our posts!


    Usually, when people RT one of my posts .. I tend to include that person in my #followfriday posts on twitter! 😀 and, naturally we will become bestest of best friends!

    Tags: , , ,
  • scissors
    July 9th, 2009HARTBlogging, Plugins, Recommendation

    134/365 - I Was Lost In The Lakes And The Shapes That Your Body MakesOkay .. maybe “sexy” is a little overdoing it – but, I’ve been blogging since May 2005 and have many blogs and I like to think that I have some experience in selecting the right wordpress plugins for my blogs. Plugins are like the backbbone of your blog, and just like your theme .. determines the functionality and look of your blog. I thought I would share all of the major plugins that I am using around my network of sites.

    Here’s how I keep track of all my plugins .. On my local hard drive, I have a folder something like this:

    Whenever I find a plugin I like, I copy it into a folder such as this:

    If there are specific plugins – e.g. – my translator plugin configured for the PetLvr blog only .. I would do something like this:

    How To Install WordPress Plugins

    If you see something you like, I have linked the name of the wordpress plugin to its author page. Although, I recommend that you try to obtain it through the WordPress Plugin Directory or better yet .. scroll down to the bottom of your PLUGINS page in your dashboard, and use the built-in Plugin Browser/Installer functionality link … you just type the name of the plugin into the search field, and install. This way .. when plugins are outdated or, there is a new version available – you will know because in wordpress, there will be a message below the plugin to warn you. It is very possible that plugins are not updated by the author on major development versions, and if the plugin is private, paid or not in the WordPress Plugin Directory, you many never know if your plugin is out of date or not.


    Here They Are – In Alphabetical Order

    * AccessQontrol – To make your site private, or not…

    * Akismet – Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API key to use it.

    * All in One SEO Pack – Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog.

    * Angsuman’s Translator Plugin Gold – This is NOT a FREE plugin. Translator Plugin Gold translates your blog dynamically to forty-one additional languages – German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Arabic, Dutch, Greek, Russian, Norwegian, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Latin American Spanish, Filipino, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swedish, Welsh, Turkish, Latin. Catalan, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithunian, Slovak, Ukranian, Vietnamese. We support blogs written in forty-two different languages – (English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Arabic, Dutch, Greek, Russian, Norwegian, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Latin American Spanish, Filipino, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swedish, Welsh, Turkish, Latin. Catalan, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithunian, Slovak, Ukranian, Vietnamese) as the base language of the blog. This is an extremely versatile and easy to use tool to instantly increase your pages by a factor of forty-one, all SEO optimized, to make your blog accessible to a much wider audience. The translated pages can be bookmarked for future use.

    * Audio player – Highly configurable single track mp3 player.

    * Auto-hyperlink URLs – Auto-hyperlink text URLs in post content and comment text to the URL they reference. Does NOT try to hyperlink already hyperlinked URLs. Improves WordPress’s default make_clickable function, along with adding some configuration options.

    * Auto Social Poster Gold (aff) – Increasing Your Blog’s Traffic and Authority .. Download a selection of WordPress plugins!

    * Bad Behavior – Deny automated spambots access to your PHP-based Web site.

    * Clean Archives Reloaded – A slick, Javascript-enhanced post archive list generator for WordPress 2.5+

    * Contact Form 7 – Just another contact form plugin. Simple but flexible.

    * CommentLuv – Plugin to show a link to the last post from the commenters blog by parsing the feed at their given URL when they leave a comment. Rewards your readers and encourage more comments.

    * CyStat – Statistik-Plugin

    * Datafeedr (aff) – This is NOT a FREE plugin. You can only get this plugin from Datafeedr.com as part of a Datafeedr.com membership. Never Before Has It Been This Simple To Build Your Own WordPress Affiliate Datafeed Store!

    * Datafeedr Random Ads Plugin – The Datafeedr Random Ads plugin is a free plugin which allows you to simply and easily show random ads anywhere in your template files or using widgets.

    * Evermore – Abbreviate all posts when viewed on multiple post pages. This makes all posts behave as if there is a “< !–more–>” at an appropriate spot inside the content.

    * Exec-PHP – Executes < ?php ?> code in your posts, pages and text widgets.

    * Featured Content Gallery – Used to create a customizable rotating image gallery anywhere within your WordPress site.

    * FeedBurner FeedSmith – Originally authored by Steve Smith, this plugin detects all ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber. By FeedBurner.

    * Full Text Feed – Prevents WordPress 2.1+ from adding a more link to your website’s feed.

    * Get Recent Comments – Display the most recent comments or trackbacks with your own formatting in the sidebar.

    * Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin will generate a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO.

    * Insights – Insights allows you to quickly search and insert information (links, images, videos, maps, news..) into your blog posts.

    * Lucia’sLinkLove – Where a commenter has commented at least some number of timeslinks are made “dofollow”. User interface permits blogger to do follow author link or links inside comments.

    * OIOpublisher Direct 2.0 (aff) – Control your Ad Space with OIOpublisher.

    * phpBay Pro Plugin for WordPress (aff) – This is NOT a FREE plugin. Add eBay auction listings to your WordPress posts.

    * Random Redirect – Allows you to create a link to yourblog.example.com/?random which will redirect someone to a random post on your blog, in a StumbleUpon-like fashion.

    * Secure and Accessible PHP Contact Form – This powerful yet easy-to-install contact form features exceptional accessibility and usability while still providing extensive anti-spam and anti-exploit security features. A marriage of communication and peace-of-mind.

    * Sensitive Tag Cloud – This wordpress plugin provides a highly configurable tagcloud that shows tags depending of the current context.

    * Simple Forum – Simple:Press is a feature rich forum plugin for WordPress. It fully integrates into your WP based site utilising the same user records and database and displaying on a single WP page. It is fully customisable and comes with a number of skins and sets of icons to get your started. Current users have shown it to be fully scaleable whether your site membership numbers the tens or the thousands.

    * StatPress – Real time stats for your blog

    * Supr by StumbleUpon – Su.pr is the only URL shortener that gets you more traffic and save time posting to Twitter, Facebook and StumbleUpon.

    * Theme Test Drive – Safely test drive any theme while visitors are using the default one. Includes instant theme preview via thumbnail.

    * Tweet This – Adds a “Tweet This Post” link to every post and page. Shortens URLs in advance through Th8.us, eating up only 19 of 140 characters.

    * Visual Recent Posts – Visually represents your most recent posts by extracting the first image from each post and displaying it along with the post title and excerpt.

    * Where did they go from here – Show “Readers who viewed this page, also viewed” links on your page. Much like Amazon.com’s product pages.

    * Whydowork Adsense – Insert Adsense code in your pages without modifying the template. Show different ads for articles older than 7 days (or as old as you wish).

    * WordPress Database Backup – On-demand backup of your WordPress database.

    * WordPress Video Plugin – (for wpMU) – A filter for WordPress that displays videos from myvideo.de, youtube, google video, Brightcove, Aniboom, 123video.nl, MyspaceTV, Yahoo! Video, Veoh, Wandeo, Glumbert, Gametrailers, Gamevideos, LiveLeak, sevenload.de, clipfish.de, break.com, Metacafe, dailymotion.com, Vimeo, videotube, blip.tv, revver, IFILM, Tu.tv, grouper, Cellfish.com, Sumo.tv, Last.fm, Vsocial, teachertube, SlideShare, Jumpcut, MSN, GoalVideoz, Guba, wat.tv, Smotri.Com..and many more.

    * WP Admin Bar Reloaded – Adds a small admin bar to the top of every page.

    * WP-Cumulus – Flash based Tag Cloud for WordPress

    * WP to Twitter – Updates Twitter when you create a new blog post or add to your blogroll using Cli.gs. With a Cli.gs API key, creates a clig in your Cli.gs account with the name of your post as the title.

    * WP-PostRatings – Adds an AJAX rating system for your WordPress blog’s post/page.

    * WP-Print – Displays a printable version of your WordPress blog’s post/page.

    * WP-RSSImport – Import and display Feeds in your blog.

    * WP-SpamFree – An extremely powerful anti-spam plugin that virtually eliminates comment spam. Finally, you can enjoy a spam-free WordPress blog! Includes spam-free contact form feature as well.

    * WP Super Cache – Very fast caching plugin for WordPress.

    Hope you enjoyed this list. If you have any useful wordpress plugins activated in your blog – feel free to list it below in the comments, with a brief description what its purpose is, and how you think it helps with the running of your blog!

    Thank-You. // HART

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