Just 5 links this week but they are all quality ones. I collected more during the week but then pulled some of them. A commenter noticed that I was being especially negative lately and I decided to remove some of the snark. This week I’ve got Gimp tutorials, information about WordPress 2.7, using the WordPress visual text editor, free eBooks, and an article about blogging from Copyblogger.
WordPress – Enhance Search Results with the Search Excerpt Plugin
At the beginning of September I wrote an article about the Search Reloaded plugin, which sorts the WordPress search results by relevance rather than date. In addition to Search Reloaded, I also use the Search Excerpt plugin to enhance the search results on this site.
Generally search results pages use WordPress excerpts. Excerpts contain the first couple of sentences of a post. The problem with this as related to search is that the first couple of sentences may have nothing to do with the search term.
WordPress – How To Create a Static Front Page
When I changed the structure of this site a couple of weeks ago by removing some pages and adding new ones, I considered having a static front page and the blog a separate area of the site. My initial thinking was that the front page should promote my professional services and that the blog should not be the primary focus. Ultimately, I decided to leave the blog as the main page because it highlights many of the things that I can do with WordPress and ideas that I am working on.
There are, however, reasons to have a static front page with WordPress and to have it set-up like a standard website with the blog being one part of it. I especially see this as working well for small businesses. For example, a childcare center could use WordPress for their website and have their main information as a static front page and then use the blog to highlight news, dates the center is closed, and parenting tips.
How to Customize Gravatars in WordPress
Yesterday I decided to edit the gravatar settings for the images in my comments. I wanted to make the gravatars smaller and use a custom image for commenters who don’t have one rather than the default gravatar image.
I use the gravatar plugin and the following code is in my comments template file. You will want to locate this code in your comments template, if you want to make any of the same edits.
<?php gravatar(); ?>
How to Upgrade WordPress Manually
Anyone who’s been visiting for awhile knows that I’m not a big fan of the Auto-Upgrade plugin for WordPress and that I prefer upgrading manually. I’m not against the plugin. I think it’s made it possible for more people to upgrade their own WordPress installations. I prefer manually upgrading because I have more control (and I’m not a control freak, just a scheduling freak) and I am better able to troubleshoot the problem when something goes wrong with the upgrade.
And things do go wrong. Frequently. That being said, the Auto-Upgrade Plugin works fine when the upgrade is minor, such as from a .1 to a .2 version. But if you are upgrading from WordPress 2.0 to 2.6.2, I highly recommend you do it manually. If you aren’t familiar with the process, I recommend someone do the upgrade for you.