Newsletter March ’10

So begins yet another new month and as usual I am rushing to finish the newsletter. We had a number of positive comments on last month’s newsletter and the change in format was appreciated by the readers. No negative comments were received (none that I am aware of) so hopefully it means that we are on the right track.

Our New look

Last month I reviewed Tribulant’s new look and the site is now finally up. I am really pleased with all the work that has gone into it. If you have not yet taken a look then please visit http://tribulant.com

March’s plugin of the month reviewed

This month I will be reviewing Odiogo. It is a free download from WordPress and I really did find it by accident. It allows users to listen to your blog articles and turns the article into a podcast which can be downloaded to you iPod or MP3 player. With Smartphone hitting the market in a big way and everyone on the go, this is a powerful plugin to add a “little something” to your site. The other thing that I like about this plugin is that it makes a blog more accessible to people who are sight-impaired (ie. have difficulty reading because of their eyesight). I wanted to write “eyesite” impaired as I think there are many badly designed web-sites out there that just look horrible, but that is a topic for another newsletter.

Odiogo’s media-shifting technology expands the reach of your content: It transforms news sites and blog posts into high fidelity, near human quality audio files ready to download and play anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Installation

Is simple and easy and follows the WordPress norm of downloading the plugin to your wp-content/plugins folder and activating it through the WordPress Dashboard. The download and installation instruction for the WordPress version are nicely documented and can be found at http://www.odiogo.com/listen_button_wordpress.php

Size

At 8.2kb zipped it’s very small and is a quick download;  installed it comes in at around 20kb which is really manageable.

Compatibility and version

I tested the current version of the plugin with WordPress version 2.9.2 and 2.8.5. It should be compatible with earlier versions of WordPress, however it would be better to check Odiogo’s site for more information.

Cost

Free

Conclusion

I like this plugin. Its overall feel and look is appealing. I think it is a must have on all blogs and certainly is worth considering if you need something fresh and practical on your blog. It gets 4 out of 5 apples.

The Tribulant Grapevine

After donning my ‘007’ tuxedo and snooping around the Programming Department during March, I found out that a new version of Shopping Cart is about to be released – complete with Tax. I also overheard that a new version of Banners is due shortly. Hopefully I will be able to get my hands on one or both of them and give you some feedback next month.

Blogging Tips and Suggestions

I know that this month’s top tips and suggestions may be a little bit like trying to “teach Granny to suck eggs”, excuse the expression, as many of our users are web developers or work within the industry. Having just gone through a very frustrating exercise of the own, I thought it worthwhile of this month to explain the difference between your domain registration and your domain hosting (where your website actually lives). To some, these terms can cause great confusion and frustration especially if you are trying to physically move your site to another server or move your registered domains (i.e. your.domain.com) to another registrar. We are all familiar with godaddy, fasthosts, dynadot, etc. Most service providers offer both services. That is to say they will register your domain name and provide you with a hosting platform. Setup is normally free and once your WordPress site is up and running, you will probably have limited contact with your service provider such as when your domain name comes up for renewal and/or when you need to pay for your next hosting period.

During this past week I wanted to consolidate a client’s registered domain names into one account and transfer their existing sites to a new service provider who offered better hosting facilities at cheaper rates. Setting up the accounts and paying for the hosting for a year and choosing a company to manage all the domains was fairly simple. Space on the hosting platform was provided within minutes after payment and cPanel Access was good to go. However, the hosting company that I’d chosen did not handle the registration of domains. They concentrated on providing hosting only. It was easy enough to back up the sites and moving across to the new platform. I simply opened a ticket and had the backups restored. Despite being prepared and having asked the previous service provider to give me the necessary ‘IPS-Tag’ for one domain and the authorisation codes for another (which they did) and despite requesting a transfer via my new providers control panel this is where things went really wrong. The original service provider had used a third-party domain registrar. The third party had released the domain name to the original service provider however to complete the new process, the new domain registrar needed to send a confirmation e-mail to the e-mail address that was registered on the domain. This of course was not the clients e-mail address, but the address of the original service provider who registered the domain name initially. Matters were finally resolved after a harrowing few days.

Like I said earlier the company that holds your domain registration and the company that provides you with server space is more often than not likely to be two separate companies. So here is this month’s Tip:

  1. Set up an account with a domain registrar, one who preferably allows users to access and control their own domain details via a user-friendly control panel, and transfer your domain names to the new provider. This is particularly relevant when you have more than one domain name registered to yourself. The advantage of this method allows you to not only control your domain registrations but also ensure that your domain names registered to you and not your service provider (i.e. the person who provides you with hosting).
  2. You are now set to shop around for the best hosting deals with regard to finding reasonable rates for hosting services that may suit you better than what you are using at the moment. It also gives you the opportunity to move service providers fairly easily should you become dissatisfied with the service you are presently receiving.

Transferring sites is a pretty technical operation and unless you are someone who has had experience with this and knows what they’re doing I strongly recommend that you contact us or get hold of a company that works with Web solutions to assist you. If you opted to do-it-yourself you may run into a situation where your site and e-mail could be down for a while, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Articles and Snippets

As a reminder, we invite you to send in articles of interest, comments and feedback for our ‘Readers Column’.  If you have a press release for your own products or website, please feel free to submit it for consideration in the next newsletter.  Topics may be varied at this stage as this is a pilot project.

All we ask is that the articles are related in some way to your business, field of interest or expertise and are non-political, may be considered of general interest and are suitably tasteful. For those interested let us know by opening a support ticket.

Readers Column

This month Terry Jett submitted a Video on “How to Schedule a WordPress Post/Page”. This was really nicely presented. It is something that we should all use more. I enjoyed this Terry, thank you, your tutorial was very enjoyable to listen to and a nice refresher.

How To Schedule Hundreds Of WordPress Posts or Pages

This is a very simple method that uses a free WordPress plugin. You can learn where to get it and use it by watching the video.

Basically it allows you to schedule any event ahead of time. Let’s say that you are into affiliate promotions or some type of niche marketing. With this method you can take future promotions and schedule them to be “drip feed” to your blog.

This is a great way for niche marketers to “drip feed” articles for their visitors and the search engines.

There are many, many uses for this free plugin. I have adapted it mainly to affiliate promotions, as most companies will give you a week or a few days advance notice of a new release.

We are all very busy these days and anything to make my life easier is a big plus, not to mention that the plugin is totally free. Put this information to use and automate one more task within your WordPress blog and life.

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Author: Terry Jett

Terry has been marketing online since 1996, starting out selling long distance service and calling cards. He now works full time authoring and producing digital products, mainly for others to resell online.

http://terryjett.com

A little Humour

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The Wrap up

Well that’s it for another month. I look forward to hearing from you and don’t forget to send us your site for inclusion in next month’s news letter. Be safe and be well.

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