In his “State of the Word” addresses at recent WordCamps, it is my understanding that Matt Mullenweg (the co-founder of WordPress) has often made mention of the growth of WordPress and the growing number of professionals and businesses which are earning a full time income using WordPress. As someone who makes a majority of his income online, this is something that I’ve spent some time working towards as well.
I’m sure upon hearing about these numbers, many people’s initial reactions may be that Matt is referring to the many premium theme authors who earn their livings creating professional themes which are in turn sold to the WordPress community, but what people may not know is that there is also a huge market for WordPress freelance work that designers and developers are making a large income from. These freelance jobs can range from building a custom plugin for someone, custom coding work, or even completely custom theme designs!
I know we have a lot of readers who are very talented developers and designers. If you are looking for freelance work as a WordPress designer or developer, here are a couple of great places to find potential clients:
- WordPress Jobs – This is the official job board and includes a feed so you can easily keep updated on what jobs are needed.
- eLance – eLance is a website which is used by all types of freelance designers and coders, but includes a very busy WordPress section where people can post their needs and freelancers can bid on them. You can also review rankings, earnings, and other information about the freelancers.
These sites were designed specifically with the intention of helping freelancers find clients, and I’m sure there are many others available as well. To our readers that do commissioned freelance work professionally, what have you found are the best ways to find work?
Now that BuddyPress offers the ability to create BuddyPress plugins as well as BuddyPress Themes, I imagine that its popularity will continue to grow. It also looks like they are already working on the next release.
This is just the first step on a long road ahead. So much is possible now that we have a solid WordPress-based social framework to build upon.
The status updates and gallery components are next on the roadmap, you can expect to see versions of those components appearing later this year. We’ll also be going through the hundreds of enhancement tickets we’ve received, and with your help prioritizing them for future versions.
I’m most excited to see what plugin developers and theme designers can come up with. Even in the pre-release stages, plugins to extend and add functionality have already been popping up. If you’re a plugin developer or theme designer, be sure to check out the skeleton component and skeleton theme. These packages will provide you with a solid starting point to build BuddyPress components and custom themes from.
To those of you that use BuddyPress, what do you think of the latest update?
When setting up a WordPress blog that allows for multiple authors, it seems many people think all that is involved is to setup additional author profiles and/or start accepting guest posts. Unfortunately, it really isn’t that simple if you want to create a high quality WordPress blog.
Setting up a multi-author WordPress blog may require you to use a number of WordPress plugins to support a variety of functions. Ideally you’ll also want your theme to be hacked to help maximize the exposure your authors get. Examples include creating a “Write for Us” page, creating author profile pages, setting your theme to display the author’s profile below their posts, etc.
Multiple Author WordPress Plugins
Here are a couple WordPress plugins that we’ve covered in the past that are ideal for multi-author WordPress blogs:
- Author Exposed – Adds a full featured display of the authors profile.
- Role Manager Plugin – Allows you to control what the various WordPress user roles can and cannot do.
And here are a few other WordPress plugins that you may also have an interest in (we use a few of these here at WordPress Hacks):
- Author Advertising – Plugin that allows you to share Google AdSense income or other advertising between multiple authors.
- Blog Metrics – Collects blog metrics based upon the author of the posts.
- List Authors Widget – Displays a list of authors in your widgets panel linking to the authors.php page.
- Multiple Authors – Allows multiple authors to be listed for an individual WordPress post, automatically keeping track of who has edited the entry.
Multiple Author WordPress Hacks
Here are a few WordPress Hacks we’ve published in the past to help you hack your WordPress theme to be more multi-author friendly:
- How to Add an Author Page to Your Theme
- How to Change the Author Archives Permalink
- How to Single Out Author Comments
- How to Link Author’s Gravatars to Their Posts
- How to Add Bio Information to Your Posts
- How to Create a Maximum Size for Your Images
- How to Use Multiple Stylesheets
I’m sure there are also some WordPress plugins or WordPress hacks which aren’t listed above. Have any multiple author tools or resources you’d like to add to this list? Let us know in the comments so we can update our post!
For a couple of years now I’ve been a very active affiliate marketer, but when it comes to the subject of affiliate marketing, I always feel there is more I can learn. Techniques change, new products are released, and the internet goes through a number of trends. As a result, when I learned about a new WordPress eBook called WordPress for Internet Marketers, I felt I had to get my hands on a copy and see what new things I could learn.
Upon downloading the ebook, I was surprised to see that this book is an amazing 950 pages! In fact, the author did readers a favor and broke it down into a few PDF files for more convenient reading. If that sounds like a lot of pages, that is because there are a number of screen shots included by the author which inflates the page count a bit, but helps readers to learn and follow along with what the author is saying.
One thing I really liked about this ebook is that the author really goes out of her way to provide options to readers. Most sections take the time to explain a variety of options to the reader and allows them to figure out what plugin, theme, etc. works for them. Here are some of the sections within the book that I really enjoyed:
- Creating Membership Sites with WordPress
- Integrating Podcasts into your WordPress Blog
- Creating a Sales Page with WordPress (this is a big part of what affiliate marketers do!)
- Adding a Help Desk to a WordPress Blog
- Building a Jobs Board with WordPress
Some of the sections which could use a little improvement in my opinion:
- More Bookmarks – This ebook comes with some bookmarks, but not as many as I would have liked to see due to the huge size of the ebook. This of course is not a knock on the book itself, but rather with how the information is presented.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This section has a lot of good but basic SEO information which is geared specifically towards WordPress users. This is great for someone learning WordPress, but I would have liked to see some more advanced techniques included as well for WordPress veterans.
- Improved Forums Section – I’ve always felt forums are an important part of any successful WordPress blog. After reading the forums section, I felt like a few more pages could have been dedicated to this section. It covers WordPress plugins which create forums, but doesn’t appear to cover things like vBulletin or PHPBB, which are probably the most commonly used forum software for WordPress blogs.
Overall, I have to say that I am pretty happy with the WordPress for Internet Marketers eBook. If you are interested, all 950+ pages are available for only $77.00. This price includes a document filled with WordPress resources, free updates to the ebook as future versions of WordPress become available, and 100 WordPress themes which can be used to put some of the tips provided in the ebook into practice.
Some months ago, WpHacks introduced a site I just created, called WpVote. The purpose of WpVote was to give the WordPress community a Digg-like website where people can share their blog posts and promote it.
Many WordPress users thought it was a good idea and I quickly had a lot of members, due to the great promotion from WpHacks. Sadly, spammers came too. And they were very, very active.
WpVote was using the Pligg cms. Sadly, this tool isn’t very flexible and modify it isn’t easy at all. I’ve tried a few anti-spam solution but nothing worked. Quickly, the site became a spam-farm and I, as well as the users, abandonned it.
But last month, I thought “If only WpVote was running within WordPress”. I’ve never heard of any “Digg-like” site using WordPress, but I thought that I can give a try. I was easier than it seemed. 2 weeks before, I had a new version of WpVote, ready to be used by the community.
Was it hard to create? Not really. I didn’t modify the WP core, but instead used the TDO Mini Forms plugin, a custom theme I created and a few Ajax functions. Though, the fact that I know WordPress quite well helped me a lot to achieve this goal and think how I can make it work.
Now, a few words about the brand new version of WpVote:
WpVote works just like million other sites like Digg: Once registered, you can submit news, tutorials, hacks and everything related to WordPress. Once your story received at least 5 votes, it is promoted to the front page. Good luck for DoFollow lovers, our Pagerank 4 frontpage IS DoFollow!
So if you’re a WordPress addict and want to promote your posts to the community as well as gaining free backlinks, don’t hesitate to join us. Note that if you were a member of the previous version, you’ll have to register again due to the change of platform.
Finding a good web host for your websites or WordPress blogs can sometimes be difficult. In the past I’ve had a lot of success with HostGator, but sometimes found that working with a large web hosting company can sometimes leave some gaps, as their service wasn’t designed specifically for the needs of a WordPress blogger.
Recently I came across a web hosting service called WP Web Host, which is web hosting designed with WordPress bloggers in mind! Their servers were designed to support one click WordPress installation and their support is also focused completely on WordPress. They also recently added support for WordPressMU (for running multiple WordPress installations).
Some additional information about WP Web Host:
Fast & Stable Server and Network
We invest heavily in ensuring our servers are not overloaded, have the fastest network connections, and guarantee 99.9% of network uptime (and 99.5% of server uptime) to all of our customers.
100 Days Money Back Guarantee
We take pride in making sure our customers are equally satisfied and happy. If you are not, within 100 days from when your initial order was placed, you’ll get your money back.
If you are worried about WP Web Host being a new service, let me ease your worries. They currently have over 20,000 different satisfied users and a couple of years experience under their belts. They also have the guarantee quoted above, showing they are a reputable business.
Probably my favorite part about WP Web Host is the price! Your hosting is only $5.00 a month and includes up to 50 domain names, 50GBs of web space, and 500GBs of monthly bandwidth, which should be plenty for most WordPress bloggers.
If you’d like to give WP Web Host a try, we were given permission to give a special offer to our readers. If you use the coupon code WPHACKS, you’ll receive a one-time 30% discount on all hosting plan (and all billing cycle). Click here to take advantage of this offer!
I’m a little later with this post than I meant to be, but in case any of you missed it, I wanted to take a minute and let our readers know about a new WordPress site that recently launched called WordPress Tavern.
Some of our readers may remember a few months ago when I offered up the domains WPTavern.com and WordPressTavern.com to a good home. Well, I’m thrilled to say I found a wonderful home for them with my friend Jeff Chandler. Jeff is the author of Jeffro2pt0.com and the WordPress Weekly podcast, but you may have also seen him publishing guest posts here on WordPress Hacks, or as a frequent poster over at Weblog Tools Collection, at Performancing, and I believe also at BloggingTips.com.
Through Jeff’s work on these reputable sites, Jeff has developed a strong reputation in the WordPress community and now has finally decided to launch his own website, WordPress Tavern. This new site has been up for a few weeks now and he already has a good amount of unique content built up and a pretty active forum!
If you enjoy reading about WordPress (I assume most of you do since you subscribe to this site?) I recommend you check out WordPress Tavern and/or subscribe to their feed.
A lot of us are do-it-yourselfers when it comes to WordPress and even if we are only slightly technical WP makes is pretty easy. However, WordPress can, and often is, used for sites which are much more complex than the average blog and many individuals or small-to-medium businesses don’t have the time or the in-house expertise to make it work the way they want. Many more don’t even know that WordPress is an option for them, so whether you are already set on using WordPress for your site, looking for someone to enhance an existing WordPress instance, considering WordPress among other options or just looking for a CMS that won’t blow the budget out of the water but is flexible enough to meet your needs, hiring a WordPress expert can be a good way to go. But before you hire someone there are a few things you should consider to help you get the most out of the money you are going to spend. This is by no means comprehensive but should give you a good start.
Finding a good WP Consultant:Their are many of them out there so consider your needs and find one that matches. Are you comfortable with a freelance consultant or do you prefer an company? Good Places to look are the list of WordPress consultants on the Automattic website or the WordPress Pro Mailing list.
Cost:This topic can be a bit sticky because prices can be all over the place depending on the services you need. When you are comparing consultants/companies some things to consider are:
- Do they have a track record
- Established processes
- Do they provide references if asked
- Do they ask you a lot of questions and go through a requirements gathering phase?
- Do they provide you an education and training?
- Are they accessible and do they have a service level agreement to support that (24 hour response time for example)?
- Do they utilize contracts or statements of work outlining payment requirements, deliverable, requirements,etc….
If any of those things are missing you might be opening yourself up for a more difficult project than necessary. The more professional they are the better off you will be. Keep in mind that cheaper is not always better and price will likely rise with professionalism. But it’s all WordPress work right? Yes, but even if the base application doesn’t change (WordPress) how someone implements it for you can vary there is more to a project than installing applications and plugins. If price is your only consideration or professionalism is ignored, then you might end up not getting what you expect, need or want and could easily end up doing it over and paying again.
Budget: Do you have an established budget? It’s important to have some idea of what you can afford. There is no formula for knowing exactly what it should cost so establishing a budget can be tough. Figure out what you can afford then do your due diligence, research a number of candidates and get quotes. When figuring out what you can afford try to be realistic, you are looking to hire a professional that makes a living doing this. Getting a full website, design, logo, SEO and whatever custom configuration you need is going to cost. If your budget is a few hundred dollars, don’t expect much. Many elements of building a professional site can be time consuming and take considerable thought and expertise and that is what you are paying for. Hiring the wrong person can cost you more in the long run. If you really need help and your budget really can’t get you far prioritize and get ready to learn to do as much as you can for yourself and pay for help where you need it most.
Setting Expectations: Be very clear about what you want and need. Before you even talk to someone spend time planning and outlining your requirements. Consultants aren’t mind readers but should be able to guide you as long as you have some idea(s). Break it down into must-haves and nice-to-haves which will give you some flexibility in budgeting and negotiating. Also, if you want a certain look and feel, find examples that are close to what you need, it will save a lot of back-and-forth. Most importantly, keep in mind that YOU still have some learning to do if you don’t already know the back end of WordPress. Knowing how to operate the site after your consultant is gone is up to you, but they should provide you with training if you need it.
Different skill sets/Different Services: Designers aren’t necessarily architects who aren’t necessarily developers… there are some that can do it all but they represent premium talent so be prepared. That said, you might need to break it down and hire different people for the different roles.
How to avoid becoming dependent on that consultant: Using WordPress means that you should be able to manage the content on your site yourself but you might still need help with design issues or other changes from time to time. Get as knowledgeable about WordPress as you can and have a couple of consultants you can call on if need be.
Of course there can be other considerations depending on what you need but this should get you started. WordPress experts can do amazing things for you but you need to know what you require to begin with. A little planning on your end will save you a lot of time and money. Do it right and you could build a great relationship with your consultant and they’ll always be there for you.
For those interested in monitoring the progress of WordPress.com, Matt has posted the January statistics for WordPress.
Here are the statistics Matt has provided:
- 372,519 blogs were created.
- 393,836 new users joined.
- 4,592,097 file uploads.
- 2,710 gigabytes of new files.
- 553 terabytes of content transferred from our data centers.
- 8,771,891 comments.
- 6,528,657 logins.
- 1,073,421,738 pageviews on WordPress.com, and another 945,105,050 on self-hosted blogs (2,018,526,788 total across all WordPress blogs we track).
- 1,373,108 active blogs and 18,768,022 active posts where “active” means they got a human visitor.
- 1,295,531,829 words.
The progress is pretty amazing and is definitely well deserved.
The iPhone has really taken off recently, so a good idea for your blog would be to make an iPhone version. Whilst the iPhone Safari does a very good job of rendering pages, you might find that your site dosen’t quite display properly. Thankfully, it is very easy to create a very slick iPhone interface similar to the one in the menus of the iPhone itself. The images on the bottom is what my site looks like on an iPhone, and you can see what it looks like normally here.
To make our iPhone version of our site, first thing is to download the iWPhone plugin from http://iwphone.contentrobot.com/. Only upload the iwphone.php file to your /wp-content/plugins/ though – don’t upload the theme as well. Activate the plugin. What this will do is send iPhone users to the iPhone version of your site and everyone else goes to the normal version of the site.
For the next part, we’re going to be using some code made by Adam Oliver. Hop over to his site and download the source files and unzip them. All that is left to do is replace the iWPhone plugin theme with the iPhone interface we’ve just downloaded. Open up the iWPhone theme folder and delete all of the files. Now copy and paste Adam Oliver’s interface files into the iWPhone theme folder. You’ll want to edit some of the images so that they have your site’s name and also change the index.php file so that your site’s name is in the title.
All that is left to do is upload the iWPhone theme folder to /wp-content/themes/ and you’re done! The only problem I came across was the first line of the was <?php require_once(“../blog/wp-blog-header.php”); ?>, which was causing an error. Deleting made everything work. You may need to change the path so its <?php require_once(“/wp-blog-header.php”); ?>.