SEO Tweeking in WordPress

I haven’t done very much marketing or SEO on any of my sites. I’ve been too distracted writing code and creating themes in a vacuum and should probably keep up a bit more on my reading. In any case, I was alerted this article on Yoast by a colleague and have gone through the trouble to implement it on one of my sites. One nice thing is the Twentyeleven theme in WordPress takes care of the rel=”author” on the author tags already. The rest is still a manual job.

Since I am using the Twentyeleven theme, I didn’t want to edit the templates. That always gets messy when the theme is updated. In the case of my other site, I created a sub-theme to allow me to make some of the changes easily. I’ve kept my changes contained to the functions.php file thus far.

At the moment, I haven’t made the same changes to this site. I will do that when I get some time. I would also like to create a ground-up custom theme for this site and my other sites, but once again, time is the issue.

Over the next few weeks, I will monitor the stats to see if these changes drive any additional traffic my way. I’ll report findings here if I have any.

iCade Jr., The Mini Arcade Cabinet of my Childhood Dreams

At CES, ION has announced a dream come true. I thought the original iCade was the answer to this dream, but the iCade Jr. proves me wrong. As a kid, I saved for months to but a miniature arcade cabinet game. The one I bought was Frogger. At the time, it cost $50. That was quite a lot for me to save. Later, I was able to get a second cabinet from a garage sale for something like $5 or $10. That one was Pac-Man. I enjoyed those things at the time, but of course they fell short of what I wanted in my mind, which was the arcade game as I knew it, but small and in my bedroom with my other toys.

Now, the iCade Jr. is exactly that, and even better being smaller than the original concept. I’ve played with the original iCade and it was a smooth experience, though setting up the games can be tiresome on the Atari app. In that app, you need to tell each game if the iPad is horizontal or vertical separately. Seems like something they should have been able to fix. Anyhow, I can’t wait till this thing comes out. I need this on my desk to distract me from programming!

I originally saw this on MacRumors.com where the above photo comes from their CES coverage.

Embedding Piwigo galleries into a WordPress page

We’ve been looking for a new gallery solution for some of our sites and Piwigo looks to have most of the features we are looking for. The unfortunate part is Piwigo is not designed to be embedded. I want to embed the gallery into a page so I can use my WordPress theme to insert the header and footer. It will mean less upkeep as I adjust my WordPress theme, I won’t have to update my Piwigo theme as well.

Piwigo is not designed to be embedded. To get around the problem, I have attempted two different solutions. First was a shortcode. The second method was a custom page template. Both solutions do essentially the same thing. They make a request of Piwigo, get the response back, change the URLs for links, form actions and images, and send the results to the screen. At the moment, both solutions have the same two problems. The title of the page does not reflect where you are in the gallery and logging in does not work.

The title problem is fixable on the template but not on the shortcode, at least not so search engine crawlers can index the images. The problem with logging in is one I’m still working on. Also of note here is that I am currently using some of the standard themes with Piwigo. To make either of these solutions work well, I should create a custom theme that doesn’t output the HTML head section or any header or footer for the page. That’s on the to-do list.

For the logging in problem, I thought the problem was related to cookies. It might still be, but in both cases I have forwarded on the cookies Piwigo sets. It may also have to do with how Piwigo does a redirect after logging in. I need to look into this further.

With any luck, I’ll get these problems fixed. Once I do, I will release the solution for others to use. If anyone is interested in the solution as it is now, let me know. Logging in through the WordPress page doesn’t work, but you can go direct to the Piwigo install to log in. More details to follow.

Roger McNamee on Technology Trends

I have chosen a less dramatic title for my post than Business Inside did for theirs, but the talk is quite good and the ideas quite interesting. Roger McNamee is an investor and a musician. He seems to actually like technology and wants to see good uses of technology. Business Insider decided to highlight the quote “social is dead” in their title, but the talk is not much around that. His meaning of “social is dead” is that it is expected and maturing rapidly and thus new social start-ups are likely a waste. His suggestion is to focus efforts on HTML5 based experiences that are at least as good as what you can do on an iPad app. You can see his talk below.

No WP-United Progress

I’m sorry to say that to date I have not been able to make WP-United work with WordPress 3 series. I haven’t been able to spend much time on it so I do not think it is impossible, but it is not a trivial fix if a solution exists. I’ve been working on other projects here and will start posting on those things as time allows. I will try and get back to WP-United, but it is looking like it will be a while before I can.

WP-United 0.9

For those who haven’t tried WP-United 0.9, know it is very rough around the edges. The install instructions are incomplete and the only way to get it is from a source code repository. That being said, there is some promise. The WordPress plugins install on WordPress 3.1 without issue and things seem like they will work. I say seem because I did not have success getting it all working correctly yet. I stumbled on my install a couple of times and ended up with a problem I couldn’t diagnose and so I dropped it and removed the install. I will try again soon.

Part of the problem with 0.9 is its use of Flash in the admin to do some of the updates. It’s not very transparent what is going on so in my case the error I was getting could not be diagnosed. If I have success with my next install, I will detail the steps here.

WP-United update

Not much to say just yet. I have tried the same solution others have mentioned and got the same results. I prefixed all the colliding function names with wpu_ and now the template integration works and the user integration doesn’t. I will continue to look into the problem, but so far all I can do is concur with others’ findings.

WordPress 3.1 and WP-United

It appears I am not the only one having problems with WP-United after updating to WordPress 3.1. There is a forum discussion on this issues and the same solution is proposed as I would have attempted. The proposed solution was to change the function definition in WP-United to a different name, as the error indicates a function naming collision. According to the forum, this allows template integration to work but user integration fails. I’m not sure that the comments integration would work in this case, so I don’t think this is a viable option. Time to look at other possibilities.

Here is another blog with the same problem and solution.

WP United and WordPress updates

The latest update to WordPress broke my WP-United installation. There is a function definition conflict. At this point, I haven’t done anything to look into the problem other than the “standard” fix attempt of clearing the PHPBB cache. That didn’t work. I will be doing a backup and attempting to correct the problem soon. Will keep you posted when I find an answer.