Create Colorful Surveys and Polls on WordPress with Colored Vote Polls Plugin

WordPress has won so many awards for being the most favorite Content Management System (CMS). Now a days, people are using WordPress platform as an e-commerce site, online journalism platform, as a Wiki, to showcase real estate portfolio and many more purposes. And of course it is the most recommended platform for blogging. Now if you want to take feedback from your site’s visitors or limited people in your organization, you need a survey or poll platform. There are so many independent survey platforms on web or even are few WordPress plugins available to use, but I am going to talk about the most colorful, beautiful and easy to use online survey plugin for WordPress. Colored Vote Polls is an amazing WordPress plugin to create questionnaire for surveys and polls in no time. If you are already having the set questions and set of answers, you can create and put the survey live in less than 5 minutes. Features of this plugin is well suited for people who wants to create a simple survey to collect the feedback and to analyze the data. Features of Colored Vote Polls Very easy to install and use All options available on WordPress Dashboard (Admin Panel) No need to register yourself anywhere Have mandatory or optional questions in one questionnaire Share the vote results even without voting Visitors may add more questions from survey page One can differentiate between answers by looking at their colors Stats in percentage to give better visual results Analyze the most answered or preferred question out of the questionnaire You can use this plugin to prioritize the tasks in an organization Paste shortcode inside posts or pages to embed the newly created surveys Demo Limitations Colored Vote Polls is a fully capable plugin to create questionnaires and online surveys and it gives proper stat as well (including total votes). It is a nice plugin for creating and analyzing a simple survey but professional users may find few options missing here. For example, in Colored Vote Polls, one can provide the same set of answers to all questions under one survey. If you want to have different answers for different questions, then it is not possible with the current version of this plugin. In result analysis, you get stat like total vote per survey but you don’t get the location of the voter. Verdict I think this WordPress plugin is a handy tool to create beautiful survey / questionnaire page to get feedback on certain queries. It is also very useful for creating a set of tasks to get feedback from users to prioritize them. But still there are some ‘good to have’ features which may come in next...

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Really Cool Flyout Menu of WordPress 3.3, Space and Time Saver

Really Cool Flyout Menu of WordPress 3.3, Space and Time Saver

WordPress 3.3 has been released and it is having lot many new features. One of them is the flyout menu which is really helpful as you don’t need to open each segment on Dashboard to see content inside that main menu. For example, if you want to edit your theme, you just need to hover your mouse on “Appearance” section and then you can see “Editor” as part of the flyout menu. If you are having lot many WordPress plugins installed on your WordPress setup, you may have lot many options listed under “Settings” panel. And every time you need to do some customization on a plugin, you need to scroll down to find the option under “Settings” panel for that plugin. Now you don’t need to do that. Here is the screenshot of the settings panel with flyout menu from one of my blog setup and you can see how easy it is to find the settings option for installed plugins. Flyout Menu in WordPress 3.3 This new menu style is space saver as you can see all the installed options without scrolling the page (if you are not having lot many plugins with individual tab options). For example, MobilePress, Contact Form 7 etc. in the above...

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What’s New in WordPress 3.3 Sonny

What’s New in WordPress 3.3 Sonny

WordPress 3.3 code name “Sonny” final stable version has been released and is available for download as well as update either from Dashboard or through FTP clients. It took 5 months for WordPress to release this new version as the last version 3.2.1 was released on July, 12. WordPress is an open source CMS where lot many people contribute towards the development and bug fixes. The development cycle of WordPress 3.3 was having total 584 open tickets and was closed by more than 150 developers around the world. So what’s is new in WordPress 3.3 as compared to the previous version. Here is the list of new features, New Features in WordPress 3.3 Drag and Drop Media Uploader Admin bar and admin header combined as single toolbar Flyout Menus Dashboard Welcome Area for each upgrade or new installation New Features Pointers Better co-editing with co-authors as there will not be any time lag in edit operation by different authors. This will reduce or chances of invalid locking Thumblr Importer to import content from Thumblr Don’t loose the widget settings even after switching back to old themes jQuery 1.7.1 and jQuery UI 1.8.16 Improved Editor API Improved performance for permalink structure with category as slug Better support for iPad and other tablets with responsive screen Find the complete changelog here. Welcome Screen of WordPress 3.3 Apart from the above enhancements and new features, WordPress 3.3 is also having security fix related to the comments feed. And it is also having lot many bug fixes. That’s why it recommended to upgrade to WordPress 3.3 to have new features as well as to implement these fixes. Note – Code name “Sonny” is given in honor of the great jazz saxophonist Sonny...

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WordPress 3.3 – New Feature Pointers on Admin Dashboard

WordPress is getting more features, looks and performance related changes in WordPress version 3.3. Administrator of the WordPress site will see a welcome message with the details about the latest version after upgrading their WordPress setup. For example, once you will upgrade from WordPress 3.2.1 to WordPress 3.3, you will see a welcome message on the dashboard. Another new feature is the “New Feature Pointers”. Whatever new features will come with the new version, a pointer will keep pointing you on that with a small description about the feature itself. For example, on WordPress 3.3 dashboard, you can see a feature pointer (attached below) showing details about the new “Toolbar” where admin bar and old dashboard header are combined as one. You can remove these pointers by clicking the “dismiss” link available one the pointer box. According to the WordPress team, the new feature pointer is, When we add new features, move navigation, or do anything else with the dashboard that might throw you for a loop when you update your WordPress site, we’ll let you know about it with new feature pointers explaining the change. This new pointer feature is helpful for those who are not much familiar with the ongoing development of the WordPress code. They just upgrade the WordPress setup to avoid any security issue. Now they can also see what new features has been added and how they can utilize the feature for their...

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WordPress 3.3 – No more Performance Issue with Category in Permalink

WordPress is having custom permalink feature where you can provide the way you want the permalink on your site. The default one is blog_url/?p=post_id. On the permalink structure page under settings panel, you can choose to have date, post title, category, post_id etc. in the permalink structure. With a small change in .htaccess file, your new permalink structure will be implemented. Having post_id and the post_title in permalink structure is fine but there is some performance problem with category in permalink structure. In WordPress 3.3, development team has rectified the issue and you will not have any problem in having category_slug in the permalink structure of the WordPress site. According to the team, You have more freedom when choosing a post permalink structure. Skip the date information or add a category slug without a performance penalty Actually the rewrite rules were generated inconsistently for the permalink structure of /%category%/%postname%. Now the problem has been solved and after editing the post.php core file, they have achieved the expected result. So from WordPress 3.3 and onwards, you can use Category in the permalink structure without worrying about the performance issue. WordPress 3.3 Release Candidate 3 is available for testing purpose. It is expected that WordPress team will release the final version of WordPress 3.3 in first week of January. There are only 3 open tickets in WordPress 3.3 milestone on Trac as they have closed 581 till...

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7 WordPress Plugins To Add Falling Snow on Blog Pages, Posts and Images

Christmas is coming and the holiday season has already started. It’s time to play in the falling snow and celebrate the occasion with family and friends. If you own a WordPress blog, then why not to give a snow fall effect over there to celebrate this occasion with your visitors and readers. WordPress.com, the free blogging platform has already started playing the snow fall effect on their sites. If you are using self hosted WordPress installed on your server, then here are the plugins that may help you in adding the snow fall effect in no time. I am starting this list with a simple plugin which will add snow fall effect just like WordPress.com sites. 1. Let It Snow Very simple and easy to customize plugin to add snow fall effect. There is no flash work involved in this plugin and even you can see the melting ice at the bottom of the page by enabling that effect. Download 2. WordPress Falling Snow Plugin It can help you in adding snow fall effect on specific image or banners. The problem is that once you will add the effect on certain image, that will become flash and you will have to provide the target URL in the settings panel. It can add 2D and 3D effect of snow fall as well. Download 3. Snow, Balloons and more Apart from the Snow fall effect, you can also get falling leaves, rain drops, balloons using this plugin. Go ahead and download the plugin from WordPress plugin directory. Install the same and customize options to start showing the snow fall or other effects. Download 4. Snow Storm Another WordPress plugin to add snow fall effect to celebrate the Christmas occasion with your visitors. Download 5. iCaughtSanta This plugin can add snow fall effect and can also add a peel effect with iCoughtSnata Affiliate Link. I am not sure whether you want that affiliate link or not, you can disable the same from settings panel of the plugin. Download 6. Season Greetings Another WordPress plugin to celebrate different occasions. For example, it is also having Indian Festival icons like Diwali diyas floating around the webpage. You can get snow fall effect on pages and posts of your WordPress blog. Download 7. WP Flake This one is a very old plugin but still works on WordPress 3.2.1. It can add snow fall or snowflakes effect on your WordPress site. Download Bonus – Snowstorm Script for Non-WordPress Sites So above plugins can add snow fall effect on WordPress blog on a single click and even can provide options to change the color, number or flakes etc. In case you are running a non-Wordpress site, for...

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WordAds – It’s Time to Make Money from WordPress.com Blogs

WordPress.com  (a free blogging platform) users are making money since long through different Ad agencies or by serving affiliate links. Advertisement platforms like Google Adsense are there to start with by placing the ad code through widgets. So the big news is not that WordPress.com users can now start making money but the big news is that they are going to have a unique and native advertisement platforms probably with more dedicated ads related to their blog. Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, has launched an advertisement platform named “WordAds” in partnership with Federated Media. Right now, they are accepting the application from WordPress.com users to enroll their blog for ad placement. How WordAds is going to be different from Google Adsense According to the release note from Automattic, around 50,000 new blogs are created on each day and blogs are different from the normal websites on web. They are actually or should be thoughts and expressions or views about something and they should be treated differently than normal websites (corporate, shopping, applications etc.). Google Adsense serve relevant ads on blog or normal website but it doesn’t differentiate between these two. As per the release note, it seems that Federated Media and Automattic are planning to serve ads related to blogging or views about the topic of your blog. We will have to wait for the first serve of WordAds on a WordPress.com blog. WordAds and Adsense – Both on Single Blog? WordPress.com users can insert Google Adsense ads in their theme template using Widgets as they don’t get access to edit the theme file. And WordAds are optional service which they can choose to have on their site as well. So I don’t think Automattic company is going to restrict earning from WordAds only. That means you can use WordAds and Google Adsense both on single blog after getting approval for WordAds. How to Get for WordAds on WordPress.com Blog? If you are having a WordPress.com blog with custom domain and if the blog is visible to public, then you can apply for WordAds from this page. Here you need to login with your WordPress.com user-id and password and then choose the blog that you want to enroll for WordAds. Then you need to provide few details about the blog, for example the niche of the blog, current traffic etc. Then WordPress.com team will review your request and will notify you about the approval status. WordAds approval depends on the level of traffic, language of the blog, niche (topic) of the blog and user engagement. WordAds – WordPress Plugin Currently the announcement is only for WordPress.com users. Self hosted WordPress users will have to wait to see if the...

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3 Ways to Add Google+ Profile Widget on WordPress Blog

New social networking platform Google+ is getting popularity day by day. Many of us are already using this awesome platform and increasing the circle. Features like Hangout, Notification on search engine homepage, Spark and much more are really good in Google+. Even Facebook and Twitter are facing the heat and they are planning to come up with new features to compete with this new kid from search engine giant. Recently Facebook launched the video chat feature in collaboration with Skype to compete with Google+ hangout but early reviews are showing Google+ hangout quality much better than Facebook video chat application. Anyway, if you are using Google+ and own a WordPress blog and want to increase the followers, then you should try embedding the Google+ profile widget in sidebar of the blog. This way you status updates and shared links will reach to more and more users and will help you in spreading the content of the blog to maximum people. There is no official update from Google about releasing a widget for blogs but there are few WordPress plugins and online service to add the profile widget in blog for free. Here are few of them that I tested on few test blogs. 1. GoogleCard WordPress Plugin It add a simple box in sidebar or any other widget enabled area of the WordPress template. Once you will activate the plugin from dashboard, you can see a new widget option in widget area of the blog. Drag and drop that option named “GoogleCard” to the widget area and provide the Google+ profile ID of your account. You can find the profile ID (21 digit number) in your Google+ profile URL. For example my profile ID is 101186485812857061482 where my Google+ Profile URL is “https://plus.google.com/101186485812857061482”. 2. Scriptrr Google+ Profile Widget Plugin This is more advanced and option rich plugin for the same purpose. Apart from “Add to Circle” option, it also shows the social networking links available on your Google+ profile. It also shows the details about you that you have entered on about page of Google+ account. You can hide the social media links from the Widget area. Here also you just need to drag and drop the widget of this plugin to widget area on WordPress dashboard. 3. Google Plus Widget This is a web service and not a plugin. It can be used on WordPress or any other HTML/PHP Websites. You just need to go to this page and provide your Google+ Profile ID. You can also provide other details to customize the look and feel of the widget. Now click on “Get Code” to get the JavaScript code that you need to paste on theme template or...

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Google Webmaster Tools Showing WordPress Update Notification

Google has started notifying webmasters about updating the software platform they are using. For example, if you are using older version of WordPress for your blog then you may receive notification in Google Webmaster Tools message section saying that you should update WordPress to latest available version. This initiative from Google will help webmasters in keeping their backend up to date and secured. Actually the updated version of software comes with security fixes and other enhancements. Features and newly added options are not critical but the security fixes are. That’s why it is really important to keep the updated software platform for your website. This is true for blogs, e-commerce sites and other application based websites or CMS. What I received from Google in Webmaster Tools is as below, Dear site owner or webmaster of http://clickonf5.com/, Your site appears to be running an older version of WordPress. Google recommends that you update to the latest release. Older or unpatched software may be vulnerable to hacking or malware that can hurt your users. To download the latest release, visit the WordPress download page. If you have any additional questions about why you are receiving this message, Google has provided more background information in a blog post about this subject. Best wishes, Google Search Quality Team This message came for one of my other site which is not very active. The above message contains link to WordPress download page and the blog post by Google about this initiative. Here is the screencast of my Google Webmaster Tools where you can see the WordPress Update...

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WordPress Installation via SimpleScripts

Popular web hosting service providers like Hostmonster, Bluehost etc. gives you cPanel where you can find SimpleScripts service icon to install application platforms in few clicks only. That way you save time in manually creating databases, FTP etc. for installation of applications. This is true for WordPress installation as well where you need to create database and then FTP files to the server. If WordPress setup is not able to create wp-config.php then in that case you will have to create the same manually. But if you are having SimpleScripts on cPanel, you don’t need to do these things as SimpleScripts will take care of everything. For WordPress installation through SimpleScripts on hosting servers, you need to select WordPress from the list of available applications under SimpleScripts. Then select the domain name from dropdown where you want the WordPress installation. You can set the blog name and authorization like User ID and Password before installation of WordPress. Once you will click on “Install”, the automated process will run and complete the installation within few seconds. You can open the WordPress dashboard and the homepage with default theme just after the complete installation. Your blog is ready to go. You can start writing blog posts using the dashboard panel. I recommend to install few important plugins like All in One SEO, WP Super Cache, XML Sitemap Generator, Contact Form 7 etc. You can change the theme of your blog and have free or premium theme for the same. Whatever customization you want to do, you can do that using FTP or automated process available on WordPress Dashboard. Here is the screencast that I created while installing WordPress for one of my blog using SimpleScripts avaialble on cPanel on...

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