Create Custom Admin Color Schemes for WordPress Dashboard

WordPress 3.8 brought new color schemes to the admin dashboard. Now users can choose between 9 different color schemes to make the admin panel as colourful as their mood. The only limitation is that WordPress doesn’t provide to customize the color schemes by changing the color of particular area as per our wish. The pre-designed color schemes are good but what if you want to have your own design of color scheme for your dashboard? As long as we have plugins in WordPress, everything is possible, and that’s what made WordPress so cool. Admin Color Schemer is a free WordPress plugin to customize the look of the dashboard by creating own color scheme. Once you install the plugin, a new menu named “Admin Color” starts appearing under “Tools” section. One can easily apply basic color changes by selecting different colors for four area – Base, Icon, Highlight, Notification. Then preview the changes and if you find the new color scheme good, just hit the “Save and Use” button. If you want more in-depth customization for admin color for sections like, Buttons, Links, Menu, Submenu etc. then click on the “Advance Options” link on the same “Admin Color” window and change the color for these sections and elements as per your wish. Finally you are having your own self designed admin color scheme of WordPress dashboard. Limitations There is no export function available in this admin color schemer plugin so whenever you need to apply the same custom admin color, you will have to make the changes manually on the new site. Other plugins to add more admin colors If you find it difficult to design your own admin color scheme, there are plugins to increase the number of pre-designed admin color schemes for your WordPress setup. Admin Color Schemes is a free plugin to add extra schemes in your inventory. Once you activate this plugin, 8 extra schemes starts appearing. There is one more plugin to make the colorful admin more readable. It is Better Admin Reading which increases the padding, height of certain elements on dashboard to make the colourful admin panel more...

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10 Super Plugins to Take Scheduled Backups of WordPress Posts, Images and Database

Whether you use WordPress CMS for personal or professional blogging, eCommerce portal, news or magazine columns, it is very important to take backups. To avoid any accidental damage or data wipe-out because of some unwanted operations on hosting server, you should take backups of all data including the complete database, images and other files. Either you may choose to host the backup on your home PC or you can upload them directly to the cloud storage like Dropbox, Amazon, Google Drive or to any other you prefer. You may also choose to store the backups on other server, for example, if you own two different websites and hosting them on totally different servers (or may be different hosting providers), you may choose to host the backup of one site on the other server. The charm of WordPress lies in plugins and in case of taking scheduled backups, plugins play an important role. There are so many plugins available to take backup of a WordPress site on different locations. Here are few free plugins which still works without much effort. Free and working plugins for scheduled backups 1. WordPress Backup to Dropbox – You get 2GB of free storage on Dropbox account and can purchase more storage by paying a premium. Dropbox is easy to access and one can perform too many awesome things on the files stored over there. Using this plugin, you can schedule a backup of your WordPress Database (SQL dump) and all the files and folder (wp-content, wp-include etc.). That means, all your instaled plugins and themes will also be stored on Dropbox account. You can restore your site anytime using the SQL dump and the files. 2. XCloner Backup and Restore – It can take backup of any sites running on PHP/MySQL and for WordPress there is a dedicated plugin available for free. It takes backup in the format of TAR which takes less space. YOu can retore the backup suing the same plugin with XCloner.php script anytime. 3. BackWPup – Really good one. This plugin can take scheduled backup and store them on Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure or SugarSync wherever you prefer. YOu can also chose the format that you want for the backup file (tar, tar.gz, zip etc. are available) 4. wp Time Machine – Schedule the backup with the help of this plugin and apart from Amazon S3, Dropbox, you can also save the backup file using the FTP of other hosting server that you own. 5. BackUpWordPress – Get your backup in email. I know, in case of a bigger site with so much data, it is not a good idea to have backup emailed to you but you can choose to have only the SQL dump emailed....

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WordPress and Facebook came together with a Plugin to Make your Blog more Social

Few folks from Facebook and WordPress has come up with a plugin for self hosted WordPress platform to let you easily spread your words on the most used social networking platform. It was already happening by other means like comment platforms such as Disqus, Livefyre etc. Or Social Plugin of WordPress Or by adding social sharing plugins to share posts easily on social networks or online bookmark sites. But this time the plugin has come from Facebook itself and is purely focused on their platform. What is Facebook plugin of WordPress? Just like other WordPress plugin, it adds extra feature in your WordPress blog. By activating this plugin, you can easily share your posts on Facebook Timeline or Autopost on timeline with mention tag as well. You can mention your Facebook friend’s name while sharing the post after publishing that. You can also add widgets like Activity, Recommendation, Like, Subscribe and Send buttons. Most of these were already available as Facebook Social Plugin for any website or CMS platforms. You can also activate Facebook comments from this plugin to have SEO approved, indexable FB comments instead of WordPress comments. A Simple Activate or Some FB Dev Stuff to do? Whenever you are using any FB service on a website, it mostly works like an app. Once you download and activate the Facebook plugin, you will have to enter an App ID in the settings panel. To do that, go to the Facebook Developer page and create a simple app. There you will get App ID and secret code, just paste it on plugins settings page and you are ready to go. It involves a 3 step process to start using FB plugin. If you find this difficult, checkout the step by step screenshots below, Step 1 – Create an App Step 2 – Setup the Facebook App Step 3 – WordPress Setting – Enter the new FB App details Once you enter the app details, you will get list of add-ons to activate. Check on the add-ons like Comments, Social Publisher, Like Button, Recommendation Bar, Subscribe Button individually to activate one-by-one. You can activate all of them or may choose to have few selected add-ons only. You will have to customize each and every add-on or individual feature to make them look suitable for your site’s theme. For Social Publisher, you will have to authorize your newly created app to post updates on your site’s Facebook Page. You can link your Facebook Page and WordPress account by clicking on the link available on settings panel. Insights Tab Check the analytic stats and details of the FB conversations on Insights tab available under Facebook menu on Dashboard. I think Facebook folks tried...

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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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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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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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