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How to Create a Twitter API for WordPress
Twitter, Wordpress

How to Create a Twitter API For WordPress

So you have a brand new, shiny WordPress site and you want to pull in your Twitter feed? And why wouldn’t you. You invest so much time perfecting those 140 character broadcasts. There are several good plugins that will help you accomplish this, but we will cover that in a future blog post.

Before you can incorporate your Twitter feed into your WordPress site, you will need to create a Twitter Application. While this fancy language makes this seem very technical, it is actually pretty easy to do.

Create Twitter ApplicationCreate A Twitter Application

  1. To get started, point your web browser to https://apps.twitter.com and sign in with your Twitter account.
  2. Click the button that says “Create New App”.
  3. Complete the “Create an application” form.
  4. Once the form is submitted, you will receive a confirmation screen with some information that you will use to pull your Twitter feed into your WordPress site.

In most cases, you will probably only need the Consumer Key, Consumer Secret, Access Token, and Access Secret. If you find that you need more of this information later, you will be able to login and access it. So what are all these fancy numbers? These API keys are used to access your Twitter information by third-party applications, such as the plugin you will be using to pull your Twitter feed into your WordPress site. It is important to keep this information confidential.

In the next post, I’ll show you how to use this information with a WordPress plugin to pull your Twitter feed into your website. Stay tuned!

Add A Favicon To Your Wordpress Site
Wordpress

Add A Favicon To Your WordPress Site

A favicon, or shortcut icon, is that really small image that shows up next to the website title in a browser. Yes, it’s very tiny, but it helps visitors to your site easily identify your brand. Most people probably never even notice favicons, but if you glance up at the tabs in your web browser right now, this will begin to make more sense. If you are like most folks, you have multiple tabs open at any given time. As the image below illustrates, favicons help you quickly and easily identify what sites you are on within those tabs. Also note that favicons are used when users bookmark your site in their web browser.

Add A Favicon To Your WordPress Site

Creating a Favicon
This is actually a very simple process. Open your favorite graphics editor and start with a square canvas of 128×128 pixels (we will resize this later). Create your favicon and save it in case you need to make edits later. Remember it is best to keep this image very simple. After all, it is very tiny and there isn’t a lot of room to work with. Once you are ready, resize it to a 16×16 square and save it as a PNG file.

While most modern browsers will display PNGs, older versions of IE will not (wait, you’re not still using Internet Explorer are you? Different article…). To ensure that your favicon will work properly in all browsers, I recommend that you convert it to an ICO file. Need help with that? Check out this Instructables video.

Add Your Favicon To Your WordPress Site
Once you have your completed ICO file, name it “favicon.ico” and upload it to the root directory of your website, and place this code in your WordPress theme’s header.php:

<link rel="icon" href="http://www.yourwordpresswebsite.com/favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon" />
<link rel="shortcut icon" href="http://www.yourwordpresswebsite.com/favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon" />

That’s it. If your favicon isn’t showing properly, you may need to clear your browser’s cache. If it doesn’t look like you expected, go back to your original 128×128 image and make edits. Just repeat the process until it’s perfect.

How To Disable Automatic Wordpress Updates
Wordpress

How To Disable WordPress Automatic Updates

An automatic update feature was added with the release of WordPress 3.7. An out of the box WordPress install will now update itself whenever there is a minor security release available without any user input (for example, WordPress 3.8.1 will auto update to 3.8.2). The automatic update feature does not download and install major releases, such as 3.7 to 3.8, but allowing WordPress to automatically install minor updates and security patches may still be a concern. Several of my customers have asked how to disable these automatic updates in WordPress.

WordPress decided not to include an easy on/off button for disabling automatic updates, but this can be accomplished with a very simple line of code.

To disable WordPress automatic updates, edit your wp-config.php file and add the following line of code:

define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );

Save your changes to disable automatic updates. You will still receive a notification in your WordPress admin panel when a new version is available, allowing you to control when updates are installed.

I hope you have found this information helpful. What are your thoughts? Do you want WordPress to automatically install updates, or will you disable them?

Stealth Login Page Wordpress Plugin
Wordpress

WordPress Security – Add Authorization Code To Login Page With Stealth Login Page Plugin

The Stealth Login Page Plugin adds an authorization code field to your wp-login.php page. If anyone tries to login to your WordPress admin panel without entering the authorization code correctly, they are redirected to a website of your choosing.

While this isn’t comprehensive security for your WordPress site by any means, it will help guard against hackers, brute-force attacks, and bots.

To install the WordPress Stealth Login Page Plugin:

1. Login to your WordPress admin panel

2. Select Plugins, Add New from the menu on the left

3. Search for, install, and activate the Stealth Login Page plugin

4. Select Settings, Stealth Login Page from the menu on the left

Stealth Login Page WordPress Plugin

5. Check Enable Stealth Mode, enter an authorization code in the space provided, and provide a website redirect for unauthorized attempts

Stealth Login Page WordPress Plugin

6. Click Save Settings

Stealth Login Page WordPress PluginObviously, it is very important that you don’t forget your authorization code or you will not be able to access your WordPress admin panel. Once these steps are complete, your login page will now include an authorization code field.

What other plugins or methods do you use to secure your WordPress site? Leave your ideas and feedback in the comment section.

Wordpress Google XML Sitemaps for Search Engine Optimization
Wordpress

Building Sitemaps For WordPress With Google XML Sitemaps Plugin

Sitemaps are very important for search engine optimization on any website. Simply put, they are a way to tell search engines about the pages included on your site. This helps search engines keep up with a list of all the pages of your website, including those that may not normally be discovered in their normal crawling process. There are many WordPress plugins that will create a sitemap for you, but I prefer to use Google XML Sitemaps. This plugin generates XML sitemaps for your WordPress site and even notifies Google, Bing, and Yahoo each time you create a new post. To setup Google XML Sitemaps for your WordPress site:

1. Login to your WordPress admin panel

2. Select Plugins, Add New from the menu on the left

3. Search for “Google XML Sitemaps” and install it

4. Once installed, go to Settings, XML Sitemaps in the menu on the left

wordpressgooglexmlsitemapsseo1

5. This will take you to the settings page. If you don’t have a lot of knowledge about sitemaps and search engine optimization, just leave all the default settings and create the sitemap by using the link at the top of the page – “The sitemap wasn’t built yet. Click here to build it the first time.”

wordpressgooglexmlsitemapsseo2

6. That’s it!  You will receive a confirmation that the sitemap was built and submitted to search engines.

Do you have tips or other helpful information to share about building sitemaps or WordPress SEO? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.

 Need help with building a sitemap for your WordPress site? 

Wordpress Permalink Search Engine Optimization
Wordpress

Improve WordPress Search Engine Optimization (SEO) With Good Permalink Structure

One of the great things about WordPress is that it’s one of the best content management systems you can use for SEO right out of the box, and there are a lot of good plugins you can install to enhance your search engine optimization efforts. One very important consideration for your WordPress site is the correct use of permalinks. It is a well known fact that URLs are very important for SEO. Thankfully, WordPress has a built-in feature for changing your URL structure, also known as permalink structure.

The default permalinks in WordPress are actually horrible for SEO because they make no semantic sense. Take a look at these examples of default permalink structure:

  • Post Permalink: wordpressseo.com/?p=14
  • Page Permalink: wordpresseo.com/?page_id=14
  • Category Permalink: worpdressseo.com/?cat=14
  • Tag Permalink: wordpressseo.com/?tag=tag-name
  • Archive Permalink: wordpresseo.com/?m=201311

Do those links make any sense to you? Probably not. And they don’t make any sense to Google, Yahoo, Bing, or other search engines either. Fortunately, this is easily corrected. The recommended permalink structure for good search engine optimization is:

  • “/%category%/%postname%/” or
  • “/%postname%/”

Wordpress Permalink Structure for Search Engine Optimization - SEOTo make this change, go to Settings, Permalinks in your WordPress admin panel. Select Custom Structure and enter one of the selections above (see screenshot on the right). If you use “/%category%/%postname%/”, your URLs will now look like this:

  • Post Permalink: wordpressseo.com/cat-name/post-name
  • Page Permalink: wordpressseo.com/page-name
  • Category Permalink: wordpressseo.com/cat-name
  • Tag Permalink: wordpressseo.com/tag-name
  • Archive Permalink: wordpressseo.com.com/2013/11 or example.com/2013

These are a lot easier for people and search engines to understand. For example, the permalink of this post is “http://chrisdecker.com/wordpress/improve-wordpress-search-engine-optimization-seo-with-good-permalink-structure/”. This will help search engines better determine what your post or page is about. I generally tend to use one category per post on my blog, but if you like to use more than one category, you should use the “/%postname%/” permalink structure so that your links don’t become messy and you don’t confuse your readers.

What other ideas or recommendations do you have for optimizing your WordPress sites for search engines? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Wordpress

How To Customize Your WordPress Login Page Logo

Change WordPress Login Page LogoChanging your WordPress Login logo is fairly easy to do and is a nice touch for your customers. It helps carry their brand across the site and shows that you pay attention to details.

First, size your logo to 320 x 123 and save as a PNG file (in our example below, we saved the file as “adminpanellogo.png”). Upload this file to the “images” folder of your current theme, then open your theme’s “functions.php” file and add the code below.

//Custom WordPress Login Logo
 function my_custom_login_logo() {
 echo '<style type="text/css">
 #login h1 a { background-image:url('.get_bloginfo('stylesheet_directory').'/images/adminpanellogo.png) !important; background-size: 320px 123px !important; height: 123px !important; width: 320px !important; }
 </style>';
 }
 add_action('login_head', 'my_custom_login_logo');

Voila, your custom logo should now show on your WordPress Login page!