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Month: March, 2007

Upgrading WordPress to a new point version

22 March, 2007 (17:16) | WordPress | By: Nick Dalton

Upgrading WordPress is easy and follows almost the same procedure as when initially installing WordPress. I recorded step by step instructions in a video.

What’s the difference between Glyphius and Nemeas?

19 March, 2007 (13:06) | Tools | By: Nick Dalton

In a previous blog post I mentioned another tool called Nemeas that is used to score URLs. Several people have asked what the difference is between the Glyphius and Nemeas are and why they score the same phrase differently.

Glyphius is built upon a large database of advertisement copy and the knowledge of which of the ads were profitable. When scoring a phrase Glyphius compares the text that you entered with the data in its database. If your text looks like text commonly found in profitable ads, then you will receive a high score.

But how does this apply to URLs? Good URLs contain one or more words that describe what the web site is about. Glyphius will score these words just like any word in a headline or a paragraph in a sales letter. For example www.guaranteed.com scores 199 in Glyphius 2007, www.priceguaranteed.com scores 283 and www.downside.com scores negative 44. Compare this to the individual words guaranteed (71), price (84) and downside (-172).

Nemeas on the other hand uses ranking factors data to score a URL. The premise here is the correlation between the URL and a page’s ranking in a search engine. If pages with URLs ending with .com typically rank higher than page with URLs ending .org, then Nemeas will assign a higher score to .com URLs. The same principle applies to all parts of the URL.

Since search engines rank pages for specific search keywords, you need to enter a keyword in Nemeas to score your URL for. The keyword you enter should be one of the keywords that you want your web site to rank well for and a keyword that you think users will type in to find your web site. As an example I used the keyword “copywriting” when coming up with the domain name for this blog.

You can also use Nemeas to determine if having dashes (”-”) in a URL is a good idea (it isn’t), or adding a number in front of or at the end is better (sometimes), the benefits/drawbacks of a long descriptive URL vs. a short one (shorter is typically better).

Nemeas does not have any concept of profitable words so you can construct “gibberish” URLs that score well in Nemeas. So you should not entirely discount your human intuition for what a “good” URL is. And if you have Glyphius and Nemeas, use both tools to score potential URLs before you register your domain.

Keep in mind that of all the things you can do to a page to get it to rank well in search engines, changing the URL after the fact is one of the more difficult things to do. So spending some time upfront to get a good domain name and a good site structure, is time well spent.

Isn’t there an easier way to install WordPress?

9 March, 2007 (12:43) | WordPress | By: Nick Dalton

Installing software on a Linux server is often way beyond beginner level. Even WordPress with its famous 5 minute installation requires you to create a MySQL database, a database user, assign permissions, and edit a configuration file. It’s not rocket science and if you follow my WordPress Installation Tutorial it’s just a matter of following along the steps.

But wouldn’t it be nice if you could just click one button and have the whole process be done for you? Of course there are solutions out there that do this. But as with any product you need to weigh the benefits against the drawbacks.

Some web hosting providers, like 1&1, provide a one-click installation of WordPress. When I last tried this about 6 months ago it was as simple as can be: just click the icon and a few minutes later you have a WordPress blog. The problem with this particular setup was that it ran as a shared installation and I did not have access to the WordPress directory. This made it impossible to install any new themes or plugins, thus defeating the main benefits of WordPress, in my opinion. Honestly I did not spend a lot of time to figure out if there was a way to install themes and plugins with the 1&1 setup. (If you know how please post a comment on this blog.) It was just quicker to install WordPress manually.

Many web hosting providers that offer cPanel also include Fantastico De Luxe. This is a tool that has installation scripts for many products, including WordPress. Since it’s integrated with cPanel, it’s very easy to use. One important item to be aware of regarding installation tools like Fantastico is which version number is being installed. Open source projects typically release new versions often. In many cases it doesn’t matter if you’re not running the very latest release. But when there’s a security issue involved you really want to be able to quickly upgrade to the latest version without having to wait for the installation tool to be upgraded and then for your web hosting provider to upgrade the installation tool.

Wikipedia has a good article on Fantastico.

Why use BlueHost for your WordPress blog?

6 March, 2007 (14:45) | WordPress | By: Nick Dalton

There are thousands of web hosting providers and dozens of web sites dedicated to evaluating and recommending reliable web hosts. Without diminishing the value of these sites, here are the simple reasons why I selected BlueHost as the web host in the WordPress Installation Tutorial:

  • BlueHost is listed on the WordPress.org Web Hosting page. The WordPress community is a tough crowd to please when it comes to commercial services. Their integrity, and thus their recommendation, carries a lot of weight with me.
  • Their versions of PHP and MySQL are recent enough to run the latest version of WordPress, and likely the next version as well.
  • cPanel is included which simplifies setup.
  • The price of $6.95 is competitive for the features included (host up to 6 domains, 200 GB storage and 2,000 GB transfer). If you pay for 12 months in advance one free domain name is included.
  • You get $50 worth of free Yahoo credits and $25 free Google credits. This almost offsets the cost for 12 months of hosting. (Be careful with your Google and Yahoo ad campaigns though; you can use up $75 in a hurry. Better get help from an expert before you get into too deep water.)

The Installation Tutorial shows how to setup your own domain and web hosting using BlueHost as an example. If you already have a hosting provider you can of course skip this video and begin with the next step: Download and unpack WordPress.