Here’s a neat little addition to your WordPress site that should help make your site a little more personable – display someone’s Gravatar (what is a Gravatar?) on your site when they visit and leave a comment.  This post isn’t about how to display those nice little pictures as that is covered elsewhere.  But what we do want to do is encourage people to have one of those pictures to display in the first place. Making it easy to get a Gravatar My guess is that the vast majority of people and commenters on your site do not know how…

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If you have noticed, some web sites and blog sites show a picture of the author somewhere near the post.  And in addition, pictures of people that leave comments somehow show up by magic.  How is this done? The Magic of Gravatar Pictures Those little pictures that you see are called “Gravatars”  and they are supplied by a number of service providers.  If you have a WordPress site one of the most popular services is Gravatar.com.  This site hosts your picture and profile for free and associates it with an email address.  When you login to a WordPress based site…

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As you are probably aware, WordPress can be installed either to the root folder of your domain (i.e. mydomain.com) or into a sub-folder of the domain (i.e. mydomain.com/wordpressfolder).   There are some advantages and disadvantages to each, but in general I believe installing into a sub-folder is the best choice for the majority of WordPress installations.  It really helps to keep the site organized, especially if any other applications will be installed on the site.  By installing WordPress into it’s own sub-folder you insure that all of the files (with the exception of index.php, ,htaccess, or web.config) that are for the…

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Alternatives and Enhancements to the WordPress TinyMCE Editor Love it, or hate it… The editor in wordpress sure does have it’s frustraiting behaviors.  WordPress uses a custom version of the TinyMCE editor, and they seem to have really hacked it up in many ways.  It is very frustraiting to have formating stripped away from something you’ve written…. or have html code that you’ve placed on a page just get thrown in the incinerator with no recovery possible.   I’ve been battling this with WordPress for some time now trying many different alternative plugins.  Actually, I’ve confussed myself.  I’ve tried many different…

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Formidable WordPress Forms Plugin Formidable is a drag and drop forms designer for WordPress blogs.  The interface is well laid out and very logical.  To create a form you can start from scratch, or select an available template as a starting point.  To add fields to a form simply drag one of the available field types from the button list on the right and drag it to the location where you want it on your form.  Every field has a dropdown panel (see the Email field in the image) which shows all of the available settings for that field.  A…

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Visual Form Builder The Visual Form Builder is just like the name implies; it is a form builder that is much more visual than any of the other form builders that I’ve tried.  It also has a great set of features and seems to work quite well.  It seems to be the visual brother of cForms II.  While cForms II definitely leans toward parametric design, Visual Form Builder leans toward the visual design aspect.  There aren’t as many features for a form in Visual Form Builder, but it is still a very capable forms plugin.  In many ways it is…

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cForms II cForms II is a nice blend of drag and drop design with parametric design.  You can assign a very good range of values to various field and form design parameters including the ability to assign variable information such as user name, form name, and email to any field’s default value.  There is a good selection of validation checks and layout parameters.  cForms II also has a limited drag and drop capability for designing the form, which from what I can tell, is limited to changing the order of the fields presented on the form. Another nice thing about…

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Custom Contact Forms The Custom Contact Forms plugin has a lot of settings for you to modify.  It is a very parametric driven forms generator with no drag and drop that I could find.  It does appear to allow you control over just about every aspect of the forms appearance, and for those of you familiar with databases, allows you to create fields in a somewhat familiar way.  On thing I could not find in terms of features is the ability to use variables for field defaults.  For example, if there is a field on the form called email where…

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Form 7 This is an extremely popular forms plugin for WordPress, so I thought I would give it a try.  The thing is, my initial impression was so bad that I really didn’t delve into it very deep.  I was looking for a plugin that could be used by casual WordPress administrators; unfortunately Form 7 was just not it.  First, compared to other form software out there, Form 7’s interface was very clunky.  It is not graphical, and I really didn’t find it intuitive.  The image shows you what the default form is that comes up along with a partial…

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Great backup plugin service for WordPress If you’ve ever been dieing to backup your WordPress blog…. WAIT!!  I guess nobody ever puts that on the top of their wants list, so let me start over. If you’ve ever felt the need to backup your WordPress blog, I’ve got a great service for you.  It’s called MyRepono and it offers a super  way to take care of your backups.  It’s very unobtrusive, simple to use, and automatic.  It also backs up both your WordPress database and your WordPress site files such as pictures and themes. To test MyRepono out I took one of…

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