The ‘Microkids Related Posts’ plugin

Displaying a short list of ‘Related posts’ below every post can be a nice way to increase pageviews and decrease your blog’s bounce rate. But I find most ‘related post plugins’ to be very inaccurate. They either display posts having the same tags or posts that belong to the same category. Newer posts are more likely to be displayed first. Honestly, that’s the best they can actually do! Sounds foolproof right? But what if you know of a post that’s related but is very old. These plugins seldom display the older posts.

The only solution could be to manually select posts that you feel are related. Here’s a plugin that will definitely simplify the entire process. It’s called the Microkids Related Posts plugin.

This plugin neatly integrates into your Write Post page. Every time you write a post you can very easily search for a post that you know of and add it to the bunch of related posts. Check out the screenshot below to know more.

This is a screenshot from this post itself. As I type in the word 'wordpress', it searches for posts that features the word 'wordpress'. Then you can add them manually.
This is a screenshot from this post itself. As I type in the word 'wordpress', it searches for posts that features the word 'wordpress'. Then you can add them manually.

So when I install this plugin, do I have to do this for all my previous posts manually!! The answer is a mix of both yes and no. When I write post A and mark B as related to A, A is also marked as related to B automatically. So when I edit post A, I don’t have to edit post B. That’s half the job done!

So here’s a plugin worth giving a shot. Try it out. If you don’t like it, you could always dump it!
Note: The ‘Similar Posts’ you see below were not generated by the plugin. I’ll be using it when I have the time to do it.

Upgraded to WordPress 2.6, do I need to upgrade my theme??

A caption below an image looks neat
A caption below an image looks neat

Every few days, the guys at come up with an upgrade to their brainchild, the WordPress blogging platform. Last week they launched wordpress 2.6. With every new release, most of us upgrade our WP installations immediately but have we ever modified our themes before? If you upgraded to wordpress 2.6, you do need to upgrade your theme.

WP2.6 along with CollectiveRay gave us the feature to use captions for our images. I tried using these captions and they just wouldn’t show up. The captions looked like plain text. Then it struck me. The CSS needs to be modified to facilitate captions. Here’s what you can try out.

Open your Stylesheet (style.css) for the theme you are currently using and pasted the following code into it. Place it anywhere in the CSS file and it should work.

/* Captions (WordPress 2.6 stuff) */
div.aligncenter {
display: block;
margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;

.wp-caption {
border: 1px solid #ddd;
text-align: center;
background-color: #f3f3f3;
padding-top: 4px;
margin: 10px;
-moz-border-radius: 3px;
-khtml-border-radius: 3px;
-webkit-border-radius: 3px;
border-radius: 3px;

.wp-caption img {
margin: 0;
padding: 0;
border: 0 none;

.wp-caption p.wp-caption-text {
font-size: 11px;
line-height: 17px;
padding: 0 4px 5px;
margin: 0;
/* */
/* End captions */

Change the value of background-color to whatever you wish. f3f3f3 is a cool blue which looks great for captions. On the top of this post, you can see an image with a caption below it. Neat huh!

Shareaholic – Firefox Plugin for those who love to share

Shareaholic Firefox PluginDidn’t our elders always teach us the joys of sharing? Well, now that I think of it, sharing is fun! Gets me a lot of traffic when people share the stuff I write (you know where I’m getting to, right?). If I like something on the net, I share it with you people. That’s what this blog is all about!

Now here’s a firefox plugin that makes sharing a lot simpler. It is called Shareaholic and can be downloaded here. Neat lil plugin to say the least. Using Shareaholic you can share any content you like over all of the major bookmarking sites. Just hit right-click >> Shareaholic and you see a bunch of sites you can submit the current page to. Then there’s also a neat button that the plugin adds to your browser. It has the same features there too. Both options have been shown in the screenshots below:

When you right-click on the page you want to share (left) and the button the plugin adds to the toolbar (right)
When you right-click on the page you want to share (left) and the button the plugin adds to the toolbar (right)

Then there’s also the option to just Shift-Z, which brings up a small form where you enter the email-addresses of people you want to share the page with. Check out the screenshot to know more. Neat huh!

Hit Shift-Z and you can mail the current page to your buddies
Hit Shift-Z and you can mail the current page to your buddies

Shareaholic Homepage:
Services included: digg,, facebook, friendfeed, google bookmarks, google reader notes, kaboodle, magnolia, mixx, myspace, pownce, reddit, stumbleupon, tumblr, twitter, and ycombinator.

5 things to do on getting insane traffic from StumbleUpon

Getting insane traffic from StumbleUpon?StumbleUpon is regarded by many as one of the best ‘social bookmarking’ sites. users would agree that Digg is more favorable for tech related articles. StumbleUpon, on the other hand, is more favorable for all kinds of other stuff. SU works on a simple principle that when SU users like some particular content, they give it a ‘thumbs up’. The more ‘thumbs up’ an article receives, the more users it is shown to.

SU can be a boon to newbie bloggers. If a post of yours makes it big on SU, it can bring insane traffic to the tune of 20k hits a day! Here are 5 things you can do when getting insane traffic from StumbleUpon.

1. Monitor Bandwidth
If you are on a self hosted WordPress installation, monitoring bandwidth is the most important step you need to take. If the BW limit for the month is reached, your CPANEL would lock you out because even the cpanel is hosted on your site itself and needs some of that bandwidth. What that means is that you no longer have access to your files as well as your database until you buy more bandwidth.

2. Turn on cache
wp-cache is a must have plugin in such situations as it greatly reduces the amount of data a returning visitor downloads from your server. This implies, same BW but more PageViews!

3. Add all known Bookmark buttons
My observation tells me that a SU may never generate revenue for you but he is ‘bookmarking aware’. Therefore if he sees bookmarking buttons, he might Digg it, he might Sphinn it. Make sure your bookmarking options are clearly visible. If you like the bookmarking buttons on my site, see my post on how you can have them on your blog.

4. Put up the Alexa stats box
Alexa gathers it’s data from users who have installed the Alexa toolbar. Every click on the Alexa stats box by a user without the Alexa toolbar is regarded as 1 visit by a user with the Alexa toolbar! Thus when every non-toolbar user clicks on the stats box, your Alexa rank will go up. Get an Alexa Stats box for yourself here.

5. Encourage commenting
Comments are the life and soul of any blog. Encourage comments by asking readers a question or asking them to voice their opinion on the topic. If you can think evil, you could even instigate a comment war yourself! As seen on YouTube, people love to fight it out. If a guy posts some contradicting comments, he is pounced upon. What that does its that it makes people wanna come back to the blog again n again. Make sure you have the Brian’s Threaded Comments, Subscribe to Comments and the Top Commentators plugins installed. They greatly encourage commenting.

Then there are a few tips that should be followed at all times. Make sure your subscription button is clearly visible. Give out great content every time. I’ve seen people delay posting new content when their latest post makes it big on SU. Don’t do that. Write for your regular readers. Go ahead! Make the most of the attention you get!!

Neat looking Social Bookmark buttons

We all know how Social Bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon can be a real booster for you blog. They can bring in loads of traffic at times. Most of these sites work upon users feedback about a particular content. When your visitors submit their vote in favor of your site, you are bound to get more visitors.

So how do you get more and more visitors to submit your content to these sites? The trick is to make your social bookmarking buttons visible for your visitors to click on. If you would like to use the buttons that you see on my homepage, follow the following steps:

  1. Download this file
  2. Upload the bookmarks.php file to your current theme folder.
  3. Add the code <?php include(TEMPLATEPATH.”/bookmarks.php”);?> in your single.php file just below the content of your posts.

That’s it! Continue reading “Neat looking Social Bookmark buttons”

What is a blog??

What is a weblogI was all pumped up when I started my blog a few months ago. But the enthusiasm soon fizzled out when I realized that people around me didn’t know what a blog was! They didn’t know that a blog is updated very regularly. That it can be subscribed to! That it can be commented on! This post is for them.

So what is a weblog? Weblog, or more commonly known as a blog, is a site that has articles (news, views, reviews etc.) sorted and displayed in a chronological order. Whenever bloggers create new content, sometimes even as frequently as a couple of times a day, the old content is pushed down. The old content is seldom taken off.

BlogMoreover, a blog has many advantages over a static webpage. As you see in my sidebar, posts can be categorized. Thus you can view posts according to their category, tags, authors (on multi-author blogs), month, year, etc.

Then, blogs can also be subscribed to. Every blog has it’s own subscription link. This is my subscription link. Subscribe using any browser (except the ancient IE6 ofcourse!) or via a feed reader like the Google Reader or Bloglines.

Another advantage of a blog is that you have to code it just once and not bother about HTML jargon ever again! Moreover, it is very easy to setup or create free blogs.

what a Blog isThus to sum it up, a blog is a site where content comes before the bling. Bloggers don’t have to worry much about the design. Just a post title and content is all you need to make a new post. Bloggers interact with each other. They link to each other’s content. Good content is never thrown away. Rather it is ‘archived’.