free photos for wordpress

Get free photos for your WordPress site

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That’s right, I said free photos. Finding free photos that you can use in your site, legally, seems to get harder and harder by the day. But there appears to be a shift in the photo world.

A few weeks ago, Getty Images made using the bulk of their images free. At least through the use of their embed process. Here’s a short quote we found in a post from TheVerge.

Starting now, that’s going to change. Getty Images is dropping the watermark for the bulk of its collection, in exchange for an open-embed program that will let users drop in any image they want, as long as the service gets to append a footer at the bottom of the picture with a credit and link to the licensing page.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/5/5475202/getty-images-made-its-pictures-free-to-use

But that story is not why I’m writing this article. Earlier today another big name in the photo world made the leap into letting people use their images. And that big name would be Dreamstime. But they went one step further and created a WordPress plugin.

Lake view

We used the new Dreamstime WordPress plugin to add the above image to this article.

Are there any catches?

Not really. I will tell you that you’re not going to get every image on the Dreamstime site for free. But you can find a ton of free images that you can use in your site. Just make sure that you leave the attribution alone, and you’ll be legal.

There is one thing that you will need in order to download images into your posts. And that is a free account at Dreamstime. But you can also do that while you’re in the plugin.

Installation

Installation works just like any other WordPress plugin. You can get the plugin from the WordPress repository, here. Or you can search for Dreamstime from within your WordPress site in the plugins section.

After you install and activate the plugin you’ll get a new button added to your editor when you go to add or edit new posts or pages.

dreamstime plugin

Once you click on that button you’ll get the interface for accessing Dreamstime photos. You can also access this screen by clicking Add Media, like you normally do, then just click on Add images from Dreamstime.

dreamstime plugin interface

Now if you’re just looking for the free images you need to make sure to click on the tab that says Free Stock Images. Then you can either browse through the images, or search for something in the search box.

They also provide an easy way to purchase and download the commercial stock images, in case you need something better than what’s in the free stock images.

The plugin can be a little slow, but what can you expect, you’re looking through 1000’s of pictures.

Don’t forget to download your copy of the plugin. And share this post with someone you know who could use some free photos for their WordPress site.

Better WordPress Category Descriptions

Create better category descriptions in WordPress

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We all know that you can create posts and pages inside of WordPress. We also know that you can create categories so you can better organize your posts. You might even know that you can add category descriptions.

But unless you know how to write html code there’s not a lot you can do with the category descriptions. See when you go to edit a description for a category all you get is a simple text box to put your text into. You can’t do any of the formatting stuff like bolding, italicize or even add a picture.

Category Description Box on WordPress

Now, if you don’t make use of category descriptions, then you’re not missing anything. But if you do use category descriptions what would you say if I told you there was a way to add an editor to the description box?

I think the word you’re looking for is Awesome!

You can turn that sad little description box into full blown editor window. Use the same editor that you use when you make your posts and pages.

Category description with editor tool bar

And the best part is it’s FREE.

All you need to do is install a plugin called Category Tinymce. This plugin was made by Kevin Heath and it has but one simple task. Add the tinymce editor to your category description text box. Thus, making it possible to format your category descriptions without messing with HTML code.

Check out the short video we made.

So what are you waiting for? Grab the plugin and start making better category descriptions on your WordPress site.

While I would like to thank Kevin Heath for making this little gem, but it really should be a feature that is included with WordPress by default.

Scheduling WordPress Posts

Learn how to schedule your WordPress posts

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WordPress is a great platform for managing your website. But did you know that you can also schedule your posts so that they get published at some time in the future?

It’s hard enough to publish new posts to your site on a regular basis. But what if one day you’re in a writing mood. You sit there at your computer and you are a typing typhoon. And before you know it you’ve got 6 new posts. But do you really think that you should publish all of those posts at the same time?

Just say no to posting now
That’s right, No! With WordPress, you have the opportunity to schedule all of those posts. You can have one publish right now, tonight, tomorrow morning, next week or even next month. Which ever day, week, month or year you want that post to publish, you can set it up within WordPress. And we’re going to show you how.

Here’s how to Schedule Posts

First things first, log in to the administrative side of your WordPress site.

WordPress Dashboard

Go to the Posts section and select Add New.

WordPress Add New Post

Give your post a title and add some content.

Add post content

Now, don’t hit the publish button. What you’re going to do is click the word Edit, that is right next to “Publish immediately”

Edit post date

And now a date line will appear below Publish immediately. This is where you can set the day, month, year, hour and minute. Make note that it uses military time. So if you want to publish it in the afternoon to add 12 hours to the time. For example, 3pm become 15. Once you’ve setup the date the way that you want it, click on the OK button right below.

Change post date in WordPress

Now your publish button has turned into a Schedule button. ow when you click that button your post will be scheduled to publish on the date that you’ve chosen.

Schedule WordPress Post

So go forth and schedule your WordPress posts with confidence. Don’t forget to share this with your WordPress friends.

Easy WordPress Security Tip

Another small WordPress security tip

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So you’ve got yourself a WordPress powered website. Maybe you’ve been reading up on WordPress security. Then you’ve probably have come across some security checklists that look like this…

  • Change your default Super Administrator name from admin to something else.

  • Install Securi plugin

  • Install WP Better Security or WordFence

  • Install Limit Login Attempts

WordPress Security Tip

That first one is kind of important. Why? Because everyone knows that the default account that gets created in WordPress is admin. So when someone builds a bot to attempt to crack someone’s WordPress login they shoot for the username admin.

But here’s something you might not have come across. I’ll do you one better than simply changing your Administrator username.

Our Super Easy WordPress Tip

9 times out 10 a person is going to create posts using their Administrator account. Why, because it’s easier that way. But here’s the problem with that. If your theme is setup to create an author page then your user name will be easy to find. Just go to any post you’ve published on your site, where it says Published by and has your name hyper linked, then you’ll see it.

Just go to the top of this post and you’ll see my name, Patrick Flynn at the top and it will be linked to my author page. But in that url, it has my user name. And now someone knows what username to attempt to crack.

So what do you do? Simple, don’t use your administrator account to publish posts on your site. Keep your Administrator account secret and create an Author account for publishing content on your site.

You can still use your administrator account for creating the content. You don’t have to physically use the Author account. Create your content with your administrator account, save as draft, and then change the author (via Quick Edit from the post list page) to your Author account and publish.

And that’s the easy WordPress security tip that I’ve got for you today. So even if someone got into your Author account, there’s only so much damage they can do.

10 best things to do WordPress

The best 10 things to do after installing WordPress

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So, you’ve decided to go with WordPress so you can blog your life away. Great choice choosing WordPress. But there is some post installation work that you should perform so that you could save yourself some time and can make your blog ready to make money for you.

WordPress

1. Change the Admin Password

When we install WordPress for the first time, it generates a password for you that is very hard to remember unless you have done some memory courses. So the first thing that you should do after installing WordPress is change this WordPress password

Follow these steps for changing WordPress password

  1. Login in your admin panel by following http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin
  2. Enter your default userid and password.
  3. After Login click on the “admin” link at top left corner of the screen.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen.
  5. Enter the new password.
  6. Save changed by clicking Update profile.

2. Upload Your Theme and Activate It

After changing successfully your password now time to change look of your blog from the default style to something more attractive. Select a theme that is very attractive and clean. When selecting a theme please keep some points in mind.

  1. it should reflect your blog.
  2. it should be very clean.
  3. it should be content based and should not use more graphics.

If you’re looking for a WordPress theme that’s a lot nicer that the free ones you can find within the Themes section of your site, then you might try Elegant Themes. And if you need something more customized for your business we can always make you a WordPress theme. Just hop on over to our Web Design Quote Request page and tell us what you’re looking for.

3. Add Your Categories and Change the Default

Categorizing your post is better way to manage them. That is why WordPress comes with the default Uncategorized category. But it looks odd when we see uncategorized category appear below the post for the user. Also, it’s not very helpful towards your SEO to use the Uncategorized category. So it is time to rename it with the category you want. at the same time also add some other categories in which you may want to add posts to.

4. Edit Permalinks

Before start writing or publishing your content it is better to “edit Permalinks” of your post. Permalinks are relative URL of your post that appear in the address bar of web browser. it looks very ugly when it look like this.

Default "http://www.yourwebsite.com/?p=123"

It is also not search engine friendly. we should change it to something that is memorable for the user and also search engine friendly.

Follow these steps to change Permalink settings for your post

  1. Login to your admin panel of your blog.
  2. Click on Setting tab in the left side bar of your Dashboard.
  3. click on “Permalinks” links.
  4. Enter “/%category%/%postname%/” in custom structure textbox. Or select the Post Name option.
  5. Save changes.

5. Install Google XML Sitemap

Google

Google Sitemap is plugin available to create a sitemap of your blog whenever a post is published on your blog. sitemap is very useful because they contain the structure of your blog and using it search engine easily process your blog.

Follow these steps to install Google Sitemap

  1. download Google Sitemap Plugin

  2. upload it to your website from Add new option available under plugin tab.

  3. after successfully installation activate it.

Some SEO plugins like WordPress SEO will create a sitemap for you. So if you’re running WordPress SEO, you won’t need to install the Google Sitemap plugin.

6.Activate Akismet

Akismet is a plugin available in WordPress that helps to minimize spamming in your blog. When user visit your blog some times they post some unwanted messages or they can post some advertising of their website using comments. Akismet will help filter most of these spam comments for you.

Follow these steps to Activate Akismet.

  1. Akismet comes with the WordPress installation. so enable it from the plugin menu.

  2. Activate Akismet is very easy. you need wordpress key to activate Akismet.

  3. Register yourself with the WordPress and get your WordPress Key.

  4. Enter your wordpress Key in Akismet Configuration and Tools Menu

7. Install WordPress Database Backup

Database Backup is very important when we meet some mishap. so we should take a Database Backup regularly. There is a plugin available that do this task for you. It will take your Database Backup and send it to by Email.

8. Install Google Analytics

When we complete our blog publishing we have some questions in our mind.

  • How many visitors are visiting your website across the world ?

  • How much time they are spending on your website ?

  • Where you should change your post ?

  • Which post people read most ?

So Tracking your blog is very important.you can do this task very easily using the Google analytics plugin.

Follow these steps to install Google analytics plugin

  1. Create Analytic account on Google.

  2. Download Google analytics plugin and activate it.

  3. Enter your analytics ID in the plugin option that will activate it.

Depending on your theme, some themes may include an option to enter your Google analytics in to the theme options. For most themes you can find the theme options by going to Appearance, then to Theme Options.

9. Install a SEO plugin

There are several WordPress SEO plugins to choose from these days. You’ve got All In One SEO Pack, WordPress SEO, SEO Ultimate and a few others. Our personal favorites are WordPress SEO and SEO Ultimate. WordPress SEO is a little better at automating the page titles and meta descriptions. But SEO Ultimate has something called Deep Link Juggernaut, which lets you setup rules to automatically hyperlink keywords or phrases throughout the pages out your site. Just pick the flavor that best suits your needs.

10. Test Your Blog

We have done some major changes till now in our WordPress Blog. So it is time to check how our blog will look like. Create a sample post and publish it. Go to the front and side of your WordPress Blog.

See, that wasn’t too painful, and you finished all 10 Things that are pretty important after installing WordPress.

So now it’s time to write your posts and publish them for the world to see.

Happy Blogging…

Well be doing a post later on about things to do for securing your WordPress site, so be on the look out. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus to keep up with us.

WordPress 301 Redirects

Simple 301 Redirects with WordPress… the easy way

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Doing simple 301 redirects on WordPress can be easy but, first of all, we applaud you for making the move over to WordPress. It’s a great platform to use for building your website with. Now, your first question might be…

Better handle those simple 301 redirects, why so?

Well, think of 301 redirects as detour signs. You have a website mydemosite.com and you made a page on that site mydemosite.com/detours.html. Now when you go a build your WordPress site there’s a good chance that your URL’s are going to change. In the demo, that page might become detours or detour-signs.

So what happens is that when someone visits your site looking for detours.html they won’t find it and get a fat big 404 error.

But if 301 redirect has been setup, you can have detours.html get redirected to detours-signs. Now when visitors try to go to detours.html they will hit a 301 redirect and get redirected to the detours-signs page. The 301 also is used to tell the Search Engines that  this page had been permanently moved.

404 page not found error sign

So how do you setup 301 redirects?

Well that’s the simple part. First you should have your old site still up. And have your WordPress Site installed in its own directory or on another server. We cover WordPress Site Migrations in another article, if you’re moving your WordPress website from one server to another.

The next thing to do is to install the Simple 301 Redirects plugin. Go to your plugins section, Click on Add New and then search for “Simple 301 Redirects” or the plugin can be found on the Simple 301 Redirects website. And then activate the plugin.

301 redirect sign

Now before you start setting up your 301 redirects in WordPress, you’ll want to setup your permalinks if you haven’t done so already. It seems the 301 redirects don’t work when you are using the default permalink in WordPress. That would be the one that adds the ?p= to your urls. The permalinks section is found in the Settings.

Also found in the WordPress Settings, is the newly installed Simple 301 Redirects. Click on it and then you’ll get a screen that looks like this.

simple 301 redirects wordpress

In the first box you’re going to want to enter in the webpage url of the old webpage that you’re trying to 301 redirect. So if you had an About Us page and the webpage url was about.htm then you would enter /about.htm in the first box. Be sure to include that first forward slash.

It the second box you’re going to put in the complete URL of the new webpage. You can simply just visit the page on your website and then copy the URL from the address box on your web browser. Then just past it in the second box.

Then just hit the Save Changes button and you’re done. At least with that 301 redirect.  Now if you were to try and visit the old page you’ll be redirected to the new one. And this also lets the search engines know that your page has been permanently redirected to the new one. Now just setup all of the rest of your 301 redirects.