Mark Somerville wrote a REALLY cool WordPress plug-in that allows you to include PHP code in your wordpress posts, which really expands the potential of what you can do with WordPress. I highly recommend checking it out!
Elliot Back has written a really cool WordPress Customiation for Newbies guide that helps you convert a new WordPress installation into a customized blog in just a few steps. You should definately read his full article, but in a nutshell he suggests you start with the following tips (& he goes into far more detail on exactly how to implement them)
- Get Kubrick, a drop in template for WordPress, and install it
- Import your links. The fastest way to do this is to use OPML from your favorite RSS reader. It will have an “export to OPML” option somewhere, which you can use to save all the feed URLs to a file that you will import via WordPress->Links->Import Blogroll
- Get some plugins, and modify them to suite your tastes. Asymptomatic, the WordPress Wiki, Kitty’s Plugins, and the Web Log Tools Collection are all good places to start. Elliot’s top 5 (quoted from his post):
- Insert a breadcrumb navigation on your page
- Add an Acronym Replacer so when your write AOL, it looks uber-stylish
- Turn on the built-in WordPress->Plugins->Search Hilite
- Get an automatic linkifier to create links for you, when you only have the URLs.
- Random file is another useful WordPress plugin. I use it to rotate the banner of my Kubrick by adding a folder for random images.
- Turn on pretty links. Actually, I wrote an entire post on how to create search engine friendly permalinks that I think explains it a little better, so I’d recommend giving my post a read on this topic.
- Ping some services. If you ping popular blog notification services, you’ll start getting traffic to your blog nearly immediately!
Great post – thanks Elliot!
In the words of Six Apart, the makers of Movable Type, ‘It looks to be one of the best books on Movable Type that’s been published, including coverage of the application all the way up to version 3.1 and even includes dedicated chapters on creating and using plugins, managing syndication files, and working with the weblog APIs supported by the application.’
Sounds like I’m gonna need to get myself a copy of the Movable Type 3.0 Bible Desktop Edition! Of course, once I do I’ll post my own review at How to Blog
Neil turner wrote a really cool article on his reasons for choosing MT over WordPress.
Some of the deciding factors for him were the better templates that Movable Type comes with (as well as the ease of editing them without having to know cascading style sheets and PHP), a larger base of existing plug-ins (for now) and better documentation.
I’m curious to see if MovableType has been (or will be) updated by Six Apart to improve it’s interface to allow for rich text editing (WYSIWYG publishing) and a spell checker like they’ve done with TypePad. As I already pay for my own dedicated server, I don’t like having to pay extra fees to host my TypePad site elsewhere, so if I could have typepad’s functionality and ease of use hosted on my own server, in the long run that’ll be more affordable for me.
I’ve only tested this so far with Internet Explorer, but when you’re in Compose Post mode (WYSIWYG mode), you can actually copy and paste (or drag and drop) content from another web pag directly into the edit box for TypePad and all of the formatting, links, etc, are retained. So in my previous post, all I did was select the text of the article from TypePad and drag it into my existing post (after first doing an indent to try to indicate I was quoting — that makes me realize that one of the wysiwyg component elements that would be nice to have included is a button for the blockquote tag)