Category or Tag?

With WordPress 2.3, I believe many more bloggers are using the native tagging mechanism. Its brilliant, and its a feature that many power users of WordPress have been yearning for. 😀

But if you are just getting started on blogging – you might wonder: Should you put this as a category, or a tag?

I think Lorelle has described the difference in an excellent manner:

A category is a table of contents for your blog posts, segregating your posts with grouped like-content.

A tag is an index word that helps you micro-categorize your blog posts. Tags are also keywords and search terms people use to search for the content and subject matter of your post. They are specific to the post content but can be used repeatedly to micro-categorize your blog post content.

I’d recommend you to look at it this way – put something as a category if:

  • You are going to write extensively on this topic, or at least, it is a significant topic on your blog, or
  • It is a project name or unique name that you have invented or created (that probably nobody will search for in a search engine)

Tags on the other hand, should be short, and typically keywords that people will be searching for in search engines, topics which are you will not be writing extensively on, or keywords not directly related to the main theme of your blog (but is relevant to the post you are writing).

For example, if one day Michael Jackson starts a blog and I’m going to write a post on it, I’d probably put “Michael Jackson” as one of the tags for that post, but if I were to have to create a category for this post, it will be more like “celebrity blogging”, or “celebrity blogs” (unless my blog is focused only on announcing celebrity blogs).

Got it?

Reoptimizing Blogopreneur

Search Engine OptimizationI didn’t have much sleep last night, because I decided to relook at the codes behind and re-optimize it with the new knowledge I have learnt since the last time I scrutinized the theme. It was also time for me to adapt and embrace the structural changes of WordPress 2.3 – particularly, the ability to tag natively.

I decided also that I will go ahead and use more plugins, so long as the plugins were very popular, or removing them will not cause a disaster to the theme. (My main concern about plugins is incompatibilty with future versions and the plugin author taking too long to upgraed)

Anyway, actually I didn’t do much but here are the simple changes I’ve made.

Going Fully Widgety

I decided that I am going to use sidebar widgets (and learn to write a proper one eventually), so I cleaned up the sidebar.php codes to just show up the widgetized sidebar. Nothing to do with SEO or what, but I just like to see clean code.

Now my sidebar is 4 simple lines of HTML plus a line calling out to dynamic_sidebar(). Neat

SEO is all in one

I gave in and used the All in one SEO plugin. Previously, I was using post fields to do this, and I realise that I sometimes forget to key in the description and keywords because the custom fields box was not on the first fold.

The change did not require me to do a lot. Most of the work is done by ticking checkboxes in the options box.

All in One SEO

I realised that the plugins implements the functionality that same way that I did – except that their custom field was “description”, instead of “Description” (its just a change to lowercase), so converting the old posts was a breeze since I knew a little SQL. Just had to run the query to change all “Description” to “description”. Done.

What I like about this All in One SEO, is the ability to choose parts of the blog for spiders not to index. To be frank, I really think Google is smart enough to tell that a certain site is a blog and be more lenient when it sees the same content listed under the archives pages or category pages, so I’ve never really bothered about that – my search rankings are still great.

But since the functionality is there, lets just give it a go to see what happens 🙂

Feeding Feedburner

I installed the Feedburner Feedsmith plugin, and directed all my feeds to Feedburner. Hmm. Don’t ask me why I wasn’t doing that earlier. Its an excellent plugin.

Goodbye UTW!

Finally, I said goodbye to Ultimate Tag Warrior, and imported the UTW tags to the native tags using the built in importer. The importer worked like a charm, and besides, there are several sources of great documentation on the importing process which I could refer to.

I deactivated UTW, and if nothing goes wrong in 2 weeks, I’ll drop them and then go into the phpMyAdmin to delete the tables.

Actually, the main reason for me wanting to do this reoptimization is due to the native tagging thing. I have much trust in WordPress that the tagging features will be really worked on in future versions to give us more flexibility and functionality. Well, I really wish I could know how to participate in the development and report bugs or things like that, but unfortunately, I guess my standard of programming is not up to the challenge yet.

So, what changes have you made to YOUR WordPress codes and plugins lately?

WordPress memory exhausted errors

Of late, WordPress has been giving me “memory exhausted” errors like this, on and off, whenever I uploaded images.

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 73400320 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 1 bytes) in /home/thebears/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 1453

Today it finally broke on me on my admin pages, and I could hardly change any settings.

For the uninitiated, this error means that WordPress is needing more memory than it is allowed to – which is a default of 8MB for regular PHP settings. One way to get around this, is to disable some plugins that you don’t really use. However, for my case, the plugins I used were all pretty much in use all the time, so I decided to get more help.

I searched up on the error, and it seems that it is time for us to move on – to allow WordPress to use more memory.

So, how do you go around doing that?

If you have access to your php.ini file, add this to the settings.

memory_limit = 16M ; Maximum amount of memory a script may consume (16MB)

If not, head on to your .htaccess file and add this line to it.

php_value memory_limit 16M


WordPress keyboard shortcuts – compose your post without your mouse

If you are…

  1. Using WordPress
  2. Have your visual editor turned off
  3. Are used to using keyboard shortcuts in applications like Ms Word

…you might wanna check out this tip by the Weblog Tools Collection on WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts – it makes typing your blog post a lot faster. 🙂

Yes, this post was done without touching my mouse.

But if you are used to using your mouse and you wanna add more buttons to your editor anyways, check out the WP-AddQuickTag plugin. :mrgreen:

WordPress is not the system for everything

WordPress is more publishing than content managementThese few days I’ve really been playing around with WordPress, using it as the backend system running a couple of sites, and it is really a great and fast system to get started as a simple CMS to manage a few pages.

However, as some of the sites grew more complicated, I also realised I’m stretching WordPress too far as a CMS. It is afterall, built to be a blogging platform, not a full fledged CMS. Managing user roles in WordPress, for example, would require you to really dig into the WordPress source code (which I haven’t figured out!).

As much as plugins can stretch the functionality of WordPress, I guess WordPress really needs to remain as a blogging platform, or a CMS for a very simple site, for more “content management” than “publishing”, it might be good to look into Joomla!… and for shopping carts, osCommerce might make a good bet.

So these are the two systems I’m going to do my best to get a hold on in the next few days… plus, get well from my 2 week long cough! 🙂