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WordPress Blog Backup Methods

Posted on: October 30, 2007 I Written By

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I think that everyone that blogs should know that they need to backup their blog regularly. Unlike a paper journal, blogs can be backed up easily and copied to a zillion different places if you want. However, the key element to a backup is to do it regularly and verify they work. Backups get outdated quickly.

Luckily WordPress blogs have a variety of simple backup solutions. In fact, they even have a whole section of the WordPress Codex for backups. Here’s a few simple things you can do to backup your database.

WordPress Database/Data Backups
MySQL Database Backup – There are at least 2 ways to backup your blog’s MySQL database. One is using the backup utility your host provides. I’ve found this a pretty nice way to backup the entire blog database. I recommend this backup method for most people. Other more advanced users may want to use phpmyadmin to backup just specific portions of your blog. I know I often will backup my blog without all the statistics data. It makes my backup much smaller and easier to restore.

WP-DB-Backup Plugin – As of a few WordPress releases ago, WordPress has bundled the WP-DB-Backup plugin with the base WordPress install (similar to Akismet and Hello Dolly). That means that most of you already have it available as a plugin on your system. Everyone else can easily download the latest version of WP-DB-Backup. Here’s good instructions and FAQ on using it. This backup will save the backup file to your webhost by default and can be configured to regularly email you a backup of your blog. Pretty slick. Just don’t close your browser when doing it.

Export Option – As of a recent WordPress release (yes, I’m too lazy to check the exact release), WordPress has provided a very nice Export option. It’s a really simple way to backup the most essential part of your blog: posts, comments, custom fields, and categories. This backup method is so simple. Just go to Manage–>Export and then click the “Download Export File.” This create a really nice XML file that will be really easy to restore. It doesn’t backup your theme, all the options section, plugins, links that you might have setup. However, all of that can be recreated if needed. Your blogs posts and comments would be the hardest to replace.

WordPress Files Backup
Host Provided Backup – Every hosting service I’ve seen provides some sort of backup utility. Most of them use CPanel which has a pretty robust set of backup options. On CPanel you want to do a home directory backup. This will backup every file and any file you have uploaded or configured on your website. This is my preferred method, because it zips it up and names it nicely when I download it to my hard drive.

FTP Backup – This is a really simple method to backup all the files that WordPress uses to display your blog. If you are blogging on WordPress and don’t know how to use an FTP program like FileZilla, then now’s a good time to learn. Basically in this backup you just create a folder on your local computer and copy all of your blog files into that folder. The key challenge here is to make sure that you selected the right files and that your ftp program didn’t error downloading any of the files.

I haven’t tried to make an exhaustive list of ways to backup your WordPress blog. One time I lost my entire blog (there was no option to backup at the time) and the only way I could recover it was using Google’s cache. Trust me, you don’t want to ever have to do that.

The decision on when to backup your blog is up to each blogger. The question you need to ask yourself is how much data I’m I willing to lose if something happens to my blog. For some people this may be a day and others a week. Once you’ve answered that question, then you’ll know how often you should backup your blog.

If anyone else has suggestions on other WordPress blog backup methods, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

Side Note: This post only applies to personally hosted WordPress blogs. If you are using a WordPress.com blog, then you can only use the Export option listed above. Luckily, that export option should be all you need to restore your blog if WordPress.com decides to take down your blog.

Facebook Social Ads Network

Posted on: October 28, 2007 I Written By

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Today I came across an article saying that Facebook will be Launching a SocialAds Network on November 6th. I’m interested to see what exactly this is going to be. Something like Google Adsense for Facebook applications? Or is it more like Google Adwords for Facebook? Or maybe it’s both. I guess it does make sense for Facebook to launch their own ad network first. They certainly want to make sure they have enough inventory to be able to place ads throughout facebook and throughout the gazillion facebook applications out there before they open up an ad network to facebook applications. However, considering all the buzz over Facebook, I’d expect that Facebook should be able to sell ad inventory pretty quickly or use some of the ad inventory from their new ad partner, Microsoft.

In that same article, they also suggested Facebook launching an advanced analytics package and e-commerce features for the Facebook platform. That would be pretty sweet. I’ve thought about the e-commerce package from day one. I’ve always thought that the best way to monetize a facebook application would be for facebook to provide a means for users to purchase things using facebook. The facebook application I’m currently building is one that would really benefit from a well done e-commerce facebook package.

Highlight Author Comments in WordPress

Posted on: October 26, 2007 I Written By

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Today I was reading over some information about using Google Apps with your own domain and I just happened to see a post about highlighting authors comments in WordPress. I’ve seen it all the time in Techcrunch and I really like that they do that. I’ve just always been too lazy to change my template to search for how it was done. Turns out that it’s really easy. In fact, the link I sent above makes it sound harder than it really is.

I basically added an If the comment author email equals the admin’s email account, then list a style. Otherwise, don’t change the style of the comments. How do you like that pseudocode? Anyway, it was really easy to do if you know php and css. As I did it, I realized that my css still needs a lot of work. However, I think it turned out pretty good. I think the comments look much nicer with a little color.

An Informal Non-scientific Poll of Posties Stats

Posted on: I Written By

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I decided that I would start a little poll of various posties to get an idea of what kind of traffic posties are generating to their site. So, I’m going to try and gather the following info:
Pageviews
Visitors
Visits
Google PR
Alexa
Most page views in a day (basically the most page views your blog has experienced in a day)

For the statistics ones, just do the average for a week. Preferably choose a “normal” week that didn’t include a big spike in traffic. Feel free to leave the information anonymously in the comments or email them to me if you don’t want them as part of this post.

It would also be interesting to know how much you’ve made with PPP, but that’s definitely optional.

Of course, I’ll be soliciting people I know to get even more data.

PayPerPost’s New PPP Rank

Posted on: October 24, 2007 I Written By

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Today I decided to re-watch the video that Ted from PayPerPost posted about Argus’s new stats program. I’m sure that all the people who participate in PayPerPost have been watching Argus closely to see what the next iteration of PayPerPost will look like. It has been months since any really major changes to the system have been implemented. I’d say we’re all getting a little antsy, but maybe a lot of people using PayPerPost don’t really care. They’re just enjoying the money they make from blogging. Either way, here’s the unfocused video that Ted posted to the PPP blog recently.

While re-watching this video, I listed off each of the tabs that are shown (and luckily I think I was able to make out). They included: vistors, page views, ppp rank, alexa rank, google pr.

The only one that is really that surprising to me is the PPP Rank. I can’t believe I haven’t heard more people raging about this PPP Rank. I wonder how PPP is going to handle this ranking system. Is it going to be like Alexa ranking where it is updated daily and is easily gamed? Will it become a filter that advertisers use a lot? I think that this is going to drive a lot of people nuts. I can already see the posts on the forum about someone’s PPP rank being low and how PPP is discriminating against small time bloggers. Let me just cut that off now. It’s not PPP that is discriminating against you. It’s advertisers and advertisers dollars that don’t like you. So, start putting the blame where blame is due.

Regardless of all the hooplah that will occur over the PPP rank, I’m interested to see where I rank amongst the approximately 60k bloggers on payperpost. It’s really hard to make a guess since there are a lot of factors that PPP could use to determine rank. If they just do traffic, then my prediction is as follows:

Smuggle Me Blog – 5,267 PPP Rank
Something for Nothing – 4,345 PPP Rank

What’s your prediction on where your blogs will rank amongst the 60k PPP bloggers?

I’m sure that Mike Arrington is going to have another heyday (however you spell that) when Argus comes out. I’m just surprised that Mike doesn’t seem to have a clue what’s already going on at PayPerPost with Argus.

AIMPromote Announces New CRM Offering

Posted on: October 22, 2007 I Written By

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I’ve been taking a keen interest in CRM products recently. There are so many choices out there that it’s hard to keep track of them all. Today AIMPromote offered a new version of their CRM product for lead management. It looks like they have a decent product offering for a pretty low price. I also` love that they offer a 14 day free trial. It’s always nice to be able to kick the tires before you purchase something. It’s never fun to change your CRM after the fact. If all goes well, then I’ll be needed a good CRM for my new business soon.

Here’s the full press release.

Traverse City, MI October 19th 2007 — AIMpromote, provider of lead management and customer relationship management software, has launched a significant upgrade to their CRM offering. The newly added white-label CRM software feature enhances the value that lead aggregators can offer to their lead purchasing customers. The enhanced reselling functionality provides an intuitive interface to completely manage the selling of a privately labeled CRM as their own.

Lead aggregators operate in the highly competitive B2B space, and need ways to add value to their offerings. Michael Myles, President and CEO of AIMpromote said “The significant added value provided by the AIMpromote white-label customer relationship software gives lead aggregators a way to differentiate themselves in what has become a highly commoditized market.” He went on to say that “this product also provides an easy way to leverage existing client bases to more rapidly increase sales.”

The close tie-in between the selling of leads and the powerful sales management functionality of the AIMpromote customer relationship software enables the end-users of the system to easily purchase leads that are then available to be worked directly in the system. There is no importing necessary. Billing is also consolidated, providing an easy way for the end-user to manage their funds and billing profile. The system has been designed from the ground-up to offer high levels of customizability and advanced functionality for everyone involved, while requiring little investment in time.

The CRM reselling and lead sales functions functionality includes the ability for lead aggregators and CRM software resellers to completely customize pricing, including setup fees, discounts, and free trials. This flexibility empowers the resellers of the system to enhance their profit margins as they see fit. The CRM reselling system allows lead aggregators and consultants the ability to brand their system with their own logo and contact information. Integrated Authorize.Net payment processing gives an interface to take credit cards automatically, and have the funds deposited directly into their bank accounts. The advanced accounting and reporting pages in the AIMpromote system give a top-down view of the business as a whole, as well as for each individual account.

The tiered approach that AIMpromote has taken to the reselling of their powerful customer relationship management software gives even the end-user clients the ability to also resell the system. The billing and accounting system automatically takes care of everything for them, even automatically setting up accounts. “The ease of use and flexibility of the AIMpromote CRM for those providing business-to-business consultation services and those selling leads has created an opportunity to significantly improve the bottom line, with very little time or expense,” said Matt Wolfe, Vice President of Operations for AIMpromote. Wolfe added, “The service and functionality of the system is unique in that customers are supported through an integrated support ticket system by their parent account. The end-users of the system will never know that the service they are using is being resold, or that the company from which they are licensing the software are not the actual manufacturers of the software. To them, it won’t be AIMpromote at all, it will be ‘ABC Software Company CRM’, or whatever name the company reselling the software chooses.”

About AIMpromote
AIMpromote leads the market in growth and technology for on-demand lead management and CRM reselling solutions. AIMpromotes enterprise lead management software empowers companies in any industry to more effectively generate, delegate, and report on leads and the teams that manage them. AIMpromote is the only solution that integrates detailed web analytics with sales and marketing analytics to provide a complete closed-loop view of the sales process. The AIMpromote lead management software offers a completely customized solution that can be tailored to fit any organization’s customer acquisition workflow. The unique combination of having the most functionality, and the lowest total cost of ownership, AIMpromote is the most cost effective solution for improving close rates and marketing efficiency.


This post sponsored by AIMPromote

The WordPress.com Popular Blog Effect

Posted on: I Written By

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I was just looking through my long list of draft posts and I found this post that I never published. It’s a little dated, but still a good read.

I recently posted about making it to #1 on WordPress.com. At first I made it only to the top of English blogs, but I eventually made it to top of all 480 thousand blogs.

Well, it turns out that being at the top of WordPress.com brings even more traffic to your website. I always wondered how much extra traffic Scoble was receiving from being the top of WordPress.com. Now I know and so I’m going to share it with everybody.

First you have to understand that there are a number of ways that WordPress.com sends your blog traffic. The two methods I’m talking about in this post is WordPress.com and Blogs of the Day. Tags is another method, but that’s a topic for another day.

Referrals from WordPress.com to So You Think You Can Dance blog:
11-13 36 Referrals
11-14 40 Referrals
11-15 127 Referrals
11-16 396 Referrals (Hit #1 English Blog)
11-17 487 Referrals (Hit #1 Blog)
11-18 52 Referrals

Referrals from Blogs of the Day to So You Think You Can Dance blog:
11-13 3 Referrals
11-14 3 Referrals
11-15 11 Referrals
11-16 22 Referrals (Hit #1 English Blog)
11-17 29 Referrals (Hit #1 Blog)
11-18 12 Referrals

The best part of getting all this new traffic is that you are finding new readers that will often post a link to your blog on their blog. I should also acknowledge that the name of the blog will affect the numbers above. I guess WordPress.com is much more important than the WordPress Blogs of the Day.

It was still fun to think that my blog was the most visited that day out of 480 thousand blogs.

My Tooth is Killing Me

Posted on: October 5, 2007 I Written By

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The past couple days my tooth has been killing me. It goes off and on and so I think I know what the problem is. I have this “growth” on my tooth that makes it so even brushing doesn’t do enough. I don’t know why I don’t go to the dentist more often. My insurance pays for 4 cleanings a year which is a ton of cleanings. I think I was waiting for the dentist to call me, but they never did. I think Las Vegas dentists are busy.

Anyway, I’m stuck in all this pain and today on the internet I just happened across Dentemp OS which said that it would “Provides fast, temporary relief of pain and discomfort.” That’s exactly what I wanted. However, it turns out that it looks like it’s a solution for a different problem than what I have. Here’s the full list of Dentemp OS features:

Provides fast, temporary relief of pain and discomfort.

Just remove it from its plastic vial and it’s ready to use. No Mess! No Mixing! Several Applications in each vial.

Replaces lost fillings and may be used to temporarily cement loose crowns.

You can eat on it within 30 minutes of setting.

All products have been tested and fully comply with FDA Regulations for Oral Care.

Well, I don’t have a loose filling or crown that is causing me pain. Mine is something a bit different. I do remember one time when I was eating Pizza of all things and my tooth cracked and my filling fell out. I couldn’t believe it. I felt like an old man that had his tooth cracking and coming out of his mouth. Kind of like something you’d see in a movie. I’m not sure if they saw it, but I think they must have seen it. Either way, I wish I’d had a solution like Dentemp to fix the problem since as you can see I don’t like making the trek to the dentist. Dentemp could have fixed the problem in 60 minutes. Granted it would have just been a temporary dental repair, but it would have been nice to have time to decide when I’d go to the dentist.

Well, anyone know any good dentists in Las Vegas. It’s inevitable that I’ll be needing to make a visit.

Trying Out A New Web Host – Blue Host

Posted on: I Written By

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Today I decided to try out a new host. I haven’t moved this blog or any of my other blogs to it yet, but I’m considering the option. I actually needed to find a new host for a facebook application I’m having built. So, I started searching around for various hosts. There’s nothing really wrong with my current host, but they were charging too much, didn’t have as many features and they were located in Canada. Ok, so that’s a few things wrong, but not enough to make me go through the work of switching.

I’ve finally decided to try out Bluehost as my host. Here’s an image that describes some of the main features.

Honestly, I think the thing that probably sold me the most on this host is CEO of Web Host’s blog. He is a good read and someone with incredible passion. Ok, and I believe he’s also mormon and a BYU alum. Nothing wrong with supporting your fellow mormon BYU alum.

Although I guess that aside, the feature set of Bluehost is great and the pricing is comparable to other hosting solutions out there. My only concern is if I really hammer the host how it will hold up. That’s a problem that I really hope to experience.

I’ll let you know about my new host experience and I hope that eventually I can move all my domains to that host and save even more money on hosting. The good part is that it is now possible since Bluehost offers unlimited domain hosting. Not a bad deal.

Rare McDonald’s Monopoly Pieces – Only the Important Monopoly Pieces 2007

Posted on: October 3, 2007 I Written By

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UPDATE: Here’s a link to the 2008 Rare McDonald’s Monopoly Pieces

I’m sure that most of you that are reading this already know that you really only need to find one of the set of McDonald’s Monopoly pieces. If you get the rare McDonalds Monopoly piece, then you are essentially a winner. Find the rare piece and I’ll find you the rest of the pieces if you need them. In fact, you can just go and purchasedthe McDonald’s Monopoly pieces on eBay if you need them.

Either way, I still love McDonald’s monopoly game. Mostly because of the free food that you can win. I just love McDonald’s sausage egg mcmuffins. So good!!

Here’s the list of McDonald’s monopoly pieces for 2007 and the ones that are rare are in bold. Good luck!

#801 – Mediterranean Avenue
#802 – Baltic Avenue

#823 – Reading Railroad
#824 – Pennsylvania Railroad
#825 – B&O Railroad
#826 – Short Line

#803 – Oriental Avenue
#804 – Vermont Avenue
#805 – Connecticut Avenue

#806 – St Charles Place
#807 – States Avenue
#808 – Virginia Avenue

#809 – St James Place
#810 – Tennessee Avenue
#811 – New York Avenue

#812 – Kentucky Avenue
#813 – Indiana Avenue
#814 – Illinois Avenue

#815 – Atlantic Avenue
#816 – Ventnor Avenue
#817 – Marvin Gardens

#818 – Pacific Avenue
#819 – North Carolina Avenue
#820 – Pennsylvania Avenue

#821 – Park Place
#822 – Boardwalk

Looking for free McDonald’s monopoly pieces? Send a hand-printed, self-addressed stamped envelope to The Monopoy 2007 Game at McDonalds, Game Piece Request, PO Box 49308, Strongville, OH 44149-0308.