WordPress dating

Do you want to transform your WordPress site into a dating website? This post will give you ideas how. I worked at some European dating websites that brought in a boat load of money. The reason they succeeded is they started in 2001.  I wanted to start a dating site myself, using WordPress. My rational was a lot has changed and if I could in a clever way leverage WP, I thought I could make headway and achieve market penetration in this overcrowded niche. Therefore, I started to test and experiment what the best options are for WordPress dating. This is what my research has come up with. I found the options are:

  • WordPress dating plugin
  • WordPress dating themes and premium themes
  • Social media dating, classified dating , forums – all extensions of WordPress
  • Making my own home grown system through a WP blog, extended with enlarged Gravatar, a personal page, search feature and connections to Facebook.
  • Other CMS systems
  • Non-WordPress open source dating scripts

Why use WordPress as a dating site? WP is trusted and easy to use, chances are you know it pretty well. It can be SEO friendly and a good platform to market with.  So if you could flip a switch and make it a dating site why not?

Why create a dating website? Besides money there is a human reason. We have all been there. Most of us have tried dating sites like match.com. I am a big believer that good things can happen online.

Here is a funny story how things have changed. Around 2003, I one time told my mother that I meet a girl on a dating site, she said ‘oh really’.  Yes, I told her our first rendezvous was at gas station of the Interstate (I was joking to emphasis how shadey the notion of online dating was). She rolled her eyes. Today, dating sites are the way professionals meet these days. I would recommend something like religious dating sites as I think they have the most success in finding real love.

I met my wife in person, not online. But I still think the idea of helping others meet is not bad. Now I think it is all about niche websites as the big players dominate the general field.

wordpress dating
I meet my beautiful wife in real life, not online. I do not consider myself extraordinarily lucky, but it was destiny.

Here is what I found out:

WordPress plugin

There are two WordPress dating site plugin. The one most people look at is wordpressdating.com. My recommendation is do not use it.

  • The problem is it does not look like it has been updated for years.  There is no real contact information on their site.  I don’t know anybody, nor have I seen any site, that runs from this WordPress dating platform. Why chance it?
  • Update: I did find a plugin datingsolutions.biz, I have communicated with the author Christian Davis and he was helpful and detailed in his explanation, nice designer mind you.   I do feel the add-on has value like any social or online meeting plugin-in  you add to your site, if you know how to bring people together and market (that is the real trick).  I have bought other proprietary WordPress extensions in the repository and had good success, the WP community is usually pretty positive.

WordPress dating themes

  • There are a few website that create dating themes. This looks a little better, more update. The problem is they are not WordPress. They trick you in the search by having keywords like templates + WordPress in the small print but they are not WP.  You can demo a few which I like. Another  problem with that is I know a lot about SEO. If you want a dating site to rank you need to write a pretty good darn theme code wise. In my review of these dating site themes they are only modest in terms of SEO.
  • I would  rule these out, they look spammy and are not run off WP.  One example is vldpersonals.com which has a lot of websites selling and reselling these templates.

Social networking platform

  • BuddyPress – Good set up, but not too sexy. You need a lot of customization to make it look tempting for people, the 2012 theme will not fly. Will work with most themes if you install and extra plugin for theme conversation.
  • Mingle – More user-friendly and compatible but not a mainstream core WordPress sponsored system like BuddyPress. I have a concern what if I build a site based on it and it and the developer will someday abandon the project.  But I like it because it is more compatible than BuddyPress with many themes. I ran into this issue when my Stallion theme did not work with BuddyPress or bbPress (works now).
  • Symposium – A professional look, but again like the other two it is more a social networking platform than a dating site. Has potential as it has chat and IM systems installed.  I thought why not base a site based on chat and video chat. However, did not AOL do this? Traditional dating sites are the best as people like to take their time.

Classified ads and forums as a dating site

  • You have heard of Craigslist dating, so why not a classified ad site run on WordPress? There are a plugin that can do this. I think the problem is you need to control spam and freaks. It is a big issue. It is more of a free for all classified then a well moderated niche dating site girls, and yes these are the ones you want signing up, would register on.
  • bbPress could be a dating site but it does not work with all themes and SEO is average. Update: I got to work with my favorite theme and bbPress is a real option for making WP a relationship CMS software. However, I still would like to try to make it work without bbPress as the code is only modestly SEO-ed.

Other CMS systems as a dating site

  • Joomla – they are all the same like WP in terms of options, you might as well stick with WP.

Using an open source dating script

You can pay 300 dollars for a professional dating site script or you can use an open source one for free. I prefer open source. Not a bad option, but still SEO is an issue. It is not easy to start a dating site. You need a lot of good content to get traffic to the profiles. I have not found a good free dating software that is really free.

You need to upload a number of profile initially to test and make it look like someone is using it as no one will register on an empty site. Dating site scripts do not give you any real advantage. I want WordPress to help rocket me to success.

My conclusion on WordPress dating plugins and themes

  • I am trying to modify the current highly SEO-ed theme slightly into a WP dating theme. This is where I am at. Gravatars a big part of this. For me, right now this might be the best option for WordPress dating. I do not have the end vision, but close.

If anyone has an idea or an easy way to make work less of a dating site let me know.  Again the problem is with any social networking for him or dating site is getting a critical number of members to make it active and self-sustaining. So what is the problem? No one wants to register these days. Further, privacy is a sensitive issue so you need a way to control this.Privacy is an issue and respecting this is hard to make happen if you do not require a lot of verification and areas that are not indexed by search engines.

I have tried, but have not been successful yet at creating something that is a WordPress dating site.  I need more time. I need to map it out better and will update this post when I get it to work. So it is a date. Stop back I your should see this updated soon with a successful conventional model.

It is not like simply creating a blog community and having people comment, without registration. I just need to brainstorm a little more. I am open for ideas and others to comment as I think this would be a great free contribution to the WP community.

Favicon and SEO – one signal

Favicon and Google algorithm change

How could this little icon 16 by 16 pixels matter for SEO and your ranking? You never know, it certainly makes your website look more professional. Remember the new mantra in search, if it is good for the end user it will probably good for positioning.

The Google Panda update has made me change in terms of the way I look at SEO. It took a lot of self-reflection to become aware that I approaching SEO too serious and not my users. It will take time to improve my websites. But here is one simple graphical idea I need to start with a favicon. As search algorithms become more refined subtle signals of quality are the way of the future. It is adding a little more of the tender loving care to your website that helps you stand out.

Google signals are more about details in the post Panda update world – One pet idea for example is maybe,  just maybe Google is paying more attention to style details, so as crazy as it sounds, could having a favicon.ico be a ranking factor for example.

  • Think about it, Google did focus groups for this algorithm change and how Google might develop signals based on design without getting into subjective things like colors.
  • These groups were people off the street, not techies. People would rank how much they trusted a website.
  • A simple thing like a favicon might be a thing spam sites do not use but real sites do.

Think about it how many scrapped sites and spam sites have this? None that I can think of.

How many real sites do?  I notice Matt Cutts’s favicon – a nice flashy one on his blog he has up there. Could this be a hint? Google employees can not say directly what is going on but some to hint at it and clever people can pick up on ideas.

Using something like a favicon, makes the user feel better generally to have one up on the site. It is one idea that I have not seen floating around the blogosphere and forums but I think might help the user if not you.

Google is gravitating towards a female mind – For years Google was a geek run shop, focusing on numbers and left brain equations. Now Google is trying to balance the yang with the yin. It is trying to do this for logical reasons. That is users are not just looking at what is one the page, but how the page looks.

My wife will sometimes ask ‘are you going to wear that shirt’? I ask ‘what is wrong with it’? Trust me women see details better than men. I get my best inspiration from females webmasters when it comes to making blogs look nicer.

The above is only a metaphor of course but one to consider. I now and starting to ask my wife and people I know about my website more and more and what sticks out about it in their mind.

It would not help the big websites on competitive terms as they all have this icon, but if yours does not why not put it up there? It goes up there with looking at spelling and sentence structure. Not for Google but for the users.

Further, like Michael Martinez from  SEO Theory (someone who I consider a good guy when it comes to SEO and understanding people’s struggle with this) has stated to think we know Panda is the pretense of knowledge. So do not scrap your whole website, just try to improve it slowly.

Over two hundreds factors – Not one signal but a chorus of voices will determine if your website makes noise or music. This is Google and other search engines today. I personally think the 200 signs of quality is a myth and the formula is more complicated.

Art favicon Search engine optimization
This is just a lame photo of a gas station near me, yet with free online tools you can make it a more interesting image. Anyone can be an artist and make their website look better with a little effort.

How to create a favicon to use on your website?

What would it hurt if you created one. So the three tools I recommend are GIMP, Pixlr and Cartoonize.

  • I use the program GIMP to simply save an icon to the 16 x 16 pixel size and save it as a .ico. Of course paint.net has a favicon plugin also. The you upload it to the root of your server. I am cheap and do not have Photoshop.
  • I also recommend Pixlr the new cloud version of Photoshop (not literally but I like it better).
  • Use cartoonize to make your icon more carton looking but not juvenile. Online it is free.

Let me know what you think of the idea of a favicon being a factor in search engine ranking.

Google Panda update – How to recover

I have done a lot of research on the Google Panda update and how to recover your rankings. It comes down to not more content but how your content is written linguistically to get people to stay on your site. If I would choose one thing to fix my websites, I would choose being a better writer.
Google is trying to weed out content farms, separating the wheat from the chaff. The way it is doing that is relying more on user interaction for and input from users but also looking at how content is analysed on the web as well at the how language used on the site in relation to SEO. That is search engines look at the structure of language and the brain.
There is something you can do to help your website rank higher after the farm update. But first lets look at what happened.

Google’s Panda Update

People started to complain about content farms. For example,  ehow.com. Large sites are the target if they farm out too much work or scrap content from other sites. Ironically eHow.com the scape goat, was affected the least for now.
But a question arose, just because it is a large content farm is it useful and good content? It is seems to be a target, however, some people like it and use it for its clarity.
True semantic search engine result with quality results is difficult to achieve as the web expands exponentially. Therefore the only way you can do this without losing the objectivity of the algorithm is with language analysis, that is how language is formed.
  • Search engines like DuckDuckgo.com simply manually adjust results and eliminate spam sites. This is one approach. However, Google takes a more right brain approach and do it through its formula.
What happened on a superficial level  with the Google search – To start Google’s Chrome browser has a new browser plugin. Google has put this in there as measure against content farms. Users vote down or block out sites (or competitors for the less scrupulous) and other sites, trusted quality sites rank higher.
Before you worry about manipulation, they assert their algorithm is not affected by this demand side measure but only confirmed.
What happened at a deeper level at Mountain View, CA – Messrs Singhal and Matt Cutts both have structured the update so the search results are looking for in-depth articles and compelling content to drive the search results, rather than armies of bloggers farming out content to anyone who can form sentences. They did this by looking at how language is structured (speculated). This is bringing the world’s greatest search engine closer to AI. It not only sees words but understand language in a way humans do or pretends to.

Why some people are rebelling against Google’s approach

The problem is as a linguist I know that content can be subjective as a quality measure. Think about your experience with writing papers in school. Language is evolving and varied from personal experience. If you try to systematize a language you reward a particular way of thinking.
Further, like with the localization and real-time results and keywords appearing as you type in the search box, Google tries to guess what you are thinking based on your profile. Many people do not like that.

What you can do to fix  your website in the SERPs after the Google Panda update

  • Write with lots of synonyms with the use of a thesaurus in a natural style, not stuffing keywords or SEO tricks. Do not be a content mill, quality not quantity.
  • The Title is the most important part of your post, then like an old fashion news paper the first paragraph and so on.
  • Writing longer posts with research.
  • Revise posts and add content to posts that have fallen this is key. Do not drop you lame posts, rather make them compelling. Make it so people stay on your site longer and do not bounce off.
  • Write with perfect grammar, spelling and sentence structure but in a natural way.
  • Write as if search engines do not exist and you are writing your boss at work a detailed analysis of a specific problem or a friend on a personal issue. That is, write more researched posts like you are writing for school or write natural and from the heart.
  • Learn to write in a more organized fashion, machine love structure, poets are not paid in any reality.

Lastly, do not panic. SEO is about keeping things honest and intelligent, improving your voice on the web and with time your website will be recognized (again).

More ways to regain position after Google Panda

  • add long tale comment titles
  • I will experiment with CSS menu on some sites
  • add length to old posts
  • improve website navigation with more places and reasons for people to stay on my site as now I am a minimalist and I noticed bloated sites like huffingtonpost.com get a lot of repeat visits
  • fewer ads
  • check people stealing content, I am finding more.
  • check outbound links, people say this is more important now
  • check miscellaneous  things like 404 and weird pages and errors and code on webmaster tools
  • continue to use my brain to explore new ideas
  • maybe still a wow introduction page

Update on the Panda update

Panda is still more of a mystery than solved. I think that is correct. Know one really knows what is going on, at least enough to effectuate change and recover.

One idea I had was Google has a greater lag time from the point you change your website and the SERPs change in response. This way people can not simple change and test until they figure out the variable that are most important in this update. Maybe not, but it is interesting that nobody can really recover.

I think your post is right on focusing on things like bounce rate, but also return visits. This is what I meant by build a site that people find without Google. If you have a large feed or people find you anyway, without Google, this is a sign you are a trusted site to Google and they will send you even more traffic. This is why eBay got more traffic and eHow less.

I use a simple WP theme on my site and it was hit by Panda. A few people I know have the same exact theme and set up, and they increased from Panda. Which leads me to conclude onsite traditional SEO is not as important.

One thing they did have is more of a community, than I.

Also maybe their writing style is different, like they targeted longer-tail keywords not popular searches.

Maybe simply the more unique your title is, it is a strong signal you are not a content farm that targets highly searched words. So if you are more of a poet than an SEO you will be rewarded.

I do have a pet theory (pure speculation),that might contribute to some decline on website. It is this: sites which have a lot of titles that correlate with exact matches (or close) on high searched keywords could have been effected. ehow.com for example built its empire highly searched keyword phrases like ‘how to SEO a website’ and this was usually the title of the post.
I had a lot of similar matches on my little site on Political Economy and it seemed to have taken hits on those pages that were matches.
Not of course that does not explain everything or maybe anything. It is just a theory and an observation.

These are some of my ideas.

If you have questions ask. Do you feel Google made things better or worst with the farm update?

SEO Ukraine – Ukrainian Search engine optimization

Ukraine SEO

I am an American that has lived in Eastern Europe  for many years. When I first came to Eastern Europe I thought I would find a search optimization genius at a low price. Why, because Russians, Ukrainians and Poles are brilliant IT people, the founder of Google after all is from Russia. Further, I thought poorer country would mean lower prices.

What I found out is, Ukrainian firms are good and professional. However, any Ukrainian firm that is good, charges a little less than American firms, but not by much, I would say 30 percent less.  This is because it is a European country and the world is global. I live in Eastern Europe and it was hard even for me to find someone. I learned SEO myself.

The problem is most of the SEO firms in Ukraine are more for Ukrainians. Why? This is because of the language. The bottom line is, I think Ukrainians that market to the west charge more than local firms in Ukraine. The ones that do not charge a lot work mostly with Ukrainian and Russian language people. The best deals in search engine marketing are always connected with the local and not international market. So if you speak Ukrainian you will be all set. If you do not I suggest the following.

How to look for a Ukrainian SEO firm if you do not speak Ukrainian. I  think from Russia to Ukraine, from Kiev to Crimea you have many talented technical IT guys. You just have to be patient and find out how to access them, maybe via slando.com.ua.  Slado is a the largest Ukrainian classified board I found. You can use Google translate to guide you.

What is the secret to making money online and search engine optimization anyway?

I think the answer to how to make money is found in an idea from ancient times. What? What about modern business theory and all the blogs on how to make money online.   My answer is those are nice, but they are not really going to give you the road map of how to make money.

Why not? Either because the people giving you advice have made money by accident and could not replicate it in another field or they do not tell you the way to make money as they are afraid they will lose out to competition.

What about you? The site you are reading is my smallest site and for fun.

So what is the secret to making money or making money online?

In most cases I think most people do not need an SEO firm. They can about it on the web.  However if there was a it would be from the the ancients:  “the imagination is where the divine resides.”  What, is this something like a Da Vinci code wisdom minute?  No. It simply means your real power as a human given to you from above is found in your imagination.

If you want to stand out from the crowd and get people to come to your website, you need to be imaginative.   People want interesting content. Everyone writes the same old same old. Be shocking unique and interesting and beautiful. If your brain needs a jump start for creativity try www.winwenger.com

If you have done onsite SEO on your WordPress blog or site and your swinging away with content but still not getting traffic.  Than your content stinks I am sorry.  Really.

Try doing something really amazing.  Spend a day in a forest just dreaming up ideas or on the beach. Next spend a week writing one good piece of content, which could include a video or images or something very useful and free, then you will see people starting to link to you.

Then you will see your traffic pick up.

Then you will understand the secret to SEO is in imagination.  Use your imagination to write good content which in turn will make you money. Then after you make your money, you can use some of it for doing good in the world in gratitude.

The best Ukrainian search engine optimization consultant

I am an American, however, I am also Ukrainian in background. If you are looking for an SEO in Ukraine or an SEO in general, consider me. I am very good and one of websites is about 100k Alexa.  I am trustworthy and I am fair in my price. Write me at markbiernat@yahoo.com if you have interest. I am trustworthy.

SEO secret – how to rank high

Best website secret

Do you want to want have a successful website?  The secret to having a successful website:

  • Do not perceive yourself but the business owner.
  • Do not perceive yourself as a blogger.
  • Do not perceive yourself as somebody who does  SEO or has a pretty blog.
  • Do perceive yourself as a writer.  That is the secret to content.  That is self perception.

The secret to ranking high on the Internet is to imagine yourself as a writer not a website owner. Content not WordPress coding or design will get the attention of search engines.

Blogging and CMS is designed for content

Many people ask me how do they rank high on the Internet.  The answer is be a writer, tell yourself you are a writer.  Think of  yourself as a professional writer. You will become what you think you are and how you see yourself.  If you see your job as a creator of content, and not a WordPress blog owner, your actions will start to support this.

You can even buy writing books and hang out with writers, read writing blogs and stop reading techy blogs. However, my recommendation is be a practical writer, rather

than an abstract writer, because most people on the web are searching for information about something useful.

The reason is the Internet is still primarily a text-based tool.  Search engines analyze text.  If you don’t have content on your WordPress blog or website,

then you will not rank high.

What is good website Content?

I believe two things determine good content. The first thing is use natural writing.  The second thing is quantity.  Many people will disagree with me on this.  I have to admit that writing efficiently can be effective, however, writing about many things in great detail and with the purpose of being a value to others, in addition to efficiency is the best combination.

Let me tell you a story. When I was in high school I read a book on how to take an essay test.  One of the main points of the book was during an essay test you should write as much as possible.

We would all like to believe that quality is better than quantity, however when it comes to test taking, quantity is important. I tested this theory myself and the exams which I wrote at great length in detail and supported my thesis that quantity matter.  The  performance was significantly better than on  the exams I tried to be simply efficient and straight to the point. I think if you are to short you assume too much from the reader.

Web content theory was tested on my blogs

The same thing I tested on the Web.  Content that was rich with support and detail and well thought out in structure ranked high.  However, Short posts were general

did not rank at all. Test it yourself.  Write two posts, one rich in content lets say over 1000 words and one about 250 words.  Tell me which WordPress content will rank higher.

I am not saying you should add filler or junk to your content.  I’m saying be efficient in your initial opening statement, then backed up your argument with detail

support and explanation.

The main thing is stopping thinking you are an Internet person and start thinking and seeing yourself as a writer.  Tell you so you are a writer.  Tell your friends that you are a writer. This is what you do for work, you write.

As a writer you have a responsibility to others who have held this title of writer to write in a creative way, a valuable way and an interesting way. If you do this people will come to website.

Blog content that is well written will not need any special SEO to rank high.

Why? Search engines rank new content high for a very short time.  If people like it and stay on your page the search engines will rank it high in the long run.  They look at user behavior.

If you have an Internet shop, write about your products in great detail that is of value. Do not just name the product, tell its good and weak points to help people make fair choices.  This is good WordPress content.

It does not matter that your objective is to market something or sell, what matters is you surround your product with content.  If you are a successful writer than, the text on your site will attract search engines and people. Your reward will be they will come back and visit again.

The way search engines will be in the future is focused on natural language. The objective of a search engine is to replicate human behavior on the web. People will basically think and act the same way as search engines and visa-versa. Right now it is governed by user behavior in relation to text.

Therefore, stop focusing on SEO and become a good writer. Stop reading too much about SEO and changing your website and write content for your  blog.

Most people say to me “I want to rank high for these Google keywords“.  They ask me, can I get them in the top ten in Google, maybe 1 or 2.”  “I ask them why does your e-commerce site deserve to be number 1 in Google?  What have you done to deserve this?” And further, to get lots of traffic, in you need to rank high for like 50 keywords not one.  I tell them this yet still, often people who have these e-commerce sites want me to make them rank high in Google for something like a keyword ‘iphones’.  I charge 10,000 usd a month and then maybe I will not be motivated to do it.  Really.   But for the 69 USD I will tell you how to do it yourself. But you have to work if you want good rankings in any search engine.  Why? There is no way I will make some one else rich, and do all the work, and study for years to learn how to do it, and just do it for you.  And I can promise you any outsource cheap firm will not do it for you either and they do not have the SEO skills I have. If you want to get traffic to your site you need to get your hands dirty and work.

WordPress SEO – Rank high in Search engines

If you want to SEO your WordPress blog – use few plugins and write interesting content

I am sorry but all that secret SEO sauce is not that secret. All the big websites that make a living off of WordPress SEO should be teaching how to write better and not how to hack WP. This is all you need to do.

  • Install WordPress with a good theme – I can recommend the best for on-site search engine optimization factors
  • Use site map and related post plugins
  • Write good content

There is nothing more you have to do.

From Matt Mullenweg of WordPress to Matt Cutts of Google

The fact, Matt the guy who is behind WordPress has a good relationship with Matt the guy who is behind Google’s quality control. I think Matt Mullenweg takes hints from Matt Cutts. Nothing that Matt Cutts does not tell the rest of the world, but Matt Mullenweg simply looks to the future when it comes to the functionality of WordPress. Therefore, the functionality or WP, right out of the box is pretty up to date.

Both Matt’s have a similar philosophy that content is king. That people should not focus on optimization, but rather good writing. At least this is my interpretation of their philosophy. I agree. SEO is about good writing. You can focus a lot of energy on finding that right WordPress extends in terms of themes and plugins, but every minute you do takes one minute away from you building content for your blog.

Further, when functionality of a plugin becomes noted and important, Automattic integrates it into core system of WP and the plugins becomes obsolete. An example is the automatic updates plugin, it was once a plugin now comes with the system.

Too many WordPress plugins are not good

However, whatever your strategy for WP SEO is, my recommendation is do not overload your blog with every plugin under the sun. What might happen is errors or conflicts or sluggish functioning from bloated code. I try to limit my plugins to less then ten.

If you can find the top ten best plugins for you then this is all you need for SEO. The best plugins in the Platinum all in one SEO pack. After that you might use some site map plugin and related post type plugin for better navigation.
Avoid the best WordPress plugin lists that are dated

Another thing to avoid is reading an outdated list of the best plugins. This list is dated I would say about a year after publication because WordPress is evolving.

Semantic latent content and SEO

How not to write content.  Stuff your posts and headers with keywords. How to write content.  Write in a natural way as if there was not such thing as search engine optimization.

However, do achieve proper keyword relevance for your target term using a few keyword and more important semantically related terms.  Use synonyms of keywords not just the keywords.  For example if you are writing about “writing” use words like “composition” in your post also.

Google’s Semantic latent content tool

Google has a tool to help you see which words it considers synonyms in a search.  In the Google search box type ~yourkeywords.  This will give you hints on how to construct true semantic content. For this post I should use words like latent semantic,LSI, latent semantic indexing or even the word semantically.  This type of writing will help search engines determine if the writer is human.

How to rank high in Google with WordPress SEO

Use WordPress, write something of value, use a good theme and organizes it without too much clutter and use a couple SEO plugins. That is it. Do not spend 1000s on  SEO consulting.

This is the real trick.  Many people have WordPress blogs.  Further, a lot of people use WordPress as the back end for their regular site.  I use WP on most of my sites even my none blogs website.  I believe in WP.  How do you rank high with search engines and do it honestly and ethically? Well Matt Cutt’s has written something that I have been saying all along.

Three SEO steps

1)Install WP and this will increase your chances of a good site ranking – Basically there is nothing new under the sun, and Matt’s post might be straight from Google but it has nothing ground braking in it.  Matt Cutt’s ideas is that WordPress does the SEO coding for you.  WP has people have been working on the back end, day and night improving it and it is for free.

WordPress people improve WordPress not for money but because they are passionate about this platform, it is not even work, it is fun for them.  Use this blogging platform and use it with a few plugins. Then you know your code will be pretty well SEO -ed.

2)Rank high in Google with compelling content – The next step, and it is the hard part, is to be creative.  I will write another
post about this.  But basically, the Internet is the largest recycle bin in the Cosmos.  Use your imagination.  This is how you will get traffic.  Imagination applied to your content, not to ways of spamming or tricking Google.  I like creating an educational resource part of my website, such as an online series of quizzes and educational help guides. But also interesting blog posts do not hurt. Some people like crazy funny videos, it is whatever you are good at, this will attract visits and increase user experience and time on the site. Make the content something that people will spend their time on. That is a hint.

3)The last step to ranking high is marketing (Guest Posting) –  I will also go into this in another post. But it is basically connected with theme optimization and plugins. I think guest posting is the best way right now to market your site. Get the buzz out there by writing quality content on another visible blog and people might visit your site and subscribe to your RSS.  What if you did 50 guest posts? Can you imagine how powerful your site would be.

If you follow these three steps your sites will take off and you will rank high in Google with your WordPress  and SEO applied, if you want more specific advise read my WP consulting page. I can guide you, but I think most of what you need to know about SEO can be found online. However, I can coach you and give you more specific advise. I have paid for advice before and in every case it help me get more traffic.

Therefore, in conclusion, your strategy for WP blog should be less is more. Let me know what you think about this WordPress plugin strategy or which are the best for WordPress SEO. You should focus on writing not code.

BuddyPress Vs. Mingle

The purpose of this post is to compare BuddyPress to Mingle for creating a WordPress social networking site. The reason I think this is an important post for anyone considering creating a community is both are long run investments in terms of time. Further, the success of your site will largely depend on a positive user experience. At the end I give my personal recommendation which one to choose. If you are serious about starting a social site, take my recommendation.

Therefore, I will look at three things:

  • The pros and cons of both WordPress platforms for a social networking blog or website.
  • I also want to address the set up and installation issues with WordPress MU and the WordPress Mingle plugin which runs on a standard install.
  • Examples of BuddyPress and Mingle WordPress and also a how set up Mingle tutorial.  With these I think you can make a better informed decision which one to use.

What is my experience with WP? I have been using various Automattic platforms for eighteen of my websites (many are test sites) for five years now. Therefore, I have kicked a lot of tires to check the various functionality and flexibility of core features and extends. I also write my own software, so I am somewhat technical.

reenactors social networking
Social networks are about like minded people congregating. I give a concrete recommendation on which software I would use.

BuddyPress and Mingles features and drawbacks



  • The most important difference between WordPress Mingle and BuddyPress – I see WP Mingle as more of an extension of an existing blog or website. It is an add-on. In contrast, BuddyPress is a whole site design. Read my lips, it is very hard to start a social network site. Every guy out there wants to and has an idea, even me and I have many successful website.  The best way to have a successful social networking website is to take an existing website that has traffic and community via WordPress comments and extend this. Mingle can be useful for this extension. If you start with BuddyPress on a new website nothing will happen. Facebook was the first and lucky. It does not work this way now. Ask me about this in the comments if you do not understand, it is important so you do not waste your time.
  • I like Mingle because it works on my theme and feels more flexible in style and look than BuddyPress, which has a more blocky Facebook style.
  • Users can create profile pages.
  • Friends lists
  • The core part is a profile page and contact with other members though an extended Gravatar plugin.
  • Users can comment on and post on friend pages – Mingle is all about friends and interaction of friends.
  • Member directory and recent (or random) users displayed on sidebar
  • Email notifications
  • Very easy to use and simple to understand
  • I have not experienced any plugin or theme conflicts – for me this is the biggest point. With BuddyPress it does not work with my favorite theme, in contrast WordPress Mingle does.
  • You can use Mingle with a standard WP installation. This is the best feature. You can also use it with WPMU if you want, but you might as well use BuddyPress if you go through the trouble of installing it on your server
  • Actively being developed with an enthusiastic team/community, it could surpass BuddyPress in terms of functionality.


  • Not been updated in years. The creator should just make it an open source project. Obsecenece is a huge neative. He has been focusing on something called memberpress.  Member press is a a plugin that allows you to accept payment for a membership or content site. Maybe this will go hand in hand with a new Mingle development kick but I am not holding my breath.
  • I am always afraid Blair Williams might some day lose interest in the project and not develop it as much, whereas, BuddyPress is supported by WP. I have no seen it updated in a while in fact. I have started to look at another alternative WP Symposium if the lag in development continues.
  • At this time little documentation. – Update getting better, I installed in the other day and it is fairly self explanatory.
  • This is not an official Automattic.com tool, so its development depends on Blair Williams the creator (this could be pro actually depends on how you look at it).



  • If you like Facebook.com or Linkedin.com or Vkontаkte.ru, you can have this with BuddyPress.  It has the same look and feel. Many large sites running off of BuddyPress, tried and tested.
  • Very professional clean look. The look and features are a like any major social networking site. I am confident using BP that there is strong support and everything will work now and in the future.
  • BuddyPress is a offical Automattic.com platform (it was a purchase).
  • Good support
  • Will most likely get easier with development as Andy Peatling is committed to the project.
  • Now a 5 minute install with a plugin.
  •  BuddyPress  MU or SU has come a long way. I use SU as it is easiest.


  • Slight learning curve.
  • New themes and plugins.
  • WPMU with BuddyPress is an uncontrollable amount of spam. I have done every anti-spam method known and still robots find and know it is a WPMU BuddyPress site and I have moderate it unlike the standard install. I scraped my site and changed it to a standard install. Works great but no traffic. This is why I recommend INgle on existing themes and sites and not try to be a Mark Zuckerberg, Matt Mullenweg is a better web role model because he is organic and has developed his web presences and reputation over time.
  • If you have 1and1.com as a server you will get a error 500 unless you add this to the top of your .htaccess
AddType x-mapp-php5 .php AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php

Mingle and WPMU installation issues

There are no installation issues with the Mingle plugin. You just go to add new plugin and install.  Once you are installed it guides you though the set up page.

Below is a basically all you need to set up. It is a simple drop down menu set up.

The BuddyPress can work with a standard WordPress install and a plugin.   It could be set up in just over 5 minutes.   It is now “out of the box” like other WordPress installs and takes databases.   Therefore, both Mingle and BuddyPress are very easy to install with a plugin.

The question is which one to use for social networking your site?  They both are very good and at this juncture of their development are very close in functionality.

I recommend Mingle if you want to extend an existing website with traffic to include a forum or social aspect. I recommend BuddyPress if you want to develop a large social networking website.

  • thepioneerwoman.com – is the best example of a BuddyPress website
  • WordPress Mingle is the best example of a mingle run website.

Here are two quotes from the developers:

Paul Cater (Mingle) was kind enough to reply to my e-mail and wrote me a comparison (summarized a bit):

WordPress MU is a multi-blog system (and can be used with a standard WordPress blog).  Mingle will let you turn your regular WordPress install into a social networking site similar to Facebook or MySpace with a single plugin (also). Mingle could be a simple, nice replacement, however, BuddyPress offers a few more features currently, but Mingle is well on its way to being a heavy contender.

Andy Peatling (BuddyPress) wrote:

BuddyPress  works on standard WordPress, it does not require WordPress MU. In fact, you can install BuddyPress in less than two minutes via the plugin installer. It’s really quite simple.

BuddyPress does not require special plugins or themes, many WordPress plugins work out of the box and there are now more than 125 BuddyPress specific plugins that will add new features to the platform. You can use your existing WordPress theme using the super easy BuddyPress template pack.

John Jacobs Jacoby is now in the development (also the bbPress developer). bbPress is also another option for creating a social site by the way.

BuddyPress and Mingle tutorials and examples

My review of WP social plugin and recommendation

  • Here is my recommendation. Use BuddyPress until Mingle development is turned open source or shows signs of life.  Or alternatively use wpsymposium.com which is being actively developed. WP symposium works.  You do not want to be stuck up with a huge site based on Mingle than years latter, that for some reason does not work if there is a conflict with WP development and your social plugin. You want to use BuddyPress. If you can not handle the design part hire someone off of elance there are a million programmers out there to help you design it. The main thing is creating a social site is easy, getting it with the critial number of participates interacting is the real trick.

I hope this post has been of some value to you.  Please give your feedback and any of your ideas or experiences regarding using BuddyPress compared to Mingle on your blog.

offers a few more features currently but Mingle is well on it's way to
being a heavy contender.

bbPress plugin – forum for your WordPress blog

Good news for bbPress  is now a plugin. John James Jacoby has developed an official plugin for WordPress. This is different from the stand alone forum that exists.

The reason you want a forum is users create content for your website. That means instead of you getting up every morning and thinking up a new blog post. Community. It is one of the best things you can do for SEO and making money on your website. If you have a non-commercial site it is good for users to exchange ideas.

How does this forum software work?

  • plug it in
  • use it in your Admin control panel
  • define forums
  • moderate users
  • drive traffic to your website with user-generated content.

bbPress developement

I have been a big fan or WordPress’s forum software called bbPress. The reason I like it is, it is very light weight and easy to use.  However, a few people have been upset as the project has not taken top priority at Automattic. I take another point of view. I have had a small forum run on it for a while now and it has worked fine.

I am grateful towards Matt Mullenweg dedicating his time to great open source software to use.

The main problem has been, it has been very slow to develop. A major release has taken forever, because of the project has gone through some growing pains with the developers and I think the final goals was to wait for WP 3.0 MU to be developed before energy was channeled to this project.

Why get excited about bbPress plugin

I think there is a reason to be excited about bbPress. That is developers are taking it to the next level and integrating it fully as a bbPress plugin for WordPress. This is much like BBpress has become a simple plugin for  WordPress.These means you can run bbPress from your control panel. For free forum software it will be part of the WordPress CMS. Why is this important to you?

If you have a website it is all about content. Content is king and user generated content is the best as you do less of the work. The community will always create more than you ever could. Perhaps you direct the flow of content but if you have a good forum or social community, you are all set.

Your goal should not be hiring an SEO firm or outsourcing company to do all your work for you, your goal should be to develop an active community. I take part on forums and I have no problem leaving comments and making contributions to other people’s websites. If there is something of value, people will do this also. This is an ancient forum – bbPress plugin will integrate with WordPress so your forum will not fall to ruins

Build it and they will come with bbPress forums

If you think you can build a forum and people will rush to join thing again. However, if you have a website and it has reasonable value people will start to check back and maybe comment. If they like other commentators on your site, they will sign up and register (the big huddle for forum owners) and come back.

Some things I would like to see in the bbPress plugin for WordPress

I am a fan of bbPress and now its functionality is fine, and a few plugins that help it out. I mean it is a forum, you simply have posts and threads

and check it. However, there are a few things I would love to see as the core part.

  • Automatic moderation, including filtering bad words and chat style. I do not like on my blog when people write ‘u’ for ‘you’ and bad words. Personal attracts could be reduced automatically if you can filter certain words. I think the best community is a clean community. Thing about he city you live,if its clean and safe people want to come and visit.
  • Right now bbPress closes inactive comments after 2 weeks, I would like this open forever. My oldest treads rank the highest.
  • Full integration with your online community including MU. The users on your blog and MU (BuddyPress) seamlessly go between the forum,social network and blog without too many registration hoops.  Maybe this is not important, I am not sure.
  • Controlling outbound links on post and threads. Not with no follow but taking the front off so it leaves the text address and not a link.
  • Language usage control integration for the community users something like ‘after the deadline English grammar and spell check appearing when people leave comments as forums tend to get out of control in terms of language structure.
  • bbPress plugin ideas to use at your own risk – A commenting ability like WordPress, that is someone could just leave a comment and move on with out a registration process. Deactivate registration option I know this would create pure chaos but to get a forum started I think you need commentors, nobody will comment on an empty forum. Most of my wish list is connected with attracting new users by making it simpler for a user to sign up and start posting, maybe I am very wrong about all this, but for a forum to get going you need to get people commenting without too much effort. Basically ways to promote and encourage people to use your forum. There are many forums out there with great ideas but they are empty as no one is into spending time on forums.

The current state of bbPress plugin

I have heard about 2011 there will be a good beta.  I would expect by the end of the fall something more robust will be ready.

The legacy stand alone forum users will be able to export their posts and then import them to the new system. I think if you do not have an active forum today, just wait for the bbPress plugin. I am doing that for one of my sites and advising other people to do the same. So now my big idea for a forum is on hold. And yes I will use bbPress, rather than some pay for or heavy software for forums. I know there are many good ones out there but WordPress has a great community and I am always looking to the future not just the current state with a what can you do for me now attitude.

However I recommend also to start looking at:

  • bbPress plugin – great site for just poking around and seeing what it is all about.
  • Become an active member or at least a watcher of their forum – you will be aware of development issues and ideas so when the bbPress plugin for WordPress does come out, it will be an easy integration.

If you have any questions about forums, how to get a forum going or any user-generated content questions just ask. I mostly have this website as a hobby site.

More on BBpress

What is bbPress?

WordPress forum software is called bbPress. The reason I use bbPress with my forum is it is light, fast, simple and easy to use, as well as free.  At this juncture

there is no way I would use any other forum software other than bbPress the official WordPress forum software.

I know there is VBulletin, phpBB, and other platforms. but why not keep all the engines for your website the same, that is WordPress.  Further, I know a lot of people

like Simple:Press which I think is quite good also. However, again why not just go with an

href=”http://automattic.com/”>Automattic platform for your WordPress forum.

Why have a forum?

What is web 2.0?  It is an interactive, conversational web.  Where in web 1.0 people would make a website and read it and go away.  People in web 2.o participate in

your website.  This is a very basic but radical concept. I also believe Google ranks website on observed user behavior on your website.

Therefore, why would you not have a bbPress WordPress forum. Forums are very interactive and search engines like them because of fresh new content being posted daily.

Some forums have ten thousand posts a year.  Think, how long would it take for you to post ten thousand posts on your blog. Think how much it would cost you to pay

someone to write ten thousand posts.

Of course forum posts are not as focused, nevertheless they have significant value.

Do not take the above comments in the wrong way.  Having a WordPress forum is not about getting people to write for you, it is about creating a fun community on

something that interests you.  I have a forum about and I love it.  It is fun to interact with people there.

The hard part about a WordPress forum

Everyone I know has an idea about some web 2.0 community.  Since Facebook and Twitter, everyone has an idea, even me. However, the hardest part about these types of

sites is to get them going. People think just because you have a forum set up people will go rushing to it.

Setting up a forum or social networking site ( see BuddyPress, that is WordPress MU) is easy, getting people to come is the real trick.

How to get your bbPress forum to rock

The way you get traffic to your forum is invite everyone you know to your forum.  Post actively and reply to every post.  Once you have about one thousand relevant,

interesting useful posts, search engines will start to give it some respect with time. Does this sound like hard work? Well each form post is easier than a blog post,

you will see.  Further, few things in life come easy if you want it to be good.

Therefore, organic search will start to pick up. Organic search is the way you start it and direct traffic is the way you keep your WP forum going.

Value of a bbPress as the WordPress forum

  • Can be integrated with your WP blog
  • If you know WordPress then to work bbPress is very easy.
  • bbPress is not bad with Search engine optimization right out of the box.
  • Many nice bbPress plugins
  • Many nice bbPress  themes
  • Active community.
  • Matt Mullenweg from WordPress has said bbPress is here to stay.
  • It is simple and fast and tested.

If you have any questions about bbPress I can help.  Just drop a comment. However, I think if you are serious about your website,  every WP blog or site owner should use bbPress the WordPress forum platform.

Joomla vs WordPress

WordPress vs Joomla compared

No question WordPress wins hands down compared to Joomla. It is easier to learn WordPress fast as a newbie, better for SEO out of the box and more choice in designs because the community is so active with scores of WordPress evangelists and contributors. The bottom line is  WP can do more things easier compared to Joomla for a beginner. If you are a total beginner it also has a paid server option which takes cares of technical things for you. Therefore, if you are a, hobbiest or a mommy blogger or simple do not want to tinkering too much this is a good option (however, I recommend if you are serious about building an online presences, buy your own domain and server and use wordpress.org download and 5 minute set up). This is how I see Joomla vs WordPress. It is not that Joomla is bad, but rather WP is so easy to use and gives so much more flexibility. Lets look at more specifics and history of these two blogging platforms.

Joomla started as a true open source content management system vs WP which found its genesis as blogging platform, really a photo blogging system. However, with time WordPress surpassed Joomla because of a more active community.  This point is important. Both are PHP and mysql based., there are pluses and minuses of both, but it was really the users which brought WP to the next level. This was because it has a larger community combined with the fact it was driven by a visionary leader/geek Matt Mullenweg.

Joomla vs WordPress
Both are good but I would choose WordPress any day of Joomla, the about image is just a few of the reasons. My main selling point is you can get WP up and running in about five to ten minutes.

WordPress Matt is a man with a vision and did not want to commercialize his open source projects, but rather always got commited volunteers. For funding he started wordpress.com, but wordpress.org is free.

Specific examples how he has taken it to the next level are  by including integration of such things as a forum, via bbPress plugin and a social networking plugin via BuddyPress. That is right you can create a Facebook like wesbite with BuddyPress if you want.  There are countless other tools which are useful from Afterthedeadline with help you proof your English to Akismit a rock solid anti spam tool. This is why I recommend WordPress over Joomla.

If you want a professional website that could compare to any large website out there use WordPress. Chances are many sites that you visit, professional and large sites are built with WP (I check the source code).

Although  Joomla is a powerful system there is no way that Joomla can do all the things WordPress can do (for a WordPress alternative I think CMSmadesimple is better than Joomla).

But in all fairness to Joomla I am not as familiar with it. I also believe you can make anything work. I mean for a while I was creating sites in notepad and notepad ++ with html, css etc. I had created a few templates in notepad and in a sense was using my own CMS system. I just wrote my posts in notepad and uploaded pages to my server.  So my point is I think with a little web skill you can make anything work.

Plugins for Joomla vs WordPress

Here is a specific reason if for no other I would choose WP. For example, I have tried to find plugins for Joomla for things like:

  • Related posts – For me this is the most important plugin because it allows users to browse your site on related topics. It increases user experience and time on page. It also distributes page rank to related pages.
  • Nice simple sitemaps – real html type sitemaps that can be used as navigation of last resort.
  • Wiki like links  – pages that link into a web automatically. I do not use these as I like to do many things manually, its more natural but many big blogs love this feature.
  • Link to me – Simple plugin that will encourages people to link to your site.
  • Tags – Many webmasters go crazy with this but if you use some basic plugins like simple tags you can really increase your flexibility on your blog and usefulness. You can have related posts.
  • Recent posts – A very standard plugin and everyone has this as a side bar widget.
  • Make the Post tile a link or h1 (can be done in Joomla but harder, in WordPress it is  the default in many themes).

Etc. for Joomla.

Joomla has all these things in some form but no where near as good as WordPress and for example the tag plug in for Joomla you have to pay for. Who wants to pay for a plugin unless it really is stellar. It defeats the purpose of simplify of your platform and allowing you to focus on writing and content. Search engines reward sites with valuable content, that is SEO in a nutshell. WP frees you to spend more time developing your content. Although again I would have to say Joomla is evolving, they might even had these features by the time you read this. However, my point is they WP will even have more as they are really the blogging leader with an Alexa of 94 for WordPress and Jomoola of 255.

There is also more a a learning curve for Joomla. I am not saying Joomla is all that bad, it is good, I just find WP easier to use, more options and more selection of templates.

WordPress is free, has tags build in and even more plugins for free to make it even better. Tagging is a very important part of SEO. WordPress is intelligently designed for SEO almost right out of the box.  Matt Cutts from google recommends WordPress for SEO. Basically people in the know use WordPress.

Joomla vs WordPress SEO and design

People say, Joomla can be used for sites and  WordPress for blogs.  But my sites WordPress sites and you can not tell them apart from a normal site (not this one this is obviously a hobby blog). They do not look like a blogs at all.  So the argument that Joomla is for websites and WordPress is for blogs is wrong.

Further, if anyone can show me an effectively SEO Joomla site I will look at it and show you why WordPress SEO is better. Hands down Joomla vs WordPress SEO use WordPress rather than Joomla for SEO. I have seen very few Joomla site rank as high as WP sites. Maybe it is because WP users are a little more tech savvy or maybe they have more time to write.

If you want to explore WP go here: WordPress compared to Joomla. These are the two sites and you can contrast and look at the pros and cons of each. Again it is not that I have anything against Joomla at all. It is that I really like using WP.

Maybe I have been  little fanatical about WordPress vs. Joomla but you are asking a very partial user of WP. But the reason I am partial is I have had such blogging success with WP and with such ease have been able to use it, why would I not be?