Today, WordPress Garage turns one year old. Hasn’t our little baby grown up fast? Blow out the candles…
It is exactly one year ago today that I wrote my first post here. It was about Jerome’s Keywords Plugin, which was a popular plugin for creating tags in WordPress before they became a built-in feature.
The reason I started this blog is because at that time, I was building web sites for clients, but felt that I could not justify creating static sites anymore. I was searching desperately for a solution that would enable me to create sites with a content management system that wouldn’t break the bank, and that I could manipulate and customize without being a programming wizard.
I looked into many open source options, and found that WordPress was easiest to use from the designer/developer’s point-of-view, and from the user’s point-of-view. So my company started building sites on WordPress. As we built, we learned a lot and I felt like we really need a good way to organize the information we were gathering about good plugins and how to use them, themes, and code hacks.
And thus WordPress Garage was born. Between WordPress’ categories, tags, and the search function, I figured we’d always be able to locate the information we need within minutes.
Apparently, others also were looking for this information, and readership grew as well, which is good because it’s a lot more fun to write when you know people are listening.
In honor of WordPress Garage’s birthday, I have two new presents:
- A WordPress Garage facebook page! If you like this blog, please come on over to this page and become a fan. I’d really like to get to know my readers a bit more.
- The WordPress Garage YahooGroup – I’m on the WordPress Pro mailing list, which is about the most dry and boring list on earth. I suggested that the list become more active, and while people said it wasn’t appropriate for that list, they liked the idea. So, this email list’s goal is to be a place where people can help other people with their WordPress issues. Looking for that perfect plugin? Can’t figure out why your blog is breaking? Join the list and ask!
Statistics and summary
It’s fun to compare my first month on WPG to this last month. Site visits have gone up 1,424%, and pageviews have gone up 841%. Now I get almost 8000 visitors a month according to Google Analytics, and over 14,000 page views. Most of my visitors come from Google Search, with the rest coming from StumbleUpon and other sites. My top referring sites in order of traffic are:
Most popular posts
The most popular posts on WPG at the moment are:
- Giving each WordPress post a thumbnail, and display the thumbnail on the home page
- 13 plugins that will make WordPress into a CMS
- WordPress plugin easily creates drop-down navigation
- Images, thumbnails and custom fields in WordPress
Best WP Garage tips
These posts aren’t necessarily the most visited, but the tips in them are pretty useful:
- List only child Pages of a specific parent Page – how to list all the child Pages of the current page in the sidebar
- Displaying single post pages differently in specific categories – how to give single posts a different style based on which category they are in
- The Excerpt Reloaded – how to retain HTML in WordPress excerpts without messing up your page.
- Things I do to optimize and secure every WordPress site and blog – this post listed almost every plugin, optimization and hack that I do to every new WordPress blog. It’s a little outdated by now, but it still is helpful.
- Make managing your WordPress dashboard easier with Admin Drop Down Menus plugin – Admin Drop Down Menus is one of my favorite plugins
- WordPress upgrade nightmare and lessons learned – I almost lost this entire site due to something stupid that I did. Learn from my mistakes and make sure your upgrade doesn’t crash and burn
- Giving each comment its own link in WordPress – This shows you how to make each comment into its own kind of mini-post, which is useful if you ever want to link to specific comments
- Recent Comments code snippet – this code snippet places recent comments in your sidebar for those who don’t want to use widgets.
- WordPress challenge: getting class current_page_item to work when home page is not blog – if your home page is a static page and not your blog, WordPress’ current_page_item class doesn’t work on the blog page so the link to your blog on your navigation bar won’t get highlighted if you are on the blog page. Check out the comments on this post to see the various solutions offered by people.
- How to protect your WordPress site – some good tips for a more secure WordPress site
Most controversial posts
A little bit of controversy adds color to an otherwise boring monologue about loops and plugins. I don’t like to create conflict, but getting people to participate in an active discussion is just fun.
Consumer evangelists vs. lawyers: using “WordPress” in domain names – this is the post where Matt Mullenwegg commented three times. In this post, I argued that WordPress shouldn’t shun blogs (like mine) that use the word WordPress in their domain name, and should rather embrace these consumer “evangelists” who love the product so much that they volunteer their own time to talk or blog about it. After I wrote this post I finished Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin, and he also talks about this idea.
Anyways, Matt and Lorelle didn’t like my opinion, and accused me, or those like me, of “blatant[ly] disregard[ing]…a core tenet of our community,” of being like a scraper, and of legal violations. In the end Matt kind of softened up and he said he’s “thrilled about [me] or anyone who blogs about WordPress.” He said if I want clarification about their policies I should feel free to email or call him. So, mustering up some good ol’ Israeli chutzpah, I called him and left him a message. Despite his generosity, I think this blog is still shunned by the WordPress powers-that-be. Oh well.
Would we use WordPress if there were no plugins? – I just threw out this question to make us think about how valuable WordPress would be on its own. I think it’s value lies in the fact that it supports plugins.
ZDNet says WordPress not clunky, but also not CMS – I referred to an article by ZDNet about whether WordPress is a CMS and sparked a lively discussion.
WordPressGarage is being scraped! I want to stop them…now! – I realized that one particular site was scraping all of my content and republishing it. I threw the issue out to my readers, and got some interesting responses in the comments.
Is WordPress’ security vulnerable at its core? – WordPress is being upgraded all the time because of security issues. Plugins also have constant security vulnerabilities. Is this standard, or is there a problem with WordPress? BlogSecurity.net said there’s a problem with WordPress. Read the post to find out more.
- Someone told me that I’m one of the coolest people in the WordPress community! Can you believe it? (No, it wasn’t my mother.) While in the real world I am far from being considered cool (mother with lots of kids who works hard to pay the bills with little time for play), I guess that in the WP community my geekiness is…cool…or something.
- WordPressGarage listed as one of Top 40 Blogs About WordPress!
- I’m sure there was something else I got excited about over this past year, but I can’t remember.
So happy birthday WordPress Garage, and may we enjoy another fun year of WordPress blogging together!