Tag Cloud Generator for WordPress.com

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Always want a tag cloud for your wordpress.com blog? Engtech gives us a Tag Cloud Generator
for your wp.com blog. Runs on Windows, Mac or Linux. It’ll give you
output that you can copy and paste into a text widget or a Page within
your blog. Be sure to read all of the documentation as Engtech goes out
of his way to answer any questions that you may have. There’s also a
list of advanced options for you to try.

And if you’re using regular WordPress, just grab one of the many tag cloud generators that are available.

Andy Skelton interview

Matt mentions that Andy Skelton did an interview with iTimes recently.
One thing that I like is the following:

A question that’s on a lot of our minds is why WordPress.com doesn’t allow custom template editing. Although XSS (Cross Site Scripting) vulnerabilites are a viable threat, is there anyway that Automattic can protect the site and allow this functionality at the same time?
Obviously we want to provide as much freedom as possible without sacrificing the performance and security of the site. Customization is the single most requested feature on WordPress.com. It’s something we’re always improving – such as with Widgets and the new version of Regulus with custom header images.
It’s probably possible to create a new templating system for WordPress so that anyone can make their own template without exposing things that should remain secure on the server. There are people working on this kind of thing in different ways: plugins, flexible themes, even core mods.
Most folks are very happy with the options we provide, too. They’re very vocal about it in the feedback form. The few people who really need their own theme are encouraged to run WordPress on their own server space so that they have full control over their site.
Personally, I encourage anyone who wants to make their own theme to install WordPress on their home computer and play with it. If you fall in love with it, you’ll probably want to rent space on a shared server and then you can also have your own domain name. It’s a lot of fun, but when you just need a place to blog you’ll still have the ability to do so on WordPress.com. I have blogs there as well as elsewhere.

I wish more people over at the support forums would understand that. 🙂

Cache anyone?

Hmmm, my Gravatar avatar still hasn’t kicked in yet. I wonder how long it normally takes for it to be turned on or if I did something wrong. Anyway, it appears that the latest version of WordPress has fixed the security issues with the cache on the back end. I’ve gone ahead and turned it on here and with the webcomic. Hopefully that will speed things up a bit. To do it on your own site, I found the instructions here. All you have to do is add the following line to your wp-config.php file: define(‘ENABLE_CACHE’, true); There’s a plugin to double check the install that I might install later on. And for those WordPress.com users who visit the blog here, you don’t have to worry about it. 🙂 Hope this helps, -drmike

Working on the WordPress Widgets

Podz has asked me to work on some FAQs and help files covering the WordPress Widgets. Since I had planned on doing this anyway for the my own WordPress MU website, I thought I would send them over there as well.

Let’s see what WordPress.com has as theirs:

    Archives
    Blog Stats
    Calendar
    Categories
    del.icio.us
    Flickr
    Links
    Meta
    Pages
    Recent Comments
    Recent Posts
    RSS
    Search
    Text

And Daria.be has:

    Archives
    Calendar
    Categories
    del.icio.us
    Google Adsense
    Google Search
    del.icio.us
    Links
    Meta
    Pages
    Recent Comments
    Recent Posts
    RSS
    Search
    Text

Which means we have to install a Blog Stat widget and the Flickr widget to make them even.

Now to write the FAQs on them.

The old WordPress.com FAQ

I wrote this a few months back. I’m working on updating it today and wanted to post it here for reference.

Ok, I’m totally new to blogging. How do I get started and what do I do.

You can find a pretty good introduction to blogging here. I politely suggest the What is Blogging?, the First Steps with WordPress, and the Jargon pages. It may seem like greek to you but you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Where can I go for help if I need it?

The easiest place is right here in this forum. Just make a post in the Support Forum, describe your problem as best as you can, and hopefully someone will get back to you. You may also want to search for your issue as well as someone else has probably had the same question that you had in the past.

How do I search within this support forum?

You can find a search form here.

What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.com or WP.com for short is a service that provides free hosting for people’s blogs. After creating an account there, your blog is automatically created for you.
WordPress.org or WP.org for short is the support site for the WordPress blogging software. You can download a copy of the software to use within your own webspace. You will also find FAQs, a support forum, lists of addons such as themes and plugins, and other information that you may need.

Can I include Adsense or other company adverts on my blog.

Short answer: no. AdSense, and other JAVA Script based scripts, are currently seen as a security issue. Also WP.com blogs are provided as a free service. This policy may change in the future.

How do I upload and include a picture within my post?

You can find a highly detailed list of instructions covering this here.

My RSS tags include a ‘feed:’ bit and my browser says that this is an “unregistered protocol” or another such error.

The “feed” tag is used by RSS readers and is usually not recognized by browsers that do not have a RSS reader installed. You can see the RSS feed if you manually type in your blog’s feed URL into the URL bar of your browser. (ie: http://username.wordpress.com/feed/)

How do I add my favorite WordPress plug in or theme?

Currently no additions can be made to your blog as FTP access is not allowed. Suggestions can be made though via the Feedback form within your own Dashboard. (They make that suggestion here) New themes are usally added on Fridays.

Can I edit my template?

Currently no but this is planned to change in the future. Right now, the templates are shared between users on the server where your blog exists. If you require greater control over your template, the staff suggests using a paid host.

I’ve never received my activation mail.

Sometimes activation emails can be seen as spam by some hosts. Please double check your spam folder for this email. Also there is now a form on the home page to request your activation email to be resent.

Can a single blog have multiple authors and editors.

Yes. The method to do this is have each author create their own account here at WP.com and have the owner of the main blog add them onto his or her blog. They can do this here: Their own Dashboard -> Users -> Authors & Users.

I’ve found a WP.com blog that has questionable content. (ie: spam, child porn, links to warez, etc.) What do I do?

The easiest way to report such a blog is via the Feedback button within your own Dashboard. Include a link to the blog as well as the reason why you’re reporting it. Please note that political content and comments are not considered to be questionable here.

How do I add a sitemeter to my blog?

The easiest method is by adding it as a link with a graphic. You can find instructions here for use with SiteMeter.

How much space do we have for pictures?

The limit is currently at 25 megs.

How long can my user name and password be?

Your password can have a max of twenty characters. It appears that your username has the same limit.

How can I do a backup of my blog?

The easiest method is by using your RSS feed. You can read a description of this method here.

How do I add Technorati tags to my WP.com blog?

Lorelle gives us an excellent method of doing this.

How do I use the object and embed tags with my posts?

These are stripped out of your html due to security issues. You can add Google and YouTube videos to your blogs though.

FAQ for Uploading a Picture to Your WP.com Space and Adding it to a Post

FAQ for Uploading a Picture to Your WP.com Space and Adding it to a Post.

Please note that the picture must be uploaded to your blog space for it to be seen. They can not remain on your local computer nor should you be using pictures hosted offsite as this just wastes other people’s bandwidth.

Please also respect copyright and give the source of where you found this picture if it’s someone elses. I found the kittie picture at randomdialogue.net via a Google image search for “random picture.”

The thumbnails below lead to full sized pictures.

    1 – Get a picture and save it to your local computer. WP.com appears to be able to use most graphic formats. These include *.jpg, *.gif, *.png, etc.

random.jpg

    2 – The next step is to begin creating your post. Sign into your blog and click on the link to “Write a Post.” This will bring you to your “Write Post” screen. Please note that for this FAQ, I am using the simple text editor, not the advanced one, as I want complete control over what goes into the post and I want to see my html.
    3 – Write your post like you normally would. Make sure you fill in all sections of the form like you normally do, such as Title, Post, Categories (if you use them), Trackbacks, etc.
    4 – Let’s now work on uploading the picture to your webspace. Before we do that though, you need to decide where in your post you want the picture. Within the “Post” space of the form, click your mouse where you would like the picture to go. DO NOT touch this text area again until the uploading of the picture is complete or you will move the picture.
    – Under the “Post” text area, you will see another form with the labels “Upload”, “Browse”, and “Browse All.” This is what we’re going to use for uploading your picture to your webspace.
    – Click on the “Upload” tab.
    – To the right of the File text box, you’ll see a button labeled “Browse…” Click on this button. This will open a standard search box within your OS. Locate your picture on your hard drive and select it. Once you have it selected, the search box will close and you will see that the File textbox is now filled in with the location of the picture on your hard drive.
    – Fill in the “Title” and “Description” text areas with any text information that you require. Note that this space is for text only, no links.

faqimage2.png

    – Once everything is filled in, click on the upload button. This will upload your picture to your webspace. The “Browse” tab should now be highlighted and a small thumbnail of your picture should now be presented.

faqimage3.png

    – Congrats! Your picture is now within your WP.com space.
    5 – The next step is moving your picture over to your post. This only takes a few steps.
    – Click on the thumbnail of your picture. You’ll now get a small menu of five options. I’m going to list what you need to do with them to more your picture over and then explain them towards the end of this FAQ.

faqimage4.png

    – Leave the “Using Thumbnail” as is.
    – Change the “Not Linked” selection to `Linked to Image.” You can do this by clicking on the “Not Linked” line and the selection will change.
    – Click on “Send to Editor.” This will fill in the necessary HTML code within the “Post” text area.
    – Click on the “Close Options” selection just to get rid of it.

faqimage5.png

    – Congrats! Your picture has now been added to your post.
    6 – Finish up with your post if there is anyting else you need to add to it and click on “Publish” button once you are ready.

View the blog. You should see your picture included within your post. If you click on the thumbnail, it will load the full size picture within your broswer.

Comments are now locked on this post. This is not the WordPress.com Forums. If you need assistance, you need to ask for it over there. But looking at the 5 or 6 comments that are left here every day, I have got to say that 99% of you are not reading the instructions above. Please do so before asking for assistance.

What language?

Matt posts about a change the staff has made to the WordPress software where the blogger gets to determine the primary language of the blog. Matt mentions that in the future, the staff will be looking at modifing the back end for the different languages.

I just wish that the latest 30 posts part of the Dashboard would be of your language. 🙂

-drmike