Last week we were looking into the WordPress editor. You can view part one of this review either at the Herald Express's website (www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk) or on my own online blog (www.computerarticles.co.uk).
To recap, WordPress (www.wordpress.org) is an open source application which gives home users the ability to quickly and easily create an online blog, a term used to describe a website which provides an ongoing chronicle of information. Here we will looking into some of the more advances features that we didn't cover last week, which really makes WordPress stand out from the crowd.
The term 'plug-in' is used to describe a small piece of software written by either the WordPress authors or a third party which provide additional features not found on a standard installation. If a blogger finds that WordPress doesn't cater for a particular requirement of his then in many cases a plug-in can be used to extend the functionality of the software quickly and easily.
To give you an idea, I've listed a couple of plug-ins that I find particularly useful:
Akismet - You may however find that your blog will all of a sudden start receiving a lot of spam. These are usually generated by automatic systems which are trying to advertise male medical products. Akismet checks comments in your blog against an online database in order to automatically remove any that it deems as looking like spam.
All in One SEO Pack - This allows you to make your blog more appealing to search engines like Google by allowing you to edit the Search Engine Optimisations options. Although Search Engine Optimisation is an entire science in itself, this simple plug-in will hopefully help to push you further up the results table.
Google XML Sitemaps - Creates a single file detailing every page on your site. You can then request that Google download and analyse this file on a regular basis thereby helping them to improve the freshness and visibility of your pages in their search engine.
Sociable - Allows users to automatically add a link to a specific post on their favourite social bookmarking site, for example Facebook, Digg or Twitter.
Statpress - Analyses visitors to your site and allows you to see a number of reports including daily views, pages most visited and search terms used to find your site. You can even use it to find out more detailed information about your readers such as the Operating Systems they use and their geographic location.
The ability to keep the software up to date it one of the things I admire most about WordPress; once you have performed the initial installation you will be informed whenever you log in to the control panel if a particular plug-in or indeed the entire installation needs updating. Should you find that any component is out of date then it only takes one click for the appropriate files to be downloaded and installed on your web server automatically.
Because this is so easy to use, it doesn't take a lot to make sure that you always have the most up to date version installed and you are always protected because installing the security patches is simple when they are released.
Chris Holgate writes a weekly article of all things tech related. He is a director and copyrighter of the online computer consumables business Refresh Cartridges who sell cheap ink cartridges ,toner cartridges, computer hardware and other computer consumables online. An archive of his work can be found at www.computerarticles.co.uk.