WordPress 2.7 Video Tutorial

I’ve just upgraded to WordPress 2.7 and it’s making a real difference so far.

The interface is much cleaner once you get used to where all the functions are loacted and many of the annoying bugs have been resolved – for example you no longer have to switch off the visual editor when posting YouTube links (although you need to be in the ‘html’ tab as opposed to the ‘visual’ tab).

Here’s a highlight video and brief video tutorial to what’s new in WordPress 2.7:

The Best Free Adsense and Ad-Ready WordPress Themes

OK, lengthy post title but I think it pretty much sums up this post. There are a ton of articles on the internet that point to free WordPress themes, but I though I’d post up a few links that helped me out whilst I was searching for the best ad ready themes to use.

Bit of background first. I was specifically looking for free ad-ready WordPress themes. I wanted to be able to set up a couple of blogs quickly and have them running adsense instantly – I also wanted a few free themes that supported 125×125 ad slots also.

Searching around on Google will throw up hundreds of links, and if you want to go through them the experience can be rewarding (and sometimes frustrating) and you will learn a lot. However, if you want a few short-cuts and pointers, then keep reading as I’ve listed the links that I found most helpful when searching for ad ready WordPress Themes in this post.

Before I list the links, I will provide a bit of background on one specific theme that I’ve found really useful, easy to install and realy easy to configure – ProSense Theme.

Prosense Ad-Ready WordPress Theme:

This blog utilises the Prosense Theme. Prosense is an adsense ready WordPress Theme that is simple to set up and start using almost instantly. In order to make the most of it and start running adsense you will need to have an adsense account (which will give you your ‘adsense id’ that you will need for this).

Prosense was created by the guys from Dosh Dosh and is an excellent generic, adsense ready, blog theme which lends itself really well to niche markets, and to bloggers who are looking for a simple but effective design that can be easily customised. Prosense comes in 3 basic colour schemes – Prosense Blue, Prosense Brown, and Prosense Grey

The image below shows Prosense Blue:

prosense-blue-home.jpg

Prosense Features:

What makes Prosense so useful?:

  • Separate and Distinct Ad Blocks: Prosense includes isolated ad sections, so you don’t need to search through the stylesheet of sidebar php sections to manage your ads. These sections are easy o customise, come ready with adsense as default, but can be used to host any ads.
  • Multiple Ad Display Options: Unlike other Adsense Ready themes, ProSense allows you to choose between either banner or rectangle ads for the single post page, thus allowing you more flexibility when it comes to ad blending.
  • Easy Adsense set up: The only thing you will need to do after installing Prosense is change the adsense “pub-id” to your own. Basically when going into your theme editor after installation you need to click on all the adsense sections listed below and change the ‘google_ad_client = “pub-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx” to your own (where xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx is YOUR adsense account number).
    • adsense_homepage_banner.php (adsense_homepage_banner.php)
    • adsense_homepage_linkunit.php (adsense_homepage_linkunit.php)
    • adsense_sidebar.php (adsense_sidebar.php)
    • adsense_singlepost_bottom_banner.php (adsense_singlepost_bottom_banner.php)
    • adsense_singlepost_bottom_square.php (adsense_singlepost_bottom_square.php)
    • adsense_singlepost_top_banner.php (adsense_singlepost_top_banner.php)
    • adsense_singlepost_top_square.php (adsense_singlepost_top_square.php)

    The adsense ads are already optimised to the blogs colour scheme, so there is no need for you to change any of the colours after installation (unless you want to that is)

  • Integrated Ad placement on the homepage: Unlike most Adsense ready themes currently available, ProSense blends a 468 x 60 banner unit between the second and third post on the blog homepage.  This enables you to display relevant ads to search visitors who arrive at your homepage, as they are more likely to scroll and scan through your posts.The inclusion of a well-blended horizontal link unit near the top of the homepage also attracts navigational-style visitor clicks.
  • Ad units on post pages: There are two types of ad blocks on both the top and bottom of the single post page. You can choose between using a 468 x 60 banner and 300 x 250 rectangle at the top of the post or a 468 x 60 banner and 336 x 280 large rectangle at the bottom of the post. Again, these are easy to manage via the adsense sections included in the blog theme – listed above
  • Search Engine Optimized site structure. ProSense is built from good, clean code that validates well. The CSS positioning is written so that your blog content is prioritized in the source code as this may help to improve search engine crawling and ranking. Dynamic and descriptive title tags are also used for each blog page.
  • Widget-Ready. Like using widgets? No problem then, Prosense comes fully ready to support widget use.
  • Where can I get Prosense?:

    If the info above has inspired you to want to check out Prosense further or install it, then he links below should provide you with all you need:

    1) Prosense Info and background from the creators of the theme: Dosh Dosh and The Wrong Advices.

    2) Link to download Prosense Brown Theme: Prosense Brown

    3) Link to download Prosense Grey Theme: Prosense Grey

    4) Link to download Prosense Blue theme: Prosense Blue

    After searching around for ad ready WordPress themes I chose to install Prosense on a couple of sites that I was experimenting with (including this one) as the points above ticked all the boxes that I was looking for. I appreciate that you may want to see what else is out there, so I’ve thrown together some links below of some other useful free ad ready wordpress resources I found:

    13 links to the best ad-ready and free wordpress themes:

    • WPThemesPlugin.com -  WPThemesPlugin.com has a ton of useful WordPress themes with most supporting 125×125 ad slots. Also included on this page is the theme called Vestique , which is a great theme that includes adsense as well as 125×125 ad slots, a 468×60 banner in the header, and adsense incorporated into all post pages. Vestique covers most of the ad needs for most bloggers.
    • WPHacks.com – Another good source of ad ready wordpress themes. Most themes focus on supporting 125×125 ad slots. You’ll find a blend of 2 column and 3 column themes here.
    • Sem-Pros.com – Sem-Pros.com has 6 adsense ready themes ready for download.
    • Golod.com – Jason Golod’s ‘clean’ adsense ready theme.
    • Almost Spring – Almost Spring is a very simple and adsense ready theme that can be a very effective and simple design. It may not be the prettiest out there, but it’s a good starting point and if money is your goal then there are a ton of adsense placements on this theme waiting to be exploited.
    • AdsMinded – An ad ready theme that would lend itself well to ‘technical’ niches. Supports adsense prominently and has space for other banners and ads.
    • ProBlogger Clean – As it says, clean theme and adsense ready.
    • SEOAdsense Theme – Pretty basic looking, but effective and comes adsense ready with 3 units per page, and one linkunit.  A good starting base theme that can be modified as your experience increases.
    • Themey – A simple but aggressive adsense ready theme – the content is almost blended in to the structure of the blog whilst the adsense placements are given priority in placement and visibility.
    • BlixKrieg – Easily customised adsense ready theme with a good active community ready to leand a helping hand should you have issues.
    • MonetisingtheWeb.com – Customisible theme incorporating adsense
    • Elegantwpthemes.com – A site that is regularly updated with a large amount of free wordpres themes in 2 columns and 3 columns. Not all are ad ready, but there is plenty here to be getting on with.
    • DoshDosh – As well as being the co-creator of the Prosense theme, Dosh Dosh has also drawn together 18 of the most popular ad ready WordPress themes.

    Michael Gray – Make Your WordPress Blog Search Engine Friendly

    Here’s a really interesting video tutorial from Graywolf on how to keep your blog search engine friendly and to avoid getting your rankings penalised for ‘duplicate content’ which can be caused when pages are linked to more than one WordPress category.

    Some really useful tips here on how to avoid duplicate content and set up theming or ‘siloing’ on your WordPress blog installation .

    Removing the ‘Meta’ section in WordPress

    This blog has been set up in WordPress (more on the themes used in a post soon), and one of the firts things that I always do when setting up a new blog is to remove any unwanted sections in the sidebar that comes as a default in most WordPress installations. One such section that can take up valuable room, adds no real value to readers, and in some case can take up space that could be put to use running advertising is the ‘Meta’ section.
    After installing WordPress you will notice the Meta section usually in the sidebar on the right hand side (see image below):


    If your theme doesn’t use widgets, you’ll have to edit the sidebar.php – this is not as daunting as it may sound if you are new to all this, and no real knowledge of PHP is needed.

    How to Remove the Meta Section in WordPress:

    1) Log in to your main WordPress admin panel (http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin).

    2) Click on the ‘Design’ tab at the top

    3) Click on the ‘Theme Editor’ heading

    4) Click on the Sidebar (sidebar.php) section

    5) All themes vary slightly, but you need to find the code that looks like this (code example taken from this theproblog.com):

    Simply remove the code above and hit the ‘update’ button. The ‘Meta’ section will now be removed from your WordPress blog.

    If you are of a cautious nature, copy and paste all the code from your sidebar into a .txt file (or to a microsoft word document) before making any changes to your sidebar. That way, should you make an error and take out more code than you intended, or simply wish to re-include the Meta section you can easily paste it back in and hit update.

    If you are using a newer version of WordPress such as WordPress 2.7, the same steps above apply with the only difference being is that the ‘Design’ tab is located on the left hand side of the WordPress admin panel (see the highlighted red square in the image below):

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