Tag Archives: wordpress

Studying at the University of YouTube

YouTubeLogoA few months ago, I, a freelance writer and publication layout artist, was contracted to make a series of videos. Of course I was thrilled and my imagination went wild with creative possibilities, but as with many projects, dreaming is easier than doing.

In the past, I’d only worked with Windows MovieMaker to produce rather simplistic videos, but for this project, I would have to step up my game. I soon discovered that I was already in possession of Adobe Premiere, one of the best video editing software programs on the market. Unbeknownst to me, it had come bundled with my copy of Adobe Creative Suite. The bad news was that I had absolutely no idea how to use it; and being such a highly technical, professional-grade program, it’s neither user-friendly nor intuitive. With Adobe Premiere, you gotta know what you’re doing from the get-go.

For the first few days, I futzed around with the help files, but to no avail. Sure, they provided the basics for getting started, but for the kinds of bells and whistles I wanted in my videos, they were an exasperating labyrinth.

Just about the time I’d decided to lower the bar and revert to my old friend Windows MovieMaker, on a whim it occurred to me to see what YouTube might have to offer in the way of tutorials.

Gadzooks!…I’d hit the Motherlode! On my first try, with a few well-chosen keywords, I discovered top-notch tutorials on every technique I would need to make my video vision a reality, not to  mention a few nifty little tricks along the way.

Just out of curiosity, I began exploring tutorials on other software programs that a freelancer might need. What I found was a seemingly endless array of video lessons on every task and topic imaginable:

Need to learn how to do a mail merge in MS Word?

Want to sharpen your advanced Excel skills?

Like to find out how to add eye-popping special effects to a digital image in PhotoShop?

Thinking of starting a blog on WordPress?

Fancy a professional Facebook page for your freelancing services?

Crave a makeover for your website?

Then head for the University of YouTube. It’s not just for goofy fratboys anymore.

CelesteHeiterFZBioCeleste Heiter is the author of Turn Your PC into a Lean Mean Freelancing Machine, the creator of the LoveBites Cookbook Series for Kindle Fire, and the author of Potty Pals , a potty-training book for children. She has also written ten books published by ThingsAsian Press; and spent eight years posting her recipes, food photographs, and film reviews on ChopstickCinema .

Visit her website, and her Amazon Author Page.

Pro Bloggers Beware: WordPress Denial of Service Attacks

book and script editor for hire Joe Wallaceby Joe Wallace

If you are an “end user” of WordPress (as opposed to someone who spends as much time in the Dashboard and/or control panel of your WordPress site) you might be scratching your head lately wondering why WordPress is moving so slowly for you.

There’s been a string of notifications from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) about a hacking campaign aimed specifically at WordPress sites. The idea behind this campaign is quite simple–it aims to shut down WP sites by using a Denial Of Service Attack featuring repeated login attempts to the Dashboard or back end of your WordPress site.

The goal is not necessarily to gain access to your site–instead, the idea is to flood your ISP with so many attempts to log in that it overwhelms the server. This causes slower response times for legitimate readers trying to view your WordPress site, and can shut your page down altogether under the right circumstances.

There are some semi-complicated fixes for this, things that many freelancers and bloggers won’t feel comfortable attempting. I myself have mitigated this problem by setting an extremely low tolerance for repeated failed logins from a single IP address–any more than X number of failed logins and the user is blocked from trying to login again for TWO WEEKS. But again, this is a back-end, deep-ish feature (not connected to WordPress directly, but rather the server I use) and many users won’t or can’t access such features.

The solution?

Contact your ISP or web host and ask about addressing this issue. You want to reduce the number of allowed login failures to WordPress to around 10 or 15 per IP, resulting in a 15 minute ban from attempting again after that number has been reached. Some sites have the ban automatically set to an arbitrary number such as five minutes, but if you’re experiencing slow response times from your WordPress blog and suspect it might be related to this issue, ask your ISP tech support people what the best course of action might be. (Source: https://www.servermania.com/kb/articles/cloud-server-prices/)

This Denial of Service attack issue likely isn’t affecting EVERYONE using WordPress, or affecting everyone the same way. But if you’re noticing slower repsonse from your WP blog, it might be something to consider as a possible cause.

Joe Wallace has been fildding around in the back end of WordPress and Freelance-Zone.com’s Virtual Private Server for many years. He still doesn’t know every much about how it all works on a technical level, but he does know how to make a wicked pizza. He blogs about vinyl records, sells rare and unusual LPs, and does sound design for indie film and video projects in Chicago. Contact him at jwallace242@gmail.com

Writers: Get The Most Out Of WordPress

This post is sponsored by wordpressFiledBy – where authors can claim their free website and build their online marketing platform.

If you use WordPress, how can you be sure you are getting the most out of it? As a hard-working writer, you can’t afford to miss out on the simple things that will make a big difference. Take a look at these strategies for maximizing your time and effort…or for getting started…

Brian Horn gives some great basics in terms of tagging and SEO.

Concerned about security? Check out Lorelle on WordPress for the real scoop on how safe you are.


Just getting started with WordPress? How about some recommendations in terms of themes? Editor Unleashed has a great post on this subject.

Google Analytics is a fantastic tool for understanding who is using your site, where your hits are coming from and how many you are getting. It has an amazing number of features you can check out. (FYI…you can’t use this with WordPress.com accounts since they use their own tracking system.)

Blog maintenance is crucial. Take a look at this basic checklist for keeping yours up-to-date. And don’t forget to back up your blog too.

This post was brought to you by FiledBy

Tips For WordPress Users

wordpresstipsby Catherine L. Tully

Do you blog on a WordPress platform? If so, stay up to date on all the latest tips and tricks by checking out Lorelle on WordPress. Here you can find everything from information on plugins to where WordPress meet ups are being held around the world. Get the skinny on this site and improve your blog today. I learned a thing or two browsing the pages, that’s for sure!

Social Media Tips

social media for writers


by Catherine L. Tully

Everyone is using social media these days–including savvy writers. If you are looking to stay on top of what is going on, try out Social Media Today for some good info. You can find everything from places to find plug-ins for WordPress to how to chart your website’s social graph.