No, I’ve not got a part in Carousel. It just seemed like a great title for the first post in June especially since I’ve been a busy bunny over the last few days as you can probably see.
We’ve got a new theme, I’ve installed a couple of new plugins including one which will directly benefit you and I’ve updated some of the old features on here.
Curious to find out more?
First things first. I’ve revamped the theme as you can see. The old style was kinda based on how Technorati used to look. Well, as you probably know, they’ve recently made some changes to their site so I thought it was time to have a bit of a change myself. It’s still based on the excellent Cutline theme by Chris Pearson but I’ve just made a few tweaks in the background so that it fits in more with what I’m trying to do. I wanted to retain elements of the old style (i.e. lots of whitespace) as well as making it look a bit sleeker.
What do you think? Do you like it? Do you hate it? I tell you what, why not leave a comment?
Which leads me nicely on to the next change. I’ve installed the DoFollow WordPress plugin by Semiologic. In case you didn’t know, WordPress by default adds the “nofollow” rule to any URLs in comments. This is a bad thing because it means that there’s no flow of Google juice whenever you leave a comment. I think that people should be rewarded for leaving comments so, on the advice of Andy Beard and Lyndon Antcliff, I’ve installed this spiffy new plugin. As a result I’ve also put into place a comment policy which I suggest you have a read of.
Next up I’ve changed the permalink structure for the site to something a little bit more search engine friendly. Previously I was using one of the default options which included date information in the URL. It didn’t look pretty and wasn’t really helping me search wise so, taking on board what Michael Gray suggested in his excellent Make WordPress Search Engine Friendly video along with his post SEO Plugins For WordPress, I’ve cut out all the fluff in the URLs and installed the Permalink Redirect WordPress plugin. The reason for the plugin is because changing the permalink structure would have meant that any old links didn’t work any more. Now I could have hard coded the .htaccess file to point the old URLs to the new structure but that would have taken ages and there was a chance I could screw things up. The plugin takes care of all of that and is something that I highly recommend it.
As a result of the new permalink structure, I’m able to make my robots.txt file more efficient. As you know, I’ve been looking to create the ultimate robots.txt file for WordPress for some time and I think that the new structure will go some way to sorting out the whole supplemental index issue.
I’ve made some changes to the About page so that it’s more up to date than the old one. I’ve even included one of my cheesy publicity photos for you to print out and throw darts at! I’m also in the process of writing the Resources page. Hopefully it’ll be finished in the next couple of days and will contain a number of the links that used to be in the sidebar as well as pointing you to some useful resources. Hence the name of the page. No, really.
There’s also a new Sitemap just in case you get lost!
So there you go. Now you can see why June is busting out all over Twenty Steps! I hope that the changes will make the site more useful to you and I’d love to hear your feedback.
UPDATE: I forgot to thank RT Cunningham for reminding me about the permalink redirect plugin. RT is a recent addition to my RSS reader but he writes in a way that makes me feel like I’ve known him for years.