Vinyl Directory – A GeoDirectory Based Website

posted in: Websites | 0

Vinyl Directory is a new website designed to showcase vinyl record shops and to enable the promotion of record fairs and events worldwide. It was created as an experiment to explore the possibilities of the GeoDirectory plugin system, and to see discover whether it is ‘The Best Directory Plugin for WordPress’.

Vinyl Directory Features

Features included on the site include:

  • The website features the ability for record store owners and record fair owners to list their stores or events.
  • Adsense integration. The website features numerous ads provided by Google to enable ad revenue through visitor clicks.
  • A premium upgrade feature. Record store owners can pay £1 per month to have their store listed as a premium store, and to feature website and social media links on their page.
  • Countries can have their own custom URL’s, enabling separate sites per location.
  • Import listing from other sites. Record store listings can quickly be pulled from Yelp, enabling the site owner to quickly populate their directory site.
  • Claim Listings: Store owners can easily claim their listing on the site and then add their own images and descriptions, enhancing their promotion possibilities and SEO.

 

GeoDirectory: Does it work?

Unlike most other systems on WordPress, such as Appthemes Vantage or Listify, GeoDirectory works as a series of plugins / addons rather than as features created as part of a theme. This allows you just utilise the features that you require, thereby limiting the load on your site. Addons can be purchased separately or purchased as a package.

I chose GeoDirectory specifically as I wanted to enable events as well as store listings. Appthemes Vantage used to allow this with an earlier version of theme but unfortunately this functionality has been abandoned with its latest version. The new version of Vantage does look good, and functions well so it’s a shame they dropped this feature.

The website is built upon the GeoDirectory Framework Theme, which gives you the basics of a directory site to get you up and running. A lot of CSS customisation was required to give the site a sleeker look and feel.

Overall, GeoDirectory was successful, there are a few things I would like to see differently, mostly involving design customisation via the backend, but overall it does a great job. There’s a fair amount of customisation required to get the system working as you would like but with perseverance it gets you there. I would also have liked better integration of ads into the system. Although some ads were inserted into widget areas, further work was required to get ads into the system into specific places as required.

WordPress Tip #6 – Build a Wall

posted in: Wordpress Tips | 0

There’s bad people out there, people who will try and takeover your site. You need something to protect you, to keep potential threats at bay. That’s where Wordfence steps in…

Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan

Wordfence features a firewall and malware scanner to protect your WordPresssite . Wordfence uses with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses it to keep your website safe. You can also utilise Wordfence to limit login attempts as well as enforcing strong passwords.

Other plugins are available, checkout iTheme Security, Securi Security or Shield Security

WordPress Tip #5 – Prevent Comment Spam

posted in: Wordpress Tips | 0

Discussion Settings

WordPress is now used for much more than a blog. Themes are setup to utilise the post functionality in many ways. Bots exist which will bombard your site with spam links. You can blog these by default by unchecking the following:

Settings > Discussion > Allow people to post comments on new articles

Register Your Akismet Plugin

You will most likely have Akismet installed as part of you WordPress installation. Ensure that this plugin is activated and your API key is registered. It’s free if it’s for personal use so get your site spam protected right away!

Akismet Anti-Spam

WordPress Tip #4 – Backup Your Site!

posted in: Wordpress Tips | 0

It’s important to backup your site. You may find that something goes drastically wrong with your site and you need to restore your site. You may find there’s security issues, you may have been hacked. There’s many reasons why you may need to rollback your site.

Install a backup plugin such as UpdraftPlus (other plugins are available, but this one has my personal seal of approval, it’s saved my skin a few times, especially when using some complex plugins together:

UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin

It’s really easy to use, in a nutshell you:

  • Install it through your admin panel.
  • Activate it.
  • Do an initial backup (you can choose to keep this backup indefinitely so you can always roll back to it.)
  • You can choose whether to back up manually, or whether to automate the backups. I have an e-commerce site I run that requires a daily backup, other static sites may only need a weekly backup.
  • Choose a backup schedule (you can choose to backup content/files separately from your database).
  • For extra security you can backup remotely to Dropbox / Google Drive / AWS in addition to FTP backup.
  • That’s it.

I’ve used backup files from Updraft to restore to a brand new installation before with complete success. If you haven’t got backup software on your site, do it today!