manager

New Multiple Streams Theme – MST008

Update 6th July 2011:

The videos for this theme have *finally* been completed and you can see them here:-

http://multiplestreamsthemes.com/videos/mst008-videos/

Update 22nd June 2011:

MST008 has been updated to v 1.0.1 due to an easy to fix but annoying bug…

Some people may have been having a “headers already sent” problem with this theme. We didn’t see this on our test bed, so maybe the server(s) we’re using are more forgiving than others. It happens when some spaces or blank lines get inserted into a PHP file where they shouldn’t be.

Happily, WordPress know about this issue, and there’s an explanation of it here if you ever come across it yourself.

Just go back to your personal download page and grab the latest version, we’re sorry about any inconvenience.

Update: I’m sorry for the delay, the theme and plugin bundle is now available. There were a number of small issues I had with the theme, now all resolved. Please go back to your personal download page and you can grab it from there. 🙂

Offer Closed

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The latest in the Multiple Streams Themes (MST008) is now *almost* complete, and on Friday 26th May at 6.00pm GMT (1.00pm EST) I’ll be running a 48-hour 50-copies-only PRE-ORDER sale at $10.00.

It comes with a nice selection of pre-designed banners including blank JPEGs and PSDs for them, plus umpteen sidebars, a selection of built in page templates, plus plugins (Ads Manager, Redirection, Squeeze Page Templates), and a set of theme options too.

The theme options allow you to turn on and off the header, top boxes and top and bottom ad areas, change footer text and add analytics code if you don’t have the Script Manager plugin.

And of course the theme supports the common WP 3.x features of custom menus, and background. That second one allows you to further lighten the feel of the theme or darken it down if that’s your preference.

And… after several requests we’ve added an extra “ad sidebar” at the top, so instead of the usual 3 ad blocks for sign ups, freebies, etc, there are now FOUR.

And finally, we’ve included a slider area at the top under the menu where you can place presentational images, extra ads etc.

It’s really nice, very businessey, probably the most professional looking theme so far… 😉

More on this tomorrow, but just in case you’re thinking “Hang on! I’ve bought all of them – what happened to MST007?” Well, someone else is working on that one, so they’ve got a bit out of order. When it’s done I’ll release it don’t worry. 😉

For now, MST008 isn’t quite ready as I’ve asked for a couple of under-the-hood changes and I’m expecting to get it in the next few days.

You can get a sneak preview of the theme here:-

http://mst008.multiplestreamsthemes.com/

The pre-order sale starts tomorrow at 6.00pm BST (British Summer Time, which is GMT+1).

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, software, wordpress plugins, WordPress Themes

New Multiple Streams Theme – MST006

The latest in the Multiple Streams Themes is now complete, and on Thursday at 6.00pm GMT (1.00pm EST) I’ll be running a 50-copies-only sale at $10.00.

It comes with a nice selection of pre-designed banners including blank JPEGs and PSDs for them, plus umpteen sidebars, a selection of built in page templates, plus plugins (Ads Manager, Redirection, and bonus Squeeze Page Templates), and a set of theme options too.

The theme options allow you to turn on and off the header, top boxes and top and bottom ad areas, change footer text and add analytics code if you don’t have the Script Manager plugin.

And of course the theme supports the WP 3.x features of custom menus, custom header, and background. That last one allows you to further lighten the feel of the theme or darken it down if that’s your preference.

It’s really nice… 😉

More on this in the next 24 hours, when I’ll post a link to some videos.

You can get a sneak preview of the theme here:-

http://mst006.multiplestreamsthemes.com/

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, software, wordpress plugins, WordPress Themes

Slider Manager

Update: The sale is now LIVE and is currently $27.00 until the plugin goes officially live.

Buy now

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Demo slideshow.  Some of these images have text with links in them, some of the images are clickable, and some have both.

[pgsm-slideshow id=”1″]

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Since September/October time, I’ve tried out or looked at over 20 different image slider managers.  These have either been WordPress plugins or standalone scripts.

If you look around you’ll see so many of these that I thought there must at least be ONE that does what I need, but can you believe NONE of them do?

All I wanted to do was to put in sliders at the top of some of my sales pages to rotate between screenshots and other banners, and also place a selection of clickable different slider ads in my sidebar that only occupied one position and showed a different ad every few seconds.

I also wanted the slider images to display text and HTML with clickable links.

I wanted to be able to make the whole slider image itself clickable so I could put “Click Here” graphics on the image.

And finally I wanted it to work with any theme.

That’s not a big requirement is it?  But the small list of things I need the plugin to do are VERY useful to us marketers.

Here’s the thing. I’ve found that there’s no plugin that does all of what we need.

There are plugins that allow me to add ONE slider to a page or post, but not multiple sliders.

There are comprehensive plugins that do image gallery management and display, but not sliders.

There are plugins that allow clickable links OR clickable images, but not both.

There are plugins that only work by editing the theme code and pasting in some PHP.

And so on.  I don’t think ANY of the sliders worked with widgets.

It’s almost unbelievable isn’t it?  But I’ve seen this same issue time and time again.

Developers write code for other developers.  Most developers don’t get or understand (or even want to) marketing.

Developers miss the little subtleties that we marketers require.  And it’s the little things that make the difference between what works and generates additional revenue for us, and what ends up as frustration.

So…

I think you can guess what’s coming?

I’ve had version 1 of a plugin called Slider Manager developed, and it does ALL the things we need most of all from a slider.

My #1 priority in developing this was to get it working and keep it simple.  Sometimes you can’t avoid complicated, but I try to avoid it wherever possible.

So what you can do is create multiple sliders (groups) and of course multiple images within each slider.

Within each slider group, you specify the width and height, pause and animation time, and a selection of animation effects.

Each image can have text and a HTML link added to it, or you can make the image clickable.  Or BOTH.  😉

When you save the slider group it generates a short code tag that you can then add anywhere in your posts and pages and also in your text widgets.

It’s dead simple to use, and we’re working on making it better with full image management and an AJAX/jQuery re-ordering method to make it all drag and drop for the next version.

But tomorrow, Tuesday 8th February 2011 at 6.00pm GMT (1.00pm EST)…

You can get this first version with a free upgrade to the drag and drop version when we release it…

At a starting price of just $10.00 for the first 50 sales.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, software, wordpress plugins

Script Manager Plugin – You Should Get This

This is one of those unassuming but useful little plugins that you’ll end up using time and again across all your blogs.  In fact I’ve been trying to imagine how I’ve managed without it all this time.

It allows you to easily and simply add third party javascript code (for tracking and external scripts) to your header and footer area on your blog, either across all your pages and posts or only on some of them if you prefer.

You don’t realise how useful this is until you need to do it.

Traditionally you’d need to add the code directly to the theme’s header.php and footer.php (which can be fiddly), but as soon as you change or upgrade themes, your code changes are always lost.

And as I’ve had it pointed out to me, some themes will break if you go adding javascript to the header.php or footer.php, and now I’ve been reminded, I can remember that this has happened to me at least once.

Not any more.

Now you just add the code to either the global plugin settings, or on an individual post or page and the plugin will automatically insert the code into the right bits of your blog.  When you upgrade your theme, or switch to a different one, the code remains and everything carries on as normal.

So, like I said, this is an unassuming plugin that I think you’ll find entirely useful.

Or as Hamant Keval (hi Hamant) said:-

“That is one awesome plugin…”

I’m releasing 50 copies today at just $7.

When all 50 copies are gone I’ll set the regular price, but you’ll get it at a very nice discount until then.

Update: The price is now $17 until I set the final price which will likely be $27.

Buy now

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, software, wordpress plugins

Extra Added Control

I know that title sounds like it might be for a hair gel, but it’s actually for a new WordPress plugin I’ve had developed called “Scripts Manager”.

Here’s the situation I’ve been in umpteen times, and I’m sure you’ve either hit it yourself or at least you will eventually, it’s just a matter of time.

First the background…

A plugin like Slide Up Ads will automatically insert the javascript required to make it work into all the pages and posts within WordPress.

You just activate the plugin and it’s done.

But I’ve found there are plenty of instances when I’ve wanted or needed to use an external non-WordPress script which requires me to add some javascript to all my pages manually.

For instance, imagine you need to insert some tracking code or another bit of javascript on all (or most of) your WordPress posts and pages.

Usually, either the code has to go into the header above the </head> tag, or it needs to go into the footer, just above the </body> tag.

The only way that WordPress allows you to do this is to go into the theme editor and update the themes header.php or footer.php to include your code.

Now that might seem okay, but in practice what happens is a few weeks down the line, a new version of your theme is released and you update it.  Or you find a better theme and decide to use that instead.

This has happened to me, and I figure it must have happened to you too.

When you update or change your theme, all the code modifications you put in get overwritten.  D’oh!

More than once I’ve found I have several days tracking missing from one of my sites, all because I forgot to get the tracking code and place it into the updated version of the theme.  (I use the StatCounter.com tracking service, and it’s well worth it.)

You’d think I’d learn, but it just seems to be one of my blind spots…

At this point you might be smugly thinking, “Ah, I use the free Google Analytics for my tracking, and I have a plugin that does that for me.”  😉

My advice for what it’s worth is to get rid of GA immediately.  This is a prime example of the case where many people follow the crowd and put themselves in a situation where they hadn’t even considered the consequences.

This is what those consequences can be…

If you use GA or AdSense, then a competitor can pay a few dollars and find every single one of your websites.  (I’ve actually done this myself to study the structure of how one of my competitors was working his network of sites.)

And of course the other BIG downside to GA and AdSense is that if you upset Google, they can easily de-index ALL your sites because you’ve kindly let them know where they all are by adding tracking code to them.

The crowd is often wrong (1 in 5 times – 80:20 rule), and if you think hard about things and then follow a different path you’re much more likely to have the edge and to succeed.

That’s been my personal experience.

So I decide to get this plugin created to end once and for all the problem of updating and changing themes, and losing my StatCounter code.

And of course, I made it a little more flexible than I actually needed it to be, because… well you never know when it might come in handy.

Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, you’ll see there’s a new admin section where you can paste your metatags and javascript into the appropriate area.

In that section, there are global areas where the contents of each will appear on every post and page.

These global areas are for:-

  • Header Scripts
  • Footer Scripts
  • Onload Scripts

That last one is for those unusual little instances where you need to run the script after the rest of the page has been loaded.

(I found recently that by using this plugin, it solved a problem with a script where all the pages on my blog were being blanked out in the Opera browser, but not in IE, FireFox or Safari.  Very strange, but now fixed.)

And then we took it a little bit further, because in some cases you might only want your code to appear on certain pages.  😉

So on every page and post in the admin panel, there’s a new section underneath the editor where you can either:-

  • Overwrite the global settings.
  • Append BEFORE the global settings.
  • Append AFTER the global settings.

Between the global and the post/page settings, this gives you total flexibility over where your scripts are active on your site.  🙂

On Friday (5th) afternoon, 50 copies of the plugin will be available for just $7.  When all 50 copies are gone I’ll set the regular price, but you’ll get it at a very nice discount until then.

Watch for a new blog post tomorrow.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, software, wordpress plugins