DevPress Releases a New Theme

Visual Theme by DevPressIts been a while since I’ve written anything and even longer since I’ve written about DevPress, my collaboration with some awesome WordPress developers. Things are busy.

The latest thing keeping me busy was the launch of DevPress’ new theme: Visual. Its a simple photoblog theme with support for the BuddyPress social network plugin. It’s made for keeping family photos, staying connected with friends, and/or running your own photos community.

Visual is the follow up to our incredibly popular News theme (~3,000 downloads a week). The DevPress team prides itself on simple, easy to use, yet powerful code. I have to say, we’ve nailed it with both of these themes. Visual is quite powerful, especially when paired with BuddyPress.

Please check it out and let us know what you think.

CloudFlare review and how I reduced my bounce rate 94%

Just weeks ago CloudFlare debuted at TechCrunch Disrupt and was the runner up. How they didn’t win amazes me.

I was skeptical at first. I mean, a service that requires you to change your DNS hosting is asking a lot. It didn’t take long for me to realize how beneficial the 5-minute setup was.

Before I go on, let me make it clear that I’m not using any affiliate links here. I genuinely love CloudFlare’s technology and believe that everyone should be informed.

CloudFlare claims to be a performance and security enhancement. At the DNS level, they intercept traffic and weed out the bad requests (i.e. spammers, unwanted bots, malicious IPs, and more) before they even get to your server.

Additionally, they can insert Google Analytics tracking code for you. They can obfuscate email addresses to protect them from spammers. They cache your site’s resources around the world and are able to return the files directly from the cache server that is closest to the visitor. I could go on, but you get the point … they do a lot to speed your site up and keep it safe.

The proof is undeniable. Take at look.

CloudFlare Review

  • Average pageviews per visit rose from 2.06 to 3.98 – 90% better!
  • Bounce rate fell from 61.98% to 3.57% – 94% better!

I also had an average of 48 spam comments before CloudFlare … after, an average of 6.

These stats don’t mean much without an explanation. It should be obvious though. CloudFlare stops all the bad traffic from ever getting to my site, so Analytics is only tracking quality traffic. So my human visitors click around the site more and don’t leave immediately as opposed to bots and spammers. These stats don’t prove their experience is any better — although it should be. The increase in pageviews may also be due to the better load time due to the caching.

With all of the crappy traffic excluded my traffic stats are a much more accurate representation of my authentic visitors.

CloudFlare Review

The image above shows the traffic that tried going to my site. You can see that 81% of my traffic was from non-threatening, real users like yourself. The threats were weeded out and not allowed into my site.

There are some caveats to CloudFlare. Because they are brand new there have been a few hiccups. For instance, I’ve experienced an increase in downtime because they’ve made some hardware changes since their number of customers blew up after the TechCrunch coverage. Its minutes worth of downtime so I’m not worried. With time their DNS hosting will improve.

By now you might be expecting to pay a pretty penny. You’d be dead wrong. In fact, the basic services are free. You can pay for advanced security and real-time stats, but all the benefits I’ve seen are achievable through a free account. Really, give CloudFlare a shot. I wouldn’t have spent this much time doing a CloudFlare review if it wasn’t worth it.

DevPress Is Almost Here

Professional WordPress Themes and Plugins

How many dreams do you get to realize in your lifetime? Ever since I’ve been comfortable coding for WordPress I’ve had the dream of working with a team as motivated and fascinated with WordPress as I am. You might be thinking to yourself, “that’s a lame dream.” If all I wanted was to work with other WP developers … sure, it’d be lame.

But the underlying requirement to such a project is the participation of the kind of people that are the best at what they do. Accepting anything less than this would simply make for another company doing the same thing as the rest.

DevPress seeks to be the very best at an array of WordPress solutions. It’s as simple as that, but such a simple statement is much weightier than it sounds. It doesn’t emphasize that we really do mean the very best.

Who are we talking about then? Who is this team of WordPress rockstars ninjas ordinary guys that plan on producing the very best WordPress design and code?

  • Justin TadlockJustin Tadlock – Founder of Theme Hybrid, Justin runs one of the most active WordPress theme frameworks and it’s community. He’s produced several well-known themes and plugins and the Hybrid theme alone has been downloaded from the WordPress repository nearly 100,000 times. He has a reputation for well-planned, clean code and will ensure all DevPress work is just as great.
  • Ptah DunbarPtah Dunbar – Another theme framework author, Ptah created WP Framework with a clear understanding of how WordPress operates. To further that, he contributed much of what you now know as the WordPress 3.0 menu system.  Ptah brings nothing less than pure WordPress and programmer expertise to DevPress.
  • Tung DoTung Do – More well known  as Small Potato, Tung is credited for being one of the first to bring premium WordPress themes to market. He ran an extremely successful marketplace for a while before deciding to take a WordPress hiatus. Since then, Tung’s design skills have only improved and he brings to DevPress some incredible looking work.
  • Patrick DalyMyself, Patrick Daly – Its a lot easier for me to brag on the three guys above. What I can tell you about me, though, is that I love “front-end engineering” or the “presentation layer” or more simply, the HTML, CSS, and Javascript. I plan on making it drop-dead gorgeous.

Between the four of us, we’re confident we’ll offer some of the best WordPress products available.

It won’t be long before we launch and there are many more details to share. So go to http://devpress.com/ to be notified when we launch. You can also follow us @devpress.

Scribe Sale Ends Tomorrow

Promo code: PROMO27

Use that promo code to get the largest available package (300 evaluations) for $27/month which is usually $97/month. Just visit scribeseo.com, select the Advanced Plan, register and use the promo code PROMO27.

It won’t work after 5:00 p.m. Central on Friday, June 4, 2010.

What is Scribe anyway?

Scribe is a search engine optimization software service that analyzes the content of web pages, blog posts, online press releases, or any other web content … all at the click of a button.

Next, it reports back and tells you how to tweak your content to get better search engine rankings and more traffic, all while maintaining quality reader-focused copy.

And you’re probably a WordPress user so you can just install the plugin from the repository like any other plugin. But now there’s also a web-based version of Scribe as well as one for Joomla and Drupal with more platforms on the way. In other words, Scribe is available wherever you publish so you might as well take advantage of optimizing all your content.

Find out more about Scribe here.

You can read my review of Scribe here.

Do you use Hybrid?

Scribe was built to work alongside other great works of SEO. One of the theme frameworks the authors deemed credible was Hybrid. If you’ve ever used Hybrid you know that it does a great job of optimizing a site’s structure and HTML. Optimizing the content is up to you.

Since Hybrid has some built in SEO features (like the ability to customize page titles and description) Scribe takes advantage of those. So rest assured that installing Scribe on your Hybrid site will work like a breeze.

Free 28 page SEO report

Go grab the free SEO copyrighting report to help you before you hit the analyze button.

By the way, affiliate links were unashamedly used in this post. Scribe is the only thing I promote using affiliate links … because I trust it enough to do so.

How to Add the Facebook Like Button to Hybrid

Yesterday Facebook announced a slew of new features to make the web even more social. One of the plugins they released was the Facebook like button. If you’re using WordPress and the Hybrid theme, here’s how to easily add the button to each of your posts:

TXT File Code (WordPress strips out iFrames so I can’t post it directly here)

That adds the button to the end of your posts when on individual blog posts. Add that code to your functions.php file.

Try out my like button below!

Props to Ruhani for urlencode.