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The Yearly Round-up: 2013’s Best ExpressionEngine, WordPress, and Magento Content

January 3, 2014 0 Comments RSS Feed

2013 Round Up

In 2013, you might have heard that eCommerce is getting more important. You might also have heard that web design is getting more important. But don’t forget blogging, because that is definitely getting more important. It’s hard to keep up, right? That’s why we like to gather up our favorite ExpressionEngine, WordPress, and Magento articles each month for your convenience. In honor of the New Year arriving, this month we’ve collected some of the best articles we’ve read all year. If you’d like more great content in 2014, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Enjoy and let us know what you think in the comment section!

WordPress and Blogging

  • The Periodic Table of WordPress Plugins – Over 23,000 WordPress plugins have been contributed to the Plugin Directory. Millions of websites are powered by these plugins, developed and maintained by an amazing open-source community around the globe. This table showcases the 108 most popular WordPress plugins, ranked by the number of downloads.
  • 15 Advanced Security Tips To Make Your WordPress Site Bulletproof – The main reason because of which WordPress is the favorite target for hackers, is its huge user base. There are no doubts that WordPress is the most famous CMS in the Internet. It is true that many times, WordPress got its security compromised in its early years, but the WordPress Team (that is, Automattic) was prompt enough to fix the loopholes right on time.
  • From Blobs to Chunks: Structured Content in WordPress – As the folks at CERN recently celebrated, it was twenty years ago that the core technologies and standards of the world wide web (including code for a web server and a line-mode client) were officially placed in the public domain.
  • 10 Plugins That I Install After I Install WordPress – People start looking for right plugins & themes right after setting up their blogs with WordPress as most people want a little more functionality than what is right out of the box. High quality plugins widen scope for success of a WP blog and site (but you already knew that). Thus, the research for credible plugins is required.provides it.
  • How to Optimize Your Images on WordPress – I really enjoyed the recent post by Amy Balliett 3 Tips to Plan Your SEO Campaign for The Visual Web, which made me think that maybe you would like to know how to optimize your images within WordPress.
  • 8 Superb Mobile WordPress Plugins – In order for a WordPress site to be successful, it must have a mobile presence. Many people search for sites through their mobile phones, and they are quickly becoming a resource for those who are on the go. In order to reach this audience, a WordPress site must be optimized for mobile devices.
  • The Definitive Guide to WordPress Security – If you work in online marketing, the chances are good that you’ve worked on, are working on, or will at some point work on a WordPress site. If you work with in any capacity, this post is for you (much of this post doesn’t apply to hosted sites).
  • The Top WordPress Tools for Developers, Designers, and Consultants – I was a Joomla! user who converted to WordPress in 2010, and I have contributed at least four sites to the WordPress statistic that it powers more than 68 million websites around the world. This year, I took the plunge into the WordPress codex and began writing my own plugins and getting comfortable with the code behind the ever-evolving WordPress platform.
  • Powerful WordPress Tips And Tricks – I’ve been working with WordPress since the dawn of time, and even though I peek at the source code regularly, I still discover new tips and tricks. I’ve compiled my own list of 21 techniques that are handy, clever, fun or best practices rarely followed. I hope everyone finds something new in the list!
  • How a WordPress Child Theme May Save Your Business Some Day – Imagine tweaking your WordPress theme for hours, aligning those images, increasing line height so text is easier to read, setting that call-to-action button color, making featured images bigger… Weeks later you see there’s an update for your theme.
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Customizing a WordPress Site – If you’re new to WordPress, the thought of tinkering with its code can be a daunting one. But in reality, there are many simple things you can do in order to customize the look and feel of your site without risking disaster.
  • How To Identify WordPress Plugins On Any WordPress Website – I had someone contact me recently that wanted to know the name of the WordPress Plugin I was using on my sidebar for social media. I’m used to just getting this info on my own using Google Chrome’s inspect element feature, as it works for the vast majority of WordPress Plugins.


  • Make moving your ExpressionEngine site a breeze – Moving can be such a hassle. Forget moving trucks and packing tape, I’m talking about relocating a website. Luckily, moving an ExpressionEngine site is a fairly simple task – if you’ve got your variables organized.
  • Updating Expression Engine – The Fast Way – Ellis Labs’ ExpressionEngine is one of the best CMS packages available; if you’ve done development work with it, then you’re probably already familiar with its advantages over other CMS software, including free/open source options like Drupal or WordPress.
  • The Key to ExpressionEngine Performance – Imagine you were to build a house. After all the years of building web sites and being a slave to “the man” the pay day has finally come; you’ve sold out and you’re finally gonna hire a contractor to design and build you the house of your dreams (or your wife’s/husband’s/whatever’s dreams).
  • ExpressionEngine Add-ons we use on Every Install – Recently we were asked what some of our “go to” add-ons are for ExpressionEngine. While we don’t subscribe to a “use all the add-ons all the time” mentality, there are a few that make their way into our installs more often than not. Below is a list and some reasons why.
  • The ExpressionEngine That Could – Anyone who has worked with Terrostar in the past probably knows that for years we have been utilizing a custom CMS that was developed in-house. Many of our clients still rely on it every day to manage their websites. The beauty of this product is that we have full control over all of the features and functionality. We know it inside and out. However, in our industry, technology changes fast.
  • Inviting ExpressionEngine Add-on Developers Into Your Environment – A few months back, I wrote a post about getting your support request to the top of the queue. In it, I casually mentioned that I felt inviting third-party developers into your ExpressionEngine environment as Super Admins was a security risk, and should be avoided. I’ve since had a few conversations with other third-party add-on developers who expressed their disagreement with this position.
  • ExpressionEngine 2.7: The New Grid Fieldtype – EllisLab recently released the latest major point update to their ExpressionEngine CMS. The latest update will bring some new opportunities for existing EE sites and open up a number of possibilities for how we can use and manipulate content on an EE powered site.
  • Building a Web Shop for Success – The 2013 ExpressionEngine Conference was held this week in Portland, OR. I was in the speaker lineup but was unfortunately unable to make it in person. I’m thrilled to say that what kept me back home is that I had a baby boy join the family a few weeks ago. That didn’t stop me from delivering my presentation.

Magento and eCommerce

  • 70 conversion optimization tips for a Magento shop – eCommerce has become one of the best ways to sell products today. The Magento application is one of the biggest shopping platforms. In this checklist we like to show you how to become individual and more successful. Your competitors are not sleeping and a good communication between your Magento shop and the visitors decides about the success.
  • My Life With Magento – The story of a developer’s relationship with Magento, told through animated GIFS.
  • An Overview on Common Terminologies of Magento – “Magento” – the e-commerce web application itself is an industry. Its features and usage are so diversified that needs a developer to acquire specific skills. If you are new into the field of Magento development, this blog post would assist you in understanding the different aspects of Magento system.
  • Tips for Designing a Better Magento Website – Whether you are designing a Magento website or you are a Magento store owner, there are some important things to keep in mind in terms of your website’s design. While you already know that you want your website to look good and sell products, you might not know exactly how to go about choosing the best Magento theme for you.
  • How to Deal with Layered Navigation in Magento – There are lots of different ways to prevent layered navigation from causing SEO issues with eCommerce sites, varying in difficulty, effectiveness and the amount of traffic the pages can generate.
  • Magento: Increasing Import Speed – A lot of import scripts I’ve worked with previously are very slow. It’s true to say that Magento is a bit of a memory and process hog, but there are a few things that we can do to speed up import processes.
  • Inside PayPal’s Big Purchase  – Braintree, a payment-platform company that powers transactions for growing companies such as Uber and Airbnb, has reportedly been in the market for a buyer for more than a month now. After negotiations with Google went south earlier this month, the company has found a new parent: eBay’s PayPal.
  • Magento Attributes: Let’s Talk About It – The key to successful e-commerce development: Attributes need to take center stage. They are the most important set of data you have in Magento. Attributes define price, color, model, year, and a whole array of other items, which are super flexible and very customizable.
  • Your Mobile eCommerce Strategy – Is It Ready? – If you have followed the growth of mobile eCommerce, you have probably received a lot of contradictory cues from the press and, even, respected researchers like Forrester, seem to offer conflicting views about web shopping on mobile devices.
  • Why Online Stores Switched eCommerce Platforms – It wanted flexibility and room to grow, says CEO Kevin Hickey about his company’s move from the Yahoo Stores e-commerce platform to eBay Inc.’s Magento Enterprise platform. The move also helped drastically reduce overhead.

Since 2013 has also been the year of Bitcoin, we’ll leave you with a relevant video that explains the digital currency and how it is mined.

Image via Flickr user: Jon Glittenberg

Posted in: Monthly Roundups