Performancing Plugins – Performancing http://performancing.com Tue, 13 Feb 2018 03:14:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Help Test Out This Plugin http://performancing.com/help_test_out_this_plugin/ http://performancing.com/help_test_out_this_plugin/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2009 23:44:17 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2777 In the WordPress Tavern forum, I mentioned how I would like to see a plugin that would allow me to set a minimum amount of words a comment must be in order for it to be published. I’m sick and tired of the comments that have no meaning such as ‘Hi, Great Site‘ or ‘I’ve […]

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In the WordPress Tavern forum, I mentioned how I would like to see a plugin that would allow me to set a minimum amount of words a comment must be in order for it to be published. I’m sick and tired of the comments that have no meaning such as ‘Hi, Great Site‘ or ‘I’ve Subscribed To This blog‘. I’d rather have a way to simply discard these comments before they even reach my moderation queue.

Will Anderson stepped up the plate after some conversation as to what to create and he has since released the first beta of the plugin here. With this plugin, you can configure a minimum character or word limit before a comment is published. You can also enable client side javascript so when the end user tries to publish a comment not matching the required criteria, they’ll receive a popup saying so.

So far on my site, the plugin appears to be working just fine but give it a shot and let Will know what you think.

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Interview With All In One SEO Plugin Author http://performancing.com/interview_with_all_in_one_seo_plugin_author/ http://performancing.com/interview_with_all_in_one_seo_plugin_author/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2008 04:49:21 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2576 Recently, I had the opportunity to interview the author behind the plugin, The All In One SEO Pack. This is by far the most popular plugin downloaded from the WordPress plugin repository and within this interview, we discuss the topic of SEO, what it is like to manage the most popular plugin within the repository, […]

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Recently, I had the opportunity to interview the author behind the plugin, The All In One SEO Pack. This is by far the most popular plugin downloaded from the WordPress plugin repository and within this interview, we discuss the topic of SEO, what it is like to manage the most popular plugin within the repository, configuration of the plugin and last but not least, we dive around the aspect of what could happen if you mis configured the plugin.

The interview is about 45 minutes long but it is filled with tons of great information as it relates to SEO, WordPress and plugins.

Download The Interview:

AllInOneSEOInterview.mp3

Listen To The Interview:

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Displaying Ads With The Show125 Plugin http://performancing.com/displaying_ads_with_the_show125_plugin/ http://performancing.com/displaying_ads_with_the_show125_plugin/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2008 23:30:32 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2437 One way to display ads on your WordPress powered site is to load up a text based widget with all of the HTML necessary to display 125X125 pixel banner ads. However, this can be cumbersome and a pain to manage. A WordPress plugin called Show125 helps take the pain out of displaying ads. Show125 gives […]

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One way to display ads on your WordPress powered site is to load up a text based widget with all of the HTML necessary to display 125X125 pixel banner ads. However, this can be cumbersome and a pain to manage. A WordPress plugin called Show125 helps take the pain out of displaying ads.

Show125 gives you granular control over your ads. Some of the features included in this plugin are:

  • Display from 1 to 8 ads
  • Available in English (default) or French
  • Display all your ads together, or in an eye-candy Mootools slideshow
  • Optionally add the target=”_blank” attribute to links, if you want ads to open in a new tab.
  • Show (or not) a title for your ads block
  • Clean code
  • Add custom css class to links for styling it your way

After downloading the plugin and extracting it’s contents to your desktop, upload the plugin into your plugins folder. Then, browse to your plugins area in your WordPress administration area and activate the plugin. The settings for this plugin will be located in, DESIGN-WIDGETS where you will need to add the widget to your sidebar. Once added, click on the EDIT button which will then display the widgets configuration options.

The configuration options are pretty much self explanatory.

While testing this plugin, it did give me a few issues in which I have yet figure out. For starters. after configuring the widget to display four ad images, the link to edit the widget disappeared. This means I can not remove the widget from my sidebar unless I deactivate the plugin or delete it from the plugins folder. I’ve tried deactivating the plugin, deleting it from the server but to no avail. The plugin appears to be *STUCK* inside of my WordPress installation. Even after deleting it completely from the server and reinstalling the plugin it appeared as though the configuration was still saved inside of WordPress.

At first, this seemed like an excellent plugin/widget to mange the display of multiple ads. However, looks like there is still work that needs to be done to the widget to ensure it works properly. Use this plugin at your own risk. If it works, it’s great if it doesn’t look for something like OIO Publisher which may be more than what you need.

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Performancing’s Most Memorable—January 2008 http://performancing.com/performancing_s_most_memorable%e2%80%94january_2008/ Sat, 21 Jun 2008 06:42:45 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=3661 There is quite an impressive amount of quality content that has been written in the past for Performancing. Just like any great site, we want to make sure that our great content doesn’t get lost simply because new great content is written. It would almost be criminal to do otherwise. To ensure this doesn’t happen, […]

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There is quite an impressive amount of quality content that has been written in the past for Performancing. Just like any great site, we want to make sure that our great content doesn’t get lost simply because new great content is written. It would almost be criminal to do otherwise. To ensure this doesn’t happen, I am proud to present “Performancing’s Most Memorable.”

Over the next few months, I am going to be linking to some of Performancing’s best articles for each month. To kick things off, logically, I will start with January of this year. Once we are all caught up, I will then do the same at the end of each following month until we reach the end of the year, and when that happens, I will have an impressive article to recap the entire year.

If you are new to blogging, you’ll want to check out every single link within this post.

If you want to be a great blogger, you need to learn from the best. With our reader’s help, several bloggers were observed for their efforts. We begin with one of Performancing’s most memorable moments—the Performancing Blog Awards 2007.

Awards

Performancing Blog Awards 2007 Winners

Interviews

Performancing Interviews Jesse Nachtigal of Cigar Jack

Performancing Interviews Jon Phillips of FreelanceFolder

Monetization

7 Lessons From the Blogging Trenches: Cracking $200 per Month in Adsense

Blogging

A Quick Introduction to Twitter for Bloggers

Creating Better Page Titles, Post Titles, And Page Slugs On WordPress

6 Easy Ways To Get Eaten by the GOOG Monster

Joining a Niche Conversation, Part 1: Determining the Top Blogs In Your Niche

Joining the Niche Conversation, Part 2: Idea Generating for Bloggers

Joining a Niche Conversation, Part 3: Don’t Be Afraid to Edit Archived Blog Posts

Joining a Niche Conversation, Part 4: Making Your Blog Stand Out

Are Bloggers and Blogs Ruining the English Language?

Blog roll out: Developing a successful blog format

Helping Bloggers Become More Unique

Management

4 Tips to Help Manage Multiple Blogs

Other

7 Things I Want Google To Fix In 2008

I hope you enjoy seeing content from Performancing’s past. If you are new to Performancing, please subscribe to our content feed.

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User Rank Plugin for WordPress from Performancing Plugins http://performancing.com/user_rank_plugin_for_wordpress_from_performancing_plugins/ http://performancing.com/user_rank_plugin_for_wordpress_from_performancing_plugins/#comments Tue, 20 May 2008 23:34:04 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2334 Have you ever wanted to rank the users of your blog based on comments and/or post contributions? Creating a leader board for the users of your blog can provide incentive to contribute more often, and can also be used to offer performance based prizes. Performancing is pleased to release UserRank as a free WordPress plugin […]

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Have you ever wanted to rank the users of your blog based on comments and/or post contributions?

Creating a leader board for the users of your blog can provide incentive to contribute more often, and can also be used to offer performance based prizes.

Performancing is pleased to release UserRank as a free WordPress plugin that assigns scores to your WordPress blog users and outputs the user rankings with a simple function.

The plugin was originally designed for a cash-reward contest that Glamorati will be having in the near future.

Click here for more information, and to download the plugin.

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Performancing Stream of Consciousness – Fri, Apr 4, 2008 http://performancing.com/performancing_stream_of_consciousness_-_fri__apr_4__2008/ http://performancing.com/performancing_stream_of_consciousness_-_fri__apr_4__2008/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2008 18:13:47 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=3187 Some reading for the weekend: Aspiring web publishers take note. Darren Rowse, one of the kings of blog networks, offers comprehensive advice on how he would build a niche-focused blog network. Aaron Wall has added yet another tool, Rank Checker, to his Seobook site. Rank Checker, for Firefox browser only, tells you where your website […]

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Some reading for the weekend:

  1. Aspiring web publishers take note. Darren Rowse, one of the kings of blog networks, offers comprehensive advice on how he would build a niche-focused blog network.
  2. Aaron Wall has added yet another tool, Rank Checker, to his Seobook site. Rank Checker, for Firefox browser only, tells you where your website ranks in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Live.
  3. If you have WordPress design or programming skills,  or can provide support services, check out WordPressFreelance for freelance work opportunities. There are no initial fees, however after the trial period, they take the greater of $5 or 5%. [via: WPThemesPlugin.]
  4. If you use social media, or have online friends submit your articles for you, Chris Winfield at Search Engine Land has some tips on making your content submit worthy.
  5. Google has confirmed an algorithm change for their SERPs, which some members of the SEO community have codenamed Dewey. I haven’t delved into this, but if you’re interested, here are some references: Search Engine Land, Search Engine Roundtable, Search Engine Journal.
  6. Moses at WP Themes Plugin recently released the free LightBreaker WP theme. He points out that it’s not a magazine-style theme, though I think it’s very professional-looking, and might suit a small network of sites. Or just one. It’s widgetized, allows pullquotes easily, and is ad-ready for AdSense and 125×125 px graphic ads.
  7. Michael Gray, aka Gray Wolf, always has some sage advice regarding leveraging news events. Read his recent post How to Get 1 Million Dollars Worth of Links. It’s short but to the point.

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Three New Extensions for pMetrics Plugin http://performancing.com/three_new_extensions_for_pmetrics_plugin/ Wed, 10 Oct 2007 13:42:18 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=2218 The pMetrics plugin lets you display statistical information about your blog either privately in your dashboard or publicly in different places on your blog. We think it’s a fun plugin, especially the way it gives you a quick glimpse of you blog statistics in the WP Dashboarad. Yesterday, we launched three new one-click install extensions […]

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The pMetrics plugin lets you display statistical information about your blog either privately in your dashboard or publicly in different places on your blog.

We think it’s a fun plugin, especially the way it gives you a quick glimpse of you blog statistics in the WP Dashboarad.

Yesterday, we launched three new one-click install extensions that we hope all pMetrics users have fun with.

Affiliate Image

Allows you to make money by displaying the pMetrics logo as an affiliate link.

Latest Locations

Displays the locations of your latest blog visitors.

Search Cloud

Creates a tag cloud of used search terms, and links them to the blog’s search function.

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Performancing Partners to close http://performancing.com/performancing_partners_to_close/ http://performancing.com/performancing_partners_to_close/#comments Mon, 22 Jan 2007 21:39:14 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=3448 I’m sad to tell you that Partners has to close. While I have every faith it could have worked, it wasn’t going to happen fast enough. Without more money invested it wasn’t going to happen at all. Any ads currently in the system will continue to run until the end of the month at which […]

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I’m sad to tell you that Partners has to close. While I have every faith it could have worked, it wasn’t going to happen fast enough. Without more money invested it wasn’t going to happen at all.

Any ads currently in the system will continue to run until the end of the month at which time the ad code will stop working. Please take your ad code down from your templates then. Remaining ad time will of course be refunded.

This news is surely not going to be popular. All I can say is thank you to all the publishers and advertisers who tried the service and to all the people in the forums who provided feedback and ideas. I am gutted I couldn’t have some time to act on your suggestions.

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Performancing for Firefox 1.3.5 released! http://performancing.com/performancing_for_firefox_1_3_5_released/ http://performancing.com/performancing_for_firefox_1_3_5_released/#comments Mon, 13 Nov 2006 16:04:13 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=3712 Hello everyone, I’m pleased to announce the release of Performancing for Firefox 1.3.5. Download it now! Not to long ago we talked about the Roadmap for the 1.4 release, and what we have in store. However with recent changes in the Blogger.com service, we thought it would be a good idea to have an intermediate […]

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Hello everyone, I’m pleased to announce the release of
Performancing for Firefox 1.3.5.

Download it now!

Not to long ago we talked about the Roadmap for the 1.4 release, and what we have in store. However with recent changes in the Blogger.com service, we thought it would be a good idea to have an intermediate release with bugfixes and better Blogger.com support. So here we are with 1.3.5!

Read More…

Additions and Fixes:

1) Better Spell-check support in Firefox 2.0. Both Rich and normal editing now have spell-check, along with bug fixes and you can now switch easily between different languages provided you have more
than one dictionary installed

2) Fixed Blogger support. This release now works with both normal and Beta blogger accounts.

3) Added Label (tag) support to blogger. Note this only works with Blogger Beta accounts at this moment. You can add labels to your post via the ‘Categs’ tab. You will see a new button called “Add Category” at the bottom where you can add posts to your account. You can also see what your history items have and change their categories.

4) Improved Account manager. Better auto-detect and added ability to select what blogs
 you want added to your list. i.e. if you have more than on blog under
 the same API and username, before PFF would add them all, now you can
 de-select (while holding down the ctrl key) the ones you don’t want to add.

5) Fixed a Master Password issue. If you have a master password set in Firefox, PFF should now only ask you for your password once.

6) Draft support for Blogger

7) Window Icon for windows and Linux (when opening PFF in a window).

8) Prevent duplicate tag and ‘powered by …’ insertion in posts.

9) Experimental newMediaObject image and file uploading. For blog systems that support image uploads (MT, wordpress, Drupal, etc.) You can now try the ‘Upload Via API’ button in the image uploading window. Please note this is experimental, if you have issues or it works for you, please let us know so we can improve it.

10) MacOSX Rich Edit view corruption fixed. The cursor should no longer get lost in long posts on MacOSX

Know Issues:

1) Bookmarking to delicious on blogger accounts only works with blogger beta for the time being.
2) Embedding Flash and other Media in a blogger post doesn’t always work. I’ve written an article on on how to embed videos, etc. in blogger here.
3) Long titles in Blogger posts get cut off in history mode. For some reason the history atom feeds we get from blogger only allow an X amount (50 chars I think). So if you edit a post with a long title in PFF, PFF will only load the first 50 chars of it. To fix this for now until Blogger changes this on their side is to copy your original long title and paste it back into pff for post you are editing. This is a know issue by the Blogger devs and should be fixed soon without any needed changes to PFF.

Thank you all who helped us test it in the multiple beta releases, and a thank you to the Blogger team at Google for the great improvements in the latest API and being very responsive to our questions.

For those interested in what will be version 1.4. Head over to the PFF 1.4 Roadmap post and make yourself heard!

As always, if you have any support questions or problems, head to the PFF Forums and we will be sure to help you out!

Technorati Tags: performancing, firefox, blogger, blogging

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Performancing Partners Launches! http://performancing.com/performancing_partners_launches/ http://performancing.com/performancing_partners_launches/#comments Thu, 19 Oct 2006 09:20:53 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=4009 We were going to keep this quiet just a bit longer, just between us and 25,000 close friends you know? But the cat is out of the bag. The Performancing Partners Blog Ad Network is open to bloggers in BETA. Darren and Marshall have the most complete writeups and I recommend reading them if you […]

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We were going to keep this quiet just a bit longer, just between us and 25,000 close friends you know? But the cat is out of the bag.

The Performancing Partners Blog Ad Network is open to bloggers in BETA.

Darren and Marshall have the most complete writeups and I recommend reading them if you want good unbiased opinion on what Partners is all about.

If you want totally biased, proud-father-esque stuff, you can keep reading 🙂

Performancing Partners offers publishers a new, smart way to get paid for blogging. By placing the Partners code on your blog you open your site to a wide variety of advertisers whilst being free to concentrate on what you do best: Blog…

Adding your blog is quick and simple, and if you need it, you can get help in the publisher forums.

Revenue share and residual income:

The revenue split is very simple with Performancing Partners, and it’s geared toward rewarding publishers that stick with us, and refer others into the program. The main points are these:

* You take 70% of advertising revenue your blog generates.
* Performancing takes 30%
* You take 5% of income generated by any publisher or advertiser you refer to us

Partner payouts for referrals continue indefinitely providing both you and the party you referred are active in the program. This allows publishers to build up a strong residual income over time independent of their own blogs.

Enjoy for now, much more detail over the coming weeks!

powered by performancing firefox

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Performancing for Firefox Update http://performancing.com/performancing_for_firefox_update/ http://performancing.com/performancing_for_firefox_update/#comments Wed, 04 Oct 2006 06:26:48 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=3711 Recently I talked about what’s in store for PFF 1.4, and we got a great response. As you know, we are working hard to get this release out the door as a solid release. To make sure things go as smooth as before, we’d like to have a series of Beta’s to get your feedback.Read […]

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Recently I talked about what’s in store for PFF 1.4, and we got a great response.

As you know, we are working hard to get this release out the door as a solid release.

To make sure things go as smooth as before, we’d like to have a series of Beta’s to get your feedback.
Read More…

Multiple Beta Releases
Specifically we want to make sure Image Uploading and Blogger support are solid, and we mean rock solid!

A new dev build with improved Blogger support will be going out over the next few days, so if you are Blogger user, or even on the latest Blogger beta, send me a PM with your email address, or express your interest in this thread, and I’ll make sure you get a build to test.

Following the Blogger dev build, we would like to have a beta release for a smaller audience to test out the new Image Uploading capabilities (which are going to Rock!).

Translations
Second on the list are Translations.
We have numerous teams working on Translations for PFF 1.3, Nick recently sent out a call for an update, so we can get locales out to the public.

To take this a step further, we are already starting to think about 1.4. If you would like to be a part of the PFF 1.4 translation release, or would like to help out with the current Translation, jump right into to the Translation Forum and lend a hand.

As always, any bug fixes, problems or requests you would like to see in the upcoming PFF 1.4, we are more than happy to discuss. Thanks to you, Performancing for Firefox will get even better.

powered by performancing firefox

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Performancing for Firefox 1.4 Roadmap http://performancing.com/performancing_for_firefox_1_4_roadmap/ http://performancing.com/performancing_for_firefox_1_4_roadmap/#comments Tue, 12 Sep 2006 21:00:11 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=3709 While we are hard at work on creating PFF 1.4, I’d like to take this moment to get some feedback from you all, pff users. Currently the roadmap looks like this Image Service uploading (flickr, Photobucket, etc.) – An Easy, single interface for uploading images. Also make it easy to add new uploading Services Edit […]

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While we are hard at work on creating PFF 1.4, I’d like to take this moment to get some feedback from you all, pff users.

Currently the roadmap looks like this

  1. Image Service uploading (flickr, Photobucket, etc.) – An Easy, single interface for uploading images. Also make it easy to add new uploading Services
  2. Edit Accounts Dialog – Give easy access to renaming your blog, changing your password, etc.
  3. Blogger Beta support – Support for blogger’s latest and greatest  service
  4. Import/Export of account settings – Easily back up and import your pff settings
  5. Re-do Image Uploading UI – Create a kick-ass image uploading UI where you can easily choose to upload via FTP, your blog’s upload api or a image service (like flickr) 
  6. Re-vamp Settings UI – Right now it really looks bad, and has alot of room for improvement.
  7. Better Formatting Options – Improve how we generate HTML in the Rich edit mode and add more formatting feature in the context menu (i.e. Font Family, H1, H2, .., )
  8. Other small bug-fixing

I’d love to hear what you think of this feature set, and any suggestions, or something we are missing.
Specifically how you would like to see Image Uploading work given the options of FTP, Image Services and Blog API Uploading.

With your help, I think PFF 1.4 will be our biggest release yet!

powered by performancing firefox

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Tipping Point for Firefox Plugins? http://performancing.com/tipping_point_for_firefox_plugins/ Thu, 08 Jun 2006 17:09:02 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=3933 A couple of days ago, Patrick pointed out to me that PFF had done 16,000 downloads this week, which is about double the highest i’ve seen before. I don’t think it’s at tipping point, at least not quite yet, but it did make me wonder what had caused that rush of downloads, and what , […]

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A couple of days ago, Patrick pointed out to me that PFF had done 16,000 downloads this week, which is about double the highest i’ve seen before. I don’t think it’s at tipping point, at least not quite yet, but it did make me wonder what had caused that rush of downloads, and what , if anything, it might signify.

Is there a tipping point for a Firefox plugin?

Performancing Firefox is a little more than just a plugin of course, but those figures are amazing, as are these Google results.

The power of Firefox as a platform for development continues to amaze me, all I really want now is for Allpeers to send me a sodding invite and i’ll be happy…

powered by performancing firefox

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Performancing Firefox 1.1.1 Bug Fix Release http://performancing.com/performancing_firefox_1_1_1_bug_fix_release/ Thu, 09 Feb 2006 19:14:29 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=3346 Jed has been working his fingers to the bone to put the finishing touches to Performancing for Firefox 1.1.1, here is what is new and changed in this release: Post as Draft bug fixed MSN Spaces Categories now work (you’ll need to re-add your msn spaces account) Delicious now grabs the correct post, not just […]

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Jed has been working his fingers to the bone to put the finishing touches to Performancing for Firefox 1.1.1, here is what is new and changed in this release:

  1. Post as Draft bug fixed
  2. MSN Spaces Categories now work (you’ll need to re-add your msn spaces account)
  3. Delicious now grabs the correct post, not just the most recent.
  4. Editing content now retains changes when switching between Rich and Source editing.
  5. Preview window now shows URL as normal underlined urls
  6. Clicking on a link in Rich mode will no longer launch the url (only in preview).
  7. Flock and MacOSX UI bug fixes
  8. Categories now work with Drupal

As always you can download the new version from our Performancing for Firefox page

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Photoshop Tutorial Performancing Banners http://performancing.com/photoshop_tutorial_ae%e2%80%9d_performancing_banners/ http://performancing.com/photoshop_tutorial_ae%e2%80%9d_performancing_banners/#comments Thu, 02 Feb 2006 16:38:08 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=4080 After winning the recent Performancing for Firefox Banner competition, several of my fellow contestants asked me to put together a Photoshop tutorial. I happily agreed — so here goes my first attempt at demonstrating some of the techniques I utilised to create my banner. Being both a blogging and tutorial amateur, I’ve decided to take […]

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After winning the recent Performancing for Firefox Banner competition, several of my fellow contestants asked me to put together a Photoshop tutorial. I happily agreed — so here goes my first attempt at demonstrating some of the techniques I utilised to create my banner.

Being both a blogging and tutorial amateur, I’ve decided to take the same approach as documenting science experiments which I learned in high school: Aim, method, result, and conclusion.

Aim

My main goal when starting any design project is to keep it clean. I try to keep it clean by doing the following:

  • Give all elements as much breathing space as you can afford.
  • Weight (give visual preference to) the elements depending on their importance.
  • Use a grid when laying the elements out.
  • Make sure typography is readable.
  • Create and stick to a simple colour scheme.

With those things in mind I then ask myself some questions.

  1. What is the desired result of this design?
  2. Does the client have any existing branding (logos, fonts etc.) that should be adhered to, and if so, is there any scope for creative interpretation of their brand?

To me, this task was primarily a branding exercise for Performancing. They’re about to release a new plug-in for Firefox and want to spread the word. Everyone knows the Firefox brand, so it was an early decision for me not to include the Firefox logo in my design. Firefox needed mentioning of course, but could do without the emphasis that the Performancing brand required.

So one big Performancing logo, a mention of Firefox and the Performancing plug-in, then a call to action (or “click here”). Simple 😉

Method

This tutorial will be based on my 160×160 banner only, as the the other two buttons pretty much follow the same theme. Also I work on a Windows PC, so Mac users should substitute CTRL and ALT key commands with their Mac equivalents.

Setup

For banners I ususally start by setting up some guides. I do this by first creating a new document at the intended size (160 x 160), making sure snapping is on (View>Snap), and that rulers are visible (View>Rulers).

Now if you drag a guide from the left ruler it should snap to the vertical center of your canvas. Nice huh? Do the the same from the top ruler for your horizontal guide. Drag guides to all four of the document sides, double your canvas size (Image>Canvas Size) and you should end up with this:

Isn’t that lovely? All this does really is set up a solid base for your design — a good foundation if you will. Now for some pretty pictures.

Background elements

I decided on rounded corners. They’re nice. They’re friendly. The easiest way to do this is with the rounded rectangle tool in the tools palette.

I usually avoid using shape paths and just stick with good old pixels. So choose “Fill pixels” from the options tool bar, and give our shape a radius of 10.

Choose white from the colours palette, create a new layer and name it “bg”, then go ahead and draw in the background for our banner using our previously created guides.

TIP: Only draw shapes with the shape tool when your window zoom is at 100%. Drawing them when you’re zoomed in will result in fuzzy edges.

I then added a single pixel outside stroke in blue using a layer style (Layer>Layer Style>Stroke).

Since we added a 1 pixel outside stroke, our shape is now 162 x 162. I then select the rectangular marquee tool and move each side of the shape in by a pixel so we’re back to 160×160. Finally, something to look at 🙂

After that we then duplicate that layer, remove the new layer’s stroke and using the rectangular marquee tool again, move each side of our new layer in by 2 pixels.

Name the new layer “bg gradient” and toggle the “Lock transparent pixels” button in the layers palette.

TIP: “Lock transparent pixels” does just that – it stops any transparent areas of a layer from being editable. This is handy for when you want to edit exclusive areas of a layer without applying a layer mask.

Now we want to apply a linear gradient from blue to white on our new layer. So using the colour picker, choose blue for the foreground colour and white for the background colour. Then select the gradient tool, and click and drag from the top to the bottom of the layer, using our guides as, well, a guide 🙂

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OK – looking good. Let’s get a logo in there.

Performancing logo

In the new version of Photoshop (CS2), there’s a lovely new feature called “Smart Objects”. Essentially a smart object is a non-destructive vector image. This means you have a vector image inside your Photoshop file which you can resize to your heart’s content and it won’t lose any quality. Fireworks users have been using this feature since version one 🙂

So go ahead and open the Performancing logo in a vector program like Illustrator.

Copy the “P” part of the logo, paste it into our Photoshop file and choose paste as “Smart Object” from the dialogue box.

We then want to centre the logo horizontally (if it isn’t already), scale it up a bit and move it to vertical centre of the top half of our banner. Hit the enter key to apply the transformation.

Repeat the same process for the “Performancing” text part of the logo. Copy the text from Illustrator, paste into Photoshop as a Smart Object, scale it to size, and align the top edge to the guide in the vertical centre.

Although our canvas isn’t so empty any more, it’s still looking pretty flat and uninteresting. We gotta make that logo pop! What better way to make a logo stand out than with a bevel and a drop-shadow? There isn’t one – you know it’s true 😉

Bevels and drop-shadows can quickly go pear-shaped if you’re not careful, but I’ve found that the key for both is subtlety. I basically just play around with the bevel layer style settings until things look just right. I applied the following settings to get the final logo looking the way it does:

The drop-shadow settings are pretty straight forward, however since the “P” in the Performancing logo is dark blue, I thought I’d add a white, single pixel outside stroke to it in order to make the edges of the logo more defined. I set the colour of the drop-shadow to be dark blue rather than black, as it looks more realistic in this instance.

So what we end up with after applying our layer styles is looking pretty good.

Although our logo now looks much nicer and more tactile, it’s still not really popping. We can add more pop by putting a radial gradient behind it. So go ahead and duplicate the “bg gradient” layer and call the new layer “glow”. Select white for both the foreground and background colours with the colour picker, then select the gradient tool and a radial gradient.

We then want to open the Gradient Editor by clicking the white drop-down menu on the left. Then select “Foreground to Transparent” from the Presets.

Creating a glow behind the logo is then simply a matter, of clicking and dragging with the gradient tool from the centre of the logo to the bottom of the banner. What you should end up with it this:

Much more poppy! Now it’s time for some text.

Text

As I mentioned at the beginning of this tutorial, I wanted to keep the message of the banner pretty simple. Something along the lines of “Hello! We’re Performancing. We like bloggers and we’ve got this great plug-in for Firefox”. I thought the Performancing tagline “Helping Bloggers Succeed” summed up part of the message, so all that was left was to mention the Firefox plug-in. I added the tagline and the remaining text using my current favourite font, Myriad Pro.

Tip: When setting non anti-aliased text, make sure “Fractional Widths” is selected in the Character palette sub-menu. This kerns (spaces out) the text evenly and will make a huge difference to the end result.

Page curl

I imagine this section of this (now quite lengthy) tutorial, will attract the most attention 🙂

There were no magic tricks used when creating the page curl — it’s really just a couple of shapes and a gradient or two.

Select the pen tool, pick a nice, rich orange with the colour picker, then choose “Shape layers” from the options tool bar.

Go ahead and draw in the page curl as below, then right-click the new shape layer in the layers palette and select “Rasterize Layer”.

To create the shading on the page curl I used the “Burn” tool.

Select “Highlights” from the “Range” menu in the Options tool bar, and draw a straight line along the bottom edge of the curl. To do this, click just outside the top tight of the curl, hold down the shift key, then click just outside the bottom left of the curl. Repeat this step a couple of times, and experiment a little, until the shading of your curl looks believable.

To add more realism to our page curl, we need some shadows. We’ll add two — one under the left of the curl, and one directly below it.

For the shadow on the left I chose black with the colour picker and then I drew in a shape.

Then I dropped the opacity of the shadow down to 15% using the layers palette “Opacity” menu, and repositioned it under the curl.

TIP: You can quickly change the opacity of a layer by selecting it and pressing a number on your keyboard. Pressing “5” once for example, will reduce the opacity to 50%. Pressing “5” twice changes it to 55% etc.

I then created a new layer and drew a circular selection using the circular marquee tool.

For the bottom shadow I chose black for the foreground and background colours with the colour picker, selected the radial gradient tool, and again chose “Foreground to Transparent” from the Preset menu.

Then I filled my selection with a radial gradient.

Then we need to distort our radial gradient by selecting Transform>Distort from the Edit menu.

All that remains for our shadow is to delete the extraneous bits using the Polygonal Lasso Tool and they’re done.

TIP: You can get point-to-point (straight) selections using the standard Lasso Tool by holding down the Alt key as you draw.

Nearly done! Now we need to mask out the bottom right corner of our rounded rectangle background layer using a layer mask.

Select the “bg” layer, then draw a selection using the polygonal lasso tool again, similar to the way I’ve done below:

Now to mask out the “bg” layer, invert the selection (Select>Inverse), then click the “Add layer mask” button at the bottom of the layers palette.

What you should end up with is a pretty convincing page curl, that begs the user to click it. But that’s not all! To encourage clicking even further I added a cute little arrow from a font (of which the name escapes me) to the top of our curl. Tactile and inviting — two great things a banner should be 😉

And to finish off I added a call to action. Put simply, some “click here”, “download me now” text, under the bottom shadow.

Result

It speaks for itself really 🙂

Seriously though, I’m quite pleased with the final banner, particularly since it won me $1000! Woo-hoo!

Conclusion

I hope you’ve learned some neat little tips and new approaches from this tutorial, and if anyone likes it I’ll probably throw a few more tutorials together.

Please leave a comment if you’ve learned something new, or particularly if you’ve got a better way of doing something I’ve outlined!

One last thing… For those of you who want to use the Performancing banner on your site, I’ve put together a small PHP application that will generate the ad for you on any colour background. Check out the Performancing banner Configurator™ here.

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HOWTO: Using Performancing for Firefox with Radio UserLand http://performancing.com/howto__using_performancing_for_firefox_with_radio_userland/ http://performancing.com/howto__using_performancing_for_firefox_with_radio_userland/#comments Tue, 27 Dec 2005 14:51:18 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=4074 I took a quick couple of minutes to download, install and configure the Firefox plugin called Performancing that allows you to easily post weblog content. It’s really handy and a much better solution than we currently have for Radio users. Here’s the quick “how to” guide. Download and install Firefox 1.5 as the plugin won’t […]

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I took a quick couple of minutes to download, install and configure the Firefox plugin called Performancing that allows you to easily post weblog content. It’s really handy and a much better solution than we currently have for Radio users. Here’s the quick “how to” guide.

  1. Download and install Firefox 1.5 as the plugin won’t work with anything older.
  2. Follow the instructions on the Performancing website to install the plugin.
  3. Open the editor window by clicking the pencil/pad icon on the lower right corner of the window.
  4. Configure a blog using the “wizard” with the following settings:
  • on the right side of the editing window, click “Launch Account Wizard”
  • choose “Custom Blog”
  • chose MetaWeblogAPI as the type
  • enter Radio’s XML-RPC interface URL–typically http://127.0.0.1:5335/RPC2
  • leave “Add API Key” unchecked
  • Enter in the username and password you use for Radio’s remote RPC access.  Haven’t set that up yet?
    • Enable XML-RPC access on the pref page. Make sure you have the Blogger API pref enabled too.
    • Enable Remote access with a username and password on this pref page.

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