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How to install WordPress themes using cPanel

One of the nicest new features in WordPress 2.7 for self-hosted sites is the ability to install WordPress plugins directly from within the admin console – no more having to FTP files around (note that this only works with plugins that are listed in the WordPress plugins list – for others that aren’t in the list you still have to use the old method).

No such luck with WordPress Themes however; for self-hosted sites you still have to manually upload the files to your hosting account before you can activate them, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see this change in a future release – watch this space.

In this tutorial I’ll walk you through the steps to find and install a new Theme using the cPanel File Manager:

  1. Find a new Theme
  2. Download the Theme to your computer
  3. Upload the Theme to your hosting account
  4. Unzip the Theme
  5. Activate the Theme

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Adsense Smart Pricing

The last few weeks I’ve been coming across this “Smart Pricing” term quite a lot – people tend to casually toss it into conversations without seeming to feel the need for any further explanation, other than that it’s a Very Bad Thing. I’m not sure if this is:

  • to give the impression they know more than they actually do, or
  • because it’s so obvious that everyone knows exactly what it’s all about!

Well, I don’t mind admitting that I don’t (or didn’t) have a clue what they were talking about, so I decided to find out.

Is Smart Pricing still relevent?

The first thing that struck me when I did a search for adsense smart pricing is that a lot of the top results seem to date back to 2005, which led me to wonder if this is even relevent anymore! After all, three to four years is a long time in cyberspace.

However, there are plenty of references to it in Google’s AdWords documentation, so one must assume it’s alive and well.
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How much is your blog worth?

What’s your blog or website worth? The short answer is: it depends who you ask. And of course, no matter what anyone says, it’s only really worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting question in these days of the Credit Crunch.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of blog value calculators out there, offering to give you the crucial figure. So, just for fun, I plugged in my url to see what they have to say about the old hippo:
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Courtesy of
You may or may not have realised there are two different flavours of WordPress, denoted by the TLD extension. is where you can sign up to a free blog, hosted for you courtesy of Automattic, the company behind WordPress. is where you can download the software for use on your own web server – a so-called self-hosted installation.

So why two versions, and what are their different strengths and weaknesses? Essentially it’s a trade-off between flexibility and ease of use. For more detail, check out this WordPress support page that lists some of the main differences between the two.
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Blogging course – Newcastle upon Tyne

I’ve recently been invited by the Centre for Lifelong Learning in Newcastle upon Tyne to teach a 10 week blogging course. Over the 10 weeks I’ll be taking the group through the fundamentals of blogging with WordPress, including

  • choosing a topic
  • registering a domain
  • setting up a self-hosted WordPress installation
  • generating content
  • building web traffic
  • monetization

and more.
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