Archive for July, 2013

Publish, Promote, Repeat: Dashboard Tools to Share Your Stuff with the World

You’ve worked hard all day drafting a post, then click Publish to send it out into the world. Then, you crash for the night.  You’ve earned it, right?

You wake up in the morning, excited to look in your dashboard to see who’s read and commented on your post. But you didn’t get the interaction you hoped for.

What else can you do?

On your WordPress.com site — your own little corner of the internet — you’ve got the power to publish. But this process doesn’t end after you click that blue Publish button! While we send your published posts to several places automatically — from the Reader to services that notify search engines of new updates — we encourage you to use the tools in your dashboard to give your posts a boost.

Promote your posts with Publicize

With Publicize, you can push out your new posts to social networking sites automatically. To set up Publicize, head over to Settings → Sharing. At the top of the page, you’ll see options to connect to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tumblr. To activate, click on the appropriate “Add new connection” link:

Publicize

Here are links to the setup steps for each:

Once you’ve approved connections, you’ll see a Publicize section in the Publish box for each service you’ve authorized, on the right of your Post Screen, each time you create a new post:

Publicize section

Publish a post as usual, and it’ll appear on the services you’ve enabled. For a bit more control, you can opt out from any of the services for a specific post — click the “Edit” link and deselect a service. You can also customize the message sent out with the link in the “Custom Message” box.

Enable sharing buttons

Want another option to promote your stuff? Be sure to enable sharing buttons, too. You can display these buttons at the bottom of your posts and pages, so readers can share your stuff across a number of social networks and services:

Sharing buttons

You’ll see this option in Settings → Sharing as well, below the Publicize connection links. Just drag and drop the buttons you want to display into the “Enabled Services” section. You’ll see additional settings to tweak the buttons and adjust where you’d like them to appear on your site.

Tag your posts so users can find ‘em

WordPress.com users following your blog will see your new posts under Blogs I Follow in the Reader, but you should add appropriate tags and categories to your posts so they appear on the topics pages in the Reader, too. Let’s say that awesome post you penned last night is a response to a recent behavioral economics discussion on Dan Ariely’s blog (also on WordPress.com!). Add relevant tags so like-minded readers can find your post, even if they’re not following your blog:

Tags

Tip: Adding 5 to 15 tags (or categories, or a combination of the two) is ideal for a post. The more categories you use, the less likely your post will be included on the topics pages

Other tools to promote interaction and get readers

Enabling likes and comments

You’ve got simple tools to promote reader engagement on your site.  In Settings → Sharing, enable likes at the bottom of the page:

Enabling Likes

To allow your readers to leave comments, go to Settings → Discussion to adjust your default comment settings, from what a reader must fill out when they leave a comment to comment moderation details. Be sure to check the box next to Follow Comments, so readers can receive notifications when you and fellow readers respond to a post’s comment thread.

Follow Comments

RSS subscribers

feed (often called RSS) is a stream of posts or comments, updated when new content is published. It allows people to monitor your blog, along with other sites they follow, and aggregate them together via feed readers, like our own WordPress.com Reader. Your site has multiple feeds — its main content feed can be accessed by adding /feed/ to your blog’s URL. (For example, this blog’s feed is http://en.blog.wordpress.com/feed/.) Your feeds are automatically created, unless your blog as private.

You can make it easy for others to subscribe to your feed using the RSS Links Widget, which adds links to your site’s post and comment RSS feeds in your sidebar. To set this up, go to your widgets page in Appearance → Widgets and drag this widget to the right. The settings are simple, and you can add links to your posts and comments (or both), and display text or image links (or both).

RSS Links Widget

Subscription emails

Finally, if you aren’t using it already, activate the Follow Blog Widget so your visitors can sign up to receive your posts via email. We talked about this widget recently, but it’s one of the easiest ways to ensure your readers see your new posts, so a gentle reminder won’t hurt!

Under Appearance → Widgets, drag this widget to the right. In the settings, you can customize the messages that will be displayed, the text for the “Follow” button, and decide whether you want to show your total number of followers (which is the sum of users following your blog and others connected from Publicize services, like Facebook and Twitter).

Follow Blog Widget

This is a sampling of the features in your dashboard that you can use to promote your new posts. Ultimately, your site isn’t just a place to create and publish — it’s a space for constantly evolving ideas and engagement with your readers. Publishing is just the first step, so we hope you’ll use these tools to share your work with as many readers as possible!

You might also enjoy these related posts:


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Blogger Profile: Ex-Expat Author Jack Scott

For insight on expat life mixed with a generous dose of British wit, few bloggers can match Jack Scott, the author whose blog, Perking the Pansies, led to a publishing contract and a busy writing career. His book, Perking the Pansies: Jack and Liam Move to Turkey, was published by Summertime in 2011, and he has since also produced two ebooks, Turkey: The Raw Guide, and Turkey: Surviving the Expats, containing highlights from his blog. 

Jack Scott

We recently chatted with Jack about blogging, publishing, and the thrills and challenges of being an author in the multi-platform era.

How did your blog come into being?

It all happened quite by accident. When my civil partner Liam and I jumped the good ship Blighty and waded ashore to Turkey, we fully intended to put our feet up and watch the pansies grow. We quickly discovered that the real challenge facing able-bodied ‘emigreys’ (as I call wrinkly expats) is finding a meaningful occupation to fill the long, samey days. It doesn’t matter what it is — a hobby, charity work, launching a Kate Bush tribute act, whatever: anything to avoid early onset boredom. Believe me, it can be terminal.

To keep myself on the straight and narrow, I decided to reveal the plot of our emigrey soap opera and chronicle the exploits of the mad, the sad, the bad, and the glad. Initially, it was in the form of an email commentary to the folks back home — I called my dispatches ‘witterings.’ As they gathered pace, Liam suggested I start a blog, and so Perking the Pansies was propelled at an unsuspecting world. To start with, I knew absolutely nothing about this blogging lark, how it worked, or what might follow.

Who did you imagine your audience would be when you started out?

I honestly thought I would be talking to myself. Miraculously, my ramblings struck a chord from the outset, particularly with expats internationally. Perking the Pansies clocked up over 120,000 hits in the first year; not bad for an obscure blog reporting from a minor peninsula on the Aegean coast of Turkey.

Have your assumptions and expectations changed over time?

You could have knocked me over with a feather boa when a publisher asked me to write a book about our lives as reckless lotus-eaters. I set to the task with considerable vigor and Perking the Pansies: Jack and Liam move to Turkey was released at the end of 2011.

Reviews have been remarkable and so have sales. Last year, I was invited to present my work at the Polari Literary Salon at London’s Royal Festival Hall and I’ve even bagged a couple of awards.

How have these exciting developments changed your writing trajectory?

This entirely unforeseen success has opened up a whole new career for me as an author. Partly because of this, Liam and I decided to paddle back to Britain on the evening tide and we eventually washed up in Norwich, a little gem in eastern England. Inevitably, this new direction resulted in a radical change of focus for the blog.

Any thoughts about the homecoming thus far?

To be honest, I was expecting plummeting ratings, a kick to the graveyard slot, and cancellation of the show mid-series. In fact, I’m relieved to report that I have more subscribers than ever. I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who pops by to show their support. It’s all been quite a journey.

Has the overarching purpose of the blog changed over the course of its existence?

The blog had always been a labour of love for me, a way to express random (and not so random) thoughts about my life and observations about the world around me. I write in a typically British tongue-in-cheek, sardonic style and I don’t take myself too seriously. Occasionally, I do write longer pieces about things that matter to me, particularly when I’ve got a bee in my bonnet. Otherwise, my posts tend to be short, humorous, and none-too-serious.

By now you’ve published a hard-copy book, two ebooks, and have continued to work on your blog. How do you see these different platforms interact with one another?

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 4.49.36 PMThe blog is an essential tool when it comes to promoting my writing projects. These days, few authors can just sit back and expect someone else do all the marketing. There’s a lot of hard graft involved and a dynamic online presence is vital. A blog or author website is a must, as is cross-fertilization across social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter. Of course, the trick is to publicize with a light touch. By now, I reckon most of my regulars have either bought the book or would rather read the back of an envelope — so it doesn’t do to bang on too much about it.

It sounds like the multi-tasking can get quite intense.

Sometimes, it can all feel like a bit of a treadmill. Fortunately, WordPress.com takes the sting out of the tail with their auto-posting feature, an absolute godsend. I’ve also developed my own personal service to help authors get the message out there. If anyone’s interested, pop across to author2author.

What role has the WordPress.com community played in your journey as an author? Are there any features to this platform you’ve found particularly useful?

Blogging is a great auditioning process for writing, and the best way to experiment and grow your fan base. Fundamentally, it provided me with a ready-made audience for my book. Blogging is also an important and democratizing force, giving a real voice to those who might otherwise not have one.

WordPress.com, in particular, is an easy platform to use and I’m not surprised by its popularity. You can hit the ground running in minutes. The wealth of (mostly free) features and themes to suit every taste and genre swung it for me, and then I discovered the top drawer support from loyal and dedicated users. I’ve stuck to WordPress.com rather than switch to WordPress.org because I’m happy to steer clear of the technical aspects of self-hosting a website. I just want to publish and be damned!

Getting down to the nitty-gritty, how did you choose the Sight theme for your blog?

My blog design has changed over time as I’ve tried on different looks for size.

The Sight theme used on Jack Scott's home page

Jack Scott’s home page, using the Sight theme

I grabbed the Sight theme as soon as it was launched. For me, it offers clean, sophisticated lines, a crisp font, and flexible simplicity that is visually appealing without getting in the way of my writing.

Do you have any design or writing tips to offer to aspiring bloggers?

In terms of tips and hints about the blogging game, there are some simple rules of engagement I try to observe:

  • Aim to post at least once a week. It’s good for SEO and will help garner an audience. In the crowded blogosphere, content is king and the best content is new, fresh, and frequently updated.
  • Break up your words with interesting and relevant images. Keep your page clean and uncluttered. Fussy, multicolored scripts and busy designs can hurt the eyes and put the reader off.
  • Fans can be fickle and lazy. Make it easy to follow you by adding your social network links and the chance to subscribe to your pearls of wisdom by email.
  • Engage with your blogging peers as much as possible. It’s good to talk and networking pays big dividends.
  • Cultivate a strong social media presence.

What’s next for you? Any exciting upcoming projects you’d like to share with us?

The second and final installment of my memoir from the Turkey years is almost done and dusted. It ties up the fraying loose ends and brings our escapade to its crashing conclusion. It’s got a working title of ‘the Sisterhood,’ which gives those readers familiar with the first episode a bit of a clue about the storyline. I’m presenting my publisher with a bit of a corker and more than a few surprises. For more information about me and my work, please check out my author website at Jack Scott Books and, of course, the WordPress.com blog that started it all, Perking the Pansies.

Good luck with your future projects, Jack, and thanks for the chat!

You might also enjoy other posts from our Blogger Profile series:


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New Theme: Magnate Express

magnate-express-narrow

Magnate Express: Narrow View

What better way to celebrate the excitement of WordCamp San Francisco this week than with a premium theme launch!

Our latest, from WooThemes, is called Magnate Express, a responsive blogging and photography theme built for publishing your creative self.

While its default look is clean and sophisticated, Magnate Express includes many features to make it truly your own. A bold and configurable slider highlights your Featured Content, while three menu locations and five widget areas allow you to place your content exactly as you like. Add your logo with the easy-to-use logo uploader in the Customizer, and Magnate Express is your perfect home on the web.

Magnate Express also features a smart, responsive layout. The header steps aside to the left on wider screens to showcase your featured content, while the entire layout lines up in one column for a top-notch mobile experience.

Magnate Express - widescreen

Magnate Express: Wide View

Magnate Express is a premium upgrade for your blog; read more about its features on the Theme Showcase or dive right into previewing it on your blog from Appearance → Themes.


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Five Minutes with Dave Martin

Every once in a while, we get to sit down with an Automattician to help you get to know the people who work behind the scenes here. These are the people who build new features, keep Automattic running, and make WordPress.com the best it can be. This week, we’re very pleased to introduce you to Mr. Dave Martin: Growth Designer, frequent mover, and family guy extraordinaire. 

What is your current role at Automattic? Tell us about the path that led you here.

I have to confess that I’m a bit of a nomad. In thirty-two years, I’ve lived in fifty-three different homes. My career has followed suit. Before Automattic, the longest I’ve ever stayed with a company was two years.

dave martinAt the beginning of this year, I made my fourth role swap within Automattic, having worked as a designer on Akismet, CodePoet, and WordPress Core, running usability tests, designing new features, and coding up front-end patches.

As a Growth Designer, I now help out with growth across a number of different Automattic products. In June, I hosted a Growth Learn-Up in our San Francisco office where we flew in 20 Automatticians from across the globe to discuss and work on growth projects within the company. It was amazing. I also help out with growth and design hiring (shameless plug: Automattic is awesome, and we’re always hiring!).

Is there an interesting project you’ve recently worked on?

We work on interesting things all the time. The experience I’ll highlight was my opportunity to work full-time on WordPress Core. It was a huge honor. If you’ve never contributed to core, I’d suggest checking it out. It’s amazing to consider that any patch you submit to Core that gets committed literally benefits the lives of tens of millions of users. I can’t think of many other opportunities where I can work one hour here and there and have such a massive impact.

What’s the best way to get involved in the WordPress community?

Find a way (however big or small) to give back to the community. You can answer questions in the forums, you can speak at a WordCamp, you can contribute your design or coding skills to WordPress.org Core. There are a hundred ways you can give back. If you find yourself taking, and not giving back, find ways to give back. You’ll have a much richer, more enjoyable experience. I promise!

WordCamp San Francisco is upon us — tell us about your previous WordCamp experiences!

WordCamps are amazing. They offer an assortment of learning opportunities at all levels. But most of all, they offer you a chance to connect with other people. That’s where the magic really comes in. I’m an introvert by nature. My inclination is to sit through the sessions, and then leave, without talking to anyone.

Don’t do that! You’ll miss out on the best part!

Talk with people. Ask questions. Share your talents. Doing so makes a world of difference.

What’s your favorite part about being an Automattician?

Automattic trusts us to do what is right. They trust us to decide what should be worked on. They trust us to work from home. They trust me to make my own schedule. We don’t have a vacation policy. If I feel burnt out, I can take a week or two off. No questions asked. They trust us to choose team meetup locations anywhere in the world (where we get together as a team and work for a week).  There is no limit to the number of meetups your team can schedule. They trust us to make the right call.

In the end, the thing I appreciate most is being trusted enough to make the right call with regard to pretty much every aspect of my job. It’s very empowering, and very cool.

In all, I’ve been with Automattic for three years now, and while I may continue to jump around to different roles, I have no intention of leaving any time soon.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love my work, but my family is the center of my universe.

The majority of my free time is spent with my family. We swim together, we hike together, we shop together, we play together. I go to all of my daughter’s swim practices, all of her swim meets. Automattic gives me the flexibility to do that, even during what are typically normal business hours. Automattic trusts me to get things done, while allowing me to put what is most important in my life first — my family. I couldn’t ask for more.

Did you know Automattic is hiring? We want people who are willing to work hard, share their ideas, learn from their colleagues, take initiative to get things done without being told, and aren’t afraid to ask questions. Think you fit the bill? Work with us.


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Be Part of the Official Annual WordPress Conference from Anywhere in the World!

WordCamp San Francisco is three days away. Think you’re out of luck because you’re nowhere near California, or didn’t buy a ticket before they sold out? Think again! Join the live stream, and attend WCSF without ever getting on a plane (or changing out of your pyjamas).

This year’s conference has an incredible lineup — whether you’re a themer, mobile engineer, hopeful core contributor, one-person (or 100-person) WordPress shop, pro blogger, or just registered your first site, WCSF sessions will take your WordPress skills from awesome to awesomer. And of course, WordPress co-founder and Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg will present his annual State of the Word talk (we’ll be live-tweeting it, too — follow along @WordCampSF).

Here are just a few of the sessions to look forward to — check out the full schedule here:

  • Amy Hendrix: WordPress: It’s Made of People!
  • Andrew Nacin: Current User Can Watch This Talk
  • Jake Goldman, Brad Williams, Shane Pearlman, and Alex King (in a panel moderated by Matt Mullenweg): Teaming Up: From Freelance to WordPress Agency
  • John James Jacoby: Beyond the Blog with BuddyPress and bbPress
  • Yuri Victor: Why The Washington Post Uses WordPress
  • Mark Jaquith: Confident Commits, Delightful Deploys
  • Natalie MacLees: Setting Up Your WordPress Site: Six Stories of Joy and Despair
  • Tracy Levesque: What You Don’t Know You Can Do – WordPress Development for Absolutely Everyone

This year, live stream attendees will also have access to the fun (and educational) conversations that happen between sessions, in the hallway, or at the lunch table. Members of the WordPress podcasting community will be roaming the halls of Mission Bay Conference Center, interviewing attendees, and capturing the WordCamp experience on video. (Thank you to members of the DradCast, WPTavern, and WPwatercooler for participating, and thanks to the WordPress Foundation for lending us the camera kits!)

Podcasters will be doing their best to upload footage to the live stream hourly, so you’ll be privy to “hallway track” discussions throughout both days. The interviews will also be published for anyone to watch on WordPress.tv within a few weeks, along with recordings of all the WCSF sessions.

You can still buy live stream tickets with or without a t-shirt — a live stream-only ticket is $10, which has to be the best bargain around for two days of WordPress education and inspiration.

Visit the official WCSF site to learn more!


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Louis Vuitton W & Capucines Ad Campaign Featuring Michelle Williams

Louis Vuitton’s latest advertising campaign spotlights two key new leather goods designs in a series of images photographed by Peter Lindbergh featuring the new W and Capucines handbags. The graphic W Bag, with its bold lines and innovative combination of materials, represents a fresh vision of the iconic Monogram, while the timelessly feminine Capucines from the Parnasséa Collection throws the spotlight on Louis Vuitton’s leather craftsmanship – a heritage referenced in certain visuals by the presence of vintage trunks. The expressive beauty of Michelle Williams, who wears the sensual lace slips and mannish coats of Marc Jacobs’ Fall/Winter 2013 collection for Louis Vuitton, is revealed by Peter Lindbergh’s sensitive and striking portraits.

DEI 440x285 CW W2 INTL Louis Vuitton W & Capucines Ad Campaign Featuring Michelle Williams

The actress was singled out by Louis Vuitton for the independent spirit with which she has forged her path through the Hollywood star system, defining herself by her outstanding talent, her passion for her craft, and her choice of daring and challenging roles.

First rising to prominence in Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain (2005), Michelle Williams went on to give critically acclaimed performances in films such as Synecdoche, New York (2008), Shutter Island (2010), and My Blue Valentine (2010). In 2011, her performance as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn earned her a Golden Globe and her third Oscar nomination. Michelle Williams is currently filming Suite Française, one of the most eagerly awaited releases of recent years, which is based on the award-winning novel by Irène Némirovsky, discovered decades after the writer’s death in Auschwitz.

The new Louis Vuitton advertising campaign starring Michelle Williams will break in the September issues with W bag and October issues with Capucines bag of magazines worldwide.

DEI 220x285 CW W1 INTL Louis Vuitton W & Capucines Ad Campaign Featuring Michelle Williams

Credits
Photographer: Peter Lindbergh
Hair: Sam McKnight
Stylist: Jacob K
Makeup: Stephane Marais

Images via Louis Vuitton


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What to Wear to a Wedding (as a guest) | Six Stunning Outfit Ideas

Wedding season is just about upon us – counting the weddings I have coming up before the end of the year is astonishing. If you’re a woman who spends hours pondering on what to wear to a wedding, be it a friend, colleague or family wedding, here is some outfit inspiration.

Outfit #1: This one is probably my favorite. This gorgeous pleated silver dress is paired with silver and black accessories. I love how the pendant necklace, beaded earrings and chain bracelet help complement the simplicity of this amazing dress. The black bow shoes and purse complete the elegant look.

Wedding Guest Outfit - Vintaged Silver Pleated Dress with silver jewelry.

Outfit #2: This dress could be perfect for almost any wedding during any season. Since the dress is a bold color, keep the jewelry simple. Silver is good for an afternoon wedding or you could try gold accessories for a cocktail reception. The dress is paired with  our silver link earrings, silver link necklace and beaded charm bracelet.

Wedding Outfit Ideas

Outfit #3: Perfect for a warm summer wedding, possibly even an outdoor wedding this outfit will definitely make a statement. The gold dangle earrings, crescent necklace and gold bangles help keep the outfit fun and flirty. The bow clutch brings it together with a romantic feel.

What to wear to a summer wedding

Outfit #4: The royal blue here makes this sleeveless outfit more appropriate for a Fall or even Winter wedding. Accessorizing with the gold geometric stud earrings gives this outfit a touch of elegance, while keeping it a little edgy! The black purse, shoes and sungalsses complete the all round polished look.

Fall Wedding Outfit Idea with Royal Blue dress

Outfit #5: Classy and chic, this dress is perfect for a Spring or Summer wedding. This one shoulder sky blue dress is paired with our silver pendant necklace and beaded bracelet. The silver clutch and the shoes complete the outfit.

What to wear to a wedding as a guest

Outfit #6: Here is another Summer / Spring wedding gem of an outfit that you couldn’t go wrong with.  Pairing the coral pink dress with beaded pink pendant necklace, gold and white bracelet and pink stud earrings gives this outfit a coordinated look. The white clutch, shoes and bow make it look all the more perfect for a summer wedding.

Flowy coral pink dress - perfect wedding outfit for summer.

To view details on the rest of the pieces in these outfits, please view our polyvore page. To see our past outfit ideas and upcoming posts, subscribe to our pinterest outfit board where we pin all our outfits.

All the jewelry shown on our blog is from our store. Click on the links within the post or browse the store to shop our current collection.

The post What to Wear to a Wedding (as a guest) | Six Stunning Outfit Ideas appeared first on blog.outfitadditions.com.


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WordPress.com Users Can Now Register .CO Domain Names

We’re excited to announce the addition of .CO as a new top-level domain on WordPress.com. If you’re interested in buying a custom domain name for a new or existing site, you can now choose and register .CO from among our existing options (.ME, .COM, .NET, .ORG). The .CO domain costs $25/year.

Since launching in 2010, more than 1.5 million .CO domain names have been registered by individuals and businesses in over 200 countries worldwide. A .CO domain name is short and memorable, making it a great option for your WordPress.com website or blog.

Steps for existing WordPress.com users

  • If you’re an existing WordPress.com user, you can register a .CO domain name for your site by going to Store  Domains in your dashboard. Under Add a Domain, type in the .CO domain name you’d like to register:

nyc_adventures

  • Then, click the blue Add domain to blog button.
  • On the following page, we’ll ask you for a few more details to get you set up, including contact information and whether you’d like to add Private Registration to your domain purchase, for an additional $8, to make this personal information private. Once the form is complete, click the Register Domain button in blue.

Register Domain

  • On the next page, you can make your payment for $25 to finalize the registration of your new .CO domain.
  • Finally, to activate your new domain, go to Store  Domains in your dashboard, select the button next to the new .CO domain you wish to activate, and click Update Primary Domain.

Steps for new WordPress.com users

  • If you don’t have a WordPress.com account yet and want to register a .CO domain for a new site, get started on the WordPress.com signup page.
  • On the signup page, we’ll ask you to fill out a few details on the form, including your email address, desired username, and password. In the Blog Address field, type in the web address you’d like to use.
  • Click the small arrow at the right of this box to open a drop-down menu of top-level domain options: .CO, .ME, .COM, .NET, .ORG. The option you choose — ie, .CO — will compose the last part of your domain name.

nyc_adventures_sign_up

  • After you set your option, you’ll see a green checkmark appear at the right of the box.
  • Once all of the fields on this form are correctly filled out, click Create Blog at the bottom.
  • On the following page, we’ll ask you for a few more details to get you set up, including contact information and whether you’d like to add Private Registration to your domain purchase, for an additional $8, to make this personal information private. Once the form is complete, click the Register Domain button in blue.

Register Domain

  • On the next page, you can make your payment for $25 to finalize the registration of your new .CO domain.
  • Finally, to activate your new domain, go to Store  Domains in your dashboard, select the button next to the new .CO domain you wish to activate, and click Update Primary Domain.

If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to send a note to our Support team!

Want to learn more about domains?

We’ve published a few recent posts that demystify the world of domains on WordPress.com. For more information on how it all works, check out:

Our Support site has more resources, too:


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Get the Most Out of Widgets: Building and Showcasing Your Community

Last month, we highlighted some widgets and hope you’ve since activated them! Today, let’s continue our widgets tour and focus on several that put the spotlight on the readership you’ve built. Your site isn’t just about you or your organization — it’s very much enriched by the community around you.

Turn visitors into subscribers

The Follow Blog Widget lets your visitors sign up to receive your posts via email — it’s one of the easiest ways to ensure your readers see your new posts. Under Appearance → Widgets, drag this widget to the right. In the settings, you can customize the messages that will be displayed, the text for the “Follow” button, and decide whether you want to show your total number of followers (which is the sum of users following your blog and others connected from Publicize services, like Facebook and Twitter).

Here’s an example of the widget on the blog Humans Are Weird:

Follow Blog widget

The Follow Blog Widget is the simplest tool you can enable to send your latest stuff to as many inboxes across the internet as possible!

Show off your readership

So, let’s say you’ve got a bunch of blog followers. Who are these fabulous people? The My Community Widget allows you to display a sampling of users who have interacted on your site, transforming a faceless mass into happy, smiling humans. You can see the widget in action on the blog Play:

My Community

The widget shows a grid of gravatars, which visually dresses up your sidebar. You can tweak it by displaying activity from a mix of likers, followers, and commenters.

Highlight your community’s favorites

The Top Posts & Pages Widget displays the most popular content on your site. You can choose to show your most viewed or most liked posts (up to 10), as well as specify the display format (a text list, an image list, or an image grid). On his blog, Boy with a Hat, Vincent Mars displays his most-liked content in an image list:

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 3.53.49 PM

The Top Posts & Pages Widget not only gives your top posts and pages the attention they deserve — it also reveals a bit about your readers’ preferences and what topics have resonated with your audience over a long period of time.

Promote the conversation

Finally, the Recent Comments Widget shows a snippet of the engagement on your site. For many of us, comments aren’t afterthoughts — they’re essential to the discussion and the blogging experience. This widget displays the most recent comments left on your blog, as shown on Robert Bruce’s 101 Books:

Recent Comments

You can customize the widget title, set up to 15 posts to display, adjust the size of the avatars (or show no avatars at all), and specify the background color for avatars and text. It’s similar to the My Community Widget above and connects faces to usernames and humanizes your readership, but also highlights the individuals who take the time to comment on something you’ve worked hard to publish.

Well, what are you waiting for? Enable these widgets to showcase the readership you’ve built — each one can be activated right in your dashboard under Appearance → Widgets.

You might also enjoy these related posts:


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Elegance and Style at DressFirst.com

Ever dreamed of becoming a homecoming queen, the high school sweetheart and the most promising princess of your class? While beauty and brains are a prerequisite, to wear that magical homecoming dress can definitely seal the deal. There are hundreds of online shops that sell homecoming dresses, but none you’ll ever find at DressFirst.com. At DressFirst.com, you can guarantee that they certainly understand what best fits the younger generation. The ball gowns are exquisitely made from the finest of materials, beads and rhinestones you can find. Not to mention that these homecoming dresses are very affordable too. The colors are vibrant inspired by the youthful glow of the young and the cloth used are soft in texture.

homecoming dressesThese dresses such as the Sheath One-Shoulder Asymmetrical Chiffon Homecoming Dress with Ruffle basically makes you look and feel like a Grecian goddess. This dress is a particular favorite as it exudes both classical elegance and chic at the same time. The color is the softest shade of blue and the design is just perfect for the occasion. The details are not cluttered and are of the right amount. I know I’d wear this to my own homecoming this year. With a dress like this, the homecoming crown is not too far behind.

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