This manual is indented at people blogging at BloggingAbout.NET. It contains some information on setting up and getting the most out of your weblog.

Jetpack

Jetpack is a large plugin by WordPress with many, many options. Some of them perhaps a bit less interesting, others are just simple additions to the WordPress dashboard like notifications and statistics.

Jetpack needs to be activated before it can be used. You need to have a WordPress account for it and click the connect button that is visible at the top of the Jetpack configuration screen. This can be accessed via the Jetpack menu item in the dashboard. Once clicked, you are taken to wordpress.com where you can login and activate.

Email via Mandrill

Mandrill is a free cloud service for sending emails. Although we’re all technical bloggers, there’s not much to it to get email working via Mandrill. Just sign up at http://mandrill.com/ and create an API key. In the WordPress dashboard, go to Settings -> Mandrill to enter the key. Once the key is entered, additional options appear. At the bottom of the same screen you can verify if you’ve set up everything correctly and can send out emails.

More information about the WordPress plugin can be found here : http://wordpress.org/plugins/wpmandrill/

Benefits

  • Ability to monitor email, bounce rates, etc.
  • Ability to use templates for better looking emails
  • Reporting directly inside WordPress Dashboard

Spam contained with Akismet

Akismet is the most well known service for filtering out spam comments. Every comment that is submitted is asynchronously verified against Akismet remotely and marked as spam when they think it is just that.

Register for a free account at http://akismet.com/ and request an API key. Enter the key at the WordPress dashboard under the Jetpack -> Akismet menu item

FeedBurner

If you’re not familiar with FeedBurner, you definitely should. In the transition from Community Server to WordPress, your rss feed changed. In our case we are permanently redirecting every single call to your old feed, to your new feed. However if you move your blog to us or from us, all your feed subscribers will have to change their addresses.

Not so if you use FeedBurner. It’s free and we’ve installed a plugin so that you can easily set up redirects to your FeedBurner feed. Check out the dashboard and go to Settings -> FeedBurner.

Syntax Highlighting

The Syntaxhighlighting Evolved plugin is installed on BloggingAbout.NET. This plugin is used to highlight and color-code source code. The settings and especially much more information can be found in your dashboard under Settings – > SyntaxHighlighter.

The easiest way to highlight is to place your source code between [ code ] and [ /code ] tags, but without the whitespace in the tags. There are also optional paramters. These can all be viewed in the dashboard or the original plugin documentation. If you know the shortcode, you can also use [ csharp ] or [ xml ] tags.

[ServiceContract]
public interface IEmailValidator
{
    [OperationContract]
    bool ValidateAddress(string emailAddress);
}

Custom Forms

For custom forms you can use two different installed plugins. Both Jetpack and Fast Secure Contact Forms, although we prefer the latter one, as it has many more options. The Jetpack version is installed by default when you activate Jetpack, but be sure to deactivate it in the Jetpack menu when you want to use Fast Secure Contact Forms.