The newbie on the WPMU Dev team with a bent for hacking WordPress, content management and online media.

Feel free to contact me on Twitter or Google+

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How To Test WordPress Plugins With PayPal Sandbox

Virtually all WordPress plugins that collect payments, from e-commerce stores to fundraising, offer integration with a PayPal product.

Testing this integration prior to launch means setting up the PayPal Sandbox and this, like PayPal itself, can be a little confusing.

In this article, we’ll look at how to create a PayPal sandbox environment and where to find the data that the majority of PayPal supporting WordPress plugins ask for.

The PayPal ecosystem consists of 3 environments:

Live PayPal – this where real money changes hands

Image consisting of the WordPress and PayPal logos

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Beyond Pie Charts: Add Mind-blowing Visualizations To WordPress

When it comes to embedding graphs and charts in your WordPress posts, there are quite a few options in the plugin repository.

But what if you want to go beyond pie-charts and bar-graphs? What if you want to add the kind of interactive, data-visualizations that will leave your visitors’ minds well and truly blown?

Then you need to strap on the D3 javascript library and take a leap into data-driven documents.

It can be a lot of work but the results of D3 visualizations are truly mind-blowing

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Boost Your Site’s Impact With Custom Sidebars and Widgets

If your WordPress site uses static sidebars and widgets then you are missing out on a massive opportunity.

Would your Contact Us page be enhanced by having its own sidebar? Do you have a free download that you’d like to display in a widget for just a week? Would you like to show a special offer to logged-in users only?

In this Weekend WordPress Project, we’ll give your static sidebars and widgets a dynamic makeover that will dramatically improve the relevance and impact of your site’s content.

Weekend WordPress Project logo

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Responsive WordPress Magazine Themes That Really Work On Tablets

There are countless posts that will list 20, 50, 60 or even 250 responsive magazine themes just waiting for you to possibly purchase, download and install.

The bad news is that of the hundreds of WordPress magazine themes available, only a handful actually work well across all platforms and particularly tablets.

The good news is we’ve got the list of those you should be considering.

Screenshot of the Bushwick theme on a tablet in landscape and portrait mode

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How To Highlight New Content For Returning Visitors

The What’s New or What’s Hot page was an early web essential for showing visitors the latest content for a website.

Those pages have all but disappeared but there’s still merit in the idea of telling visitors what has been published since their last visit.

In this WordPress Weekend Project, let’s mix nostalgia with sophistication and highlight new content for returning visitors.

Get nostalgic and show your visitors what's new

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12 Instagram Plugins For WordPress Worth Installing

There are a myriad of WordPress plugins that bring Instagram functionality to your WordPress site and some are definitely better than others.

Finding the right plugin to display a widget of your latest Instagram photos in your sidebar, a full-blown Instagram-powered gallery in a post or page, provide Instagram badges or counters, or even import your Instagram photos as WordPress posts can be a long and onerous task.

I’ve sorted the good from the not-so-good: here’s 12 Instagram plugins for WordPress that are worth installing.

WordPress logo plus Instagram logo

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How To Ease The Load Of Sending Email From WordPress

Your WordPress site can generate a lot of email especially if you use a newsletter plugin or provide your visitors with new post notifications and this looms large as a potential problem as your traffic increases.

In this Weekend WordPress Project, we’ll find out how to address these potential problems in less than 15 minutes by outsourcing your site’s email to Mailchimp’s transactional email service, Mandrill.

Take a load off your WordPress hosting, outsource your email

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Creating A Disaster Recovery Plan For Your WordPress Site

Do you have a Disaster Recovery Plan for your WordPress site?

If you answered no then you’ll probably in good company because not many sites do. Yet how well you’ve planned for disaster will determine how well and how quickly you recover from it.

Putting together a Disaster Recovery Plan is quick and relatively easy. And if disaster strikes it’ll save you so much time and angst that you’ll wonder why you ever thought you could live without one.

Photo of a burning building

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