If there is one thing WordPress users appreciate about the software, it is the fact that it is easily accessible and very efficient, not to mention the fact that it is free. Being an open source software, it witnesses updates faster than most software. As newer versions of WordPress are released, more and more in-built options come with it, which is targeted at making the interface more user-friendly and easier to use.

The new version 3.4 comes with a number of in-built options that really makes your blogging experience a lot more fun. Some of these features are discussed below.

Easy Tweet Embedding  

Sometimes in the process of brainstorming about what to write, you come across a tweet and BAM! The inspiration comes. In the process of writing though, you may so desire to showcase that tweet to your readers. With WordPress 3.4, all you need to do is copy the tweet URL from the source and paste it into your WordPress editor and that’s it. The tweet will come alive right on your page for all your readers to see.

However, you need to ensure that the full URL is copied. If it’s incomplete, of course, it will not come up and all you’ll be staring at is a long line of “jargon”. Also, be sure to paste it on a separate line to give it the proper orientation. This new feature saves you the headache of screenshots and a whole list of embed codes.

Easy Video Embedding from YouTube

Just like tweets, WordPress also allows you to embed YouTube videos very easily. All you need to do is also to paste the video source URL in the text and the video immediately comes live, without any additional effort. Of course, you should paste the link on its own separate line to allow the video to come up as it should. Also, the video will play directly on your site without having to redirect back to YouTube

For those whose websites are hosted on www.wordpress.com, the size and various dimensions (width, height etc.,) of the video can be customized by using short codes. So, if the video is too small or too large for your post, you can always adjust it until it is just perfect. However, it is worthy of note that the short codes only work for sites hosted on www.wordpress.com and not for self-hosted ones.

How to Install and Configure WordPress Manually

Deciding the best platform for your website or blog may be a hard task to many; this is because many types of software exist which claim to offer the best service. Word Press is beyond any reasonable doubt the most popular blogging platform as well as content management system (standing at over 60 million websites). This open-source Content Management system is based on MySQL and PHP. One of the advantages of this platform is its ease of installation which may take less than five minutes to complete. Before installing WordPress, you should already have a domain name as well as a good web hosting that allows WordPress. Below is a step by step guide on how to install and configure WordPress manually:

1: Download WordPress

You should download the latest version by going to its download page at wordpress.org/download/. The installation package will be saved on your computer hard disk. The next thing is to unzip/ extract it to a new folder.

2: Upload WordPress to Hosting Account

There are normally three options through which you can upload WordPress to a hosting account. These include: Upload via FTP, Upload via File Manager and upload via SSH. The easiest way is usually through FTP, which can be done through a client application or via the control panel (File manager then “upload files”). For this installation to be the main for your website, the installation files should be in the public_html folder of the account. The other option is to make a sub folder like “public_html/blog” should you wish to run a part of your website on WordPress.

3: Create MySQL Database and User

You will need to create a database to store WordPress information. Log into cPanel then in the Databases section, select the MySQL Database Wizard. The next thing is to enter the database name then click next step. You will then need to create database users after entering the password. Add user to the database then click the “All Privileges” check box. The final step is to make note of the username, password and database name as they will be required in subsequent steps.

4: Configure wp-config.php

This step ensures that the correct database information is used in the installation. The wp-config-sample.php file can be accessed in File Manager in the WordPress installation folder. You will then be required to select “Web Root” and then “Show Hidden Files” then click Go. Locate the wp-config-sample-php file on the right side of file manager then right click on it and select rename to change it to wp-config.php. Replace the database name with the name of that created in step 3. The next step is to replace password with that created in step 3. Click the “Save Changes” button when done editing then close the file.

5: Run the Installation

Go to the installation page in a new browser window and run the installation script. The script can be accessed on any of the following URLs: http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/install.php and http//yourdomain.com/blog/wp-admin/install.php depending on where you installed it. Please note that yourdomain.com should be replaced with the actual domain name. You will then see a welcome page telling you the whole process will take about five minutes.

Step 6: Complete the Installation

Here you should fill in the following fields:

• Username

• Site name

• Email address to which login info will be sent

• Password

You should then select if the search engines should index the site then click install and you will get a message on the successful installation.