Tag: "b2evolution"

Google News sitemap for b2evolution

The other day we got Gamercast listed on Google News, however we had a bit of trouble getting our news articles correctly indexed so I had to find a Google News sitemap plugin or skin for b2evolution.

After 30 minutes of searching I came up empty handed. So I just modified the existing _sitemap skin to do the job.

You can download it here.

There are a couple of things you'll need to do to get it working. First up you'll need to specify the publication name, language and any Google keywords in the file directly. I didn't pull this information out of the blog because the blog name might be different to the publication name on Google News, plus Google recommends specific keywords. So yes this may cause issues if you run multiple blogs on the same backend which you want listed on Google news, however as a workaround you can just use multiple copies of the skin. There's also some fields not used by the skin, such as the tags field or the subscription options.

You'll then want to upload it to the b2evolution skins directory into a folder of your choice, for example _newsmap. You can then check to see if it is working by visiting yourblog.somewhere/?tempskin=_newsmap that should show articles from the last two days. All you'd need to do then is submit if via Google's webmaster tools.

Blog engine upgrade

Yesterday I upgraded the blogs to b2evolution's newest release candidate. The most obvious changes are the skins now, the update breaks compatibility with the old system, it'll be a lot of work to bring the old crystal skin back so I'll stick with this one on my blog for now, and try and put together a better one for the other blogs and the Gamercast website over the next couple of weeks.

The new way the skins work is a lot better now, and provides much more features too. For example now you can use the control panel to add custom HTML into the page, or add plugins and arrange them onto the page.

There's a rating system now, as well as a tag cloud (which I'll enable once I get more posts tagged), it is quite a large update and brings it up to date with other blogging solutions.

Windows Live Writer still doesn't work properly, I'd like the XMLRPC stuff sorted out, but things like that typically are low-priority. There's also the good old fashioned date bug that has cropped back in somehow.

All in all a good upgrade, hopefully the release version isn't too far off and it can polish things up a bit.

Disappointed that Windows Live Writer and b2evolution don't mix

Windows Live Writer was released this week, with new versions of all the Windows Live applications.  I've been following it in beta for over a year.  However all my attempts at using it with b2evolution have not been successful enough to use it for my general blogging.

Metaweblog seems to be the most stable API, using Wordpress, Blogger etc, don't even bring up the full list of categories to post to.  Metaweblog has some shortfallings, like not being able to delete or edit posts which makes it much less usable than it would otherwise be, it also disables comments, which means I have to go to the web based editor to turn them back on per post, I don't expect anything too fancy like image uploading - that can be worked around quite easily as most client side blogging tools can upload images over FTP to a web site.

Hopefully b2evolution's support will improve, it has remained stagnant for too long in this area.  These client side applications are becoming more popular, there are literally dozens of different ones now, and even Word 2007 can post directly to blogs.  It is something that should be given a high priority to keep b2evolution competitive with other blog engines.

Update: I'm pleased to say Windows Live Writer works great with the 2.4-RC2 version of b2evolution.