Posts by: Matt

Horse Tips: 6 April 2016

3.00 Catterick – Layla’s Hero
3.10 Lingfield – Across the Stars
3.25 Leopardstown – Claudio Monteverdi
3.40 Lingfield – Southern Storm

Lucky 15 E/W – £30 pays £205.17

Adblockers Effect on Revenue

Adblockers are starting to grow in popularity faster than ever before. This is due in part to some huge press from the likes of Apple and Google allowing (and not allowing them) on app stores. Now I have never used an Adblocker as I know the publishers need for adverts in order to support the cost of providing me wth news, reviews, how-tos and everything else I read for free online.

I run ads on this site to recoup some of the money I spend on domain names, hosting and the time I spend maintaining the site. That said the money I get from the ads is very small and does not come close to covering any of the costs I just mentioned.

Now I do see the need for Adblockers. There are sites out there (and from large organisations) that have really low-quality ads that are slow to load and most of all obnoxious. These sites are sites I simply avoid as much as possible and despite going on.

In terms of the impact on revenue that I have seen in recent months, it is huge. I used to earn about £10 per month from Google AdSense on this site and I was happy with that. Now I am seeing revenue in the range of £2-3 a month even though traffic to the site in the same period as increased about 40%.

In a future design update on this site, I am considering dropping banner advertising altogether in favour of just the affiliate links I use in my content.

Which brings me to my final thought on the matter. My revenue from Skimlinks affiliate links on this site has increased dramatically in recent months and Skimlinks has a much lower barrier to paying out then Google AdSense. The future revenue source for websites it was not going to be banner advertising instead it will be in the form of so-called “native advertising” by way of sponsored content and affiliate links.

Write in Markdown on WordPress

With the new kid on the block, Ghost making a lot of waves with its modern take on “just blogging”. A lot of people have started to take an interest in Markdown for writing and not just the professional writers.

What is Markdown

Before we get into how to work in Markdown with WordPress its probably a good idea to cover a little about what Markdown is and why professional writers love it so much.

Markdown was created by John Gruber over at Daring Fireball and is a syntax for formatting a document using special characters. Writer love this as they don’t need to stop typing to add formatting into there work.

This guide was written in Markdown.

Using Markdown in WordPress

There are 3 main ways to use Markdown in WordPress and in typical WordPress Core style of don’t add features that can be handled in a plugin all 3 require a plugin. You can install any of these plugins in the normal way.



JetPack is made by and brings a boat load of functionality from the hosted platform over with it. This is probably one of the nicest implementations of Markdown on WordPress.

It uses the text editor already in WordPress. Simply add your Markdown formatted text and hit publish. This has the added bonus of not removing the visual editor, now you do have to save before the visual editor will show you a rendered version of your Markdown document but that is no hardship.



WP-Markdown completely replaces the WordPress editor with a text area for adding your Markdown formatted article in. This is brilliant if you are proficient in Markdown and never need or want to use the visual editor in WordPress.

WP-Markdown is not all or nothing however, there is a settings page that allows you to enable or disable the plugin for different post types.



PrettyPress is not quite all the way to a editor replacement but the Markdown features are not included into the default WordPress editor. Instead you get a button to Launch PrettyPress. This will bring up a new editor page with 2 columns.

The first column is your editor add all your Markdown formatted article here and watch the real time preview update on the right hand column. PrettyPress will even show you your work on your actual theme in real time.

JetPack Turns 5

Yesterday marked 5 years since the first release of Automattic’s JetPack plugin for WordPress. JetPack is the plugin that brings a host of features to the self-hosted application.

I have been using JetPack on this site for a number of years namely for its Markdown and Stats features. JetPack is also the plugin I use for the social share buttons at the bottom of this and every post.

JetPack also provides my site with a added level of security by blocking suspicious login attempts and does that far better than any other plugin due to its large install base and the huge shared data set this provides.

A few of the other features I use are are the Gravitar hover cards, titled galleries, and shortcode embeds.

JetPack also has 2 paid modules. VideoPress and VaultPress. VideoPress allows you to upload and host videos via the content delivery network from within your website while VaultPress provides a backup solution. I have used VaultPress in the past before moving to Infinite WordPress which handles backups in a much better way for my needs.

Happy Birthday, JetPack.

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