Category Archives: WordPress

Learning To Blog

Consider this yoga for your blog.

~Welcome to the New Blog Exercises « Lorelle on WordPress.

I forget exactly when and where I first stumbled in front of Lorelle and was hit by her juggernaut of WordPress information and love… But, boy am I glad I did. This year she is starting a new program she is calling New Blog Exercises.

 

From what I’ve seen so far of her teachings it looks to be a great program to hone those blogging skills. I know I am going to be following her progress through the year (I’ve already added the category feed to my reader).

 

If you are new to blogging, this would be a good place to start. If you’ve been blogging for a while, you may want to wander over and hone those skills that have gotten rusty… You never know, it might refresh your interest…

Lorelle van Fossen
Lorelle van Fossen (Photo credit: Technosailor)

 

You Can Call Me Crazy

You can call me dumb. But whatever you call me…Would you please, please stop filling up my comments with things like this:

Hi. I like your website but i can tell it probably isn’t getting much traffic? If you want to help imrpove that check this website out, he has a short video that i really suggest you watch…

You know what? If that’s the best you can do to try and “help” me improve…Do us both a favor, just stop bothering.

I know. Everyone on the internets is just out to make all of the money they can scam. Isn’t that right?

I mean, just how many times do I have to delete the spam from these guys before they stop favoring with their offers to sell me their insights? How many times have I seen this one this week:

We’re continually testing variations of our search results after to optimize performance for both you and our users. Similarly, you’re probably always fatiguing to detect ways to improve each specialization of your ad to get your idea across to users. To remedy, we’ll one day be making a change to traditional ads that when one pleases allow you to display more information where it’s most likely to be noticed–in the headline.

Does filling my Akismet Spam filter with multiples of the same message from the same IP address at the exact same time make it any more likely that I’ll let it through to clutter up my blog with their link crap?

But these guys really take the cake…

Hi, i simply wanted to come here to let you know about a seriously inexpensive service that posts comments such as this on millions of WordPress blogs. Just why you might ask, well you may want to sell a product or service and target webmasters or simply just increase the amount of backlinks your web site has that will increase your Google rankins which will then bring your website much more visitors and cash.

Like I really want you to teach me how to do what I am trying my damnedest to stop you from doing to my sites…Get a life guys.

Theme Upgrades

On almost all of my sites I like to use the Atahualpa Theme from BytesForAll. I have finally managed to get almost all of my sites up to date with the latest install. Since each site has been tweaked to have it’s own look and most have custom headers, upgrades to the theme are problematic at best. My one complaint with the theme is that the header images have to be uploaded again after every update. It has pretty much become a routine I go through while updating plug-ins and other ancillary files.

Today Atahualpa rolled out an incremental upgrade. Now I use a empty sidebar between the body of my sites and the sidebar on the right. It’s always worked, gives me some options I wouldn’t have using padding. Well today’s update filled it with default text and forced me to drop an empty text widget in my “spacer” to remove the text.

Problem solved until the next update…

WordPress Image Post Attachment Pages

Has anyone else noticed that when you use the Gallery with the pictures linking to a Post Attachment Page the attachment pages end up with a category of  “Uncategorized” or whatever your default category is? And…you cannot change the category or add tags to these pages? But you can have comments…

I can not find theses pages anywhere in the categories pages or the archive pages. Do they even exist as pages? Does Google,Bing and Yahoo find them? Anyone have any ideas on how to edit the categories or add tags?

More Testing Of 3.0 Beta

I spent yesterday installing and setting up a MU version of the 3.0 Beta. After discovering a couple of blogs that explained the piece of code that needed to be added to the config file, it was pretty much a piece of cake…Once I figure out that the edits I did to the .htaccess file had added a .txt to the back of the file name, that is. I had never noticed that Filezilla did that when I did a view/edit command.

Multi-Site Feature with Only One WordPress 3.0 Installation

Another big update in WordPress 3.0 is the merging of WordPress MU – a fork of WordPress that lets the user create and manage hundreds of thousands of blogs with a single install of WordPress – and the plain-jane WordPress.

This feature is not enabled by default. You can enable multi-site functionalities by adding the following line to wp-config.php.

define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);

After updating the file, you will get a tab of “Network” under the “Tools” menu as shown below.

via WordPress 3.0: Ultimate Guide to New Features.

So far I am pretty impressed, though I am finding some issues with the latest stable install of my main theme. I see from a visit to their site that they have moved on a couple of versions as direct downloads…so that goes on tomorrows to-do list. Install the latest test build of Atahualpa and see if that fixes some of the issues I am having under 3.0 or does it really blow everything up. The only real issue I’ve seen so far is anytime I save a draft the post title is changed to “Auto Draft”. I am sure it is something in the custom field that Atahualpa uses for SEO…

I really like the new menu options. They make doing a custom menu a piece of cake…I’ll have to look into figuring out how to add the hooks into some other themes…

One of the things I’ll be looking at is cutting down on the number of plugins I am depending on and trying to trim the amount of JavaScript being called. Speed will be an issue in the coming years and I refuse to give up the photos I tend to post…

It is going to be an interesting summer in the blogging world…

Testing WordPress 3.0

Yesterday I decided I needed to start testing the new WordPress 3.0 to see what the changes might be and how it might affect my network of blogs.

Setting Up To Test

After deciding to test it I decided I needed a private “new” domain to use for the testing. So it was off to GoDaddy to pick up a domain or three just to use for testing different things…I don’t know why I never did this before.

Installing the 3.0 Beta

I went ahead and let GoDaddy install the latest WordPress install. Then I went in and deleted all of the files (after copying the wp-config out to my machine to make it easier to copy and paste the db info) and uploaded the Beta installation. Ran the install and started playing.

Testing

So far I haven’t managed to break anything…Though I had trouble with a import…Seems every time the program tried to import an attachment and received an error it would not import anything below that point in the export file. I don’t know if it’s a 3.0 bug or something that happens in 2.9 also…Needs more testing.

So far I have only installed a couple of plugins. I have imported all of the posts from this site for testing purposes. I have blocked search engines…No reason to get burned for duplicate content.

Why Am I Testing

The main reason for the testing site though, is to make sure my themes and plugins don’t die with the upgrade. So far Atahualpa seems to still work. I will need to make some posts and double check the source code before I can be sure. Since almost all of my sites are running on that theme, it’s important to me that it keep working…

New Features

When I first set up the site I was using the new default theme Twenty-Ten 1.0. I have to say…I could almost live with the default as a basic layout. It’s a nice default theme. I haven’t gone looking through the code yet…But I will when I have a bit of free time.

The options on the new theme are rudimentary, but, simple to use. Changing header images and background colors couldn’t be easier.

The new custom Menus option works well, even when the theme does not implement the new feature. A new widget is added to allow the custom menus to be added to your sidebars.

The one issue I have so far is my inability to try out the MU version of 3.0 Beta. The install instructions stated that I would be asked if I wanted to install the MU version on the install…But I didn’t see it. Maybe I need to start with a completely clean database…I’ll try that in the coming days. I’ll keep posting my results…

Remodeling and Rebuilding…Pardon the Dust

Godaddy finally rolled out the patch for WordPress 2.7 so I’ve been busy making upgrades to all of my websites. So far I am impressed with the changes the WordPress gurus have incorporated into this version.

The new Dashboard is great. Granted it took a few hours to figure out where everything is located but I love the new menu layout down the side. Having the ability to install plugins directly from the website without going through a download, unzip, upload, activate procedure is also pretty dang nifty.

I am also taking the opportunity to install a common suite of plugins on all of my sites. One of the discoveries I made was the Multi-Level Navigation Plugin. I really like the look of the pull down menus…While I was at it, I built badges for each of my domains. They are a bit large but I like them.

I am also in the process of redefining North Carolina Mountain Dream and matching it with Virginia Mountain Dreams. I hope to turn both sites into resources for both myself and others who may be contemplating a move to the Blue Ridge Mountains. I will concentrate my attention on Watauga County, NC and Floyd County, Va to begin with and expand out from there.

Check back for updates…