Posts tagged word
Recently I have been doing a LOT of research into various wordpress themes and plugins and as you may expect the code varies from the excellent to the dire, but in most cases each achieves what it is supposed to.
That said however I have been seeing an increasing number of dodgy/spammy plugins which would probably cause more harm than good to the blogs of people who blindly install them.
These plugins or themes generally suggest they are doing one thing, but are actually doing another, such as building networks of spam links or sending valuable infomration to third parties... not good!
Though I could name and shame these dodgy items here I don't really wish to suffer the wrath of the scum of the internet, so all I'll offer is a plain and simple warning:
BE CAREFUL ABOUT THE PLUGINS YOU INSTALL AND THE THEMES YOU USE
Check them out, make sure they're fit for purpose, if you don't have enough knowledge yourself to understand what the plugin is doing ask someone who does.
Let's face it, at the worst you could expose yourself to having all important server details sent to a third-party and at the least you may end up with a blog covered in spam content getting you blocked by the major search engines.
A very simple example of a check anyone can perform is to look through the plugin/theme code and look for url's or email addresses that are not anything to do with you or the plugin/theme.
This simple check alone can help protect you against unwanted and potentially harmful disguised code.
I noticed today that my blog wasn't included in Google blog search, so I set out to find out why.
The reason was google didn't know about it, so I added it to my list of update notification services as this blogcarta post explains how to do: http://www.blogcarta.com/2006/10/17/how-to-ping-google-blog-search/
Oddly enough, though I know what pinging is, how it works, etc. I'd not really thought about/researched wordpress pinging to any great extent, and found out that I was missing a lot!
Firstly, I have a feed burner account (http://www.feedburner.com) and can automate a massive amount of the pinging from there so I turned all that on (see the PingShot option under the Publicize tab).
Secondly this got me thinking about what may be missed as feedburner wasn't pinging them, so I turned to the codex list of ping service (which oddly enough I had been to a number of times before but never used): http://codex.wordpress.org/Update_Services and I added all of these to my list too.
Next I saw the Smart Update Pinger on the codex and downloaded and installed that - It basically improves the pinging wordpress does by default by only pinging services when a new post is published and logging the responses.
And then I started looking at all the other posts that existed about pinging services and who should be pinged when and how. And as I'm tired my head started swimming.
So ultimately, what's needed here? Yes, you've guessed it, another improved plugin.
I shall be writing my own plugin to improve the pinging functionality in wordpress. It will be based on previous work, namely Smart Update Pinger but improve the existing functionality of that by including the following features:
- Central list of sites to ping automatically updated via webservice, so you're always on top of the game (would be so nice if this wasn't necessary, but hey ho!)
- Re-ping feature to notify ping services that are temporarily down about your post once they're back up
- Centralized logging to determine when a service goes off-line for extended periods of time or for good
All of the options will be turned on/off-able for users concerned about privacy.
If the guys who write Smart Update Pinger want to add this functionality in themselves, then fine, please go ahead but please let me know first. otherwise I'll be coding this up in a few days time.
If you want to be informed when the first release of my pinging plugin is made then either subscribe to my feed or leave me a comment
Version 2.5 of wordpress has been released and we haveÂ a nice new admin interface at last, not to mention the plugin auto-updater (something I was planning to write myself sometime soon) and a number of other nice features!
Personally I think the update is a great, but I can't help wondering if, as otherÂ wordpress users upgrade, they will find nicer = better?
It may be just the fact that I was used to the old interface that causes me to say this, but somehow, though clunky, the old interface seemed easier to use. From a new user perspective however, the interface is probably more obvious to navigate and generally deal with, so when it comes to attracting new users to wordpress then it's probably a good thing - after all this isn't going to deter wordpress's current x million users, hopefully just attract more!
So what else is new?
Well there's a nice little gallery making the display of collections of images a LOT easier. Couple this with theÂ multi-file up-loader and the EXIF extractor and we now have a system that really aids those who display a lot of multimedia content in their blogs.
At last (I wish I could emphasise this more), the search function covers the scope of a whole wordpress site i.e. posts and pages - about time!
Tag and permalink management has been vastly improved so there's no need to use a third party solution to control these.
And the last most significant upgrade is the improvement (some would say actual implementation) of sensible multi-user management during editing. i.e. If user x is authoring a post along with user y, user x now actually locks the post while editing, meaning that user y's updates and auto-saves can't overwrite or conflict with those of user x.
From a technical point of view, there are some good security updates well worth having, as well as features that allow you to override and add to the new media buttons feature of the editor. There is also the shortcodeÂ API whichÂ really eases the placement of special code within the content of a standard post without screwing up the html of eitherÂ - again the insertion of media galleries is a prime example of this.
All round then, the new version shows some really useful progression in wordpress and can only aid its uptake by new users, as well as adding some good solid updates for those of us who have been using it for years!
Now this is a pretty neat plugin:
Wordbook allows you to send your wordpress blog posts directly to your Facebook mini feed without any cut and paste nastyness - fantatsic if you tend to used wordpress as a blog and Facebook for networking rather thanÂ the other way round
You can get the plugin here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordbook/
Recently when using my new laptop I noticed a small icon in Internet explorer that I hadn't realised was there before, this icon was for windows live writer which I'm actually using to compose this blog post.
Basically it looks as if Microsoft have pulled the new blogging components out of Word 2007, beefed them up a bit and made a free standalone blogging application out of them, which seems to be really quite good.
I've used desktop blogging software before, w.bloggar, ecto, etc. but none of them feel as useful and as neat as this one.
You can install windows live writer as part of the new windows live pack which includes things like windows live messenger, desktop search etc. And though I wouldn't necessarily use all the programs in the live pack, live writer and obviously messenger live are two great products.
I'm not one to evangelise about Microsoft, and it's rare that I notice something they've done that really adds to my day to day computing experience but today they have, and if they continue along this route with a few more well thought out, useful, stable applications maybe I won't convert to Linux full time...
I've just found a slightly more indepth review which readers of this post may also find useful: