Posts Tagged ‘wordpress blog’

A quick and easy way to install Social Network on Linux/BSD System with Elgg

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Reading Time: 3minutes

elgg-blue-logo
I'm experimenting this days with Elgg – An Open Source Free Software GPLed Social Network which enables users to quickly create Communities.

Elgg is really easy to install and all it requires is a Linux/BSD or Windows system with PHP, MySQL and Apache installed.

Elgg is provided with dozens of nice plugins which for a short time enables individual to create fully operational Social Network like facebook.

Many people nowdays use facebook without realizing how bad facebook is how it breaks their privacy.
Facebook is actually a spy network, it stores data and pictures, likings and user behaviour of million of users around the world.
This needs to be stopped somehow, maybe if people start using the free software networks like elgg to build a mini-community which has profound interests in a certain spheres of work, life and amusement.
The evil empire of facebook will slowly start to loose it's position and the small projects networks based on Elgg and the other Free Software Social Networks which are currently available will start to rise up.
I'm currently really a novice into Elgg but I'm more convinced that the guys who develop it and contribute to it in terms of handy plugins have done really a great job.

It's ultra easy even for non professional middle level user to setup himself an Elgg install.
The installation procedure is not much harder than a simple wordpress blog or joomla based website install.
The installation of elgg takes no more than 10 to 20 minutes, the plugin installation and setup time further could take few days but in the end you have a full featured Social Network! This is really amazing.
The installation of new plugins in elgg is also fool proof / easy all you have to do to equip a newly installed elgg with plugins is to go to it's root directory and look for the mod directory. The new plugins which needs to be installed, could be directly downloaded and saved via links, elinks, lynx or even wget to the elgg installation directory.

Most of the elgg plugins comes in a form of zip files so after being installed simply executing:

server:/home/elgg/mysocialnetwork/mod# unzip walltowall.zip
....

The above cmd will for example unzip the WallToWall elgg plugin and the plugin will be further ready to be enabled via the administrator user set upped during your elgg installation.

The configurations of elgg are being accomplished via:

Administration -> Tool Administration

I should I'm still experimenting with Elgg social, until this very moment I've installed the following elgg plugins:

aaudio
akismet
artfolio
blog
bookmarks
buddytalk
captcha
categories
chat
crontrigger
custom_index
custom_profile_fields
default_widgets
diagnostics
elgg-ebuddy
embed
embedvideo
emoticons
externalpages
family
fbconnect
file
file_tree
flyers
forum
friend_request
friends
garbagecollector
groups
htmlawed
invitations
invitefriends
izap_videos
kaltura_video
lastfm
likes
logbrowser
logrotate
lucygames
members
messageboard
messages
milockergames_frameme
noscript_message
notifications
pages
polls
profile
reportedcontent
resume
river_comments
riverdashboard
riverfaces
search
siteaccess
tagcloud
theme_simpleneutral
thewire
tidypics
tidypicsExt
tinymce
twitter
twitterservice
user_contact_list
uservalidationbyemail
walltowall
weather
wp1
zaudio

One very handy feature I truly enjoy about Elgg is that it gives every user an own blog which or in other words when somebody registers in Elgg, he automatically gets a personal blog! How cool this is Yeash 😉
The Elgg photo upload plugin is also another interesting story. The photo plugin is a way better from my first impressions than facebook's buggy upload client.
Elgg also uses heavily jquery for it's various operations and the user experience feels very interactive.

Of course as with all free software things are not perfect some of the elgg plugins or (mods) as they are called are not working.
For example I couldn't make by so far the weather plugin which is supposed to report the weather.

Maybe some tweakening of the not working plugins will easily make them working. What is really important is that the Elgg basis system looks and seems to work really good and enpowers the user with a social network alternatives to the ugly facebook.

In order to experiment with Elgg and I've established a small social network targetting at University College and School Students called MockATeacher – mockateacher.com>/i>. The idea behind is to help students in their report writting by providing them with a place where they can meet other students and share files.

Some other aspects I've planned for MockATeacher is to build a small community of people who would like to share about idiot teachers, teacher stupid sayings as well as to mock the idiotic type of education that we and our children are up to in this age.
Just to close up, if you're looking for some time to spend in experimenting in an enjoyable way you definitely need to install elgg and play with it 😉

wordpress & awstats

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Reading Time: 3minutes

awstats-logo and wordpress awstats

I'm planning to bring up a website for remote system administration for quite some time 'till now.A couple of days before I've installed wordpress and used the monochrome theme in combination with a couple of plugins.I've used the WordPress, "Contact Form 7" plugin. I struggled around for a day before I realize the way it's beeingembeded into the Page post. Amri (Marto) a friend of mine helped me up with the whole deal, it came to be as simple assimply adding [contact-form 1 "My feedback" to one of the pages I've created in wordpress. There were a bunch of things on my newlycreated wordpress blog that looked more like a blog than a page which was not my initial goal and therefore I had to remove some chunksof code from some of the php files that came with the monochrome theme. I've partially used a guide called
"How to create Websites using WordPress" which probably would be of an interest to you if you're trying to make wordpress look more like a website than a blog, check it out here . Amri suggested few plugins that would add up to my current wordpress installation.
This are:
Cyr2Lat Slugs
Google XML Sitemaps Generates sitemap.xml. Gives an option to setup Google WebMaster Tools and in that manner of thoughts ads up for faster indexing of the blog
All In One SEO pack – SEO instrument that optimizes your wordpress
Belavir – Tracks the changes in files in wordpress.
In my case I couldn't make the Google XML Sitemap work correctly. Probably because I've removed bits of php code from some main php pages.Anyways I was able to make my wordpress look like a normal website and in general it might be said that it looks quite decent now if I have to compare it with my previous websites I've built like let's say my home page pc-freak.net . I've plans to deliver remote system administration services to the masses via my Yet Another Cheap System Administration Services.
I've also installed awstats on the pcfreak box currently running on
a nice foxy IBM machine. To properly install and run the Awstats I've used fractions from the article Install Awstats on FreeBSD . What was different in my case was:
1. I had to cd /usr/ports/www/awstats/work/awstats-6.9/tools/; run ./awstats_configure.pl. Answer a couple of questions. I've initially installed awstats configurations to /etc/awstats after which I've moved it to /usr/local/etc/awstats .
2. I had to create /var/lib/awstats where awstats stores it's database files: mkdir /var/lib/awstats
3. I had to link awstats to the location where my cgi-bin dir was set up by httpd.conf: ln -sf /usr/local/www/awstats/cgi-bin/ /usr/local/www/cgi-bin/awstats
4. I had to create a link to make the awstats icons visualize: ln -sf /usr/local/www/awstats/icons /usr/local/www/data/awstatsicons
5. I had to edit my conf file and align it with my desires, most important to note is the requirement to change the location to my Apache log file in my case that was /var/log/httpd-access.log: Change LogFile value in /usr/local/etc/awstats/awstats.pc-freak.net.conf I've changed it to LogFile="/var/log/httpd-access.log"
6. Next I had to execute the following to generate statistics for my domain pc-freak.net: /usr/local/www/awstats/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -update -config=pc-freak.net
7. Edit the root user crontab (crontab -u root -e) and paste the following : 01 0 * * * /usr/local/www/awstats/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -update -config=pc-freak.net 2>&1 >/dev/null8. Change the default Directory settings for /usr/local/www/cgi-bin. Had to changed them to the following AllowOverride FileInfo AuthConfig Limit Indexes Options FollowSymLinks ExecCGI Order allow,deny Allow from all
9. After that I've protected my awstats with a pass putting /usr/local/awstats/cgi-bin/.htaccess file containing the followingAuthType BasicAuthName "Restricted Access"AuthUserFile /usr/local/etc/apache2/myawstats.passwdRequire user admin
10. And last but not least, had to create the myawstats.passwd with the following command: htpasswd -c /usr/local/etc/apache2/myawstats.passwd admin

Right after I happily accessed my newly installed awstats via my domain https://pc-freak.net//cgi-bin/awstats/awstats.pl END—–

Adding RSS Feed to WordPress in conjunction with FeedBurner / WordPress add-to-any-subscribe plugin

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Reading Time: 4minutes
adding_rss_feed_to_wordpress-in-conjunction-with-Google-Feedburner-add-to-any-subscribe-plugin
I received a comment today from one of my blog readers. That he likes my blog content but he looks for a way to subscribe to my blog.
Though I had a subscription button configured in my wordpress template of choice. The button is located on place in the template that is absolutely unnoticable (at the bottom of the page). This is by the way I believe a default behaviour in case if the default wordpress plugin is used.
Thus I decided to set a clear RSS Subscription button on my blog.
Though at a first glimpse the task looked quite trivial it happened to be a way more complex!
I’ve tried a number of things before I can succeed in adding an RSS button.
The most simple though not really flexible way was through:

WordPress’s Widgets (Using the RSS Widget) .
rss default feed widget

This approach however has one major inconvenience.
Using the default wordpress RSS Widget you cannot configure the Widget to keep displaying 0 items of the feed.
In other words you cannot configure from the the sliding menu reading:
How many items would you like to display?0 in order to prevent completely showing up of any of the feed on the page.
If you leave it with one. The RSS icon of RSS widget would point directly to your blog instead to the RSS feed configured.
So in practice configuring it especially in my case rendered completely useless.
The appearing link from the default RSS widget for some weird reason doesn’t includes a link to where my feed is located https://pc-freak.net/blog/feed/
In the meantime I looked online to look for something that will facilitate me in completing the simple task to add an RSS Subscribe Feed to my Blog.
I asked for help in freenode’s irc network #wordpress channel. And a guy from there suggested that I go with wp-o-matic wordpress plugin
Anyways It took me a few minutes to realize this plugin is suitabile if you want to show other blogs feed to your blog instead of adding a RSS feed link to your own blog, this wasn’t my goal so I skipped next in looking for something to help me on.
In the meantime I found the interesting feedburner google feed service that is able to help in creating, publishing and distributing RSS & Atom feeds.
I recommend you check it if you still haven’t. It takes only a few clicks to register in order to use feedburner as a feed service.
Once you are set-up with Feedburner, you can activate all the cool functions, such as allowing your readers to subscribe via email, and also the Feedburner Flares.
Another nice thing about using feedburner is that it formats your fed content in a really pretty layout. By the way since the 2004 feedburner is owned by Google. So in a certain terms using feedburner instead of the default wordpress blog feed will probably attract more google visitors to your blog and is generally good for your blog placement in search engines.
For more of the advantages check feedburner’s google service website .
However there is one major disadvantage in using the feedburner’s feed service. Using the service rob you out of control of your feed, since all the feeds will be properly generated and formatted from feedburner.
The newly created service for feedburner by me is located on www.feeds.feedburner.com/WalkingInLightWithChrist-FaithComputingDiary
Now to be able to use the newly installed feedburner service with my blog I had to test a couple of plugins before I came to the ones that really worked.
I played with feedburner_feedsmith_plugin , feedburner-widget , feedlist.2.61 , wp-keiths-easy-rss , rss-atom-avatar but I couldn’t make any of them work properly with feedburner. Some of the up mentioned plugins were a real hell to configure so I completely abandondoned them seeing their inflexibility. Others were completely abondonede for more than 2 years from now, etc. etc. Fundamentally none of them worked for me.
I finally was able to bring up the feedburner service on my worpdress using The FD Feedburner plugin

All necessery to enable the plugin after you download into wordpress’s wp-content/plugins directory is to configure the plugin from:
Plugins -> FeedBurner Configuration Here is the screenshot on the FD Feedburner plugin configuration screen:

FD Feedburner plugin

As you can see in the screenshot the plugin is really simple to configure. All you need to provide it with is the url provided to you by feedburner right after you register your blog for the service.

Now as you will have your http://www.yourwebsite.com/blog/feed/ be redirected to the feedburner’s website generated feed for your website by the FD FeedBurner WordPress Plugin all left to be done is to provide a link on your blog to your blog feed.

To accomplish this you will have to download the add-to-any-subscribe wordpress plugin.
Again installation of add-to-any-subscribe is a piece of cake, to install follow The install instructions here

Now hopefully your feedburner feed will be able to be distrubuted to your visitors via the AddtoAny subscription button on your blog.

Fix Null error in WordPress comment reply with wordpress-threaded-comments plugin enabled

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Reading Time: 2minutes

I'm running WordPress for already 3 years or so now. Since some very long time. The first wordpress install, I can hardly remember but it something like wordpress 2.5 or wordpress 2.4

Since quite a long time my wordpress blog is powered by a number of plugins, which I regularly update, whenever new plugins pops up …
I haven't noticed most of the time problems during major WordPress platform updates or the update of the installed extensions. However, today while I tried to reply back to one of my blog comments, I've been shocked that, I couldn't.
Pointing at the the Comment Reply box and typing inside was impossible and a null message was stayed filled in the form:

To catch what was causing this weird misbehaving with the reply comments functionality, I grepped through my /var/www/blog/wp-content/plugins/* for the movecfm(null,0,1,null):

# cd /var/www/blog/wp-content/plugins
# grep -rli 'movecfm(null,0,1,null)' */*.php
wordpress-thread-comment/wp-thread-comment.php

I've taken the string movecfm(null,0,1,null) from the browser page source in in my Firefox by pressing – Ctrl+U).

Once I knew of the problem, I first tried commenting the occurances of the null fields in wp-thread-comment.php, but as there, were other troubles in commenting this and I was lazy to read the whole code, checked online if some other fellows experienced the same shitty null void javascript error and already someone pointed at a solution. In the few minutes search I was unable to find anyone who reported for this bug, but what I found is some user threads on wordpress.org mentioning since WordPress 2.7+ the wordpress-threaded-comments is obsolete and the functionality provided by the plugin is already provided by default in newer WPinstalls.

Hence in order to enable the threaded comments WordPress (embedded) reply functionality from within the wp-admin panel used:

Settings -> Discussions -> Enable Threaded (nested) comments (Tick)

Enable Nested Comments WordPress default wp comments enable reply functionality screenshot

You see there is also an option to define how many nested comments subcomments, can be placed per comment, the default was 5, but I thought 5 is a bit low so increased it to 10 comments reply possible per comment.

Finally, to prevent the default threaded comments to interfere with the WordPress Threaded Comments plugin, disabled the plugin through menus:

Plugins -> Active -> WordPress Thread Comments (Deactivate)

This solved the weird javascript null "bug" caused by wordpress-threaded-comments once and for all.
Hopefully onwards, my blog readers will not have issues with threaded Reply Comments.

Possible way to Improve wordpress performance with wp-config.php 4 config variables

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Reading Time: 2minutes

Wordpress improve performance wp-config.php logo chromium effect GIMP

Nowdays WordPress is ran by million of blogs and websites all around the net. I myself run wordpress for this blog in general wordpress behaves quite well in terms of performance. However as with time the visitors tend to increase, on frequently updated websites or blogs. As a consequence, the blog / website performance slowly starts to decrease as result of the MySQL server read / write operations creating I/O and CPU load overheads. Buying a new hardware and migrating the wordpress database is a possible solution, however for many small or middle size wordpress blogs en sites like mine this is not easy task. Getting a dedicated server or simply upgrading your home server hardware is expensive and time consuming process… In my efforts to maximize my hardware utilization and increase my blog decaying performance I've stumbled on the article Optimize WordPress performance with wp-config.php

According to the article there are 4 simple wp-config.php config directvies useful in decreasing a lot of queries to the MySQL server issued with each blog visitor.

define('WP_HOME','http://www.yourblog-or-siteurl.com');
define('WP_SITEURL','http://www.yourblog-or-siteurl.com');
define('TEMPLATEPATH', '/var/www/blog/wp-content/themes/default');
define('STYLESHEETPATH', '/var/www/blog/wp-content/themes/default');

1. WP_HOME and WP_SITEURL wp-config.php directvies

The WP_HOME and WP_SITEURL variables are used to hard-code the address of the wordpress blog or site url, so wordpress doesn't have to check everytime in the database on every user request to know it is own URL address.

2. TEMPLATEPATH and TEMPLATEPATH wp variables

This variables will surely improve performance to Wodpress blogs which doesn't implement caching. On wp install with enabled caching plugins like WordPress Super Cache, Hyper Cache or WordPress Db Cache is used, I don't know if this variables will have performance impact …

So far I have tested the vars on a couple of wordpress based installs with caching enabled and even on them it seems the pages load faster than before, but I cannot say this for sure as I did not check the site loading time in advance before hardcoding the vars.

Anyways even if the suggested variables couldn't make positive impact on performance, having the four variables in wp-config.php is a good practice for blogs or websites which are looking for extra clarity.
For multiple wordpress installations living on the same server, having defined the 4 vars in different wordpress seems like a good idea too.

How to add manually adsense code to your wordpress blog in blog index and single page posts

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Reading Time: 3minutes
I’ve recently realized that the Easy Adsenser plugin which I used to place google adsense advertisements on my blog, is probably stealing some portion of my clicks.

There were some fraud reports on wordpress.org by people who have found out the author of Easy Adsenser rips clicks, by showing sometimes his own ad code even if the plugin is configured to not grant any clicks as a donation to the plugin author.
I don’t know how true this story is and I don’t have the time to observe the whole plugin code to say for sure if the rumors about clicks stealing are true.

However as I’m paying my internet access (that guarantees) by blog to stay online with some adsense advertisements and the adsense revenues are either equal to my internet tax or a bit higher (depending on the month), it’s quite unpleasent to hear someone is stealing from the ads clicks which still generate very low revenue.

Thus I took the time to read some blog posts online which gave me some hints on how can I directly place the google adsense advertisement code into the theme template files

My goal was to place one google adsense ad to appear right after the title of each article and one to appear as a vertical bar in the end of my sidebar.

In this article in short I’ll explain how I achieved this banner placement via the default wordpress template which obviously I use on my blog.

Let’s start:

1. Add adsense to the index page of the blog

Edit your blog/wp-content/themes/default/index.php file

Therein find the code:

<div id="content" class="narrowcolumn" role="main">

and right after this line put the following php code:

<?php
$postnum = 1;
$showadsense1 = 1;
?>

This code is necessery to assure the adsense code only appears on the first blog post from the blog index page

2. Find the code:

<small><?php the_time('F jS, Y') ?> <!-- by

Immediately after the code place the php code:

<?php if ($postnum == $showadsense1) {
echo '<div class="adsense" style="float:right;margin:12px;">;paste here your adsense code ...</div>';
} ?>

<?php $postnum++; ?>

Now with this changes, 1 adsense advertisements should start appearing right after your first and only on your blog post, next step is to place manually one more vertical adsense banner.

2. Place adsense vertical bannre in wordpress blog sidebar

Login with admin user to wordpress and navigate to:

Appearance -> Widgets

Among the available widgets you will notice the widget called Text click over: Add to add this widget to the list of widgets to appear on your blog sidebar.

Afterwards look up over the Sidebar list of widgets find the newly added Text widget and click over Edit to modify it’s content.

Further on put a Title for the widget or choose to leave the title field as blank if you don’t want a name to appear.
On the next textbox just paste your adsense code and you’re done. A simple refresh of your wordpress blog index page should show you a vertical banner with your adsense code.
! Note that if you have recently issued the adsense code it will take about 10-20 minutes until the banner starts showing up.

Until now wordpress is configured to show adsense adverts on the blog main page, as a next step we need to place the same adsense adverts to appear whether a single blog post is reviewed (opened).

Place an adsense advertisements to single posts opened

For that purpose it’s necessery to edit the file single.php it’s again located in blog/wp-content/themes/default

Once again you will first need to find the code:

if (have_posts())

Put the code after the end of the line on a new line:

<?php
// below code is for adsense
$postnum = 1;
$showadsense1 = 1;
?>

Next lookup in the file for the code:

<h2><?php the_title(); ?></h2>

On a new line after it place:

<?php if ($postnum == $showadsense1) { echo '<div class="adsense" style="float:right;margin:12px;"><script type="text/javascript"> place here your adsense code </div>';
} ?>

<?php $postnum++; ?>

That’s all now the adsense advertisements will be also showing on the single blog posts reviews found via some search engine (google, yahoo etc.).

Hope this article will be helpful to somebody, if so drop me a thanks line in comments 😉

How to add sidebar to single.php (Single Posts) to your wordpress blog default theme

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Reading Time: < 1minute
Until recently, I have used a default wordpress theme which historically is a bit old and used to be a default theme to the older versions of wordpress.
Since however, I’ve went to many updates and on the other hand I do like and enjoy the template I have decided to continue use it for my blog until this very day.

However this nice theme’s default behaviour is a bit weird, since by default the Single opened posts are configured in a way that the usual index page sidebar is missing.
As in the sidebar there are plenty of navigation buttons and search in the blog button, at a certain moment I have realized it’s probably not a good idea that the single.php (single blog posts) open up with the right sidebar missing.

Thus I’ve decided to put back the missing sidebar in the single posts, with a hope that this will be helpful to my readers and hence have positive impact on the overall blog user experience.

Doing so prooved to be rather easy, here is how I added back the right sidebar to my wordpress single posts :

1. Edit blog/wp-content/themes/default/single.php

debian:~# vim /var/www/blog/wp-content/themes/default/single.php

2. In the single.php look up for the code:

<div id="content" class="widecolumn">

Substitute this html code with:

<div id="content" class="narrowcolumn">

3. Next find the code: <?php get_footer(); ?>

Right before the get_footer(); php function add in the function;

<?php get_sidebar(); ?>

Tadam! Refresh a single post in Firefox and you should see your blog index.php sidebar to show up.

How ot fix Widgets drag and drop not working on WordPress

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Reading Time: < 1minutehow to fix WordPress widgets missing drag and drop bug

My WordPress blog had an odd problem, all on the blog, worked just fine except the Widgets add new widget drag and drop functionality.
As there was new version of wordpress available I tried updating but this fixed the missing drag and drop widget functionality neither, so finally after a bit of googling and experimentation to follow suggested fixes like using the enable Accessiblity Mode button on top Widgets.Thus the common suggested fix that worked for most of the people who stumbled upon this annoying wordpress bug was to simply nagivate to:

Appearance -> Widgets -> Screen Options -> Enable Accessibility Mode As for me pressing over the Screen Options was impossible (nothing happened when I pressed over it), finally I’ve found a hack 😉

The hack is quite simple, all I had to do is just pass a variable ?widgets-access=on to the widget.php php script
Therefore the fix to the problem was as follows http://blog.mysite.com/wp-admin/widgets.php?widgets-access=on

And done, FIXED! 😉