Shin

WordPress vCard themes

WordPress vCard

I’ve been looking at Social Media in the Netherlands a lot lately, looks like we’re finally catching up to the US.
Here’s a nice round up of vCard style themes to transform WordPress into a personal online business card, portfolio, resume or what have you not. I think a personal site is still a good home base as it’ll always stay regardless of the flavor du jour in social network sites.

WordPress Security: Limit Login Attempts

Limit Login Attempts

The picture says it all really. There are bots active trying to hack WordPress sites all over the web by trying to log in to your account using any and all possible password combinations.
This plugin allows you to lock it down by setting the amount of retries you allow before the ip address of the person trying to get in gets blocked. It’s effective, and necessary.
Also make sure you rename the default admin account as this is the username the bots use for their login attempts.

WordPress app 3.0 for iPad

Every time they release a new version I take a look to see what’s improved.
And every time I take a look I wonder why I’d use it.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s free, reasonably quick and quite actively updated. I just don’t see the point of it when I can just use Safari for the familiar WordPress Dashboard where everything works exactly the way I’m used to. It’s also bloody fast on Safari.
Compare that to the screenshots of the app version and I just wonder about some UI choices that seem like a minimalistic text editor. Or why the stats are confined to a small bar on the side leaving most of the screen quite literally completely empty.
Oh well, I’ll look again when 4.0 is released.

iPad app:

Safari on the iPad:

WordPress 3.3 released

WordPress 3.3 has been released, bring on the awesome. I hope the new media manager works as great as it looks.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

We’ve got snowspray on the windows,
it started snowing a bit further up in our country and
now we have snow here on the site.
Let it snow!

Improve your WordPress search

WordPress’ standard search isn’t all that good. One could say it sucks.
It sucks for several reasons; results come back in reverse date order, which makes sense for a blog but doesn’t exactly use any relevance. There’s no indication in the search results which words matched. The search just takes all the terms and does a basic sql query for any of them, so if you search for ‘i like cheese’ you get posts with the word like and then posts with the word cheese. You have no idea how many results you got.

Enter Relevanssi, a WordPress plugin which I just added and now;
Search results are ranked based on relevance.
Instead of an excerpt showing the first x characters of the post your get a relevant excerpt showing the part of the text that contains the search terms you used, and they’re highlighted in the text.
You see the search score which tells you which words were found in the text and how many time they were found.

A list of Relevanssi features:

  • Search results sorted in the order of relevance, not by date.
  • Fuzzy matching: match partial words, if complete words don’t match.
  • Find documents matching either just one search term (OR query) or require all words to appear (AND query).
  • Search for phrases with quotes, for example “search phrase”.
  • Create custom excerpts that show where the hit was made, with the search terms highlighted.
  • Highlight search terms in the documents when user clicks through search results.
  • Search comments, tags, categories and custom fields.
  • Adjust the weighting for titles, tags and comments.
  • Log queries, show most popular queries and recent queries with no hits.
  • Restrict searches to categories and tags using a hidden variable or plugin settings.
  • Index custom post types and custom taxonomies.
  • Index the contents of shortcodes.
  • Google-style “Did you mean?” suggestions based on successful user searches.
  • Advanced filtering to help hacking the search results the way you want.

The plugin comes in 2 flavors, free and premium. I’m half tempted to buy the premium just to support the free one as it is already quite feature complete. It’s also rather flexible and offers a lot of tweaking if that’s your cup of tea.

WordPress plugins used, 2011

Here’s a list of all the WordPress plugins I’m using at the moment in case anyone is interested.
Read more…

Smart 404

Now here’s a great plugin I wish I’d discovered several years ago.
Smart 404 intercepts standard 404 messages and looks through your posts, tags and categories to see if it can come up with a match of what the visitor to your site was looking for. If it finds it, it will display it as a standard archive view displaying the posts.
Example: http://x111.com/azumanga doesn’t exist, Smart 404 however finds a tag for Azumanga Daioh and thus displays http://x111.com/tag/azumanga-daioh/ which is a HELL of a lot better than giving your visitor a blank ‘oops, it’s gone’ page.
If Smart 404 doesn’t find anything, at all, it goes to your standard 404 WordPress page, in which you can add some code to have Smart 404 generate a list of posts with the keyword a visitor was looking for (example). Again a big improvement.
I’m very impressed with this plugin, I only wish I’d have come across this years ago when I was moving all the old reviews into WP, that would have saved me from the big nosedive in daily traffic.

(download from the WordPress directory)

WordPress for iPhone 2

And here we are testing the new version 2 of the WordPress for iPhone app. So far so good, it’s a big improvement over the previous version. Who knows, I might even start posting again now. ;)

Maybe. I’ve been thinking about adding some more iPhone related stuff around here and tweaking the layout a bit to make it more phone friendly seeing as that’s my main method of browsing these days.

Hmm, joy, sorry to say but the new iPhone app is still a pain in the ass for me. I saved a draft, added a picture and a lot of text and hit publish and tada, an ugly picture published without adhering to my thumbnail settings and more importantly; all the text from after the first save was gone.
Yeah… I think I’ll stick to ye good olde web backend to write my posts.

Work in progress... not home!
Trying to get all/most of the new code working before I start on the eyecandy.