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Archive for December, 2009

Movable Type Monday: jQuery Comments, Asset Listings, Safari Support, and More

Happy Monday, folks! Things seem to be a bit slow in the Movable Type community right now. I think it’s a combination of the holidays and impending release of MT5. Still, we’ve got a few news items to tell you about.

Mike from Code Monkey Ramblings has forked Byrne Reese’s jQuery Comment plugin. This doesn’t seem to be a radical departure from the original. Instead, Mike has concentrated on small tweaks that improve the plugin and extend its compatibility with existing themes. Read More

Categories: Movable Type News
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Automate WordPress Database and Files Backup

Regularly backing up your database and files is one of the most important things to do when running a website. One never knows what could happen and the words have become infamous:

I was sure I had a backup.

Most database plugins for WordPress offer the option to weekly backup your database and even email it to you but if you have a popular site, you might want to prefer a more frequent backup routine. Imagine how many posts and comments Gawker would lose if they only kept weekly backups and suffered problems the 6th day after their last backup.

Another problem with all database plugins is that they will not backup your files. With server storage space being really cheap nowadays, you can easily have several backup procedures in place, even if you host many pictures on your blog.

Personally I have three different, totally automated backup routines, using cron jobs:

  1. Daily backup
  2. Weekly backup
  3. Monthly backup

The reason why I also use weekly and monthly backups is because if you have a corrupted database, probably your daily backups will be corrupted and unusable. This can happen on sites you do not use on a daily basis.
Daily backups are overwritten every 7 days, weekly and monthly backups are stored with attached timestamp.

Because most web hosting companies offer cPanel in their package, this tutorial is based on cPanel but the syntax is the same for Plesk and other backends.

What Are Cron Jobs

From Wikipedia:

Cron is driven by a crontab, a configuration file that specifies shell commands to run periodically on a given schedule.

Backing up your database.

In your cPanel (http://yoururl/cpanel) under the header Advanced Tools, you will find a link Cron Jobs. Click this link or click the icon on the right if your cPanel is setup with icons.
On the next page choose Advanced (Unix Style). There is no real difference between both options, the needed attention level is the same and in both simple and advanced you have to fill in the correct command.

Read More

Categories: Backups
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Sunday Morning SEO: Keywords Vs “Clever” Words

keywordsSean Platt recently wrote about the power of keywords for Copyblogger. When he first started his business blog, he ignored keywords and just focused on developing a unique writing style. He got a lot of compliments for his writing but his blog was not making much money.

He switched his focus from “clever” writing to SEO writing by including keywords in his posts. The result was huge. He got more traffic and links and he made a lot of money. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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WordPress 2.9 “Carmen” Released!

The long awaited version 2.9 of WordPress, codenamed “Carmen”, is now out! Eeek!

Yes, ladies and gents, the development team worked their butts off as quickly as they can to have Carmen available before Christmas. And boy, did they surprise us!

For those of you who don’t know what Carmen has to offer, here’s a list of some of her features!

  1. Global undo/”trash” feature, which means that if you accidentally delete a post or comment you can bring it back from the grave (i.e., the Trash). This also eliminates those annoying “are you sure” messages we used to have on every delete.
  2. Built-in image editor allows you to crop, edit, rotate, flip, and scale your images to show them who’s boss. This is the first wave of our many planned media-handling improvements.
  3. Batch plugin update and compatibility checking, which means you can update 10 plugins at once, versus having to do multiple clicks for each one, and we’re using the new compatibility data from the plugins directory to give you a better idea of whether your plugins are compatible with new releases of WordPress. This should take the fear and hassle out of upgrading.
  4. Easier video embeds that allow you to just paste a URL on its own line and have it magically turn it into the proper embed code, with Oembed support for YouTube, Daily Motion, Blip.tv, Flickr, Hulu, Viddler, Qik, Revision3, Scribd, Google Video, Photobucket, PollDaddy, and WordPress.tv (and more in the next release).

These are just from a user standpoint, there are lots of changes on the development side as well. I suggest heading over to this page to see the full list of features.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t let Carmen just stand there in the cold! Let her in! You can download the latest version manually by going here. Or by going to your blog’s dashboard and clicking on Tools > Upgrade.

Now that’s over, the only thing to wait for is Christmas! Happy holidays!

Categories: WordPress News
Tags:

WordPress.com Stats Plugin Now With Integrated WP.me Shorturl generator

With the upcoming WordPress 2.9 release and the new version of the WordPress.com stats plugin for self-hosted blogs the choice shorturl generator to use has become easier for most users.

The wp.me shorturls domain was introduced earlier this year for WordPress.com hosted blogs. As of Release Candidate 1 for WordPress 2.9 the URL shortener is now also available for your self-hosted blogs.

As soon as you have entered a title for a new entry the Get Shortlink button will become visible and give you a WP.me URL for your entry.

There are no stats available for the shorturl itself, but it will be a surprise if this option will not be implemented in the future.

Categories: WordPress News, WordPress Plugins
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Plurk Responds to Microsoft’s Apology

plurkvsms

Plurk has just issued their official response to Microsoft’s apology hinting that they are not ruling out the possibility of pressing legal charges against the Redmond software giant.

“We are currently looking at all possibilities on how to move forward in response to Microsoft’s recent apology statement. We are still thinking of pursuing the full extent of our legal options available due the seriousness of the situation.”

This whole debacle started a few days ago when Microsoft was accused of ripping-off Plurk’s design and code for use on their newly released microblogging service called MSN Juku. In response to the accusation, Microsoft quickly took the service down and followed it up with an apology acknowledging that the code was indeed copied from Plurk, not by them, but by an independent vendor that they hired to do the project.

Plurk, however, wants Microsoft not only to take responsibility but also be accountable with their actions as well.

This event wasn’t just a simple matter of merely lifting code; Due to the nature of the uniqueness of our product and user interface, it took a good amount of deliberate studying and digging through our code with the full intention of replicating our product user experience, functionality and end results. This product was later launched and heavily promoted by Microsoft with its big marketing budget.

Some people are saying that going against Microsoft in legal battle would only be a waste of time, especially because it wasn’t really Microsoft who did the copying but a third-party. Furthermore, Microsoft did immediately took down the service showing their strict observance on their policy regarding intellectual properties.

But then again, whatever course of action Plurk takes regarding this issue, they are sure to get huge amounts of exposure.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Join the discussion below!

Categories: Microblogging

Tutorial: How To Merge 2 WordPress Blogs

For a project I am involved with we recently considered merging 2 rather large WordPress blogs. These were 2 blogs with several thousands entries and posts and at least 20 authors have written on those blogs over the years. The combined blog would have more than 10,000 entries and more than 40,000 comments.

In this post I am going to walk you trough the whole process, because it is simpler than it sounds and should not scare anyone away. Depending on how ‘hardcore’ you, the merger could be done in some hours only. Yes, some hours only.

Getting Started

Although this tutorial is aimed at both ‘beginners’ and ‘pros’, I assume that you have a certain basic knowledge, understanding from WordPress and setup already:

  • You know how to backup a database;
  • You know how to FTP;
  • You have a localhost setup;
  • You have a basic understanding of WordPress database tables, ie. when I mention wp_options, you know that this is a database table and you know how to ‘find’ this table;
  • You know how to make changes to the database

The walkthrough is also based on both blogs running a similar permalink structure and using the same plugins. Read More

Categories: WordPress Tutorials
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WordPress 2.9 Release Candidate Now Ready for Testing

We’ve been waiting for WordPress 2.9 for quite a while now and its nice to see that the wait will soon be over as the first release candidate is now ready for testing.

There are a lot of new features in version 2.9 to try out and test, I suggest checking out the full list of features that can be found here.

While you’re at it, you might also want to test all of your plugins and inform the community on its compatibility with the new version. All you have to do is to go to the plugin’s home page at WordPress.org (Check out Akismet’s page), look for the “Compatibility” section found on the right, and cast your vote on whether the plugin is working or not. For more  information regarding this new feature (what it does, how it works, etc), you could check out the post that we made here.

If all goes well, expect the final version of 2.9 to be released by the end of the week! Finally!

So what are you waiting for, go ahead and download the release candidate! Happy testing!

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress 2.9 Brings Plugin Compatibility Check To Updater

With the release of WordPress 2.9 expected over the next weeks, it is time to dig a little deeper and discover new features. Since the translation string freeze no new features will be added anymore. Since some days I noticed on another blog where I run the latest nightly developer build, that the new plugin updater had integrated the WordPress.org plugin compatibility check we mentioned some here some weeks ago.

It seems now that this feature comes to your plugin updater within your blog.

WordPress 2.9 New Plugin Updater Functionalities

But that is not all. Another new and very handy function of WordPress 2.9 is that you have the possibility to upgrade all plugins at once.

WordPress 2.9 Plugin Upgrader

Both are nice additions to the built-in core updater of WordPress but sadly the new plugin compatibility check is not implemented platform wide yet. Read More

Categories: WordPress News
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Microsoft Rips-off Plurk’s Design and Code

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. For what Microsoft did to start-up company, Plurk, it’s more like a slap to the face.

Plurk, one of the biggest microblogging services in Asia, is accusing Microsoft China for ripping off not only their design but also their code with their beta release of MSN Juku, Microsoft China’s newly released microblogging service based on Windows Live Messenger launched last November 2009.

According to Plurk’s blog post,

“… we were absolutely shocked and outraged when we first saw with our own eyes the cosmetic similarities Microsoft’s new offering had with Plurk. From the filter tabs, emoticons, qualifier/verb placement, Karma scoring system, media support, new user walkthroughs to pretty much everything else that gives Plurk its trademark appeal, Microsoft China’s offering ripped off our service.”

To see for yourself, below is a screenshot of Microsoft Juku and Plurk:

msnjuku01

If Microsoft wanted a horizontal style layout, they could’ve at least changed the design elements! I mean, c’mon!

More after the jump…

Read More

Categories: Blogger News, Microblogging

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