Performancing Metrics

Posts Tagged ‘Howto’

Getting Started with VPN Web Browsing

Making the decision to invest in a VPN is not an easy one. You will need to weigh the pros and cons of paying for such a service and determine which provider would best suit your own needs. But it is very commonplace for modern Internet users to be looking for a more secure method of accessing websites. Even other common tasks such as FTP and SSH will log your natural IP address, so there is a multitude of reasons for looking into private access.

featured hosting local servers vpn Internet encryption

But I think that many tech-savvy users will gloss over the key points without really browsing through each website. I want to stress how important it is to make sure you choose the right provider. Also how you can educate yourself on the differences between proxy support and a full VPN software package. I think this wiki entry has some good details worth skimming.

Read More

Categories: Blogger Tools
Tags: , , , , ,

How To: Display Your WordPress Category List in Multiple Columns

Do you sometimes get that feeling to go all overboard and do things differently with your design? OK, I might not be the most creative person with visual designs, actually I like simplicity, but the fact was that I recently switched to a single-column design for my own WordPress blog.

With simplicity, and single-column design, came the following problem: ‘How to implement a smart navigation?’ Important is to understand my blog: iFranky is a mix of several topics and is both my brand and a personal space to write about life as well as a tumblelog and collection of interesting entries I wrote on other blogs. The readership is a mix of friends, bloggers, clients and students I lecture about blogging and social media. This leads to a mix of different topics, but not all are worth to be displayed on the home page.
The main navigation factor is based on the categories, categories I used in previous designs iterations to display multiple loops on the home page or to implement different backgrounds.

Simplicity meant that my complete navigation would be send to the footer, an often overlooked design element (There is no fold), even the header navigation.
Because my main page only shows the main entries, I somehow had to integrate a category list in the footer but who wants to add one column of more than 15 categories or a drop-down? Trust me when I say that I have analysed click behaviour and barely one bothers with these often sky-high columns or drop-downs. The solution: display your category list in columns. Read More

Categories: WordPress Tutorials
Tags: , , ,

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
Tags: , , ,

Display Upcoming Entries In Your Post With A WordPress Shortcode

Since some days several contacts have been considering the option to display upcoming posts on their site. WordPress offers a really simple solution for this in the form of the attribute post_status. The post_status is stored in the wp_post table and has generally the attributes: draft, private, publish or static for pages. There is one more attribute which we will use in this example: future.

It is now simple to create a list of the 5 upcoming entries and display this in your theme, fe. in your sidebar.

<?php
$my_query = new WP_Query('post_status=future&showposts=5');
?>
<div class="sidebar-box">
    <?php
    if ($my_query->have_posts()) : while ($my_query->have_posts()) :
        $my_query->the_post();
        ?>
        <ul>
          <li>
           <?php the_title(); ?>
          </li>
        </ul>
    <?php endwhile; else: ?>
        <div>
        <ul>
          <li><?php _e('No upcoming Posts'); ?></li>
        </ul>
        </div>
    <?php endif; ?>
</div>

You can now easily style this in your CSS.

Use A Shortcode To Display Upcoming Entries In A Post

First, what are shortcodes? I wrote a small intro to shortcodes on Devlounge yesterday with some examples of how to build a shortcode.

Why would you want to display a list of upcoming posts within an entry? You could be writing a series and want to use your upcoming entries as an additional teaser in the hope that the reader will subscribe or return to your site. You could use a post template for this but it is very simple to create a shortcode. Once you have created this shortcode it is then very simple to add the list of upcoming posts anywhere in an entry.

Building the shortcode

For this example we are going to build a shortcode [upcoming] and will use the tag series as selector. Doing this, it will avoid that scheduled entries not tagged Series will not be displayed. This can be handy on multi-authored blogs with a regular, scheduled posting rhythm.

Add the following code to your functions.php.

function upcom($atts, $content = null) {
       extract(shortcode_atts(array(
               "num" => '5'
               "tag" => 'series'
       ), $atts));
       global $post;
       $myposts = get_posts('numberposts='.$num.'&post_status=future&order=DESC&orderby=date&tag='.$tag);
       $retour='<ul class="upcoming">';
       foreach($myposts as $post) :
               setup_postdata($post);
            $retour.='<li><a href="'.get_permalink().'">'.the_title("","",false).'</a></li>';
       endforeach;
       $retour.='</ul> ';
       return $retour;
}
add_shortcode('upcoming', 'upcom');

All you have to do now to display this list in an entry is use the shortcode [upcoming] in the editor.

In this example I used <ul class="upcoming"> to easily style the output in your CSS.

Modifying The Shortcode Function

The shortcode function above can easily be modified.

- The example returns 5 posts, change the value in line 3 to display more or less entries
– Change the tag you want to use in the same way as you would change the number of displayed entries (line 4).

Categories: WordPress Tips, WordPress Tutorials
Tags: , , ,