Tag Archives: WordPress

Help with Hugo

A wonderful boquet of flowers.A couple weeks back my WordPress weblog started doing funny things. Apparently someone was able to gain access to it via my Jetpack login and install a bitcoin mining service. Joy.

When you’d visit my site you’d occasionally get booted to another site, typically one that wasn’t nice, but on occasion it was what appeared to be a nice weblog. I’m not sure who’s it was but it wasn’t wanted.

So I disabled the site and put up a temporary placeholder page while I figured out what to do about it. This is the second time I’ve had to make changes because my WordPress site was broken into. It makes having a blog a lot less fun when idiots break you stuff.

I decided I’d install Hugo and figure out how to use it to automagically post on my server. I found a nice page documenting how to use git with git triggers to publish a Hugo based weblog and went about trying it out. It works fine, but there is something I can’t figure out.

When publishing I would like to have my front page contain some number of blog posts with permalinks to those posts. E.G. Clicking on the title would take you to a URL like

https://iam.fahrni.me/2018/01/08/2017-iphone-homescreen/

. Notice the yyyy/mm/dd format in the URL. I want that exact thing for my Hugo pages so I can import what I already have and not mess up links to my existing posts. Hugo looks like it can do this, but there’s one thing that bugs me and I haven’t been able to figure it out.

When you click on the permalink it displays a URL like the one above but the file doesn’t actually exist at that location. It must use some JavaScript to do the work, I guess? I have no clue because I don’t grok how web pages and JavaScript really operate.

Can someone please let me know if Hugo can generate a standalone HTML file and drop it into a directory with yyyy/mm/dd format so I can maintain what I already have? If I can do that I’m all in with Hugo. Otherwise it’s off to find a fully baked blogging system that can do what I want.

The Loop: The future of WordPress

The Loop: “Do something like Medium or Svbtle that doesn’t have the complicated backend and code. That’s what I want.”

Hello, Dr. Jones.I probably harp on this too much. I’ve been browsing around for a simplified weblogging tool, but WordPress is just too darned good to give up. I would, however, love to see a version of WordPress that would allow me to publish everything as static HTML. Decouple the composition from publishing, make them separate services. I compose a post, save it, when I click “Publish” the site is regenerated and pushed to my domain. That’s it. I would also be nice to have a quick and dirty post editor that doesn’t include all of the administrative functionality, think QuickPress in a standalone web app, or maybe a desktop app (that would be really nice.)

Make sure you read the linked article, The future of WordPress: “By incorporating a RESTful application programming interface (API), current WordPress apps could be supported, as well as mobile apps that use WordPress as a backend.”

This is how all sites, web app type sites, should be constructed. It’s all about services. Create a service, use the same service from the web app and mobile and anything else connected to the internet. Yes, yes, yes!

Dear Automattic

A wonderful bouquet of flowers.Hello.

I’d love to share some feature requests with you.

Static Publishing

Not that I have a popular site being Fireball’d daily, but I like static publishing. Regeneration of a page each time it is loaded seems like a waste of computing power. I’ve been evaluating all kinds of static publishing systems but none of them give me the flexibility to manage them the way WordPress does. I don’t use a lot of fancy stuff on my site, it has always been about the content for me. I know this stuff isn’t easy to do, but it’s something I’d love to see.

Sharing

This is a request for WordPress for iOS. When I’m browsing Blogs I Follow I would love to have the option to create a new post from selected text. Bonus points if I can define a template for the post. Most of my posts follow a simple formula for links to other posts. Site name with a link to the post, followed by a snippet from the post. Having a way to create a template for that would be really helpful. UPDATE: I just discovered the Reblog feature. It seemed natural to tap the share button. The Reblog button was at the bottom of the post and it turns out it doesn’t work the way I’d like it to.

That’s all I can think of for now. Thanks for listening.

Infected WordPress Installation

Zombie GirlWell, it looks like this site has managed to become infected with the “WordPress Pharma Hack” and I can’t seem to get rid of it.

If I can’t get rid of it soon I will abandon WordPress all together. I wish I could figure out why this has happened, but I just cannot see why.

I’ve followed this Pearsonified article on how to remove it, but I couldn’t find anything on my site that matches his recommendations. In the meantime I’ve removed every template and plugin I don’t need. I’m now using the default template, no other templates installed, and I’m down to a small set of plugins. I’m going to disable a bunch and see if that makes any difference.

The Pain of Change

Apple Core Labs LogoA few weeks back I decided it was time to update the Apple Core Labs website. Since I’m now making my living doing Freelance Development I figured it would make sense to have a portfolio look. This would allow me to show, and talk about, some of the applications I’ve contributed to.

Finding a Theme

Since I’m a fan of WordPress it made sense to find a provider of professional quality WordPress themes and buy one. I’m not a web layout professional and my HTML and CSS knowledge is minimal. In the past I would’ve tweaked and poked at the page until I was happy enough with the outcome and leave it at that. Witness the current Apple Core Labs page. It’s minimal at best, which isn’t a bad thing, but now I’d like a bit more.

During my search I considered quite a few Professional WordPress Theme shops but decided I’d go with The Theme Foundry. Why? I love their style. Their themes have an ascetic that’s pleasing to my eye and they’re very functional and professional looking.

In the end I chose the React theme. When I viewed the live demo I knew it was the them for me.

Updating

Now comes the hard part. I have to set aside time to install WordPress as my main site on Apple Core Labs and make sure I maintain all the static pages that are important to me, like RxCalc. That’s where it gets tricky, I think.

Creating pages that display on the home page will be the easy part. The Theme Foundry did a great job making that a no brainer. The thing I’m having trouble with is how do I feature a link to a random static HTML page on the home page without tweaking the template and messing up their fantastic scheme? The page I’m talking about is the beautiful RxCalc page, designed by my friends at Hundred10 Design. It’s a masterpiece and I’d like to keep it, but I’d like to give it a space on the home page, which means doing something special to the WordPress theme. At least I think that’s what I have to do?

What about my weblog?

The Apple Core Labs Weblog is WordPress based, but lives on a sub-domain. It’s easy enough to adapt that to use React. Thank goodness. At least that’s an easy change.

End of Line

Overall I’m really excite about the new look for the site and The Theme Foundry is a real class act. They’ve already been a great help. If you’re looking for a professionally built WordPress Theme I strongly recommend you visit The Theme Foundry.

If there are any React theme, or WordPress, experts out there and you read this, could you lend a fella some advice? How do I feature my static RxCalc page on the main React landing page? Is it possible without changing the template? If you have a suggestion leave a comment or send an email to rob.fahrni@gmail.com. Thank you.

Tumblr over WordPress?

WP Candy: “Remember when WordPress was criticized for being “just a simple blogging platform”? Many smart and well intentioned people have worked tirelessly moving WordPress in the direction of a full fledged content management system. I was among those asking for it [more CMS features] years ago. However, was basic blogging ease and simplicity a sacrifice that had to be made?”

WordPress is a great weblogging platform. I evaluated quite a few before switching to WordPress last year. I’d been on Blogger for nine years prior.

Tumblr is very nice and I like the posting options but you have to host everything on Tumblr. Sure, you can configure it to look like your domain, but you can’t host everything. Tumblr has had some issues scaling recently, but they’re extremely successful.

At first I wasn’t a fan of Posterous but over time I’ve become a VERY BIG fan of the platform. It’s straightforward and gives you the option of publishing via email, which is quite nice. You can also use it as an aggregation point, say you want to cross publish to different outlets, it’s great at that. My brother uses it for cross publishing. It’s worked very well for him. I love the Posterous iPhone App, very clean UI, gets right to the point, and it’s easy to work with.

As for WordPress. I can’t say enough about it. It’s beautifully designed, the UX is great, it has a great developer community, and it’s very extensible. The idea that it’s too complex comes down to UX and UI more than the underlying power of it. That can be fixed if you want a trimmed down UI.

WooThemes has done a great job of creating a UI that mimics Tumblr, it’s called WooTumblog. To take advantage of it you need to do some special stuff to your theme, but that’s not a big deal for a WordPress Professional.

WooTumblr Screen shot

I can see a small business cropping up from this need. Why not offer a lightweight version of the WordPress UI that uses WooTumblog, or something like it? From the WordPress Dashboard it would be a matter of limiting what a user is allowed to see. If your job is contributing content you should only see UI related to contributing and publishing content.

MarsEdit on my Desktop

When I’m editing content I don’t usually see my WordPress Dashboard, I use MarsEdit from Red Sweater Software. It has everything I need to edit and publish to all my weblogs; WordPress and Tumblr, it’s does not yet support Posterous, but for me that’s not a big deal. It’s a great product. Fast, stable, and simple. Content contributors would probably love this UI because it’s like using a word processor.

Woo

WooThemes has an amazing collection of WordPress Themes, as well as a nifty plugin that gives you a Tumblr-like interface called WooTumblog, you can even use it from your iPhone.

I’m always on the hunt for my perfect theme, I still haven’t found it, but Woo had a bunch I really like. I’ve been looking for one that will let me create a great CHUNKY FOOTER. Looks like they have a few that do just that.

Here are some I like, not all of them have the big footer capability, I just like the styling.

Fixing Shorten2Ping for WordPress

I’ve been using WordPress for my weblog for quite a while now and I find the ability to extend the basic functionality to be one of its greatest strengths. The developer community is amazing to say the least. I rely on a number of plugins to publish this weblog, but none more than Shorten2Ping by Samuel Aguilera.

Shorten2Ping allows me to use the excellent ping.fm, which allows me to post updates to all of my social networks, so when I publish a new weblog post Twitter, Facebook, and a couple of other spots are automagically updated for me. No fuss, no muss… until recently.

To get Shorten2Ping to work I have to provide an API key assigned by ping.fm. This is basically a handshake that allows Shorten2Ping to communicate with ping.fm on my behalf and publish my updates. (Yes, that’s an oversimplification, but you get what I mean.) About a week, or so, ago Shorten2Ping started receiving “Your API key has been suspended. Please contact us regarding this matter.” messages from ping.fm when I’d publish a post. I couldn’t figure out what was going on, turns out I wasn’t the only person with this problem. The author of Shorten2Ping got to the bottom of it. Ping.fm had a spam problem and disabled his developer key.

“The problem is that seesmic suspended it because they say that Shorten2Ping is used by spammers users.”

What to do?

All is not lost. Samuel patched up his plugin, and with any luck it’s going to work when I publish this page. If it doesn’t I’ll publish an update to this post, but hopefully it’ll work first time out.

There are a couple of things you’ll need to do after updating Shorten2Ping, it should show up in your WordPress Updates, so go install it.

First thing you’ll need to do is visit ping.fm and copy your posting e-mail address. Once you have that you’ll need to go to Plugins, locate Shorten2Ping and click on Settings link.

Next you’ll want to select Ping.fm email from the Send Notificaiton To combo-box.

Finally click on the Notification link and paste the e-mail address you copied from ping.fm and paste it into Posting email

Once you’ve done that you should be able to post using WordPress and once again update all your favorite social networks.

UPDATE: This fix requires more than the above steps to work. Apparently you’ll need support from your web host. The new Shorten2Ping “fix” requires the php mail() function. Apparently I don’t have that support enabled, and many folks probably don’t. I’d imagine it’s a security risk. Maybe we can convince Samuel to create Shorten2DlvrIt? Dlvr.it will also publish to your social networks just like ping.fm.