What’s doing at Just Thinkin

There’s been various small changes here of late that I thought might be interesting to…well…someone anyway, so without further ado and in no particular order….

I updated my About page since it was just a bit out of date and included where this effort in blogging is heading to if anyone is interested. Besides…nobody appreciates an old About page.

As I posted before but will repeat once again, I’ve added the Bad Behavior plugin to throw spam bots off the property before they get into the door thus saving me quite a bit a bandwidth and about 60-70 “spamments” that I have to delete out of Akismet and/or Spam Karma 2. Considering the plugin has blocked 488 attempts by these little spam demons in the last three days since I installed it, I do believe it was worth it.

And because of the above plugin I was able to turn off the math equation for the comment form thus ending the frustration of losing the entire contents of your comment if you happened to miss doing the math or it screwed up in some way. I have hopes that those who became so incensed with this exercise in frustration that they stopped trying to comment all together will again experience trouble-free commenting.

Some time ago I installed the “Do-Follow” and set the time limit for two days. What this little gem does is defeats the WordPress default “no-follow” for a commenter’s site link (if they left one) after a period of two days and allows a link back from my site to the commenter’s site the search bots like Google’s can find. The two day wait is in case a “spamment” gets through. I wouldn’t want to credit one of those, that’s for sure. Just sort of a thank you to those that took the time to leave a comment.

For those of you that happen to visit Just Thinkin and don’t have some sort of ad-blocker running, you’ll see I’ve added a Google AdSense “Link Block” to my sidebar. Unlike the regular style AdSense ads everyone is used to seeing, these are just small lines of text that link to a Google ad page that you can peruse at your leisure. Like regular AdSense type ads, the “Link Block” is content sensitive. I chose this over the standard ads simply because it’s less intrusive and takes up only a small area rather than running a half a foot down the sidebar. Do I expect to make a great deal of pocket change from this? Nah, it was there so I gave it a try.

I tracked down a problem that the Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin was causing with the built in WordPress search function that was only allowing a search of tagged posts rather than all of them. Since not all of my older posts are tagged, the search function was bypassing around half of the relevant posts. The fix for this has been installed and tested and now when you need to search for something in particular, you get the whole thing, not just the posts tagged with UTW.

I’m slowly fixing up the sidebar adding more site links to the appropriate sections as I have time. Things have been fairly topsy-turvy of late and I’m doing the small stuff little by little.

And lastly–I have long been thinking of doing a series on WordPress that would be called something like “WordPress for the absolute beginner”. This idea came forth from a series of emails to and from the proud owner of a brand new WordPress install. It seems that after all these years I can still teach and even more, the person I’m teaching actually appears to understand what I’m trying to get across. Fancy that.

Now…there’s plenty of long time bloggers out there who have been giving out all sorts of wonderful advice for a number of years on WordPress, monetizing and the art of blogging in general. This is not what I wish to do. This proposed series would cover only the absolute basics of going from a “free hosted” blog (Blogger, WordPress etc) to your own WordPress install. What you need before you even begin, basic tools of the trade then later, the basic plugins etc…that sort of thing. After all was said and done, then the new owner could turn to these more advanced bloggers for the next level of info where I don’t wish to go. After all, I’m still picking these blogger’s brains myself. It boils down to the simple fact–that territory is already well covered and there’s a couple of tons of info for the new blogger to absorb. My purpose is to get them started without having to paw through all the documentation at WordPress.org which, even though they try to keep it simple, can be a tad bit confusing and even somewhat frightening for the absolute beginner.

I think that’s enough for now. Anyway, it’s time to head to work on this rainy Monday morning.

Have a good day everyone.

Comments

What’s doing at Just Thinkin — 7 Comments

  1. Huh? Still trying to digest all this. I don’t understand why you get so much spam? I don’t get any, is that because no one likes me? You know the new girl on the block attitude. Now to the last paragraph, WordPress for the absolute Beginner…YES! GREAT IDEA, I still need lessons. Of course if you’ve noticed I’ve been giving you a break with my questions. Don’t want to wear out my welcome you know.

  2. The only reason you haven’t been bombarded yet is because you are the new girl on the block but don’t you worry…get a couple months worth of posts under your belt and the spamments will come your way. Enjoy your solitude while you can.

    You won’t wear out your welcome, not at all. Besides, it keeps my head working when all it wants to do lately is sleep. :P
    Unless I’m flat on my back or something similarly annoying, I’ll start on part I of “WP for the AB” this weekend. Bear with me on this, I’ll probably have to rewrite the thing 2 or 3 times until I’m satisfied with it. ;)

  3. That’s interesting findings about the Bad Behaviour plugin. I’ve been reading a few things about this lately and almost all of them are good. It seems to be a good complementary solution to Akismet etc. I must have play with it and see what it can do.

  4. @ Frank:
    Thanks for stopping by. A couple things about Bad Behavior.

    Stay away from Verbose logging or you’ll fill up the database real quick. Regular logging should be good enough. The log is viewable only through phpmyadmin. You should be able to use this through your host if they have the software installed but I use the phpmyadmin plugin for WP that sticks it right into your admin.

    Last, read about the plugin on the author’s page especially about “Whitelisting”. I found that since my install was initially done by Fantastico, it’s regular version WP check was being blocked by Bad Behavior and I had to add the IP to the whitelist.inc.php file in the plugins directory. It’s easy enough but I never would have known unless I had checked BB’s logs in phpmyadmin.
    Just a word to the wise here :P

  5. Thanks for that, Kirk. And to make things more complicated I’ll probably be using it as a Joomla plugin rather than a WP one. It seems to be being ported around to the different CMS’s out there which is nice. That’s a good heads up though about the verbose logging. I’ve had some experience at work with servers crashing due to log files filling up the C drive. Cheers.

  6. Not a problem. If you can get to the Bad Behavior logs like I can, you can purge those logs every so often to keep the database size more reasonable.

  7. Pingback: Just Thinkin’ » Blog Archive » Beginner’s Wordpress–A new series coming soon.