Converting this WordPress site from http: to https: – Part 4

One final note on the SSL conversion from http to https:

Google Search Console had some serious issues with the robots.txt file for this site that took me a while to resolve.

It kept giving cryptic error messages and suggesting I read a page that didn’t really explain anything.

Read moreConverting this WordPress site from http: to https: – Part 4

Converting this WordPress site from http: to https: – Part 1

Part 1 – A rant about flaws in the design concept of WordPress

This site launched on September 11, 2006.

At the time, I didn’t love the concept of running software on the server to create the site. I was also looking at this Blosxom software which generated a static site. It’s usage was a little programmer-like rather than writing-like, and WordPress promised a friendly interface for typing.

(If only Microsoft Frontpage had kept on developing…)

Running live website creation software on the server seemed like a bad idea to me. So open for all kinds of security issues, performance issues, and (as time has proved) software update issues. So much yuck for the sake of a certain type of convenience.

Note:  that link to Blosxom is something I just found. It used to be at a URL like raelity.org and that seems to be some sort of copy on sourceforge. I don’t think Blosxom is updated anymore (although static site generation is becoming a thing again.)

Read moreConverting this WordPress site from http: to https: – Part 1

How To Include Amazon Text and Image (Enhanced Display) Affiliate Links In WordPress – Part 2

Feh. As per my previous post on inserting iframe tags in the TinyMCE editor in WordPress for amazon affiliate links and youtube videos, this is something a user needs to be able to do without having the editor delete them as soon as you switch into WYSIWYG mode. This plugin — Amazon Widgets Shortcodes — … Read moreHow To Include Amazon Text and Image (Enhanced Display) Affiliate Links In WordPress – Part 2

Check Your WordPress Website’s Speed and Make It Faster

Google thinks the web should be fast, and that’s kinda the final word. Here’s some (older but still useful) info on site speed as a ranking factor.

I recently found a useful website for testing your website’s speed – it checks the website by accessing it from multiple locations (in multiple countries) and thus gives a better test than just checking the speed in your own browser.

Read moreCheck Your WordPress Website’s Speed and Make It Faster

Making a Popup Window in WordPress

Looking at my site, I realized that some of my code snippets are a little wide for my theme and may be being cut off in some browsers. On top of that, WordPress seems to like to mangle code. In the Edit Post page, there is a specific code button when you use the HTML editor, but the button doesn’t appear on the Visual editing screen.

My solution is to put code into a Popup window that will allow the user to view it more clearly and in a window wide enough for even the widest lines of code. In addition, this will allow me to make a photo gallery pop up and probably all sorts of other uses I’ll eventually invent.

Read moreMaking a Popup Window in WordPress

Adding a Dynamic Widget Footer to WordPress Using a Sidebar

So I’m now at the point where I’d like to be able to start putting in some advertising slots on this blog for affiliate links and for google adsense ads. That means I need a bit more control over the theme and a bit more “room” to put things. I’m also finding that a lot of widgets in the sidebar need more horizontal space than the two narrow sidebar columns allow.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of unused space in the footer of the blog — so I’m going to move some of the more wordy widgets down there — which should clear space for some 120×600 ads in the sidebars as well as other types of advertising. Also, it will make the Recent Posts and Recent Comments widgets more readable by putting them where they can spread out horizontally.

However, the theme I’m currently using doesn’t have any support for widgets in the footer!

I’m going to have to add those myself. Fortunately, it is very easy to add additional components in WordPress.

Read moreAdding a Dynamic Widget Footer to WordPress Using a Sidebar

Getting WordPress Automatic Upgrade to Work on Pair.com

This was a seriously painful problem for a while. Took a bit of searching to come up with a very easy solution (which would have been even easier if I hadn’t made a typo).

What was happening:

1. Automatic upgrades of some plugins worked — but VERY slowly (as in it took HOURS). And it would ususally hang at the end, but I could reload the web page and everything seemed fine and worked. Obviously not the slick interface that was intended.

2. Some plugins — including the old WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin — just failed.

Read moreGetting WordPress Automatic Upgrade to Work on Pair.com