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.

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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.

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Stopping WordPress Comment Spam

The Hello World post on this blog has been getting slammed with comment spam.

The Akismet plugin (which comes with WordPress) has been doing a good job of marking it all spam, but it still is a ton of stuff to delete (unless I just delete everything in the spam folder and presume it was spam).

I wanted to find some way to stop the spam before it even got into the system.

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Deciding on a permalink structure for WordPress

I didn’t even know this was such a big issue.

For this blog I’m not concerned, but this is just my rambling site and not a “real” site. However, for a real site there seem to be all sorts of issues. Apparently things can get yucky if you just use %postname% — at least at some point. Especially if you have a lot of pages (in a situation where I think pages means pages which are different from posts). Some of this gets into WordPress architecture issues that you’d both need to read the WordPress code AND understand the finer points of how databases work. I have to ponder this a bit. For now, this is what I found that seems most relevant.

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Major overhaul – Upgrading WordPress & Deleting Spam

I finally did an upgrade of WordPress on this blog (how to upgrade a WordPress installation) and took care of some administration issues that I’ve been avoiding learning.Wordpress has changed a lot since back when I first started this blog — much more powerful. I think that it will be easy enough to handle upgrades and such too (one of the reasons I avoided working with it for so long).

I turned on Akismet – but there were already over 8,000 spam comments pending. Luckily, I found this post and was able to figure out how to log into my host’s database manager to delete them.

Read moreMajor overhaul – Upgrading WordPress & Deleting Spam