Kevin's Blog Photography, technology, and whatever else

21Aug/120

WordPress Excerpt on Pages

WordPress is awesome, and I love it, but sometimes little things get taken out that frustrate me.  For example, in v3.1+ they removed the ability to add custom excerpts to pages.  This was a frustration for me, and I of course had to go out to Google to find how to make it work again.  That's when I quickly found this nice post that clearly detailed how to add it back in.  Nice, easy to follow post with screenshots.  Nice work!

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15Mar/120

WP Super Cache Preload issues

I've been working on one of my other blogs trying to get the preload function working in WP Super Cache.  It seems pretty straight forward, but for some reason there are a couple of issues.

First, the timed preload of cache files does not seem to work reliably.  I had set it to 30 minutes with email notifications, and it would only go once, or twice at the most.  Beyond that it would just not do anything at all.  Once, I even turned off the scheduled preload and it did it anyway!

Secondly, even when doing a manual preload of the cache, the preloaded files get removed from the cache even though the description clearly indicates that supercache files from the preload will not be removed by the garbage collection.  I even went so far as to disable the GC with the same result.

I've created a forum post with the hopes of getting some help.  I'll keep this updated as things hopefully progress...

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13Feb/120

WordPress nested shortcodes in custom fields

On my hobby blog PortlandBrewpubs.com I have a listing of all the brewpubs in the Portland area.  The list is pretty long (yes, its Beervana!) and quickly became a management headache to keep everything looking uniform.  I was looking around for way to standardize all my posts and ended up fixing up my own solution that was both free, and supportable as near as I can tell.

I started using Custom Fields in WordPress for all of the interesting bits of information in my posts to keep it standard.  I have one for all the useful Pub stats.  Street address, website, phone number, hours, etc.  This way I can fill in a value for each field and know I'm not missing anything.  I then use the very handy plugin Get Custom Field Values to display the fields in my Post.  In the beginning I had all the formatting for every post right in the post body.  This worked pretty well until I wanted to change the layout, at which time I realized it was a pain to update my site.  I would then have to go to every post and replace the body of the post content.  With over 40 pubs in town I didn't want to have to do that every time.  I had to strategize a way to avoid this moving forward.

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4Nov/100

Error 500 – Internal Server Error

So for a large part of today my blog has been down.   I have been trying to troubleshoot for a while on my own and have found several suggestions on the web.  Amongst them was ensuring that php5 was being called in my .htaccess file and also by including a php.ini file to set the memory limit. I found a couple of posts on some WordPress forums as well all relating to the same things.  I also found some posts suggesting I disable all my plug-ins which I did by removing their folders from my plug-ins directory.  Still no luck.

I ended up getting frustrated and called my hosting company 1and1.com.  After a few minutes on hold I got through to a rep and she started to run me through everything I had already tried.  She then went looking in my .htaccess files to verify that I had indeed done what I said.  She came back and then asked to put me on hold.  After a few minutes she came back on and told me that it was all working again as expected.

I asked her what had changed and she told me that when I connect via sftp (ssh) I need to ensure that I explicitly close my connection.  She said that if a connection gets hung up and not properly closed that this error/behavior can happen.  I found that to be a bit strange, but my sites are indeed working again, so I will have to watch to see if it happens again.

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26Aug/100

Tracking Outbound Clicks – Part Two

Back in May I was looking for a way to track outbound clicks from my blog using Google Analytics Asynchronous code.  At the time there weren't any WordPress plug-ins that were able to do this.  Last week I was setting up a new blog and found that there now is a plug-in that has this ability.

The plug-in is simply named Asynchronous Google Analytics for WordPress. It has few options and is really quite easy to setup.  It can be as simple as entering your Google Analytics ID, or you can modify advanced options if you wish.  Some of the options I found useful were turning off tracking for blog admins or segmenting logged in users.  I found it interesting that using the Asynchronous code was not turned on by default (since that is the name of the plug-in).

I've been using it for a couple of days and it seems to be working quite well.  Go check it out!

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