Tin your WP spam comments for good.

Spam comments are a nuisance. I’ve just spent about half an hour going through comments posted to this site in the last week or so, most of which it has to be said were rubbish! However, there are better ways of dealing with this build up of bot-posted baloney (or is it balogna – tangent) automatically. WordPress does it’s level best to cut out most but some always gets through. Here I will go through a variety of methods to stop spam comments for good.

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Updated to WordPress 2.9

Well today I awoke to find news of the latest release of WordPress. A quick read-through of the changes sure brought a smile to my face. I’ve been a  little out of the WP loop (pun… slightly intended), and had just started using my installation as the be all and end all of my site, the reliable and durable blog/cms I could safely keep coming back to. Instead of viewing it, as I do most other scripts I use and tinker with (often from opensourcecms.com), as a new chance to stretch my coding muscles – my eyes, fingers and brain I suppose!

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The end for wordpress coders?

I’ve recently (just now in fact) been made aware of an adobe Photoshop plugin for wordpress theme creation straight from a psd design.

Looking through the Divine Project website and reading more about it seems to uncover a few pertinant points.

The site itself answers my initial question in its F.A.Q

What is Divine plug-in?

Divine is the program developed for those who know a bit about Photoshop and sites creation but don’t want to waste their time making up a valid website on basis of popular CMS manually. Using this program you are able to easily make up a professional website and upload it promptly to the server through the embedded FTP-client.

Waste time making a valid website? Are they insinuating that valid code is unimportant? Can’t say I agree with that if that is what they mean. The plugin goes so far as to manage the entire themes’ upload and management as well.

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Moved webhost and nearly finished new theme.

Last night / this morning I finally moved host over to MyFireHost. My previous provider was so slow and subject to so many problems with mysql that I just couldn’t take anymore! I finally finished moving everything over this morning and have activated my work in progress new design. It’s not quite finished yet but it should give you some idea of where I am going with it.

Autumn is the best time of year!

I’m also starting a little project with my brother; the fruits of which should be a slew of new and sexy wordpress themes.

Watch this space.. and another one soon!

Ridiculously good-looking but just ridiculous underneath

Finally I’m nearly there with the basics of this theme. The look and feel is about right, and when I load the page I like what I see. I just don’t like the code that creates it.

The code behind it is a hugely modified version of the Writers Blog theme by Eric Crooks. I loved his simple yet elegant theme and knew it would be a great starting point. However; there are a few things now I need to do with the theme to finish it that require a rewrite of the basics to accomplish.

I don’t like monolithic programming structures. That is Microsoft’s biggest mistake in my opinion; and the reason Windows gets so slow after even a short period of use. But what I have here is a combination of so many little css hacks and alterations that reviewing my code makes my eyes water.

Bad Benjy.

So, it’s time to stop it and tidy up (fantastic cartoon when I was growing up – anyone else remember it?) With all this colour and panache I’ve lost what I hold dearest in web design: semantic markup + clear and concise CSS = ease of use/adaptation for all.

Once I’m happy with it I can get on with uploading some of the other wordpress themes I’ve been working on.. and everything else I tinker with when I’ve half the chance.

Upgraded to WordPress 2.8

This week I upgraded to wordpress 2.8, and despite a few warnings the upgrade went utterly without a hitch. Backing everything up first helped to alleviate my worrys. After ensuring everything was tickety boo I did a little googling to see what people thought about the new release, what troubles or successes they were having and during the course of my searching I came across this little nugget of a review/guide:

webdesignbooth.com/wordpress-28-and-10-things…

The article covers most of the improvements/updates succinctly so I won’t go into too much detail here but I will say the wordpress team have put ever more work into simplifying many of a blog owners functions and tasks.

The widgets configurations screen is a vast improvement, no fiddly save settings – everything is accomplished through seamless AJAX. I also really like the new html/css editor for your themes; now with functions lookup and syntax highlighting, making editing template files online now much quicker.I tinker with my layout too much for this not to be a great addition.

After all, who can keep all the functions in their head at one time? The wordpress codex has become my most visited site in the last few months according to firefox..

Anyway, to sum up: thumbs up; fantastic new additions to the wp backend and overall productivity within the blog.

Linux Mint Generated Button

Linux Mint Button

After a little discussion and some information about how wordpress.com functions from mesanna I’ve quite quickly made the first demo version of a generated button. And here it is.

So far it’s really just proof of concept, and its code is a little limited but could very easily and quickly be improved, depending on what information you actually wanted to share. The reason I’ve put the date in for now is because it’s the simplest way to show the principle involved here. The date comes from the php function of the same name in this case I used:

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Basic theme for now

Well, after a bit of faffing (pottering to you or me) I’ve settled on WordPress for my portfolio for the time being. It’s simple, gets the job done and allows me some time to polish all my templates and make them WP ready. Who knows, if I can clean them up in time I might enter one into my web hosts little competition on their forum. So for now, thanks go to Scott Wallick of plaintextblog for the simple theme currently in use. Nothing worse in my opinion than a bog standard install with Kubrick left on. So lazy!

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