One More WordPress 3.5 Series Site Goes Back
I’ve just had to backdate another WordPress 3.5 series (WP3.5.1) site to WP 3.4.2. This time it was for the media manager which the client decided he really couldn’t live with.
“I’ve got peculiar links all over my blog to posts that don’t exist, e.g. mydomain/anotherdomain/post-title/!” “Has my site been hacked?”
After a quick front-end survey of the site, my answer; “No sir, your site hasn’t been hacked. WordPress is adding your domain to incompletely formatted outgoing links in your posts.”
“When you add outgoing links, do you always include the full http: //www etc string?” “It’s easy to fix, just go back to every post with outgoing links and make sure the full http:// is included. “
“But I’ve got hundreds of posts, isn’t there something else we can do? I never had to do that before. I thought WordPress did it for me!”
“Yes sir, you can revert back to the last version of WordPress that didn’t have that feature!”
“I don’t know how to, how much will you charge to do it for me?”
WordPress 3.5 Causes Problems – Don’t Update
Be very careful before updating to WordPress 3.5, it may break vital systems. A number of plugins and themes are partly or totally incompatible with WordPress 3.5 at this time. If you have advanced features and commercial themes wait until you are certain these are fully WP3.5 compliant before upgrading, or you could lose these functions, and lose business as a result.
If you are starting a new blog or website WordPress 3.5 is fine… If your existing blog uses a default WordPress theme like TwentyEleven, TentyTwelve or TwentyTen, and only default or 3.5 proven plugins, then probably it’s OK to update. If you have extended functions on the front end, be wary, be very wary!
Msnbot – Ignorant spider or Deliberate Rule Breaker
Msnbot – (Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm) – from search.msn.com has become a pest, not only for my websites, but for many others as well.
First of all, Microsoft sees fit to send multiple bots at the same time; as many as 17 have been reported crawling at once. I regularly have up to 12 on-site simultaneously. This number of bots crawling at the same time is effectively a dDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, possibly locking the server up and preventing normal traffic.
Secondly, the Msnbot often ignores robots.txt disallow rules and crawls prohibited folders and paths, e.g. /js/ folders and Java files (.js). The numerous iterations of msnbot don’t seem to talk to each other – one bot will GET robots.txt, while the rest don’t bother. A good bot, e.g. Googlebot reads robots.txt regularly, and obeys the directives. Good bots also share that information!
New Image Manager for WordPress 3.5
The new WordPress 3.5 image manager makes a change. First seen on WordPress.com (except for those of us who used the beta versions of WP 3.5 on test setups). I wasn’t sure how I felt about this new image manager at first. It looks good, and the thumbnails are a decent size – and they resize somewhat when re-sizing the browser window. It’s easy to use too. But initially there seemed something was missing – the image URL, or link to the image. (I should have looked closer – or worn my specs!)
Having got used to the image URL in the link field, from the earlier image manager, I was looking for “http” etc, right clicking the thumbnails and everything else possible, and not finding the link… Then finally, staring me in the face – well almost – tucked away in the bottom right hand corner is the link manager.
Website Loads 10 Times Faster After Hosting Change
One of my sub-sites loads 10 times faster after moving the domain to an offshore server. To be totally fair and put the improvement in perspective, the actual server is not that much faster; the big difference is route latency or lag.
Before moving the average time it took Google-bot to load a page from this site was around 1100 ms. Now, a month later we can see the improvement – average time is about 100 ms..
The Challenges of Telecommuting Internationally
Modern information and communication technology introduced a new era in the way we work. It promised a new era where we could work from anywhere, no matter where in the world our office is located, or where in the world our customers came from. For some of us at least the this new era has arrived.
For others, the promise of telecommuting is only partly realised.
GNAX Hosting – So Far So Good
Last week I moved my domain graphicline.co.za to GNAX VPS hosting. I’ve watched Google page load times get shockingly poor the past four months. Nothing I’ve done on-site to improve performance has made any difference. I’d already tried several caching systems and offloaded some files to a CDN and other fast servers – with no improvement.
Eventually, after trying everything else, the only conclusion I could draw was the long path bottleneck between Google’s Mountain View servers and the data centre servers hosting my domain was the main culprit in the time it took for Big G to load pages.
Average page loads for 2 of the sites (WordPress) on the domain had gone from under 2.5 seconds in May to over 4 seconds in August and over 5 by September, while the main site (Drupal) was approaching 4 seconds from under 2 in May. Minimum page load speed had got to nearly 4 seconds for one site by September.
Do You Really Want or Need a Website?
Is a question I find myself asking (silently) prospective and even some existing clients. It’s a terrible thing for a web-master to ask. I make a living (well try to anyway) from website construction, management and support. Yet I really think some companies don’t need a website. I know they don’t really want one, it’s just the thing to do.
A website is a responsibility; it needs frequent and regular updating, lots of content, a clear idea about what is expected.
The Worse Reason To Have a Website:
“We have to have a website, it’s expected today”. Right, at least part of that statement is true. I for one hesitate to deal with a business that doesn’t have a website. But this is not a good reason for a business to own a site. I hear this statement repeated by business owners all the time. Usually in a sentence “The website doesn’t bring us any business, but we have to have one”.
Host Your Site on the WordPress.com Server Network
Would YOU like to host your site on the WordPress.com server network. Sorry, that’s a rhetorical question. There can be only one answer – YES. Well, if I’m reading the adverts correctly, it’s possible.
WordPress.com VIP Services
It seems there’s a whole bunch of things available for Self-hosted WordPress, from several different levels of hosting to a range of expert WordPress support services