Blog Archives

JQuery DataTables

JQuery DataTables with WordPress and Drupal

wordpress and drupal datatables thumbnail imageDataTables is a plug-in for the jQuery Javascript library. DataTables is a very flexible tool for adding advanced interactions to to any HTML table. It adds controls providing searching, sorting and pagination.

DataTables works with most popular CMS and web based CRM systems with plugins available out-of-the-box for many of these, including WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.

I’ve recently been using the DataTables JQuery scripts for a couple of tables on a WordPress and a Drupal site, so I’m taking the opportunity to briefly discuss the plugins I’m using, and the differences using DataTables with these 2 content management systems.

Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

WordPress Database Junk

WordPress Database Contains a Lot of Junk

WordPress stores a lot of junk in the database. WordPress news feeds, theme and plugin update release notices and information, old plugin and theme stuff from removed plugins and themes that don’t clean out their data; and that’s before getting to the useful junk like post revisions and other data useful to WordPress users.

Storing junk in the database is nothing new to WordPress, as a .org support submission from 4 years ago shows.

I noticed my WordPress database was excessive in size, found it padded with 7,000 lines of WordPress “news.” Why is this stuff in my database, and how do I get it out? wordpress.org/support/topic/database-padded-with-junk-content

Interestingly, no-one bothered to reply to the submission.

Unnecessary Data Stored in Database

Read the rest of this entry

Another WP3.5 Site Backdated

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?”

thumbnail image for another wp3.5 site backdated

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?”

Read the rest of this entry

Don’t Update to WordPress 3.5

WordPress 3.5 Causes Problems – Don’t Update

wordpress 3.5 bug cartoon imageBe 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!

Read the rest of this entry

Msnbot – Ignorant spider

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.

msnbot spider iconFirst 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!

Read the rest of this entry

WordPress 3.5 Image Manager

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 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 – you need to scroll the overlay.

Read the rest of this entry

Hosting Change – Ten Times Faster

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.

graph showing 10 times faster page load speed

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..

Read the rest of this entry

International Telecommuting Challenges

The Challenges of Telecommuting Internationally

telecommuting internationally iconModern 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.

Read the rest of this entry

GNAX Hosting – Early Results

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.

Read the rest of this entry

No Loss to Penguin

Google Penguin Had Zero Impact on My Sites

google penguin iconApril 24, 2012 and Google hits out against over-optimised sites with its Penguin algorithm. Penguin penalised websites with over optimised anchor text in incoming links – backlinks in other words.

The Penguin algorithm slipped past my attention until I read a tweet from Matt Cutts. I’m nearly obsessive about watching traffic stats for the sites in my portfolio; they get checked daily for activity of all types – traffic, attacks, broken links and so on, and I hadn’t seen any unusual traffic dips on April 24 or shortly after. If anything traffic  has increased to these websites since that time.

Read the rest of this entry