Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Aug 1, 2016
Once again this weekend, I was visiting a lot of blogs and commenting on them. On three particular blogs they had the CommentLuv plugin, and on all 3 I got that stupid “Parsing JSON Error” message that I’m sure many of you who have visited blogs have received. This time I was irked, because my sometimes workaround, which is to hit the F5 key (after copying your comment in case you have to paste it back) to reset the other person’s blog, in case it’s their error, didn’t work.
This means it was time to do some research. You know what; no one had my answer, and that irked me to no end.
One blog post I found said to go into my CommentLuv settings, open the technical settings, and uncheck the box that says “use security nonce for ajax calls”. That wouldn’t work because it was already unchecked.
Another said to clear your cache, but it assumed we all use a caching plugin on our blogs. I’d tried that some years ago and it crashed my blog, so that wasn’t going to solve my issue.
However, clearing the cache seemed to be a big thing on a lot of forums I looked at, even to the point of clearing your browser cache (don’t do it for this purpose; it doesn’t work). So I was frustrated to no end.
Until I remembered that I do have an interesting plugin that I’m not sure everyone else has. It’s called WP-DBManager, and it’s basically a plugin that accesses your database and lets you, well, do a lot of different things if you look at the image above, which comes up when you click on Database on your main WordPress menu (which appears after you load the plugin).
For the purpose I was searching for however, the choice was Optimize DB. You’re actually supposed to run it at least once a month to make sure things are working well but, like brushing your teeth, who really follows that rule? I ran that option, it only took a few seconds, then I went back to two of the blogs where CommentLuv failed to find my blog posts, ran a quick test (I just put in one word in the comment section, filled out the normal name, email & link area)… and all was right with the world!
That got me to thinking about other plugins I use, though not on a continual basis, that might help some of you. Let’s look at some of these, though it’s possible I’ve written about them in the past (who goes & looks at my old posts anyway, unless I highlight them?).
Another plugin I use to help clear things up is called WP-Optimize, which is similar to the database plugin except it clears out all those revisions we all make to our blogs from time to time and allows you to optimize WordPress core tables… but you have to be cautious with this one because it will warn you that some of the options are only when things aren’t working well.
I know I’ve talked about this one before, but it seems like a lot of folks are having their blogs hacked into lately. It’s called Limit Login Attempts, and it basically allows you to set how many times someone can try a username and password before it locks them out.
Mine is set at 4 times, at which time it won’t accept anymore tries from that particular IP address for 4500 minutes the first time (about 3 days), 300 hours the second time (12 1/2 days) and 900 hours the third time (37 1/2 days). This will pretty much stop any bots trying to get into your blog that way, but you’ll probably want to add the WordPress Firewall 2 plugin to help shield your blog from those suckers also.
The final plugin I’m going to mention is called WordPress Database Backup; that’s pretty self explanatory I assume, but I have mine set up to send me a file once a month in case something happens that causes the blog to crash. Luckily I’ve never had to use it, but I know some folk have lost it all (though there are other ways to find their information; this is just the fastest way to handle things).
I think that should get some things fixed and protected on your blog. Let me know how it works for you.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Mar 7, 2016
I’d like to share a comment with you that I got on one of my posts:
I just loved reading your articles. 😀
The best thing which I really like about your articles is, you covers each and every thing in your articles which makes your article more helpful.
I have seen people love to read those articles more which are easy to understand and can help a lot. And you always write such kind of articles.
Either way, Thanks for this wonderful article.
Isn’t that nice? Looks like a great comment doesn’t it? Unfortunately, not only isn’t it a good comment, it’s actually spam. How do I know this?
Look at the comment again. Do you have any idea what article it was made on? For that matter, isn’t this the type of comment that could go on any article you read, only changing the name?
On two of these blogs the writer of the article responded to it as if it was a real comment; I thought I should tell them but decided to keep it to myself, so only you wonderful readers will know the truth.
Something I’ve written about in the past is learning how to recognize spam that can make it through your spam filters. It looks like a real comment, but if it doesn’t address the article in any way then you know it’s fake. For instance, here’s another fake comment I received:
Well done Mitch. You have nicely explained the rules of marketing with details. great work
That was pretty lame wasn’t it? It actually went to my Pending area only because I use CommentLuv Premium, where I was able to then download Anti Backlinker and tell it to put any comment without a gravatar into moderation. Since many of you don’t have the first, you can’t get the second, so it’s possible you’ll have comments like this on your blog. Actually, it shows up on Google over 2,300 times with a slight variation after the first few words of the sentence.
Speaking of not really trying…
I read your full article and its really interesting a lot. Thank You For providing us great articles…
Come on now; I’m almost insulted that someone wasted their time with that. lol Actually, depending on what you might want to check this one comes up the fewest number of times, but it’s still repeated… must be relatively new.
How about one more:
Very interesting. I finished up my post for today yesterday and it posted in the wee hours when I was still asleep and yet you and I make some very similar points right down to the Morgan Freeman quote.
As I said in my post, though I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and knew no black people whatsoever, I was pretty aware of a lot of black history. I don’t remember it being taught in school so maybe I got it from television.
I like to hear the entire scope of history and not isolated bits extracted for some specific agenda.
This is only a sample. It’s pretty good isn’t it? It was actually a very long comment and it might have fooled most people. How did I know it was spam? Because it was an actual comment that someone else wrote on this article from February that, because I remembered us having a conversation about it at the time, and the comment not fitting on the article it showed up on, I knew was spam. This one was at least creative, if misplaced.
This is the kind of thing that many people miss because it’s a legitimate comment… just not on the right article, which made it easy. Sometimes it’s on the same article which makes it difficult; I’ve missed that a few times here and there.
Overall I’m pretty lucky when it comes to spam. The truly bad and fake stuff almost always finds its way into the spam filter, with some occasionally making it into preview mode. However, sometimes they end up on this blog or one of my other blogs, and for the most part I know it’s spam and I get rid of it pretty quickly.
Here’s a truth; not all spam is intentionally spam. Some are just bad comments left by people who think saying “nice post” has any meaning to the writer. You need to get rid of those comments as quick as possible also because if your blog looks like one that will accept them, you’ll have all sorts of bad comments and spam showing up on your site and the search engines will think your site isn’t worth bothering with.
There’s always a question whether or not search engines look at blog comments. I doubt that’s the case. However, I tend to believe that their bots will see lousy comments, notice that the links are a bit dodgy, and penalize the site in some way. Do you want that happening to your blog when you’re spending so much time trying to write great content?
Just a bit of a tutorial for you on this Monday morning. Happy blogging and moderating to you all! 😉
Addendum: – You won’t believe this but if you look at the comments below you’ll see that someone came by & left the exact same comment that I highlighted at the beginning of this post; ridiculous! I removed the information from that comment so the guy wouldn’t get any benefit but shared it so we could call it out. However, it came from someone calling himself Abdul Samadessani, email address email@example.com, website bloggingearning.com and Twitter handle @samad_100. I’ve sent contact via Twitter calling him out or whomever he hired; let’s see if he responds. Until he does, go ahead and abuse this guy because, trust me, you’ll probably be seeing this same comment on your blog one of these days, if it’s not already there.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Mar 5, 2015
Most of you know I love the plugin called CommentLuv. I’ve been a fan of that plugin since 2008, so much so that I went ahead and paid for the premium version, which comes with a few more bells and whistles.
Lat year, I noticed that it wasn’t working on this blog. That occurred after an update, which the premium version has at least once a month so it was easy to spot. That it only stopped working on here was odd, so I contacted customer service for help.
After going back and forth in a few emails, turns out the problem is that I removed the footer here years ago because it had this bit of code in it that was falsely indicating what the blog was about. Most websites don’t have this as a problem but most blog themes come with a footer where, if you want or its an option, you can add even more links to your site. I couldn’t add anything to it, and I had problems with any alterations, so I just removed it. The blog works perfectly without it, and I never looked back.
However, the upgraded premium plugin needs the footer to do its job. For me, it kind of stinks, as my theme is pretty old, but which I’ve modified over the years, and I’m not in the mood to get a new one. During testing I swapped to one of the current WordPress themes to see if it would work, and it didn’t. So, whether it’s the footer or not is still out there, but the reality is that I had to load a previous version to get it working again and I’ll just have to be happy with that for now.
What this points out is that the latest and greatest isn’t always so for everyone, and holding onto something old isn’t always the best way to go either. I’m sure there are still many XP users out there who think it’s the bees knees (does anyone say that anymore?) and swear they’re never going to switch up, but last year when Microsoft finally stopped supporting it. If anything goes wrong you’d best be ready to pony up some big bucks for someone to come fix it, as most have moved on to newer operating systems, or be ready to totally wipe your system and load the disk that came with it, without knowing if any of the updated files will still be available.
Back in the early 2000’s the big thing most people wanted was some kind of flash on their websites. It was pretty, bold, and, well flashy. It also didn’t look good for everyone because sometimes it didn’t match up with what their business said they did. I’ve seen a lot of those websites over the years, and most of them have no rankings whatsoever; so sad… As a matter of fact, I’ve removed Flash from my computers, which is problematic because I’m a major fan of Firefox and none of the Flash content on other sites will play on it. However, Chrome seems to be converting all Flash stuff to HTML5, so if I really want to see something I just paste it there.
This is why you need to take a look at your website and your blog every once in a while to make sure everything’s working the way you want it to, as well as to do an evaluation as to whether it’s really getting the message across that you’re hoping to get out to the world. Remember my post about another plugin that started giving me trouble?
It doesn’t mean everything has to change, but it does mean you need to know what’s going on so you can make the determination as to whether to keep on the straight and narrow or make some kind of modifications here and there.
Due diligence is always the best way to go.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Mar 19, 2013
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been spending time here and there going back to clean up comments. This is a daunting task by the way. The blog is over 5 years old and there are nearly 26,000 comments. The reason I’m looking at comments isn’t to pick on anyone in particular. What I’m doing is taking care of some maintenance because of Google’s Panda and Penguin and also because I had to get rid of that Broken Link Checker plugin and the one I’m using right now isn’t quite as good; okay, it’s not even close.
With that said, as I’ve been going through some of the much older comments I’ve seen 6 different things, one that’s actually more a help to you if you decide to do the same type of thing than the others are. Let’s take a quick look shall we.
1. On WordPress blogs (I’m not sure about wordpress.com blogs but possibly), if you want to delete someone’s link you don’t have to go into edit or quick edit to do it. There’s an X right next to the link; just click that and it’s all gone. If you have CommentLuv it looks like it eliminates that as well, though you’ll still see it sitting there.
2. It’s amazing just how long some blogs and websites have been gone. While some blogs had totally disappeared, many blogs still existed somehow. By that, I mean there wasn’t anything new on those blog for 3 to 4 years, but most weren’t hooked to a website and weren’t on a free blogging site, so I wondered if the people paid for 5 years or more when they made their initial purchase.
3. I found that there have been some folks other than my buddy Sire who’ve been participants on this blog for a long time. Two of them, Rummuser and Ajith, have been coming by since 2009; thanks guys! Others have popped in here and there for the past 3 years; I thank you all.
4. There were some pretty good bloggers who have stopped by here and there over the years. I’ve looked at a lot of sites and some of them I decided to stop by and leave a quick comment on a recent post. It’s so cool seeing some old faces and I lament that we seemed to have drifted apart on the blogosphere. It kind of makes sense; how the heck could we all keep up with each other in the long run right?
5. There were a lot of bad sites as well. You know, when we first get going in blogging we just don’t pay much attention to the links that are coming into our sites, and as I was going through I was stunned by what I was seeing. Luckily I think BLC (see above) took care of lots of those links in some fashion but some of the rest… Folks, you need to make sure you take care of your blog by looking at some of the links people drop.
6. There were some old friends who’d stopped blogging for one reason or another. Out of three that I used to talk to all the time I know one stopped blogging because he got sick, another stopped blogging because she got a gig writing for her local newspaper, and the third… well, our bet is that he got sick and just up and disappeared because he had a pattern of doing that, and the previous time before this one he was laid up for 9 months. The rest… well, you just never know what someone’s circumstances might be, and as I think about it my belief is that one day it’s going to happen to most of us because I’m betting most of our spouses have no idea how to do anything with our blogs. So, one day there just won’t be any more posts, and unless we live close to a person we’ll never know what happens, only be left to suspect. Kind of sad isn’t it?
That’s all I’ve got. Any of you doing any maintenance on your sites? If so, what are you seeing?
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 14, 2012
Sometimes I think my reason for being on this earth is to mess things up so I can warn you not to do it. In this case it’s specific to blogs, at least WordPress self hosted blogs, although I think it’s a general lesson for everyone.
Yesterday I was checking in on this blog I write for an accounting firm. I went into the Admin panel and went to posts, where I discovered that two posts didn’t publish when they were supposed to. That was bothersome because, as I do with my own blogs, I tend to write posts ahead of time and if I wasn’t going to be able to do that there it was going to really complicate things.
The first thing I did was publish both posts. I actually had to “fake” change the date by changing the time a few minutes, then the Publish button came up and I was able to publish them for the dates they were supposed to show up.
Then I went online to do some research into the issue; y’all know how I like to research. I came across something that recommended adding something to the WP-Config.php file, as it stated that some themes were missing this particular code. I added the code, then went back to write a new post.
Only when I clicked on the link to the blog, it had reset itself back to the beginning. I was horrified; I hoped that maybe when I typed in the username and password and went back to the theme I had selected for the blog that everything would be as it was; nope. Oh the horror (some of you know that line)!
Now I was stuck. The lucky thing is that this is still a relatively new blog; the unlucky thing is that I’d never gotten around to backing it up. What to do, what to do, what to do?
I went to Google to pull up the cache of older blog posts. Only Google doesn’t seem to have that link anymore that gives you the cache of old posts or pages; what the hey? I looked everywhere, even did some research on that, but nothing worked. I then tried Bing, and they didn’t have anything either.
Yahoo did the trick. I put the blog’d address link into the search and it pulled up the one entry, but it also had “cache”. Through that link I was able to recover all the older posts, but not the two posts I’d done earlier in the day. Hey, I took what I could get, and that was a lot. I was able to post all those articles back for the same date that they originally were posted, then three posts, one to replace a post that was supposed to be for next month, then two more that are supposed to go this month.
I’ve scheduled one to go live today, but it’ll be after this post so I don’t know yet if it’s working or not. Either way, it’s reminded me of the importance of backing things up before making radical changes, even though I hadn’t thought that was a radical change. I’m just glad that I can write fairly fast; I’d have hated to spend a long time having to rewrite those articles.
Yes, please learn from my mistakes; don’t do them. 😉