Tag Archives: plugins

6 Blog Maintenance Areas You Need To Check

With all the traffic most of us hope to get coming to our blogs, it makes the act of making sure you’re doing blog maintenance all that more important. Truth be told, most of us get things moving along the way we want it to and almost always seem to miss something. As time goes along, we add and remove things that also ends up affecting how our blogs work.

Internet Glasfaser Wartungsarbeiten

Christoph Scholz via Compfight

With that said, I’m going to talk about 6 areas that we need to check our blogs for to make sure they’re maintained well. Some of these are going to be things you probably know but need to decide if it’s what you really want to do, whereas others you might not have thought about. Let’s see if I can do this without turning it into another tome. 🙂
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When Free Plugins Ruin Your Life

The best thing about free stuff is that it’s free. The worst thing about free stuff is that they can indiscriminately change it up, mess it up, make you do things you didn’t want to do if you want to keep using it and pretty much ruin your life… okay, that last point is a bit over the top, but it did mess up the blog. lol

Expressions of Shock
Thomas Gehrke via Compfight

Today’s gripe is about a plugin called AddThis, which had been recommended to me in 2013 as a great social sharing program. Lots of people were using it, and it allowed me to get rid of the 4 independent plugins I had for Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn, the only 4 sites I share stuff to. I liked its design and how easy it all seemed to be.

Then they went and changed things up. Deciding it wasn’t so convenient for them to allow you to make changes on your own blog, they set it up with their 4.whatever update that you now had to create an account on their website and manage things from there. I assume they did that so they could pitch other services to you that you’d be charged for, since I saw something there where you could get certain types of reports and education.

All of that might not be bad; I don’t know. What I knew was that I didn’t want that kind of change. I’m kind of an insular guy; I like fooling myself into thinking I’m controlling my own stuff. Thus, I didn’t want to go to another site to take care of my business.

That wasn’t the biggest issue though. The big problem is that the widgets disappeared from the blog. Right at the point where I’d had a blog post go live reminding people how hard it was for their content to be shared if they didn’t have these buttons, mine disappeared. Well, that was slightly embarrassing; actually, I wasn’t embarrassed since I didn’t know for a day or two and, when I discovered it, knew I hadn’t done anything wrong.

Actually, that’s kind of a misnomer. I did was most of us do, which was to immediately upgrade when WordPress said “Hey, there’s something shiny and new”.

I should know better. There are upgrades when it makes sense to immediately do it. For instance, if you have version 3.5.2 anything (just as an example) and the upgrade is 3.5.7, that’s almost always just a bug or security fix that doesn’t change the version any, and you should go ahead and upgrade. However, if the upgrade goes to the immediate next number, such as from version 1.1 to 2.1… that’s when you should take a moment, go to the website and find out what’s being added or what’s changing.

After things disappeared on this blog I went to check my other blogs, all of which were running the same plugin, and my widgets had disappeared from all of them; sigh… Oddly enough, within a few days they came back on one of my blogs but not all of them. I complained on Twitter, then went to Google to do some research, thinking that maybe it was an issue with me, and found that there were lots of people who were complaining about the same exact thing… it’s true, sometimes, that misery loves company. 🙂 And I wrote on Twitter how bad it was that a company didn’t respond to so many 1-star reviews.

Lo and behold they did finally respond to me, after I’d written them something on their website, and asked me to explain my issue. So I did, and they responded that it was their intention that everyone go to the website now to manage their tools, and asked why I’d had a problem doing that, which I had.

Here’s the thing. You don’t take something that was relatively simple and change it to where your users need a crash course. In my case I did try creating an account and going to the site where I was presented lots of different links, none of which said “manage your tools here”… at least I couldn’t find it. Course I was in a state of frustration so maybe I just couldn’t see it.

No matter. I’ve inactivated it and deleted it and now on this blog I’m using something called Simple Share Buttons, which was the 4th plugin I tried because, for some reason, the first 3 I tried after I shut down AddThis wouldn’t show up here. The look is a bit different but I like it, and it works!

Because, when all is said and done, the other good thing about free is that you’re always free to find something else that works for you without lamenting your waste of money. Who’s with me on this one?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch Mitchell

WP Smush.It Issues With WordPress Version 3.3.2

This one will indeed be a very short post, so short I’m not even putting a picture in it.

If you’ve been having problems uploading images since the last WordPress update to 3.3.2 it’s most probably the WP Smush-It plugin, if you’re using it. It’s a great plugin for reducing the size of the images you upload but for some reason, it’s gone wonky with the latest update.

I did my research, of course, and the two recommendations were to delete your uploads file off your server and let it be created all over again and to inactivate all of your plugins and try to upload an image, and if it worked then you knew it was one of those. I actually did delete all my files first because I just can’t do the easy thing (I copied all images to my computer first) and the first image I loaded afterwards worked, but none of the others did.

I pretty much knew then that it was going to be one of two plugins on my computer, either the one dealing with caching or the one dealing directly with images. I chose that one and I’ve had nothing but success since.

Now, if you’re still having problems and don’t use that plugin at all, the other suggestion is still out there for you to try. And now I’m done… oh heck, okay, an image at the bottom. 🙂

 

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Why I Left Firefox For Chrome And Why I Came Back

Last weekend I finally had it with Firefox. After one more crash because it was blowing up my resources I decided it was time to give up the ghost and I switched to Chrome.

I had two other alternatives, of course. I could have gone to Opera, which has always been pretty fast, but it just seems so sparse. True, one should probably only think about using a browser to browse the internet, but many of us are looking for certain things from our browsers to enhance the user experience, if you will. I also could have gone to IE8 but decided I just don’t want to go backwards, even though I’ve heard good things about IE9, which I haven’t loaded yet.

Anyway, Firefox had suddenly decided to go nuts on me. It was using some major league resources on my computer, once to the tune of 1.8GB; that’s a lot. It was regularly going over a gigabyte, and that was way too much. Then it started crashing all the time, asking me to send crash reports to Mozilla. Last Sunday it crashed the 7th time in one day and that was that.

So I made Chrome my default browser. I had been thinking about it anyway, but not without some reservation. It’s a Google product, as you know, and almost anything related to Google wants to track you. I wrote a post in 2010 telling people that if you use Google Toolbar it tracks your searches and then you start getting targeted advertising. I know they try to tell us it’s for our benefit but I just don’t feel the benefit if you know what I mean. At least you can turn it off for Google Desktop.

I used Chrome for about 4 days and started to feel that, though it had been running better than Firefox, it had issues as well. For instance, every once in awhile it just hangs for a little bit. I went to check the resources and found that it was using a gigabyte of memory as well; what the hey? It seemed to handle that much memory a little better than Firefox but not entirely; that was shocking.

Then I started missing some of my customization. For instance, I was able to modify the look of Firefox to what I was used to in the past; you can’t do that with Chrome. Also, certain plugins that make using a browser that I’ve come to like aren’t available on Chrome. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t figure out how to get anything onto Chrome whatsoever. Well, I did finally get one thing to work, but that was it.

Yup, I started missing Firefox, but I had to do something to help it stop crashing. I decided to take a look at all the plugins I was running, along with other things, to see what I really didn’t need anymore. I ended up disabling, then removing, a lot of things that I noticed didn’t even work anymore. Firefox 5 automatically disabled some thing it said it wasn’t compatible with, but I use both Stylish and Greasemonkey and it turns out some scripts with each of those weren’t working anymore either, and could have been causing a conflict.

The verdict is pretty good so far. The highest recorded memory since I made the changes is 525MB, which is easily more manageable. The browser hasn’t crashed since I started using it again and I’m happy about that as well. Maybe it’s finally going to behave; one can only hope, right?

But customization is really what puts Firefox ahead of every other browser, and in the end that’s really why it’s my favorite. That’s my story; what’s yours?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2019 Mitch Mitchell

EzineArticles Plugin Is No More

Back in August I wrote about the EzineArticles WordPress Plugin and how easy it was to send some of your blog posts to that particular website. Well, let me be the one to let you know that it no longer works.

Why? Well, remember when I wrote about 3 weeks ago on the issue of article farms? What’s happened is the changes that have been made by Google have started taking their toll on the site. Rosalind Gardner covered it in her blog post titled Death of Bum Marketing when she quoted Chris Knight of EzineArticles in saying that their traffic has started to drop. She also mentioned that one thing he’s decided to do was stop allowing the WP EzineArticles Plugin to submit articles anymore because there was a lot of spam being sent to the site.

So, that’s it for the plugin, if any of you were actually using it. I got to submit maybe 6 articles from my business blog, but then I kind of lost interest so I won’t be missing it all that much.

However, I found it interesting that in Rosalind’s article she advocates something I’ve been saying for years, that being it’s better if, instead of sending articles you write elsewhere, you create a blog and put those articles there instead and enjoy the benefits all on your own. For me, most of the articles I have on the other site I’ve either had on my blog or I’d used as a newsletter and decided to spread it a bit further. However, none of those articles has given me the bounce I thought they would, and as I think about it I’m not necessarily all that crazy that those articles can then be put on other people’s sites without my knowing it, even though they’re supposed to link back to me.

Back to doing things the “hard way” it seems. For me, though, I think I’ll stick with my own thing.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell