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Released WP Greet Box Version 4.2

I received a lot of great feedback for versions 4.0-4.1.1, so I decided to incorporate some of those suggestions into version 4.2. I have also ran through my 25 test cases prior to releasing the code so hopefully, this release will go a lot smoother than version 4.0 release. *IMPORTANT* Upon upgrading, make sure you deactivate then reactivate the plugin. This will give you default settings for newly available options.

What’s new in this release?

Read on…

Released WP Greet Box Version 4.0

I think this version of WP Greet Box is ground breaking enough to bump the version up to 4.0. To be honest, the reason version 4.0 came out so early is because I just found out 3 days ago (via Google Alerts) that I have a new competitor, Referrer Detector, written by Phan Van An. He seems like a really nice guy (he mentions my name repeatedly in the post), but he could have at least contacted me about co-authoring before forking the code :). With that said, I checked out Referrer Detector and decided to implement some of its wonderful changes in WP Greet Box and expand WP Greet Box to be able to work with WPMU (Thank you Andy Beard for your suggestion).

What’s new in this release?

Read on…

Released WP Greet Box Version 3.1

I’ve been quite busy with life lately, so I haven’t paid too much attention to my plugins. Good thing I had a whiff of inspiration today so I decided to add a few enhancements to WP Greet Box.

What’s new in this release?

Read on…

Released WP Greet Box version 3.0

I’ve been quiet for the past week for many reasons, but the most important reason is that I’ve been working on WP Greet Box version 3.0.  It turned out that there we so many positive responses (and feature requests) on the WP Greet Box plugin that all I could do is work on it whenever I get the chance (at coffee shops, during lunch breaks, before sleeping, etc).  It sounds tiring, but it was all worth it!

What happened to version 2.0?

I silently released version 2.0 after adding the ability to add your own custom greeting messages per referrer URL.

What’s new in this release?

This release has cookies support so now we do not keep showing the same message to returning visitors.  I also added a configurable default message to show when no referrer match is found.

Where do I download, file bugs, make feature requests, comments, and suggestions?

Please visit the original plugin post.

Adding More Sites Social Homes Widget Plugin


Social Homes Widget is a small but neat little plugin that lets you add links to your various social homepages in your sidebar. Of course you can do this manually, but it’s a lot nicer to be able to manage this in the widgets section in wp-admin instead of having to dive into your sidebar.php every time you want to modify the list.
The plugin supports 19 different social home links. This is more than enough for most people, but not me. Today I found that I needed to add my Plurk homepage to this list. So I found a quick hack to get this done fast, instead of submitting a request to the author. All I did was: Read on…

Completed OMNINOGGIN Server Migration

Server Migration
I apologize if you have visited earlier today and found the Maintenance-Mode screen. I was moving this blog from a self-hosted dedicated server to a shared-hosting server. In this post, I will discuss the reasons for my decision and the switching experience.
Here are some reasons why I made the switch (Pros):

  1. I’ve been getting more readers lately so my bandwidth was almost reaching capacity. Shared-hosting is the cheapest way to get decent burstable bandwidth.
  2. I wanted to start focusing more on WordPress and less on FreeBSD. Making this switch will alleviate me from having to maintain/troubleshoot low-level system things, leaving me with more time to focus on WordPress development & discussion.
  3. Read on…

Alex King’s “Articles” Plugin Mod

Alex King’s ‘Articles’ is a great plugin that lets you easily mark posts as featured articles. You can also display a list of featured posts on a selected page/post by placing a “&#35&#35&#35articles&#35&#35&#35” tag in it. That said, there are TWO big problems with it:

  1. It doesn’t work with WordPress 2.3.x or 2.5.x
  2. It displays the same article in each category that the post is listed under. So that means if your featured post is filed under 5 categories, your post will show up 5 times on your featured articles list.

Andy Cowl has already resolved issue #1 on this WordPress support thread (THANK YOU!). Here are the changes Andy Cowl did.

+++ articles.php        (working copy)
@@ -96,13 +96,11 @@
        $cats = $wpdb->get_results("
                SELECT $wpdb->term_relationships.object_id, $wpdb->terms.term_id, $wpdb->terms.name, $wpdb->terms.slug
-               FROM $wpdb->term_relationships
-               LEFT JOIN $wpdb->terms
-               ON $wpdb->term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id = $wpdb->terms.term_id
-               LEFT JOIN $wpdb->term_taxonomy
-               ON $wpdb->term_taxonomy.term_id = $wpdb->terms.term_id
-               WHERE $wpdb->term_relationships.object_id IN (".implode(',', $post_ids).")
-               AND $wpdb->term_taxonomy.taxonomy = 'category'
+               FROM $wpdb->term_relationships, $wpdb->term_taxonomy, $wpdb->terms
+               WHERE $wpdb->term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id = $wpdb->term_taxonomy.term_taxonomy_id
+               AND $wpdb->term_taxonomy.term_id = $wpdb->terms.term_id
+               AND $wpdb->term_taxonomy.taxonomy = 'category'
+               AND $wpdb->term_relationships.object_id IN (".implode(',', $post_ids).")
                ORDER BY $wpdb->terms.slug, $wpdb->term_relationships.object_id DESC
        ");

On issue #2, I’m thinking about modifying this plugin to accept another custom field called “article_category” to accept a string value of your category slug. Let’s say you feature a post that has 5 categories and set “article_category” custom field to “blogging” then the post will only show up once under the “blogging” category on your featured articles page. What do you guys think of this mod? If there is some demand for this, I will definitely move this to the top of my stack of projects and crank this out in a few hours. Please let me know via comments.

Make WP-PostViews Work with WP-Super-Cache

In response to JTPratt’s comment on my post, ‘Make Popularity Contest Work with WP-Super-Cache,’ I am releasing a modification of Lester Chan’s WP-PostViews plugin to support counting using Javascript. Please try it out to see if this works for you.

A side note to Lester Chan and Richer Yang (WP-PostViews and WP-PostViews Plus authors repectively). Please feel free to contact me about incorporating these changes into WP-PostViews and/or WP-PostViews Plus so that it can be officially committed to the wp-plugins.org repository. I would create my own version of WP-PostViews in the repository, but do not want to steal your thunder :).

Read on…

Creating a Staging WordPress Blog for Testing

Over the past few months, I’ve been meaning to create a staging WordPress blog that is an exact replica of my production OMNINOGGIN blog so I can test major feature changes before releasing them to my production site.  I have to admit that there are many other interesting things to spend time on (see also: Make Popularity Contest Work with WP-Super-Cache and NowThen Photo Display WordPress Plugin) so I have been lagging at getting this task done.  Fortunately the WordPress 2.5 released was enough to motivate me to get this done.  My goal in this post is to provide a step-by-step set of instructions (or checklist) for getting this task done.  I run Apache 2.2.8, MySQL 5.0.51a, and PHP 5.2.5 on a FreeBSD 7.0 machine that I have complete control over.  Keep in mind that these steps will vary depending on how your blog is configured.  It is a good checklist nonetheless so without further ado:

Read on…

Make Popularity Contest Work with WP-Super-Cache

Previously I wrote ‘Make Your WordPress 10X faster During Traffic Storms‘, which is a post about automatically turning WP-[Super]-Cache on/off and automatically switching your WordPress theme to a lighter theme during heavy traffic. One of the main reasons that I had this setup was because I could not get statistics to work with WP-Super-Cache (i.e. my chCounter & Popularity Contest plugin is hosed).

After some tinkering, I was able to get chCounter and Popularity Contest to work with WP-Super-Cache. This involves using javascript to count instead of PHP. chCounter was a simple change, but Popularity Contest was a bit more challenging. Usually I would immediately post the “How-to” here, or rather release the modded plugin to the public myself, but I believe that I shouldn’t step on Alex King’s shoes (the original developer of Popularity Contest). I’ve sent the Popularity Contest code to Alex for code review. He’s been doing some of the same work, and hopefully he can incorporate some of my changes into the plugin and release it to the public soon.

If anybody would like to use my version of the Popularity Contest before Alex King releases it to the public, you may download the WordPress 2.3.3 and WordPress 2.5 compatible version here:
Read on…