Handling error when WordPress plugin functions are not available

When we build a WordPress theme, sometime we need want to add more features using WordPress plugin. For example, we want to display commenter’s avatar from Gravatar service. Because we (as the theme creator) want to make our theme can handle Gravatar plugin by default, we directly put plugin function inside our theme file — to be more spesific inside comments.php.
If we share our theme (someone uses our theme), and his/her WordPress installation does not have Gravatar plugin installed, the theme might be broken. There will be an error. Single page (where the gravatar/comment should appear) will stop loading. Why? Because there is a gravatar plugin tag/function, but the plugin is not available.

Another thing, you downloaded a free theme, and you want to add gravatar function by yourself. So, you downloaded the Gravatar plugin, put plugin tag, and voila! All works. But when this plugin is deactivated (probably when you upgrade your WordPress installation) and you forgot to activate it again, your theme might nor working well. So, what’s the solution? It’s pretty simple: use the conditional tags. Okey, we’ll use Gravatar plugin as the example.


GoBoardz, free forums for everyone

Do you want to run a community forum without installing any software/application in your webhost? You can try GoBoardz Free Forums. What is GoBoardz?

GoBoardz is for people that need a quick discussion board, but don’t want all the hassle of setting one up. Taking the minimalist approach, GoBoardz are sleek, functional, and ready to use almost immediately without all of the unnecessary features and interface clutter which can be found on other forum systems. And best of all, it’s free!

GoBoardz offer many great features that most forum applications offer. Here are some highlights:

  • Email Notifications – You can get a notification when a new entry is posted in the forum you subscribed to.
  • Embed Videos – You can embed a video from Revver. Revver is a video-sharing service.
  • Embed images from Photobucket
  • Forum RSS Feed for an easier forum tracker

If you want to try it, just sign up there. It’s easy, and it’s free.
This is a paid post, and sponsored by GoBoardz Free Forums


Zookoda, your blog's friend

Zookoda logo
If you are a blogger, do you have a plan to have these features for your blog?

  • You want to build traffic and readership to your blog.
  • You want to send announcement to your blog reader on a certain event. Not always related to blog, but information you considered as “important” or “they’d better know about this”.
  • You want your readers to subscribe to your RSS feed. Once they are subscribed, your readers will received an update directly to their email inbox.
  • You want your readers put information you need. Not only email address, but also some other fields e.g. mailing address, city, country, etc.
  • You want to do those things above easily, from a single account, from a friendly interface.
  • You want them to be hosted by a service, because you do not have your own web hosting account.
  • You want to have a professional look.
  • You want to build traffic and readership to your blog.
  • You want to have a report for each feature.

If you want to have something like I mentioned above, you should try Zookoda, blog email. You can get all those features by registering to Zookoda. And, the best thing that it’s free! For its rich features, Zookoda is a blog email. It is a solution for your blog.


When your blog hosted at get suspended

I just read what Harry Sufehmi wrote on his blog. It is about Luthfi Assadad’s blog which was suspended. His blog is hosted by It’s back now.
In his email, Lutfi found that he got his blog suspended. Then, he tried to login, but failed. After resetting the password (which worked fine), he could log in to his control panel. But, he did not see his blog again. In short, it has been suspended (and terminated). account suspended
This is bad. Really bad situation. Lutfi had no idea about the reason(s) why he got this blog suspended. It is said that his blog broke the Terms of Service. But, which terms? I do not know Lutfi personally. So, I am not sure about what Lutfi wrote in his blog. And, if Lufti did break the TOS, then it is not’s fault. WordPress is famous for its features, easiness, and community supports. I am sure that they do this (suspending an account) for a reason. And, it must be a good reason.
I jumped into #wordpress IRC chat room. And I passed the situation there. Then I got a to FAQ: My blog has been suspended. It is said that:

Blogs are suspended if they are found to be in breach of the TOS.
We do not contact you first to ask that content be modified or removed.
You cannot have that blog name back.
You cannot have the blog content back.
We take the TOS very seriously and act on every feedback we get to check out possible breaches.
We want to be a pleasant and safe environment for all our users.

In short, if your blog hosted at WordPress is gone… it means gone.
Added later: There is a discussion thread over WordPress Support forum about this. You can try to search using “suspended” as the keyword for more threads.
Update: His blog is back. You can read his entry.


WordPress 2.1 Ella

WordPress 2.1 (release name: Ella) is ready for public. This release includes over 550 bug fixes. A week ago, 2.0.7 was released. Two weeks ago, 2.0.6. If you want to get the latest features (and WordPress technology), your WP should be upgraded.


Switched back to Firefox 1.5

Yesteday, I downgraded my Mozilla Firefox installation to 1.5. My main reason is that it crashed so many times. I know, Mozilla Firefox 2.0 has great new features. But the previous version (I use now) has all features I need.
When I switched to Firefox 2.0, I have no problems with the extensions. Most extensions have been updated; compatible with Firefox latest version.
I will stay with for now, and I haven’t experienced crashed browser until now.





WordPress 1.2 goes to party

Here is the beef. Blame them for more features. Complete features can be found at WordPress Wiki.
Me? Yap, I just tried it. And I use it for my other weblog. I will let you now later :) Great job!


ExpressionEngine by pMachine, Inc.

I just got an email from pMachine sales department, announcing a new blogtool called ExpressionEngine. It is now available as a public beta. There are lots new features. If you have some questions about this new engine, the FAQ page has some answers.
If you want to see the the control panel demo, you can visit Control Panel Demo.
Chek also:


Blogger: Free Feature to Everyone

Are you Blogger users? The free one? Good news for you! There are some more features. Previously, only Blogger Pro users can use it, now you can.
What are the new features?

What else? Well, just see the new complete features? Thank you Blogger
Info via William and Blogger.