Become a Gmail Ninja

Become a Gmail Ninja — Learn tips and tricks to save time, increase your productivity, and manage your email efficiently. Start with the tips that are right for you, based on how much email you get each day.

WordPress Upgrade Using Changed Files Only

WordPress is known for its fast development. But for some people the upgrade process can be painful. I mean, not the “press the upgrade button”, but the download source, and uploading. If you have slow internet connection, you know what I’m talking about.
But, why not using another mechanism: just upload the changed files — compared to the previous version. By this, we do not have to upload and replace too many files. I used this scenario when I upgraded this blog to WordPress 2.6.3. Since it was only a maintenance release, I only needed to upload 2 files.
WordPress 2.6.5 was released last week. If you want to upgrade from WordPress 2.6.3 to 2.6.5, you can try this: upload the changed files only. All files are available from WordPress Trac. Go to the bottom area, and you should see “Zip Archive” link there. Download it, extract the zipped files, and upload them. Well, I don’t use this on this blog, since this blog is using the 2.7 distribution. Anyway, in the coming WordPress 2.7, the upgrade process should be easier. The upgrade button is there. Yay!

Stop spammers and unwanted traffic

If you have your blog installed in your own webhosting account, there is another nice strategy to combat spammers and also unwanted traffic by Donncha O Caoimh (he is a WordPress developer). It’s because sometime antispam plugins like Akismet or TypePad AntiSpam are not enough. They can blocked comments, but do they also block unwanted traffic? I mean, they can filter comment spams, but that’s after the spammers’s comment being processed by the system (blog engine).
I think the approach offered by Donncha is very useful. Right now, I use another method to fight the spammers (and also unwanted traffic). For my WordPress, I have TypePad AntiSpam and Yawasp (Yet Another WordPress Anti Spam Plugin). I decided to remove WP-SpamFree for now. It’s a great plugin, anyway. But, sometime it caught real readers from sending comment, just because their browser settings are not cookie-enabled.
About dealing with unwanted traffic (it’s not directly related to spams), I use hotlink prevention using .htaccess. Another method is by having list of IP addresses in my .htaccess. I got the IP address from antispam plugins. If I got spammers, I just put their IP address into my ban list. I have some of them.
By this, I have less visitors (if I checked from my webhosting analysis tool). Probably, it’s because it checks all visitors (spammers and human). But, I’m fine with that. I think I will try the strategies mentioned by Donncha now.

Get Information About Web Hosting Before You Buy One

I have been blogging for about 7 years. During that period, I experienced different types of situation — especially about dealing with many technical stuff. Let’s take the technical aspects of blogs. In my early years, I tried many blog services. And, when I wanted to move forward, I decided to get my first domain and hosting account. But, sometime I was unlucky because I got a bad service — bad uptime, not-responsive support staff, expensive service, etc.
These days, there are many hosting providers out there. Each of them offers many great features, discounts, and the price — sometimes — does not make any sense. The whole idea is that we — as customer — get many options of hosting providers. If we want to buy domain or hosting account, the process is very easy. The difficult part is getting the best service. Sometime, it’s easy. But, it can be tricky at the same time. Reading as many information about webhosting might be the best practice we can do. Just to make sure that we will make the best decision. For example, get the difference between Linux web hosting and windows web hosting.
There are many resources about web hosting articles, one of them is Web Hosting Articles & Tutorials. This site is provided by Web Hosting Rating. There are many useful articles, and those give us answers on common situation in choosing web hosting service. For example, we have a limited budget. A cheap web hosting account might be our solution. There is an article about finding reliable cheap web hosting. The article gives good information to consider:

When looking for a good web host, see if they provide 24-hour support and then proceed onto checking the response rate by sending a ticket with a question and seeing how long it takes for them to reply. The reason for this is simple – you want to get help as quickly as possible if you encounter any problems, or if the host has any problems.

If we question ourselves whether cheap web hosting is good or not, there is another information about this. Sometime, cheap web hosting can be good. Again, choosing a web hosting can be very tricky. It’s always good to spend few hours reading references. The website I mentioned offers many useful articles and it’s not only about choosing cheap or expensive web hosting. It also has articles about cPanel tutorials, domain names, etc. What makes it better is that it is using blog-like design. As bloggers — or even non-bloggers — this should be good because the articles are well-organized.

Image styling in blog entry

When we write an article in our blog, sometime we insert images/photos to support our article. And this can be done easily, no matter what blogging platform we use. For example, using WordPress we can upload image using uploader tool, and with few clicks the image will go to entry editing screen. For better formatting purposes, we can manage how inserted objects should be displayed: floating left, right or in the center. For example, see the image below:

The above image is constructed using HTML codes like this:

<p><img src="/path/to/image/file.jpg" alt="Alternate Text" align="left" /></p>
<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Quisque mollis. Sed ut eros at ante congue vehicula.

Or, something like this:

<p><img src="/path/to/image/file.jpg" alt="Alternate Text" style="float: left;" /></p>
<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Quisque mollis. Sed ut eros at ante congue vehicula.

There are many alternatives to have such output. We can use style="float: left;", align="left", align="right", etc. Is it what you want? Probably, yes. But, do you notice that the text is attached to the image? Do you want to insert some space there so that it can please your readers? Now, let’s compare with this image.