4.3 update

I updated to WP 4.3 yesterday and found that one of my plugins ceased working, it also stopped the website from loading, both the blog and admin pages.
So I decided that I would raise a ticket to let the developer know there was an issue with the plugin:

I’m very happy that the problem has been fixed, but can’t say that I was ecstatic with the developers comment, seeing as my feedback was the first one posted after I’d checked to ensure there wasn’t one already raised. (The post ID’s give it away).

Perhaps I’m just in a grumpy mood today, as I often have to deal with many cases of people not reading things correctly, getting the wrong end of the stick or just ignoring the facts in-front of them. Normally these are my customers so it’s hard to rant at their complete lack of understanding or attention to detail, and you just have to point out their mistake.

I felt a little dissuaded from raising feedback in the future.

#software #sitenews #wordpress #plugins

More plugin fun

So after my toe-dipping exercise into making a plugin to cater for adding text to the publicize functionality, I decide to build a proper admin screen for the plugin, which I have to admit wasn’t as complex as I first thought it would be.

First up was the text to be inserted, I found out that spaces were being striped of the text I’d entered so I added some toggles to handle this. I also wanted to see what the end result would look like without having to create a new post to do so. Here is the latest version.


Since I was on a roll I turned my focus to another hard-coded feature of my site, the “What I’m Playing” widget. This one is a little tricker as I had to make the widget appear in the widget menu (another first for me) and then create an admin panel to populate the information from. I could have build it dynamically to allow an unlimited number of multiple entries, bt as I only tend to have a handful which I update as I go I decided to just go with a limit of 6 but usually it’s only ever 3.

game plugin admin

The image dropdown is loaded in from a list of images in a particular folder, again I feel it’s nice to see the changes in the same page so you can spot any problems after saving a little quicker.

Mid-Blaugust Lull

In the years since I started running my own website the available software has become so much easier to interact with for those wanting to run their own blog. Hosting companies now offer system such as Installatron or Softaculous that allow One-Click setups of popular open source software ranging from blogging software such as WordPress to shopping cart software.

Once got into the inner workings of my static website, I bit the bullet and decided to code the backend of my website in PHP, it was a new language to me and in all honesty soaked up more time that I would like to think about.
However I designed and built a multi-user environment which granted the users of my website the ability to create posts via a WYSIWYG editor and upload images.

wordpressI have to say I was very happy with it considering my programming background was in Mainframe systems and desktop applications.As the web evolved the requirement to maintain such a system became a burden and I eventually moved over to a 3rd party software system. This was basic but handled the functionality I needed, plus had a theming and extension system.

The main problem I had with this software at the time was it was a pain to update and at one point my site was compromised and I ended up having to rebuild from scratch, thankfully my database and posts were intact and I moved them to WordPress.

Skip forward to now and the latest incarnation of the WordPress which is on the verge of releasing Version 4. The software can update without the need to download and install updates.
Wordpress hosted Extensions and Themes can be added on the fly, again without the need for any FTP software.
You can configure the software to automatically update everything without you needing to lift a finger.

There are many enough ways you can modify code and presentation to you’re liking in the time to takes to drink your coffee.


The reason this post came about was my wife wanted a website for her recipes, so it’s easier to share with friends and family, but also quick to pull up on a tablet or phone, for your on the fly shopping lists.

In the space of 12 hours we’d managed to build a website in WordPress that met her requirements, there are quite a few Plugins that offer similar things but in the end it was easy to go with simple posts for each, following a standard template that we hard coded for each post. We picked a suitable theme and added some custom CSS for the finishing touch. If you like you can take a look : http://flyinpinkmunki.co.uk/grubsup/


We have passed the Blaugust halfway mark, well done to all those taking part in the event. I have to say the first 13 days weren’t too bad especially with 3 days of travelling recently, however that said the last 2 felt rather awkward and weren’t very forth-coming. Hopefully now we are on the home stretch the creative ideas will flow freely.

#Blaugust #Hosting #Wordpress

Blogging with WordPress

Since migrating my blog to WordPress I haven’t regretted the decision. Mine of course is a hosted blog rather then using a free or hosted one over at http://wordpress.com.

The good thing is much of the process is now automated, updates automatically install, of if you rather it will prompt you to update. In the old days when you needed to download the update, migrate the files to the server using FTP and hope that nothing broke in the process.

Via the application

The editor in WordPress is very good, infact compared to many editors it’s leaps ahead. Editing a new post is usually a straight forward process and you can adjust the editing box size as needed.

Another option that has been introduced is the “Distraction free writing” mode that removes all the surrounding menus and options to help you focus on the writing. If you combine this with the feature that many Browser have now to enter full screen mode, you can make it truly distraction free. (For Windows machine F11, For Macs fn+ F11).

3rd Party blogging tools

There aren’t that many 3rd party clients that are maintained nowadays. Following advice from CopperBird during the original Newbie Blogger Initiative, I downloaded and installed Microsoft’s Live Writer software. If you want to give this a try you can get it here http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/confirmation.aspx?id=8621, you can just install the Live Writer element of the install by selecting custom install and unchecked the other elements.

The software is simple and handles most of the functionality I need,  you are able to upload drafts or publish straight to your blog if you’d rather. It’s quite a useful tool if you don’t want to to have to be online as drafts are saved locally, useful if you are on a laptop with no internet connection.

Android App

The WordPress App is rather helpful, I tend to use the one on my phone for jotting down ideas and on occasion hitting publish on a pre-written post. I also use the application on my Nexus where I tend to write up drafts of new posts. Of course most of the spelling and writing issues may stem from how well you and your auto-correct get on, or if you are on a bus.

Now I shall share with you a few words of warning on using the mobile application (At least Android) as there are a few bugbears that I feel I should tell you about:

  1. The default status for a new post is Published, so if you upload it to your Blog it will be published immediately, alter this in post settings (cog symbol)
  2. It’s not initially clear how the saving and updating posts works, if you exit a post and it prompts to save with a Yes, No & Discard box this will save locally to your device, you instead need to hit the send button to upload it to the server (Remember about the draft status if you do)
  3. On the setting for each post it stored the date and time, this can often get set to the last edit date and time, if you go into the settings and press immediately this will not set the fields until you publish
#NBI #Wordpress

Haunted WordPress

Lost my ability to insert media item into WordPress posts and numerous searches along the lines of “wordpress “Add Media” pop up window is blank” retuened a mixrture of possible answers to my plight, not only that but the custom CSS function of the core Jetpack build wasn’t inserting the CSS correctly, thus nerfing my ability to tailor the page for myself.

Of course many online page suggested a number of ways to rectify the fault and after removing all plugins, reverting themes I was truly considering nuking the site from orbit. I’d not considered these issues related as I’d never used the customs CSS before so had no expectation on that front so my may focus was on the media gallery.

So as I was plotting the best way to back everything up and re-install from scratch, I thought that I’d use the updater build into WordPress to re-apply the latest build to my website. It was worth a shot, despite nobody instructing this action.

Thankfully the root cause looked to be a file or two that weren’t correctly updated with the automatic updates.