Tag Archives: wordpress

WordPress 4.7.2 was released last week. As usual I was aware of it and decided I would upgrade manually at some point very soon.

Call me complacent, but I’ve run WordPress on this site since 2008 and never fallen foul to the many security vulnerabilities that have plagued WordPress’s reputation. (He says, jinxing himself).

I was getting around to upgrading, but was given a stern reminder this morning in the form of this BBC news article. That got me out of bed pretty quickly.

In the Release Notes for 4.7.2 (bullet point 4) you will see that a very serious flaw has been fixed. It should probably read “You WILL be hacked TODAY if you don’t upgrade NOW”, because you will, and I was.

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I’m sure there are more than enough emoticon and Emoji plugins for WordPress, but as I’ve written before rendering Emoji with your own assets comes with copyright problems. Short version: Apple and Microsoft own the copyright to the Emoji artworks in their operating system fonts.

After successfully creating a web font from the Apache-licensed Android Emoji font and spotting the ace Phantom Open Emoji project, I bundled together a WordPress plugin that can display these icon sets to visitors on any system.

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After submitting my Latest Tweets plugin to the WordPress directory last week, I thought I’d do another one.

My “Latest Vines” plugin displays your Vine videos in a sidebar widget. Clicking the thumbnails plays the video in situ, and clicking the date takes you to the page on vine.co.

Download it from wordpress.org

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If your WordPress site displays your latest tweets, or uses any kind of unofficial Twitter widget, you should check it supports the new API. You should do this today. If your plugin is not up to date with the new API, it WILL stop working on or shortly after March 5th. I’m not trying to scare you – it is a thing.

Doing a quick search for ‘latest tweets‘ in the WordPress plugin directory the top five results do not support the new Twitter API. Sorting the list by the newest plugins, only one in the first four is compatible. Just this handful will account for thousands of broken sites come next week.

Here’s how to check yours.

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I’ve noticed in the last couple of years that the previously excellent spam filter Akismet for WordPress has become less effective.

I have wondered if the rise of embedded solutions like Facebook comments has caused Akismet to miss out on useful data, but perhaps it’s just the spammers getting cleverer.

Either way – I didn’t want to install Facebook comments on my blog and I didn’t want spam comments either. Even when they do get caught they still use up disk space and emptying thousands of spam comments every month is just irritating.

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I’ve been working on some WordPress builds for clients recently and decided it was a bit ridiculous that my own website didn’t have a custom theme.

Despite my utter contempt for WordPress as a piece of software, building a simple theme that behaves largely like a blog is not too hard. This one took about a day and I only had to throw one monitor out the window. (acceptable).

It’s not beautiful, but here it is …

Surprise – it’s grey.

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The final stage in speeding up my blog was to add some serious caching to the front of it. This may even have been overkill, because it was already pretty swift under nginx/php-fpm, but cutting out the database connections would speed it up even more.

I had a quick go with the W3 Total Cache WordPress plug-in, but it seems rather biased to running Apache (which I’m not) and I experienced some strange errors that I failed to immediately fix. Rather than wrestle with it, or try other WordPress caches, I decided to get to grips with Varnish. This is something I’d been meaning to do for ages, and of course it isn’t limited to WordPress – Varnish is a fabulous caching solution for whatever site you’re building.

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As part of my “speeding up my blog” series, I planned to write a nice, informative post about upgrading to WordPress 3, deploying your theme to a CDN, and getting it all running under nginx. Unfortunately WordPress irritated me so much in the process, that this has turned into more of rant. Sorry in advance.

I have a like/hate relationship with WordPress. That is to say that it does a lot, it has a great admin area and there’s a large community producing themes and plug-ins. However, I am a PHP developer of many years, and every time I come into direct contact with the core WordPress code-base I end up being sick in my mouth.

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