WordPress 4.5 “Coleman”

WordPress 4.5 “Coleman” – the newest WordPress version has been released (I’ve just upgraded).  Some of the changes included in this release are:

  • New and improved user interface for editing links in posts and pages.
  • More Markdown-like shortcuts for formatting text (now with code and horizontal lines).
  • Logo support in themes
  • Much improved image optimizations (initially expected in WordPress 4.4)
  • Better embed templates
  • Update for underlying libraries, such as jQuery, Backbone, and Underscore.

If you already manage a WordPress website, you’ll find the notification of the update in your admin area.  If not, then go and download it.

Jetpack annual report for mamchenkov.net in 2015

This year’s Jetpack annual report for this blog is ready – have a look.  Here’s a teaser:

blog stats 2015

It’s been a busy year, so I haven’t been blogging as much as I wanted to, but overall, I think I did good (have a look at 2014 and 2013).  Just to give you a quick comparison:

Metric 2013 2014 2015
Visitors 58,000 81,000 96,000
Posts 560 628 541

I blog mostly for myself, but it’s nice to see a slight grow in traffic. Although the fact that the most popular post in this blog throughout the years – how to check Squid proxy version – is a little concerning, yet funny.  Well, at least people still find my “Vim for Perl developers” useful, even though it’s been more than 10 years since I wrote that (and probably five years since I promised to update it soon).

But as I said, I’m quite satisfied with my blogging this year.  Hopefully I can continue to do the same in 2016.


WordPress 4.3 “Billie” is out

The brand new and shiny version 4.3 of WordPress is out, bringing more bells and whistles to Customizer, formatting shortcuts to the editor (looks like Markdown made its mark), and more.

I’ve upgraded and also switched this site to Twenty Fifteen theme, just to see how it all works.  No coding customization done yet – only whatever is available through the mouse clicks.

Grouped tags and categories

Just a quick update on something that I wanted to do for quite a while now – I’ve joined the display of tags and categories.  They are still separated in the back-end for me to manage the posts easier.  I just figured out that for site visitors there’s no practical difference, and thus using two user interface elements where one can do the job is not ideal.  The code snippet that helped me do that was borrowed (and slightly modified) from this Codex page.  The only two change that I did were:

  • Skip the General category (or All, as it’s labeled in this case), since all posts belong to it anyway.
  • Skip post format taxonomy (as those are already encoded with post styling – colors and titles).

I’ve also thrown a copyright into the footer and a small welcome box to the sidebar, but those are just cosmetics.

Replacing Instagram plugin

WP Instagram Digest out. DsgnWrks Instagram Importer in. The old plugin was working more or less fine, but it lacked a bit in customization and in support of the somewhat newer WordPress features.  After stumbling upon this blog post, I decided it was time to try something new.

Some of the reasons for the replacement:

  • Import each individual Instagram photo separately, rather than a gallery.  Galleries are complicated, and often doesn’t look too good, especially with narrow WordPress themes, like the one I’m using now.
  • Customize title and content of the post.  The new plugin supports Instagram filters (which I won’t use) and locations (which I will).
  • Hashtag handling – the new plugin can strip off hashtags from post titles and content, and, instead use them as tags and or categories.
  • Support for post types – having them now as Image post type makes more sense (I’ve also converted all the previous posts too).

Performance improvements

Just wanted to let you all know that I’ve made a couple of changes recently, which should result in a somewhat faster performance of this site.

Firstly, before the last weekend, I’ve moved all my DNS hosting to Amazon Route 53 service.  This should result in faster DNS queries all around the globe and minimize the potential downtimes.

Secondly, I’ve installed and configured the JS & CSS Optimizer WordPress plugin, which now results in much fewer HTTP requests needed to load the page, as well as fewer bytes to be transferred around.   I’m still tweaking the settings for this one to see how much I can squeeze out of it, but I already see an improvement.

As always, if you see any issues, please let me know.

Trying out Flounder

I’m trying out the Flounder WordPress theme for my blog.  It’ll take a few moments for me to configure everything, so please don’t get annoyed just yet.  Theme options are fine, but it looks like I have a few issues with custom post types, which aren’t matching my previous theme (Favepersonal).  I’ll update this post once I’m done – that’ll be the time to report the issues.


Update (April 9, 2014, 01:47am): most of it works now.  There are still a couple of small quirks for me to fix, but feel free to let me know if you see anything wrong.

Quick server update

And here is the moment we’ve all been waiting for … every single site on this server is now served by Nginx.  Of course, there is Apache behind for now to smooth out the migration, but The World Domination is right around the corner.

P.S.: Placeholder websites are served by another instance of Nginx, which runs inside an OpenVZ virtual machine.

P.P.S.: Can anybody make any sense out if it?