I’ve done a couple of more changes to the site:
- Links in posts content are now bold. This has been bugging me since the first day I started using this theme, but I never found time until now to actually fix it. Looking through the post, links are now easily identifiable – no need to move your mouse over every word you think has a different color shade.
- Did some magic for Google to pick up the rich text snippet for the author. Hopefully, after the next time it indexes the site, there will be my little avatar right next to blog links in results. While I new the generic steps to do so, this post was helpful. Let’s see if it works now.
… just because there is nothing better to do at 5am, and WordPress 3.6 is not here yet.
- Replaced Lightbox 2 plugin with Fancybox for WordPress. Lightbox worked fine, but had an annoying conflict with the images in the “About me” section. Now it all looks nice and dandy.
- Removed featured posts section from the header. I keep forgetting to use those, and having featured posts from last year seems a little awkward. Maybe I’ll bring them back later.
I’ve also wanted to try the Infinite Scroll plugin from WordPress Jetpack, but apparently my theme does not support it yet. So I’ll leave it for Facebook and Twitter for now.
It’s been a while since I posted any milestones for this blog, so here you go.
Yup, according to WordPress stats, my blog pages have been viewed a 1,000,000 times. Now, they were probably viewed way more than that in the full version of the history, but the plugin that counts them was only installed in 2007, if I remember correctly. Also, there used to be a period of time when this blog was served via an external cache, so only a few of the visitors triggered a real page request.
Still, it’s nice to see the number build up.
According the graph above, I’m getting significantly fewer visitors in the last year or so. That’s because I’ve been running between several jobs and side projects, and at some point nearly stopped blogging completely. But I am back now, so that should go up as well.
Just upgraded to WordPress 3.5. Everything looks faster and more polished. Let me know if you see any misbehavior.
For a while now I enjoyed automated Instagram Digest posts in Yana’s blog. I’ve decided I want the same for my blog too. A quick Google search suggests that these are done with WP Instagram Digest plugin. So I’ve downloaded and installed it.
The configuration is not too complicated. You’ll need to login into your Instagram account and then go to the developer’s center to register the application and receive the API key and secret token. Hopefully, eventually this will be a part of automatic configuration, but not yet. Once you do that, you get can configure the plugin to run at certain times and post to specific category and/or with specific tags. The cool thing is that you can control the minimum number of new images needed to create a gallery posting. This feature will prevent empty posts or posts with a single image.
I had to consider if these kinds of posts would be too annoying. Firstly, I already have an Instagram widget. That looks nice, but it doesn’t really send out any notifications. Secondly, when I publish to Instagram I often cross-post the image to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and sometimes Foursquare. I don’t really want to annoy the people with both the individual photos and the digests. Thirdly, my blog posts are broadcast to Twitter and Facebook, and sometimes Google+. So, would it be too annoying? I guess not. Because since I’ve switched the Social 2.5 plugin, my blog posts aren’t broadcast to Twitter and Facebook automatically – I push them through with a click of a mouse. So, I guess, I just won’t be pushing the digest posts through and all should be fine.
The first Instagram digest will be out today at 21:00 (server time). Let’s see how it shows up. Hopefully it will also work well with the Lightbox plugin for the image popups. Curious…
P.S.: I’ve also introduced a separate category (Photography->Instagram) for these digests and a new tag – “automated” – that I will try to use for any kind of automated postings.
Yet another downtime. Apparently my VPS went a bit crazy yesterday, and the hosting company suspended it. I’ve had it with the VPS hosting. It’s time I move over to the dedicated server. The arrangements are being made.
Since I’ve recommended CloudFlare on this blog quite a few times, I thought it would be fair to let you guys know that I’ve removed my site from CloudFlare yesterday. The domain management is back to GoDaddy.
Why? Well, now that CloudFlare is getting bigger by the day, it seems to be getting more and more attacks and partial downtimes globally. There are also a few temporary quirks happening every now and then, where connections would get reset and such. Not that these are too annoying to have, but not knowing whether an issue with the site is a CloudFlare one or not – that’s annoying to me. I can live with my site not working right, as long as I know what exactly the problem is. Because if I know where the problem is, I usually know how to fix it and how much time it will take. When its a CloudFlare issue, I am out of the loop and I am out of control. And that I can’t have. Even if that happens rarely.
Regarding my recommendation to use CloudFlare, I still stand behind it. I think that if you haven’t tried the service, you definitely should. And, you especially should if your site has global audience and you don’t have technical team in place.
Back a few month ago I ran the poll on how much you guys hate my automated digests – daily posts that were aggregating my Twitter activity (which in turn was aggregating all my other online activity). And you guys clearly voted that you hated the digests so much. I heard you loud and clear. Since then, the digests were switched into the weekly mode, where they weren’t as annoying anymore.
Today, I am giving you more good news – I have completely disabled them. As I mentioned previously, my new blog theme now supports custom post types, such as status updates, quotes, videos, images, and links. I am using these post types now to publish directly on the blog, and then push content to Twitter and Facebook. Because of this, there is pretty much no other activity on my Twitter (except a few replies and re-tweets here and there). And thus, Twitter digests became obsolete. This one is the last one I’ll have. Until something changes again …
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Crowd Favorite for their awesome Twitter Tools plugins, which I am now disabling in favor of Crowd Favorite’s WordPress theme and Social 2.5 plugin.
I’ve noticed that the site got a bit slower in the last few month. That’s probably because more and more is thrown onto the poor server. Anyways, I’ve just installed WP Super Cache plugin, which should make things a bit faster again. As always, please, let me know if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
Welcome to the new look of mamchenkov.net! Before I tell you the long story, here is a customary front page screenshot (because, practice shows, it won’t look anything like that in a few days).
So, now for the long story. First of all, why, why the change? As always, for a number of reasons.
Continue reading “FavePersonal 1.1 – new look, old feel”