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.

WordPress plugin : Google XML Sitemaps 4.0 significant changes

One of the most popular WordPress plugins – Google XML Sitemap – has recently been upgrade to version 4.0, with some significant changes.  Here is the quote from the changelog:

New in Version 4.0 (2014-03-30):

  • No static files anymore, sitemap is created on the fly!
  • Sitemap is split-up into sub-sitemaps by month, allowing up to 50.000 posts per month!
  • Support for custom post types and custom taxonomis!
  • 100% Multisite compatible, including by-blog and network activation.
  • Reduced server resource usage due to less content per request.
  • New API allows other plugins to add their own, separate sitemaps.
  • Note: PHP 5.1 and WordPress 3.3 is required! The plugin will not work with lower versions!
  • Note: This version will try to rename your old sitemap files to *-old.xml. If that doesn’t work, please delete them manually since no static files are needed anymore!