More polish with WordPress plugins

I am still polishing a few things here and there on this site. If you don’t follow my Twitter stream, then here is a quick update for you since I wrote about it the last time.

  • Installed 404 Notifier plugin. When somebody hits a non-existing page on my site (Error 404 – Not Found), I get an email telling me which page was missing, from where the visitor came, and what browser he used. Since I don’t have the time to monitor my web server logs closely, it was often that I missed something and didn’t know about it. Now, this plugin tells me if I need to fix something. First few days were a real something for my Inbox, but it seems that things are slowing down. Most of the stuff has been fixed and now it’s mostly notifications from SPAM bots and references from some really old web sites.
  • Installed Search Unleashed plugin (and removed Search Hilight plugin). Search Unleashed provides an extended (and much needed) functionality for WordPress searching. First of all, it does plenty of highlighting. When you search for something on this site, or if you came to this site from search results of one of the major search engines, you’ll see your query highlighted on the page. Secondly, Search Unleashed extends searching with patterns. So instead of searching for “Limassol” and then “Limasos”, you can now search for “Limas*”. You can also use quotes to search for an exact phrase. And you can even use some logic operators. If you are interested in these things, check plugin’s page for more information.
  • Installed WP-Cache plugin. This one should have improved the speed of the site quite a bit. Unfortunately, I can’t make sure of that myself, as my Internet connection is the real bottleneck. However, I do have a feeling that loading of the front page is a bit faster. On the other hand, I get a feeling that posting a comment now is a bit slower. If you noticed any speed changes here in the last few days, please let me know in the comments.
  • Installed Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator plugin. This one should help Google (and a couple of other search engines that support the standard) to index the web site better. Hopefully, this will bring more people to the site and increase the number of comments we have here.
  • Installed WP_PingPreserver plugin. I often publish posts with links to a few previous articles, and when I do it, only the first of the articles gets a pingback. With this plugin, all of the linked articles should be pinged.
  • Fixed Google Analytics code. Now my statistics will work again and I’ll know better who visits the site, when, from where, and why. Spotting problems will also be much easier.
  • Fixed plenty of links. Mostly these were links to my old photo albums. Before, I used to have them on my server, but then moved them to my Flickr photo stream. The links in the old posts were broken until recently. Now you’ll be redirected to the appropriate section in my Flickr archives.
  • Added protection from some major SPAM bots and other “bad guys”. This was done through .htaccess file with many of the tips coming from this article. If you suddenly get a “Forbidden” error message or get redirected somewhere that you shouldn’t, please let me know via comments. If comments don’t work for you, send me an email, SMS, or IM.

Update: Oh, and I’m still moving things around the sidebars.  This should stop eventually…

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