Welcome to HTTPS

Finally, after years and years of recommending Let’s Encrypt to everyone, this blog has now followed its own advice and moved to HTTPS. All the old links should be automatically redirected as well, so most people probably won’t notice any difference. But if you do, please do let me know.

And now on to the Facebook Page


As I mentioned earlier, sharing of the posts from this blog to Facebook stopped working a while back, due to the changes in the Facebook API and polices.  Rather than completely giving up on it or continue with the annoying manual sharing, I’ve decided to try the Facebook Page approach (which I’d much rather not).

So, lo and behold, here comes the @MamchenkovBlog Facebook Page.  I’m sure it’ll take me a while to find the best way of using it, if there even is one.  Please bear with me until I figure this one out.  And, as always, if you have any tips or suggestions – do send them my way.

P.S.: This post is a test of the sharing to Facebook Page functionality.

Instagram Importer works again!


After some digging around and troubleshooting, I managed to fix the DsgnWrks Instagram Importer WordPress plugin on my site.  It turns out quite a few people had an issue with it, which started back in September/October of last year (2017).  The solution, they say, is just to remove the authenticated Instagram user from the plugin settings, and add it again.  I’m not quite sure if that’s the only thing that helped, as I’ve adjusted quite a few other things all around (HAProxy timeouts, Nginx timeouts, PHP maximum execution time, etc).  But it seems like the right thing to start with.

Keep in mind that you should backup the current user’s settings for the plugin (screenshot or save the page as HTML or just copy-paste them somewhere), because they will be reset to the defaults when the user is re-added.

I have just now imported about 40 Instagram pictures that weren’t synchronized since the last September.  Enjoy!

It’s been quiet around here


I have to admit, it’s been quiet around here for the last few weeks… even months.  There is no one specific reason – it’s more of a combination of a few.

The main one being … you guessed it: WORK!  I’ve been extremely busy at work lately and didn’t have a spare moment to even read the feeds, let alone blog on my own.

The rest – just contributed: this year being rich in friends and family visiting Cyprus, me moving to a new phone, Facebook changing their policy on publishing to profiles via third-party tools, and even Instagram Importer WordPress plugin suddenly not synchronizing any more.

This is not how I like my blog.  I like it to have fresh links, posts, and pictures on a daily basis.  Or at least weekly.  Going on for almost two month without posts (with one or two exceptions) is not acceptable.  So, I’ll be back.  Now.  I promise.

This blog will not contribute to the “blogging is dead” myth. :)

Plugins spring cleaning


I’ve done a little spring cleaning of some plugins installed and activated on this site.  You shouldn’t notice much of a difference, except, maybe, fewer quirks and issues.  Here are some of the plugins that were removed:

  • Smart YouTube Pro – it was only used in a couple of posts for easier embedding of YouTube playlists.  Since I installed and used this plugin, WordPress got much better at embedding videos, so I don’t need it anymore.
  • Smart 404 – I think I used it with one of the previous themes on this site, but I can’t even remember last time I saw it working.  The 404 page of the current theme features a search form, which I think is good enough.
  • PayPal Donations – this was an experiment I tried ages and ages ago.  No need for this at all for quite some time now.
  • Related Posts By Tags – I used this with one of the previous themes, but it’s been ages since, and I think even the plugin is discontinued now.
  • Social – the plugin has been discontinued and the functionality was moved to JetPack.  I had this one disabled for quite some time now.
  • WP-Polls – this was yet another experiment I tried years ago.  There were a few polls with a few votes, which prevented me from removing this plugin.  But today I thought I’d do a compromise.  I replaced all polls with the screenshot of voting results for the purposes of data preservation. :)  Now I don’t need the plugin anymore and it’s gone.

That’s 6 plugins fewer – not bad.  Especially considering that some of them were quite heavy on the rendering side of things, and they were inserting useless CSS and JavaScript assets into every page of this site.  I think I should do it more often.