Tag Archives: wordpress

WordPress and Tumblr

Matt Mullenweg,Β founderΒ of WordPress pointed out in an interview recently that WordPress was going to be able to integrate more closely with Tumblr. Now having been getting to grips with Tumblr lately and therefore being much more active there than here in recent months – that grabbed my attention.

My feeling is these are two very different beasts. Tumblr makes it very easy to share/save content as well as providing the longer form writing capability of WordPress. That shared content makes it really easy to post content without needed to spend much time actually thinking (and therefore hopefully providing value!). That lower barrier makes Tumblr an interesting browsing tool but a much less useful place to make you stop and think. It is like comparing Techcrunch with Pandodaily.Β πŸ™‚

There is a place for both, but I wonder if there is something to be said for keeping these different approaches separate from each other. With that said, Tumblr attempts to solve this by giving you the ability to have a link to your “longer form” writing only. I’ll take a stab at combining over here in WordPress and see how it shapes out.

For those wanting to do the same, whilst it is built in to WordPress.com blogs by default, you will have to install a plugin for self-hosted WordPress blogs. You can get it here.

my 10 favourite wordpress plugins

Versions of this post have been sitting in my drafts for years.. it was interesting to go back and see the plugins I could not do without compared to today though I found that actually there haven’t been that many that have changed. Just new ones have come in and added to the funcitonality of WordPress.

Here are my favourite 10 today.

1. Akismet

I can’t really not mention Akismet. Made by the developers at Automattic, it stops spam in its tracks and is simple to use. What more do you need?

2. Disqus

I have dabbled with all the different third party social commenting tools over the years – Intense Debate, JS-Kit and Disqus – and lost comments as a result – but disqus seems to have a good balance of community vs features. There is of course Echo on the scene – which you can see here, which tracks reactions around the web – but whereas I initially thought it might blow Disqus out of the water, I am not so convinced now. Disqus already has that functionality. I think Disqus is already in a strong position to compete and grow.

3. All-in-One SEO pack

For all those SEO tweaks to help with your search rankings. Given the majority of people who reach this site come from search, its a pretty important part of the mix for me. I don’t use it enough.

4. Feedburner feedsmith

Another simple plugin which does what it says on the tin. Diverts people connecting to WordPress‘ RSS feed to my feedburner account. Keeps everyone in one place – handy if I ever want to change URLs. It also allows me to track the number of subscribers and measure interaction with my RSS feed. (The URL to the page hosting the plugin seems to have disappeared πŸ™ )

5. Google Analyticator

I have used a few Google Analytics plugins over the years and recently switched to this one, mainly as I saw it get a mention within a Google blog – its as good a recommendation as you will find πŸ˜‰

6. Google XML Sitemaps

One of those that helps make sure the various search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask) get updates of changes to your website.

7. Tweetmeme

I have used Sharethis in the past but this reduces the barriers to sharing even further (albeit with the loss of sharing with other networks) – from a rollover and click to just a click πŸ˜‰

8. WordPress Mobile Edition

iphones, androids.. they can all surf the real web.. none of that WAP stuff of years gone by but that doesn’t mean you cant make the interface more easy to read.

9. WP Super cache

Cache your blog, reduce the load on your blog server and increase the number of visitors your blog is capable of dealing with.

10. Zemanta

I started using Zemanta again last week. It adds value to your blog posts (links, images, related links). Before it did it in a way to really seemed to highlight Zemanta everywhere. Now it is more subtle and just as usable. This one looks like it might stay a while this time.

I think it is worth doing this post annually to see how it changes even if it means I might have to increase it to my favourite 15 πŸ˜‰

Moving hosted WordPress to another domain in 9 easy steps

The domain move is complete – you as a reader probably have not noticed it all being well. All razorshine.com links should forward invisibly to the new riazkanani.com domain (in technical terms, the razorshine.com is using a 301 permanent redirect) and the existing feed should still work πŸ™‚ I would lov it if you could update your feed to this URL instead though: feeds.riazkanani.com/riazkanani

So how did I do it? Well there were plenty of options out there on the web for how to do this, but I think I have found an efficient way to do this:

  2. Download the files and edit the wp-config.php file in the root directory. Change the database details from the old to the new domain. Note, if you are creating a new wordpress installation inside the same database, you will need to just change the table prefix (makes life harder later so avoid if you can!).
  3. Copy all your files from your old domain to the new domain.
  4. Backup and export your old database.
  5. Create a new database and import the old content into it. (Note: if you are using one database, you will need to edit the file you exported and rename each of the tables to the new prefix – I really do not recommend this option though!).
  6. Edit the wp_options table and change any occurance of the old domain to be your new domain (I just found siteurl, fileupload_realpath and fileupload_url).
  7. I didn’t seem to catch everything in the tables, so go to settings>general inside your WordPress admin area (newdomain/wp-admin) and make sure all the values there show the new domain.
  8. Finally 2 options:
    a. Download the Moving Your Blog plugin and install it on your old domain. Change the settings for this plugin to point to your new domain. Now any links coming into your old domain will revert to the new one. You can now delete all the old plugins, themes etc and reduce the WordPress installation on the old domain to be its most basic. This method does mean though that you need to keep an installation of WordPress running on the old domain.
    b. Add this line to your .htacces file (should be in your wordpress folder): RewriteRule (.*) http://www.newdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L] after the RewriteEngine On line. Warning: This will keep the old domain in the address bar after the redirect.
  9. Go update all your links across the web πŸ˜‰

That is it, except in my case (and possibly yours) where I have 2 additional services I use on my blog. Feedburner and 3rd party comments. Here is what I did:

Feedburner: I changed the existing Feedburner feed url to point to my new domain. That meant existing subscribers will get the new content from the existing feed URL. But, as I did not want that URL long term, I also created a new feed at feeds.riazkanani.com/riazkanani and set that up as my new feed on all my links on the blog. The downside to doing this is slowly you will have to persuade people to move to the new one!

3rd party comments: I have used both Intense Debate and Disqus in the past. The good news is they both sync comments back to WordPress so when I moved the database all the comments came with me inside my WordPress database. If you want to use the same commenting account as before, it is as simple as reactivating whichever of the plugin you want to use. Again I wanted to use a different account (why make my life easy!) so I changed the settings and set it to import back to first Disqus (only 20 comments synced) and then after switching off Disqus,Β  I tried Intense Debate which seems to just be sitting there doing nothing. I guess I will have to update this post once that completes πŸ˜‰ Disqus have offered to manually import the comments. It would be nice to know why they didnt import in the first place though!