I’m playing with plugins to make Instagram show up more reliably on WordPress. Thus far the Instagram add-on for Envira Gallery is my favorite.

Envira Gallery has a lite version that is very good, but you’ll need premium to get the Instagram add-on.

If you are looking for free (and more than just Instagram), you might want to check out the Feed Them Social (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc) plugin.

WordPress Plugins

Restoring the Media Library

In migrating a WordPress site to a different WordPress site, I ran into an issue with the media library. It didn’t migrate!

I downloaded the backup, extracted the files, placed them in the proper file structure, and uploaded them via FTP to the server. I figured this would be the simplest way to go about it. I was a tiny bit wrong.

I remember having this issue before, and there’s a whiz-bang fix for it. The Add to Server plugin. The catch: This plugin hasn’t been updated in a year or tested for the last 3 versions of WordPress. Also, there’s this comment on the plugin page:

Please Note: This plugin is not designed to replace the media uploader. This plugin is not designed to be used for migration of sites. This plugin is not designed to re-import your media upload history. This plugin is not designed to Batch import your media. Etc. This plugin is 8 years old and designed for importing singular large files which could not be uploaded through the administration interface.

I found an article (older, yes) that used the plugin the way I’m thinking to use. So, I decided to test out the Add to Server plugin, anyway. It still works! It’s clunky, but it works. Be prepared to sift through each folder of uploads individually, and you can’t select the imported time to the file’s date as default. You have to select that option with each and every folder. It’s tedious work, but it works!


  • Have a scratch pad handy to help you keep track of where you are in the file structure.
  • Uninstall this plugin when you completed your restoration project. Keep the plugin in mind, but don’t keep it installed.

Is there a better way to do this? I’m not sure, but I hope so. That idea is going into my research pile. Do you have any ideas? I’d love to hear them!


Secure Your WordPress Website

There are many things you can do to help secure a WordPress website. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a good start. ūüôā

Easy Steps | Every Site Should Do These!

  1. Keep WordPress, themes, and plugins updated!
  2. Use strong passwords – long, unique, kind of random. For example, misspell a word in a phrase: I!rockz2MakeFire%maaybe isn’t a terrible password. (A password manager like KeePass is a brilliant help here!)
  3. Never use “admin” for an Administrator level username
  4. Guard those administrator level logins – don’t share them willy nilly.
  5. Install a security plugin.
    I use WP Defender by WPMU.
  6. Run backups on a schedule.
    I use Snapshot by WPMU.
  7. Do not leave the database named “wp_”. Change that “wp” to anything else. Example: “jinglebells_” (I usually pick something somewhat related to the website in question.)

Moderate Steps | Not a Bad Idea

  1. Setup and utilize 2-factor authentication
  2. SSL certification (required for e-commerce sites)
  3. Google reCaptcha on the login page (also used on other forms)
  4. Remove error messages on failed login attempts
  5. Disable Login Hints
  6. Limit login attempts
  7. Limit login length (log them out after a time)

Advanced Steps | Lock it Down!

  1. If no SSL certification, then encrypt the passwords on login
  2. Limit access by IP address (.htaccess file)
  3. Custom login page and wp-admin redirect
  4. Password protect wp-admin directory
  5. Limit dashboard access

WordPress Posting to Facebook

I went on the hunt for a way to automatically post to a Facebook page (can’t do profiles anymore) from WordPress. I remember doing this before, and didn’t have it written down how I did it!

This top 10 comparison article caught my eye:

The WP Facebook Auto Publish plugin looks like a great free alternative to the King Poster plugin. I installed the free version on this website, but couldn’t get it to run with my current setup. I created the Facebook application, but it will not work with this plugin since I do not have SSL certification¬†for this site and I do not have a privacy policy in place. Both of these elements are required to get a new Facebook application off the development ground. So, that flopped.

I’m not prepared to pay for the King Poster plugin simply to test it out at this time. It definitely has potential though!

Sidebar:¬†I was a little bummed that the “Facebook Events Calendar For WordPress” plugin mentioned is no longer available. That would have been cool to try out.

Apart from this article, I found¬†Blog2Social, a free plugin for multiple platforms including Facebook. The setup for this app was much easier with a great UI for posting your blog articles. The automatic posting to Facebook comes with a subscription to one of their premium levels. The fact that their premium level offers the ability to schedule posts reminds me of CoSchedule, a plugin I’ve used in the past.

CoSchedule is a beast. It is also a premium plugin with no free version. There is a 14-day trial. Setup is incredibly easy. I remember also that managing the website and social media stuff from one place was amazing! You could do that from within WordPress or by logging into CoSchedule directly. For one user, you can get CoSchedule for $40/month. Other pricing options are available on their website.

Conclusion: Blog2Social is the way to go, with the premium options being very reasonable if those features are needed. CoSchedule is a fantastic option for and worth the additional cost if you have the budget for it.
Bonus: Both of these options offer way more than posting to Facebook.

If you know of another Facebook posting plugin I should try out, please let me know in the comments.

TwineSocial – Lovely Plugin, But Gets Expensive Fast

TwineSocial¬†is a nifty plug-in and web service that pulls your social media posts into one “campaign” and shows them off in¬†one place. I decided to test this out with my Twitter and Instagram feeds on my new Social Media Hub page.

One thing that struck me as cool is that you can pull together a campaign based on hashtags.

You’ll have to set up an account with TwineSocial to use the plug-in. There’s a free plan that allows you 3 feeds. Careful tho! They start you off with a 30 day trial allowing 8 feeds. More than 3 feeds, and you’ll need to choose a plan, and it gets expensive fast! If you want more than 3 feeds, you’ll need to pay at least $129/month! eek

TwineSocial¬†is very pretty, and I like how it isn’t just window dressing. Clicking on the social blip in question, blows it up to additional details and the ability to share it out. The interface is very slick and efficient.

For my social hub, I did nothing beyond selecting a gallery. You can customize with choosing fonts, colors, and adding in your own CSS. It looks very customizable and versatile.

I like this plug-in, but I do not like the price tag should I ever need more than 3 feeds.


Google Captcha (reCAPTCHA) Plugin for Added WordPress Security

The Google Captcha (reCAPTCHA) plugin is one way to boost site security and reduce spam. It adds a very simple to use reCAPTCHA checkbox to all forms (or some forms as you see fit). Installation and setup is very easy, and the options are straight-forward. I especially like that you can add this feature to the login page and the comments forms. Plus, you can exclude logged in users by role Рeven custom roles!

Google reCAPTCHA Plugin Options

The premium options you can buy into are nice to have, but are not necessary to make the plug-in work like a champ on basic sites.

You can get the plugin on to install manually or search “Google reCAPTCHA” through your WordPress [Add New] plugin screen. The plugin is by BestWebSoft.

Update 6/27/16:
So, I’m not overly fond of the latest update. It includes an updated menu (BWS Panel) that is moved to the top complete with an over-large icon that messes up the flow of the admin¬†menu. The “improved” menu screen¬†would probably be great if I subscribed to their services and used other plugins, but I just want the one free-version for now. I don’t appreciate this particular type of in-your-face up-selling. If you don’t mind all of the extra baggage¬†and/or you intend to “go pro,” then this is still a great plugin to use. As of today, pro membership (access to all their plugins) is $40/month and $17.95/year for the one plugin.

A great-so-far alternative is the GNA Google reCAPTCHA.

Title and NoFollow for Links in WordPress


You can easily insert title and nofollow information into each link manually via the WordPress Text editor. It goes something like this:

<a title="ADDITIONAL LINK INFORMATION" href="URL" rel="nofollow">


If you like using the WYSIWYG editor and all the tools that come with it, then you’ll love how this plugin modifies the link settings modal.

Title and NoFollow Link Settings

Here is part of the write up from WPBeginner:

Often SEO experts recommend that you use rel=‚ÄĚnofollow‚ÄĚ attribute on external links. This attribute tells search engines that they can crawl these links, but you don‚Äôt want to pass away any link authority to these websites…

Adding Title and NoFollow Fields in Insert Link Popup

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Title and Nofollow For Links plugin. It works out of the box, and there are no settings for you to configure.

Simply edit or create a new WordPress post and then click on the insert link button in the post editor. The insert link popup will appear, and you will notice the restored Title field and a checkbox to add the nofollow attribute to the link.


Link Title

I wondered at what the Title attribute actually does, and I got mixed results from my research. Some say it assists with SEO. Others say the majors search players don’t give the text in the title attribute much weight, and it doesn’t matter.

Some say it assists with accessibility, but others say screen readers don’t use it. An article titled “I thought title text improved accessibility. I was wrong.” actually makes that case fairly convincingly.

For me, I will not be using the Title attribute.


Links be default are “follow” links, which means search engines count your link to a particular website as a boost for that website in the search rankings. NoFollow means the link to a particular website will not be counted by search engines. This WordStream article defines these types of links very well, if you are interested in more reading.

The article quoted above mentions giving away “link authority” and it is further explained by the author in his comments that you would want to protect your site’s search rankings by adding NoFollow when linking to sites that you may not trust so much. Basically, if you boost too many sites that are “junk” your site’s rankings start hurting.

I will likely use NoFollow, but only sparingly.

Happy Linking!

Updated: 5/8/2016


My Review*

CleanTalk is a premium cloud-based anti-spam plug-in for your WordPress website. One giant plus is that it blocks nearly all of the spam without the use of captcha or other “prove you are human” mechanisms.

I installed and tested out the plug-in on this website, and it was pretty terrific. The plug-in was easy to install and setup. It did a great job and did not adversely affect my website.

There is a free trail period, and then the plug-in’s cloud service costs $8/year for one website. (They have pricing plans if you manage more than one website.) That price not only blocks spam comments, but also offers very detailed statistics.¬†It’s pretty cool. ūüôā

[Tweet “Easily block spam commenting on your website with the CleanTalk plug-in and service. “]

How to Get It

Within the WordPress dashboard, select Plugins > Add New, and then search for CleanTalk. Otherwise, you can download it from WordPress to install manually. Once installed, go through the super easy setup process to initiate your account and start blocking spam.

*These are not affiliate links, and I’m not otherwise being compensated for expressing my opinions.


Store Locator Plus

I’m getting ready to install a plug-in that enables visitors to a client site to find what they are looking for. I was envisioning this to be a difficult process, but then I found this gem:¬†

Initial Setup & Thoughts

I installed the theme without incident. I added in a few spots, set a few options, selected the “Big Map Rev 01” theme, and it’s ready to boogie with minimal tweaks.

It took me a moment to figure out that I needed to create a page in “full width” layout, and that the short-code needed was simply [ SLPLUS ] (no spaces). That wasn’t overly clear in the directions, but not hard to figure out either.

The admin panel is well laid out, easy to use, and has those fabulous question marks to pull out extra info for you when needed. I like it.

[Tweet “Find what your looking for with the Store Locator Plus (WP Plugin)”]

Little Blips

The styling of the theme has some oddities that need fixing, and the formatting of the address in the map bubble is very clumsy. Lastly, I don’t readily see where I can change the default radius to 10 miles instead of 200.
Read More

Importer Not Functioning

I have loads of posts, but the WordPress importer doesn’t like WordPress 3.9.1 in the slightest. Hopefully, they’ll resolve this soon. This importer has worked famously up until now.¬†I tested a few other importers, and nothing is working with the file that WordPress exported (in WordPress format). Well, that’s a little frustrating.

[Tweet “The WordPress Importer plug-in is not working with WP¬†3.9.1 @WordPress”]

The plugin:

My post in their support forum:

Update 6/25/14: There’s one response to my support forum post. At least I know I’m not the only one!

My next step is to turn on debugging. If that doesn’t result in any clues, then I’ll export the blog in a different format (CSV, perhaps) and try a different kind of importer. If THAT doesn’t work, I’ll just have to move the posts manually (ugh). Thankfully, this is a fairly unique circumstance¬†at this point. However, I’m surprised that it isn’t easier to export and import to and from WordPress. It should be.

Update 7/17/14: I gave up on the WordPress Importer when I found this article: “Best 10 Free WordPress Plugins.” I installed the WP CSV plug-in on my old blog, and installed the Really Simple CSV Importer plug-in on this blog. That did the trick!

Now to clean things up a bit around here.