Library

CleanTalk

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.

 

What Pages are Popular on Your Site?

This is an instructional piece for finding your website’s¬†most popular¬†pages for the past 30 days utilizing Google Analytics.

#i: Log in, and get to your website’s Google Analytic’s dashboard.

#1: Select Behavior > Site Content > All Pages from the left-hand menu.

Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

#2: In the upper-right of the screen, is a pull-down for the date range settings. The last 30 days is the default date range. However, you can select any number of different options from the Date Range drop-down.
#3: Click on the Apply button to update the results to any changes you made.

Set Date Range

#4: Below the graph, there’s click on “Page Title.” This option simply¬†makes the table below easier to read.

Page Title Selection

#5: The default is to show 10 results. If you need to see more than that, select a larger number from the “Show rows:” drop-down. This option is on the bottom right of the¬†results table.

Show More Results

#6: If you’re just looking to know, you’re done! If you need this information for reports and whatnot, make a selection from the Export menu at the top of the page.

Export Google Analytics

 

Case Sensitive Template Designation

When creating a child theme in WordPress, this codex is more than adequate to get rolling. However, I did run into one bump¬†this go around. The name input for “Template:” is case sensitive.

This style.css header:

/*
 Theme Name:   Twenty Fifteen Child
 Theme URI:    http://example.com/twenty-fifteen-child/
 Description:  Twenty Fifteen Child Theme
 Author:       John Doe
 Author URI:   http://example.com
 Template:     twentyfifteen
 ...
*/

is not the same as:

/*
 Theme Name:   Twenty Fifteen Child
 Theme URI:    http://example.com/twenty-fifteen-child/
 Description:  Twenty Fifteen Child Theme
 Author:       John Doe
 Author URI:   http://example.com
 Template:     Twentyfifteen
 ...
*/

Now you know, and perhaps I can remember!

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:¬†http://tx.ag/ru7hjk

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: http://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-importer/

My post in their support forum:
http://wordpress.org/support/topic/upload-doesnt-happen

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.

Adding a Search Page to a WordPress Website

One of my sites doesn’t have a search box on the home page, and we wanted to go about offering an easy search option. I found this incredibly helpful article:¬†http://codex.wordpress.org/Creating_a_Search_Page¬†— I followed the directions listed under “Using the page.php” heading.

A few notes regarding the posted directions: The first step says to save the file, but not where. Save it to the themes directory under wp-content. That’s where you will upload it in the end. I keep a mirror of the website on my hard drive (makes things like sync’ing files and such a lot easier).

Secondly, you uploaded the new search page template… now what?

Go to the Pages manager, add a new page, and select “Search Page” from the template drop-down under Page Attributes. You’ll find the page attributes module on the right-hand side of the page.

Lastly, there’s no need to add any content to your new search page – it won’t show up. If you want the search page to look/feel different, head over to the Editor (under Appearance), select the searchpage.php file you created, and edit away.

For example, I went back in and choose a different page template from which to base the search page template on. The theme this site uses has a full-width page template that I liked better for this type of page. That was a quick fix tho – same instructions, just replace a different content loop.

Take a Closer Look, Be Safe

A few days ago, a close friend told me that someone tried to steal their email account! To add to that scare, I was recently forwarded a scam offer that looked legit until I looked a little closer. I decided to take these two warnings and post a few bits for you to look out for too.

Be aware and be safe.

What to look for on the website:

  • Does the site URL (in the address bar) match the site you THINK you are on?
    Not sure? Do a Google search for the site you think your on and compare the URLs.
  • When you click on the back button or try to close the window, are there a bunch of intentionally misleading pop up boxes asking you to stay?

What to look for in that email:

  • Does the from address match what you expect? (info@e.bay.com is not the same as info@ebay.com)
  • If suspicious, go to the website referenced in the email separately from the email. In other words, open the browser and either use your own bookmark, type in the URL, or Google the company.
  • If you are told to make a phone call to your bank (or a company). Don’t use the phone # in the email. Use the phone number published the bank/company website (that you went to independently of the suspect email).

A couple of the sites I reference are:

Basic Security

  • Make your passwords long
  • Use different passwords for different sites
  • Don’t share you passwords on websites, with tech support, through emails, or on post-it notes.
    (if you’d like to keep track of your passwords, use a secure method like keepass)
  • Change your passwords from time to time
  • Answer security questions with fake answers (social media makes those pretty easy to hack these days!)
  • Check and adjust your privacy settings on all social media periodically

Design Pet Peeve

I don’t want to view your article in a 20 section side-show. I’d like to just view the article in one page, thanks. At the very least, give me the option.

One site that is bad at this is REAL Simple. Ironic? I thought so. Great magazine, terrible site design… even the homepage is overly cluttered and overwhelming. Almost every article I clicked on turned out in side-show format, and I quickly lost interest. It just takes too long and too many clicks to get through a simple 1 or 2 page article in slide-show format.

I am liking their Pinterest boards though. Good stuff there.