Tag Archives: wordpress

WordPress Counter Strike Theme

Counter Strike Theme

Free WordPress Counter Strike Web2.0 Theme Template, theme designed for first person shooting games blog. This is a fabulous theme, It has very interesting images, cool color scheme. Two columns and fixed width. This is an XHTML and CSS valid theme, tested properly on Firefox3, IE6 and IE7, works both well with WordPress 2.7 and older versions, and supports threaded comments coming with WordPress 2.7.

via Free WordPress Counter Strike Blog Web2.0 Theme Template » Free Web Templates and Themes.

I might install this for the lulz.

That’ll do, donkey. That’ll do.

Ugh.

Have I mentioned before how much I hate choosing new themes for my blog? Or for any website, for that matter…

It’s difficult because of three reasons:

  • It’s hard to find something that works for you. Being the admin of the blog, you know where it’s going. When you’re looking for a theme, you know exactly what you want – in the case of Benny Ling’s Bling, I wanted something that was simple but elegant – something that stood apart from the hundreds of other blogs out there.
  • Free is good. Unfortunately, being the poor student that I am, I don’t have much of a web budget – especially for things like WordPress themes. It’s like a wise man once said: “Pay peanuts, get monkeys”, as well as the age-old adage of “You get what you pay for”. Don’t get me wrong, though – I’d totally pay for a theme if I decided that it was going to work for me, assuming it is reasonably priced. US $50 is not my idea of reasonable.
  • Finding something that will require minimal tweaking is hard to do – especially when the theme is free to begin. It’s like the hardware and software problem – even though Microsoft make software that’s designed to work on every computer under the sun, sometimes it needs a little help. Apple, on the other hand, make both the hardware and the software – the result of which is that “it just works”.

With these three things in mind, I have managed to settle on Elegant Grunge, by Michael Tyson. I’ve had to compromise in some areas – while I haven’t given it a full test-run yet, I’m sure I’ll find something later on down the track that needs to be changed. So far so good, though – fingers crossed it stays that way.

UPDATE: No, I haven’t settled on Elegant Grunge. Instead, I’ve settled on Sator-ii, by Felipe Lavín. It’s got some pretty horrible CSS (no comments, c’mon), and has some funny spelling mistakes – but that’s okay, because I don’t think the creator is a native english speaker.

You may think I’m missing out something here – why don’t I just make my own theme? Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done – I’d have no idea where to start with a WordPress theme, let alone make a good one… Sure, I can hack my way around a CSS stylesheet, and I can diagnose and fix any formatting/styling issues with WordPress, but apart from that… Time constraints mean making my own them just isn’t feasible at this point in time. One of these days I probably should, but I’ll leave it to the experts for now. 🙂

Using Smilies « WordPress Codex

Smiley images and the text used to produce them*:

In some instances, multiple text options are available to display the same smiley.

Why Doesn’t it Work for Me?

If smileys work for others at your site but not for you:

Type a space before and after your smiley text. That prevents the smiley being accidentally included in the text around it. 😳

Make sure not to use quotes or other punctuation marks before and after the smiley text. 🙄

via Using Smilies « WordPress Codex.

This is just for personal reference.

WordPress Smilies

Google Analytics is AWESOME!

Tis been quite a while since we had a “iA!” post over here, and inbetween all the CES/Engadget/1000 RSS items, it’s been quite insane. I guess that just comes about from trying to do 1 MILLION things at once.

Just between you and me, though, I’m heaps glad that I get to go to a place with scarce internet access. Although I hate to think of how my inbox and RSS feedreader will look like when I get back (over 1000 news items in NetNewsWire was not cool… I blame you, CES, Macworld, and Engadget!), it’s going to be great – no constant pressure to “do stuff”, just the constant “chill” of a (decidedly, well-deserved) holiday.

Anyway, today I’m here to talk about Google Analytics and why it’s awesome.

So… got a website? Need to have grossly detailed analysis of your website visitors, as well as such arcane statistics such as bounce rate, average time on site, browser capabilites, connection speeds, hostnames, screen resolutions, and literally all that jazz?

If so, Google Analytics is your friend.

Quick explanation: Analytics is a website monitoring tool. At it’s most basic level, it will tell you how many “hits” your website has got over a monthly period (you can adjust the time period), how many page views, how many pages per visit. In addition to this, the Dashboard tells you how long the average user spends on your site – as well as the percentage of new visits.

Diving in a little further, or just scrolling down the Dashboard reveals even more info – Map Overlays (where all your visits come from, drilled down to city), Traffic Sources (where all your visitors come from, eg direct traffic, search engines, referring sites), and Content Overview (which tells you what pages got how many hits).

But wait, there’s more!

Much, much, much more. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t use the vast majority of Analytics – there is a LOT of as-yet unharnessed power in it. Stuff that I wouldn’t bother with.

For instance, in the Visitors drilldown, we have an absolute plethora of information about your visitors, from what web-browser and operating system combination they used to visit your website, how many colours their screen could display, what resolution their screen was, as well as what version of flash and java they had.

In addition to this, there are Traffic Sources, Content, and Goals drilldowns as well, with the same level of in-depth information as the Visitors tab.

In a way, Google Analytics is scary. It manages to collect all this information from a small JavaScript embedded in a web page, which of course has to be embedded in all of your web pages that you want tracked.

As you may very well know, WordPress powers both freshbytes and this website, Benny Ling’s BLING. With WordPress, you can’t directly manipulate the HTML of a webpage, as it is automatically generated by the WordPress engine iteself. Instead, you have to add a Plugin to WordPress – for both freshbytes and this website, I’m using the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin. Using this plugin couldn’t be simpler – install, put in your Tracking Code (Analytics will supply you with this), and boom, you’re done. This plugin will also track any outbound clicks, as well as any downloaded documents.

It’s thanks to Analytics that I can see that this website has seen a 275% increase in visitors over the past month, with a 337% increase over the past week. That’s not a bad effort, actually.

So, how did that happen? Massive, massive pimpage. Ever since the introduction of Press This, blogging has actually become enjoyable. Wading though the crap to see what is, and isn’t bloggable still isn’t as enjoyable, but Press This makes blogging… easy. Write interesting articles on your website. Get people to read them by pimping them wherever, whenever possible. Share the link in Facebook. Stick it as your status message. Tweet it. Whatever.

Last but not least… I still cannot figure out why the article I blogged about a while ago about the wife who set her husbands genitals on fire with metho (the husband, unsurprinsgly, died as a result) is still the most popular article on this website. Wait – my apologies. It seems that that article has now been pipped by the Seven reasons the Palm Pre is better than the iPhone article I did. The Macworld 2009 keynote summary I wrote (at 6:15am, right after the keynote itself :o) was also pretty popular.

Google Analytics is highly recommended if you run any kind of website yourself, or for a client, or whatever. Get it, you won’t regret it! Can’t argue with the price either – the best things in life really are free 😀

DoYouFeed.com WordPress plugin causing site lag?

Well, I figured there was something wrong when my website was taking over a full minute to load.

I used Safari’s Web Inspector to narrow it down to one file: load.php

Now, that file is a part of DoYouFeed.com’s wordpress plugin.

For the uninitiated, the DoYouFeed plugin allows wordpress users to activate a iPhone/iPod Touch friendly version of their website – using specialised User Agent calls and so forth.

Unfortunately, the plugin was making my site lag like hell – freshbytes, too – so I have disabled it for now.

If anyone knows any wordpress-friendly iPhone/iPod Touch friendly content formatters/aggregators, then get in touch with me, either via comments on this post, or the Contact page.

Ideally, I’d like something like the tumblr-optimised iPhone/iPod Touch specific version, ala Adam D’s tumblelog in iPhone format. That’s seriously ultimate.

Images in Press This posts?!

Well, I’ll be.

Maybe I want WordPress to be more like Tumblr, with it’s different kind of posts (videos, images, quotes, links), and all that jazz.

So anyway, in WordPress 2.7, they’ve added a QuickPress option. That covers just the text posts that tumblr offers.

The rest? What about quotes, links, music and videos?

Well, that’s where Press This comes into play. From any website, I can select some text, and hit the “Press This” bookmarklet on my bookmarks toolbar. The text that I had selected is now quoted, the title of the page between the tags of the post, and the URL of the webpage is now stuck as a “smart link”, i.e. <a href=”webpage URL”>title of webpage here</a> like so.

But until then, I haven’t been able to insert any images from blog posts, or anything. It was the one thing that really annoyed me about Press This. My first two gripes I had already dealt with – the links from Press This posts now open in a new window, and the text that I’ve selected is now stuck in <blockquote> tags.

Images had me stumped – even though the PHP file had the actual code for images, I didn’t have the faintest clue about what it did. I managed to figure out what the code for flash videos (like YouTube) did through pure experimentation, but the images? I had no idea.

Until today.

Today, I posted the story about Senator Conroy’s plan to filter the Australian Internet. I really, really, wanted to include the image from that post in my post – but I had no idea how to do that via Press This. So, I screenshotted the image using Skitch, intending to insert the image as a normal image in the post.

But, no. Press This automatically showed me a list of all the images that it could find on the page – I found the image that I wanted, clicked on it, and that was that – the image was now inserted in my post.

I <3 WordPress.

Connect with Facebook Connect

Connect with Facebook Connect.

So, you might have seen the huge “Login using Facebook” button on the sidebar. It’s right below the freshbytes logo, and when you click it, it logs you into this site with your Facebook profile. Don’t worry, I don’t automatically download all of your profile pics or anything freaky like that, nor can I change any of your settings, view anything you don’t want me to view, or invade your privacy in any way, it’s just an easier way for you to comment without having a login for freshbytes.

Simply put, if you have facebook, you can now post comments on this site without logging into this site.

In the interests of full disclosure, any comments you post to Facebook will now be posted to your Facebook wall if you choose to login via the Facebook Connect button.

In my original testing of this new WordPress Plugin, I found it irritating that the profile page borked the layout of the site. However, this has now been fixed, and the profile page now shows in the correct location.

Yet the only annoying thing that remains is the fact that if you choose to logout of freshbytes (when you’re logged in via facebook connect) is that you also get logged out of facebook. It’s something I want to try and fix, as it’s completely not cool, but as of this moment, I really can’t be bothered diving into the code to get that done. If I have to deal with it, so do you. 😀

At the end of the day, it’s completely up to you whether you use this plugin or not. Use it, don’t use it, hey, I don’t care.

It would be awesome if I could get some more people in the “Last Visitors” column, though.

AHAHA! Epic fail on my part. Oops.

In a fit reminiscent of the fail whale, I managed to publish this post to the wrong blog… Epic lulz. How does that happen, anyway?! 😛

If you want, you can read the full post over at freshbytes. Hit this link up for more.

Sociable! » Facebook Connect WordPress Plugin

WordPress plugin that allows direct integration of WordPress blogs with Facebook using Facebook Connect:

* Build a community

* Login using your Facebook account

* Send comments to Facebook profile feed

* Invite your friends to the blog community

* See last visitors

via Sociable! – The Social Media Blog » Facebook Connect WordPress Plugin.

Thanks to Sociable!, freshbytes now has the ultimate in Facebook integration. Now, whenever you comment on freshbytes (and you’ve logged in via the FaceBook connect button), your comment will show up on your Wall – thus telling the world that you’re a fan of freshbytes.

It’s just an easier way to connect, I guess.

Bear in mind that the freshbytes implementation is only-half-broken – the profile page messes up the layout of the site, but I’ll try and fix that when I have some more free time, as it’s no small job.

Meanwhile, jump over there and check it out for yourself.

www.freshbytes.com.au

Press This!

You are pouring over your feeds, viewing a website with an article or story that catches your eye, and you want to share that information with your WordPress site viewers. A quick trick is to use the WordPress Press It feature.

WordPress makes it easy to quickly add links and information to your site through the use of a bookmarklet called Press It. A bookmarklet looks like a link in your Favorites, Bookmarks, or Links list but it is much more powerful. It adds the capability to quickly create WordPress post entries on the fly while working on the Internet.

If you find something of interest on the Internet, you can click the Press It link and a window with your site’s Administration Write Post panel will popup with the page you are viewing listed as a link. You can then write about the page, assign a category, and add any other information and then press Save and it will be immediately posted on your WordPress site.

via Press It « WordPress Codex.

Almost ironic, no? 😛

(For those of you who are a little slow, this blog post was brought to you by Press This.)

WordPress 2.7 is AWESOME!

Tis quite awesome indeed – I love it, and if you’re running a WordPress-powered blog, you should too.

Watch the video after the break to see it in action.