ReDesign 2014 – Fully Refreshed

 

After 5 years I think it is finally time to redesign the blog and getting back to it and running again. Main issue wasn’t the WordPress version but the theme that was over 5 years old was falling apart at the seams, which made it a horrible experience to write anything. I reached a point where I thought of erasing everything and starting from scratch.

Luckily after a back and forth with the DreamHost Support I changed the install type of WordPress then shifted to a fully hosted DreamPress service of DreamHost which they fully take care of the technical side of WordPress. So after fixing a few issues and identifying some of the Plugins that were causing havoc they got it hobbling along and said the rest of it was with the Theme.

Then Jacqui aka CouchAvenue came in to the rescue and went into full redesign mode and went OCD on the site. Tweaking, fixing, modifying, and adjusting so many parts to make it work so perfectly. Using the Breeze from Bluth Company Theme she made into the amazing form that it is now.  There is still some minor issues but things are getting cleaned up in the backend to help things operate smoothly.

 

Dreampress – A Solution For WordPress Addicts

There are a lot of bloggers still out there, and I think at this stage most everyone is using WordPress with one host or another. Over the years I have always been recommending the use of Dreamhost since their service is above and beyond better then any I have used.

Now they have come up with Dreampress, its the perfect WordPress package, hosting and wordpress with support features. Like in my case I have issues with my Database so when people comment it always hangs, it needs to be cleaned up and optimized, I don’t know what the hell to do with it to fix it, professional support for WordPress is hard to come by and I have tried most of these online websites and almost all of them have failed to get back to me.

Now I’m hoping Dreamhost can shift my website from the Virtual Private Server (VPS) to the Dreampress services. First thing I’m going to ask them is solve my DB issue and update my themes. Thats one of the reasons why I haven’t changed my theme in so long, the damn thing got really slow and heavy, so it needs to be overhauled. After the back end clean up then the facelift will come at a later stage, crossing my fingers for Dreampress but check it out at the link below.

Link: Dreamhost – DreamPress

Might Go Down For Maintenance

Wrenches

I have been very lazy over the past year and not really maintaining the back end of the website, it’s one of those tasks that just sat on the To Do list looking at me every day, and I just got used to it being there. On Thursday morning my blog crashed the shared server it was on because of some of the processes running in the background going crazy, so it was acting wonky and needed some tooling. I switched to Virtual Private Hosting over the weekend through Dreamhost and got it back up, but its still hoping along and not 100% healthy. I need to get rid of some of the heavy parts that is bogging the blog down and speed it up a bit, so bear with me while I try a few things and hope to god that I don’t screw anything up, thanks people for your patience.

Sucuri – Saved Me From My Russian Malware Hack

What Happened To Me:
The last few days my site was acting weird and then the second day it tried to redirect me to some Russian site which then got flagged by my Google Chrome browser as malicious code. I tried to figure out what was going on but didn’t know where to look, and my WordPress was just update so I wasn’t sure what was wrong with it. After a good hour of Googling and checking forums I would a few things to look for in the index page and several other pages but still I was getting redirected. After looking at a few forums I found Sucuri which is a company that does exactly what I was looking for it identifies and monitors websites using any time of platform, and in my case WordPress, and they help you remove the malicious code.

What is Sucuri and What Do They Do:
The Sucuri Web Integrity Monitor detects unauthorized changes to your websites, DNS, Whois and SSL Certificates. They Scan your web site for malware, virus, spam and many other security issues. Even if your using WordPress, Joomla or Mediawiki. With the support

What I Did:
I found some scripts here and there, and deleted them but they were still all over the place. After a good amount of Googling I found that Sucuri is one the good Malware monitors and removal services for a very reasonable price, for $90 a year they monitor and update your site after 3 hours and if something is wrong you just submit a ticket and they get right to it. After giving them my login information and my ftp information I sent my trouble ticket for Malware removal since I couldn’t find it all myself and Chrome was still flagging my website and trying to install malicious software from a Russian website. AFter submitting the ticket and a set of questions I got an email back about 4 to 5 hours later with an update on all the areas that were cleared and that we are good to go and I have not been blacklisted by any website yet which is fantastic. Honestly I recommend anyone who faces a malware issue to get Sucuri right away and let them handle, they did a fantastic and smooth job with me.

Next Steps After Clean Up:

  • Update All Your Website Software – Which They Were Thanks To Jacqui
  • Change Your Website Login Passwords – Making Them Even More Complex To The Point I Might Forget Them

Link: Sucuri

Upgraded WordPress to 3.31 Thanks to Jacqui

Just as I was getting back to writing a few posts today since I found a minute to take a break I realized that something strange but didn’t think much about it. At around 7 pm when I was about to write a post everything on the backend of WordPress went berserk, the posts looked fine and the search and all the buttons were working but the backend was all jumbled up. There was a short moment of panic since I didn’t know what the hell was going on and I really didn’t like that feeling. For those who don’t know it says on the bottom my blog was put together by to awesome techies, Ananyah and Jacqui, and in this case I emailed Jacqui with the subject line “MAYDAY MAYDAY” and as usual she replied instantly! I sent her a screen shot of my messed up WordPress and basically said help, she replied that she will get to it in 30 mins which she did. After a little while she told me to check the backend and was totally different, she updated it to WordPress 3.31 with everything up to date and working smoothly, 3.31 is so cool and smooth. I have spent a few hours tinkering on the backend and I’m loving it, seriously Jacqui is a savior as usual and between the two of them they always come up with some cool stuff for me. Click on the images to see the old WordPress and the new, some people might not even know what the old one looked like but the picture is above and the new one below.

I Work In A Place @ WordPress

IWokInAPlace

This is one of the more different blogs I have seen, the writer’s name is Hoda. She writes all that she hears at her place of work and the statements and work timings I’m assuming that she works in a government entity. I can imagine that she seems to be one of the few sane people there based on all the quotes. Some of the quotes are hilarious and some aren’t but it is different and I hope she keeps it up.

Overheard at work: Supervisor: “Su3ad, gasray 3al aghany 3endech, asma3hom min makeby.” “Inshallah bs 3ogob ma hal eghniya etkhales.”

Overheard at work: “Lazem tekooneen bilingal. Mo bas 3arabi o engeleizi.”

Overheard at work: “Ams Sami gali ma adawem elyom 3ashan as’har ma3a 6ool el leil. Chan agoola ‘mali khulg, mo nagseen 3yal’ hahaha.”

Link: IWorkInAPlace

GoogleReader Shrinkage

GoogleReaderShrink

I use Google Reader to read most of the articles on websites and only comment if I want to, but most of the time I don’t even go to the website. That made things a lot easier and I was able to read a lot more with Google Reader but as of the last few months a few main websites have really changed the way they are presented on Google Reader:

Some of the Bigger Ones:

  • Gizmodo
  • io9
  • Kotaku
  • Valleywag

Now these websites only show picture and some information about the post, a small clip of the full post, but not the whole thing. This has become really annoying and a loss for them because I don’t get to read a lot of the posts as I used to, sometimes something interests me from all the pictures and information but I don’t even see that anymore. If I find something really interesting about the title then I open the post, but sometimes products, reviews, or news might be missed because you never know what else might be there. I don’t even know how to control your content on RSS feeds, if pictures show or not or the whole post or small clip, but this is annoying. You could change your view in GoogleReader from Expanded to List view, but even in Expanded view you only see a small clip.

Minor Blog Updates

Luckily for me Meshoo has some time on her hands with everything she has had to do with family. I have been preparing my complaint list for a while now, one day at work I got a message saying my blog was being upgraded and she was upgrading it from 2.7 to 2.8.

There are some minor differences, it is a bit cleaner in the back end but everything remains the same except for the image uploading. I have always faced a problem with the flash uploader for WordPress and it just wouldn’t work with Firefox or Chrome, I would have to go to Explorer 6.0 and upload image by image which was time consuming. Luckily this update made the fix so you can upload the traditional way or through the flash uploader, images are managed better and you can access them more easily.

Another small issue was that the categories wasn’t being retrieved correctly, some code was off so the data wasn’t being retrieved correctly. I can safely say now that the categories are fixed you can access them normally, I knew I was annoyed because I constantly used them.

Thanks Meshoo!

WPtouch: WordPress on iPhone, iPod, and Android

A WordPress plug-in which works with WordPress 2.7+, its meant to format the posts to be easily reable and loads up very lightly onto the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android phone. I like when its a very simple piece of software which works as it is supposed to. You can view the blog horizontally or in landscape mode, making it a versatile piece of software and simple.

You can change your view to the full normal view instead of this compress version. If you are just looking to read then this is the best format but if you want to see everything then you have to go into full view mode.

Link: WPtouch

The New Look

I have needed a major upgrade for a while now, for some reason the old blog was falling apart at the seems. It was just a matter of time until something went really wrong. Previously the search box disappeared, couldn’t post certain things, the back end was a mess but I was managing.

Thanks to Jacqui and Ananyah my blog looks refreshed, I love how organized it is and I really like the Theme. The header includes my Truck and my Bike, and there are a few other headers in the work. I removed the Flash header due to problems I was having with it when loading in certain programs and that it wasn’t completely upgradeable for WordPress 2.5. I prefer the static look, but the header will be tweaked a bit, there are still some content that I fixing but most of everything they took care without any help from me. I just remained a by stander, I thought they were going to update it a different day, they both stayed up late into the night making sure it was ready to go live. I was surprised in the morning, and very happy with the result. Now I just have to upgrade a few things in the content pages which I have left on the back burner for a while now. I’m happy a lot of people like the new look, some have a different opinion, but overall its more organized then before.