Switching Theme And Thumbnails Aren’t The Right Size

When switching WordPress themes it’s always a good idea to regenerate thumbnails. There is a plugin that will help automate this process and keep thumbnails consistent across your entire theme.

I recommend changing themes on your website at least once per year.  It keeps the creative juices flowing and will help renew your interest in a project.  One problem with changing WordPress themes is that different sized thumbnails may be required, depending on the theme layout.  Changing a theme will not necessarily change the size of the thumbnails, based off of a set ‘featured’ image.  Thankfully, there is a plugin to help with this.

To resize your thumbnails, for a new theme, there is a plugin called Regenerate Thumbnails.  This WP plugin will force a regeneration of your featured images thumbnails, to allow consistency throughout your new WordPress theme.

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Bad Behavior Blocking PayPal Callback

PayPal IPs were being blocked by the Bad Behavior WordPress plugin, this article will discuss what I did to combat the problem.

I’ve been struggling with registration spam on one of my retail websites.  Currently it’s running a shop based on WordPress, so I have access to a plethora of plugins to assist with this issue.  I had been using Stop Spammer Registrations, along with re-Captcha, which only worked for so long.  Somehow the spammers just keep getting through, so I took the next step to fortify with Bad Behavior.

Bad Behavior is a WordPress plugin that helps stop spammers before they even access your site.  To assist the plugin, it makes a call out to the http:BL API, which is available for free.  Once you get the API setup, simply copying it into the plugin is the extent of the setup for normal operation.  However, I ran into an issue with getting my transactions confirmed, because I believe it is blocking the callback IP from PayPal.

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Engaging In Simpler Designs

A new year is closely approaching and it forces me to reflect on whats important to my design decisions.

snow-wpI’ve spent some time the past few weeks playing around with the new TwentyTwelve WordPress theme.  So far I’m absolutely in love with it’s simplicity and I have to ask, is a love of simplicity in design a sign of getting older?  No longer am I concerned with magazine style wordpress themes, billowing graphics, or cutting edge design, instead provide me with a blank slate and let the content design the site.

Don’t get me wrong, elegant designs still have an impact in my day to day developing process.  Elegant Themes(affiliate link) is of course my choice for custom WordPress themes, which provide my commercial selling websites with the modern look that visitors crave.  However, I just don’t feel these themes work with my content driven websites, I’m not selling anything.  I would prefer the focus be less on the theme and more on what I have to say, not that it’s particularly important.

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Using The New TwentyTwelve WordPress Theme

How to setup the static home pages on new TwentyTwelve Wordpress theme for 3.4.2.

The latest WordPress update has been released, however it does not ship with one of it’s greatest benefits, the TwentyTwelve theme. This all new theme is amazing by any standards and features the abilities of many paid premium WordPress themes. Why TwentyTwelve is not included in the latest download, I’m not sure, so finding it is the first step to upgrading the looks of your WordPress blog.

The TwentyTwelve theme can be found in the WordPress.org theme repository. Find the theme directly by clicking this link to download(as of this posting the latest version is 1.0), then install like any other WordPress theme. Setting the theme up is a bit more involved, although stock can fulfill a lot of a blogs basic requirements. The fun comes when you decide to setup static front pages.

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Face Rocked By The TimThumb Vulnerability

Well, here we are, months after the initial zero day vulnerability within the latest version of TimThumb and I’m still feeling the effects.  Unfortunately, for me, I’m a noob and didn’t do as a complete a search as I should have.  Here I am, fat and happy figuring I cleaned up all my sites, updated all my plugins, themes, etc…yet I missed one.

I missed a theme update on an old blog, that came back and bit me in the ass.  Because of the TimThumb vulnerability the hackers were able to inject some code into my wp-config file, allowing themselves access whenever their little hearts desired.  But, several, several, many hours later I’ve now done what I think can be done.

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5 Minutes With WordPress 3.3

Waking up to a new roll out of WordPress, version 3.3 is now available for automatic update from the WordPress dashboard.  Now, I actually hate going through and updating websites, inevitably something breaks, with a theme, plugin, or something.  However, this morning I decided to jump in head first and see exactly how much another WP update can rock my world, at least after 5 mins of playing.

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Cannot Contact Akismet Servers

Was making up some content posts for a few of my blogs and was greeted by an Akismet error within my WordPress Dashboard.  Annoyingly this error was showing up at the top of every single Dashboard page, not just the plugin or home page.  I had assumed that it was just a problem on Akismet’s end and apparently I was right.

After getting the error for about 15 minutes I figured out that my server was unable to contact any of the 5 servers operated by the Akismet spam plugin.  Once I manually checked the servers, via a button at the bottom of the troubleshooting page, everything went back to normal and there were no more errors.

Simple annoyance, no issues, and spam still seems in check.

According to the Akismet website they have reportedly stopped over 11 billion spam comments.  Unsettling however is the figure that only 83% were actual spam.  No doubt Akismet is the best solution to fight spam, but consider that as of this posting Akismet has made over 913 million errors.  Internet wide, but still a good reminder to always check your spam moderation que, you might have some worthwhile comments.

Affiliate Plugins For WordPress

The majority of sites that I operate work off of the WordPress blogging script.  I have been unable to find a comparable website backend that stream lines my affiliate marketing.  Everything is made easier in Word Press due to it’s huge inventory of plugins, which allow for simple tasks like adding Amazon products to posts or full on automated scraping of articles and products.

Below are the Word Press affiliate plugins I can’t live without. (Affiliate links are used, thanks for your support.)

phpBay Pro ($79.00) – My online life has changed since finding this handy little affiliate plugin.  Basically the WP plugin adds items from eBay onto your blog and can be customized to fit your sites style.  Items can be inserted in a shop type manner or as a few items listed at the bottom of a post.  This plugin has great support directly from it’s creator Wade and is under constant improvement and updates to follow the changes within eBay.  phpBay Pro works with the eBay Partner Network and with Pepper Jam Network.

See phpBay Pro in actionUsed Hybrid Cars

Amazon Auto Poster ($29.99) – I’ve only started using this WP plugin about a month back and it’s already paid for itself.  As you can tell by it’s name, this plugin scrapes product listings at Amazon.com and then creats blogposts automatically.  The items are scraped per your keyword choices, starting point, and category.  The posts generated can then be scheduled up to 9 days out or published immediately.

See Amazon Auto Poster in actionFlip MinoHD Camcorder

Article Auto Poster Premium ($29.99) – Again, I just started using this plugin about a month ago and it’s already provided me with additional traffic, sales, and profits.  Just like the plugin name says, it scrapes ArticlesBase.com for the keyword you choose and generates blog posts off the articles found.  Each keyword creates it’s own job to publish a post based off of that keyword as often as you want.  This is a great method of generating long tail keyword search traffic and keep your blog updated when you cannot be bothered with writing content.

See Article Auto Poster Premium in action10 People To Surround Your Band With

AD Rotator (FREE) – This free Word Press plugin makes ad management on your blog a no brainer.  You create a catalog of advertisements, which are then grouped by php code that you place within posts or on your theme files.  This will automatically rotate the ads you placed within the group.  Weights can be adjusted and there is no limit to the amount of ads that you use.  Great way to keep ads fresh on your site through multiple page views and try different affiliate products.

Closing Statement

I use a lot of different plugins with my Word Press blogs, but these are the ones that I can’t live without and provide me the most commissions.  No, the majority of them are not free, but very quickly they can be paid for with just a little traffic.  Pair these WP plugins with a browser plugin like Affiliate Espionage and you’ll see your weekly earnings rise.  It still takes hard work, but thanks to plugins our work as marketers can be streamlined.

Like any digital product your mileage may vary.  However, the items listed here I use on a daily basis and can vouche for their usefullness.  For more affiliate news and information please read my affiliate blog on Blogspot, where on my latest post I describe what makes a BAD landing page.

Update 7/2/09 – The Amazon Auto Poster and Article Auto Poster are now known as WP Robot.  I’m still on the fence on my opinion of the new wordpress affiliate tool.  First reactions is that there is only an option to schedule and not ‘Publish Now’, which makes it difficult to edit these posts before going live.  We’ll see.

WordPress Incoming Links

The Google Blog Search powered Incoming Links widget on the dashboard of my WordPress blog is no longer functioning.  This has been going on for a few days now and I know I have links, although it shows none.  I’ve verified incoming links because I’m getting ping backs and interlinking amongst my own blogs as well.

Perhaps this function is broken because of a change in Google Blog Search or in the latest update of Word Press.  I can’t remember if this just started happening around the time of upgrading to WP 2.8 or not.  Either way, it was a nice feature to have, especially when said blogs weren’t pinging and were just mentioning your posts in passing.

No Links
No Links

WordPress Post Publish, Please Return To Dashboard

Oh lord, lately I’ve been ramping up the frequency of blog posts on all of my blogs.  What’s annoyed me beyond belief is the fact that the Word Press dashboard refuses to take me back to the dashboard or give me a blank slate to immediately start on another post.  No, I have to set there and be notified that it was posted and asked if I want to view it.  Damn’t, just give me a blanks late to start over.

Yes, I’m being picky, and I’m fully aware that a blank slate for a fresh post is just one click away.  But damn’t, it’s annoying, I don’t want to have to do it and it’s something I miss of Word Press releases of days gone by.

Does anyone have a mod, plugin, anything that will automatically take me to the dashboard or better yet give me a clean slate to starta  new blog post?  The last thing I want to do after spending 20 seconds typing out a thought out post is to stare at it and maybe edit it.  My ignorance of poor grammar, shoddy typing errors, is what keeps me from blowing my brains out at night from a long day of content creation.