WordPress 3.5 Installed

WordPress 3.5 was released today. I’ve updated a couple of the sites that I look after and everything is looking great (apart from one thing, but I’ll get to that). Huge congratulations to the team, it looks like it’s another quick and easy upgrade.

Preston Guild Torchlight ProcessionI’m using a number of the common plug-ins and all seem to be OK so far. These are the ones I’m running across the sites that I’ve updated:

  • Akismet
  • All in One SEO Pack
  • Better WP Security
  • FD Feedburner Plugin
  • Google Analytics for WordPress
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • Jetpack by WordPress.com
  • WordPress Firewall 2
  • WP Security Scan
  • WP Super Cache

I did have to reconnect JetPack to my Worpdress.com account, but that’s not really an issue.

The one thing that appears to be broken is the new Twenty Twelve theme installation. On both sites it’s reporting that it’s missing its stylesheet:


Actually, it’s not just the stylesheet that’s missing, the theme directory it’s completely empty. Fortunately the work-around is simple; delete the twentytwelve directory off the server and install the theme through the dashboard interface. Not sure I’m going to use it, but wanted to have a look all the same.

WordPress 3.2

I’ve updated to WordPress 3.2 this morning.

BrockholesIt looks very nice to me as the administrator, but you shouldn’t see any differences.

The upgrade was the smooth process that we’ve come to expect from WordPress. The most difficult part is checking that you have a good backup. The upgrade process itself is as simple as clicking on ‘upgrade automatically’ and letting the code do the rest. I didn’t even need to mess about with any of the plug-ins because they all worked fine.

The new dashboard looks great, and is certainly a lot faster than the 3.1 version.

If you do so some issues please let me know by commenting on this post.

My WordPress Plug-ins – Thank You

Christmas is a time for saying thank you, so I’d like to say just that to the people who make the WordPress Plug-ins available for use that make this site what it is.

Jimmy and Granddad Explore the Lake DistrictThis is the list of plug-ins I’m currently using on this site:

AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget

I use this to add the various icons for sharing onto the bottom of posts and in the sidebar.

It also provides some tracking analytics for people who use it.

By The AddThis TeamVisit plugin site


The must-have plug-in for comment spam. I’m sure this site is like many that gets a regular intake.

It’s seldom wrong at picking out the rubbish.

By AutomatticVisit plugin site

All in One SEO Pack

My preferred Search Engine Optimisation tool. I’m not that fixated with SEO but as over 40% of the visitors to this site come via search it’s important enough to care about.

By Michael TorbertVisit plugin site

DandyID Services

I do more than blog – Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc. all feature in my online experience. DandyID is a great tool for creating an single point of reference for all of my presences. This plug-in makes all of those presences visible on this site.

By Neil Simon, Sara Czyzewicz, Arron Kallenberg, Dan Perron, Anthony DimitreVisit plugin site

FD Feedburner Plugin

I use Feedburner (now Google product) to provide the best possible feed to people that I can. Feedburner did seem to be in a bit of hiatus, but it seems to be picking up now.

This little plug-in redirects everyone to Feedburner for me, it’s one of those that you install and forget about.

It also provides another point for analytics, something that you’re never short of in the blogging world I find.

By John Watson | Visit plugin site

Flickr Photo Album

I am a big fan of Flickr and like to show off my photos on this site too. This plug-in makes everything I put onto Flickr available here too.

By Joe TanVisit plugin site

Google Analytics for WordPress

Google Analytics gives great insights into the what, where, who of a site. This plug-in sends all of the data from this site over to them.

By Joost de ValkVisit plugin site

Google XML Sitemaps

Another way of making sure that you get visitors from search engines is to give them a good sitemap in the standard XML format. This plug-in creates a sitemap for me, again another set and forget plug-in.

By Arne BrachholdVisit plugin site

MaxBlogPress Favicon

The natty little icon that you get in the browser for this site comes via this plug-in. It does a really simple thing, that’s nearly as easily done by copying a file to the right place. This is just that little bit easier.

By MaxBlogPressVisit plugin site

Post-Plugin Library

This is a plug-in library used by a couple of the other plug-ins.

By Rob Marsh, SJVisit plugin site

Recent Comments

I like to show the recent comments in the sidebar. This plug-in gets them for me.

By Nick MomrikVisit plugin site

Secure WordPress

Security is a big thing for a site that’s out there in the scary world of the internet. This is one of a couple of security plug-ins that I use, as well as some manual hardening of the site.

By jremillardVisit plugin site

WordPress.com Stats

I’m a bit of an analytics and statistics junky. The WordPress.com stats are great to see in your dashboard. They also provide some things in a better way than Google Analytics

By Automattic – Visit plugin site

WP Security Scan

Another security tool that I use to keep this site nice and secure. I use more than one because they secure different things

By Michael TorbertVisit plugin site

WP Super Cache

Assuming that one day this site gets inundated by a referral from a much bigger site and the traffic starts to spike this plug-in ensures that people read a cached copy of the information rather than read it out of the database each time. t’s never actually happened to me, but I’m being prepared.

By Donncha O CaoimhVisit plugin site

Thank you everyone.

My Tools: WordPress for BlackBerry

It’s not often that I write blog posts while I’m mobile. If I’m going to write anything I’ll normally twitter. But there are times when a thought comes to me that is more than a tweet and is worth writing there and then rather than waiting until I am home.
It’s not always a good thing to be too immediate about things, but there is a time and place for it. It’s at those times that I turn to WordPress for Blackberry, and to prove the point I’m using it right now.
If I got more comments I’d probably also use it for keeping up to speed with the stream.
We have only just started the mobile revolution even. We’ve been working at it for some time now. In years to come we will do things while we are mobile that we can only imagine today. The devices that we have today are going to change radically as the computing power, storage and connectivity capabilities accelerate.
Writing a few words into a simple app might not be that radical, but it’s a signpost of the things that are to come.

I could spend hours doing this…

Discipline is such a key issue for productive work especially when there are so many distractions around. Let me give you my ultimate time wasting recipe:

  1. Check your corporate email for unread items.Island Hoping
  2. Read the first two emails by which time you should be bored
  3. Wonder what is happening on Twitter.
  4. Browse through the fresh set of updated. It is essential that you are following enough people to guarantee a fresh crop of tweets every time you look. This is easily done by following a number of news accounts.
  5. Once bored of tweets skip over to your RSS reader to see if there are any updates. Like twitter it is vital to be following a whole stack of feeds. The syndicated and group blogs are the best for guaranteeing updates on every visit, LifeHacker and BetaNews are good examples.
  6. Read posts until bored. The key is to never get to the end of your unread list ensuring that return visits result in further reading.
  7. Continuing the blog theme jump over to your WordPress Dashboard. This is the first of many information sources that you are convinced give you important information each time you visit.
  8. From your WordPress dashboard take particular interest in one or maybe two vital statistics justifying your next stop – Google Analytics.
  9. Google Analytics will highlight some interesting searches that have reached your site – it always does. Justify to yourself a quick trip to Google Webmaster Tools for further information.
  10. If there is any danger of you getting to the end of the statistics before you have successfully wasted enough of your valuable time you can also skip through the Bing Webmaster Tools and the Yahoo Webmaster tools. Three search tools are normally enough, but if you want to waste even more time other search engines are available.
  11. Your next stop is your personal email – again, read a few posts but never get to the end of the unread items available.
  12. Hopefully your personal email will highlight some justification for going to Facebook, but if it doesn’t just go there anyway. Don’t waste your time on applications or silly games – that would be a real waste of time. Spend time reading status updates and looking at photos of people you have never met.
  13. It’s time now to graze through some of the corporate tools that you have available. Portals and dashboards provide more information than you could possible consume. This can soon be justified as work even when you are only mooching around. Justifiable time wasting is the best form.
  14. The next activity that is vital to your time wasting credibility is your ability to browse around new sites. The BBC is particularly good for this there are endless possibilities in news and Sport.

If you are in danger of having to do some real work, by getting to the end of the list, you can, at any point, return to the top of the list.

If you have followed the guidelines correctly there should always be something to do.

Also, remember that you can carry on these same distractions when away from the office by use of a SmartPhone or other such device. Location should not be an inhibitor.

Following this recipe should ensure that you always look busy and avoid unnecessary activities that may result in something being produced. Alternatively, you could just redefine these activities as work and then you will have completed everything there is to complete.

Working through this kind of distraction reaction process is what I’m sure many people do and will do, but it isn’t good for you, or for your brain. Being able to cope with the lure of these attention giving sirens will be a defining feature of the future workforce.

New design for this site

For those of you who are reading this through a some kind of Reader you might be interested to know that I’ve been tweaking the design on this site. Wisley in the AutumnFor the rest of you, you’ve probably already noticed.

There was a bit of thought behind it:

  • 3 Columns – I like 3 column designs, most people have a wide enough screen these days to make the most of it.
  • Simplicity – I like designs that are very simple, but still functional. I’m not a huge fan of designs with loads of bling. I know that this slightly contradicts the previous point but it’s a balancing act.
  • Photographs – I wanted something that would showcase some of my favourite photographs. Pictures are also a great way of engaging with people, but the skill is creating a design that allows this without it being gaudy.
  • Fonts – I don’t like serif fonts. Don’t know why particularly, I just don’t.

I’ve still got some tweaking to do.

Let me know what you think.