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Upgrade WordPress Instantly… Almost.

November 19, 2007 | Wordpress | Comments (136)

One of the best (and worst) things about WordPress is that it’s constantly being tweaked and upgraded to squash bugs and add new features. It’s great because it’s features and abilities are always current. It’s bad because every time you turn around there is another upgrade you must perform. And when you are responsible for maintaining several WordPress installations, it can become very time consuming.

Thankfully, my host implements what it calls “One-Click Installs”. Basically this means that with one click, I can install or upgrade to the latest, most feature-rich and secure, version of WordPress. But what do you do if your host doesn’t offer such user friendly services?

You can either continue to manually upgrade your WordPress installs or give the InstantUpgrade plugin a try.

How does it work?

The InstantUpgrade plugin performs all of the necessary steps you would normally do by hand, automatically. In their words:

The InstantUpgrade plugin downloads the latest WordPress version from the WordPress server and unpacks it at your server. In the next step, it deletes all of your old WordPress files (except wp-content/ and wp-config.php, language packs are preserved, too) and puts the new files into your WordPress directory. At last, it runs the upgrade script contained it the new WordPress version.

Installation and Usage

The installation of this plugin starts out pretty easy, just download, upload to your plugins directory and activate. From there, however it takes a bit more effort to get set up. After activating the plugin you will need to change the permissions (CHMOD) on a few directories so the plugin will have access to make the appropriate changes during the upgrade. More information on which directories need to be changed can be found in the plugins documentation.

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WordPress Cache (WP-Cache) Goes Super

November 13, 2007 | Wordpress | Comments (60)

If you’re using WordPress as your blogging platform, then chances are you’re also using the WP-Cache plugin that comes standard with the platform. Using the cache plugin is a smart move. Especially if there is even a remote possibility your site will get Dugg, Stumbled, or Slashdotted.

Of course, the cache plugin is not perfect and there are a few drawbacks, but the benefits far outweigh them. Nobody wants their server to crash when that sudden onslaught of traffic comes.

About the WP-Cache Plugin

WP-Cache is an extremely efficient WordPress page caching system to make your site much faster and responsive. It works by caching Worpress pages and storing them in a static file for serving future requests directly from the file rather than loading and compiling the whole PHP code and then building the page from the database. WP-Cache allows to serve hundred of times more pages per second, and to reduce the response time from several tenths of seconds to less than a millisecond.

The New WordPress Super Cache Plugin

While the standard WP-Cache plugin has been a staple among WordPress users, it hasn’t been updated or improved in quite some time. That is until now.

Donncha O Caoimh has taken the original WP-Cache plugin, made some upgrades and released the WP-Super-Cache plugin.

Previously, one of the best ways survive getting dugg, was to generate a static version of the page getting traffic. Of course, this only works if you can anticipate it. Something that doesn’t happen very often.

Essentially, this is what the WP-Super-Cache plugin does automatically. It basically turns your dynamic site into a static one. But unlike MovableType, static cache pages are generated as needed and update regularly. It’s the perfect hybrid of WordPress and MovableType’s caching systems.

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Weekend Reading: November 10, 2007

November 10, 2007 | Link Lovin' | Comments (0)

Here are a few articles from around the blog sphere (and my RSS reader) that I found interesting and that may be of interest to you as well.

Manage Email Effectively
Daily Blog Tips talks about how email can make our live more complicated and gives 10 Tips for Managing Email Effectively.

Kindergarten Lessons
John Chow dot Com has an article from Gary Jones of BlueFur.com which talks about how the lessons learned in kindergarten can apply to blogging.

Getting Exposure For Your Blog
Anyone can create a blog, the real trick is finding people to read it. Vandelay Website Design gives 15 ways to get exposure for your new blog.

Reader Friendly Reading
Derek Beau gives 12 Secrets Of Reader Friendly Blog Content.

Building a Popular Blog
Breaking into a niche and accumulating critical mass quickly for your blog is not an easy task. DoshDosh discusses The Secret to Building a Popular Blog (and Getting Tons of Readers).

Sidebar Must Haves
Blogging Tips gives 5 Items Your Blog Sidebar Must Have.

Get Your Comments Noticed
ProBlogger gives 11 Tips for Getting Your Comments Noticed on a Popular Blog.

StumbleUpon Get Their Own (Unofficial) Top 100 List

StumbleRankTop100 lists have always been an intriguing look into what makes a super user. Whether they be the top money makers, top digg users or top whatever, they’re always fascinating.

No matter what they category, a “top” list almost always exist somewhere, official or not. But there’s one “top” list that has been missing, StumbleUpon. It’s no secret that StumbleUpon keeps statistics on their users, they’ve just always been a closely guarded secret. That is until now.

Muhammad Saleem of ProNet Advertising has created the first unofficial StumbleUpon Top100 list. StumbleRank is a Top100 list of StumbleUpon users who have stumbled the most pages, photos, and videos, submitted the most reviews, and have the largest number of “fans.”

From the StumbleRank site:
Welcome to StumbleRank, where we rank top StumbleUpon users for fun and competition. Check out the list to see who the movers and shakers are on the best and most fun socially driven site around. And make new friends while you’re at it!

By default, the top StumbleUpon users list is sorted by the number of stumbled pages, but you can also sort them by the number of photos, videos, fans or reviews. And links are provided to each users StumbleUpon page.

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Weekend Reading: November 4, 2007

November 4, 2007 | Link Lovin' | Comments (3)

Here are a few articles from around the blog sphere (and my RSS reader) that I found interesting and that may be of interest to you as well.

Make Money Online Blogs Are Hot
45n5 has an eye opening posts that takes a look at how much the blogs on his Top100 list might be worth, based on the average going rate per RSS subscriber.

Celebrities That Blog
AdesBlog has a nice list of 66 celebrities that blog.

Who Do You Think You Are?
Chris Garrett talks about how easy it is to be misunderstood online and what you can do to be better understood.

Improve The Readability of Your Blog
Pro Blog Design discusses 30 things you can do to help improve the readability of your blog.

Hiring a Web Designer
Hiring a web designer can be a daunting task. Steve from Vandelay Website Design discusses 5 common mistakes that you’ll want to avoid when hiring a web designer.

Create Your Own Vanity Folder
ProBlogger gives a few reasons why we should have our own vanity folder and how to go about creating one.

Image Hosting
Images are integral part of any blog. But with that comes the question of whether to host them yourself or use a third party service. JohnTP discusses the pros and cons of self hosting vs. third party hosting.