Posts Tagged ‘WordPress’

Posted on October 26, 2006 in WordPress by Andy @ Yellow Swordfish4 Comments »

Like most people with one of these web loggy things, it’s nice to see statistics. You know the sort of thing: how many visits you’re getting; which items are getting repeat viewings and are more popular. That sort of thing. Sure, my host offers me a couple of options but they tend to be transitory and over-complicated.

As Yellow Swordfish is built on WordPress there are also a number of respectable plugins that will also do the job – usually from within the admin pages themselves. And I have tried several.

The first I tried was StatTraq which is very comprehensive and well presented but appeared to falter after one of the WP updates and then started to fail. Next I gave BAStats a try. This was my favourite actually but has never appeared to move out of beta and is, to be frank, somewhat buggy and is now, I fear, basically unsupported. And this I dumped after I started to see some very spurious data creeping in with no help in sight to get it sorted. The next to come under trial was WP-ShortStat which again is extremely well presented except that I disliked it! As simple as that! I particularly didn’t like the baggage of all the extra CSS that was getting loaded throughout my admin pages and before long I cast it aside and basically gave up on the whole idea.

But then along came a relative newcomer to the scene – FireStats – written by Omry Yadin. Omry has done a great job and FireStats delivers what you want efficiently and quickly. It fits well into the WP admin interface and he has made great use of AJAX routines to ensure that updates and changes are quick and smooth. But what I particularly like about FireStats is that Omry is very quick to respond to queries and to offer advice and take on board suggestions. And that is something many plugin authors don’t seem to want to do.

FireStats is still, at the time of writing, in beta. Yes there are one or two small bugs and anomalies but unlike some of the above, I have confidence that they will be sorted. And it seems Omry has some great plans to extend his software further. The one negative I have applies to all the statistics plugins I have tried and seen and that’s the lack of a way to stop the stored data tables becoming too huge to cope with. The more successful your site and the more visitors you have then the bigger this data storage will be and all packages need a way of periodically archiving data into ‘totals’ to keep the tables slimmer and more manageable. Omry assures me that this is on the ‘to do’ list for the near future.

I am using it now and am more than happy to wait for better things to come along as FireStats gets developed. And it has been something of a pleasure to be actually able to discuss the plugin with the author who has shown great patience helping me track down the odd problem or two. I wish Omry and FireStats the best of luck and look forward to future revisions. Maybe this time I have found one I can stick with.

Posted on October 20, 2006 in The Web by Andy @ Yellow SwordfishComments Off

Earlier this year during May, I wrote up a surprise email I had received from Chris Wilson, Group Program Manager for Internet Explorer at Microsoft. He was asking me why I had stated in an even earlier piece, that Yellow Swordfish looked pretty lousy in IE6 and had gone so far as putting a message over on the left (for IE6 users) stating that view.

He was, understandably, of the opinion that it looked and worked just fine in IE. We shot one or two friendly emails back and forth and he even helped out with a small HTML error I had coded in and, at the end of the day, left me with the distinct impression that the particular rendering issues and CSS non-compliance issues I raised would be fixed up in IE7.

And now IE7 is past it’s beta and is released and I have today taken a long hard look at the official version.

Sorry Chris. Nearly there. But I have taken the notice down so it’s going in the right direction.

Posted on September 2, 2006 in The Web by Andy @ Yellow Swordfish2 Comments »

The website of Sam Devol – Running With Scissors – is fast becoming a great repository of information for newcomers to WordPress with an abundance of step by step advice, troubleshooting tips and links to other sites that deal with specific issues. Sam is a regular on the WP support forum and has helped me out a few times in the past, including one or two fixes for some sloppy code, and he knows his stuff. It’s just a shame that so much of this useful material has to be hunted down outside of the official WordPress Codex.

Anyway, I have Sam to thank for another discovery. FireBug from Joe Hewitt. Yes I’m sure everyone knows about FireBug except me but I am bad at browsing so much of this stuff just passes me by. FireFox is not my browser of choice. But it is the browser I use just about all of the time. And that is largely because of the wonderful extensions that are available. As far as help with web development is concerned, I figured that the absolutely indispensable Web Developer Extension from Chris Pederick was the extension king. FireBug builds on that with even more fantastic help. As the author says: “FireBug lets you explore the far corners of the DOM by keyboard or mouse. All of the tools you need to poke, prod, and monitor your JavaScript, CSS, HTML and Ajax are brought together into one seamless experience, including a debugger, error console, command line, and a variety of fun inspectors.”

FireFox is not my browser of choice but it is more and more becoming the only browser possible for me to use.

Posted on August 22, 2006 in WordPress by Andy @ Yellow Swordfish2 Comments »

For those few friends who pass by this site regularly I apologise for the lack of anything interesting going on for quite a few days now. it’s not, I assure you, because I am still cooling down from watching Keira in Pride and Prejudice. Rather I have been on a coding frenzy and when that happens it tends to take up much of my spare time and is totally absorbing until I have finished.

The problem was to do with the comments section on these pages. I rather liked the idea of threaded comments and installed and customised a WordPress plugin that did just that. But then quickly realised that it was extremely inefficient. And the one I had really wanted I just couldn’t get to work. So that was my challenge – finding out how to fix it and get it to work how I wanted it. Which I believe I have now done.

But… if anyone notices any problems with commenting, then please do let me know as I might have left a loose end lying about somewhere. For anyone interested, the plugin is Paged Threaded Comments and the problem was simply that it didn’t like PHP5. A few tweaks here and there and it is up and running.

Posted on August 8, 2006 in WordPress by Andy @ Yellow Swordfish4 Comments »

I know full well that a lot of people that download my Popup Image Gallery probably don’t get as far as even trying it out. Then there are the others who hit a snag or find they have to put a little effort into it and then give up.

And then there are those that actually use it and publish with it and just every now and then I come across it on someones site, without warning, and that feels good. I do, of course, often get told – but not always – when someone has used it and sometimes it looks good and sometimes you wish they had just gone that extra yard to make it even better.

And this is why I am completely knocked out by A Little Piece of the World where a very talented young lady has made extraordinary use of my plugin to help her showcase her exquisite photographic art. Click on any of the thumbnails along the bottom to see the galleried collections.

Take a visit and wallow in her images and while you are there note what can be done with my plugin when a little extra hard work and care and thoughtful planning are practised.

But mainly – enjoy the images.

Please Note:

This WordPress plugin has now been discontinued.
If you would like to take a look at my plugins that are currently available please visit my plugin site and follow your nose – Stuff at Yellow Swordfish.