Make WordPress admin panel use HTTP

Quick but super useful tip for WordPress development: when you’re coding your website locally on your desktop or laptop, this wp-config.php option will help you accept HTTP logins to WordPress admin panel:

define( 'FORCE_SSL_ADMIN', false );

Took me whole 5 minutes to figure out why local website worked fine but admin panel was not connecting.

Now it looks much better:

Screen Shot 2018-12-13 at 18.51.29.png

pS: if you’re using an old WordPress installation or just kept auto-updating it in the last few years without a full reinstall, the option name could be slightly different for you:

define( 'FORCE_SSL_LOGIN', false );

aHrefs SEO toolbar

I’m testing the freshly released Firefox 64 and just realised that this means I can finally download and test the SEO toolbar from my search engine optimisation tool of choice: aHrefs.com

2018-12-12_10-34-38.png

The toolbar is pretty neat and does exactly what I expect it to:

  • shows backlinks to current page and root domain
  • shows number of referring domains (RD)
  • shows estimates of monthly search traffic (seems lower number than what I’m actually getting in my website stats)
  • highlights the number of keywords (KW) that the page is ranking for

Overall, pretty cool and a nice extension to the already awesome aHrefs toolkit. Keywords is a particularly useful thing – when clicked it opens an aHrefs dashboard page where I can select and bookmark certain keywords for later targeting.

In addition to the toolbar, this add-on seems to be updating Google SERPs with similar information – so when I’m researching a technical topic for my Unix Tutorial blog it should help to assess quality of backlinks much quicker:

2018-12-12_10-40-07.png

WordPress Gutenberg

Just a quick note to say that Gutenberg editor in WordPress is AWESOME!

After using it for a few days on my Unix Tutorial blog, I’m really impressed with how intuitive the new editing experience is.

Having to create a separate content blog for each element may sound like a really daunting task, but the way it’s implemented is super intuitive: you type as you always would, but things like lists and paragraphs end up created automatically.

I also really like the way content is so much easier to rearrange now that it’s split into blocks.

See Also

WordPress OSX app is awesome!

New WordPress.com admin interface is using Calypso, a JavaScript framework – that’s been made official a few weeks ago to much appraise.

In addition to the WordPress.com, it’s also possible to download desktop apps for Windows and OSX to manage all your Jetpack-enabled blogs.

I’m still in the process of Jetpack-enabling all of my blogs, but those that have been switched already are a breeze to manage now: I can see pending core and plugin updates, moderate new comments, see website stats and can add new posts.

Have you given a native WordPress.com app a try yet? I think it’s awesome!

31 Days to a Better Blog

There’s never a better time that to start working on that dream blog of yours right now. This is especially true if said blog had been unattended for the past few months (or years!).

Check out ProBlogger’s 31 Days to a Better Blog, it’s a great e-book that’s 50% off this week with the GOODBYE2015 coupon code.

WordPress category and tag slugs

I’ve had a rather frustrating few minutes trying to create a new category on one of my WordPress blogs and to name it specifically the way I wanted.

Why category slugs get -2

Every time I did this, I always ended up with the slag getting -2 added to it, and it took me some time to figure out why.

Turns out, you can’t create a category with the same slug that you have a tag for.

Example:
if you have a tag called “linux”, even though full link to it would be website.com/tags/linux, it will still prevent you from creating a category with the same “linux” name.

Page slugs for WordPress categories and tags cannot overlap

The reason for this is, apparently, because tags and categories share the same slug database table, so cannot overlap.

Hope this helps someone, it looked really weird at first but makes sense now.

One More Reason to Use Google Webmaster Tools

Being readers of this blog, you’re probably well aware of how adding your websites to the Google Webmaster Tools panel can help you get your websites indexed almost instantly. I’ve been using the tools for many years and just love the way I can manage each blog’s visibility using sitemaps.

But recently I have discovered another really good reason for using the Google Webmaster Tools: ability to quickly remove your unwanted pages from Google cache.

Frankly, this feature surprised me – I didn’t expect that removing my pages from Google cache (not index!) would be so easy.

The procedure is simple enough and you can remove a portion of your pages or the whole website’s content.

How to upgrade WordPress and plugins without FTP

I’ve read so many forum threads on this that I think it’s time to share these very simple instructions. Follow them for your website and you’ll finally have the fully automatic updates working as they should.

Automaitic WordPress and plugin updates

First of all, let’s just make sure we’re talking about the same thing.  Since version 2.7, WordPress received one of the most useful features ever: automatic update. What this means is that every time a new version of WordPress is released, you now get a “click here to upgrade” option in your admin dashboard. When you click the link, it should ask for a confirmation and then proceed with automatic downloading and upgrading of your blog. But because of misconfigurations, this feature isn’t always working, and then you end up with a configuration dialog suggesting that you provide FTP credentials for accessing your server.

Possible reasons for automatic WordPress upgrade not working

There’s only a few reasons why WordPress or plugins upgrade feature will not work.

[Read more…]

WordPress Admin Bar tricks

If you like the WordPress admin bar introduced recently, you’re going to love the way it can be expanded to do pretty much anything you want.

DigWP.com blog has a great collection of links in a single post with some very good ideas: Admin Bar Tricks.

My personal favorites are: move admin bar to the bottom of screen and disabling admin bar for non-admins.

When Updating Forum Theme Templates

Don’t forget that most of the existing forum engines (phpBB and vBulletin are the ones I use) have some form of internal caching for all the templates. This means that you need to refresh the cache after making any changes.

I’ve just spent a good few minutes trying to figure out why most recent changes to one of my forums never applied, and it seems that although I’ve changed the template files, there was a step with cache refreshes which had to be taken before any change is visible to forum users.

This is a really basic piece of advise, but since it’s not the first time I forget to check for internal caching, I thought I’d share it and save you some time in the future.