Tag Archives wordpress

New Skin

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Hope you like the new skin.

Got this theme as it allow for a proper and controllable newspaper grid layout. There are a couple of glitches which I’ll be working on when I have time, but overall I’m happy with it. I hope you are too.

Let me know what you think.


Blog upgraded, finally

Due to a 6-year-old database (dinosaur by blogging’s standard) which was subjected to hundreds of plugins and optional component installs and uninstalls, plug various other caching and theme components whose developers thought it best to write their preferences in the database and neglected to remove those entries on uninstallation, the site’s database got to be a huge 310MB in size! Being fat, I can tell you, is not a good idea at the best of times.

So, days after the installation, I finally got the time to deal with this properly. For those interested who might be in the same situation, my remedial steps to properly upgrade to WordPress version 2.9 from 2.8 are as follows:

1. I manually went in and removed the no longer needed tables (after backing up the database of course)
2. I manually edited the db version number in the options table (as given above, thanks!) to 12329 to force going beyond the forced upgrade page
3. I went to the admin panel, downloaded, installed and activated the "Clean Options" plugin.
4. I got the plugin to remove all the hash rss entries (over 8 thousand of them!)
5. I got the plugin to evaluate all the remaining entries in the table to determine the most likely unneeded entries and double checked them all. Selected the ones I know to be unneeded and deleted them.
6. The above operation reduced the database size from 310MB down to 58MB!! Serious weight loss ;)
7. I re-edited the options value to put in the old database version of 11548
8. Went to the Admin panel again /wp-admin
9. Clicked the "upgrade database" button, and then within seconds the upgrade was reported successful and I have my blog back!

I’m so glad that the site is up and running again. I am also even happier that the database has finally slimmed down which seems to have affected the response of the site too to the better.

Silver lining? I guess so.


M.Report S01E22 – Mahmood’s Den new skin!

It’s been a long time that I was just itching to change the theme of my blog. I think it has outgrown the “traditional” blog a long time ago. I not only post in text, but have regular features of pictures, audio podcasts as well as video content.

I am happy that I found the theme on which I can build to make it mirror more of what Mahmood’s Den has become.


WP and Joomla Themes warning

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Guys, if you use WordPress and download your own themes, please be aware that some unscrupulous activity is going on in some “free” themes that you should be aware of. It would be good to check your themes just in case. For more information, please read this post.

If you have shell access, go to the root http installation and issue the following command to see if you have any of the affected themes:

grep -R templatesbrowser *

This will only look for the occurance of the word “templatesbrowser” in any of your files within the directory structure you are searching through. It’s not everything, but it’s a good start.


No more ads… for registered users that is

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I’ve just installed a fantastic WordPress plug-in that conditionally displays ads, the conditions are set by the webmaster of course – it is that flexible and more.

I won’t bore you with the technical details, suffice it to say that if you are registered and logged-in, no ad will be displayed to you, unless you are reading an article which is older than 15 days old.

If you are a “regular visitor”, that means you have read at least 4 posts in the last 10 days, no ads will be displayed to you either, unless of course you are reading a post which is older than 15 days.

If you have come here from a search engine, Google typically, then ads will be displayed in your session. According to many sources, it is these people who come through search engines who are most likely to actually click on an ad link anyway, so why bother everyone else?

I hope this will give you another impetus to register and log-in to the Den to also be able to comment.

You like?


New AJAX Comments module installed


Quick admin stuff:

I’ve installed a new Ajax-Comments plugin, that means that the comment is posted when you click submit without it having to reload the whole page to show it. Did you not notice that sexy drawer effect when you hit submit? That lessens the load on the server a lot (I hope).

I don’t know why it doesn’t display the proper comment number though on that instant, but if you do reload the page (I know, defeats the purpose) you will notice that the numbering is correct.

I’ll try this comment module for a few days and see how it goes. If you have an feedback on this, please let me know.

And I am researching ways to optimise the server, ie, getting the pages to load faster. So bear with me. I’ll tell you when I’m done. The first I’m going to do is install APC (Alternative PHP Cache) and other stuff to kick the server into a higher gear.

I’ll let you know when I’m done playing…

update 18:12 -> ALL DONE!
I’ve finished the optimisation of the site:

I hope you will find that the site loads faster now. Let me know your experiences please if you don’t mind.

There is one more thing I can do, and that is disallow commenting on any article past a certain timeframe; for instance, I can bar commenting on articles over 6 months old, or 3 months old or one year old. This will allow those articles to almost be permanently cached and they will load (theoretically) like greased lightening as they will remain static by definition, hence will only be cached once and be ready for display (only) always.

Would you be okay with that? Let me put up poll and see what you guys think…

Thanks for your patience.

UPDATE 2: 3 Feb, ’07, disabled the Ajax Comments as it was timing out and creating problems.


Say hello to Ella

I’ve upgraded the blog this afternoon to the latest release of WordPress, 2.1, code-named Ella for Ella Fitzgerald. There are many fixes, security enhancements and improvements on the previous release (obviously) and it should also be faster and leaner. I think the actual upgrade went well and as far as I can tell nothing is broken. Mind you, I upgraded all my other sites to this new version first yesterday and tested them before attempting to upgrade the Den.

I’ve also just finished installing the latest release of the theme I’m using, and moved over my modifications from the previous release to this one. You will probably notice the changes in the theme much more than what you would notice in the system itself, which is only natural. I love the small changes and improvements in the theme; for instance: every comment is numbered and the the number of the comment itself is the permanent link to that comment, that is, you can “copy link location” and bookmark it or use that link in your own comment. The comments now are alternately coloured for easier reading, and the “Share This” link now actually works! Try it. There are various other bits and pieces, see if you can identify them.

Most important of all, if you do notice something broken or you think is broken, no matter how small, I would appreciate you letting me know so I can attempt to fix it.

I would like to thank the good folks at WordPress for their excellent efforts, and Sadish for this excellent theme.