Posts Tagged WordPress

Plug for Siteground web-hosting service

This is a plug for the good folks who host this website – SiteGround. They just started an affiliate program, so if you buy their web-hosting service from this site, you’ll be buying me a meal.

There’s also a permanent link up on my homepage:
Web Hosting

I’ve used this company for years and have no complaints.I used to use GoDaddy, but got tired of their tireless marketing campaigns, and found their tech-support wasn’t as good as SiteGround’s, and personally I found their account management interface a little less intuitive than SiteGround’s, but that’s probably just me.

Why use SiteGround? I’m glad you asked!

First, they have servers in different continents: the US (Chicago), Europe (Amsterdam) and most recently Asia (Singapore). Choose the location of your server for best connections for you and your customers and visitors. (Read more in the Hosting Comparison PDF).

Second, their tech support is extremely helpful and fast. I’m no geek, and I have frequently needed help, such as when updating WordPress . Well, now it’s all automatic and very smooth. But back in the day, it all had to be done by HAND! I’d carefully read the tutorials (SiteGround has tutorials on just about everything you’d need, including how to install and update WordPress, Joomla or other blog and website-management software). Then I’d watch the tutorial video. OK. Got it. Everything would go swimmingly and I’d finally click on my website in my browser and find… nothing! Or “This website does not exist” or “Please check your database reference”.

Help! But with SiteGround’s tech support, I’d be back in action within a few minutes or an hour at the most. I mostly use their ticketing support (that’s where you send them an email via their online form, and they reply to that), but I’ve also used their online chat, and their telephone support (once each) and was very satisfied with all of them. My only complaint is that, a couple of times my problem is “none-of-the-above” help categories and is not answered in any tutorial or FAQ, and then, how do you contact tech-support?

For example, I recently got an email from Google telling me my website was suspected of being a phishing site, and please contact Google to resolve the issue. Before I did that, I wanted to check with SiteGround. I wasn’t even sure if the Google email was genuine. Perhaps THAT was a phishing scam?

But there was no category for my problem among SiteGround’s list of “What is your problem?” I chose the first one on the list (Domain problems, I think). I got a reply to my “ticket” within a few minutes, telling me the problem had been resolved (it was caused by another user on the same shared server). So choosing an inappropriate category did not result in any delay or confused back-and-forth time-wasting.

Most of my support requests have been about WordPress (read a WordPress Hosting Review of SiteGround here; the review points out that SiteGround is not there to hold your hand – they won’t manage your website for you, so if that’s what you need, better look elsewhere). I used my own installation of WordPress for all my blogs. Although SiteGround ask you to contact WordPress for tech support, they have been very kind and done things for me like tell me the name of the database associated with one of my blogs when I forgot which was which (when you have 10 blogs, it can be easy to lose track).

Full marks for SiteGround’s tech support!

SiteGround supports WordPress, Joomla and Drupal and has tutorials for how to install and manage all these. I’ve been able to get everything done that I need to do using these tutorials (and when I couldn’t, my support requests got answered within hours, and usually within 10 minutes). Plus email accounts, webmail service, domain transfer and purchase, Cloud VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and lots more.

Check them out.
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Scribefire plugin problem

Image via Wikipedia

Scribefire is a blog-editor plugin that allows you to blog directly from a website to your blog without going to your blog, if you get my drift.

Despite having Scribefire plugin loaded into my Firefox browser, I haven’t used it recently, because it posted garbage. Specifically,

“When I post to WordPress, all of the HTML is stripped out. e.g., <br /> appears as ‘br /’.”

The same thing happened when I tried to blog from Flickr. Questions in WordPress fora went unanswered, so I took the plunge today and uninstalled Scribefire, rebooted Firefox and prepared to blog about it. Going to the ScribeFire homepage, however, I read the following:

One of the most common bugs reported for ScribeFire is a variation on this theme:

“When I post to WordPress, all of the HTML is stripped out. e.g., <br /> appears as ‘br /’.”

This is not a bug in ScribeFire; rather, it is a bug in a piece of software called PHP that is used to run your blogging software.

The (hard) solution to this bug is to get your Web host to upgrade their version of PHP to version 5.2.9 or greater. If that’s not possible, you can fix it yourself by installing this WordPress plugin.

Thanks to all of the ScribeFire users that have reported this problem, and thanks as well to the other users that supplied links to the fixes.

I go to my Web host, but am unable to ask them to upgrade their version of PHP: there is no way to contact them – all the “contact us” pages direct me to endless pages of FAQs…

There is a WordPress plugin that fixes this, if you cannot get your Web host to upgrade (or if they have cleverly removed any contact email address from their “help” pages).

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WordPress blog tips

Image via Wikipedia

Marko Saric has created a remarkably successful blog… about how to be a successful blogger! I just discovered his website and clicked on his free e-book (PDF),  on how to optimize WordPress for successful blogging. I’ve only just started reading it, but already I have implemented one of his suggestions: to change my permalink from ?p=123 to a URL that includes the title of my blog post. Easily done in the Settings.

Next,  I plan to explore his suggestion to use FeedBurner for the RSS feed,and to offer subscribers the option to receive my blog via email.

There’s lots more useful advice on his blog.

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Unchuffed, or how to double an mp3 file size without trying

Image representing WordPress as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

I tried posting a rather long (2 hours) mp3 file, but WordPress told me the maximum size was 24 mb (the file size was 32 mb). So I downloaded Audacity and cut the file in half and saved the 2 chunks, then tried uploading them. Would you believe it? Again, WordPress, unimpressed, tells me the maximum file size is 25 mb and my file is too big to upload and that’s the second time I’ve told you!

Impossible! I checked the size of the 2 files and each one is, wait for it, 54 mb! I just doubled the size of my mp3 file by cutting in half. What the hell?

Back to the drawing board…

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