Archive for the ‘software’ Category
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
I get a lot of random WordPress questions, and yesterday was no exception. A friend had purchased a Genesis Child Theme – Event Manager – for her upcoming conference for moms. While she was having good success using the theme and getting her site set up, she was having a devil of a time changing the favicon from the standard Genesis “G” and asked for my help.
While normally, I would just recommend that she FTP the favicon image to her site root and/or the Child Theme images folder, I was unsure about her comfort level with the technical side of that. (It’s not very technical, but some people still prefer to avoid FTP if they can.) So off I went to look for another solution.
There are lots of Favicon plugins around, but none of them were getting rid of this stubborn one. And then I found the perfect solution – Genesis Favicon Uploader. This plugin does only one thing – uploads a favicon.ico file (it requires that to be the filename, so change it before you upload if you need to) and sets it as your site favicon. Sure, you could upload something through the included Media upload, and then change the reference in the themes header, but you run the risk of that getting written over when you update the theme. By using this plugin, you avoid that risk.
The plugin is available in the WordPress repository, but it’s been a while since it’s been updated, so you’ll see a warning message when you go to that page.
Not sure how to install a plugin? Check out these posts to learn how to install a plugin from the WordPress repository or to install it manually by uploading through FTP.
Tuesday, November 15th, 2011
One of the most common questions I hear from people new to WordPress is “What’s the difference between wordpress.org and wordpress.com?” Today, I’m going to answer that question for you.
WordPress.com is where you can get a free blog that runs on the WordPress platform. With this free blog, there are limitations on what themes and plugins you can use, and how much storage space you have. What’s included are automatic backups and upgrades, and hosting architechted across multiple servers so that it can handle large volumes of traffic. You can get a custom URL or increased storage for extra cost, or your website will come with a yoursite.wordpress.com address by default.
WordPress.org is where you download the same software that’s the basis for wordpress.com sites, but requires you to have your own web host to install and run it on. WordPress.org is often referred to as the “self-hosted” WordPress. With self-hosted WordPress, you have complete flexibility to modify the code, themes or plugins however you want to. You can create your own custom themes and plugins (or have someone create them for you), modify existing plugins, or just choose to use any of the many many “off the shelf” themes and plugins available for WordPress. (See the Resources section below for a listing of where to find some of these.) Also, with the self-hosted version of WordPress, you are responsible for your own backups and upgrades, unless you have a host like Page.ly that will take care of that for you.
Which one should I use?
The next question that’s usually heard is “Which version should I use for my ______ site?” The answer kind of depends on what you’re doing with your site. If you’re just wanting to create a personal blog, then I think WordPress.com is a perfectly fine option. However, if you want to embrace WordPress as the powerful content management system that it has grown up to be, and use if for your business or organization’s website, then a self-hosted WordPress.org site is the way to go. Yes, it will cost you some for hosting and a domain name, and maybe for a custom or modified theme but if you’re running a business, these are all reasonable (even expected) expenses and give you much better control over your website. Starting a business is hard enough – why start it with limitations on what your website can look like or what functions it can have? You can usually find an inexpensive hosting solution (which many times includes a free domain name) for less than $100/year. There are may free themes for WordPress available, and lots of premium themes available for a moderate cost. You can get a customized theme for as little as $350, and a full custom theme for as little as $750.
Host Papa (affiliate link)
Just Host (affiliate link)
Page.ly (affiliate link)
WordPress Theme Repository
StudioPress (affiliate link)
WooThemes (affiliate link)
Elegant Themes (affiliate link)
Thesis (affiliate link)
Genesis (affiliate link)
Headway (affiliate link)
WordPress.org (self-hosted version of the software)
WordPress.com (free hosted blog site) Google analytics
Disclaimer: If you purchase something by click on one of the above links, I may earn a small referral commission. While I have used most of the products or services listed above, I cannot claim to have used them all, especially in it’s current version. I have no other affiliation with the creators or owners of the products or services listed above.
Thursday, February 10th, 2011
Do you ever get emails with a random J in them? Maybe usually at the end of a sentence or something like that? Ever wonder what it is?
It’s actually someone that has typed a smiley emoticon – – into an email program that automatically converts them into a graphical smiley. Why does this happen? The smiley graphic is usually done (especially in Outlook) using the WingDings font and the smiley graphic corresponds to the letter J in the font, and it looks fine on the sender’s screen. However, when it’s being viewed on a system without the WingDing font, or in just plain text (as on many message boards and group mailing list programs), it just shows as a J.
What can you do about? Sadly, not a lot. If the system the reader is using doesn’t allow rich text or doesn’t have the WingDings font, there’s not really anything they can do to change it. What I usually do is write *smile* instead of using the emoticon, or you could also use another emoticon, such as or put a space between the characters, like : ), which usually trips up the automatic conversion thing.
Can you disable the automatic conversion? Sure, most of the time. In Outlook 2003, go to Tools > Options > Mail Format tab > Editor Options button on bottom > Proofing on Left > AutoCorrect options button. Near the top of the list should be all of your smileys, like this
You can delete them, or uncheck the check box next to “Replace text as you type”. The check box does have global ramifications, so if you uncheck it, nothing will be corrected as you type, so I recommend just deleting the smileys from the auto-correct list. Or just use something else, like *smile*.
Hope that cleared it up for you, and I hope you have a great day! *smile*