Paul Goodchild over in Belfast is an interesting chap who's done some great work in security and in WordPress site management. We're ManageWP customers and huge ManageWP fans (great new interface), due to the great development and enthusiastic support team. But if we were to look for an alternative, iControlWP would be at the top of the list. iControlWP's existence probably pushed ManageWP to accelerate their improvements and simplify their pricing. We did consider switching both before the release of Orion (older ManageWP wasn't nearly as pretty or reliable as the current Orion version: if you haven't had a look for awhile, you should give ManageWP another chance) and then briefly again at the time of the ManageWP GoDaddy acquisition as our clients had nothing but grief with GoDaddy hosting over the years. Fortunately ManageWP seems to run just as well as it did before the acquisition and the same people are in place. We in fact upgraded to the top package with built-in SEO and site performance reports for clients.
Alec has been helping businesses succeed online since 2000. Alec is an SEM expert with a background in advertising, as a former Head of Television for Grey Moscow and Senior Television Producer for Bates, Saatchi and Saatchi Russia. Alec maintains a photography and culture weblog at uncoy.com. His dance film Lapinthrope won prizes around the world.
Alec holds an Honours B.A. from Trinity College at the University of Toronto in Modern Languages and Literature.
Many of you may know that Foliovision began as a client service agency and not a software company. Our first big service was migration from Typepad to WordPress. We were literally doing dozens of migrations a month at one point. Project management in bulk was essential to the premium client experience we wishes to offer.
We started with Basecamp but eventually outgrew it (there's a long post about our Basecamp to Teamwork migration) and moved to Teamwork (back then TeamworkPM). Teamwork Projects at the time had a much worse design than Basecamp (latest version looks pretty good and even allows CSS customisation) but lots more tools (recurring tasks was a big one for us) at the time. As happy as the upgrade in features made us at the time, there was still one key feature missing. Later we called this feature Observer Status.
One of our more fun clients for our FV Player video player for WordPress recently wrote me:
btw.. i hope you invested in bitcoin like i told you...
Here's my answer.
I don't invest in systems where I have no control. Bitcoin could just disappear tomorrow and one fine day it will.
Here's how it will go down:
- Bitcoin will be a threat to the USD
- the US Treasury will declare Bitcoin a means to conduct illegal business
Ever had your Featured Image Admin Option go missing in WordPress? This very useful cute little box:
The Featured Images check box is not in Screen Options either:
One of our clients is deciding on whether he should renew Yoast SEO or move to our free FV Simpler SEO. Tommie asked me some good questions about the differences.
Our SEO workflow in Yoast is mostly to help writers. It tells gives Harriet and other writers suggestions and warnings on optimising the permalink, meta description, heading, etc. based on the keyword target/s. Is that what yours does too?
It's been a commenting kind of last seven days since Disqus started adding ads or charging what are extortionate rates for continued ad-free existence ($99/month for sites with from 50K to 250K visitors!). First some lively conversation over at WP Tavern about Disqus, wpDisquz (also very expensive at $29/extension), Postmatic, Replyable and our own Thoughtful Comments. Thoughtful Comments at free with Replyable at $3/month turned out to offer the best value in the advanced commenting sweepstakes to replace Disqus.
And now today I had one of our long time clients write in with a new issue which they hadn't faced before: how to deal with overly prolific commenters who were spoiling the intelligent conversations about law on their website.
Hello! I've been digging into the documentation for "Thoughtful Comments". Do you know if it's possible in the plugin settings or in some other settings to limit the number of comments a single person (commenter) can leave either a) on a given post or b) in a given day?
We have a slight troll problem and we're wondering if something like that could address it. Or, maybe there's something else we could do short of manually flagging and banning individuals? Appreciate it!
Right now their website is open to any commenters, you don't need an account. This is the most difficult situation as in this case you have no real history with your commenters. Anyone can write in an email address, anyone can spoof another commenter's identity if s/he knows or can guess the email address of the other person. Guessing an email is not at all difficult if people are including a URL with their identity and a name.
Foliovision now uses Markdown for formatting text in fields in our MLS listings software. You can use Markdown in either short or long description. Markdown also works throughout our project management system if you disable the WYSWIYG. This is a really quick practical guide to using Markdown without all the complicated advanced syntax only geeks need.
Micro Markdown Syntax Reference
Headers - ### Bold - **word** Italic - *word* [link text](https://domain.com/page.html) Numbered lists - 1., 2., 3. Bullet point lists - *, -, + Blockquote - > Quotation text, could span multiple lines and sentences. Image - ![alttext](http://domain.com/image.jpg)
Short Markdown Syntax Guide
The page below contains examples of Markdown syntax.
We use Markdown everywhere at Foliovision as our main project management software Teamwork offers excellent Markdown support. For some of our internal documents we desperately need tables. This was preventing us from switching everything to Markdown. I'd heard there was decent support for tables in Markdown but trying to edit Markdown tables long hand was not fun at all. This is what Markdown tables look like as plain text:
| Application - Markdown Support | Active | Preview | Price | Non-app store version | Writing Experience | Footnotes | Strikethrough | | ------------------------------ | :----: | :-----: | --------: | :-------------------: | :----------------: | --------- | ------------- | | Typora | Superb | Yes | Free Beta | Yes | ++++ | Weak | Two Tildes | | TableIt | Yes | Yes | $19 | Yes | N/A | N/A | N/A | | Marked 2 | No | Yes | $10 | Yes | N/A | Yes | Yes, GFM | | BBEdit/TextWrangler | Yes | No | $50/free | Yes | ++ | No | No |
So I went looking for a Markdown editor which supported tables well for my team. In the process I discovered a lot about Markdown and even editing. I invite you to join me on my journey. As I use OS X and most of our team does as well (we have some Linux and a few Windows users: we have fewer people using Windows than Linux at this point), this article focuses on OS X Markdown editors. Our overall winner is a cross-platform application (OS X , Windows, Linux) built on HTML5 technology and we do cover other Windows Markdown editors at the end of the article.
As some may remember, my favourite music service is Pandora (Deezer used to be a close second until they removed the "Hear This" feature). I listen to a lot of new music and discovery is important to me. That doesn't mean I want to explore a lot of genres I hate. There's a lot of good music in the world (in the sense of appealing to me) and I'd like to spend as much of my life as possible discovering those artists who will change my life for the better.
Pandora gets you there faster than anyone else. I'm currently listening to Carla Bruni radio. I only like Ms. Bruni's music about a 7 out of 10 but Pandora offers a mainly French female singer diet (way too much Ella Fitzgerald at first), leading me to discover four or five artists I didn't know. Pandora is also low-maintenance (it keeps playing without requiring adjusting playlists) and lets you tune your channels to your own tastes (no more Ella Fitzgerald much less Bossa Nova, lots more Indila, Andrea Lindsay, Thievery Corporation and Coeur de Pirate).
Recently we struggled with a difficult issue in WordPress Multisite. We take care of a network of sports weblogs. Each is for a different sport and not all the domain names sound the same.
We have a master install at say worldrecords.org (sample name, not our client's site). Logins only are SSL and all take place at worldrecords.org. An account at any site gets you access to all the sites. Hence login and password takes place at the master domain. Most visitors are not even aware of the domain switch during login.
When people would lose their password, the password reset email would not come from skatinggolds.org or lugegolds.org but from worldrecords.org. Many people would not recognise the domain and would delete the email without clicking and finishing the password reset. Worse yet the email might be considered spam by spam filters.
If you are in video development and you are ever contacted by Curtis Allen from TunedInLive.com, you should know that he is highly unlikely to pay for work he commissions.
I should have known better looking at his website.
There's been a lot of talk and writing about radically revamping WordPress edit experience since the New Year. It's great that the conversation has been started and many strong ideas have been shared. Matt Mullenweg kicked off the discussion on 4 January with a Coleridgian description of a new editor. Like Kubla Khan's "stately pleasure-dome", the new editor should be a "miracle of rare device".
The editor will endeavour to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.
Any "post building experience" which aspires to make "writing rich posts effortless" has my full attention. What should this experience look like in practical terms?
At Foliovision, we like to stay behind a few versions on WordPress. This means our clients enjoy stable custom code for their complex membership and business sites. What it means in real terms is that a site usually stays on the major WordPress iteration on which it was released.
Staying on security updates enormously decreases a publisher's WordPress maintenance burden. We're really grateful to the core WordPress crew for continuing to post security updates for every WordPress release from 3.7 on. On the other hand, it's extremely rude of WordPress to constantly push small publishers to do major version updates without letting the publisher know security updates are available (1). Our BusinessPress plugin solves update anxiety. We lighten up the update notifications, give you more information about what version you are running and encourage you to install the latest security update. Most importantly, BusinessPress prevents clients from pushing through a major update accidentally and breaking their site. On the Christmas holidays for instance.
A year ago PHP7 launched. Those already using HHVM ran a bunch of benchmarks and came away with the conclusion that HHVM is much faster and is indeed the secret sauce of their superior pricey hosting. While scouting for hosting for a very high traffic site, I heard this from WPE, from Pressidium and from Kinsta. Out of the three principal advocates of HHVM, Kinsta's offer was the only one which made any kind of financial sense.
Since then, we've been using HHVM for that project with no end of grief in surprise collapses in the middle of the night or the middle of the weekend. Are the instability and incompatibilities worth it? For a smaller web publisher, certainly not. For a middle-sized web publisher (think top 2000 website in the US), probably not. For a very large sized web publisher (think Facebook or another top 100 website in the US) quite possibly. Here's why.
While out on Twitter today, I visited the Facebook page of the company of a new acquaintance also in the marketing trade. Silvia had decided to cite Gary Vaynerchuk. Pretty compelling statement. I really agree with it.
There is more junk created and marketed on the internet than in world history (there were some pretty weird elixirs hawked in the newspapers around the turn of the century in America so marketing excesses in the favour of poor product are not altogether unprecedented).
Anyone who owns more than two Macs know it's a real convenience to be able to use target mode for transferring files. You just restart your MacBook Pro and hold T down and you're in Target Mode. This lets you copy files on and off the target computer as if the disks inside it were external drives.
The issue lately though is that MacBook Pro's when in Target Mode make a terrific amount of noise:
I have a new Santa Rosa MacBook and when started in Firewire target disk mode, the fan runs at a high rate all of the time. This is even when there is no disk activity. Is this normal?
After moving a website from one server to another, it can be difficult to get the new site to show up immediately even with very low TTL (time to live) times on the DNS server. It’s usually because of DNS cache.
As we have to test with all kinds of OS and different versions, I’ve put together how to flush DNS on each major OS (and even on Google’s tricky Chrome which maintains its own DNS cache) in one place for our own reference.
We are adding comment ratings to our FV Thoughtful Comments at the request of one of our clients. He likes Disqus features but doesn't like entrusting his user generated content to a third party service and doesn't like Disqus page load slowdowns. A very smart guy and successful publisher.
We've experimented with Epoch and wpDisquz and have even donated to the latter. Unfortunately wpDisquz is not fast enough either on a really busy site (measured in both page views and frequency of comments).
Today's challenge is how to quickly turn this finished 5760 x 3840 10 MB photograph into a a high quality and compact web version:
For years I output my photos for web and email with Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. Since Adobe went cloud only and non-purchase, I've been working hard to put together workflows which don't include any Adobe and work on 10.6 forward. Adobe Lightroom 4 (last version which runs on 10.6) already forces one to convert originals to DNG (data loss) to be able to use the latest cameras.