Many sites whose new posts were previously indexed in one day have found themselves waiting 7 day to have their posts indexed. If you are depending on AdSense revenues for visitors clicking on topical recent posts, this is a big problem. I'd imagine that would be about a 60% income drop for your site overnight.
What's causing this issue?
Let me reiterate my opposition to the use of "All In One" and other SEO plugins - they are not helping any blogs with search engine optimization. They are bells and whistles, busy working gadgets....
A typical default WordPress installation does a perfectly fine job of allowing you to configure your page titles, URLs, and content. You don't need to embed "Keywords" in meta tags and your autogenerated descriptions will be no better than whatever a search engine would provide (and the search engines will ignore meta descriptions in many queries anyway)....
There is a LOT of confusion over what you need to do with a WordPress blog. The less you burden it with so-called "SEO friendly" features, the less likely you'll screw up your site in the search results.
If you don't know enough about search engine optimization to do it yourself, then you're really in over your head when you depend on a theme or plugin to make the decisions for you.
Installing an SEO plugin will not damage your SEO.
- Having custom handwritten descriptions can increase your clickthrough 50% or more.
- Including a good short keywords section with the 5 or 6 top tags for your post can help with Yahoo still.
- Writing a second structured title for search can really help (your article header should be written for the reader and not for search, i.e. with wordplay and puns and spin and short forms are good. Like a newspaper headline but the page title must include keywords)
So an SEO plugin can really help your SEO with minimal time and trouble.
MenuMeters is a superb tool for those who use their computers heavily.
While you are multitasking you are instantly alerted to issues in uploading, memory leaks and paging, caches being permanently to disk, core processes or user projects getting stuck.
Frankly the cost of the instant info is having a fair amount of your menu bar taken up with the four indicators.
OS X MenuMeters Raging Menace
So on my most recent two Snow Leopard installs I tried to get by without MenuMeters. Bliss in simplicity. Higher productivity.
No such luck. Without instant visual feedback, your computer will bog down on a broken Internet connection or a runaway process, slowing one down more than the milliseconds to see where the issues are.
For reasons unknown, Apple makes it really difficult to move around one's iTunes library.
Just moving the library to another hard drive will result in all the files being disconnected. Unlike Aperture or Final Cut Pro, there is no automated path fix. If you want to correct the paths you have to do it file by file.
There's also a hidden function inside iTunes which is really deadly (I believe it comes turned on by default) to reorder your library. If you do that, compilation albums will often be broken into the individual song. Each in their individual artist folder.
Basically if you let iTunes loose on your library, you will entirely lose Finder organisation. Guess what? Then you will be fully dependent on iTunes as no finder based album play system (the excellent Vox for instance) will work well anymore. So there is method to the madness.
Even the songs which don't have correct metatags will all get dumped in a large virtual graveyard instead of being left in their date or album structure.
Whatever happened to the CDDB and to FreeDB?
CDDB evolved into Gracenote. It looked like they were losing their stranglehold when Roxio moved to FreeDB in 2000. A closed settlement resulted in Roxio moving to Gracenote full time. I hope they were clever enough to get free stock in Gracenote for the pleasure.
The next death knell (although no one knew how important it was at the time) for FreeDB was that Apple went with Gracenote and then disabled any ability for users to submit to FreeDB (for a couple of years it was possible to use the FreeDB servers instead by monkeying around in one's hosts file, but it was a pretty techy solution). Without
Apple Mail is the email client I use as it looks good and has a great search function. But it doesn't matter if you use Apple Mail or something else, if you don’t want your every move tracked, you have to prevent your email client from loading external images. On OS X, I use Apple Mail and the way I block external images is with Little Snitch.
The way to do it is to block all connections except the ones you allow.
But for some services you do want to see the external images.
- WYSIWYG style configuration now resides in plugin options.
Easier configuration – no need to edit your CSS file to make your editor true WYSIWYG. Don’t worry, your old configuration will still work.
- Image management tool now appears with the right year/month/ directory opened.
Your blog contributors won’t upload images into your root image directory anymore.
- All uploaded images above certain height and width (check out plugin options) are sized down to fit into it.
Well, this won’t handle those insane 5000 x 3000 px images some people try to put into their posts (as it’s just too big for the PHP memory), but at least it takes care of the oversized 2000 px wide images which won’t fit on your screen when opened. The default setting is 960 px of either width or height.
- Works on sites with secured wp-config.
- Insert FV WordPress Flowplayer button added.
Let’s you use our popular video plugin with ease.
- Pasting dialog receives focus when it appears.
- Dreamhost JSON glitch fixed.
A lot of our plugins use embedded shortcodes inside square brackets.
- Foliopress Testimonials
- FV WordPress Flowplayer
- Embedded Menus
- FV Embedded Menus Pro
- Sniplets (created with John Godley)
Our embedded shortcodes look something like this:
[command parameter=something value=number]
The reason we use square brackets is that square brackets parse just fine in WYSIWYG editors including our own Foliopress WYSIWYG.
We've had a lot of simple questions about how to use our FV WordPress Flowplayer. I couldn't understand why. The instructions are pretty straightforward.
It turns out that the shortcodes were being parsed and showing the result instead of the code people should be using. How anybody managed to get the plugin working without the short codes is a bit of mystery to me. But they did. Wow can people be ingenious sometimes.
At Foliovision, we still plan to build a dual load balancing open source router on one of our old computers someday soon. In the meantime, our trusty old D-Link DI-804HV router was misbehaving a couple of weeks ago with all kinds of routing errors and slowing down our work. Another consequence was lousy Skype communication. Happily enough after a full reset, I was able to get it back to normal.
Our router has to look after about eight to fifteen computers at a time so it's no longer the load of just a few computers. Our primary connection is 3 MB/sec download from Chello.
But we aren't doing much VPN work so our needs aren't extreme. It would be nice if Skype didn't drop off on us in the middle of work. Our main concern is redundancy. With 8 to 15 people working at any given time, even 15 minutes downtime is too much now. Four hours downtime would be nearly 40 hours work as most of our work requires Internet access at this point!
Whatever you do, do not use FastSpring. They do not respect or support EU VAT rules on VAT exemption, effectively forcing your business customers to pay an extra 20% for your licenses. Adding 20% to a tax paying business's costs makes FastSpring and by extension your software very unpopular.
We use primarily use Paypal for our smaller transactions at Foliovision ($1000 and under). Some customers complain. They'd just rather not do business with Paypal. In these cases, we do have bank accounts in three major jurisdictions but it does slow down transactions and increase transaction costs on smaller invoices.
I tell them there is just no other payment service which works well for small international payments.
Precautions we take:
- we don't confirm our bank account numbers which technically means that Paypal can't withdraw funds from our bank accounts.
- they do do it anyway, but in our case it would be illegal and there's a very good chance that the bank would go after Paypal for the money themselves if Paypal did manage to snooker them into giving them cash.
- we run a balance under $2000. Over that and the money gets shunted off to one of our bank accounts.
- we are very good customers. We send lots of sales through and we buy lots of goods too. Occasionally we even have to switch currencies. Paypal makes a fortune off of Foliovision. We even introduce lots of new customers to them as well.
In general, limit liability and make yourself valuable. I recommend you do the same.
But then I go and read a post like this one about how Paypal single-handedly nearly ruined the Macgraphoto graphics bundle (sorry to have missed it Jacob: great idea for a themed bundle!). And I think we haven't done nearly enough and that we are playing with fire.
We buy and use a lot of software here at Foliovision. We have all kinds of weird stuff running for checking web rankings and logging backlinks in our SEO business. We don’t like Adobe much for price gouging so we buy all kinds of graphics bits and bobs to
Basically our rule is that if a software program can do it faster, then have a software program do it. This approach allows us to offer our clients more service within their budget. So we have contact with a lot of software. While out shopping online (how’s that for a pleonasm) I’ve often seen sterling awards pages for what looks like really rubbish programming.
Where do these ugly little banners come from and how the software developers earn them?
Everyone who works on the web should have a keylogger. Browsers crash often enough when you are writing into a form or browsers have hot keys (especially forward or back) which will reload the page on you at an unexpected time, just when you are in the middle of a very long post.
I've heard all the privacy arguments against keyloggers but I'm not sold. If you are typing into a computer, particularly one which is near constantly connected to the Internet, you need to accept that there is very limited privacy. For very private writing, it should be done on paper or on an old computer which is no longer capable of being hooked up to the Internet easily or at all (i.e. missing a network card and wifi and/or automatic DHCP).
In this day and age, running a computer without some kind of an outgoing firewall is like driving your car with your eyes closed.
There are so many malfeasors - from phishers to corporate spies - trying to track you and place you and grab you every time you check your email or you browse the web, that everyone needs a firewall.
You can test this on OS X by installing Little Snitch and scrolling through your messages. A few of the outgoing calls are for innocent images, mainly they are for tracking tags and tracking images.
Little Snitch is free for 3 hour periods at a time so it can be installed to test and find out what domains you'd like to be blocking.
For long term blocking of nasty sites OS X, your solutions are threefold:
New version of our modified opensource version of Flowplayer without any obnoxious branding on the front end is supporting template tags and widgets.
I ended up with thousands of these ghost messages after moving from Eudora to Apple Mail with the help of Andreas Amann's brilliant Eudora Mailbox Cleaner. I didn't worry too much about it, as the messages were there in duplicate.
But after a while I got tired of seeing double messages when searching the old archives. I couldn't find any way to scare away these ghosts. Rebuilding the mailboxes didn't help. Nor did running duplicate message scanners.
Even the fantastic vacuum command line cleanup routine wouldn't get rid of the ghost messages with their "Show in Mailbox" in the top right corner. But vacuum did get speed up Apple Mail (highly recommended).
Don’t give away the store, as Toys R Us and Target found out.
Yes, everything awful you’ve heard about these adapters is true. They don’t really work right, under Mac OS X. The strange thing is that those who’ve turned their Mac Minis into either Windows XP or Linux rigs do not have trouble with the adapter. So it’s not really hardware related. A bit embarassing that the Apple engineers can’t get their own gear working. Another senior engineer transferred to the iPhone video driver department?
Flicker two or three times a day – GM, Dec. 9
I am a totally MAC fan. I love their stuff. It is always quality. This thing is awful. I depend on my monitor as I do a lot of photo work. I had an older macbook pro which had the DVI output. Ok, so I have buy a 100 adapter now, I am sort of ok with that. Then I find it takes up one of my USB ports as well. A little less happy, but give me a product that works. Now this… Two or three times a day I need to cycle this thing. Very poor. I really hope they fix this.
bad, bad, bad – VC, Dec. 9
This thing is junk. Sadly I have to re boot or put my computer to sleep at least three or four times a day because it goes out and comes back with the dreaded TV Snow we all hated as kids when the cable went out. Apple should have gotten this right by now. As a consumer and big spender on apple product I’m disappointed again. Windows 7 anyone? (Joke) Is Apple listening?
Until recently, Apple had no good inexpensive computer in its lineup. There was the Mac Mini but the graphics were crappy built-in on-board Intel adapters. As an ex Macbook owner, I knew how weak that chip is.
On the other hand, the Mac Mini with the 9400GF is a real computer. A Core2Duo processor at 2 GHz can handle anything except gaming and high end video editing.
I hope to hell my staff are not gaming and I know we aren't doing high end video editing these days. If we decide to start, I'll get a more powerful computer.
I know that when we do go to video editing, there are no audio and video sync issues on Macs (sync issues are the historic bugaboo of video editing on Windows computers).
We've just bought a total of six Mac Minis and Macbooks to switch Foliovision over to being primarily an Apple company. Here's why.
We are moving half the office to Mac computers this month.
Originally I was in the market for a couple of quads with Microsoft Windows. But to be able to buy those two computers, I had to figure out all the troublesome licensing of Microsoft. Originally we just wanted to say with XP, as that's what we know and like. On the way, here's what I discovered about Microsoft Licensing:
- licenses are extremely confusing (8 license levels? come on)
- licenses are not portable
- licenses are restricted to a single language
- licenses have to be activated
- hardware changes require reactivation
- you need antivirus software for every Microsoft computer (we've actually bought it for all ours from Avast)
We were relatively happy Microsoft Windows XP users with five XP licenses and four Windows 2000 licenses. We planned to stay that way, but it's difficult and expensive to buy XP licenses these days and they don't point forward.
New Foliopress WYSIWYG is featuring drop down customization – you can add any kind of styling you can imagine to it.