Author Archives: Graham

About Graham

I'm the creator of BuildYourBlog.net.
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How to Stop a Post's Featured Image Appearing in Site Header

The TwentyTen theme has an annoying feature which causes the image in your site header to be replaced by a post's Featured Image. I have no idea what they were thinking, other than that the featured image wasn't used anywhere else in the theme, so perhaps they should use it to override the image in the header.

Well that's a bad idea. Even though the theme doesn't use it, sites like Facebook will use the featured image as the thumbnail when a post is shared. It just doesn't make sense to change your site header according to the featured image.

In order to fix this, you have to edit your theme's header.php, preferably by creating a child theme. Search for these lines:

// Check if this is a post or page, if it has a thumbnail, and if it's a big one
if ( is_singular() && current_theme_supports( 'post-thumbnails' ) &&
        
Continue reading…
Posted in Themes | Tagged , | 2 Comments

How To Disable OpenGraph Tag Generation In Simple Facebook Connect

The Simple Facebook Connect plugin is the best way I've come across to automatically update your Facebook wall and/or fan page when you post. It seems to do a better job than the Facebook plugin, and is free unlike Network Publisher who recently reduced the number of networks you can share on for free dramatically.

However, Simple Facebook Connect uses an evil hack to generate OpenGraph tags based on a WordPress post's contents that causes the post to be generated twice internally. This causes subtle conflicts with many other plugins, including MailPress. Plenty of other plugins can generate OpenGraph tags, but you can't have more than one doing the job at any time and there's currently no automatic way to arbitrate between them, so we need a way to disable this feature in every plugin that supports it.

There's currently no option to disable OpenGraph tags in Simple Continue reading…

Posted in Social Media | Tagged , | Comments Off on How To Disable OpenGraph Tag Generation In Simple Facebook Connect

Updating Your Facebook Status Automatically With Facebook Plugin

Facebook have written their own plugin which allows you to update your Facebook status automatically via it's Social Publishing feature. There are other plugins out there that can do this for you, but I thought I'd try the plugin written and maintained by the Facebook team themselves. It works, but there are a few things to look out for.… Continue reading…

Posted in Social Media | Tagged , | 2 Comments

How To Include A "Continue Reading..." Link In Your Newsletter

Having an automatic newsletter distributing your blog's content to your readers is great; but it does have one downside: readers don't have to visit your site to read your content, so you have less traffic than you otherwise would.

The solution to this is to have a Continue Reading... link in your newsletter. You start with a tasty introduction describing what you're about to say in order to hook your readers, and then they click on the link in order to read the rest of the article on your site. So how do you do this?… Continue reading…

Posted in Email | Tagged , | Comments Off on How To Include A "Continue Reading..." Link In Your Newsletter

Fix For “Loading...” Keeps Spinning In MailPress

One of the most annoying problems I encounter regularly with MailPress is the “Loading...” icon keeps spinning in the subscription form. Sometimes it spins before you've even done anything; other times it spins after form submission and never stops.

It's always some form of problem with the MailPress Javascript or CSS used to power the form. I recommend you apply the following changes to any new MailPress installation, so that you can save yourself the grief of having to deal with this annoying problem.

If you're applying my MailPress hacks, it'll be called “Processing...” instead of “Loading...”. Either way, the solution is the same.

Here are my solutions:

Enable MP_wp_enqueue_script

There is an option in MailPress that enqueues the problematic Javascript for generation at the bottom of the page. With recent versions of WordPress, this is pretty much always a good thing; but this option isn't the default yet … Continue reading…

Posted in MailPress | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

How to Add a Horizontal Banner Ad to Your Mailpress Newsletter

Want to advertise a product or service in your MailPress newsletter? I did this by adding a horizontal banner ad at the bottom of the newsletter email, just above the footer. Here's how:

Firstly, create a horizontal banner ad image using The Gimp or some other graphics editing package. Make it the same width as the header image in your theme, which you can work out by looking for HEADER_IMAGE_WIDTH in your MailPress theme's MP_theme_html.class.php. I found a height of about 100 pixels looked good for me. Save the image in your theme's images directory named horizbanner.jpg.

Secondly, add these lines to the end of the style array in your theme's style.php:

'bannerad_img' => "margin:0 4px; border:none; padding:0;",

Finally, add these lines to the top of your theme's footer.php:

<a href="http://site.com/targeturl" title="Click Here to Get The Product" rel="generator">
    <img src='images/horizbanner.jpg' <?php $this->classes('bannerad_img'); ?> />
</a>
Continue reading…
Posted in MailPress | 12 Comments

How to Migrate from SEO Ultimate to WordPress SEO by Yoast

I've tried a few WordPress SEO plugins over the years, from All In One SEO Pack to Robots Meta and then to SEO Ultimate; but that was before Joost de Valk (a.k.a. Yoast) released WordPress SEO by Yoast which is now my SEO plugin of choice for WordPress. If you want the definitive answer at who is the best SEO guy for WordPress, just do a Google search for WordPress SEO and see who ranks in position #1. That's one reason why I'm switching from to Yoast's plugin, and it has some other great features too like an awesome search results preview that helps you to optimise not just your search ranking, but also click-through rates.

Switching SEO plugins is no mean feat since you've probably already got meta descriptions and other information that you don't want to lose. There are also a few other tricks to migrating, so … Continue reading…

Posted in Plugins | Tagged , | 45 Comments

Workaround for Poor Embedded Video Support in Email Clients

WordPress has a neat feature that allows you to easily embed content from video sharing sites such as YouTube by simply writing the URL of the video you want to embed in your post, like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJM4697kLL4

When your post is displayed, this gets replaced with an iframe which contains the content you wanted to embed, like this:

This works great in a web browser, but isn't so good in your MailPress newsletter, because most email clients don't support iframes. Your readers end up with a newsletter with a blank space instead of the embedded video content. Andre has done some experiments to address this, but nothing has seen the light of day yet. The problem isn't really MailPress's fault, but it does make newsletters with postings containing embedded videos look pretty odd at present.

As a workaround, I suggest disabling the automatic embedding so that the email … Continue reading…

Posted in MailPress | Tagged , | 4 Comments

No more dofollow for this blog, I'm afraid

I'm getting way too many spammy comments from visitors who are clearly only interested in a dofollow backlink. Many of them look like they've been human generated but they're not adding value, so I've decided to disable the Do Follow plugin on this blog. I no longer recommend this plugin as it attracts too many link seekers who aren't really interested in engaging with you as a blogger.

From now on if you want a dofollow backlink, you'll have to play by CommentLuv Premium's rules and share the article before leaving your comment.… Continue reading…

Posted in Plugins | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

My MailPress Hacks

I have a small list of hacks that I make to MailPress every time I upgrade. It's been shrinking as some of the issues have been addressed in the plugin, but I thought I'd share my local modifications with you:

Remove "[Blog Name] New post" from Subjects

I'd rather have the Subject line of my newsletters read like a personal email than an automatically generated one, so I change:

mp-content/advanced/newsletters/post/post.xml:
Under <mail><subject>
Strip "[%1$s] New post : "

mp-content/advanced/newsletters/post/categories/categories.xml:
Under <mail><Template>singlecat</Template><subject>
Strip "[%1$s] New post in {{the_taxonomy}} : "

Friendlier Messages

I like messages that are clear to non-MailPress users, so I change:

mp-content/languages/MailPress.pot:4149 &
mp-includes/class/MP_Widget.class.php:104:
Change "Waiting for your confirmation" to "Check your inbox and confirm your email address"

mp-content/languages/MailPress.pot:4133 &
mp-includes/class/MP_Widget.class.php:99:
Change "Loading..." to "Processing..."

Featured Images

Apply the hack to avoid featured images appearing in the header image of the … Continue reading…

Posted in MailPress | Tagged | 4 Comments