Earlier in the week a few fellow bloggers were saying on Twitter they’d been hacked and how on earth to get their sites back?. It sounded like a nightmare and I really felt for them.
Tonight I was on Twitter (again!) earlier and spotted a post from the founder of WordPress Matt Mullenweg about WordPress sites being force hacked – read it here
Basically there is a bot that’s trawling the web looking for WordPress site’s, with the Username of Admin. It’s then it’s trying various common passwords to hack them. Which would explain why I was seeing so many people this week who’d been hacked!
So to protect your WordPress Blog there’s some ideas on Matt’s post, BUT change your password to something more tricky and get rid of the Admin User. Don’t just delete it thought! There are some brilliant Step by Step ‘how-to’ instructions here, just follow them exactly and you’ll be able to protect your site.
You know I was going to write a post about Google Reader being shut down, but then Miss L got ill and everyone beat me to it!
I’m personally trying to decide between Flipboard or BlogLovin’. Blog Lovin has a wonderful simple import from GReader button for the lazy – well it won me over. But I’m also looking forward to seeing Digg’s GReader clone when it’s finished, I think that might be a little bit special.
When I started looking properly at Google Reader to see what needed moving, I know a lot of my favourite bloggers aren’t about anymore. I started to read and I spotted something that broke my heart a little bit. Ages ago you could link Facebook Updates to Google Reader and I’d saved the last FB update one of my friends made before she died. I’ve just emailed it to myself, her FB account is now long gone and I miss her. It’s nice to read some of her words and hear her ‘voice’ again. It feels almost like I’m digitally hoarding something, but I can’t bear to part with it. One of those sad but happy moments at the same time.
If you’re wondering what to replace Google Reader with @paulbradshaw on Twitter tweeted this rather awesome list of RSS Readers and the details of each. I don’t know if he’s the original source but it’s a very useful document.
If you want to keep up with Violet Posy you can follow me on BlogLovin’, Facebook and Networked Blogs. and if you want my plain old feed it’s this http://violetposy.co.uk/feed/ or there is an email subscription top right. I’d be really grateful! x
Yesterday I had an email from an advertiser asking if their ads could just appear on my homepage, and I knew my theme couldn’t do it so I’d have to hunt for a plugin. Now there are 18,964 WordPress plugins at the moment – where to start? I tried a couple of custom sidebar ones and they were crap and then on the Parent Blogger Facebook site Heather recommended ‘Widget Logic’. It was perfect and did exactly what I wanted it to in seconds – thanks Heather!
And that got me thinking, what are your favourite plugins? What could your blog not function without? What little gems do you use? I don’t do a whole lot that is fancy on here, but the ones I’ve used and like are:
Akismet – Keeps away the crazy Spam.
Background Patterns – lots of subtle background patterns you can install in seconds.
Tabber Widget – Add tabs to your sidebar.
Ultimate Thesis Theme Options – Brillant for adding widget areas to Thesis Theme.
WP Google Fonts – Adds Google fonts to where ever you want them on your page.
WP-Protect – You can stop right clicking and protect your blog.
WPtouch – Mobilises your site for mobile devices.
Instagram for WordPress – Nice plugin for showing off your photos in the sidebar.
GetMeCooking Recipe Template – nice for adding recipes to your site.
Linkwithin – not a plugin but a bit of code you can get from their site which generates posts which maybe of interest to your readers.
What are your favourite plugins? I can’t wait to hear about some new ones so I can play with them
Here is my new and shiny updated version of this post. Picnik is now sadly dead but PicMonkey has taken it’s place is my heart so here’s how to make headers on PicMonkey instead. Sadly they haven’t gotten collages up and working yet, but when they do I’ll add how to make a collage header on here.
But in the meantime here’s how to make a simple blog header on PicMonkey. Here are some of the looks you can achieve:
Basic with Text
Add a Filter
Add a Frame
The main thing you need to know when you’re creating your header is the size it needs to be. If you make it too big or too small it will just not look right. So if you’re on Blogger to check your width, go into where you load the header in design and it will tell you how wide you need it to be . With regard to height I’d personally not go any higher than maybe 300-350px high or it takes up the top part of your screen and then you’re readers will have to scroll a lot to see your posts If you are on WordPress, consult your custom header upload area and it’ll tell you how big you need to make it.
So here’s how:
You have the choice of either making it with one photo or many so here is the one photo option:
1. Go to PicMonkey and upload a photo that’s nice and big (you don’t need to create an account)
2. Once it’s uploaded – click on the Crop button and crop the image so it’s wide and a little narrow (using drag):
Then when you have the bit of the photo you want to use click on ‘ok’ and then it takes you back to the menu screen. Click then on ‘Resize’
3. You’ll need to resize the image to the correct size. So at the bottom left of the page there is a box called ‘Resize’ which has the sizes in, you’ll need to change the numbers in it. I’ve made this one to be 980px wide and clicked the ‘Keep Proportions’ so the height pretty much takes care of itself. Click on ‘ok’ when you think it looks right. Remember you can always go back and re crop the image if you don’t think it looks right.
4. Adding text to the image – Click on the ‘P’ tab which will bring up text and then you can add the text in the colour & font you wish to the image. You can move it around and even add your tag line as well if you have one.
You can also add boarders, shapes, image filters all sorts via that left hand bar.
5. Finally click on the ‘Save’ tab bottom left, make sure the image is the right size, and make sure it’s the right quality 8 is normally ok. And save it back to your machine – you can decide where, then you can upload it to your blog in the normal way.
You can make badges in the same way. With images I normally crop it into a square 400px x 400px (big enough so you can see what you’re doing) and then in the final save I make a few 125px x 125px, 160px x 160px, 180px x 180px and 200px x 200px. Obviously if you know what size your side bar can take then you can make it that size.
Happy Header Making!
I’ve been reading a lot of posts recently about pet blogging hates and one of them being Captcha’s – you know that bit when you post a comment and gives you two words to type because it’s checking you are a human?. My friend Kelly over at Domestic Goddesque has written a great article about how they drive her mad and her campaign to ban them. I hate them mainly because I can never read the damn things and it’s even worse when you are on a mobile device.
Until recently you couldn’t turn Captcha’s off in New Blogger, you had to go back into the old format which most new blogger’s don’t even know about. If you want to look at the old Blogger layout btw – there are a few extra bits and pieces there, click on the cog on the top right and then select ‘Old Blogger’ – you can always come back to the new.
But it looks like there has been an update to New Blogger, which means you can now rid your blog of Captcha or Word Verification as Blogger like to call it. Just follow the instructions below and turn it off and look forward to getting lots more comments.
In my previous post I taught you how to make Headers and Badges, well now here is how to add them to sidebars and even under the header. Us geeky types like to pretend that coding is the most complex thing in the world – but you know what it doesn’t have to be. You can make it work for you and get it to do what you want, you just need a bit of patience and confidence.
You’ll see over on my right hand side bar I have this
This is actually made up of seven images and links out to my RSS Feed, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Linked in and Google Reader accounts. Click on any of those and you can subscribe, and see what else I’m up to. I made the little ‘Find me at’ Image but the social media buttons I downloaded from one of the thousands of sites that offers free social media buttons. I could make some but frankly it’s faffing about I don’t have time for and I like these ones they are simple and clean.
I also have this at the moment as I’m off to CyberMummy this weekend
And you know what the same code produced these images in my sidebar, I know you can use image widgets but these give you more flexibility and control as to how your site looks.
So here’s what you do: