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October 11, 2013

3 Ways to Overcome Your Frustrations With WordPress

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WordPress
Image via Shutterstock

Although there are a number of different platforms available to use to set up your blog, a majority of the blogs on the Internet use WordPress. There’s good reason, too: It’s simple to use with big buttons and an intuitive process. And you can add all kinds of plugins and gadgets to make your site even more attractive and memorable.

Still, there are inevitable hurdles we all run into during crunch time. How many of us haven’t wanted to throw our computers out the window on certain occasions when WordPress was acting up? The good news is that thanks to a little online training you can become an expert in all things WordPress implementation and troubleshooting. Here are some of the ways you can save yourself time and frustration: read more

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June 1, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Themes, Plugins, and an Interview with Anil Dash

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Happy Monday, folks! We’ve got lots to cover this week, including an interview with Anil Dash from Six Apart about the WordPress plugins they recently released. But let’s start off with new stuff for your Movable Type blog.

First, Byrne Reese posted a preview of a new theme he’s working on: Hybrid News. This is a port of the WordPress theme of the same name. Byrne will release the theme under an open source license when it’s ready, and promises lots of new, MT-only features when it comes out. read more

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May 27, 2009

Movable Type Mon… er, Tuesday: Action Streams, Mac Installation, Quick Fixes, and More

Happy Tuesday, Folks! Apologies for the late post — the Memorial Day holiday here threw me off. We’ve got several things to cover this week, so let’s get right to it.

Like most weeks, Chad Everett has released an updated to his popular blog notification plugin: MT-Notifier 4.2.3. This releases fixes a problem that was causing some people to get errors, so if you were seeing those errors you should upgrade now.

Anil Dash of Six Apart published a “mini FAQ” of common issues people have with Movable Type. Anil addresses the category bug we talked about last week, as well as problems with the text editor, scheduling posts, and using the Publish Queue.

Also this past week, Beau Smith published two tutorials on his blog. First, he has a snippet of template code for only publishing entries with a future (or past) date. I’ve found this sort of thing particularly useful when using MT to publish an event calendar.

Also from Beau, a guide to installing MT on a Mac. I particularly appreciate the step-by-step instructions for installing ImageMagick. That’s a beast I’ve fought on multiple platforms, and a guide like this would have made it a lot easier. Thanks, Beau!

Finally, some new documentation for those using and developing with Action Streams. If you want to add a blog to your Action Stream, this document will show you how. And for developers, an Action Stream recipe for creating your own Action Streams plugin.

What have you done with MT lately? Let us know in the comments.

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April 21, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Comment via Twitter and .htaccess Hacks

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Happy Monday, folks! First up this week, Mark Carey has released a plugin that allows you to comment on Movable Type blogs using your Twitter account. A user can sign into your blog using their Twitter username and password, and they can post their comments to Twitter. I’m particularly glad to see an oAuth version is coming soon, which will remove the need to have users log in on your site.

Also this week, Mark Kolich wrote a post with 10 .htaccess hacks for Movable Type. Mark has collected some very useful tips here for increasing both the speed and security of your site. Plus, many of them can be used no matter what powers your website.

That’s it for this week. What have you done with Movable Type lately? Tell us in the comments.

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February 2, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Action Streams, Exporting, Installing, and More

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Happy Monday, folks! Let’s start this week off with an installation tutorial. Gregory Tomlinson explains how to install Movable Type 4.23 on Mac OS X 10.5 It’s a short tutorial, but it gives you the information you need to get up and running.

Plugins

SlideShare — This plugin, created by Mixel Adm, makes it easy to embed SlideShare presentations in entries. For those that have used the WordPress version of this plugin, the syntax is the same.

Selective ExportMike T. released this plugin, which adds an option to export one or more selected blog posts. I can see several uses for this, like spinning off a set of posts as a separate blog.

Russian Action Streams — Written by Andrey Serebryakov, this adds 24 Russian services to the Action Streams plugin. I don’t know Russian, so if anyone does and has tried this, please let us know about it in the comments.

Share — I mentioned Share — a plugin for adding an “email this” function to your entries — a few weeks ago. Since then, Dan Wolfgang has had an official launch and created Share Lite, a free version with many features from the original.

MT-Notifier 3.5.2Chad Everett released a small update to the 3.5.x version of MT-Notifier. I have to hand it to Chad — maintaining one version of a plugin is hard enough, but he’s consistently releasing updates for both the 3.5.x and 4.2.x versions of MT-Notifier. Thanks, Chad!

What have you done with Movable Type lately? Let us know in the comments.

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January 5, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Custom Header, jQuery, ImageMagick, and More

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Happy Monday, folks! First off, I’m sorry there was no Movable Type Monday last week. Seemed like most of the community had taken off for the holidays, so I decided to hold what I had for an extra week. But now it’s a new year and there’s lots of new stuff to talk about.

Plugins

Custom HeaderByrne Reese put out a new plugin for uploading and customizing the header image on your blog. Custom Header handles the whole process of uploading, cropping, and positioning your banner image. This will be great for personalizing template sets, and it modifying an existing template set to use this plugin looks very straightforward.

Share — This plugin lets you add an “email to a friend” form to your blog posts. Created by Dan Wolfgang, Share is customizable and works with MT’s junk filters. Thanks, Dan!

Tips & Tutorials

Besides his Share plugin, Dan also recently wrote instructions for using his Poll Position plugin with jQuery. Poll Position lets you add polls to your blog. I’m a huge jQuery fan, so I’m glad to see Dan write this up.

Beau Smith wrote improved installation instructions for the Action Streams plugin. Looking at Beau’s method, it seems odd Action Streams isn’t set up this way to begin with. Glad somebody explained the right way to do it.

Writer Susan McNerney posted instructions on changing your banner image. It’s clear that Susan was frustrated by how much trouble it was to change her banner. Sounds like she needed Byrne’s Custom Header plugin.

Over at TMCnet, Tom Keating out does himself, writing a tutorial that offers several things one can do with MT assets. He starts with listing recent image assets linked to entries, then creates a related entries widget that includes images, and finally shows how to add images to the FastSearch plugin. Thanks, Tom!

Finally, John Walker describes how to install Image::Magick on CentOS 5.2 for your Movable Type blog. His instructions may not be limited to MT, but since ImageMagick is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to install for any blog platform, I wanted to share his instructions.

What have you done with MT this week? Let us know in the comments.

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November 17, 2008

Movable Type Monday: Layoffs, Plugins, Screencasts, and More

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Let’s get the bad news out of the way: In an effort to reorganize and cut their expenses, Six Apart is laying off 8% of their employees. Hopefully, those affected will get back on their feet quickly. The thing to watch is whether this slows development of Movable Type and how it impacts community involvement and documentation efforts.

Speaking of our community, let’s see what folks have been up to this week:

Plugins

ToI Planning released several plugins last week. Their descriptions in the Plugins directory are lacking in details, but from ToI Planning’s website and trying the plugins myself, I think I’ve figured them out. read more

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November 10, 2008

Movable Type Monday: White Space, Logging, and Documentation

Happy Monday, folks! I don’t know about you, but I sure was glad to see the U.S. elections finally come to an end. Of course, considering the past election season lasted almost 2 years, it may have finished just in time for the mid-term election season to begin!

I bring this up in order to share a bit of MT Presidential trivia: Both current President Bush (in 2004) and President-Elect Obama (in 2008) used Movable Type for their campaign blogs. Perhaps that will give them something to chat about as they are preparing for the transition of power.

Alright, enough politics, let’s get down to business.

This week, Brad Choate posted a proposal for trimming white space in templates. I love this idea, and hope it gets implemented soon. When you’re writing complex templates, it’s easy to have long blocks where all you’re doing is setting the values of MT variables. When your page gets published, you end up with lots of empty space. As an occasional Ruby on Rails programmer, I like the proposed implementation — the syntax is similar to that used in ERB templates. read more

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November 3, 2008

Movable Type Monday: Profanity Filters, Blog Link, and Speed Improvements

Happy Monday, folks! I have to say, in the short time I’ve been doing these updates, I’ve received a great response from the Movable Type community. If there’s any way I can make MT Monday more useful for you, or if you know of a blog or website I should feature here, please let me know.

Now, on with the news!

Plugins

WebPurify & Mouthwash — Commenters must be getting particurly vulgar lately, since two profanity filters were released this week. WebPurify uses an online service for its filter, while Mouthwash — written by Dan Wolfgang — leaves it up to you to build your own list of bad words. read more

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October 27, 2008

Movable Type Monday: Publish Queue Manager, ShareThis, Security Issue

Happy Monday, folks! We told you last time about this being Movable Type’s 7th birthday. The celebration concludes this week with a huge party at MT HQ. If you’re going to be in San Francisco, don’t miss it.

But before the party starts, we’ve got work to do. On with the MT news!

Plugins

MinifierHirotaka Ogawa released Minifier, which adds block tags for minifying CSS and JavaScript. If your CSS and JS files are already templates in your blog, this shouldn’t take you more than two minutes to set up and should significantly reduce download time for those files. read more

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