I just read a brief, alarming, yet informative article that caused me to want to be much more careful when researching and choosing a WordPress Theme for a site that I am making.

From Chipbennett.net:

Beware of Themes From Unproven Sources!

Beware of Themes From Unproven Sources!

Earlier this week, I released version 1.0 of my Oenology Theme. As I tend to do occasionally, after the release I decided to browse the Google search results for “Oenology WordPress”, just to keep track of any mentions of the Theme.

I was somewhat surprised to discover, among the first-page search results, a site that was re-distributing a modified version of the Theme. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with re-distribution of the Theme in either its original form or modified; I released it under the GPL, which explicitly permits modification and redistribution. However, these Theme modifications turned out to be insidiously malicious. As Otto explains, Themes distributed by the site in question had been hacked to (among other things) include a well-hidden PHP shell that would allow the hacker a backdoor to access the site on which the Theme is installed.

It is generally-accepted knowledge within the WordPress developer community that such malicious sites have over-run the search engines, and dominate the search results for WordPress Theme-related search queries. Thus, following the above discovery, I decided to audit those search results, to get an idea of just how bad the current situation is. I performed a Google search for “Free WordPress Themes”. The results are sobering.  [...Read More]

Themes at the Official WordPress Theme Repository should be safe: http://wordpress.org/themes/

WordPress also maintains a list of trusted commercial sources for premium themes: http://wordpress.org/themes/commercial/

Hat Tip to the WordPress Support Forum for getting me thinking about this!

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Jon on February 4th, 2012

Well I don’t have time to write about it now, but here is a very useful site I just read about security plugins for wordpress: http://diyblog.org/article/how-to-secure-wordpress/

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Jon on January 30th, 2012

So… I needed to redirect my main feed, my comments feed, and two category feeds each to different feedburner feeds. (I am talking about a self-hosted WordPress site.) There is a plugin that automatically directs your main and comments feeds, but that didn’t meet my needs. (You can find that plugin here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/feedburner-setting/)

If like me you need to redirect your feeds but you don’t want to use that plugin what do you do?

I found a solution here: http://perishablepress.com/press/2008/12/15/redirect-wordpress-category-feeds-to-feedburner-via-htaccess/

Basically this tip has you edit your .htaccess file. This one might be for intermediate to advanced users. Perhaps newbies should stick to the plugin. But I decided to try it. :-)

Here is the code that was already a part of my wordpress site .htaccess file:


<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>

I added this code to the code above:


RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !^.*(FeedBurner|FeedValidator) [NC]
RewriteRule ^feed/?.*$ http://feeds.feedburner.com/yourfeedburnerinfoformainfeed [L,NC,R=302]
RewriteRule ^comments/?.*$ http://feeds.feedburner.com/yourfeedburnerinfoforcomments [L,NC,R=302]
RewriteRule ^category/oneofyourcategories/feed/?.*$ http://feeds.feedburner.com/yourfeedburnerinfoforacategory [L,NC,R=302]
RewriteRule ^category/anotheroneofyourcategories/feed/?.*$ http://feeds.feedburner.com/yourfeedburnerinfoforanothercategory [L,NC,R=302]

When I was done this is what I had (obviously you need to personalize the various links for your site!):


<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !^.*(FeedBurner|FeedValidator) [NC]
RewriteRule ^feed/?.*$ http://feeds.feedburner.com/yourfeedburnerinfoformainfeed [L,NC,R=302]
RewriteRule ^comments/?.*$ http://feeds.feedburner.com/yourfeedburnerinfoforcomments [L,NC,R=302]
RewriteRule ^category/oneofyourcategories/feed/?.*$ http://feeds.feedburner.com/yourfeedburnerinfoforacategory [L,NC,R=302]
RewriteRule ^category/anotheroneofyourcategories/feed/?.*$ http://feeds.feedburner.com/yourfeedburnerinfoforanothercategory [L,NC,R=302]
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>

It is important to notice that I added the new code BEFORE the rewrite commands that were already in the .htaccess file. I had tried it AFTER and it didn’t work. It worked fine when I added it BEFORE.

If you cannot figure it out from my instructions visit the post where I found them here: http://perishablepress.com/press/2008/12/15/redirect-wordpress-category-feeds-to-feedburner-via-htaccess/

**IMPORTANT NOTE** You should backup your .htaccess file BEFORE you start messing with it. That way if you end up screwing it up you can at least replace it with the original.

If this works for you comment below. If you have problems leave your questions in the comments below as well.

Hopefully that will help you out!

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Jon on November 24th, 2011

Do you have a facebook page in addition to your wordpress site?

I just found a great plugin for adding custom tabs to your Facebook page that are actually edited and managed via your wordpress site!

You can use this plugin to create a custom landing page or any other customized tab for your business’s Facebook page!

I found out about this plugin through a tutorial by Dan Taylor over at TheNextWeb.com.

Here is the tutorial: http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2011/06/13/how-to-create-a-custom-facebook-landing-page-in-5-minutes-or-less/

Here is a link to the plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/facebook-tab-manager/

Facebook has reformatted the application development page a bit so I had to do a bit of “figuring out,” but I was able to figure it out and now I have a custom “subscribe” tab on my Facebook Page! I will create a custom landing page soon.

I hope this makes your life easier!

Post a comment if you have any questions.

Jon on January 9th, 2010

I have another blog that is about current events, politics, worldview, and Christianity. Sometimes I quote scriptures in my posts.

Lots of Scriptures on your blog?

I used to spend the time to make each scripture a link to biblegateway.com where the reader could examine the entire passage.

Then one day I was reading a post in a forum at AmericanVision.org and whenever I hovered over a scripture the verse would appear, including a link to the entire passage!

I investigated this wonder and discovered the Reftagger Plugin.

Here is an example of what it does: Genesis 1:1-5

How much work did I do to get this effect? None! I just typed Genesis 1:1-5.

You can download the plugin here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/reftagger/

You can read detailed instructions about this plugin here: http://blog.logos.com/archives/2008/11/adding_reftagger_to_a_wordpress_blog.html

That information is all for the self-hosted wordpress plugin. If you are using a different platform visit the main reftagger site here: http://www.logos.com/reftagger

Trust me, if you refer to scriptures often, this is the plugin for you, it’ll save you tons of work. :-)

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Jon on October 25th, 2009

I noticed on my wordpress blog that the RSS widgets were really, really slow to update. I wanted a news section or to display articles from one of my other sites but they took so long!

Here is the solution:

The default frequency with which the RSS widget updates is apparently every 12 hours (http://www.village-idiot.org/archives/2009/08/04/fix-the-rss-update-time-on-the-wordpress-rss-widget).

How does one change that?

By adding the following code to the function.php file of your current theme:

add_filter( 'wp_feed_cache_transient_lifetime', create_function('$a', 'return 1800;') );

The number “1800″ represents 1800 seconds or 30 minutes.

I did this and it worked fine!

Let me know if you have any problems.

*UPDATE* Here is a post that explains the nitty gritty of this a little bit more: http://casabona.org/blog/2009/08/07/qt-increase-the-wordpress-rss-widget-refresh-rate/

Hat tip to Ahmed for finding this more thorough information!

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Jon on October 23rd, 2009

As you learn about blogging and managing websites you will soon discover that there are a lot of sites out there that show your site within what is called a frame.

Some news sites do that. If you see a tool bar at the top of the page over your site, it is probably inside a frame.

Sometimes this could just be stumbleupon or digg or a link shortening service. Sometimes someone could be in a sense “stealing” your content and getting their own page rankings up and showing their own ads! All this they do while using your content!

I found a plugin that claimed to fix the problem: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/no-frames/

I found that the plugin worked with Internet Explorer, but did not work with Firefox.

Then I tried adding the following code just after the <body> tag on the themes header file and it worked just fine!

<body onLoad="if (self != top) top.location = self.location">

I got this tip here: http://www.web-source.net/javascript_framed.htm

There’s a ton of ads on that page but I just wanted to give credit to who helped me!

Hope that helps you as well!

:-)

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Jon on October 22nd, 2009

Eventually I will go through systematically how I set up a WordPress blog, but for now I’m just going to start documenting the various things I have to overcome as I manage my sites.

One thing you will find on your WordPress site is that many of the themes you will use (all?) will automatically add your pages to the header navigation. When I first started my site I spent hours trying to learn how to manually edit the link code in the header.php file.

Sound intimidating? :-)

I just found a plugin that does it quite easily: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/exclude-pages/

Install that plugin and then on each page you will have the option to uncheck the little box that says “Include this page in user menus.” And Voila! The page goes out of your header links easy as can be! Ain’t it great?

If you do want to change something in the php code you can do it like this:

Add this code to your header.php file:

<?php $pages = wp_list_pages('title_li=&exclude=page_id'); ?>

Simply replace ‘page_id’ with the number of the page you want excluded.

You can find out the number of the page you want excluded by going into the WordPress administration area and clicking on the “edit” link under “Pages.” Then when you hover over the page you want to exclude, you should be able to see the link to that page in the bottom left area of your browser. It will look something like this:

http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/page.php?action=edit&post=3

The “3″ is the page number you are looking for!

If you cannot see the link at the bottom of the page while hovering, simply open the link in a new window in your browser and look at it there.

Personally, I prefer to use the plugin.

Hopefully that will be a help to you!

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Jon on October 20th, 2009

Once upon a time I was trying to set up my own website and start blogging. I had experimented with blogger and wordpress.com.

I saw a friend had a nice and professional looking family website and I asked him how he did it.

“WordPress!” He said.

So, without any programming experience and a desire to learn I went over to Bluehost.com and set up a hosting account and we were off to the races!

I’ve been learning ever since. I now have a number of sites (including this one) and I’m enjoying myself).

This blog will be about what I have learned, and hopefully will be a resource to other newbies wanting to start their own blog or website with little money and who don’t have programming experience.

Join me on the journey!

Jon

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