We’ve just finished the previously mentioned clean-up of our WordPress installation. We’ve removed all unused themes, and ran updates on all the remaining themes and all plugins. If you notice any problems or differences with your site please contact me ASAP (email@example.com) and we’ll get on solving the problem.
I have just upgraded all of the libraries.ne.gov sites to WordPress version 3.5. In most cases you will not notice any significant changes. The one place you will see a change is in uploading new media content (photos mostly) via the “Add Media” button just above the editing window for posts and pages. Hopefully the changes will be self explanatory but I will still be working on updating the relevant training video for the benefit of libraries that join from this point forward. If you have any questions about any changes you discover please leave them here in the comments.
Posted by Michael on Wednesday, 26 September, 2012
We’ve done some editing of the code that controls how comments are submitted to your sites and this should nearly eliminate automated comment spam but let legit comments through. Please keep an extra eye on your comments for the near future and let us know if you notice any unintended consequences.
This morning I opened my e-mail and found 300+ incoming spam comments for about half-a-dozen of participating libraries. For most of the affected libraries, if you’ve not changed your spam settings the most annoying result of this is copies appearing in your inbox for moderation. This isn’t the biggest problem in the world but it’s is an annoyance we’re trying to minimize.
So, for the sites that I saw were currently at issue I’ve gone into your discussion settings and checked the box labeled “Automatically close comments on articles older than 14 days”. This will prevent ALL comments from being created on posts older than 14 days. It’s not the best solution but it helps with the immediate issues.
At this point I also recommend that anyone else experiencing a significant increase in spam comments to the same.
We’re also working on some additional solutions here at the commission. As these solutions are tested and rolled-out I’ll be sure to post updated here.
Earlier this week I got a few notifications that sites using the Google Weather widget were receiving ugly error messages on their sites. If you were one of those sites, it wasn’t anything you did. The plugin just decided it didn’t want to work right any more. So, I’ve found a new one that I think looks good but does take a little more work to get up on your site. Here are the instructions:
From your WP Dashboard select Settings, then WP Underground. On this page you’ll see the settings available for the plugin. First time around, just keep it simple and enter you location. Be sure to click the Save button at the bottom of the page.
Next, head on over to Appearance|Widgets and insert a new “Text” widget into your sidebar where you want the weather to appear. Give that widget a title (optional) and enter [forecast] into the content field and click Save.
Head on over to your site and refresh the page. The weather should now appear. At this point feel free to head back to the Settings page and customize how the current weather and/or forecast are displayed.
Today we upgraded our WordPress installation to version 3.4, codenamed “Green”. Much of the update is behind-the-scenes stuff that won’t effect you however, there are a few new features around themes and Tiwtter. The video below will give you a good overview of those changes.
One note about the changes with themes. In some cases it will be dependent on the theme developer to implement these changes in a theme. So, if you don’t see all of the changes available in your theme, they may show up eventually.
With the help of Linda at the Gibbon Public Library we’ve tested a new Google Analytics plugin over the weekend and this one appears to be stable. So, if you were previously using Google Analytics on your site you’ll need to log in and head for Settings|Google Analytics. There you’ll need to enable the plugin and enter your GA UID into the appropriate field at the top of that page. There are other settings available but there’s no requirement to change them unless you’d like to.
If you have previously not used a GA plugin, you’ll first need to go to http://www.google.com/analytics/ and sign up for an account. Once you have an account you’ll be given a UID. That’s the code you’ll need to enter into the settings previously mentioned.
As always, if you have any additional questions just let me know.
For a while now several of you have been reporting to me that whenever you tried to register a new user you were receiving an error that the CAPTCHA wasn’t being filled in, despite the fact that it wasn’t available on screen to be filled in. Well, with the help of Sara Aden of the North Platte library the problem has finally been solved.
Ultimately, the solution was to remove the reCAPTCHA plugin we were using and replace it with another. For most of you all this means is that you can now edit and add your own users again. However, if you’re looking for the CAPTCHA settings they have moved. You should now see a new “BWP reCAPT” menu item in the WordPress back end. Under that you’ll find a General Options screen and a Theme Options screen. In General Options you can turn off reCAPTCHA if you’d like but I strongly do not recommend doing so. On the Theme Options screen you can change the color of your reCAPTCHAs to better fit your theme. (I’ve included screenshots below; click for full sized versions.)
Thanks for all your patience when it came to solving this problem.
At some point this week we’ll be upgrading to WordPress 3.3. I’ll post when this happens but in the mean time here’s information about the changes that may effect you.
File Type Detection
We’ve streamlined things! Instead of needing to click on a specific upload icon based on your file type, now there’s just one. Once your file is uploaded, the appropriate fields will be displayed for entering information based on the file type.
Drag-and-Drop Media Uploader
Adding photos or other files to posts and pages just got easier. Drag files from your desktop and drop them into the uploader. Add one file at a time, or many at once.
More File Formats
We’ve added the rar and 7z file formats to the list of allowed file types in the uploader.
Speed up navigating the dashboard and reduce repetitive clicking with our new flyout submenus. As you hover over each main menu item in your dashboard navigation, the submenus will magically appear, providing single-click access to any dashboard screen.
Header + Admin Bar = Toolbar
To save space and increase efficiency, we’ve combined the admin bar and the old Dashboard header into one persistent toolbar. Hovering over the toolbar items will reveal submenus when available for quick access.
Certain dashboard screens have been updated to look better at various sizes, including improved iPad/tablet support.
The Help tabs located in the upper corner of the dashboard screens below your name have gotten a facelift. Help content is broken into smaller sections for easier access, with links to relevant documentation and the support forums always visible.
Feels Like the First Time
New Feature Pointers
When we add new features, move navigation, or do anything else with the dashboard that might throw you for a loop when you update your WordPress site, we’ll let you know about it with new feature pointers explaining the change.
This screen! From now on when you update WordPress, you’ll be brought to this screen — also accessible any time from the W logo in the corner of the toolbar — to get an overview of what’s changed.
The dashboard home screen will have a Welcome area that displays when a new WordPress installation is accessed for the first time, prompting the site owner to complete various setup tasks. Once dismissed, this welcome can be accessed via the dashboard home screen options tab.
Have you ever gone to edit a post after someone else has finished with it, only to get an alert that tells you the other person is still editing the post? From now on, you’ll only get that alert if another person is still on the editing screen — no more time lag.
Want to import content from Tumblr to WordPress? No problem! Go to Tools → Import to get the new Tumblr Importer, which maps your Tumblog posts to the matching WordPress post formats. Tip: Choose a theme designed to display post formats to get the greatest benefit from the importer.
Changing themes often requires widget re-configuration based on the number and position of sidebars. Now if you change back to a previous theme, the widgets will automatically go back to how you had them arranged in that theme. Note: if you’ve added new widgets since the switch, you’ll need to rescue them from the Inactive Widgets area.
Traditionally this text, the colophon would be placed in the footer of your pages. However, I’ve figured out that this isn’t working long term. The problem is that periodically there are security updates to WordPress themes which, when installed, overwrite the theme’s files. One of those files, footer.php, is where I was placing the colophon. So, when an update is performed, any changes, i.e. our text, disappears.
So, as a result, I’ll be moving the colophon from the footer of all sites (assuming it’s still there) and placing it at the bottom of your sidebar as a text widget. Please do not delete this widget. If you have more than one sidebar and you’d prefer to move it from where I placed it to another, that’s fine. We just need to make sure the text appears somewhere.
I hope to move everyone by the end of the week but the process may take a little longer than expected as most things seem want to do. If you have any questions about this please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to provide additional information.