Website Updates

Various updates about the website:

PLANNED MAINTENANCE: My web host is planning to do some upgrades in the near future. These are scheduled to take place in the wee small hours of Eastern Standard Time. So if the site is unavailable, that’s most likely what’s going on. I’ll update this as my host updates me.

NEW FEATURE: When you visit a WordPress blog, the software defaults to loading the 10 most recent stories. When you get to the bottom of the page, you can click “Older Stories” to load the next 10 stories, and so on. The people who make WordPress also make a set of plug-ins called “JetPack”, and a recent update added an “infinite scroll” feature: when you get to the bottom of the page, the next 10 articles automatically load in the browser, and you can keep scrolling as far back as you wish. This is a feature of the Reddit Enhancement Suite, and I really like it. Unfortunately, you can’t use a footer with infinite scroll, so I moved the footer widgets to the sidebar.

NEW FEATURE (OF SORTS): One of the biggest complaints people had about Instagram is that it lacked “profile pages”. When you uploaded a picture to the site, Instagram would create an HTML page around the picture, which you could then send to friends as a link. But there was no “profile page” where people could look at your other pictures. Instagram has finally created profiles for users, and my account has been upgraded. You can see all my pictures here, or just use the Instagram icon in the sidebar (with the RSS, Facebook, Twitter and other icons).

THE PLUG-IN MERRY-GO-ROUND: For a long time I used a plug-in called WordBooker, which automatically added a Facebook post whenever I published a new article on this site. I also used another plug-in called Twitter Tools to do the same for Twitter. However, the author of WordBooker seemed to be locked in a constant battle with Facebook’s ever-changing API, so the plug-in broke early and often. Not too long ago, the folks behind Twitter Tools created a new plug-in called Social, which added the ability to post to Facebook as well as Twitter. But Social had one annoying bug: it would pull any random picture from the site and use that as the “featured picture” in the Facebook post (that’s why I temporarily disabled the Instagram widget in the sidebar). I found a plug-in which fixed that bug, but then noticed that JetPack has a similar feature called “Publicize”. I figure the “official” WordPress plug-in will be the most reliable and have the best support, so I’m gonna use that one… for now.

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