Categories
Blogging Technology Web Development Wordpress

WordPress… To The Core!

Back from vacations, it’s been a long time since I’ve written my latest article.
As some of you might know, I’m actually working on a new theme design for Gibni, which is supposed to be much more faster and Search Engine Optimized than the current theme (Prince Blog Theme I).
Good to know that the present online theme gets a 97% SEO Score! And it takes almost 10 seconds to load on a medium speed connection for the first time you visit the site and less than 4 seconds to load in the next visits.
I got some news about the next theme! I’m working on a “Featured Articles” carousel, which will get the most visited articles on the top of the first page. To make that possible, I’ve gone deep inside wordpress, and I edited the core! Now, with a standard wordpress query, I can get the posts ordered by their views count.
This is very useful when you cannot find a plugin which does this job neatly and fastly.
With this method, I limit the SQL requests and obviously, the page loads faster.
I’ll keep you updated on the developpment of the new theme, and also the new WordPress!
I never thought I could even understand the core of wordpress, but now I am adding “in-built” features to WordPress!

Categories
Technology

HiveMail – Email Hosting Script

Ever heard of HiveMail? We’ll it’s a program which lets you run your own email server and provide your users with email addresses on your domain. This program uses PHP and MySQL to manage emails.
It’s a bit complicated to install, but once you get is installed, it runs smoothly.
There’s a pretty complete guide provided which explains how to install the whole thing.
I bought this program a while back and tried to install it on a domain for test.
After following the detailed steps in the guide, the Fata error I got was:
Fatal error: Cannot redeclare hash_update() in /home/*****/public_html/****/hivemail/includes/functions.php on line 58
Well, after a lot of research, the last solution was to comment out the whole “hash_update()” function in the “functions.php” file.
To comment out this function, just open the “functions.php” file which is located in “includes” folder under Hivemail root, and find : function hash_update(… and add double slashes ” // ” on the begining of each line of the function.
That solves this error and you can continue the installation.
After having installed the program, I used the PIPE method for the email gateway and everything seemed to be OK.
But when I tried to send emails to my hivemail address; the emails were getting bounced back. and the message said:

This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

pipe to |/home/****/hivemail_process.php
generated by [email protected]
local delivery failed

The following text was generated during the delivery attempt:
—— pipe to |/home/****/hivemail_process.php
generated by [email protected] ——

Error in argument 1, char 3: option not found
Usage: php [-q] [-h] [-s] [-v] [-i] [-f <file>]
php <file> [args…]
-a              Run interactively
-C              Do not chdir to the script’s directory
-c <path>|<file> Look for php.ini file in this directory
-n              No php.ini file will be used
-d foo[=bar]    Define INI entry foo with value ‘bar’
-e              Generate extended information for debugger/profiler
-f <file>        Parse <file>.  Implies `-q’
-h              This help
-i              PHP information
-l              Syntax check only (lint)
-m              Show compiled in modules
-q              Quiet-mode.  Suppress HTTP Header output.
-s              Display colour syntax highlighted source.
-v              Version number
-w              Display source with stripped comments and whitespace.
-z <file>        Load Zend extension <file>.

—— This is a copy of the message, including all the headers. ——
I could send emails FROM the hivemail program, but I was not able to recieve any mails.
After Googling a while, here’s the solution I found, and IT WORKS!!
on hivemail install guide it says:
“Next, you will need to set the default address for your domain, so
all email not sent to known POP3 accounts is routed to HiveMail?. To
do this, login to cPanel and click the ‘Mail’ link from the main
page. Click ‘Default Address’ on the resulting page. Then click ‘Set
Default Address’.
On the next page, choose the domain that you wish to route HiveMail?
emails from. (Usually, you will want to set this to yourdomain.com,
unless you are planning to offer [email protected] or
something similar.)
Type a pipe (the | character) followed by the to the
hivemail_process.php file that you uploaded above, so it looks
similar to this:
|/home/mysite/hivemail_process.php”)

but in fact you need to do |/usr/bin/php -q /path/to/your/hivemail_process.php
So, after installing, you may want to add some skins, to do so; create a “skins” folder inside you hivemail installation root and upload each skin’s folder there, and in the admin control panel, go to skin manager and import the “.skn” file.
That’s all about how to install and run HiveMail. If you need more information, don’t hesitate to post in the comments.
More is available on www.Hive2.com

Categories
Blogging Wordpress

Latest WordPress version: 2.6

Finally,  it got released! It’s been a long time I’m waiting for this version to get released as I didn’t want to upgrade from 2.5 to 2.5.1.Wordpress 2.6

Today I found out that WordPress 2.6 has been released and immediately upgraded GIbni.com.

The first new feature I saw in my Dashboard, is the “Turbo”, at the top right corner of the page. What Turbo does is that it uses Google’s new technology, called Gears, to accelerate the website and make pages and content load faster. This requires Google Gears to be installed on your browser. Well, this takes almost no time to install, and helps a lot in accelerating the site.

The next one, is the small red balloon number on top of “Plugins” link, which shows how many plugins are active.

Here’s a Video tour on WordPress 2.6:

Here’s what’s new in WordPress 2.6: (Source : https://Wordpress.org )

Post Revisions: Wiki-like tracking of edits

With the power of modern computers, it’s silly that we still use save and editing metaphors from the time when the most common method of storage was floppy disks. WordPress has always respected the importance of your writing with auto-save, and now we’re taking that to another level by allowing you to view who made what changes when to any post or page through a super-easy interface, much like Wikipedia or a version control system.

Differences between two versions of posts.

This is handy on any blog in case you make a mistake and want to go back to an older version of a post, and it’s super handy for multi-author blogs where you can see every change tracked by person.

Press This!: Post from wherever you are on the web

A few months ago on my blog we started a conversation about the posting bookmarklet in WordPress and which systems we should look to for inspiration, like Flock, FriendFeed, Facebook, Tumblr, and Delicious. From these suggestions and the Quick Post plugin by Josh Kenzer, we developed a Press This bookmark you can add to your toolbar that provides a fast and smart popup to do posts to your WordPress blog:

Screenshot of Press This interface.

For example, if you click “Press This” from a Youtube page it’ll magically extract the video embed code, and if you do it from a Flickr page it’ll make it easy for you to put the image in your post. On my blog I’ve been experimenting with using different categories and the in_category() function — such as video, quote, aside, et cetera — to create a more tumblelog-like format.

Shift Gears: Turbo-speed your blogging

Gears is an open source browser extension project started by Google that developers like us can use to give you features we wouldn’t normally be able to. There are a lot of things we can do with Gears in the future, but in this release we’ve stuck to using what’s called a “Local Server” to cache or keep a copy of commonly-used Javascript and CSS files on your computer, which can speed up the loading of some pages by several seconds (they just pop right up!). You can install Gears for Firefox or Internet Explorer, with support for Safari and Opera pending. WordPress works just fine without it, you just get a little extra juice when you have it installed.

Theme Previews: See it before your audience does

Now when you select a theme it pops up a window that shows the theme live with all your content, instead of immediately making it active on your site. This is great for just test driving themes before making a switch over publicly, and it is also helpful when you are developing a theme and need to test it but don’t want everybody to see your ongoing mistakes development.

Here are some of the smaller features and improvements in 2.6:

  • Word count! Never guess how many words are in your post anymore.
  • Image captions, so you can add sweet captions like Political Ticker does under your images.
  • Bulk management of plugins.
  • A completely revamped image control to allow for easier inserting, floating, and resizing. It’s now fully integrated with the WYSIWYG.
  • Drag-and-drop reordering of Galleries.
  • Plugin update notification bubble.
  • Customizable default avatars.
  • You can now upload media when in full-screen mode.
  • Remote publishing via XML-RPC and APP is now secure (off) by default, but you can turn it on easily through the options screen.
  • Full SSL support in the core, and the ability to force SSL for security.
  • You can now have many thousands of pages or categories with no interface issues.
  • Ability to move your wp-config file and wp-content directories to a custom location, for “clean” SVN checkouts.
  • Select a range of checkboxes with “shift-click.”
  • You can toggle between the Flash uploader and the classic one.
  • A number of proactive security enhancements, including cookies and database interactions.
  • Stronger better faster versions of TinyMCE, jQuery, and jQuery UI.
  • Version 2.6 fixes approximately 194 bugs.
Categories
Blogging Technology Web Development Wordpress

Design a WordPress Template – Part 2

Design WordPress Template 2In the previous tutorial we talk about designing a wordpress template and some point to keep in mind while designing. We talked about a website being User-Friendly, Search Engine Optimized, Fast to load and Monetized. Let’s continue:

Multi-Browser, Multi-Platform Compatibility:

A well made website is a website that is showing well in different types of browsers, i.e. when you open it in Firefox, it should look as well as it might look in Opera or Internet Explorer; this is a Multi-Browser compatible site.

A website that can adapt its look and functionalities to the platform it is visited from is a multi-platform website. As example, if you browse Gibni from your mobile device, you’ll get a page that is adapted for the device you’re using, and not the full version you get on your PC’s (or MAC’s) browser! That makes is just EASIER for you to access Gibni from a mobile device and navigate easily on it.

When designing a website you should ALWAYS keep these aspects in mind.

Sometimes this might be the most difficult part of designing a website as different browsers have different behaviours with the same code!

The look, The Design:

The look of your website, makes it unique, so use your creativity and search around for good designs to get new ideas, mix and remix them, and find a good design to make for your website. We’ll discuss this topic in a seperate post as it takes time and is a special topic.

Currentl Gibni’s look is a unique design made from my imagination and mixing other unique ideas together. The upcoming release is a different design, but still UNIQUE!

Tools and Software to use:

Making the design, editing images:

To make the design and also images you want to use, you need to have a good image editor software; best choice is ADOBE PHOTOSHOP. It’s not the easiest thing to learn, but once you get into it, you’ll have the best tool to make and remake and optimize graphic designs and images. I use Photoshop to do every image editing job. It’s the best and most complete solution.

Writing the code:

To design a WordPress theme, we need a software to write the PHP code with, you can simply use NOTEPAD, but that is a very thought way to choose!

I personally use ADOBE DREAMWEAVER, as it is very robust and easy to use, and EXTREMELY professional. There are extensions which simply inserting wordpress functions. But I didn’t use these extensions because they get me confused sometimes.

Testing:

To test localy what you are making, you will need to have a local server. That might sound difficult, but ChSoftware made a VERY useful PORTABLE WEB SERVER that you download and just run! no need for installation, no complicated configuration. In WOS II (by ChSoftware), there are a lot of packages you can use, as phpMyAdmin, WordPress, MySQL, PHP 4, PHP 5 and a lot more. Just visit their website, download WOS and run it on your PC. Instructions are clear and easy to understand on their website and in the software itself.

Browser:

I recommend that you use at least two browsers (Internet Explorer and Firefox) to test your code and design.

Host:

To host your website, either it is a blog or a CMS or an E-commerce website, you should choose the best hosting company that you can afford. I actually use LunarPages, as my hosting. They provide me avery good customer support and they offer very interesting plans, either for begginers or for professionals who need dedicated servers. The server response time is a fairly good one and scripts run very smoothly on their servers. The best thing is that THEY CARE ABOUT YOU! an exaple is that a long back, they got a problem with a hardware and their server went down for few hours, I contacted them and asked for help, I got a reply in the following hour and the problem got solved very quickly; the next day I got a phone call from Lunarpages customer service, the guy apologized for the problem and offered me a free month of hosting to show their good will! I was shocked and happy! firstly to get a month of free hosting and secondly to be with a hosting company that cares about its customers!!

Anyway, try to look for the best one you can afford, and check the availability of everything you will need before paying the host.

If you want to get a good offer from Lunarpages, click this link and make your purchase by following this link: Lunarpages.com – From Gibni

In next posts we’ll see how to start the work!

Detailed posts about the currently discussed topics will be available on Gibni, so I recommend that you subscribe to the RSS feeds.

All comments are welcomed

Categories
Blogging Technology Web Development Wordpress

Design a WordPress Template – Part 1

Design WordPress Template
I’ve started to redesign and remake Gibni’s theme. As Gibni’s main technology relies on WordPress, MySQL and PHP, so this post might be useful for many bloggers and for almost every theme designer.
User Friendly:
A lot of readers and visitors complain about Gibni being confusing and they say that they’re “lost”! I agree that the current look is full of information and users might get tiered reading pages. As this is a HUGE drawback a site can have, I’m trying to make the new theme look clean and net and though it will have a bundle of info and widgets and also be monetized; it should be easy to read and very user friendly.
Search Engine Optimization:
So far, the current theme which is Prince Theme v1.0, is very reliable and stable. But better than that, it is very well Search Engine Optimized. The current SEO score till date is 97% SEO, based on www.Domaintools.com SEO Calculator.
The new theme will be also optimized to the maximum and I am trying to make the keywords density and relativity increase. I thought of a technique to show a special output for search engine spiders and bots, but I’m studying the impact on loading speeds.
Monetized:
The current version (v1.0) is monetized with Adsense, Kontera, PepperJamNetwork and few affiliates.
Main issue here is that ads take a huge amount of space and on the other side make the pages look ugly sometimes. My goal is to try making ads camouflaged and prevent them from disturbing the reader as well as providing the visitors relative ads based on the content they’re viewing. For this, firstly I’ll need to choose an efficient way to keyword the pages and posts and more important, to put the right ads on the right places!
Loading Times:
I call “Loading time” the time a page takes to load on a visitors browser. You may have noticed that Gibni loads pretty fast the first time you visit (with an empty cache) and after that it load EXTREMELY fast! Well, I actually use advanced caching and data loading technologies that not all designers know about. I’ll explain these technologies in a seperate post. What I aim at now is to make pages load even faster than now and make caches more reliable and load important content FIRST, to not keep the visitor waiting for what (s)he is searching for to appear!
In next parts we’ll talk about the look, the code, testing, browser compatibility…
Detailed posts about the currently discussed topics will be available on Gibni, so I recommend that you subscribe to the RSS feeds.
All comments are welcomed.

Categories
Technology Web Development Wordpress

QR Codes, The Begining.

QR Codes

Ever heard about QR Codes? You surely know about the Barcodes, which you see on almost every purchased product. Ever asked yourself about that barcode reader application on your new smartphone?
Well, recently there’s been a new invention called QR Code. It’s a square with lots of black nad white points in it! yeah, kinda strange and extraterrestrial alphabet!
This square can contain information which you can scan with your smart phone and save that info on your device. It prevents typing and more important TYPOs!
To know what it the technology and who invented this tech and different aspects of it, go to your favorite search engine and search for it; a good reference is Wikipedia. Click Here for Wikipedia Article on QR Code
So, if you’ve read the article on wikipedia, you probably know better about QR codes. Today, a lot of mobile phones have inbuilt QR Readers, where the Nokia N95 is one of them.
QR Codes mostly contain URLs and Contact information. You can see them on some products, in recent street advertisings, on websites, business cards and so on. This is still a new technology to the public, but it’s spreading very fast.
In the next post on QR Codes, I’ll write about how a QR code is created and what type of data it can contain.
In the following posts, I’ll write about how to create your own QR Code, and at the end I’ll explain how to implement a QR Code for the desired page of your blog or website automatically.
As you can see, recently I’ve integrated a QR Code for each post and each page on Gibni. This code is genertad automatically by the server and it contains the page/post URL. You can try it by scanning the QR Code at the left with your QR Reader or Mobile Phone’s QR Reader Application.
In N95 8GB, the application can be accessed from Menu > Applications > Office > Barcode.
Give Feedback/Rating/Comment if you read this article please.

Categories
Blogging Education Technology Web Development Wordpress

How to build a Website / Blog – A successful and perfect One – Part 1

Well, in these tutorials, I’ll explain how you can start your own blog/website, how to analyze it, how to optimize it, how to update it, how to market it, how to make profit out of it and how to make it a successful project!
Either you are a student, a university professor, a beginner web developer/designer, a business man, a flowers’ passionate, a restaurant chef or what ever else, and you want to start a website/blog to promote your business, your passion, or inform people about the dangers of global warming or the doom’s day prophecy, or help people rise money for their education, or what ever goal you have, I will help you on developing and delivering the best website/blog you can ever build!
And what is fantastic is that this tutorial is free and all you have to do is once you started your website/blog, the only thing I ask you in exchange, is that you write a blog post or article about these tutorials and my website, but that is optional and up to you.
Well, if you get through difficulties and you have questions, just post them in the comments section of the related tutorial, and you’ll get the reply very soon. To follow the tutorials and their comments, just subscribe to my RSS feeds or subscribe by e-mail (on the left side panel of Gibni).

Well, first and most important thing to do, is to decide what you want to do, and define your goals and trace a plan. Almost everything in this level is to be done on paper (real one).
List your goals, by asking yourself, what are the things you want to achieve by the project, the immediate goals and long term ones.
List and relist, and arrange them, then sort your goals by time, ie. put the ones you need to achieve first on the top of the list. But be careful to be realist, think like this that if you want to change the world, you should start by changing yourself and your surrounding.
So, now that you have sorted them by time, sort them also by toughness, put the easiest ones in top.
Now that you know what you want to achieve, we will proceed to the next level, which is, how to achieve it. Go to your favorite search engine, and type in the keywords you think match best with your project. You will get some results and websites which have almost the same topic(s) as you, visit them, and see how they present their content. Get a better idea of what you might present that would be new and would attract more visitors.
Well, now, comes a little bit difficult part, decide what technology use to develop and implement your website/blog. I personally would recommend that you use PHP as the main language of development for your site. Because PHP is really easy to learn and to implement and it’s cheap on the maintenance side and even on the servers and hosting side.
Now, to simplify your work, I recommend you use some CMS/ PORTAL/ or similar content management web application. Right now, I’m using WORDPRESS for Gibni, and as you can see, it’s not a normal blog, I transformed it to act as a CMS (Content Management System) too. So, now it’s up to you to find out what best matches your requirements, search about WordPress, PhpNuke, vBulltin, Joomla, PHPBB and so on…

Now, start to draw a rough draft of the design of your site/blog, from how you want the overall look of the site, if you want any columns, if yes, how many, which side? Think about the header, about the main content, about the footer. Then, think about what colors you want to implement and try to find the best colors that match together, there are websites and software which suggest best color combinations. Then if you use a CMS or web application like wordpress, search and look for available themes. Like this, you’ll get a better idea of different possible designs and styles.
No, it’s to you to be creative and create a new design (if you wish to have a unique blog/site)
Remember, to be successful, all you need is creativity and a bit of knowledge and junk!
All the tools are available to help you, so just make an effort and be creative.

In the next part, we will review some design tips and few examples. So now, you have to go out and get enough knowledge and decide on the basics as said above. Take your time.