About blogging

October 22, 2013

October 8, 2013

March 7, 2011

October 20, 2010

October 14, 2010

  • Register Plus. A Wordpress plugin to add extra fields to user accounts.

October 12, 2010

September 20, 2010

September 15, 2010

October 22, 2009

October 15, 2009

September 10, 2009

Changing the table prefix in an installed Wordpress

Changing the table prefix in an installed Wordpress. Otherwise an obvious task, but steps four and five can stump you.

For step five, the following SQL snippet may come in handy.

UPDATE new_prefix_usermeta SET meta_key = REPLACE(meta_key, "wp_", "new_prefix_");

There’s also a plugin available.


September 9, 2009

Secure your Wordpress uploads directory

If you serve only specific file types (eg. images) it can’t hurt to secure your Wordpress uploads directory a .htaccess file. Add to the file extensions as necessary.

Order Allow,Deny
Deny from all
<Files ~ "\.(jpeg|jpg|png|gif|pdf|gz|zip)$">
Allow from all


August 25, 2009

How to retire a Wordpress blog (make Wordpress a static site)

Dear LazyWeb, I’d like to see two Wordpress plugins: one to retire a Wordpress weblog (i.e. generate a static copy of the site, add a “blog retired” note on all pages, and close commenting), and one to export the site, rich text, images, comments and all. The export would mainly be to extract a copy into one document, like a PDF.

Despite the prevalence of guides on going the opposite direction, I’m not the only one thinking about converting a Wordpress blog into a static site. As for the one-document export, I have a quick and dirty solution, which I’ll be posting soon.

As for creating a static copy of a blog, one way to go would be to use a spider tool. I haven’t actually used any of the “grab a whole site with one click” tools, so there may be easier ways, but one great utility is wget.

It’s available on all platforms, and it has tons of nifty options. Here’s a quick run-down of options you may need to grab a Wordpress site. As always, the wget MAN page has all the details.

Why retire?

Why does a Wordpress blog need to be retired? Well, for one, it’ll lessen the strain on your database and speed up the site.

The main reason is that every once in a while, a vulnerability is found in WP, and keeping a bunch of old installations up to date is a hassle.

Create a “retired” theme

I suggest you make a copy of your current theme and do at least the following changes:

  • remove the XML-RPC API link from the header
  • add a note to the header that the weblog is no longer being updated
  • disable commenting and trackbacks

Now, wget it

wget -r -E -T 2 -np -R xmlrpc.php,trackback -k http://[BLOG URL]

I’ll briefly explain the options:

recurse through the sub-directories
don’t include the host name in the downloaded directory
how many times an URL will be tried; this is good to set, as xmlrpc.php will fail
don’t include parent directories
convert links to work with downloaded site
adds .html extension to application/xhtml+xml or text/html content types without .html extensions
reject file suffixes or patterns
-X DIR1,DIR2,…
exclude directories, may contain wild cards

I’ve excluded the xmlrpc.php and trackback files as they are redundant in a static site.

Disable Wordpress

Finally, disable Wordpress. This was the whole reason to retire the site, right?


June 2, 2009

April 23, 2009

February 25, 2009

Making Wordpress mobile-friendly with plugins

Looking for a nifty way of making you Wordpress blog mobile-friendly? There are numerous plugins that aim to do just that. Some are better than others, however.

Note: I’m not talking about making the admin interface mobile-friendly, only the public site.

The plugins don’t seem to have much chatter going on in the Wordpress support forums; this can be considered a good thing: at least people aren’t complaining in droves that the plugins don’t work.

WordPress Mobile Plugin

WordPress Mobile Plugin was the first plugin I tried. The moment I clicked Active, it brought the Wordpress admin plugin page to a grinding halt. While this probably was because the server in question just didn’t allow external HTTP calls (even through port 80), it sure didn’t make a good first impression.

I basically ditched this plugin after checking out its options page. It’s way too deeply bundled with ads.

WordPress Mobile Edition

Alex King’s WordPress Mobile Edition is the plugin that I ended up using. King’s approach is to sniff the user agent string and offer mobile browsers a paired down template (it uses a cookie to keep the ”mobile state”, so desktop-testing is easy to do after forcing the mobile version). The pros to this approach is that main site is left alone, and the mobile template is easy to customize.

Just be sure that you don’t serve search engine spiders the stripped down mobile version.

The plugin works in Wordpress version 2.7.1, though the template does use some deprecated template tags. It doesn’t consider Iphone to be a mobile client, but this can be fixed if you want.

(Another way to go would be to modify the plugin to use WURFL, like done in this tutorial.)

Wordpress PDA & iPhone Plugin

Wordpress PDA & iPhone Plugin — Haven’t tried this one, but it seems similar in approach to Alex King’s, so it might be good.

Mowser Wordpress Mobile

Mowser Wordpress Mobile. The plugin detects mobile devices and uses the Mowser service to render the blog in mobile-friendly way. Generally, my experience with Mowser hasn’t been good. However, with effort, you could probably tweak you main site to work nicely with Mowser.


MobilePress has the nicest looking site of the plugins. But not having tried it, I can’t vouch for it. I do appreciate that it allows you to serve custom templates for Iphone, Opera Mini and Windows CE. Not sure which one would the majority of mobile browsers in the world fall under, though(did someone forget S40 and S60?).

MobilePress version 1.0.3 claims to detect Google and Yahoo bots. Why this is noteworthy, I’m not sure — surely they’re using opt-in for known devices and defaulting to the main site for unknowns?


September 23, 2008

November 8, 2007

April 18, 2007

April 11, 2007

December 15, 2006

Vanityn uudistuksesta ja Hemingway-teemasta

Vanity on uudistanut ulkoasuaan. Olen aina ollut Hemingway-teeman fani, mutta Vanityn uudistus palvelee blogin sisältöä paremmin. Ulkoasua voisi vielä vähän hioa, mutta päivän lyhyiden Notes-merkintöjen siirtäminen oikealle toimii erittäin hyvin. Hemingwayn ongelma blogiteemana on juuri sen epäblogimaisuus: pelkän viimeisimmän merkinnän “nosto” piilottaa liikaa aiempia merkintöjä. Teema sopiikin parhaiten harvoin päivitetylle, pitkien artikkelien blogille.


September 15, 2006

  • Tim Bray: “If it doesn’t have a “Publish” button, it’s broken.”

September 14, 2006

Inman against widows

Shaun Inman works to eradicate lonely widows. This is like a league of design superheros. Working one plugin at a time to make weblogs typographically correct.


August 23, 2006

Creamaid: get pay for what you say

Creamaid connects advertisers with bloggers. They offer bounties to write-up stories on featured companies. Moderated, of course. They’re calling it a conversation widget. Okay, if you say so.

While I think that something like this could be used constructively, I expect that this’ll just lead to more whoring-guised-as-blogging. Surprisingly, Creamaid was featured (in Finnish) in today’s print edition of Taloussanomat. Based on a Technorati search, it doesn’t seem to have made a big splash in the blogosphere yet.


Asides may be apart, but they still should be within

In February, Om Malik spun off The Daily Om, a link blog. Malik wanted to devote GigaOm to longer, meatier pieces, and not drown them in the chatter of “asides.”

I don’t know how Malik is publishing The Daily Om, but publishing separate “blogs” (or feeds, or types of posts) should be possible with standard blogging tools; it shouldn’t be necessary to set up a new blog — at least not on the admin side. Unfortunately this “one site, one admin” problem is much worse in the traditional CMS world.

  • This Financial Times article on blogging (via Kottke) takes a refreshing look at blogging, but I still don’t accept the pitting of weblogs against traditional media. I guess the challenge is much more acute from the trenches of the press (declining readership, lost ad revenues), but what the hell? Weblogs are never never going to overthrow the press. Blogs make the media better. But if the host dies, the parasites go hungry.

March 22, 2006

Great templates for Textpattern

The winners of Textplates’s Textpattern template competition have been announced. There’s some nice ones in there. My favorites are Serene and White and Wild.


February 27, 2006

January 11, 2006

Haluatko tienata blogilla rahaa? Osallistu brunssiin, niin kuulet miten!

Hmm. Procom järjestää maksullisen Asiaa blogeista -brunssin, jossa selvitetään mikä blogi on ja miten sitä voidaan hyödyntää. Puhujina mm. Sami Köykkä, Matti Lintulahti ja Alex Nieminen (tietysti).


December 14, 2005

November 13, 2005

Nested comments vs. out and out branching

I don’t like threaded discussions. Not in forums, not anywhere. But the way Phil Ringnalda’s blog comments nest is a neat solution that doesn’t take away attention from the general discussion. It provides replying-to context without spreading out the comments by branches. While it still isn’t perfect, I’m not sure there even is a way to have reasonable “discussions” among crowds, online or off.


November 11, 2005

Ajax-based “Web desktops”

Ajax-based “Web desktops” are sprouting up like mushrooms. What’s funny, is that their functionality is basically the same as Netscape’s customizable portal back in 2000.

Cribbed from Techcrunch’s round-up, the newcomers are Netvibes, Protopage, and Zoozio. Then of course there’s Google Reader and Microsoft’s Start (or is that Live?).

While I really liked Start at first, Bloglines fairly quickly won me over. It’s better as a feed aggregator, at least. There’s still a lot of room for improvement, but I was impressed that, despite being hard to find, there is a way to export feed subscriptions as an OPML file.

  • Blogscient claims to provide a bird’s eye view of the blogosphere. The user interface is much clearer than Memeorandum’s.

November 8, 2005

Memeorandum, the automatic blog newspaper

Memeorandum glues blog posts and news pieces together as newspaper-like frontpages. Unfortunately, my first look didn’t impress me. Wired talks to Gabe Rivera, the creator of Memeorandum.


October 31, 2005

Blogi on kuollut

Blogi on kuollut, pääkirjoittaa M&M:n Matias Erkkilä. Omituisia väitteitä ja todisteita. Eikö blogeja tulla kirjoittamaan enää, kun niiden uutuudenviehätys loppuu? Onko blogien huonoutta se, että niiden kirjoittamisesta ei (yleensä) makseta? Ja kyllä, se, että Nieminen, “bloggaamisen edelläkävijä”, lopetti bloggaamisen, on selkeästi merkki lopun alusta. Ei kannata välittää siitä, että Nieminen pyörittää nyt yritystä, joka omistaa Blogilistan. Blogi on kuollut.

Päivitetty: Erkkilä pehmentää julistustaan, muttei malta olla tökkäämättä haarukkaa monologibloggaajien silmään.


October 29, 2005

Never Search For New Content For Your Blogs Again, Let Other People Write the Content. You Just Post it to Your Blog!

RSS to Blog (don’t want to link directly to it) is a horrible idea! The sheer audacity of it!

“Never Search For New Content For Your Blogs Again, Let Other People Write the Content. You Just Post it to Your Blog!”

Well, gosh darnit, that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for! Never again will I have to strain my fingers hunting-and-pecking away, writing my own posts. I’ll just let someone else do that!


October 28, 2005

October 10, 2005

Some blogs to follow

A few days ago, Saras asked me if I read any blogs. “Only Kottke,” I said, “and even that only when I want to surf.”

Saras had read in some survey that weblogs are one of the major passtimes of Web users, and he’d been looking into them to see what they’re all about.

Now, Saras is a Unix geek, of the rabid “vegan, no TV, there’s more to life than consuming” variety, and not in the least ignorant of current events, so I found his questions about weblogs curious.

“I don’t understand blogs,” Saras said. “Why people are into them. I haven’t been able to find one that I could read for more than ten minutes. There were some almost-well-written ones, but they were only good for five minutes.”

I didn’t quite know what to tell him. I ended up shrugging: “to each their own.”

For me, following blogs has become less like reading books and more like reading a newspaper. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just changed how it feels.

Anyway, here’s a few blogs I found noteworthy (but which I probably won’t really be following).

Republic of T — “Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.”

Business Logs. — “BusinessLogs helps companies communicate better with their customers through the use of weblogs and smart user interface design.”

Professional PHP. — “Web Development with PHP, PHP Advocacy and Best Practices.”


September 30, 2005


Kas, Hesarillakin on blogeja: Kuukausiliitteen toimittaja Unto Hämäläinen aikoo seurata weblogissaan presidentinvaaleja. Mitäköhän muita blogeja HS:lla on?

Blogilistalta löytyvät ainakin HS:n tiedetoimituksen Kvarkeista galakseihin ja Anssi Miettisen Kuukausiliitteestä, päivää!, joka toimii apuvälineenä blogeista kertovan jutun kirjoittamisessa.

Digitodaykin julkaisi tänään perjantaina uusimman bloginsa, harmittavan pliisusti nimetyn Ulan-Ude-blogin. Tekstiviestitse raportoiva Tuomas Karhu kirjoitti kesällä huimaa suosiota nauttinutta Moskova–Vladivostok-blogia.


July 5, 2005


Digitodayn Moskova–Vladivostok-blogi aukesi viime torstaina. Toimittaja Tuomas Karhu päivittää blogia ainoastaan tekstiviestein. Vaikka viestit ovatkin haircut-tyyppisiä, on blogia ihan hauska lukea.

Alla oleva viesti on yksi blogin parhaimmista. (Anna on Karhun tapaama puolalainen kanssamatkustaja. Parilla ilmeisesti synkkaa.)

5.7.2005 klo 18:20 — Ravintolavaunussa on pari muuta asiakasta minun ja Annan lisäksi. Taustalla soi hiljaa venäläinen musiikki. Vanha tarjoilija palvelee verkkaisesti. Vietämme vaunussa kolme tuntia jutellen viime päivien tapahtumista ja juoden venäläistä olutta. Koko tilanne tuntuu epätodelliselta, kuin elokuvasta. Välillä alamme käyttäytyä, kuin olisimme osa elokuvaa. Olen koko matkan aikana lukenut kolme uutista tekstiviestinä. Elämä on täällä, tämän junavaunun sisällä. Ainutlaatuista kokea, miten ympäröivä maailma menettää merkitystään. Olen kahden päivän sisällä Vladivostokissa.


June 15, 2005

June 14, 2005

Kolmannes teineistä on IRC-galleriassa

Enterin mukaan yli 30 prosenttia 15–17-vuotiaista suomalaisista on rekisteröitynyt IRC-Gallerian käyttäjiksi. Oho. Via Janne Jalkanen.

Huhujen mukaan Sanoman toimitusjohtaja kävi Jenkeissä kuulemassa blogigospelia, ja on kääntymässä uskoon. Heti kun keksii, miten siitä saisi bisnestä. Kuinkakohan usein hän ja Alex Nieminen nykyään lounastavat?


May 10, 2005

Life after MobileMonday Global Summit 2005

So, now it’s over. The event itself went well, but the high point for me was the afterparty. The Mondayers from around the world and some other people (Tero Lehto, Christian Lindholm) gathered at Zetor, a faux-rustic tractor-themed bar in downtown Helsinki. I was part of the hockey-watching contigency, but I did hang out in the smoke-free side long enough to meet Mike of the Bay-area MobileMonday. We talked briefly about the interesting stuff going on with small and often independent Web apps and services (eg. del.icio.us). It occurred to me while we were talking that it’s probably the dream of every small tech company in existence today to create something like Flickr or 43 Things.

When I feel overwhelmed by the concept of inventing something truly new (and thus worthwhile), I try to remind myself from time to time of the Google adage: the major changes in technology haven’t been sparked by the development of unique technology in itself, but by making it usable.

I also talked a bit with Christian about Lifeblog and the openness of the blogging world. I told him it’s been strange and exciting to watch the Lifeblog/Movable Type scene unfold over the last year. Christian recommended that I get a copy of Lifeblog so that I can get a firmware update of my 7610.

Coincidentally, Russell Beattie was also there. When I heard his name, I remembered I’d seen his blog, though I couldn’t remember when. Turns out, I’ve linked to his 7610 review.

And I can’t believe Finland tied 0–0 with Latvia.


April 10, 2005

April 1, 2005

Why weblogs work, in four words

Tufte’s goal in his work: “Simple design, intense content.” If I had to describe in four words why the weblog format works, these would be the ones.


March 13, 2005

How geeks and other people use computers (to get stuff done)

While I haven’t jumped on the GTD bandwagon (yet), I really like Cory’s transcript of Danny O’Brien’s talk about the productivity of alpha geeks.

I have a dozen text files on my desktop with various lists. Mainly URLs, but also song names and notes and books recommendations. I never used the desktop until I stopped blogging for a while and started keeping this miscellaneous stuff in flat text files.