Tag Archive for ‘WordPress’

Webmention ➝

I’ve been toying around with this on mike.rockwell.mx using the WordPress plugin and Semantic-Linkbacks. I don’t know how often it will come up when linking to other sites or other sites linking to me — since Webmention doesn’t have widespread usage. But Micro.blog — my preferred social network — supports the technology.

So anyone that replies to a Micro.blog post that originated on mike.rockwell.mx will be sent to my site as a Webmention. It works well and it’s really rad.

Implementing Webmention on Initial Charge is on my to do list. I’ve always accepted and sent pingbacks, but don’t have the received notifications visible anywhere on the live site. It’s likely that Webmentions will be implemented in a similar manor. But this is the type of technology that I’d like to see adopted more broadly. It would allow for more social features in the open web and could be encourage some to spend less time in the walled gardens.

➝ Source: indieweb.org

Web Hosting

SiteGround Homepage

I’ve been hosting Initial Charge and my other web projects on Media Temple since sometime in 2009. Prior to that, I was using 1&1 for hosting. I made the move at that point because I wanted something better, with an emphasis on user interface, and because I wanted to be where the cool kids were.

You see, I knew that Shawn Blanc hosted his site on Media Temple. He was, and continues to be, someone I look up to in this whole web publishing space. But after nearly twelve years with Media Temple, I’m feeling the itch to seek greener pastures again.

I have some degree of familiarity with who the big players are in this space. With my work at WordPress.com, I often interact with users that are coming from or moving to other web hosts. But that doesn’t really give me a good indication of who the good hosts are, just who is popular. So before I made a decision of who to move to, I needed to do some research.

I watched a handful of YouTube videos comparing several of the top players. Darrel Wilson has some great videos in this space, ranking the top contenders and focusing heavily on speed and reliability. I also did a bit of web searching to see what others are saying.

The web searches were mostly unfruitful. The vast majority of articles I found felt more like they were motivated by what services offer the best affiliate programs, rather than by who has the best service.

In the end, I determined SiteGround is the way to go.

The plan I chose was priced a bit higher upon renewal than my Media Temple plan — about $25–30 per month, depending on the frequency of billing, compared to the $20 I was paying Media Temple. But that doesn’t take into account the cost of SSL. You see, Media Temple can use Let’s Encrypt, but there wasn’t a way to automatically renew the certificate. So I either had to pay Media Temple for an SSL certificate or manually renew it periodically.

I was just paying for SSL certificates because the hassle of manually renewing the Let’s Encrypt certificates was too much of a hassle. But that increased my hosting costs by $79 per year for each certificate I had. With one for Initial Charge and one for #OpenWeb, that put my effective monthly payment at around $33 per month. That’s actually higher than SiteGround and if I switch hosts, I can easily add SSL to all of my other projects with automated renewal at no additional cost.

I purchased SiteGround’s GrowBig plan last week and have started moving my web projects over one-by-one. So far I’ve moved a static site, and migrated two sites to WordPress — one from Squarespace and one from Tumblr. It’s been a very enjoyable experience. SiteGround makes deploying WordPress sites quite easy and they offer a plugin — SG Optimizer — that works hand-in-hand with their hosting service to setup caching and site performance features.

I plan to migrate my remaining sites over the coming weeks — including Initial Charge, which I’ll do last so I can perfect the process and minimize any interruptions. I’m hoping their migration plugin will do the trick, but am prepared to handle things in a more manual fashion, if necessary.

But this has also given me an opportunity to build some other projects that I’ve had in my mind for a while. The first is a weblog designed to obfuscate my usage of Twitter and Instagram — mike.rockwell.mx. Essentially, most of what I publish to Twitter will be posted to my own site first and automatically shared to Twitter using IFTTT. The photos I publish there will also be cross-posted to Instagram using an iOS shortcut to streamline the process.

My goal is to think of mike.rockwell.mx as my canonical location for more personal and short-form sharing. And to think of Twitter and Instagram more as syndication channels — similar to RSS, but with built-in interaction mechanisms. Down the line, I’d like to pull those interactions back into mike.rockwell.mx, but I’m still trying to figure out the best way to do that or whether or not it is realistically feasible.

For anyone curious, the site is using the Twenty Nineteen theme with some CSS customizations alongside the Two Factor plugin, Akismet, and Jetpack for traffic statistics, backups, and some security features.

I have more projects up my sleeve, but they’re mostly for me personally. I’d like to build out my own cloud services suite, of sorts. With a self-hosted RSS reader, read-later service, and a notes system being high on the list. Depending on how that goes, I might be writing about them here in the future.

This experience has further bolstered my love of the open web. This stuff is really fun. And it feels good to have more ownership and control over what I publish online. I’d like to see others start doing the same. I think it would do a lot to improve our collective mental wellbeing and facilitate more healthy conversations in general.

The Challenge of Switching From a Page Builder to the WordPress Gutenberg Block Editor ➝

I don’t use the block editor here on Initial Charge. Instead, I write in Ulysses and publish to the site using Shortcuts. But I have other personal sites where I make use of the block editor and use it every single day at work.

And, boy, I’m sure glad I never used a page builder plugin on any of my sites. It seems like such a short-sighted publishing system that will eventually lead to pain points. If your goal can be accomplished with stock WordPress, it’s typically best to do so.

➝ Source: speckyboy.com

WordPress 5.6, “Simone” ➝

An exciting release, which includes a great new feature:

Thanks to the API’s new Application Passwords authorization feature, third-party apps can connect to your site seamlessly and securely. This new REST API feature lets you see what apps are connecting to your site and control what they do.

This gives you the ability to authenticate an app or service with WordPress using a password created specifically for that connection. And you can revoke that password as you see fit — keeping your site secure without having to change your password and re-authenticate in any app or service connected to your site.

But what’s more exciting is that this opens the door to natively supporting two factor authentication in the future. If that’s something you’d like to add with a plugin now, I use Two-Factor.

And for more information about Application Passwords, there’s an excellent integration guide available.

➝ Source: wordpress.org

Mission Ctrl, Block-Powered WordPress Dashboard Customization ➝

From the site:

With mission ctrl you can build your own dashboard widgets with blocks. You know blocks, the things you are already using on your posts/pages to make your WordPress site awesome.

I don’t use blocks on Initial Charge, instead composing everything in Ulysses and the publishing through Shortcuts. The contents of my entries are technical saved in Classic blocks, but I typically only ever interact with them using the code editor.

I do use blocks on other sites I publish, though — a personal site that I manage alongside a few family members and all the sites I interact with at my day job. The block editor is very powerful and letting you use blocks to add custom widgets to the WordPress dashboard is brilliant.

➝ Source: missionctrl.is

Iceberg, a Beautiful Editor for WordPress ➝

I don’t actual write within the WordPress editor on Initial Charge, instead I do all of my writing within Ulysses and then publish to the site using Shortcuts. But if I was to ever move back to writing directly in WordPress, Iceberg is how I’d do it.

I purchased the plugin immediately after seeing it on Twitter, even though I don’t have any plans to actually use it. I want plugins like this to be developed for the platform and want to compensate the developers for investing the time and effort into building it.

Iceberg is a gorgeous, simple editor for WordPress that allows you to write in Markdown. That would be enough for many, but what takes Iceberg to the next level is that it builds upon the block editor instead of replacing it. When you write within Iceberg, all of the markup under the hood is entirely block editor compatible. There’s no need to worry about incompatibilities if you deactivate the plugin down the line — you can gracefully switch back and forth between editors and everything just works.

➝ Source: useiceberg.com

An Update to the Toolkit ➝

It’s been a while since I published an update to The Toolkit — my collection of iOS Shortcuts that I use for publishing Initial Charge. But I’ve spent the past few days going through each one, making some adjustments, adding comments, fixing bugs, and adding import questions where necessary.

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to use these shortcuts as is with your setup. They have some hard-coded categories and expect the text input to be in a very specific format. But even if you heavily modify them or simply use the shortcuts to learn some tricks for your own shortcuts, they’ll have some value.

If you have any questions about the shortcuts or how they could be used, feel free to reach out. I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions I can.

➝ Source: initialcharge.net

‘How I Upload Images to My Blog Using Shortcuts’ ➝

Chris Hannah:

Then because I simply want to upload it to my WordPress blog (I have no separate CDN for images), I attempted to use the “Post to WordPress” action. Which I only just discovered can upload media, along with posts and pages.

And just like when you upload a new post using that action, the result is the URL of the uploaded post/page/media.

Although the URL that was returned wasn’t exactly the one I was looking for. I was expecting the absolute URL for the image that was uploaded. But instead, it was the URL of a kind of “preview” page, which is essentially the same template used for a blog post, except the content is the image that was uploaded.

The pages that Chris is referring to are attachment pages — they use a page template similar to posts or pages, but are used to display a single piece of media uploaded to WordPress’ media library. It is a bit odd that this is the link that the Shortcut outputs when uploading a media file, though, it would be nice if it gave you a direct link to the file instead.

I came across this issue a year or two ago when I was first building my image uploading shortcut, which was with the Workflow app at the time. Chris’ solution is quite elegant, but unfortunately, it won’t work for my site. I actually setup my attachment pages to automatically redirect to the image’s corresponding post or to my site’s homepage (if a related post can’t be found).

Instead of grabbing the image URL from the resulting attachment page, I have my shortcut take the file name and rebuild the direct URL since it’s a predictable URL structure.

➝ Source: blog.chrishannah.me