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New Website Design: BlogoLife Bright and Clean WordPress Upgrade




Well, if you are a returning visitor to my website, you probably have noticed a different template design. I was looking to brighten things up a bit, by bringing a clean new style to the website, and found this WordPress template that seemed to be quite versatile in what could be done with it. BlogoLife [...]






Click to read more about: New Website Design: BlogoLife Bright and Clean WordPress Upgrade

Well, if you are a returning visitor to my website, you probably have noticed a different template design. I was looking to brighten things up a bit, by bringing a clean new style to the website, and found this WordPress template that seemed to be quite versatile in what could be done with it.

BlogolifeBlogoLife 1.8 by wplook

BlogoLife is a simple and perfect HTML5 & CSS3 theme for personal blogging that supports post formats, and several customization options. The custom background, custom header, and multiple color schemes gives you the possibility to adapt your blog as you wish.
Options: Widgets | Menus | Wplook Panel | Background | Header

With the BlogoLife template, I customized it to the size width that I wanted. Though, I had to do some figuring out the widths in order to create some new graphics for the wider width that I was changing it to. I ended up increasing both the left column (main text area) slightly, and increased the width of the right column significantly to allow for the usage of wider graphics.

Prior to using the new template, I decided to upgrade WordPress to the latest and greatest. That was quite a story in itself and required troubleshooting an upgrade that went awry. If using WordPress for your website, I suggest reading about how to recover from a failed WordPress update here.

Once I was upgraded with WP and all the Plugins, I tackled the template area. As with any website, there are tons of things behind the scenes, which are not seen by most folks visiting a website. However, if you are a website developer, you know what I am talking about. Spacing, alignment, color, graphics, text size, and even the header and footer spacing is a puzzle with having to make sure all the pieces fit together properly. Everything is looked at with a critical eye (mine), and still there are always things that you want to improve. Then on top of all of that, making sure that Web functionality is still intact, navigation, analytics, and other smaller items of importance such as how the admin area for comments, access, and page and post edits work in conjunction with the template are all inner-linked and functioning well together.

So, I hope you like the new design to the website. In this template, you might see some different colors every once in awhile, along with different header images too. Let me know what you think.

Regards,

Jim

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Successfully Recover from a Failed WordPress Update




WordPress is a great platform for blogging, building websites, and content management systems; and like any software creators have from time to time, released new versions in the form of automatic updates that need to be (or should be) installed. However, not all hosting servers run the same way when it comes to updating the [...]






Click to read more about: Successfully Recover from a Failed WordPress Update

WordPressWordPress is a great platform for blogging, building websites, and content management systems; and like any software creators have from time to time, released new versions in the form of automatic updates that need to be (or should be) installed. However, not all hosting servers run the same way when it comes to updating the software. Herein lies the potential problem for an automatic software update on the server to go awry.

That is exactly what happened to me yesterday when I went to update the WordPress software to the latest version. I saw that I had plugins to update; which I completed with no problems. However, when I tried to do a automatic update to WordPress, it got the proverbial message, “Update Failed.” That wouldn’t be so bad, except for one thing, I couldn’t log back in to my admin area. The blog was still active, but when trying to login to the admin area, I had the white screen of death, a blank page.

So, as luck would have it, or should I say Murphy’s law would have it, I did not have a recent backup of the blog. So, on to Google Search to find a WordPress update solution. I went looking to WordPress for an answer. I read on the forums of various instances of failed WordPress updates and the things to try. Many of the processes involved recovering from the update using the backup files. No, that was not going to work. Then I thought, maybe the manual WordPress installation procedure would work. I found this link for updating WordPress and thought maybe I could find how to do the process there.

Before doing anything, I decided to make sure I did a complete backup of everything that I could at that moment. I felt that the WP database was still intact on the website server. So, logging in to the CPanel of the website, I downloaded the various backups, including the databases that I had on the server. I also downloaded the WP directory from the server onto my local hard drive. I like using the FireFTP addon for Firefox. It is quick, easy to use, and convenient to provide FTP access for any website that you maintain.

After doing those things, I wanted some additional confirmation on the manual WP update procedure. I found this article on How to Recover from Failed WordPress Upgrade. The procedure was inline with the WP instructions, however, there were a few more details that made it easier to understand. Below is the procedure from WP. I am also adding my comments to it.

The following instructions assumes that you have your WordPress files installed in a separate directory on your web hosting account. Example would be: www.jimwarholic.com/blog or you might have the directory named wordpress or other instead of blog.

Step 1: Replace WordPress files

  1. Get the latest WordPress zip (or tar.gz) file. (I used the zip file and saved it on my computer hard drive).
  2. Unpack (unzip) the zip file that you downloaded.
  3. Delete the following two directories (inside your WP directory) on the web host using FTP or shell access (I used FireFTP):
    1. wp-includes
    2. wp-admin
  4. Upload the new wp-includes and wp-admin directories (directories are “folders” from the computer hard drive) to your web host in the WP directory. Because the old directories have been deleted from the web server, the new ones will take their place.
  5. Read this next step twice and follow it carefully. Upload the individual files from the new wp-content folder (located on your local computer hard drive) to your existing wp-content folder (on the web hosting server in the WP directory), overwriting existing files. Do NOT delete your existing wp-content folder. Do NOT delete any files or folders in your existing wp-content directory (except for the one being overwritten by new files). This will replace only the files that need to be replaced, but maintain the other files within the wp-content directory.
  6. Upload all new loose files from the root directory of the new version (located on your local computer hard drive) to your existing wordpress root directory on the web host.

NOTE – you should replace all the old WordPress files with the new ones in the wp-includes and wp-admin directories and sub-directories, and in the root directory (such as index.php, wp-login.php and so on). Don’t worry – your wp-config.php will be safe.

Be careful when you come to copying the wp-content directory. You should make sure that you only copy the files from inside this directory, rather than replacing your entire wp-content directory. This is where your themes and plugins live, so you will want to keep them. If you have customized the default or classic themes without renaming them, make sure not to overwrite those files, otherwise you will lose your changes. (Though you might want to compare them for new features or fixes..)

Lastly you should take a look at the wp-config-sample.php file, to see if any new settings have been introduced that you might want to add to your own wp-config.php.
Step 1.5: Remove .maintenance file

If you’re upgrading manually after a failed auto-upgrade, delete the file .maintenance from your WordPress directory using FTP. This will remove the “failed update” nag message.
Step 2: Update your installation

Visit your main WordPress admin page at /wp-admin. You may be asked to login again. If a database upgrade is necessary at this point, WordPress will detect it and give you a link to a URL like http://example.com/wordpress/wp-admin/upgrade.php. Follow that link and follow the instructions. This will update your database to be compatible with the latest code. You should do this as soon as possible after step 1.

In my case, when I logged back in (and I was able to log back in now), I was indeed prompted to update the database before continuing. All I had to do was click the link button and follow simple instructions to update the database.

Low and behold, success. Everything was back to normal, and actually seemed to be functioning better. I did have some further updates to do for the pluggins, but those went smoothly using the automatic update links for the plugins themselves.

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Info at @YourCompany.com Email Addresses




Question asked by a reader: I receive allot of spam recently using the from: Linkedin Communication and to: info@a-company-name.com or some other junk in front of @ a-company-name.com Do you think it comes from Linkedin link on home page or is it something else? Answer: The info @ a-company-name.com email addresses are spam magnets. Even [...]






Click to read more about: Info at @YourCompany.com Email Addresses

Question asked by a reader:

I receive allot of spam recently using the from: Linkedin Communication and to: info@a-company-name.com or some other junk in front of @ a-company-name.com

Do you think it comes from Linkedin link on home page or is it something else?

Answer:

The info @ a-company-name.com email addresses are spam magnets.

Even if you don’t post that email address, the spammers use it to send every url an email because they know there are a lot of people that have an info @ company email address. They also use a means of targeting a URL with a dictionary attack. So, if people leave a default (catch all) email address, and the spammers use any type of attack, they can find unlimited email address openings to send spam. This is why it is never a good idea to use a “catch all” email address. Not only will it be a bad experience for the user having to go searching through the tons of spam, but it will simply be an undo strain on the hosting server. This is why, many servers and hosting companies are limiting this type of setup. Additionally, if you choose to run this way, you run the risk of alienating yourself with the hosting company. In essence, they won’t like you very much and run the risk of having your website be transferred over to a much poorer server environment, one that has other less than desired operators and webmasters.

Once an email address is in the spammers database, it is impossible to get it cleaned, because other spammers get it from others online.

I strongly urge you to guard your email addresses carefully online. Use of Javascript, a picture image of the @ email address, or formmails are some of the things you can use to be proactive to protect your emails from the spam bots (email scavenging programs that automatically harvest email addresses online). However, even having guarded your email address, I strongly suggest using spam detection, or filtering it through Google Apps for email, or running it directly through Gmail (by adding an account in the Gmail settings), or other options like that for the long haul.

Do the right thing, and don’t use a catch all email address. If you have a number of email addresses that you want to use as throw away emails for signing up for things online, do a forward of those select throw away emails to your main email address instead. Then you can create email filters to place them in folders or assign labels. You can also add address aliases for your main email address. Read about on how to use an email address alias name.

For online marketing solutions for your business visit your B2B and B2C solution provider. Need a good webmaster? Contact us today.

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