screencap of ShushThatNoise plugin in action

Testing plugin: ShushThatNoise

Downloadable via the WordPress plugin repository: ShushThatNoise – Ignorant Comment Hider, only compatible with WP3.01.

Hide unwanted comments without deleting them. Edit the comment and wrap the offending text in [shush][/shush].
(Example: [shush]FIRST!!![/shush])

Readers can choose to read the hidden comment by clicking on the “Show” link.
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Migrating a HUGE WordPress blog

A flock of birds is moving across the background of a big bank of cloud against a bright blue sky - WordPress logos accompany them, and the text *Migrating WordPress to a New Server* has been added to the pictureFor the last few days, I have been following the instructions in this post by Dennis Howlett: How to migrate a monster WordPress blog.

This method is only needed if you don’t have full server access to take a MySQL dump and a wp-content dump in order to migrate a blog using PHPMyAdmin or equivalent.
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an icon for articles about blogging - it displays a thumbtacked post-it note saying *Blog*

Coming soon: WordPress 3.0 logoThe Big New Upgrade is now in Beta-1 testing. I’m going to be installing the beta on a test blog next week (school holidays really cut into hackfest time) and seeing how it plays. Of course, they may well be up to Beta-2 testing by then.

The new features to look forward to:

  • WordPress and WordPress MU (multi-user) have merged, so that multiple blogs will be easy to run from a single install. So far this is not yet an automated process, but the idea is that once 3.0 is in general release this will be easy-peasy to manage. This should make it especially easy to integrate custom social networks around a WordPress install while still having an uncluttered main blog as the front page.
  • Custom menus are going to be available. I’m curious to see just how many options are configurable here.
  • Custom post types – this will essentially add a more Tumblr-like posting facility right out of the box, and should allow lots more options for theme designers with regard to both styling each post type and adding new post-types via functions.php. It’s also going to make it a lot easier for website producers to teach clients how to post their own content optimally-formatted with these options built-in – custom fields should now be incorporated into an intuitive menu for each post type instead of being a more complicated add-on option.

I’d be most interested to hear from anybody playing around with the Betas.

No reader’s comments display in your sidebar? Do you want more comments or not?

a small fluffy puppy glowers at the cameraI don’t understand why anyone who blogs would not have some sort of “Latest Comments” widget in the sidebar, but it appears that quite a few don’t. I wonder if they realise that this might be why they don’t get as many comments on every post as they might like?

I find that on sites without a comments widget the discussions on older posts just wither away as new posts take the sweet spot at the top of the front page. With a comments widget, people can see that a discussion is ongoing on a post they’ve already read and perhaps commented on, and are encouraged to check those latest comments and maybe add more to the discussion. Without a comments widget, they have to want to revisit that post they’ve already read just on the offchance that new comments have been added. How many of the readers are going to do that?

Sure, they could subscribe to the blogs Comments RSS feed, or maybe just the specific Comments feed for that post if they are tech-savvy enough, but how many do? I generally don’t follow comments by RSS, the option just doesn’t appeal. If someone like me who follows hundreds of Posts feeds by RSS isn’t generally going to click on a post’s Comments feed, how many others do you think are going to do it?
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Dictionary plugin

picture of a generic dictionaryI’ve added a dictionary plugin so that I can go mad with acronyms, initialisms and jargon to my heart’s content and still let newbie webtech readers understand what I’m going on about – I’d appreciate some accessibility testing from those using screen readers. I think it needs some better styling to indicate which words have a dictionary link for a start.

Here’s some of the terms that I have defined:

  • SEO
  • Information Architecture
  • HTML
  • JPEG
  • CSS

How does that work for you, dear readers?

Upgraded to WordPress 2.9 logoSo far pretty slick. It doesn’t seem to have broken any of the multimedia plugins and I’m enjoying some of the new features – the theme editor that remembers where you were at last save is long overdue!

As per major new release SOP, there’s an announcement post listing all the new features for 2.9 up at the WordPress Dev Blog (video too).

P.S. Heh, I just added a new category for “wordpress” all in lower case – and the category list autocorrected that to the official capitalised “WordPress”! Warms the cockles of my pedantic little heart, that does.