Change log

  • May 11, 2010. For some reason the Quote comment feature was not copying the name of the original comment’s author. This should now be working.
  • I am resolved eventually to turn off comment nesting, relying on the Quote comment feature (now fixed) to allow enough of the previous comment to be copied automatically and thereby maintain context.
  • I am resolved to replace the rather attractive theme on the blog with something much plainer, easier to read, and faster loading. The goal is to make the blog appear more mainstream and serious, rather than personal. The medium is the massage.
  • May 15, 2010. The new theme (WooThemes Canvas) is installed. I know that block quotes are looking odd in comments. Working on that next.
  • June 2010 (various). Fixed block quotes to be italicized and indented. Fixed picture centering. Installed WordPress 3.0. Changed WordPress to Twitter URL shortening service.
  • July 10, 2010. Redesigned the menu system up top to have fewer items. Added the Birther Scorecard link to the Docket menu. Also moved the Recent Comments higher up on the right sidebar. Installed latest version of canvas theme.
  • March 16, 2011. Moved Obama Conspiracy Theories from a shared hosting plan to a dedicated virtual server for improved performance. Since the last entry, upgraded to WordPress 3.1. Videos are now embedded using iframes  when possible to make content available on more mobile devices. Improved formatting of subscripts and superscripts.
  • April 13, 2011. Added Google Analytics tracking code to the site.
  • April 20, 2011. Upgraded PHP on the site to version 5.3. WordPress updated to 3.1.1. Moved site database from shared hosting to virtual private server.
  • June 11, 2011. Upgraded theme to version 4.1.3, fixing the problem with stray “caption” tags in posts listed as a search result.
  • June 21, 2011. I replaced the Recent Comments widget with the Better Recent Comments widget. I think it looks better, and claims to have low overhead. I changed the RSS feed address for articles in the sidebar to use the Google FeedBurner feed. One of my outstanding concerns about blog performance is the sheer size of the pages generated. For example, one page with 119 comments was 345,765 bytes. The blog uses  compression between the server and your browser to reduce amount of data transferred. I fixed the indention on the Recent Articles. I know just enough CSS to be dangerous now.
  • December 23, 2011. WordPress 3.3 installed previously.
  • February 2,  2012. Moved blog to new “Cloud Hosting” provider, VPS.NET. After severe initial problems with hardware, blog running well. Previously installed WordPress 3.3.1. Compression disabled in WP-Super Cache due to problems. Compression enabled in the web server.
  • August 7, 2012. WordPress version 3.4.1 in use. Previously added edit comments feature and MP3 file embedding. YouTube videos are now added without Flash. Turned on avatars for commenters. Set yours at
  • August 10, 2012. Added Impostercide plug-in to protect user names from impersonation. Enabled new user registration. Also added ability for users to upload individual avatars. Added User Login link to Visitor Guide menu.
  • Installed WordPress 3.5. Changed site security settings to suppress certain error messages.
  • December 8. Did something (unknown) that probably fixed the bounce rate statistic, so now it’s much higher than it used to be.
  • 12/20/2012 Added Widgets On Pages plug-in.
  • Installed theme updates to fix problem with block quotes and Internet Explorer.
  • 08/02/2013 Installed WordPress 3.6. Uninstalled oEmbed HTML 5 Audio plug-in (functionality handled by WordPress 3.6  and following). Also brought list of plug-ins (below) up to date.
  • 02/04/2014 The site is now running WordPress 3.8.1. I installed an automatic backup solution, UpdraftPlus Backup Restore. We’ll see how that goes. I’m also pleased to find that WooThemes has finally automated installation of theme updates. I also removed the Navigation menu from the site and installed what is called a “top menu.” The new menu is much simpler with most of the options landing on pages rather than sub menus. The old Site Statistics page has been updated with an embedded spreadsheet rather than an HTML table. A little shading was added to the background of the sidebar widgets.
  • 02/18/2015 Catch up notes. Now running WordPress 4.1. Switched to W3 Total Cache from WP Super Cache (caching is currently turned off). Print Friendly removed. UpDraft Plus removed.
  • 04/07/2015 Now running WordPress 4.1.1. Most features of W3 Total Cache currently disabled because it filled up the disk. Google Apps Login removed. Stop Spammers plug-in added. Broken Link Checker plug-in installed, and I am slowly working through over 700 broken links ;( Removed UpdraftPlus Backup Restore that was not working.
  • 7/26/2016 Catch up notes. Added Wordfence security plug-in, which also provides caching for the blog. W3 Total Cache completely removed. Removed WP Super Cache. Removed WPTouch mobile theme plug-in (Canvas adaptive formatting now used for mobile devices. Now running latest WordPress 4.5.3.  Updated user guide pages to be current.
  • 12/7/2016 Installed WordPress 4.7. Updated plug-in list below. Several removed.

For the benefit of anyone who wants to know how the blog works so that they can incorporate a similar feature into their own WordPress blog, here is a list of all the plug-ins I use:

  • AJAX Edit Comments – allows editing of comments for a fixed period of time and a spell checker.
  • Akismet – comment spam control. Every blog that allows comments needs this or something like it.
  • Avatars – allows user uploaded avatars.
  • Broken Link Checker – finds stale hyperlinks
  • Get Recent Comments – used to display recent comments in the sidebar
  • Hotfix – Helps keep WordPress installation up to date.
  • Impostercide — prevents commenter name spoofing.
  • jQuery Updater – Updates to the latest version of jQuery
  • Limit Login Attempts – Prevent brute force password guessing
  • Quote Comments – Quote feature for commenters
  • Revision Control – Prevents too many old versions of articles from being saved.
  • SABRE — Prevents bot user registrations
  • Subscribe To “Double-Opt-In” Comments – Let’s visitors receive email notices when a comment is made.
  • Twitter Tracker – Supports the site Twitter Feed sidebar
  • Ultimate Category Excluder – This allows me to control what articles can appear on the front page and in the RSS feed. It keeps, for example, Lounge articles out of the RSS articles feed.
  • Use Google Libraries — Faster page loads using Google Javascript libraries
  • Widgets on Pages – This allows me to put a widget on a page, such as the list of  archives.
  • WooCommerce Helper – Simplifies installation of theme updates
  • Wordfence – Additional blog security
  • WP-Polls – Supports the blog’s polls.
  • WP to Twitter – Notifies Twitter any time I publish a new article
  • XRDS Simple – Advertises certain blog services.
  • Yoast SEO – Search engine optimization

WooThemes Canvas is the visual theme for the blog. Canvas is a commercial product with exceptional flexibility. This is the only commercial software used on this site. The excellent support more than makes up for the nominal price.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.