Archive for the ‘WordPress Plugin’ Category

WordPress Plugin: Breadcrumb NavXT

June 19, 2009

I just finished installing the Breadcrumb NavXT WordPress Plugin on the church site.  I’d been half-heartedly been looking at what it would take to write the equivalent functionality into my template.  It wasn’t seeming to be too bad, but  when I ran across this plugin, I had to give it a try.  Why rewrite something already done and working?

Obviously, you’re situation may be different from mine, but after activation I changed exactly one value (use “Home” for the Home link title instead of “Blog”), and dropped the default code into my standard and wide page templates.  The result was precisely what I was looking for: standard breadcrumb navigation.  PHP5 is required, but I needed to enable it anyway for the DST support added in WordPress 2.8.

All-in-all, another good plugin and another demonstration of the positive value of WordPress.

Interesting Church Tech Links for May 3, 2009

May 3, 2009

Some good articles for WordPress and Google Apps.

Syndicated WordPress Plugin Keeps Your Brand Intact
A WordPress plugin that does URL shortening so you don’t need TinyURL.com or such and you keep your domain name in the resulting URL – good for keeping your brand identity in the steam for Twitter and such.
Mt. Gilead’s Experience with Google Apps for Domains – Part I and Part II
Some interesting analysis and experience with Google Apps for Domains
Embed WordPress Functions Outside WordPress
Used this technique to integrate my error pages into the WordPress template.

A bit of security by obscurity

January 13, 2009

I’m writing this post in case you are not aware of  a couple of “features” of WordPress that concern me.  WordPress has decided to include in the HTML head tag:

  1. What version of WordPress is running, and
  2. Hooks for Windows Live Writer

The headers look something like this:

<link rel="EditURI" type="application/rsd+xml" title="RSD"
     href="http://www.yourblog.com/xmlrpc.php?rsd" />
<link rel="wlwmanifest" type="application/wlwmanifest+xml"
     href="http://www.yourblog.com/wp-includes/wlwmanifest.xml" />
<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 2.7" />

Sometimes I’m a bit paranoid, but I don’t see any reason to advertise what version of WordPress I’m using.  Why put information directly into peoples hands that can tell them what vulnerabilities are in your installation?  Its a simple task to go look up what’s vulnerable in a specific version.  Along with that, if you’re not using Windows Live Writer, why expose the manifest and EditURI?  Someone has even reported problems with anti-virus software interfering with access to their WordPress blog and potentially tied it back to the Windows Live Writer headers.

These three headers are injected as part of the wp_head() function call that’s typically in the header.php of a theme.  We have the choice of removing that function call which potentially interferes with other header hooks or we can find some plugins to help us.

I was able to find two nice plugins over at http://blog.taragana.com:

Two uploads and two activations later and my concerns are soothed.

WordPress Plugin: Redirection

January 4, 2009

One of the side-effects of my recent migration to WordPress (though not really its fault) was that I altered the locations of a number of important pages and resources (e.g. bulletins and sermons).  Goggle has been hammering me for broken links so I needed to do something or else Google was going demote my site substantially (it has already taken some hits on the page rank). I could have fixed everything with some mod_rewrite rules but I was having a couple of problems getting them working on my host and I accidentally ran into the Redirection WordPress plugin from John Godley over at Urban Giraffe.

Using the Redirection plugin I was able to easily write a couple (ok six) simple regex expressions and fix the majority of 404 failures I was receiving.  I’m waiting now for Google to remove some more of its reported 404 errors (down to 33 from 50+ a couple weeks ago) before I decide what more I’m going to do.

Since we all run into this type of problem when doing major site renovations I see where this plugin could be an important resource to have around.

9-Jan-2009 Update: As of today I’m down to three broken links in Google and those are all bad and pending being removed from Google completely.  This plugin has been singularly helpful in correcting the broken links Google was running into.