Add Author Image (Gravatar) to Posts

You may have noticed that I have added an author image each post.  This was done for two reasons:  I like the personal effect and I now have multiple authors.

It’s really quite simple to add the author picture if you’re using WordPress gravatars (which you probably are, even if you don’t know it – I didn’t!).  First, go to Gravatar.com and log in with your WordPress email address and password.  You may have to set up an account if you’ve never been before.  However, you should have a picture.  If you don’t, upload one now.

Now, simply add the code below into one of your templates to get a picture by your posts.  Try making a new <div> in you stylesheet to put this in, say “authorimage”.

<?php echo get_avatar( get_the_author_email(), '50' ); ?>

Since gravatars are squares, the number in the single quotes (in this case, 50) is the number of pixels of how big your image will be. Replace this to fit your page.

Microsoft Unveils IE 8 – Lacks Yet Again

internet-explorer-8-beta-logo

[tag]Microsoft[/tag] unveiled [tag]Internet Explorer 8[/tag] at the [tag]Mix09[/tag] conference March 18-20. The following day, an article was released on their site, explaining the new features and usability comforts, as well as using popular web companies, such as Facebook, ESPN, and eBay as testimonials. But seriously, wouldn’t you? I mean, with still over 70% of the browser market belonging to IE, wouldn’t your company do anything it could to support and encourage a browser that, despite its constant shortcomings, reaches millions more than [tag]Firefox[/tag], [tag]Safari[/tag], and [tag]Opera[/tag] put together?

But, down to the point. [tag]IE8[/tag] boasts developer tools, the ability to easily connect to the “news, stories and videos that people are buzzing about right now”. Great. Seriously, that’s wonderful that you’ve done that. But yet again, there is a lack of basic usability features and improvements.

For example, CNET reports that [tag]Google[/tag] Toolbar crashed IE8 on first run. According to user reviews, many sites would crash the tab, IE would sometimes randomly crash, there is no history button, and CSS and HTML rendering is still off from the standard (Firefox, Opera, and Safari). [tag]CNET[/tag] users rate IE8 2 out of 5.

Read the rest of this entry »

Remove Bullets from WordPress List

I have been having trouble removing the [tag]bullets[/tag] from both [tag]ul[/tag] and [tag]li[/tag] [tag]lists[/tag] while working on my new site. Even though I have all list styles set to “none”, I still get [tag]bullets[/tag], which also indents my content, leaving it off-center.

There is actually a very easy fix to this. Basically, just turn off all bullets at the top of your [tag]stylesheet[/tag]. Do this by placing the following code somewhere in your stylesheet (I prefer to put it right at the top so I remember it’s there).

ul li {list-style-type: none;}

That’s it! Now you should be bullet-free and right on center.

Add “All Posts” Archive Page to WordPress Blog

For a while now, I’ve been looking for a way to list all my [tag]posts[/tag] on one page, since I don’t see the point of monthly archives and I think it would be neat to have a quick reference to all previous posts. I have been unsuccessful in my search attempts until last night, when I stumbled onto the solution accidentally.

I finally found the [tag]code[/tag] on [tag]WPRecipes[/tag]. However, the code on the site is unformatted, so I’ll jazz it up a little bit so that it will fit your [tag]WordPress[/tag] [tag]theme[/tag].

To do this, you’ll want to create a [tag]page template[/tag] called “All Posts”. Open up notepad (or some text editor) and paste the following.

<?php get_header(); ?>

<div id="contentcontainer">

<div id="left">

<?php
$debut = 0;
?>
<?php while(have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
<h2><?php the_title(); ?></h2>
<ul>
<?php
$myposts = get_posts('numberposts=-1&offset=$debut');
foreach($myposts as $post) :
?>
<li><?php the_time('d/m/y') ?>: <a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></li>
<?php endforeach; ?>
</ul>
<?php endwhile; ?>

</div><!--end:left-->

<?php get_sidebar(); ?>

</div><!--end:contentcontainer-->

<?php get_footer(); ?>

Save this as “allposts.php” (or something similar) and upload it to the “wp-content/themes/your_theme/” folder. Create a new page in WordPress and select “All Posts” as a page template from the “Attributes” menu on your right.

Publish and you’re in business!

Installing WordPress on Byethost

Thanks to [tag]DesiznTech[/tag]’s article on how to build a free website, I am retracting my statement that [tag]AgilityHoster[/tag] is my favorite free host. [tag]Byethost[/tag] is simple to use, clean, and allows more storage, [tag]database[/tag]s, and support than AgilityHoster. It’s also much, much faster.

I am currently creating my first “start from scratch” [tag]WordPress[/tag] theme for a new website I’m building. Last night, I needed to install WordPress on my new Byethost [tag]server[/tag], but I ran into difficulty. If you are faced with the same task, hopefully this tutorial will help with some of the more confusing aspects of this particular host.

First, you will need to create a new database for your install. Simply click “[tag]MySQL[/tag] Databases” from your [tag]VistaPanel[/tag] and type “wordpress” in the field “<database-name>”. Click “Create Database” and wait for the page to refresh.

Assuming you have an FTP client ([tag]Filezilla[/tag] is a great choice for Windows users), open it up. In your VistaPanel, you should see “Account Information”. This will tell you the ftp host name and user name. Your password will be the same as your password for Byethost. Type these in and connect.

Now comes the tricky part. When you connect to your server, you’ll see two folders – [tag]htdocs[/tag] and yourdomain.com. Now, Byethost tells you to upload your files to the htdocs folder. However, this is NOT the htdocs folder you are looking for. Open up yourdomain.com and you should see another htdocs folder. Upload your WordPress folder here.

Now, if you’re using Filezilla, right click the wp-config-sample.php file and edit it. Put your database name, database user, database password, and MySQL host with your settings. These can be found on your VistaPanel sidebar.

Upload this back to the server and go to www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin/install.php. Follow the directions and your WordPress will be installed!

12 Tools for a $10 Website

Essentials

Domain Name – [tag]GoDaddy[/tag] $9.99, Includes email, photo album, DNS control, etc.

Free Hosting – [tag]AgilityHoster[/tag]technically you could use GoDaddy free hosting, but it places a large banner at the top of every page. AgilityHoster is my favorite free host, since many free hosts don’t support any MySQL databases. It can be a pain to set up, but it’s free!

File Transfer Protocol – [tag]FileZilla[/tag]Great open-source [tag]FTP[/tag].

Graphics

[tag]Favicon[/tag] – Favicon.cc

Logo – [tag]LogoCreatr[/tag] If you can’t get the colors to work as you want them to, use [col=colorhere]text[/col] instead.

Badges – [tag]FreshBadge[/tag]Takes a while to get used to it, but stick with it and you’ll get some nice designs.

Color Picker – [tag]Color Wizard[/tag]

Layout

Content Management – [tag]WordPress[/tag]Fantastic CMS – I use it for all my sites.

Themes – WordPress ThemesMake sure to check the author’s copyright on each theme, as they may differ in the range of customization options.

Stripe Gradiant – Stripe Generator

Menu Creator – CSS Menu Maker

Administration

Statistics – [tag]Google Analytics[/tag]Not my favorite, but it’s free and easy to set up.

Keep in mind that this is a budget website. If you get serious about your website, you’ll want to spend a bit more – at least on hosting. Check out [tag]DesiznTechp[/tag]’s post for more web generators.

Forget Aero, I like XP’s Looks!

For a long time, I have ranted and raved about the ugly glass look of Windows Vista.  While I haven’t had problems with the performance, as others have, the look really bugs me.  Until now, I have used Stardock ObjectDock to cope, eliminating the taskbar.  However, the windows (explorer.exe, dwm.exe) still have the same feel.

Today is a great day.  Today, I added a visual style.  Visual styles allow you to change the appearance of Windows.  By default, the only styles available are “Aero”, “Classic”,  and “Standard”.  So, basically, either glassy windows or greyed out, sharp edged windows.

I settled for neither.  Sure, there are programs like WindowsBlinds that will make the process of changing the OS appearance easy, but why spend so much money when it can be done for free (and lower on system resources for that matter)?  I have always been fond of the Windows XP look, so I found a nice little theme called Royale that mimics that look.  Take a look below to see if you can tell the difference.  While it’s not identical to the actual Windows XP theme, it’s pretty darn close and most certainly beats Aero.

2009-01-22_1630022

2009-01-22_163029

Here is a step by step guide to changing the look and feel of your desktop.  Visual styles and themes can be found easily by performing a quick google search, or searching sites like DeviantArt.

First, we need to get patched version of 3 files in your Windows/System32 folder.  Get these files here.  *Please note to get the files for your specific OS.

Use something (like 7zip), to unzip the .RAR file.  You should be left with three .dll files.

Open up an explorer window and go to C://Windows/System32.  Since you’re using Vista, just type in “uxtheme.dll” in the search box.  When this comes up, change it to read “uxtheme.old”.  This will keep the file in your System32 folder.  In case something goes wrong, just rename it back to a .dll file.

Do this same process for the files “themeui.dll” and “shsvcs.dll”.

Now, simply drag the three freshly downloaded files into the System32 folder.  You should note that they have the same names as the ones you just changed.

Since this change affects the way things look, and especially Windows system files, you should restart your computer.

After that, all you have to do is apply the visual style of your choice.  For organization purposes, I would suggest copying the styles into the Windows/Resources/Themes folder.  Once there, just double click the .msstyles file.  After a few seconds, the style should be applied!

    DIY: Un-Junk Your PC

    If you’re running Windows, especially Vista, you probably have tons of junk on your PC that’s eating up precious hard drive space, and possibly RAM.  It’s best to clean out old junk and unused programs and files to free up space and keep your computer fresh.

    Windows Vista introduces a nice feature that downloads all files to a specific folder.  While this keeps things more organized, and eliminates clutter from the desktop, it is easy to forget about zipped folders, old installation files, etc.

    I would suggest going through the download folder every few weeks to unclutter and delete anything you don’t need anymore.  You’d be surprised at how fast files, mp3’s, movie clips, and “setup.exe” files pile up, and the result can leave you withl imited hard drive space.

    Often times, however, even this does not free up enough space, and you are left wondering where all you’re precious space went.  Use a little program called “TreeSize” to scan your drives and evaluate (in a “tree-like” manner), the size of each folder on your selected drive.

    TreeSize (Free) 2.2.1

    Add Bookmarks to Your Desktop

    As you may well know, I enjoy desktop customization.  Seemingly every few weeks, I must completely redesign the look, feel, and sometimes functionality of my desktop.

    This time, I decided to add bookmarks straight to my desktop.  A few days ago, I posted an article on how to show only the favicons in the Firefox bookmark toolbar, and I thought that it would be neat to add similar bookmarks to the desktop.

    Using Stardock’s ObjectDock, I simply created a new dock and placed it the top right corner.  I then used the “Web 2.0” icon set to add internet shortcuts straight on the desktop!

    2009-01-15_170505

    2009-01-15_171008

    Web 2.0 Icon Set by FastIcon

    Stardock ObjectDock

    PocketMod

    “The Free Recyclable Personal Organizer!”

    A while back I did a post on DIY To-Do lists using notecards.  A friend emailed me and told me about a site he uses to do something similar with notecards, like making pocket calendars and lists.  I checked it out, and while I haven’t built a PocketMod yet, it’s quite a neat site.  You can use a flash-based builder to create mods with premade widgets and templates.

    Simply print the PocketMod onto normal paper and fold it (there are directions on the site).

    The PocketMod