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State of the Blog – Update on how my blog is set up

I have made a lot of changes to my blog lately and I wanted to update some of the things I have done to protect my blog and things I have done to improve it. The most important thing I did was update to wordpress 2.0.7. After what happened to Graywolf I thought it was best to keep on top of WordPress updates. I noticed the other day that somebody came to my site with the term

spam karma + blog’s + name (required) + Website + comments + search engine optimization

That kind of scared me. So what I did was take that spam karma footer off then I replaced all those other terms with pictures. I used the same technique I use to make my email a picture. I realized that those terms are on every wordpress blog. (by the way that is a nice way to find blogs to comment on). You could also just change the wording on the wordpress default text like: pages, archives, categories, search, blogroll, sites, meta to something else. A lot of spammers use these to search in Google and other places to find blogs to spam on.

One of the things about wordpress or wordpress themes is the way it handles page titles. I have seen some plugins that handle this but I was not happy with any of them so I just went in and hacked it myself. I went to the header.php file for my template and found:

and replaced it with:

if ($_SERVER[‘REQUEST_URI’] == “/”){

There are a bunch of ways to do this. The main thing to know here is that putting the quotes in wp_title removes that weird >> thing. There are also som build in conditional statements for wordpress. is_home() returns true when you are on the home page or is_single() which returns true when any single Post page is being displayed. There are a lot more is_ conditional tags listed here if you want to read up on it.

Of course there is always the list of plugins I use:

Adsense-Deluxe – that lets me add Adsense to specific pages with specific code. I don’t put adsense on all my posts and this lets me be very specific. Sometimes you will find yourself ranking for some unexpected terms. This is a good way to monitize it without putting Adsense all over your stie.

Anti Spam Image – This plugin inserts a security image for the WP comment page, requiring the poster to enter the right characters in the image. The link is to the plugin on my site. The site that I got it from seems to be down.

Bsuite – Stats program. It shows you how many visitors you have for the day, referrers, comments left, and search engine traffic. It also gives a nice traffic graph on the bottom. It is very simple and I’m sure there is much better but I have gotten used to it. The download for this one seems to be broken as well so I just uploaded the one I have.

Digg This – Adds Digg story link on detection on digg referrer. On the rare occasion I get dugg.

Feedburner Feed Replacement – Forwards all feed traffic to Feedburner while creating a randomized feed for Feedburner to pull from. I’m sure everybody already has this one.

Feed List – This lets me have the 2 pages I have that show stuff I dig and stuff I commented on at www.digg.com. Digg provides rss feeds with that data for me.

Google Sitemaps – This generator will create a Google compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog. It also keeps it up to date when you create new posts

Objection! Redirection – Gives you the ability to redirect incoming traffic based on pattern matching. I use this because I moved my blog from another format a while back.

Spam Karma 2 – Spam killer. It works very nice. I turned off the built in CAPTCHA FOR it because it went to a blank page after you typed in your code and I already had something that used CAPTCHA. This has stopped most spam. The only spam I get is stuff that really looks like a comment and I have to make a judgement call on. It is rare somebody is working hard to hand enter spam that is hard to detect so is not a big deal.

WordPress Database Backup – On-demand backup of your WordPress database.

WP-Cron – I only use this with WordPress Database Backup. I have it set up to send me an email with my db backed up in it.

WP-phpMyAdmin – This is a new one that I just added. It is real cool. It adds a tab in my admin panel that gives me full phpmyadmin access to my database. It is so simple to install compared to installing phpmyadmin the normal way plus you have one log in.

Subscribe To Comments – This plugin will allow your readers to get email notifications when comments are left on a post after their own.

Dofollow – The dofollow plugin for WordPress lets you remove the evil nofollow attribute from your comments.

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