Getting Back Missing Images on My Websites After Enabling htaccess Hotlink Protection

A few days ago, all my other sites sharing hosting with http://moralde.com lost all their images after I experimented with hotlink protection. I was able to remedy the problem by editing the htaccess files in each site.

Enabling hotlinking protection via cpanel or htaccess may not only protect your images from external sites but also from your other sites which you shared on the same host as well. This means you may find images which you yourself uploaded to your other sites missing.

This post was first & originally published at moralde.com.

I discovered this firsthand when I experimented with hotlinking protection a few weeks ago. All of my sites except this (my primary site) lost all their images.

I, at first, did not know it was due to the hotlinking protection but when I found out that all the sites’ htaccess files got modified at the same time that I enabled hotlinking protection, there’s no doubt about its cause. Each site sharing my hosting got their htaccess modified, except for the primary site’s.

How the Images Got Missing

Turns out the cPanel automatically created or modified the htaccess file in all sites sharing my hosting account. If you have your primary site called, say, ironmandomain.com, and you have other domain names sharing the same host, say –

  • 2tee.net
  • noelmoralde.com
  • greenlanterndomain.com
  • i-am.ironmandomain.com

– lunarpages, or your webhost actually sees all these as follows:

  • ironmandomain.com (your primary domain)
  • 2tee.ironmandomain.com
  • noelmoralde.ironmadomain.com
  • greenlanterndomain.ironmandomain.com
  • i-am.ironmandomain.com

That is, whether it’s actually a subdomain or an independent domain name, they’re all seen as subdomains to your primary site as far as lunarpages (or your hosting provider) is concerned.

Part of the htaccess entries generated, thus, would look like so:

htaccess hotlink missing images

Thus, all the above sites except for ironmandomain.com and the legitimate subdomain, i-am.ironmandomain.com, will experience missing images.

The actual URL which the browsers recognize as http://2tee.net, for instance, is not included in the list; so, it is seen as an external site and is denied hotlinking rights.

How to Bring the Images Back

There are 2 obvious ways to remedy this glitch.

  • Deactivate hotlinking protection

If you’re the kind who gives up immediately and think that hotlinking protection is more of a headache than a benefit, then just dramatically and with flourish say “To hell with hotlinking protection!”, and then disable it from your cpanel.

  • Edit the htaccess files

Obviously, all you need to do is change the lines like

change htaccess hotlink from

into

change htaccess hotlink to


Sure enough, after I edited each site’s htaccess files right on the cpanel’s file manager, the sites images came back like nothing unusual happened to them.

One thing I noted when I checked the htaccess for each site is that they all have the same htaccess file content except that all wordpress sites has this at the beginning

wordpress htaccess

while non wp sites just have

non-wordpress htaccess

So, you shouldn’t panic the next time you find your images vanishing from your sites after you enabled hotlink protection in your sites now that you know how to bring the images back with a few tweaks in the htaccess file.

Scarcity Samurai WordPress Plugin 50% Discount Launch

Scarcity Samurai is a wordpress plugin which allows you to take advantage of the principle of scarcity to prod your readers to decide within your chosen time frame to buy or not. The fear of being left out is in-grained in the human psyche. Marketers ‘in the know’ has been taking advantage of this for years.

I had the opportunity to test this brand-new Scarcity Samurai wordpress plugin last week in my blog and found that it works exactly just as its authors claimed. I suppose there’s little room for doubt when it comes to products created by the maker of the successful Market Samurai software.

Firstly, the visible feature of the plugin is the countdown counter that you can fix either at the bottom or top of the visible page.

This counter, even when you don’t elaborate about it on the page you put it on, without doubt creates a feeling of urgency in the reader. It is a perfect complement to the scarcity principle which has been effectively used for years by businessmen who understand human psychology. Thus when you imply in your copy to the readers that the price of your product will stay at this low price for, say, only 24 hours, the Scarcity Samurai (SS) countdown counter will reinforce this reminder and invoke the innate ‘fear of being left out’ in the reader. And you can bet he’ll take action quickly, often favorably.

scarcity samurai screenshot

The plugin also gives you the option to redirect to another page once the countdown is over. You can check out a test page I quickly drafted up when I tested this plugin. This test page utilizes the ‘evergreen scarcity‘* type of counter as opposed to the really one-time counter. And be sure to wait until the counter runs out so you can see its redirect action. Click here to check it out.

Scarcity Samurai is Not Just a Counter

Here’s where most, if not all other counter plugins are left in the dust by Scarcity Samurai.

SS can be configured to synched with your autoresponder so that as it counts down to a specific day, it can fire up a series of mails to be sent to your subscribers at specific intervals up to the end of the countdown.

At the moment, the Samurai team says it works with Aweber. The next update would probably make it work with the other autoresponders soon. Speaking of updates, I hope they ‘ll also give users the option to choose the size of the counter bar.

So, check it out now. I hear they’ll be offering huge discounts for a limited time. The video on this page will tell you more about this awesome Scarcity Samurai wordpress plugin.

*Evergreen Scarcity – is a counter that triggers everytime a user visits a page.
Fixed Date – a counter that has a specific lifespan.
And both these have either multi-page or single page campaign types.

Internal Server Error Hits My Blog

I thought my troubles were over but a few hours after I completed my blog troubleshooting for its crawling dashboard, an even worse headache came up. It must have happened around January 27, 2013. On opening moralde.com, this is what appeared on the page.

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@moralde.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

Apache/2.2.22 (Unix) mod_ssl/2… Server at moralde.com Port 80

I’ve once seen this notice before on my blog a long time ago, but I remembered it went away and the blog returned to normal after I refreshed it a few minutes after.

So, after seeing that’s it’s not planning on fading away, I accessed my cPanel to do some snooping around.

Cannot Allocate Memory

I found something like these in the ‘Last 300 Error Log Messages’:


[Sun Jan 27 04:17:41 2013] [error] [client ###.###.##.###] (12)Cannot allocate memory: couldn’t create child process: /opt/suphp/sbin/suphp for /home/moraldecom/public_html/index.php, referer: http://www.domain-name.com

[Sun Jan 27 04:16:47 2013] [error] [client ###.###.###.##] (12)Cannot allocate memory: couldn’t create child process: /opt/suphp/sbin/suphp for /home/moraldecom/public_html/index.php

…and so on…

As I still could not make heads or tails of such information, I decided to contact Lunarpages Support. This was my second time to call support. The first time was when my blog got hacked sometime in January 2010 (See What I Did After My Blog Got Hacked). Support was promtly able to help me retrieve my blog back from the hacker’s clutches.

Support replied back saying:

During our routine monitoring of the server where your account is located on, we have found one of your WordPress installations causing severe issues in regards to load on the server, which is also preventing backups from taking place as expected on your entire server. As a result, we were forced to disable your main index.php file, while you can address this issue and resolve it.

running aground during internal server error

And they showed me some SQL query strings which, although I’ve a background in this subject, failed to register in my brain. Support explained that those are queries that are in a locked state and that these are waiting for the first query to finish (which was ‘copying to a temp table’). Because of this the size of the database has ballooned into something really heavy such that all processes are just about to ground to a halt. Well, it finally got grounded the way the cutting-edge tech monstrous minesweeper USS Guardian got grounded somewhere in the reefs in the Philippines. Now, I guess these locked state queries were actually what was causing my WP dashboard to crawl ever so slowly which I blogged about very recently. Lunarpages suggested that the culprit is a specific plugin which I will have to find out and disable immediately. But which plugin?

Which Plugin is the Culprit?

After poring back over the SQL gibberish in the log, I found the table name in the string that goes like “INSERT INTO wp_blc_synch(container_id, container_type, synched)”.

The ‘blc’ part stood out to me and I only knew of one plugin that has such initials in my arsenal: Broken Link Checker!

So, without wasting another breathe I crept inside my dashboard and disabled it without second thought. And for good measure, I also disabled all plugins related to comments inasmuch as the SQL queries also reflected the term ‘comment’ specifically “comment_approved = ‘1’”.

Hereunder thus are the list of plugins I had to disable:

  • Broken Link Checker
  • CommentLuv
  • WP Captcha Free
  • LuciasLinkLove
  • WordPress Thread Comment
  • Akismet

Which Plugin Uses the wp_blc_sync Table?

Later, after a little digging into the innards of the Broken Link Checker plugin, I found that indeed it owns the wp_blc_synch table. What I couldn’t understand is how it got to mess up my database when it had been working silently and flawlessly for more than 2 years under the hood of my blog.

[ Update: I found from this webpage that that the broken link checker plugin is one of the plugins among several that they disallow because it overwhelms the server with HTTP requests. ]

Thus, having acquired a certain degree of certainty with regard to the culprit plugin, I re-activated Akismet, CommentLuv, and WP Captcha Free. I didn’t think I need to re-activate WordPress Thread Comment inasmuch as wordpress has this feature natively anyway.

Then, I went back to the cPanel and accessed phpMyAdmin where I deleted the offending bloated table.

With this back-wrenching job done, I reported back to Support about my good deeds and asked them to enable back my main index file. This time however, after not getting a reply after 12 hours, I took the liberty of re-enabling my main index file myself. I just can’t wait to re-activate my blog especially after I received Google’s message about their bot not being able to access my site. You don’t want to keep the big G waiting, do you?

Whew!

Have you had this harrowing experience before? Getting an ‘Internal Server Error’ glaring back at you is not a funny experience. I’m sure the cause would not always be some wayward plugin. What caused yours?

UPDATE!

Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent SOLVED!

I realized just recently that I no longer get that error that has plagued me for a long long time:

Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/moraldecom/public_html/wp-includes/post-template.php:##) in /home/moraldecom/public_html/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line ###

Everytime I hit the ‘publish’ button upon completing a new post, or I hit the ‘update’ button after finishing an edit job on a published post, the dashboard page goes blank and just reflect the title of the post and the warning above. Inspite of that, the post gets published anyway. And repeated checks on the post-template.php and pluggable.php files don’t seem to reveal any problem.

Several wordpress updates later, the problem still persisted. The disabling of the broken link checker and the deletion of the database table I mentioned above in this post seemed to have solved the problem.

Does Feedreader.com Browser Steal a Page’s Google Rank and Position?

I don’t know if I should rant or rave after knowing that a post I wrpte was framed by feedreader.com and ranks in the Google serp for its keyword (not a big-deal keyword however).

feedreader.com logoJust very recently, I stumbled on this site called feedreader.com by way of a Google serp where it ranked for content that was mine.

Around the first week of January this year, I posted an article containing the lyrics and chords of my daughter’s recent favorite song on moralde.com. I, of course, googled beforehand to see if there had been any pages already published containing the chords and found none. That precisely was what prompted me to find the chords myself on my guitar and then post it on my blogs with the intent of helping those poor dads out there whose princesses might have tasked them to get the chords of the song.

After the first week, Google’s serp for this phrase remained the same. That is, it still presented sites that don’t have any guitar chords or even at least music notes about the song. In other words, if you’re really looking for the chords of the song, the results that Google was returning were all useless.

In contrast, both bing.com and yahoo.com put my content in number 1 at the first page. And if you check all the entries on first page, it is only right that my page gets the top post because it’s the only one that really contains the chords to the song ‘look how high we can fly’.

Feedreader.com Gets SERP for My Content

Second week was a surprise because google finally returned my content at number 7. But the surprise is that is was not my link. Instead it was that of feedreader.com.

image for look how high we can fly serp

Clicking on it brought me to their site where my page is indeed reflected but its top part contains a thick bar that says ‘Feedreader Browser’ and partly hid my header image.

framed version of look how high  we can fly moralde

Here’s more. When I click on some internal links within my blog, e.g. a link to another article, it does bring me to that article but is still framed within feedreader.com. It even has a bar at the foot of the browser that points you to related links, their related links.

I found however that if I right-click on a link and choose to open the link on a new window, or new tab, it breaks free of the frame trap. (This gave me the idea to insert a link on my hijacked content pointing to itself but opening on a new window.)

Google Glitch?

So, what is this, Google? Does this mean you’re finding my content as the duplicate content and feedreader’s the original? If this is the case, then it’s safe to conclude that Google’s robots are still stupid inspite of the ‘intelligent’ tweaks Google has made on their algorithms. The Penguin and the Panda are not after all really above board.

Or, knowing that feedreader.com is PR 9, with an Alexa ranking of 10551, Google is probably willing to turn a blind eye on scraped duplicate content over such respectable PR ranks.

Other folks online claim that feedreader.com has stolen even their pages’ ranks. Is that possible?

On the bright side, someone chirped that finding your pages which contain internal links within feedreader.com which is PR9 is not that bad considering the backlinks you get from such a high PR site. Make sure though to have your links open in a new window e.g. target=”_blank”.

With that, and at this stage in the life of my blog, I think I’m cool with the status of my blog post within feedreader.com.

How about you? If your content ranks in Google but within the frame of Feedreader.com, what would you do?

———————–
NOTE: This is in no way a competitive keyword. This just happened to be the keyword for the content from my blog that’s now ranking for feedreader.com.

 

Short un-related video

My Latest Favorite Blogs for 2013

Have you been to these sites before? I have just stumbled upon them and wondered how on earth could I have missed such cool websites before. See for yourselves.

The year 2013 brought me some fresh motivation to revive my blogging activities. Maybe I just am at a point where my blogging enthusiasm is beginning to slope up again as it rises up in its sine wave digi-rhythm. If you have an idea about bio-rhythm, you’d know what I mean. Or, it probably just meant I have recovered from the disappointment brought by the Farmer, Panda and Penguin algorithm changes that meshed up the whole web this past couple of years. Now, I am on a quest to start anew, to learn the ropes as if I’ve never held it in the palm of my hands before and to either learn to befriend Google by playing by their rules, or to completely do away with them and just blog for the fun and heck of it.

This past few weeks brought me some fresh sources of inspiration and awe. Although these sites are not necessarily new, I just stumbled upon them lately and they stuck with me, and I’m finding it hard to call a day complete without dropping by these sites. I’m enumerating them hereunder in no particular order.

Photobucket

Blogging With Amy is giving me the heads up on better self organization and time management, sticking with new year’s resolutions and recognizing some guidelines to living life better. I like her videos of herself expressing her ideas in a natural, honest and down-to-earth manner. She’s a writer and her ebooks are available in Amazon although she sometimes offers her work ebooks for free at certain times.

One of the tips that I physically took action with is printing out a phrase that says: “Is what I’m doing right now getting me closer to my goal?
” and pasting it on my desk so that it is always in view all the time.

Photobucket

growmap.com is a website that delves on every online technique to help your business prosper. One of its recent posts featured how to maximize the use of facebook timeline to promote your business. Though I don’t necessarily have some big business to promote, I did get some nuggets from that post one; of which is a clever manipulation of the facebook cover image in relation to the smaller profile image. I’ve got to try that one very soon.

I’m particularly anticipating the next posts in growmap about best blogging and social media practices.

Photobucket

basicblogtips.com. This is Ileane’s blog where she shares all she knows about blogging and social media optimization. Here, I get to re-educate myself, after getting very disappointed with the fall of SEO as I knew it. It’s the blog that I get back to when I feel that what I’m doing is not exactly working right.

Photobucket

The four hour work week blog of Tim Ferris, the cool fourhourworkweek.com/blog. Who doesn’t know Tim Ferris. Ever since I’ve read some of his work about the four hour workweek, I was hooked. And who doesn’t want to live the kind of life he’s living. Who doesn’t want to become of the ‘new rich’?

The above mentioned websites are, to me, some of the best sites I’ve just discovered at the dawn of 2013. Made me wonder really how on earth did I miss these blogs before.

Of course, I still love to come back to and converse with some blogs that I’ve grown attached to since the beginning of my blogging days, one of them being Peter’s wassupblog. Wassupblog has gotten better and better with time. I especially like the sense of humor that he injects into all of his posts, be he sharing a funny joke or seriously promoting a plugin that actually beats ad blindness.

As I continue to awaken myself from my blogging siesta, and while I’m exploring new sources of information and connections, I also am looking back and rediscovering the blogs that served to help me during the beginning of my blogging venture.

Thus, I’ll be updating this post every now and then as I plod ahead towards a better 2013.

Screen fades, and credits begin rolling…

Complete Solution for Undefined Function curl_init Error

You’re getting this error in your website: Undefined Function curl_init ? Well here’s the complete solution I found that worked right the first time.

I tried activating a script on a test wordpress blog hosted on localhost to see how the script works and I was met with this error:

Call to undefined function curl_init()

Naturally, I fired up Google and searched for solutions. If you try searching Google using the phrase “call to undefined function curl_init()“, you’ll notice the first page filled with pages containing the exact phrase. You’ll also notice that not a single one of these pages gave a complete solution to your problem.

The most helpful suggestion you’ll get is about uncommenting from your php.ini the line that contains this: “extension=php_curl.dll“. But this alone won’t necessarily solve your problem.

I realized that I had to use another search phrase if I ever expect to find the answer that would work. I finally tried “mowes portable curl”. I use MoWeS Portable in my localhost server. Had I used Wamp, I’d have phrased it thus: “Wamp curl”. I finally got lucky with this phrase as I got myself into a page* that provided the following solution which, as far as I’m concerned, is complete. It straightened things out, got rid of the errors, and got the script working.

The Complete Solution

Requirement: Full PHP package. (SE versions do not work!)

  1. Stop your Apache server.
  2. Open your php.ini file. Uncomment the line “;extension=php_curl.dll” so that it becomes “extension=php_curl.dll” (this means you just remove the semicolon character “;”) and then save the file. My php.ini is located in D:\mowes_portable\php5. If you use XAMP or WAMP, etc., just locate the php.ini somewhere inside these directories. Check this page to see suggestions regarding where php.ini is in your webhost server.
  3. Find the following files from the same php5 directory.
    • ssleay32.dll
    • libeay32.dll
  4. Copy both of these files to the apache2\bin directory.
  5. Start Apache

If you are not just working with your localhost server, meaning you’re using your webhost’s server and you meet the undefined function curl_init() error, and you cringe at making changes to your php files, you may have to contact your webhost’s admin and ask that their curl functionality be enabled.

————————
*You can check out the source of my solution here.

WordPress 3.5 Removes Video Embeds and HTML Tags On Scheduled Posts

Have you tried scheduling your posts in your wordpress site? Well, I’ve done it many times before but this time, there seems to be a glitch that causing some video embed codes and some html tags to be stripped off.

em {color: green}


It happened with a couple of posts I published after updating to WordPress 3.5. When posts are scheduled, wordpress strips the Youtube embeds and html tags.

In my “Chords and Lyrics: Look How High We Can Fly” post for instance, the preview worked fine and so I scheduled it for release the next day. Lo, and behold, the youtube video I embedded was not there. And my style tags were gone too, such that the text between those tags were reflected on the blog post itself. I sometimes insert some additional style tags on specific posts because, in this case, I had to make all the guitar chords italic and red.

When this happens, I had to get back and edit the posts. Everything’s fine as long as you publish a post immediately, or you just edit an existing published post.

I did a quick test on my localhost server to make sure and indeed, the videos are gone. Div tags don’t seem to be affected, as well as other basic tags like ‘strong’ and ’em’. Style tags however, as I’ve said earlier, are stripped off leaving the text between them visible, e.g. p {color: red;}.

I’m pretty sure it’s not a theme issue as I’ve also heard a few other webmasters complaining about the same thing.

And one more thing, under the revisions section, there is one in there which does not reflect an author, as in

7 January, 2013 @ 23:30 by admin
6 January, 2013 @ 0:24 by
6 January, 2013 @ 0:08 by admin

What gives?

Have the geniuses at the wordpress camp known about this issue? Will this issue be resolved in the next update? I sure hope so.

Note: If you see this at the start of the post:

em {color: green}

and if you don’t see the video above this note, then, as this post was scheduled, the issue is still unresolved.

How to Rectify ‘Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on…’ Error Notice

I finally solved the ‘Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely…’ bug that my sites got stuck with for almost a month. It takes only a couple of minutes to do it.

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system’s timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected ‘America/Los_Angeles’ for ‘PDT/-7.0/DST’ instead in /home/yourwebhostingaccountpublic_html/…/index.php on line 2


I got this annoying notice on all of my non-wordpress websites for quite a time, I think since September 5th of this year.

First off, I received a message, sometime in August, from my webhost, lunarpages (great webhost, by the way), about their implementation of an upgrade from PHP 5.2 to 5.3.16 since the former was supposedly already deprecated and is no longer supported.

Lazy as I am and being an A-1 member of my own one-man Procrastinators Club, I let it be and eventually forgot about it.

Thus, around the second week of September, these ‘Warning: date() [function.date]‘ error notices began appearing in my non-wordpress site’s header and footer areas. Wherever there is a date displayed, the notice is always displayed above it. And this addition is such an ugly eyesore.

But believing that I’m yet too busy (with office work, tutoring my kids, and some important stuff like watching ‘just for laughs’ on youtube for hours, etc.) to get working on it, I just let it be for awhile.

I finally had enough of it, though, just today (that’s almost a month afterwards!) and set off to work to find the cause and learn how to rectify the problem. Well, not including the time spent on researching for the solution, it actually only took a couple of minutes, more or less, to get things back to normal.

Solution


Warning: This worked on my sites. This will probably work for you, too. Otherwise, you’ll probably need additional research along this line.

Here goes:

  1. Download the php.ini file from your webhost server.
  2. This is probably located in your public_html folder. That’s where I found mine.

    My googling returned other suggested paths like:

    • /etc/php.ini
    • /usr/bin/php/php.ini
    • /wwwroot/php/php.ini
  3. Add the following lines in the php.ini file:
  4. [Date]
    date.timezone = “America/New_York”

    Of course, you need to check if the date.timezone is already there. If so, you just need to change its value to “America/New_York” or to any value applicable for you. Go here for a list of supported timezones.

  5. Re-upload the edited php.ini back to where you downloaded it in your webhost server. Overwrite if you must. Of course, to be on the safe side, you have to have a backup copy of the original,just in case.
  6. Check your affected websites again. One poster in a forum says you then need to re-start Apache. Hell, I don’t know how to do that (yet). But mine worked without having to do that.
  7. That’s it.

In case you have no inkling about these things, you may have to either hire someone or contact your webhost and request for assistance.

What the Joomla

I got suddenly introduced into Joomla just recently. Whereas I used to think Wordpress is the best platform for the web, I now have a healthy respect for one other platform – Joomla.

Thursday

I got myself plunged wet with Joomla today when one of the higher ups in the office decided at the spur of the moment to send me as one of the participants to a web workshop whose trainors believe Joomlas is the best platform in the world wide web.

So, I became the most unprepared participant in that I, having not been notified in advance, was the only one who did not bring a laptop. Add to that the fact that I do not have an inkling about Joomla. Not that I’m complaining. I love workshop seminars because of the chance to learn something new. And most of all, because of the free coffee, free snacks and free lunch.

It was thus a whirlwind of informationi overload, with the trainor bulldozing through the topics like we were just doing a Joomla refresher course.

At this point, I’ve discovered that Joomla’s learning curve is just a little more steep than that of wordpress. And, depending on what I’ll learn in the next day’s lecture, and in the succeeding weeks (should I become very interested and pursue the subject on my own), I just might soon believe the trainor’s claim that it is indeed more powerful than wordpress.

Tomorrow, we are supposed to do some exercises in installing Joomla and creating a site on live webspace. That I suppose should be one cool challenge in that I’m seeing very little similarities so far between Joomla and wordpress. Having learned only some wordpress, I feel like it’s my first time venturing into site creation.

I hope the folks in our office would not soon put me under any pressure of creating some advanced website with a tight deadline. Perhaps it’s just my usual skepticism, but bosses just seem to think that you could send someone into a 2-day Joomla seminar and expect him to come back an expert.

We already have an official website – one whose development was outsourced. Thing is, the powers that be are now unhappy about it and wants a revamp of the site design. Thus, it looks like I’m gonna be in that lucky team tasked for the re-work soon. I just hope it won’t be a one-man team. 🙂

Friday

I was able to successfully install a new Joomla site on a sub-domain given to us by the trainors, thanks to a little cramming I did last night. Thank you Google. Thank you YouTube. 🙂

After learning the basics and putting it into practice, I think the seminar should have lasted more than a couple of days. Topics like these should be a week long affair.

I still have a lot of questions like how to change themes (I think they don’t call it ‘theme’ in Joomla), how to move the position of the side bar elements (I also noticed the absence of the word ‘sidebar’ in the Joomla Help file, or joomla tutorials), the footer, etc.

I guess I’ll have to throw all these questions to Google then. One other thing I’ve discovered is that the tutorials and tips in the web are sometimes not very helpful or not what I expected. There are a lot of differences between Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 2.5.x. Some of the things that worked in the earlier version do not necessarily work now.

Well, Fridays about to end and I’m looking forward to a fun weekend. Every one does I suppose. I think I’ll see Joomla next week. 🙂

Best Writing Apps for Bloggers of 2012

Guest Jane Johnson enumerates 5 of the best blogging apps best suited for mobile bloggers of 2012. If you’re a blogger, you should have some of these in your mobile.

Choose the best blogging app for your style and audience

It’s important to choose a blogging platform that fits the way you write and the features you use, and most writers just naturally gravitate toward the one that makes the most sense—you don’t find the same readership on WordPress as you do on LiveJournal or Tumblr. If you’re a tablet or smartphone geek, however, you might also want to look at your platform’s mobile client to find the best fit for you. Here are a few of the big platforms’ mobile apps, and some additional tools to make blogging from your phone or tablet easier.

1. Dragon Dictation (iPhone)

The biggest limitation of blogging from your phone is the keyboard, so good dictation software should be your first stop. There are other apps out there of varying price and quality, but this is the highest-rated free dictation app for the iPhone, allowing you to dictate large quantities of text that you can paste directly into your mobile blogging app. Early implementation of dictation technology was inaccurate, frustrating, and hard to use, but recent versions have shown dramatic improvement.

2. Winscribe Digital Dictation (Android)

Winscribe is the most popular dictation app available for Android devices. While it’s primarily intended for users of their professional dictation service: doctors, legal professionals, etc. For that reason, Winscribe offers a number of bells and whistles such as barcode scanning and geo-location functionality that are probably not much good to a casual blogger—all you need is the ability to copy text to your device’s clipboard. Still, it accomplishes that purpose well, and it’s free. According to user reviews, T-Mobile LG users may find that the app switches off if the phone goes to sleep, so you might have to swipe the screen once in a while to keep the dictation running.

3. WordPress (Android, iPhone)

WordPress is a great platform in general, and their mobile client is no exception. You can publish and edit posts (including images and video), moderate comments, track your page-views, and read other blogs—pretty much everything the browser-based client can do, in a tighter, cleaner interface. If you get comfortable with dictation, posting from your tablet or smartphone may actually be easier than doing it from your laptop: all you’d have to do is copy/paste the spoken text and apply any rich-text formatting manually.

4. Squarespace (Android, iPhone)

Squarespace’s mobile app is about on par with WordPress in terms of functionality, with access to advanced text editing and page view statistics, as well as full comment moderation. It’s almost universally praised by users, though WordPress has simpler-to-use rich-text functionality and a slicker interface. Squarespace is a small up-and-comer, and it’s intended for professional bloggers: while the app is free, you’ll pay $8.99 a month or more for your Squarespace account. Ultimately, that’s the killer—free blog platforms are so abundant that it’s hard to justify a paid one—but if you already use Squarespace, this app is essential.

5. Posterous Spaces (Android, iPhone)

Posterous has a strong, dedicated user base, and it’s tailored for bloggers who like to vary the readership of their posts (there are some things Grandma doesn’t need to read about); so if that’s you, Posterous Spaces provides a great mobile client. Unlike WordPress, text editing and graphics are limited, but other than that it has essentially the functionality of the browser client. If you love Posterous, this app won’t disappoint, but it also won’t replace blogging from your laptop.

We looked at a few other mobile apps—Tumblr, Blogger, Typepad, and others—but all were plagued by design issues and/or low functionality compared to the browser client. WordPress was the clear standout, so if you’re looking to start a new blog or switch platforms, and mobile blogging matters to you, the choice is pretty clear.

Bio: Jane Johnson is a writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone related news, commentary, reviews on popular providers like T-Mobile.