Monthly Archives: March 2014

Can I make mistakes or Not?? Part Two

Getting ready to move Monster Highway over to a new ‘production’ web server and restructuring the underlying ‘files’ system. (See note *). I realized I didn’t need a registration system there anymore (just a doorway for hackers and spammers) so I killed that off.  (See note **).

Then I get the great idea to run a ‘Zombie’ user purge program on Monster Highway’s Pligg CMS based system. Don’t do that if you have users setup for Inbound RSS accounts. ‘Zombie Killer’ doesn’t show any list of it’s intentions (intended removals) and sure enough, it clobbered three RSS users.

By itself that’s not a real biggie! But…….the RSS import still runs and imports on the next feed. Then Pligg shows the post but attributes it to a random author in admin. And, on the public side, Pligg throws a cryptic error code to the user and refuses to run.

And….. this doesn’t happen until the affected account runs and finds a new post to import. That could be three or more months down the road. And…… you can’t see the problem…. and you forgot the cause… and you’re just gonna have to look at several hundred posts until you figure it out. In other words “You’re SOL”!

So the moral here is, “Don’t run Zombie Killer until you’ve got a good list of ‘system essential’ users like admin accounts and InboundRSS Users.


* We’re planning a Multi-User Multi-Site WordPress install with Domain Mapping and Multi-Pligg running all of the Monster Highway family of sites with lots of interaction between them. If I do this right the changes will be transparent to the users, easier to maintain, and faster on response.

** Since native Pligg CMS thrives on user input in the form of article votes, we allow anonymous voting but track those via IP, sessions,  and cookies. This keeps users from voting more than once for a given article and artificially inflating/deflating the counts.

Some of my WordPress clients are doing something really neat with Social Media

Some of my WordPress clients who make extensive use of Social Media are doing something really neat.

These clients are trying to post something timely, interesting or otherwise informational to their Facebook Page every 4 days or so. Their WordPress based site is pulling their Facebook Page posts in via RSS to a ‘draft post’.

They wait a few days (depending on urgency and timing) then edit the ‘draft’ and publish it. On their website they have social sharing turned on so when a article there is ‘edited and published’ the draft it is shared out to all their social media outlets (including Facebook) which really increases their reach.

And the original Facebook post serves twice. Smart!!!


Lost admin access in Pligg after running Killspam?

When activated, the Pligg spam module disables the ‘spammer’, sets the user account to ‘spammer’ and I think it also changes the password. Been my experience anyway. Every once in a while this activity can Killspam the admin or ‘God’ level account. You probably missed the admin username in the confirmation box but I can’t swear to that happening either.

What I’ve done in the past is: Get into the user portion of the database, re-enable the user, set the user to admin (or god in 1.2.2 and earlier versions) and double check that the email address is a ‘known good’ working address. Save your changes and login from a second browser window. If you get a ‘bad password’ response on this attempt, just use the ‘forgot password mechanism’ to the ‘known good email address’ and follow the directions in the email.

Optionally, You can setup a new user account then get back into the database as above but set the new user to admin ((or god in 1.2.2 and earlier versions). You won’t need to set anything else in the database but the user level with this method and once you’re in you can fix the old user.

Further Discussion:

You may have noticed that in the above I didn’t call the user table ‘pligg_users’ either. That’s something that only works if you set the database table prefix to the default ‘pligg_’ during install or upgrades.

Some of my Pligg installs don’t use that as they run several Pliggs in one database or are running under Multi-Pligg. I figured I’d better mention that before someone calls me out on it or it confuses someone.

Intimidated by the Plethora of Web Jargon??

You might be thinking your competition is leaving you by the wayside with their online presence. You might just be wanting a simple, easy to maintain website. Or maybe you already have one and are disappointed at the results.

But, when you start looking around at your online options, you find a huge list of Buzzwords….. Web Hosting, Hosting Providers, Domain Names, Web Sites, and Social Media. Your wondering what is all this?

You dig a little deeper and about the time you think you understand you find more Buzzwords…. Web Content, SEO, Blogs, CMS, Web Safety-Security, CRMs, Web Bulletin Boards (Forums), Online Stores, Calendars, Log analysis, Demographics. The list just goes on and on.

And, when you start looking for help, you find companies who want way too much and seem to deliver way too little. Or you make a DIY effort that seems to fall flat. Or you buy something that winds up being unnecessary like a Online StoreFront that never generates a sale or you try a Facebook Profile only to realize it’s a bunch of Relatives and ‘Friends’ who seek you out then fill you Timeline with trash, family info, pictures that might be a little too personal, slogans you don’t even like, dirty jokes/stories and game requests.

Plus one guy tells you that you did things wrong there and a business associate or customer can’t see your profile because you’ve reached the 5000 friend limit.

That’s where a guy like me comes in and tames that beastly ‘glossary of jargon’ for you. Guys like me will fix your website. Get your Facebook (and other Social Media) efforts in order. Then we guide you through the process of making your site seamless for your customers and easy to update in house.

If we do a good job you’ll want us around… but if we’re doing a good job you won’t need us very much after a time. That’s because we’ll train you and your staff and automate a lot of the day to day functions within your website.

So, you’re wondering, “How much will this cost?”. $50.00 dollars a month if you hire me. For your $50.00 a month you’ll get regular backups. Up to Four (4) hours of web master service (updates, testing, Analysis, adjustments, and changes!).

I have two computers here that do nothing but check websites and gather new files/pages together. These two machines alert us to many troubles (missing files, dead web hosts, downtime, etc.) and changes (updated files, spams, hack attempts, etc.).

I also periodically do a manual check of the site and your domain name including the records (DNS records) that keep your domain registered and your website compliant with Internet standards. This keeps your site running. At the same time I’ll install software to automatically backup your web site and help me (and you) keep an eye on visitor demographics.

Each month we’ll communicate with you (phone, email) and look at site reach, update needs and changes. Your site will reach into Social Media and I will guide you (or your staff) with Social Communications to improve your standings.

At the same time I will also look for possibilities to promote your site, improve income, and add features.

As you can see, your $50.00 each month buys you a lot of service and peace of mind. Of course you’ll be paying for a domain name and web hosting (there’s that jargon again). But we’ll makes sure you’re getting your moneys worth there or have you move to our Paradigm Domains service (at wholesale while you remain my service client).

Interested? Want to talk or pick my brain? Give me a call: (540)-440-1850