Enough is enough

Galland.be WordPress PluginAfter deleting WordPress spam for another hour or so, it became clear to me. Enough is enough. Either I would register a bunch of Akismet keys (Enterprise or Pro) for some of our websites or develop my own SPAM protection plugin. I took a closer look at the hooks available for comments and accepted the challenge. A few hours later my first prototype was ready. It appeared to work as I did not receive any comment SPAM for 2 days but this could be a case of serendipity. So I updated the plugin with a counter indicating the number of SPAM comments stopped. As for now the plugin stopped over 100 spam comments and I didn’t have to delete a single comment. As of yesterday the plugin became available in the WordPress Plugin Directory. Feel free to try it on your website and keep me posted.

Galland.be WordPress tools

Multilingual WordPress

In most cases where multilingual is required, I end up using Drupal, but in this case I really needed a WordPress solution.

On WordPress.org you can find a lot of information about setting up a multilingual WordPress — http://codex.wordpress.org/Multilingual_WordPress

My initial idea was to opt for a “multi-site” solution so I started exploring Multilingual Press and Multisite Language Switcher.

Multilingual Press
I do like the workflow of this plugg-in, but the lack of support for custom types and the need to debug from the start, discouraged me to use his plugin.

Multisite Language Switcher
Probably the best concept as you can link content to other content types.  But it requires a translated WordPress interface for every language (installing a .mo file) and it becomes rather cumbersome in case you have to manage a lot of content.

WPML – ($79)
Until now the best solution, although it’s not using a multi-site environment but offers the same user experience.

Facebook for WordPress

Recently Facebook announced Facebook for WordPress, time for experimentation.
(most features are activated on this blog, and we will keep you updated about the outcome)

As one could expect the Facebook plugin supports “liking posts” as we know it, although still struggling with individual posts on an overview page. But this issue appears to be resolved with the 1.0.1 update, together with most of the formatting issues.

Together with the basic functionality the plug-in also offers Social Reading support and  a suggestion box and the bottom of the page. In this box personal suggestions are shown based on your visitors liking behavior. This comes right out of the plug-in-box but is only as powerful as the Facebook community you address with your website.

With Social Reading you can offer the same functionality on your blog as the guardian and the likes, allowing visitors to share automatically what they read on your website.

For more information

This blog is too slow…

Compared to other pages on this server, the time required  for database look-ups and the images used, this WordPress blog is respectively slow. The 2.28 seconds required to return the homepage illustrated above is not even a worst case scenario (sometimes it takes more than 4 seconds to load). In the coming weeks we will further look into this and try to improve.

According to Google Webmaster tools there are already some improvements (but these measurements are only estimates with low accuracy because of the limited data points).

google webmaster tools - vancouteren.com

There are a lot of resources available on-line:

Many suggestions are related to reducing the number of php-functions (making the site more static), database look-ups,  HTTP & DNS requests and of course cache-ing. As for now it is not possible to isolate all factors, this will only be an experimental journey.

All your feedback is welcome, feel free to register and provide your feedback and or suggestions.