Stubbart.com

Programmer

I spent a lot of time this weekend updating my website Stubbart.com. This is where I offer and promote my Spiritual Consulting, Earthwise Consulting, Book-Publishing Consulting, and Computer Consulting. Some people say find a niche. I think only offering four types of consulting is pretty narrow.
Ahah! I found the line break key in WordPress. (Well I found it by googling). It’s Shift+Enter
Anyway, Stubbart.com is also where I post all my books. So, if you’re looking for any of my books, you can just visit that website.
Setting up the links for 80 books took just a few hours. I’m glad that’s done, now all I have to do is maintain it.
Alt+Enter in WordPress enters a new paragraph in the same block.

WordPress Blocks

Programmer

I just wrote my first blog since WordPress upgraded their editor. I of course skipped their introduction to blocks.

My first impression is I don’t like it. It took me several years to get up to speed on the old editor. The new editor is called Gutenberg, which I don’t understand. Isn’t that an old name? OK, so picky, picky.

If you just want to type, I suppose it’s fine. But I like to edit the HTML, change the apostrophes to curly apostrophes. That’s not easy to do. You can change a block to HTML, changing it back is not so obvious. Changing the entire blog to HTML or not – haven’t found that yet. Minimizing whitespace between blocks is almost impossible. I somehow managed to insert a linebreak, but I have no idea what key combination that was.

There was some neat feature. I copied a link into a block and it showed content from the link. Next time I tried it, I only got the picture. Hmmm.

When I was done, it was hard to find where all the category, featured image, and other settting were. I did find them though.

And it kept autosaving, meaning I either had to update or cancel the changes.

I’ll get used to this new format. I may even come to like it. But I wanted to warn bloggers that they might want to take an hour or two getting used to the new setup. As for myself, I plan to stumble through it.

Social Sharing Buttons

Programmer

I’ve looked for many years for a light-weight social sharing button app which I could use on my website and blogs. There are lots of plugins out there to place buttons on your website or blog so that others can share your content on the social media site of their choice, but most are not light-weight.
I even wrote my own x_soc which is probably the lightest-weight version there is. x_soc only works on websites (not blogs) and is not very customizable – basically there are two sizes of buttons and only six social networks to choose from. But Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are there as well as email and print.
Speaking of email and print, many plugins do not offer those options.

I used AddToAny on my blog a long time ago, but that was not lightweight. Lightweight means it loads very quickly.
AddThis appeared to be lighter-weight, still robust, but lighter. I use W3 Total Cache plugin on my WordPress blog to speed things up.
AddtoAny loads quickly enough. So I thought I&’;d use it on my website. That was all well and good, but the social media buttons never showed and I get daily emails reminding me to add them to my website. I probably didn’t read the instructions thoroughly enough.

Then I found Social9 – aka Simplified Social Share. I went to Social9.com. Selected the buttons I wanted, grabbed the code and applied it to my website. For my blog, I added a new plugin, searched for Social9, found Simplified Social Share (also titled Open Social Share), and installed it. (Luckily only one plugin is found when searching for Social9 via WordPress, so I got the correct one). I activated it. Then I went to settings and chose the buttons I wanted.

There are a few issues with Social9 – it’s not perfect but it comes plenty close enough.
The first issue is that the counter counts when a user click on a share button. It doesn’t wait until the user actually shares. I don’t really care about that.
The other issue only exists when adding the code to a website (not a blog). When you’ve added the code, if you test it on your laptop (rather than loading it to the web first), your page will spin forever. There are two sections of code – one that goes at the bottom of your page before </body>, and one that goes where you want your social buttons to go. I got around this spinning issue by placing this second bit of code in a javascript if statement to only show the buttons when I’m access the uploaded version of the site.
<script>if (window.location.protocol == ‘file:’){x_d_w(‘<p>***Social Media Buttons***</p>’)}else{document.write(‘<div class=”oss-widget-interface” style=”padding-left:2em”></div><br>’)}</script>

Now it spins for a bit, but does finish.

Subscribe-able Posts

Subscribe Subscribe!

Now you can subscribe to/sign up for my posts! I used the current years theme (2017) figuring that would have everything I needed – or at least the basics – wrong! 🚫

One thing it didn’t have was a subscribe button. I wanted people to be able to subscribe to my posts by email – this means, if they subscribe, every time I post, they get an email in their inbox. I think they can choose daily or weekly summary emails. I installed Email Subscribers & Newsletters plugin.

Then I thought, what about those sites where people can log in with their Facebook account? Surely there’s a plugin so people can subscribe with their social media account. I installed Social Login plugin which allows people to signin to my blog as Public Users. They can’t write posts, but they can comment.

Then, I was editing my Author’s Page at Amazon, because well, I’d published yet another book – In Search of a Right-Brained Computer. The Author Page allows you to post articles from your blog there, but I needed to know the rss format of the url of my blog. So I added Category Specific RSS Menu. I don’t think most people subscribe by rss anymore. I do at times with a newsreader page I created for myself. But it’s there in case anybody is so inclined. If you don’t know what RSS is, don’t worry, subscribe by email instead.

After adding each of these plugins, I had to add the corresponding widget to my sidebar. That’s under Appearance.Widgets in WordPress.

The 2017 theme came with a social menu, so at the bottom of each of my posts (all the way at the bottom), people can follow me on facebook (where I post non-computer blog posts), linkedin (where I post more technical posts), and twitter(where I post most of my posts).

I also have a left sidebar of social sharing (rather than follow) buttons on each of my posts thanks to a plugin by AddThis.