blogging tips Archives - COBRA softwares
02 Nov

How to remove post category and tags from page with Genesis Framework

If your WordPress blog was built using the Genesis Framework (and in my opinion it should be!), you might be wondering how to remove the Category and Tag post meta info from the home page and individual post pages. As with most everything else, Genesis makes doing so quite easy. Here’s how:

1 – Open your child theme’s functions.php file in your favorite code editor.

2 – Add this snippet of code at the bottom:

/** Remove the post meta function */
remove_action( ‘genesis_after_post_content’, ‘genesis_post_meta’ );

3 – Save the file and upload it to your server.

You’re done! Now you won’t see the category or tag information on either the home page or the individual post pages of your blog.

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01 Nov

Remove the WordPress version from your blog’s pages for added security

WordPress is the most widely used self-hosted blogging platform out there which makes WordPress-based blogs especially appealing targets for hackers.

The core WordPress files are updated quite often in order to plug security holes, but it’s easy to miss an upgrade when it becomes available, or simply forget to install it. Missing an update makes your blog an open target because hackers tend to go after blogs that are still running older, insecure versions of WordPress.

And it’s extremely easy for the bad guys to find blogs running older versions of WordPress. Since the WordPress version is listed right in the blog’s source code, all they have to do is search Google for an older version number and Google will comply by listing all the blogs that are running that WordPress version. But there’s an easy way to prevent hackers from finding your blog by using this method. Simply install a great little plugin called Remove My Version!

Remove My Version does exactly what it’s name implies: It removes all references to the current WordPress version from all of your blog’s pages. After you have installed and activated the plugin your blog will never again show up in the hackers’ nefarious Google searches.

Here’s how to install the Remove My Version plugin on your WordPress blog:

1 – Click here to download the zipped plugin folder to your Desktop.

2 – Right-click on the zipped folder and click Extract all.

3 – Click Extract.

4 – FTP the remove-my-version.php file to the wp-content/plugins/ directory on your server.

5 – Log in to your WordPress control panel and activate the plugin.

Installing Remove My Version won’t guarantee that your blog will never get hacked, but it serves as an excellent first line of defense. Hands down, the most effective way to prevent your blog from getting hacked is to keep your WordPress installation up-to-date at all times by installing updates immediately upon their release. But sometimes you just can’t do that, for whatever reason. That’s when Remove My Version can come to your rescue!

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28 Feb

How to create a Line Break in WordPress

WordPress is considered by many to be the most powerful and most feature-rich blogging platform in use today, but it does have its share of puzzling quirks. And the one that puzzled me the most was the WordPress post editor’s refusal to insert a line break between lines when the Enter key was pressed. It begins a new paragraph instead.

Well, after several days of frustration I finally decided that I wouldn’t rest until I figured out how to create a line break in my WordPress posts. And figure it out I did… All you have to do is use the Shift+Enter key combination (press the Shift key and the Enter key at the same time).

You’re welcome.

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27 Feb

Grammarly Lite – Add this ‘smart spellchecker’ to Google Chrome

I recently downloaded and began testing a Chrome browser extension I read about called Grammarly Lite, and let me tell you, it’s awesome! Once you install the extension you’ll see a little green “G” in the lower right-hand corner of every text box letting you know that Grammarly Lite is loaded and on the job.

Grammarly Lite works in real time, highlighting misspelled words and punctuation errors on the fly. Simply hover your mouse over the underlined word or text snippet and Grammarly Lite will suggest a short list of possible fixes. Click on the appropriate one and the error is fixed right then and there. If the highlighted word is correct but unrecognized by Grammarly Lite, adding it to the dictionary is as easy as clicking “Remember this word”. 

Here’s a screenshot of Grammarly Lite in action:

You can also double-click on any word for a list of synonyms:

I do a LOT of writing for the web and Grammarly Lite has quickly become the one Chrome extension that I can’t imagine doing without while I’m working. It’s always there, discreetly monitoring my atrocious typing in order to ensure that what I end up with is at least free of misspelled words and basic punctuation errors.

I love Grammarly Lite, and I have a feeling you will too. To add it to your browser, simply fire up Google Chrome, visit this page and click the Add to Chrome button.

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26 Feb

Q&A: How do I stop receiving duplicate notification emails on new blog comments?

Question from Connie D:  Hi Rick. I recently set up a WordPress blog using your excellent instructions. You made it so easy! Thank you very, very much!

I’m having one issue that’s driving me batty though. Every time someone leaves a comment on one of my posts I receive two identical emails letting me know about the comment. How can I make WordPress send me just one email?

Rick’s answer:  Connie, when I first started blogging with WordPress I had the same problem, and it drove me batty too until I finally figured out what the problem was. The duplicate notification emails result from using two different email addresses when you post under a different user name than the one assigned to the primary Administrator account. Here’s how to fix it: 

1 – Log in to your WordPress Dashboard and click Settings>General.

2 – Make a note of the email address listed on about the 5th line down or so.

3 – Click Users and make a note of the email address listed for the user account that you use to create your posts.

4 – Decide which of those two email addresses you wish to have your WordPress notifications sent to, then change the settings on the pages listed above to use that single email address.

You should now receive just one email for every new comment that is left on your posts.


Do you have a tech question of your own for Rick? Click here and send it in!

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25 Feb

Q&A: How do I add a Facebook ‘Like Box’ to my WordPress blog?

Question from Brenda K.:  Hi Rick. I have created a Facebook page for my WordPress blog where I post about ladies fashions. I’d like to add a Facebook “Like Box” similar to the one you have on this site to the blog. I’ve searched Facebook from top to bottom and I can’t find and instructions for adding one. Can you tell me how to do it?

Rick‘s answer:  Brenda, when I decided to add a ‘Like Box’ to RicksDailyTips.com I had to search high and low for the instructions as well. Find them I did however, and basically all you have to do is fill out a short form and then copy and paste the code provided into the theme of your WordPress blog wherever you want the ‘Like Box’ to appear (usually in the sidebar).

Here’s how to add a Facebook ‘Like Box’ to your WordPress blog: 

1 – Visit this page on Facebook and fill out the form.

2 – Enter the URL of your Facebook page in the first field.

3 – Enter the desired width (in pixels) of your ‘Like Box’ in the next field.

4 – All of the other selections are optional (the defaults should work for most of them). You can experiment by checking and unchecking boxes and then viewing the results in the live preview on the right.

5 – Once your ‘Like Box’ looks the way you want it to, click the Get Code button.

6 – When the code window appears, click IFRAME.

7 – Right-click anywhere inside the box containing the code, then click Select All.

8 – Right-click again and click Copy.

9 – Click Ok.

10 – Paste the code you just copied to the clipboard into your blog’s theme wherever you want the ‘Like Box’ to appear. This will most likely be somewhere in the sidebar.

That’s all there is to it Brenda. Good luck with your new Facebook page and fashion blog!


Do you have a tech question of your own for Rick? Click here and send it in!

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24 Feb

How to quickly move your WordPress blog to a new server with WHM Control Panel

If you own a self-hosted WordPress blog, there might come a time when you need to move your blog to a different server (or even a new web hosting company). After all, better deals come along, or perhaps you might grow weary of problems with your existing web host.

If you ever find yourself needing to move your WordPress blog to a new server, the process can be completed in minutes if both the old server and the new one are running the excellent WHM Control Panel software. Here’s how: 

1 – Log into the new server’s WHM control panel by typing the following into your browser’s address bar (replace the xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx part with the new server’s IP address):

http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/whm

2 – Once you are logged in to WHM, scroll down the menu in the left-hand panel until you find the Transfers section. Click on Copy an Account From Another Server With an Account Password.

3 – In the Domain Name box, type the domain name of the blog you’re going to be transferring to the new server (i.e. example.com).

4 – Type the IP Address of the old server into the box beside Server to copy from (IP or FQDN).

5 – For Username to copy:, type in the username used to log into that domain’s control panel on the old server.

6 – For User’s password:, enter the password used to log into that domain’s control panel on the old server.

7 – Leave the box beside Give new account an IP address: unchecked.

8 – Uncheck the box beside Permit fallback to old system.

9 – Click the Copy Account button. The entire website will now be copied to the new server.

10 – Once the transfer has been completed, log into your account with the domain registrar where your domain name is registered (I use Godaddy) and change the DNS settings for the domain name to point to the new server.

Note: It could take up to 48 hours for the new DNS settings to propagate around the world so it’s best to leave your old server online at least that long in order to avoid any downtime for your WordPress blog.

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23 Feb

Q&A: How do I redirect my blog’s existing domain name to a new one?

Question from Adriana N.:  Hi there Rick! My question probably has a simple answer but I just can’t figure it out.

I have a fairly popular book review blog with a domain name that’s based upon my own real name.

This blog has become fairly popular, and after reading a couple of articles on the subject I decided it would be in my best interest to purchase a different domain name for the blog and ditch the one that’s based upon my name.

My question is this: How can I redirect the old domain name to the new one without losing the existing traffic and Google rankings (approximately 800 unique visitors per day and PR4) to the new domain name? I really hate the thought of losing out on all that traffic and rankings.

By the way, my new blog is hosted on a Linux server from Hostgator (thanks for recommending them – they’re great!).

Rick’s answer:  I don’t blame you for not wanting to lose all of that existing traffic and Google rankings Adriana, and you’re welcome in regards to the recommendation. I’ve used Hostgator since 2003 and can’t recommend them highly enough. Now, to answer your question… Luckily, redirecting one domain to another is quite easy to accomplish. Here’s how:

1 – Keep the hosting account that the old domain was hosted on. You’re going to need it in order to accomplish your goal of maintaining your blog’s traffic and search engine rankings.

2 – Once you are completely sure that everything is working just right on the new domain/server, open NotePad or NotePad ++ and type the following lines of text into a new document:

Options +FollowSymLinks RewriteEngine on RewriteRule (.*) http://www.yournewdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]:

Be sure to replace the yournewdomain.com part of the line above with your new domain name.

3 – Save the file as type “All Files” and give it this name:

.htaccess

Be sure to include the period at the beginning of the filename.

4 – Upload this newly created .htaccess file to the root directly of your old web hosting account. There is almost certainly already a file there by this same name. If so, overwrite it with this one.

That’s all there is to it. From now on, all the traffic that had been going to your old domain name will be automatically redirected to the new domain. What’s more, your old domain’s Google rankings will be transferred to the new domain.


Do you have a tech question of your own for Rick? Click here and send it in!

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22 Feb

How to ‘claim’ your blog on Technorati

Technorati can be a great source of high quality traffic to your blog, but only if they are aware that your blog exists. You can submit your blog to the Technorati Blog Directory via a process called “claiming” your blog.

Claiming your blog will add it to the Technorati Blog Directory and ensure that it shows up when users click on the tags that you have designated as being relevant to your blog. Your claimed blog(s) will also show up on your Technorati profile page.

Although it’s not very difficult to “claim” your blog on Technorati, there are a number of steps involved:  

1 – Log in to your Technorati account. If you don’t yet have one, click here to open one for free.

2 – Once you are logged in, click on your name to load your Technorati profile page.

3 – Find the “Start a blog claim” section and enter the URL of your blog’s home page into the text box.

4 – Click the Claim button. You will be taken to the “Claim a new blog” page.

5 – Fill out the form completely, then click the Proceed to the next step button. You will be taken to a confirmation screen.

6 – Click on your name again to return to your profile page, then scroll down to the “My claimed blogs” section and click the Check claim button.

7 – On the next page, look for a unique verification code that was assigned to your blog and copy it to your clipboard by highlighting it and pressing the Ctrl+C key combination.

8 – Leave this page open and open a new browser window.

10 – Log into your blog’s control panel and create a new blog post. Give the new post a name, then paste the verification code that you copied to the clipboard in step 7 into the text box (press Ctrl+V) where you would normally type the text of your blog post.

11 – Publish the post and then check to make sure it is showing on your blog.

12 – Return to the confirmation page you left open in step 8, then click the Verify Claim Token button. You will receive a confirmation message.

13 – Click the Return to profile button.

14 – The “My claimed blogs” section will now include a message stating that Technorati is verifying the claim code that you published in the blog post mentioned above. Once the code has been verified, you’ll receive a message stating that you can delete the blog post containing the code.

Note: It could take some time (possibly several days) for the process of claiming your blog to be completed depending on how many blogs are ahead of yours in the queue. You will be notifed once the process is complete and your blog will then be active in the Technorati Blog Directory.

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21 Feb

How to use Firefox as an FTP client

Firefox is one of the most poplar web browsers in use today, primarily because of the huge number of outstanding add-ons that are available for it. One of my favorite Firefox add-ons is FireFTP, a wonderful extension that lets you send and receive files via FTP right from a tab in the Firefox browser window!

I use FireFTP every single day to upload images and other files to my WordPress blogs. Follow the steps below if you’d like to give it a try. 

To install FireFTP:

1 – Load Firefox, then visit this page.

2 – Click the green Add to Firefox button.

3 – Click Install Now.

4 – Click Restart Now. FireFTP should now be installed.

To load and use FireFTP:

1 – With Firefox open, press the Alt key to display the “File” menu, then click Tools>Web Developer>FireFTP.

2 – Click the Create an account button and fill in the required fields for connecting to your web server.

3 – Once the account has been created you’ll see a new button with the name of the account on it. Click on that button to connect to your web server.

4 – After you have finished uploading/downloading your files, click the Disconnect button and close the FireFTP browser tab.

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