Archive for the ‘WordPress Plugins’ Category

How to Display Icons in a WordPress Post

Monday, February 9th, 2015

At the end of January, I tweeted about a new WordPress experience I had. Tweet about Genericon'd plugin After developing WordPress blogs and websites for 12+ years and using graphical icon representations the majority of that time, I used a WordPress icon font plugin and a shortcode, instead of graphics, to spice up the content presentation on a blog post.

Genericons and Genericon’d have opened up a whole new arena of possibilities for me. Icon fonts are my “shiny new bobble” that can enhance content presentation and, when used judicially, can highlight content without distracting the audience.

It all started when a website being developed was not behaving as expected on iPads and iPhones whenever the menu icon displayed. I fiddled with the CSS for hours. (Oh, yeah, I HAD been using genericons, but via CSS!) I have been working with WordPress blogs since 2003, so was super frustrated that I could not quickly resolve the icon behavior on those devices.

In researching the origin and behavior of the menu icon, the “Genericons” font by Automattic (creators of WordPress) came into my consciousness. Per the Genericons website,

Genericons is a free, GPL, flexible icon font for blogs!

When I did a search for ” genericons wordpress “, the Genericon’d plugin displayed at the top of the search results.  Really? It is that easy? Just install the plugin?

I installed the Genericon’d, plugin via the WordPress dashboard and started using it right away.

Install Genericond plugin

click for larger

Naturally, I created a test post and used a dozen icons interweaved with content and content with graphics. I tested invoking them via HTML and by shortcode. Shortcodes feel the most comfortable way for me to use the Genericons icon font in WordPress. You can test on your own to see which appeals to you. (There is a sample below.)

How do you find the correct icon code to use?

It is as simple as 1-2-3. After Genericon’d is installed, there is a new menu item on the Appearance menu.

  1. Hover over Appearance and click on Genericon’d.
  2. When the Genericon’d page displays, scroll down to the icon you want to use and doubleclick it.
  3. Scroll back to the top of the screen and COPY the version that you will use to display the icon; CSS, HTML, or Shortcode.

How do you add the icon HTML or shortcode to a WordPress Post or Page?

Note: For best results, add the icon code using TEXT mode. Typically, a post or page first displays in VISUAL mode.Text mode in WordPress

Click the TEXT tab next to VISUAL to change modes. You will see the content of your post/page, and maybe with some tags [] that you don’t recognize.  Ignore those.

In TEXT mode:

  1. Go to the place where you want to add the icon.
  2. Paste the HTML or shortcode
  3. Click Update/Save draft
  4. View the Post or Page to ensure that the results are what you intended

The Genericon’d plugin is a breath of fresh air for this WordPress developer. I just need to learn to constrain myself!

Note to self: Just because you can use icons, doesn’t mean you should

Got it!

I the Genericon’d plugin!

HTML (instead of a shortcode) was used to display this icon. Notice that the font does not match the font in my blog, the content is centered, and the icon is larger. I prefer that the tool do the work for me, so, I’ll stick with shortcodes that automatically style the icons to match the styles in my blog.

Happy Blogging, my friends!

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THE Must-Have WordPress Plugin: Limit Login Attempts

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Limit Login Attempts is THE must-have plugin that every WordPress blogger needs to install TODAY.

Limit Login Attempts does just what its name says; it counts consecutive login attempts and disallows further attempts from a location when the max number of attempts allowed at one time has been reached.

Limit Login Attempts Admin Screenshot

Limit Login Attempts Admin Screenshot on a live WordPress website

By default WordPress allows unlimited login attempts either through the login page or by sending special cookies. This allows passwords (or hashes) to be brute-force cracked with relative ease.

Limit Login Attempts blocks an Internet address from making further attempts after a specified limit on retries is reached, making a brute-force attack difficult or impossible.
(from the Limit Login Attempts plugin page)

 

The location is locked out for a period of time (default 20 minutes), and over time, the location is locked out for a longer period of time when other lock-out criteria is met. All of the plugin’s parameters (number of retries, lock-out period of time, notification to admin, etc) are customizable. Above is the Limit Login Attempts admin screen customized for a WordPress power blogger who is the only person who maintains the blog.

How to interpret the Limit Login Attempts admin screen

If this blogger fails to enter a correct username-password combination within 3 tries, the blogger has to wait 20 minutes before attempting to log in again. If the blogger gets locked out 4 times (has made 12 unsuccessful attempts to log in), he/she is locked out for 24 hours. These are more than reasonable parameters because power bloggers tend to know and remember their log-in credentials.

Limit Login Attempts Statistics

Total number of lockouts…Limit Login Attempts has been installed on this WordPress website for a little over a month. You can see that it has already enforced 426 lockouts.

Why do you need this plugin?

Because WordPress is a hackers dream, and you need to protect yourself.

WordPress is open...
WordPress is an open-source software product. Open-source means that the program code is available to everyone in the world, including you – to view, use, tweak, exploit!

WordPress is prolific…
There are about 1 billion websites (watch total number of websites grow). A little over 20% of those are WordPress-based. That’s about 2 hundred million websites. If you are a hacker, you want to make a name for yourself by impacting as many websites as possible. Imagine writing a  hack that could affect 200M websites.

Taking security one step further…

When Limit Login Attempts sends a message to the admin (in this case, the power blogger), the blogger sends me the IP address so that I can permanently deny access to the website.

Notes:
– Limit Login Attempts displays a notice with the remaining number of login attempts a user has
– If you get locked out AND you are a client of Adventures Online, call us and we’ll clear the lockout.

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Best WordPress Plugin Dynamic Widgets

Monday, June 27th, 2011

My current favorite WordPress® plugin is Dynamic Widgets by Qurl. I had been wishing for a long time that such a plugin existed, but, having over 25 years programming experience, I understood the programming effort it would take, and never thought that anyone would invest the time.

Thanks to Qurl, we don’t have to wait any longer… and by the looks of the stats on theWordPress download page (as of 6/27/11),  I’m only one of tens of thousands who like this plugin! It has been downloaded over 47 thousand times already…

Dynamic Widgets WordPress Plugin

Best thing for me = My clients can add content (or images) to the sidebar and designate on which pages the content (or image) should appear, AND the client does not have to be a super-user.

The WordPress plugin lets you decide on a page-per-page basis whether you want a widget to appear in the sidebar or not.  You can select each page, or each section, or each type of page, or each category, and so on and so on. You can include entire groups of pages and exclude entire groups of pages.

Dynamic Widgets is powerful because it is so flexible AND easy to use. Here’s the description at the WordPress download page:

Dynamic Widgets gives you full control on which pages your widgets will appear. It lets you dynamic[al]ly place the widgets on WordPress pages by setting conditional rules with just a few mouse clicks by role, dates, browser, language (WPML), for the homepage, single posts, attachments, pages, authors, categories, archives, error page, search page, custom post types, custom post type archives, WPEC/WPSC categories, BuddyPress Components and BuddyPress Groups

Practical Application of Dynamic Widgets
So, say you want to display quotes in the sidebar and you want a different quote on each page. Up until now, you would have had to hire a professional web person to “fix it” so that you could add those quotes. Now, all you need to do is install Dynamic Widgets (or have your web professional install (and activate) it for you), then create a Text Widget for each quote.

Once the text widget is created, click on the word “static” at the bottom of the text widget next to “Dynamic Widgets”, and the Dynamic Widgets dialogue box will open up so that you can designate the pages to include the widget and the pages on which to exclude the widget.

Download Dynamic Widgets now!


(FYI – I am not affiliated in any way with the author of Dynamic Widgets nor WordPress – Just a long-time user of WordPress who is very enthusiastic about my latest best WordPress plugin!)

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