Disable wordpress post revisions

WordPress being most popular blogging platform has been used by hundreds of thousands of bloggers. As we all know that WordPress is an Open Source software that is in continuous development. With every release numerous new features are added to the platform. Not every new feature is suitable for everyone and this is what is good about WordPress. You can disable most if not all of the functionalities or features that does not suite you.

Post revisions is a feature that was added in WordPress with version 2.6, it is useful for most of the bloggers. But suppose you have thousands of posts and you are hard core fan of WordPress Post Editor so you only use it to edit posts. WordPress saves copy of your posts while you edit them, by default its every 60 seconds. So suppose you create a new post and it took you 15 minutes to write it, there will be 15 revisions of the same post in your WordPress database. By the time you reach 1000 posts the number of revisions will be 15000. Though revisions may be useful for some cases but not for everyone. WordPress saves a revision of every post when ever you will make changes to it while in Drafts or after publishing.

Few drawbacks of Post Revisions are:

  • Wastes space
  • Makes db slower
  • Makes editing slower

I am sure there will be more drawback. But for me it is enough that if I am not using or do not want a feature I can disable it. I am sure you will want to disable it too until there is an absolute need for it.

Lets see how we can disable the post revisions. After installing WordPress open your wp-config.php in your favorite text editor and add the following line:
define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false );

In case if you do not want to disable it but want to limit the number of post revisions you can change false to number of revisions you want to allow, e.g:
define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 5);

Save the file and you are done.

Do you use post revisions? Do you know any other drawbacks of using post revisions?

iPad? Are you kidding me?

Apple’s announcement of iPad has sadden the fans. There are plenty of die hard fans of Apple that are not happy with new Apple device. They think iPad just doesn’t stand upto Apple’s reputation. iPad that uses the same iPhone OS lack many features that are supposed to be in a tablet. But looks like Apple was in a hurry to get their Kindle killer in market they even didn’t bother to add very basic features to the OS. Yes the OS still lacks multitasking, I ain’t kidding you.

Not only that iPad lacks multitasking but other features which would have definitely made iPad a usable device. But one thing is sure, the version that Apple announced on Jan 27th is not a game changer, may be the next version will be. Below are the few things that I personally think iPad should have and without them its not worth it.

  • First and foremost multitasking.
  • Camera
  • USB Support
  • Headphone Jack
  • Print

With out the above features iPad is nothing more then a bigger size defected iPhone which cannot make calls. Do you think iPad is not just bigger iPhone? If yes, then share some features that makes it different from iPhone. Why would someone on the earth will buy an iPhone then an iPad?

Amazon S3 gets versioning support

Versioning which does not exist in dictionary yet but have very valuable meaning to all the geeks. In case if you don’t know, versioning means storing every copy of your file or data, whenever it gets modified the previous version is archived with date and time of modification. Versioning simply allows you to go back in history of any file or any data. You need to know what it was 2 months ago, you can check that. You want to see how many times it has been modified since then you can see. So its very useful and in some cases (e.g software development) it is the only way to store data.

Now back to topic, Amazon has recently announced versioning support for Simple Storage Solution aka S3. The versioning support is still in beta and is only available to “us-west-1” region. So if you need versioning for your bucket then you need to create it in “us-west-1” region, this is because it is still in beta as Amazon is testing waters. If the users accept versioning and it works out they will surely be enabling it on all the regions.

It is not enabled by default, so you have to enable it for your bucket. Once enabled every object in your bucket will have it and from there on all the versions of the objects will be archived. Even if you mistakenly delete an object you can get it back. For more technical details see Amazon S3 Versioning Proposal.

People going crazy about Apple announcement

It will not be wrong if I say everyone is going crazy about Apple announcement. The Apple event will start in few hours from now. But I am impressed by the craziness of Apple fans. Be it a top blogger Sobleizer from USA or a tech blogger from Pakistan, they all are excited about the event, they all are talking about it. The reason as always for the excitement is that Apple will be announcing something new. Most of the internet is full of leaked pictures of Apple Tablet. So, even if they weren’t planning to launch that Apple Table they will have to do it now because they just can’t disappoint there fans.

Scobleizer has even said, I will stand in that line again to get Apple Tablet the day it is available. He also shared his story that he and his son were the first ones in line of thousands of people who wanted to get iPhones.

People are so crazy about the Tablet that they have started running the contests. Guess the weight of the Apple Tablet and win iPod Touch. Mashable reports that Stand Alone Inc is working on the first game for Apple’s Table.

I am not an Apple fan, neither I am an Apple hater. I have always admired Apple’s hardware because in my opinion it is second to none. Lets see what Apple will be announcing after few hours, will it be a tablet? or a new iPhone OS? or an Apple-TV? or something really different? I am not that excited what ever it is and like Robert Scobleizer I won’t be buying what ever it is but definitely I am interested to know. What do you think it will be?

P.S: Picture from http://sciblogs.co.nz/

Facebook’s feature: Reply to comments via email.

We all love new features, specially the features that makes using the service more easier. Facebook has always care about their users and it is that care that they have deployed a new feature few days ago. You can now reply to comments via email. Suppose you are on the road and away from computer and you got an email notifying that someone has made a comment. It doesn’t matter if they have commented on status update, on a link or a photo or video you uploaded. You can reply to every type of comments via email. Lets see how its done.

I wrote “Happy Birthday!!” on one of my friends wall.

Birthday Wish

He commented on the wall post thanking me and I got the email notifying that my friend has commented on the wall post.

Facebook's Notification Email

Now you don’t have to do much, just hit the reply button of your email client and compose your reply.

Reply to Facebook's notification email

Hit send and you are done.

Reply to comment via email.

This is a really great feature from Facebook. It will make replying to comments a lot easier. What you think about this new feature? Will it make replying to comments easier for you?

Secure wordpress by changing default administrator username

Securing wordpress installation is the first thing that I do after installing wordpress. There are many security measures I take but changing default administrator username is the very basic and important security measure that people often forget about. Here I am listing down the steps that are required to change the username.

  1. Goto Users->Authors & Users to verify that you or your partner (if you have one) haven’t already change the default admin username. You should see admin listed under the Username.
  2. Users Panel

    Default admin username

  3. Now to change the username “admin” we have to run a MySQL query. There are two ways to do it. You can use PhpMyAdmin or login directly to your MySQL server and do it. Below I have listed both ways.

Change admin username using phpMyAdmin

The easiest way is to use phpMyAdmin. Follow the steps below to change username using phpMyAdmin.

  1. Login to your phpMyAdmin and select your wordpress database.
  2. Select wordpress database

  3. Then click on the wp_users table under the tables list.
  4. Select wordpress users table

  5. Click the pencil icon just before admin username.
  6. Click pencil icon with admin username record

  7. Change admin entry under user_login to your desired admin username.
  8. Change default admin under user_login field
    Before
    The changed admin field
    After
  9. Click the “Go” button. Thats it. You are done, now you can login with your new admin username

Change the admin username directly from MySQL shell.

  1. conntect to your MySQL server using mysql client.
  2. select your db by issue following command.
  3. USE <database_name>;

  4. Use the following query to change the default admin username to your desired username. In this case we will change it to “thewordpressguy
  5. UPDATE wp_users SET user_login='admin' WHERE ID=1;

  6. Thats it. You are done. Now you can login to your wordpress admin with your new admin username.

This was the first step that I take when I install wordpress. What is your first step after installing wordpress?

5 features not plugins that should be part of WordPress Code

Have you ever setup a wordpress blog? What are the common features a blog should have? If you have ever setup a wordpress blog then you must know that you have to add plugins to add extra functionality or features. I wish that following 5 features should become part of WordPress Code.

  • Anti Spam
  • Stats
  • Subscribe to Comments
  • XML Sitemaps
  • Similar Posts

Lets see what plugins are available for these features. I will be listing top 2 or 3 at most, not all the plugins for every feature. Let me know if I miss one of your favorites.

Anti Spam

Anti Spam plugins are required to prevent comment spam and/or spam via forms on the blog. With thousands of spammers out there with intelligent spam spiders that crawl the web and automatically submits every form they see with their spam data, a blogger doesn’tt have all day to sort out the spam comments, he really needs anti spam plugins to do most of the work and then all the blogger have to do is to look at the comments that are marked as spam for possible valid comments. i.e false positives. At the time of writing this post a simple search for “anti spam” listed 41 plugins, but there is one plugin that has a very good reputation not because it has been developed by WordPress guys but because it really works, yes right that is Akismet. You will need a wordpress.com account to get your own API key for the Akismet plugin to work.

Stats

We all love stats, why shouldn’t we? They help us know if we are doing good on our blog or not? Stats graphs let us see if we are moving up or going down? There are many Stats plugins available but to be honest I have never used anyother then “WordPress.com Stats” and like Akismet it has been developed by WordPress Team and you need your own API key to actually use it. You can also view your blog stats on wordpress.com, its really cool and handy feature if you have wordpress.com blogs.

Comments Subscription

Subscription, subscription we all need more and more subscribers so people keep coming back to our blog. Comments Subscripton is a feature that not only keep readers coming back but it also encourages conversation, your readers can easily followup the discussion going on any post of their choice. So this feature not only make your readers interested in your blog but it also increases the traffic of the blog. Subscribe to Comments it the only plugin I use and I find useful for this purpose.

Sitemaps

Search Engine needs to know the structure of your site, to better index your site and list them in relevant searches. Not only that but Search Engine crawlers needs an easy way to find your content. Almost all Search Engines support Sitemaps specially the big ones. So not having a sitemap for your blog will be really stupid. My favorite is Google XML Sitemaps, don’t let the name stop your from using it, the sitemaps generated can be used on all Search Engines.

Similar Posts

Displaying Related or Similar posts always helps increase page views which is an important aspect for every blogger. Though it is still not enabled on my blog but I have planned it and will surely be enabling the Similar posts on my blog. For this purpose I have couple of plugins under consideration which includes “Similar Posts” and “Yet Another Related Posts Plugin“. I will post my findings once I decide.

Did I miss your favorite feature? or did I miss your favorite plugin? What are your thoughts on the features I have listed? Should they become part of WordPress Code? If not, why?

Google just can’t replace twitterfeed for now.

Though I am a fan of Google services but the way it is moving towards establishing its monopoly on the Internet gives me shivers. Many of you might already know about twitterfeed, it is a service that posts your blog updates or feed updates to twitter, not only to Twitter but few more services which includes Facebook too. As of writing this post twitterfeed claims to be feeding 712988 feeds to other services. But that number will decrease sooner or later as Google has released a new feature for their Feedburner service known as Socialize. According to Google,

Connect your feed to the real-time social web! With Socialize, FeedBurner will automatically post updates from your feed to your social media account.

Configuration Limitations

The socialize feature comes with many limitations. It does not allow me to configure the post frequency. It does not allow me use my favorite URL shortner, yes you guessed it, you have to use the Google’s URL shortner goo.gl. It does not allow me add text to the begining and end at the same time.

Have a look at twitterfeed’s configuration options in the screenshot below, you can clearly see the number of URL shortners twitterfeed allows you to use. I can use separate URL shortners for separate feeds, this is awesome:

Twitter Feed Configuration Step 1

Have a look at Feedburner’s configuration options in the screenshot below:

Feedburner Confiuration Options

Posting Limitations

Feedburner can only post to Twitter but twitterfeed can post to other services too which includes Laconica, Hellotxt, Ping.fm and Facebook.

TwitterFeed Configuration Step 2

Users will use whatever they feel comfortable with, there are other services too which post your updates to Twitter which includes FriendFeed too, I myself use FriendFeed. I only wrote this twitterfeed and Feedburner socialize comparison because I read a post from Amit Agarwal who is very senior blogger about switching from twitterfeed to Google, so I decided to write comparing both the services. Now its up to you to decide what service will you use? If you have never used twitterfeed then you may start using Google’s Socialize feature of Feedburner and if you have been using twitterfeed you may want to stay with it.

What service do you use to publish your blog posts to twitter? Do you find it useful to automate the process of publishing blog posts to twitter? Best of luck publishing your blog posts to twitter, no matter what service you use keep posting good stuff to twitter because this is what makes it useful.

P.S: If I am not following you on twitter yet let me know your twitter username in the comments and I will surely follow you.

Here is why the new RT feature of twitter sucks

As we all know that few days ago twitter has introduced new RT feature, and Twitter team specially @ev seems to like the new feature. But do the community like it? Is RT really created by twitter? I as a twitter user do not like the new RT feature. I have my own reasons like other people but I would like to discuss the reason for which any sensible person won’t like twitter.

Like is not ReTweet

RT stands for ReTweet which means tweeting a tweet again because you find it useful and you want to share it with your followers. Now the way new RT feature of twitter works totally negates the definition of RT. Because with new RT feature the tweet is never ReTweeted, it just gets listed in the timeline of a user. The only thing that happens is bunch of meta data gets attached to the tweet. In simple words the new RT feature of twitter works exactly same as “Like” button in Facebook.

Tweet is lost

It looks like Twitter assumes that we watch our twitter timeline whole day even when we are sleeping, but this is not true. When I am sleeping or away from twitter I miss a lot of tweets, though I try to scroll back and read many of them but I don’t always read all of them. This means that I can and will miss some important tweets even if they are RTd by all of the people I follow, because the ReTweeted tweet just do not pop up in the timeline. It stays at its current position and the new meta information is attached. For example if one of your friend Retweeted a tweet while you were sleeping. then after that ReTweet there were like 100 or so tweets in your timeline, you woke up in the morning and started using twitter. You missed that ReTweet because you didn’t scrolled down, now one of your friend gets on twitter and ReTweeted the tweet that was ReTweeted while you were away or sleeping. That ReTweet will not popup in your timeline even your another friend just ReTweeted it, so the ReTweets have lost the value.

Community Response

I have seen many people using the new RT feature and many have stopped using it like me because I think the feature that was introduced by Twitter is not really a ReTweet but Like. I am staying with the old ReTweet and hope that many others will follow as the new ReTweet just don’t work the way it should. If the ReTweeted Tweets start poping to the top then the new ReTweet feature might be somewhat usable but until then the new feature is just not for me. I won’t be ReTweeting anything that will be ReTweeted in my timeline using new ReTweet feature, sorry guys.

I hope Twitter will listen to its users because they are users who have build the twitter and specially the ReTweet was invented by the community not by twitter. I have seen many people switching to alternatives, maybe I will follow the steps too but not in the near future. I hope Twitter team will understand the importance of users feedback and will listen to us and at least I will not have to look for the alternatives.

A mistake that no blogger should ever do

Its been almost a month since I last posted on my blog. First of all I should sorry all of you out there for not being able to updated the blog specially I want to sorry to those who were expecting me to post more posts specially about wordpress. I had been quite busy with some stuff and hence couldn’t update the blog, and I am really sorry for that. I hope I will be able to keep with the pace of changing technology and post useful stuff as soon as I have any.

If you ask any blogger they will say a blog should be updated once a week except if you are posting about something that does not gets updated that frequently. But my blog was about Programming, WordPress, blogging, Twitter and Facebook which is for sure has changed a lot since I last posted. I have missed a lot of things and wasn’t able to keep myself updated with the latest stuff happening special in the social media scene.

Today when I logged on to Facebook I found out that highlights are gone, now they show up in the news feed. Facebook now have a news feed as well as Live feed, I am still not able to figure out difference between the two. But my understanding is the Live Feed thing shows that FriendFeed team is doing their work and Live feed should have real time feed coming. This is surely some great stuff coming out of Facebook and I will write more about new features and updates from Facebook very soon. I am thinking of writing posts on how to use these new features to enhance your Facebooking and use it effectively. Oh by they way, I also like that new ability of Draging and Dropping of news filters.

Twitter seems to have new features too, specially the list feature which is as per my knowledge currently only available to 5% of users. But the list feature will be available to all users from sometime next month. I hope they provide a sensible way of managing and using lists through their web interface. Also I notice Twitter is going pretty hard on spammers because they get them suspended very soon after they register. I got follow notifications from few spammers and as I manually check everyone who follows me and then follow them back if they are human and share useful stuff not just what they had in lunch. Sharing what one had in lunch is also interesting but only if that person shares other useful stuff too.

Stay tuned for more posts coming this week. I will try to do a post daily but only if I will have some useful stuff to write about.

P.S WordPress has been updated too, it is now 2.8.5. I don’t know when the update was released but I just saw the notification at the top, so gotta update too.