Four fantastic WordPress logos

WoodPress logo For my recent post about the terrible quality adverts appearing on WordPress.com sites I created a nice high resolution blue glossy version of the WordPress logo. Then I was inspired to make a few variations.

They’re made avaliable here as 1000x1000px PNGs, with transparency, under a CC BY-NC-SA licence. Feel free to share and enjoy, but please remember to give credit (to Foomandoonian), ideally with a link back to this page.

Continue reading

Low quality advertisements are damaging WordPress.com

A shiny WordPress logo, ruined by obnoxious ads. It’s been nearly two months since I switched halfblog.net from Posterous over to WordPress, and I’ve been generally very positive about the change, with some reservations. The truth is, I don’t think I will be recommending it so strongly to potential new bloggers any longer (as I have done at Social Media Surgeries).

The various reasons probably justify a separate blog post, but one concern is looming particularly large right now…

The low-quality on-site advertising WordPress uses to support free blogs.

Continue reading

WordPress.com vs. Posterous

It’s been a week since I switched this blog from Posterous to WordPress.com. I’m very happy with the change, but it is clear to me that Posterous offer very compelling features for a free service.

What follows isn’t a complete comparison of the two services, it just highlights what I consider the most important differences between the two services for a typical blogger.

WordPress.com Posterous
Big library of free themes (100+). Premium themes. No custom themes. Decent library of free themes (46). No premium themes. Custom themes.
Custom domain mapping ($12 per year). Free custom domain mapping.
Regular users may see ads on your blog. Signed in WordPress.com users won’t. ($29.97 to remove.) No on-site advertising.
No direct HTML editing. CSS access paid upgrade ($30 per year). Full free access to HTML and CSS.
Image-heavy posts are a pain to manage. Excellent, intuitive image galleries.
Excellent, but expensive HD video support (VideoPress: $60 per year). Free video uploads (100MB per video limit).
A basic stats tool in the dashboard. No export functionality. No Google Analytics support. Support for Google Analytics.
Threaded comments. No threaded comments.
Fantastic commenting and comment moderation features. Comments can be a bit buggy for users. Poor moderation features.
Both services offer great customer support and have good iPhone and Android apps.
Neither service permits the use of JavaScript.

Note that I stopped using Posterous just before it transformed into Posterous Spaces. Their blogging service remains basically unchanged, so these points are still valid, but there is now a whole social aspect you may want to consider.

Continue reading

Site traffic: Posterous vs. WordPress.com

Aside

Curiously, I seem to be getting much more traffic now I’m hosting this blog on WordPress.com. I used to get 100-200 visits per day on Posterous, but now I’m seeing 200-300.

It could be a simple reporting difference, but I know from personal experience that Posterous could be slow to the point where the page never finished loading. I wonder if it regularly prevented the Google Analytics script at the end of the page from getting loaded?

Continue reading

New home, same address

Status

You may have noticed a slight change at this blog – it was finally time to give up on Posterous and move over to WordPress.com. There’s still a bit of tidying up to do, but I’m really happy with the change.

All the old Halfblog.net content is still available at foomandoonian.posterous.com. Gradually, I may migrate some more content over and eventually shut down the Posterous blog entirely, but I haven’t really decided yet.

Adventures in WordPress theming

I’ve been a bit quiet on this blog and Twitter for a week or so now because I’ve been concentrating on a few personal projects:

A WordPress theme for hyperlocal bloggers

This one is just a Photoshop mock (the provisional name ‘The Local’ is going to have to be changed as I since found another theme with that name), but I’m quite pleased with the look and feel of it all. I wouldn’t usually do a mockup like this, but as I’m going to be learning WordPress theme creation from scratch, I didn’t want to have to be worrying about the design at the same time.

About halfway through creating this I realised it looked very BBC-ish. I’ll probably just try to give it a different default colour scheme to combat this.

The design has a lot of space for different widgets and I plan to give the nameplate area a lot of configuration options so no two of these blogs should look alike. 

One feature I quite like, but you can’t really see in this mock, is the image copyright ID icon. In the bottom right corner of the main cathedral pic, there’s a CC licence symbol. I imagine that when you hover over this, a full credit will pop up over the picture, with link to the source, etc. It seems like a neat solution to me, and not one I’ve seen elsewhere.

I’ve stalled work on this for the time being as I wanted to get my second project up and running first…

Continue reading

Link

The Royal Pingdom blog has been measuring the downtime of five different blogging services. They are very sympathetic towards Tumblr’s position on this list, and the result will be of no surprise to anyone who uses the service. I hope they sort their problems out too.

The other standout on the list was Blogger, with no downtime over the two month testing period recorded at all!

Continue reading

Another variation on the slider CAPTCHA

Last week there was a blog post by LukeW proposing a sliding alternative to CAPTCHAs:

[…] the sign up form on They Make Apps uses a slider that asks people to: “show us your human side; slide the cursor to the end of the line to create your account.” Moving the slider to the right completely submits the form and triggers error validation just like a standard Submit button would.

But why stop there? I just spotted this super geeky variation on the same idea on the Adafruit Industries blog:

It seems that it’s their own creation, and is offered as a WordPress plugin:

We are thrilled to release a solve-the-resistor CAPTCHA plugin for WordPress! This plugin will draw a random 5% or 10% resistor and four color band sliders beneath it. The commenter needs to match the colors on the sliders to the colors on the resistor. Commenters don’t actually need to know how to read resistors, but this will help them as they post comments on site that use this plugin.

Resisty – Resistor CAPTCHA – solve the resistor values to post a comment!

Of course, as with the slider alternative the resistor reading could still be easily worked around using crowd-sourced labour, but it’s still a fun idea!