Do you remember these?
If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you probably will.
In my "Blog Update" series I list any notable improvements, modifications, or milestones related to my blog such as new plugins installed, design changes, or new features. However, I try to only list things here that I haven’t already announced or touched on in other posts.
My last update was made nearly THREE YEARS AGO! Despite it being so long ago, I’ve actually been keeping a file updated with all the changes I’ve made under the hood since that time, so I’ll be able to give an update on them.
However, this will be the last post of this series. It made sense when I first started the series because my blog had more of a focus on actual blogging, as well as trying to grow my blog. Since I’m now focused on affiliate marketing, coupled with the fact that all I mainly do now to my blog is update WordPress and plugins, I feel that the series has run its course.
Nevertheless, I thought I’d do one last post just in case anyone is interested in seeing some of the changes my blog has undertaken throughout the past 3 years. Ironically, though, I believe that my current readership is now comprised mostly of affiliate marketers with very few bloggers…
Anyhow, are most of the modifications and improvements I’ve made to my blog over the past few years:
Custom Changes & Modifications
- I increased the number of comments per page from 50 to 60. This is for top level comments only, not including nested responses.
- I updated my my Contact page to fix a "You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page" error which appeared when trying to access the plugin’s settings in WP-Admin. It was a simple fix thanks to http://www.dougreese.com/you-do-not-have-sufficient-permissions-to-access-this-page-wordpress-contact-form-plugin.html (hopefully this helps some other people who have the same issue as well).
WordPress & Plugin Upgrades
- I installed the plugin Socialize v2.0.6. It’s a nice plugin which adds social bookmarking links to posts (these are the ones you see in the top right corner of my posts: Twitter and Facebook). The plugin lets you display in posts and front page, and has a lot of customizing options such as adding different buttons/links. I later upgraded it to v2.1.
- I upgraded the plugin Akismet from v2.5.3 to v2.5.5, again to v.2.5.6, and once again to v2.5.7. Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s "Comments" admin screen. It now ships with all WordPress installations. Again later, I upgraded Akismet to v2.5.8, v2.5.9, and finally to v2.6.0
- I upgraded WordPress from v3.2.1 to v3.3.1, again to v3.3.2 (which was just a minor security/maintenance release), and then again to v3.4 (a larger release, but mainly added theme improvements and more API stuff for developers). I continued to upgrade to v3.4.2 (mostly just some security and bug fixes), and then to v3.5 "Elvin".
However, this particular version broke my blog because of my plugin Popup Domination, so I upgraded Popup domination from v2.0 to v18.104.22.168. I didn’t backup/export my details, so I ended up having to recreate my forms again, but I was lucky that I had a screenshot from an earlier post so that I could make it exactly like before. In addition, version 3.0 of the plugin turned out to be a massive improvement over v2.0 (easier to set up and manage, has analytics, and even built-in A/B split testing!), so it turned out to be a good thing in the end.
Later on, I upgraded WordPress again to v3.5.2 (minor bug and security fixes). There were a lot more upgrades for a while, but I fell behind in keeping it up-to-date, and didn’t upgrade again until v3.8.1 10 months later, so that was a huge jump between versions there.
More recently, I upgraded to v3.8.2 (mainly security fixes), and again to v3.9. There have been a lot of updates rolling out recently…
- I later upgraded Popup Domination from v22.214.171.124 to v126.96.36.199. I upgraded using the WordPress ‘automatic’ upgrade instead of doing it manually which is something I don’t normally do, but did this time because it’s a paid plugin and a bigger pain to get the update and do manually.
- I upgraded upgraded Kimili Flash Embed plugin from v2.1.5 to v2.2, then again to v2.2.1. Kimili Flash Embed is a nice plugin that lets you embed flash into posts. I upgraded again later to v2.3, and again finally to v2.4.0.
- I upgraded the plugin WP-Polls from v2.61 to v2.6.3 (mostly minor bug fixes and small adjustments). WP-Polls is a fantastic poll plugin that is quite versatile and works great. Can add to the side or inside of posts. I later upgraded it again to v2.6.4, and finally again to v2.6.5.
- I upgraded the plugin Email Users from v3.4.0 to v4.3.14. I wasn’t sure why the big discrepancy in version numbers (there was no version history listed prior to v4.0). I later upgraded again v4.3.21, which caused major issues (fatal error upon activation), so I ended up uninstalling the plugin it. I had only used it like 3 times in the past 8 years anyway, and can always find a substitute if I need something like that in the future.
- I upgraded MobilePress plugin from v1.1.5 to v1.2.1, and again later to v1.2.2. MobilePress is a free WordPress plugin which makes your WordPress blog mobile friendly.
- I installed User Role Editor v3.14.1 plugin since my hired writers (for some paid reviews) couldn’t use embed code when drafting posts. User Role Editor is a nice plugin which adds the ability to create user roles and privileges (similar to vBulletin and other CMS’s). It’s very handy and useful. I definitely recommend to anyone who has more than one contributor on their blog.
Later I upgraded to v4.10, again a day later to v4.11, then again a week later to v4.12… as you can see, this plugin has tons of releases with small improvements and bug fixes; it’s very well supported.
- I removed one of my oldest plugins: Digg This since Digg is now dead.
- I removed Dean’s Permalinks Migration plugin, which was a URL migration plugin that let me safely change my permalink structure without breaking the old links to my blog. Basically, it wrote old URL’s from when I switched from Blogspot to WordPress eons ago. I simply don’t need it anymore (plus it’s not supported anymore anyway).
- I upgraded Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator plugin from v4.0 BETA 3 to v4.0.2, and again later to v4.0.3. This is a plugin for SEO-friendly link structure.
- I added sponsored tweets to the advertising page.
- I updated the advertising page (up-to-date stats, pricing adjustments, etc.)
- I raised the price of my sponsored tweets from $20 to $30, again later to $45.
- I added a Clickbooth testimonial to my advertise page.
- I removed half of the links on my blogroll (mid-right side) due to either my own link being removed from their blog or their site being dead or inactive.
- I did blogroll link exchanges with LukePeerfly and JustinDupre.
- Did a massive overhaul and update of my Recommended Resources page. It is still pretty current, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t already.
- I updated my Contact page to include chatroom and updated text.
- I added a "Chat" link to the navigational menu (I spent far too long figuring out how to get the "New!" text to work properly in multiple browsers… like, you really don’t want to know how long I spent on that).