WordPress Plugins – Editorial Calendar


I deeply love the Editorial Calendar plugin. DEEPLY LOVE IT. This thing is Magic with a capital M, and here are my reasons why.

Date Drafts –

With the Editorial Calendar, you can quickly and easily create drafts for specific dates. On a Sunday in November, I went through and created all my Sunday Selections posts for 2016. It took me less than 20 minutes to create 52 drafts. Here is how you create a post for a specific date, it is super simple.


Find the date you want on the calendar. Click on New Post which is in blue at the top.


This will give you a small pop-up box – this is where you put in the title and the time you want the post to go live. You can actually add your content in here if you like – I prefer the full editing window, however if there is a thought in my mind which I don’t want to lose, I will often put it in here when I create the post.


This one click New Post step skips over scheduling a post for a certain date, which is quite a lot of options you have to set to get it right, especially when you start writing posts for 2016. If you mess up, you’ll schedule your post for 2015, which means it will post right away. That is Not Optimal. :)

The Way I Write

It is pretty rare for me to arrive at the computer, start a new post, and then write it and add photos all in one sitting. When I have an idea for a post, I will go into the calendar, find the next available posting date then click on New Post, put in a title and set it for a 5am publish. That is usually my first step and much of the time that is where it will end.


When I am ready to start writing the actual post, I will go back into the calendar and right click on edit and open the edit page in a new tab. That is when I will add categories and start putting in the text of the post. If I have photos ready I will put them in first and then add the text around them. If the post does not have photos to go with it, I will put one of my flower pics saved aside in a special folder.

Most of my posts are written across several sittings – this post was started on November 24th, the meat of it was written November 27th, there were further additions on Nov X and X, and the post was given the final polish on Dec X.

One Glance –


I love that you can see everything with just one glance – whether a post is a draft or not, what you have scheduled on which days.. My posts remain as drafts until they are completed and ready to post, so on any given day I can open the calendar and see what posts I need to work on.

Regular Posts –

You’ll have noticed a bit of a pattern if you have been reading here long enough. I have certain posts which I schedule for certain times. Snoskred Snacks was posted fortnighly on a Friday for a couple of months. Sunday Selections is every Sunday. On the last day of each month I post the New Feeds post.

If you know these posts are going to be weekly or monthly, you can go into the calendar and put in a draft for those dates.

The Default Time –


I like my posts to go live at 5am – with the calendar I can easily scroll through and make sure things are set for the right time. Posts set for 10am by default if you don’t change the time via the dropdown.

Manual Options –

So, if you are using wordpress.com or blogspot, what options do you have when it comes to blog planning? Mostly it will be paper based, though you could use Google Calendar or other online calendar options. If you want a printable monthly blog calendar, Natasha from The Artisan Life created this one – you can search for other versions.

blogging tips, wordpress

Oops You Did It Again, WordPress!


Today after many complaints and a lot of feedback which told them nobody wanted this change to occur, WordPress rolled out their new editor.

It is total shite, of course. Looking at the feedback thread, it seems like half the stuff people use on a regular basis does not work, and they have removed the ability for people to easily get back to the old screen they are used to. A quick scan of the support forums shows that some people are Not Happy, Jan.


If you are like me and you DO.NOT.WANT, and you are stuck on wordpress.com, you might want to check out this thread.

Newsflash – people do not enjoy change! The rest of the world knows this, but apparently when you work for WordPress, that one simple fact is removed from your brain. :(


How to – Schedule Posts In Blogger & WordPress

It has been a while since I did a how to schedule posts in WordPress post, so long in fact, that the old post is pretty much useless now. WordPress looks nothing like it did back then. I thought it is high time for an updated post on this topic, but I thought I would make sure to include Blogger as well. :)

If you use Typepad, this post is for you – How To Change Post Date & Time.

Why Schedule?

There are a lot of reasons why bloggers might want to schedule posts ahead of time. Going on holidays is probably the number one reason people would use this feature.

I work on a Mon-Wed-Fri posting schedule here on the blog. The main reason I schedule posts is because when I am inspired to write, I am REALLY inspired to write, and I might write 5-10 posts in the space of an afternoon. Obviously I do not want to *post* 5-10 posts all at once. It would be overwhelming to my readers, and it would mean I have no posts available the next time I am not inspired to write.

Timing Is Important

It also means you can set your posts to publish at the time of day people will be around to see them. For example here on my blog, I presently post things at 7am AEST. I am fast asleep in bed at that time, guaranteed. But posting my posts early here in Australia means I also catch the evening web surfers in the USA and the late night web surfers in the UK.


If I bumped it up to 5am, I might get the evening web surfers in the UK and super early morning surfers in Australia.. hmm, that is worth considering.

What Time Is Best?

You might get more eyes on your blog post if you change the time of day that you post it. It could be worth doing some experiments to see what times of day work best for your blog.

If you use a site counter or site stats program many of them will tell you what time of day people are visiting, of course taking into consideration they do not always show you every visit to your blog and can be unreliable. You can also consider what time people leave comments.

You could do a blog post and ask your regular readers to comment about what time of day they read your blog and whether they would prefer a different timing. Consider where your commentators live in the world and what time it is there when you post. Seasonal timing matters too – when we switch to daylight savings here, I will likely post at 6am AEST.

If you want to check what time it is in other places when you post, you can use the world clock meeting planner here.

Are you ready?

For the how to guides? :) It is quite a few screenshots, so I am using the read more feature today. Click through to see the how to guide! Continue reading

Blogger, how to guides, wordpress

How To – Add A WordPress.com Follow Button To Self Hosted WordPress.


Why yes, that is a super long title but I have posted it in the hope that it will end up on the very first page of multiple search engines because I searched for a how-to do this for several hours the other day with zero luck..

Giving up on searching via Dogpile, Google, etc, I then searched wordpress.org support and also the support forum for the Jetpack plugin. I could find plenty of people asking how to do this, and zero answers. I ended up having to lodge a support ticket and I got an answer back which helped me work it out.

A lot of people when they receive the answer seem to keep it to themselves – not updating their support threads with the answer – which is probably why I could not find it, no matter how hard I searched. So here is the answer for anyone looking for it!

Important note – for this to work, you need to have the Jetpack plugin enabled on your self hosted wordpress blog.


1. Go to Jetpack –> Settings.


2. Activate JSON API within Jetpack – also take note, you will need to leave this activated for the button to continue to work.


3. Visit the Follow Button Creation page.


4. Scroll down to the area where you can enter in your blog URL. Enter it, then decide if you want to show how many followers you have, and whether you want to show your blog name. If you have a long blog name like mine, the button will be super long! Then, hit generate.


5. Copy the code which has been generated.


6. Go into your add widget area within appearance.


7. Paste the code into a text widget on your self-hosted wordpress blog. Hit save, and you are done!

Happy moments! :) And Whew, thank the deities that is over.

But I’m on wordpress.com?

Well then, this is super easy. :)


1. In Appearance –> Widgets – scroll down the page until you see Follow Button.


2. Drag and drop the follow button over to your sidebar.


3. Click on the little drop down arrow to see the options, adjust your options to suit and then click on save.


blogging tips, how to guides, wordpress, Wordpress Training Wheels

How To Add Contact Page on WordPress


If you own a WordPress blog, setting up a contact page is super easy. And yet there are a lot of WordPress blogs out there without a contact form.

Why do I want a contact page?

People might want to contact you for all kinds of reasons. I get emails from blog readers fairly regularly and 99% of them are *not* spam. Sometimes they are very interesting emails indeed. I do get a lot of emails about older posts where the comments are turned off – comments on this blog switch off after 90 days.

Can’t I just use an email address?

Of course you can! However, it is my advice to you not to put your email address out there in the usual format – eg mailme@email.com – you will get spammed hugely. Best to put it in this kind of format – mailme {at} email {dot} com – you can see my email address over in the sidebar and I have both a contact form and the address on my contact page..

Can I do this on Blogger?

Sure, but their built in version is a sidebar widget. Here are some instructions which might help – New Blogger widget contact form.

Here is The WordPress How To –

Click on add new page in your WordPress dashboard.


This will take you to the add a new page form. It looks identical to add a new post. So add in your title – Contact is the obvious one, but you could use Contact Me or Contact Us, if there are more than one of you.


You will see under the title area, a box titled Add Contact Form. Click on that.


You will see this pop up preview box appear. Everything is there ready to go, and you could simply click on add this form to my post at the bottom, and it will all magically happen. In fact – lets do that, and see what happens next.


This is how the contact form appears in the text box in your post –


it does not look like much here, but once you hit publish page and then visit the page, it will look something like this –


The form will be affected by your CSS in your theme, so it might look slightly different to the version you saw in the preview box.

So there you have it – a contact form.

What if I get some spam?

If you get some spam you might decide to add a check box to the post – regular humans will know to tick the box, but spam-bots cannot follow the instructions and cannot tick the box. How do we add one? See the section on the form creator which says Can I add more fields?


Click on that, and you’ll be given a drop down box.


Choose check box from the list, and add in text – you could put Tick box if you are human, tick this box to send your message, even just tick this box – but make sure you tick required before you hit save this field.. Changes are made live so you will see how your new field will look on the form.



Over To You –

Have you ever wanted to contact a blogger privately but been unable to?

how to guides, wordpress

Back to hating on WordPress

Did I ever stop? Not really, no. I have upgraded to 2.7.1 and I find it annoying, clunky, and irritating. And warning, I am going to swear. You will see the F word if you read this post. There will also be some SHOUTING. I wish I could apologise but I need to vent! I am in quite a mood having spent the past 3 hours absolutely fuming.

For the past 2 weeks, I have been trying to figure out a way to solve a problem. We have a new blog that we want to be able to allow guest posting on.

We also had the just-upgraded to 2.7.1 Aussie Bloggers blog, which used the role manager plugin so that I could configure what people did or did not have access to. That worked a treat. Unfortunately this plugin does not seem to be compatible with 2.7.1 at all. People have had problems and the plugin developer seems to have vanished.

So ok, need to find another option. How about what is built in to wordpress? I check out the options. Contributors cannot upload images. Why not, you ask? Some kind of completely fucked up logic somewhere if you ask me. Authors can upload images, but they can apparently also delete everyone elses  images when I visit the image screen. I don’t want people deleting stuff by accident (or even on purpose!) that does not belong to them.

So. What plugins? We upload role scoper. It puts a password on the blog – nobody can access any posts! And we’d uploaded this right before going to bed, I planned to configure it in the morning after a good sleep and because we were logged in we thought everything was working fine, but for people not logged in, they were being asked for their username and password.

Yep, thanks a lot, that annoyed everyone trying to view the blog plenty but when I found out that all night while I slept peacefully people had been unable to access the blog? I was ready to Dexter people!

So we get rid of that idiot plugin. Note to the people making it – perhaps not setting that as a default setting might be a good idea – or at least letting people know that all of a sudden nobody will be able to access the blog until you change the settings! FFS!

I do a lot of searching. I find other things that might do, but they never seem to *actually* do when we install them. So after two weeks of outright fucking about trying to fix this fucking problem with people waiting for me to send them user logins, I decide enough is enough – we’re going to find a solution to this problem today, even if it means uploading role manager to see if it will actually work on our blog, or somehow hacking wordpress, or deading people, or something.

Welcome to the last three hours, in which we tried role scoper again hoping maybe we could configure it to do what we wanted – no go, it is just far too complicated and does not explain things very well, and it adds extra screens to even the basic users screen which is the last thing I want to do to people who are not exactly computer literate. I want to make things as simple as possible.

We try uploading role manager to see if it will work. It does not even appear in the list of plugins. Yes, it is there, but it is NOT there. As in, you cannot activate the plugin because you cannot see it. This seems to be one of a multitude of problems the plugin has in the current build of wordpress.

I search the interwebs – not with google but with scroogle because I hate google for many reasons past mentioned here on the blog. I find a lot of threads on the WordPress.org support forums without any kind of answer to the issue of I want to allow contributors to post images, or answers that say “Use role manager”. Yeah, IT WOULD HELP IF IT ACTUALLY WORKED WITH THE CURRENT VERSION OF WORDPRESS YOU IDIOTS TELLING PEOPLE TO DO THAT OUGHT TO FREAKING QUIT ALREADY!

I can understand everyone wanting to use Role Manager, because it was oh so simple, and wonderful. It was like a piece of heaven dropped out of the sky and into your wordpress dashboard. You had a bunch of buttons – red was the default, green was if you allowed the user to do something. It was utter simplicity. AND IT WORKED which is a bonus these days, apparently.

This plugin may not work as a surprise to you, kthxbai!

I find a plugin which actually allows me to *remove* stuff from the screen for all users below admins, but nothing that allows me to *add* in the upload images button.

I then stumble upon a post somewhere that suggests authors cannot actually delete everyone elses images. Hmm.

Would the delete button be there in the media screen if people could not delete? In a logical world, no. But wait, this is WORDPRESS we are talking about, which is not a logical world. It is a world of fucking insanity. I should have KNOWN this would happen. I should have uploaded an image and tested the delete.

So, I log in as an author, and I try to delete someone elses image. Gold, guys. Absolute gold. Love your work, NOT. When you try to delete someone else’s image, what do you see?

You are not allowed to delete this post.

ORLY? Let us not get into the fact that this is an image, not a post, and focus on the fact that IF PEOPLE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DELETE WHY THE HECK DO THEY HAVE ACCESS TO THIS, HUH?


Why allow authors to even see that drop down box if they cannot delete anything? WHY?

You know, I am a calm person usually. I don’t get tense about much. I don’t usually hate. But I do hate wordpress right now. Things should just work. End of story.

So now, I have a lot of creating users work to do, which I put off for the last 2 weeks until I had an actual solution. Little did I know, I had the actual solution all along. ROLL EYES AT WORDPRESS.

And you guys know, I don’t usually use the roll eyes. :)

I did find a couple of nice new plugins to test, though. More on that when I know that they actually work. ;)

Annoyed Snoskred, wordpress

Comment Timeout.

I’ve been testing a batch of plugins recently – some requested by bloggers I host blogs for, some that I thought might be good. Unfortunately out of all the plugins I have been testing, only one works with the set up we are all using. That one is Comment Timeout – and in fact is the plugin I thought we’d have the most trouble with given that we do run a lot of comment plugins.

I think it was Lightening who mentioned somewhere around the place how much trouble she was having with spam on the blog. One of the things that I was getting a lot of was trackback spam where spammers are putting trackbacks to my posts with drug names and sex sites etc. It happens a lot on old posts. For example – yesterday there were 25 trackback spams. Today there were 2 – and that is because I allowed comments on posts which had more than xx number of comments. I’m going to turn that off and see if it reduces the spam to 0.

Comment Timeout gives you the ability to close comments on old posts as well as treat trackbacks like comments. We’ll be rolling it out across the blogs on Monday and Tuesday of next week, and I might put together a post on how to use it.

On the not so positive side, it means people can’t comment on your older popular posts. So it is a toss up – do you want to deal with spam, or do you want people to be able to comment on posts you wrote ages ago? For me it is a no brainer – get rid of the spam!

The other plugins broke stuff, so apologies all but they won’t be appearing on our blogs. Unless you want stuff to break, of course. ;)


WordPress 2.6 Warning – DO NOT upgrade.

Yesterday I mentioned a somewhat serious problem with permalinks in the just released 2.6 version of WordPress. Now there is a new issue which is an even bigger problem. Users have reported not being able to log into their blog once they upgraded to 2.6 – there is currently no fix for this problem.

There is a work around that _ck_ on the support forums has figured out – Otto42 says in this post that the work around reduces your blog security and he highly recommends against using the work around..

This problem may not affect you – maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones – but if it does affect you these are your two somewhat unpleasant choices –

1. Stop logging into your blog until there is a fix.

2. Use a workaround which may open a security hole.

The problem with option one is – who knows how long a fix could take – there is a six page thread and they haven’t worked out what is causing the problem yet, in fact Otto says there will be no resolution until someone gives them the info they need to fix the problem, and as yet nobody has been able to do that.

Also, there is the somewhat huge problem of not being able to log into your blog – no posting, no moderating comments, no nothing until someone works out how to fix this problem.

And option 2 isn’t a great option either – what if this workaround allows spammers and hackers to get into your blog?

The best option for now –

Don’t upgrade.

Spread the word about these issues to other bloggers.

Want to help spread the word?

Give this post a stumble.


WTF, WordPress?

Ok. So I was pretty negative about the 2.5 series of WordPress. I was hoping that 2.6 might solve all the massive problems involved with 2.5, might actually work properly rather than break things, and might be worth looking forward to.

2.6 has now been released a month early. And what a surprise to find out that they should have used that extra time to actually solve problems with the software. I’m not talking about small, insignificant problems. I’m talking about major substantial problems. Oh, like upgrading only to find none of your permalinks work anymore.

Many people have reported permalinks not working after upgrading to 2.6. In all cases, these people have permalink structures that contain “index.php”. This is a bug, detailed here.

Sorry Matt, but this is not what I would call “a solid release“. Not unless you’re taking some serious hallucinogenic drugs. This is more like catastrophic explosion after a very drunken night out on the town and a dodgy 3am kebab that goes straight through you and leaves you in great need of bleach and the toilet brush. Fun for everyone – NOT!.

I mean, that is a pretty big deal. If you have this problem, not only does it mean links to your blog don’t work but it is surely going to affect the search engines and SEO etc. How many people have installed it and not realised they have this problem? Not everyone goes about checking all their links once they upgrade. Not everyone checks the support forums to see what the problems are.

Surely someone could have spotted this problem during testing of the beta, before it was released to the entire universe. And now that they have spotted it, how about stopping people from being able to download it until you have fixed it? Because they’ll download it, install it, find out it is broken, turn up on the support forums to ask for help (not noticing there is a sticky about it at the top) and then post things like this. And this. And this.

What I am about to say may come as a surprise to WordPress, who clearly think we the users have all signed up to be a part of their major mind-f**kery of constant updates and tweaking combined with the occasional complete overhaul. But maybe they’ll hear us if I say it out loud.


We don’t want to upgrade to find things broken. We don’t want to be told that we need to upgrade because of security issues. We just want basic, simple blogging software that works. So how about you quit this insane “software development by torture” that you seem to love inflicting on your users, go away into a room, shut the door, create something that BLOODY WELL WORKS and then come back and release it once you have tested it A LOT.

And hello, how about you start listening to your users. Because there are a lot of them on the support forums who are trying to tell you how annoyed, frustrated and in some cases upset they are about your treatment of them. This post is a good example – but who knows how long it will stay there.

Here’s another good idea – organise your forums better. Why not have a forum for each version of WP that you release, so people can go in there and post their 2.5 questions in a 2.5 area, and people can put their 2.6 questions in a 2.6 area, rather than the absolute clusterf**k that currently exists.

Going in there and reading those forums, with the arrogant pissy bitchy “helpers” and on occasion moderators (other than Otto42, who seems to be a saint directly sent from Heaven, though I have seen that he still loses his cool from time to time and understandably so – I hope they’re paying you some serious money Otto and if not get the heck out of there fast!) gives me a major migraine. No wonder the helpers are bitchy – I don’t even know how they can stand to hang out there.

Even so – can’t these so called helpers try being nice to people? Can’t they understand that peoples blogging worlds are falling apart because WordPress released another broken version of their software? They don’t want something broken – they want something that works, and they’ve likely been scared into upgrading rather than sticking with what they already have that does work, and then they come to the support forums for help, and they are treated like they are the ones with issues. They’re not the ones with issues – other than the fact that they have installed software that sucks. Why don’t we look at the creators of the software that sucks to see who really has issues?

The fact that I now have to start testing yet another broken version of WordPress because people will likely want me to install it for them (and heads up guys, no freaking way am I doing that anytime soon) makes me want to shoot myself in the head. Good thing I don’t have a gun, huh people?

So yeah, looks like I’m in a bit of a bad mood today. It is just really frustrating to watch. :( And I only visit the support forums occasionally – in this case to get an idea of what the problems with 2.6 are before trying to test it myself, but when I do visit I leave with a splitting headache and a desire to start up my own wordpress wank blog.


WordPress 2.5 – I hate it.

Sephy wrote a great post about WordPress 2.5 – Not coming here soon. A lot of his thoughts on the subject are similar to mine. It is highly disappointing to see a huge step backward in so many areas. :(

I’ve been playing with it on my test blog for a few days now and the more I use it, the more I despise it. That’s a strong word to use, but seriously that is how I feel. I utterly despise it. I am truly angry that anyone would do this to the WordPress I know and love. Whoever is behind it needs to spend some time with normal people who actually use WordPress on a daily basis, watching what they do and how they do it.

Next week I will be setting up a test blog for those bloggers who I host blogs for, so you can go in and see if you like it and then make a decision on whether to upgrade or not. For me, the decision is made. This blog, and the Scam Warning blog, and probably the other blogs I write for will not be upgrading anytime soon.

Apologies for vanishing the last few days, but I have wanted to spend some serious time with 2.5 and see if I could maybe grow to like it. It seems I can’t go backwards – that is what is making it difficult. I mean I can’t even tell you what is supposed to be happening on that widgets page, or why anyone in their right mind would suggest this was an easier way of doing things than the current drag and drop.

Not to mention the fact that the new upgrade plugins automatically system opens some massive security holes. I mean huge. We thought the previous versions were unsafe.. this truly could allow unscrupulous people to write plugins that have back doors in order to get in and add links to your blog, and all kinds of stuff like that. :(