Category Archives: Meta

firsttube.com 10.3

I’ve upgraded/downgraded firsttube.com.  As I switched from one server to another, and therefore revisited my very heavily-customized firsttube.com theme (the beautiful Mystique), I decided it was time to simplify.

As such, firsttube.com 10.3: based on the default WordPress 3 theme “Twenty Ten.”  There are minor customizations to the HTML and the CSS, but overall, it’s almost entirely stock WP.  It’s much faster, much leaner, and much easier to maintain.  Enjoy.

firsttube.com 10.2

I’ve applied a new theme to the site, so I’m now billing this as firsttube.com 10.2. Whereas prior to version “10″, each look-and-feel revision was likely a major increment, since converting to WordPress, a new theme is really much more cosmetic than programmatic. I’d love to hear your feedback, but I imagine the majority of my readers are reading via RSS anyway, so for those of you syndicated, here’s a screenshot for you:
firsttube.com 10.2

…And We’re Back!

Small Axe Hosting firsttube.com is now live on our new server, proudly hosted by smallaxesolutions.com. Yes, I’m now running my own hosting (shameless plug: I can host you for cheap, including installation of WordPress) and I have migrated all of my domains over. That means my old host will be offline in a few days, once I’m sure DNS has fully replicated.

So far, I’m hosting about 5 domains with another one potentially in the pipe. I’m giving everyone cPanel access, which means MySQL, phpMyAdmin, mailboxes, forwarders, Fantastico, and much more. You shouldn’t have to do anything: your feeds should remain intact and you should see no interruption of service.

You’re So Money, You Don’t Even Know It

$2,146,840   

According to Web 2.0 friendly site Stimator, firsttube.com is beach front property. According to Stimator, firsttube.com is worth $2,146,840. Of course, the only people who might actually find it worth more than a few twenties is a spammer, since I’m rich in search engine placements and backlinks. Still, nice to be loved.
Why Stimator put so much effort into designing an awesome interface and then decided to leave a major grammatical problem in their badge is beyond me.

Thank a Plugin Developer Day

Matt Mullenweg, creator of WordPress and skipper of Automattic, has declared today, January 28, “Thank a Plugin Developer” Day. In thanks, I will list all of the plugins I use in my firsttube.com WordPress install.

  • Akismet is a comment filter that uses a “karma” type algorithm to analyze comments and separate ham from spam. According to my internal stats, Akismet reports 37,512 spams caught, 284 legitimate comments, and an overall accuracy rate of 99.934%. Not too shabby. As a result, this site no longer has a captcha.
  • Blip.It iPhone Handler is a neat little tool that creates a method to display embedded flash as Quicktime on-the-fly, ideal for iPhone compatibility.
  • Cache Images, another Mullenweg gem, let me fetch remote images and store them locally. I prefer to host all images locally if possible, so this is fantastic.
  • “ftBlogrollerWP (ft)” is my own modified plugin that creates a page with all of my links, as seen here.
  • Google XML Sitemaps is a tool for creating a sitemap that Google and other search engines can use to spider your site. This would take forever by hand and would be very hard to keep up manually, but this plugin makes it effortless.
  • Limit Login Attempts. No sense in letting someone hammer your WordPress admin login eternally. Basic security that ought to be part of WordPress core.
  • Similar Posts is a snazzy little plugin that tries to find similar posts to any given post. I use this on each post’s page. In pre-Wordpress firsttube, I did this by searching for other articles with the same tags. In WordPress-era ft, I do this via a plugin. Similar Posts requires the Post-Plugin Library.
  • Tangofy is a simple plugin to modify icons in the stock WordPress admin pages.
  • TTFTitles is a sweet little plugin that creates images from text. I do this on entry titles and sidebar titles. It allows you to add a dimension of professional typography and to use fonts that aren’t in the eight “web safe.”
  • WordPress Database Backup: you’ll never guess what this one does!
  • WordPress Hashcash does the spam filtering in conjunction with Akismet. Whatever Akismet misses, Hashcash catches. Essentially, it catches *everything* Akismet misses and only really reports problems when users have javascript turned off.
  • WordPress Popular Posts provide me view counts, plain and simple. I used to keep track pre-Wordpress, but sadly, I lost my hit count (many of which were in the thens of thousands of views) and only started again this month. Nonetheless, it’s in the sidebar.
  • wp-cache is a caching program, but I’m not currently using the cache.
  • WP-Lytebox automatically adds a lytebox effect to inline images, which is spectacular.
  • WP-Optimize is a database optimizer that does optimization not only of MySQL overhead, but also removes autosaves and other space wasters from your database.
  • WP-Syntax makes my code pretty, and that’s all.
  • WP iPaper is a plugin for embedding scribd stuff.
  • Lastly, WPtouch iPhone Theme is a stylesheet that makes this site look native on the iPhone. It’s truly a beautiful skin.

That is all. Thank you to all the above developers. As a reward, please accept this pingback!

New Look and Feel

If you’re not reading this via RSS, you may have noticed that I’ve completely changed the look and feel of firsttube.com. It’s something I wasn’t expecting to do regularly, but since I’ve moved to WordPress, this will be my third theme.  The first one lasted only a few days, to be fair, and I settled on the beautiful Librio.  However, I did a lot of customization with Librio, which meant I couldn’t really update the theme, and it was far from 2.7 ready.  On top of that, I hacked up some areas I didn’t like and I was never able to get it just right.  

Fast forward a bit, I’ve gone ahead and modified instantShift’s Christmas theme that was designed for Smashing Magazine.  I am, at least right now, very happy with this theme and I think I’ll stick with it for awhile.  

Today is a new beginning for the US… and a little change is in order.