Site Admin

CallamMcMillan.com is now built on WordPress, following many years of running on a custom built CMS. In these articles we look at the business of Site Admin – both technical and practical. Running a website is a combination of producing great content that people want to read, but also dealing with spam, updates, and people trying to break into your website. Hopefully, some of this will help to make your life easier.

Why everybody should be using HTTPS

Using HTTPS on a website has historically been a pain, and therefore reserved only for e-commerce sites. In order to use HTTPS you would need to first purchase certificates which had a cost associated; then you would need them installing, which your hosting provider would need to support. As a result adoption of HTTPS for ‘regular websites’ was low. Last week, I took the opportunity to secure this website. The best part was doing so cost nothing, and it took just 10 minutes! This led to the conclusion – there’s no excuse not to use HTTPS. What is HTTPS? When using…
Read more

Share

WordPress Security: Some useful tools

Look to the right of the page and you’ll see the effect that becoming a new dad has had on my free time. Couple that with needing to do a load of work on the house, and my capacity for looking after this website has become near zero. The problem is that administrative overhead didn’t go away – comments still needed to be moderated, and the number of failed login attempts was starting to become a worry. So one lunchtime at work I decided to look at some WordPress security tools. Ultimately I came up with two plugins and a…
Read more

Share

WordPress: Looking at the Activity Log

When I last wrote about the site at the end of January, I mentioned that I’d installed an activity monitor. Logging is not a standard feature of WordPress, so you’ll need a plugin. The one I chose is the Aryo Activity Log. It’s now been running for two months, and I have drawn a number of conclusions. The information below uses data gathered since January 31st 2016. The conclusions are: Updates are frequent, so don’t ignore them In two months there have been two core updates, and 16 plugin updates. If we extrapolate that out to cover a three year period,…
Read more

Share

Three months of WordPress: A review

In October I’d had enough of this website. I had topics I wanted to talk about, but getting them onto the screen was so difficult thanks to a half finished editor and a lack of motivation on my part to finish getting the site working. For the first eight years of owning this website, I’d steadfastly refused to use WordPress or any other CMS system. Then I decided to give it another go. It’s amazing what a few years of development on a product can do. The experience went from being impossibly annoying, to being relatively straightforward. Three months on,…
Read more

Share

Oh no! I’m using WordPress (and I quite like it!)

When I bought this domain eight years ago, I looked at a few CMS platforms, but none of them did what I wanted at the time, so I built my own. Since then I’ve always looked at WordPress and it’s ilk as being the lazy way to build a website, and if I’m honest, I still do. Why then you might ask is this site proudly using WordPress to display content? That’s simple, I no longer have the time. When I was at university, I had virtually unlimited free time, and developing a website was a useful application of what…
Read more

Share

Protecting a website against spammers and robots – CallamMcMillan.com

This post was originally going to be a talk about what I did with CallamMcMillan.com to stop comments, followed by another article on how I dealt with a robots problem on the article voting system. After re-reading the article though, I decided to explain the problem a bit better and make this article somewhat informative so that you can use it on your own websites. If you’re like me then you’ll enjoy getting feedback on your work. The feedback may not always agree with my point of view, or it may suggest that my technical solutions are lacking, but at…
Read more

Share

CallamMcMillan.com is 7

At seven years old, CallamMcMillan.com can now be considered technologically midlle-aged. And now, like many things that have grown up, people are starting to give the site more attendtion. Admittedly some of it unwanted, thank you very much spammers. There are a couple of searches on Google for which this site comes up on page one. Searches that have nothing to do with my name or this site. One of my biggest successes is the article talking about how to connect a Cisco router to a BT Infinity fibre connection. For some searches on that, this site shows up as…
Read more

Share

I’m back… And I have a big broom!

I know, I’ve been away for a while. Perhaps a bit longer than I should have. However I couldn’t leave it any longer… The sight of 800+ (mostly spam) comments awaiting moderation was driving me mad. What I find interesting though, is in amongst these spammy comments was a couple of little jewels. I found some thank you messages from people telling me that they found the content on here useful. Seeing that made me smile, and perhaps, if people are reading, then I’ll keep writing! I may disable the posting of links into comments… If anybody is still reading,…
Read more

Share

Taking a tough line with Spam Comments

It’s been a few weeks since I really had chance to work on anything for the website. Which is not to say that I have given up with it, just that I have been somewhat busy with other bits and pieces in my life. What I haven’t been able to avoid though is the sight of how messy the comments sections now looks. I don’t like the old way of publishing on the web where I talk at you and you choose to read or not without ever getting a chance to feed back. So I have always designed my…
Read more

Share

This is a very special article

Unlike the 71 articles that have come before this one, this is the first that has required no manual intervention in the database in order to publish it. In short, I have finished the core development work on CallamMcMillan.com version 6 after a development effort of nearly a year. While there is still plenty more to do, I can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel and can now focus more on producing new content for it rather than coding the functionality this website needs.

Share