Category Archives: WordPress

Heavy Hitting Twitter Traffic

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(Click to enlarge)

Every now and again, people discover a post I wrote back in 2006 that discusses the Fedex logo, and presents an interview with its designer, Lindon Leader of Leader Creative.

A Twitter user tweeted the Fedex article, and before I knew what was happening, a flock of followers were hammering my server. I had to install a WordPress plugin called WP Super Cache, that presents viewers with a frozen static HTML page instead of the normal version that WordPress generates for each visitor. That spike would have been four times higher had I not acted.

Meanwhile, there’s a steady but calmer stream of fascinating comments being posted on older articles. Many of the comments are from people descended from the artists featured in Articles & Texticles, as well as owners, past and present, of pictures shown here.

Have a peek at articles about William Orpen, and Ivan Choultsé for starters.

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Hello Again! I’ve Been Missing You Too….

thumbnail of The A&T aesthetics committee
Click the image to make it bigger, please. (It’s a rare picture of the Articles and Texticles aesthetics committee, scrutinising a submission from an artist hoping to have his work hung on this site…)

Articles and Texticles is now functioning (almost) normally after changing web hosting company. Yippee, I say.

It was a somewhat fraught process though, and I nearly lost ownership of a domain name I’d owned and used for 10 years, which was a bit of a skidmark moment.

In short, the message is: Don’t move a domain name if it is within 10 days of renewal.

Even as I write, I’m still waiting for signs of life from a web domain that should have fully migrated to the new host by now. All very nailbiting stuff, I can tell you!

Coming next:

  • The Millennium Seedbank
  • Colin Stimpson’s, new book “Witch Wars”
  • Humphry Repton.
  • A brilliant watercolourist.
  • A scintillating oil painter
  • More British Art Directors
  • …and many more random dips into the artistic and cultural well….

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I offer my apologies to the people who kindly left comments just before the site moved house. I don’t think I used the very latest backup when I restored the whole shebang. Whoops!

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Moving Day for Articles & Texticles

thumbnail of ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go!

Articles & Texticles is powered by WordPress publishing software.

I like the way that WordPress   works and the direction that its open source developers are taking it.

From a webmaster’s point of view, WordPress is so much easier to administer when you compare it to the standard HTML based static website, especially when it comes to updating information and links.   There are many other benefits beside these two, obviously, such as thousands of themes (templates) and zillions of plugins that add an amazing variety of functions to the core product, but effortless updating and creating new pages is one of WordPress’s killer features.

I thought it would be good to run my other websites using this versatile platform, revive them from their torpid state, and lay the ground for some new publishing ventures.

The trouble is that WordPress runs on a   server database called MySQL, and the hosting package I’ve had with 1&1 hosting allowed me a generous   1 (yes: One) MySQL database in my Business hosting package. (You get 2 – count them! – MySQL databases nowadays, but I wasn’t allowed to upgrade to the new package without cancelling my contract and starting a new contract   from scratch.)

Even more galling was the discovery that the Business contract that 1&1 offers in the USA was not only cheaper but also offered FIFTY MySQL engines.   When I asked them to explain the disparity,   the salesperson I talked to explained that it was “the nature of the market”, and No, I couldn’t have a second database for free because they had burned the server and blacked out my sites for several hours.

So:   After 10 years, it’s time to move.   To move to a host that is available on the phone without queueing for ages.   A host that has a public user forum that shows the customers’ complaints and enquiries, warts and all, for everyone to see and doesn’t try to hide its shortcomings or failings.   A company that’s honest, in short.

Best of all, the contract has “unlimited” MySQL databases included.

Moving hosts can be fraught with problems, and halfway through the process last week, I had to put everything back in place very rapidly when I realised that one of my domain names was just about to be renewed, as it must be every two years.

The risk was that the domain name might be half way between companies and   be lost altogether if it were not registered with a hosting company at the moment of renewal.

Fortunately that moment of risk has just passed, and I can start the move all over again.

If you find this blog has temporarily vanished (you wouldn’t be reading this anyway!) fear not.   It will be back in a day or two when the domain name servers that keep the web from descending into unimaginable chaos have put the word out about Articles & Texticles’ new home.

I look forward to seeing you on the “other side”, and if you’re curious about the new hosting company’s name, you’ll have to email me in the “About” page.
I don’t want to trumpet their name just yet, not until they’ve proved themselves to be as reliable, supportive and honest as they purport to be.

“I am Piter Kokoniz, from Latvia”

Who the hell is “Piter Kokoniz, from Latvia”, and why would he want to post the same comment on over 924,000 blogs when he’s clearly not trying to sell anything?

The weird bit is that PK has a stalker called Raiul Baztepo, who frequently comments yes there is a pattern here, on the same blog posts, and they both use forms of words that are so bland as to be suitable to just about any theme, and be unremarkable at the same time. A study in blandness, you might think. Yet there is a sort of vulnerable appeal in their form of words that is beguiling enough that the spammers often receive kind, welcoming replies to their comments.
I think it says something good about human nature that blog authors show such compassion and respect for their visiting commenters.

Here’s Piter’s schtick:

Hi ! :)
I am Piter Kokoniz. Just want to tell, that your posts are really interesting
And want to ask you: what was the reasson for you to start this blog?
Sorry for my bad english:)
Thank you!
Piter Kokoniz, from Latvia

Raiul Baztepo comments:

Hello!
Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
PS: Sorry for my bad english, I´v just started to learn this language ;)
See you!
Your, Raiul Baztepo

They are no slouches, these two. Piter has racked up 924,000 comments, and Raiul is trailing along behind him with a score of only 11,500.
And people respond to their bland blandishments, too. Is this perhaps the point of the spamming? Are these two (presumably completely fictitious people) trying to collect thousands of sympathetic blog owners URLs? And how could they possibly profit from the bloggers responses?

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How to Link a Small Image to a Big Image in a WordPress.com Blog

There is no need to feel constrained by the apparently small images allowed in most WordPress.com blog themes.

You can couple your small (typically around 500pixels wide) thumbnail pictures to an enlarged version as big as your and your visitor’s screens will allow.

Here’s how to post an image into your WordPress.com blog that will enlarge it to the size of your choice when your visitors click on it.

This is the way I do it on my own hosted blog and on my WordPress.com blog. I’ve just tried it and it works fine…. :-)
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