Freezing Rain and Theme Changes

Nasty day out there weather-wise, with tem­per­a­tures hov­er­ing around the freez­ing mark. So, as I find time today, I am mak­ing some changes to the lay­out and style around here. Things may be a tad bro­ken, but will def­i­nitely be improving.

So, if you are in the Delaware Val­ley, drive extra care­ful please. Stop by again as the day pro­gresses to see the meta­mor­pho­sis here.

Using Windows Live Writer To Post From Windows 8

Just test­ing out another way to write on my Microsoft Sur­face and post to my WordPress-powered web­sites. This is my sec­ond adven­ture using Win­dows Live Writer, hav­ing used it on occa­sion from my laptop.

Not really the best, but far from the worse. I would pre­fer that the Word­Press Metro app was a bit more robust. It lacks many of the fea­tures I enjoy in the Word­Press for Android app.

InfiniteWP: A True Worksaving Plugin

InfiniteWP Administration Interface

InfiniteWP Admin­is­tra­tion Interface

I came across an arti­cle some­one had writ­ten about InfiniteWP, a Word­Press plug-in to auto­mate the man­age­ment of mul­ti­ple, self-hosted Word­Press instal­la­tions. In their own words:

InfiniteWP is a self-hosted, freely-available mul­ti­ple Word­Press man­age­ment plat­form that sim­pli­fies your Word­Press man­age­ment tasks into a sim­ple click of a button.

With us now man­ag­ing over 35 Word­Press instal­la­tions, I had to see how this works and if it could make our rou­tine main­te­nance more efficient.

InfiniteWP has two com­po­nents. First, there is the InfiniteWP Admin­is­tra­tion Server with its web-based inter­face. You sub­mit your email address and receive a link for the down­load. instal­la­tion con­sists of unpack­ing the soft­ware into its own sub­di­rec­tory on your server. We set it up as a sub­do­main on a com­pany web­site. Then, you need to cre­ate a MySQL data­base and user for the soft­ware to store the nec­es­sary infor­ma­tion about the Word­Press instal­la­tions you wish to admin­is­ter. Addi­tion­ally, you need to add a cron job so that InfiniteWP can do sched­uled checks and send out update emails con­cern­ing your sites.

With these steps done, you bring up the admin­is­tra­tion panel for the first time to setup the autho­rized user and pass­word for access. The next step is to add your Word­Press sites that you want to admin­is­ter which is a two-step process. First, you install the InfiniteWP plu­gin to your Word­Press site. Upon acti­va­tion, you will get a mes­sage with the nec­es­sary infor­ma­tion — URL, ID, and key — that needs to be used in the admin­is­tra­tion panel to add the site. That is all that is needed to make the connection.

A nice added fea­ture is for server password-protected web­sites. You can enter the needed cre­den­tials once and InfiniteWP will use them when access­ing those par­tic­u­lar sites.

It took me approx­i­mately 45 min­utes to add 36 Word­Press instal­la­tions to InfiniteWP. Then, InfiniteWP went out and checked for updates needed. In under an hour, all of our sites were 100% up to date.

The basic InfiniteWP has four main functions:

  • Check Word­Press version
  • Check all hosted themes
  • Check all hosted plugins
  • Per­form back­ups and restores of each site

Any themes and plu­g­ins that are man­u­ally installed and not res­i­dent in the library at will not be checked or con­trolled. A few words of cau­tion. If you have locally mod­i­fied any plu­g­ins or themes, you will over­write any changes if you are not care­ful. I prac­tice safe Word­Press by cre­at­ing child themes or mod­i­fy­ing the plu­gin name.

I am going to write more about InfiniteWP later since I have not delved far enough yet into selec­tive updat­ing, as well as other doc­u­mented func­tions. So far, InfiniteWP gets 5 out of 5 stars in our book!

Looks Like Very Cold and Snowy

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Look­ing at the lat­est data from the National Weather Ser­vice, it looks like we are in for a very cold and blus­tery snow storm around the Philadel­phia area tonight through mid­day tomorrow.

Depend­ing upon which fore­cast that you look at, the snow­fall amount varies from 3 to 6 inches, up to 8 inches. What con­cerns me is that the wind speeds are pre­dicted to be 15 to 20 mph with higher gusts, and vis­i­bil­ity under a half mile. With a snow­fall rate of an inch an hour overnight, it tells me that all those won­der­fully crazy peo­ple are going to be going out for a drive to see how bad the roads are. Cor­rec­tion: to make trav­el­ing haz­ardous for those of us who need to go out, to respond to emergencies.

If you don’t need to go out, don’t! Watch the weather out your win­dow and check back here reg­u­larly for the lat­est weather news and obser­va­tions. You will also find out about the updates here on my Twit­ter stream like this one I just posted a short while ago:

More to come as the evening pro­gresses! While I wait for the pager not to go off, I think I will make dinner!

Testing Posting from WordPress Windows 8 App

Just installed the Word­Press for Win­dows 8 app on my new Microsoft Sur­face and, despite one of the older reviews, it does indeed post to both as well as self-hosted with Jet­pack installed. Time to go back and post a review!

Note: there are a few things lack­ing which I will go into later.

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