Stumbleupon, Spammers and WordPress 2.5

While I’ve had a manic enough week in the office, I grabbed some time yesterday to poke around recent web stats and tackle personal email building up in my inbox. The two things I noticed?

Four out of five blog posts I’ve penned recently have been picked up by Stumbleupon users, so – welcome SU users. I hope you’ve enjoyed the articles you’ve found and have been reading – plus I hope the assistance with the Popularity Contest plugin has helped, though Alex King will be releasing a fully WP compatible version shortly.

The other thing I notice, as I sift through my email, is that the spammers were certainly out in force this week – trackbacks and comments alike. Clear out Akismet and it’s slowly but surely begins filling up again – and again, and again and again. Is there an issue with Akismet or has there just been a global increase in spam activity for the week?

Finally, I will say that I’m enjoying the use of WordPress 2.5. The media gallery has taken some getting used to but functionality-wise and from an end-user’s point of view I think it’s bang on.

Now, it’s time for the weekend.

WordPress 2.5 Is Live And Wild (Plus Popularity Contest Notes)

Update April 5th: Download patched version of plugin here.. Note you’ll still need to make the database changes if you don’t have the tables already in place.

The long awaited WordPress 2.5 has been released. In fairness, some of the advances in WP2.5 are as great that it could well have been labelled WordPress 3.0 but who’s to argue with version numbers.

Before rolling out upgrades across a number of my own blogs and blogs I manage for others, I’ve been doing the precautionary thing of testing WP2.5 locally with a variety of homemade themes and some of my regular plugins.

Plugin Issues

So far I’ve only found an issue with with Alex King‘s Popularity Contest plugin – if you try to activate the plugin under WP2.5, for the moment, you’ll see it triggers a fatal error. This can be fixed as outlined here

Open popularity-contest.php and scroll down to line 59. Replace require(’../../wp-blog-header.php’); with require(’../wp-blog-header.php’);

However, in running the plugin locally I found that after making the changes in order to get the plugin to activate, it wouldn’t create the two tables needed in order to run, so these had to be entered manually (via phpMyAdmin). To create the tables, you’ll need to run the following SQL queries.

CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `PREFIX_ak_popularity` (
`post_id` int(11) NOT NULL,
`total` int(11) NOT NULL,
`feed_views` int(11) NOT NULL,
`home_views` int(11) NOT NULL,
`archive_views` int(11) NOT NULL,
`category_views` int(11) NOT NULL,
`single_views` int(11) NOT NULL,
`comments` int(11) NOT NULL,
`pingbacks` int(11) NOT NULL,
`trackbacks` int(11) NOT NULL,
`last_modified` datetime,
KEY `post_id` (`post_id`)
) ENGINE=MyISAM;

CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `PREFIX_ak_popularity_options` (
`option_name` varchar(50) NOT NULL,
`option_value` varchar(50) NOT NULL
) ENGINE=MyISAM;

Note that PREFIX refers to your WordPress table prefix, in most common cases it is simply wp_ unless you’ve got multiple copies of WordPress running in the same database.

Initial Impression

Love it. I downloaded the latest SVN version only yesterday in the office though never got around to playing with it (of course not knowing the full release would hit today). The admin interface is much smoother, I’m liking the customisable dashboard (I used to edit the admin index and strip out everything bar the ‘write a post’ link and stats) and the overall colour scheme is much more appealing. I was never a visual editor user before (and won’t change in a hurry), but I do like the changes they’ve made, including the full screen option for those intensive blogging moments.

I’ll have a full play around with the gallery / media functions yet as well as making sure my other preferred plugins (sitemaps, podpress etc.) are all up to working order before doing a widescale upgrade.

You can download the latest version of WordPress 2.5 right here. You can also see a full list of new features right here.