Random Stuff

WordPress Gifts for WordPress Fans

I was recently thinking about the 10th birthday of WordPress. That got me thinking about presents 🙂

What do you give a WordPress fan for their birthday?

Seems I am not the only user that has this thought from time to time because the interwebs are loaded with gifts for fans of WordPress

Of course you can check out the WordPress swag store  and pick up a t-shirt, hoodie or even a baby onesie or a case for your iphone.

wordpress t shirtAll items come in a variety of colors and embellished with the logo we love 🙂

But why just dress you and your family when you can decorate your Christmas tree WordPress style?


If you want a t-shirt with a bit more on it you can head on over to Zazzle


Maybe you don’t want to wear your heart on your sleeve but you want to display it on your wall. In that case, an understated poster might be just the ticket.

wordpress poster

Or maybe it’s coffee you need.  And you need it  in a cute WP mug

wordpress poster wp-coffee-mugs

or maybe you just want something low key like these cute thongs from cafe press


or maybe something for your dog

wordpress dog coat

There’s probably many a night you have spent battling WordPress when instead you could have been cuddled up to this cute little fella instead


or maybe a bumper sticker for the car for dyslexics


Something that shows your love for a certain framework …

Genesis WordPress poster

or maybe something handmade and crafty like these laser cut earrings

wordpress earrings

And you can never start blogging too early …


Nothing says fan though like a bit of ink – so maybe a gift card for a tattoo might be the perfect gift

Geek WordPress Logo Tattoo | Geek |

Or just a simple badge of honour instead …


Or for the practical fans I’d hook them up with an annual subscription to Sucuri 🙂

Random Stuff Weekly Round Up

WordPress Weekly Round Up Cancelled (due to loss of staff member)

I lost my longest serving member of staff this week. He’d been with me for nearly 14 years, through thick and thin. He had an important but vital job in my life that is irreplaceable.

His job was simple. It was just to be there. He did it well, so well, in fact, that I find it difficult to work without him being there.

My vitally important member of staff was a little white fluffy cloud with four legs. A maltese terror as I liked to call him. He earned the name “terror” when as a pup he ate over 20 pairs of my shoes (showing an extreme liking for just the left foot, strangely enough).

I often called him a little terrorist due to his bower bird tendencies. He’d make little nests and line them with all sorts of things that he picked up off the floor. It included shoes (well chewed), spoons and oddly enough during renovations whole floor tiles, screwdrivers and other tools ..

Even when he got older and the arthritis and epilepsy made it difficult for him to be a hoarder he still kept his paw in. He’d often snatch toys from his offspring, Charlie, and run away with them hiding them in his basket. He knew that Charlie wouldn’t dare snatch the toy back from him.

As well as being a little terror I also used to call him my little tea cup. Although he wasn’t a tea cup breed he was so light weight and tiny that he felt like a little tea cup when I carried him up and down the stairs.

Everyone always thinks that their dog is beautiful and the best ever 🙂 I know that, but I still also know that Pudgey was the most beautiful dog, inside and out. He was pure white (no brown stains) and fluffy and was so sweet and quiet that he melted every heart he met. Everyone wanted to mind him or borrow him.

When we first got him he was an only fur child. He took to the inner city cafe lifestyle like a fish to water. He was out all the time living it up at cafes and markets. Most of all he liked to meet people. He loved it when people petted him and most couldn’t resist the big brown eyes imploring them for a pat.

I remember once when I was working as a lawyer taking him in my handbag to depose a client. He slept through the hours of statement taking cosy in my bag. When he popped his head out at the end, the client nearly fainted 🙂

When I started working from home he would settle himself in his basket under my desk and there he would stay. He has kept me company through every blog post I’ve written, every book I’ve written, every video I’ve shot (you might hear him in the background of some). He’s been there through every forum post, skype chat and podcast.  He’s been there.

He’s let me use him as a hankie when I’ve cried into his fluffy coat when things have been bad. He’s sat up with David watching footy and eating pizza when I didn’t want to. He’s fathered 14 little fluffy clouds like him. He’s  bought joy not only to us, but all those that loved him.

Today, when I went to do my usual round up of WordPress, I realised that it just couldn’t be done. There’s no WordPress plugin to fill a void, there’s no plugin for grief and sadly there’s no sweet theme that embraces his Pudgeyness.

Maybe next week there will be …

RIP Pudgey

Random Stuff

Cannot connect to the server …

That’s the message that made my January not so much fun 🙂

Here’s what happened …

For most of January I’ve been unable to access my website.  Seriously.   I haven’t been able to see the front of my site, my server or access the backend of  my site for any length of time.

The only way that I was checking to see if my site was up was relying on monitoring tools,  a proxy server and

Everyday I would start my ritual of wake up and try and access my site.   I would usually be able to login for about half an hour before I was locked out of my site and could no longer access it from my computer, my windows VPS,  or Manage WP

My first thought was that my web host was being a bit too keen with the firewall that was part of the web hosting so I asked them to check.   It seemed at first that this was the problem.   I had done something “sketchy” to trigger off a firewall alarm bell and ban me from my own site.     Yes, the sketchy thing I had done was change my WordPress theme 🙂

The web host did all sorts of fiddling about with firewalls and whatnot and then suggested maybe it was a security  problem.

The guys at Sucuri monitor the site so I flicked the problem to them.   By this stage,  I was hoping that it was a security problem because I know that Sucuri would have it fixed in hours and I would be back in business.  Well Sucuri worked their fingers to the bone (multiple times) and found nothing that was causing the lock out for me.

After a lot of head scratching it was back to the web host for more tests, inspect plugins and fiddle with firewalls.   Long story short – nothing worked.   By this stage 10 days had passed and to say that I was getting annoyed might be the understatement of the year 🙂

The next suggestion was perhaps it was a computer infection.   I shudder to think that my pretty Mac has any sort of infection, but playing safe I duly subjected her to a ton of software, multiple times to give her a thorough cleanse.  Long story short, my pretty Mac had nothing wrong with her.

By this stage, the only option left was to move servers and see if that was the magic cure I was looking for.

Problem -How do you move servers when you can’t access your site or server?

Actually that was the easiest problem for me to solve.  I just trusted the job to someone who I knew could and would do it and knows WordPress.

The server move didn’t go as smooth as I had hoped as the server hadn’t been configured to suit this WordPress layout.   After several hours of waiting while the new web host fixed that issue the site was then migrated over to its new house (virtually at the stroke of midnight).

I had hoped that the server move would fix the problem and that I would wake up Saturday morning and be able to access my site.


By this stage I had tried:

[unordered_list style=”red-x”]

  • web hosting firewalls
  • plugin conflicts
  • security issues
  • computer viruses
  • moving web hosts


Logically, if I couldn’t see my site, and there was nothing wrong with my computer or the server or the website then the problem had to be closer to home.   It had to be the modem or router that was putting in place a firewall that allowed me in briefly (getting my hopes up) and then locking me out.

A quick search of the forums revealed that this is an issue and the way to solve the problem is just to simply reboot the modem.   Sheesh if only I had thought of that two weeks ago!

After rebooting the modem, I had my usual half an hour play in the site before I was locked out.    

Having looked at the Events Log in the modem I now knew that it was a modem issue.   A quick call to Telstra my ISP and they deleted the isps that were being blocked and allocated a new number. Oddly enough the Technical Support officer said that a lot of customers had been complaining about being blocked from sites like Facebook, Amazon and Ebay. Just my luck, they are all the sites that I can access and spend way too much time/money on! They would have been doing me a favour locking me out of them.

Moral of the story – sometimes it could be the simplest fixes that cause the biggest headaches 🙂

If you were expecting more posts from me in January or a comment approved now you know the reason that I’ve been slack 🙂

Here’s hoping that February is better!

Random Stuff

New Year, New Look

One of my tips for getting ready for 2013 was to give your website a make over.

After a few years with the same theme that was created for the site I decided it was time for a new look.    The new theme is a slightly customized version of  Canvas from Woo Themes.

Why did I choose Canvas?

I could give you lots of reasons about the in built features and good customer support from the team at Woo but that wasn’t the decision maker for me 🙂   The real reason was that I bought Canvas a while ago and actually had forgotten to use it!      This forced me to learn how to use it, and use some of those things that we buy that end up as hard drive dust if we don’t use them immediately.

Thoughts so far

I like the new clean look,  but will reserve the right to make any changes as I feel like along the way 🙂   On that note,  I haven’t quite finished tweaking the site to incorporate the features of  Canvas which can replace plugins that I was previously using.


I would like to say that the whole change over process went smoothly.    I can’t say that 🙂    One of the biggest problems that I had was that I lost my internet connection half way through the change 🙁   Another problem is various plugins not playing nicely with this server set up and with existing plugins.    The beauty of using this theme was that I was able to build out the new look on a test site and just back up the options and transfer them over.   That was a real time saver.

I hope you enjoy the new look.



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If WordPress had a love child …

Ever get stuck for ideas for titles of articles? I know that I do!  They usually end up plain Jane rather than sweet Jane because I just can’t think of anything.   Which is why I’m pleased to discover this free service  .   You simply type in your main idea (mine was WordPress doh!) click the Generate button until you find something that tickles your fancy.

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WP Meets Amazon S3

I’ll be interested to see how this dynamic S3 meets WordPress solution pans out