06 December, 2013

Energy Bytes live

I am particularly pleased with the bespoke email subscription 'plugin' that I wrote for this site. Since all the hard work is done invisibly, I'll describe it here. User enters his/her email. This is validated on the site as being email-like with some regex and MX tests. Then, assuming these pass, the email address is stored and a probe email sent to the user with a code embedded in a link. If the user validates using the link, they receive an email of all the new posts to the site which is fired by a cronjob once a week. Every email is individual and has a unique unsubscribe link. I also wrote some admin tools the keep the list neat and tidy. Perhaps I didn't look hard enough; but I could not find an existing Wordpress plugin to do all that I wanted.

Please visit the site for an up to date independent resource on energy efficiency policy.

RoundCube Password

With some trepidation, I must admit, I followed Acmeous's tip here on enabling users of RoundCube to change their own password without access to cPanel. The instructions were extremely clear and they worked. Thank you Acmeous.

25 November, 2013

Search basics

Found this on Google and have 're-tweeted' the gist of it here. NB When using an 'operator', don't add any spaces between the operator and your query.
  • Search for an exact word or phrase eg "search query"
  • Exclude a word eg -word You can also exclude results based on other operators, like excluding all results from a specific site.
  • Search within a site or domain eg site:domain.org You can also search within a specific top-level domain eg site:.co.uk
  • Search for pages that link to a URL eg link:query You can also search for links to specific pages, eg link:google.com/images
  • Search for pages that are similar to a URL: eg related:query
  • Include a "fill in the blank": eg query * query an asterisk in a query is a placeholder for any unknown or wildcard terms
  • Search for either word: eg query OR query NB CAPS world cup location 2014 OR 2018 
  • Search for a number range: eg number..number
  • Complex queries: eg (google +yahoo) OR (google +bing) +compare

22 November, 2013

Energy Bytes in Beta

My first full on experience with WordPress. Leaving the question of whether I should migrate this blog to that platform. Hmm... Leave that for another day.

I based the design on TwentyTwenty, one of the default themes. I was able to achieve a satisfactory look and feel, just. Still a few niggles to resolve. Mighty difficult to unravel someone else's CSS!

In terms of functionality, after quite a lot of searching, I resorted to making a few of my own "widgets" - advanced search, weekly subscriber email with admin panel, smart contact page, bespoke archive. That proved more straightforward than the CSS.

Site is currently in Beta testing, going live next week