January 2008 Archives - wibbler.com

Essential and spunky plugins for a virgin WordPress

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I’m regularly running about 10 websites now, 8 of them with the utterly spundacious WordPress platform. Here are my essentials plugins to install onto a brand new WordPress installation, if only for my own reference…
P.S. This will be a movable feast – if I find better ones, or someone points out how wrong I am, it’ll be updated accordingly.

Administration Plugins:
Akismet: Comes with WordPress – enable it, and flick the bird at spammers.

Oneclick: You’ll want to updated and add new plugins and themes. This plugin installs and updates with just one click. Awesome timesaver.
Redirection: Creates server-side page redirections. If you change a page location, it notices and redirects. If it notices people trying to access non-existent pages, it can redirect them accordingly. Highly automatic, highly underrated, massively useful.

Multiple administrators/contributors?:
Audit Trail: If you’ve got multiple WordPress users/contributors, spy on them. It’s fun, and enables you to keep control of access.
Role Manager: Fine tune who has access to what.

WP Super Cache: Speeds up the WordPress engine, and enables you to be Dugg without collapsing and being called names.

Spreading the word:
All in One SEO Pack: There are many plugins that try to help get you up the Google charts – but this does everything that’s needed, straight out of the box. Essential.
Feedsmith: Use Feedburner? Feedsmith magically redirects people to your Feedburner feed without you having to lift a finger.
Google XML Sitemaps: Google loves you even more if you have Sitemaps. This plugin will do them all for you, automatically.

Other spunky but essential ones:
SCF2 Contact Form: generates a Contact Form automatically, checks for spam and a whole lot else. Simple but powerful.

Let me know if you have others, or want to put me straight on a few of the plugins!

Linkblog – January 28th to January 30th

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Linkblog between January 28th and January 30th:

Just so you know, this is an automated recent overview of the Linkblog, a collection of interesting links I find on my travels. The archives are here: http://www.wibbler.com/category/linkblog/

Zero Punctuation – grammarless genius

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Now, I’m not a great games player. Hell, sitting in my front room is an Xbox 360 elite, Playstation 2 and Wii that are begging to differ – but I’m not a *real* games player. I don’t spend hours thrashing my way through cyborgs and aliens with friends and enemies in equal measure. I don’t spend acres of time in games shops, discussing the latest titles. And I don’t know what the hell MMORPG means.
But all of a sudden I almost want to, thanks to a little known but immensely brilliant games review series called Zero Punctuation, made by Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw. Every Wednesday (UK time), he wheels out another games review that transcends the humour levels most humans can attain. Sure, the language isn’t something you could take your mother along to, but he does swearing *so well*. Quick-fire repartee and lightning wit ooze for every sentence, and it’s astonishing that he can do it week in, week out. And, by gum, he’s English. Ish.

Here’s one of my favourites:

Others of note include reviews of Crysis, Assassin’s Creed and Guitar Hero. And here are all of them. Try em. And bring some tissues for your tear dusts.

Linkblog – January 3rd to January 19th

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Linkblog between January 3rd and January 19th:

Just so you know, this is an automated recent overview of the Linkblog, a collection of interesting links I find on my travels. The archives are here: http://www.wibbler.com/category/linkblog/

A Life Worth Marking

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Alison Richards - Funeral Order of Service
The mood was sombre.

And that was just in my car – I couldn’t find the crematorium for love nor money. The postcode Google had given me was a good mile for where I eventually found Headington Crematorium, near Oxford, with 5 minutes to spare before the funeral of Alison Richards, my OBE-entrusted relative who had died a few weeks previously.

I find crematoriums – and I’ve had the misfortune to visit a few in my life – very *generic*. They all look pseudo-modern, with friendly but functional features outside and white, flower-adorned walls within. The room is always a perfect oblong, congregation at one end and curtains encircling a plinth at the other. The basic features only serves to highlight the personalities that enter the room for each service, I suppose – all with there own stories to tell, and all there to mark the life of a special person in their lives.

And what a life we were marking today. Alison, business trailblazer and generous to a fault, had many friends – so many, in fact, that it was standing room only – the doors could barely be closed. We entered to the haunting tune of “The Long and Winding Road”, and grabbed an Order of Service (PDF here). As I scanned the room I found many faces I knew, some old colleagues from my time at The Pier and some relatives I really should know better. The service began.

The hymns I could recall from my school days – Lord Of All Hopefulness and Jerusalem – but it was lovingly sandwiched in between the hymns that the emotions ran high. Sassie, a woman I first met and played with when I was seven and she was two years younger – reading “The Final Flight“, a heartbreaker of a poem. One of Alison’s best friends made the congregation laugh and weep with her notes on Alison’s life. Then my godfather, Alan, stood up for the main eulogy, rebelliously telling us that despite being given four minutes in his alloted time slot he was going to go on for an awful lot longer. So he did – and so he should. Alison’s life was full of adventure, and every major twist and turn was recalled in lighthearted and at times poignant words. It was an excellent speech.

Those around me had survived the emotions and we all filed out, past the coffin, to the tune of Jamie Cullum’s But For Now. Outside, I met relatives I hadn’t met since Alison’s enormously extravagant 50th birthday party at Vinopolis. We all continued the conversations at the wake afterwards at The Lodge. We all agreed it was about time we saw each other more – and in a strange way it brought the event full-circle. The ending of one life has served to entwine the family more.