I should probably pay more attention to my own site.
While I was working on my blog last week, I noticed that there were advertisements showing up in the Related Content links at the bottom of all my posts. I was quite shocked as I never added them intentionally. I feared that my blog was hacked.
Digging just a little deeper, I quickly found the culprit: the Shareaholic plugin. I used it for related content and the social sharing buttons for the posts. It turns out a few months ago they sneakily added in monetization options in their plugin update without having blog owners explicitly opt-in. That means once you updated the plugin (if you’re using the WordPress panel to do this, there’s pretty much no changelog or notice), ad links would spontaneously spawn on your site. I guess if you’re a better blog owner you would have caught it sooner than I did. I understand developers need to make money too, and I’d understand forcing advertisements on the admin panel, but having advertisements enabled by default on the public site is a very sneaky process.
Needless to say, Shareaholic has since been removed from my site. If you’re still using Shareaholic, you should really review its settings to make sure it’s doing what you want it to do. For me, I’ve found other plugins to replace the functionality including Floating Social Bar and Contextual Related Posts.
It’s hard to believe I’ve had this domain name for 10 years!
Although I only got the domain in 2004, my first websites date back in 1999-2000 using services like Netscape Websites and Angelfire, and when <blink>, <marquee> and animated GIFs were the craze.
I created this blog back in my high school days, before the time of Twitter (now most of my day-to-day spam is there instead… :P). That was the time while I was in IB, started transit-fanning, and developed MyBB. Over the decade, some things have changed, some things haven’t. I’ve since graduated from university, became a more active Catholic, and am still a transit fan and code monkey.
Here are some posts from the past 10 years that I’ve found interesting after looking back:
2005 – Started transit fanning since I got my first digital camera. Here’s when I first got a look of the “new” trolley bus (New Flyer E40LFR)
2006 – Blogged about Writely, which later was acquired by Google and became the basis of Google Docs
I spent this afternoon digging around my backups, and I was lucky to find my site backup from the end of 2008. I had to find a way to import the posts from WordPress 2.6 into WordPress 3.5.1. Since I had a full site backup, I was able to load the WordPress files and database backup onto my Mac’s local MAMP web development environment (Windows users might use WAMP).
From there, I followed the WordPress upgrade procedure. I upgraded directly from WordPress 2.6 to 3.5.1 directly without a hitch, although it recommended to go version by version. Then with a click of a button, my posts were exported into an XML file. And two clicks later, my posts were imported into my new site. It’s awesome that WordPress has a very easy upgrade and import/export functionality.
I spent a couple hours combing through the blog posts (good memories of high school and university!) making some edits, and fixing links and images.
The only thing now is to find my WordPress backups from 2009-2011. Needless to say:
It’s one thing to make backups. It’s another thing to know where they are… #fb
I debated long whether to use WordPress or to code up my own blog system. I figured that reinventing the wheel is a waste of time so here I am with WordPress once again. I’m probably going to modify the homepage a bit and the theme when I have time.
I’m also going to dig through some of my archives on my old site and import some of my original blog posts… again when I have time.
I just upgraded WordPress and all my plugins automatically through the WordPress Admin Control Panel. Everything (at least so far) has went well, and it took me less than 2 minutes to have everything up to date.
This automatic upgrade feature of the core and plugins was designed really well (from the users perspective at least).