How did advertisements get on my site?

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.

Old blog posts from WordPress 2.6 found and imported

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:

Update: After a couple hours of digging, I’ve found the backup and have loaded the posts here. The archives here are pretty much complete!

WordPress Automatic-ness

WordPress

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).

WordPress Upgraded

I’m amazed at the easiness of the WordPress upgrade system.  The “three step upgrade” really lives up to its name; I upgraded from quite an old version of WordPress and I had no problems with the upgrade at all.  However, I wish the same could be said about themes.  As you can see, I’ve reverted to the default theme for now.

A wreck

Ok something needs to be done to my site.  Currently between work, MyBB, and other commitments I have found very little time to work on this.  I have temporarily closed the forum section down (except for the plugins which are still available for download) until my new site is up.

Also, I recently got a Flickr pro account where I will be storing my collections of photos.