Archive for the ‘cPanel’ Category

Adventures with Lightbox 2

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Tonight, I decided to tackle how photos are displayed on my blog. I did not like the way clicking on an image led to another page on my site, where visitors had to click on the image again to view a larger version of the photo.

I discovered Lightbox 2 after doing some extensive Google searches for the best WordPress image plugins. Once again, this might be the “long” way (I’ll expand more on this below), but here’s the short version of how my very time-consuming process with installing it on my site went:

First, here is why I think I might have gone the “long” route with this plugin. I searched for Lightbox and activated it through the Plugins link on my blog. However, I didn’t know how to get it working at this point, so I resorted to following the directions on the WordPress page, which tells users to download the zipped plugin, load it to the file manager, and then activate the plugin. When I opened my file manager, a Lightbox 2 file already existed. I still uploaded the zipped file. So, perhaps searching for the plugin through your blog and activating it will let you skip the cPanel/File Manager steps? Either way, here’s how my process went:

Locate Lightbox 2 in the plugin directory at WordPress.org and click “Download Version 2.9.2.”

Locate the Lightbox-2 file on your computer.

Unless it is already saved there, move the Lightbox file to your desktop. Right click it and select “Compress lightbox-2″ into a zip file.

Login to cPanel and click File Manager.

When the File Manager Directory Selection box appears, select Web Root (public_html/www) and click Go.

Once in your File Manager:

Expand public.html.

Expand blog.

Expand wp-content.

Expand plugins.

Make sure the box at the top of the screen says /public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins.

Click Upload and load your Lightbox zip file. Return to your blog and Activate the plugin (*this is where I’m wondering if you can immediately do this upon installing it through your blog and avoid cPanel/File Manager).

At this point, I got confused. I didn’t know how to get the plugin to overlay images on the same page, so I turned to Google. I found a lot of forums that mentioned CSS and HTML, so I switched from Visual to HTML in an earlier post and began to play around. This was a mistake, because I ended up with this (so glad WordPress lets you switch back to an earlier revision!):

I restored that page to an earlier draft and ditched it to experiment on a different post. On a whim, I clicked “Link to Image,” saved my new draft, and clicked on my test image to discover…Lightbox was working!

I went through each of my posts and selected “Link to Image” for each photograph. Now, instead of being transferred to another page to see a larger image, the screen darkens to display a highlighted image:

Of course, the feature isn’t without its flukes. Here’s what happened when I was double-checking each photo to make sure it was Lightbox activated.

A simple page refresh erased my panic:

Lastly, be sure to visit your Lightbox 2 settings page and check “Shrink large images to fit smaller screens” so the images don’t take up your whole screen!

This took me a long time to figure out, but I think it is actually very simple. If one of the forums I visited about installing the plugin had simply instructed bloggers to upload an image and select “Link to Image,” this process would have been much faster. I like this feature, so the time was well worth it!

More Time with cPanel and WordPress

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

I spent more time exploring what is possible with cPanel and WordPress plugins this morning. Here is a run down of what I discovered:

cPanel

Change Style

cPanel gives you the option to customize the appearance of your account. There are twelve styles to select from, including a bright blue-sky theme and beach background. I chose this seasonal fall theme:

RV Skin Changer

I would stay away from this! I switched to rvskin to see how the appearance of cPanel looked and discovered it was just an outdated version of x3. I returned to the RV Skin Changer page to switch back to x3, but the x3 option was gone!

I logged out of cPanel and tried to log back in to see if that made any difference, only I got an error message instead. It told me I couldn’t be logged back in and to contact my web host. Instead, I went to my history and was able to get back to my cPanel by clicking on a history item. I returned to the Skin Changer page, and x3 still hadn’t reappeared. This is where I learned, as Jim Groom said in class, that Google is my friend.

I typed “The server was not able to find the document (./frontend/rvskin/index.html) you requested” into Google and found a forum where someone posted about the same problem. A responder said to contact the web host or to quickly copy the URL after switching themes and replace the “old” theme (rvskin) with the “new” theme in the URL.

Success!

Webmail

I picked horde as my webmail application and established Megan@MediaMegan.com as my e-mail address. Hours later, I received my first piece of junk mail! The system is not attractive, which is partially why I immediately set my new account to forward any mail to my Gmail account.

Analog Stats

Like Google Analytics, which I mentioned in my previous post about themes and plugins, Analog gives site owners data about their visitors.

This is one way they present information:

Here is a version from Google. It is depicting different data, which is okay since I’m just focusing on appearance:

Any guesses why I would rather use Google Analytics to study my site’s traffic? It looks so much better and is more user friendly. With Analog, users have to scroll up and down a single page, while Google breaks off information into categories with their own pages. It’s easier to navigate and explore. It might be interesting to compare the two sets of statistics, though.

WordPress

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

When I tried to install the plugin, I got this dreaded message:

Please move the YARPP template files into your theme to complete installation. Simply move the sample template files (currently in wp-content/plugins/yet-another-related-posts-plugin/yarpp-templates/) to the /home/mediameg/public_html/blog/wp-content/themes/whitehouse directory.

I frustratingly clicked around WordPress for a few minutes and thought about abandoning the plugin before remembering how Groom showed us in class how to upload a theme through cPanel and started to explore there.

Here’s how I finially got the plugin to work through cPanel

(This might be the “long” way. I haven’t tried it yet, but perhaps you can click “Move” at the top of the screen and simply type the path you wish to move and where you want the files moved):

Click File Manager

When the File Manager Directory Selection box appears, select Web Root (public_html/www) and click Go.

Expand public.html

Expand blog

Expand wp-content

Expand plugins

Check the files you need to move, in this case everything located in wp-content/plugins/yet-another-related-posts-plugin/yarpp-templates/:

Click move at the top of the screen.

In the move box, type the location to where you want your files moved (in this case, /home/mediameg/public_html/blog/wp-content/themes/whitehouse).

Success!

WP-Cumulus

While I don’t like how they typically look on a site, I often use tag clouds to find posts on a select topic when I visit a website. So, WP-Cumulus is a good compromise for me. The plugin displays tags in a 3D rotating sphere, something I’ve never seen before. Still not my favorite plugin, but it is kind of cool!

Redirecting-A Quick Tutorial

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Until yesterday, when I typed my domain http://www.mediamegan.com into my browser’s address bar, this is what I saw:

Now when I type http://www.mediamegan.com or mediamegan.com, I’m automatically redirected to my blog.

It is very easy to redirect your domain to your blog subdomain. Here’s how if you use Cast Iron Coding as a web host:

1.Login to cPanel.
2.Scroll down to the “Domains” box and click Redirects.

3. Select your domain name from the drop down menu. Leave the box next to it blank.

4. Type the URL of your blog after “redirects to –>” Be sure to include http://!

5. After “www redirection,” select “Redirect with or without www.”

6. Click Add.

I didn’t know how to do this until I began playing around in cPanel. In case anyone else in the class was wondering how to activate this option, I hope this post helps!