Category Archives: WordPress

The End of the SiteMeter Era

SiteMeter hijacked my site, and I think I might owe you an apology.

I’ve had trouble here on the blog from mysterious robots before. First was Semalt, which knocked my referrers (sites that are linking to mine) way out of whack several months ago. I fixed that with an adjustment to my htaccess file and moved on. (It’s okay if that’s Greek to you. It’s much more technical than many bloggers will ever get.) The point is that Semalt was making it appear as though their site was sending a ton of visitors to mine. They somehow monetize this technique. I don’t get it, and I didn’t like it, so I have prevented them from linking to me.

Then came buttons-for-website. I had no idea why that site was referring to mine so heavily, but I made it stop with the same htaccess block. Easy-peasy.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that many of my internal out-clicks (links from posts here at Lindsay Loves to other posts here) were passing through x.vindicosuite.com. Essentially, I was linking to vindicosuite from all over the place: posts, pages, images, everywhere. All the links seemed to be working (i.e. not stopping you from getting to the link target), and it didn’t affect my site statistics, so I wasn’t too concerned.

After a few days of that, the number of intercepted links increased, and I got concerned and did some research.

You may have been seeing weird ads or pop-ups. I promise you that I did not install those on purpose. I do not accept advertising (with the exception of products for review). I am sorry for any ads you saw on my blog.

Other bloggers reported seeing vindicosuite on their sites along with pop-ups, weird iframe ads, or even full-page ads (like on Forbes.com). I visit my blog enough while logged out that I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen here, but just in case it did, I apologize profusely.

A little more research brought me to the answer: The vindicosuite culprit was SiteMeter.

SiteMeter hijacked my links. The memory of the huge traffic spikes from days past will now be added to the memory of using SiteMeter.

I have been blogging since 2002. That is so long that I remember when Google didn’t own Blogger, when blog posts didn’t routinely have titles, and when comment systems needed to be separately and intentionally installed.

Let that sink in. That is how long I have been using SiteMeter. But no more! This is the end of the SiteMeter era.

In 2012, I started using WordPress statistics, and I’ve continued using them since Jetpack was released. I stopped getting my weekly stats email from SiteMeter and generally forgot all about it until I installed new themes. I made sure to put that little code widget in my footer every time. It was cool to have statistics going back over 10 years. That’s a lot of history to lose.

I realized that SiteMeter had been bought out when the home page got weird. It had a small auto-playing video of a random musician. What website statistics business would need that? It only bothered me when I logged into SiteMeter, so I didn’t give it much thought.

When I did my Google research, I discovered that the tiny SiteMeter code was to blame for vindicosuite’s presence. It was re-routing all my internal links through vindicosuite (and maybe other sites that Jetpack Statistics didn’t catch; language warning). I removed it from the footer, and vindicosuite disappeared.

The most chilling part was that somehow, my htaccess file was edited. I had to re-add the blocks for Semalt and buttons-for-website. It wasn’t just a preventative measure, either; I had a few referrals from buttons-for-website in just one day after uninstalling SiteMeter!

Running a website requires CONSTANT VIGILANCE. I fell asleep on the job, and I’ve given SiteMeter the axe because of it. Now I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled out-clicks.

Leaving Feedburner

googlereaderbrokenheart

This was me. I’ve moved on.
(image from Mashable)

If you happen to be one of my RSS feed subscribers, this is my official notice that I am turning off my Feedburner plugin. It hasn’t been updated in ages, and in this post-Google Reader era, I’m slowly moving my blog outreach back into WordPress. It just seems like the smart thing to do.

If you still prefer to follow my blog without visiting the site to check for updates manually (which is how I realized the genius of feed readers in the first place, actually), you have three options:

  1. Stay subscribed via RSS by using the normal WordPress feed. To do so, simply view my bare RSS feed and insert that URL into your feed reader of choice. Alternatively, you should be able to enter lindsayloves.com into the feed reader’s add dialogue and have it pick up my feed automatically. If you don’t use a feed reader, I recommend Feedly, which has grown by leaps and bounds since over a million users fled from Google Reader in May and June.
  2. Follow me on Bloglovin‘, which is the second most common Google Reader successor I’ve seen (after Feedly).
  3. Subscribe via email using the box below or in my sidebar. (They’re the same, just in different locations.) This will send you an email via WordPress.com every time I post. You don’t need to have a WordPress.com account, and it is a double opt-in, unsubscribe anytime kind of deal. Keep in mind, though, that if I make edits to the post after the initial publishing, you won’t have the most current version.

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I don’t use Twitter, and this blog doesn’t have a Facebook page, so those are your options right now. I’m considering Lindsay Loves for Facebook, but I don’t think Twitter is for me. I can’t handle another addiction just yet!

7 Quick Takes Friday: Vol. 160

Well, this number can’t be right, even if it is Jen’s, because the week before last was 169. Maybe I should just give up.

— 1 —

The awesome Catholic memes just don’t stop. My favorite part is that it’s entirely Scriptural and is also awesome. Apparently this meme is called Storytime Jesus. (Not all of the examples there are clean, but some are still hilarious.)

— 2 —

I have finished my last major project for the year at work. It’s bittersweet. I hate the ridiculously busy times, but I’m not really a fan of the super dull times (a.k.a. summer), either. My plan for this summer is to get some good reading done. Perhaps another encyclical, and if I’m really focused, Love and Responsibility. I’m not ready for the full-length TOB yet, but that seems like a good stepping stone.

— 3 —

My next review for ACNM is due on Tuesday, and I’ve already finished the book, guys! I was so excited that I finished another Sherlock Holmes story from the e-book I’ve been reading on my phone. I even got a fiction book from the library. It’s been so long since I’ve read fiction, and although I know Thumped is in the review queue and it’s out now, I’m not ready enough to commit to buy it in hardcover. I’ll wait until the library’s copy comes in and swoop in like a hawk.

— 4 —

I came home on Tuesday very tired but delighted to find a surprise package waiting for me: a review copy of Dawn Eden’s new book, My Peace I Give You! It doesn’t even officially come out until May 14, and it was offered to me by the author herself. (Okay, so she told her to contact her publisher and I did, but the ending’s the same.) I feel like such a baller! This is even more exciting than getting Sinner from Tiber River!

Best surprise package ever?

— 5 —

That's an interesting place for an Easter egg, WashPo

7QT is rapidly becoming the place where I dump photos instead of sharing them on Facebook. Good idea? Bad idea?

— 6 —

I didn’t really get to celebrate when it actually happened, but I needed a little reminder. Click for full-size.

— 7 —

I have jury duty. I’ve been a registered driver and a registered voter for many years, so I suppose it had to happen eventually. Clearly I’m not going to ignore the summons, seeing as I’m telling the Internet about it. I haven’t decided whether I want to serve, but I will at least offer myself for service. This is how politics works: if you don’t participate, you can’t complain about the way the system works. I’m participating now. I’ll complain later.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

New Domain: LindsayLoves.com

Friends, readers, casual arrivals from Google searches: I have moved. All the content is the same, and I’m still using WordPress, but all the links should now point to LindsayLoves.com, my new domain. I had a brain blast that led to the domain name, and I jumped on it, and here I am. with many thanks to my amazing hostess, Anna.

Please update your links, bookmarks, and RSS feeds. Eventually, contrariwise.burned-bridges.net will be replaced with a static page. It won’t be quite like my LJ or my old BlogSpot, but the idea is the same. This domain has the added bonus of being a simple combination of my first name, which I like and is unlikely to change, and “love,” which I hope I won’t stop doing until I’m dead.

For now, the title of my blog will remain Contrariwise. I’ve used that name for so long that I can’t give it up yet. I know it’s best to have a matching domain name and blog title, but I don’t care enough yet.

I changed my mind: Lindsay Loves it is.

I hope this is the first step toward owning my online self and uniting it with my real-life self. They’ve never been hugely disparate, but I am calling myself to honesty and integrity, and if I can’t own the words I write here, then I can’t be myself.

WP Archive Plugins

When you’ve been blogging as long as I have, you end up with a tremendous archive of old posts. I don’t get many visitors to my older posts (except for the occasional Google search result), but I prefer to keep my archives displayed attractively just in case.

Until today, I used the Clean Archives Reloaded plugin. It was great because it displayed every month I posted in, but you had to click the individual months to see the post titles and comment counts for each post. It was simple, organized, and effective. Today, I noticed that it was broken.

I’m currently using In Over Your Archives. I only began using pictures recently, but it’s nice that the layout adjusts neatly when there are no pictures. I don’t like the awkward display of the post categories, though, and I can’t get a customized PHP file to upload. Server trouble, I guess. It does have a bug where it will repeat a few posts in a loop, but I can’t quite figure out how to reproduce it and report it.

This would be nice, but I suppose it was not meant to be. (screenshot by Vladimir Prelovac)

I gave Snazzy Archives (pictured above) a try, but I got the same error that Clean Archives Reloaded produced. It looks great on the host site, but I can’t get it to work at all over here.

Anyone else out there using self-hosted WordPress to manage a big-archive blog? How do you keep your post list in check?

Comment Subscription Enabled

One of the benefits of blogging more frequently is that I pay more attention to making the blog better. If you’re anything like me, you like to subscribe to the posts you comment on, just in case anyone responds to your comment(s) or the discussion gets interesting later on down the line. I use Google Reader to subscribe to blogs, so after I read (and comment on) the post, it disappears. Out of sight, out of mind. Email subscriptions help with that problem. Granted, just as “liking” or commenting on facebook posts can do, this can be annoying if you subscribe to a popular post, but stopping the subscription should be just as simple as starting it. Please let me know if it’s not working or you have trouble. Otherwise, enjoy!

Contrariwise Mobile

I’ve been blogging for a long, long time (nine and a half years). I’ve seen a few spikes in my traffic over the last few years. After I wrote an editorial for my campus newspaper on modesty, I posted it here and submitted it to the old Catholic Carnival, and I got some great traffic from that exposure. I discovered Switchfeed back in the day, and when the bloggers moved over to Switchfoot.com, they remembered me, linked me, and sent a flood of visitors my way. Earlier this month, my adaptation of a specialized Catholic liturgical calendar program into Gcal was ridiculously popular, perhaps my most popular post ever.

Recently, I began reading Lindsay in Progress. I can’t remember how I found “the other Lindsay,” as I like to think of her, but I enjoy her blog. I visited it once via Google Reader on my iPhone and was shocked and pleased to discover a beautiful mobile theme for her WordPress.com site. As of a few minutes ago, I have applied the same theme to my own blog.

Screenshot of the mobile version of my blog

I definitely prefer the desktop browser version, but at least I know I have control over the mobile version and it looks just as classy as I want it to.

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