Category: wordpress

Links, Links, Links

Wordpress Logo

When is a web not a web? When the things you’ve linked to are broken! I’ve just discovered this great, easy notification plugin for wordpress called Broken Link Checker. And that’s what it does. Simple as that. An invaluable service provided.

And complimented by the amazing Redirection Plugin it can make sure you’re keeping on top of not just the sites you link to, but your own links to ensure that that web remains strong and in place. I can’t recommend the combination more.

Install both and start spinning those webs!


Broken Links are even better than I thought. Not only do you get email notifications, links that are broken are highlighted on the actual page they’re embedded in with a nifty line through the text! See a real, live example from my day job:

Highlighted Broken Link

Filed under: Plugins, wordpress

How to fix: “Unable to create directory” Error for Media Uploads on WordPress 3.0?

Wordpress Logo

So. I had a problem with one of my customers wordpress sites this evening: when uploading content I kept on getting this error:

Unable to create directory /home/username/public_html/wp-content/uploads/2010/07. Is its parent directory writable by the server?

As I hadn’t changed anything and had been able to upload images easily enough before so I was a tad perplexed. After a little googling I thought it might be a permissions problem.

The permissions on my wp-content/uploads directory were set to the default setting of 755 but I read that occassionally it might be helpful to change this to 777 to correct such a problem.

755 File Permssions

Logging in via FTP I changed the permissions to 777 but to no avail + later googling led me to suspect this might not be too good an idea. See here for more info.

So it was back to google and I stumbled across this excellent article, which gave me a few other ideas. It was point three:

3. If this doesn’t work. Check the upload path in the admin – Settings – Miscellaneous and make sure it is wp-content/uploads sometimes the upgrade or server move changes it to the absolute path.

that worked for me too.

But it wasn’t so easy to find the Miscellaneous Settings as they have moved since the upgrade to WordPress 3.0. And WordPress doesn’t make it easy to find. Oh no. But a couple of pages into their help files, I stumbled across this page and found the answer.

The Miscellaneous Settings controlling the upload of Media files are now stored, perhaps more sensibly, under Settings > Media. Just make sure that your setting for the upload path is set to: wp-content/uploads and you’ll be just fine.

Media Settings

This has happened on all my WordPress 3.0 blog upgrades on Dreamhost so I hope this helps anyone in the same position.

Thanks to Paulo Orquillo and Tips & Tricks HQ for pointing me in the right direction.

Filed under: wordpressTagged with: , ,

@Disqus Comments at the Independent

I was very excited to stumble upon this (recent I presume) development at the Independent newspaper: an abandoning of their old comments system and it’s replacement with the Disqus system of comments I use here at and for most of my other clients.

Now I like to comment on stories I read, and I read alot, and before I stumbled across disqus I was constantly frustrated by the login processes normally involved with commenting on a story. The Disqus system, however, makes this a synch and means I can comment, easily and be updated on a story in just a couple of seconds.

The service is free (with a premium version available) and I can’t praise it more highly or wish for it’s adoption on more sites. It’s great to have feedback and it’s great to give feedback and disqus really helps with both of these processes, as well as nesting comments so your readers can keep track of a discussion (yes dear guardian keep track).

I can only hope that my favourite news site (the guardian) implements it soon… (hint, hint) I’m sure there is also a cost saving for them somewhere in there…

If you use wordpress and want to add the system you can grab a copy here.

Filed under: wordpressTagged with: , , ,

Backing up WordPress

Wordpress Logo

Update: This post is no longer accurate, I now recommend UpdraftPlus Backup.

As a recent convert to WordPress (within the last 12 months) it has been one of the last areas I have considered putting backups in place. In the decade I have been working with websites (I currently manage two dozen or so) I have never had a web hosting company lose a website. Consequentially backups of our various websites have invariably been kept to note changes we have made to them, rather than to give us a backup of the site should the web host fail in their obligations.

As a relatively new user to WordPress I have watched it move from version 2.7 to 2.9 (with plenty of .1 upgrades in-between) in little less than 12 months. Each time a new version has been released WordPress has discretely pressed me to update it and obligingly I have complied, each time holding my breath for a good few seconds, until that welcome success message is returned and I am sure that my databases are intact (the real risk of corruption).

So in line with my New Year’s resolution to make sure that everything is backed-up and in recognition that most of the html content of my sites (excluding WordPress) is now additionally supported by  git, which acts as an effective backup process in my opinion. I thought it was about time I found a suitable, easy solution for backing-up WordPress and that solution came via a new beta program called WordPress Backup.

Though the site is little more than a year old (it celebrates it’s first year anniversary of its beta on 14th January) it offers an easy, automatic method to backup your site via the installation of a plugin in WordPress, which is complimented by a free account (so long as it’s for personal use or you just need to backup one site) with WordPress Backup. Overall the setup process takes less than ten minutes (instructions here) and after that automatic backups are made every two days to its servers, from which you can download a backup if your site corrupts.

Thanks to the development team at WordPress Backup I and the 2571 other users it caters to are able to easily and seamlessly ensure that we have a modicum of protection when upgrading between different versions of WordPress (and any unforeseen horrors that may happen) and work, such as this, is finally protected. Phew.

Filed under: wordpressTagged with: , ,