Geeky Tips

Sometimes you spend a ton of time searching the web for a specific answer to a question, or a good example of how to do something. This is my list of useful things I’ve found.

Swapping the ALT and TITLE tags in PrettyPhoto Lightbox for better SEO

PrettyPhoto by the folks over at No Margin for Errors has been my go-to lightbox tool for a long time. I use it on most of the WordPress themes I develop. One thing that has always bothered me though, was that I found the placement of the text information in the popup counter-intuitive.

By default PrettyPhoto places whatever value is in the image’s ALT tag as a title across the top of the popup window, and it uses the contents of the link’s TITLE tag as the description under the photo. Now, common SEO practice is to use descriptive text and keywords in all your images ALT tags. In my opinion, PrettyPhoto’s default behavior encourages you to sacrifice your SEO best practices to get information to display correctly in the popup window. So I wanted it to behave differently.

I went looking for a solution and couldn’t find anything online about it specifically. Some folks had posted the same question on a few forums, but I didn’t find any answers. After some more digging on my own, it turns out to be pretty simple to swap the information’s positions. When you initiate PrettyPhoto in jQuery, one of the options is to tell photo the markup you want to use for your popup. I found that I just had to switch a pair of class names in that code, specifically the .ppt and .pp_description classes. Once I did that, the PrettyPhoto script that inserts the information would then behave how I wanted. Continue reading

Geeky Tips

WordPress Password-protected Page Problems

I had a few pages on my site that were password protected using WordPress’ built-in password feature. Recently it all just stopped working and it took me a while to sort it out.


Entering a password in the Quick Edit view

The WordPress feature is so easy to use – just type in what you want to be your password and save the changes. WordPress takes care of the rest, so when a user visits that page on your site they are presented with a nice little form saying that the post is password-protected and makes it easy for your visitor to enter the password and redirects to the page if they enter it correctly.

When this stopped working I did a bunch of browsing around – finding suggestions ranging from resaving permalinks, to repairing the database, to disabling plugins, to reinstalling wordpress. In my situation though, it was a problem with my theme and a recent update of WordPress. Continue reading

Geeky Tips

Conflicts between WP eStore & Root Relative plugins for WordPress

Rackspace Cloud Sites has a new WordPress install wizard! It’s really handy and saves me a few steps in setting up new WP sites. I discovered that this wizard, along with installing WP in a few easy clicks, automatically installs a plugin called Root Relative URLs. This plugin replaces WP’s absolute links with root-relative links.

So becomes /path/to/file

This is with the intention of making the transition easier from development to production servers. That makes perfect sense to me. Moving a WordPress installation to another server has always been a pain. This was already a production environment so I didn’t need to turn it on, but it certainly sounds like a useful plugin for future development!

My problem came up with a shopping cart plugin I was using on this site. WP eStore gets its PayPal IPN link from the WP settings – the same settings the other plugin was changing. So the result was that it was just sending PayPal a root-relative link for the IPN connection and none of the transactions could be completed. PayPal had no idea where to send the notice that the transaction was completed. Ouch! Continue reading

Geeky Tips

Frustration Solved: How to Loop a Playlist in JPlayer

OK. This is total geekiness, but that’s just who I am. I’ve spent the last few hours (at least!) looking for any documentation that explains how to have a playlist you create in JPlayer loop by default. I knew it had to be possible since there’s a nifty “repeat” command built right into the player. But I’ll be damned if anybody over at JPlayer HQ actually included it in the documentation for their Playlist Add-on!

I searched their website. I searched their Google support group. I searched numerous other geeky outlets and found nothing. Am I really the only person who wants this? Or am I the only person too dense to guess how it works on his own? (OK, don’t answer that…) Continue reading

Geeky Tips
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