Ad bot attack

Over the last 6 months.  My site was attacked by ad bots more than 5,000 times as evidence by the as many garbage comments I received on my posts.  I installed Akismet plug-in immediately.  Akismet is a spam protection app for WordPress.  It worked to a certain degree.  Some smart ad bots can simply by pass Akismet and post to my WordPress database directly.  In order to defeat these smart ad bots, I ended up modifying one of Worldpress’s scripts.  I don’t remember the details now.  But it did eliminate 99% of the ad bots.  The other 1% comments spams I have to manually handle them.  I could live with that.

The Internet is such a messy place.  Some unethical advertising companies and individuals just want to go out of their way to spam people so that they could have more click traffic and profit from them.  Our government should enfore severe penalties for spamming on the internet.

Shopping Cart 2

It turns out Amazon does have a shopping cart for other eCommerce sites.  It is similar to Google Checkout.  One advantage of Amazon payment is that many people already have an amazon account, so they don’t have to sign up new accounts.  They can use their existing Amazon account to make purchases.  The bad news is that Amazon payment is relatively new compare to Paypal and Googlecheckout.  I haven’t found a sigle popular Worldpress ecommerce plugin to support Amazon payment.  If I want to use Amazon payment, I need to write more custom pages than using a plugin.

Shopping Cart

I need a shopping cart for the site I am working on.  Without much research I could only think of two products: GoogleCheckout and Paypal.  I used both products before and no problems with either one.  Those experience was from being a buyer.  Now I am going to be the seller.  So which one to use?  Everytime I have a question, my default answer is goole it!  And I found this article comparing the 2 shopping carts.  Exactly what I want to know. In short, Google’s advantage is that your shopping cart fee will be lower if you have Adword account link to it. Paypal’s advantage is that customers can use their paypal accounts. Googlecheckout does not provide payment method through Paypal. As for developer like me I find it much much easier to use Google’s Store Gadget to set up a store. I try that Gadget thing and had my store setup in 5 minutes. That’s very impressive! In paypal, it took me near 5 minutes just to create a buy button. So, I go with GoogleCheckout. In limit experience, Googlecheckout wins. If you want your customer pay by Paypal, go with paypal’s shopping cart.

Importing WordPress Database

I made some changes to quite a few page files in my wordpress production site. And I don’t want to do the same changes again in my development site. So I used phpMyAdmin to export the production database and then import it to my development database. Wow, it turned out to be a mess. Since I imported the whole production wordpress database to development. Now some links in my development site points to the production site. And the worst part is my development site wordpress admin login page was now unaccessible. Luckily, phpMyAdmin still works which allowed me to change the wordpress options table manually. So I changed my development site url back to local and things work again. I was thinking to to reinstall WordPress at first. Thank god I don’t have to. Be very careful when you import wordpress database using phpMyAdmin.

file names are case sensitive

While working on a page at tranquilresonance.com, I was able to see a background picture in my Windows development platform. Once the the same .php file was uploaded to the bluehost server, the background image didn’t show. After some gooling and head scratching, I figured out the answer myself. The image file name was case sensitive. myphoto.jpg is not the same as myphoto.JPG. This problem only happened on the bluehost server which runs on Linux. In my windows platform I don’t have this problem. After renaming my background file to .jpg which is what my CSS stylesheet is looking for, the problem was gone.

WordPress cache plugin

Cache plugins for wordpress increase page loading speed. Instead of parsing code and load database each time, cache plugins simply load stored static html files. I did some search on Google. The best cache plugin for simple user seems to be Quick Cache. For a heavy traffic site, the choice is W3 Total Cache. Quick Cache like its title is quick and easy, no configuration required. W3 total Cache can scale and have tons of options. I heard WP Super Cache is not as good, too much option to configure and it can occasionally mess up your page. I used Quick Cache for this site.