Put Your Dog on a Leash

That’s my dog, Josie. Josie is awesome. She is big and furry and looks kind of like a wolf. And she makes Chewbacca sounds. We probably should have called her Chewie. She can run all day and hold her bladder all night, and she loves to stay outside all day in the winter. Josie is obsessed with squirrels, and she even catches them sometimes.

She loves people — except mail carriers. Josie is also an excellent guard dog, because who would break into a house with a big wolf-looking dog hanging out on the front porch? And when my daughters stick their fingers in her eyes or nose, she just wags her tail and flops over on her back so they can rub her belly.

Yep, unless you are a mail carrier, a squirrel, or another dog, my dog is awesome.

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Use IFTTT + Buffer to Update All Your Social Media Profiles

There are a bunch of options for updating multiple social media profiles at the same time. Many of the best ones cost money, and many of the free ones don’t work all that well.

I need a way to update Lawyerist‘s Twitter feed, Facebook page, LinkedIn group, and Google+ page with each new post. I was using a hodgepodge of options for a long time, including FeedBurner for Twitter, Twitterfeed for the Facebook page, and updating the LinkedIn group and Google+ page manually. This worked, but not well. I couldn’t always get LinkedIn and Google+ updated on time, and Twitterfeed recently stopped updating our Facebook page altogether. Plus, our analytics were spread all over the place.

The other day, I was poking around in my IFTTT and Buffer accounts, and I think I finally found a pretty-close-to-perfect solution.

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WordPress without Thesis

I recently wrote up my feelings about Thesis 2 on Lawyerist. Here are the choice bits:

If Thesis 2 was supposed to empower unsophisticated users, it is a failure. The Skins Editor is far more complicated than the old settings panel, from which you could change the layout and all the colors and fonts from a single screen. Now, you have to visit dozens of HTML “Boxes” and CSS “Packages” to do the same things. It is ludicrous.

If Thesis 2 was supposed to empower sophisticated users, it is likewise a failure. Using the Skins Editor is far more complicated than editing a couple of custom files for someone with a fairly basic grasp of HTML, CSS, and PHP. In fact, it is even useless for intermediate users, who would probably have an easier time copying and pasting chunks of code than hunting down settings on boxes inside of boxes.

Rather than wait to see if DIY Themes can improve Thesis 2 (or just for Thesis 3), I am moving on.

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Set Up Domain Mapping When Your WordPress Multisite Network is on a Subdomain or in a Subdirectory

If you set up a WordPress Multisite Network on a server with other websites on it (for example, Lawyerist Sites is hosted on the Lawyerist server, so there are a number of directories on the server. If your network is set up similarly, you will probably get frustrated trying to set up domain mapping according to the “standard” tutorial by Otto on WordPress.

Here are a few problems I solved on the way to getting domain mapping working on Lawyerist Sites.

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Build Your Own WordPress Dashboard Widget for Any RSS Feed

It’s easy to add your own dashboard widget to WordPress, and one of the easiest to widgets to add is one that displays recent updates from any RSS feed. I put together the above widget for a project I am working on so we can promote Lawyerist posts to users.

Here’s what goes into the theme’s functions.php (or custom_functions.php, in the case of Thesis) file:

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Make Polldaddy Comment Ratings Work with Thesis

The Polldaddy Polls & Ratings WordPress plugin is an easy way to enable readers to rate comments, either on a 5-star scale, or “Nero”-style thumbs up or down. However, it won’t work for adding ratings to comments if you use Thesis.

Fortunately, it is an easy fix. Just go to Plugins > Editor, then select the Polldaddy Polls & Ratings plugin from the drop-down menu and click the Select button. Below Plugin Files, click on the polldaddy/rating.php link. Use Ctrl+F to search for comment_text, which should take you to this line:

add_filter( 'comment_text', 'polldaddy_show_rating_comments', 50 );

Just replace it with this line:

add_filter( 'thesis_comment_text', 'polldaddy_show_rating_comments', 50 );

Click the Update File button, and your ratings should show up. Just remember that you will have to update this any time the Polldaddy Polls & Ratings Plugin gets updated.