Yearly Archives: 2010

Disk Space Pie Chart Plugin

I’ve written a Plugin that shows your free and used server space as a funky Pie Chart in your backend. It also shows a percentage bar in your WordPress dahsboard.

Following the success of my server space script for one of my clients, I thought it would be great to use it under WordPress. This Plugin was inspired by Richard who came to host with me after being on for some years. He really liked to keep track of how much space he has left to upload pictures and I was happy to take on this challenge.

Special thanks again to Rasmus Peters for his amazing PHP Pie Chart Script πŸ˜‰

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Upgrading WordPress… FAILED!

We’ve all been there many times: a new WordPress Version comes out, you think you’re upgraded in under a minute, and then this message comes up to tell you that you’re not:

WordPress Upgrade Failed!


Let me talk you through the many many possibilities for this and what you can do to make this work after all…

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Why does WordPress ask for your FTP Details

So you’re upgrading a Plugin, a Theme or the WordPress Core. Thanks to the built-in upgrade function it’s a piece of cake for most of us. But have you noticed that on some installations WordPress will ask for your FTP credentials, while on others it doesn’t?

I certainly have, and I wondered how this could be explained. I have installations on the same server that behave differently, so it can’t be a server issue. It must have to do with the way WordPress was installed (Fantastico installs don’t ask for credentials, whereas manual installs do).

More to the point: how can we avoid this from happening? Let me share my findings with you πŸ˜‰

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Adios IntenseDebate!

For those of you following comments on my sites via IntenseDebate, I’m sorry to say that I’ve decided not to use the system anymore. I used it here on WP Guru and over at to provide an easier commenting experience for my readers and more comfortable back end features for myself.

Turns out it wasn’t all that good for either of us I guess. Let me explain.

Please be aware that you need to re-subscribe to topics if you still want to follow them via email.

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How to style AutoFocus by Allan Cole

One of my all time favourite themes is AutoFocus by Allan Cole – it’s a superb portfolio theme that lets your pictures to the talking. Great for sites that show off images.

I wanted to use it over at Cloud-TV but thought that a different colour scheme would better suit my pictures – so I took some notes on how to amend certain aspects of the theme. You may find these useful if you’d like to style the theme to your own needs.

Please note that at the time of writing AutoFocus is at Version 1.0.1 – it is likely to be the final standalone theme and it’s no longer under active development. These tweaks will NOT work for Autofocus Plus or Plus Pro.

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How to style Misty Look

The other day Richard moved his blog from over to The Guru Network – welcome Richard πŸ˜‰

He was using Sadish Bala’s beautiful Misty Look Theme and wanted to stick with it. However, the self-hosted version doesn’t quite look like what he had on, so here are some code tweaks to adjust it.

Please note that at the time of writing, the latest Misty Look version is 3.8RC – there may be a newer version with different code available. Keep that in mind when you’re trying to apply these tweaks πŸ˜‰

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How to style WP Affiliate Platform

I’ve recently done some research on Affiliate Programmes that integrate with WP Ecommerce.

I came across the excellent WP Affiliate Platform from Tips and Tricks HQ – it works beautifully and is very easy to setup. At only $39 it’s a steal – considering how much business it can generate for you. Thanks Ruhul!

I wanted to make the front end integrate with my original site – which is just like tweaking a WordPress Theme. Let me talk you through it in this article.

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How to amend an Application Vault Repository in Plesk

I’m currently building a WordPress Hosting Service where customers get hosting with WordPress pre-installed.

I also want to offer several pre-installed Themes and Plugins that I’ll deploy from the Plesk Back End using Application Vault.

WordPress is already available as a free repository, however it does take some time for new versions to be made available – and of course my Themes and Plugins aren’t there either.

So how can I amend or build a new Plesk Application Vault repository? Let’s find out in this article, in which I’m describing all my findings πŸ˜‰

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How to upgrade PHP on CentOS 5

With the recent end-of-life announcement it becomes clear that WordPress isn’t going to support PHP 5.1.6. for much longer anymore.

CentOS 5 however comes pre-compiled with PHP 5.1.6 and there are no plans to change this in the current version.

For simple folk like me it’s unimaginable to re-compile the entire OS from source or switch to a different distribution altogether. yum doesn’t help much by default – unless you’re looking in the right repositories.

Help is at hand, courtesy of the 1and1 Knowledge Base. Without further ado, here’s how to upgrade PHP on CentOS 5:

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Linux Disk Space shown as Pie Chart

It's much easier to see a nice diagramme rather than a cryptic line of text from the command line interface

I’m managing a server for Loft London. They’re using it as FTP site for various clients, so I wanted to provide an easy way for them to keep an eye on how much space is used and how much is left.

I’ve done some digging and found this super handy PHP Pie Chart generator by Rasmus Peters. You can call it just like an image, give it some parameters and generate a very cool pie chart diagramme.

My challenge was to use it dynamically by calling the df command on th ecommand line and convert that into a pie chart. Here’s how I did it:

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