Always risky, a theme-update. The author did something with the sidebars, so I lost them all. I rebuild these sidebars and have not found any other hickups. Should you see something weird or different from before, please let me know through the comment function.
I have a growing dislike towards Facebook and their ever increasing tracking business. I use FB as little as possible and block (Firefox has a nice Ghostery addon) their tracker. Did you know that when you are logged in, Facebook indexes the websites you visit? BUT! I used that tracker myself on this very website with the ‘like’ plugin. I decided to ditch that plugin and just make a link to the Gangleri.nl Facebook page for people who want to get the news on their walls. (Theoretically) Facebook will no longer know you are here.
There was another tracker on this website: Gravatar. Gravatar is a service of Automatic, who also write WordPress, the software this website runs on, for “globally recognised avatars”. When using Gravatar WordPress contacts the Gravatar servers even when you are not reading or writing a comment. Annoying! So I disabled Gravatars too.
Douglas P. sings: “Paranoia is an icy start, but a start nonetheless”. Now the world wide web today certainly brings some paranoia, but my intention is to keep this website not only free, but also free from adds (heck, I pay for it all myself so you do not have to), yet even when I do not want to, I give companies ways to track you. No longer (I hope).
From time to time I start working on a new design, only to strand when going live on the complexity of the live site(s). After a comment in the music reviews section from someone who told me to not review music that I do not like, I started thinking again. The music reviews section already had a ‘blog’ for information that are not reviews, but I have no idea if people actually find these messages. Consequentally, when a label sends me promo material and I only make a blog-post to not have to write a review about a release that is not my taste, will anybody see it and did the label not spend money and effort on me for nothing? Then I figured that in a new design with two ‘sidebars’, I could use one of those sidebars for ‘other information’.
I have been working on that idea for a couple of weeks, found a flexible “theme” that I can use to have just one sidebar where just one is needed and two when two is convenient and style it quite a bit like I want it to be. The layout is not entirely perfect, but I did find a relatively easy solution for the ‘custom post types’ (I will not tire you with the details), so I decided to finally replace my stone-age “theme” with a modern one. I can now make room for larger parts of texts, such as in the articles section, a ‘blog bar’ for the music reviews and quotes accompanying the book reviews.
Of course I have been testing thoroughly, but should you find something that does not work (properly), please let me know. There are a few details that I want to have another look at, but the large changes are ‘live’ from on.
It has been a while, but let me fill you in a bit more about the statistics of this website.
The main site has had 39.7 unique visitors per day in the last week. The last time I checked (a year ago), this was 37 visitors. the main referrer is still Hex Magazine, all the rest is spam.
The most popular searchword are obviously used by people looking for this very website. Gangleri, Gangleri.nl, monas.nl, that sort of search terms.
A year ago I had 90 unique daily visitors on an average day for the articles section. This time I come to 92.7. Taking that nothing much happens there, that is not too bad. Popular articles remain Christian Cabala, Angel Magic and Rune Calendars, but also Germanic Concepts Of Fate and Nine World Of Nordic Mythology. Top referrers remain Wikipedia and Google. Popular search terms “Babylonian calendar”, “nordic mythology”, “cabala” and “nine worlds”.
A new statistic makes the articles that I offer for download in PDF and Epub. “Traditionalism vs Traditionalism” has the counter on 307 for the PDF and 31 for the Epub version, Traditionalistic Asatru respectively 115 and 45. Did anybody hear of download spam? The high number of the first article it a bit weird. Today, it has been downloaded numerous times, three times per minute. I hope my server can handle that. Also I wonder what is the use of this. (Further investigation showed that this file was accessed three times per minute about every half hour. Because I did not like the idea of somebody using so much of my server load, I created a new download package and reset the counter to something fictitious, but more credible.)
On to more happy events. The book reviews section comes to 85 unique visitors per day, which is substantially higher than the 63 visitors of a year ago. Top referrer Google, the rest is mostly spam. The popular search word list looks like the previous, Galdrabók, Peryt Shou, De Tuin Der Goden, Dumezil Loki. Popular entries in this section are a quote about the tripartite soul and two Dutch titles (Tussen Wodan en Widar and Godenschemering). The most popular English title is The Journal For Contemporary Heathen Thought.
Film reviews then. 37,6 Unique visitors per day, 45 a year ago. This is a little strange, since this is the section where most happens. I suppose I do not review popular enough films! The only non-spam referrer in the top referrer list is the Facebook page of this website. Popular reviews remain Tideland, c’Est Arrive Pres De Chez Vous, In The Name Of The Rose and Be With Me.
To close off with the music reviews; 85,6 against 74; Google and Facebook do well. The feed is extraordinary popular, so are general pages like the alphabetical list, the blog and the stories. The awfull World End Broadcasting remains the most popular review (2546 hits) followed by the old album “Mandragora” by Orchis.
I have not noticed much of it myself, but my host keeps Twittering that they suffer DDOS attacks on their servers. They say things are under control, but just in case you experience any downtime, that could be due to this.
Every couple of years I forget how many customations I made to this website. I start to work on a new “theme” on a testsite, everything goes beyond expectation and when the time seems ripe to activate the new theme on the live website, I find out how much I fiddled with WordPress to have it working the way I want. Today was another such day. I thought I remembered where the problems were going to be, but there was A LOT MORE to be done. The annoying thing is that these are things I cannot do on a test site.
I guess I will stick to the old design and functionality for a couple of years when I again forgot the massive amount of work it takes to make something more modern…
Spammers seem to become more original. Instead of the usual ‘all link spam’, I frequently have spam that seem to notify me of CSS problems. Of course that does not work when the same text is posted ten times. Besides, my anti-spam plugins do not even let these texts pass anyway. Recently I have been receiving spam in the vein of:
Hey! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the great work!
But my eye just fell on the most original spam message of all:
Greetіngѕ fгom Carolina! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I love the info you present here and can’t wait to take a looκ when Ι get homе. І’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, јust 3G .. Anуhow, wonԁerful blog!
Well thank you Carolina. I did indeed recently make a mobile version of my website. I am glad that it works so well for you 🙂
In recent days there has been a massive brute force attack on WordPress websites. The new is all over the internet, but it is nothing like ‘hacking sprees’ in the past. There is close to nothing about this on the WP forums, indicating that the more ‘serious’ WP user is not affected. This quite logical, since the attack involves nothing more than trying to log in using obvious credentials such as “admin” (in earlier versions the default user) and “welcome” or something stupid like that. There is another risk though. The bot can keep pumping login attempts on your login screen until your server goes down.
So, should you have a WP powered website, there are a few things to take care of quickly (if you have not done so): get rid of that user named “admin” (I can tell you how if you cannot figure it out) and install a plugin such as “limit login attempts” so that after a few attempts the IP is blocked from using your serverload and they will have to use another IP to try again.
For your information. I have a few WP websites, but none displays strange login activities, so perhaps this thing is made bigger than it really is. But, better safe than sorry!
More about this at Sucuri.net.
And suddenly it looked extremely simple to create a mobile version for this website. Of course, it was not… After some fenagaling I got to about 80%. It looks like crap, the mobile theme is not the least bit flexible, the mobile version lacks different functions (and the blog sections do not work) and I had to think of something to allow you to navigate to other sections, but here it is (for the moment), check it out. Get your mobile device and have a look.