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A Third Week, and Into November


This is one of my usual self-indulgent Sunday posts. Not much to see here, move along!

I haven’t made any major site changes this past week. At least, not for anything terribly visible. I don’t think I ever gave a full accounting of the plugins I’m using. In case it is useful to anyone else, here’s a listing of what I’m using and what purpose it serves:

  * [Akismet ]( Obviously, the gold standard for comment spam prevention. At this point, I don't need anything more than the free version. It works flawlessly.
  * [Creative Commons Configurator]( -- I use this to put a CC license at the end of each post.
  * [Dashboard Wordcount]( -- Not visible anywhere but the administration dashboard, this tells me how many total words I've written thus far for this blog. Not particularly useful in and of itself, but a good way to track whether I'm writing terribly long or short posts.
  * [Disable XML-RPC Pingback]( -- This is a carryover from one of my old blogs. It may not even be necessary anymore, but I had to install it because the XML-RPC pingback feature can apparently be used to DDOS other people's sites. Got in some trouble for that a while back, and I definitely don't want to take the chance of it happening again. I suspect newer versions of this function are harder to exploit, but I don't know for sure.
  * [Easy Google Fonts]( -- I don't believe I am currently using this, but it allows me to modify specific fonts in a theme without modifying the theme itself. Pretty handy.
  * [ImageInject ]( I mentioned this one previously. It's a search engine for Flickr and Pixabay that you can use to insert images while editing a post. I've only used it for featured images so far, but it may also be used for inline images, as well. What I value most about it is that it includes attribution/licensing information, as well, so the risk of inadvertently infringing someone's copyright is greatly reduced. I'm not out to steal people's pictures, here!
  * [Jetpack]( -- Built into Wordpress, it brings a lot of features. I mostly use it for statistics. I think I might employ a few other features it has but none of them are real must-haves to me. In fact, I don't find myself terribly enamored with the statistics feature, either. I may install a different statistics engine.
  * [Simple Tasks and Todo's]( -- (Yes, the apostrophe is part of the real name, much as it irks me.) One of the persistent problems I've had with this blog is figuring out what to write about on any given day. It's not that I don't think of anything, but at the time I'm sitting down to write, my mind likes to go blank. So, with this plugin I keep a rolling queue of potential topics. That way, if I don't know what I want to write about at the moment, I can pick one of the topics on my todo list. Right now, I have 39 topics in the todo list. Since I don't have set topics for Saturdays and Sundays, that works out to almost 8 weeks' worth of posts. Of course, I am likely to think of more topics in the meantime, or I may decide against certain ones over time. In any case, it should be a long while before I run out of things to say.
  * [Wordfence Security]( -- A security plugin with a _lot_ of features. It makes sure your Wordpress code hasn't been corrupted, monitors intrusion attempts, and offers a lot of other features.
  * [WP Favorite Posts]( -- This allows people to like/favorite posts. Why this is not built into Wordpress itself is beyond me. So, I use a plugin.
  * [WP User Avatar]( -- I'm using this to replace the generated avatars that Wordpress defaults to. Interestingly, just having this enabled but not set with a specific avatar, it uses my Gravatar by default. I intend to replace that with an actual photo of myself, _eventually._ No promises, though.
  * [Yoast SEO]( -- I originally used SEO Ultimate, but found it too unwieldy and cumbersome when all I wanted was something that makes for a decent preview on social media sites as well as search engines. Yoast looks to fit the bill quite well, and doesn't require me to set up anything special on each individual post, the way SEO Ultimate did.

That about covers it for the plugins. I’ll mention any more that I add later, too.

I’m also still trying to secure a logo for this site. It obviously don’t have one right now, and I do want one to help give the site more of an identity. I have a friend working on it and will hopefully have results soon. Additionally, I’ve been considering adding infographics/charts to my posts, as appropriate. I don’t have a good camera and I doubt there is anything I could take decent photos of around here that would be of particular use on this site (unless I started writing solely about New Jersey/New York stuff, maybe) but I could probably use some more visual flair. I’m also not completely sold on the theme I’m using. Not sure if I will modify it or go for a new one entirely.

Finally, as hard a decision as it was, I don’t think I can do National Novel Writing Month this year. This blog takes a lot of time and energy, given that I am updating it daily. I think if I attempted to write a novel at the same time, the quality could only suffer in both. What I may do is alter the schedule of this blog at some point in the future, perhaps making it a semiweekly blog or something of that sort. I’m not sure yet. I will likely announce whatever it is I decide to do, though.

Okay, maybe I lied about the “finally,” because I’m going to bury one more thought down here. I am interest in guest posts if anyone would like to write something here. Please contact me if you’re interested!

Thanks for reading, and here’s to another week!