The Secret to Blogging Every Day, or How to Schedule Posts in WordPress

You may (or probably didn't, really) have noticed that the last weekday I didn't blog was Friday, May 7 (although to be fair to myself, I did blog on both Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th). Where do I find the time and energy? someone recently asked me. Well, it's easy, really. I don't actually blog every day.

The truth is, I set aside blocks of time to write posts and schedule them for the future. In fact, it rained last Friday and it was generally miserable out. So rather than drag myself across town (sorry Frank), I sat on the couch and wrote this post. And the one from yesterday about La Taqueria. And the one from Monday about places to bring colleagues and clients.

Pretty cool, huh?

And it's really easy to do. Go on, open a new browser tab and sign into WordPress. I'll walk you through it.

When you're done logging in, go to Posts -> Add New, just like you would if you were writing a post to publish right now.

You know what to do with the headline box and the entry field, I'm sure (otherwise your blog probably looks pretty empty).

Now, up in the right-hand corner, in that Publish box, there's a blue button that says "Publish." Usually you push that to make your post go live. This time, don't click it.

Instead, look at the line above that, where it says "Publish immediately." Click the "Edit" link. Change the date and time, and click OK.

Did you notice that the Publish button changed to Schedule?

Pretty cool, huh?

Update: OK, so Chris Brogan did almost the same post two weeks ago. I gave instructions. So there.

Backing up your WordPress blog

Yesterday I wrote about fixing a hacked WordPress blog. Here is how to grab a back-up.

1. Log into your FTP server and download all your theme files. It's all in wp-content, but you'd do well to download the admin stuff as well. Just grab the whole lot.

2. From your WordPress dashboard, under Tools, select "Export," create the file and download it.

Seriously, that's it. That's a full restore on your site if something ever goes wrong. Why wouldn't you do that?

Basic tips for dealing with a hacked WordPress blog

I got an email yesterday saying, essentially, "I got hacked! What do I do? Oh, and we should grab coffee sometime."

Fortunately, there was a relatively easy solution, once I figured out what happened. Here is how you can fix things should it happen to you – and how to take a few steps to make sure you catch it quickly.

First, what they did. They got into the WordPress administrator's account, and changed the password and email address associated with the account. Then they changed the home page (index file) to some hate speech or other.

Here are the steps I took; you'll need a fair bit of comfort with the back-end stuff, but a basic understanding of what you're looking at will get you through. Check first to see if it wasn't something very simple, like just replacing your index file or something.

1. Change the database password. This will cause your WordPress database to stop talking to the server until you fix it on the WordPress side. Now the hacked site (or the real site) won't appear until you do that.

2. Log into your phpMyAdmin account. Go to Databases, and select the WordPress database. Select the wp_users table.

3. Edit the admin user. In the user_pass field, change the Function to ASCII, then enter the new password (it will encrypt the new password). Change the user_email field as well.

4. Overwrite your theme's index.php file (this is likely what got changed) with the original.

5. In your wp-config.php file, change the database password.

A few things you can do:

» Change your password regularly (in this case it appears they got in on the password, so keep your passwords good; chances are if they figured it out for one place, you're probably using it somewhere else and you want to watch your other accounts).

» Look at your site frequently. The less frequently you update your site, the less likely you are to look at it. Which means it could have been hacked weeks ago and, well, that's embarrassing.

» Update WordPress. You don't need your developer to do this for you. A little box shows up at the top prompting you. And then it will do it automatically. Really simple.

Introducing the Maidel and the Faigel

I've been dying to introduce one of the simplest sites I've done in a long time because the content is just hysterical. After I did a little tweaking to aSweetPeace a little while back, I met Hinda Mandell, who recently approached me about creating a blog.

We went back and forth on design ideas and settled on the very clean, easy-to-edit Miscellany WordPress theme from The Cloisters. She drew a cartoon, I found some header backgrounds, and we were off and running.

The overall site, Little Chicken Media, will someday morph into a site covering a lot of cultural issues from a Jewish perspective, but the first project is called The Maidel and the Faigel. In Yiddish, that would be The Single Woman and the Gay Man.

They talk about heritage (her ancestors are Polish Jews; his are Polish Catholics), upbringing, sex, love, food, and Nigel, the maidel's Lhasa Apso. They are pretty damn funny. Also, they are roommates, so they definitely have some insight into each other the rest of us don't get.

They are also on Twitter and Facebook, so go say hi!