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Moved

Nothing much going on, as I’ve just moved house. So as you can imagine, most of my time is being spent unpacking boxes!

One thing I am planning to do is create a Netvibes widget to run on my Netvibes page, just something to tell me the current USD-GBP exchange rate (as I’m paid in USD). I’m sure something like this already exists, but I want to see if I can remember how to create a widget. I’ve created two before, to show the BBC News and Sport headlines, but that was a while ago!

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Win 7 AntiMalware problems

Today I noticed a pop-up from the Windows 7 Action Center showing that Win 7 AntiMalware was turned off. I thought that was a bit strange, so clicked to turn it back on, after which it did a scan showing that I had 29 files with spyware in. I didn’t think this was too good(!), but was a bit confused by the options saying that I could purchase the full version of AntiMalware. I was under the impression that it was free, but clicked the link to see what would happen. It came up with a very official looking page at nationalsecurityorg.com (although the address bar was hidden) asking me to pay for Windows Defender 2010. I was sure that Defender was a free product, so did a search and found out that Win 7 AntiMalware is itself malware.

I followed the instructions to remove it that I found at 2-viruses.com. This seemed to get rid of AntiMalware, however it also screwed up the association of .exe files in Windows, meaning that I couldn’t actually run any programs! After a slight panic I used Anna’s PC to lookup the solution, and thankfully found info at SevenForums on how to resolve this – they provided a .reg file to restore the settings in the registry. Microsoft also provide a way of resolving this.

I’m now running a full scan with Windows Defender to check if it can find anything else. Bit annoyed that it didn’t detect the original problem, might have to find an alternative.

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The need for speed

In a further attempt to make the site load faster, I’ve installed a plugin called W3 Total Cache which promises to optimise performance. It’s up and running now, but I can’t tell if it’s made any difference really – as this site is currently small it probably has little effect.

I’ve been testing the site using Pingdom Tools to see how long it takes to load, and currently it looks like the biggest slow-down is caused by the background image:

Speed test result for keanei.eu from Pingdom Tools

So to further improve things I’ll either have to reduce the size of the background image, or get to work on my own theme (ha!).

Having made a few posts recently, I’m quite impressed by the ease-of-use of WordPress, especially when it comes to maintenance, installing new plugins etc. I wish Drupal made it this simple.

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Privacy settings – argh!

Yes, I’ve missed something really simple. For a while I’ve been wondering why this site doesn’t show up on Google. I’d assumed it was because the previous incarnation of the site was just a load of links and that this might breach their terms and conditions, so I submitted the site for reconsideration (via Webmaster Tools) to see if this was the problem. In the meantime, I tried fetching the site as the Googlebot (another feature of Webmaster Tools), only to find that this was ‘Denied by robots.txt’. That’s strange, I thought, I don’t recall creating a robots.txt for this site. I checked the root directory on the webserver and couldn’t see any sign of robots.txt.

I thought I must be going mad, so I viewed the source of the index page, only to see there was a meta tag saying ‘noindex’ and ‘nofollow’. So clearly this was something generated by WordPress, as I hadn’t explicitly put them there. On a whim I decided to try to see if I could view robots.txt via the browser, and what do you know, it displayed a robots.txt file disallowing everything!

I dug around in the admin settings, until finally I found the Privacy page – and lo and behold, it looked like this:

Privacy setting in WordPress admin

Aaaargh! So I changed to the other setting, and now robots.txt shows correctly, and the meta tag has gone from the source. So simple when you know how! I feel like such a fool. The Googlebot still won’t fetch the site, but I guess maybe they’re using a cache or something, so will check again in a few days…

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gZip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

I’ve enabled gZip compression on my webserver in an attempt to make the site load a bit more quickly. It seems to have worked a little bit, according to a compression checker page keanei.eu now uses 69% less data and is 3.1x faster than before. Not sure it’s that much quicker, but every little helps.

For future reference, I followed the instructions at BetterExplained to add a line to my .htaccess file to deflate text based files.

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New theme and Twitter

I’ve installed a new theme – it’s now using Glowing Amber 1.4 by Pixel Theme Studio. Looks a lot better now, one day I will sit down and look into creating my own theme but for now I just don’t have the time.

I’ve also added My Twitter by Xhanch to show my 5 latest tweets on the right. Could maybe do with adding some bullet points or some other way of separating the tweets, but perhaps that’s something that needs to be changed in the theme rather than the widget.