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HTML5 Audio and Video players for WordPress

HTML5I have been embedding many MP3 songs in my WordPress blogs using the ultra-reliable “WP-Audio Player” plugin. But when I looked at one such blog with a podcast on the iPad no audio player could be seen. Reason: no flash in iPad and the audio player uses Shockwave Flash player.

That opened my eyes. My audio embeds lose eyeballs (rather, eardrums) because of the Flash and I don’t like it a bit. Now I have to do something about it. The alternative is not difficult to spot. Yes, it is the newfound darling of the geekosphere – “HTML5“.

MP3-jPlayer Plugin for HTML5 Audio which will work in iPad

Then I zeroed in on a WordPress plugin which embeds a HTML5 jQuery plugin. In case of an old browser devoid of HTML5 support, the player falls back on Flash seamlessly. It is the “Mp3-jPlayer“. It is a veritable darling. You can embed a single file or a playlist; either from your own server or from an URL. It also supports short codes. A comprehensive option page as well as detailed help is built in. You can customize the player either on the options page or write your own CSS rules. You can embed a player in its own line or make it inline with the text flow. It has sidebar widget too.
I have embedded a sample audio here for your appreciation:

      1. Vande Matharam is the National Song of India. But may Indians feel it should have been the de jure National Anthem of the country.

More HTML5 v ideo and Audio players

Well, that is not the only plugin to embed a HTML5 player. I found a couple of others too which help embed a video or an audio. Read on » »

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WordPress Fatal error: Out of memory

This is a common error message thrown in when someone tries to view your WordPress-driven blog/site. This also happens while you are in the middle of doing some work on the admin interface or writing your entry and saving it.

The reason is that some activity in the back end is eating up the memory allotted by the server set up for PHP processes and/or MySQL database operation. It may be due to multiple processes trying to operate simultaneously.

Now to the remedy:
Read on » »

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Web hosting options for WordPress

WordPressSo you have decided to create a WordPress-powered web site or blog!

Welcome to the friendly WordPress ecosystem!

Now let us take a look at the basic requirements to kick-start your blog (ok, site)!

  1. A domain name – which forms the name, address and identity for your web presence
  2. A web real estate where you can park your blog content media et al – they call this a “Web hosting Account”
  3. WordPress blogging package – to be downloaded fresh from http://wordpress.org/
  4. Themes and plugins as necessary from this page

I assume that you have a domain name already registered with a good and reliable domain registrar or repute.

Now the most important decision that you will have to take is selecting a good web host to park and deliver your site/blog.

First lesson you have to learn is that all web hosts are not the same, though their web sites look the same!

And hosting you blog with a professionally-managed and reliable web host is vital to ensure that your site is up all the time without conking out during most hours of the day or for weeks together. And to ensure that you do not encounter hiccups at each point by being restrictive and paranoid. I will discuss about this aspect later in this article.

How to select a good and reliable web host?

I’ll try to list out the indication of typically bad hosts to be avoided upfront.
Read on » »

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More about .html extension to WordPress pages

htmlI discussed about adding a “.html” suffix to the permalinks of pages also through a plugin in the previous post. I wish to point out that mere addition of .html ending doesn’t enhance search engine ranking since WordPress uses canonical URLs by default. Hence no special SEO joy!

Another interesting fact worth remembering is that visitors looking at the posts and pages with .html suffix may get a feeling that they are static .html pages. But they are not! They are still generated dynamically. The cosmetic suffix is only a facade (sexing up, sort of!) made possible by the mod_rewrite module of the web server.

Here is an unintended twist to the facility of adding .html ending to the pages. supposing you use a static front page for your site and a page name of “Blog” to display the list of posts. Then http://yousite.com/ will show your static front page and http://yoursite.com/blog/ will list your blog posts. Fine. But if you use the “.html” ending for pages plugin, the blog page will have an URL as “http://yoursite.com/blog.html”. This is also fine. Now you have more posts necessitating pagination of entries and you navigate to the next page of posts showing another set of older entries. The URL will become “http://yoursite.com/blog.html/page/2”. This is not fine! Agree?

So think about this weird URL before rushing to add the vaunted .html to pages!

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Nifty permalinks

The default URI of a blog post in WordPress ends like this “/?p=#” which is neither aesthetic nor liked by the search engine bots. So WordPress gives you an option, rather a bunch of options to sex up the URI to look like any web page either in the virtual folder format showing the name of the post/page with a trailing slash, or with any kind of suffix of your choice viz: .html, .php etc. This function is achieved by employing the “mod-rewrite” module (URL rewriting engine) of Apache web server. You can find details about this functionality at this Codex page. if you have any difficulty in following the instructions given on that page, please post a comment. I will try to elucidate further.

In this web site, I have chosen .html suffix for the blog posts. But that doesn’t work with “Pages”. But there is help around for extending this mod to pages also. Introsites has developed a plugin which does the job neatly. With that plugin in action, when you choose .html suffix as permalink, it applies to both posts and pages.

You can get the plugin from this web page.

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