WordPress maintenance fail and Facebook photo fetcher plugin

I was recently doing an upgrade to one of my sites. I tried the automated update and it said it downloaded the software, was doing the upgraded and then just got stuck there. It never said the upgrade was completed. When I tried to get back in I was greeted with the message

An automated WordPress update has failed to complete – please attempt the update again now.

If you ever encounter this message, first check to see that your site is still operating as it should. Try logging in to your admin page and see if you get a dashboard. If you do not, you’ll want to go to wordpress.org and download the latest version of WordPress from wordpess.org, extract it on your laptop or desktop then FTP the files to your web server. Detailed instructions on this can be found in the book Sams Teach Yourself WordPress in 10 Minutes.

If everything seems OK except for that annoying message, and you’ve noted on the dashboard that you’ve got the latest version of software installed, you’ll need to use an FTP client to log in to your system, look for, and remove a file called .maintenance in your root folder.

Next, I found a way to save some time posting photos to my personal site. My original plan was to post photos to Flickr.com until Facebook came along and I found I no longer needed (or wanted) to pay and additional fee for a pro account to store more than 200 images. As Facebook grew, I found I posted less and less to my family site because it was duplicate work. That was made much easier this past week when I discovered a plugin called Facebook Photo Fetcher. This plugin lets you connect to Facebook and access any photo album you’ve normally got access to and present it in your WordPress content. Using it is pretty simple. Install it like you would any other plugin from Plugins> Add New on the side menu. Enter Facebook Photo Fetcher and activate it. Once activated, go to Settings> FB Photo Fetcher and provide you your Facebook credentials. It links to Facebook and presents a list of your photo albums. Next to each album name is a number. This is the Facebook unique identifier. At the top of plugin page of an example how to use it. There’s a snippet of HTML that you enter on your post or page. Unlike a short code, the HTML doesn’t require as much work to retrieve all the content every time. You can read more about the inner workings on the author’s page if you like. For now, it’s sufficient to know that you take that snippet, replace the ID with your own, and plop it in to your page or post – making sure you switch to HTML mode. When you save your post, magic happens and the short bit you put in is expanded to more HTML to actually do the work.

Facebook Photo Fetcher is quite configurable in the number rows and columns you can display. You can tell it to display captions or not, and several other features. How you configure it is up to you. The benefit is that I no longer have to upload photos to Facebook and my blog. This saves time and disk space. Once they’re on Facebook, I get the gallery UID from the plugin page, create a new page, put the code on it, and modify my custom menu so it has its own drop down item. How you choose to display your Facebook gallery in your blog is up to you.

When someone visits your blog and clicks on a photo, the image is displayed in a very simple photo view that allows them to go forward or backwards when they hover over the left or ride side of the image. It’s pretty straight forward.

Finally, I wanted to note that the new version of the book has a slightly new title. It is titled “Sams Teach Yourself WordPress 3 in 10 Minutes.” Kreg and I finished up all the author edits on October 12th so now it’s off to layout and the printing press. The book is available for pre-order on Amazon.com or the link on the sidebar of the website at http://www.chuckchat.com/wpin10.

The new book also has a bit of a new look. The cover art now sports a photo from yours truly. It matches the podcast and website graphic of a blue keyboard. We proposed this on the first book, but didn’t make the cutoff. I proposed it again for the new book and Pearson agreed. I am pumped to have the book looking soooo good.






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