Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Mar 09

How to Fix Infinitely Loading Videos When Streaming from Plex to the Wii U

Plex fan here. I enjoy this program and have used it for years. I typically stream to my PS3, but an issue with transcoding prevents me from enjoying one of my favorite channels on the system. No problem, I can just use my Wii U, right?

I’d never connected to Plex from my Wii U before. You need to log in from the browser and not the app. Again, no problem. All my channels and media were listed.

But anytime I tried to load a video, I’d just see the orange spinning disc forever. It never stopped.

This seems to be an issue that started after a specific update last year. It has to do with the amount of memory required by Plex, which may sometimes be too much for the Wii U.

But it’s not actually loading forever. In fact, your streaming video isn’t loading at all. Plex doesn’t autoload, and you need to touch the loading disc on the screen to kickstart the video.

That’s all.

Awesome, right?

Nov 13

Facebook App’s New Internal Browser Sucks!

Facebook's App Settings for external browser

Facebook’s App Settings for external browser

Over the past several days, I updated Facebook on my phone. One of the biggest changes — yet one that I heard little about beforehand — is that Facebook now opens links in the app rather than in your browser. I suspect the idea behind this is to protect users from malicious files and perhaps even scams. However, it also prevents us from using all the features we expect in a modern browser.

This includes private browsing mode and all the options available with a long-click, such as opening a link in a new tab. Although you can readily share any link back to a Facebook post or even a message, opening a link in the app “browser” doesn’t work with a smartphone’s native sharing menu, so sending via text, Bluetooth or email takes a few more clicks.

Plus, links to the Google Play store and YouTube ignore the default settings in my phone. Thanks, Facebook! You can “Save” things to Facebook, but it would be much nicer to access our favorites, especially if you sync browser data across multiple devices.

Perhaps what frustrates me the most is that you’re not able to browse history. I don’t even use favorites all that much because I use the browser on my phone — and tablet — for casual surfing. This morning, I clicked a link in Facebook, wanted to visit it later and promptly lost it because I didn’t “Save” it and there’s no history or any way to return to pages viewed in the internal browser. Arrgh!

Fortunately, you can disable this “feature,” and it’s not difficult. In your App Settings for Facebook, you’ll see an option to open links in an “External” browser. That is, Safari, Firefox, Chrome or whatever browser you prefer on your smartphone or tablet.

I’d love to remove this feature entirely. I’m sure it’s using up precious space on my phone, and it’s definitely causing lag!

Jun 03

60+ Keyboard Shortcuts All Bloggers Need to Know


keyboard shortcuts for bloggers

I’m pretty proficient at using keyboard shortcuts. In fact, if programs and browsers would let me, I probably wouldn’t even need a mouse or trackpad. Of course, this shaves of a large amount of time from surfing the Internet, but it also makes blogging so much easier. Here are over 60 keyboard shortcuts that will make you a more efficient blogger.

Copy and Paste

As a blogger, I do a ton of copying and pasting – into my blog posts, into word documents, into Facebook group and email among other locations. I save so much time by relying on my keyboard rather than my mouse. Here’s how.

  • Copy selected text/data – Ctrl+C
  • Copy all text/data in an area or on a page – Ctrl+A
  • Undo – Ctrl+Z
  • Paste – Ctrl+V
  • Paste without formatting – Ctrl+Shift+V

Text Editing

These are Windows shortcuts that will work in WordPress, Google Drive and word processing programs. I do not know that they work with Blogger, but I imagine they do.

  • Make selected text bold — Ctrl+B
  • Make selected text italic – Ctrl+I
  • Make selected text underlined – Ctrl+U
  • Use heading 1 – Ctrl+1
  • Use heading 2 – Ctrl+2
  • Use heading 3 – Ctrl+3

WordPress Shortcuts

I keep forgetting about these keyboard shortcuts even though the are amazing. These work in the visual editor.

  • Navigate through comments – j (next) and k (previous).
  • Approve selected comment – a
  • Send comment to spam – s
  • Delete comment – d
  • Undo comment action – z
  • Reply to comment – r
  • Quick edit comment – q
  • Move to comment edit screen – e
  • Add blockquote — Ctrl+Q

Press “Shift” with any of these keys to perform the action on multiple comments.

If you’re using the HTML editor, shortcuts are a little different.

  • Bold — Alt+SHIFT+b
  • Italic — Alt+SHIFT+i
  • Blockquote — Alt+SHIFT+q
  • Strikethrough — Alt+SHIFT+d
  • Code —  Alt+SHIFT+c
  • Link — Alt+SHIFT+a
  • Unordered List (ul) —  Alt+SHIFT+u
  • Ordered List (ol) — Alt+SHIFT+o
  • Insert date/time — Alt+SHIFT+s
  • Insert IMG URL —  ALT-SHIFT-m
  • Line Break —  SHIFT+Enter
  • List Item (li) — Alt+SHIFT+l
  • Add “Read More” — Alt+SHIFT+t
  • Publish  —  Alt+SHIFT+p

Modify the elements within your posts with these shortcuts:

  • Insert link on selected text – Ctrl+K
  • Add address to selected text – Ctrl+9
  • Increase width of editor in full-screen mode – Ctrl +
  • Decrease width in full-screen mode – Ctrl – (minus)
  • Reset editor in full-screen mode – Ctrl 0

Blogger Shortcuts

All the copy and paste and text edit keyboard shortcuts should work for Blogger. You can also easily add a blockquote in HTML edit mode by pressing Ctrl+l.

  • Save post – Ctrl+S
  • Publish post – Ctrl+P
  • Preview post – Ctrl+Shift+P
  • Add link – Ctrl+Shift+A

Browser Shortcuts

It doesn’t matter whether you use Chrome or Firefox – we all hope you’re just not using Internet Explorer! – there are shortcuts that will save you tons of time.

  • Open a new tab – Ctrl + T
  • Close a tab – Ctrl + W
  • Reopen last closed tab – Ctrl, Shift, T
  • Switch to tab on right – Ctrl + Tab or Ctrl Page Dn
  • Switch to tab on left – Ctrl + Page Up
  • Open a new window – Ctrl+N
  • Open a link in a new window – Click+Shift
  • Open link in new tab – Click+Ctrl
  • Go back in history – Backspace
  • Go forward in hiastory – Shift+Backspace
  • Search in address/search bar – Ctrl+E
  • Add bookmark – Ctrl+D
  • Bookmark all open tabs — Ctrl+Shift+D
  • Open page source code – Ctrl+U
  • Add .com to a domain name and go to that domain — Ctrl+Enter
  • Add .net to complete domain name and go to domain — Shift+Enter
  • Complete and go to .org domain — Ctrl+Shift+Enter

Facebook Shortcuts

Let’s face it, you probably spend a lot of time on Facebook if you’re a blogger. On a daily basis, I update my Facebook page and communicate in almost a dozen different groups. These shortcuts are a life-saver!

When browsing Facebook in Firefox, press Shift+Alt+ the corresponding number to move to these common pages. In Chrome for Windows, just press Alt+ the number. Ctrl+Opt+ the # in Mac will work in either browser.

  • 0 – Help
  • 1 – Home
  • 2 – Timeline
  • 3 – Friends
  • 4 – Inbox
  • 5 – Notifications
  • 6 – Settings
  • 7 – Activity Log
  • 8 – About
  • 9 – Terms
  • m – New Message

In your news feed, use the following shortcuts to perform common actions:

  • Post a new status – p
  • Like a post – l
  • Comment on a status – c
  • Share a post – s
  • Search using the search bar – /e
  • Open all shortcuts – ?

Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

Many bloggers rely on Gmail to check their email from their PC, tablet or phone. If I didn’t use Thunderbird, I would rely on Gmail to check my email via IMAP or POP3. Of course, all Android users have a Google account, so plenty of people rely on Gmail for personal reasons, too. These keyboard shortcuts will help you get around.

  • Send message from “Compose” screen – Ctrl+Enter
  • Change “From” in Compose screen – Ctrl+Shift+F
  • Expand or collapse a message – Enter
  • Move between messages in a thread – n (Next), p (previous)
  • Move through message list – Up and Down arrows, Enter to open

Google offers a bunch more Gmail shortcuts that are not turned on by default. Enable them by clicking the gear icon, choosing “Settings”and selecting “Keyboard shortcuts on.”

What are your favorite keyboard shortcuts? Should I add any to this list? Let me know in the comments!

Apr 12

Make Growmap AntiSpam Compatible With WPTouch in Mobile Browsers

Growmap AntiSpam and WPTouch Mobile don't play well together in Chrome

Growmap AntiSpam and WPTouch Mobile don’t play well together in Chrome for Android

A few days ago, Maggie posted in BloggerPR about how Growmap Anti-Spam wasn’t working right on the mobile version of her site, which is powered by WPTouch. I took a look and, sure enough, mine wasn’t working either. In short, the checkbox looked mishaped. I described it as “melted.” Neither the checkbox nor the label text allowed you to select the checkbox. Strangely enough, even though it didn’t look like it was selected, you could still submit a comment. Overall, not very good.

So I delved  into the code to determine what was going on. The checkbox was indeed a checkbox, and it wasn’t even styled. I determined that it must be something in the theme, but this isn’t true. The issue was only occurring with certain browsing including but not limited to:

  • Chrome on Android
  • Amazon Silk (Kindle)
  • Android’s default browser

However, this isn’t an issue with Firefox with Android so you may not even have noticed it if you don’t typically view your own site from your smartphone or tablet or if you don’t use those browsers. Nevertheless, the majority of your mobile visitors could be unable to leave comments, which means less engagement for your effort and possibly lost readers.

Why wants that? Not you and me, that’s for sure!

However, you can fix it. In fact, I have two solutions. Both simply use CSS to reset all checkboxes on your mobile theme, so the box and label text for Growmap AntiSpam works correctly, and your visitors can comment all night long!

Method 1 — Jetpack

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Select Jetpack from the navigation.
  3. Enable the “Custom CSS” module.
  4. Enable “Mobile Theme” through Jetpack.
  5. Click “Appearance.” Choose “Edit CSS”
  6. Click “Edit” next to mobile-compatible and choose “Yes”.
  7. Paste the following code into the text box.
  8. Click “Save stylesheet.”


input[type="checkbox"] {
-webkit-appearance: checkbox !important;
-moz-appearance: checkbox !important;
-ms-appearance: checkbox !important;
-o-appearance: checkbox !important;
appearance: checkbox !important;

Let me know if this advice helps you!If, for some reason, you cannot edit this file or this fix doesn’t take, I have a second option!

Method 2 — WPTouch

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Select “Editor” from Appearance.
  3. Choose WPTouch basic theme from the top down menu.
  4. Open style_structure.css.
  5. Copy the follow code to the end of the stylesheet and save. Voila!
input[type="checkbox"] {
-webkit-appearance: checkbox !important;
-moz-appearance: checkbox !important;
-ms-appearance: checkbox !important;
-o-appearance: checkbox !important;
appearance: checkbox !important;

Feb 07

How to Fix the WordPress “White Screen of Death”

I was experiencing some issues with both blogs when I tried to install Jetpack after moving to my new host. Essentially, I would install and activate the plugins, and my dashboard would go white. The blog would work fine, but I couldn’t do anything.

A quick Google search showed that this seems to be pretty common for other users, and I pinpointed my host as an issue because another blog on another host doesn’t have this issue. However, none of the information was all in one place, so it still took me a little while to figure out what the issue was.

Per the Codex and several forum threads, I tried to rename the plugins folder (“plugins.hold”) to reset all plugins. I refreshed the plugins page and my dashboard was back, but white screen would return when I tried to activate Jetpack. The first helpful tip I found was to edit config.php to turn on PHP debugging. To do this, follow these steps

  1. Log in to your website via PHP or browser-based control panel.
  2. Open “config.php” in your root or WordPress folder in your code editor.
  3. Locate the following line
    define('WP_DEBUG', false);
  4. Change “false” to “true.”
  5. Save the file and reupload.

When you return to your white screen, you will now see an error.  The error that I found and had suspected all along was one of “allowed memory size exhausted.” Essentially. Jetpack was causing WordPress to use more memory than my host generally allows for scripts. However, you can fix this.

  1. Log in to your website via PHP or browser-based control panel.
  2. Open “config.php” in your root or WordPress folder in your code editor.
  3. Add the following line
define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '64M');

When you save and upload, you can now use Jetpack and see your dashboard. This line instructs your server to allow the script to use more memory for PHP.

Remember to edit config.php to turn off PHP debugging. Otherwise, you’ll see some annoying errors in your dashboard.

It can also fix issues with other memory-intensive plugins. I frequently find that related post plugins use a lot of memory, and that can lead to errors. Other plugins known to cause issues include UpdraftPlus, and I’m pretty sure this is the reason that my backup plugin stopped working. However, the WordPress support forum is full of users who have experienced the issue with pretty bare installations, and the perpetrator seems to be the instal itself.

If this method doesn’t work, there are a few other to try. For example, add this to your .htaccess file:

php_value memory_limit 64M

Or, change the memory limit in your PHP.ini file to

memory_limit = 64M ;

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