Category Archives: Wordpress

buddypress Forum error: There was an error when creating the topic

I was getting this very vague error message on a new installation of BuddyPress when attempting to create new Forum topics – There was an error when creating the topic.

After trying various proposed fixes I realised that my Groups had been created before the Forum was installed so I checked the database and there were no forums relating to my groups on the table wp_bb_forums. The solution is simple! Just go to group page > Admin > Group Settings  and uncheck the option “enable discussion forum”  the save changes then check “enable discussion forum” and save the changes again. This will create a Forum entry on the database for that specific Group.

Hope this helps anyone struggling with this same error.

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Create a simple Random Ad widget for your WordPress blog

Here are the steps for creating a simple Plugin for a Random Ad Widget . This is also a good startup script for those (like me) wanting to learn how to create Plugins and Widgets for WordPress.

The idea here is to create an Ad delivery widget that will show a random ad on every visited page. Firstly I will show you the whole code, for those who know what they are doing and just want to diss my code and style. Then it will be broken into pieces with detailed explanation for those interested.  If you want to skip it all just download the source code here.

For the sake of this exercise I will call the file random_ads.php but feel free to call it whatever you like. Here we go… Read more »

WordPress Media upload HTTP Error

WordPress and WordPress-MU have given me the HTTP error in the various installations I have performed and each time there’s a different cause. This post is nothing more than a personal notation for future reference but I hope it’s helpful to someone.

Error: when trying to upload media using the WordPress Flash uploader it get the message HTTP Error

Disclaimer: before messing with your .htaccess file, make sure you have a backup copy of it in case it causes a 500 Server configuration error. If this happens just replace the .htaccess file with the back up version. Check your code for any mistakes and try again.

Possible causes:

  • mod_security – basically all Apache servers will have it turned on, so you may need to turn it off for the async-upload.php file using .htaccess. The newer versions of WP have added this code already, but in case you mess up your htaccess file, here it is.  Just add the following lines to the bottom of your .htaccess file in the root folder of your WP or WP-MU installation. 
<IfModule mod_security.c>
<Files async-upload.php>
SecFilterEngine Off
SecFilterScanPOST Off

  • Access Denied Error 403/ Permission issue – another typical problem. Make sure that the upload folder is writeable by the server, you can set the permission to 754 and it should work fine. In WordPress the upload folder sits under /wp-content/  in WP-MU it sits under /blogs.dir/”blog number”/files  (default site blog number is 1 and the other blogs are numbered in ascending order of creation)
  • PHP Upload limit – check you PHP.ini settings for the settings upload_max_filesize and post_max_size. You can change these directly in your PHP.ini if you have access to it or you can change it by adding a php.ini file to you root directory with the following code. The default is normally 2M but you can change it to anything at your own risk, you should not need more then 8M.)
post_max_size = 8M
upload_max_filesize = 8M

or by adding the following lines to your .htaccess file:
php_value upload_max_filesize 8M
php_value post_max_size 8M

for anything above 8M you may need to add an execution time to the .htaccess code also
php_value max_execution_time 800

  • Authentication Failed Error 401– I checked my server log and noticed that WordPress was trying to access the 401.shtml error template every time I got the HTTP error during a media upload attempt. This normally occours if you are using password protection for the WordPress root folder or the folder where your uploads should reside. You should disable the password protection on the folder i norder for the uploader to work.

Hope it helps. Please leave your contributions and bug reports so others can benefit from it.

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Keyword search and website ranking tools

Any webmaster and marketer will know how important it is to keep track of their website ranking, keyword positioning, visits, ROI and so on…  There are a lot of interesting tools out there to help us. 

  • Google Analytics – Visitor tracking, keyword positioning, goal setting, demographics and more…
  • – web traffic metrics, top sites lists, site demographics, hot urls, and more… 
  • Google Webmaster Tools – detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google
  • Yahoo Site Explorer – detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Yahoo
  • Bling Webmaster Center – detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Bling (former LiveSearch)
  • Keyword Spy – Research and track keywords in 3 search engines and 30+ countries.
  • KPMRSwebsite rank monitoring services on various search engines
    for multiple keywords.
  • XML-Sitemaps – Generate sitemaps online. Up to 500 urls Free.
  • WP Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin will create a Google sitemaps compliant XML-Sitemap of your WordPress blog.

These are just a few tools I use the most, please share yours.

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Offline Blogging Tools


Offline Blogging Tools let you comfortably write and effortlessly publish new entries to your blog.  I personally like the easy to use Scribefire, a Firefox addon, but there are many others our there.  Here is a shortlist…


Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux

This is an addon for Firefox so you need to be using Firefox (clearly)


Platform: Windows

BlogDesk is totaly free of charge and optimized for the blog systems WordPress, MovableType, Drupal, Serendipity and ExpressionEngine.


Platform: Linux

BloGTK is a weblog client that allows you to post to your weblog from GNOME without the need for a separate browser window. BloGTK allows you to connect with many weblog systems such as Blogger, Movable Type, WordPress, and more.

Windows Live Writer (by Microsoft)

Platform: Windows

WLW is a desktop application for publishing to blogs and works with almost any blog provider in the world including Windows Live Spaces, Blogger, WordPress and more.


Platform: Mac, Windows

Great for bloggers on the move. Qumana features include easy text formatting and image insertion, simple Technorati tagging, advertising insertion with Q Ads and more.

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