It’s cookie time again – are you ready?

Cookies shaped like Euro coins - ©iStockphoto.com/mix7777Do you remember how a year ago we were discussing the new EU cookie law (also known as directive 2009/136/EC)?  And how having realised that although the direction was now integrated into UK law, it was pretty impractical to implement?

Well then you may also remember that the Information Commissioner’s Office gave businesses a year to get their sites in order, before they started issuing fines.

That year runs out this month!

Just to re-cap: you need permission from your visitors to store a cookie on their computer unless it is absolutely necessary for the site to work.  So you might need to store a cookie to operate a shopping basket when someone buys something, but you don’t have to store a cookie to remember the name of your visitor just to make things more convenient for them.  You must ask first.

And tracking cookies are a big problem!

Yet although businesses in the UK have had all that time to sort out the problem, I sometimes get the impression that very little has been done and it is going to be a mad dash to get everything fixed on time.  Maybe I’m wrong and everyone has a solution that they are going to activate on 26th May? [Read more…]

How many archives should I show?

If you’ve been blogging for some time, then your archive list will be getting quite long.  I’ve been having that problem on some blogs, as the list of months in the archives was getting longer than the rest of the sidebar put together.

So I started wondering about how I could improve the situation.  I’ve come up with two possible solutions:

– use yearly archives instead of monthly ones

– limit the number of listed months

For blogs that have been going for a number of years, the yearly option is not bad, as long as the posts can still be found without going through too many pages.  I solve that using tag clouds or category lists.

But for most of my blogs, I’ve gone for the limited month option, and have set the limit to 12.

To do this, I’ve edited the sidebar.php and changed the call to wp_get_archives to

wp_get_archives(‘type=monthly&limit=12’);

or

wp_get_archives(‘type=yearly’);

Which do you think is the better option?  Of is there an even better way?

Keeping the sidebar visible in WordPress

One of the default settings in WordPress is for sidebar on the right-hand side only to be visible when you enter the site from the start page, but not if you are on an individual post.

This makes it rather difficult to add a newsletter registration box there, if you want it to appear on every page, and also means that other important items such as the Feedburner icon are not always visible.

So I will be going through my blogs and making sure that the sidebar is visible at all times.

To do this, I need to edit the file single.php in the theme.  I then turn the content part from a widecolumn into a narrowcolumn.   Finally, at the end of the file I need to add the get_sidebar() function.

I know that some of my blog themes are already set to do this, but I will be going through them all to make sure.  I’ve made a start with this one, so you should definitely see the newsletter box on the right-hand side.  Have you signed up yet?

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