Simple element blocker with and without jQuery

If you’re using jQuery the best (the only reasonable?), in my opinion, way to block an element or entire page (for example for updating it contents) is to use blockUI plugin. But, if you only have to block one or two small elements then you may consider writing your own, very simple blocker instad of using blockUI. And if you’re using jQuery only for that purpose (really small project or task), the you may try to do the same without jQuery at all.

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Test page for Markdown on Save Improved plugin

This is a dummy example post body, that can be used for testing Markdown rendering in any WordPress post or in any Markdown supporting page at all. I wrote it months ago and started using it for testing Markdown on Save Improved plugin. But then in turned out, that this quick sheet can be used virtually everwhere, where Markdown can be used. Just paste everything or selected part to test and verify Markdown in your blog, website, service etc.

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Print correct date in languages other than English

Unlike in English, full date written in many other languages (i.e. in Polish) has month written in genitive case. Neither WordPress (the_time()) nor PHP itself (date() on which the_time() is built on) supports writing dates in such format, so you’ve got to help yourself. This isn’t a hard task and there are many approaches to solve this problem across Internet. Here, I present on of the solution, ready to be used both in one, single theme or across entire WordPress Network.

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Hiding blog from guests or setting up ‘Under Construction’ site

WPRecipes has a quick and clean example of using shortcodes in WordPress in general and a particular example of restricting part of post (text, media or anything) to be visible only to registered users. This is quite nice example of doing so, without need of extra plugin for this purpose. You could also learn from here an overall knowledge of using shortcodes in WordPress, if you’re not familiar with that.

Keep in mind that this tips is for hiding part of post from guests. If you want to hide entire post, simply publish it as Private (all posts and pages are published as Public by default) — look in post or page settings.

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My favorite AI Factory’s Chess Free games

I’m playing Chess Free by AI Factory Limited on my mobile devices. Games has an option to export gameplays in PGN format. Though I’m pretty weak player, I wanted to write down myself most interesting games I played.

If you’re anything more than beginner in chess, you probably won’t find anything interesting in this post. Sorry! :]

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Fixing small but annoying issues in Dashboard in WordPress Network

There are three small, but annoying things in Admin Dashboard that I always encounter, when dealing with WordPress Network installation:

  • My Sites menu items order,
  • slow loading of that menu,
  • WordPress sites’ Dashboards language.

All three issues can be easily fixed. But, you’ll need some deeper knowledge of WordPress and deal with some plugins (both hand-written and downloadable).

Alphabetic order of My Sites menu

First thing is how to sort My Sites menu items alphabetically?

The question, what order is used to sort My Sites menu in WordPress Network Dashboard remains unanswered. Items order in that menu changes as you’re making changes to your sites, but probably even WordPress authors can’t answer what sort order is used there. We only know for sure, that it isn’t alphabetical — the most wise and most obvious.

Here is a simple solution (network plugin) to solve this problem. Just copy this:

 * Plugin Name: Sort My-Sites
 * Description: Sorts the My Sites listing alphabetically.
 * Author: Otto


function sort_my_sites($blogs)
    $f = create_function('$a,$b', 'return strcasecmp($a->blogname, $b->blogname);');

    uasort($blogs, $f);

    return $blogs;

and paste it into text editor.

Save it under any name (sort-my-sites.php for example), put to a subdirectory (sort-my-sites) and ZIP it ( Then install and network enable such plugin. And voila!

This solution is a slight modification of this WordPress StackExchange answer.

My Sites menu items count

If you have many sites in your network and number of My Sites menu grows, you may even face the problem that your entire Dashboard loads visually slower only because Network Admin bar consumes much time and resources to build up My Sites menu.

In this case you may consider Joshua Lynch’s solution.

It utilizes similar approach as above and introduces some new filters, that removes all sites from My Sites menu and places commonly used items to it instead.

Dashboards’ Language

Very irritating (at least to me) is that when you (or your user) sets blogs language to different than English, not only blog is translated, but also is admin’s dashboard. Translations authors are paying much less attention to quality and update of dashboard’s translations, so translated dashboard may not only be confusing, but also improperly translated or with missing strings.

All these problems can be avoided, by forcing each dashboard to English, no matter, what language blogs are using. This can be done with a small and simple plugin called Admin in English.

Note: If you search the web for this plugin name, you may find some sites, outside, that shows some nice examples on how to force all dashboards to use the same, non-default (not English) language. I remember, that I run into article showing how to have all dashboards in Russian, while network blogs were all in Russian, English and German.