Site requests paused from 17th to 27th of December

…but you’ll be able to get one before New Year.

Christmas is almost upon us and Santa is going to be incredibly busy next week! This means he won’t be around to create new group blogs between 17th and 27th of December even if you’ve been extra nice.  Unsurprisingly, it’s a slacking off season for elves too, so we’re begging for patience from all you potential Christmas bloggers out there.

Site requests will resume on Tuesday the 28th of December, so there’s a very good chance you’ll be still able to get one this year!

Best wishes for the Holidays!

A quick maintenance break on September the 9th from 3 pm to 5 pm

We’re installing a batch of urgent security fixes to the blogs.helsinki.fi later today. The installation will require several reboots, meaning that there will be short service breaks. Please, refrain from updating your blog today (9th of September) between 3 and 5 pm.

We apologise for the inconvenience!

Maintenance break on Wednesday 18th of August from 9 to 10 AM

We’re running the latest WordPress and plugin updates on next Wednesday. The updates are mostly just minor bug fixes and security patches, but they do require a server restart which will inevitably cause some downtime between 9 and 10 AM. Please refrain from working on the blog platform during the update as unsaved work may be lost.

Apologies for the inconvenience!

Site orders paused between 24th of June and 26th of July

Hey you!

Summer is here and so is the holiday season. I’m off to my summer leave on June 24th and will be returning on 26th of July. There’s unfortunately no-one else to process new site orders during that period, which means that new site orders will not be processed until the end of July. Unfortunately, it also means, that the relatively light end-user support I’ve been able to provide, is also taking its well deserved summer break.

If you’re absolutely desperate for assistance during the aforementioned period, I recommend first and foremost Googling. You can also try your luck and see if one of our nice helpdesk experts helpdesk@helsinki.fi would be willing to co-study WordPress, but such support is by no means guaranteed. Please note, that our experts at Helpdesk do not have admin access to blogs.helsinki.fi and therefore cannot create new group blogs even if they were otherwise willing to.

I wholeheartedly apologise the inconvenience our summer schedule will cause. See you again in late July!

WPML translation plugins installed

We added several new translation plugins last Friday for those who maintain a multilingual blog:

Unfortunately, it seems that the aforementioned plugins are not a particularly good fit for a multisite WordPress as they tend to batter the database during activation process. In order to avoid site-wide havoc, the plugin activation is limited to super admins only.

If you want any of the aforementioned plugins activated on your blog, please contact us via e-mail at helpdesk@helsinki.fi . Please, include also the name of your blog and the list of supported languages in the e-mail. It’s high recommended that you familiarize yourself with the documentation before requesting an activation: https://wpml.org/documentation/getting-started-guide/ .

Another maintenance break looming on next Friday (30th of April)

We may need another service break soon due to some additional maintenance work, so we’re scheduling one for next Friday the 30th of April from 9 to 10 AM.

It seems that the translation plugin (that we installed several months ago) is still not operating correctly. In fact, when activated by admin, it may crash the whole blog by spamming database with failing operations. The current theory is that the activation runs in to some database locks whenever there are users present, so we’re going to try activation while blocking all access to the blog. Here’s hoping the issue will resolve this time!

Apologies for the inconvenience!

Latest updates are live

Hi there! The latest update went actually pretty well and there’s even some new (and highly requested) stuff available.

Here’s the rundown:

AddToAny Share Buttons

A very useful plugin that allows you to add social media sharing buttons to your blog.  You’ll need to activate and set up the plugin via “Plugins” screen before using. The share buttons can be added/removed by editing a single page or by adding them as Widgets (“Appearance” -> “Widgets”).

Oh, and before you ask – Instagram does not allow sharing from external sources (although you can setup a “follow me at Instagram” button via Widgets menu).

Open Graph and Twitter Tags

Sounds way more technical than it should, but this is actually for editing social media preview. Activate and setup via “Plugins” screen. The general setup screen is harrowing, but the process of managing preview of a single page/post is very straightfoward. Just upload an image and write some nice words.
Pro tip: you can use Facebook debugger to preview your changes before making any posts: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/ .

Beehive Pro

An analytics plugin that supports both Google Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4. Activation process is a bit too complex to describe in a single post, but I did write some instructions: https://blogs.helsinki.fi/?page_id=568

Cookiebot Cookie Consent

Can’t have analytics without letting people to opt-out. Appears automatically, doesn’t require anything. If you want to review all the 100+ cookies on the site or revise your consent, you can do that here: https://blogs.helsinki.fi/cookiebot.html .

WP Table Builder

A tool for building rather fancy tables. Must be activated via “Plugins” menu.

Other plugins and fixes

There are also Zero Spam anti-spam plugin and Multisite Custom CSS (which I wouldn’t necessary recommend activating, unless you know your way around CSS).

We also switched the Apache web server to NGINX and fixed some stuff around file access rights. This means essentially better performance, working embedded videos for Mac and iOS users + capability to install new plugins without breaking everything.

That’s pretty much it. Have a nice weekend everyone!