What Is WordPress?

Several people have asked me recently, “What is WordPress“? Those words are searched over 30 million times per month on Google. I have been working with WordPress for years now so I figured I would take a few moments to explain what is WordPress, what it does, and how you can use it.

So what is WordPress?

WordPress is the software that powers most of the blogs on the Internet, and a great majority of websites that aren’t blogs. It is open-source, highly adaptive, and fully scalable. WordPress is written with PHP technology and utilizes a database to store it’s content, data and settings. So what does that mean to you? The website you’re looking at right now, and statistically many of the other websites that you have viewed in the past, are run on the WordPress framework.

Here is where I might confuse you a bit. There are actually two potentially different things someone could be talking about when they say WordPress. There is WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress. Let’s talk a bit about each.

What is WordPress.com?

WordPress was first released in 2003 by a couple of open-source gurus who eventually founded a company by the name of Automattic, who now manages WordPress.com. WordPress.com is where you can go to register a free blog and publish your content without the hassle of setting up your own servers and software. It’s easy and anyone can do it.

What is WordPress Self-Hosted?

The down side to WordPress.com is that it doesn’t allow for very much customization. If you need custom functionality, specific design options or your own domain name, you’ll need to register at WordPress VIP ( starting at $3750/month ) or install the free WordPress software on your own servers. Having a self-hosted install gives you the opportunity to modify the system to your liking, install community or self-authored plugins, choose from one of thousands of design themes, and so much more. You name it, and it can probably be done with WordPress.

So now you know what is WordPress, here’s what it looks like!

Obviously, you’re looking at it right now. This website is powered by WordPress. But be open minded – the web-facing side of WordPress can look like anything you can dream up. Here are a few screenshots of the back-end of WordPress.

What is WordPress login screen
Here is where you enter a username and password, just like you would for email or Facebook
What is WordPress - WordPress Dashboard
Once you are successfully logged in, here is what you see. A summary of things you can do or see on the management side of your website.
What is WordPress Post Page
To create a new page or post on your website, this is where you are taken. It’s a WYSIWYG editor like Microsoft Word or a similar program. It’s quick and easy to insert text, images, videos, and anything else you want.

If you need a website that’s easy to manage, secure, and fully-scalable, WordPress is one of the best options. Whether you would like to blog, sell your products, or simply advertise you business, WordPress will do it quickly and easily.

UFOs In Florida

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Let me preface this post with this: When I don’t completely write-off an idea, I am just about the world’s biggest skeptic. I don’t believe in ghosts, Earth-visiting aliens, or sasquatch-loch-ness-boogie-men.

Now that that’s said, I just saw a UFO – a very real, very abnormal, very strange pattern of lights in the sky, fairly close in front of me. And no, I haven’t been drinking or using other mind-altering substances. In fact, this is the second time in my life that I’ve seen a UFO with the last time about six months ago, also here in Florida.

What I saw tonight was a “swirling” group of lights, like a swarm of 747-size fireflies, moving at around 100 knots parallel to the beach, from the North to the South. The previous thing I saw was a single bright light moving across the horizon at about 1000 knots. The previous object I saw could have possibly been some sort of optical illusion since I was driving at high speed down the highway. Tonight’s occurrance however couldn’t have been mistaken. Very strange.

Let me also mention that I am an airplane pilot and have studied the skies my whole life. I promise you I cannot explain what I just saw.

Well, we were on Palm Beach Island. Maybe it was just Donald Trump flying around his house in some sort of rich-guy helicopter.

The Greatest Creation of My Life | Week 37

Robin's nest

After 36 weeks of preparing for our baby we’re finally taking some time to relax. We’ve been taking after-dinner walks on Palm Beach Island and around CityPlace. There’s not much left to do but wait for the serious contractions to start. Tina is moving a bit slower than usual, but she’s as happy and cheerful as ever and doing an amazing job of keeping any discomforts to herself.

One thing left on our schedule is to tour the maternity wing of the hospital, which we are scheduled to do this Saturday. Due to scheduling conflicts, we’re attending the tour much later in the pregnancy than usual. Heck, we might as well just set up camp and STAY.

Anyways, we’re enjoying the final few weeks of non-parenthood. It will probably be eighteen years before we can jump in the car and have adventures without a bit of planning – but it’s a sacrifice that is very well worth making.

Except in the unlikely event of early labor, you’ll hear from me again in seven days. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Seriously, Germany, You Can Quit Now

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American Black-History month must also be Europe’s “Hack the US” month, or something. My blacklist is filling up with users from Germany, Sweden, and London, who have tried to brute force their way into my admin area. Usually it’s Chinese IP addresses with a few African and US addresses thrown in the mix. But someone over in Europe found my blog and has made it their #1 target. Who did I piss off?

So Europe, listen up. You’re wasting your time. You’re probably not going to hack my site, and you’re almost certainly not going to hack my site at the WordPress level. According to howsecureismypassword.net it will take your crappy Macbook pro 71 quadrillion years (holy crappp) to crack my site.

Just sayin’, there is NOTHING on this site worth that much time.

Footnote: When you get blacklisted by one of my filters it will be system-level, and permanent. And by the way, JACKASSES, WordPress does not have an account named “admin”.

The Greatest Creation of My Life | Week 36

IMAG1873Hey guys … We don’t have much to report this week. Tina and I are just waiting for the arrival of our little guy! She’s passing her time reading, learning scales on her new bass guitar, and walking walking walking. I’ve been slammed busy at work keeping the Internet’s traffic flowing.

We saw the doc yesterday and everything is A-OK. The baby is technically fully-grown and could deliver at any time, but we’re not expecting him for another three weeks. Will update more next week after visiting the doctor.

Cheers!

The Greatest Creation of My Life | Week 35

We’ve been very busy and two weeks seem to have passed in the blink of an eye. We’ve gotten quite a lot done since my last post. The baby’s room is completed, with paint, furniture, and fixtures all installed. The bags are packed and ready to go to the hospital at a moment’s notice. Tina is officially on leave from work and resting up for the big day.

If the doctor’s estimate is correct, in five weeks our baby will be born and our family one step closer to completion. The road that leads to that day, however, will be a very long one.

Our preparations are nearing completion and our minds are in the right place, but now we are deep into weekly doctor’s visits, pre-labor contractions, and constant apprehension. It’s going to be a long month – a long month, indeed.

Over the three-day holiday weekend, we had visits from every family member in Florida. Silvana and Don, Tina’s mother and step-father came from Wednesday to Friday, followed by my Mom, Roger, and my sister on Saturday. They brought along their contribution to our baby registry and helped us assemble and set up the baby’s crib and dresser. Lastly, Tina’s sisters came to visit Saturday night and stayed until Monday evening.

This weekend, we will go to Key Largo to finalize some of our wedding plans, waddle around the island, and enjoy what will likely be our last vacation without a child.

The Greatest Creation of My Life | Week 33

deoxyribonucleic acid

It’s week 33 and we’re finally ready to start decorating the babies room. It’s taken quite a while to figure out what we want to do, but now that we know it will be pretty painless. We’re doing a split-theme, with most of the room being jungle-themed. We will paint the bottom few feet of the walls with pastel green paint, border this with a dark brown border, and apply large jungle animal “stickers” to the walls above. We have reserved one wall, however, to hang my guitar collection and some music-themed artwork. We look forward to having a house next year where we have the room to give the baby his own theme, though I don’t think he’ll object at this point. And anyways, what’s wrong with playing music in the jungle? I dig the idea …

It has truly taken a lot longer than I expected to baby-proof our home and get everything in place for a “renovation” of sorts in our second bedroom. We’ve moved, adjusted, and re-moved nearly every item we own and we finally have everything nicely arranged. The baby’s room is still littered with baby purchases waiting to be stored, but we don’t have the furniture yet. The grandparents are making a large contribution to our registry by bringing a crib and dresser for us in the next couple of weeks. More assembly.

We made our first large purchase yesterday and brought home a nice stroller/car seat combo. We did some research and chose what we thought would be best for our needs, our child’s safety, and long-term durability. There was an enormous sense of pride carting that huge box out of the Babies-R-Us store that I think both Tina and I felt as we waddled our way to the car with it.

Tina’s last day working is January 16. Thankfully, she won’t have to endure hours on her feet every day running around a large retail store serving customers who are ignorant of her condition. I think about the families whose mommy can’t quit work and my heart goes out to them. We are truly fortunate to live the life we do.

Tina went to the doctor for her final intermittent visit today. From February 1 until delivery, she will be visiting every week to check the progress. Everything is normal and healthy for now. We’ve reached the time to pack that infamous hospital bag and prepare for labor at any minute. What a wonderful feeling of apprehensive, nervousness, and joy. Tina’s doing and feeling pretty well still, though I can easily tell she’s starting to become uncomfortable with herself. I fall asleep each night with her curled up next to me, and I wake up to her snoring on the couch. Shocking? Not so much. She warned me.

Last Saturday, we attended Diane Ellen’s childbirth training class. It was quite shocking to see how many misconceptions there are, and wonderful to walk away with a good bit of confidence about what will shortly be a big part of our lives. Thanks Diane!

We’ve selected a pediatrician for our baby. There will be another “orientation” type class we will be attending soon with them. We will also be going to the hospital on February 1 to view and tour the maternity area where we will spend three of the most important days of our lives.

If you know me, you probably know that the creative wheels are spinning in my head by now. I have some really cool photography projects I’m planning. I can’t wait to share them (but you’ll have to wait until after the baby is born).

As I promised in my last post, here are a few pictures of babies room so far. All we have done so far is cleaned out the room, painted the bottom half of the wall, and played with the border. We’ll be applying the jungle border and decals tonight. We’re still hard at work but will have most everything decorated this week. You can see the completed product next week!

Paint ready for the border

 

I can’t believe that in three short weeks, Tina will be full-term. That means (by South Florida medical standards) that our baby will be born between 3 and 8 weeks from now. Stay tuned, the very best is yet to come!

Today Is My Birthday And I Want Nothing

Life Goals

Today is my birthday, but I don’t want anything. No gifts. No money. I have only one small wish – which I’ll get to shortly. I have already been truly fortunate:

  • I’ve been to the depths of the oceans on SCUBA, and the heights of the sky in the driver’s seat of an airplane.
  • I’ve hiked long parts of the Appalachian Trail and seen the beauty of the natural world and learned to respect and enjoy mother nature.
  • I drove half of the USA in an epic road trip with the girl of my dreams.
  • Amid the waves on a beautiful beach, I gently placed a ring on that girl’s finger.
  • I spent a week in the forest with nothing but a bag of rice, and became a real-life Survivorman.
  • I practiced martial arts, hiked, sang, and rode horseback on a mountaintop in Colorado.
  • I have designed and developed websites that have been seen by millions of eyes.
  • I canoed most of Shenandoah River.
  • I wrote my feelings down and boldly challenged the evils of the world with my voice – on stage while my best friends created the melody behind me.
  • I’ve driven some of the coolest vehicles man has ever created, from semi-trucks to heart-stopping speed race cars. I’ve flown airplanes, sailed boats, driven motorcycles. I survived an ATV accident which could have killed me.
  • I found the confidence to leave everything and everyone I had ever known in search of a new lifelong adventure in a place I always wanted to live.
  • I have a job – a good job – one that most people would be jealous of. I get to wake up every day and do what I love to do, surrounded by some pretty cool people. I was given opportunities that a lot of people never get.
  • I have a loving family who would, and have, gone to the ends of the Earth for me.

I love to write about the adventures I’ve had, you can read more details about them throughout this website – that’s why I established this blog. But I’m not stopping there – this is my hit-list for future adventures. They are bigger and more glamorous than anything I’ve ever done and I intend to swallow each of them whole, one at a time, and hopefully with my Tina beside me:

  • Hike – Hike the entire Appalachian Trail at one shot.
  • Sail – Circumnavigate the globe by power of wind and water, and see all of the other inhabited continents with my wife and son.
  • Summit – Climb to the top of Mount Everest. I know it’s cliché, but Everest is Earth’s ultimate test of self-confidence, endurance, strength, and immeasurable willpower.
  • Explore – Train for and dive in the Diepolder cave system in central Florida and Sistema Dos Ojos north of Tulum, Mexico.
  • Build – Live on an island in a house that I design and build with my very own hands.
  • Fly – If made possible in my lifetime, I’d like to pilot an airplane beyond the boundaries of Earth’s gravity.
  • Write – Publish one or more books.
  • Sing – Publish one or more music collections.
  • Swim – Dive the mecca of all ocean reefs, the Great Barrier.
  • Safari – Witness the beautiful plains and meet the indigenous people of Africa.
  • Shiver – Explore an Alaskan mountain.
  • Contribute – Share a bit of my good fortune with less fortunate people on a wide scale, possibly through a future re-evolved political system.
  • Teach – Raise my son to have values, a strong moral compass, a thirst for knowledge and desire for adventure, and to pass on the ideals I give to him.
  • Love – Lastly, I hope to happily fall asleep as an old man, and painlessly pass away knowing that I have always unconditionally loved and honored my beautiful wife.

So what exactly is it that I want from you for my birthday? Truly and sincerely – I want you to wish me luck with my list … It’s going to be a long hard journey, and I’m already 29 years old.

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