How I do the footnotes on my blog; and other bits of blog configuration

This blog runs on WordPress.  I host a copy of the software in a directory on my rented webspace (rented from the ever-reliable  A commenter asked:

Do you use a plug-in for footnotes? If so, could you please identify the plug-in, and comment on its usefulness?

I do indeed use a plug-in. In fact, to get what I want, I find that I have to use two plugins.

The footnote that I use is Footnotes for WordPress, by Charles Johnson.  To insert a footnote, when editing, all you do is this:

This is my blog text[1].

It is simple, and works well.  But … by default, the footnotes appear in a hideous box at the end, surrounded by NOTENOTENOTE.  Why the author thought this was a good idea I cannot imagine.  But in his “Other notes” page, he tells us how to change this: by adding some CSS into the theme.  Mine looks currently like this:

/** Footnotes changed to simple list */
ol.footnotes li {
    background: transparent !important;
    padding: 5px !important;
    border: none !important;
    margin: 0.5em 2em !important;

How do I add this?  Well, I have a second plugin, Simple custom CSS.  You install this, hit “Add CSS”, and you can put in what you want.  Then hit the “Update custom css” button.

In fact I got this originally because I wanted to reduce the font size for the blog.  The default themes these days have enormous fonts for the main text.  So I also have in there the following CSS:

WordPress Twenty Sixteen (2016) theme modifications : Change Colors, titles, metas,sidebar, fonts,header,footer, menus etc using css. */ body { font-family: Verdana; font-size: 12px; } blockquote { font-size: 12px !important; font-style: normal !important; color: black !important; font-family: Verdana !important; padding: 0.25em 40px; }

The second section changes stuff about quoted text.  I’m not sure if I need this any more, but a previous theme really did need changes!

What else do I use?  Akismet for spam, obviously; Jetpack for statistics, and to share my posts to twitter.  There’s a contact form, “Contact Form 7”, and a couple of others which are just intended to speed things up.

I back up my blog regularly.  I connect to the site with FTP and download the changed image files (etc) from the wp-uploads directory.  I also use the Tools | Export facility to get the blog text.  The master copy resides on my local hard disk.

All this is because I remember days in which putting stuff on the server was not a good way to guarantee its availability.  Servers crash.  Which may seem quaint, in these days when “cloud storage” is trumpeted.

But “the cloud” is just a server.  And, as far as I know, servers still crash.

Keep your files locally!

  1. [1]My footnote

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