SumoMe Fixes

Update March 23, 2015: This does not work for the current version of SumoMe. But I will keep it up to help with similar situations.

The folks at have released a free WordPress plugin called SumoMe that is available at

You can install SumoMe by either by adding a script to your header (if you are not using WordPress) or by installing their WordPress plugin.

Once you install it and create an account, you have the option of adding two apps:

Twilighter is a slick app that takes the text that is selected on your page and sets up a Twitter tweet using the selected text and creating a short URL back to the page from which it was selected. Your visitor can then make adjustments and click the submit button to tweet it.

The other app is List Builder which opens a modal subscription form that only asks for an email address. You can export the collected addresses as a CSV file.

List Builder caused a problem with this site where the form was showing up behind my header graphic. The problem was the z-index for that DIV element was not high enough. Adding the following code to my style.css file fixed the problem by increasing the z-index value.

.sumome-popup {
     z-index: 11111 !important;

Another issue I wanted to fix was the fact that the SumoMe has a control tab that appears in the upper right and visitors can see it. That control tab is of zero use to a visitor, so it is just clutter, yet I will need the tab to change settings. The best solution for now is to make it visible only if an administrator is logged into the site. Please note this code only works if your site is running on WordPress. A hat tip to koningdavid for posting the answer to a similar problem on

Add a style sheet file called visitor.css with the following code:

#sumotest-badge {
     display:none !important;

In your theme’s function.php file, add the following:

function visitor_stylesheet()
     if (!current_user_can( 'manage_options' )) {

          wp_register_style('visitor_css', get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/visitor.css', array(), '1.0', 'all');
add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'visitor_stylesheet');

The visitor_stylesheet function checks if the current visitor to the site is an administrator (if the user can “manage_options”, then the user is an administrator). If the user is not an admin, then the visitor.css file is loaded for the user. The CSS code in visitor.css tells the browser to hide the #sumotest-badge DIV element.

Those are my fixes for SumoMe.

Happy cooking!


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Gaps in emailed HTML table rows

This post has nothing to do directly with WordPress, but this is a little tip I need to post to remind me how I fixed this particular problem.

Because of restrictions in certain email clients, I still rely on HTML tables for newsletter layouts.  When I cut up an image and place the image slices in individual table cells, the result looks fine in a browser by itself, but when sent and viewed in Gmail, there is a noticeable gap between the rows.

The browser’s element inspector says the row height is computed to 2 pixels larger than the image size despite entering the correct height in the row and cell.

I found entering the line-height attribute set to zero fixes the problem.  In each row tag enter


so your row tag looks like <tr style=”line-height:0;”>

You will also need to add line-height attribute to a <p> or <span> tag around your text so it’s not all bunched up together.  Setting line-height to equal or greater than the pixel height of your font-size should do it.

Postie and Gmail/Google Apps

My Google Apps account was not working with the Postie plugin.

I got this error message:

Unable to connect. The server said – POP3 connect: Error
Try putting in your full email address as a userid and try again.

My settings were:

Mail Protocol: POP3
(The only other option IMAP/IMAP-SSL/POP3-SSL had a message saying it was not available.)

Port: 995

Postie Time Correction: –6 hours

Mail Server:

Mail Userid: <email address>

Mail password: <password>

I did a little Google digging and found the solution in a comment at the very bottom of this page at Economy Sized Geek.

All I had to do was add “ssl://” to the beginning of my mail server to become “ssl://”

After making the change, I was able to connect to the mail server. Thank you, lewen7er9.

WordPress email and Godaddy part 2

The SMTP plugin doesn’t seem to like it when you put a Gmail address in the From field… or maybe Gmail doesn’t like being used in WordPress.  Hmm…

Anyway, I created an email address using one of my many Godaddy email hosting credits, forwarded the email to my Gmail, and put that email in the From field.  Worked fine (test returned "true" instead of "false").

Be sure to read Part 1 here.

Update 2009-08-28: While Gmail addresses do not seem to work in the From field, Google Apps email address do!

Aweber adds
tags to my RSS feed

Note: this article has been updated on Sept 3, 2009

I am using Aweber to email out a client’s blog entries.  The client is very particular about preserving his formatting.  He wants the entry to appear the same in both the email and his blog page.

Aweber’s Blog Broadcast Messages are fed by the item:description tags in an RSS feed from the blog.

The description tag is fed by the excerpt of that blog entry.  If none is defined, WordPress grabs the first few dozen words and ends it with “…” to indicate there is more but you have to go to the blog site to read it.

This was fixed this using the Advanced Excerpt plugin. Not only does this plugin copy the contents of the blog entry in its entirety, but also copies in the HTML code.  I set it to copy the first 1000 words. The blog entries are usually very short so this length works fine.  HTML tags are not counted in the 1000 words.

The next problem came when I set up the Blog Broadcast in Aweber. Extra lines were added to the emails I received.  In the source code of the message in my email client and at, I looked at the code of the messages sent out.  I found an extra <br /> tag that was not in the RSS code it was pulling from.

I made a copy of one of the messages that had went out, and removed all the extra <br /> tags and sent the message as a test.  No extra spacing this time.  This told me, the problem had to occur in the RSS import process.

My guess is that there is code to replace new line characters (n) with <br /> tags for those people who who just use plain text in their excerpts to maintain their formatting.

I asked Aweber about this and they are looking into the problem after I convinced them there was a problem.  I’m still awaiting on a response.

Meanwhile, in case they can’t fix it for some reason, I think I came up with another solution.  I am using Yahoo! Pipes to search the item:description tags of my RSS feed, and strip out the new line characters using regular expressions.  Regular expressions tend to tie my brain in knots, but a little research at Brooks Brayne’s blog showed me what to do.


Above, I’m telling pipes to search the item.description for all new line characters and replace them with nothing a space. Had to put a space in there because words would wind up mashed together.

The preview window in Pipes shows exactly what I wanted to see.

However, the code in the actual RSS feed for the Yahoo! Pipe is showing the left and right angle brackets as &lt; and &gt; which could be a problem.  I was afraid the &lt; and &gt; are going to appear in the email instead of the angle brackets. But email turned out perfectly.

Except for the plain text version. Aweber strips out all the HTML tags, and with no new line characters, the text doesn’t break into separate lines.

Next I will try searching for the <br /> tags and removing them as well as the </p> (end paragraph) tags and leave the new line characters intact.  This way, Aweber can insert their <br /> tags and the plaintext will look right.

Update 09/03/2009: Aweber appears to have fixed this issue and my fix caused a problem today.  The newline characters [/n] are now appearing in the emails.  I changed RSS feed back to regular blog feed instead of going through Yahoo! Pipes.  But I definitely need to keep Pipes in mind should I run into a similar issue again.

Update 09/04/2009: OK, it wasn’t Aweber.  I looked at the code coming out of Pipes and the [n] code is visible there.  I think the code changed somewhere, but Brooke Bayne’s blog now shows that the proper code for a new line is [n].  Or maybe it always said that and I messed it up… but then why did it work before?