Broken Website = Unhappy Client
I read an interesting article today which had some useful feedback on when and why WordPress users were updating to the latest major version, WordPress 3.0. Based on the comments in the article, I noticed a few trends as well as some good insight.
Update 2014: This post is educational, but rather obsolete given the current version of WordPress which handles the .htaccess file and rewrite rules automatically. If you enjoy learning, read on.
If you have a shared web hosting plan like I do with 1&1 Webhosting, you most likely do not have direct access to the computer which your website is hosted on to install and configure the mod_rewrite plugin for Linux/Apache or the ISAPI_Rewrite plugin for Windows/IIS, either one of which is required to get Permalinks working in WordPress.
However, there is another way to this by editing the .htaccess file in your root WordPress directory.
Many of the Move Comments plugins for WordPress do not seem to work properly in WordPress 3.0, so I needed a way to move comments around from one post/page to another, as well as retain any threaded/nested comments. One could always move comments by modifying the database directly with phpMyAdmin or something similar, and this is what I had to resort to. Modifying your WordPress database directly isn’t something you want to do every day, but sometimes it is completely unavoidable. It took me all of 5 minutes to figure this out, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for you either.
I touched on this subject before in my previous article titled WordPress Tip: the_category Without Links, which focuses on the WordPress get_category function, but I decided to write this article so I can focus more on the general implementation of PHP functions with WordPress, and so that people will have an easier time locating these tips via a web search.
Some WordPress plugins require you to add shortcodes to your pages/posts to utilize the plugin, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you were already using shortcodes. Whether or not you’ve had any experience using WordPress shortcodes, this tutorial has what you need to get started.
You see, the_category template tag outputs the name of every category a post belongs to, but the category names are linked to respective category pages that I do not want my visitors accessing. Here on GlassOcean.net I try to obscure the category pages that WordPress generates because they are not as customizable as I would like. Therefore, I needed a way to list the categories that a post belongs to without the links.
A Google search for “wordpress the_category without links” returned an article by Robert Mirabito titled How to remove link from the_category in WordPress, which led me to the understanding that I would need to use the get_the_category template tag instead of the the_category template tag. However, Robert’s example inserts a space character as the delimiter, and changing this delimiter to something else results in the delimiter appearing after the very last category. So if you used a comma character as the delimiter, you would end up with something like “Posted in Blog, Services,” which looks bad. This led to some more searching.
I’ve been keeping my eye on WordPress.org over the last week in anticipation of their major upcoming release – WordPress 3.0 – and I’m happy to see that it’s finally here!
Following the simple upgrade instructions at WordPress.org, I backed up the GlassOcean.net website and database, deactivated all plugins, then performed the automatic upgrade from the WordPress admin interface. About 15 minutes later and GlassOcean.net was running on the new WordPress 3.0!
The only problem I ran into was with the highly customized basic2col theme I was using. Upon visiting the newly upgraded GlassOcean.net I was presented with a PHP parsing error, so I switched over to the new Twenty Ten theme. This is the default theme that comes with WordPress 3.0, which likely means it is easily customizable for newer 3.0 features. Twenty Ten is actually a nice theme that closely resembles the minimal black-on-white style I was going for with the customized basic2col theme anyway. I’m happy with the switch.
GlassOcean.net will be undergoing many changes over the next few days while I continue to customize the appearance and layout to compensate for all of the WordPress 3.0 changes. I’ll be tweaking the “Twenty Ten” theme to match what I had with the “basic2col” theme, re-activating plugins and finding alternatives for those that are not yet supported in WordPress 3.0, as well as tinkering with all of the new features.
It’s an exciting day for WordPressers!
I’ve fine tuned a few more things in the never-ending quest to organize this website so it flows logically and is easy to navigate for my readers.
First off, you’ll notice that I’ve created a new navigation menu and static pages for all of the main categories: Blog, Services, Music Productions, and Software Development. Previously, I was using the WordPress “Categories” widget as my navigation menu, and clicking into one of these categories provided a neat listing of all the posts related to that category. However, I soon discovered that the block of text which appears before the post listing on a category page was not very customizable. Unfortunately, the WordPress category editor is not up to par with the rich-text editing capabilities seen in the WordPress post/page editor, so I needed a way to work around this.
In my previous article From WordPress to Joomla and Back Again, I wrote about how I made the switch back to WordPress after giving Joomla a long trial run.
My migration plan back to WordPress was fairly simple: I had Joomla installed in my website’s root directory (glassocean.net) and I installed WordPress in a subdirectory (glassocean.net/wordpress) where I could begin setting up, customizing the theme, and migrating articles from Joomla.
While the Moving WordPress instructions in the WordPress documentation were easy enough to follow, it wasn’t until I noticed that the SexyBookmarks plugin wasn’t rendering properly in my articles that I must have done something wrong. I tried reinstalling the plugin, but it kept hanging up during the “Unpacking contents of package” phase.