Tag Archives: WordPress

New Year, New Theme

screenshotI know. I just changed themes back in November. Truth be told I never was quite satisfied with that theme. It was OK, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for. So I did what I’ve been putting off for a really long time – I dug into the process of creating a child theme.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with WordPress, or just use it and don’t care how it works, WordPress allows you to create child themes that are based on a parent theme. Think of it this way, when you create a child theme WordPress looks at your theme first. If it finds what it needs it uses it. If not, it looks in the parent theme. The advantage is that you can make all of your changes in the child without harming the parent. Also, if the author of the parent theme updates it you don’t lose all your changes when you upgrade to the new version.

The requirements for a child theme are very simple. You need a folder in your theme directory and a style sheet. You could easily create a child theme that does absolutely nothing by having only those two elements. If you have no other files and nothing beyond what is required in the style sheet your child theme would behave exactly the same as the parent. Exactly. But that would be silly.

I started with Twentytwelve, the latest theme from the creators of WordPress. It was already pretty close to what I wanted, but not quite.

The first thing I changed was the navigation bar. In Twentytwelve it is above the header image. I wanted it below, so I moved it. Of course I wanted to keep Chris Muir’s Day By Day. I’ve displayed that cartoon almost as long as I’ve been blogging. I already had the code to display the strip between the first and second posts on the front page, but now I won’t have to re-insert it if the parent theme gets updated.

Those were the two major coding changes. The rest of the adjustments were cosmetic. On the web cosmetic means CSS. Those changes are easy to do, but the tweaking process can be exasperating and time consuming.

You see the results before you. I’m very pleased with the results. I’m also happy with the things I learned. Let me know what you think.

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Upgrade Day

WordPress 3.3 was released yesterday.

Experienced users will appreciate the new drag-and-drop uploader, hover menus for the navigation, the new toolbar, improved co-editing support, and the new Tumblr importer. We’ve also been thinking a ton about what the WordPress experience is like for people completely new to the software. Version 3.3 has significant improvements there with pointer tips for new features included in each update, a friendly welcome message for first-time users, and revamped help tabs throughout the interface. Finally we’ve improved the dashboard experience on the iPad and other tablets with better touch support.

Of course that means today was update day. All done, painlessly, in less than half an hour.

2011 100 Post Marathon #12

Things are picking up. Thank you to those who have donated. A special thanks to those who are spreading the word on Twitter, Facebook, G+, etc. It all helps.

You may have noticed this:

Olimometer 2.52

It’s a WordPress plugin called the Oliometer, made for things like this.

Thanks again. Off to find some stuff to post about.

If you can…

WordPress 3.2

WordPress has released version 3.2 with some really big changes. And not just a few changes, a ton of changes.

The first big changes are the requirements. With this version you must have PHP 5.2.4 or greater (old requirement – since WordPress 2.5 was PHP 4.3 or greater) and MySQL 5.0.15 or greater (old requirement – since WordPress 2.9 was MySQL 4.1.2 or greater).

They have also dropped support for IE 6 and have started the end of life process for IE7.

One of the most noticeable changes, if you choose to use it, is Distraction Free Writing mode.You can access this via the Toggle Fullscreen mode tool in the Visual editor and fullscreen button in the HTML editor. When you do, you are presented with a virtually blank page without all of the buttons, meta boxes and links. It’s just you and your words. However, if you need your most common functions you simply have to move your mouse to the top of the page to add a link or media.

There is also a new default theme, Twenty Eleven. You can read about the many other enhancements on the WordPress 3.2 Codex page.

WordPress 3.0

WordPress has released version 3.0, completing over 1200 tickets worth of fixes, enhancements, and new features. Here are just a few of the new features:

  • WordPress and WordPress MU have merged, allowing the management of multiple sites (called Multisite) from one WordPress installation.
  • New default theme “Twenty Ten” takes full advantage of the current features of WordPress.
  • New custom menu management feature, allows creation of custom menus combining posts, pages, categories, tags, and links for use in theme menus or widgets.
  • Ability to set the admin username and password during installation.
  • Bulk updating of themes with an automatic maintenance mode during the process.
  • Improved Custom post types and custom taxonomies including hierarchical (category-style) support

And that is just a taste. Here is a short video to give you a quick overview.

I’ve already deployed 3.0 to nine sites, two of them multisite, and the process took less than an hour. The process of using some of the new features is going to take a bit longer. Enjoy.

WordPress 2.9.1

While it has only been a short time since the release of WordPress 2.9, some discovered issues created the need for the release of WordPress 2.9.1

This release addresses a handful of minor issues as well as a rather annoying problem where scheduled posts and pingbacks are not processed correctly due to incompatibilities with some hosts.

You can download the current version, or upgrade right from your blog admin area using Tools -> Upgrade.