Posts filed under 'WordPress'

The Easy Way To Upgrade WordPress

As much as I love WordPress as a blogging platform, the plugin, theme and upgrade mechanisms have always seemed a little kludgy to me.

There’s too much diving into the filesystem, unzipping downloads, FTPing files and directories to specific locations, and in the case of upgrades, futzing around disabling and re-enabling plugins, backing up the database and files, taking care not to overwrite a few critical files, etc.

With 7 WordPress sites to look after, it used to take me all evening to upgrade them whenever a new version came out.

Enter the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin.

This thing is sweet. Once the plugin is installed, it’s just a click to upgrade your site. The plugin will backup your database and all your files, download the latest WordPress distribution, disable your plugins, install the updated files, and re-enable your plugins. It then gives you the link to click on to upgrade your database, and you’re done!

The whole process takes just a couple of minutes per site.

All WordPress needs now is a way to upload plugins and themes via the admin interface.

August 9th, 2007

Lightbox JS v2.0 Image Galleries

I’ve just installed a neat image display tool called Lightbox JS v2.0.

Lightbox is really easy to install – you just upload the scripts to your server and add a little bit of CSS to your site template’s header. Full instructions are included in the link above.

I really like the way Lightbox can group images into ‘sets’, so visitors can click through a gallery of images using Previous and Next arrows. You can see the set feature in action on this post. The script even pre-loads the next image in the set before you click on Next, giving much faster apparent speed for dialup visitors.

Displaying images on an overlay like this means I can now start posting larger images, since they no longer have to fit in with the navigation and other layout elements of my web site template. Displaying images on a dark background also gives them more ‘pop’, increasing the apparent contrast and colour saturation.

Let me know if you have any problems.

4 comments April 11th, 2006

Moving WordPress To A Different Directory

This web site was originally created and maintained using CityDesk from Fog Creek Software. CityDesk is a great tool for the job, but it only runs on Windows and I’ve moved to the Mac, so maintaining the site was becoming a pain.

I was looking for a server-based content management system, and WordPress was the most suitable one I could find for my needs. It’s not perfect, but it’s easy, convenient, and very good. And it’s free.

When I set WordPress up, I installed it into the /dacollins/ subdirectory (i.e. http://www.pool-room.com/dacollins/). This was a convenient way to spend time tailoring things, setting up my templates and plugins, importing content, etc without impacting my main site. All the changes were confined to a single subdirectory, and it wasn’t publicised much so I didn’t have to worry about breaking links as I played around and reorganised things.

Finally, after 2 or 3 months of on-again-off-again tinkering, I got everything just how I wanted it and was ready to copy WordPress to my site’s root (i.e. http://www.pool-room.com/).

The WordPress web site has some good instructions detailing how to move your site, and it worked exactly as advertised for me. The only thing I added was a line in .htaccess to redirect requests for the /dacollins/ subdirectory to the root directory – so if someone clicked on their bookmark for http://www.pool-room.com/dacollins/category/family/, they’d be automatically redirected to http://www.pool-room.com/category/family/ instead of encountering a 404 error. Click on the links to see how it works.

Assuming you’ve got mod_rewrite turned on, the line to add to .htaccess is:

RewriteRule ^dacollins/(.*)$ $1 [L,redirect=permanent]

This basically just strips the ‘dacollins/’ out of the URL.

I’ve left all the original CityDesk files where they were. You can still see pages from the old web site here for example. This makes sure that any pages that were indexed by search engines or linked to by other sites are still online, but new visitors will only see the new site.

3 comments April 10th, 2006

Site Redesign

This site is now running under WordPress. More content to come soon!

December 21st, 2005


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