Muschamp Rd

Jazzing up my blog

August 4th, 2010
WordPress Logo

So I’ve been thinking of upgrading to WordPress 3.x now that the initial 3.0 release has had bug fixes. A wise sysop waits until the point something release after a major revision. Remember all the troubles I had when I upgraded from where I had everything working to the same code base we had installed at BOB? It was hellacious fixing it, all to save the few words and comments that were in Chinese or Japanese. I tried all sorts of plugins and SQL fixes but in the end the best I could do was roll back into the mess of code I’m running now. Officially it is 2.7.1 but I think it is some sort of custom hybrid.

I’m not changing the my WordPress theme. This theme was custom made by me, to fit inside my static site, which is also heavily customized HTML using a trick I got off of someone years ago. I modified it heavily including making it validate correctly. Plugins and WordPress itself are not totally under my control, but and both validate perfectly or they did prior to my interview with Opera. I think my stubborn hand coding impressed them, as well as Google. I think I had to make it validate XHTML strict too. My hResume template validates perfectly or did last I checked. Valid HTML is more than just some holy grail, it helps people read your website, including those who are visually impaired, it also helps search engines index your site.

Some of the recent changes I’ve made were adding plugins recommend by in their SEO for WordPress article. My blog has entirely too many posts on entirely too many topics, if you want to do well in Google or other search engines you have to focus. That is why I finally did when I created a dedicated hobby blog. I was doing a lot of blogging and painting for a while, but now after getting some more advice I’ve been tweaking my resume and re-evaluating my web presence.

Update: To start 2019 I did another major WordPress overhaul, I’m now running version 5. I’m also running Yoast’s SEO plugin. I’ve also decided to edit and improve old posts like this one to redirect people and GoogleJuice towards newer and better blog posts.

WordPress has changed a lot over the years. A lot of things are now handled by plugins. Before you used to have to craft custom templates and write various snippets of PHP to do stuff. Now I seem to cut code out of my template and delegate things to WordPress plugins. Some plugins still get abandoned and when you upgrade they either break your theme or force you do some theme surgery to get your blog up and running. Either that or you have to rollback to your previous installation. Remember to backup, try backing up multiple ways both with a database dump and with an XML version of your site.

I’ve had so many problems with WordPress and Asian language content that I went to a very minimal install as far as plugins are concerned, but I’ve been slowly re-adding them. They are not always visible as some of them do their work behind the scenes. For instance the search engine optimization ones, we’ll see if this results in more traffic. I’m also using Google’s Webmasters Tools a bit more. I’ve had Google Analytics forever, I even used Urchin on one of my co-op workterms, but as both a search engine and a provider of analytics software, Google is in a position to give unique insights which probably pisses off some of the other click tracking software manufacturers.

Google used to hate SEO types and never addressed them, now they’ve grown so numerous Google has a dedicated SEO blog and a spokesmen who goes to their conferences. WebmasterWorld used to be where a lot of SEO talk was, then they added a pay wall and a bunch more websites have since cropped up, there is still a lot of good solid information about search engine optimization available online. In fact consultants often write such articles to try and rank higher for SEO or “search engine optimization”. I even wrote a couple of articles to see just how tough those keywords really are to rank for. Maybe I should revise the best of them as a blog post.

Back in they day, the forum I liked was Builders Buzz, but then who bought it made some decisions which drove people away. There used to be this one adult webmaster whose handle was NineNine he was a sharp cat. Adult websites are one of the more competitive and underhanded areas of search engine optimization, travel and insurance are two other hyper competitive ones.

I detailed the plugins I used when I set up the Building Opportunities with Business blog, I doubt it has changed much in the last three months. I didn’t create the theme but specified a few things such as it must have a dynamic sidebar. My blog has a custom hand coded sidebar and a portion of my sidebar is dynamic. I’ll probably list all the plugins I have installed on this blog once I’m done tweaking it.

One Comment

  • Muskie says:

    How the hell did comments get turned off for my brand new post? I know some sites turn off comments, which makes them less of a blog. The defining features of a blog are chronological publishing, comments, and rss feeds. If your 'site' doesn't have all three of those things it isn't a blog.

    Another common setting is to disable comments after a month of so from the publish date. I don't go for that. I know I find posts on other people's sites often years after they are posted that I want to contribute to, or thank them for posting.

    In addition to adding new plugins to my site it appears both Flickr and Disqus have made changes today or in the last few days, but I'd say they both happened today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Posts on Muskblog © Andrew "Muskie" McKay.
CFA Institute does not endorse, promote or warrant the accuracy or quality of Muskblog. CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.