Blog Archives

Moved to new domain

For those of you who read my blog or subscribe to my RSS feed, you should know that I have moved to a new domain. All my old links/posts/pages, etc should all still work, but you may see some strange issues now and then until you update your bookmarks and or RSS feed link. My new domain name is joechurch.com and my blog link is now located at http://www.joechurch.com/blog

I will be putting up a new site at the root of joechurch.com sometime soon, but for now the only thing that works is my blog link.

It was quite a challenge to move domains with my blog, as I had lots of plugin issues and link problems. I ended up starting from scratch and re-installing wordpress and all my plugins manually. I used a wordpress export to move everything over which worked great except that I lost of blogroll links. I was able to use the wayback machine at http://www.archive.org to get the links I used to have and the names I gave them. So for now, the blog is fully moved over and working great.

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Upgraded to WordPress 2.5

After some reluctance to work on my blog again, I gave into the nag at the top of my admin screen and went ahead and upgraded to WordPress 2.5. I am happy to say I had no problems at all, and most of my plugins worked fine, I only had a problem activating one that had to do with comments, but its nothing important and I just left it disabled. Otherwise, my upgrade experience was good. I like the new admin interface and the new feature set. Go WordPress!!

Problems with Category Access

I’ve been running 0.8.2 of the category-access plugin by David Coppit for a few weeks now and its been working fine on the web interface of WordPress.  I’ve been busy lately and haven’t had a chance to post anything to my blog in a while, so I hadn’t used any of my windows apps to post to WordPress.  Upon trying I found that I got some error messages relating to XML parsing. 

w.bloggar and blogdesk would generate this error:

“Unable to parse the XML response.  Parser Reason: Only one top level element is allowed in an XML document.”

BlogJet would generate this error:

Invalid payload received from xml-rpc server.  Please check your host and page settings for this account.  Server said: “,br/> <b>Fatal Error<b>: Call to a member function on a non-object in <b>/home/myaccountname/public_html/mybloglocation/wp-content/plugins/category-access.php</b> on line <b>373</b><br/>…”

Disabling the category-access plugin corrected the issue and I was then able to blog with my windows apps.  I sent the information to David via e-mail and also made a post on the wordpress forums to help anyone else that might be using category-access.  Its a great plugin and does exactly what I want, with only a few minor things lacking.  For now I’ve left the plugin disabled, but plan to re-enable if David comes up with a fix. 

Category access 0.8.2 beta

I got an e-mail from David Coppit who created the Category Access plugin for WordPress. I’m happy to report he has or is in the process of updating his plugin for WordPress 2.3. I got a copy of the beta from him and it works great! So keep an eye out on the WordPress Codex site and David’s site if you use or may want to use this plugin. Make sure if you are running WP 2.3 that you get the latest version once he releases it.

A good stats plugin for WordPress

I finally found a basic plugin for WordPress to give me clear and simple stats for my blog. Its called StatPress and it works very well. This gives a lot of good information in a tab on the dashboard. Its easy to install, works with WP 2.3 and there is no configuration necessary, just install and go.

Coming up!

There are a few things I’m working on that I will hopefully be able to release on both my blog and family website soon. Here is a brief list of things I’m trying to get setup…

1. Method for web visitors to send me messages or info, perhaps post back information to my site, maybe a public category where friends and family can post messages.

2. Podcasts – We have a lot of fun doing podcasts. I hope to get the girls and Liz and I back into a somewhat regular podcast series. It would be audio only at first, probably short (under 5 minutes) and of course make you laugh.

3. Way down the road, I’d love to start doing video podcasts. This is going to take a little more thought and planning, and we don’t have the video equipment to take on this job yet.

4. Add pictures to posts – it would be nice if when I posted an update on the site if I could attach a picture to the post for a visual aid of what I’m talking about. So from now on, I’m going to try to post individual pics of the kids or relevant pictures of what relates to my post so that its not just a bunch of boring text… 🙂

5. Custom theme – at some point down the road, its inevitable that I need to try to create a custom theme for WordPress. I have up to now used freely available themes I found online and modified them for my own use. This has worked out fine so far, but its time I start looking into option to code my own theme. This would open up all kind of opportunity as to how I want the site to look, and it would be a lot of fun designing graphics and CSS for the site.

Web Template Goof

I learned an important lesson recently regarding WordPress plugins! READ THE DOCUMENTATION! I was installing the Alex King plugin “WordPress Mobile Edition” and even though I’ve installed this before and use it on more than one site, I completely neglected to copy over the mobile theme folder to the proper location in WP-CONTENTTHEMES. This caused my site to revert to the default WP theme each time I would hit my site from a mobile web browser. I couldn’t figure this out for a while, and finally after removing and re-installing and researching in forums, I found the answer. I had missed that stop of copying the theme folder. Once I did that, things were good and now my themes work great.

My WordPress wish list

I’ve tried many blog platforms, and am please to say that my favorite by far is WordPress. I really like the WP platform and the abundance of plugins to extend functionality. However there are a few things that can currently only be done with plugins that I would love to see become fully integrated into the core WP platform. Here is my list.

1. Better multimedia support. What if I want to podcast or post streamable mp3 files? Currently I have to use plugins such as this.player or podpress to enable this functionality. I think this should become fully integrated into the core of the WP platform

2. Lightbox – I think WP should integrate lightbox as well. This kinda goes along with the better multimedia support I spoke of above. It would be nice to have better integrated options for posts with images.

3. Gallery integration – I use a plugin for integration with gallery 2, which is great. But it would be awesome if WP could integrate support for various gallery platforms into their code. Having an options page for your gallery integration would be a huge time saver and supporting multiple gallery systems would be ideal.

4. Better uploads management. I think WP could have much better file level security and download tracking built in. It would be great to be able to have a built in downloads tracker, upload management and general file management. Perhaps some security settings, being able to restrict download of some files based on security permissions per user or something.

5. Better customization support. Sometimes its a little hard to place something on my WP site in exactly the spot where I want it. You usually have to have pretty good knowledge of CSS and PHP to be able to get it just right. Its hard for a novice user to make these kinds of changes. It would be great to have enhanced theme management to let you use an editor of some type to place custom content such as images, text, links, etc in exactly the spot you want, not just in the sidebar.

Thats about all I can think of for now, but if you (the reader) have any other ideas, I’d love to see what else people are coming up with in regards to WP suggestions. Feel free to leave your comments.

Odiogo Listen – works with wordpress

I found Odiogo recently and am testing it out on my blog. Its really good and easy to use. You just signup online at www.odiogo.com/sign_up.php and they even have a Word Press plugin for adding this to your blog. It can also handle RSS feeds and integrates with ITunes. I think this could be a cool feature to give my blog visitors. If you try it out on my blog, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Now running WordPress 2.2

As of late last night I am now running WordPress 2.2. I was a little nervous about the upgrade, and it was a little complicated, but it went ok. I did run into a few interesting situations…

First, I use the plugin “Category Access” which restricts some categories from being publically avialable. These I want to keep privately for my own viewing. So when I went to do the upgrade, I saw the docs wanted you to disable all plugins. Well if I did that, my private categories would be exposed to the world and I didn’t want that. So I left category access enabled.

Second, my FTP client was not set to overwrite properly, so my first run through was not successful. Thank goodness I made backups before I started. Second time was the charm for me.

As far as my plugins go, everything still works except for two minor issues. I wanted to try sidebar widgets on my blog, but after upgrading to 2.2, I found that sidebar widgets won’t activate properly, and generates a fatal error. The plugin cannot be activated. Also, my category access plugin now locks the subject of some messages saying I don’t have the proper permissions to view the posts, however I can click on the posts and view them normally. So there is a small bug in category access, but overall I’m pleased with the upgrade.