An attempt to write a blog post a day for a whole year

Over the past few days I’ve been setting up a small and simple, yet long term project in which I intend to write at least one blog post a day for entire year, starting with the first post on 1st January 2010.

The project preparation started on the 24th December when I registered the domain name yearblog.co.uk (a little dull, but to the point). Once that and the hosting side of things were ready I installed the latest version of WordPress (2.9) and began coming up with a few ideas for simple theme. Continue reading “An attempt to write a blog post a day for a whole year”

Extending the WordPress mod_rewrite rules

If you have written a WordPress Plug-in, or a highly customised page, and you want to add a custom rewrite rule then this is article is definitely the one for you.

We all know that WordPress is a powerful and pretty impressive blogging platform, and contains many useful features. The problem is finding the features you need / want. Most of the time they are available – somewhere. Continue reading “Extending the WordPress mod_rewrite rules”

Using WP-Syntax and the visual editor

Many of the blog posts I write tend to be about web development related topics and will often include a number of code snippets. My current choice of syntax highlighter is WP-Syntax, which supports a wide range of popular languages and has the ability to also include line numbers.

The problem with using this plug-in is that the WordPress WYSIWYG Editor (TinyMCE), will remove any tags and attributes that it believes to be invalid according to it’s configuration. As two of the attributes used by this plug-in are custom attributes (escaped/line) they are removed, causing some unexpected output. Continue reading “Using WP-Syntax and the visual editor”

WP – Enable read more links for pages

When listing pages using the_loop(), the latest version of WordPress (2.8.4) does not allow for a “Read more…” link to be appended to a list of pages using the_content() along with the <!–more–> quicktag.

Although it wasn’t immediately obvious to me, read more links can be enabled by over-riding the global $more variable and setting it to false, before looping through the result set, for example: Continue reading “WP – Enable read more links for pages”

WP – Add class name to first paragraph in blog post

When re-designing my blog I wanted to display the first paragraph of each blog post in bold text. A CSS3 selector could have been used, but wouldn’t work in older browsers such as IE6.

Instead I decided to write a very simple function to add a class name to the first paragraph by filtering the content, then setting the styles accordingly in my theme CSS file. Continue reading “WP – Add class name to first paragraph in blog post”

A Taste of Something Different…

It’s been a while since writing my last blog post back in June, but I’m pleased to be getting back into it again.

One of the main reasons for for the lack of updates is due to the stack of work I’ve been attempting to get through and my attempts at redesigning the layout of my blog.

I had a couple of different concepts for the redesign, but this is the design I eventually went with. Continue reading “A Taste of Something Different…”

Upgrading to WordPress 2.5.1

After receiving notification of the latest WordPress release I wandered over to the WordPress Blog to see what was included in the latest version (2.5.1).

Aside from what has been described as a “very important security fix” there were over 70 additional bug fixes, most of which I hadn’t come across myself although had heard of some troubles encountered by others.

Unlike my previous upgrade this time I just switched the subversion repository and ran the web based update script, shaving off an additional few minutes and therefore upgrading my install in under two minutes from start to finish!

svn switch http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/tags/2.5.1/

Luckily everything seems to be working fine and I have faith in the WordPress releases, but if you want to be more cautious you should probably backup your database first.

As Paul’s response to my previous upgrade post mentions, any web scripts can be rolled back using svn.

It is highly recommended that you carry out the upgrade as it is said that the vulnerability to 2.5 will be made public shortly.

There is also to introduction of additional security in the form of secret keys, introducing randomness into the cryptographic functions used for cookies.

Simply obtain a secret key and paste the code into your wp-config.php file along with the other defined variables.

Upgrading WordPress using SubVersion

I have just upgraded my WordPress install to the lastest release, luckily with SubVersion the whole process can be achieved with minimum time and effort.

Paul went through the upgrade steps on his blog, but thought I would go through them here as I went along.

Unfortunately when I initially installed WordPress I committed it directly to the root directory unlike the more popular location of the subdirectory /blog, but not to worry.

Here are the steps I followed to complete the update:

# Backup the current directory...
cp -Rp http httpBACKUP
# Create a new location for the update...
mkdir httpNEW
# Checkout the latest release from the repository...
svn co http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/tags/2.5/ httpNEW/
# Copy across any custom changes/themes and config file...
cp -Rp http/wp-con* httpNEW/
# Copy over the .htaccess file..
cp -Rp http/.htaccess httpNEW/
# Delete the old directory...
rm -rf http
# Rename/move the update to the original location...
mv httpNEW/ http
# Switch the SubVersion Repository...
svn switch http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/tags/2.5/
# Finally, run the browser based update script...
http://yourdomain/wp-admin/upgrade.php

And that’s all there is to it really, now every time I need to update WordPress I can simply copy and paste the above commands.

Becoming a Blogger

At last I am now an official blogger according to the results from Google.

define: blogger – “The author of a blog”.

Over at Fubra they like to encourage – or nag – all employees to write their own blog and be part of the ever increasing population of online bloggers.

Until now I have been putting off the process of setting up my own blog in the hope that one would just magically appear or allow me to create one with minimum effort.

Thanks to the wonders of Subversion and WordPress I was able to quickly and easily install a blog on my vserver that Fubra have kindly supplied.

It can’t really get much easier than running the following cmd to checkout from the WordPress repository:

svn co http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/branches/2.3/ .

All that was left was to come up with a quick and simple design to get away from the default template theme.

So there you have it, the kick start to my future in blogging.

Oh, and a quick thank you to my boss Paul for backing me into a corner and pressuring me into this whole blogging malarkey.