Since my primary server died in February this year, I’ve been running tadhg.com on a cheap virtual machine. That’s worked fine, but the original server came back to life quite some time ago, and today I finally completed the process of moving tadhg.com back to it. The move is now complete, and hopefully you’re not seeing anything unexpected. This post is about what’s involved in that move and what I’ve tried to improve along the way.
I upgraded this blog today, the first time I’ve done that in over a year. Everything looks okay.
I’ve become slightly less paranoid about it; I still back everything up first, but I no longer preview the upgrade in my development environment, instead being prepared to restore from backups if something goes wrong. This might not be wise, but I’ve been lulled by the smooth upgrades the past few times.
I upgraded this blog to WordPress 2.9 today, and it appeared to go entirely smoothly. Please let me know if you notice any breakage.
wpbeginner has a list of their favorite WordPress 404 pages. There are some good ones in there, but none of them do what I think they should do—that is, as well as provide helpful links to popular pages, also provide a list of guesses about where the user was actually trying to go. Coincidentally, today I also read this excellent article about finding the longest common subsequence between two strings. So, at some point, I’ll improve my blog’s 404 page so that it calls, probably via asynchronous request, a Python script that checks the user’s requested URL against all valid URLs WordPress knows about, and then suggests to the user whatever the closest matches are. I’m somewhat surprised that this isn’t done more often, but it seems that far too many sites are really blasé about 404s.
Today I upgraded this blog to WordPress 2.8, a relatively smooth process. I ran into completely unrelated problems (hitting the process limit for my shell account) that derailed things for a while, but the WordPress upgrade itself was smooth.
I use Subversion to upgrade, first using
svn export --force http://core.svn.wordpress.org/tags/2.8/ .
in my development environment, seeing if things look okay there, then checking in the 2.8 changes to my own repository (the only niggly part because I neglected to clean the dev environment of changes before the export, so I had to look through things to see what was part of the upgrade), backing up my live database, and then checking the changes out to the live environment. It all looks fine, and hopefully will continue to function normally.
I finally got around to writing up docs for, and then packaging, the two WordPress plugins I’ve finished recently:
I’m currently looking at support for series in WordPress, and am considering either writing my own plugin or using/forking the Organize Series plugin.
I’ve made some changes to my Related Posts by Tags plugin, so that it’s now possible to add the list of related posts to the RSS feed entries. As I was experimenting with this, I realized that I wanted the RSS entries to show the tags for a post as well, so I wrote a (very simple) plugin to do that, too.
As a result, those of you reading this via RSS will now see a list of tags at the end of posts, followed by links to related posts. Please let me know if this doesn’t work as intended, or if you have other comments on the change.
I’ve had a Recent Comments section on the front-page sidebar of the site for quite some time, and decided it was time for an upgrade. The old version was straightforward: it displayed a list of the most recent comments and who made them. What I decided I wanted was, rather, a list of the posts with the most recent comments on them, how many comments there were, and a list of the people who made the comments in timestamp order.
One of the first things I did with my resuscitated blog was to figure out how I could develop for it in a reasonable fashion.