A peek under the hood of the website revamp

_Image by riversidetransport under a CC-BY-NC-SA license I am not a web developer. My HTML is rudimentary at best and you should be very afraid when I start poking at CSS and Javascript. Though things might be a bit prettier than they were, I’m going to take this opportunity to highlight the tools I used to give my website a makeover. Homepage For 5 years, I left up a “Coming Soon” webpage with some links to Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Blog updates

I’m in the process of changing servers at my current host, and the last website I had to do was this one. Over the course of last weekend, I decided to finish it, and did a mysqldump of my WordPress database, in addition to updating to the latest version to avoid a security flaw. I about had a heart attack when I saw my database (not gzipped) was 3.3 gigabytes. Sure, I’ve been blogging for 5 years (more on that later this month), but 3.

Lovin' Feedburner

About 6 months ago, I burned my blog’s RSS feed to Feedburner. I was using WP-Shortstat as a WordPress plugin, and the RSS feed subscribers didn’t look realistic (and they weren’t!) as it was over reporting on the number of subscribers. I’ve been happy with Feedburner since, and it provided a very simple view to my feed’s statistics, and there was a plugin to view the statistics right in my WordPress dashboard.

Website Updates

I updated the blog to WordPress 2.1 last night, which has a lots of little updates. The upgrade went perfectly, and my theme and plugins seem to work without any errors. I finally found the option in WordPress to update the feed to full posts instead of the summaries, which makes the blog much more friendly to RSS readers. A bonus effect is that it fixes the Daily Links post to post in bullet summaries in feedreaders instead of mashing the post in to one paragraph.

WordPress 2.0

I’ve upgraded the ole blog to WordPress 2.0 and the K2 theme to the latest, revision 151. Overall, I’m pretty impressed.¬†Visually, it’s much better, though the post editor is now a more WYSIWYG type, and there seem to be some kinks to be worked out with that, but I’m guessing it may have to do with a Firefox extension I’m using.¬†The plugins I use (FlickrRSS, Ultimate Tag Warrior) seem to work, and I’ve switched from Spam Karma 2 to Akismet for spam blockage.


Spam Karma 2

I continue to be impressed with Spam Karma 2 for WordPress since I installed in a couple weeks ago. I was getting about 50 spam comments a day in the blog, and Spam Karma 2 has cut that down to nothing. Zero. Zilch. I think I’ve had to moderate 3 comments so far it wasn’t sure of (which were spam), but that’s nothing compared to the daily maintenance hell I used to go through in deleting comments.

Theme Upgraded

WordPress Updated

A number of updates: Updated to WordPress 1.52 Updated the K2 theme to K2 Beta One r77 and then added the Burum Style Added the Spam Karma 2 plug-in to combat the massive amounts of comment spam I’ve been receiving lately Added the Flickr RSS plug-in instead of using a Flickr badge Added some more links on the right Now on to upgrading Drupal to 4.6.3 over at Apatheia.

Ubuntu Blog

I was taking a peek at WordPress.com (more on that in a minute) and it showed one of the top hosted blogs there is the Ubuntu weblog. It already has some nice tips and tricks posted (like the bash command append). I’ll definitely be adding that to my blogroll. WordPress.com is similar to Movable Type – hosted blog solution for users who don’t want or have a server to host their own blog on.