What a harrowing day. No, it wasn’t Mother Nature, an illness, or anything like that. Rather, it was this blog, LMAO. It started off with me updating a plug-in in the morning. Somehow or other it just screwed things up. I couldn’t log out or in, and a string of cryptic error messages appeared on my browser—I am not a programmer, so those messages made as much sense to me as Egyptian hieroglyphics. Well at least I could still access my blog by typing in its URL address. Anyways, off I went to have lunch with a friend. Ate like a piglet, as usual.
Came back in the afternoon, and decided to be a smarty pants. Edited the wp-config file, thinking I could make things right—hmm, that wasn’t so clever after all. Now I can’t even access my blog, let alone log in or out. Surprisingly I didn’t perspire, but I did have one big serious headache. UGH, how do I get my beloved blog back? Fortunately I went to the WordPress.org site and they walked me through creating a new wp-config.php file. When that was done I was invited to click on the Log In button. Uh oh. I was really trembling.
Success! Things are back to normal now—I hate it when a plug-in does that to me, grr.
It seems that a lot of users on WordPress self-hosted blogs have seen their stats vanish on their admin dashboard pages. There hasn’t been any official word from WP Support, but I did find a solution to the problem. Installing the Jetpack plug-in enabled my stats to work again on both my blogs. I actually like the Jetpack stats display better than the former WP stats—I see them as a vertical graph now, and it loads much quicker. Hovering your mouse over any of the date bars will cause a window to pop up, informing you how many readers visited your blog on that particular day.
Besides stats, Jetpack offers a host of other features:
Bear in mind that for Jetpack to work, you need to upgrade your self-hosted WP blog to the latest version (3.1 as of now) The plug-in will only work with WP versions 3.0.5 and higher. Hope this helps those who have problems viewing their stats. Have a nice day.
So this morning I was seated in front of my computer as usual, doing stuff like checking my emails, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I’m Mr. Predictable. It has become second nature for me to check my blogs on a daily basis as well, looking at my stats, comments if any, and so on. And hmmm, it’s been some time since I explored some new WordPress themes, so away I go. Ah, here’s one that looks interesting—I preview it but the preview doesn’t show (I should have smelled something fishy). But since the theme looks quite enticing I decide to let WordPress download and install it into my blog. Then I activate it, and Boom! my blog’s disappeared! In its place was this ominous and cryptic error message:
Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘)’, expecting ‘(‘ in /home/username/public_html/blog/wp-content/themes/producer/functions.php on line 9
That could have been written in Klingon or Romulan, I couldn’t care less. But my blog just vanished and the page was all white—just like my face. I tried refreshing the page—no luck. I tried logging in to access my admin panel—no luck, just that same damn message appearing, as if to spite me for activating the theme. It was like an enemy torpedo had blown up my blog ship.
Fortunately, I calmed down soon enough. Took some deep breaths, walked around, pondered…out of desperation I check the WordPress support forums. I look for functions.php (what the heck is this?) but there are hundreds and hundreds of threads. Better to post a new thread myself, and so I did. I started to get anxious again and paced around—can you imagine the distress arising within me? My patience was rewarded soon enough (around 15 minutes) when a Clayton James from New York replied and gave me the simple solution which I’m going to share here (thanks again, Clayton!)
So what do you do when a newly installed theme thrashes your WordPress blog? Here’s the answer:
- Use an FTP program and navigate to your WordPress theme directory. Locate the rogue theme folder and delete it. Don’t even think about it, just blow it to kingdom come!
- Open your browser, go to your blog site and refresh it. The default WordPress theme should show up again. Choose another installed theme if you want to. That’s all there is to it.
I learn something new everyday!
I’ve hosted my blog with WordPress since I started blogging more than one and a half years ago. Apart from a few minor niggles I’ve been very happy with WordPress. They have made upgrades so much easier now ever since version 2.6; just go to your Admin panel, click on Upgrade Automatically, and voila, you’re done. Back up your databases before the upgrade but so far touch wood, I’ve never had any untoward incidents happen during my upgrades.
And so it was with this latest 2.9 upgrade, nicknamed “Carmen.” This page details all the improvements and fixes (and has the video above too) but two improvements alone made me want to upgrade as soon as I saw it:
- Global Undo and Trash feature What happens if you have itchy or nimble fingers and accidentally delete a post or comment you actually wanted? In previous versions of WP, you’d be stuck. Not in 2.9 which now boasts a recycle bin, where deleted posts and comments will be kept for 30 days, so if you change your mind you can bring them back.
- Batch plug-in update and compatibility checking In previous WP versions it was a chore for me to upgrade each plug-in individually (well yeah, it doesn’t take long, but still I had to do one plug-in upgrade after another) That’s done away with in 2.9—all your plug-ins which have new upgrades can be done altogether at once. Not only that, WP checks to make sure all of them are compatible with it, and issues a warning if some are not. One curious thing is that to get to this batch plug-in update feature, you’ll have to go to Tools > Upgrade in your WP admin panel. I’d have thought that putting the Upgrade tab in the Plug-Ins category would be more logical no? Just my personal opinion.
So go ahead and upgrade to this latest version of WordPress. They’re making it better every time!
I’ve thought and toyed with the idea of creating another blog just for my musical ramblings; I think about this most often when I’m in the pool, in-between laps. And the mind (at least my mind) sure is funny, it tries to cook up excuses…so I was saying to myself something like “Nah, it’s too difficult, I have no idea how to create a new self-hosted blog…” This went on for a couple of days and then I decided I had to do something. I IMed a friend or two, picked their brains, and scoured the web. And good grief, it’s so easy to create a new blog when you already have a web host. All I had to do was go to Fantastico in my control panel, select WordPress, fill in some details, and before I could even make a cup of java my new WordPress blog had been installed and was ready to go. Yay!
No flourish of trumpets, no drum rolls, no swank parties at the Ritz-Carlton…well maybe someday. Anyway, I hope you’ll check out my new blog and see what you think. I’m gonna chronicle my musical teaching career and my cocktail piano stints throughout the past 25 years. Yeah it’ll do wonders for the old grey matter. It will also keep me out of the devil’s paws, muahaha! Read it and please let me know what you think. I thrive on comments. And leftovers too.
I love hosting my WordPress blog on my own site. It provides me with so much freedom and perks, one of which is the ability to download and install whatever theme I choose. However, I should remind readers that there’s always a flip side to the coin, as I discovered about two months ago. The problem was this—my readers’ comments showed up properly in my blog posts, but comments which were supposed to be in my other pages (My Music, About Me) mysteriously vanished into virtual obscurity whenever I changed themes. What compounded the aggravation was that practically every new theme that caught my fancy had this problem manifesting itself, as if to spite me for being so hooked on playing with themes. It got so bad that I was soon limited to just a few themes which worked right for all my pages. Upgrading to the latest WP 2.8 didn’t help at all.
Heck, even the default WordPress theme became “infected” and I was getting more frustrated as the days and weeks passed. I googled and binged and searched the WP support forums, to no avail. So I decided to post for help here. Luck was with me, because Nazcar gave me a speedy reply and solution. Thanks, Nazcar!
Add this line of code into the Page template (page.php) of the theme, after the last </div>:
<?php comments_template(); ?>
Save the page up, that’s all there is to it!
I had to do this for every theme that swallowed my comments, but it was worth it. Now I can use any theme I like, provided I remember to add that line of code into it. I wonder why theme creators don’t add it to their themes in the first place?
Strange how some things hit you just because you deserve it. I was working on a client’s blog recently when he requested that I put in a guestbook for him. I’d never put in a guestbook for a WordPress.com blog before, so I did some Googling and Binging (Microsoft’s new search engine is not bad) and found a very nice and free guestbook at Slide. Instructions were straightforward and easy to follow, and with a few clicks of the mouse, my client’s blog had a guestbook—he was happy, I was happy, everything’s good.
Then it was as if someone threw a brick at my head and shouted, “Hey you dork! Your blog is already over a year old—where’s your guestbook?” Oh man, that voice was right—I’d not even thought about putting a guestbook in my blog, aw this is silly of me. I searched through the WordPress plug-ins since I’m hosting my own WP blog. There were a couple of guestbook thingies, tried one or two, hmm not too interesting or attractive for that matter.
Went back to Slide, did my own customizing and came up with a pretty nice guestbook. Tried putting it into a new blog page, and that was when the trouble started. I just couldn’t get it to work! Instead of displaying a guestbook, all that I could see were the lines of code. It was futile trying to do it in the WP admin, so I tried Windows Live Writer instead. And you know what, just copying the HTML code and pasting it into a new page won’t work, no matter how much you cuss. The trick is to create a single-cell table, and then paste the code into it. Even so, you have to select the Paste Special command in order to get the HTML to show up. I did this, and voila! Here’s one neat (at least to me) Guestbook in my blog.
The great thing about the Slide guestbook is that visitors and readers can choose to upload a picture and paste it into their guestbook entry. This beats all the other boring guestbooks which only allow text.
I hope you’ll sign my guestbook here. Thank you!