Excuse the mess – I’m retheming the website.

I realized that my last post with multiple pictures in it was not displaying well on screens as the theme I was using was not a responsive theme and resizing to fit the screen display.

I have therefore switched to the WordPress 2017 theme as it looks pretty decent and the images and layout display as intended without nasty overlays over the top of the right hand navigation bars.  Having said that, this theme no longer has right hand navigation bars which I’m not very happy with and the huge header image in a very low resolution looks pretty bad. Hopefully they will be back soon and the image logo rectified but we have a pretty hectic weekend or two planned.

I have quite a few from various activities I have been involved in this year so there may well be some new images making a rotation in the header.

Please let me know what you think of this – to me the static image gives a more consistent branding look as opposed to a website that looks different every time you visit.

I can’t remember the last time I changed the look and feel of the site – the previous theme was a mix of a published theme I had plus some code taken from my previous Movabletype installation adapted to work in WordPress – yes it has been that long!

If you have recommendations of (non premium) themes that look decent, are responsive and suitable for a blog format then I have an open ear for the suggestions.

WordPress fixed.

Well that was embarrassing – this website  has been down for a while. It looks like some kind of WordPress upgrade blew the site up – the site was last updated 7/30 so I know it was fine then but it looks like some plugins were updated on 8/2 so probably around that point in time, but looking at my visit stats it looks like it actually went down on the 3rd/4th August.

When I went to the site this evening I got an ugly message of “Fatal error: Class ‘WP_Widget_Custom_HTML’ not found in /pathtomywordpresslocation/wp-includes/class-wp-widget-factory.php on line 106″

From what I can tell, this is the one of the core files from WordPress so is not a file that typically gets changed.

The typical advice for this sort of error is to deactive the plugins installed – either through the database or by renaming the plugins directory in the wp-content directory.  I found that this didn’t actually work and I had to run a manual update for WordPress as per the instructions at https://codex.wordpress.org/Updating_WordPress#Manual_Update

Note that when removing the plugins, wp-includes and wp-admin directory you may want to rename them rather than delete – this way you always have a copy to refer back to. I found that my theme actually required some files from the plugin directory so although the admin site was available, the main site was not available until after I copied the plugins back.

Even more interestingly, after installing WordPress manually and logging into the admin interface I still get “An automated WordPress update has failed to complete – please attempt the update again now”  This is easily fixed by deleting the .maintenance file in the main wordpress directory and then refreshing the admin page.

Phew!

I have now updated my monitor script to check for the existence of text in the page as opposed to just checking that the web page is up and running.

 

 

 

WordPress 4.6 is out now.

I’ve spent most of the day fighting a WordPress install at work as it has been slow and sending various out of memory issues on a 16GB of memory VPS – so should really have enough memory to run a WordPress site. Therefore it was quite a surprise to see that 4.6 was released today for me to spend yet more time in WordPress today.

However, on this personal site, the upgrade went through smoothly with no issues (as far as I know).

Page Not Found when publishing a WordPress post

Since updating to WordPress 3.0, every time I create a new post, I get an error messaging saying Page Not Found but the post is created successfully and appears in the right hand side of the screen under the recent posts. From what I can see in the forums, most people who get this message don’t get the post generated either. For me the error message shows up but the page has been created successfully.

This post will be updated as I work through the solutions – Troubleshooting consists of disabling plugins and then re-enabling them one at a time  – a very  time consuming process.

Typical – now I can’t reproduce the error! Seeing as though the page does actually exist I think I’m just going to not worry about it 😉

WordPress 3 is now out.

I’ve upgraded and if you are seeing this, then the process was the normal easy, couple of clicks upgrade. So far the interface looks cleaner and I’m liking the fact that finally the updates is at the top of the main dashboard menu rather than being buried in a couple of menus and not in the obvious place. It was weird that plugin upgrades were not under the upgrade option in 2.9.2
Let me know if anything isn’t working – I’ll be upgrading the other sites in the next couple of days – it will be interesting to see what is discussed at Wordcamp/Podcamp Ohio on Saturday.

Podcamp or WordCamp Ohio is next Saturday (June 19th)

I registered for PodcampOhio 3 months ago but for some reason it was not in my calendar so it’s a good job they reminded us about it on the blog.
It will be nice to take the dellmini with me next week instead of having to lug the normal laptop around. The only annoying thing is the mouse movement and smaller keyboard so I’ll have to type slower. I’m debating on loading OneNote onto the machine (restricting me to just one OS for the day or just using Onenote WebApp(but that assumes web access is always available)

If you’re going – don’t forget to say hello.

I guess I should have got my act together and submitted a session on “securely logging into your WordPress blog at conferences without needing an SSL certificate”. The most embarrassing thing is that I worked out how to do this last year before the conference and said my instructions were coming soon!

When changing password on Twitter – update your plugins too

A while back I changed my twitter password – not realising how many other applications I would need to change…The first thing I had to do was go and change my tweetdeck installations which wasn’t too bad. However, this did mean changing it on three different machines.

This morning I posted a new blog post on IRL and realised that the post hadn’t made it to @helsbyhome on twitter. Checking in I realised I had to change my twitter plugins within wordpress too. These plugins haven’t been working for a couple of months now – oops!

For those of you are are interested, I’m using twitme and twitter updater with Tinyurl – any suggestions on alternatives or what do you use?

Removing WordPress version number from themes.

Thanks to Digging into WordPress (a blog I’ve just started reading), it’s possible to easily remove the WordPress version from the header information on a WordPress site. This (slightly) helps security in that the version of wordpress is no longer transmitted to the web browser. It would be nice if this was a toggle switch in WordPress’s admin panel though.
To implement the change, just edit the functions.php file in the Theme and add the following line.
remove_action ('wp_head', 'wp_generator');
One thing to watch is that if you upgrade your theme this change is likely to be undone. I’ve actually created a draft post in WP where I keep my theme changes listed so that they appear in the dashboard and I have a record of what changes are made to the design.
On another theme related post, I have now enabled comments on all the posts on the blog as I had issues where posts that had the enable discussion enabled were not allowing comments to be made on them. Hopefully akismet will continue to do a good job of trapping the spam. I didn’t get any help from the WordPress Support forums so this was my workaround.

Lifestream not updating – fixed.

My lifestream plugin in WordPress that keeps track of most of my social networking sites suddenly stopped working a few days ago and I was not sure how to kick start it back into action again. It turns out that disabling the plugin and then re-enabling the plugin adds the relevant jobs back into the wpcron system. My Lifestream (that appears on Absoblogginlutely! – IRL is now being updated correctly (and also shows my geocaching finds now too).

2.8 now installed.

In common with a lot of bloggers today I upgraded my blogs to WordPress 2.8.  Thankfully I didnt have any problems upgrading any of them. So far in the few minutes that I’ve used WordPress I’ve not actually noticed anything new or drastically different.