Wordpress 1.5

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OK, I think I'm finally there; WordPress 1.5 is properly installed. It was a bit more tricky and nerve-wracking than I'd hoped, but I think that's probably because I'd done quite a bit of hacking of my index.php and comments.php, so I had to merge the old files with the new changes. However, the new structure for templates should make it much easier to upgrade in future. It didn't help that I had a corrupted download of the files, permissions problems when I uploaded and conflicts in my .

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WordPress 1.2

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WordPress 1.2 final release is out, and I've installed it without problems. While I was at it, I also installed the updated statistics plugin, written originally by GamerZ and ported to plugin format by Ryan. You can get a whole page of interesting statistics here, or use the link right at the bottom of the sidebar on the right. Among other fascinating facts, you can see who tops the league of frequent commenters (like the League of Gentlemen, only.

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Closing comments

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I'm fed up to the back teeth with comment spammers, so I decided to do something about it. I do use the wpblacklist plugin, and that's a great help, but you still miss one or two items when a new spammer appears and you haven't updated your list. The majority of spam comments are made on old entries, so I decided to set up automatic closing of comments, as described here.

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Ramblings about markup

You might notice that some of the comments in the list below each post now have white backgrounds, and others have grey backgrounds. There's a story behind this. I wanted to have a fancy alternating colour scheme for the comments, so that they would have alternating white and grey backgrounds1. Fine, I thought — this should be easy. Each comment has a comment ID number, so if I write a function to check whether the ID is even or odd, I can set the class attribute of the li element to 'even' or 'odd' appropriately.

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WordPress Hacks

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Update: I forgot another vital part of my switching process, because it isn't a part of WordPress per se, but a nonetheless essential tool. It's mt-wp-redirect by Alex King, which automates the process of permanently redirecting your old blog entries to your new ones. It's very easy to use.

Pictorialis

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Having updated this blog to WordPress, I'm now turning my attention to my photoblog — wings open wide. I found a fantastic customisation of the standard WordPress install produced by Mark, called Pictorialis. It has all the great features of WordPress, plus easy image uploads, and automatic resizing and thumbnailing of images. I've tinkered with the stylesheet a bit, and imported my posts from Movabletype. One slight pain is that I have to wrap the main images in some and tags to get them to work properly with the template, so some of the older images currently look a bit weird.

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Design of this site

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I thought that I'd post some brief comments about the new design of this site (later, I'll post about the WordPress Hacks I've used). As much as anything, it will serve as a reminder to myself when I forget how the heck I did something. I also found that when I saw something I liked on another site, I missed an explanation of how it was done. I plan to link to this post on the About page, so that anyone who gets the same feeling coming here will have some answers.

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Tinkering finished

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I've finished the bulk of the tinkering now, so you should see a shiny new PHP-based design, powered by WordPress. I'll write more later on why I made the move from Movabletype, but for now I'm a bit exhausted. I've added redirects from the main index page of the old blog, as well as redirects for the individual archive pages, so with any luck, permalinks shouldn't break. Your mileage may vary :-)

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Why WordPress?

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I said earlier that I would write about why I've made the move from Movabletype to WordPress. I want to say right at the start that my decision really isn't a criticism of Movabletype. It has served me extremely well for more than a year, and has made my life immeasurably easier. But one thing I've found as I've been keeping this blog is that your needs (and skills) change as time goes on, so that you can't necessarily forsee what you will need in a blogging tool a year or two years down the line.

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