Introducing WordPress 3.0 “Thelonious”

WordPress 3.0 “Thelonious” has been released!   The new version includes a multitude of features and bug fixes.

Straight from the WordPress Announcement:

Major new features in this release include a sexy new default theme called Twenty Ten. Theme developers have new APIs that allow them to easily implement custom backgrounds, headers, shortlinks, menus (no more file editing), post types, and taxonomies. (Twenty Ten theme shows all of that off.) Developers and network admins will appreciate the long-awaited merge of MU and WordPress, creating the new multi-site functionality which makes it possible to run one blog or ten million from the same installation. As a user, you will love the new lighter interface, the contextual help on every screen, the 1,217 bug fixes and feature enhancements, bulk updates so you can upgrade 15 plugins at once with a single click, and blah blah blah just watch the video.

I have a few blogs that I will be setting up the multi-user capabilities as managing the splits between WordPressMU and WordPress have been a bit of a challenge.

Happy Blogging!

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Listing eBay Auctions

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series A More Capable Website

I have gone through a pretty lengthy process to set my wife’s new website up.  So far, I have upgraded her Gallery1 installation to Gallery2, setup and themed a WordPress install and moved her Gallery into Flickr so that it could be embedded into WordPress.

Since my wife is also planning on selling her artwork on eBay, I wanted to make sure she’d have some visibility into her auctions on her website as well.  Nothing like social marketing!

This was probably the easiest part of the whole process.  There are lots of eBay plugins, so I picked one with good ratings.  I finally picked eBaySalesLister, which installed in two easy steps.  Once set up, it will display eBay auctions for any given eBay username.

And that ends my work for this weekend, and starts my wife’s work.  With everything I’ve done, she now has a long list of artwork to update and auctions to list.  Once she’s gotten going, I’m sure there will be changes that need to be done.

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Gallery in WordPress

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series A More Capable Website

I have spent the past couple weekends setting up a new website for my wife.  Some of her requirements including moving her old artwork to the new site and being able to provide smooth experience for herself and anyone visiting her site.  My solution was to set the site up with WordPress and a multitude of plugins that would accomplish her goals.

This weekend, I focused on making her Gallery work.  I spent several hours playing with a few Gallery “wrappers” that take the current Gallery and embed it into the WordPress site.  Unfortunately, none of these gave the experience I knew my wife was expecting.  On one of my many Google searches, I chanced upon a module for Gallery2 called Gallery2Flickr.  Flickr, as I’m sure you know, is a photo sharing website.  Upon doing a little research, I found that this module can export Albums from Gallery2 into Flickr.  After setting my wife up with a Flickr account, I commenced with installing the module.

I’m not going to kid you here, the module’s documentation was terrible and most people that had posts about it did not feel the need to explain how to make it work.  I finally found the web page with much better documentation here:  http://gallery2flickr.sourceforge.net/

After getting it all set up, I still could not publish the pictures to Flickr.  More searching found that there is a bug in one of the php files.  The fix can be found here:  http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?func=detail&aid=2905503&group_id=199596&atid=970128

So, I now have the Gallery2 pictures importing into Flickr.  Now to get them out of Flickr and into WordPress.

I found the best possible Flickr integration in a plugin called Flickr Gallery.  The documentation was spot on and after installing and going through the setup, I now have the Artwork on the new website.

Next, I’ll be working on getting eBay information included in the website.

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A Perfect WordPress

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series A More Capable Website

My wife has asked me to set her up with a new website.  As part of this process, she’d like all of the images and artwork from her old website moved over.  Since she has not used the old website in quite some time, there is quite a bit of work to be done.  So far, I’ve upgraded the Gallery1 install to Gallery2 on her old website.  Now it’s time to set up the new website and start getting ready for the move.

I am quite familiar with WordPress.  I run several blogs using WordPress and WordPressMU, ideally using one of these applications for her site would make my life much easier.  I don’t mind learning new tools, but WordPress is still being actively developed and is widely supported by many developers.  Additionally, the population of WordPress sites means that Search Engines should have no issues indexing her site.

WordPress, in a nutshell, is blogging software.  The basic functionality can be extended using plugins that are developed by WordPress themselves and/or third parties.  Many of the plugins I use are developed by a volunteer community.  These volunteers do not require you to pay for their plugins, many ask that if you use it you donate back to them .  The developers do sometimes stop development for very long periods, which can be a problem if a new version of WordPress comes out and their plugin doesn’t work.  Sometimes the volunteers have lives, lose interest or in some cases decide the time and effort they put into a plugin is not worth the return.  I personally feel that if you depend on a plugin for the operation of your site, make a donation and let the developer know how much you appreciate what they do.

So let’s get to the WordPress installation.  If you’re like me, you probably have someone else host your websites.  Most modern web hosts offer something like  “On-Click Installs” and frequently WordPress is included in the list of installations they offer.  This is, by far, the easiest way to get a clean install of WordPress up and running.  The “On-Click Installs” often allow you to automatically upgrade your installation if a new version comes out.  This makes life very easy.

Continue reading »

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A More Capable Website

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series A More Capable Website

I am setting my wife up with a new website for ScrapBooking. One of the things she wants to do is showcase techniques and explain some of the things that she does. After looking at several platforms, I determined that WordPress is probably going to be ideal for her. There are many plugins that can add functionality that you don’t generally see on many ScrapBook sites. But the other factor is that I know WordPress, so I can find solutions for things she wants to do.

The Old Site & Plan

On her old website, she had a Gallery1 setup. Gallery1 is no longer being developed and has quite a few security issues.  My wife had take a while off from ScrapBooking and her site was kept up, but had been spammed with comments on her pictures.  Additionally, the old website was running on PHP4, which my web host will no be longer supporting.

My wife wanted to keep her old artwork, and build the content from there.  However, getting it out of Gallery (whichever version) would be necessary.  So the question was – how do we achieve that?

Clearly transitioning to a new website will require several steps to get there.  I did the research to identify the issues I would run into and determine the migration process

Issues

  • Per my host, WordPress will not work on PHP4.
  • The version of Gallery1 on my wife’s site will not work with PHP5.
  • Gallery2 will work on the version of PHP4 running on my wife’s site.
  • Gallery2 integration into WordPress is a kludge.  It works, but it is not easy to maintain and very buggy.
  • Identify an appropriate Gallery solution for WordPress

Migration

  • Upgrade Gallery1 to latest version
  • Migrate to Gallery2 (latest version)
  • Set Up WordPress on the new site
  • Test Gallery2->WordPress Integration
  • Identify Gallery Solution
  • Migrate Graphics & Integrate with WordPress

The New Site

The New Site will be a wonderful blend of WordPress and supporting plugins.  This will allow my wife to create HowTo articles, publish her amazingly creative artwork and ultimately provide a market avenue for advertising and maybe e-commerce.

Software & Plugins

  • WordPress with the usual plugins (Akismet, SiteXML, Polls, Messaging, etc)
  • WP e-Commerce – For the eventual addition of artwork sales
  • eBay Plugin – As my wife sells on eBay already, it would be good to list and link her auctions on her site.
  • Gallery Plugin – TBD – This will be determined after testing of various gallery options.

So that’s the plan.  Next, we’ll cover the migration of Gallery.

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