Posts Tagged “wordpress”

Into the Orchard

This site is now being served by Orchard, an open-source Content Management System (CMS). It runs under the .NET framework (version 4.5 as of this writing), and the main reason I switched is its ability to run multiple sites with one installation. (Yes, I know WordPress says they do it too, but I never could seem to get that working correctly.) None of the public URLs have changed, so all the links should still work. And, while the posts still have tags, the theme isn't showing them yet; that should be an easy tweak.

Speaking of the theme, it is called Raptor.Ericka. I've already done a little customization; mainly, shading in the sides beside the content to help guide the eyes down the page. I wasn't sure how much I liked the main page not showing full posts when I started, and that was one of the things I was going to change. Now, though, I think it's grown on me. I still have a sidebar on the front page, but the actual articles now do not. A lot of the stuff from the sidebar is still in the footer, though, and it's on every page. Another cool feature of this theme is the fact that it's mobile-responsive. Try resizing your browser, or looking at it on a phone or a tablet, and you'll see the difference.

If you find anything weird, just let me know. Otherwise, enjoy your irregularly-scheduled programming.

40/40 Prayer Vigil 2012 Starts Today!

Today is the first day for the 40/40 Prayer Vigil for Personal Revival and National Renewal. That's a pretty long title, so I'll just call it 40/40 from here on out. I just got through praying over the first day, and I'm really excited about how this is going to change me. (No, I don't have any inside knowledge - I just know that God's plan is better than mine every time. I've also been through the entire guide, so I know what's coming up!)

40/40 is praying for either 40 days or 40 hours prior to our national election. While it is timed to coincide with the election, and voting is the focus of a few of the days, the main focus of this prayer vigil is personal revival. Though originated by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the vigil is non-denominational; if you're a Christian, you likely won't find any of these suggested prayers running counter to your beliefs. Finally, this is a non-partisan thing; no matter what letter would be in parentheses after your name, if you're a Christian, this is for you.

So, how can you join in? Well, a PDF copy of the guide (in both English and Spanish) can be downloaded from the ERLC's official 40/40 prayer site. You can visit this page each day; the prayer guides will be in the sidebar. If you want a daily site in Spanish, visit PrayerTracker and change the language to Spanish. Finally, if you have a WordPress blog, and you want to have the prayer guides in your sidebar, you can search for the “40/40 Prayer Vigil” plug-in and install it however you normally install plug-ins.

Won't you join me in this journey?

It Was Time for a Change

So I made a big one!

After moving to BlogEngine.NET 11 months ago, things started off great. Then, around the first of the year, I started running into some problems. The details are probably more geeky than you really care about; if you do, you can check them out on the tech blog. The biggest problem here was that, after a major upgrade to the runtime environment, the categories weren't being saved.

So, the short version - the blog you're reading is once again running WordPress. The only thing that's a little odd is that BlogEngine doesn't track the user agent from the browser; so, if you left a comment between October 1, 2010 and August 31, 2011, when you look at the comments here, it'll say you were using Google Chrome on Linux. (If that bothers any of the 4 of you, just let me know what OS/browser you used, and I can change it.)

I'd also had the current theme for more than two and a half years, and while I liked the minimalism, I wanted something a bit brighter (but not too much). The theme I'm running now is called “Green Hope” and I was happy to not have to change it around a whole lot; it pretty much worked the way I wanted out of the box. The category and year/month archives that used to be in dropdown menus are now located on the “Archives” page, linked in the green bar just below the heading. “Daily Reads” and “More Sites” are now in the sidebar, and there's a tag cloud just below the Verse of the Day in the upper part of the sidebar.

I have two pretty good-sized drafts in the wings, and ideas for several more. Let's do this!

From WordPress to BlogEngine

After months of on-again, off-again work in my “spare time” (heh), I have converted this WordPress blog to BlogEngine.NET. I'll have a post up at some point in the future, probably over on my tech blog, that goes over what I think are the technical advantages of this platform.

In the course of the conversion, I spruced up some of the standard-as-of-two-years-ago things on the site.

  • The ShareThis area at the bottom of each post now requires no navigation if you want to share content to Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz, or via e-mail.
  • The theme switcher is gone, as this is the only theme I converted; the others will live fondly in our memory. (Maybe I'll put screenshots on the “About This Blog” page.)
  • Comments will now show your Gravatar.
  • The “History Repeats Itself” and “Verse of the Day” items will only appear on the front page.

I've implemented redirection on all the old posts to their new URLs, so the internal links should be good; if you click something and get a 404 (“Page Not Found”), let me know. Also, I preserved the directory structure that WordPress used for images, so they should all be there. Finally, all comments have been migrated from the election of our current administration forward; the others will come along, but they are single comments on older posts; it won't hurt them to take a break from the Internet.

One interesting side note - over the course of this conversion, I ended up writing some code that was accepted into the project. I'm not just a user, I'm a contributor! (Update: CodePlex is no more, so the link to my profile has been removed.)

February and March in Review

Well, the big push for the Not So Extreme Makeover: Community Edition is complete. While one of our homes still needs some work, the every-day “work, work, work” has been finished. It was a wild two months - the only thing “not so” extreme was the amount of work that went into some of the homes. However, with our extreme efforts following God's leading, we saw extreme results - physical needs cared for, relationships formed, and a ministry that will live on for years and years.

Now, I'm looking at this blog. “Fred Thompson for President” - heh… Seems it's gotten a little bit out of date. I notice part 1 of a 3-part “2007 Year in Review” series - this won't be finished. There is the conspicuous absence of a Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday post and a Sanctity of Human Life post - these will probably go undone as well. Feel free to browse the archives and remember what I've said in previous years - I still feel that way. :) (Of course, with Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright out there, we may still have a race-based post before the year is out.)

The blog is now running WordPress 2.5, so it's up to the latest and greatest version. Coming very shortly is a huge “Plagiarism Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery” post, which will catch up with all the interesting stuff we missed over the past several weeks. I'll also get around to replacing Fred's button with one more timely at some point.

Yet Another New Theme

It was about five months ago that I put the NightLight Idea theme out here, but I wasn't really crazy about it. I decided to look for a one-column theme, without a sidebar taking up space the whole way down the page. I found this one, a very minimalist theme, with nice background images, which I customized for use here. It is called “Mimetastic,” and it is now the default theme here for my blog. Since it's somewhat different, I thought I would take a minute to let you know where all the goodies are…

  • Archives, Categories, Daily Reads, and Search are now in drop-down menus on the top of the page.
  • Verse of the Day is now the first “entry” on the main page. It isn't shown on archive, category, or individual pages.
  • Theme Switcher, Spam Count, Standards, and I Support are located at the bottom of each page.
  • Feed Links and Blog Info are also in the footer of each page.
  • Log In and Register can be obtained by clicking the “Admin” link.

As I did with my previous theme switch, the NightLight Idea theme will remain in the theme switcher. So, if you prefer it (or the Pool theme before it), you can view the blog with those themes. They continue to be supported, so if anything looks funky with any of the themes, just let me know. (I don't do anything with the “WordPress” themes - they're shipped with the software, and I upgrade them whenever a new version comes out.)


UPDATE - 14 Jan 08: If you've ever used the theme switcher, you may not be seeing the new theme. Just click “Mimetastic” from the theme viewer to see it.

Tag, You're It!

You may notice something new in the header of each post on this blog. Native tagging support is new to WordPress 2.3, but most themes didn't support it. I have added it to the “NightLight Idea” theme, and 2.3 added it to the “WordPress Default” theme. Clicking on a tag will show you all posts that have been tagged with the same tag. Of course, since it's new, most of my old posts aren't tagged. I've tagged the ones back about six months, and I'll get to the others as I have time. Enjoy!

If you don't care about the difference between tags and categories, you can stop reading now…

One reason it's taken me so long to add tags to this theme is that I had a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of a tag versus a category. It may not be scientific, and there was no one moment where a light bulb went on above my head and I said “wow - that's it!” But the way I understand it (and the way they'll be used in this blog) is this; categories are broad and should be few, while tags are narrow and may be many. Basically, a category is where you would file the post, were you to print it out and put it in a filing cabinet, or make a card for it in the card catalog of a library - for this post, the category is “Site Info”. A tag is more a collection of keywords or topics that may appear or be referenced in a post. Look at the tag list for this post, and you'll see what I mean.

And, by the way - I know I have some readers who are WordPress bloggers. Here's how I did it - it was a piece of cake!

A New Theme and a New Policy

If you've ever been here before, you'll notice that it looks quite a bit different. I like this new theme - the city is alive! :) (Watch the image for a while…) There are still a few tweaks left, but I think it's about 95% ready.

Also, seeing how potent Akismet is, I have changed the configuration to no longer require a registration to leave comments. If spam starts seeping through, I'll lock it back down, but for now, if that's what's been stopping you, have at it. In fact, you can practice by leaving your comments about this new theme on this post!

Update (28 Sep / 1936 MDT) - I know the sidebar looks weird in IE6. Upgrade or change is my advice. :)

Update (28 Sep / 1945 MDT) - On the sidebar, there is now a section called “Choose Your Theme.” This will allow you to view the new theme (NightLight Idea), the old theme (Pool), or the two default themes that come with WordPress. You can still tell me in the comments which one you prefer. I made sure the theme switcher appears on all the themes, so you can switch back and forth at will. (Pool and NightLight Idea have been customized, while the others have not - so some features may not appear on the default themes.)

“Verse of the Day” Is Now a Plug-In

If any of you are interested, I have converted the “Verse of the Day” on my sidebar from a theme hack to an actual WordPress plug-in. The details (and the download) are over on my tech blog. I plan to convert the category and archive drop-down lists to plug-ins as well - they will all be detailed in the “Programming » WordPress » Plug-Ins” category.