As part of my efforts to revitalize my blog, it occurred to me that I have enough people accessing my site that I really didn’t want to mess up the actual pages when I mess something up. And let’s face it, if you muck about with HTML, PHP and CSS theme files enough, you’ll eventually land yourself into a situation where something is broken and it might take a few hours to fix. During that time is when, knowing my luck, Google or Yahoo will attempt to crawl my site looking for content. Or, even worse, a reader will look at my site, and leave since they can’t read the content. This is a bad situation.
Local LAMP Server
The solution to this is having the ability to develop your website off-line. Essentially, have your own, local server where can muck about till your heart is content without affecting any readers experience. For WordPress development, you’ll need a LAMP server (Linux, Apache, mySQL and PHP). If you’re starting from scratch with your Linux install, you could simply install a Linux Server version. Please be aware that a server install will not come packaged with a nice graphical user interface. Starting with an existing workstation install, it’s a bit more difficult. Ubuntu has attempted to make it as easy as possible by creating what they call “tasks” which are essentially meta packages containing what you need for a specific type of installation. This allows the Lamp Server task to be installed on top of your existing workstation installation. Since I wanted to be able to use my Ubuntu box as normal, but have the LAMP stack available, this is what I did.
For those who haven’t noticed, I have slowly been updating the theme for DigitalNotions.net. The last theme had been around about a year and frankly, was starting to become a bit dated with regards to the latest blogging and social media trends. But don’t worry! I won’t change things too much. I’m committed to providing useful content though that too may shift a little bit as well — allowing me to write more posts about a wider variety of things.
To start with, I have now joined the ranks of Twitter. In the top right corner of the page is an option to follow me, or simply click here: follow me on Twitter. I will be posting all sorts of info, but most importantly, I’ll be posting whenever I add a new page. Feel free to reply or re-tweet if you are so inclined!
I’ve also upgraded my RSS feed to FeedBurner. This decision was made easy for me when I had a problem setting up the built-in WordPress feed to allow me any sort of metrics with regards to number of subscribers, etc. This type of data will be useful so I know how popular certain content is which will in turn, enable me to provide more good content — or at least that’s the theory.
The final updates have occurred under the hood. I’ve redesigned a couple plugins and some of my PHP code to hopefully, make things a bit easier to maintain. Again, these updates were to hopefully save me some time with administrative tasks to allow me more time to write posts.
The updates are far from over, but I’m going to be phasing them in slowly so as not to cause any undue problems for people! If anything looks weird with this site or you have problems accessing anything, please leave a comment or contact me.
The good news is that all of this WordPress development is giving me a bunch of new things to blog about! Watch for these updates in future posts!
I found out recently that perhaps my RSS feed wasn’t doing what I had hoped. Therefore, I’m not using FeedBurner to publish my RSS feed, which will hopefully give me more insight into who is reading my blog, as well as allow for a consistent and correct feed!
For those of you who haven’t subscribed yet, go ahead! Subscribe!
I’d love to ask those of you who have subscribed if the feed seems to be working correctly, but if it isn’t, they probably aren’t getting this update. Hmm… Somewhat of a conundrum! So ya, let me know either way if possible!
Well. That was fun.
As much as I try to let my blog live peacefully in it’s own little world, I really felt that the latest WordPress update was worthwhile. Some of the security patches affected my site so I decided to go for it.
Thankfully, the WordPress site gave good directions here.
So… if there are any odd issues with the site, please drop me a comment and let me know!