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Why Are Upgrades So Frustrating?

Posted by RickH · August 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Anyone who has been poking around here the last couple of weeks — and according to the WordPress.com Stats module that came with this blog, that seems to be probably around a few hundred people — has noticed I’ve been busily upgrading the site software. For many years, Unspun™ relied upon MovableType™.

Unfortunately, Unspun™ gets blasted by hundreds of comment spammers per day; close to a thousand some weeks. MT gave me no easy way to moderate or block these.

The Akismet plug-in for WordPress™ does. The switch to WordPress™, however, has not come without its own problems.

The problem is that WordPress™ relies upon PHP code, plus a whole bunch of other stuff concerning which I’m not all that well-versed. I couldn’t just write HTML the way I did with MT to easily create my own designs. After weeks of hunting for a theme that was basically what I wanted and for which I could apply my meager coding skills to give it the necessary facelift to make it look like Unspun™, I settled on Cutline.

Cutline comes with it’s own support website. That probably should have been my first clue that this was not going to be easy. And, sure enough, it hasn’t been. This is primarily because the instructions on the Cutline site frequently reference things that don’t appear to exist. “Page slug,” for example, seems to be important to Cutline’s instructions. Yet there seems to be no such thing in either versions 2.5 or 2.6.1 of WordPress™. Similarly, the instructions sometimes refer to a link called “Presentation.” As with the page slug…well, as my dad would say, “There ain’t no such aminal.”

For now, I appear to have most of what I want out of the theme. I even managed to successfully upgrade WordPress™ from 2.5 to 2.6.1 without disrupting the work I’d already done modifying Cutline. ((As usual, I had some help from Joni!))

The only thing that doesn’t work is the Archives link, although most pages have a list of the Archives on them, right below the Categories links, anyway. Still, if anyone knows how to fix this, I’d love to hear it.

And don’t bother pointing me to the Cutline page on creating archives and about pages, or the one on enabling the “About” and “Archive” pages, or even the one on how to add navigation links. I’ve read ’em. They didn’t help, for the reasons noted above. I’ve been at this for most of today and Cutline has cut my mind — a thousand little mental papercuts.

I’ll try again another day. For now, just use the links in the left-hand column for browsing archives.

Categories: Administrivia · Blogs & Blogging

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Joni // Aug 16, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Well, it’s looking pretty darn good for someone with “meager” {{cough}} web coding skills. And .. you still have all your hair, huh? (At least the same amount you had as when you started this “misadventure”!?)

    Just remember, content is king, and you have THAT in spades! And if it’s good enough for Ariana, it darn well ought to be good enough for the rest of the Blogosphere. (Gah, I hate using that word, but sometimes, no other word will do!)

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