This site

October 25, 2006 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment

I’ve been having some fun (?) with the site, here’s what’s been going on.

I’ve had a blog up here for a while and have been experimenting with posting tools. It doesn’t work for me to put down my thoughts if there’s a big process getting in the way. I finally found one I like (Windows Live Writer) and then I wanted to do other things with the site (photo albums, music and books I like, host and post videos, etc.), but found that the Spaces site just wasn’t very customizable, just like most free web sites.

So I went searching for a blogging platform that:

  • is supported by Windows Live Writer
  • is free
  • and I could host on my own domain

and I ended up with Word Press.

I always like to have a local copy of my public web sites so I can add features and do redesigns off-line. I downloaded and installed MySql 5 and MySQL Administrator 5, and PHP 4.4.4. I then downloaded and tried to install Word Press 2.0.4, but it couldn’t connect to the database to create the tables.

After much research in the excellent Word Press support forums, I discovered that MySQL v 5.0 didn’t recognize passwords that start with a numeric character. Once I used a (still complex) pw that started with an alpha character, the Word Press install went very smoothly.

Since Word Press allows (even encourages) customizing your site, I downloaded 12 different ‘themes’ and loaded them into localhost/notastute. When I began this process I had pretty good idea what I wanted the site to look like and I found a theme that would get me most of the way there.

Now, I’m an HTML, CSS, .NET kind of guy and this PHP and Word Press Templates stuff was pretty confusing at first. But eventually ‘code is code’ and I figured out (thanks to Google and Word Press) how the pages are put together and how to call a PHP page from another PHP page. I also configured Word Press to run from the root instead of it’s default wordpress directory.

Once I got it looking and working like it should on localhost, I set up the MySQL db on my web host and used their Word Press install script. I then FTPd the customized files from my localhost install up to the live site and I’m done.

I used (and in some cases heavily modified):

Matt Mullenweg’s Random Image script to get the headers to rotate

My own quote list with Red Shift Software’s Random php Quotes file

fAlbum to create the Photos page using my flickr photos

Amazon Associates code on the Recommendations page.

It doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve put in a good 30 hours getting everything to this point and still the navigation still isn’t quite right (some Word Press thing), but I can live with it for now.

I am VERY pleased with the result and with Word Press in general. Let me know what you think…

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Entry filed under: Tech Adventures.

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