Archive for Tech Blog

Manually Editing HTML Pages


GAK is a word I made up. It is generally used to describe my process when I am deep into a server thing that requires multiple windows and applications, in this case updating the blog entries on my Connectivity Coach site manually. This blog was created manually using a guestbook script from Matt’s Archive that I installed in back in 2000 while working at Printable. The is no easy way to edit output rather than with a GAK of the HTML code itself. The process goes: download, edit, upload and test. Strictly old school! My new blog is so much easier that this one has become abandonware.

Restarting Idle Blogs after Hiatus

All this from my couch.

All this from my couch.

When it became time to rework my blogs, They needed some dusting off. For one thing, I had a domain name that was expiring, so I repurposed the content from my first WordPress, which was broken from moving some files. So, I cranked up some tunes and got to work. First, I had to use the domain manager in cPanel to point to the old blogsite. phpMyAdmin was instrumental to pointing the new database to the old content. Had to resort to server trickery to reactivate the Ahimsa theme, but it was sweet to get it back on line.

Complete Site Redesign in a Morning

Talk about being in the zone... This is just crazy!

Sometimes, I just have to escape into codeland. It’s my happy place. In this case, it was a redesign (again!) of my own site using a stock install of WordPress. It seems an odd thing for a developer to do, knowing this is my chance to impress you with killer graphics and bleeding-edge coding. Tell the truth, I’m just too tired to make the effort. The whole internet business that changed so much since I began 1993 that I might as well do as my clients have and go the free route.

Grabbing a free download is cake. Installing it onto a server is a bit of a trick, however, as the screen capture above can attest! What I did was up the .zip via FTP and expand it right into the root of the server. After renaming the folder to the proper subdirectory and building the database, all that needed to be done was to edit the wp-config and install.

OK. I’m greatly oversimplifying, but the core matter is the same. Open Source software is better than that built by developers and can be used for free forever. It is robust and feature-filled right out of the box. There are countless templates, add-ons and code snippets for the webhacks out there. Most of all, it puts the creative process into the hands of the owner rather than the developer.

That was the rallying cry of Web 2.0 that cut web maintenance budgets web-wide. We wanted to give content control to its creator, then were upset to realize that subscription payment and update fees were lost in the shuffle. I have been using the format for years on my cancer blog, but it wasn’t fully embraced until the San Diego Eruv site, which was built in an afternoon at the request of its corporate committee. Soon thereafter, it was used for a client siteand another. Now, I have more WordPress installations out there than I can count.

I left this install as stock because I just like it. The menus are easy to create and change. The sidebar widgits are like old friends. Like I said, I’m in my happy place.