CategoryWordPress

Hacking the Arras Theme

First off, I have to say that I love the Arras Theme and think it’s the coolest one out there. The other day I was adding some content to my site and I hadn’t upgraded to WordPress 3.0 yet so I decided to do the upgrade. I usually like to upgrade all the plugins and themes that have upgrades available before I upgrade WordPress just to make sure things are compatible. However, after upgrading WordPress and the Arras Theme I found that things didn’t quite look the way they did before the upgrades. Some of my issues were because I didn’t bother to check theme settings or save theme files that I had modified before I updated the theme. In my defense, I must say it had been a long time since I had setup the theme and had pretty much forgotten what I had done to customize it (yeah, it’s a lame defense ;)).  Anyway, here’s a list of what was different after the upgrades:

  • PHP errors on page because it was using PHP4, not PHP5
  • Colors were different
  • Links for pages across the top (Home, Resume, etc.) were missing
  • Thumbnails were not displaying in the actual posts
  • No picture in the header

Some of these were pretty obvious, but I’ll go through each one so I can save myself time the next time I need to do this. 🙂

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WordPress Upgrade Woes

It seems that every time I try to upgrade my WordPress site or any of the plugins, sometimes it hangs at downloading the file. I just tried to upgrade one plugin now and it didn’t work. I did a quick search and then remembered what I had done in the past (thanks to this post).

To fix the problem with the plugins, DISABLE ALL PLUGINS and then ONLY ENABLE the PLUGIN you are UPGRADING. This has worked for me every time…knock on wood. 🙂

Now, for the upgrade of the site. I thought it was cool that WordPress finally built in an autoupgrade feature, but I haven’t been able to get that to work most of the time. What has worked for me is this:

  • Download and install the “WordPress Automatic Upgrade” plugin (search for it from the Plugins page or you can visit the plugin site). Disable all other plugins if you have problems installing this one.
  • Disable all other plugins except the “WordPress Automatic Upgrade” plugin.
  • Once installed and activated, you should then see a ribbon at the top of the admin pages that says something like “Click Here to Automatically Upgrade WordPress to latest Version x.x.x”. Click on the link it provides and follow the instructions.
  • Note: I’m not sure if this is necessary, but I’ve also set the theme to the default WP theme before upgrading. If you have problems you might want to try this too.

I’ve used the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin since before WordPress built that functionality into the product and I’ve never had any problems with it, as long as I’ve followed the steps I mention above. I also like that it backups up your files and the database as part of the process (just don’t forget to download them…just in case).

Anyway, this is mostly just a note for me since I’m sure I’ll run into this again sometime and won’t remember what I did to fix it. However, it just might help someone else and that’s fine by me. 🙂

 

Avatar’s in WordPress

So a couple weeks ago I was trying to figure out how to add a picture to my profile so it would show up next to my comments. Well, I didn’t try very hard to figure it out and thought I’d look into it another today. Today is that day. I did a little digging and found that it was super easy. WordPress is now integrated with Gravitar and it’s super easy to create a Globally Registered avatar.

To creat one, head over to http://en.gravatar.com/ and sign up for an account. All you need is your email address and a picture. Once you sign up you can upload a picture, crop it after it’s uploaded and ta-da! you now have a Gravatar that appears anywhere you post something on the Internet that supports Gravatars (WordPress is one application that does). You can upload multiple pictues and change it whenever you want. It’s that easy!

So, what are you waiting for?

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