Aug 06

A Month on WordPress

FT11 comments • 4,336 views

That is, an excuse for a meta-post, and some dry technical info on nu-FT.

I am very impressed with WordPress – both with the internal architecture and the external functionality. The FT regulars have had to get used to a new way of writing with more clever bits and pieces to get the hang of, but I hope they prefer this to the inflexible austerity of blogger. And it’s not that difficult to get the hang of. Is it?

The dynamic db-ness of nu-FT means we get more of an idea what people are reading, what they are looking for, and provides them better links between the articles. There are still over 100 articles in “dead” html files which I’m slowly incorporating into the db to give them a new lease of life. The old articles are no longer forgotten, not now that everything is open to comment, and we have our own “New Answers” (sorry) keeping things lively.

I do worry about SQL outages though. (I bet there’s a WP plugin out-there that periodically saves out a “frozen” front page and serves that when the db is down, hmmm.)

Talking of plugins – I’ve learned that there really is no (well, very little) need to hack WordPress. There are plugins out there to do almost everything you’d want. Though in all honesty I’ve written a good few FT-only functions, and it’s not too difficult. Though the one place that WordPress really lacks is some decent tutorials and documentation on the “right way to do it”. (I have no idea how to make use of the WP cache in my bespoke functions – but I’m working on it!)

Enough. But before we go back to actually readable posts, here’s some info for the curious

Non-Standard Plugins
akismet the “Worst Offenders” remix from http://boakes.org/ – a life saver getting rid of spam comments
podPress – for the podcasts and media players
Related Posts – a hit! (Still needs some work)
CountPosts – possibly not the best hit-counter, but the simplest
InSeries – a more explicit way of relating posts

and at the “back end”
Search Regex –with my own modification to cope with FT’s large database. Great for updating dead links.
Role Manager – why isn’t “site designer” a standard WordPress Role?

Some stats
Posts on FT: 9302 (including the archive obv)
Article views: 252,100
Comments: 1203
Spam comments caught: 2790 (most of it in the first couple of weeks – do the spammers learn to not bother??)
% of spam relating to poker: ~98%
Search hits for a certain football related song: 815 (of which 450 in the last 48 hours)
Search hits with “indie” in search: 1167
Podcast downloads: 962 (129 most recent episode) in-line plays are not logged :-(


  1. 1
    Tom on 3 Aug 2006 #

    Awesome d00d. I will now flagrantly post here instead of the to-do list….

    – is there any way we can have a #hits on the ‘manage posts’ page?

  2. 2
    Admin on 3 Aug 2006 #

    oo. that’d be quite a major thing. Meanwhile you might be happier with the new “ShortStat” plugin that i put in last night – it appears as a tab at the “Dashboard” and has all sort of smashing new stats.

    There’s also a new thing in the sidebar on the public author pages.

  3. 3
    alext on 3 Aug 2006 #

    Is there any way it’s possible to preview before you publish in wp? (I like to check my rub html skills have not let me down!) I am either k-dumb in not spotting this feature or k-lazy in not looking for it!

  4. 4
    Pete Baran on 3 Aug 2006 #

    Save and Continue Editing, then scroll down on the WP page and there is a preview pane at the bottom of the edit window, keep scrolling down.

    Is there a way of getting an image to be a thumbnail on the front page but full sized on “read more”?

  5. 5
    Admin on 3 Aug 2006 #

    Is there a way of getting an image to be a thumbnail on the front page but full sized on “read more”?

    that’s a tremendous idea. no. but i will scan around to see if anyone has a plugin to do it. also it could be simple to do as the filenames are easy to link. wot’s tricky is thinking of a consistent way to tell WP to do this to your post. maybe a “class=zoom” or something in the img code??

  6. 6
    Admin on 3 Aug 2006 #

    You CAN put in a thumbnail which is linked to the big pic BTW.

  7. 7
    Pete Baran on 3 Aug 2006 #

    Yeah, I know that, but its how to make it do that flippy floppy link thru thing which would be great.

  8. 8
    Admin on 3 Aug 2006 #

    See your Windy Shaky Barley post. I roxor.

    the way i’ve set it up, you have to edit the HTML. you change the image src to “name.morezoom.jpg”. it’s the thumbnail everywhere except when you visit the entire article

  9. 9
    Pete Baran on 3 Aug 2006 #

    Yay, I have done this with the Tanya’s Ian Curtis pieces too. I’m sure only you and me will use MOREZOOM, but MOREZOOM RoXXor.

    Emma is a very lucky girl.

  10. 10
    Admin on 4 Aug 2006 #

    MORE ZOOM news

    i decided that changing the URL of the image to include morezoom was silly – without wordpress to interpret it it’s meaningless, ie that markup doesn’t degrade properly. so instead you now add a “more=zoom” into the img tags:

    <img src=”blah” more=zoom>

    (I have gone back and restored the three posts that used morezoom)

  11. 11
    Tom on 11 Aug 2006 #

    I am trying WordPress with a work blog, with so-far mixed results in terms of ‘getting people to do anything with it’.

    I’ve also persuaded the company to shell out for a typepad pro account.

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