2010: End-of-Year Clean-up

Posted on 27 Dec ’10 by Earl

Snowy Limbs Abstract
Snowy Limbs Abstract

Over the holidays I’ve been busy with a number of clean-up chores and renovations to the Meandering Passage Blog. Over it’s five year history there’s been changes that have left loose ends. This blog:

  • started out as a personal journal;
  • became a Technical/Apple Mac Blog;
  • now is mostly a PhotoBlog;
  • has been hosted on three different hosts;
  • with two different WordPress directory structures; and
  • with six different themes.

Certainly all this chaos left opportunities for simplification and improvement which seemed to me a good end-of-year project.

I’ve condensed/changed from 27 categories down to 5 primary categories. With almost 1500 posts, changing the categories manually was out of the question. The WordPress Plugin “Batch Cat” by Lenin Lee was invaluable in accomplishing this.

I’ve also cleaned up older posts by changing old theme dependent [tooltip text="A macro code for use in post contents available via the Shortcode API since WordPress 2.5"]shortcodes[/tooltip] to current theme shortcodes. Shortcodes are available in many WordPress themes these days but you need to be aware that often these convenient shortcodes may be unique to a specific theme and not supported if you change to other themes. To change the shortcodes in my older posts, the WordPress Plugin “Search & Replace” by Frank Bultge certainly made this task much easier.

Then there was multiple link redirections I’d implemented a number of years ago to handle the change in directory/file structure, now no longer needed. Those were removed.

These changes have made the underlying WordPress installation cleaner, eliminating some lingering issues and organizational complications I’ve dealt with during daily publishing and operations.

You, as the reader, would never be aware of most of these changes so as a “bonus” I also gave Meandering Passage a different look and feel for the coming new year. You’re probably saying, “What, you’ve changed the looks again!” ;-)

[box type="shadow"]This photo was made yesterday as the snow storm which has been hammering the east coast the last few days ended here. The snow was very fine and clung to the point of appearing to defy the laws of gravity. Viewed wider it looked like a magical winterscape — in this closer view it appears abstract.[/box]

What Others Are Saying

  1. Steve Skinner 27 Dec ’10 at 1:26 pm

    Besides cleaning up the blog, did you have to do some clean up on the driveway and sidewalks?

    • Earl 27 Dec ’10 at 1:53 pm

      Steve, I’m letting the sun take care of as much as possible. They say by New Year’s day the highs will be back up to 60°F.

  2. Ken Bello 27 Dec ’10 at 5:53 pm

    I like your new look, Earl. It has a nice simplicity and clarity that’s really appealing. Looking forward to your posts in the coming year.

    • Earl 27 Dec ’10 at 9:22 pm

      Ken, thanks and I also look forward to your posts as well.

  3. Mark 27 Dec ’10 at 6:54 pm

    You have some good taste Earl. This theme is actually one that I bookmarked under consideration for my own site. Looks pretty good. It is good to see more content available than the demos, so I will be poking around a bit.

    Did you have any issues with older posts when you converted? What about images?

    The only thing I was hesitating on was the way images were displayed in the posts. I like the format of the border that the standard WordPress offers with the caption underneath. I don’t know if that is possible with this one or not.

    Thanks for the recommendations on the plugins also, cleaning up excessive categories / tags has been on my to-do list for awhile.

    • Earl 27 Dec ’10 at 9:20 pm

      Mark, thanks.

      I’ve not experienced any problems with the older posts but I’m still looking to see how really old posts have transitioned. There are two way’s this theme will handle images. You can use a custom field “Thumbnail” to specify what images are used for thumbnails in your main blog page or you can set it to simply use the first image in each post. At the moment I’m setting it to use the first image of each post and so far so good. It also eliminates extra work maintaining a custom field in each post. However, with time I may see some value in the custom field.

      The border format in the standard WordPress is still available in this theme. Actually that border is on my images now — however I’ve changed the CSS so it’s transparent to get the text caption but without a visible border/frame.

      Those two plugins worked well for me and will remain in my toolkit.

      • Mark 28 Dec ’10 at 9:13 am

        Thanks Earl. I am working through some category cleanup now since I learned that you need to designate a certain category for blog posts.

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