Saturday
Aug192006

« Taming The Beast »

I've used this Wordpress-based blog for maybe a year now, but never really reached too far into the power that it offers. For a couple years, I basically kept my blog and "real" site (html/css based) separate but maybe with the blog in a frame of some sort to unify the two, or to just work hard at keeping them looking like a matched set. But Wordpress can harness most of the sort of content I am likely to put up.

I am fickle with my web work. Sometimes, like in the case of TAPKAE.com mk1, I just refined things incrementally but kept the same basic idea for all of two years. Then after that, all bets were off. It was frames, inline frames, lots of popups, no popups, all white, all black, other colors. Then I got to use a "real" blog—B2 blogger—for a year and a half. That was cool, but then my server phased it out and went to Wordpress. I jumped earlier than later because it was clear that WP is a better engine, and could do more. But one thing I was not able to do was load an existing database of all my posts (200 and more) to WP directly. So one week, I methodically copied them all by keyboard shortcuts and manually entered in timestamps. Then I was in WP for good. I let the other one linger for a while to be sure there were no surprises then killed it. Even still, I kept the existing html site and did the work to make sure that both were unified. The thing is, the html site wasn't doing anything special—just posting songs, some posters, and text. But the detailed formatting I spent all my time doing was just too much to turn my back on. But finally, I did.

I spent all this week developing some new technique that had held me back for a while, so now I can bring you a whole blog/site that appear more like I'd do with my html site. I pulled about four solid days of getting my wedding and honeymoon pix, snapshots, and posters together (cropping/treating/captioning) and figuring out how to finally put them in this php/MySql based site. I had a desire to make the music page tighter too, with some CSS to shape it more. The thing is, I am a CSS hack and can only ever get that shit right if I acid test damn near every change, pixel by pixel. But with the changeover, I also had to figure out how to link a page to the master CSS file, and there was nothing I saw that showed me that. It turned out to be real easy, but a pain in the ass to discover it by trial and error.

Anyhow, I learned a lot more about options in this whole WP environment, found out how to move stuff around in the layout, and where to find things that appear in the scattered php pages. (I cursed and swore at the laborious task of just finding and editing the order of the list items on the right—I wanted to move archives down, change "meta" to "site admin" and other such things, but had a hell of a time figuring that out while not knowing php. I also wanted to delete the prefab credits and put my copyright message in, etc.)

For you dear reader, you get to look at many many pictures I have released now, and they all have a uniform black 1px border and a 20px margin between them. The overall page is a little wider for main content (I could have made all my pix 2 px narrower but that would have been 'too much work') and things are easier to find in the right menu bar. Oh, and the music page is divvied up in clear groups by band or project, and the songs are so cleverly broken from the other text!

Now that I have a working method for various types of content and how to manage it across the entire site, it will come easier for future pages.

And probably no one will ever care about such a thing!

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