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New Website Design: BlogoLife Bright and Clean WordPress Upgrade




Well, if you are a returning visitor to my website, you probably have noticed a different template design. I was looking to brighten things up a bit, by bringing a clean new style to the website, and found this WordPress template that seemed to be quite versatile in what could be done with it. BlogoLife [...]






Click to read more about: New Website Design: BlogoLife Bright and Clean WordPress Upgrade

Well, if you are a returning visitor to my website, you probably have noticed a different template design. I was looking to brighten things up a bit, by bringing a clean new style to the website, and found this WordPress template that seemed to be quite versatile in what could be done with it.

BlogolifeBlogoLife 1.8 by wplook

BlogoLife is a simple and perfect HTML5 & CSS3 theme for personal blogging that supports post formats, and several customization options. The custom background, custom header, and multiple color schemes gives you the possibility to adapt your blog as you wish.
Options: Widgets | Menus | Wplook Panel | Background | Header

With the BlogoLife template, I customized it to the size width that I wanted. Though, I had to do some figuring out the widths in order to create some new graphics for the wider width that I was changing it to. I ended up increasing both the left column (main text area) slightly, and increased the width of the right column significantly to allow for the usage of wider graphics.

Prior to using the new template, I decided to upgrade WordPress to the latest and greatest. That was quite a story in itself and required troubleshooting an upgrade that went awry. If using WordPress for your website, I suggest reading about how to recover from a failed WordPress update here.

Once I was upgraded with WP and all the Plugins, I tackled the template area. As with any website, there are tons of things behind the scenes, which are not seen by most folks visiting a website. However, if you are a website developer, you know what I am talking about. Spacing, alignment, color, graphics, text size, and even the header and footer spacing is a puzzle with having to make sure all the pieces fit together properly. Everything is looked at with a critical eye (mine), and still there are always things that you want to improve. Then on top of all of that, making sure that Web functionality is still intact, navigation, analytics, and other smaller items of importance such as how the admin area for comments, access, and page and post edits work in conjunction with the template are all inner-linked and functioning well together.

So, I hope you like the new design to the website. In this template, you might see some different colors every once in awhile, along with different header images too. Let me know what you think.

Regards,

Jim

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Successfully Recover from a Failed WordPress Update




WordPress is a great platform for blogging, building websites, and content management systems; and like any software creators have from time to time, released new versions in the form of automatic updates that need to be (or should be) installed. However, not all hosting servers run the same way when it comes to updating the [...]






Click to read more about: Successfully Recover from a Failed WordPress Update

WordPressWordPress is a great platform for blogging, building websites, and content management systems; and like any software creators have from time to time, released new versions in the form of automatic updates that need to be (or should be) installed. However, not all hosting servers run the same way when it comes to updating the software. Herein lies the potential problem for an automatic software update on the server to go awry.

That is exactly what happened to me yesterday when I went to update the WordPress software to the latest version. I saw that I had plugins to update; which I completed with no problems. However, when I tried to do a automatic update to WordPress, it got the proverbial message, “Update Failed.” That wouldn’t be so bad, except for one thing, I couldn’t log back in to my admin area. The blog was still active, but when trying to login to the admin area, I had the white screen of death, a blank page.

So, as luck would have it, or should I say Murphy’s law would have it, I did not have a recent backup of the blog. So, on to Google Search to find a WordPress update solution. I went looking to WordPress for an answer. I read on the forums of various instances of failed WordPress updates and the things to try. Many of the processes involved recovering from the update using the backup files. No, that was not going to work. Then I thought, maybe the manual WordPress installation procedure would work. I found this link for updating WordPress and thought maybe I could find how to do the process there.

Before doing anything, I decided to make sure I did a complete backup of everything that I could at that moment. I felt that the WP database was still intact on the website server. So, logging in to the CPanel of the website, I downloaded the various backups, including the databases that I had on the server. I also downloaded the WP directory from the server onto my local hard drive. I like using the FireFTP addon for Firefox. It is quick, easy to use, and convenient to provide FTP access for any website that you maintain.

After doing those things, I wanted some additional confirmation on the manual WP update procedure. I found this article on How to Recover from Failed WordPress Upgrade. The procedure was inline with the WP instructions, however, there were a few more details that made it easier to understand. Below is the procedure from WP. I am also adding my comments to it.

The following instructions assumes that you have your WordPress files installed in a separate directory on your web hosting account. Example would be: www.jimwarholic.com/blog or you might have the directory named wordpress or other instead of blog.

Step 1: Replace WordPress files

  1. Get the latest WordPress zip (or tar.gz) file. (I used the zip file and saved it on my computer hard drive).
  2. Unpack (unzip) the zip file that you downloaded.
  3. Delete the following two directories (inside your WP directory) on the web host using FTP or shell access (I used FireFTP):
    1. wp-includes
    2. wp-admin
  4. Upload the new wp-includes and wp-admin directories (directories are “folders” from the computer hard drive) to your web host in the WP directory. Because the old directories have been deleted from the web server, the new ones will take their place.
  5. Read this next step twice and follow it carefully. Upload the individual files from the new wp-content folder (located on your local computer hard drive) to your existing wp-content folder (on the web hosting server in the WP directory), overwriting existing files. Do NOT delete your existing wp-content folder. Do NOT delete any files or folders in your existing wp-content directory (except for the one being overwritten by new files). This will replace only the files that need to be replaced, but maintain the other files within the wp-content directory.
  6. Upload all new loose files from the root directory of the new version (located on your local computer hard drive) to your existing wordpress root directory on the web host.

NOTE – you should replace all the old WordPress files with the new ones in the wp-includes and wp-admin directories and sub-directories, and in the root directory (such as index.php, wp-login.php and so on). Don’t worry – your wp-config.php will be safe.

Be careful when you come to copying the wp-content directory. You should make sure that you only copy the files from inside this directory, rather than replacing your entire wp-content directory. This is where your themes and plugins live, so you will want to keep them. If you have customized the default or classic themes without renaming them, make sure not to overwrite those files, otherwise you will lose your changes. (Though you might want to compare them for new features or fixes..)

Lastly you should take a look at the wp-config-sample.php file, to see if any new settings have been introduced that you might want to add to your own wp-config.php.
Step 1.5: Remove .maintenance file

If you’re upgrading manually after a failed auto-upgrade, delete the file .maintenance from your WordPress directory using FTP. This will remove the “failed update” nag message.
Step 2: Update your installation

Visit your main WordPress admin page at /wp-admin. You may be asked to login again. If a database upgrade is necessary at this point, WordPress will detect it and give you a link to a URL like http://example.com/wordpress/wp-admin/upgrade.php. Follow that link and follow the instructions. This will update your database to be compatible with the latest code. You should do this as soon as possible after step 1.

In my case, when I logged back in (and I was able to log back in now), I was indeed prompted to update the database before continuing. All I had to do was click the link button and follow simple instructions to update the database.

Low and behold, success. Everything was back to normal, and actually seemed to be functioning better. I did have some further updates to do for the pluggins, but those went smoothly using the automatic update links for the plugins themselves.

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Apple iPad 2 Writing a WordPress Blog Post




iPad 2 Review Well, I’ve had my iPad for about two weeks now and I thought I would see what happens to my voice dictation when I’m recording using an application called “Dragon Dictation” to automatically go from voice to text. That first sentence was entered into this blog posting using the dictation mode and [...]






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Well, I’ve had my iPad for about two weeks now and I thought I would see what happens to my voice dictation when I’m recording using an application called “Dragon Dictation” to automatically go from voice to text. That first sentence was entered into this blog posting using the dictation mode and then editing a few of the words as I went forward. I would start by hitting the recording button and then I would stop that after one or two sentences and go to keyboard mode and place periods and punctuation marks as required. It actually worked pretty good except I know that I would pause (with rather long pauses) and try to gather my thoughts together. I think part of the problem with dictation, it’s hard to keep your thoughts running along in a progressive manner which makes what you want to say sound logical. Keep in mind you can not dictate directly into WordPress. You must first use the app to do your dictation note, then copy from the app to WordPress.

I started off this sentence by saying, “new paragraph” to see what would happen. I also added the word “period.” Believe it or not it got the word period correct to add a period (.).

From here forward I started typing on the iPad keyboard. In any case this was a test of the free “Dragon Dictation” iPad app, blogging in WordPress (WordPress also has a free iPad app), using the keyboard, using the free iPad app “Terra” browser, copy, paste, fine keyboard edits, and scrolling in the WordPress edit window (tip: use two fingers, close together, to scroll in a division or text box inside a web page).

One of the nice features with Terra browser (unlike Safari), is you can have multiple tabs open at the same time. This makes it quite convenient to go from one tab to the other. Right now, I probably have a dozen or so tabs open.

I did notice that WordPress doesn’t seem to display properly in the “Visual” mode, but it does seem to display semi-properly in the HTML edit mode. What happens as this article got longer, WP edit window would run down longer and longer, to the point you would have to scroll up the entire page to see the editing tools at the top of the WP edit window. Maybe this has to do with the default number of lines in the editor.

The issue with the visual edit mode is that the editor goes wider than it naturally should. It goes behind the right column items. I suspect that is because this version of WP wasn’t exactly designed around the iPad. However, I certainly could see the iPad used to quickly gather your thoughts in more ways than one. The free WordPress app doesn’t have those same issues with the display mode. I’ve tested the WP app a little, but until I use the WordPress app to write a compete blog posting, I won’t be able to give you the details of how well that app works.

It seems that the more you type on the iPad, the more proficient you become at using the virtual keyboard. Note that there are portable Bluetooth keyboard options available through third party manufacturers that could make things go a lot faster. That would probably be a good idea if you were to use the iPad as your main input device. With the long battery life, and the portability of the iPad, I think it is a really cool device for doing some amazing things.

I have downloaded a ton of free apps already. Some of my free apps are: Compass HD, Planets, Google Earth, Pandora radio, Craigslist app, ABC player, HBO GO, Netflix, XFINITY TV, Google Books, Kindle, Free WiFi, KNBR, WordPress, a bunch of free games apps, several free browsers (I really like the Terra browser app), Dragon Dictation, NASA, Weather apps, Calculator Pro, Logos, and others.

The iPad that I have is the 64 GB, Verizon 3G version. I have used it both in WiFi and 3G modes. I have to say I really like having access to the web with Verizon, no matter where I am located at the time. The iPad is great for business and personal use.

Well, that is just a short overview about using the Apple iPad to write a blog posting in WordPress.

Jim

PS. I did not cheat when I wrote this blog post. Everything in this posting was done from start to finish with the iPad. I even used the add link hyperlink to my signature “Jim” with the WordPress editor and also copied the video link and YouTube embed code for posting the video at the top of this article. Though, I have to admit that it took me some time to figure out where the YouTube code was hidden.

Note the YouTube site knows you are using an iPad browser, so it brings a slightly different user experience. I had to change the settings in the Terra browser to make YouTube think I was using Firefox so I could get to the embed code. Google’s engineers need to think through that YouTube embed video code into a blog posting process a little more.

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