I just made a pretty significant update to the site’s main navigation. Finally, I am using a more mobile-friendly menu system in which the various depths slide left and right as you drill down. This article about WordPress menu walkers was extremely helpful in getting all this to work correctly.
I probably should add a bunch of accessibility attributes, but that is a bit much for now. I’m just shocked the thing works.
The past week or so I have spent a bunch of time working behind-the-scenes on this WordPress site. My first priority was getting a handle on the new-ish system for creating and displaying sidebar blocks. Since WordPress 5.0, the goal of each subsequent update has been to make as much of the backend operate like the Gutenberg editor. When that change came to the widgets interface it ended up conflicting with a number of plugins that I was using: mainly contextual widget display and the sidebar nav. The side-nav is gone, and now I am using logic within my theme files to determine which sidebar items get displayed. So far it all seems to be working.
My next big change was to clean-up and consolidate my CSS so that I could use a single template to render the various content types on this site. In the process I have re-added a few pages that I had created in Views back on the old Drupal version of this site. Art and Retro-Computing feeds are back. Many of the reviews pages now have alternateviews.
I fixed a bunch of little details all over the place and have made it so my artworks exist apart from my posts (even though they are in this main home page feed). The final change which I have yet to get to is making the navigation more mobile friendly. I never look at the Web on my phone, so this is low-priority for me.
It took about two weeks, but I think I have finally finished converting this site to WordPress. The bulk of that process was copying and pasting every post into the new system. I’m sure I probably goofed up a few posts along the way and there are bound to be many broken links. But I think was very thorough, going as far as copying every single comment and tag description.
My reason for moving away from Drupal was my general disappointment with Drupal 8. Nothing ever seemed to work exactly right. I’d make a few changes on the back-end and the site would unbeknownst to me be put in maintenance mode. Several key plugins withered on the vine and stopped working. The built in WYSIWYG editor was absolute garbage. And the worst part of it all was the horrifically user unfriendly update process. There are modules that require Composer to install and update and others that are always in pre-release dev states. No thanks. After a decade of loyal advocacy and usage, it was time to bid Drupal farewell.
I have built a couple WordPress sites for work this year and now feel much more capable in this system. The main disadvantage of WordPress is its lack of a Views plugin. If you want to get creative with outputting data, you need to dive in to .PHP files and WP_Query() loops. There’s a massive user base, so finding help on the Internet is fairly easy and, once you understand the basics, you get an idea of how to accomplish tasks.
As I type this, I am prepping to launch the site. Hopefully all will go well. Having never run a WordPress site with comments enabled I worry that I will find myself buried in comment spam.
Well, I have finally made the jump to the newest version of Drupal. We are now running Drupal 8 and, man, was it a pain in the butt to migrate the old site. I will forever recommend WordPress over Drupal to anyone who doesn’t want to pull their hair out every time a new patch is released.
Still, there is a lot to like about the new system. I will soon post the gory details of my migration experience, but, in the meantime, let’s hope this works and that I am not swamped with comment spam.
Okay, how about this: I just spent around a week updating this site and, in order to celebrate(?), I’m going to hold a little contest. I get a little trickle of traffic every day and I am always wondering if anyone actually reads this stuff. So here’s the plan, I will send an original print, The Politics of Against, to the first person to send me an email using my contact form with the subject “Send Me Free Art!” Make sure you leave a valid e-mail address on the form and I will contact you if you are the winner. Check back here and I will post in the comments if the prize has been claimed. This contest ends midnight CST on Sunday, Sept. 15. Ready… set… go!
It’s been about a year since my last major site overhaul, so I have decided to do a little housekeeping here. I’ve tweaked the theme so it’s a little less crowded and, hopefully, a bit easier to find your way around. That is all.
After more than a dozen years of maintaining a personal Web site, I have finally decided to monetize this thing (well, okay, that doesn’t count the Google ads in the sidebar, but those barely earn any money anyways). I have gone through my gallery and enabled a PayPal shopping cart system to take orders for my art. Currently, there are about twelve prints for sale. So, start shopping now!
After a back-to-back Drupal projects at work, I think I now have a better idea how this system works. In the process, I have updated the design of my Nonagon site and reworked the theme of this site. You may not notice any major differences, but now things are much more organized under the hood. However, I am guessing that I broke a few things, so if you notice any pages not rendering decently, please let me know in the comments.
Although I try to minimize political posting here on the Pages of Fun, about a week ago I decided to run with a post featuring a “Tea Party” protest poster I created: Teabagger / Teabaggee. I tweeted (I hate that term… almost as much as webinar) a link, got a few dozen hits and that was that.
However, yesterday I started to get all sorts of notifications of new comments in my inbox regarding this post. I went and checked my analytics account:
This could graph could mean one of two things: anthropogenic global warming is real and we are all on the cusp of the apocalypse, or someone on the Internet with many more readers than me linked to my page. Fortunately it was latter. I was able to back track to find out where all these hits were coming from:
PJTV’s Stephen Green (a.k.a. Vodkapundit) featured the post on his weekly show, The Week in Blogs. In fact, he referred to it as “The Photoshop of Week” and “The Blog of the Week.” Also (and I’m not sure if this came first) I was also linked on Glenn Reynold’s mighty Instapundit blog!
In the immortal words of Three Stoned Men, “Smells Like the Big Time!” Ok, time to check my Google Adsense account and see all that money I raked in:
Well, I just updated the core version of the Drupal CMS on the Pages of Fun from 6.12 to 6.13 and it went pretty smoothly. One thing that I did discover is that it pays to update all your modules before doing the core update. I had earlier tried to update and the system completely failed on install because of a problem with the out-of-date Admin Menu module. Only a complete reversion to the backed up files saved me. Backing up is ever so very important in this whole process. Anyhow, I am really loving Drupal and I hope to build more sites with it in the future.