Over the past few days I been making a lot of updates to this blog both visual and behind the scenes. Here are a few of the changes with further details below:
- New Theme with new images and color pallet.
- Changed the order of the side bar widgets.
- Corrected a coding error with the Collapsing Categories widget which was causing the site to display a PHP error.
- Purged 95% of the ‘Categories’.
- New social posting, follow and notifications. Receive notifications via email, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Most noticeable is the new theme images for the background and header. Updated the general color pallet to blend with the new background. This process has turned into a ‘refresher CSS course’ for me. Been almost 10-years since I took a web development class and formally learned about HTML, JAVA Script and CSS. I had taught myself how to code HTML in the late 90’s while attending the university. It was 2012 or 2013 when I took a one-semester web development course at the local community college. Still finding elements that I had not updated the CSS. A very nice feature of WordPress is the Additional CSS section which allows you to specify custom CSS which overrides that of the template.
The issue with Collapsing Categories widget was be caused by a depreciated PHP command. The developer had not corrected the issue with an update, however other users posted modified coding on the plugin forum. This turned out to be a rather simple fix once I had narrowed which plugin was causing the error. I know enough about PHP to figure out where the error is occurring in order to find a solution. HTML and CSS I can easily correct errors without having to do a deep search for the solution. If anyone knows a good beginner’s site for PHP let me know.
The Categories widget was rather large and the bulk of the categories really no longer applied to the type of content I cover today. There were also several redundant categories and sub categories. This did end making 2400+ posts as ‘Uncategorized’. I went through and updated the categories for those posts from this year and late last year. Everything else remained Uncategorized which has since been changed to Legacy. Majority of that content was very old Firefox and Thunderbird posts and non-tech related entries from the beginning of the original blog some 15+ years ago.
In the past I had used WordPress Jetpack Social Plugin to push notifications. I had been running into issues with some of the social sites not getting the notifications. In an attempt to fix this the plugin stopped functioning correctly. I traced the problem back to Jetpack account (WordPress.com) was tied to a blog and URL which no longer existed. This was a temporary site I had created a few years ago for testing purposes. I opted just to setup a new Jetpack (WordPress.com) account and associated it with this blog. In the interim I used a plugin called WP to Buffer which sent the post notifications to be posted to Buffer. On one hand I did like how it ‘buffered’ the postings to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but found if I had multiple posts in a day those notifications may not get published for a day or two. Another issue because I ended up creating a new Facebook ‘Business’ page as the existing one post’s were dead links to the original Firefox Extension Guru’s Blog. That blog was later merged along with The Email Mafia into the El Guru Blog which then became El Guru Tech Blog. I could not find a way to de-associate the plugin with the old Facebook Page and setup for the new page. Since I was able to resolve the original issue with the Jetpack Social Plugin I have since stopped using WP to Buffer. This has caused some duplicate notifications on some of the social sites. I did receive a notification my ‘Buffer is empty’ so now going forward the Social Media notifications will be handled by the Jetpack plugin.