Posts tagged: Wordpress

WordPress Themes

I hate this theme.  Mostly.  There are a few things about it I like but overall, meh.  But what can I do?  I hate the default themes as well.  Well how about the WordPress Themes Directory that you can click on from inside the WordPress console?  It has 954 themes as of this writing.  That should help right?  Uh… no.  Have you looked at that page?  They have taken usability to a whole new low.

954 themes and no easy way to get to them.  Unless you want one of the ten featured themes on the page or want to hunt through the miscellaneous popular themes on the side, there is no way to find the others.  OH SURE, there’s that big search bar at the top but um… what exactly am I searching for?  Here’s a hint: try typing “A theme I would like” into that search field and see what it comes back with.  Is that a silly example? Yes it is, but what should I search for?  I’m sure there are keywords or tags or something but maybe it could give me some hints.

I like WordPress.  I really do.  It’s a thousand times better than the cybrblog system I cobbled together many years ago on this same domain.  I really like how they keep expanding the features too.  But one complaint I have about the standard installation is those default themes.  WordPress has offered those same two Default and Classic themes forever.  Fine.  But could they at least update them to work with the new versions of WordPress and the new features?  No, the built-in themes don’t have to have the best features and prettiest presentations but couldn’t they at the very least show off what WordPress can do natively?

For example, a few revisions ago WordPress added in-line or nested comments.  Great!  However presenting those in that fashion is controlled by the theme you are using.  I still haven’t seen a theme that integrates that feature although to be honest I haven’t tried many themes.  Because they are unreasonably difficult to browse.  Oh wait, there’s no browse feature on the WordPress Themes Directory either!  Not much of a directory if you can’t browse it.  Seriously though, the default theme should accomodate every new feature built in to WordPress.  Throw us a bone here.

The mobile web

I just attended a luncheon regarding the rising opportunities in the online mobile phone markets and it was pretty interesting.  I found out the the average youth user in China sends an average of 100 text messages a day.  That’s just sending!  Considering I’d never sent a text message in my life prior to coming to Hong Kong, that just seems inconceivable to me.

However, the focus of the presentation was about the youth market and how it’s affecting and shaping the mobile web.  Basically the premise is that the kids today are deciding and driving the technology and services available on mobile devices and us old folks will just get whatever they decide on.  Lucky us.  The 2 second attention span generation has come to power.

Supposedly, 50 Cent and young Japanese girls have something in common.  They are doing something called Lifecasting.  They basically wear their phones around their necks and let it record constantly throughout their day and it auto transmits these images or video to an online accessible site.  Personally, I’m not sure how I would feel about this but I guess it would keep Fiddy from doing illegal activities since he’d be broadcasting whatever he’s doing to the world.  The japanese girls will probably get flooded with dirty old men though.  But maybe that’s what they’re going for.

It sounds like more and more content on mobile devices will be branded as well.  Just like you can’t have a college bowl game without some companies name and logo plastered all over it.  Just like you can’t play certain video games without seeing billboards in the games advertising everything from soft drinks to cars.  Now your mobile content will also be branded.  Considering the size of the screens, I hope that you can still see what you were looking for with all those logos.

Of course since this meeting I’ve been thinking about the possibilities of making this site and A Little Scary more mobile friendly.  I found this WordPress Mobile Plugin that looks like it makes your site mobile phone compatible and thought I might give it a try.  If anyone out there has any opinions on the matter, please leave them in the comments.

Goodbye K2

After a week of flaky things happening, the K2 theme I’ve been using for a very long time now finally had to be removed.  I’m not sure what’s going on with that but there are some very serious issues with that theme all of the sudden.  Which is odd since nothing had changed on my site when the first problems with the comments first started happening.

About a week ago I was notified that my Comments weren’t working at all and the page was hanging.  I checked it out and disabled my plugins and all the normal troubleshooting ideas.  But the notion that this was even having a problem didn’t make sense because I hadn’t changed anything or installed anything new or even setup any new plugins.  It just broke.  I disabled the K2 theme and it magically started working again.  So I went out and downloaded the newest version and things were good.

Then a couple of days ago, I got a message saying that my Sidebar was broke.  Sure enough, the K2 Sidebar no longer worked and it defaulted to the basic Widget config.  Which is really odd because it worked in the morning and then stopped in the afternoon.  I hadn’t touched the site.  So again I downloaded the newest nightly build and it worked again.

Today Muse sends me an e-mail and says that no one is commenting because they can’t.  It’s broke again.  Yeah, disabling K2 fixed it again, so it stayed disabled this time.  So now, I’m using a new theme that I’m not terribly thrilled with but looks decent enough.  Try and find the Categories listing or use the Archives.  The Categories are hidden on the page and I didn’t even realize where they were for a long time.  The Archives page just doesn’t work.

Well, this will just have to do until I can spend some time looking for a decent theme that support WordPress 2.5 and has AJAX support and a working Live Archives.  Sometimes I really hate computers….

Internet Flakes

The Internet connection here at the new office is absolute rubbish.  Calling it flakey would be a compliment.  We have to reboot the ISP provided border router roughly twice a day and in the meantime access kind of just dies off for a couple minutes at a time.  I actually wrote a post yesterday and lost it during one of those outages.  I forgot that WordPress eats posts when you hit the Back button after a failed Submit.  Bah.  And I was just too lazy/frustrated to retype it.  It was crap anyway.  No loss.

So I’ll be in the office tomorrow (Saturday) bright and early to meet the ISP tech to try and sort this out.  Wonderful, so much for catching up on my sleep.  I suppose if things get fixed, I could always stop in Wan Chai and try and find the video game mall.  That might cheer me up.  Maybe.

Leftover crap

I’ve been finding some unexpected leftover crap from screwing up WordPress and having to re-install it.  For instance my blogroll was reset.  Didn’t realize that till just today.  Who are those people?  I’m fixing it now.

All the people who made it past the moderation test (I have to moderate each new commentor the first time they comment) now all have to moderated again.  So if you notice some unusual delay in your comments posting… that’s why.  Go ahead and comment and get it over with now.

My lovely K2 theme that made my site all nifty (shut up) is only in Release Candidate stage for the new WP2.3. version.  Not sure if I want to go all hog wild in customizing a RC version.  There’s been no new updates for a month.  I wonder if I should wait?  I also wonder if there’s a better alternative…?

WordPress Themes