• Oh boy. Espgaluda on the iPhone; authentic bullet-hell for your fingertips. I have a feeling I might end up with this.
  • "Why would we want to play around with custom fields, or add stupid meta boxes in the Edit Posts page and then teach our clients and/or content managers to use them? Why not just get rid of all those stuff and have them seperately in your main menu, and the meta boxes are customized to match the exact needs of certain post types." Which is exactly how I use WordPress in commercial installations, and every time I hack around this, I long for proper Top Level Things. This is a great feature, and it's going to make my life considerably easier. Let's hope they don't screw up the 3.0 release.

Your guide to surviving the Digg avalanche with WordPress

26 November 2008

My recent talk about what might happen if gamers ran the world made Digg yesterday, and went a bit big. Big to the point that I got a nice email from my host pointing out that my PHP processes were killing the entire shared host that I’m hosted on, and that I needed to rectify this immediately.

The fires were mainly calmed by installing WP-Super-Cache, which did pretty much what it says on the tin. That said, I did learn a few things from the incident. In no particular order:

  • WordPress’ PHP processes for rendering a page are really, really intensive. Most of the time, that’s not a problem, but when you’re being bombarded with hits, it’ll take it’s told. Flat HTML might be the way forward.
  • Super-Cache isn’t exactly difficult to install, but it requires permissions in lots of places. The best advice I can give is to walk through the installation instructions carefully, and when it doesn’t work, go over the troubleshooting guide in readme.txt one step at a time. The few issues I had were resolved by walking through the troubleshooting process.
  • Most importantly, a combination of the two parts above: you should assume that at some point, you’re going to need this kind of caching, and you’re going to need it fast. Installing and configuring WordPress plugins on a server being bombarded with hits really isn’t much fun. Instead, install the caching plugin of your choice when you set your server up, and make sure it’s working at that time. Then, when the horde descends upon your lowly shared host, you can head straight there and click “enable caching”, rather than having to fight fires for an hour when you really should be working, or in the pub. This also means you can configure the thing to not cache your feed, which is a useful thing to be able to do; I’m about to head off and do that now.

Everything appears to have cooled off now, and I’m not getting any more emails from Joyent about my usage. To Joyent’s credit, they were helpful at explaining the problem and tolerant of the time it took for me to fix things, which was appreciated. And next time I get an absurd amount of traffic, with any luck, I’ll be ready for it.

New lick of paint

30 September 2007

So, if you occasionally drop by the website, you might notice there’s a new lick of paint around the place. Nothing too drastic on the surface – under the hood was more drastic.

infovore.org is now running on WordPress 2.3, after a long hiatus on 2.0.x (due to the way the site worked). I’m now relying way less on hacks and custom plugins, and way more on the core codebase. Tagging, for starters, is now native. That’s nice.

I’m also using categories a bit more effectively – you’ll notice some main ones on the right, there, and I’m looking to focus my writing around these topics, I think. It’s a long job to go back and recategorise four years of posts… but I’m going to do it, somehow! In the meantime, if you fancy re-orientating yourself around the site, the new-look archives might hint at what’s going on better.

There’s been all manner of WordPress jigerring, too – mainly around the way the breadcrumb-header works, and how each category colour-codes a lot of its posts.

I’m pleased with the new look. I’m afraid I’ve not tested it in IE6/7, yet, and I’m sure there will be a few rough edges around the place. Let me know if you find any. I think the only one I found was, in my tag migration, everything got tagged as “holiday”. Oops.

WordPress 2.3: a look at tagging

09 September 2007

So, this blog (for its sins) is running on WordPress 2.0.5. That’s a bit out-of-date. The main reason is because it has all sorts of jiggery-pokery to make it work the way I want – a tagging solution based on Jerome’s Keywords that was modified when I moved to 2.0; all sorts of template hacking to make the beautiful breadcrumb trail at the top you see work.

I’ve resisted upgrading due to the hell that was hacking plugins and templates into future versions of WordPress. Until now, that is. WordPress 2.3 (finally) introduces a proper tagging solution – entirely separate to the “categories” system. Well, not quite, as we’ll see – but it finally means that the architecture of Infovore.org is now entirely possible within WordPress itself.

Of course, now you’ve got to convert your custom tagging solution to the new schema. I’ve written a small script to do this for myself – only took about an hour, and that’s mainly because I was exploring the schema, and my PHP is a little rusty. Of course, now I know a reasonable amount about how tagging is implemented in WordPress 2.3, and felt I should write this up properly, so that anybody else converting custom tagging solutions might save themselves some time.

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