What Happened This Weekend

I decided that I would do a reformat of my WordPress installation and as part of that reformat, I would install WordPress 2.7 beta 2. I also plan on doing a redesign of the site to make everything much more simpler than before. However, things didn’t go as planned thanks to my webhosting provider, AnHosting a.k.a. MidPhase. Starting on 11/07/2008 4:37 PM I sent in a trouble ticket to MidPhase letting them know that I was experiencing timeout error messages when browsing to my domain. Cpanel, email, anything dealing with my account was loading slower than molasses. I became increasingly upset as I updated the ticket on 11/08/2008 2:20 AM. Ten hours went by without anyone responding to my trouble ticket. This is the first time I’ve had an experience like this with MidPhase and it was pretty frustrating.

Once two more hours went by with no update to my ticket or the situation, I called the support line for MidPhase and because it was so early in the morning, I didn’t have to deal with a queue. After talking with the gentleman and having him confirm the issues I was experiencing, he told me that a support rep has been assigned to my ticket and he would look into it. The rep responded to my ticket on 11/08/2008 4:36: AM.

By the way, I should point out that the entire problem was based around the CPU load on the shared server being to high, not allowing other things to process. It was increasingly frustrating to me because I wouldn’t think zapping whatever processes were hogging up the CPU would be that hard to shut down. What made things worst is that I had deleted my WordPress files along with the database and because I couldn’t access PHPMyAdmin or various other parts of Cpanel let alone getting my site to load, my domain was stuck on a WordPress installation error.

stupidcpu

The last time I updated the ticket was on 11/08/2008 5:26 AM. I basically had enough at this point and just hoped that things would be better after I woke up. Thankfully, things did get back to normal. Then, because my shared server was one of the ones that was recently migrated into a new data center, the file upload limit in the php.ini file was set to 2mb which means I couldn’t upload and import my WordPress WXR file. After going back and forth a few times with support, they managed to get that changed enabling me to have a successful import. The support for this particular issue was much better than the previous one.

So, that is where I stand now. I am currently configuring the plugins I know I am going to use. After that, I plan on working on the theme to get things simplified and straightened out. Special thanks to everyone who contacted me asking me what happened. Obviously, visiting a site that all of a sudden has a hello world post on it with the default Kubrick theme is a cause for concern. I appreciate those who sent me a message expressing their willingness to help if need be. Thank you.

Nothing malicious happened to the site, I just happened to go through with my WordPress reformat which I sometimes do but it turned out to be a series of badly timed events. Hopefully, things are all better now.

What A Busy Week

I am pretty excited to know that I am almost finished with my 32 hour work weeks at the grocery store. At least, for the time being and everything continues to go well with freelancing. The grocery store will serve as a crutch in case things in the freelancing world cave in. This past week, I published an interview on BloggerTalks.com with Steve Hodson, published a great post that was welcomely received by the Performancing community called 7 Tips On Building Relationships Through Blogging, produced a fun open mic edition of Perfcast and to top it all off, produced an hour and a half WordPress Weekly with Jane Wells were we covered a ton of ground related to WordPress 2.7.

WordPress 2.7 Beta 1 is out and ready for the publics consumption. November 10th looks like the date for a release candidate while the end of November is aimed for the actual release of 2.7. I am going to bite the bullet and work on getting my content from my Jeffc.me domain and the content on Jeffro2pt0 back into one file and then import that into a new installation of WordPress, that being 2.7 beta 1. Then, I’m going to work on slimming down the theme and installing one plugin at a time and get back to the basics.

One of the subtle changes I am going to make is to remove the FeedBurner graphic. I was having a discussion with Andrew Rickmann on the WordPress Weekly after show and I was talking to him about going back to the basics and how I am getting to the point of doing things my way instead of the popular (what the rest of the blogosphere is doing) way.  So, I’ll remove the graphic because I don’t care to see it everyday. I’ll check in from time to time but it is not a priority for me anymore. My priority is to clean this place up, highlight my freelancing work and then publish content on a regular basis by treating this blog as if it was my Tumblr account. That means, publishing links to articles that interest me, sometimes I’ll write a long form article, opinionated pieces, bits of my personal life, random thoughts, etc.

I just feel that it is time for me to reclaim this blog as my own and no one else’s. While I enjoy writing content for people, I always enjoy writing content for myself and getting my thoughts from my head, out into the open. I want to get back to the point in time of where I can freely express myself without thinking about the boundaries I have placed on this blog by writing for others.

Will I still talk about WordPress and Web 2.0 and all that other stuff? Of course I will, as I see fit, but don’t expect this site to be an authoritative figure in any subject. I want to converse with people and discuss things, concepts, ideas, whatever. So, that will be the focus of the site after I have reformatted it. Along with the reformat, I plan on doing a redesign but it will not be anything drastic. I’m tired of spending 17 hours each time I redesign the site. I’ve always been a fan of forests and so, that is the theme I am going to head towards with the redesign.

For those that will continue to ride the train of life and blogging with me, its time to move on to the next stop. For everyone else, you can get off here. But don’t forget to send me a postcard :)

WordPress 2.7 Is Cause For A Reformat

This is just a heads up that when WordPress 2.7 is released, I will be reformatting my WordPress installation to get rid of the fluff that may be stored in the database and start off from scratch. I’ll once again audit my use of plugins and only install the ones that I think are necessary. Also, if you haven’t noticed already, I’ve changed the design of the blog a little bit because for starters, adding one more step to the post publishing process in the form of filling out custom fields is a drag. Secondly, I think the reformat as well as the simplified theme will finally help this site load quickly than it has before. Not sure what is causing the slow page loads but I am determined to figure it out.

I’ll also be modifying the theme to take advantage of threaded/paginated comments. I’m pretty stoked about 2.7 as I think many WordPress users out their will be blown away by it.

Jeffro2pt0 Now On WP 2.5

Better late than never! I have upgraded the blog from 2.3.3 to 2.5. The upgrade went very smooth with the exception of one plugin, that being the Berri Technorati Incoming Links plugin which modified the admin panel in 2.3. The plugin caused things to break in the new admin panel. After deleting that plugin, everything is back to normal and appears to be functioning just fine. I’m really digging the new look and I can’t wait to get into the back end and widgitize the hell out of my dashboard.

While I have your attention, let’s take a look at last months Poll results. I asked the question, When Would You Upgrade To WordPress 2.5? The results are listed below:

Poll Results For March 2008

Surprisingly, a large number of you chose the option to upgrade as soon as possible. While ASAP might of been too soon, the rest of the majority decided to upgrade at least a week within it’s release.

Now that 2.5 is here and available for the world to digest, this months poll question is: What Do You Think Of WP 2.5? Be sure to leave your mark and vote for one of the options given to you. I’ve noticed that more and more of you are participating in the poll. Thank you very much!

WordCamp Dallas This Weekend

The week has finally arrived where I can tell folks that I will be going to Dallas to attend WordCamp this weekend. WordCamp Dallas is an event that was orchestrated by Charles Stricklin, host of the WordPress Podcast.

WordCamp Dallas

Tickets cost $20.00 each and are still available. The event is located at the George A. Purefoy Municipal Center 6101 Frisco Square Blvd Frisco, Texas 75034. The first day of the event is on Saturday, March 29 and begins at 930AM and lasts until 5PM. Sunday, the event begins at 9:30AM and ends at 4PM. There will be an ATTENDEE only event that will take place on Friday evening. So be sure to purchase a ticket ASAP so you can get the 411.

For all of the information regarding the conference including links to register and purchase your ticket, visit the official Dallas WordCamp website.

Looking forward to meeting Ronald, Ptah, Lorelle, Matt, Cory of iThemes, Charles, and the rest of the gang.

Two New Ways To Get WP News

I got word of two projects today which may be valuable sources of information dealing with WordPress within the near future. The first is called WPSource.com. WPSource.com is an aggregation website that displays the 5 most recent headlines from major players within the WordPress community. The site features a fancy drop down animation once a headline is clicked.

WPSource Screenshot

A small excerpt from the post is displayed with a read more link at the bottom of the excerpt. When you browse to WPSource for the first time, it takes a little while for the page to load which can’t be blamed fully on the domain itself as it’s pulling the 5 headlines from outside sources. Even though this is a work in progress, I would like to see either fav icons of the site listed along side the headlines or some other images to really give the site some spice.

Our second contestant is adii who is building a community oriented project which will be a WordPress magazine which will highlight content from the thought leaders within the community of WordPress. The types of content that will be aggregated include: general and misc WordPress news, themes, designs and designers, plugins and development.

WordPRessMagazine Project

As you can already tell at a glance, both projects are circling around to the same conclusion but displaying the results in two different ways. Even though adii does not have a public demo, I can already tell you that I enjoy seeing the aggregated content displayed in this fashion versus WPSource. If the ability to subscribe to the specific categories will be possible in this iteration, I’ll have it give this design bonus points as it will help me condense these feeds into my Feed Reader.

When I look at this design mockup, I sometimes feel confused by where the post is being aggregated from. However, I enjoy the fact that this design will place more importance to the favicon as it’s use and importance has gone through the floor.

As it stands, WPSource is farther ahead in development as they at least have a working demo/project online that works. However, once the Magazine project comes online, it will definitely give WPSource a run for it’s money. One nice thing about both of these projects is that they are aggregating content from a wider variety of members within the WP Community instead of aggregating the usual suspects which Planet WordPress already does. May the best project win!

Jeffro2pt0 Featured On WP-Premiums

Jeffro2pt0 Image

A few days ago, PJ notified me that this blog design was featured on WP-Premiums.com. So far, the design has a total of 8 votes with an average rating of 4 out of 5. According to PJ the reason this design was chosen to be included in the WP-Premiums gallery is as follows:

I was so impressed by your great customization of the Shifter theme that I’ve featured it on WP-Premiums.com. I’m sure that your design will be an inspiration for others who are planning to design or customize their own WordPress-powered websites.

Thanks goes out to PJ for adding this site design to the gallery. Thanks also goes out to anyone who has rated this design on WP-Premiums, I really appreciate it. A last round of thanks goes out to those individuals who worked with me on their own time to provides suggestions and critiques to enhance the design. If you haven’t checked out WP-Premiums before, I highly suggest doing so as it’s a showcase of what people have been able to do to their premium themes outside of the norm. For example, my favorite design right now in the showcase is the blog of Robin Malau.

This showcase would make for a good place to get inspiration from if you are looking at designing a WordPress theme.

Some Forum Changes

ChangesToTheForum

I’ve recently made some changes to the forum. I decided to hide a majority of the forums and stick with the WordPress section for now. I admit, I’ve been lackluster in posting to the forum because there is only one Jeffro2pt0 but about 200 things and places I need to be. If you haven’t yet checked out the forums, please register an account and participate within the community.

Contribute To WordPress Contest

ThemesClubLogo

Thanks to Small Potatoes of WPDesigner.com I have 50 free accounts to give away to his special WordPress themes club. This club only cost $5.00 to join but guarantees you at least 12 WordPress themes. Considering the themes that SP has already developed, this is a very affordable way to gain access to some premium quality WordPress designs.

However, you will have to earn a free membership by participating in the Contribute To WordPress Contest.

The rules are simple. The first 50 people who leave a comment describing a UNIQUE way of contributing to WordPress will receive a free WPDesigner theme coupon. When I say unique, I mean, don’t copy and paste something into the comment field. Come up with something on your own.

Ok, go ahead and let the imaginative juices flow.