Some Blog Upgrades

The other night started out as finally upgrading WordPress to 2.7, but ended up making some big changes to the blog. The upgrade to WordPress 2.7 went very smoothly, no real issues at all. 2.7 is such a change from 2.6, the entire dashboard and interface is different. It took me a little while to get used to it, but I really like it and it is a big improvement over 2.6. While checking out all of the changes in 2.7 I realized that a lot of the coding was different, so I thought I could make some improvements to the blog. One of the things that I really didn’t like about the blog was the comments. I am using the Personal Blog Theme from Unique Blog Designs, but for the comments.php page I actually was using the comments.php from my previous theme because it was a custom comments.php made for Brian’s threaded comments. The new version of WordPress does support threaded comments, but the new scheme does not allow you to customize the comment output, which I only found out after I was done coding the comments.php page! So there was an hour wasted right there!

So going back to the original comments.php from the Personal Blog theme I did a little hacking and was able to keep the style of the comment output, but I didn’t want the Gravatar icons, I wanted the MyBlogLog ones so I had to make it so those would show up. I still wanted threaded comments as well. I found the plugin wp-thread-comment and it works really well. I also had to customize the output of the threaded comments so they would go with the theme of the blog and display the MyBlogLog avatars. That took me about an hour an a half to get everything working and looking right.

Talking about comments I added the CommentLuv plugin to the blog. What it does is when you post a comment it will search your supplied URL for your latest blog post and post it below your comment. I hope this encourages more people to comment since you are getting a link back to your blog if you comment. The plugin is very easy to install and works great so far.

I did a few other small things like add a RSS and Twitter counter to the sidebar, although I really don’t like the way they look right now. Tyler Ingram has a really cool Twitter counter on his blog, I would like something like that but I haven’t had the time to really look into how to code that so it works with a picture. Finally I added the date to each post and I changed the link colors slightly. Hopefully you guys like the changes to the blog. If I get some more time I will work on a few more improvements.