Yearly Archives: 2006

Notes On 2006

Undeniably, I have been on a bit of a break from WebKeyDesign, but before 2006 officially passes into the server logs as just another year, I wanted to put down some final thoughts on a very trying year.

Great Expectations

Like most people, I started the year trying to improve myself. After fifty hours of online seminars, a few self-improvement books, lots and lots of technical reading on web site related technologies, and many personal challenges having to do with family and work, I have to say that 2006 was perhaps in the top three of worst years I have ever had to go through. Professionally I had this vision of improving myself and when my company decided to close shop, I was devastated and unemployed.

At the same time, my personal life was not very enjoyable. I felt like I was being pulled apart in several directions and that all I could do was stand there and try to be the pillar that doesn’t move for everyone else. I probably wasn’t very much fun to be around.

As for myself, I was learning things, improving my skills and knowledge. Since college, I have always known that there are only two ways that I learn. I either recluse myself to some private space and pore over thick books or I sit and do what it is I need to learn to do at the computer. In general I can’t stop reading, it is something which helps me with stress, so I constantly read.

Learning To Succeed

After a few job interviews, I had started to doubt myself, to think all kinds of bad thoughts, but then one day I woke up and all that self improvement seminars and books kicked in. I found myself at another job interview, being asked the same question again: “Why should we hire you?” Then at that very moment, it sunk in. I don’t really need this job. “I will be successful regardless of where I work.” After the interview, I got a phone call at home, informing me they wanted to offer me the position. I ended up not taking the job after all, because I actually received an offer from my current employer, who I had really wanted to work for.

At home, I knew I needed to change things. Instead of doing more, I did less, but what I did do, I tried to do better. Communication is key in relationships, and while I’m not known for being very good at this in personal relationships, I knew I had to work at it. The idea is that your personal life has to be enjoyable. If it somehow isn’t then you need to change things.

Time Enough For Updates

There seems to never be enough time for everything, and while IE 7 and Firefox 2.0 came out, I don’t know very many people who prepared all that much for major browser releases. It seems like we are always trying to catch up. But The Holidays are a time for family and friends. While I do enjoy putting in long hours at work, I also understand that December is the month for relating to people and not computers. So while 2006 was a hard year for many of us, we are definitely better people because of it. Hardship is what makes life challenging, and while no one welcomes the stresses, we certainly enjoy life better when we learn to properly handle them. See you in 2007!

WordPress Internal Errors

Recently I had some problems with another site that I maintain and I had to move the entire domain to a different physical server, and of course the WordPress installation decided to break along the way. There were various problems, but I would have to sum it up as not being able to access anything in the wp-admin folder. Every time I tried to access the admin side of WordPress, I would receive an internal error 500, along with 403′s. After researching this issue for a while, it turns out my original .htaccess file was not restored. More importantly, the workaround for mod_security was not in my .htaccess file. Adding this to the root .htaccess file fixed the problem with not being able to access the admin interface:

<IfModule mod_security.c>
SecFilterEngine Off
SecFilterScanPOST Off
</IfModule>

I also use the plugin WP-Cache, which can cause problems if you move your WordPress installation; this usually comes up as a php include error: wp-settings.php on line 69. The fix is to remove define(’WP_CACHE’, true); from the wp-config.php file. If that still does not fix the problem, then you might have to remove all of the files created by WP-Cache:

wp-content/advanced-cache.php
wp-content/cache/*
wp-content/plugins/wp-cache/*

If you recently moved your files to another server or renamed your home directory, then the problem is the symbolic link advanced-cache that is under wp-content. Most FTP programs will not show the link, so you must either delete it from within cPanel’s FileManager or shell into your account and do it that way. You can then usually just deactivate and re-activate the plugin, and when you enable caching, it should recreate the link.

And then there is this problem with WordPress 2.0.5.

WordPress Titles

Since I started using Mint, every time I looked on the Pages section, it would show abbreviated titles for the pages that were accessed. I soon realized that the problem was not so much Mint, but that my actual Title tags from WordPress all started with my website’s name and then the actual blog entry title. A more readable title would be one that started with the actual title of the blog entry instead of “WebKeyDesign >> My Post Title”. In order to change this you have to edit the Title tag code in your WordPress theme. You can find a good tutorial on modifying the WordPress Title tag on Ardamis.com.

Here is what I changed the Title tag to:

<title><?php wp_title(‘ ‘); ?><?php if(wp_title(‘ ‘, false)) { echo ‘ | ‘; } ?><?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?></title>

There is one slight problem though which Ardamis mentions, namely there are some spaces that get inputted into the Title tag. Ardamis does offer a workaround for this, but search engines will not care about the extra spaces, so you can do without the workaround if you like.