WordPress 1.2 to 1.5 migration

Upgrading WP works like a charm following the WordPress wiki’s instructions… For testing, I duplicated an existing installation, to see what it was like…:

  • Old look and feel copied the database
  • uploaded the unpacked install files
  • changed the db settings in /wp-config.php to the copied database
  • ran / wp-admin/upgrade.php
  • in the database, manually adjusted in the wp_options table:
    • siteurl to the new testurl
    • home to that same new testurl

… and I got a copy of the blog up and running.

Two nice results that struck me:

  • the 13 tables were being reduced to only 9
  • in /wp-content/themes/ there was a subdir with the newley created theme “european-democracy”, next to the “default” (Kubrick) and “classic” theme

This means I could now safely test and edit the files in the “european-democracy” theme (a copy of the default theme) via the “Presentations -> “Theme Editor” menu, or by downloading the files in Dreamweaver . The former installation of WordPress was a heavy hack, I wanted to do it “the clean way” now adapting the theme to the original look and feel step by step (filenames refer to files in the theme subdir: /wp-content/themes/european-democracy/). After going through the modifications described here, I was so pleased I applied most of them to this blog as well ;-) .

CSS and images

  • most of the css information is in style.css , but the image css is contained in header.php (the reason for that being that the background picture depends on the presence of a sidebar or not -> hence some code is involved to check this)
  • for my purpose, I could simply remove the css lines from header.php, because I wanted a permanent sidebar, and I didn’t need a background picture for page and footer
  • the only image I needed were the header and page background, so I added to style.css :

    #header { background: url("images/european-democracy_header.jpg"); }
    #page { background: url("images/european-democray_page_background.gif"); }

    (note the relative url relative to the css file)
  • the blog’s logo and description are inclosed in the headerimg tag, but since the picture already mentions the title, I commented out title and description:

    display: none;
  • Unfortunately, this makes there’s no link any more to the homepage in the header… My remedy: inserting a transparent image
    in header.php , I added this div:

    <!-- modif pvh -->
    <div id="header_click_home"><a href="<?php echo get_settings('home');
    ?>" title = "<?php bloginfo('name'); ?>"><img src="<?php
    bloginfo('stylesheet_directory'); ?>/images/1px_transparent.gif" alt ="<?php
    bloginfo('description'); ?>" border="0" width ="780"
    height="145" /></a></div><!-- end modif pvh -->

    into the header div, but before the headerimg div

CSS and width

  • to change page width: replaced the nr of pixels for the #page element in style.css, I made it identical to the width of the header background img
  • I omitted the width for the footer element, it didn’t seem necessary
  • the left column is on the home page determined by the class “narrowcolumn” and the text on the right is in the div sidebar, so I played a bit with widths:

    .narrowcolumn {
    float: left;
    padding: 0 0 20px 15px;
    margin: 0px 0 0;
    width: 580px;
    #sidebar {
    padding: 10px 0px 10px 0px;
    margin-left: 625px;
    width: 150px;

    I still don’t understand how IE deals with this… I you simply change the padding for #sidebar to “padding: 10px 0px 10px 5px;” the sidebar moves to the bottom, where as I thought padding shouldn’t influence the position of an element?!

CSS and colors

  • changed background color to #fff (white in a few places)
  • adjusted stylesheet link colors and indicated changes with /* modif pvh */

Adding the sidebar to single archive page

  • in the stylesheet, I made .widecolumn identical to .narrowcolumn:

    .widecolumn {
    float: left;
    padding: 0 0 20px 15px;
    margin: 0px 0 0;
    width: 580px;
  • in single.php, replaced “<?php get_sidebar(); ?>” with:
    <!--modif pvh -->
    <?php get_sidebar(); ?>
    <!-- end modif pvh -->
    <?php get_footer(); ?>

Metadata font size

  • in order to make the metadata smaller:

    .narrowcolumn .postmetadata {
    padding-top: 0px;
    font-size: .75em;

    Note that I added the fontsize to this combined identifier, not to .postmetadata in order not to change the font size of the metadata under a single post!

Truncated archives and search results

  • I don’t like the way the default theme truncates the entries in the archives (with an auto-excerpt to a max of characters), I would rather retain the division between summary and full text the author already put in by using the <!–more–> tag
  • Easy enough… in archive.php and search.php, change:
    <div class="entry">
    //the_excerpt() //modif pvh

Moving post date

  • in order to have the posting date under the posting, I changed a line in archive.php, search.php, index.php:

    <p class="postmetadata"><?php the_time('l, F jS, Y') ?>.
    Posted in <?php the_category(', ') ?> <strong>|</strong> <?php
    edit_post_link('Edit','','<strong>|</strong>'); ?> <?php comments_popup_link('No
    Comments &#187;', '1 Comment &#187;', '% Comments &#187;'); ?></p>
  • no need to change code to remove the date indication under the title, this could be done by selectively making the <small> tag invisible when preceded by the H2 and H3 title tag:

    /* start modif pvh */
    h2 + small, h3 + small
    display: none;
    /* end modif pvh */

    Update: hmm, as this Dutch manual indicates, IE doesn’t support “Adjacent sibling element-selector”!


  • removed the metalinks in the sidebar by removing these lines from sidebar.php:
    <li><h2><?php _e('Meta'); ?></h2>
    <?php wp_register(); ?>
    <li><?php wp_loginout(); ?></li>
    <li><a href="http://validator.w3.org/check/referer" title="<?php
    _e('This page validates as XHTML 1.0 Transitional'); ?>"><?php _e('Valid
    <abbr title="eXtensible HyperText Markup Language">XHTML</abbr>');
    <li><a href="http://gmpg.org/xfn/"><abbr title="XHTML
    Friends Network">XFN</abbr></a></li>
    <li><a href="http://wordpress.org/" title="<?php _e('Powered
    by WordPress, state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform.'); ?>">WordPress</a></li>
    <?php wp_meta(); ?>
  • made sure the links were displayed on the archives pages by changing
    <?php /* If this is the frontpage */ if ( is_home() || is_page() /*start modif
    pvh */ || true /*end modif pvh */) { ?>

    in sidebar.php

Javascript to make external links open in new window

  • really a great idea from Marko Dugonjic, so I adapted the header.php

Strange effects

  • I had a some point replaced the #footer entries by:

    #footer {
    display: none;
    clear: both;

    but the funny result was that in firefox, the border around the page, only came as far down as the right menu text… another weird effect of floating div’s…

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