WordPress Blog

A guy wrote to me last weekend and said it would be nice to have a blog or discussion area on legislative issues for the Engineer’s Association website. I know that the web hosting company will allow a blog because we already have a discussion area set up that I’ve talked about before.


I told the guy I could just add a legislative subforum and he could post issues there and people could discuss them, or I could set up a blog where he could post upcoming bills and people could then comment or ask questions. Really, since the whole site is based on the template for my blog, the whole website could probably be a blog, though I’m not sure how it would work having the different districts and so forth.

I added the subforum to the discussion area, but I kind of wanted to try out installing a blog. WordPress, a competitor to Movable Type which is used here, is supposed to be a little easier to set up. It really wasn’t too bad. I downloaded the installation file, then expanded it using cPanel File Manager. Because it expanded itself into a folder called WordPress, I had to move everything up a level to put it in the “blog” folder I wanted it to be in. Then I set up a subdomain so that people could get there by typing:

http://blog.gdotea.com

I had to set up a new database in my MySQL control panel and assign a user (I chose user “admin” but the problem there is that account used an old password and I couldn’t figure out how to change it, so I deleted admin and added a new one called admin with a new password; then the forum broke down since it uses the same user but now had an outdated password, so I had to modify its config.php file as well with the new password). Then I just edited the wp-config.php file with the database info. I messed up there by not remembering that the real name of the database was gdotea_blog instead of just blog and the account name was gdotea_admin instead of just admin.

Once I did that I was kind of off to the races except that something I did seemed to have made the entire website stop working. The webhost tech support either fixed it or pointed out that it wasn’t actually broken (I still have no idea what was going on). Anyway, now I have a blog set up.

It isn’t nearly as configurable as Movable Type. Movable Type does a lot of formatting of the look and feel of the site via styles which are coded. The only thing I could change in WordPress was the background and text color of the header. For the rest of the appearance WordPress uses graphics to create the background color, borders, etc. If you want to change any of that you would have to change the six or so graphics that make up header, body, and footer. Which I still might do. Not as configurable but easier to install. That’s kind of the standard tradeoff for computer stuff.

2 thoughts on “WordPress Blog

  1. Welcome to LAMP (assuming you are on Linux.) WordPress themes are available and probably as easy to implement as MT. See:

    wordpress.org/extend/themes/

    Requires diving into CSS a bit.

    The way I support multiple users and blogs to create the Mac5 home page is why I’ve never gone to WP. Comes down to recent comments and recent posts across multiple blogs.

  2. Definitely MySQL and PHP, but I didn’t have to do much with Linux and Apache even though those are at work. It was very, very similar to installing the discussion area. I did go ahead and change the graphics (pixel by pixel in some places) so that the blog would look like the rest of the site. I got everything but a sliver of gray down at the bottom of the page. I don’t know what’s causing that.

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