Admin Bar Minimiser: Show or Hide the New WordPress Admin Bar with a Single Click

WordPress 3.1 brought with it a new Admin Bar. When administrators are logged in, the bar sits on top of all the front-end pages of the site, allowing quick access to some basic wordpress settings and functions.

The new Admin Bar seems to have been met with a love it or hate it reaction. Personally, I love the functionality, but I hate having to look at the bar all the time. Luckily, that’s where the Admin Bar Minimiser plugin comes in very handy. Instead of being forced to choose between enabling or disabling the bar completely, this plugin allows you to simply show / hide the bar with a single click.

My thanks go out to developer, dgwyer, for creating such a useful plugin.

Hotfix Released for WordPress 3.0.5


A tiny bug made its way into the recent release of WordPress 3.0.5. The release did fix the security issue that it was intended to fix, but it was a bit overzealous and “stripped advanced HTML (on display, not save, thankfully) from comments by people with the unfiltered_html capability.”

This particular bug has been deemed a rare case, and the developers would prefer to focus on 3.1 than release yet another 3.0.x update, but they were able to sneak a hotfix for the bug into the latest release of Akismet (2.5.3).

A new plugin, appropriately titled Hotfix has also been released to fix this particular bug and select future bugs as they pop up, “so you don’t have to wait for the next WordPress core release.” Think of it as a dedicated plugin for minor WordPress updates.

Media Temple GridContainer Woes

My sites are hosted by Media Temple. Generally I’ve been pretty happy with them, but the last few days have been a giant pain in the ass.

On Monday I migrated my Grid Service account from the MySQL SmartPool, to the dedicated MySQL GridContainer. One is a shared version of MySQL server, and the other is a dedicated version with double the resources. In theory, the GridContainer is supposed to be “better” than the SmartPool, as you’re not competing for resources with neighboring sites. But so far that hasn’t exactly been the case.

Even though my site has been running fine under the SmartPool, from the moment I migrated to the GridContainer the MySQL server has been crashing every 8-10 hours. You may have noticed the site keeps going up and down. Media Temple can offer no explanation for this.

I’m still trying to troubleshoot, and things seem a little more stable now, but so far I’m not terribly impressed. I may opt to go back into the SmartPool. I’ll be writing up some thoughts on this whole thing once I get through it.

Until this is resolved, I’m waiting to publish new posts, as I’ve already had to roll the database back once.

Update: I cancelled the Grid-Container. Read more, here.

It’s Twenty Ten Until 2011

Well, I’ve updated my install of WordPress, and the various plugins I use. I also updated my Media Temple server from MySQL 4 to 5 – which will be necessary for WordPress 3.2, as they’re dropping support for MySQL 4. I still have some tweaking to do, but things are much more up to date now than they have been in a while.

Since I’m starting things up again around here, I decided it was time for a fresh theme too. For now I decided to stick with a slightly modified version of Twenty Ten (the new default theme in WordPress). I’ve been saying for ever that I would create my own custom theme for the site, but I’ve never gotten around to it. I hope to do that early next year.

Before I decided to stick with Twenty Ten, I actually looked around quite a lot for themes by others. I hate to say it, but I was a little disappointed by what I found.

There are literally thousands of WordPress themes out there. While there’s definitely some good ones, there’s also a tremendous amount of junk. All I was looking for was a simple, clean, modern theme… and I couldn’t really find what I wanted. Everything I found was either too much or too little in terms of design and features. Or, they were just plain ugly.

There’s a huge number of pay-theme premium sites out there these days. And, I was totally willing to buy a theme that I liked, but these sites seem to cater to themes with a more “magazine” type layout. I don’t really want that right now. I was looking for a more traditional, one post after another, type theme.

As wordpress has developed from strictly a blogging platform to much more of a full-featured CMS (content management system), it seems like traditional blog themes have kind of fallen behind. From what I’ve seen, it seems like the people who are really putting thought and time into the themes they’re developing, are only creating magazine (or portfolio / business) themes. It doesn’t seem like the same level of effort is being put into simpler themes anymore.

It’s possible this is just my perception of the situation, so feel free to leave links in the comments if there are some good, simple themes that you know of.

My new WordPress Theme

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve updated the theme I use for One Digital Life.

Although I haven’t exactly been an active blogger for quite a while now (most of 2008), I just couldn’t stand to look at the theme I was using any longer. I’ve wanted to simplify the site for a long time, and last Saturday night I got a giant bug up my butt, and decided I HAD to change the site that night. I stayed up until 5:00am looking at, and tweaking WordPress themes.

The theme I chose to use is called, deFusion. It was nice, but I’ve never been an out-of-the-box kind of guy, so I’ve tweaked it quite a bit. It’s not quite there yet, but it’s getting closer. I’ll probably be fiddling with it for a while, so don’t be surprised if things are a little different each time you come by.

I think it worth mentioning that I did take some inspiration from Arron Martins blog, which I think is awesome. Arron has achieved a simplicity that is really beautiful. I’ve had themes with this basic structure before, but I did borrow Arrons color scheme.

Every year or so I write about how I want to create a WordPress theme from scratch (instead of using an existing theme as a starting point), but I just never seem to find make the time to do it. I may still do that one day, but that day is not today. Besides, if I were to redesign a site right now, it would be my Portfolio. It’s been almost 2 years since I updated it and I’m feeling the itch. :)

As I mentioned, I haven’t been doing a lot of blogging lately. I actually miss it. I really want to get back into the habit of posting regularly again. In fact, I have some pretty big news that I want to share, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. ;)