Bruce Lawson's personal site

WordPress redesign unleashed

“A redesign?!?!”, I hear you exclaim. “It looks exactly the bloody same!”

Well, it’s not ready for primetime yet, but I got tired of not blogging, so here’s my heavily-customised WordPress-powered redesign. "A redesign?!?!", I hear you exclaim. "It looks exactly the bloody same!"
Well, yes, but my design skills are not exactly renowned, and when I checked my server logs, I discovered someone’s blog entry saying "I absolutely adore the site design of So clean and simple, and yet it looks gorgeous. Fantastic stuff."

With praise like that, I decided to leave it pretty much as-is, though I’ve still work to do styling the new bits and bobs (comments, extra nav, post metadata etc).

There’s loads of stuff still to do, the biggest of which is the removal of all <br /> tags that snuck into the posts when I was copying from the notepad html source of my old site into the WordPress Post entry text box.

If anyone can donate me a PHP script that can replace <br /> with "" (only in posts), I will love you forever.

I’m enormously gratetul to Matt Mullenweg for WordPress as I now have categories, archives, permalinks, comments and all the trappings of your proper blogbloke. There were a couple of minor niggles that I’ll note in case they can be noted for WordPress 2.0:

But these are minor niggles. After only a few weeks (most of that spent copying and pasting old content), I now have a lovely database-driven website.

I pondered for a long time about whether to have comments on anything other than the technical category of Accessibility/ Web Standards, and have decided to have everything open to comments. So let the comment spam commence!

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Buy "Calling For The Moon", my debut album of songs I wrote while living in Thailand, India, Turkey. (Only £2, on Bandcamp.)

12 Responses to “ WordPress redesign unleashed ”

Comment by Molly E. Holzschlag

Why Bruce, congratulations on your upgrade to WordPress, and the wonderful world of comment systems. If you can get onto IRC, go into #wordpress and you will find a wonderful group of folks willing to help out with PHP/WordPress problems 24/7.

I’m writing this from the Workshop on Accessibility at the www2005 in Chiba, Japan.

Congrats again on your WordPress site. BTW, check your design in Safari, there’s a horizontal scrollbar, which doesn’t appear in Firefox.


Comment by Bruce

Thanks Molly. Damn Safari.. just cos it passed the Acid test, it thinks it can add scrollbars where I don’t want them. Hopefully it’ll be fixed if I define body to be 99% wide….

Weiran, I think most links work, except from the blog to mp3s and lyrics of my songs, as they’re not in the CMS yet – they’re still on the static page

There may be internal links not working, which I’ll fix as I manually sort out the formatting of some older posts. Like I said, it’s not really 100% there yet, but I wanted to get publishing again!

If anyone spots a dead link, please let me know …

Comment by Bruce

If you get any problems with the rss feeds, could you note them here? There were some teething problems, but I’m hoping they’re solved now (character entities buggering up the otherwise gorgeous xml)

Comment by Weiran

If you get any problems with the rss feeds, could you note them here?

Actually, the links at the bottom of the page for the RSS feed are broken for me, they have a feed: stuck in the beginning of the URL, and Firefox nor Thunderbird seems to like it.

(P.S. is that a reference you have at the bottom right of your site Bruce? ;))

Comment by Bruce

Hmmm.. I wondered about the feed prefix that is WordPress default myself (not being the proud owner of an RSS-reading-thingy, I don’t know if that was right or not). Firefox’s Sage extension seems to pick up a feed OK though. Another entry on the to-do list.

The gif on the bottom of the page is an animated internet cliche a friend sent to me (dunno where it originated). It combines goatse with oolong the pancake rabbit. If only a tubgirl reference could be there too ….

Comment by Adam Thody

One problem I’ve noticed with the feed is in my reader entries I’ve already read are suddenly marked as unread. I see this occasionally on other blogs when the post is updated, but on yours it seems somewhat random. Today for example a post from way back in September appeared unread all of a sudden.

Comment by Bruce

Ah, I think it’s because I retrospectively published some songs that I hadn’t ported from the old site, so they appeared as unread …. Should all be fine now. Thanks for letting me know, Adam.

Comment by vacuum cleaner

Nice use of WordPress! I agree with whoever said that your site is very clean and simple while still getting your personality and character across. I especially like your “ransom note” cut out letters and am glad you didn’t redesign them right off your site. I understand some of your issues with WordPress, too. I have a site that I update for a client, and it seems like I’m constantly missing a checkbox here or there. Nothing major, just things like you pointed out, such as back dating. I love the categories feature, but it’s also something very easy to forget to check, so I often end up with posts going straight to my default category (about, which isn’t very helpful). But it sounds like you have a handle on it, so hopefully you won’t be constantly editing posts like I seem to be!

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