Fixing crashed WordPress comments

I recently noticed that I had lost all my comments from the Enterpriseyness blog (this website, a WordPress site). I decided to look at the database table that stores my comments. By default, the comments are stored in wp_comments but you have the option to use any prefix other than ‘wp’ when you are setting up your WordPress site.

I decided to take a look at the comments table for some clues and was presented with the following error message:

#144 - Table './###/wp_comments' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed

I am not a heavy MySQL user so I went off to Google and came across a few ideas. Before anything else, I made sure to back up my current database. Things are bad, I don’t want them getting worst. The first idea I came across was to simply attempt to repair the table manually

repair table wp_comments

 

This immediately brought my WordPress comments back. You can learn more about repair function on MySQL’s website.

Fixing the GoDaddy WordPress FTP credentials issue

Over the past few years, people have been writing about an intermittent issue with WordPress sites hosted on GoDaddy where upon trying to update the WordPress site, the user is prompted for FTP credentials but the credentials are not accepted.This issue doesn’t seem to occur on fresh installations and no one is quite sure what is causing the issue.

Though people have been having this issue primarily on GoDaddy hosted WordPress sites, it’s a GoDaddy feature itself that allows you to address the issue.

  1. Log in to your GoDaddy hosting account and proceed to the web Hosting Details page for your site.
  2. At the top of the page, you will see the Homepage Snapshot

    Homepage Snaphot
    Homepage Snaphot
  3. Click on Manage WordPress get a list of applications you have installed on your hosting account.
  4. Select the site you are experiencing the issues on and click “Update to x.y.z”. As of writing this blog entry, the latest version is 3.5.1

    Update to new version
    Update to new version
  5. Confirm the upgrade

    Confirm the upgrade
    Confirm the upgrade
  6. The interface will update to show the installation process

    Updating display
    Updating display
  7. Once the installation is complete, log in to your site’s dashboard and you will be presented with the chance to update the underlying database for your WordPress site. Click the button to update the database and your site will be up and running with the new version of WordPress. If you proceed to your plugins page, you will be able to update your other plugins using the regular process.

A review of Themify’s Minshop theme

Minshop is a responsive WooCommerce theme from the good people at themify.me. In building out the eCommerce solution for The Men’s Fashion, Minshop has allowed us to jump start the front end thus saving weeks of design effort and allowed us team to deliver a working product in minimal time.

Responsive Layout

Minshop is an HTML5 WordPress theme with a responsive layout that optimizes the view for both desktop and mobile audiences. You can test out the response layout for yourself by resizing your browser window. The “mobile” view is accessible on your desktop if you re-size your browser to 480 pixels. The entire top navigation becomes a mouse/touch enabled menu that is easier to navigate in a mobile browser.

Layout and Design

Minshop offers a minimal interface but also allows you to choose from a variety of skins to help you get your store out the door as quickly as possible. The responsive theme looks great on both desktop and tablet/phone browsers out of the box.

Slider

The slider feature has been instrumental in showcasing new and featured products.

Social Sharing & Open Graph

Out of the box, the Minshop theme generates the OpenGraph tags that will control how your pages’ content are displayed when shared on Facebook, Pinterest, and any other OpenGraph enabled service.

Search engine optimization

Minshop implements the following Schema.org schemas

  • http://schema.org/Offer
  • http://schema.org/Product

Feature Wish list

There are a few additions I would love to see the Minshop team make on their great theme.

  • More HTML5 semantic markup
  • The ability to have the copy for the Shop page show to the left or right of a 2 or 3 column grid of products

Source control strategy for WordPress sites

My background is more in software and web application development, not website development. So when I started doing a few websites on the side, I wanted to translate some of the tools and processes that I use everyday as a developer to this new role. As I compared the different CMS options, WordPress was the winner in my eyes with a good balance of usability, maintainability, and customizability.

Having chosen WordPress, my attention shifted to finding a version control mechanism for the works in progress. The look and feel for WordPress sites are managed by themes. WordPress allows your to create a child theme based on an existing theme by assigning the ‘template’ property in the header for style.css (the only required file in a child theme). You can read more about creating a child theme here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themes.

The content is maintained in the WordPress database (MySQL) and WordPress has a good mechanism for managing historical versions. The parent theme (in my case the new Twenty Eleven theme that came with WordPress 3.2) can be downloaded at any time, there’s no point in adding it to version control. Developing the child themes, I now have my handful of modified files under source control along with a simple FTP upload that serves as my deployment. Branching also works because I can deploy the branch to a 2nd theme folder (lets say ‘twentyeleven_custom_branch’) and preview the site with the new theme without actually activating the updated theme.

Migrating Multiple WordPress Sites to a single Multisite

Until recently, I have been using WordPress solely for more this blog. With the release of version 3.0, I decided to read through the release notes and noticed some great features. With the addition of custom post types introduced in version 2.9, WordPress makes a dandy content management system.

Discussing this with Morton (@mor10) at MIX 2011 only further solidified my decision to use WordPress as a CMS for production websites.

With all of the sites that I am building using WordPress, managing the different sites (each is installed as a standalone site) has become a hassle. Before I start on other sites, I am taking this opportunity to migrate all of my sites that I am hosting into a single Multisite implementation. WordPress has some documentation on how to do this; I will document any hiccups I come across and their resolution.

Further Reading

Production Sites

Here are a couple sites I’ve implemented using WordPress 3.1

 

Manually Installing WordPress on GoDaddy Free Linux Shared Hosting

  1. Log in to your GoDaddy account and create a MySQL database
  2. Wait for the database to be created. Log in to the database, and note the server address
  3. Download the latest WordPress packager The latest version is available here: http://wordpress.org/latest.zip
  4. Unzip/decompress the package and upload the “wordpress” folder within to
  5. Run the WordPress installer
    1. When prompted, enter the name of the database that was created.

Hiding the Ads

To hide the “free hosting” ads from your site, edit the CSS for your Drupal template and add this entry

#conash3D0{
  display: none;
}

As of writing this, I am running into an issue with the administrator environment. It looks like some of the javascript isn’t executing so the UI isn’t rendering correctly. The site renders fine, though. More on that as I work it out. Any suggestions would be greatly

UPDATE

I found a blog entry that details how to fix the javascript issue mentioned above. http://allebrum.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/getting-wordpress-to-work-on-godaddys-free-hosting-account-finally/