Pointers on WordPress customization please

I’ve had my blog for a couple of weeks by now. It was hosted by MidPhase. I used it because it had good reviews and a colleague recommended it. Based on my experience so far, I am not too happy with it. I will leave that for another post.

Anyway, I am actually pretty happy with WordPress so far. The installation and initial configuration was not bad. I’ve downloaded a few themes to play with. I’ve settled on this Almost Spring theme from Becca. I did some tweaking myself, mainly on sidebar.php and style.css files. I am a newbie in both PHP and CSS.

I also studied some other people’s blogs for ideas and inspirations, mainly from Chris Hedgate and Danny Howard. That is a big help for me. Thanks guys.

I want advice on 2 issues below:
1. I thought it would be neat to create a table that stores all books that I have read. I can use that to create a WordPress page for those books. Do you know if there is a plugin just for that? I know there is a plugin for you to create tables in MySql. That is no big deal, as I can do that easily using mysql command line. The challenge for me is to write the PHP code and integrate that on the sidebar.

BTW, thanks Danny for this post, I’ve read the book. Wow, it really changed my thinking on a lot of things after reading it.

2. What tools do you use for trackbacks and ego search? I’ve used http://www.technorati.com/, but it would be nice to have a tool or plugin to do that work.

If you have some other cool tips and pointers that you can share, that will be greatly appreciated.

4 thoughts on “Pointers on WordPress customization please”

  1. Word up, big Ji!

    1) I’d create a “page” and maybe maintain that by hand … else, there’s a plugin somewhere for you to put PHP code in a WordPress page or blog entry and have it be interpreted.

    2) I use … uhm … a really crude Perl script and some shell pipes in my cron entry that is then included via XSSI (My web site used to be static pages and scripts, WordPress just hosts the bloggy content) but … uhm … basically, you can pull referers out of your server’s combined http log.

    Midphase is neat by their reverse DNS when you posted the backtrack from this post points to Server Central, which is the hosting company behind Midphase, and my last employer.

    Small world? Maybe in the Village of Ji. Happy blogging, sir!

    -danny

  2. Great ideas Danny. I think I will just do it manually for books.

    Interesting ideas of http logs. You got me interested. I will look into it.

    Interesting to know that MidPhase is kinda like a middle man, contrary to my earlier impressions. They’ve got to change the max connection setting in my.cnf or find out which site is using up all the connections. That happened to me at least 3 times by now. My apache went dead on Friday night, because, according to support, an APC power issue. But their phone and web support has been quick and friendly.

    There are a lot of changes in the Ji Village;) I went back 2 years ago and was really surprised by the all the changes.

  3. Hey Ji,

    Sorry to hear that you had a less than par experience with Midphase. I would give them a while, get settled in, they may turn out well. You may want to check out http://www.vistapages.com, I have used them and are a pretty good host!

    Best of luck!

  4. Thanks Mikal.

    I demanded to have MySql database moved to a different server, and I have been happy with them since. I still have some trouble with getting a smtp client and email client like mutt to work on the host, but I guess I can live with that.

    It looks like MidPhase is trying pretty hard, and I appreciate their effort. My site has been running without much problems since the db move, so I am cool now.

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