Those who know me well are keenly aware that I am a heathen non-believer1 when it comes to higher power type beings, but also know that I embrace the concept of karma – simply stated as what goes around comes around. Yesterday’s melt-down, I’ve come to believe, was no less than my just dessert, the karmic animal that turned ’round to bite me squarely in the butt.
You see, it all started like this:
A few weeks ago I decided to migrate this blog to a different host – one that supports WordPress. I’d been using Blogger and my own custom template but finally got fed up with blogger’s bugs and lack of extensibility. I knew WordPress was a fairly decent CMS2 and, of course, free.
My hosting service included WordPress in the price of hosting the blog and one click installed it. My next step was to redirect the DNS3. Actually, that wasn’t my next step – it was my first mistake.
TIP: when changing hosting services, do not redirect the DNS until everything is ready to go on the new server. IE: get the house built before you move in….
My second mistake was in thinking all I had to do was to replace Blogger template codes with WordPress template codes to get up and running. Nope. Not that easy. WordPress wants you to have a theme.
Thus began my decent into hell.4 Yes, it woud’ve been far easier to pick one of the bazillion free themes and go from there, but that would have meant giving up control – and, again, those who know me know control is not something I’m happy departing with.
I searched for theme producing tools, tried a couple on trial, then found one that looked like it’d be just the ticket. Now here comes the karma bit.
A lot of the tools out there that can help you put together web-pages, blogs, etc., offer “free” trials before purchasing. Not a bad deal – I’ve gone that route many times, buying some and not buying others.
I’ve also taken advantage of free trials when I knew I needed only limited use of the product. Such was the case with the software I found to help me generate a WordPress theme. I thought, “Okay, I’m only gonna need it for one theme, the trial is all I need…”
Cue ominous underscoring.
I downloaded the software and got to work. In no time, my theme was put together with only a tiny bit of tweaking in the css left to do. I hit export, tweaked, uploaded and….
Sheeyit. All of the images, gifs – my own imported header gif were stamped with the word “TRIAL” all over them.
That – pissed me off. Weh-heh-elllll. I wasn’t go to let that deter me. How dare they – do they know who they’re messin’ with here?
Soooo, the next day – yesterday – I embarked on my one-upmanship. And this included getting WordPress on my local machine and enabling the localhost capabilities of my mac so I could preview the site build as I went.
Once I got set on that (which was surprisingly not hard – I won’t say it was easy breezy, but it wasn’t rocket science… did you know that the internet is a fount of information?), I downloaded another freebie – the image editor Gimp which is a down and dirty decent open-source substitute for Photoshop.
Then I was ready to go. I opened up the image folder in that marked up theme and, one by one, eliminated all the stupid “TRIAL” stamps from the images. I was very, very pleased with my self as the fruits of my labor replaced their tainted dopplegangers in the image folder.
All the little corners, the drop-shadowed borders, boxes, icons, backgrounds, all of those suckers were wiped clean and made fresh again. All by my hand. And mouse.
Finally, after about ten – thirteen hours of image repair and tweaking the template, the theme was ready for export and uploading to the site.
Again – I was very, very pleased with myself. I had thwarted the beast and won one for all of us open-source acolytes across the globe.
But there was one little tweak more I had to do before uploading to the host. The template name the software generated was ugly and cumbersome. I wanted it to be simple – the name of the blog only. I accessed the theme folder, renamed the file and refreshed localhost.
The blog home page was blank. I went back to WordPress admin – yup, the theme was still there, with the old name. Hmmmmm. What could be the problem? OH I know -
I needed to load the theme again and reactivate so the templates would refresh the association with the theme folder. No prob… let’s just get rid of the old theme via the WordPress admin page – “delete this theme”, yup, click that… done… buh-bye, and then re-loa… er, wait, what????
Where’s my theme?? WHERE’S MY THEME????
It was a few seconds of stunned disbelief before I accepted what I’d done. With one click, I eliminated a day’s work. With one click, karma had the last laugh… the last belly laugh… the last “hardy har-har, up yours, bitch” guffaw.
And then commenced the meltdown which produced yesterday’s post. Not a proud moment, I assure you.
Today, I turned it around. After work, I went to the theme generating software site, gave them my credit card number and bought the license for the software. They got my $49.95 and in under and hour, I got my WordPress theme and here I am, by golly.
I still have some tidying up to do as I get used to the new digs and learn what WordPress can and can’t do. Any tips on widgets and plugins would be most welcome.
Thanks for stopping by this little narcissistic corner of the interverse.
1 Except to call myself a non-believer presupposes that I believe there’s something(one) to not believe in. Let’s call a spade a spade. I’m an atheist. Albeit a tolerant one…
2 Content Management System
3 You really think I’m gonna spell it all out for you?
4 Of course hell exists. I’m not stupid…