Sunday, September 20, 2009...8:56 am

Self-hosted 3-column Pressrow

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FUBWell, it’s been a long, hard road, but here we are. A brand new web host and a brand new look. Well – a brand new look that looks very much like the old look, but hey.

All visitors from the old wordpress.com address should be automatically redirected here. I’ll probably try to nudge people to change their RSS feed and whatnot, but if you do nothing that should still not be a problem. (At least until I forget to pay WordPress to do the redirection. Which won’t be for another year at least.)

Anyone who’s going “squeeeee” with excitement at seeing a real 3-column Pressrow-themed blog that uses honest-to-god Widgets in the sidebar should lie down in a darkened room for a while with a damp flannel over their eyes.

Then, if they really want, they can click on this naff flashing icon here and download the theme for themselves.

WARNING: It’s a tiny bit flaky, in that it doesn’t like putting captions on images and doesn’t seem to like running images side by side. And then there are the square bullets next to the comment Gravatars on the right that shouldn’t be there.

But think of it as buying a flat that has been almost entirely done up except for that attic refurbishment you always fancied trying. Here’s your chance to make your own mark on the internet. And if you succeed, write in and let me know.

UPDATE: The sidebars don’t seem to show up in Internet Explorer – at least on Mac OS X. Though why you’d want to use IE on a Mac I don’t know. I’ll have to check the usability on a Windows machine when I get access to one. Any feedback is welcome…

7 Comments

  • I went through a similar move from WordPress.com to self-hosted about six weeks ago. It’s been a mixed experience.

    On the plus side, I’ve learnt some .php, found out how to tweak pages and plan to expand my site’s scope in coming months.

    On the negative side, I dropped from a Google page rank of 4 (sometimes 5) to zero – which I understand is punishment for breaking some rule, but I’m stuffed if I know for sure what I did wrong.

    The fall meant my Google traffic plummeted. And with Google accounting for half my traffic, this has seen a 40 percent overall drop in traffic to my site. I thought things might recover, but they haven’t.

    I’m still working through the possible causes of my fall from grace.

    So, good luck with the switch. Let me know if you run into similar problems.

  • Well done! Welcome to the real WordPress experience!

    First move: Install a Google analytics plugin for some proper insight into what’s happening.

    Bill (above): I doubt much very much your search problem is to do with page rank. More likely to be changes to URL structure and/or domain names, broken links from other sites, possible duplicate pages etc etc. Your results WILL recover in time; mine took about 6 months to get back to where they before I switched.

  • Bill/Soilman – thanks for that. There is some Google analytics plugin already installed – though I have a learning curve to figure out how it all works. Although I seem to have lost my own Gravatar for now, which is a pain…

  • Re captions.

    I’ve been unable to make them work with lots of themes. Either the padding around the image is too big or non-existent, or the caption won’t display under the image when it’s resized. Particular issue with themes that aren’t fixed-width column, I’ve found.

    To be honest, don’t care. I hate the bloody captions anyway, and just delete the call-out code for them in the post html. You could tweak the PHP to remove the call-out altogether, but I’ve never got round to it…

  • PS Who needs captions when you’ve got hover alt text?

  • I am not a Luddite, I embrace most technology, I read instruction booklets – but I have to say having read several of your postings (that’s probably not the right word in your world) , I feel totally inadequate and may have to go back to an Olivetti for my correspondence and fastening the results to the legs of fast flying pigeons! I do hope Soilman does this stuff for a job – if not he needs to get out more!

  • It is indeed Soilman’s job – which is why he tries to spend as much time on his allotment as possible…

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