Might notice some craziness in the next few days around here. I’m investigating some new themes. Sorry for the eye-ugly, things will be back to normal soon.
Category: Web Site Updates
On Vacation, in Idaho
I’ve been cleaning up the front page of this site. Adding and subtracting things as needed. I don’t feel like changing my theme to the current trendy bare minimum look, but I have streamlined what I’m using. I added some new progress bars for my other projects, namely the current film we are making and the current model I’m building. The front page is now shorter and requires less scrolling to see the important things.
I added a new menu page for our movies, so you can go there for the latest posts on them and to see the finished products. I need to do some more work on the menus and consolidate a bit more. All the book covers need revamping, but I may push that off until next year when everything is done for the first trilogy of the Star Saga.
I added a Filmmaker slide to the slider and at the suggestion of Bill Blohm, included links to the blog posts with that category to all the slides. I’m very frustrated that I can’t order the slides, but it’s not an option in the widget I’m using.
I’ve been tweaking the website side bars a bit this week. The first thing I did was change the purchase links to a fancy pop out deal. Eventually, I’ll have links to purchase each book from three different publishers – Kindle, Nook and Kobo. This is a free plugin (Buy This Book) for WordPress blogs, but you have to have your own hosted server to use it.
The next tweak I did was to add a link to the newsletter and put it above the fold. I’m trying to get folks who really like my books, to join the newsletter. This way they get advance notice of when I publish new books or shorts. I’ll be running a special starting next month for folks who sign up for the newsletter. Hint: it will be a new short story only available to subscribers.
I’ve also been tweaking some pages to reflect the new book out this month and posting some images and text that better explain the series. I also updated the Coming Soon page to reflect what’s heading down the rails for 2013.
And finally, I updated the site with images of the cover for STARVEYORS, the new novel that comes out this month. Oh, I also shrank my mug shot in the side bar. I think I was scaring too many people off.
For the past week I’ve been unable to post to this blog. I was not hacked. Further investigation revealed that my database had exploded to a ginormous size. This caused my hosting company to automatically block any further posting. The trouble maker was a plugin that was tracking my web stats. No need to identify it, just be aware that those things can clog your MySQL database in the WordPress blogs. I simply uninstalled the plugin and dropped it’s huge table. Back to normal again.
Upgrading WordPress Issue
I had some out of memory errors whenever I tried to upgrade my WordPress installation for this site. Finally someone clued me in to the fix. Deactivate all your plugins first, then do the upgrade. When you are finished upgrading, reactivate the plugins. It’s a simple memory management issue, WordPress tries to old all the plugins in memory and then has no room for doing the upgrade.
Anyway, the upgrade proceeded normally after I learned that trick. Now you know it too.
I finally fixed the RSS feed on the blog to support the full post using RSS2. You may need to change your feeds accordingly. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Also added bookmarks to the end of posts so you can add links to your favorite social sites. If you don’t see a particular site that you use, please mention it to this posting and I will add it.
This morning I updated to the latest version of WordPress, the blogging software that this site uses. I simply pushed a link and it magically just happened. I love that. No work by the admin at all. No headaches with the database, no lingering aftereffects, just a clean, new interface to the back end. Kudos to the WordPress team!
Home Page Upgrades
Some of you may have noticed the new items on the home page this month. I have updated the cover art for the second edition of Starstrikers. If you like the new look, go thank my brother, Byron McConnell for his efforts.
I’ve also added some status or progress bars for the projects I’m working on right now. This way readers can see how far along I am and get an idea of when the next book will be ready. The other thing I have added is an Amazon ranking box that shows how popular Starstrikers is at the moment. If it ever falls off into the millions again, I’m likely to take it down, but for now, it’s pretty impressive.
Thinking about adding a Twitter feed to the main page, but may rule against it.
Still working on the Starstrikers copy edits for the Amazon Kindle version. I would like to upload that ASAP, but it takes time to go through entire book again. If you have purchased Starstrikers on Kindle in the last two months, you will be eligible for a free upgrade to the second edition. Just email me after it comes out, and I will send you it in .mobi format. Just another way to say thanks to my loyal readers.
Old Blog Posts Imported
I have imported to this blog, all the old blog posts I made on MyView clear back to 2005. If you are bored, you can now browse the old posts and revel in my wit and charm from days gone by. I’m not sure quite everything is moved, as WP has an eight gig limit on imports. I’ll have to look at the XML import file a little closer when I have some time.
The next big website related project will be to move the wiki from W0PHT.org to this server. I’m not sure how to proceed with that. I may just cut and paste all pages into the new wiki. This will give me a chance to reorganize things along the way. Needless to say, that task may take a while.