Whirr. Click. Clank! Reboot complete – 47hats is back! Having taken a long virtual walk to clear my head about what I want to do here, I’m writing again about what matters to me (and hopefully you): the Startup World, productivity in the early days of the Internet Age, and sundry other topics.
Redoing this site has been very much a case of eating my own dog food (or in my case cat food): I’ve been taking my own advice from WordPress for Startups, my next book. WordPress is an awesomely powerful codebase for anyone who wants to build a great site for their business without spending huge amounts of time and money. But like a lot of the progeny of the Internet, understanding some of the deeper truths about it helps:
- A lot happens in a few Internet years. The workflows that made sense a few years ago can come back to bite you now. Case in point: Featured Images in posts, added to WordPress about two years ago, gave theme developers lots of new functionality to work with. That’s the good news. The bad news comes in if you’re ignored this new feature. If you just keep adding images to posts the way you used to pre-Featured Images, you could end up a corpus of 700+ posts that as far as modern themes are concerned are just so much text. Ouch. Which brings me to point 2:
- Look within your given online community for who’s already solved your problem. The number 1 reason to do you site in WordPress has to be the hundreds of thousands of developers, designers and artists who are part of the WordPress Community. For example those 700+ posts I’d have to go through manually to generate featured images for. Let me introduce you one of the 16,000+ WordPress Plugins: Generate Post Thumbnails. Install it, run it, and let it do the heavy lifting for you.
- When adopting major software, or components for that software, there’s no such thing as having too much support. It can be an enlightening experience as software developer when you start getting jabbed in the side by some other developer’s idea of what you should be doing with their creation. If there’s one thing 30 years of dealing with software has taught me is that every single application has built into its core a set of assumptions about the world, what problem it is solving and what is the “right” way to solve that problem. If you situation is different, you’re mileage will vary. A lot. And that when you are going to want help.
- Accept un-perfection and move on. There will be times when the effort cost of fixing something is way too expensive. For instance, either manually editing and resaving each of 700+ posts to not use use features images when displaying just the post, or running a fairly complex SQL query on my (don’t touch it!) WP database to generate the needed records in wp-postmeta. So, I’ve done the last dozen or so posts, and the rest will have to wait for a while.