WordPress 3.0

The new version of WordPress is actually pretty neat. It has new features like navigation menus and custom post types. The new default theme (“Twenty Ten”) showcases some of these features. Changing the look of my blog (at least to that well-prepared theme) was extremely easy.

Here’s an overview of the new WordPress:

Mobile blog

If you want to read my blog from your mobile device, just bookmark this link: Critical Exponent(mobile). It is an automatically generated mobile version of the site, thanks to the folks at MoFuse.

There is also a MoFuse plugin for WordPress that is supposed to redirect users automatically if they come from a mobile device, but so far I haven’t gotten it to work: the URL never redirects, and when I disable some of my other plugins, MoFuse-WP generates an error on the page. Cool idea once I/they get it working, though!

I learned about this from AmericaBlog.

Blog upgrade

From the moment I signed up with my previous web-hosting provider, I was disappointed with their speed, their clunky user interface (no SSH access? come on!), and their unresponsive customer support. The last straw was a my blog suddenly not working when I had not made any configuration changes. They were unhelpful and proceeded to touch my files without permission or good cause.

I spent all of New Year’s Day backing up my blog content and transferring it to my new hosting service, HostMonster, which was recommended by a friend. To do the transfer, I followed the directions here. I tested the transferred content by modifying my /etc/hosts file to point my machine to my website’s new IP when fetching the old name. The plan was to initiate the DNS transfer once that was all working.

While transferring the database was simple, making the copied WordPress .php files talk to the database did not work immediately. I suspect it’s a mixture of a complex directory structure, DNS name changes, and server-side redirection going on simulatenously. Or not. I just wound up creating a new WP blog on the site, pointing it at my transferred database, and voilĂ ! I’m good to go.

(Fore future reference, if I had been interested in moving the blog to a new domain name entirely, I would also have followed the steps here or here).

A bonus benefit of having a fresh install is that now I can start my customizations (which weren’t that many) afresh, using the newer widgets and such that were implemented since my blog first went online. Look back to this space as I make my blog visually more interesting! My inspiration comes in large part from what Knox was able to accomplish in a short time as a WordPress newbie, albeit one with a good eye for layout and design.