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Der MEVA - Blog
Albrecht Weinert

a-weinert.de,  weinert-automation.de
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blog... /wordpress-en/   [en]
Albrecht Weinert

WordPress (en)

This Blog hosted at 1&1 uses WordPress. Please find here some remarks on usage and experiences.

The Software

This blog is running since 2008 starting with WordPress’s German version 2.6.0 and using a modified TerraFirma theme (see below). In August 2009 it was updated to 2.8.4 „by hand“.

In January 2013 it was switched over to a (new) MySQL5.0 as the old 4.0 one (in contract 1&1 business 5) was no more connectable by php. Experiments to migrate the whole thing (incuding users, passwords, permalinks, design and all) to another (1&1 virtual) server and WordPress 3.5 run technically OK but in the end un-satisfctory — put mildly. So in February 2013 it was updated by hand and in (the old) place to 3.5.1 and in July 2013 to 3.5.2.

The whole WordPress software is a great cluster of PHP plus a good load of JavaScript, e.g., for the client side editors.

Basically a Blog is a web service like all many others — Wikis, shops, Web GUIs for automation (process control) systems and else. For Java people or a Java Web service lady the question arises, why not use a blog implemented as J2EE-Webservice.

The answer is: You have no choice most of the times — and for two reasons. Most providers, like 1&1 used here,  do not offer J2EE up to the middle or even higher contract categories, whereas its hard to find something just above the cheapest entry offers without PHP or MySQL. Additionally, the learning curve or the small project entry level is an order of magnitude lower for PHP compared to J2EE, leading to a wide popularity. An when a PHP project has grown into problems, not known to J2EE approaches, changing horses seems infeasible or too bloody. So you’ll find for Blogs, Wikis etc. myriads of PHP aproaches, while you have to search Java solutions — at least free ones — like the needle in the haystack.

Host and Installation

Like the web sites a-weinert.de, etc. this Blog is hosted at 1&1. The contract — here Business 5.0 — offers sufficient PHP and MySQL resources (but as already discussed, no J2EE container, like e.g. Tomcat) .

For most of its hosting contracts down to the entry level, 1&1 offers a Blog, that seems itself be WordPress based. This „home made“ Blog can be activated by quite a few mouse clicks. Thus the web-master may avoid installing WordPress, handling updates, themes plug-ins etc. or — worst of all — learning some PHP.

So why anyone should want to install WordPress or another Blog software in the own 1&1 web space? 1&1’s description of its Blog — quite openly by the way — shows that the simple entry is paid by quite a bundle of limitations. Who can’t accept those limits shall not use the offered pre-installed standard Blog. Just taking it without consideration and then whinge in (other) Blogs and mailing lists is a frequent habit — but neither clever nor fair.

Before installing WordPress you must activate the MySQL database, if not yet done. The access data to your 1&1 DB are required in the process. Installing WordPress and here the TerraFirma theme is done by just uploading. Just follow WordPress‘ 5 minutes installation. Well, it usually takes a bit longer, until everything runs and looks to your wishes. The quite stupendous update from (in our case) 2.6.0 to 2.8.4 and to 3.5.1/2 is best done by hand. It is basically the deleting of all not individualised files (directories wp-admin and wp-includes) and uploading all others from the new WordPress version (except wp-config.php).

On the theme — TerraFirma

TerraFirma theme before the thorough modification

A theme, in the sense of WordPress, is the GUI or design, that may easily be exchanged, at least in theory. This Blog used TerraFirma from the beginning with some modifications until end 2012.

Figure right: That was the original look, before the thorough modification.

The post-treatment of the WordPress update mentioned motivated an extensive alteration of the used theme. Anyway since 2013 an own theme integrated with the website was created.

On buttons, drop downs and slides

The CSS mentioned above are first class means to have a WordPress BLog look almost like „normal“ (XHTML) Web pages. 2011 we used JQuery (+superfish) dropdown menus and slide shows for most web sides supported by weinert – automation. The same changes are easily applied to the BLog. The only .php file to (again) be modified was <SVN-repo>/we-www/blog-1/wp-content/themes/terrafirma/header.php .

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