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Technical glitches, a Mammoth makeover, and a plea for help

Construction time again

It’s time for a new look for the blog. The current custom WordPress theme has served this blog well for many years, but it’s getting a little long in the tooth, and has started to cause weird gltiches that don’t seem to have clear solutions. That’s what’s knocked the site offline several times in recent days.

So I’ve decided to go ahead and do something I’ve been planning to do for a while: switch to a new, stripped-down theme that I think will look fresher and work better. So don’t be surprised if you come here tomorrow and find good old We Hunted the Mammoth looking rather different. (And, hopefully, not crashing every day for several hours.)

While I’ve dome some rudimentary customization on the new theme I’m going to need to make some changes on top of that to give the site the look and functionality I’d like, so if there are any WordPress or CSS mavens out there who might be willing to help a little bit on this front, please let me know. Most of the extra customization will involve such things as changing fonts, so it should not be a major project. I’m just terrified to touch the code myself since I have no idea what I’m doing.

Onward and upward and all that!

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25 Comments
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Naglfar
Naglfar
28 days ago

Will the logo still be the same?

I don’t know much about WordPress so I’m unlikely to be of much help, but good luck with the new theme.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
28 days ago

I can’t help with WordPress, sorry. I need help with it, myself. I’ve made a monetary donation.

GuyInAWaistcoat
GuyInAWaistcoat
28 days ago

But will this affect my ability to lurk?

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
28 days ago

Just f.y.i….

Coming from the person whom ALL the computers hate….

OH, NO, DAVID!! Don’t “up”grade the site… It’ll never work again!!!!

🙁

Sheila Crosby
Sheila Crosby
28 days ago

You’re taking a backup first, right?

I can wordpress a little, but I think you need someone better than me. You really don’t want to let me lose on your CSS

Crip Dyke
28 days ago

Yeah, I can tinker and I can change fonts in a style sheet, that sort of thing, but I am also inexperienced to the degree that I wouldn’t trust myself not to break something.

I’m sure you have readers that have enough experience to do those things without cringing in fear that something will break. You’re much better off getting help from someone who knows what they’re doing.

Good luck!

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
28 days ago

let me lose on your CSS

(to parody a line from an ancient “Gomer Pyle: USMC”)

My See Ess ESS?!?!?!? You shouldn’t be TALKING about my See Ess Ess in polite company….

(hope that comes across, I really am old ‘n’ tired)

I had a learning experience with Drupal, another high-gain web programming software for a non-profit — not saying I LEARNED Drupal, no one can learn Drupal. What I learned was, “I won’t ever do THAT again”!

Along with a later learning experience with WordPress, I have concluded that the software is so complex and has undergone so many arbitrary changes, that success in modifying an existing site is as much a matter of luck as skill. If you don’t have the ability and desire to literally read the programming code, it is nearly impossible to figure out how the site was built.

A hundred times, I asked the real geeks a question and they would reply (derisively — we are, after all code-pounders) “Oh, that’s EASY…” before spending 20 minnits looking at the site like Tucker Carlson looks at everything… and saying “I dunno… but it’s EASY!!”

🙂 🙂

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
28 days ago

@Weird Eddie

It were all fine (well, not exactly fine, but nothing too eyecrossing) before everyone jumped on the “ease of use” bandwagon back in ’14 or so.

*Wanders away grumbling how he still prefers the clean elegant simplicity of HTML 1.0

Naglfar
Naglfar
28 days ago

@GuyInAWaistcoat

But will this affect my ability to lurk?

No, it shouldn’t affect your ability to lurk. And if this is your first time commenting, welcome!

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
28 days ago

@ Threp:

Point taken… me, I think it happened when they went away from “plug’n’play” and instituted “install and try’n-find-a-way-t’-make-it-run”

Lainy
Lainy
27 days ago

I’m getting a make over myself. I’m going to cut all of my hair into a bob and dye it black.

Bookworm in hijab
Bookworm in hijab
27 days ago

Lainy, sounds fun! Bob-cut black hair always makes me think of the character from Amélie.

Ariblester
27 days ago

Well, looks like it may be time to either rewrite or retire my WHTM Quote Helper (which has a total of 2 committed users, myself included), since it is pretty hard-coded to this current layout.

(It’s a miracle that it worked in the first place, mind; I’m not a trained programmer.)

Alan Robertshaw
27 days ago

@ ariblester

I’m not a trained programmer

I can’t see a sentence like that without adding “Dammit Jim, I’m a doctor!”

Gwynfydd
Gwynfydd
27 days ago

@Naglfar

Will the logo still be the same?

I hope it will! I really love this logo – so do keep that David.

But genuinely, sorry to hear that WordPress has been tricky. Sorry I can’t help out, as I have no clue at all about this kind of stuff, despite having a WordPress site in infancy myself. I hope you can get it worked out ok!

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
27 days ago

I am willing to help except I can’t do it until Wednesday evening after 5pm PDT, and also I’m afraid to touch the code if you didn’t back it up just because WordPress, while highly useful and infinitely customizable, also craps out at the slightest thing and I haven’t any idea what widgets you’ve got in and nooooooo I’m getting anxiety just thinking of messing up.

But I did more than one WordPress site in my day and I was competent in all the main backend languages, although fair warning I will have to ramp back up into it if you were expecting it to be a ten second job, that’s probably not going to happen.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
27 days ago

@Lainy:

Are you going to do this yourself, or are you going to a professional hairstylist? It sounds awesome, however you do it. I love black hair, but I’m too old for it now.

Last time I got a haircut was March. I really, really need one. I can handle the dyeing myself, but not the cutting.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
27 days ago

@ Ariblester…

I steal all my code from discussion groups

=8)-DX
=8)-DX
26 days ago

I can do css (11 years previous web dev experience). Changing fonts and tinkering with some minor fixes shouldn’t be a problem (although it’s css, sooo). Make sure to backup the stylesheets you have, but it should be possible to just link someone a test page in the new design and have them do the css changes in the browser and send you the modified css/fragments to add to your cusom css file.
=8)-DX

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
24 days ago

Hey David!

I’m a programmer by trade. Haven’t done PHP before, but it’s a scripting language and I can probably figure it out.

If you don’t find anyone more experience I could give it a shot?

Alan Robertshaw
24 days ago

Ooh, swanky!

I like it.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Hopefully this will fix the glitches. My one request if possible is for the archives to be searchable by month/year again.

Etymologist
Etymologist
24 days ago

What have you done, David? The logo and title are tiny, the sidebar is gone, and the headlines and headings are HUGE and CENTER JUSTIFIED and it feels like they’re YELLING AT ME! If you and the other readers find this new format an improvement, that’s all that matters, but to me it feels much less friendly and less professional.

Tammy
22 days ago

I have only lurked occasionally through the years but I am a WordPress developer. I am happy to show you my work – my site portfolio is being updated – and talk more about what you’d like to have happen and what I’d recommend, now and in the future. I would be honored to develop the site for you free of charge if you still need someone.

occasional reader
occasional reader
19 days ago

Hello,

back from holidays on We hunted the salmon mammoth.

Sorry, i never try programming WordPress, so i am not able to help you on this point.

If i am allowed to make a request, would it be possible to duplicate and put the “former post // next post” links at the top of the post too (below or above the title of the post) like it was before ? I find it easier to just go to the top of the page to navigate between post rather than looking for the end of the article with the lift.

Sorry for the disturbance.

Have a nice day !