I’ve been using a default WordPress installation to run this blog for a few months now. But there have been a few things that I didn’t like about how it works, and so I jumped into the php code to see if I could make some changes. My biggest gripe was that on the monthly archive pages, each entry is truncated to the first 100 characters, whereas I would prefer to see the entire entry displayed. So I replaced the code
< ?php the_excerpt() ?> in
archive.php with the code
< ?php the_content('Read the rest of this entry »'); ?> that I found in
index.php. I was just guessing at what these two functions actually do, but I guessed right and got rid of the annoying truncation.
I installed a spelling-checker plugin so that I can check my spelling before I post an entry. (Before this, I actually performed a forensic spell check via
lynx -dump -nolist http://madphilosopher.ca/ | ispell and found some old spelling errors, but I haven’t gone back and fixed all of the back entries yet.)
I changed the permanent link scheme so that links to old entries look like this: http://madphilosopher.ca/2005/03/the-wedding/. This makes it obvious what the link is about before the user clicks on it. And when examining my web server logs, I’ll be able to tell what posts are what by examining the URL. Before the change, I used this scheme: http://madphilosopher.ca/archives/107/, which is not nearly as user-friendly.
I also learned that the default linking scheme
index.php?p=107 can be used within a blog post to refer to another blog post, so that these references won’t break even when I change the permanent link scheme.
So, the mechanics and structure of this blog are slowly becoming my creation. I made some major changes today, and I learned a lot about WordPress. It feels great!