Christopher Merle

Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, but first I need more coffee.

Why would you want to do that?

Because I can. Turns out you can change the default editor font of TinyMCE and if you so desire make it match the font seen by visitors to your website.  You create a special css file place it in your theme and then add a function to functions.php file to load it.

It’s not something that’s ever been on my radar. Much of the time I’m editing in the Text tab (so I can see the raw HTML) and whether I used the Visual tab I always used the Preview button to see what my changes were going to look like, but I can understand why someone might want to change the default font of their editor.

I always learn new stuff from client requests.


Well, I missed the 10th anniversary of my website. I’ve been using WordPress all that time. I haven’t posted as much on this site since I started using LiveJournal, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus (mostly Facebook and Twitter).  I like LiveJournal. It’s quiet over there.

WordPress has improved dramatically over the past 10 years but I’m looking for another platform. Python is my preferred programming language, but there simply isn’t a CMS/blogging platform written in Python that is as ubiquitous as WordPress. Because of my experience with WordPress I have become a freelancer setting up WordPress websites for people. Most of my clients are individuals: authors, artists, musicians, and small businesses. Another reason is that I hadn’t found a Python based platform that could replace WordPress for me. Until now.

I’m currently investigating Wagtail which is a Django based content management system. I’m going to conduct an experiment in converting my site to Wagtail and if I like the experience I’ll see what else I can do with it. I’ve also set up a few websites using Plone which is a Python based CMS but it’s overkill for most of my clients. Also it’s hard to develop for. It’s great out of the box, but I have found it difficult to write extensions for. Now it may have changed with the most recent release of Plone, version 5, however, I’ve done enough Django development that I prefer it for developing web apps. My goal is to see if I can replace both Plone and WordPress with Wagtail.

That being said I will continue to support my clients who use WordPress and unless there is a compelling reason to switch them to Wagtail, I won’t. WordPress has a great community, there are a large number of developers who create themes and plugins. I like that I can empower the end user so they can manage their own sites once it is set up. I liken my job to customizing a car. I set up and customize the website, train the client how to use the website, but if anything major needs addressing, I can take care of it like a car mechanic.

So why switch? I am not a fan of PHP. It’s harder to maintain and harder to read that Python. I will tweak PHP code as my clients need but I don’t write plugins or create themes for WordPress, but I do customize the themes as WordPress makes it easy to create what are called child themes. And I’m a fan of Python. It has a gentle learning curve and it’s much easier for me to read and maintain the code I create. So I’ll see how this Wagtail experiment goes.

Podcasts Archive

Thanks to the new features of WordPress I don’t need to use PodPress plugin anymore. You can check them out under the Podcast parent page in the menu across the top. I do not have an active podcast. This is an archive of a two podcasts, one I did for a now defunct science fiction convention, the other was related but not not tied to any convention. They were recored between 2006 and 2009 and are there for posterity.

I need to some additional cleanup and rearrangement of this site, but I’ve made a good start.

Site Cleanup

I tried and failed to update my site to WordPress 4.6. I did update it by uploading 4.6 files via FTP. It overwrote all the bad files and now the site is running again, but I noticed my admin is slow. I’ve deleted a number of outdated plugins. I’m in the process of deleting other material as well. I’ve deleted my photo pages, and once I download all the pictures I’d uploaded I’ll be deleting the gallery plugin. It’s not needed anymore. I plan to keep my archived podcasts, but I’ll see If I can reformat them in a way to not use the podcast plugin.

WordPress 4.5

I had a client contact me this morning that their site had crashed. They received an email message from their host provider saying their version of WordPress had been upgraded. I saw the error message and most likely the upgrade failed, hosing the site. This can only be fixed via FTP. Even the login screen gives the same error message.

I won’t know until I have access to the client’s server to determine what the actual problem is. It could also be a plugin or theme conflict.

Anyway, before warning or advising my other clients about upgrading to the just released WordPress 4.5 I thought I’d go ahead and upgrade this website. I backed up all my files and database and then I updated all my plugins and themes. I then ran the WordPress update and it updated successfully.

It does happen that updates fail and it could be WordPress, a theme or a plugin. You can manually deactivate themes and plugins via ftp access by renaming their respective folder. This breaks the connection and sometimes the error goes away. If it’s not a plugin or theme then WordPress is hosed and you’ll need to manually reinstall the files via FTP.

Update: I checked their site and it was missing files from the WordPress install. I replaced them and their site was happy again.

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