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We upgraded our WordPress to 3.0.5 earlier today. Shortly after our upgrade we learned of the release of 3.1. We'll catch up on that soon. The changes in the current upgrade are all pretty minor and mostly back-end stuff. The move to 3.1 involves a few modifications of the user interface, so we'll want to review them for ourselves first.

We are also in the process of upgrading our custom style sheets to integrate smoothly with the new custom menus functionality introduced with recent versions of WordPress.

Pages on a WordPress site can be organized hierarchically so that you have "parent" and "child" pages. If you are using page hierarchies, then you might like to know what happens to the visibility of the child pages when a parent is set to "draft" status. The answer is: Child pages that have been published will still be visible. In order to hide child pages, you must set them, too, to "draft" status.

You can easily set draft status for multiple pages at once:

  1. On the admin side of your site go to the "Pages" listing
  2. Check the boxes for any pages that you want to change to draft status
  3. From the "bulk actions" drop-down at the top of the page listing choose "Edit"
  4. Click "Apply"
  5. In area that opens change the "Status" field from "No change" to "Draft"
  6. Click "Update" to commit the changes

The Wesleyan WordPress system benefits from improvements that come with our recent upgrade to WordPress 3.0. Many site owners will be happy to find that page navigation and external links can now be intermingled, reordered, etc. by use of custom menus. To access custom menus, go to Appearance > Menus.

The Search Pages plugin is no longer required; WordPress includes pages in search results automatically.

Site owners may also be interested in using the new WordPress default theme, "Twenty Ten," which includes a horizontal navigation area below the customizable header image.

We've installed a new contact form plugin. It's more current than the plugins we have been using, and it offers a lot of options. Look for the Fast Secure Contact Form in the list of plugins.

Our WordPress sites were unavailable for approximately one hour during the very early morning of November 22. Our system admin has corrected the problem that caused the ougtage. We apologize for the downtime.

We've just added a couple plugins with some handy functionality

  • The "SlideShare" plugin lets you easily embed slide presentations hosted on, well, SlideShare
  • The "Hackadelic SEO Table Of Contents" plugin lets you drop a table of contents into any post or page simply by adding a [toc] shortcode anywhere on the page. The table is generated automatically from the headings on your page. You'll want to have us style it a bit, but the result can be very nice.

"blog960" is the name of the WordPress theme we developed to harmonize with the new Wesleyan web site. As of this afternoon, the blog960 theme supports three columns. When you go to the Appearance > Widgets page you will now see that there are two sidebar areas. If you add items to the second sidebar, your site will automatically switch to three columns. If you remove all items from the second sidebar, the site reverts to two columns.

Note that the main sidebar appears on the right for the two-column version and on the left for the three-column version.

Existing sites may need to make some adjustments if you try to switch. The columns are slighyly narrower when you switch to three, so images and movies might get cut off. In addition, if your site has custom styling, we may need to make some adjustments to insure that the sidebars match one another.

As mentioned in the previous post, the My Page Order plugin had fallen behind on some of the recent WPMU upgrades so that on some sites we were having to set the order by hand on each page.

The new version of the plugin is available now, and it has many configurational options. The only downside (for sites that antedate the upgrade) is that to take advantage of the plugin, you now need to use a specialized widget for the side bar. The native Pages widget will not respond to the My Page Order plugin. Please replace the Pages widget wherever required with the new My Page Order widget.

The "My Page Order" plugin is no longer functioning. There is reason to hope for a fix, but in the meantime, you can set the page order manually. Go to Pages > Edit to see a listing in order of all your pages. Hover over the title of a page whose order you want to adjust and choose "Quick Edit." Then increase or decrease the number in the "Order" field as needed. You may need to adjust multiple pages to get the order you desire.

You are probably using Safari (3.*) to edit your pages. The visual editor in WordPress does not play well with Safari, particularly 3.0-3.1 (and maybe beyond). It ought to, but it doesn't. You can best avoid the problem by using a different browser (FireFox, for instance) to edit your blog.

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