KeithMcD Network

Yesterday I spent most the day configuring WordPress MultiSite. This is a feature that the WordPress team introduced in version 3.0 and expanded upon in version 3.1. This allows me to basically run my own blogging service – similar to WordPress.com or Blogger.

So, I now can run my own blogging service – what is the benefit of doing this? I have no current plans to offer keithmcd.com blogs, however the benefit I have in doing this is that I can now manage all the sites my family has under one global umbrella.

However, last night, I found that after I had already migrated three other sites to the new platform, my main site (KeithMcD.com), was exhibiting some oddities in the blog posts. A “” was showing up at somewhat-random places in all posts regardless of how far back I went, but was not showing up in the database itself. However, new posts I created to test had no such characters shown. It turns out this was a remnant of my early WordPress days.

Back in the days before WordPress 2.1.3, the database used latin1_swedish_ci collation for whatever reason. As such, my blog was using that for all tables created at that time onward. Any new blogs I created were created with later versions and as such, were created with utf8_general_ci, so did not have this issue. So, now that I knew what was going wrong, how to fix this?

First, you have to take a complete backup of all the affected tables. After I had a dump of those tables, I simply edited the CHARSET which is used by those tables and re-imported the tables. My dump included drop statements so the tables were dropped then recreated immediately which would minimize any issues from random WordPress tables in a production environment just suddenly going missing. However, this didn’t quite fix it. It made the “” visible in the database table. Next, I had to run the following SQL statement which replaced the “” with nothing and cleared up this issue.

UPDATE wp_posts SET post_content = REPLACE(post_content, ‘Â’, ”);

I haven’t checked other tables to see if they are effected as well, but this resolves the user-visible items at the very least.

So, with those issues fixed I can now shift my attention to migrating two remaining sites and fixing any issues which may crop up from those as well.

This brings me to a minor topic which is this: the KeithMcD logo is in dire need of a refresh.  Have any ideas or design suggestions?  Currently there isn’t much of a logo – it is really just the favicon which is pretty bad and lacks any design at all.

Site Upgrade

Yesterday WordPress, the software which powers this and other sites that I host and support, updated to version 3.1.

I have upgraded this site and am playing around with some of the new/updated features.  As such, a few very minor changes will be coming up.  I will also be tweaking the theme some and trying to make it a bit more fluid in its appearance.

New Year Randomness

A few things for the new year:

  1. Congratulations to those in New Hampshire for being another state allowing gay marriage.  It’s a crime that it’s not globally recognized, but we’ll get there eventually.  I guess I wrongfully assumed that the phrase “…all men are created equal.” in the Declaration of Independence actually applied to ALL men.
  2. I was bad during the holidays and ran very very little, however I was able to at least maintain my weight, which is as good as one can hope for.
  3. I have removed the CAPTCHA from my site.  Apparently my WordPress upgrade last week broke that plugin.
  4. I am fixing the RSS feeds as they apparently haven’t been updating since about July.  Oops!

Have a great new year and I’ll post again soon – hopefully later this week.