Upgraded to WordPress 3.1.2

It’s been a little while since my last upgrade of WordPress for this blog, the last version is an old 2.2.2. WordPress has changed and improved a lot since then, so I decided to upgrade it to the latest version 3.1.2. Also, I also changed the theme to give it a new look. Hopefully this is a new chance for me to post more.

The migration was basically smooth, but I still got several small problems.

  • Post revision is a new feature comparing with older versions. But it will make the database bloated and sometimes it’s not really needed. It can be disabled by adding this line to wp-config.php just before the last line:
    define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 0);

    The number defines the number of revisions will be kept in the database’s posts table, 0 is for disabled.

  • The structure of table wp_posts is changed. I backed up my old database then restored to the new installation, but I found there’s no trash link for me to retrieve or delete posts or pages I trashed. When I checked in phpMyAdmin, I found the post_status can not be set to trash. The trashed posts or pages are still in the database but you cannot delete them, this will cause some problems, e.g., I cannot generate a new post or page with the same slug that’s used by a trashed post or page. I solved this problem by backing up the old database by its data only without selecting the structure. So that the structure of the new database will not be changed.
  • In this new version, seems the problem for Chinese support is still there. As before, I need to change the following section in wp-config.php to make it display Chinese characters correctly:

    define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');


    define('DB_CHARSET', '');

Blog address changed

Considering that this blog is the main function of this domain and WordPress can be easily customized to be a portal, I decided to change the blog address to http://gqshen.com permanently. It’s implemented by referring to this document.

The main drawback is the old permalinks from bookmarks or search engine cache, i.e. those led by http://gqshen.com/blog, will not work. Instead, visitors will get to the ugly 404 page, though I have put a note in it.

UPDATE: Just installed the Redirection plugin at Urban Giraffe and it solves the URL problem almost perfectly.

Blog upgraded

Last weekend I spent one night to upgrade this blog from WordPress to 2.2.1. Basically everything goes smoothly except the database character sets issue because there are some Chinese characters in my posts. I searched the web and tried many times and finally it works, though I still don’t know the details because I am really not good at MySQL things. What I did is:

  1. Run SQL query
    show variables like '%character%';

    to check the character sets of the database. If the character_set_database is latin1, change it to utf8 by

    alter database mydb character set utf8;

    where mydb is the name of the database.

  2. Edit wp-config.php, change the line
    define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');


    define('DB_CHARSET', '');

These two steps basically solve the Chinese display problem. (References: 1, 2 and 3)

The new version of WordPress is very good, especially the support of widgets and many other improvements from version 1.5.x. I also changed the theme to GlossyBlue 1.4 and modified a little.

Domains transferred

Finally I completed the transfer of my two domains from Yahoo! domains (reseller of MelbourneIT) to GoDaddy. I initiated the transfer on Feb 26 and the transfer was completed on Mar 11. Basically I followed this post. The reason it took so long time is that Yahoo! domains customer service is terrible. In the entire procedure I contact three customer service representatives and the first two just don’t know what’s going on or lied to me they have done that but in fact nothing was done. It’s a joke. I would seriously suggest never go with Yahoo! domains for any domain registration. It’s cheap but it’s troublesome when you want to transfer.

It’s now gqshen.com

Happy New Year! My blog is now running on gqshen.com, my personal domain name. The subdomain for this blog is blog.gqshen.com.

UPDATE: Because WordPress is not so friendly with subdomain, I am going to keep the URL of the blog as gqshen.com/blog, however blog.gqshen.com will still work, i.e., take you to my blog and all links leading by blog.gqshen.com will work well too.

Feed your blog into space

This site is proving a free service to send your blog to the outer space so that maybe your blog can be captured by other possible lifes in the outer space. An interesting idea! And it’s free. I am thinking if there are outer space lifes and they are able to understand our languages, they could have studied us very extensively and deeply. Maybe they are just staring at us, but we cannot see them. :)

Blog software comparison chart

I think this chart is useful for those who are hunting for the most suitable blog software for them. I ever did a simple comparison of three blogwares I am familiar with but definitely this one is more comprehensive and clear.

New look

I decided to change a little to the look of this blog. The new theme, Semiologic, is designed by Denis de Bernardy and I made some minor tweaks to it. “Wuhan“, the last theme I have been using, is also a very nice one but it’s a little bit too grey and it’s not flexible to modify because it uses images to create the round corners. Semiologic has all the features I am looking for from a good theme and still doesn’t lack simplicity. The CMS plugin collection comes with it is also handy to use. So far so good.

Long time no update

Actually it’s only about one week. But the truth is one week is not a short time in network era. Things just change so fast even by seconds.

Well, it’s already June. It’s very hot here in Midwest these days since last weekend. So the summer is right here and the short short spring just disappears in no time, whew.

My baby is going to join us in less than 100 days. Yes, that’s really exciting! We just cannot help waiting to see what she looks like. We have prepared most of the stuff for her coming. And today her first box of diapers just arrived. :) We are just running a weblog for her and I have also prepared a photo album for baby photos, though that’s still a little bit early. I also built a photoblog to record those coming precious moments in my life, also in my wife and my baby girl’s. All these will have their links here soon.

Out-of-box package to experience web server and blog

Just read a guide at UrbanGiraffe to establish your own web server on Windows PC with PHP and MySql database installed. This is a very good package if you want to try your own web server and/or your own weblog but don’t want to handle the hassels of installing and configuring PHP and MySql. I tried it on my home PC and installed WordPress just like a breeze.