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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

welcome to the new WordPress-y FlickFilosopher!

Wayne Knight Jurassic Park

It smells like fresh paint, so don’t breathe too deeply or you might get lightheaded. There’s sticky spots all over the place, so be careful what you touch. The gift shop is already open, of course.

But here it is: FlickFilosopher.com on WordPress, at long last, and with much hassle. And it’s far from finished: there is much tweaking left to do. But I’m opening with the basic tour you see here. I have all the problems of a major zoo and a major theme park at the same time, or something. And I don’t even have a Dennis Nedry (though that’s probably a good thing). Oh, and look: there the locks have gone all wonky on the electric jeeps for no reason at all… *sigh*

Like Dennis, I have been eating way too much junk food while this has been in progress. Ugh. But better than Dennis can manage, I run this site from this one room with minimal assistance all the time.

I did get an awesome database assist from ReadyMadeWeb, who handled the migration of my highly customized Movable Type database into a form that WordPress could cope with it. It was a complicated process that had me pulling my hair out along the way, and probably did the same to ReadyMadeWeb’s Cord and Pete. But they were extremely patient and helpful and professional and supremely competent. I couldn’t have done this without them. (If you have a simpler MT or TypePad site, they have a plugin that can do the job of moving to WordPress for you.)

Appearancewise, the theme is from Elegant Themes, but I made a lot of modifications and customizations. Naturally. Because I’m insane.

Here’s what’s happening now: the Disqus threads are propagating over from the old site. This could take as long as 24 hours, but if you see a thread has comments, you can go ahead and continue to post and respond as usual. If there’s no Disqus stuff on a post, it should be there by sometime tomorrow. I’ll also be adding in some Disqus widgets for current conversations and such, as the old site had. Look for that within the next day or so.

Redirecting the URLs of posts from the Movable Type site is gonna be more of a hassle. That could take many days to resolve fully, and it means that most of the internal links here (as well as links from elsewhere on the Web) are going to point to the old MT pages until that’s all taken care of. If there’s something you’re desperate to find and simply can’t, drop me a line and I’ll help you.

The subscription service has moved over to TinyPass, and soon I’ll be implementing a sort of paywall, with some content available only to subscribers. I won’t do that until I’ve been in touch with all the current subscribers and gotten you all set up with TinyPass. That will be happening over the next week or so.

Because there is going to be some actual meaty premium content for subscribers, I’ve opened up the Daily Digest email to everyone, subscriber or no. You can find a signup form in the sidebar. (If you’re already getting the Daily Digest as a subscriber, you don’t need to rejoin. You’ll continue to receive it.)

Please feel free to point out any problems you run into. I’m sure there will be many I’m not aware of until someone says something!

posted in:
maryann buzz
  • I’m liking the new look a lot! My only concern at the moment is that the search bar is a bit buried on the main page, which could cause a lot of people to ask you about it. It’s easier to find in the subpages though.

  • DarkMagess

    Love the new look. I concur about the search bar. And might put a subscribe appeal somewhere in the sidebar.

    The floating share links are neat, but not always accurate. I moused over the reddit one and it gave me the LinkedIn pop-up, but that might just be the plugin.

  • Do you mean the search thing in the sidebar, or the nav bar at the top of the page?

  • And might put a subscribe appeal somewhere in the sidebar.

    That’s on the to-do list.

    The share links work okay for me. Hmm…

  • The google search box in the sidebar. On the main page it’s buried right at the bottom, on the subpages it’s in the sidebar.

    If it’s supposed to be in the red bar at the top of the page, i don’t see it.

  • RogerBW

    Distinctly shiny! I’m not normally one for textures, but that roughened red and charcoal works very nicely. I hope the subscribers’ content involves a bit less hair-tearing than this migration has.

  • No, it’s not supposed to be anywhere else. I was just confused about what you were getting at.

    Thanks for the feedback. I’ll see if there’s something I can do with the search bar on the home page.

  • Isobel_A

    Definitely looks good. I’m somewhat change-averse (my failing, absolutely) so it’ll take me a while to find my way around, but it looks good. Very professional.

  • I_Sell_Books

    Wow, this looks amazing! I’ll be subscribing later today (ie, el kiddo is desperate for cartoons before school). Now all I have to figure out is why Disqus won’t let me log in and all will be good.

  • Isn’t everyone at least a little averse to change? There were times in the middle of this process when I just wanted to say, Fuck it, and give up.

    I tried to minimize the trauma by keeping things in as much the same place as I could. Moving the post and movie meta info from the central column to below a post/review was (I think) the biggest change. I just couldn’t make a central column work.

    And, well, the home page is pretty different, too.

    It’s funny, though, that much of the functionality in new WordPress themes like this one and many others being used across the web — like the slider at the top of the homepage — were things I had sorta anticipated and fudged on the old home page…

  • LaSargenta

    Looking good. Migrating anything is such difficult work.

    Personal opinion so far is that I like everything but the floating/slideshow stuff. I hate floating stuff unless it is completely outside the margins of everywhere there is any print. This blocks the copyright info at the bottom if one scrolls all the way down. I don’t need to read the copyright info, I just find it jarring to have it covered when I scroll.

    I know that slideshows, though, are popular, and I’ll just get used to it.

  • Lisa

    it’s beautiful – thought I went to the wrong site at first! Congratulations on all your hard work!

  • You can click on the X at the bottom of the floating bar to close it.

  • LaSargenta

    Oooh! Who’d a thunk it! (I’m so unobservant sometimes.)

    Thank you — without sarcasm. Much better. I didn’t even bother looking at it for a close button since I’ve had so many of those floating thingies on various media sites OPEN when I’ve hit the close button that I just try to look around them now. Or close the site completely and get info elsewhere.

  • Please don’t go elsewhere. :->

    The recent comments listings you wanted is now up under the “join the conversation” link in the navbar.

  • LaSargenta

    Don’t worry about that…I didn’t mean I might leave this site over formatting. I have problems on some of the tv news sites. I think it is CBS and NBC that are the worst offenders for me.

    Thanks for the comments link. (Maybe someday Disqus will let you have more than 25 comments in the recent comments list. I’m still missing the “Last 100 Comments” thingie you used to have.)

  • 25 is the max. It sucks. Should be many more.

  • Isobel_A

    Perhaps I’m being dim (and it’s entirely possible – I have an almost supernatural ability not to notice things that are right in front of my face) but I can’t seem to see a link to where all the reviews live, alphabetically? Did that carry over from the old site? And the ranking by year?

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Right hand side. Below “Search”, above “Monthly Archives”. The yearly rankings are at the bottom of the “In Cinemas” page.

  • Isobel_A

    Yep, dim! Thanks for pointing them out.

  • FYI, I fixed the floating social bar on the left hand side. It floats a little further out and so no longer covers up the copyright info at the bottom of the page, and also so that it’s no longer within the margins of the main page.

  • LaSargenta

    Yea! (Looks much better.)

  • Isobel_A

    There does not seem to be anywhere else to put this comment, so I’ll dump it here:

    Byzantium has a green light and Great Gatsby an amber? I am agog and mighty intrigued – are reviews planned for these two, MaryAnn?

  • Yes, very soon.

  • Isobel_A

    Hurrah, I’ll look forward to what you have to say on those.

  • Hi MaryAnn,

    I’m surprised there are any issues with your Moveable Type redirections. We did a Moveable Type to WordPress move for Cord at RMW for CafeHayek and absolutely everything redirected perfectly.

    Redirections are included in our basic Silver package: http://foliovision.com/2008/11/typepad-to-wordpress

    Let us know if we can come in and help you clean up.

    Good luck with the finishing touches!

  • I had my host create a rewrite map for me. I’m not expert on regular expressions, but it seemed like there were too many instances of differences between old MT URLs and the new WP ones that would not be caught that way.

  • You are definitely right MaryAnn it’s not easy but we are experts on regular expressions, MT/Typepad/Blogger/SBI/Drupal/WordPress URL structures and can come up with wizardry to defeat almost any incompatibility. The best starting point is usually John Godley’s Redirection plugin as you can both write expressions and then hit the exceptions too (which are logged).

  • With almost 14,000 URLs to be redirected, I like the rewrite map option. I’d rather not have to spend a lot of time checking for broken links and stuff that isn’t getting redirected.

  • Hi again MaryAnn,

    We moved sites with 40,000 URLs, leaving no broken URLs. But yes getting the redirections right is a pain (worth it in my opinion) and makes up a good part of the charge for our service.

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