What do you mean you haven’t noticed? How vary dare you, this has taken me months!

As I’d mentioned previously I now have the .uk version of my domain name. I hate to see the .xyz version go but emails kept going into Junk Mail folders, which is unhelpful when applying for jobs.

And as intimated previously I took the opportunity to rebuild the site using a new database with a fresh install of the software and plugins. This also allowed me to convert all of the older posts from whatever format they’d been in for the last 16 (nearly) years into Gutenberg blocks, the block editor being the way we’re supposed to do WordPress now.

Some of the changes are very visible. I’ve given in to the modern trend of dropped caps, but only on my opening paragraph. And they change colour depending on which category you’re in because… yes, I’ve brought back the categories, after over a decade. You can now just look at my professional thoughts in Communications, my random rants in Observations or my personal posts in Diary. Or subscribe to the lot via RSS. Up to you.

That’s also meant a change to the Thoughts & Notes page, which is now no longer a simple chronological list of posts – although the category and tag pages still are because I’m waiting to see what WordPress does with full-site editing before changing them.

“For what use is a website,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”

Alice in Wonderland, chapter 1

The wide left margin remains but now I can add content into it, and stretch images or galleries into it as well on larger screens/viewports.

Behind the scenes I’ve rewritten large chunks of code such as how the random header is generated and how my custom widgets work (mainly by converting them into shortcodes). Print styles have been added (should you wish to pdf or print something – you might, I don’t know) and editor styles as well for when I’m writing or editing content with the block editor, instead of how I normally write (Word, copy & paste).

Next steps

I’d be lying if I said everything was perfect. The latest post image should be full-width but that upsets other things because of the way the page is structured. There a bigger statistics page to follow – it wasn’t a ‘mission-critical’ element, I need to work out how to extract the data I want and then how to express it programmatically using CSS (I needed a lie-down after that sentence).

In copying over all the content I noticed that many of the links are now broken; it might simply be a case of converting http into https, or following up the 302 error to find where the link has been moved to. Time-consuming, but easily fixed.

And some of the commented-out code and CSS I left in while developing will need pulling out as well. It’s safer to leave it in while making sure nothing breaks, so you don’t have to hunt it down again to re-add if anything goes wrong! As happened when I published this post.

And then, wonder how WordPress 5.5 will change things when it comes out in August. Oh, joy…