OK, WP seems pretty cool and all that, but I’ve got a couple of fears that I can’t quell:
- I’ve went ahead and made a couple minor “tweaks” to my index.php already just to see if I could and it seems easy enough. What I don’t see though is how the WP system will preserve my tweaks upon upgrading. Since they aren’t modular or isolated at all, won’t I lose everything I might do with every upgrade? Or is the only answer to fastidiously comment and cut and paste into the newer version?
- Somewhere in the dark and distant past I read somewhere that search engine spiders are likely to ignore anything other than virgin html pages. Accordingly, I’ve always avoided everything but that. So, if I start blogging with these .php pages, will I never get listed in Google etc.?
Google and other search engines like well-structured pages, but other than that they just look at the page output (HTML in the end), and walk links.
Google even does fine with “non-nice urls”, as I don’t use them, and it has no problem crawling my site. 😉
I use Alex King’s Tasks 2.0 to keep track of everything I do, have done, and want to do on my sites.
It works like a charm, and it’s dirt cheap.
I basically never write over my index.php and wp-layout.css when updating my version of wordpress.
index.php and wp-layout.css are just template files, more or less, and as long as the backend continues to treat the template tags the same way, there’s no real reason why you’d need to write over them when new versions come out.
If you make changes to some of the scripts, this might be when one of the other suggestions mentioned above might be worth heeding.
I guess I’m still not understanding what makes something a “script” as opposed to a “template”. I mean the file being used to create the displayed page is “index.php”. So, that’s a script right? I mean, even though its also a “template” in WP terminology.
Sorry gm2. I’m an idiot, I shouldn’t talk.
I was using the terms too loosely. When I said “scripts” I just meant all the backend stuff. Most of everything in the wp-admin folder, for example. That was lazy and innaccurate, I’m sorry.
I got very long winded, so here’s this:
I’m being very long-winded. Here’s the very short answer.
If you tweak your index.php and wp-layout.css, when you update, DO NOT over-write them. your changes should remain in place, and at least in my own experience, it is unlikely that the update will “break” anything.
To your second point, I get lots of crawls from google. I use the search engine friendly permalinks, which was easy to set up, but I’ve heard it crawls well either way.
And now with my useless blabbing…
I’ll just explain how I treat the index.php, as I probably should be able to manage to not bungle that. When I made my web page, which is considerably different than what the “default” looks like, I went through and added a lot of traditional html stuff. Div’s with text, you name it. I added plenty of static html stuff. They dynamic parts of the page are between the sections of php, which are hard to miss, as they tend to start with <?….
I deleted some of it outright, as it generated html that I didn’t need, but mostly left it alone. Now the reason I think you can get away with not updating the script stuff in the index.php is it doesn’t really do any heavy lifting, so it seems to be rarely changed.
Mostly I think it references variables or whathaveyou from the other scripts. The php in my index.php is only 10 lines or something, there’s just not a lot to fix there. I do get my updates from the CVS, which tell me what files have been changed. If it says the index.php has been changed, I’ll look at the php section of index.php that provides the content (the only part I really care about), and if it had changed, I’d just paste over the relatively small section in my index.php. This wouldn’t change the look of my page at all, and would take all of ten minutes.
Since I’ve been using WordPress, which admittedly is only a few months, I’ve never had to do that. As for the CSS, it makes reference to classes and id’s that are sometimes set in the php tags which are in the index.php, which is to say, in an update they could theoretically change those if they wanted, but I don’t see why they would, unless it were to add classes or id’s that aren’t already there. In that case, it wouldn’t “break” your formatting.
I haven’t had to really do anything to change my wp-layout.css either.
Thanks for the further explanation! I think I’m beginning to get a sense of what you are saying now and will just have to do some more playing around before I worry about it too much… That and to a whole lot of back ups. 😉Anonymous
Just a thought for anyone reading this thread. The answer to this question does depend on the nature of the tweaking. Editing the html causes no problem on upgrades and I assume that is what you mean. If you start adding php calls though it is a different ball game.
Editing the html causes no problem on upgrades and I assume that is what you mean. If you start adding php calls though it is a different ball game.
Well… considering I’m not yet through the intro of my first PHP book, I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but knowing myself as well as I do, I will anyhow: I suspect there are PHP calls in my future though probably not out and out hacks and plugins.
And Google does love my blog too
I’m pretty well convinced on this point now… I’ve figured out that php is prevalent enough, I’m sure the Google folks would accomodate it. Also, if I understand it correctly, what the Google spider “sees” and links is the pure html output anyway, right?
As for me, I just comment out parts of the code that I do not want then place my additions. I comment a php function with // or when more than one function I place them inside the <?php /* */ ?>
I also use cron to backup important parts of WP then do a diff to check changes
If you were really concerned about accidentally overwriting your custom index.php, here is something you could try (though I haven’t done it myself with WP, though I have with MT, so it might not work exactly like I suggest..).
You could rename your custom index.php to index.html, and rename the .css file to whatever you want. Change the CSS file reference in index.html, and then set Apache to parse .html files with PHP, using the following directive in your .htaccess file:
AddType application/x-httpd-php .html
Now, if you have lots of actual static html files, this is inefficient, because a regular HTML file still gets parsed by PHP. It displays fine, but it wastes a bit of server resources. However, if you don’t have lots of static HTML, then its fine. On my website, for instance, all the files are called .shtml, but they are actually PHP files. Now, when someone views http://www.yoursite.com/index.html they see your PHP page. Now if you accidentally untar over top of the installation, you won’t overwrite your template file or CSS.
Combine this with the improved permalinks that use mod_rewrite to make the URL cleaner, and people and bots will have no way of telling that its a PHP page, because it will look and behave exactly like static HTML to the user, be they bot or human.
However, that said, Google doesn’t seem to have trouble with PHP pages and navigating ‘weird’ links and URLs with arguments and things. However, for the cleanest look possible, you can do some tricks.
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