Renovation!

A whole new look and location for this old blog.

 

I know, right? It’s crazy in here all of a sudden. Well, here’s the deal. The old Greyzed WordPress theme has served me very well for nearly a decade, but it hasn’t been officially supported for a long time. That has made maintenance and upgrades around here increasingly difficult. As WordPress continues to be updated, the theme was developing more and more problems. In any case, while I dug the art style, there were always things I didn’t like about it.

It was time for a change, but it turns out that in the intervening years, the entire web went to a “modern” style, and so went every single freaking WordPress theme. “Modern”, of course, means giant white screens with rectangles of color here and there, and more Helvetica than you shake a serif at. I’m not a rectangles-and-helvetica person, and frankly I’m weary of it being absolutely everywhere. That meant I needed to get my hands dirty, which is why it has been a little quiet around here.

I’ve spent the past few weeks learning way more than I ever wanted to about WordPress in order to CSS and PHP my way from a standard theme into something that says “Blondihacks”. I wanted to keep suggestions of the old look, while making it easier on the eyes, easier to navigate, and more friendly. You’ll note that comments are now available right on the front page article. No more clicking around to find them. The site is also now responsive on mobile, although it gets very “tall” as WordPress sites do on phones. “Responsive” in WordPress means “stack everything up”, as it turns out. There’s an old joke that says there are two hard problems in computer science- cache invalidation, and centering something in CSS. I can now vouch for that firsthand. I feel like a goram WordPress superhero now, which I never wanted to be. Anyway, if you find broken links, missing images, etc, please let me know. I think the migration went well, but it was a big job.

That’s not all, though! In addition to the familiar RSS button at the top, you’ll also find a Twitter button and an email address. I want it to be easier for readers to reach me.

But wait- I’ve totally buried the lede here. The site now has its very own domain! That’s right, you are now officially at:

http://www.blondihacks.com

 

Isn’t that nice? Seven years, and I finally got around to getting this thing off my personal website. That means you should update your links and bookmarks, because the old URL is going away at some undisclosed future time. If you use RSS, make sure to click the RSS button at the top to update your feed. [UPDATE: Well, not really. GoDaddy’s domain masking turns out to be super broken, so the new domain simply forwards to the old location for now. I’ll warn everyone if and when the old host goes away, so don’t worry about your bookmarks and such for now]

There are more big changes coming down the line. I’m working on some exclusive perks for Patreon subscribers, so those of you who had the faith to invest in me will be seeing some awesome new stuff that nobody else gets. Stay tuned for that.

As always, Patrons pay per post, and that does not include frilly administrative posts like this one. You only pay for the real content, and only when I get off my ass to produce it! Thanks as always, Patrons. You gals and guys are the swellest.

I hope you enjoy the new look, and watch for more regular content soon!

 

Yes, change is scary, but follow the lead of Sprocket H.G. Shopcat and let it all hang out. You’ll feel better!

22 thoughts on “Renovation!”

  1. First impressions are good but I did notice the site doesn’t support reader view in safari. Maybe you’ve never used it but it’s an icon with 3 horizontal bars in the address bar and makes the page easier to read on mobile. Here’s the first Google result for supporting it: https://mathiasbynens.be/notes/safari-reader I’ll look through the site some more when I can get on a desktop.

    1. Quinn Dunki says:

      From reading that, there isn’t much consensus on the voodoo that Safari uses to detect the content. I can try, but I’m not sure it’ll be a priority for my limited free time.

      1. Quinn Dunki says:

        Okay, so the problem there is actually the domain masking. If you use the old quinndunki.com/blondihacks URL, Safari can figure it out.

        1. Quinn Dunki says:

          Safari Reader should be fixed now, FYI. The problem turned out to be on GoDaddy’s end. Turns out they mask domain forwards by putting the whole site inside a frame. *headdesk* I switched to old-fashioned forwarding, which seems to fix all this sort of stuff.

          1. Dillon Nichols says:

            Works now! Thanks a lot.

  2. CyberJacob says:

    Frames 🙁 What is this, 1997? On a more serious point, this means some (if not most) RSS readers will have problems with this as they won’t be able to parse the HTML being returned.

    1. Quinn Dunki says:

      That’s standard WordPress, and RSS doesn’t have any trouble with it.

      1. CyberJacob says:

        It’s most likely whatever you used to put the site on it’s own domain, which is returning some HTML saying “load the website from http://www.quinndunki.com/blondihacks” instead of returning the site itself. The RSS page is doing a similar thing (I would guess all of them are), which is what would cause the issues.

        On a similar note, every link on the site is currently loading the old domain.

        1. Quinn Dunki says:

          Yah, turns out that’s causing other problems, like breaking detection of mobile devices as well.

          I’ve changed the domain mask to a plain forward, which should resolve all these issues for the time being. Thanks for being my early QA.

          1. Quinn Dunki says:

            More info: the frames you were seeing were caused by GoDaddy embedding the entire site in a frame. That’s apparently how they handle masked forwarding, and it broke basically every Web 2.0 feature on the planet. There are still frames in the content, which is standard WP goo, but they don’t seem to cause harm on their own.

  3. Ben Artin says:

    Couple comments.

    First off, I am not officially on blondihacks.com, in that if I look at my address bar, I don’t see blondihacks.com. Sure, blondihacks.com seems to be a forward, but as long as it’s a forward, bookmarking, sharing, and literally everything else will end up with quinndunki.com, so it’s kinda pointless to tell people to update links/RSS and whatnot.

    But I think maybe this is because you started off as some kind of a frame thing and then you took that out and made it a forward? So maybe all it is is that the original post is inconsistent with the current state of debugging?

    Second, I was gonna say there is no RSS button, but it turns out that the RSS button is getting filtered by AdBlockPlus, so maybe that’s my own damn fault.

    Third, can we have full content in the RSS feed some day? I know, file it under “you don’t get paid for infrastructure work”, but maybe, I dunno, you should? I would give you monthly money if I had the option.

    And last, the main content jumps a few pixels up and down when I mouse over your main navigation bar on my Mac (Safari 11.1). Lmk if you need more info to repro it.

    1. Quinn Dunki says:

      Yah, I had to change my domain mask to a plain forward after the post was written, because the mask was breaking a whole bunch of stuff. Until I figure out a better solution, the forward will have to do.

      The nav bar jumping is a “feature” of the theme I started with. It’s on my to-do list to look into, because it is weird.

      I enabled full content in the RSS feed. Sorry about that- it was a legacy from when I used to run ads on the site.

      1. Ben Artin says:

        Thanks for the full-content feed!

        FWIW, when I transitioned my blog from x.com/y/* to xy.com/*, I ended up putting all the content from x.com/y/* up on xy.com and then putting a giant pile of redirects on x.com/y/*.

        I ran away from WP a long time ago, but I seem to recall that it (± a plugin) supports wildcard or regexp redirects, which are the easiest way to make that work IMO.

        But it sure was more hassle than a frame around a domain…

        1. Quinn Dunki says:

          Also, thanks for the offer to support Blondihacks monthly! Unfortunately Patreon makes you choose per-post or monthly, and I think most users prefer per-post. I think that’s fair, since there have been multi-month gaps in content here on occasion when life gets in the way. In any case, the average cadence is about one post per month (not counting housekeeping posts like this one, which are not charged to Patrons). In that sense, a per-post pledge is about the same. I don’t plan to increase the pace here any time soon, since the reader survey indicated people like it as-is for the most part.

          1. Ben Artin says:

            Welp I guess you can just give us a couple of posts about the process then

            1. Ben Artin says:

              Boo my emoji was swallowed by WP

              1. Quinn Dunki says:

                Yah, WP is bad about that. :-\

  4. Jac Goudsmit says:

    Here’s a thought on “rennovation”: the actual correct spelling is “renovation”.
    🙂

    ===Jac

    1. Quinn Dunki says:

      *facepalm* Thanks for that. I fixed it.

  5. Scott says:

    Woo Hoo!!!

    Don’t have to scroll right when I zoom in enough for my old, worn out eyes.

    Awesome!

  6. LordNothing says:

    Sprocket is a very good mascot for this blog. Id like to see more cat related content in the future.

    1. Quinn Dunki says:

      Oh, you will. Sprocket loves the camera.

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