December Sun – A Web Comic

July 26, 2010

Neglecting to backup…

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , — admin @ 11:08 pm

I recently upgraded WordPress and ComicPress without bothering to back anything up, and now I’ve been dealing with the reality of having to fix up the site.  Maybe this is a good thing, as the old layout was getting a little stale.  Look for changes soon.

January 19, 2010

Ah great, just when things seem to be running fine…

Filed under: 3 — Tags: — admin @ 4:40 pm

Look like for some reason out of the blue the images on my site are all getting scrambled up. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I had 300+ spam emails in my spam folder?

Yet another mystery to try and figure out. Great…

January 5, 2010

Why December Sun is a “Hobby” Webcomic

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 11:59 am

Here’s an interesting article on webcomic publishing that, in many ways illustrates the futility of publishing a webcomic. Humorously titled “Webcomic Promotion: Why You Might as Well Give Up“, it offers a nice overview of the overwhelming futility in ever “making it” with a webcomic, while at the same time offering a positive and somewhat encouraging conclusion.

With December Sun, I just publish this comic for fun, once a week, and honestly doubt I’ll ever see anything come of it (Spielberg and Lucas have yet to contact me about it.) But even though it’s been mostly fruitless financially as an exercise, I’ve still enjoyed the comic creation and posting, the comments and folks I’ve met, as well as the technical hurdles of working with WordPress and 1&1. I don’t plan on giving it up any time soon, and I’ve got quite a few more pages on the way, with stories that reach pretty far.

October 7, 2009

How to Upgrade WordPress, if you were a dummy like me and installed it in the wrong directory

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 11:06 am
1) Before you do anything, say a prayer that this works.
2) Log into your WordPress account and deactivate your widgets.  I have 5 running.  I shut them all off.
3) Log into FTP and access your web folders/directories
4) I went into the WordPress-2-6.3 folder, and RENAMED the folders for wp-admin and wp-includes to old-wp-admin and old-wp-includes, respectfully.
5) I can’t emphasize enough, CAREFULLY follow all the steps given by wordpress, especially the part about the wp-config file.

Just sharing some of my tips for upgrading WordPress.  I had version 2.6.3 and moved up to 2.8.4.  Also, I had it installed in a goofy sub/sub directory, making my site a navigational mess.  I finally cleaned that all up, and upgraded WordPress to be in the base directory.  I’m grateful to the WordPress forum folks who posted the steps that I needed to make the upgrade.  You can read the post here.

I DO NOT claim any liability if anyone uses these steps below and encounters problems!  I’m merely sharing the steps I took, and I would STRONGLY urge you to post any questions that you have about doing a WordPress upgrade on the WordPress forums.

So in a nutshell, here are the steps:

1) Before you do anything, say a prayer that this works.

2) Log into your WordPress account and deactivate your widgets.  I had 5 running, including ComicPress manager.  I shut them all off.

3) Log into FTP and access your web folders/directories

4) I went into the WordPress-2-6.3 folder, and RENAMED the folders for wp-admin and wp-includes to old-wp-admin and old-wp-includes, respectfully.  I could have deleted these, but I just renamed them for now, thinking that if I did this wrong, I could just restore the names back.

5) I can’t emphasize enough, CAREFULLY follow all the steps given by wordpress, especially the part about the wp-config file!

6) I cleared away wp-admin and wp-includes, uploaded the new folders, and made the wp-config file changes.

7) I then logged into my site, where an update process automatically took place.

8) I then followed the steps in this doc to move everything.

9) Now, some of my posts were still referencing directories in the wordpress/wordpress2-6-3 folders.  I KEPT these files out there, deciding to go this avenue instead of redirecting.  Redirection is an option, but I chose the easy step and just kept the image files out there.  Yeah, I’ll probably exceed my site’s size limitation at some point, but whatever.  It’s all for fun anyhow.

10) I logged in, made a sample post and confirmed it worked.

11) Prayer of thanks.  It took awhile to FTP everything and complete all the steps, but it was worth it.

October 5, 2009

December Sun #4 – Page 6

Filed under: 1 — Tags: , , — admin @ 9:47 am

Ah, I’m loving this WordPress upgrade on this site.  It makes running this webcomic so much easier with all the functions and features added.

Here’s page #6 – the gripping diner dialog is finished, and it’s back to action… or more talk, possibly.  Things pick up soon though… just hang in there.

October 2, 2009

WordPress updated! (sort of)

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , , — admin @ 8:23 am

Last night and this morning I made the update to WordPress 2.8.4, AND moved the site to (instead of incorrectly having everything in sub-folders and doing a wacky 301 redirect from the root folder.)

So far so good, other than a few missing image files.  I need to run a smoke test of this site and then get everything fixed, but so far things are looking good.

October 1, 2009

My Tentative Steps to Upgrade WordPress

Filed under: 3 — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 8:45 am

Completely unrelated image of a sad plum from a different comic11

I’ve been using WordPress version 2.6.3 since I started this blog back in December of 2008, and I’m thinking it might be time for an upgrade, but I’m terrified that I’m going to end up destroying not only the site, but ruining all the links to previous posts.  However, after seeing how Google Chrome demolishes this blog, and based on some tips I’ve received about upgrading, I think it’s time to finally risk it all and upgrade.

I just sent an email to the kindly folks at 1&1 about this, to see if this will even work, using the form letter provided from Worpress…


I’m interested in running the open-source WordPress <> blogging software and I was wondering if my account supported the following:

* PHP 4.3 or greater
* MySQL 4.0 or greater
* The mod_rewrite Apache module


If the reply is favorable, I’ll go for it, but I hope I can do so without totally trashing the site.  That wouldn’t be good.

July 28, 2009

The spambots and their love affair with my posts about CommentLuv and “301 redirects”

So I’ve got the WP-Spamfree widget running on my site, and it’s pretty nifty in that it has filtered, supposedly, nearly 1,500 spam comments on my site.  My hope is that, in the process, it hasn’t killed “good” comments.  For awhile, I just sat, read, and approved the spammy comments, and although some could be entertaining, I got tired of going through the approval process in WP and just added this filter widget.

Well, one of the interesting trends I’ve noticed in the recent past, and also whenever I turn the filter off, is that the spambots love two of my posts: one I wrote about 301 redirects (e.g. the way that I awkwardly spring users from to because of my lousy PHP skills) and another one I wrote about CommentLuv (and Timothy Dalton and the cheesy ‘Flash Gordon’ movie.)  Why these two posts catch the attention of the spambots, I don’t know, but there must be something that I did right in terms of SEO and content, because when I scan the spam, these two posts are the champions of spam magnetism.this has nothing to do with this post, but I think it's a cool picture, and it came on my free clip art disk, so I'm using it

Now here’s the question of SEO that I’ve wondered, and something I need to dig into a little bit (maybe the spambots can help me answer this, too):  is there any advantage to ALLOWING spam contents, in terms of SEO and search engine listings?  Does any of that extra comment content make a difference in the long run?

Here’s my thinking:  I’ve got a blog post on something like CommentLuv and Flash Gordon.  A spambot comes along and leaves a comment about Russian gambling sites or something like that.  In the eyes of the search engines, does my post go from containing the content of:

CommentLuv + Flash + Gordon

to instead appear with the content of:

CommentLuv + Flash + Gordon + Russian + gambling

In other words, do those spammy comment keywords indirectly buffer up my site with more words that make it more savvy for search engine searches?  Can I compound my search engine listings by allowing the spambot friends to leave their comments below?

Just one of those things I’ve wondered.  Maybe there’s an advantage, maybe not.  And maybe, maybe, the issue is really only about robotic spambots and their fascination with bad website design and aging James Bond actors.

April 6, 2009

“What computer files to back up — and how to do it”

Filed under: 3,computers — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 4:02 pm

Yahoo! Tech news had a good article on files to backup, and I’d agree with most of the things posted here, especially the content of the blog.  The nice thing about the WordPress install is that, using Wise FTP, doing a full backup of the entire content of the blog is pretty easy via FTP: you just grab the entire content of the site and download it somewhere locally.  1&1 has been hosting my site, and when I signed up with them, they walked me through the steps of installing Wise FTP (it’s actually one of the free software downloads they offer, although I think it was free to begin with) and once you’ve got it working, it makes the uploading/maintenance/downloading of files a breeze.

Anyhow, regarding backup, I’d agree with backing up the “My Folder” stuff, with music, pictures, etc, and definitely backing up the blog content, but as far as backing up links, I think it’s just as easy to just sign up with something like Delicious and keeping all of your links here (and they offer a fairly-easy way to upload all of your stored browser links too).

a totally unrelated goat image from my free clipart cd

I learned firsthand about the importance of backups when my Sony Vaio decided to up and die.  And while I did have a number of things backed up that I needed, there were little odds and ends that I regret losing.  If anything, I think it’s a good idea to keep an inventory of all programs you have installed, so that in the event of a system crash, you know what all you had.  I don’t know about doing full system backups, including the OS.  Personally speaking, having the HD wiped out and then rebuilding it is a good way to force myself to clean house and get rid of unwanted garbage.  I know that there are programs that scrub PC’s and do the same thing, but all the same, starting anew can be a good thing.

And here’s a picture of a goat for no reason whatsoever.

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