Mind Your Permalinks When Setting up WordPress Multisite

Wow, just wow!! So I recently changed my several standalone WordPress installs to a network. I ran across one problem with blanking out my MX entries that I discussed here. I logged on to Webmaster Tools the other day to find out I had thousands of errors in there. There was another aspect of changing over to a network I hadn’t considered, my permalinks. Part of it was due to how WordPress handles things and most of it was due to me being a bonehead!

I used my main blog as the main site in the network. I hadn’t given it much thought, I just went with that. I would recommend if you decide to convert a bunch of sites to a network, you use the one that can afford to lose traffic the most to being the main site. Had I thought things through, I might have even used some sort of dummy site as my main site to have the least impact.

See I use the domain mapping plugin for my sites in the network, so for all of the subsites, nothing changed with the permalinks. Once I set up each subsite, I just went in and changed the permalinks to %postname% and I was good. That is the setting I had in place for each site to begin with. I – wrongly – assumed it was that way on my main site as well. Here’s all the problems I caused myself on that main site.

First, I set that site up back in 2007 or 2008, at the time you couldn’t use %postname% as your permalinks setting. So I used date based. I later changed that to category/postname when things evolved to allow it. I remembered that when I changed permalinks, WordPress would redirect all my posts. I knew that by converting my main site to be the network main site, it would add /blog to my URL. I was cool with that so I didn’t bother removing it. Afterall, this was a blog, and maybe in the back of my mind I though WP would auto-redirect. Just to be clear – it doesn’t!

Well, I converted my main site and forgot to check the permalinks settings. By default, they set to date based permalinks. I imported all my posts and everything was good to go. I spent a week converting all my other sites into my network. Well, when I converted my main site, my URLs had gone from category/postname to blog/date/postname and Google crawled it all and indexed. A week later I realized my mistake, I didn’t want date based URLs, so I converted them to %postname% thinking that’s where they started, but on this site they had never been that way! I had also had an important event going on that I was blogging about during this time and decided I wanted to keep my URLs as they are now.

So where I was at. I had, in a month, gone from category/postname to blog/date/postname to blog/postname. Google was angry and I was confused! I still haven’t solved it how I would like… I’d like to have everything fixed in .htaccess for speed sake, but I don’t know .htaccess well enough and every attempt I make botches it thoroughly! Every attempt I make either gets me stuck in a loop or throws off the links for my subsites.

I had to install two plugins to make it all work, due to my limitations and the limitations of the plugins. I like the Redirection plugin, it’s pretty powerful. But I couldn’t make wildcards work with it. I also installed Simple 301 Redirect because that one handled my wildcards, but I couldn’t make my regex entries work right. In Simple 301 Redirect I could handle redirecting all the old category/postname to blog/postname redirects easily through wildcard entries. Same with the old category, tag, and date archives. In the Redirection plugin, I could use regex to redirect that week long mistake with blog/date/postname.

I think I have everything caught but I’ll continue to monitor Webmaster Tools. The date based mistake will go away with time and I won’t need to keep that redirect forever, but the change from category/postname to blog/postname will be forever. I have a Yourls install which I heavily use. Those links all go to old, very popular posts on my website that I want to maintain links for.

Anybody know how to handle this all in .htaccess?? Especially for the category/postname to blog/postname without affecting subsites in a network? That would be peachy!

More on the ankhjii.com Relaunch – Selecting a Theme: Divi by Elegant Themes

Yesterday I was discussing my experiences with relaunching my wife’s personal training and figure competition website, ankhjii.com. In that post I was talking about the decisions I made on relaunch and selecting WooCommerce for our eCommerce solution. Like I discussed in that post, I’m normally a roll your own solution kind of guy. I like to code my own stuff or use minimal plugins with my own adaptation. That’s an old mindset, back 5 or 6 years ago, the WordPress ecosystem wasn’t nearly what it was today. It was difficult to find a plugin that would do what I want and even harder to find a quality theme. Times have changed, here’s my theme selection story.

Continue reading “More on the ankhjii.com Relaunch – Selecting a Theme: Divi by Elegant Themes”

I Finally Gave WooCommerce a Try on the Ankhjii.com Web Relaunch

Not a lot of opportunity to post over here on VoodooPress lately. I did finally graduate with my Master’s last week, that was a big piece of what was keeping me from doing anything WordPressy for the past three years. That’s not to say I’ve been completely absent, after all, I have many websites to run! I just haven’t been able to post about it.

Continue reading “I Finally Gave WooCommerce a Try on the Ankhjii.com Web Relaunch”

GenerateWP – A Helpful Site for Generating WordPress Code

More times than not, I write posts here on VoodooPress to help myself find useful information later on down the road. I like to post it so I can find it; but I hope it helps my readers as well. I know I’m going to want to remember this site. GenerateWP has a good deal of useful tools and it looks like it is constantly being updated with new tools. Let me tell you why I think this is cool.

Continue reading “GenerateWP – A Helpful Site for Generating WordPress Code”

Building a 'Responsive' Adsense Widget for the Twenty Twelve Theme

UPDATE 07/31/2013: Google has finally offered up the beginnings of a solution – quite similar to what we have been using. You can check out my article here!

NOTE: My adsense account has been deactivated. And the fine folks at Google simply don’t bother explaining why they deactivate accounts – they just do it. If I ever find out why I will forward that info on. For now, I would recommend you do not use the guide I have below – in case that is the problem.

Over the past two days, I’ve put up a couple articles relating to widgetizing the twenty twelve header and guidance for adding multiple items up there while accounting for 2012’s responsive nature. I wanted to finish up today by showing my solution for running Google Adsense ads to the header while still maintaining the responsive nature of the theme as best we can, let’s dig in!

Continue reading “Building a 'Responsive' Adsense Widget for the Twenty Twelve Theme”

Combat WordPress Comment Spam – The Basics

I’m often quite amazed when I see so many posts on the WordPress.org forums asking how to combat spam. When I ask what steps have been taken so far, the reply is often “OMGWTFBBQLOLLERCOPTER I am being inundated with hundreds of spam comments I haven’t done anything make it stop WordPress!!!!” And I get it, spam is pretty annoying! Also, sometimes it’s easy to forget that some people are brand new to running a site on the internet and don’t even know what questions to ask to get the result they need. So here is a real simple bit of information to get you started down the spam fighting road.

Continue reading “Combat WordPress Comment Spam – The Basics”

Kohrus Nero – A Social Post Rating Plugin – The Voodoo Review

VoodooPress was recently approached by the folks at Kohrus with a new plugin they launched, Kohrus Nero. This is a plugin that allows for readers to vote for your posts. That’s a fairly common thing and many plugins allow for post voting. But this plugin has an interesting twist. It integrates with Twitter and posts and tracks tweets through that mechanism. The intention here seems to be gathering a little grass roots momentum – if you can get folks to spread the word about what you are offering, it is far more likely that you can gather some steam and attract new people to your site. Well, let’s set this plugin up and dig in to see what it offers!

Continue reading “Kohrus Nero – A Social Post Rating Plugin – The Voodoo Review”

WPRecycle, New Life For an Old Plugin?

Just a few days ago, we took our  first look at Plugin Chief. We did the Voodoo Review on their MobileChief offering. Well, we haven’t even gotten to part 2 of that review yet, and the PluginChief folks let me know about a new program they have running! I don’t want to sound like a shill for these guys, but they have come out of the gates swinging! Check out their newest trick!

Continue reading “WPRecycle, New Life For an Old Plugin?”