WordPress alternatives

I briefly started talking about WordPress alternative with @persillie the other evening.

Downsides of WordPress:

  • It’s slow
  • It’s not easy enough to use for non-techies
  • Adding a shop could be a lot easier

She mentioned Squarespace:

I found two articles with further ideas to explore:

5 Modern WordPress Alternatives to Keep an Eye On

Goodbye WordPress: 2014 Will Be the Year of the Flat-File CMS

Statamic, Craft, Ghost, Kirby, Perch, Jekyll

I looked at Jekyll very briefly some months ago. But I didn’t dig in enough. It’s for techies. I don’t think it will solve the user interaction issues that non-techies have.

BTW, way back in 2009 somebody used WordPress to generate flat files.

I’m looking at HTML5 templates. I played around with some of the designs at HTML5UP last year. I found this site, based on the HTML5 Boilerplate, yesterday.

Link captions in WordPress

There is a plugin for WordPress that simplifies adding hyperlinks to captions

Many thanks to {a.} of Handmade 2.0 for sharing this info.

Link captions simplify the attribution of Creative Commons photos shared in the public domain.

Before using any photo, check the licensing conditions first.

At Flickr, these are listed in the right sidebar under the sub-heading Additional Information.


Please don’t just take, but contact the photographer and ask for permission. If you are using Creative Commons photos and graphics, which are free for non-commercial use, please follow the attribution conditions listed in the license. Usually this is the name, nom de web, or website address of the photographer and a link to the photo used. Contact the photographer to ask how he or she would like to be listed.

Auto-upgrading WordPress and the .htaccess file

A pattern I have observed in the past months:
A couple of days after auto-upgrading WordPress, access to the WordPress blog is blocked.

My non-programmer’s workaround is:

  • Rename the .htaccess file on the WP level. The WordPress blog displays.
  • Login and go to Settings > Permalinks and re-save settings, or copy old .htaccess file content and upload by FTP to the server.

I would like to understand why this happens. Immediately after upgrading the WP install, there are no visible problems… but 2 -3 days later I come home to see that my site is down.

WordPress Woes

I am having some problems with the .htaccess file on the WordPress level. I tried regenerating the permalinks. Hope that will help for a while.

A couple of days ago there was a lonely s at the end of the file. Amakhala scared.

I am seeing a lot of “MySQL server has gone away” error messages in different context,
e.g. when I updated the WP install, when I try to access the website, in the right-hand area displaying categories.

I asked the hosting company and they pointed me to this link (which I haven’t tried yet).

If you have any hints please let me know.

Chiperoni goes Mobile (kind of)

As part of my ongoing research regarding internet access via low bandwidth connections, I saw App+frica displaying a mobile version at http://appfrica.net/blog/.

I installed the same MobilePress plugin and activated it a few minutes ago. Based on the plugin description, it should detect if you’re accessing the website with a mobile device and display a version optimized for iPhone and Barackberrys and others.

A couple of Mobilepress URL hooks to remember:

  • ?mobile – display mobile version
  • ?nomobile – render the standard WordPress theme / normal blog.
  • ?killsession – kill any session data stored and render the correct version of a blog, based on browser / device type

In addition I just downloaded the latest WordPress app for my low and humble iPod Touch. According to @whiteafrican it is much improved compared to the last version.

Broken WordPress Plugin Woes

Message from the admin:

For a couple of days, the WordPress installation at Chiperoni was broken. The framework of the website was displaying but all content within a blog post or page had disappeared. I could see the content in the admin view.

markdown plugin caused blog post content to disappear

I finally found the culprit: version 1.01 of a plugin called Markdown from early WordPress installs was causing this display error:

Manage Plugins ‹ chiperoni.ch — WordPress

Interestingly the site worked fine directly after installing 2.8. This error only displayed a couple of days later. And at first I didn’t link it to the upgrade.

Unfortunately I did not get much of a response at WordPress.org. Thank you to Esmi for responding. I appreciate your help. Let me just add: the lack of response is very different from the pioneer days in 2003 and 2004 when I first started evaluating and using WordPress. There are a huge number of queries and an individual – and dumb – question like mine doesn’t get any notice any more. The downside of going mainstream…

Apologies to all regular Chiperoni visitors for the recent downtimes and techie problems. There are plans to move to a new server…

Hope this post will help other WordPress users.