It’s been a while since I blogged. Sue me.
I fully intend to get into a regular posting schedule, one of these weeks. I’ve even got a plan mapped out. But that’s for later. For now, I’ll detail how I set up my partner’s photoblog. It was actually less than completely straightforward.
We run our sites on Dreamhost, and setting up the MySQL database, subdomain, and WordPress installation went about as easily as it ever does (that is to say, in about 5-10 minutes I had it all running). Then, I went to install a plugin called “Yet Another Photoblog” which I had read in at least one place was a pretty decent plugin for converting WordPress more easily into a photoblog. The plugin installed fine, after a couple of attempts – for whatever reason, WordPress was giving me unzip errors and I thought I’d have to do it manually; fortunately they resolved and installation proceeded.
The plugin itself makes minimal changes to the overall admin interface of WordPress. There’s basically an additional file upload field above the “Add New Post” main editbox, as well as an additional section in the Settings sidebar. I hadn’t played with it before, so I tried a few posts. Here’s where I ran into issues.
I kept on getting errors saying “Error: File does not exists!” when I would get to the preview page. I tried with just jumping straight to publishing, and that didn’t work either. The posts had thumbnails on the admin side, but nothing showed up on the front-end. Also, the pictures were in the uploads directory, so I knew they were there.
I read on the plugin’s page that themes had to be chosen specifically for YAPB, and so I loaded the site up with one. The thumbnails showed a frame, but no actual picture. Chrome said the thumbnails were being sized as 1px X 1px. I couldn’t figure out how to get the full CSS picture with Chrome’s interface, so I jumped over to Firefox where I had some neat tools, and found the thumbnails showed up just fine there. That’s odd.
Eventually, through much Googling and hair-pulling, I tried manually creating the cache directory (didn’t fix it), renaming “phpThumb.config.php.default” to “phpThumb.config.php” in the plugin directory (god only knows why it was named that way anyway, nothing mentioned it except an obscure forum that I’d link to if I could find it again; still didn’t work though), and some hackery with the PHP in the phpThumb library itself (which also didn’t work).
Eventually, somehow, I managed to find this forum page, which linked to this other forum page, and detailed exactly how to fix my problem: Going to the Settings page, then to Media (it said Miscellaneous in the forum, but I guess the name or changed since then), and manually setting the uploads folder to “wp-content/uploads/”. This shouldn’t work, as the default is ALREADY “wp-content/uploads/”, but it does. I haven’t had any other problems.
If this post was incredibly boring to you, it’s because dealing with figuring this out sucked my brain out through a straw, threw it in a blender and hit “fuck this motherfucker up.” I think it wouldn’t have been so bad if the error message had been slightly more explanatory (a file name/line number would have killed you?), or if the solution hadn’t been so mind-numbingly stupid at the end.