This is the first official live post on the WordPress CMS. The previous posts have all been migrated over from the last web site. In this post I want to take a look at some of the features of WordPress and kick the tires on some of the basic configuration changes such as basic Twitter support that I will be adding to the default template.
In just getting started here, I just made a massive mistake. I used the undo function of the browser, Google Chrome in this case, to correct a mistake I made in my writing. It undid my writing alright. It got rid of a ton of my content and there is not redo option to get it back. All of my text is gone with no means of restoring. With that in mind, it would still be best to do the writing in a dedicated text editor and then past the content into this page for posting. But looking closer, it wold be wise to keep in mind that Apple+Z is the undo command in the browser. The GUI text editor in the WordPress authoring area actually has its own undo function. Had I used that, it is likely that I could have used the companion Redo option to retrieve the work that was lost. Still, this is a sticky area as Apple+Z based undo is a shortcut that most of us use without thinking. In just about every single other application it would have function exactly how I had anticipated. I guess I live and learn!
Once the content has been pasted, I should be able to add images and build the page and prepare it for posting. Wordpress has a number of features to help me with this. First, it lets me save my work in progress as a draft. So I can start preparing the post and, if I don’t have time to finish it, I can save the draft and return later to finish and post it. Second, it lets me schedule the post time of the story. This is very cool and a feature that could come in handy. It also has some visibility options that I will need to play with. They let me put up a password protected post or make a post that is private. It’s not clear exactly how either of these options will work.
This post should contain a test image that I have uploaded via the GUI text editors built in facilities. If there are no permission problems, the image will display directly above this paragraph. I have control over alignment and all of the normal text editing features that one would expect.
Another nice feature of the authoring UI is the display of the word count. It doesn’t update in real time but updates often enough to keep the author apprised of their progress on the post without having them distracted by the constant update of the word count. And the GUI text editor does not interfere with Google Chrome’s built-in spellcheck feature. Though the GUI editor has a spell check function of its own, the two features appear to function without waring with one another.
I am currently testing a Twitter plugin that is supposed to send an update to my Twitter stream each time I post a new story to the blog. I have the option to send a tweet each time I revise or update an existing story as well. I have enabled that second option only while testing. I think that leaving that option on would lead to unnecessary posts that would dilute the Twitter stream.
The Twitter support appears to be fully functional. And the plugin that I used actually needed an API key in order to access the bit.ly URL shortening service. That’s pretty slick. The plugin supported a number of shortening services, but you know it has solid support for a service when it requires you to provide developer credentials for the outside service. Still, this likely adds a barrier to entry for the more average user trying to setup a site. That said, they don’t need to use a URL shortener. And, if they don’t there’s no trick to it!
There is still something going on with the web server or the database server. The WordPress site is not running nearly as fast as I would expect. The site performance pales in comparison to my ColdFusion sites and many of those use MySQL for a backend database. So, for the moment performance is a bit of a problem and more than a small mystery.