August 18th, 2007
Hello world! Zanthan Gardens Has Moved to WordPress

Rhodophiala bifida
We stumble toward an upgrade. During all my computer troubles I almost missed the first oxblood lily of 2007.

This is my first WordPress post. We’ve been in the process of migrating the Zanthan Gardens site for some time now and I’m sure there will be some unexpected behavior and problems we need to work out.

If a link or photograph doesn’t work for you, or if you have trouble with comments, contact me via msinclairstevens at yahoo dot com and I’ll try to find a fix.

For those of you who subscribe to Zanthan Gardens via Bloglines, you might need to resubscribe. If you use another rss reader, would you let me know what happens.

Update: Sunday Evening

The blank individual entry pages (with comment form) and category pages should be working now even for those of you who use IE. I failed to close a tag in the html headers of those pages. I’ve run the W3C validator and discovered all sorts of little nasties I needed to fix. Thanks for all the feedback, from Pam/Digging and the rest of you listed below.

Update: Sunday Morning

Annie at The Transplantable Rose and Julie of the Human Flower Project both report a problem with getting a blank comment page. I don’t have a separate comment pop-up. The comment link should lead to the individual entry. After a little experimenting Annie discovered that this comment problem happens with Internet Explorer but not with Firefox. I don’t have IE–so I can’t test any fixes for it.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens reports trouble accessing Zanthan Gardens from Google Reader. The permalinks have changed. And although we went through all sorts of hoops to redirect the links, you might need to change them on your side as well. Or force your browser to refresh the page (rather than read the cache. In Firefox, that’s shift-refresh).




I can’t believe we have 5 more blogs to migrate…grrrr.

by M Sinclair Stevens

15 Responses to post “Hello world! Zanthan Gardens Has Moved to WordPress”

  1. From Kathy (New York):

    I never would have known if you hadn’t pointed it out, because you didn’t really change your design, did you? This post was in my Bloglines without changing my subscription. I’ll have to see if the next one shows up.

    I updated the design slightly. For instance, the two white columns should now line up as a block which I didn’t know how to do before. And these replies are in a different color. But I mostly stuck with my same design. I created it from scratch years ago and I consider it my signature look. (I like how you changed yours when you migrated but I’m not ready to deal with another big change yet.) That’s what made the migration so difficult–trying to be consistent in an entirely different system. WordPress has a lot of new features I haven’t figured out yet. But it is hard to do some things that were easy in Movable Type, like offset the list of posts on a page so that it shows the titles of the previous 15 before the 5 entries displayed on the front page. –mss

  2. From bill:

    Am I on the WordPress blog? I guess I am. This entry showed up on Bloglines in the usual place, so may be I don’t have to change anything there.

    Anyway welcome to WordPress. I’ve been using it for awhile and generally like it. Although earlier in the week I was looking at Textpattern and wondering about that system.

    Yay, Bill. You made it. Yes, you can tell you’re here because the permalink ends with ?=1 instead of 000001.html. We finally got the xml redirected to the new rss file but we haven’t figured out how to make feeds for either just the excerpt versus the entire entry. I’m glad Bloglines worked for you. My copy is showing the old feed as <$MTBlogName encode_xml=”1″$>, rather than Zanthan Gardens. I’m looking forward to trying out all these WordPress features as soon as I can get my head around php. I will say that I hate this so-called “visual” editor. — mss

  3. From KAT:

    Congrats on making the changes and working out the bugs!

    Well it seems to work for some people better than for others. So we’re still working on it. Thanks for telling me you can see it. — mss

  4. From bill:

    The visual editor in WP does not actually work right for me anymore. It did up until they enhanced it recently. Now it does not actually display the entry the same way that it looks after it has been published. Maybe something to do with my stylesheet. Anyway I have to switch to the code mode and fiddle with it to make things come out the way I want it to look.

    I find it very annoying that lots of php functions return values embedded in html. You don’t know what tags they’re using (typically p or li) and you might want to use the value in a different way. For example, I have p tags with different classes for formatting. I just want to slap the person who thought it was a good idea to mix content elements with design elements. — mss

  5. From Julie (Austin):

    Thanks for the tip, MSS and Annie, about Firefox. Using it, I’m in now. Had been trying to comment with Safari, a browser I like–tho it hits more and more snags like this.
    Happy migrating,

    I use Safari, too. I prefer it to Firefox for several reasons even though Firefox is generally considered to be a superior browser. –mss

  6. From Carol (Indiana):

    Whatever the problem with your comments was, you’ve got it fixed now. That’s a big job to move a whole blog!

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

    Yay! Thanks for your help via email. Much appreciated! — mss

  7. From Pam/Digging:

    It’s working for me now. Looks good, MSS.

    Thanks for your help. That URL you sent got me on the trail of the real problem…bad html on my part. It’s much harder to validate when all the source code is in php. I can only do the validation after I go live and generate the page. I’m getting the hang of the new process now. — mss

  8. From Annie in Austin:

    Hello M!!

    Everything seems to work and it’s looking good. My son and husband make fun of me and call me stodgy for staying with IE, and that of course, just makes me more stubborn.

    Wow, nearly six years of blogging, including the plant profiles, comments, calendar, etc. This is quite a feat. I love the search function, and could not resist entering the word ‘oxblood’ just to once again read about their years in your garden.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    I’m so glad it’s working for you. I don’t like IE, but I hate switching browsers more (I use Safari). We all get used to certain features and behaviors and there’s no reason to change just for the sake of change. As for the site, I kept finding zillions of thing I need to update. The “In Bloom” calendars are about 3 months out of date. I have a backlog of “Plant Profiles” to write. And I have so many books I want to review and share with everyone. Plus WordPress has a log of cool features I want to incorporate. I seem to spend more time playing with technology than doing any writing. — mss

  9. From LostRoses:

    Your site came right up for me on Google Reader, no problems. Wow, quite a feat switching blogs! And, for Annie, do you know you have a search feature at the top of your blog too? 🙂

    I’m glad to hear that it’s now working in Google Reader. Thanks for the feedback. — mss

  10. From entangled:

    Google Reader showed me 20 “new” posts this morning, so it seems to be working fine with no intervention from me. I do most of my blog reading in Firefox, and use Opera for everything else.

    Thanks for letting me know how it’s working for you. — mss

  11. From Annie in Austin:

    Oh yes, LostRoses – the search feature comes automatically with Blogspot, but I never saw one on Zanthan’s old set-up. It was difficult to find a previous reference when having a conversation with MSS… I had to do a google search with ‘Zanthan’ and whatever words I remembered from the post. Now I can scroll through a group of related posts on a specific plant, rather than back up and check each one out individually through the google search.

    With any luck, I won’t have to sign to comment on each visit, either! And if I can express myself, my attempts at irony may not be misunderstood.


    No, I haven’t had a search feature onsite before. I always use the Google toolbar, so I’ve never missed having the feature myself. This implementation works only for the blog posts, I see, not for the entire site. For example, the search for oxblood lilies doesn’t bring up the actual plant profile for Rhodophiala bifida. — mss

  12. From Annie in Austin:

    But there’s still no preview, is there!

    You mean in rss? I used to have two different feeds; one with just the excerpt (is that the preview you mean?) and one with the entry text (but without the excerpt which usually had a photo). WordPress makes it very difficult to do that. Personally, I don’t like having my entire post included in a feed because I don’t like to feed sites who use my words to sell their ads. — mss

  13. From Annie in Austin:

    No, MSS – I meant a preview for the commenter to see what they’ve written so they can make a correction before hitting publish. Blogspot has it, of course. You used to have it.

    Now you, Bill, Pam/Digging and maybe Kathy just go immediately to ‘submit’ and I think it’s a pain. That’s why there’s a line through the word ‘express – I flaked out and was thinking it would be an underscore when I tagged it with ‘strike’. If there would have been a preview pane I could have fixed it.


    Ooooh..interesting. I didn’t even notice. Yes all four of us use WordPress. I’ll have to see if someone’s written that feature. If not, maybe I can figure out how to do it with WordPress. One reason we migrated was because of the comment moderation. AJM had created our own funky spam-checker and we used the preview screen as part of that. I don’t know if it worked very well. I never saw any spam though. Now I’m getting scores of spam comments just in one day. I’ll go change the other. — mss

  14. From bill:

    I use a spam filter called “akismet” that works very well. I get less than one spam per month with it. it’s a plugin you can get from the wordpress site.

    “annie:” you can get a theme for firefox that makes it “look” just like ie7. and there’s another one i hear that makes it look like safari.

    I kind of like that preview feature too. I saw one site that allows you to edit your comment for a certain period of time after you have submitted it. That sounds cool to me. If only I could remember where I saw it.

    Thanks, Bill. I saw the akismet plugin and haven’t had time to investigate what it does. Sounds useful! — mss

  15. From Kris at Blithewold:

    I can also recommend akismet – you’ve probably tried it by now. I have to say I’m envious of all of you who know the language and can make the tweaks to wordpress yourselves. I’m still waiting to hear back from Bwold’s webguy… frustrating. By the way, no problem with my rss reader (pageflakes). You’re right where you have been all along.

    Actually this is my introduction to php, although it is similar in concept to other scripting languages I know. At the moment I find it an annoying extra level to go through while designing and debugging. I’m sure I’ll get used to it and then start singing its praises. — mss