Finally gave my blog a much needed face lift!

So what do you guys think? Does it look better now? It is not finished, I still need to tweak some graphics and colors but overall I’m very pleased. I started out with a new theme: Arclite by digitalnature. It has many customization options so I haven’t had to do too much tweaking of the .css files but there has been some. Since I blog so much about code, I finally stopped being lazy and got a code highlighter. I’m using: Dean’s Code Highlighter by Dean Lee. It’s very easy to use and supports a range of different code syntax such as PHP and Actionscript. One of the reasons I decided to update my look was because I have been running an older version of WordPress and it was about time to upgrade. I’m now running 2.9.1 and it looks great. I really like the new admin back office and it is so easy to use and setup.

I also created my first widgets! The ‘Interesting Links’ and ‘Interesting Images’ on the sidebar are no longer hacks done on the themes sidebar.php file. I learned how to create a plugin in WordPress and make it into a widget. Here is what one of the widgets looks like:

Plugin Name: JR-Images
Plugin URI:
Description: Show my images
Version: 0.1
Author: Joey Rivera
Author URI:

  Copyright 2010  Joey Rivera  (email :

    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2, as 
    published by the Free Software Foundation.

    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    GNU General Public License for more details.

    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
    Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA  02110-1301  USA
function show_images() 
	global $wpdb;
	$query = '
		SELECT image_file, image_origin, image_thumbnail
		FROM wp_images
		ORDER BY image_id DESC
		LIMIT 6';
	$results = $wpdb->get_results($query);
	echo '
  • Interesting Images

    '; echo '
      '; foreach($results as $row) { echo '
    • ', "\n"; } echo '
    '; echo '
  • '; } function register_images() { register_sidebar_widget("JR-Images", "show_images"); } add_action("plugins_loaded", "register_images");

    I had to go back to all my old posts and make updates. If you find any issues anywhere, please let me know so I can fix it asap. I’ve found instances in code where there should be two && and instead the code blocks shows &&. I’m currently trying to figure out why my preview button doesn’t work, hopefully I’ll figure that out soon so I can move on to changing some colors around and finally updating my ‘About Me’ page. I hope to have some content in that page by the end of this weekend. Other than that, I hope you all enjoy the new look and am looking forward to hearing some feedback!

    Joey’s WordPress Setup

    I’m going to list the changes I’ve made to WordPress to look and function the way it is today. This will probably change over time, but I feel as if it’s working pretty well right now. This information is for anyone trying to create something similar and for me to use as reference later if I need to recreate this again.

    The theme I’m using is Devart by deniart. The few mods I’ve made to this theme are:

    • Edited the /wp-content/themes/devart/images/author.gif (to show my pic instead of the default apple)
    • Modified the /wp-content/themes/devart/style.css to change the way <code>, <ul>, <li> look
    • Modified the style.css to add my twitter logo and link on the top right hand side of the page
    • Modified the header.php page to add my twitter logo and link to the top right hand side of the page
    • Had to add <?php wp_footer(); ?> to footer.php to launch stats code
    • Added img#wpstats{display:none} to style.css to hide the 🙂 from stats plugin

    I’ve also done the following to my setup:


    So I’m still learning to use WordPress and decided to style the default theme a bit. I went to the theme folder and opened up the first CSS file I found which was ‘rtl.css’. I added a background color to the <code> tag, saved the file, and refreshed my page… nothing. Tried it again and nothing. I went back to the theme folder and noticed a ‘style.css’ file. Opened that up, made changes to the <code> tag, saved and reloaded and it worked! So what’s this ‘rtl.css’ file? A quick Google search gave me the following answer:

    “rtl.css is called when you are using a language localization that reads from right to left (e.g., Arabic or Hebrew).” – source

    Well now I know and so do you.

    Setting up my WordPress

    So I’m using WordPress for the first time and I’m quickly learning that it’s neat and fun to play around with.  The documentation seems good and the code easy to work with.  I’m going to be tracking all the changes I make to the default installation of version 2.6.3 for reference.  I may need this information later or someone else might find helpful.

    So far I am using the default theme.  I’m sure I’ll eventually change it but for now I’m just trying to understand how things are structured and how to tweak elements on screen.  The WordPress Function Reference page was a great place to start.  My first goal was to figure out how to get my sidebar to display a list of projects and topics.  In the admin, I created a root level category called ‘Topics’ and another one called ‘Projects’.  Then I created a few other categories that were under either topics or projects such as ‘Flash’, ‘Cars’, ‘PHP’.

    Continue reading “Setting up my WordPress”