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Plenty of Errors to Chew On..

Alrighty then! Looks like recent changes to site structure have really dropped a bomb on quite a few regular visitors out there. After switching over to the new default theme last night, I had setup an email notification system to alert me of all errors encountered at this domain (i.e., the main site and all test sites). Of course, I knew that at least a few errors would be inevitable, but I had no idea that I would receive nearly 300 of them!

After examining the nature of these errors, it appears that the bulk of them are the result of either Google showing confusion over the new image directory structure, or people visiting the site with a browser cache full of old theme files. Apparently, a few visitors were actually using some of the alternate themes that I had provided via the previous default theme. So, now that the alternate themes have been removed (temporarily, for a few months), visitors are experiencing errors when they visit the site. Uhh, not so good, especially for them.

To add even more drama to the mix, consider the fact that I will be upgrading from WordPress 2.0.5 (which has been so, so great) to the new hotness of WordPress 2.3.1. Actually, I intended to switch over last night, but finally ran out of time and decided to wait until I had a full day to deal with the aftermath. And, well, what do you know, that day just happens to be today! So, rather than chase after each of the 300+ errors that keep rolling in, I am going to wait until after the upgrade and then dive into the full mess. Moral of the story: “strap yourselves in, I’m going to make the jump to light speed!”

In the meantime, if you happen to experience any unusual errors when visiting the site, or if you get a white screen of death, missing images, broken or absent theme templates, or even acute stress disorder, may I suggest trying one of the following:

  • Click on this link to reset your theme preference for Perishable Press (recommended)
  • Empty your browser’s cache and reload the page via the F5 key (highly effective)

Performing either one (or both) of these tricks should clear up any immediate issues related to the new theme setup. If, after trying either one of these methods, you continue to have an unusual and/or unacceptable experience with the site, I would humbly ask you to tell me about it. Thank you kindly ;)

Jeff Starr
About the Author Jeff Starr = Designer. Developer. Producer. Writer. Editor. Etc.
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6 responses
  1. Author of previous comment itself, just changed the blog uri to another of mine)
    OK, here’s one problem I spotted:
    The hyperlinks are not very distinguishable from regular text. Sure,there’s some color diff., but to normal people/those with color blindness, it is not easy. Preferrably, you could go with an underline/border-bottom: 1px dotted for it.
    Just my 2 cents :D

  2. No problems for me on the theme.

    Sad thing is, I am a big fan of 2 col themes, and to see only one column on top looks a bit awkward.

    But otherwise, contrast, color, design, header image etc. rock!

    Maybe you could add a bg image for the commentfield :focus

  3. Jeff Starr

    Thanks for the comments, Sumesh. I totally get the two-column theme thing, and spent a great deal of time trying to decide between one or two columns for this layout. After several mock-ups, I decided to go with a single column because it seems to “fit” better with the minimalistic, streamlined, and simplified theme I was trying to achieve. If the one-column turns out to inefficient over the long-run, I will modify it back to two columns. In the meantime, I am glad to know that the new contrast, design, and logo are working well together. I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks ;)

  4. Jeff Starr

    Sumesh, regarding your other points, I am wondering what you might be referring to about the “commentfield :focus.” I understand the concept (as can be seen by the change of border colors upon field focus), but am curious as to what you think might make for a good background image. Did you have something specific in mind?

    And finally, concerning the barely distinguishable link text, I have to agree with you — I am well-aware of the issues that color/contrast-challenged users experience with such low-visibility linkage. Rest-assured, as I continue to fine-tune the new site, I will determine an optimal way of displaying/highlighting the links. Your idea about the 1px bottom border is exactly what I am thinking. Great minds think alike ;)

  5. Sumesh from Blog Creativity May 12, 2008 @ 9:38 pm

    By commentfield :focus, you could either display a cute, dark, translucent icon at the center (a pen, a roughened paper or something), or you could go with a slight shadow to the inside of the border of commentfield.

  6. Jeff Starr

    Yes, those are both inspiring ideas. Actually, the site’s previous default theme did feature a slight shadow within the various comment fields. I also really like the translucent icon idea.. I will definitely be thinking about different ways to do something like that for the next redesign. Thank you! :)

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