If you have been a My Bonus Blog reader for a while, you may think you went to the wrong place. The blog has a complete new design with a new theme. I got a wild hair a couple of days ago and decided to update to WordPress 3.5, redesign the theme and offer a brand new optin all at once. I know… crazy! I hope you like it.
WordPress 3.5 Update — How it Went
First, I decided since the project was going to take a few hours, to pack up my site and copy it over to a development cPanel instead of subjecting the visitors to the horror of a redesign in process. I used Backup Buddy to accomplish the migration.
Then I updated all the plugins that needed updating. Then I held my breath and clicked the WordPress update button. I have a lot of plugins so I wasn’t really optimistic. To my surprise everything worked except for a display error that WordPress implemented in this version. It’s called Missing argument 2 for wpdb::prepare() and if your plugins haven’t adapted to it you can end up with warning messages in your admin panel or on your site.
For me, it filled my sidebar with the warning messages.
Fortunately, WordPress anticipated that and has given us a nifty workaround on their site. You simply place this code in your wp-config.php file and automagically the warning messages disappear.
Why would I change from Thesis which was the theme I was using before? I was an early fan of Thesis and was intrigued when they announced a complete redesign with version 2.0 but just haven’t had time to delve into it.
I decided to write a report, How to Choose the Perfect WordPress Theme, as I always get lots of questions about that and my blog posts about themes seem to be very popular. While I was writing that report, I took the time to investigate Thesis 2.0 for the report. When they said “complete redesign”, they meant it. The bottom line was that if I upgraded, all my customizations would be gone! Then I would need to learn a whole new Thesis to get it back in shape.
So, I decided if I had to spend the time anyway, I might as well use a theme I already knew — Genesis. I had been looking at the (In)Spyr child theme and thought it looked really cool, so I decided to go with that. I’m sorry to say goodbye to Thesis but they gave me no choice. If you are starting from scratch with a site, Thesis 2.0 does look non-coder friendly with their skins and boxes however.
New Optin Benefit — the Tech Lab
My third update was the optin benefit. That’s the giveaway for signing up as a subscriber. For the past few years I had been giving away a series of reports filled with tips to make money with your blog. My business, however, has gravitated toward helping people with technology problems, so it only made sense that the blog move that way as well.
So if you opt in to my subscriber family, you will receive a free pass to the new Tech Lab. This is where you will find tutorials, how-to’s, checklists, etc. for common tech challenges. There will be a premium level as well. The first additions are:
- How to Get Your WordPress Site Up and Running in 30 Minutes (video)
- How to Choose the Perfect WordPress Theme (pdf)
- Let’s Put Lipstick on Those Affiliate Links (pdf)
If you are already on my list and don’t yet have your free pass, just click here to get your pass.