December 19, 2012

Blog Theme & WordPress Update – I Must Be Crazy

Crazy to update WordPress & theme at the same timeIf 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.

@ini_set('display_errors', 0);

Changing Themes

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.

Christine Cobb

Christine Cobb

is a web technology consultant, a small business online marketing consultant and provides information for new bloggers and affiliate marketers.
Christine Cobb
  • MaAnna says:

    Liking the new design, Christine. And welcome to Genesis! That Thesis 2.0 thing whalloped a lot of folks and I think it ran them right into the open arms of Genesis.

    Great move on making so many changes at once. i know a lot of site owners are terrified of drawing those kinds of lines in the sand, afraid of what they’ll loose. I’ve done it several times and never regretted it. Always gained more than I lost.

    And, one of your optin gifts has me cracking up – lipstick on aff links. LOL. But, I also know how important it is and have been following your blog posts on it too.

    Congrats on all of the remodeling!

    • Christine Cobb says:

      Thanks MaAnna — This was one of the few Thesis sites I did. Once I discovered Genesis, I didn’t go back. I originally made the affiliate links book for NAMS and just wanted to have a little fun with the name. LOL!

  • Regina Smola says:

    Hey Christine,

    I was one of those that thought I was in the wrong place too when I visited But then I was like, “Hey cool! Christine is rocking a Genesis theme!”

    I agree about the new Thesis theme being non-coder friendly. I was upgrading a WP site for a client and Thesis 2.0 is totally different from their previous version. Get ready to spend some time going through the manual cuz it’s going to take you awhile!

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