August 31, 2009

Integrating Wordpress into my own website

I chose Wordpress as the blog engine for my site. I really like the fact that it is free, open-source, and built with PHP. I am already using PHP as the dynamic engine for my site, so the installation was a cinch. The version I installed was 2.8.4.

Here, I briefly review my experience setting up Wordpress for my blog.

Installing really was easy, and it really did take only 5 minutes as advertised, but I immediately ran into a problem as soon as I logged into to the administration screen.  Time zone errors appeared in many sections of the administration pages. The error looked like this:

Warning: strtotime() [function.strtotime]: It is not safe to rely on the system’s timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function.

After researching online, I found a good solution proposed by Otto42. Apparently these timezone errors may be related to the PHP 5.3 upgrade. After adding the function call date_default_timezone_set(’America/Chicago’); to my wp-config.php file as suggested, my problem went away.

My next task was to create my own theme, so that my blog pages looked like my website, and not like one of the built-in themes. To do this, I basically followed the instructions that Jonathan Wold so generously made available.

I made a copy of the classic theme, renamed the folder, and edited the comments of the style.css page, and I was up and running with a theme I could edit to my satisfaction.

Because my website is using PHP, it was very easy to switch out the Wordpress classic theme headers and footers with my existing ones, and then use the classic theme templates for the content. Next, I re-did all of the styles to match my site, and then changed around the sidebar and comment page layouts a little.

After all of this, my Wordpress blog is now seamlessly integrated into my website.

Filed under: On Blogging — Tags: — Brad @ 2:38 pm