Sunday, January 14, 2007

trial & errors :: SEO Dave's adSense-spiked themes

It's a God-send when I found SEO Dave's themes for blogs. He spiked some default themes with Google's adSense and optimized the placements. I gladly took his words for it, since he is a SEO consultant by trade.  This way, I can get new sites up quickly w/o laboring on SEO first :)

On a new server I set up recently, I attempted to unzip the five theme zip files obtained from his blog. I was surprised to be prompted to overwrite this file and that file. I said 'None'.  It turned out that only "connections", one of five zip files holds everything under a directory, as expected for a compliant theme package, which is to be extracted under /wordpress/wp-content/themes. No biggie, a little command line bash magic, I got it.

/wordpress/themes.php, the admin page to preview and activate a theme,  now showed all of them. Many, however, didn't show preview screenshots. Some of them even reported errors. Long listing of these files on the server revealed that the permission was too restrictive: 0700 for directory and 0600 for files. The root user's umask is 0022, so I am sure the restrictive permissions came from the theme zip, instead of from my sometimes overly-secure setup on the server. A few find and chmod later, all is well again.

There may be a bug in the original or spiked Blix theme, as it treats any new page as top-level, even if it is specified as child page for the ubiquitous About page. Same parent-child page relationship was handled properly by other themes such as Kubrick.

I posted a comment on SEO Dave's site in hope he may check it out, along with a wish of using Google's search box instead of the default search box.

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