Things that should be obvious: Fixing a 404 error on Custom Post Type archive pages after converting WordPress to Multisite

Maybe it’s just hard to find because it’s such an edge case. Or is it?

Here’s the scenario: you’re converting an existing WordPress site that uses Custom Post Types (with archive pages) to Multisite.

Suddenly, when you’ve switched the site, your CPT archive pages return a 404 error.

Check this: insert /blog into the URL, like so…

Old URL

http://example.com/my-cpt-archive

New URL

http://example.com/blog/my-cpt-archive

Does it work? If so, good. If not, I can’t help you. *shrug*

Let’s just assume it does work, and continue…

You see, Multisite inserts /blog into the URL to prevent URL conflicts between the different sites. Problem is, it’s kind of stupid about it, especially if your site is not a “blog” (and despite what the core team thinks, I’m pretty sure most WordPress sites these days are not blogs). It doesn’t do anything to change page URLs, which are just as likely to conflict.

Anyway, there are two things you need to do. First, go to Settings > Permalinks. (Note that /blog has appeared in all of the permalink structures!) Switch to “Default”, save, then switch back to whatever you want it to be and save again. (Note that /blog has disappeared!)

This still isn’t going to fix your CPT archives though. For that you need to go into your functions.php file in your theme, or wherever you are registering the CPTs in your theme/plugin. In the register_post_type() function, you may have 'rewrite' defined, like this:

'rewrite' => array('slug' => 'something'),

Change it to this:

'rewrite' => array('with_front' => false, 'slug' => 'something'),

You’ll need to flush the rewrite rules by temporarily adding flush_rewrite_rules(); in the functions.php file, uploading it, loading a page, and then removing the code and re-uploading the file. Or, you can refresh the Settings > Permalinks page. (Much easier, but I haven’t tested to be 100% sure it works in this case.)

Top 5 albums of 2010: the contenders

It’s that time of year… time to start thinking about my Top 5 albums of 2010 post, coming soon. For now, let’s have a look at this year’s contenders, in a visual format. These are all of the full-length albums released in 2010 that I have purchased, from which the top 5 will be selected…

And here are a few others that are non-contenders for various reasons, but still worth a listen. The Shiny Lights is an EP, but it’s fantastic nonetheless. Anesthetize was a limited edition live album, officially available only in Europe, but it’s great stuff. (I ordered it from the UK distributor at ridiculous expense.) And Three is my own. I’m a narcissist, but not that much of a narcissist.

No design is good design

Design.I’ve been noticing an interesting trend of late with blogs I find interesting: their design is minimal to non-existent. And sites that did have elaborate designs are severely scaling them back or removing them entirely.

A few examples:

Daring Fireball
Of course. This is one of the most “designed” of the sites I’m talking about today. It actually has color. Well, if you call gray a color.
43 Folders
Merlin Mann’s site may be the inverse of my own, and not just in name. It was once loaded up with “clever” design elements suitable to its “get your (creative) work life organized” philosophy: manila folders, paper clips, etc. But in its latest incarnation it’s stripped down to a bare minimum of design. The only remnant of the old look is the red color of the title at the top of the page, and outside of images and a subtle yellow highlight hover state for links, that’s the only color on the site.
rc3.org
Rafe Colburn’s site is the very definition of minimalist design. White background, black text. But clearly a lot of thought went into the choice of font (yes, even though it’s Helvetica), relative text sizes, and the sporadic use of shades of gray for things like block quotes.
Subtraction.com
Khoi Vinh’s site is masterfully designed, even though (or perhaps specifically because) it’s black-and-white-and-Helvetica-all-over. Oh, except for the slap in the face of bright orange when you mouse over a link. Pow! Bort! Mint! Snuh! (That one’s for CheckersSpeech.)
Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report
Zeldman’s site is an explosion of designy-ness compared to the others on this list. But compared to something like Web Designer Wall it’s strikingly spartan, and deliberately retrograde. (And, in trying — unsuccessfully — to find his old post where he discussed this latest incarnation of the site, I discovered that he also covered this exact topic six months ago. Looks like I’m late to the party, as usual.)

If less is more, then none is all.

Wherefore my Mac malaise?

Mac and PC -- do they both suck?Anyone who knows me well knows what a Mac fanatic I am. I’ve used Macs exclusively since 1994 (except one Dell desktop I stupidly purchased in 2000… but I did still own an iBook at the time), when the LC 475 I purchased as a sophomore in college replaced the pitiful Tandy 1000 EX my parents had bought for me in 1987 when I was in seventh grade.

Over the past 14 years I have owned a number of Macs, specifically:

1994: Macintosh LC 475
Sold three years later to this guy.
1997: Motorola Starmax 3000
Yes, a clone… those were the days; I ended up selling it to my mother-in-law.
1998: PowerBook 1400c
Sold on eBay.
1998: Souped-up Macintosh SE
Purchased second-hand for $50 at a now-defunct Computer Renaissance; I still have it although it doesn’t really work… and I don’t have an ADB keyboard and mouse anymore… but I fired it up last week for the heck of it and at least got to the question mark folder icon.
1999: Power Macintosh G3
Blue-and-white, first generation; sold a couple years later to the singer in a band I was in in Atlanta — which now has only one remaining member from those days, and possibly the worst MySpace page in existence… no offense, guys.
2000: “Toilet seat” “Clamshell”-style iBook, graphite
I still have it but it barely works.
2002: Inspired-by-the-desk-lamp-in-the-Pixar-stinger iMac G4
I still have it, and it still works perfectly, although there’s some weird damage on part of the LCD display.
2004: 12-inch iBook G4
Currently SLP’s main computer.
2006: 13-inch white MacBook
Recently sold to my dad.
2008: 13-inch black MacBook
I am typing on it right now. Also, spare me the comments about paying $150 just for the color.

So that makes (at least — I don’t think I’ve forgotten any) ten Macintosh computers I’ve owned in a 14-year period. Half of which are still in my house today. I could also regale you with a similar chronology of the various iPods that have lived in my house, but we don’t have all day.

Clearly, I believe the point has been made: I’m a big Apple nut. But lately I just haven’t been feeling the love. I’m trying to figure out why. I still use my MacBook every day and have no desire to switch platforms (even though it is currently configured to triple boot Mac OS X, Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux, so it’s not like I don’t have options). I am rarely more than 10 feet away from my iPhone. I think the new line of MacBooks is fantastic, and I am extremely envious, even though I’ve only owned my current (last-generation) MacBook for about three months.

And yet… for the past few weeks, I just feel like the relationship has lost that spark. But why?

There are a few possible explanations:

XBOX 360. It pains me to have to praise a Microsoft product. It’s like the Fonz admitting he was wrong. I just can’t quite get the words out of my mouth. And yet, what can I really say? In the video game world I’ve been almost as loyal (OK, a rabid fanboy) to Nintendo as I’ve been to Apple with computers. And yet, I’ve still used Windows. I know the experience. And I owned an original XBOX. It was pretty cool, to be sure, but it didn’t really seem to have that much over the GameCube besides a better selection of games. I’ve always been hooked on the Nintendo franchises (Mario, Zelda, Metroid) and I’ve owned both a DS and a Wii for a couple years now. But although the DS has seen some serious action, I have to admit I’ve been disappointed with the Wii, mainly for the mountains of shovelware and dearth of decent games available for it. So when my annual Black Friday ritual came around this year, I went for it and bought an XBOX 360, and it was like stepping out of the cave for the first time. It’s not just the graphics. It’s not just the cool games. Microsoft has really nailed the user experience with this, and the online options with XBOX Live are mind-blowing, especially compared to the anemic efforts Nintendo has put into the Wii’s online services.

Of course, despite their outstanding success with the XBOX 360, Microsoft can never quite make a perfect user interface, as anyone who’s ever had to key in track names when ripping a CD on an XBOX 360 can attest. Neither Apple nor Nintendo would ever stand for the clunky, tedious process Microsoft subjects you to in this regard. But honestly, that’s the only bad thing I can say about the XBOX 360 so far. I love it. It’s a Microsoft product, and I freakin’ love it. I love it so much, I want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant. (OK, that crossed the line, but Tracy Jordan fans will appreciate it.)

The sucktastic world of iPhone apps. I cannot express how much eagerness was pent up within my being by the day the App Store finally went live. And like many iPhone devotees, I devoured as many apps as I could. Granted, many of the apps are outstanding. But with every passing day the ratio of good-to-crap goes down by an order of magnitude. It’s beyond disheartening to see the potential of this revolutionary platform being squandered on all of the pointless 99-cent apps that have flooded the store. But sadly, Apple’s woefully undercooked interface for the app store seems to encourage cheap, fast and pointless rather than high-quality, useful, well-designed applications. So that’s been a major let down.

Underdogs no more. I’m not sure why, or what it reveals about me, but I am almost always a fervent supporter of the underdog. Maybe it’s the dismal state of American politics over the last eight — no, 14 — years. Maybe it’s the fact that my hometown sports teams are perpetually doomed. (I realized last week that, at some point in the season, the Vikings always choke. Every year, in the history of the franchise. Think about it. The only thing they never fail to do is fail.) Maybe it’s simply due to the fact that I have been a Mac supporter for so long, and I’ve seen the company struggle to reach the high single digits of market share (not that market share matters nearly as much as some would have you believe). Whatever the case, my underdog fetish has been fed well by my devotion to both Apple and Nintendo for the past several years. But now Nintendo is producing the top selling video game systems, both console and handheld, and although Apple still has a long way to go in the battle for the desktop (if that’s even relevant anymore), their market share has surged, they possess unparalleled dominance of the MP3 player and music download markets, and they’re tantalizingly close to the top of the heap for smartphones. But if neither Apple nor Nintendo is an underdog anymore, can I still love them?

I’m not sure I can yet say definitively what it is that has caused me to lose some of my enthusiasm for Cupertino. But it’s provided some much needed self-reflection (most of which, I am sure, could not be less interesting to anyone else, but here it is for your disinterest nonetheless), and I think the effort of cataloging my long history of Apple computers has actually helped to remind me a little of what has made me so loyal to them for all of these years.

WordPress 2.7 “Coltrane” is out!

WordPressThe latest version (2.7) of WordPress, codenamed “Coltrane,” has just been released, and it looks like a winner!

I have obvious reasons for liking this version of WordPress for its codename alone, but I am also extremely impressed with the new enhancements to the Dashboard. It is a delight to use (design counts, both aesthetically and practically), and upgrading was seamless.

Well, almost.

I found out today that RegisTrap, my registration spam-busting plug-in, is broken in this new version. Broken as in it makes your registration form not work. So, if you happen to be one of the five or six other people in the known universe who are using it, and you upgrade to WP 2.7, you’ll want to deactivate the plug-in until I can update it. (For now I am just going to run the site without it and see if registration spam is even a problem anymore with this version.)

Overall though, more outstanding work from the WordPress dev team! Kudos!

Update, about 24 hours later: In the day (roughly) since I upgraded to WordPress 2.7 and deactivated RegisTrap, I’ve already received a half dozen spam registrations. I can’t possibly be unique in this, and my site doesn’t even draw very heavy traffic. How can the WordPress core team not be doing something about this problem? I’m kind of in disbelief, but I guess it just means I need to get to work on updating RegisTrap for WP 2.7 compatibility. I hope to get on that by next week.