NoTricksZone WordPress Site Update: Facelift / New Theme In The Pipeline

Since last week the NoTricksZone site has been experiencing technical difficulties, which all seem to be rooted to WordPress version updates. The new updates just don’t seem to be working well anymore with the Hybrid theme I’ve been using for almost 5 years now.

Last weekend the site was down over 30 hours. This, according to the hosting company, was due to a “faulty htaccess file” in the new WordPress version, which the hosting company thankfully eliminated.

Then a few days ago I noticed the NTZ was not using the latest WordPress version, and so I updated the site to the newest available version: 4.2.1. Unfortunately since then the reader comments function has stopped working. Readers are able to write a comment, but the “Submit Comment” button is missing.

Other sites Using WordPress have had the same problem as well. Normally updates are supposed to improve the sites. Now they seem to be wreaking havoc instead.

Concerning the missing “Submit comment” button, there now appears to be a fix that takes care of the problem.

Unfortunately it involves editing the site code, something I’m very very wary of attempting because I’m not a programmer, and I’m not sure where the piece of code belongs. Surely there is the risk I’d makes things worse.

So for the time being, until I find someone who can safely repair the problem, it will not be possible for readers to leave comments.

Another solution is changing the WordPress theme. This is the one I’m leaning to. I’ve been using the current theme almost 5 years, and now is probably as good a time as any to change to a new, fresher one. I’ve looked into it, but here too the task does not look very straight forward and harbors the potential for major messiness. I’ve previewed several newer WordPress themes, and they all have no problems with reader comments. However, many of my sidebars (e.g. Archives, Blogroll, Categories, etc.) fail to appear in the preview. I need to look into this in greater detail.

In summary, readers have to expect changes coming to the site, and possible potholes along the way. Big Oil hasn’t sent any checks and I don’t have the luxury of bringing in a programming specialist.

Originally I started out doing this with the purpose of getting involved in the climate debate – and not the technical programming of WordPress sites, which now seems to be more and more frequent. If anyone out there has expertise in this and is willing to help out, send me an e-mail (see contact page).


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