My regular readers will notice something vaguely familiar about this WordPress theme. Yep, you guessed it, it’s the old WordPress theme with a few color changes (I’m still working on the color thing). It’s a long story, but here’s why the change…
It’s All About the Sitemap
This whole thing started because I was working on improving one of my other websites (the one Google hates). I’m determined to force Google to like it again.
One of my website improvements involved sitemaps, both HTML and XML. The XML sitemap is the one that I submit it to Google to help them index my site better and the HTML sitemap is for my readers so they can navigate the site better.
While creating sitemaps for that site I realized that NJFM’s sitemap disappeared when I changed themes to Thesis. So, the natural solution would be to create another one. That was much easier said than done.
The Wonders of WordPress Plugins
Since Thesis doesn’t seem to have a built in sitemap function I looked to plugins to accomplish the task. I downloaded, installed and configured several plugins only to deactivate and uninstall them. I didn’t like the way they displayed the HTML page. With over 350 posts here, the sitemap was more confusing than helpful.
Each plugin had varying degrees of usefulness, but not enough for me to keep the plugins activated. Who wants to look at a page of a few hundred links without being able to sort them by categories? I know I didn’t.
A Light Bulb Moment
I remembered my old WordPress theme had a built-in site map function. I liked it because it not only linked to the posts, but it displayed the post date and number of comments. It also showed the categories, tags and pages in a fashion that was easy to navigate.
My first thought was to duplicate the old sitemap and apply it to Thesis, but that proved to be impossible (it might be possible for someone with programming knowledge, but it was impossible for me). So, since I really, really wanted the sitemap feature, I decided to resurrect the old theme.
Why I Originally Switched from WP-Magazine Theme to Thesis
I originally switched from this theme in favor of Thesis because I thought Thesis would help my blog to load a lot faster. I was getting quite a few of backend errors with this theme and I thought Thesis would alleviate that.
Switching themes didn’t alleviate the problem. I’m working with HostGator and a few other tools to see if I can speed up the page load. In the meanwhile, why should I suffer with a slow page load and no site map to boot?
Getting Back on Point
My goal was to work on my other site, but ended up spending a day behind the scenes on NJFM. Needless to say I got very little writing done and will have to catch up on that over the next couple of days. In the meanwhile, I’ve got to finish what I started.
By the way, my site that’s hated by Google…after adding the ability to ping and creating the sitemap, the number of indexed pages shot up from 128 pages on April 22nd to 239 pages on April 28th. I still have 202 pages to go, but things are heading in the right direction.