Splash of Style...Macs, Photography, Design, and other Passions

Textpattern 4.0.2 Install & Admin

December 17, 2005 by debbie T | Mac CornerTextpattern

Time to experiment with Textpattern! Here are my initial observations after new installation.

Installation of Textpattern 4.0.2 was very simple, especially if you have installed content management or blogging software before. If you have Apache installed locally, I suggest experimenting with Textpattern locally; I installed on Mac OS X Tiger and it was easy peasy.

* Choose language
* MySQL details: login, password, server (probably localhost), database name (create new database prior to install or use established database), optional table prefix (if you are utilizing an established database)
* Confirm the site path and site url
* Create your user name, password, and email.


### Diagnostics and Pre-flight Check

Before you start to dig into the site admin, take a look at the “diagnostics” sub-tab first. This page will display notable warnings (in red) that need attention. Most importantly, the “setup” directory should be removed.

You will possibly find other warnings concerning the writable permissions of your images and file upload directories. If you choose not to allow file upload directly within the admin area, then you can ignore those warnings. No sense in allowing them to be writable when you have no intentions of using them.

If you do wish to allow file uploads, then the permissions of the directories must be changed to (chmod) 777. If extra help is needed for chmod, google “how to change chmod” and a list of about a million pages will appear (that’s not an exaggeration).

For more detailed information on Preflight warnings and issues:

### Site Preferences

Most site preferences are self-explanatory, but here are my observations on a few settings:

* Permanent link mode: the structure of your site’s generated urls is very important, especially if you want the search engines to like you. A lot of search engines will not follow “messy urls” using “?” question marks. Personally I use /section/id/title, but date-formated urls are a good choice as well. It is a personal choice; think about it very carefully, because you really don’t want to change later, since it could cause 404 errors if your site has been indexed by search engines or saved/bookmarked by visitors.
textpattern perm link url
More on troubleshooting clean urls later in this article.
* To use Textile or not? Some like it, some don’t. I don’t have a problem with it, and I use it often when writing articles in WordPress. I think it is easier to use than html (no closing tags) and I can write more quickly. I don’t like using it for complicated coding though. I use regular html for anchor links and images. Paragraphs are formatted just by double-spacing and I love using it for headings and lists.
* Default Invite: the text (or phrase) that will invite your visitors to leave a comment. It can easily be changed when an article is written. “Comment” is common to use, as is “Feedback” – experiment and decide which is the best for your site.
* Click the little “?” button next to any setting to learn more about it.
* Make sure to hit the Save button when you have finished adjusting the settings.

### Advanced Preferences

Most of the advanced preferences are self-explanatory as well. If you do not understand a setting, just click the “?” next to it, and a pop-up will appear with a brief explanation.

* Never display email: If you do not want your email to be public, choose “yes”
* Use nofollow on comments: One reason spammers relentlessly keep adding useless comment spam to blog sites is so they can attain a higher search engine rank with links back to their sites. If this preference is set to “yes” then the attribute rel=”nofollow” is added to the commenter’s anchor link. For more details, check out http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/01/preventing-comment-spam.html
* Use mail on feeds id: Choose “no” if you do not want your email displayed on the Atom RSS feed. Otherwise, your domain url will be used as the unique identifier on the feed.

### Troubleshooting Clean Urls

I had trouble with this, on both my local installation and my upgraded install online. After lots of research, I found the answer to the online site’s problem.

In my .htaccess file, I uncommented the first three lines:

DirectoryIndex index.php index.html
Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteBase /

I edited the last line “RewriteBase /” which reflects the path to my root installation. If your installation is located in a sub-directory, the path must be changed to reflect that.

I found these links to be helpful:

* http://textpattern.com/weblog/20/clean-urls-on-different-hosts
* http://textpattern.com/faq/66/404-error-when-linking-to-article-pages
* http://textpattern.com/faq/50/where-can-i-download-htacccess
* http://forum.textpattern.com/viewtopic.php?id=7702

As for my local Textpattern installation (on Mac OS X Tiger,) I had a bear of a time trying to figure it out. Alas, I finally had to give up, and just settle for messy urls. Eventually, I hope to come back to the problem and find a solution, so I am listing some helpful web pages I found:

* http://www.deheus.net/petrik/blog/post/33/
* http://forum.textpattern.com/viewtopic.php?id=6673
* http://maczealots.com/tutorials/textpattern/

It’s been a long time since I have worked in Textpattern, so I will be writing more observations soon.

Commments are closed for this article.