I spent a couple of hours yesterday working on a few last lingering details for this site. The main changes I wanted to make were to upgrade to the latest version of WordPress (a minor security update), make sure I was using the latest version of the Kubrick template (I was), and most importantly, fix the problems I was having with the Kubrick comments form, which is a lot cleaner and nicer than the standard WordPress version.
It turned out the issue was a couple of the PHP “open” tags — the text tokens that are used to signal that what follows is PHP code, not HTML code. The Kubrick template (at least as of version 1.2.6) uses the standard “full” tags almost everywhere, but there were a few instances where the developer used the short versions. Since I have short tags disabled on my server, it was causing a parse error, the end result of which was that the comments form could not be displayed. Fixed.
Now that I’ve got comments working, I switched to allowing comments on postings by default, and letting them post without moderation first. We’ll see how that goes.
Because, the weblog world is dealing with a plague of comment spam these days, from “search engine optimization” scumbags who are trying to promote their (or their clients’) websites. So I’ve also installed and enabled a number of comment spam plug-ins. We’ll see how that goes, too, though I’m somewhat pessimistic, for a slew of reasons. Probably I’ll have to turn moderation back on at some point…
And I installed a new caching plug-in, which should theoretically improve the performance of this site. Not really a problem with the volume of visitors I’m getting today, but you never know, and having the plug-in active will hopefully prevent unpleasant surprises.