Daily Archives: September 29, 2009

Moving to “pretty permalinks” and adding Google Analytics

Sitting at the kitchen table last night, I got tempted and hit the “change permalinks” button that is on the page where you create and edit your blog posts.  It worked out pretty well, I thought.  Then I tried to view my post – *bam* – every link on this site had been broken.  It took me twenty minutes of frantic searching that allowed me to find not only numerous plugins for WordPress that allow for redirection when you change your permalink layout, but the “permalink” options hidden under “settings” on the Dashboard page.  Sigh, crisis averted.

But now I really want to get back to those pretty permalinks.  If you click on the title of this blog entry, you’ll see it takes you www.teamjuchems.com/?p=178.  That’s lame when you consider it could be something cool like www.teamjuchems.com/2009/09/pretty-permalink-google-analytics (how much more awesome is that! ;))  This also allows your site to score better when indexed by Google, Bing, etc.  Anyway, it is a little more involved than just hitting that “Change Permalinks” button.  The only major task from that list that I have gotten done is to enable mod_rewrite in Apache, done via webmin.   I am not quite sure how to do the other bits, but I am guessing I will learn shortly.  The nice thing about self hosting this blog is that I am root and therefore can do everything myself and not hope that a provider will let me mess with settings.  Instant gratification (and site hosing) for the win.

Next up was getting Google Analytics tied into this site.  This was really easy, use your gmail account to login to www.google.com/analytics and get your ID.  Install and activate one of the numerous plugins that add the code for you (the one I used had been installed some 500,000 times, which is the highest number on a plugin that I have seen so far) and plug in that ID number.  Wait until Google crawls your site and its done.   And now I can see if people actually come to this site 😉

Finally, I realized that before making major changes (permalinks, new plugins, etc.) I need to make a backup of what I have.   I have sunk too much time into this little adventure to let it get messed up by a stupid mistake I make.  At some point I might even build up a test system which is some scary IT thinking following me home…