WordPress Optimization: Compatibility between Themes & Plugins

The first incarnation of Ice Tea tech was in Joomla 1.5. I admit I can’t resist the temptation to tweak my own blog and never got to understand the Joomla philosophy well enough to do it extensively. So, with neTWire‘s help (they set it up for me and successfully imported Joomla days’ posts), I decided to give WordPress (currently 2.7.1) a try, therefore I am a newbee with it. The WordPress environment is very clean, straightforword and promising. From this point on, to me, blog optimization means to choose a Theme, drop in all the plugins necessary to provide the functionality I want and get going issue-free.

After extensive search I found Bytes for All‘s Atahualpa, a WordPress theme that is customizable enough so I wouldn’t need to dive deep into CSS just yet. It supports a dynamically resizing main column plus 2 sidebars and lots of user definable parameters. Being a novice, I also installed, among others, the qTranslate plugin to support multiple languages in Ice Tea tech, in case I need it in the future.

To my surprise, as I’m afraid some of you noticed, post dates did not appear correctly. The date format was correct, but the date itself was wrong. To cut a long story short, in theory, WordPress supports any PHP function for date formatting, qTranslate supports the PHP “date” and “strftime” functions and Atahualpa, due to its highly configurable setting, seems to have the PHP “date” function hardwired in some places.

After some trial and error and with the valuable help of neTWire’s Vicki Kolovou it turns out that, actually, qTranslate only works correctly with the “strftime” type of date formatting. So, there is no way it can coexist with Atahualpa or Ikarus, another highly customizable theme I  tried.

I don’t have that much troubleshooting time for myself and Ice Tea tech‘s environment is currently only in English. So, I’m sorry to report qTranslate had to go, at least for now. I hear it causes other issues, too. It’s a pity, as it otherwise really is a very well thought-out plugin…

It seems such issues are still commonplace. After this experience, my new definition for blog optimization is “the most functionality that actually works as it is supposed to”…

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