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New WordPress install? First thing to do, setup permalinking!

I had to learn the hard way – my permalinking troubles continue. On any given day, some of my closest friends will visit a website I have worked on and find one broken image or link, and start to give me a hard time. They don’t understand how hard it is to keep a website fresh and at the same time keep old things working correctly while making strides to make things better. It irks me, but I usually brush it off because people can be naive about things they don’t understand.

But, Rotheblog has had some major issues for….over a month??? I don’t even know how long and I deserve a hard time for the broken image problems I have had on the site as of late.

When I changed my permalink structure, that broke all my relatively linked images, which was a ton of images. I have periodically been going through and changing the links to absolute when I can, but I knew there was something like 1200 images that were broken. When I was making the original jump to WordPress, I had to have relative paths because I was inside of a “blog” directory. That is what kills me, I always always use absolute paths on all of my images.

So, today, I took a risk. I knew I could export my sql database file and do a find and replace, but my concern was what Dreamweaver might do to my file and my site. Although Dreamweaver has a great find and replace toolset, I know it can also screw up text based files like XML by adding / changing characters where there is supposed to be space.

Well, I consulted with a friend, and he said that he had never had any issue with Dreamweaver and .sql files, so I gave it a shot. 1085 changes in all, each change an image that was probably broken on the website. So, now, if you see a broken image, it “should” be the minority, and it is probably something I am not aware of and linked improperly to being with. *Hint Hint* so please let me know!

So, the lesson to all of the new WordPress users out there, setup your permalinking first! On a new WordPress install, change your permalink structure to match the SEO goals for your site. I am not obtuse enough to think all of my problems are solved, I have thought that twice now. But hopefully this is one more step to a better Rotheblog.com.

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