These days, nobody is really a “perfect” expert on anything. Everything in this day and age moves so fast, changes constantly… by the time you think you have gained a good amount of expertise, things have moved on and you have a lot to learn again.
I knew that, but I got reminded of it over this past weekend. It was all about WordPress. I thought that I knew most of what WordPress was all about, but twice over the weekend, I found out something that I thought I knew was not correct.
The first incident was that I have a new writer coming soon on one of my sites. It is a close friend who used to write on the site, but he quit a few years back. It was nothing negative, not a fight or an argument, he just moved on because he didn’t really have the necessary time to write on my site. Over the years, I had wanted to ask him to come back, but I did not, because he was a friend and I did not want to pressure him to return. I figured that if he wanted to come back and write on the site again, he knew that he was welcome.
Well, late last week, my friend told me that he had an idea and it involved him returning to write on my site. I was quite happy, and welcomed him to make his return. A couple of days after we agreed on everything, he wrote to me and asked me if I had disabled “XMLRPC”.
OK, Bob, but I’m in the dark. What is XMLRPC?
Glad you asked! XMLRPC is a feature in WordPress (and other software) that allows different things. For WordPress, XMLRPC allows for publishing on WordPress using other types of software, like, for instance Microsoft Live Writer, or other non-WordPress software.
In the past, you had to go into the Settings menu on WordPress to enable XMLRPC if you wanted to publish using other software. My friend tried publishing with Microsoft Live Writer (I presume, he didn’t outright tell me that, but I know he likes the software, so I am guessing that is what happened), and it did not work. He wrote and asked me to enable XMLRPC so that he could publish without using WordPress. I had no problem with that, so I went to go enable it, and could not find the setting for it. Hmm… strange, I had seen it many times in the past, but could not find it now! I did some searching on the web to see what I could find out, and I learned that since WordPress 3.5, XMLRPC is enabled by default, and cannot be disabled using the core software. I believe that there are plugins that will allow you to disable it, although I don’t think it would be necessary to do so.
The thing is, this is a fairly big change in WordPress and it happened two versions ago, and I knew nothing about it.
Then, on Sunday, another thing happened. I was moving one of my bigger blogs to a different server, and I needed to do something with my “blogroll” or “links manager”. I searched and searched and found that there was no links manager in my new WordPress setup! After a few minutes of being baffled, I did some web searching and found that again, Links Manager had been disabled from the core WordPress setup since version 3.5. I was kind of shocked at this, because I consider blogroll to be an integral part of WordPress.
As it turns out, if you are using blogroll, or Links Manager, when you update WordPress to a new version, the Links Manager feature is carried forward for you. If you do a new installation of WordPress after version 3.5, though, there is no links manager!
Quickly, I found that there is a plugin that will allow you to bring the Links Manager back to your WordPress setup, which I did.
It all goes to show, though, even when you think you really know a piece of software, something like this will pop up and put you in your place!
You learn something new everyday!