With a day off from classes, I wanted to clean up two things on the site that have been bothering me for months.
- Clean up the header, to put the site title and logo over the banner image, to recover some lost space.
- Refine/reinstall the PayPal and Bitcoin donation buttons.
I tackled #2 first, because I naively assumed it would take less time than #1. Nope.
Taking care of the PayPal donations button was not especially time-consuming, aside from dealing with PayPal’s hidden user profile page, which contains the merchant ID. I no longer have a merchant account, but the ID is still valid. Using it allows me to keep my personal email address out of reach of spammers when I use the PayPal donation button.
You’d assume that PayPal would place the ID in plain sight, like on your profile page. I had to go to a usergroup discussion to find the link to it. PayPal still has the information; it’s just not included in the newly designed profile page.
There will now be a PayPal donation button at the end of each post, as long as I can remember to put it there, Those have a $5 donation hardcoded in, but the donation box in the sidebar allows donors to specify any amount. Hint, hint.
[The plugin that provides a button at the end of each post has a sidebar widget, too. I tried it. The widget broke my front page layout. So, I’m using PayPal’s widget.]
The Bitcoin issue was a bit more time-consuming. Previously, I had a Coinbase Tip plugin for each post and another Bitcoin/Litecon plugin in the sidebar.
Both of those gave up the ghost months ago. Coinbase stopped supporting their code — the app stopped working when WordPress updated to a newer version — and Coinbase was supposedly migrating users over to Changetip.com. Changetip has two WP plugins available. neither worked for me.
So I tried other plugins offering Bitcoin integration. Like the one I formerly had in the sidebar, most of those have been abandoned by their developers, and the ones that are still actively supported are for ecommerce sites. All I wanted was a simple button to allow readers to find my Bitcoin address, enter a donation amount, and be done quickly. I had one in the sidebar, but it’s no longer being supported.
Ah, the joys of open source, free software!
In the end, I had to make a pseudo-button with a tag line, QR code and Bitcoin address to append to each post manually. Not elegant, but it works, and I don’t have to share donations with the developer of a fancier solution.
Well, all that took me the better part of six hours last night and today. Fixing the header image was much easier.
Theoretically, with the theme that I use, it should be possible to superimpose the blog title and tagline over the banner image I use. I’d previously tried to work it out when I updated the site to the new theme, but couldn’t get it to work. So I saved that task for another day.
Months (years?) later, today was the day. I realized as I got out of bed that i didn’t need to jimmy the theme’s code to superimpose the title on the image. I could just use Photoshop to do it. And once I downloaded the right font (Yanone Kaffeesatz), it went pretty quickly. Like an hour or two. I don’t do this stuff on a regular basis, so it takes a while to get everything just right.
I hope you like the results.
Also, I rewrote the donations page, and wrote a new page explaining how to donate with Bitcoin. Those are linked in the sidebar at right.
Now, I can eat dinner, and prepare tomorrow’s classes. C U
[paypal_donation_button align=”center” price=”5.00″]