Nothing’s been going on here since I’ve been busy hacking up Central Valley NTrak, my model railroad site. It’s now a full WordPress site–all content is managed by WP. I learned a few things about Pages (note the capital “P”) and hierarchal categories which I thought I would share. (Or at least write down, so I don’t have to re-learn them the hard way!)
The site is using a modified version of BB Iverson’s theme, Spirit, which has a few non-post Pages linked from the header. Creating the pages sounded pretty easy, so I jumped in. I got the pages created okay, but I couldn’t view them–I kept getting 404 errors whenever I tried to browse cvntrak.org/archives/. I thought perhaps I had set the page template incorrectly, or perhaps I should have titled the page “archives” instead of “Archives”. I tried all kinds of things, to no avail. Eventually I found a reference to “the default ‘pretty’ permalink format”, so I double-checked that I had indeed set these up correctly, and found my problem–I had turned off write access to my .htaccess file after I got the permalink format set initially, and there were a whole bunch of new rewrite rules to be added for the new Pages I had written. I played with this a little bit more, and it seems like you need to visit the Options/Permalinks page and hit “Update permalink structure” whenever you create a new Page. I tried leaving .htaccess writable, then creating a Page, then viewing it, and I always got 404’s for pages created after the most recent permalink update. I don’t like leaving this file writable, so I’ll just cut-and-paste if I ever need to change the rewrite rules again.
“Spirit” has a category list in the left sidebar, generated by wp_list_cats(). I set up hierarchal categories for this site, with a couple of top-level “container” categories. Then I made the first post and filed it under the child categories, published it and viewed the home page and wp_list_cats showed… nothing! I futzed around with this for a while and finally I made a post in one of the top-level categories. Voila! All of a sudden I can see the category hierarchy in the sidebar, at least for all children of the top-level category with a post. I have to play with this some more to see exactly when it breaks. I’m not sure if this is a bug, or maybe I don’t completely understand how wp_list_cats() is supposed to work.