Site move in progress

Ok, the move is basically complete. It was not either particularly successful or fun. In case anyone hasn’t noticed, this is a WordPress site. It has been ever since Mina Trott put out a retroactively modifiable license for Movable Type. Even the RIAA never tried that one.

For the last several years I’ve been trying to use the Thesis theme with the WP-Ecommerce shopping cart. Unfortunately, neither app plays nicely with others. I would spend hours getting everything working and it would break the next time I upgraded any of WP, Thesis, or WP-Ecommerce. It is supposedly possible to have a stable site with a static home page, but we don’t want a static home page.

So one of the things I did in the migration was to switch to the Thematic parent theme and subclass it. This was way more work than configuring Thesis would have been. I had to actually write CSS, and that never ends well. (nor am I done) However Thematic is WordPress’s exemplar of how to write a theme. It has Matt Mullenweig’s imprimatur. If your plugin does not work with Thematic, it is you who is wrong. Fix it or go out of business. This is worth a bit of fighting with CSS. I’ll attack that right sidebar again one of these days.

I also switched from WP-Ecommerce to WooCommerce. They seem a tad less sketchy. They also of course want me to pay for one of their themes, none of which does what I want. Fortunately they are careful to be compatible with Thematic, and in general much less of a pain that WP-Ecommerce. Everything is fine except for shipping. At this point we are selling two products — hatching eggs and Day Olds. This should not be hard. Local pickup is free. Hatching eggs are $23 shipping in any number to any state except Hawai’i, Canadians please email.  Day-old chicks are $6.00 plus actual Express Mail Postage. Hawai’i, fix your dept of Agriculture, Canadians please email.

So, with the free minimal version of WooCommerce I could do the hatching eggs.It could handle pickup and flat rate. Then I spent fifty bucks for their USPS shipping module to calculate the postage for day-old chicks. It blew sky high. It has a hissy fit over the eggs because I gave it neither a size nor a weight. What part of flat rate isn’t clear? And then it insists on quoting Priority Mail on the chicks. NO! If I send chicks Priority, literally half of them will die. Fedex and UPS are not options. Only the Post Office goes everywhere.

A cynic might suspect that I am clicking “Publish” because I think I should have heard from WooCommerce tech support by now.

On a happier note, as of last Thursday we are in the National Poultry Improvement Program (NPIP), and 100% legal to ship chicks anywhere in the lower 48, plus Alaska. Getting certified was very easy. We contacted the Vermont state Department of Agriculture, they came out and tested the flock by taking a blood sample fron a vein under the wing from each bird over 20 weeks old and throat swabs on a percentage of them to test for avian flu, and a couple of days later, we have a number and are official — VT15. That’s good for a year, so we’ll see them again next May.



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