Upgrading to WordPress 2.7 (which totally kicks ass btw) broke this blog’s design. For a minute anyways. I’m wasn’t surprised… actually, I was a bit shocked that the heavy alterations that I’d made to my Fresh News theme (from Woothemes.com) held up so gracefully. Pretty much all of the core FreshNews code, as well as my custom plugins, addons, and revisions handled the upgrade quite gracefully. This isn’t always the case, of course, but I was pleasantly surprised that it went well… until I tried to re-install my font-replacement plugin for WP.
Upgrading to 2.7 = Flashy Titles Trainwreck
Now, I’ll say this: I honestly don’t, and can’t, expect perfect, synchronous updates from all plugin authors the moment WordPress decided to release an update. Still it strikes me as a little odd that something as useful as a popular sIFR plugin breaks so violently. The simple act of hitting ‘activate’ trashed my entire sidebar, ruined styling on all posts, etc… Oh well, I thought. There’s gotta be another simple font replacement plugin out there. I was using Flashy Titles at the time, which I loved prior to the update. It worked well, loaded fast, and was simple to update and tweak. Sure, it wasn’t perfect: I would have liked it to show plain text while it loaded in the Flash replacement and the color, padding, margin, and other fine tuning elements never really worked as advertised, but I usually chalked this up to my own alterations and browser attitudes, not the plugin.
I spent a few hours trying to tweak and resurrect the plugin but to no avail. I searched around for popular fixes and none of them worked for me. Disappointed, I resolved to hunt for another one and found FLIR.
FLIR: Reality or Fiction?
Installing FLIR was easy and I was actually quite hopeful that this was “the answer” to my font replacement woes. Alas, even though I could work directly from my own font files (instead of saving a flash swf for each one), the text was render ugly and mangled. I’m not sure how this works on the technical side, but it just wasn’t gonna fly. I needed well rendered, great looking titles, not 2nd rate representations of the fonts that I had carefully chosen.
So, two swings and two misses, I resolved to return to the matter another day. Hence this blog post and a simple question to the community: Are there any superb plug-n-play plugins for WordPress that allows for simple, beautiful font replacement and management? Sure, I could do a manual install of sIFR or similar solutions, but that doesn’t solve my problem of wanting to visually manage these fonts from the WordPress admin screen.
If the answer is no, what gives? There’s gotta be a thousand WP plugins that aren’t nearly as valuable as a slick font-replacement plugin. Anyone know the answer?
I’ll be updating this post as I find a solution (and I WILL find a solution, promise), so if you’ve got advice or ideas, post a comment