Changing things that already work — beetleypete (reblog)

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I have just been reading a post on another blog about the forthcoming ‘Gutenberg Editor’ change from WordPress. In case you are unaware of the impending change, here is a link to Worpress’s take on it. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ As you will see, it is quite technical, at least to someone with my level of computer knowledge. […]

via Changing things that already work — beetleypete

I couldn’t agree with this post more.  I do not want the Gutenberg Editor.   I like the Classic Editor just fine.  Why can’t we have a choice?  But we don’t.  As soon as Gutenberg is rolled out,  the classic editor will no longer be available (that’s what I hear anyway).  Hopefully WordPress takes the needs of ALL its users into consideration.

I really dislike the way WordPress continually makes changes without seeming to care about what its users think.    I’m really not keen on having to learn a new interface, especially when the current one is perfectly serviceable.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

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What happened to the reblog button?

Why did WordPress take it away?

 

About the ads you see here.

Every so often I feel it’s necessary to remind my readers about the ads on this site.

Occasionally, I see ads here I disagree with or that go against the content of this blog.

Let me remind my readers that I do not choose the ads here.  I’m a member of the WordPress.com WordAds program, and I make a small income from the ads run on this site.  Because this blog isn’t self-hosted (as it would be if were a WordPress.org site) I have no control over which ads are placed here.

Just a reminder to those who think some of the ads are strange on a site like this one. If you find the ads offensive, you can always use an ad blocker.

New share buttons.

whatsapp-telegram-skype-icons

I noticed WordPress has made three new share buttons available: Skype, Telegram, and WhatsApp (which I have never heard of).   I added the Skype and Telegram buttons.  I wonder why there isn’t an option for Instagram, with it being as popular as it is right now.

4 reasons why I won’t be switching to self-hosted anytime soon.

Digitally generated My brain has too many tabs open

Not very long ago, Opinionated Man migrated his popular blog, HarsH ReaLiTy, from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. I remember reading his stream-of-consciousness posts while he climbed WP.org’s very steep learning curve, and I got headaches and felt twitchy just reading them. Although OM was often frustrated and sometimes seemed ready to give up, he didn’t, and he now claims that becoming self-hosted was the best blogging decision he ever made. I don’t doubt he’s telling the truth, as being self-hosted allows you all sorts of options and freedoms you do not have as a WordPress.com blogger.

But you can count me out, at least for the foreseeable future. I’m a serious blogger, yes, but WordPress.com suits my needs just fine. Here are four reasons why I have no intention of ever becoming self hosted.

1. The community.
When you become a WordPress.com member, it’s easy to find a community of like-minded WordPress bloggers via the Reader, which makes suggestions based on your interests, and posts all new articles by blogs you’re already following. For new bloggers, this feature is a godsend. ALl you do is “follow” blogs that are suggested to you based on your interests and voila! Instant community! When you follow blogs you like, they’re likely to follow you back too, and before you know it, you are commenting on each other’s blogs.

When you self-host, you lose all that. You have to be more concerned about things like your Google page ranking and be a lot more careful tagging posts, otherwise your blog may not get seen by the people you want to see it. Or not at all. And if you’re self hosted, you don’t have access to the Reader; you have to find related blogs on your own. Your posts also won’t be automatically seen by other WP bloggers, since WP.org hosted sites do not show up in the Reader. If you prefer to spend time writing new content than recruiting an audience for your blog, then being on WP.com saves you a whole lot of time.

2. The steep learning curve.
Wordpress.com is simple to use, compared to WordPress.org. While it does have a learning curve, it isn’t very steep. After 3 – 4 days I was comfortable using the features. I felt like a pro in a couple of weeks. There are plenty of options for customization even if you use a free theme and don’t upgrade. For this blog, I wasn’t satisfied with the font used for the free Twenty-Ten theme (one of WP’s most popular free themes), so I upgraded to Custom Design, so I had the option of changing the font to one I liked better. Custom Design is cheap and gave me a few other options too, but CSS (which is available with Custom Design) still eludes me. I know nothing about coding and fortunately, really don’t have to worry about that anyway, since everything I want to do is available to me without knowing any coding at all.  For a small price, you can also have a custom domain (which is necessary if you want to run ads)–all that means is you get a URL without the “wordpress.com” in it.

If you self-host, be prepared to have to learn not only coding, but also you need to know all about about plug-in installation, Jet Packs (whatever those are), software upgrades, bandwidth, backups and troubleshooting, analytics, and SEO, among many other things.   Features we take for granted like Likes and Comments aren’t automatically there; you have to install them yourself.  Have a problem? You’re on your own. There are no support forums to turn to as there are for WP.com users. You either have to try to figure things out on your own and fix any problems yourself, or you have to hire an outside party to do it for you. For someone who isn’t especially tech-savvy, the idea of running into a problem and having no idea what to do about it is very scary indeed. And I really don’t have much desire to have to learn all these things.  I’d rather be writing.

overwhelmed

3. The expense.
Being self-hosted isn’t cheap. If you advertise, while you can make more money from advertising (WordPress.com only allows Wordads) and can choose the ads you run, to me that isn’t worth it, because of the payout required from you just to be self hosted. You have to buy your domain name, then pay for someone (like GoDaddy.com) to host your blog (in leiu of WordPress, which hosts all WP.com sites). Expect to pay about $250 and $450 just for the first year.

WP.com is free and so are many of its themes. Even if you decide to upgrade, the expense is very small. I paid $18 for Custom Design, and it’s good for a whole year. Even without knowing how to use the included CSS feature, I still think it was worth it. The themes available on WordPress.com are all attractive and there are so many free ones available that no blogger should have any problems finding one they love and that suits their blog. If you want to make some money from your blog, and you qualify, Wordads will post the ads for you and keep track of your earnings. All you need to do is set up a Paypal account. While you certainly have the potential to make more from a self-hosted site, the amount of work involved in gaining enough traffic to earn anything more than pocket change is daunting for the average blogger, who just wants to write.

4. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I have no problems with WordPress.com, so why would I want to take the risk of losing everything I’ve worked so hard on for almost two years, or messing everything up beyond repair, by “importing” it to WP.org? Unless I start getting massive amounts of traffic (unlikely) or run out of space and can’t post anything new (and even then I understand it’s possible to buy additional storage on WP.com), I have absolutely no reason to be self-hosted.

Why you might prefer self-hosting.

roman_fountain

With all that said, if you’re the sort of person who is challenged and excited by learning complicated new things, or if you want the sense of achievement and pride that someone like Opinionated Man experienced once he mastered the process of being self-hosted (at least the basics anyway, as he says you never stop learning and are forever having to tweak and make adjustments), then being self-hosted may be the right choice for you.   It may also be the right choice if you prefer to own your domain name (and hence, your blog) rather than just rent it from WordPress.   When you own your own home, you have the freedom to tear down walls (and run the risk of the whole house falling down and crushing you to death), paint the exterior shocking pink, build a sarcophagus in the bathroom, or install a Roman fountain in the living room.  If you rent, you are probably limited to neutral colored walls and you can’t install freaky things or tear anything down.

I’ll stick with my plain white walls, thank you.   I can still hang pretty pictures and decorate my abode the way I want, and I know my landlord will come fix anything that breaks.    I prefer my WordPress dumbed down so I can just write and leave the complicated tech stuff to others.

Further reading:
7 Reasons Why Novices Should Not Self-Host WordPress

Never judge a thing until you try it for yourself.

brussels_sprouts

I’m one of those people who’s willing to try new foods, even if I think I probably won’t like them.   One of the good things my parents did for me when I was a child was get me to try new foods.   My mother loved to cook, and my father and I were her taste testers.

A typical dinner table conversation might go like this.

Mom: Here’s some Brussels sprouts.

Me:  Ew. Everyone at school says they’re yucky.

Mom:  Oh no, they’re good.

Me: But they look yucky!

Mom:  Well, have you ever tried them?

Me: No.

Mom:  Then how do you know you won’t like them?

I had no answer to that, so I tried them and have loved them ever since.   That happened many times over, with different foods.  I didn’t love all the foods I tried, but many I did.  If I hadn’t tried them for myself and just assumed I would hate them because other people hated them, I never would have discovered how good they were.

The same thing is true for just about everything else.   When I decided to start a blog in September 2014,  I had to decide between Blogger and WordPress.    Yes, there are other blogging platforms, but those two are the biggest and most well known.    I talked to a few people online who told me that WordPress sucked.  They said it was full of snobs and the people were unhelpful to newbies and unfriendly.    They also told me it was hard to learn and the templates not user-friendly.   No one had much of an opinion about Blogger.  All my friends knew was that it was owned by Google.

So I decided to go with Blogger.   I opened up Blogger and started the process to set up my blog.  But I ran into a problem almost immediately.   Because Blogger is connected to Google (and I already have a Google account), it kept wanting me to put in my real name.   For a blog like this one, that was out of the question.  I tried to write over it but it kept defaulting back to my name.   I even tried to change my Google account information, but for other reasons that wasn’t going to work for me either.

Frustrated, I closed Blogger and opened up WordPress.  I had no idea what to expect and was sure I’d be completely lost.    I chose a theme.  So many attractive free themes to choose from.   Which one to select?   Finally, I settled on the Twenty Ten theme and within 10 minutes I had my blog!   I went to the dashboard and took a look around.  Yes, it was a bit confusing but I started to play around with it and try different things.   To my surprise it wasn’t hard at all!  No, things didn’t come second nature to me yet. There was a bit of a learning curve, but after my first few posts, I felt like I had a pretty good handle on the basics.    When I got stuck I went to the Forums and asked for help there.  To my surprise I got my questions answered pretty quickly and in a friendly manner.  As I began to attract a few followers, I also found that the other bloggers were helpful and very welcoming of newbies.    I can’t say whether the same is true of Blogger, but I decided that my friends had been wrong about WordPress, at least WordPress.com.   (WordPress.org is too daunting for me right now and at the moment I have no need to self-host).

I would never have been on WordPress at all had it not been for the name issue at Blogger. I can’t even imagine that, because my experience at WordPress has been incredible.  I’ve never known such a warm and friendly bunch of people as the other bloggers here.   I don’t know how WordPress got a reputation for being snobby and unfriendly, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

The moral of this story is that you really can’t assume things based on what other people tell you.  You have to form your own opinions, just like you should always at least try a new food if you’re not allergic to it.   There’s no way to know what you’re going to like or dislike until you actually experience it for yourself.   Other people may be well-meaning (or not!) but their opinions are going to differ from yours, and if you just go along with them rather than making your own decisions, you never know what you might be missing.

open_mind

WordAds: Advertising on WordPress

If you blog and are interested making some money from your blog, WordPress has a program called WordAds that makes this possible. You probably won’t be able to quit your day job (my earnings last month were about $40 but are going up each month in small increments based on number of “impressions”) but it’s definitely worth it, if you qualify. I don’t blog for money obviously, but it is nice to have the extra cash.

This post about the WordAds program is the most imformative I’ve seen. I can’t think of one question here left unanswered.

The Human Breed Blog

I seldom go off-topic (away from stereotypes) and even if I do, I still write about people, men, women; about countries, possibly about laws and their effect on societies… but I don’t go off-topic, so far away to talk about technology or blogging in general or advertising in particular. So why am i writing about WordAds?

  1. I can’t stop thinking about it (I tend to do that often once I am excited about something :D) and bloggers / writers simply write about their passions and their thoughts, and this where my thoughts are right now.
  2. I feel that there isn’t enough information about WordAds out-there since the program is relatively new and is still not as mature as Adsense. What I will be discussing in this blog post, can be found in bits and pieces all over the web, in many discussions, in other blog posts from other bloggers.

Most blog posts that…

View original post 2,234 more words

Losing followers.

puzzled

As a blogger, I always worry when I lose followers, even if it’s only a few.     For the past few weeks my number of followers has remained steady (and the number of visitors and views keeps going up, thanks to the search engines and continuing popularity of certain posts I wrote a while back), but this week I lost about 4 followers.  Today I have 1314 followers; a week ago I had 1318.

I don’t know who these followers were, and there could be any number of reasons why they’re not following me anymore, including something as impersonal as a WordPress glitch (it’s happened before; in fact it happened to me yesterday:  I had to re-follow Bluebird of Bitterness, who I never knowingly unfollowed).  They could also be spam accounts who unfollowed me.    But I worry just the same, and I always start fretting about what I might have said that may have offended someone.

But what sort of blog would this be if I never offended anyone?  A boring one, probably.   Of course I don’t intentionally try to offend,  but whenever you state an opinion, someone might disagree with you.   It really can’t be avoided.  My blog is so I don’t have to keep my opinions all to myself!   I probably didn’t offend anyone anyway, at least not enough for them to unfollow me,  and even if I did why I am so worried about four followers who I can’t even identify and might have been bogus accounts anyway?

ETA: Twenty minutes after posting this, I gained three followers. 🙂  I don’t know if they’re the same ones or not.

I’m just gonna say it, okay?

dying_happiness

I’d really love to be Freshly Pressed®. I wonder if it’s ever going to happen. I just think being Freshly Pressed would be incredibly cool and do wonders for my low self-esteem. If I ever get Freshly Pressed I think I would just die of happiness.

Kill me now!

 

please

Question about “falling snow plugin”

I’ve seen some other WP bloggers have the falling snow effect and I wanted to add it to mine. I did find the app for it and downloaded it, but from there I have no idea how to get it to appear on my site.

The directions are not very detailed, and I have no idea where the “Plugins” page is on my Admin page. Can someone help me out here? I feel like an idiot.

These are the “directions” I’m supposed to follow.

Drop the ‘wp-snow-effect’ folder into your ‘wp-content/plugins’ folder (where is this??)

Go to your Administration: Plugins page and activate the “WP snow effect” plugin (where is the Plugins page?)

Go to Settings / WP Snow Effect to configure the plugin