Deelylah Mullin Author

Websites: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

· The one where I vent about my website and rejoice about finally fixing it. ·

February 23, 2017 0 Comments

Share the Wealth isn't a regular feature. Whenever I have something to share, I'll use a chalkboard graphic with the headline Share the Wealth.

I’ve been fucking around with this damn website since early December. I’m not gonna lie. I thought about scrapping the entire design (even though I love it) and starting over. From scratch. If it hasn’t been one thing, it’s been another. I’ve been fighting the saga of suspected bot every time someone leaves a damn comment on a post since mid-December.

The problem literally popped up out of the blue. One minute, the site worked fine. The next? Fucking errors.

It made me question switching to WordPress. It made me question whether I should have someone just set the damn thing up for me and give up. 

Yeah. I’m not a quitter.

Here’s the thing. Everyone and their brother seems to use WordPress or some other web-based WYSIWYG site builder. I thought WordPress had the most flexibility, and I found a theme I liked. Which is pretty amazing because I’m picky as hell.

I had to switch my newsletter to MailChimp (at least temporarily…until I can figure out how to make the other service work with WordPress) because it ‘plays nice’ with WordPress. And I had to fuck around with that to make it work, too.

See, WordPress has these things called plugins. Even if you research the shit out of every single one you think you want to use, they can–potentially–not play nice with one another. I researched the plugins I should use on my site because I’m responsible that way. I knew I didn’t want to get spammed in my comments, too. So, research. The GoogleFu was strong the day–and several thereafter– I built my site. I looked up the best plugins to use to make sure I didn’t have spam comments on my posts, and I looked up the best ones to use for security so I didn’t get hacked.

Use WordPress, they said. It’ll be easy, they said.

Bullshit.

I’m not a novice to creating webpages. I used to hand-code HTML back in the mid-90s. I even still remember some of it so I can look at page source and try to figure out why an element isn’t working. But…that doesn’t work when everything is in a goddamn template. It’s really nothing like writing code. It’s really nothing like using a web editor, tweaking the code, and uploading to a host. Does that shit even exist anymore without paying out the ass for Dreamweaver or something?

Anyway, I think I have it figured out. And here’s my words of wisdom on the topic.

Do NOT install a bunch of fucking plugins to your WordPress site all at once. Get that bitch set up, and then gradually add in those that have been thoroughly researched. Do this one at a time, and make sure you and all your friends can still use the site as you’ve intended. Like, leaving comments and not being a suspected-fucking-bot. I think Bronwyn Green has given up on me after like a month of telling me she’s a bot. Again. Which she isn’t.

So, earlier in the week I went through and disabled all the damn plugins I didn’t think I needed. This was an excellent strategy. The damn comments work again. They’re moderated so I have to approve them. This’ll work. For now.

Let me tell you, when Gwen Cease left the first comment on my blog the other day, I pretty much did a happy dance. Wait. There’s no pretty much about it. I did do a happy dance. But the Internet was being stupid at my house, so I couldn’t get online to approve them. I feel like I’ve conquered the monster. I feel like Wonder Woman getting the bad guy with her Lasso of Truth–the truth is, building a WordPress site is pretty time-intensive to do it right. But, once you’ve got it all working and adore the layout–like I do–it’s really worth it. I love the ease of creating new blog posts, and I can’t wait to add more titles to my Books section. I know I’m going to obsess over how that looks and screw around with the layout until the cows come home…or I break my site again.

Until then, I intend to bask in my superhero feelings of accomplishment.

Do you have a website? What did you use to build/maintain it?

 

February 24, 2017

Deelylah

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