Tag Archives: WordPress

Not filed under “sick children”, but it could have been

My blog was sick. Just vaguely sick, the sort of thing you could ignore mostly and just let niggle, like a cough that wasn’t going away. But it was getting worse. I thought maybe updating to the new version of WordPress (as all good bloggers should do when they’re told to) might help. I even took the heretofore unprecedented step of backing up first.

Then it turned out I couldn’t download the backing up widget. I got another one instead, and that worked okay. I clicked the “Automatic upgrade” button, and nothing happened. I kept trying for about a day, just in case the internet stars were misaligned, but they didn’t realign on their own.

I even contacted my hosting company and asked for help. The nice man couldn’t replicate my problem and suggested I clear my cache. That seemed to help, and I felt silly. Then it turned out it hadn’t helped at all.

I decided there was nothing for it but to do the update manually. I started copying over files. It appeared I could only do them one at a time. I soldiered on. When I came to folders within folders, I had to make the new folders and populate them, one file at a time. I suspected this was not what I was meant to do. As I clicked on the folders and saw what was in them, I realised it would probably take me a week. Without sleeping.

I finally asked for help. On a more local level. It’s such a cliche, but my husband does know more about this stuff than I do, even though he doesn’t have a blog. He knows what FTP means and how to make it happen. Thank heavens for husbands, and similarly enlightened people. Transferring the whole thing at once, in three batches, was but the work of a few minutes and not nearly as hard as the instructions made it sound.

Hooray! said I. A whole new day of functional blog was dawning with the advent of WordPress 4.1. But no. The glitch was still there, and getting worse. Now my Jetpack (which minds my stats and various other widgets) was no longer connecting. WordPress.com no longer recognized me. My blog was still there, still working, but I felt as if some insidious termite was breaking it down pixel by pixel.                                 .

Finally, last night, I tried my hosting company’s chat help again, and this time they agreed that there was something wrong. When the tech guy you’re chatting to replies “Hmmm,” you know you’ve presented them with something interesting. In the end I had to pay real money for an unique IP address that I need because something happened to their server. (I shouldn’t need it for long, and then I’ll get most of the money back, but it’s hardly ideal.)

And this morning I logged on and there was my blog – instantly, not after ten seconds of a page not found message – and my stats were back and WordPress.com knew me and I had to fix up all the things that had gone astray and everything was shiny and working the way it should.

And it turned out that I really do care a lot more than I thought I did about this blog and I’m glad the backup widget worked because if I hadn’t done that I’d definitely have been freaking out because as it was I was surprisingly tetchy and stressed about the whole thing. So the moral of this story is to back up your blog, boys and girls. And that if something seems wrong, you should get to the bottom of it before it gets worse. Which is probably a perfectly good metaphor for life, too.

So Maud, why did you move the blog?

I don’t know if I have a headache because I just went to the chiropractor for the first time ever and he did that thing where he makes your muscles go pop but it sounds like it’s your bones, or because Mabel pitched a massive fit about (a) not watching any TV this morning, (b) going to school, and (c) having to stay for lunch (began with a, moved on to b and c interchangeably; I may have agreed to something for tomorrow, but I’m really not sure what it was; that’s not going to come back to bite me oh no), or maybe because I made a lot of new passwords yesterday and I may or may not have some of them mixed up; but I’m just going to go ahead and post a post here anyway.

So, why did I move the blog?

At some point in the past months I did a 180-degree turnaround from “I’m perfectly happy at Blogger and why on earth would I pay money for my free hobby” to “Maybe I’ll go self-hosted.” I’m not sure quite how this happened, but a couple of things were nudging me:

  • People often seemed to have difficulty commenting in Blogger. If you have a blog, you’ll know that comments are really special and nice to get, and also I don’t like the thought of people typing things and then being frustrated because they won’t post, because I know how annoying that is when it happens to me. I’m told that more people will be able to comment more easily now that I’m on WordPress. I hope that’s true.
  • The inbuilt stats in Blogger were annoying me. They seem to count a lot of bots (my friends in Russia, as I like to call them; or China, or Indonesia), and so they’re not a realistic reflection of who’s actually reading. Now, I know that stats aren’t important and I shouldn’t get hung up on it, and I did have a Google Analytics account, but I didn’t much like that either, so hey, let’s see what WP stats are like. I’m hoping for a happy,  bot-less, medium.
  • I could have just switched from my free Blogger blog to a free WordPress.com blog, but it seems like nobody does that. Having my own domain name is, I have to admit, a little more professional, not that I’d call myself a professional blogger, because I’m pretty sure you have to earn money to be a professional at anything; but I see my blog as PR for my online self, and in that sense I do want to look professional.

For when my plans for online world domination come to fruition, you know.

Some time in December I happened across this blog post, linked from BlogHer, and since it appeared to tell me exactly what I needed to know, I saved it for later. Once I had my big 10/1000 post out of the way, it felt like a good time for a new beginning, so I hemmed and hawed and asked B what he thought and then Mabel slept all night and I was filled with verve and vim and vigour and other good v words and apparently up for a challenge and I just did it. In case you want to know, this is basically what I did:

  1. Went to BlueHost, which is a hosting company that will also sell you a domain name if you don’t already have one. Entered the domain (funnily enough, not much competition for “Awfully Chipper” and now I suppose I’m stuck with it), chose the features I wanted, and clicked the “Take my money” button. (It’s not really called that.)
  2. Went to WordPress.org and downloaded WordPress.
  3. Went back to BlueHost and uploaded WordPress according to their instructions. Chose a theme (this is WordPress 2012, which is free but should be reliable, unlike some free themes you might find randomly on the Internet) and then clicked the big red button that says Import Blog from Blogger (it’s not really red; it might actually say something slightly different; this is not a tutorial), crossed my fingers, squinted sideways at the screen, and it was all there before you could say Bob’s your Jiminy Cricket’s uncle.

I still haven’t done steps 8 to 13 of the original instructions, and my Blogger blog is still there for now, but I’ll work it out in time.

Girl with balloon