Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Archive for the tag “WordPress”

Why I hate self-hosted WordPress blogs

I tried to post a comment on a selfhosted WordPress blog, and got this message.

Are you Steve Hayes?

You are being asked to login because shayes@dunelm.org.uk is used by an account you are not logged into now.

So I logged out and logged in again, and tried to post the comment, and got the same message.

So I logged in again without logging out first, tried to post the comment again and got the same message.

The comment I wanted to post was this:

By logging in you’ll post the following comment to To My White Nationalist Brothers:

Though it is not an Orthodox statement, I believe that the rebuttal of racism contained in A Message to the People of South Africa (link to PDF document), published in 1968 during the apartheid period, is also useful for Orthodox Christians. Orthodox bishops, and especially His Beatiotude Theodoros, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa, have frequently denounced racism in their partoral encyclicals to the faithful.

WordPress.com / Gravatar.com credentials can be used.

That last statement is evidently untrue.

Disabling NoScript

I recently found that I could not edit WordPress posts, but managed to do so when I used Internet Explorer rather than Firefox.

I have now tried again with Firefox, with the NoScript add-on disabled, so it seems that the culprit was NoScript. There must have been something wrong with a recent update. It also seemed to have weird effects on some other sites, with menu options taking one to the wrong place etc.

It’s a pity, because I found NoScript useful when visiting news sites and others with bandwidth-hogging video streaming etc.

 

WordPress stats hard to read

Is it just me, or have the WordPress stats pages (and editing pages) just become harder to read?

In typing this, some letters (and parts of letters) are easily seen, but the rest are faint. It looks like a pice of paper on which raindrops have fallen and dissolved the ink in patches, making it fainter?

Or do I just need new glasses yet again?

Looks like I’ll have to write blog posts outside WordPress and copy and paste them in — trying to spot typos is too much of a strain.

The line below this in the entry form is almost unreadable — “Tags (llol llol lool loll oll loll l olollo)

Is blogging doomed?

One of the blogs in my blogroll is Aquila ka Hecate, which had an interesting (to me, anyway) discussion on the changing seasons. I wanted to comment on it, and found that I could not. Google had somehow linked the commenting facility to their Google+ (which becomes more clunky by the day), and it would not let me enter a comment. I could type the comment, but nothing appeared on the screen.

It was because of such things that I moved this blog from Blogger to WordPress several months ago. And the last thing I posted there was some negative comments about their trying to link blogs to Google+. In that case it was because of the reduced functionality of the Google+ profile, which they wanted to substitute for the Blogger one. But now they have included the commenting system as well, which doesn’t merely have reduced functionality, it simply doesn’t function at all.

And Aquila ka Hecate tried to move her blog to WordPress, here, and that doesn’t seem to have been too successful either? Is blogging doomed? It seems that the major blog hosts are out to destroy it.

 

 

Is someone tampering with blog stats?

There’s something weird going on with blog stats.

Yesterday our family history blog, Hayes & Greene Family History, got its highest number of daily visitors ever — 252.

BlogStatI didn’t post anything special yesterday — in fact I posted nothing at all, so there doesn’t seem to be any particular reason for the sudden rush of visitors.

But there was something else that was even stranger. I did post something on our other family history blog, on Blogger, rather than WordPress, and I happened to notice, when I updated it on Amatomu, that its ranking on Amatomu was higher than that of the WordPress one, which was a bit unusual. Ususally the WordPress blog fluctuates in the Amatomu rankings between about 220-250. But this morning it was down to 285, and now it is down to 816, on the very day that it seems to have got the highest number of visitors. The Blogger family history blog is usually somewhere in the 300-500 level, but yesterday it was suddenly up around 220.

Here are the current Amatomu rankings for my blogs:

AmatomuRank

The question I have is: why there such an extraordinary increase in the number of visitors on a single day, and why should it be accompanied by such a huge drop in the rankings, from 280 something to below 800?

The only way that could happen is if someone is manipulating the blog stats, and doing so in two different places — on WordPress to exaggerate the number of visitors, and on Amatomu to lower the rankings.

If anyone else has a better explanation, please let me know.

But I am more than ever convinced that blog statistics are completely unreliable and worthless.

This blog has moved from Blogger to WordPress

This blog was hosted by Blogger from 2005 until 20 September 2012.

The foisting of the new user-hostile Blogger interface on users was the last straw, so I’ve moved it to WordPress. 

Not only was the new interface harder to use, but it seemed that a lot of the old functionality has been lost. WordPress was always better for posting graphics than Blogger, but now it seems that the graphics capabilities of Blogger have been reduced still further, so it doesn’t seem to be worth continuing.

I started this blog towards the end of 2005, when Blogger was much easier to use than LiveJournal, though I still occasionally post stuff at LiveJournal.

Then when they began messing around with Blogger on a previous occasion a lot of people moved to WordPress, and I started another blog on WordPress, just to be on the safe side. It was called Khanya, and it has now become my main blog, as it gets about twice as many readers as this one.

For many years I posted to both blogs, depending on the requirements of the post, and the relative strengths of Blogger and WordPress — each one had its own strengths and weaknesses.

But the latest changes are just too much, and it doesn’t seem to be worth continuing.

I’ll leave the old Blogger version of this blog there for as long as Blogger is willing to host it, because there are links from other blogs and web sites, and I’d prefer not to break them. Broken links are one of the annoying things about the web, and I don’t want to add to them.

But any new posts will be added here, or on my Khanya blog, once I’ve worked out how to distinguish them, now that they are on the same blogging platform.

Reviving an old family history blog

I recently decided to revive a family history blog that I had abandoned a couple of years ago. Google were busy revamping their Blogger software, and were taking a long time about it. Every week some or other feature didn’t work because they had decided to replace it, but the old one stopped working before the replacement was ready, and after a few months of this flocks of bloggers migrated from Blogger to WordPress.

I joined the flock, moved my family history blog to WordPress, and put the old Blogger one on ice, with a note saying where it had been moved to.

But eventually the improvements were made, the missing features returned, well sort of, and Blogger grew more stable. So I decided to revive my family history blog on Blogger. But there wouldn’t be much point in having two blogs to do the same things, so I’m giving them a different emphasis. The WordPress one will concentrate on our own family history, and family news. That’s because WordPress handles things like photos better.

The Blogger one I will use for more general things — discussion of research techniques, general history, links to resources, discussion of the use of computers for genealogy, discussion of software and the like. Historiography, method, technique and theory will go in there.

That’s because of the things that Blogger is good at — grabbing things off the web, making links, displaying widgets and the like.

One of the things you can see is the widgets that display recent visitors from MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog. Blogger displays them OK, but half the time WordPress displays the wrong pictures.

Some people might wonder what the point of such a thing is, and that was the subject of my very first post :Hayes & Greene family history: Why a family history journal?.

So if you’re interested in family and local history, and related topics, have a look.

Thoughts on blogging on a blogiversary

Today is the fourth anniversary of the starting of this blog, which prompts thoughts about blogging generally.

This wasn’t my first blog. I started an online diary back at the beginning of the millennium, but it seemed a bit clunky, so don’t write much there any more.

Then I was invited to LiveJournal by Bishop Seraphim Sigrist, and it was a combination of an online journal and a social networking site. I still use it for personal things. But there were two problems with it: first, while it was fairly easy to network with other people on LiveJournal, it wasn’t so easy to link to people outside that circle — one can’t use widgets like MyBlogLog or BlogCatalog for social blogrolling, and while it is possible to have a blogroll of sorts, it has to be created laboriously by hand. The second problem is that unless one pays extra for a subscription, photos and graphics have to be hosted on a third-party site. I still have my LiveJournal, but my posts there often link to posts on my other blogs.

Then, four years ago, we got a broadband connection, which made web surfing more affordable, and also something that one could do at any time of the day or night, without waiting for times when phone rates were cheaper. So I discovered Blogger, and that it was useful for quick and easy blog posts. It seemed like a good tool for bouncing ideas off other people and things like that. So I started this blog.

About six months later, Google, having taken over Blogger, began messing with it and lots of features that I had liked stopped working. I liked the “Blog this” feature, where one could grab a bit of text from a web site or another blog, and make some quick comments on it. It stopped working for about a year. The problems of that period caused a mass migration of bloggers from Blogger to WordPress and other blog platforms.

At one point, when many Blogger features had not worked for six months or more, I too started a WordPress blog, to be ready to jump ship if necessary. I still have it, and it’s called Khanya, and I still use it. For some reason that I’ve never been able to fathom, it seems to attract twice as many readers as this one.

I use the two interchangeably, sometimes writing a post on one, sometimes on the other. Which one I choose depends mainly on which features of the blogging platform seem easier for the purpose at the time. WordPress makes it easier to enter pictures with captions, for example, so if I want to post more than one or two pictures linked to a narrative, I post them there rather than here. But widgets like the MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog ones seem to work much better in Blogger than in WordPress. I like to know who has visited my blogs, because that is a reminder to me to go and look at theirs.

Blogger seems to have settled down now, and most of the features are working again, so perhaps I’ll carry on blogging here for another four years, if it’s still around then. And thanks to everyone who has commented over the last four years, and linked to posts, and helped in the sharing of thoughts and ideas.

Firefox crashing on clicking Image Uploader in WordPress

Firefox crashing on clicking Image Uploader: WordPress.com Forums:

Is anyone reporting problems with Firefox crashing when trying to upload images? I have not installed anything new on my desktop, just clicking on the square box to upload images would crash Firefox.

I’ve been having that problem too, so I thought I would try it in Blogger.

The last couple of days I’ve been at the Amahoro Conference, and wanted to blog about it on my Khanya blog, and every time I tried to upload a picture, Firefox crashed. But it seemed to work OK in Internet Exsplorer.

But it seems to work OK here, so it must be a WordPress problem rather than a Firefox one, though the latest information is that Google Gears is the culprit, so it looks like it’s time to uninstal that.

Oh yes, the Amahoro conference has been pretty good, and I’ve blogged about it here and here, among other places.

Crushed by Blogger!

Crushed by Ingsoc is one of the blogs I like to read, but for the last couple of weeks has been inaccessible, and every time I go there I see:

This blog is under review due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations and is open to authors only

http://crushedbyingsoc.blogspot.com/

Apparently the problem was caused by a bot, and all that is needed is for some human to take notice and fix the problem, but there seems to be a shortage of humans at Google who can do this.

But you can still see the blog’s community page on MyBlogLog, and you can go to Crushed’s page on MyBlogLog and leave a message of support.

It’s been quite long enough now — perhaps it’s time to make the move to WordPress.

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