Exploring Outside the Blog

I’m going back to working with text files again and start working with pdf. A webzine, rather than a blog. Well, a webzine as a working name.

Running a blog has become ruined with marketing and pressure to conform. I’ve always liked doing things my own way. Following all the “rules” for bloggers means putting marketing first. I don’t want to do that. Yet, each time I try to get working on my sites again there is all that stuff telling everyone how to do everything better, almost always involving SEO and marketing. I don’t want to live like everything is for sale. I don’t want to blog that way either. So, blogging is out.

Of course, that means deciding what blogging actually is and what I want to do next. Once upon a time it was a web log, keeping dated entries about changes made to your projects on the web. Some personal posts became sprinkled in and next thing you had the personal online journal. Blogs came from that, later. Dated entries were the key to what was a blog and what was not. That is so lost these days, there are blogs which don’t want to post dates at all. They call it evergreen. I call it, not a blog.

I have a lot of old content to merge with something new. Once I take it out of CMS software I won’t have to keep trying to find ways to make it display for software, just the txt or pdf file type. That will be a LOT easier.

I’m keeping something blog-like to post things I find along the way, in niche and topical blogish displays. Likely on Blogger because I can use Open Live Writer to create the post and then filter it to whichever site I want it to show up on. They will be content curation sites, not blogs. I can post links to niche sources in the sidebars, as I find good links. But, dates, marketing, and professional templates won’t be important.

The Joomla Image Upload and Post Editing is Bugging Me

I am trying. I have made progress. But, the Joomla post editing and image uploading are not very user friendly. I feel like I’m working with a sluggish elephant.
I don’t know yet about template changes. I’m leaving that until the end as I go through the guide I’m using to get around Joomla. It is quite different from WordPress, especially in the beginning. My big break through seems to have been understanding that everything has a category, not just your blog posts, or links. It does add more function to your site, what you can do with what you have. But, it also makes it complicated. When you have a glitch it becomes a real job to find the source because there are so many places to look. As a beginner I’m finding it very time consuming.
Last week I was at the point of giving up and trying yet another CMS. But, I stuck it out. I did find the problem that time but, the same solution did not fix (what seems to be) the same problem on two other sites. 
So far the post editor and image uploader are bugging me every time I post. Maybe some of that will be fixed with a different theme/ template. But, with all the function in Joomla why is it so hard to do the simple things? I’m at the point of disliking using images with my posts. 
Also, I am discouraged about the link thing. I left WordPress because it was becoming focused on commercial sites and web developers with clients rather than individuals building their own site. As I get to know Joomla I see the same trend here. The link manager was taken out of the core CMS. Why remove a feature people might actually like to use? Because web developers don’t want anything Google SEO says it doesn’t like.
Most of Joomla’s extensions (plugins, if you prefer WordPress speak) are premium. Sure there are some outdated free extensions, but they tend not to work, or even upload into Joomla 3. Other free versions are so limited the point of them is just to make people realize there isn’t any point to doing without the premium/ professional extension. 
I miss having spellcheck when I write a post. I can’t even use keyboard shortcuts in the post editor. So I need to open the code editor to cut and paste or add text to any post with HTML. I did look at post editors and related extensions. That was a land of confusion in itself. Most of them combine a template maker into the whole process, as if that will fix everything. But, I did not find any of them which were just post editors which would work with my existing posts in Joomla articles. Two which I might have used wanted to import everything and make second copies for the extension. Then you (I) have to remember to use the extension to make every post I write from then on. Well, what if something goes wrong? What if the extension is abandoned, dies with some fatal error, etc? Where would that leave me and all my posts, not quite in Joomla but sort of in Joomla? 
I have yet to find a way to schedule posts. Everything has to be made a featured post in order to show up on my site. Then every new post is either published or not published. There is no way to schedule a date for it to post. Yes, I can leave posts sitting outside of featured but I would really rather not have to remember to post them, or need to be online in order to post them. (I do like to get away the odd time and leave the electronics behind).
I think that’s everything bugging me. Possibly more will come to mind between now and now when I post this. 
If I hadn’t bought two books (print) to help me figure Joomla out… If I hadn’t spent money on 3 premium Joomla extensions (and not found any of them to be what I had hoped)… If I hadn’t spent months migrating and renovating my sites since leaving WordPress (late last year!)… I think I would stop using Joomla at this point. But, there should be a point where you don’t go back and stick with your guns, right? 
Anyway, what else would I try? I’ve been through almost a dozen CMS since last year. I do know, I am not going back to WordPress. The problems with WordPress are still there. The time of the independent web publisher is getting tougher, but not drying up yet. However, I am watching for that big chunk of meteor rock falling from the sky.

Moved the Site to b2evolution

Just moved the site over from WordPress to b2evolution. People have asked me why, a few times. There are a few reasons. But, for now I am fixing glitches with moving to another CMS. I like b2 and I don’t think it will take me long to get to know how it works and where things are now. Meanwhile, images are mostly not working. Categories and tags did not make the import, not sure why. So I am manually going through my posts one by one to renovate a little. What usually happens when you move to a new place… you renovate to make it look more like the old place. 🙂 People are funny like that.
Making my life easier, I have added comments from the original post to this post. I have been moving my site content to Joomla. It’s a different set up from WordPress and b2evolution but I think it will be more active and user friendly.  Still need to fix the images with posts (that was mangled by WordPress) and add my links which I will end up doing manually, one at a time. But, I hope this will end the project of moving from WordPress to some other CMS. It has been a longer adventure than I expected. 
Here are the comments:

Comment from: Jane Gassner [Visitor]

Jane Gassner

I lost the entire archive of MidLifeBloggers.com and JaneGassner.com sometime during the holiday season. It was one of those, “you only have 24 hours to migrate” and for various reasons, I got in at the 25th hour. I couldn’t decide how upset I should/would be. MidLifeBloggers was a longterm venture that still got a lot of hits. JaneGassner.com, not so much. But MidLifeBloggers was old business, and I had said everything I wanted to about midlife and beyond. Jane Gassner had the potential to be new and, if not shiny, then gaining a slight glow about it after time. So I’m redoing JaneGassner.com but starting anew. It’s springtime, and perhaps that’s influencing me to not try to make it as it was. Considering that it wasn’t that successful, it’s probably a wise decision.

03/28/17 @ 09:27 pm

Comment from: laura [Member]

I really like history so that part of it would be hard for me. But, I have thought about just starting fresh too. Moving a site is never completely smooth and simple but I’ve been trying to move old content and have not made time to write new posts. That is kind of backwards. Starting fresh might have been better than trying to preserve old content (that mostly only matters to me).

03/29/17 @ 12:18 pm

Comment from: laura [Member]

I like your new site. Writing something for writers has it’s own challenge. It makes me doubt myself and compare myself with others too much. I thought about closing this site. But, I do like writing it. So… here it still is.
You have doubled images in posts with WordPress featured image. I kept having that problem too.

Considering a Change from WordPress

Not for any special reason but, I am seriously considering changing my sites from WordPress. There are several reasons not to do this: transferring content, themes and plugins I have bought will no longer work, learning (and installing/ setting up) new software. But… I feel WordPress has lost individuals like myself. I’m not a web developer or designer. I don’t have clients to set sites up for. I just have my own sites and WordPress keeps feeling limited.

I am not so keen on changing. Though I do like change for the sake of change, sometimes. I don’t like being in a rut or following the pack.

It is not an easy decision to fully commit to. I’ve been looking at other software. I’m always interested in alternatives and options and new things when it comes to web publishing. But that’s more like window shopping than making a serious plan.

If you publish a site, with something other than WordPress (or Blogger/ Blogspot or other freebies which don’t run on your own domain) let me know. I’d like to set up Typo3 but so far it just will not install. Fancy installations are a hard limit for me. If I can’t even get the software set up I’m not confident in using it afterwards.

At least, it will be an interesting month – or however long it takes me to either change or decide not to rock the boat.

Has WordPress Jumped the Shark?

I think WordPress is in danger of “jumping the shark”, becoming too complicated and loaded with too many features. Google has mostly forgotten all about Blogger, but it may become a better alternative for a lot of people who just want a simple business site. WordPress seems to be something for people who want to spend time and money on a fancy site with a lot of features. How many businesses really need all of that? Not many.
As someone who has kept sites for many years and used WordPress most of the time, I’m not planning to use a lot of customized posts. I don’t need them. I want to focus on content, not spend a lot of time on formatting.
I will add that if people are building a site to function as a web directory, job board, or any of a hundred other things – WordPress isn’t an essential element. It may even be a hindrance. WordPress is still a customized blog at heart.
Note: I posted this as a comment on WPTavern. The post there was about new custom formatting for WordPress posts. It got me thinking about how WordPress is used, who uses it and whether it is really still sustainable for the general blog user – people who are not web developers and may not want to spend that kind of time or money on a site for their business, or hobby, etc. Most of us have a limited budget. How important is it to have a fancy site with a lot of features versus just having a site up and functioning?
Is WordPress still a good option for putting up a site? Or, do you need to be (or pay) a web designer/ developer to work with WordPress?