Fixing Things Again

It is so much easier to fix things on Blogger and import posts from Blogger to WordPress, than to deal with WordPress. I think that’s kind of sad. But, I am pulling this site back together, from assorted parts which are here and there on my hard drive and stashed away online in places like Blogger (blogspot). So far the posts from Blogger are up and loaded with images, intact. I was not expecting it to be so easy.

I still have all the old WordPess back up files which I will have to play around with. WordPress will not like them as they are, they are big. I can export them as big files, but I can not import them back again as big files. Even though, they are the same files.

I am wishing myself luck, and patience.

Why is WordPress Still Free?

WordPress is the Cadillac of CMS for web developers making cookie cutter sites for clients paying thousands of dollars (sometimes). For end users, it is deliberately chopped up and dumbed down. Web developers don’t want clients tinkering, maintaining, changing, or even updating their sites. There are cases where the web developer actually owns the site, the client just has rights to the contents. Clients pay for the site, choose the content, but otherwise get in the way. But, they do pay.

So why is WordPress still free? Why not claim their share of the money being made? Or, will they? It happened with Movable Type.

For those dwindling few who can’t afford/ don’t want a web developer… why are you still using WordPress?

When Gutenberg replaces the current post editor it will take away more functions than it adds, for the end user, the people writing their own sites. WordPress will say it streamlines the editing functions. But, have you taken a look at it? I did. The editor is gone.

Posting to WordPress will become cut and paste with content blocks. This makes it much easier for web developers to configure plugins, themes and other services they can sell to clients who don’t really want to deal with any part of putting up a site themselves. Clients just supply the content, remember. Any editing of the content has already been done before it gets pasted into WordPress.

The new WordPress will be a lot like the old GeoCities. A lot of people won’t know much about GeoCities. It was an online web host, but your sites were on their domain. Sort of like Blogger which gives you the site.blogspot.com domain. I don’t remember if GeoCities let people add their own domain, Blogger does. Anyway, GeoCities made it easy to put up a site. The structure was there, all you really had to do was add your own content. GeoCities was free to use, but they did run a few ads on your site. If GeoCities had not shut down, would they be competing with WordPress now?

Online site building software: Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace, and others, are just competition for WordPress.com because WordPress.org people still make their own sites, right? Yes, if people were making their own sites, but too often sites are made by web developers and people just cut and paste their content into cookie cutter sites built by web developers using WordPress software and assorted plugins the client doesn’t need to know about. How is this really different from an online web site builder? The online website builder is a lot cheaper but does require some hands on work beyond just dumping content into it.

Why not just write for sites like HubPages and at least get paid for your content instead of paying to put it online?

Maybe the only reason WordPress is still free is WordPress.com. If you haven’t taken a look at WordPress.com for awhile, go login and take a look at the features there. Long ago the .com and the self hosted WordPress were not so different. But, that was long ago. WordPress.com is free to sign up for but then it becomes a Facebook game. Features are offered like pretty treats, shiny extras, and premium goodies virtually yours when you pay with real credit cards.

At the end of the day you are paying to use WordPress.

What Kind of Software is WordPress These Days?

WordPress removed the Link Manager which had a simple built in bookmarklet to add links to your site, in existing categories, with tags. It was a nice, simple feature to keep a list of resources (links). But, it was removed from WordPress a few years ago.

I use the Restore Lost Functionality plugin for links now. He added the bookmarklet too. Might do the same for PressThis now that WordPress has decided to remove that function too.

Seems a silly decision when so many sites are using content curation. The bookmarklet made it easy to turn content from other sites into a full post without having to leave your web browser. I use it a lot.

However, I have found PressForward, which does have a working bookmarklet (and extra features) for WordPress content curation. I’ve been using PressForward for about two years now and suggest others take a look.

WP is really becoming software for developers only. I keep looking at other CMS which are more publisher friendly. WordPress is losing that.

On the other hand, the new function for adding links in posts really irritates me. It gets in the damn way! Why can’t they decide to get rid of that instead?

Is WordPress still the best choice for web publishers? I don’t think so but I have not found another CMS to trade up for, yet. b2evolution is my top pick and I would have kept using it if it handled images differently.  However, the way things are going it could yet be a trade off between WordPress not handling links well and b2 not handling images well. I probably use links more than I do images.

Passwords are on Crack

If passwords need to be this complex they have gone beyond any point of usefulness to human beings. Can anyone remember something like this? Just writing it out would be a chore. This would be a password I cut and paste into a text file and leave on my computer desktop so I could find it easily and cut and paste it in whenever I need to login. Is it still useful as a password if I have it right there, easily found? Isn’t that just a digital version of keeping the key under the doormat?

By the time I actually did set up a new password for the WordPress site (I didn’t use this one) I had forgotten the reason I was logging in. So, after all that botheration, I didn’t need it anyway.

Keep Features in WordPress Core to Keep it User Friendly

I’ve read about features being shuffled off into plugins instead of keeping them as part of the main WordPress (core files) which can be downloaded and installed for free (web hosting/ domain required). The problem with features being taken out of WordPress is where they go from there.

Premium versus Free

WordPress itself is still free. Plugins are less often free these days. There could be a free version, a limited version, and in a few cases just a pretty free face advertising the premium plugin. This is what I see happening to any features taken out of WordPress and left to develop as plugins instead. Wave good-bye to your features.

I do understand plugin developers want to be paid too. I have paid for plugins and usually lived to regret it. Paid plugins need to be supported. This does not mean people need to keep buying them, keeping the developer happy with a lot of sales. No, once I buy a plugin (or other software) I like to know it will be supported (if not actively developed it should at least continue to work). Paying for a plugin does not guarantee it will be there, functional, when you want it.

Features in WordPress core tend to be more reliable that way.

Software Conflicts

Another problem with plugins is discovering they are not what you expected and then trying several others hoping to find that one magic plugin that does the job. All plugins are not created equal. They conflict with other plugins and, they don’t always work smoothly with your site theme. Trying several plugins is risky, all that installing, activating and deleting leaves a load of junk on the back end of your site. You don’t see it, but it’s there, lurking, a possible conflict of interest when you least expect it.

Software Evolution

Features in WordPress core are far more likely to keep evolving and getting better than features taken out of it. That is just simple logic.

Look at post formats. They were taken out of WordPress and have been left as an empty little icon you can add to your posts, signifying nothing really because you can’t add style to the post formatting unless you modify the CSS/ HTML of your site files. Not everyone wants to do that. So post formatting is kind of a dead fish. It could be a better solution than page building plugins. It could have meant we did not need page building plugins.

Instead, page building plugins have evolved and page formatting has stalled out somewhere along the way. Formatting would have been less complicated, more user friendly. But, WordPress is run by developers who sell plugins. There is that bias towards being commercially friendly and less user friendly.

 

Hello Again

I’ve been running this site, in one form or another, since 1998. At some point I bought this domain and since then it was known as Word Grrls. Ten or so years later that feels like an outdated name. But, I don’t want to keep blogging. I am looking at some new ideas. I spent most of this year trying new software, mostly other CMS’s. Eventually, I wound up loading up WordPress again (image files are all broken) just to give a home to what I have done in the past.

This is going to be here as an archive. I’m working on other sites, not blogs, so this one is going to be quiet while I discover where I go next.

My main site is laurabrown.ca

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.

How Software Changes Your Mind

I’ve had so many ideas and from those ideas I spin off into making them reality and find even more options. More than I can keep track of. Software, it’s advances, limitations and quickness to become obsolete/ unpopular, changes how you end up doing things. 
I wanted a web directory. But, keeping links became unpopular due to the SEO/ Google fanatics. WordPress and Joomla both stopped including their link management plugins/ extensions in the core software for the CMS. In the case of WordPress you can still download a plugin, Restore Lost Functionality, to bring back links and other features.  Joomla still offers Web Links as an extension, but further development seems very limited, if any.  
So, I could use Web Links with Joomla, I did upload and install it. But, I can’t use it to import my links from WordPress. (I’ve noticed WordPress does not work well with other CMS). Also, there is no bookmarklet which I would have used to make keeping the web directory supplied with new links as I find them while using my web browser. Anyway, I spent a few days banging into road blocks with this and then I got the idea to change software. 
I did have PHPLD (PHP Link Directory), paid for it a few years ago. But, the support forums are gone. Possibly the software is no longer supported as I could not import my links even when I finally did manage to create a CSV file (which was frustrating in itself). There is an option to pull links in from ODP (but dmoz/ ODP is gone) and Google. This feature had an error and did not work. So, I have now ruled out PHPLD.
I’ve tried other web directory software, even considered other premium (not free) software. But, so many are old and seldom updated or lacking any support at all. I did upload, install and try several but they all had errors. Some would not even install at all. 
Now I’m looking at the idea of just creating pages of links. Not my preference, but, you have to work with the software (unless you know how to create your own, or can afford to pay someone to do it for you). 
There are page builders. I looked at lots of them when I was still using WordPress. Joomla also has a large amount of them. But, I’m not sure which are page builders, template makers, page editors, or something else similar with a different name. They seem to meld together and use the same description even when they say they can work as add-ons to each other. It’s confusing. I don’t like being confused. I think of myself as being an experienced web publisher. But, I am confused. 
Of course, none of them really have anything special for links. So, I can’t say I’m eager to install any of them. It’s a bit make-do at this stage. 

Bookmark Files From Scratch

Several things may be driving you crazy but, if links, text files and bookmarks are one of them, I have some help for you! (Little things help a lot, right?)
After spending a lot of time trying to import my old WordPress bookmarks into Joomla I found the best way was to create a text file with just the links, all code scraped out. Then create a new file with Notepad using the code I have cut and pasted in a screenshot below:
Screenshot from It Still Works.
Cut and pasted the text also, because I’ve seen how easy images disappear, wander off and generally get lost. I want to remember how I finally got this far, no doubt I will need to do the same again with other links from my other sites moving from WordPress to Joomla. 
If you feel confident with HTML, you can create a bookmark file from scratch in Notepad. Begin the document with . Then, enter the title as Bookmarks and the header as

Bookmarks

. Then, begin a list with the

tag. Each item of that list should be denoted by a

tag. Then, describe the link via an tag. For example, if you wished to create a bookmark link to http://www.google.com, your tags after

would look like this:

Google. Finish the file with a closing

tag.

So, maybe this will help you, or you may just wonder why someone would do things this way and spend so much time on links few people will actually look at anyway.
Keep wondering, it’s good for you.

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.