Monday Mishaps: Secret Code

In the post I introduced the new blog site, I mentioned that I am not someone who is particularly technology savvy. When I changed over from Blogger to WordPress there was a very steep learning curve, but whenever you make a huge change there is bound to be things that go wrong. This on the other hand was way above my skill level.

When I switched over, I got the domain name and looked at my computer screen with a look like, ‘well… now what’? Believe me when I tell you, Google earned their pay that week. I also went so far as to purchase a book. I desperately needed help.

Wordpress Book

I have a friend who has a WordPress blog, but they were quite busy and unable to help me much. I ended up getting help from Heather Ordover from the CraftLit podcast.

I originally emailed her because I really liked the look of her site and wondered where she got some of the widgets. I am really glad she was so helpful because I wouldn’t have been able to start the site without her help!

The barebones of the site, believe it or not, was the easy part. All the fine-tuning that needs to be done is quite a lot. It is daunting as well. Some of my more spectacular fails include thinking I was getting a lot of people signing up for my email notifications. This is when I learned about spammers.

For those not in the know, like I was, spam is massive amounts of irrelevant information being sent indiscriminately. In my case, there were probably 40 people per day signing up for my blog, but they are not real users, just robotic emailers trolling sites to find some unsuspecting blogger. The Wikipedia article on spam is actually quite intesting. I’ll link to it here. There is a history of spam originating back to the telegraph. It makes me feel a little bit better that this kind of thing was happening in 1978. It makes it feel much less Skynet to me. We are safe from the machines… for now.

Tin Hat

Really the hardest part about building a website, even with the assistance of WordPress is the code. Oh my word, the code. When I was trying to get the twitter widget to work, I had no idea what to do. The programmers make it pretty easy for you too, just fill in the blanks. There are even little question marks beside the blanks in case you don’t know what it is. There were several weeks where I just did not possess the amount of brainpower, and patience, required. There is a number you need to enter.

First you need to install the plugin, then go into Twitter itself to confirm that it is you with the plugin and you need said number. Going into Twitter for whatever number it is was like navigating a labyrinth, there were large digital pits with pointy sticks at the bottom, dead ends and all manner of beguiling fog blocking the way. Eventually I managed to get the number, and it wouldn’t work. I think the internet was just having a bad day or something because I have no idea how I fixed that one.

Over all I managed to get the new site up and running, my shining moment was when I managed to get all the traffic from the old blog forwarded to the new site. To clarify, if you never updated your internet bookmark for this blog, you would automatically be forwarded to the new one. You cannot get onto the old URL at all because you would only get this site. I felt very clever after this, mentally patted myself on the back, and RAN AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER. I wouldn’t want to mess it up or trying to add a widget and get a huge failure. The best knowledge is knowing when to stop.