Nyssa's Hobbit Hole

Date: August 20, 2016

My gosh, now my site is running like a dream!

A week of aggravation and banging my head against a wall, and now it’s running beautifully.

And doesn’t it look awesome with the Wordpress 2016 theme?  I don’t know why I didn’t upgrade earlier: It fixed the issues I had with the last one–namely, the lack of color in the links, and putting the sidebar on the left instead of the right!  (Come on, we’re English-based, and read from left to right.  The sidebar belongs on the right because it’s less important and needs to be read last!)  It’s also even more mobile-ready than the last one, even puts the sidebar at the bottom instead of putting it into an icon people never click on.

It was that danged firewall in the WordFence security plugin, something they added to WordFence in the past several months.  It doesn’t play well with my site, though the rest of the plugin works fine.

I replaced the core WordPress files with brand-new ones from the new version 4.6, and re-installed WordFence with brand-new files as well, but then forgot to switch off the danged firewall, which automatically goes into “Learning Mode.”  And then by morning, the danged firewall was screwing it all up again.

Danged firewall.

But I re-installed WordFence and then immediately clicked off the danged firewall this time.

Maybe I’ll keep this site after all.

 

About pondering moving from self-hosted to Blogger: Next Morning

Okay, now I wake up and see a site which appears to be running fluidly again.  Maybe I did finally figure out the problem.

But it took a week to do it, a week of not much else getting done.  No reading.  No studying.  No researching.  Very little daydreaming about my novel.

And yeah, I have family obligations to tend to.

Anyway, last night I went over to my old Blogger site and started adding some pages, to see how well that works.  I have to do it one-by-one because while it’s easy to export from Blogger to Wordpress, Blogger doesn’t play well with Wordpress imports.  You have to go through another site to convert your Wordpress database, which I tried a while back, only to find that it didn’t work on my stuff for some reason.  And you can only export it ONE MB at a time.  That’s not much for a site like mine.

Still, Blogger would be my best option: I can indeed put my pages as well as posts over there, and they let you customize.  Wordpress.com won’t let you use Javascript (so no Analytics or more than a mostly-useless Statcounter, unless you pay $$), won’t let you post affiliate links (so no Project Wonderful ads), and then says, “All your content R belongs to US.”  I’m not entirely sure if I could post links to my books on Lulu, though maybe.

However, because of the trouble importing, and the size of my site, and the huge number of internal links and anchors (those things which allow you to jump farther down in a page) which have to be converted, and the stripping of all my paragraph breaks, it would take considerable time and energy to move my site back.

If this website is now working again, then I will probably leave it alone, at least for now.  But leave this open as a future option.  I can give this self-hosted deal ONE MORE CHANCE.

But I tell ya, they don’t tell you when you do this, about all the long hours non-techies spend trying to troubleshoot their websites.  It’s not as easy as they make it sound.  Sure you can figure out things like FTP, which isn’t really that hard.  (It only seems intimidating till you get the hang of it.)  But when your plugins start acting up, or somebody hacks you, the trouble really begins.

Some googling last night brought up a bunch of blog posts from other people who have made the switch BACK to Blogger from self-hosted, or comments complaining of the long hours spent troubleshooting and maintaining.  I also found a post which recommends non-techies think again before doing this.  But most of the results switched my Google search terms around to going FROM Blogger TO self-hosted.  Because who would want to do that?  [facepalm]

Well, here you go, another blog post warning non-techies to think again.  Unless you’re willing to spend extra $$ to a webhost who manages the site for you, such as WPEngine, which looks like it would be perfect for me–IF I had $30/month, which I don’t.  Or you can pay somebody to manage the site for you.  Or if you’re setting up a business website or a forum or some other such thing that needs more versatility than Blogger or Wordpress.com can give you.  If you want a page with order forms, shopping carts, etc., you’re better off self-hosted.

But just a simple website like mine, where the only “selling” directs people to third-party websites who do the orders/money managing for me, I could easily have stayed on Blogger.

So let this be one little blog post, in a Web full of posts extolling the virtues of self-hosting, which tells the truth to non-techies.

If you just want a personal blog/website showcasing your writing, which I have here, and don’t want to spend long hours troubleshooting plugin malfunctions instead of creating,

If you aren’t particularly technical, or maybe you’re good with computers but a page full of code and techie language makes your eyes bug out,

Then think long and hard about self-hosting.  You may be perfectly happy with Blogger or one of the other platforms.

 

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