Blog Maintenance – July 2018

So, I’ve got a headache and I’m cranky and I’m pissed off at — surprise, surprise — WordPress.

Sunday is our day off from exercise and we typically spend the day relaxing. Relaxing means I work on photos, writing, and this blog and Melisa does her quilting and watches some of her shows. 

Well, early this morning I had the bright idea to reorganize the blog. 

“What do it mean?”

Well, Bob, it means I restructure the menu, categories, and tags. The categories are mostly for my benefit but they also become the menu headers. If you look at the black bar right above the title of the post and below my header photo, you’ll see it’s missing my typical menu. Right now, it’s just “Home” and “About”  and a new “FAQ” whereas it used to have other stuff like “Writing” and “Photography” and so on. 

For a little while, the menu will remain sparse. I’ve created all the categories I want, but I’m still tweaking the order and grouping and will rebuild the menu once I have them settled. 

Edited to add: You’ll see the menu change and stuff being moved around. Also, since I’ve renamed and/or created categories, not all are yet populated. I’ll announce when I’m done. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something specific, use the search box at the top of the sidebar.

So, why am I pissed off? Well, WordPress has a very poor interactive category manager. Worst yet, the “old” manager does some neat things the new one won’t let you do. BUT . . . when it does it, it gives you an error and you have to get back to the root menu. The “new” manager also does some neat things, but it has some quirks that are annoying. For instance, you can’t demote a category within a group because it will give you the error that it already exists. 

It took me a while to discover workarounds so that I can get the organizational tree the way that I want it but it involved going back and forth between the old and new manager and moving categories outside of a given group and renaming them in the process and then move the newly named categories back into the grouping I wanted and then rename them to the original name. 

If it sounds complicated, it’s because it is. Unless you’re wanting to rearrange your category hierarchy, you needn’t worry about it (not that you were). 

Bottom line, rather than working on posting the 346 photos I processed from the Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum, I spent the day wrestling with WordPress. Oh, well; it had to be done. 

As part of the reorganization, I’m getting a new footer since no one seems to have clicked on any of the links for quite some time and also some of the associated posts are a tad outdated given the change WordPress has implemented since I’d written them. 

Hence, the new “FAQ” page that contains most of my previous disclaimers. The footer below is the new format although it too might get tweaked here and there. 

And now, a photo for them who will only look at the photo and not read any of the above.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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22 Responses to Blog Maintenance – July 2018

  1. WordPress change things. They don’t care about the inconvenience. Just leave it to users to find their own solution. I love them but I hate them at the same time!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice picture…yes, I always do look at the pictures. But I also read what you write…at least until it starts getting very technical. Not that it’s not interesting, but I’m keeping an eye on warties and five new goslings for the egyptian geese at the Pond, and looking to see where the crocodile is at the moment, so I leave the technical part to you, especially when we are all trying to get used to a camera that seems to have everything set up backwards, which makes life even more complicated than usual. Hope you both are having a good summer!

    Like

    • disperser says:

      I try to not get too technical . . . if anyone is interested, they can always ask in the comments.

      I’ve not dropped by Facebook lately, so I’ve not seen your posting on the Pond (although I should make a point of it). Glad to hear that’s still interesting and fulfilling for you.

      Our summer is . . . summery. Hot and humid. Tropical, even.

      Like

  3. desleyjane says:

    That’s a pain that you can’t use the old manager!

    Like

    • disperser says:

      You can, but here’s the procedure:
      1) choose a category
      2) edit and save
      3) get an error you’re not authorized to change or
      3a) get an error the item can’t be found
      4) backstep through three screens or close the tab and open a new one, go to the dashboard again, then Posts, then Categories, page to appropriate page. check to see if the change was made (usually has).

      One of the things you can’t do with either is “move” a post from one category to another (at least that I can find — also what I read).

      The new manager is better for organizing except if you want to take an existing category and make it a subcategory (moving, not renaming). It tells you the name already exists (which, yes, it does since you’re moving it). You then have to rename it when you move it and then use the old manager to rename it back once in place.

      Those are the two main problems but there are a few other quirks. Overall, a day’s effort to get where I am now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. AnnMarie says:

    Even with all that effort, there must be some satisfaction in your ability to ‘manage’ the blog. You’re quite good at these things.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Satisfaction is not the correct word . . . defiance is closer.

      I can usually work things out, but not happy when they are poorly designed or poorly implemented.

      Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      I thought of the perfect analogy . . . It’s the same feeling one has after walking out of the DMV with a driver’s license . . . You’ve bested all the obstacles and aggravation they threw at you . . . But it wasn’t fun and seems kind of pointless for them to operate that way.

      Like

  5. looks the same to me, but then I never bother with that stuff on top, I just go for the meat,
    In your case Spam!

    Like

    • disperser says:

      You are correct that very few people use the menu . . . because very few people have more than a passing interest.

      It’s not quite the same and it’s not fully populated yet, but it’s like everything else I do . . . I try to “make things right” even if no one ever notices or cares.

      . . . and leave my Spam alone; it’s my Spam; if you want some, go get your own.

      Like

  6. Just thinking about trying to do WP maintenance on my own blog makes my pea-brain hurt!

    You, on the other hand, are good at such things!

    That photo makes me feel serene!
    HUGS!!! :-)

    Like

  7. Nice picture.
    WP often drives me crazy… I am avoiding reorganizing and cleaning up blog mess until I am really really bored

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Thanks.
      I had to reorganize because it was difficult to sort through all the categories. I’ll now have to clean up the tags, but that will be done slowly as I go through all the posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did that a few years ago…of course need to redo it all over again …just can’t face it yet.
        Have you noticed how WP is becoming more and more encouraging to businesses? Years ago business on this platform was totally discouraged…times change – like it did with FB from the My Space vs Facebook era to now

        Like

      • disperser says:

        I started out with the idea of having really detailed categories for nearly everything but I wasn’t conscientious about arranging them and over the course of 8 years they got unruly . . . I’m now more careful about assigning them or even adding new ones.

        I plan, instead, to rely on keywords for finding stuff . . . and that’s the next thing I need to clean up, but that will be a slower and longer process.

        As for the business, I know they’re pushing people into the higher plans, but I’ve not seen a functional difference in how it works. The greater impact has been due to the migration toward a mobile-friendly platform and that’s more to do with catering to the desires and needs of people who use the platform much differently than I do.

        In fact, I was on a chat with support because of a problem with a post and came to find out that the legacy editor and dashboard is geared more and as such is not supported as well as the newer interface. For that problem and for that post, I had to switch using the new editor just to get it published.

        Most business accounts end up switching to the Worpress.org platform which is different from the WordPress.com platform with different functionality and support.

        Like

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