Blogging About Blogging

I chose poorly….

I never really gave much thought to the company that hosts my (now) two domain names. I didn’t use my old one for much other than image storage and the occasional tracking page (like for 101 Things). And once I finally decided to move my blog over to WordPress and host it on my own domain, I didn’t see any reason to move hosting companies.

That has caused me nothing but headaches since I started down the road of blogging via WordPress. They don’t automatically update things like the various versions of software they provide, which I sort of understand. They don’t want to really mess up someone’s website by making an update and not telling the owner; that would be bad business. But I really do think they should give you some indication or notification that a new version is available and ask if you want to update it. Having a very out of date version of… something I’ve forgotten now is what was causing WordPress not to auto-install in the first place. I was using the installer THEY provide to their users, but no where did it say “make sure you have the latest version of this thing or it won’t work.” I needed something above version 6, and I was still on 4.4 without having any idea whatsoever that that was something I needed to watch for.

Then today, I couldn’t get WordPress to import my old Blogspot posts. I tried everything under the sun, for NINE HOURS, and it just would NOT work. So I gave up and moved on to trying out some new themes, which also were not working very well. While reading up on some trouble shooting, it told me I needed to look at my PHP settings, and when I did that, I happened to notice the version listed at the top in a drop down. Wait a minute, what version do I have, and what version is available? Again, I was on version 4.x (I forget exactly), which was quite a few versions behind. Now the new themes were working, AND I happened to remember that tweaking some PHP code was one of the possible trouble shooting solutions to the Blogspot importer not working, so I decided to run that again as well. It imported nearly 2000 posts – pictures, comments, and all – from the Blogger XML file in less than 5 minutes.

Nine hours, folks. I spent 9 hours trying to do things that are (allegedly) very simple in WordPress, and that in the end took a whole 5 minutes once I discovered the problem (by accident). But because the behind the scenes software is not kept current AND I’m not notified that a new version is available, it became anything BUT simple. I admit that I have no idea what I’m doing, and I understand just enough of the jargon to be dangerous. (Did I mention that I had to use the backups to restore my blog not once but TWICE while trying to fiddle with things to get them working, before I figured out the software problem?) Part of the reason I chose WordPress is because it is supposed to be so user friendly. I really wish my host wasn’t complicating that. I renewed my hosting with them for another year right before I decided to find a new domain name and move my blog, so I have to stay for a bit. (Most sites I checked with said you can’t move a domain name until it has been in place wherever it is for 60 days, so I’m stuck for at least another month regardless.) But come spring, I will likely be shopping around.

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