Not so fast, a Joplin versus OneNote update

Joplin, as much as I wanted to love it, just isn’t ready for me. I’ve been testing it pretty heavily to look for break points that could be a deal breaker for me, and I’ve had several issues crop up with the program that have made me finally decide I’m going to have to pass on this for a while and maybe check it out again in the future. Maybe.

It’s taken me a while to get to this point, but I’ve learned my lesson more times than I should have about jumping wholesale into something new if it’s not super easy to go back, and while there are things about OneNote that I don’t like, there are also a lot of things I do like.* So there was no reason to jump too fast and I’m glad I didn’t.

I suspected something was going on recently, and had finally committed to copying the notes and web clippings that I’d taken exclusively in Joplin out to OneNote, when I came across the biggest issue to date for me.

Joplin lost images from the web clippings I took. I was able to go back and reclip the pages into OneNote, but yeah, I really can’t have things go missing once I save them. The issue is a known issue that’s since been fixed, but the problem is that all the notes that lost the images can’t really be recovered, since I would have to go through them one by one and figure out which had lost images and then import from the backups. Definitely not worth the trouble, and not necessary, for me.

So there you go. Consider this my update on Joplin. I’m not switching. It’s just not ready for me. I definitely prefer a set it and let it go solution for my notekeeping.

* I like that OneNote can export entire sections to a Word file. I do my backups of OneNote not as OneNote files (I have a backup of that but I don’t consider it my notes backup, if that makes sense) but as Word docs.

Site updates

I’ve deleted tags and renamed categories many times over the years. I realize it’s not great for search engines that I do that, but I don’t really care. This is my site and I do what I want. :)

That said, I’m always looking for ways to make my tags or categories more meaningful and I have yet to figure out the best way to interlink the 1,300+ posts on this site. Most are rambling, some are meant to be helpful, and the rest are just posts about my day of writing.

The thing is, I’m still considering a move to static HTML for this blog, and if that happens, I don’t want four bazillion gillion tag pages to deal with. I’d mostly like the tag and archive pages to be a list of links with the post title and one short line of text under it, but that’s going to mean some coding in the WP theme. Those pages will have to be generated with a template of some kind because I’m sure not doing that by hand for 1,300+ links.

All that to say there could be changes coming to the site. You’ll know they’re here when you see them.

I’ve already started with a bit of it by adding a plugin that lists all the posts on the site by year. They’re in reverse order, pretty much just like my reading logs. That’s pretty nifty and I like it. I guarantee I’ll keep that even if I go static with the site. :)

 

Easing away from OneNote to Joplin for notes

I went from Evernote to OneNote and now I’m considering a move to Joplin. I’m taking the move slowly, but the more I use Joplin, the more I like it.

1. I’m testing it out still and getting a feel for the program.
2. I need to know it’s reliable.
3. I’m syncing between my laptop, phone, and a tablet, and haven’t come across any issues yet, but that definitely needs thorough testing before I commit.

Joplin has the ability to sync notes from device to device in several ways, and notes are written, edited, and stored in Markdown. It’s more like Evernote than OneNote in how it’s organized. There are notebooks, tags, and notes instead of notebooks, sections, and pages. But that’s not a problem to deal with. Notebooks can be nested, so sub-notebooks feel like sections to me.

The layout is a little busy when all the sidebars are open, but it’s really well proportioned on my desktop and the sidebars can be toggled on and off and you can even choose to show only the editor window or the note window. I didn’t get a screenshot of that layout, but it’s an option.

Joplin’s syncing process sounds more complicated to set up than it actually is, and it turns out Markdown is pretty sweet. I like writing blog posts and notes in text only, because the files are simple and small and go anywhere and can be read and edited on every device I have.

Markdown is easy, and that’s pretty sweet too. Apparently some of the text formatting shortcuts in WordPress’s classic visual editor are based on Markdown.

Joplin doesn’t have an entire domain devoted to it yet, don’t know if it will ever have, to be honest, but it doesn’t need it because all the syncing you do for your notes is through your own accounts or cloud setup. I use the default Dropbox, because my notes repository isn’t huge and probably won’t be even if I add in all the notes I have in OneNote. I don’t attach files often, because I prefer to have them stored independently.

Joplin is open source and the associated forum and project seems to have plenty of development going on. There’s also a decent amount of documentation for the program. It looks and works great on my phone and tablet, too.

All in all, I really like it, and I think this might be the open source alternative to OneNote and Evernote I’ve been hoping for.

ETA: I forgot to mention a very important feature of Joplin and that’s that it will export an entire notebook of notes into individual .md text files (Markdown text files). (A text editor like Notetab or Notepad++ can open them just fine, although Windows Notepad doesn’t recognize the line breaks.) There’s also the option to export individual notes as PDFs.

All Joplin needs for me to be even happier is an option to export entire notebooks to PDF for archiving, and an export option to create HTML, .doc(x) or .odt files and I would be very happy indeed.

Update: Not so fast, a Joplin versus OneNote update

Where’d the link options go in the new WordPress editor?

Unless I’m missing something (entirely possible), you can no longer select a post from a list of older content by using the link options when you create or edit a link in the new WordPress editor. You can only search for the content, and if you can’t find it, well, you’d better open another browser window and prepare to hunt it down and get the link that way.

What the hell, WordPress?

The old way to add a link

The new way to add a link

If you’ll notice, the options bring up only the option to open the link in a new tab. You no longer get that helpful list of recent posts.

Blah. Just another way WordPress has degraded on the usability front. I’m just so disappointed with this new version that I’m seriously considering a change back to static HTML websites for the first time in years.

Reviews and comments about the new WordPress block editor

I wrote what I thought about the WordPress 5.0 update and the new block editor in my own previous post.

I’m not satisfied to be unhappy about the change all by my lonesome. So here are some links to other people’s reviews and thoughts about the new editor.

Reviewing Gutenberg: Is WordPress’ New Editor Up to Scratch?

Thorough and to the point. It addresses the topic from a viewpoint I share, but I am totally biased. I don’t like the editor.

Welcoming WordPress 5.0 And The New Editor

Mostly a positive look at WP 5 and the new editor, with a bit of a take-back at the end.

WordPress Gutenberg will be the end of WordPress

This one was written by someone who appears to have had so many of the same feelings I have about WordPress’s new update, Gmail and Google Calendar and their regression to a mobile first interface to the detriment of the desktop environment, etc, that I got sucked into reading lots of stuff there. (Gotta say, the article about the three-foot long erection was probably the highlight of my reading that day.)

7 Reasons to Not Switch to the Gutenberg WordPress Editor

I have a few more links that I want to post but I’ll have to get back to it. They’re on a tablet somewhere and I’m supposed to be writing fiction. Also, I’m hungry and the new WP editor has stolen enough of my time! :)

Update: I’ve switched to the “Disable Gutenberg” plugin instead of the “Classic Editor” plugin.

Update again: I’ve switched back to the “Classic Editor” plugin after noticing a few glitches with the other one. It doesn’t matter in the long run because I’m abandoning WordPress on all my sites that use it. I just don’t like the direction WordPress seems to be headed in and I’ve got other options. :-)

Looking for a comments alternative for WordPress

Basically, the only reason I don’t want to move from WordPress to static HTML (after years of thinking WordPress would make it easier to post and give me options away from my computer but in reality almost never finding that to be true for me) is that I like having comments enabled.

The fact is, I rarely get comments. Out of 1,305 posts, I’ve gotten 27 comments here and since I respond to most comments, only half those aren’t me. In fact, I filtered and searched and 14 of the 27 were me.

So yeah, there’s not a really good reason to want comments enabled but I do.

I’ve tried Disqus in the past on other static sites and it worked, but it was a hassle. (I apparently think lots of things are hassles, but what can I say? I do.) And there are ads. But it is an option.

I’d like a better option. So if you know of an alternative—a way to get comments that isn’t a hassle for a static HTML website, I’m listening. :-)

On the other hand, I’m also seriously considering going plain old HTML anyway. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at an HTML5 site because I really stopped making sites before it was standard.

And finally, I’m keeping an eye on ClassicPress, but before I do anything with that, I’m going to need a little time. It seems there’s some bad blood there between the CP and the WP people or something because I’ve already found one person who’s writing code to help plugin authors break their plugins if they’re being used in ClassicPress. So, sounds like sabotage is a possibility? (Which really did just give me an idea for a murder mystery. Holy shit. I need to get out on the web more.)

Obviously I just don’t like change

So I’m all aggravated about the WordPress 5.0 block editor, and I log in to my Gmail account because in all the aggravation of writing that big test post with images in it, I’m making links to some books and I accidentally buy an ebook from Amazon that I don’t need. I’ve already read the book through the library, so of course I returned it immediately, but now I’m logging in to Gmail to check something and I realize there was a reason I don’t log in to Gmail anymore.

I use Thunderbird to check my email or I use my phone. Because Gmail’s web interface is the most godawful thing I’ve seen this decade. Unless you count Google Calendar, because that thing looks like it was made for a six year old. Anyway. Now I’m just depressed because obviously the taste of the people creating all this stuff is becoming so far removed from me that I’m thinking I’m pretty much guaranteed to have to learn to live with a whole lot of things I hate for the rest of my life.

The irony is that Google keeps sending me notices that one of my websites has accessibility issues because the text is too small to read (it says), but the text on the website in question is considerably easier to read than the soft, fuzzy, not really dark enough mess that is the text on Gmail’s page. Staring at that page just gives me a headache.

I really should have spent my evening writing. It would have been a lot more fun.

Should I update to WordPress 5.0?

I am torn this morning about whether or not I want to update WordPress to version 5.0. I did the update on a smaller site I have (it has about 3 posts) and it went well. No issues to speak of. I also created a post with the new block editor (which I had already tried it out a little when it was called the Gutenberg plug-in). The post turned out fine.

My problem comes in with the actual editor. It’s a bit of a hassle for me. All the little boxes and blocks flaring to life as my cursor scrolls over them. I like seeing the WYSIWYG version and working in the “Visual” editor while being able to quickly flip to the “Text” editor (really, the code editor), and make whatever changes are needed there.

The new block editor is kind of a mess really. As far as I can tell, you can edit the HTML of each block but you can’t edit it as a whole. So lots of extra steps to move one bit of code to another place in the post compared to how it’s currently done.

Screenshot of options showing how to change from visual editor to code editor

NOPE. I just realized I am wrong about this. (I went to the little site that I updated and checked.)

I can select the code editor and see the entire post as code but the way to get to it is separated from the way to get to the HTML editor for each block.

So a bit of a hassle but not as bad as I feared.

Anyway, I’m just not sure I’m ready to change. Being wrong about the HTML editor doesn’t really change how busy the new block editor feels. And then I do have some sites where I use a custom theme I made myself from scratch. It’s held up really well through the upgrades but I’m kind of scared to try it on this one, because of the new structure.

I’m conflicted and I think my best option in this case is to wait until I’m not. I have a book to write and I’ve only written about 300 words today.

Dealing with issues that might come up because of an update going bad isn’t how I need to spend my day. I have too many websites to update to think nothing will go wrong (and I’ve had that happen often enough for me to know it’s a possibility). I hope it’ll be a seamless update for every one of them; I’ll be planning for it not to be!

Update: Well, I am not that happy with WordPress 5.0. I finally updated on a site with more posts and wrote one that used images and the first thing I found was that dragging and dropping an image once it was settled as a block within a paragraph block, it wasn’t coming out short of deleting and recreating it or going into the code editor and sorting through the junk (oh lord is there a lot of junk in there now) and then cutting and pasting it where I want it. [Yeah, I figured this one out, and let me just say that it was a PITA. I had to go search out the answer online. Make the image center aligned so it became its own block again, then move it above the paragraph you want it to merge into before you choose left or right alignment again. My god. Everything takes more steps in WP5. Even deleting a damn paragraph break takes extra keystrokes before two paragraph blocks will merge into one.]

I kind of think I’m not ever updating on any of my sites that matter to me. In fact, I’m now thinking I might just go back to static sites. Plain old HTML is looking pretty attractive right now. WordPress 5.0, not so much.

Looks like I’ll be stuck with the Classic Editor plug-in on the sites I did update until I make up my mind. One thing I can say for sure: I won’t be using WP5’s block editor as is. It wastes way too much of my time. I don’t write in damn blocks. I write, merge, delete, add, merge, delete, write, add, and shift text all over the place before I’m settled with a post. All those little blocks are meant for short-form writers. They sure as hell aren’t meant for me.

Update (the second): I have installed the 5.0 update (because I like keeping things updated for security reasons), but I did install the Classic Editor plug-in, and I’m going to stick with it. I’ve tried multiple additional posts with the block editor on a few sites as I updated them, and I just have to say that the new block editor is hideously inefficient. I tried to imagine what it would be like once I got used to it, but the sad truth is that it’s just a hassle. The blocks are unwieldy when I just want to do a few paragraphs, a quote, an image, and a quick publish. I won’t be using it. I guess someday I’m going to have to consider going back to static HTML or handwrite my own PHP site. But that worry is for another day!

Microsoft Word or LibreOffice Writer?

I’ve been telling myself for a while I needed to switch to LibreOffice Writer. I canceled my Office 365 subscription because I hated Word 2016 just that much. I spent three years as a subscriber and wasted good money on it and never could get used to it enough to actually use it. I used the OneDrive space and OneNote 2016. That was it.

I didn’t hate everything about it, not by far, but there was enough.

  • Lack of ClearType support. My computer really needs that—or maybe my eyes. Either way, the type in Word 2016 looks horrible and since I spend a lot of time staring at the type, that doesn’t work for me.
  • Styles and design tabs were reorganized into something that felt a lot less intuitive.
  • They made Excel green. I mean, I don’t hate green in principle, but I really hate that green. It doesn’t help that I love the blue of Excel 2007. (I am not so enamored with the gray of LibreOffice Calc, but hell, at least it isn’t green.)

There’s a more complete list of all the reasons I hate Word 2016, but suffice to say, I could not get used to it and never ended up writing more than half of one book in it.

HOWEVER.

Yeah. All caps.

I am finding it really difficult to switch to LibreOffice from Word 2007 and Excel 2007.

Calc is rough to look at every day compared to Excel 2007 while Writer has some annoying little glitches that make me want to open my documents in Word 2007 and just write.

  1. Writer jumps around sometimes, such as when I hide whitespace.
  2. Writer can’t find and replace ^P paragraph marks. That matters to me because I sometimes mistakenly put a space as the first letter of a paragraph and a quick search and replace before I do my final spell check takes care of that in Word.
  3. Lots of people say Word is unstable with large documents, but I haven’t found that to be true for me. I have a complete series file for each of my series. One is 570,462 words long. Opens just fine in Word, and searching the file is fast and easy.
  4. Calc loses my row height when I use the format painter to copy a format to a different cell. I’m really not sure what that’s about, but I use the format painter all the time, and ugh. I like my row heights the way they are and don’t want them changed, and they shouldn’t, because I’m copying a format from a row that’s already the height I like.
  5. I just really miss my routine. I like Word 2007 and Excel 2007.

My reasons for switching make sense, and I’ve already formatted a couple of paperbacks in LibreOffice Writer and YES, it is so much easier than Word once you figure out how the hell to use the page styles. You do have better control over the orphans and widows and hyphenation options. It really cut down on how much time it took to manually adjust my page spreads so things looked good.

But for the actual day to day writing? I miss Word 2007.

And as for Calc versus Excel, don’t even ask. I miss Excel 2007 like it’s a phantom arm. Calc can do everything I need it to do, and I still miss Excel 2007. That’s the one that’s killing me.

Sigh.

 

Weird ways I use my calendar

I use a Google calendar for all kinds of things, most of them very normal. I use it for my scheduled appointments and events, and I use it as a task list. I hear you’re not supposed to do that, and I understand why because I’ve read the trusty Getting Things Done book.

I found a lot in that book that helped me set up some systems that I continue to use nearly ten years later. But I still choose to use my calendar for tasks. My brain doesn’t do well with stuff that is out of my sight. I’m very much an out of sight, out of mind kind of person. And when I’m not, it’s because I haven’t been able to stop thinking about whatever thing it is I’m afraid is out of sight and will be out of mind shortly. :)

Most tasks are just set up as “All Day” events and when I finish them, I add a “+” at the beginning of the event name. It’s easy and it lets me search backward when I need to.

Such as: when was the last time I reconciled my accounts in GnuCash? Ah…that’s right, August 20th and it wasn’t part of my normal routine, because I didn’t “+” the event, I added a new event straight into the calendar. :)

But then there are the weird things, like my weight.

I set up my weight as an event and throw it in there every so often just so I can look back and see where things stand. Search makes it easy since the keyword is “pounds.”

Personally, I appreciate the broad overview this gives me. It’s easier to see significant changes when you get rid of extraneous data like what you’d see in a daily log.

I also keep affirmations of one kind or another in my calendar. I have some of them set up as recurring All Day events, so just about the time I’m likely to forget them, they pop up again.

I add All Day events for anything I want to remember, really, from “stray kitten arrived” to “woke up with vertigo” (which happened last week).

I recently created a calendar called “Writing” (separate from my publishing calendar) and I think I’m about to start using it in the same way for memorable stuff related to my books. Stuff like “came up with twist for SB” (SB = Some Book). :)

The one thing I don’t do is use my calendar to track my daily word count. Too much data. If I search for “words” I would be sure to get pages and pages of useless info, because I already keep up with my daily word count in a spreadsheet.

But now that I’m thinking about it, I am definitely going to add a yearly word count to my calendar. I do have a yearly word count summary in my spreadsheet, but the numbers are spread out and not so easy to see side-by-side. I don’t want to make any changes to my spreadsheet, so this will give me a different option for viewing my year-end word counts.

Seriously, Google?

Google is dying. How do I know this? Because I searched for something today and on page 4 (just page 4), the results were so nonsensical that it really makes me question whether or not Google is any good as a search engine any longer.

I mean, seriously.

My terms weren’t in good order, but they weren’t weird, by any means.

hate google calendar's new look want desktop software to access calendar

Because yeah. I’m still stuck on that. :)

Here’s what made me go “huh?”

I don’t even know what to say about this because it shows such a decline in quality of search results that it’s left me speechless. There should have been far more than 4 pages of results for these terms that were a better fit than Chick-fil-A. Right?

Forget that, I know I’m right.

:D

Apparently, Google’s day has come and gone.

Just one more reason I’m so glad I don’t live or work in California

Recent Developments Regarding the California Consumer Privacy Act

It’s not that I don’t value my privacy, because I certainly do. It’s not that I don’t like California, because I’d visit, given the right opportunity. But I also value small businesses and think the burdens they bear are already excessive. Small businesses are being crushed.

I run a small business as a self-published author, and I often get overwhelmed with what I’m supposed to do to stay fully compliant with the laws and regulations I operate within, and that doesn’t even take federal, state, local, and international tax issues into consideration.

I sincerely hope other states don’t follow suit and we all end up with more of these burdensome laws in place.

It’s undeniable: every day, we lose another little piece of freedom to the bureaucracies of the world. From the moment society turned to civilization, we’ve been on the road to complete enslavement to each other. The day will come. Not even the wealthy will escape in the end. :D

Maybe I should write that book. Hm…

Some things to keep in mind about using WordPress for your author site

After reading another post in a forum where someone has had a WordPress site hacked, I felt compelled to write this post.

Lots of authors let others set up websites for them and have no clue how they work, and the designer/developer decides to use WordPress to build the site because WordPress makes it easy for inexperienced website owners (authors) to post content and it’s free software.

But WordPress is not that easy to run for an inexperienced user, nor is it a set-it and forget-it solution, and that’s often totally forgotten.

I have a lot of WordPress-based websites and there are some key factors to keeping them safe you need to understand before you let anyone set up a site for you using WordPress.

  1. You’ve got to keep the thing updated. If the person setting up the site isn’t going to be doing that for you, you have to learn how to do this. It’s super important. If you don’t, you’re going to get hacked. Just no way around that.
  2. You need to be able to make backups of the WordPress site and media files on the server and the database that your WordPress site stores your content in. If the person maintaining your site doesn’t do this, you need to do it. Just like with your books, you need backups. Things can happen to databases and files can get corrupted or changed and need to be replaced. You need to be able to make these backups.
  3. You have to stay away from old plug-ins, or any plug-in that isn’t well-maintained. The best bet is to always only use plug-ins you absolutely need and make sure they have a reputation for being safe. There are plug-ins out there that are just back doors for hackers. You have to be careful with plug-ins.
  4. Highly customized and complicated themes are not good choices when the site is being run by an inexperienced WordPress user. WordPress code changes, security flaws get exploited, and depending on a designer/dev for updates and fixes can get really expensive. It’s safest to stick with customized child themes based on common, well-maintained themes, such as the core themes that come with WordPress.
  5. Using the default “admin” username is a big no-no and yet lots of designers/devs still set WordPress up with “admin” as the main user. Don’t let them!
  6. You’ll need to use a long (and I mean really long) password for your username. Brute force attacks are an issue with WordPress so you need a long password.

I’m sure there are even more things to keep in mind if you’re letting someone set up a WordPress site for you, but these are the biggies that come to mind.

If you’re not comfortable with web stuff, using WordPress is not going to be a safe option for your website unless you have a designer/developer you can rely on and you’re not afraid to spend some money making sure things stay updated and safe.

WordPress is great. I love it. But I also know my way around a database, can do some light php coding, and have been building and running websites since 2001. There are definitely costs associated with WordPress-based websites, including real money and time. It’s a trade off. You learn to do a lot of things yourself and save the money, or you save the time and pay.

Anyway, if you ended up here because you’re thinking about letting someone set up a WordPress site for you, I hope this helps you make your decision with your eyes open.

:-)

The new Gmail interface makes me miss Yahoo

I don’t know who it is that Google’s designing for, but the new Gmail (and Contacts) site as viewed on my computer screen reminds me of a large print book. For babies. Maybe that’s who they’re designing for! I don’t know. But the colors are blindingly bright and the white space is so excessive that it makes me miss Yahoo (which I pretty much hated).

First it was Google+, then Calendar, and now Gmail. I’m seriously ready to abandon them all. Actually, I did abandon Google+. I also avoid visiting the Google Calendar website unless I have to now, after using it for my homepage for years. Trust me when I say it is not my homepage any longer. I stick with my phone’s Google Calendar app, because at least they did that right.

Anyway, I’m just venting. I’m so frustrated by all the design trends that are ruining website usability for actual computer users. I realize mobile is huge these days (I myself spend a lot of time online on my various devices!), but there’s just no need for designers to ruin the screen versions of websites to make a mobile site work well.

Sigh.

Trouble with a space bar

As someone with shortish fingers, I happen to enjoy typing on my laptop’s keyboard. Unfortunately, that’s not an option right now, because my space bar started sticking a few days ago. Popping the bar off and cleaning it didn’t help, so now I’m waiting on a replacement keyboard.

That’ll be fun. I’ve never replaced a laptop keyboard before. To be blunt, the videos I’ve seen for this model make it look like a PITA. There are rivets to be removed.

While I was shopping, I picked up a few other laptop parts to fix a few nagging issues that have developed this year since the parts weren’t expensive: the keyboard, of course; a front plate to replace the one I let get sticky because I wiped the rubbery surface with alcohol, not realizing I definitely shouldn’t do that; and a new fan, because the current one rattles every so often for no obvious reason.

The problem I’ve run into is that computers aren’t improving at the same rate as they used to, and I bought what I thought was a good computer at the time in 2012, and well, it must have been very good, because I can’t buy a better computer than the one I have for anything like the very reasonable $700ish I paid for this one in 2012.

If the parts work out, that’ll be $57 for a nice little refurbish job on a computer that I’m still happy with and that probably has a couple of good years left in it. And I won’t be forced into Windows 10 or have to finally commit to moving everything to Linux.

It would have been nice if the keyboard had lasted longer, but six years of daily use? Probably not a bad deal.

A theme change

I’m a little bored with the Twenty Seventeen theme I’ve been using here on the site, so today I started messing around with themes, figured out how to change the font to PT Sans, tried it out on several of the themes I have installed, deleted a bunch of them after realizing I was never going to use them again, and finally settled on changing my theme to Twenty Fifteen, a theme especially suited to a blog like mine (heavy on text, uses tables sometimes, and is pretty much just a blog).

Twenty Seventeen has a terrible layout for tables, puts the numbers and bullets for lists outside the margins of the paragraphs, and has a so-so default font (Libre Franklin). (I know, I know! It’s not that different from PT Sans—but it is!)

I also didn’t like that you can’t see tags or categories for posts on the home page. You had to click through to the post. That’s just an extra click that’s not needed for diary style posts.

I need to update my favicon. It’s been ages since I made the one I’m using now, and it matches the color and font styles of the old Twenty Thirteen theme, which was awful and I’m not sure why I even used it for a while. :D

Since I need to start another writing session, I’m going to stop this ramble right there. I have a scene to gut and words to write. :-)

Recommendation! Don’t use Wix for your author website

I wanted to save a few articles from an author’s website to read later, so I sent the links to Pocket using the right-click context menu. It’s something I do regularly when I want to follow links but don’t actually want to do it right then for whatever reason. (Because I should be writing!)

So I went to do some reading in Pocket later on my phone and here’s what I found:

See that “books”? Those are supposed to be posts/pages on that site, specific pages that I wanted to read. “Books” is the site homepage, and if you chop it off books like lots of people do (myself included) to get to the main author site, you don’t get a page at all. You get a 404 error. Now that could be the author’s problem, maybe they set up the site wrong, but the thing I’m concerned about, for every person out there who might be using Wix as a website, is the fact that individual pages are not viewable in things like Pocket.

From the pages I’d saved:

Every page I had saved was just like this. Blank.

I’m blaming Wix for this because Wix supplies the templates. Isn’t that the whole point of Wix, to make it easy for people who don’t know how to make a website or just don’t want to fool with the details?

Now I have to go try to remember what pages I wanted to read and find them again. Or if it’s even worth the trouble.

My suggestion to anyone considering Wix for anything as important as an author website is to skip it. Wix does not function the way it should.

Fiction Writers’ Social revisited

I’ve updated my Fiction Writers’ Social Google+ private community.*

It’s a community for fiction writers. To be exact: A conflict-free zone of friendly chit-chat and interaction, before, during, and after the day’s writing is done. Here’s to a fun, lively place to share news, chit-chat with fellow authors about life in general, and talk shop. All members should be respectful of others, tolerant of different mindsets, and friendly.

If you’re interested in joining, leave a comment on this post or get in contact with me. I’ll send you an invite.

Keep in mind that you need to be friendly and at least mildly active in the community to get anything out of it. This is a social group so any kind of active self-promotion is a no-no.

It’s also a new community, so yeah, I’m the only current member as of this writing. :D

*By updated I mean I retired the old community which never really got off the ground (the members weren’t very active) and which was linked to my personal identity. I started a new community of the same name that’s associated with Lynn and Perpetualized.