End of that experiment: I don’t like excerpts on the home page

I edited my theme for this site and tried out showing only excerpts on the home page, tag and category pages, and other archive pages. (Actually, I think I got rid of the date archive pages with a plug-in.*)

I did all of this to prepare for an eventual shift from WordPress to some other platform, preferably one that is based on generating static HTML files that I can upload to my host. I’d like to be able to go 100% static if I so choose once the conversion is done, because I like making pages by hand and updating links.

Unfortunately, as I’ve said in a previous post, I don’t have time for this now.

It was a surprise to realize that I don’t like the excerpts instead of the full posts—especially because I’m happy with the excerpts-only view on a few other sites I have. I think it has to do with the way this theme is set up and the way the excerpts use up so much space on a page. (See the screenshot.)

On my other sites, the excerpts occupy a reasonable portion of screen real estate. Here, one short excerpt pretty much takes up the entire screen on my desktop.

What I really want is custom pages with links or text that I link out to my archived content (in place of the tag and category pages), and an archive list of posts by date the way I have now.

Since I can’t have that without too much work or changing themes, I’m just going to go back to full posts.

Easy! :)

*I put the date archive pages back when I realized the links on my calendar widget don’t work without them. I don’t know what that’ll mean for my shift to a static site someday, or if I’m even still planning one. I’ll leave that decision for later.

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. :)

 

Moving the goal post on 500 words a day

I am a procrastinator. I think I’ve said that many, many times, and it’s right up there in the site description in case I haven’t.

I’m having trouble restarting my 500 words a day streak, and although I know there are reasons beyond the fact that I just want to procrastinate (there are!), I’ve decided that giving myself the opportunity to procrastinate until I’m too tired to hold me feet to the fire isn’t doing me any favors.

So from now on, my 500 words a day minimum (goal, what-have-you) is due before I have lunch.

I could do with skipping a few meals anyway if I’m being honest. :-o I need to lose some weight and I’m not making progress on that either lately, but that’s a story for another day.

As of right now, it’s 2:03 pm and I have to get my 500 words before I have lunch. I had leftover tacos for breakfast, so it’s taken me a while to even start to get hungry. :-) But now that I am, it’s taken my attention away from the tweaks I was doing on this site’s theme (all done, I hope!) and put it back on the fact that I haven’t started writing today.

Since I want to clock six full hours of timed writing today (or finish my book), I do need to get started sooner rather than later.

Making myself do the 500 words a day minimum by lunch might just be the extra push I need to stop this chronic procrastination thing I’ve got going on.

Side note: One reason I was tweaking my theme is because I wanted to change the back-end font to match the front-end font (the composing area in the admin, specifically), and I figured out how to do it by creating a child theme and changing the editor-style.css.

I LOVE composing in this font (PT Sans). I swear it feels like it makes writing easier. I’m considering making this change in my draft style in Word. Who knows? It might make a difference, and I can use all the help I can get.

Anyway, off to write now, so I can eat when I’m actually hungry and not hours later. I know what to do with this story; I just have to make myself sit down and do it.

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. :-)

Why am I writing this post instead of writing my book?

I wish I knew the answer to the question in the title of this blog post, but I do not.

I have a suspicion, though, and it’s a bit unnerving to think about.

I don’t think I’m having fun with writing at the moment.

Not with this book, not with writing fiction in general, not with publishing and the biz.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I think I know why but I’m having trouble getting past it.

I worry too much about writing a good story. I worry too much about perfectionism. I worry too much about the procrastination I do and feel guilty because I do it instead of writing.

I worry about what other people will think of my story when it’s finished and finally out in the world. Even though I really don’t care what people think of it. Except obviously I do. But I don’t! But I must.

Too much worry!

How can one have fun when it’s all worry, worry, worry?

Anyway, time to go do some writing, because I’ve been feeling guilty for not doing any. And because I really need to finish a book and I’ve let myself get into a situation that I’m not sure I can get out of.

I’ll let you know if it works out.

Oh, and by the way, I updated this site to use HTTPS but I’ll be honest, part of me really regrets even having thought it was necessary. I’m really bothered by the idea that older browsers will throw a certificate warning with my particular set up (a free Let’s Encrypt certificate and no unique IP because this site earns $0 toward its own upkeep). I mean, I like having this site and I do throw the occasional affiliate link up for a book or product I feel good about, but earnings to date? Still $0. :)

The reason the certificate warning bothers me so much is because I personally still have and use occasionally two older Vista computers, an Android phone using Android 2.3.4 (as a media device, because it’s not my primary phone anymore), and a laptop running Windows ME (I know, but yes, it really still works! Believe it or not, it will load Word and Excel faster than any other computer I have, although they are the 2000 versions). I checked out my site on the old Android device and sure enough, error, error, error with the certificate. I tried Vista, and same thing, error, error, error. I don’t get online with the Windows ME computer, just because it requires a cable and I’d hate to see what kind of trouble the outdated browsers would get into if I did. ;)

But I really don’t like knowing people using older software are going to get scary warnings when they visit my website.

Finally, the site is just slower on first load. It really speeds up after that, but frankly, if I was a visitor to a random site that took that long to load at first, it’s very possible I’d have already hit the back button.

All that to say I’m this close to just scrapping the whole project and going back to HTTP.

It wouldn’t be that difficult. I’d just reverse what I did to set it up.

First, I changed the General site settings in WordPress, changing my site url from https://www.perpetualized.com to https://www.perpetualized.com.

Second, I ran a couple of SQL queries on my WordPress database to change out the http for https where it was needed.

Third, I’d need to take out a few lines I had to add to my .htaccess file.

I could undo it all in half an hour or less.

Gah. I’m really considering it.

Anyway, time to go write and get this crap off my mind. It’s driving me bonkers.

 

New theme, new theme!

Can you tell I’m excited? I’m so happy to have a new theme for the site. It’s the basic Twenty Seventeen theme, but I really like it. I mean, it’s my favorite of the default WordPress themes to date.

I tried my picture in the header, but it was just too big. I can’t get past the desire to have text above the fold. For some reason, landing on a page that’s just an image really throws me, and I just don’t like it. So no header image, still.

On the other hand, the Visual editor window is so much nicer! I hated Merriweather (the font from Twenty Sixteen). I mean, it was nice to read, but it took up way too much space in the back end when I was trying to compose a post. I’d defaulted to doing all my composing in the Text editor. Now I can use the Visual editor more often again. I love that.

Now, off to put this theme on numerous other websites, because I like it just that much. :D

(Oh my goodness. I just realized I’ve spent 7 hours on this stuff, including a few blogs posts on one of the sites where I updated the theme. It’s 11:25 PM. So there went my plans for more than a few words of writing tonight. I’d better get to it if I don’t want to ruin my streaks.)

Changes coming to categories and tags

It’s about time for my annual sweep up of categories and tags on this blog. I haven’t figured out a better system for organizing my many posts yet, but as soon as I get a good idea, I’m going to make some changes. I really hate the current arrangement of categories and tags. They just don’t work well at all for me!

Update: I’ve started making changes. They’re small so far, but more are coming.

Update the second: I think I’ve decided to let the old posts rest as they are, updating them as I feel like it, and go forward with the changes I want. That’ll mean a bit of a mess, but not too much of one. :)

New theme and yes, that’s my real desk

That’s it! I like this theme a lot! I saw it on a website I shouldn’t have been on because no, I haven’t finished my writing today and it’s not dinnertime.

That desk is where I sometimes work. (Update: pic is gone because it was a header pic and another theme change obliterated it.) I have moved it though. Now it’s at a right angle to that window and in the “command position” in that very small room. Oh, and I have a new chair. I wrote posts about both of those things but I can’t remember when. :D (Found them.)

The only thing I don’t like about this theme is how links aren’t underlined and the text color is almost a match for the link color. Hmm. I might have to tweak it! We’ll see, but absolutely not right now.* I must turn my attention to writing or I’m going to want to kick my own rear later tonight. :o

*Ta-da. I fixed the links anyway. Took about 5-10 minutes to install Child Theme Configurator, generate a child theme, find the link css in the original stylesheet, copy it, paste it in my new child theme, and save. I still shouldn’t have done it. :( Boo on me.

Twenty Twelve Theme

If you haven’t noticed (and I wonder why you would to be honest) I’ve changed from Thesis to WordPress’ own Twenty Twelve theme for this blog. I like Thesis, but it’s become such a hassle to deal with, with the updates and upgrade and the all new back end to learn, and I just couldn’t invest the time. Didn’t want, I should say. So when I realized how much more attractive I found the newest theme from WordPress straight out of the box, I gave it a try, and I must admit, I love it. I don’t need anything too fancy and I’m not a fan of excess images when words are more important to me than pictures most of the time.

I traded out a couple of sites using Thesis for the simpler Twenty Twelve theme and I think it’ll stick. :)