I was all set to be a rebel and then I realized I don’t have time

I wrote a long post about how I was abandoning WordPress a few days ago, and then I started the process by creating some HTML5 templates for one of my websites (the easiest to convert), but after two days of fiddling, it hit me hard that I don’t really have time for this. I am as much a perfectionist with the websites as I am with the writing and what should take one hour takes ten. Not my favorite confession. But—

1. I plan to finish a book this month. And by gosh I’m doing it.
2. The classic editor plugin isn’t going anywhere for a while, so for me nothing’s changed. If it changes suddenly, well, then, I can start moving on this project again (make no mistake, it’s a project for the future, because I am going to do it eventually)
3. The time will come, but maybe jumping right into it right now when I’m actively looking for things to tear me away from writing (but shouldn’t be!) isn’t what I need to do.
4. It feels like an obsession in the making. It took all day yesterday of doing other things and distracting myself to not think obsessively about it. I feel like I’m borderline this morning. A stray thought here or there could pull me right back in. So I’m going to have to do something this morning that is distracting in itself. Writing fits that bill. And since I need to write to finish that book this month, yep, that’s the one I’m going to aim for, right after I do a little morning reading (there’s a fan fiction story for Psych calling my name).

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. :-)

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!

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.

:-)

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.

Thoughts on WordPress’s new Gutenberg editor

So I ran across mention of WordPress 5.0 and the new editor that’s going to be in it and I was immediately overcome by visions of fear and loathing for something that was sure to ruin a good thing. :-0

Then I followed up on it, downloaded the add-in that’s available (Gutenberg) to give it a test run on one of my websites. :-)

I like it.

I was really surprised by how easy everything was and the clean look of it, and now all that fear and loathing has morphed into something much more like cautious excitement.

My one big reservation about it is how cluttered the text view is now, because it does add in a lot of extraneous (necessary, I’m sure) code to make everything work.

But overall I’m pretty well comfortable with the idea of it, and I look forward to it becoming part of WordPress’s core functionality.

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.)

WordPress 4.7 has a bug in the editor window

The WordPress 4.7 update went well, but writing a post just became more difficult, because—bug. Possibly several bugs.

The window jitters and moves when trying to delete a space and just generally doesn’t react well to scrolling and other stuff at random times.

The table issue I complained about previously is still there. I can’t delete most tables in the visual editor. Instead, I have to go the text editor window to delete them.

But the jittery window is new, as is the fact that I was trying to delete an empty line while in the visual editor and it kept not deleting and the editor window and right side menu just kept jumping up and down. I had to go to the text editor to delete the blank line and the text editor said all that was there was a non-breaking space.

I’ve turned off the “Enable full-height editor and distraction-free functionality” and things feel a little more stable, but the fact is, the WordPress 4.7 editor has problems.

:D

Another WordPress bug to bug me: I can no longer delete tables in the visual editor

And today I discovered that no matter what I do, I can no longer delete tables in the visual editor of WordPress. This matters because tables that look quite small and should be able to be deleted with a simple highlight and delete are often a pain in the butt to delete in the text editor because the code for tables can be quite long on the page.

I certainly hope this one doesn’t hang around a long time. I absolutely hate having to switch to the text editor every time I need to delete a table. I paste tables into WordPress a lot and I’m grateful that at least I got that functionality back after it disappeared in one the previous WordPress updates. But still…

It’s not the end of the world, by far, but it’s definitely not my favorite thing. :(

WordPress Update 3.9.1 Bug?

Well, the update to WordPress 3.9.1 went fine, but yesterday, shortly thereafter, loading pages in the admin became problematic. About every fourth or fifth click/page load, I end up with nice blank white page. :D

Ah, well, I’m sure it’ll be fixed soon but it’s still a bit annoying. Considering how much this software cost me … oh, wait. I think I’ll shut up now. :D

I love WordPress (most of the time*).

Also, I have no real way of knowing if WordPress is truly the issue so I’m not going to bother with any kind of bug hunting. I have lots of words to write today.***

Just in case, I reinstalled the update because it was a simple click. I love how WordPress has become ever easier to keep updated.

*See link for details.** :D

**I know, I know! But I get a kick out of footnotes and I put them everywhere. I just hate interrupting the flow of my sentences more often than I need to and so … footnote!

***It’s Friday. That kind of definitely makes me sad. Today’s my last day this week for focused writing.

 

Undoing Mistakes

So, I’ve spent a little time undoing a few mistakes I made. Not that the mistakes were huge or anything. (They really were. I really just don’t want to admit that, even though I now find myself admitting it anyway.)

What have I learned from this?

Static sites are great.

But I still love WordPress.

Getting over mental hurdles is a lot (LOT) harder than it ought to be and therefore I shouldn’t have wasted so much time trying to do so when the alternative was less work.

SO many things I think I’m going to do, I never do.

Writing blog posts is currently more fun than writing fiction. Even though I have a deadline of Friday and today is Wednesday night and I have another 10,000 words to write. Guess I’ll have to cut that ending short. :-o

Crap.

 

 

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. :)

Static Site Hell

I am in static site hell.

So, I got rid of WordPress on so many sites I can’t even count them… I also got rid of a lot of sites, period. Although I do have wide interests and an amazing capacity for picking up domains that I find appealing, I’ve decided I’ll have to forego that in the future. Life is WAY too short to spend it buying domains I’ll never develop. A (not so) short while ago, I bought my last domain for a (long) while.

Getting rid of WordPress isn’t a bad thing IMO. The bad thing is that I actually like discussion and not having WordPress means I have no commenting system on those sites now. Some of them don’t need commenting and that’s great. But some of them are definitely sites I run because I love the topics and those sites? They need commenting because without commenting I feel like I’m missing a huge opportunity to have fun with the sites!

And then there’s the updating. This is a mental block that I’m just going to have to overcome. The fact is, I’ve done the time studies to prove that I can update a static site just as fast as I can update a WordPress run site. Sure, the front-end effort is more time efficient in WordPress when I have a super-short post I want online. But it evens out when the posts get longer and the number of new images increases. I can whip out a formatted block of HTML just as fast as I can type in Word (or OpenOffice Writer when I’m stuck with it instead, no offense to Ooo fans everywhere, because it is a great free program, but dammit, I LIKE Microsoft Word). And when it gets complicated? Handcoded HMTL is unbeatable for customizing on a page by page basis and I can create a complex mini-site within a site with 10% of the effort and time I spend in WordPress trying to get it to do what I want. And I do have sites like that, where I want each section to be unique and have very little use for cookie-cutter pages.

But the problem is that even though I know this, it still feels like more of a chore to add a new article or page and I’ve really let that interfere with my site updating!

Then there’s another issue. When I converted, I kept all the old content, including tag and category pages. I can’t decide if I want to continue to update these (and even expand where appropriate) or just leave them as is and not add the new content to them (seems like a sure way to make the site look out-of-date even when it’s not), or delete them as I decide I don’t need them and convert relevant, useful tags and categories into actual subsections of the site(s). Guh. Over-categorizing just seems like a sure way to end up with a mess.

Maybe I’ll get this all straightened out soon. If not, I’ll just go back to worrying about my spy and not doing anything… ;-)

Peace of Mind is Worth a Thousand HTML Sites

I just turned a bunch of WordPress sites into static html, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are the following.

  1. Security
  2. Peace of Mind
  3. Ease of Maintenance
  4. Peace of Mind
  5. More Peace of Mind

I love WP, really. However, I also love peace of mind, and I had too many sites using WP to have any peace of mind.

Why? Because although WordPress is great and gives added functionality to a site and makes updating content easy as typing in Word or OpenOffice, it has a bad habit of making my life harder than it has to be.

I want to make a page look a certain way? I need to create a new page template. I want to make a site look a certain way, I need to edit a theme. I want to backup my files, I have to backup files by ftp and export a database. I want to restore a site? I have to upload files, fix or create a database, and pray it all works together the way it was supposed to. Oh, accidentally delete my WP config file and wow, what a mess that new one made of the character encoding! I have freaky symbols everywhere. Ugh!

Then there’s the scary stuff.

I found a few sites where a plugin had opened a backdoor and someone—whoever you are, you are a [bleep]—uploaded some crappy IM type posts for backlinks into a few of my directories.

It was then I decided static html (or even php with basic includes) was my friend and WordPress wasn’t. Sometimes you like something (like swiss rolls) but sometimes you have to give them up because they just aren’t good for you.

I still have my blog and it will stay WordPress because that’s where WordPress works best. But because it’s a simple blog, I have no need of crap plugins or special templates or anything else.

Footprints and Your <head>

Ah, so I was looking at some stuff this last week and realized I had let a few things slip by me when it comes to site footprints. (Notably, not footprint, which would imply how large my site is and how much space it takes up on my hosting plan, which is not what I’m getting at here at ALL.)

Of course, there are the things you can’t control, such as tracking ids and publisher code. However, whenever possible, I try to use a different id or code for every site I own, just because I’m like that. Sure, I link a lot of my stuff together because it’s all relevant, but not all of it, because it just doesn’t share a topic or market and it makes no sense to do so (or I want to hide it from prying eyes—whose eyes those might be, I will not say—but I have a passion for several online fandoms and I don’t particularly want everyone to know that I squee! and woot! every other sentence, and that when it comes to these things, I am not quite as mature as my age would imply. ;-)

Anyway, my point is that there are just some things you can’t eliminate, such as if you use certain contextual ad code on your sites. It’s against the rules to have more than one account unless you create independent businesses and I am too cheap to do that. Don’t want to file the tax returns and don’t want to apply for the requisite federal id numbers. One tax return is quite enough, thank you very much.

So, my next work day is going to be spent consolidating and eliminating such codes from any and all sites that don’t earn enough to make it worthwhile to have such code on them.

And I might tidy up a few other things while I’m at it. Footprints are messy and I don’t particularly enjoy mopping up the mess but it must be done.

If you use WordPress on a lot of sites, check your <head> space. You might be using the same theme and thinking that it’s okay because you made your sites look different… BUT unless you’ve edited the html code, or created a child theme with a unique name, you probably haven’t made as much of a dent in those footprints as you think you have. Bots don’t see the end result, they see the code. :-)

This is also part of my push for saying bye-bye to WordPress and hello to static HTML (again). The control you have over output and the individuality you can give every site is a huge plus. Biggest mistake I ever made was converting almost every site I had to WordPress, not the least of why is because it takes twice as long to go back to HTML as it did to go to WP. Ah, well. Live and learn.

WordPress 3.3 – Woohoo! Much Improved

I like it. I’ve only had it up for a few minutes on one of my sites and I am already loving the improvements. I can’t say that I won’t find something I won’t like at some point but so far, the admin area is much faster and cleaner. I especially like the fly out menus, the new permalink settings (same old but now no performance hit for the one I really like best (the post name and nothing but the post name)).

WordPress vs Static HTML vs Database Driven PHP vs My Serious Lack of Mad Design Skilz

I’m not gifted with mad design skills. I’m not blessed with any design skills at all, frankly.

That’s not to say I’ve never designed a website that I didn’t like, or that I’ve never managed to be satisfied with something I’ve created from scratch. However, those sites are few and far between and I don’t hesitate to admit, the designs for those sites took at a minimum a month apiece after reworking the designs until I was sick of them.

These days I try to use templates and themes to help out, but I struggle with the idea that I should be able to create my own designs and code my own sites, because that’s where the fun is for me when it comes to working with my websites. Knowing my sites are exclusively my work is where I get the most satisfaction.

This is one of the core reasons why I struggle over the WordPress, static html, or custom dynamic database site issue. I want the ease of updating the content that comes with WordPress, the simplicity of picking a pre-designed theme, and the security of a frequently updated software, but I also prefer not having to update WordPress and that only comes with static html or a custom database site.

With all that in mind, I’ve finally decided how I want to use this website. I want it to be a place where I can discuss the things I learn about web design that other ordinary people like me might find useful.

This site isn’t for the graphically gifted, nor for those who won’t hesitate to buy or borrow graphic work from talented friends. This site is for people who want to do it themselves, all of it, from coding their html pages, creating their own WordPress themes, to designing crappy graphics for their sites even though they know their work is never going to be good enough for some.

It’s good enough for us, and if we work at it long enough, we do end up with presentable web sites. And we don’t care if any one else agrees. :)

Finally, I also plan to continue to update about the progress I’m making toward my goals of doing some kind of web work to make a living. Although I’m still working my part-time job, I’ve recently been pushed into a situation where it has become important for me to make some real progress.

Abandoning Akismet for Privacy and Control

I’ve recently switched the particular anti-spam plugin that I use on my websites (those I run on WordPress anyway). I deleted Akismet when I discovered that I was having some of my own comments deleted before I ever saw them, because Akismet was treating them as spam.

Not all comments were deleted or treated as spam, mind you, but any comments where I had tried to use a URL that didn’t lead directly to my homepage.

There are instances where not linking to the homepage makes more sense, for example, when I am posting on a topic specific blog but my blog is more general in nature. In those cases, I prefer to link to a relevant category or tag page (because I use categories and tags in VERY specific ways on several sites, so I can better organize and share my content). Occasionally, I like to link to a specific page on WordPress too, when that seems more logical.

Akimet seems not to care about logic, only controlling the web and who and how we comment on blogs.

Apparently, it doesn’t matter how grammatically correct you are (most spam fails a grammar test), how coherent you try to be (again most spam completely fails in this regard), or how relevant you make your comment. Akismet doesn’t like links that don’t go either directly to your homepage or your /blog/ index.

I found this out the hard way when a friend and I (who often exchange comments because we have the same interests and find each others’ material comment-worthy) were penalized because we had not linked directly to our homepages in the Author website field. My comments ended up in her spam box, and her comments ended up in mine.

So, as someone who isn’t above holding a grudge, I deleted Akisment and went looking for a better alternative.

I found Growmap’s Anti-Spam Plugin, installed it, and haven’t had a “spambot” comment make it through yet. GASP put me back in control of comments and I like that.

Check it out if you’re interested in an Akismet alternative.

I use Simple Trackback Validation (with Topsy Blocker) to handle trackback spam.

Testing ScribeFire because someone recommended it to me

ScribeFire is an in-browser blogging tool that lets you write posts, edit posts, and post posts to your blog. Too many posts? Maybe so, but the tool seems promising. I’ve installed it in the past, but never did get round to really using it. At that time I had only a few blogs. I still had a lot of domains, but I hadn’t discovered what a perfect combination blogging was for me. Writing, designing, coding—I get to do it all with blogs, and much quicker than with my static websites.

I’m going to try out many more of the features of ScribeFire before I decide if I want to make it my blogging tool of choice. Although I really liked Windows Live Writer, which I previously blogged about, I haven’t found myself favoring it over the plain ol’ administrator interface in WordPress. WordPress’s admin interface is good—really good and about the only thing I can complain about in it is how not-easy it is to work with images.

See the screenshot? That’s me writing this post. The interface splits the browser window with whatever you happen to have open in the window. Any links you make will default to the address of the open page, although you can overwrite that link.

Truthfully, though, adding that image wasn’t really any easier than doing it in the admin interface, and the image editing capabilities of ScribeFire don’t seem to be even as nice as those in the WordPress admin.

So, back to WordPress for my posts!