You didn’t think it was going to happen, did you? I’ve been dicking around with this blog for five years and I reckon for roughly 4 years and 364 days, I’ve been saying I might switch from Blogger to WordPress. Guess what’s happened? Yes, it’s official.
Exit Blogger. Enter WordPress.
So here I am. The first post in an entirely new format. I must say, I’m having a few flashbacks. No, not good ones, like how a slight brush against the front of the trousers caused an immediate teak-like reaction (you’d have to go back 35 years for that one). No, I’m talking about five years ago, when I first started blogging and all of it was so frustratingly, mind numbingly confusing. Something doesn’t work? No worries, just play around with the HTML. Huh? What is this language you speak of?
Anyway, I’d considered a switch before, but as the posts and hundreds of images started racking up, it all got too intimidating. As you know, I switched to a new theme in Blogger a few months back, but something within it broke. It would no longer display how it was meant to and in the end, I decided it was now or never to leave Blogger behind.
What do you need to know? Firstly, all this WordPress theme business is a bit confusing. You know what they say? The trouble with choice is it’s harder to make a decision? That’s exactly how I felt about theme perusing. There seems to be roughly one billion to choose from. I’d picked out a potential few, but all compromised something, so I went for something simple, as a first step into WordPress. If still keen, I’d go for something different in the future. So, here we are, with the stock standard ‘twenty fifteen’ theme.
I’ve a thought about getting into the swing of WP and then implementing something more fancy in a few months time. Maybe. Right now though, I’ve got to do a few things. Here’s what I’m pondering about.
In the migration, a lot of the early posts turned completely bizarro. Spacing, images, the lot. I reckon all the 2010 posts were done when I knew nothing about Blogger, so all sorts of weird stuff ended up in the HTML. Not to mention I was cavalier with photos. I used to upload massive pictures and often at different sizes, none of which adhered to any sort of SEO. Mm… Not wanting to repeat those image mistakes, I’ve decided to be strict with them. Oh, the next paragraph is insanely dull if you’re not into photo processing, so if you’re feeling weary, feel free to skip the following.
In Lightroom, I’m setting the export settings for photos at 1024 on the long edge and also ensuring 400 kb is the maximum size. As it is, in my practising, most I’ve uploaded are around the 300 kb mark, which I think is quite acceptable. I’ve also removed all the metadata, so only the bare bones is visible. I’m removing the camera image number, correctly naming what’s in the photo and adding the creator (me of course). That’s it.
My last point about pictures is the ‘featured image’ in WP. I’ve no idea if there’s an advantage in having one, other than it creates a nice thumbnail if looking on a mobile device? So far, that’s the extent of my guessing about them. I do know one thing, which has happened on the migration. Each post has sucked up the opening image and displayed them, as a ‘featured image’. I don’t mind, but it looks a bit odd to have this huge opening photo, which is then repeated two seconds later. For the time being, I’m leaving them as they are, as you do realise there are 298 posts in here? Even for a pedantic bastard such as myself, it might be too much to go through the blog and mix them up. You never know though.
Are you still here? Didn’t slip into a coma? Anyway, as my initial inspection has shown older posts are out of whack, I might tackle the odd one here and there and over time, fix them up. Look, as a bit of WP practice, I re-did one of my first posts, which was about my winter Croajingolong trip. Here’s the third day of my trip to Clinton Rocks Creek and I think all of the stuff I did to it works. It also gave me a chance play around with image uploading, alt tags etc.
What else? Oh, I’ve no idea about the subscription to posts business. If you subscribed via email on Blogger, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t automatically come across to here. I’ve added a subscription thingo on the sidebar. Does it work? Don’t ask me, I’ve just got here.
Also, a lot of the previous Google links are dead. This is mildly disappointing, but this should change, as the Google webcrawlers find the new location of previous posts.
As you can see, instead of blogging, I’m playing with stuff, so don’t expect a billion posts in the next month. I’ve been diligently sitting on the computer and as you can see, it’s not doing me much good physically. Maybe I should eat more.
What else do you need to know about the switch? Is anyone still reading? If you’ve made it this far, I commend you, as I’d be unconscious by now if I was perusing this. Oh, there’s one other change, which is going to cause grief.
In Blogger, you’d have tags, which I’d apply to a post. As you WP people are well aware, there are both categories and tags in this joint. Unfortunately for me, the migration has listed my Blogger tags as categories, so now I have roughly one billion of them. Some clearly are meant to be a category, such as, ‘Mt Feathertop’, but something like, ‘Yowie’ should really be a tag. What am I going to do?
I’ve no idea. My main blogging beef over time is the lack of an index. It’s all very good having a search function, but what good is it, if you’ve got no idea what to search for if you happen to land on the blog?
So, I’m thinking I may have to delete dozens of the categories and go for something broader. Maybe a category like ‘Coastal’ and then re-categorise all the beachy posts as such. Then once I’ve done this, I’ll add a category widget to the sidebar. Maybe it’ll work, but don’t count on my getting it right. As it is, I think anything is better than 949 categories (I just checked how many there were. It’s even worse than I thought. I’d better fire up the oven, as my head is going into it shortly.)
As you can see, I envision this is how I’m going to look, after spending long hours tinkering with the blog, until it looks how I think it should.
I think I’m done here for now. Other stuff is coming, as I’ve done quite a few day walks lately, but nothing noteworthy, as I’ve still being feeling the after-effects of a virus I had a month ago. I can’t seem to shake it and then suddenly out of the blue, I ended up with vertigo. CT scans show nothing, so I’m off to an Ears, Nose and Throat bloke next week. I’ve never really experienced full-blown vertigo before and I can only think of one good thing about it. It feels like I’m hammered, yet haven’t had a drink, so it’s a cheap ‘off your face’ feeling. That’s it though. It doesn’t even include drunken dancing.
Is that it? Hey, I just noticed one other thing, which WP has compared to Blogger. A word count! I just saw this post tick over 1380 words. Seems a lot? Well, even more now, considering this sentence, which has no meaning, but is here anyway.
What’s next? Remember this photo? I’d give you a link, but I think the post it appears in is ballsed up, so if you’re keen, you’ll have to trawl through the blog to find it.
Why is it here? If you’re wondering, no, I haven’t been there lately. I’ll tell you all about it in the next post.
1462 words (plus a few more).
Congratulations on surviving the change-over. It took me about three months to finally decide on a theme and then it ended up being the one I first liked! Talk about too much choice. You seem to have got the hang of WP very quickly. After 12 months I’m still somewhat confused.
The blog’s looking great so far and I look forward to seeing what’s to come.
The Tassie Hut shot is fantastic. My kind of escape! I’m dreading the Queensland summer up here. One day I’ll make it down that way.
I hope the vertigo lessens soon. Not a very comfortable feeling that’s for sure! 🙂
Yeah, starting from scratch in blogging is good and bad. Firstly, just starting and secondly, you’re not expected to know how it all works. Unfortunately, I felt I knew a bit, but have found out what it’s like to start again from the beginning 🙂
Starting to get the hang of it now. WP does seem easier in the format when I’m writing, so it might end up being worthwhile changing out of Blogger!
Kitchen Hut was great. I think I was there at a perfect time. Spring snow and hardly any people, which is idea really 🙂
Love the new format. It looks great. Congratulations on a successful transfer. More posts please….
Thanks! It’s all new, but I think I’m getting my head around the WordPress quirks.
Yes, more posts are in the pipeline. I hope 🙂
Greg – you made it! Welcome to the dark side! Hopefully I will finally get your emails now, as I could never get my people to work with your people on blogger subscriptioning. J.
Haha… Yes, I only spoke about it for the past five years. It just took me a while 🙂 Hopefully your subscription goes okay! We’ll see, once I get around to writing something new 🙂