WordPress Tweak, Tinker, & Twiddle Trap

Blogging is an art.
But so is managing a blog!

A number of months ago, I decided to switch all of my sites off of Typepad and onto self-hosted WordPress. There are many reasons that I did this, and I still feel that I made the right decision.

However, I had no idea how much work it would be and how much work, even this many months later, it still entails. There has been a steep learning curve and I continue to work hard to get the sites set up the way I want them; both in terms of functionality and graphics.

Part of the challenge of making the switch is that I manage (and moved) quite a few sites in addition to this one.  This site is closely linked to my voice talent site, VividlyClear.com.   I have a slightly neglected site for my fabric art, SingingCloth.com.  In addition, I created and manage sites for three small nonprofits.

Signing up for NaBloPoMo has made me look at why I have not posted more since switching to WordPress.  The reality is that every time I come to my site to write a post I end up seeing “back end” work that needs to be done.

I have come to call this the WordPress Tweak, Tinker, & Twiddle Trap.

On its home site, WordPress.org, it is described as:

WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.

The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love you to join the family.

WordPress is endlessly expandable.  It is used as the framework for huge websites such as the Wall Street Journal and other Fortune 500 companies.  It is used for small, one-page blogs.  And the amazing thing is, it works well at both ends of that spectrum and anywhere along the continuum.

The problem of it being endlessly expandable is that it is difficult to figure out what you need, what you don’t need, and how to get everything to work together to make your site run well.  The phrase in the WordPress description “and when you’re ready for more” is misleading because you cannot really run a WordPress site effectively without adding in a bunch of plugins.  As of today, you can choose from 22,075 free plugins available on the WordPress.org site, and there are 1,622 free themes to choose from as well.  In addition there are probably at least that many more fee-based themes out on the web that do not pass through the WordPress.org site.

If the WordPress description matched reality the second line should read:  “We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time; but also, in terms of time, it is costly. 

I am still glad that I switched to self-hosted WordPress because I am happier with my sites overall.  I had seriously outgrown even the limitations of Typepad Pro; the paid version of Typepad.  But, the need to tweak, tinker, and twiddle to get WordPress set up and running well is a time sink not to be underestimated.

So, how does this relate to NaBloPoMo?  Well, instead of posting yesterday I worked on this site.  I now have the navigation bar set up in a way that I like, a  Who I Am about page I am happy with, social media links so my blog posts can be shared, and a new banner for the website.  (I am not wild about the banner but it is better than what I had and the best I can do right now with the software I have available. )

Therefore, in regards to NaBloPoMo, I have decided that I am counting the back-end blog work as my November 3rd post!!