The October Ultimate Blog Challenge started, and almost ended for me after just one blog post. I was there, then I wasn’t. Did you notice my absence? Did you miss me?
After I posted the first blog on my site, I linked it on Facebook, read two other posts and made comments – as per the Rules of the challenge.
Two people promptly commented on my blog and I was excited! I know they commented because they added the words ‘Commented’ on the Ultimate Blog Challenge Facebook group.
I’m sure I’m not the only one with a blog site who loves getting comments – especially comments from real people – I mean people other than my family. Not saying family aren’t real people – but they probably feel obligated to read my blog and leave a comment. Actually, I wonder if they’re just making sure I haven’t written anything about them? Well, it all makes my stats look a bit better so I’m cool with that.
But I lost the comments!
Actually, I didn’t find them in the first place so I couldn’t really lose them. But they were missing, regardless of who lost them.
When I logged into my website to read the feedback, there was nothing there. A blank comments box from the Post page stared back at me.
And there was nothing in the Comments or Feedback sections associated with the relevant plugins, or anywhere else in the machinery-room of my website, and trust me, I looked everywhere.
It was in that moment between panic and frustration that I realised I may have put the cart before the horse.
In my haste to get my mojo back by signing up to the October Ultimate Blog Challenge, I failed to do the necessary maintenance on the vehicle I expected would carry me through the challenge – my website.
In other words, the wheels fell off because I had been slack!
With all the time I had on my hands during lockdown, I barely even looked at my website. I guess it’s pretty much the way I grow house-plants. I bring them home, sit them in a nice sunny spot, and then expect them to take care of themselves. But since they haven’t evolved enough to actually turn the tap on to get themselves a glass of water when they need it, they usually don’t survive.
Websites don’t survive on their own either.
You can’t ignore a website and expect it to keep going. It won’t. If you have plugins, they need to be updated. It’s kind of like cogs.
While they all keep turning, everything is sweet. But if one of them gets out of synch with the others, they all come to a grinding halt, usually with a lot of screeching and grating sounds – and yep – that’s what happened. Actually, the screeching and grating sounds were from me, but it was still an ugly scene.
The end result?
The comments were missing!
And it didn’t take long to work out that missing comments were only part of the problem.
My website needed a big overhaul.
After wasting three days (and nights) trying to sort it out, I appealed to my son for help. He knows about these things because he is a real website-builder (as opposed to my hobby-worthy dabble in building websites).
It took him a couple of hours and he fixed the problem, as well as giving me the advice I probably didn’t need to hear (again…).
Delete, Delete, Delete!
I guess hoarding carries over to inactive plugins and themes in the digital world, not just the overflowing stash of fabrics in the corner of my sewing room.
My son moved my site over to a different hosting company; I deleted
all of the some of the excess plugins and themes (I’m booked into therapy for the rest of them). I’ve had some of those plugins for years! And what if I need them again? It isn’t easy deleting them, but I’ll work on it.
And guess what I found tonight!!
An email alerting me to:
A new comment on the post “How COVID-19 Stole My Mojo!” is waiting for your approval
Okay – it was a comment from a family member – but at least I know it all works again. And I’m expecting comments from real people, real soon (says the eternal optimist).
So, did you miss me?
Or did you not even notice I wasn’t there, blogging away on the Ultimate Blog Challenge?
I’m not sure if I’ll make it to the end of the challenge now that I’m a few days behind, but I’ll certainly give it a go.