WordPress Knows Better than Me

I am so frustrated with WordPress today – and – that saddens me because I have been a staunch WordPress advocate since May 2004.  Almost 6 full years of advocating for what I believed was a revolutionary online tool!

Today…not so much. I have been fighting with WordPress for THREE hours over the formatting of one of my pages. WordPress keeps adding <div> statements and removing my <div id =”nameIused”> statements. It keeps relocating the ending </div> statements so that the style definitions apply to a huge section that WordPress has decided belongs together instead of the section that I want the styling to apply to. Everytime I fix the formatting to what I want, WordPress changes it!!!!!!!!!

Give me a break WordPress developers! I know better than you what my intention is. I have already created the page in Dreamweaver and passed it by W3C validation – so – everything is in balance. WHY can’t WordPress just accept the HTML I enter and leave it at that? STOP TRYING TO SAVE ME FROM MYSELF! I know how to code.

When a tool starts presuming that it knows better than you and changes your work in a way that you did not intend it to be – don’t you think that it is time to look for another tool? I’m thinking so!

This frustration brings up other concerns about WordPress and I am wondering if I will be able to promote it in the future.

Over the last year and a half WordPress has evolved into a resource-hogging application that is out of step with worldwide trends.  It uses database resources to such an extent that I call it “abusing” database resources. In these newer versions of WordPress, every time you save a post or page, the previous version is saved as well. In fact, if YOU don’t save a post or page within a time period that WordPress has defined, WordPress saves a version for you – because of course – it knows better than you.

Take a minute to think about that. How many authors write in your blog? How many times does each author save his/her work? How many times does WordPress save the work for him/her? Maybe you are writing and the phone rings so you save your work. Maybe the group is heading out to lunch, so,  you save your work. Maybe you need to give more thought to the wording of the next paragraph, so, you save your work. Time to get more coffee, and you save your work. You can easily end up with 20 versions of a simple post or page.

If WordPress gave us the option to NOT do “versioning”, then I wouldn’t have a problem; I could just shut the hoarding off. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give us the option. 

Also WordPress creates three versions of the images that you upload via “Add New Image”. Most people do not have visibility to this because they do not look at their hosting account. If you are one who does, you know that now there are FOUR versions of every image you upload; the one that you originally uploaded and the three that WordPress made. 

Again, there is no toggle switch in the dashboard where a user can select to NOT make the other copies… This quadrupuling of images is another example of the WordPress developers’ disregard for the computer resources it is using.

This trend of using unnecessary resources is so counterintuitive to 2010 thinking! In this day and age when everyone else is going “green” and making efforts to conserve, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to “authentically” recommend to my customers that they convert their websites to run on the WordPress platform.  I’ve got some seious re-thinking and research to do… sigh…

Click on the title of this post to bring your to Comments so that you can give me some guidance. Which content management package are you using and why?

Preparing for 2010

Traditionally, I use the week between Christmas and New Years to attend to the business infrastructure, transferring my own websites, upgrading software, data entering receipts and closing the books, and, basically, knocking off a number of the items on my “when I have the time” list. I also like to relax a bit, watch movies, meet up with friends, visit relatives.  

Well, this past week proved to be a crazy busy week. I

  1. Recreated a 45-page website for the client of a colleague whose site had been hacked.
  2. Took an online course in “Ajax”, one of the tools that is gaining in popluarity.
  3. Started an online course in a Content Management System that a new client is using.
  4. Installed a working XAMPP server on my laptop. XAMPP is an environment that acts like the web. It has Apache, MySQL, PHP, and PhpMyAdmin built into it. Now, when I visit (prospective) clients, I do not need to be connected to the Internet to demonstrate advanced functionality.
  5. Researched hosting vendors who specialize in working with resellers. (Want to add another vendor this year.)
  6. Data entered several month’s worth of receipts
  7. Watched a DVD for the second time in preparation for writing a review about it.
  8. Purchased and installed new tracking software and a Postregres database and server, and started customizing the interface by going through the first part of the 186-page instruction manual. <– Oh My!
  9. Updated the business plan
  10. Submitted websites to online directories and catalogs
  11. Updated my websites to have copyright dates including 2010
  12. Reviewed all the websites that I host to make sure that they are operating with enough room (bandwith and storage)
  13. Researched vacation rental homes (in anticipation of attending the Pubcon conference in Las Vegas in November). Contacted one of the property managers and will be closing the deal soon.
  14. Re-read and purged older e-mails
  15. Archived “old” clients’ online and paper files
  16. Filed some long-overdue papers
  17. Ran full system scans on the production and development systems several times throughout the week
  18. Defragged both systems
  19. Spent an afternoon cooking a full turkey dinner with a friend, and just relaxing and being
  20. Played no limit hold’em online
  21.  Shoveled, shoveled, shoveled – my driveway and entranceway as well as those of the next-door neighbor who is out of town

What about you? How’d you spend the week? Use comments to let us know.

Four FREE nights at a Four Seasons in Hawaii Up for Grabs!

Client News… Adventures Online’s client, Linda Tatten of Travel by Tatten is running an outrageous draw!

If your entry is chosen, you get FOUR nights FREE at a Four Seasons of YOUR CHOICE in Hawaii. (There are 4 Four Seasons on three different islands.) All you have to do is answer 4 questions about the Four Seasons and you will be entered into the drawing. The answers are in Linda’s blog. It can’t get any easier!

Each adult in your household can enter (One entry per person, NOT one entry per household).

THERE ARE NO TRICKS or Gimmicks. You pay for your flight and stay at the Four Seasons of your choice.

Hop on over to her blog and click through to the registration form. http://travelbytatten.com/travel_blog/ ( Look for It’s Time to Enter! )

Only a few days left to enter… so hurry along and GOOD LUCK! Winner announced Dec. 17th.

WordPress Wins Content Management System Award

In mid-November, WordPress® won the Overall Best Open Source CMS Award in the 2009 Open Source CMS Awards. WordPress has been nominated in the Overall Best Open Source CMS category 4 years in a row. It’s win this year makes it eligible for the Hall of Fame category in 2010.

There were over 12,000 nominations and over 23,000 votes. Awards were given in 5 CMS (Content Management System) categories;

  1. Overall Best Open Source CMS
  2. Most Promising Open Source CMS
  3. Best Open Source PHP CMS
  4. Best Other [non-PHP] Open Source CMS
  5. Hall of Fame Award

Since 2004, Adventures Online has been installing and customizing WordPress® blogs for its customers. WordPress has grown from a bare-bones blog post management system into a full-blown CMS, and, Adventures Online has experienced the growing pains and triumphs of its journey. Congrats to the WordPress developers!

While pleased with the progress, I have concerns about the “fat” that has been added in order to support being a CMS and the “assumptions” the WordPress editor “intuits” regarding the formatting of text. The most recent versions of WordPress produce less search-engine-friendly behind-the-scenes code, store multiple versions of posts for infinity, add links to other posts in the Comments section as if they were real comments by people, and make (sometimes maddening) decisions about what the human editor intends in formatting.

On my wishlist for future features are:

  1. The ability to purge versions of posts by number. Like “Keep the Previous “n” Versions of Posts” where “n” is a number (2, 6, 10) filled in by the Admin user.
  2. The ability to decide whether links to previous posts should be added to the Comments section or not. Like “Add Links to Previous Posts to Comments” Yes___  No___   
  3. The ability for edits made in HTML to “stick” for the life of the post/page. As in “do what I have written and don’t re-interpret it to your liking”. 

Moving forward, Adventures Online will continue to promote WordPress…with a cautious eye to the future.

What’s on your wishlist for WordPress? Use Comments to tell us what you would like to see.

Twitter Gains in Popularity

Thanks to @mashable on Twitter this morning, I learned that Twitter is the most popular word in the English language for 2009. The post by Ben Parr entitled, Twitter Declared Most Popular English Word of 2009, notes that:

  • The Global Language Monitor lists Twitter as the top word of 2009 beating out “Obama”, “H1N1”, “Stimulus” (as in the U.S. Stimulus package), … and “2.0”.
       
  • Microsoft’s Bing lists Twitter as its second most searched term for 2009 beating out “Swine Flu”, “Stock Market”, …”Cash for Clunkers”. “Michael Jackson” was number 1.
      

I first wrote about Twitter in June 2008, in the post, Twitter – What the heck is it? At that time I was a newby and the power of Twitter was not evident to me. Around the same time I created my Twitter account, I also created accounts at LinkedIn and Facebook . I expected that LinkedIn would have the most value for my business, then Facebook. I really didn’t see the business value to Twitter.

Since then, I have experienced very unexpected results. In fact, Twitter has been more valuable to doing business – so much so that I use Twitter about 8 times more than LinkedIn and Facebook these days.  Twitter has been invaluable in getting quick answers to business questions and links to resources and How To’s. I have used it to drive traffic to my websites and those of clients, and with the help of bit.ly (short URL service), Google Analytics, and my raw log files, have been able to track the visits directly to individual tweets.

It took a while to determine a Twitter strategy. At first I followed many. As time went on, I learned what those I followed tweeted about. Then, I began sculpting the list of following to hone in on my target audiences and interests. About once per month now, I review my following and followers, and now my lists, to update them and keep them on target. I keep my business twitter account separate from my personal account.

Summary
I am not surprised that Twitter is the most popular word in the English language. I was a non-believer until I learned how to use Twitter in a way that was beneficial to my business. Once that happened, Twitter became a standard tool used in my business. I suspect that 2009 was a year of exploration and learning for others curious about Twitter.

NOTE: My Twitter profile has changed. I am now KarenCallahanMa

How has Twitter benefited your business? Use comments below to write about your experience.