New year, new post, new technical difficulties

January 2, 2016 | By Patrick | Filed in: Geek, PAS.

Hey, look at me!

I meant for this post to kick off a new leaf. Or is it turning over a new leaf? Maybe I’m mixing metaphors, but I’m putting up new content. Aren’t you lucky to be reading it?

As with anything left untouched for months – nay, years – there is bound to be some regression along the learning curve. Back to the bottom for me. It seemed innocent at the time – log into the Admin section of my WordPress blog, and run through the neglected updates to the software, widgets, and themes. The updates are automatic – just click to update everything, wait a minute, and it’s done. Easy peasy. Everything was going well until I got to the themes part. The updates completed quickly and I refreshed my site. The site was still there, the content was still there, but ALL of the customizations were gone. And the thumbnail images were no longer attached to the posts. WHAT?!? The sidebar with my Amazon affiliate link was gone, my Twitter posts were gone. What else was missing? I don’t know because I can’t see them. C’mon memory…what else was there?

Calm. Breathe. Sigh.

Twitter first. Add the widget back to the sidebar. Done. Connect it back with my account. Hmmm. I need a Consumer Key and Consumer Secret. OK. Shouldn’t be hard to find, right? Go to Twitter, and… Wait, I also need an Access token and Access token secret. A what now? Time to put on my propeller beanie. After about 15 minutes of searching and reading and trying and retrying, I finally got the information I needed. Kudos to WordPress and the live widget updates you can manipulate and see immediately what the changes do to your site. Also credit goes to the Really Simple Twitter widget creator. Thank you for making it relatively simple! A couple of other small customizations and I’m ready to move on.

Amazon next. I’ve been an Amazon affiliate for many years. Use my link, and I’ll get a small percentage of what you spend on Amazon for referring you to their site. It doesn’t cost you any more for your stuff, but it helps creators create. Off to Amazon to look at my affiliate information. Maybe I’ll check in to how much moola has been generated for me. Wait, the account has been closed? WHAT?!? Ugh. What now? Start over for this, too. Thankfully, things have gotten simpler in this area, too. Get a new account up and running, pick a promotion, pick a size for the image, copy the HTML to your site. Easy, right? Well, yes, but the image wasn’t coming up for me for the first hour I was trying to get it to work. Just the outline of the image with the familiar Chrome sad face in the middle. It wasn’t until I published the code and hovered over the image on the live site and read the “server images are being blocked” message that it dawned on me to turn off my ad blocker. Hey, what do you know? It started working right away. But what about people who use an ad blocker? How will they use my link? I decided to add some text with the same link behind it. Check – that worked.

It was then that I knew this blog post would be my first of the new year. I took a brief time out to get my thoughts down and site is at least usable again. The photos are still missing from the posts as I write this. With any luck at all they, too, will be back online before the weekend is over.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back soon.

Edit 1: The pictures are still there. You have to go into each post to see them, however. I don’t care for that option. Let’s see if I can figure out how to show more of each post in the main view.

Edit 2: I found the setting for how much of a post to show. It’s set to show the full post, not just a summary. But it’s not working. More research.

Edit 3: It appears to be a limitation in the theme. I found a suggestion via the Google, found the loop.php file, made a small php change (hey, look at me!), and it worked. This blog, while using this theme (that I will eventually update and write over my changes) will always show full posts. Until it doesn’t.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *