Limeconsulting.com is the website for my company Lime Training and Consultancy Ltd. It’s website was awful. Unloved, unmaintained and creaking under the weight of updates not completed. It had been designed, by someone else, using a plugin, that I don’t understand. Changing a phone number on the site was a fraught process, that took hours and generated volleys of ungentlemanly language.
Eventually, I bit the bullet and built a new site. Now – by built, I don’t mean code. I have a Hosted WordPress package with 5 sites included in the price. I chose a theme and drafted new text into the existing boxes. I followed the instructions, and ported my domain to the new site. The SSL certificate even moved on its own.
I opened my email, and deleted the usual notes from the host confirming every keystroke of the last hour. I may even have displayed a certain jaunty aspect. Then, one email caught my eye. “stuartlennon.com is down.”
“But…but…I didn’t touch that one.” Perhaps not a wail, nor were any toys ejected from a perambulator, but it was a close-run thing.
I spent an hour in the host’s dashboard. This confirmed to me that the dashboard is designed to provoke frustration, bordering on the murderous. The bloody thing may as well be in Serbo-Croat. I dialled the number of shame. (Or Support, as they call it.)
On the plus side, I was able to cook supper, water the plants, feed the dog and lock the house down for the night, while waiting to get through to the relentlessly chipper Jennifer. We spent a few minutes agreeing that my work on limeconsulting.com inevitably angered the SSL Certificate on stuartlennon.com. I mean, Duh!
Jennifer promised to have her team rekey the SSL within 24 hours and wished me a wonderful rest of the day. In fairness, the site was up and running within the hour.
The next day, refreshed, I resolved to “streamline my workflow”. Going IOS only, does require some adaptation to be efficient. Truth be told, much of what I do could do with streamlining. I’m forever making notes about how I must learn to do x or y. I then ignore the note, and get the task done with whatever Heath-Robinson process that I discovered back when God was a child.
I write in Ulysses. Because it’s awesome. Also, because the WordPress interface is, well, not very nice. The opposite of awesome, if you will. In Ulysses, I upload the finished post, complete with Markdown formatting and images, to the site’s WordPress admin. I could simply publish directly to the web – but I like to have a final check before unleashing anything onto the reader.
Cleverly, WordPress understands Markdown. Where I use “##”, it knows that I mean “Heading 2”. Inexplicably, it does not convert the syntax in the editor screen – only in the published post. Why? I have no idea. If the people at WordPress know, they’re not telling. I asked.
What this means, is that a very swish plugin called Yoast, doesn’t work. Yoast reads posts, scores them and then makes suggestions. It looks at SEO (yeah, whatever) and more importantly, at readability. The SEO reports says things like “you have only used the keyword 3 times, rather than the 4 times recommended for a post this length.” Sure. OK. The readability test though, is useful. It makes suggestions about sentence length, passive verbs, and conjunctions. Unfortunately, it does this from a reading of the editor screen. This means that it sees “##” as two hashes. It understands links as weird combinations of brackets.
Having got the digital version of a shrug from Automattic, the people behind WordPress, I asked Yoast. They suggested that I might want to write directly into WordPress.
End result? I binned Yoast.
Just this morning, I have spent an hour in mortal combat with my wi-fi network, but that’s another post.
Sometimes, I just break stuff.