Oh hai friends.
I learned a pretty critical lesson this week. Honestly, I don’t know what happened. But, it turns out one of the plug-ins I use on my blog compromised the whole thing. Death by Tsundoku was off-line for over a day, and it wasn’t until my Admin got in touch with WordPress that we figured it out. I don’t recall updating any plug-ins, but one of them was the source of my blog’s distress. In the end, we had to shut down all the plug-ins and we even removed quite a bit of theme functionality. Now I have access to my blog, and you can read my posts, but all my reviews are a bit, well, broken without my enhanced functionality.
Due to the availability of my Admin as well as some WordPress research needs, Death by Tsundoku will be on hiatus until we can get to the source of this problem.
I have spent a lot of time pondering this. While I am technically still able to post, I am floundering without my aesthetic and metadata structure. I didn’t realize how much I relied on them until the foundation for the structure of my posts vanished. Suddenly, I feel lost when it comes to writing. As Strong Bad might say: The System Is Down.
This has been a strangely distressing moment for me. I didn’t realize what a source of joy and release my blog has become over the past year. I’ve learned so much about myself. I’ve developed an incredible community. And I look forward to the time I get to spend on my blog.
My blog is a source of pride, as well! I spend a lot of time thinking through my reviews. It’s important to me that I am thoughtful and considerate of my words, as well as how I articulate my opinions. Plus, I love the conversations we get to engage in!
I learned a lot in this process about my ignorance in how WordPress functions. I learned that while plug-ins are great and have really helped me with my aesthetic (which I am REALLY struggling with), they are a challenge to maintain. They don’t always update at the same time that WordPress does, which requires attention and testing. But the scariest part for me is that plug-ins can cause security breaches if they are poorly coded. And since my blog is hosted on a server with a few other of my friends’ sites/content, I refuse to potentially compromise them. I don’t want to accidentally give anyone a virus.
I know that this is a bit of a fluke, but it was a scary one. I definitely want to learn more about the platform and understand what I can do to keep my blog rolling. I couldn’t do this without my Admin, but I hope that in the future I won’t have to rely on him as much. It’s unfair to us both.
I’ll be around in the blogosphere, though. Expect comments! Twitter! Following! All the things! Perhaps this is a good time to reconsider how I can keep providing what I want to provide without these plugins. Ugh! So much struggle! HELP! So many questions below…
I love you all, and I appreciate your patience with me while I figure this out. Please stand by! Your patience and advice is welcome and appreciated!
What do you think?
- Are you self-hosted or not? What do you like about your situation?
- Do you have plugins which you cannot live without? Which ones? Why?
- Do you have a template for your book review posts? How did you come up with it? Any recommendations?
- How do you share your book covers and the related book metadata (page numbers, author, genre, etc.)?
- Do you have an archive page for your book reviews? How do you manage it?
- What tips do you have for me to get a better handle on my aesthetic?