Blogging Thoughts and Tidbits

I spent some time tonight going through my WordPress subscriptions for blogs I follow. Through this process a few thoughts, observations and suggestions arose I thought worth sharing. Some of them are repetitive from comments of other longtime bloggers – many share similar suggestions.

I started this process because I was missing updates from several bloggers I admire. So into the WordPress reader I went. If you have not done this, it might be well worth your time. (The Reader is an aggregator of blogs you follow – they can be WordPress or other blogs as well.)

The initial screen looks something like this.

Now, click the red MANAGE button. You will get a screen that includes all of the blogs you follow.

Now if you click the settings button, the settings window will open. From here you can select whether or not you want to receive notifications of a new post, if you want them emailed to you and how frequently, and whether or not you want to be notified of new comments via email.


For some reason, when I follow new blogs, WordPress now seems to default to emailing me all posts. I follow too many blogs to receive and manage that many emails. So, I choose which blogs I want to be emailed about and which ones I will keep up with in reader. My settings were all discombobulated, thus me losing posts I really wanted to read.

Now onto my refresher points about blogging in general.

  • Comments. Askimet does a great job in catching most spam. But that does not mean it is perfect. Often times, comments from blogging friends get swept into the Spam folder. Check your Spam folder often. Make sure there are no comments you want to approve, then do a bulk edit and delete the remaining comments. On average, I get 30 or so new Spam Comments every day. It is easier to delete them a few at a time.
  • If you have a harassing troll, you can always block them from your blog. You can always block words, too, and send those comments directly to trash. I block certain words. I still check the trash before I delete it.
  • Please do not leave me a comment every day asking me to follow your blog. I won’t. I decide what blogs to follow based on what a blogger writes about. I rarely follow business blogs unless it is something of great interest to me. Blogging is my peaceful place.
  • Gravatar. If you do not have one, create on. This is generally one of the first places we look to decide if we think a comment is legitimate. If you have a Gravatar, look and see if it needs to be updated.
  • I have two follow buttons on my blog. One allows a follow that goes directly to the WordPress reader – this is intended, I think, for WordPress followers. There is another to strictly follow by email. Having only the email follow may discourage someone from following your blog.
  • Think about added a search Widget to your blog. It is a nice way for followers to find a post they may want to re-read.
  • Consider adding the Widget which allows your blog to be translated into other languages.
  • Leaving Comments. If you follow a blog, leave thoughtful comments. And if others comment on your blog, respond in kind.
  • When to stop commenting. Each blog only allows for a certain number of nested comments. This can become, who says the last word – or like my southern rooted family trying to say goodby – it goes on forever. I would love to know when you decide to stop replying. Thoughts?
  • Lastly, there are a number of bloggers who no longer write posts and no longer comment. Let’s face it, blogging is not for everyone. The question becomes, do you continue to follow blogs that appear to be abandoned? Be careful before deleting. One blogger I admire had heart surgery and was gone for an extended time, so I was happy to see them back. At some point, though, maybe they moved on. I have a few bloggers who are deceased, and I keep them in my follows because some are nice to revisit from time to time.

As always, I enjoy reading your perspective. Now I am off to update my own Gravatar!


Classic Block – First Look

Today I am in WP-Admin writing this blog. This space is very familiar to me as it is the editor I always used for my Web Design clients. It is more like the classic editor. Yesterday, I wrote my blog using the Classic block in the block editor. Here are a few comments on the process on my iPad.

Look / Feel

While the classic block looks similar, it is different. The formatting controls are no longer static and seem to offer fewer controls. Instead, the formatting Controls float on the page often obscuring the line of text above. There were times I thought my text disappeared only to discover it was just obscured. I can see how this might be helpful if you write a long post – the controls would float down the page as you write.

The + sign for adding blocks seemed to always be below the line I was typing. I am not sure what triggered it. It was easy to delete.

Spacing between paragraphs did not look consistent although when previewing the post, the formatting looked as it should.


I often received the message indicating the saved post was different than the current version. It did not tell me if it was more current which left me confused. At one time I restored the saved version only to discover it had less content than what appeared on my screen.

If I left the WordPress tab and went to read an email or research something, when I returned my screen was ‘frozen’ meaning I could not Scroll the screen or type. I had to close the post and reopen to unfreeze it. All content was there when I returned.

Even though I was using the classic block editor, it became obvious the paragraphs were treated as mini-blocks. For example, I could not highlight the entire post and delete it all at once (which I often do when copying a post for recurring posts like SoCS or One Liner Wednesday). I had to delete each paragraph independently.

Time to Post

It definitely took a little longer to write a post because I did not prepare. I just dove in.

I am attaching screen shots below that show the classic block I used yesterday and the WP-Admin editor I am using today. Keep in mind I am writing on my iPad. Eventually I will do this on my laptop and report back. Also, I did not add photos or do any fancy formatting with either post.

Classic Block

Photo of classic block editor

WP-Admin Editor

Photo of WP-Admin editor

Blog, Writing

WordPress, When Will I Learn?

The WordPress Gremlins ate a post I have been working on for weeks. It had 15 saved drafts. Today I published it and it has gone into oblivion. Not in the trash folder, not in drafts and certainly not in published.

I have no desire to write in Word and copy and paste and deal with reformatting.

I do not have the energy to re-write the post. I do not think I could capture the essence of this very sensitive topic.

This is crap.


UPDATE: Don’t Update the WordPress App

I upgraded on my iPad today. It is a mess. Almost unusable.

UPDATE: Following the advice of fellow-blogger Dan, I uninstalled the app and reinstalled. The problems seem to have been resolved.


Strange Happenings in BlogLand

Day 323

Yesterday I received a message from a friend who follows my blog. She said she had to quit reading my blog online because every time she did, she received this message:

IMG_5694A few things at play here. First of all, I had my blog set up to only send an excerpt of my blog to the email. That means the reader must go to my blog to actually read the update. Secondly, I did a quick bit of research and it did not take long to discover this is a scam trying to get people to click on whatever sleazy thing they have going on.

The thing I am not sure of is where this comes from. I thought it might be a browser hijack. The suggestions online were to clear the browser history and just ignore the message. Well, that sounds well and good, but those types of messages are annoying and the chance of accidentally clicking are ever-present.

So, in the interim, I updated my blog settings to send the entire blog to the email so it can be read in its entirety there. Not an ideal solution because I can get windy at times. The other downside is that this impacts my stats showing me how many people visit my blog and if they read the post. Anyone have any hints to share?

Then, this morning I was surprised there were no comments on the blog I wrote yesterday. I always preview my blog before posting, but I did not think to look at it once published. It seems the ‘allow comments’ setting was unticked. This is the second time this has happened and unfortunately went unnoticed.

I generally write my blogs on my iPad over my morning coffee. On the WordPress app, I do not recall seeing a way to change this setting per blogpost. To rectify this, I pulled out my laptop and edited the blogpost and sure enough, the comment box was unticked.

I also wrote about some blogs I follow falling out of WordPress reader. I only had to go back to the blog and unfollow and refollow to set things straight again.

After reading lots of posts where people are having difficulty with the Gutenberg editor on WordPress, I am not anxious to introduce even more problems. I will stick to things as they are.

Moving my blog is still on my radar, but ughh – not looking forward to that either.

How’s YOUR Monday?