wordpress and the art of theme updating

Changing themes in WordPress used to be a hassle.

Once you found a theme you liked – if you found a theme you liked – you’d have to make the change, upload your custom header (if you used one), and reset all your widgets. It used to be a good time to update your blogroll and any other outdated thing in your collection of craptastic.

It was also tedious and a particular pain in the rear.

So, when I finally found a theme I really, really liked, it gave me pause before I decided to change it. Normally, I test those things on my fiction blog, because it’s more static than this one. It also gives me some idea of how much work it will be to do the updating after converting.

My loving spouse has done all the tedium for me for the last couple of years. She’s very, very good at it, and seemed to enjoy the process. (She didn’t cull dead links though.) So while I was under the weather the last couple of days, I decided I’d update my blog with a new theme and see how it went.

It went swimmingly, frankly. It was awesome. WordPress did all the hard work for me. The widgets from my sidebar automatically migrated to their corresponding locations in the footer area. My wife didn’t have to do a thing.

I took the time early to make the banner ahead of time. Then I discovered it worked on my former theme, so I put it in place to see how it’d look. Unfortunately, as good and easy as the migration algorithm is, it didn’t pick up the header image and I had to re-upload it. Interesting note, the preview page for my blog didn’t accurately reflect the position of the new header either.

So, I took my wife’s advice and made a background image of a star field, uploaded it along with my header, and voila! What you have before you is what I’ve come up with. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

I’m also considering buying my domain name (again) and just…using this site for my web page. (My author site as well, because with just a couple of extra steps, I can actually allow downloads of my books.) Any thoughts on that from you all?

Have a great weekend everybody, and I’ll see ya on the other side.


2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. Since I published my results on my fiction blog yesterday, and since I really wanted that 140th post before the end of the year, I’m using this as an excuse for a post.

Please, feel free to enjoy my stats. They’re going to be far, far lower next year, because for some reason, Google has revoked my status as The Sandwich King.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 63,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Sandwich King

Take THIS, Sandwich-Seekers!

So, if I write a post about mystery meat, I wonder how many hits I’ll get?

Through some bizarre twist of Google, I’ve had more than 200 hits on my post about National Sandwich Day. People trying to find pictures of sandwiches, for some reason, have come to my blog and found…nothing.

It’s funny. I always wonder what search parameters folks entered to bring them here, to cause them to stop on their merry way to some place interesting here, in this mud hole, before flying on to greater things. But you know what? I don’t care. I’m going to simply accept the sandwich seekers for what they are: passersby without interest in anything I have to say. They’ll move on and find what they want somewhere else I’m sure.

What terms brought them here? I don’t know. And I don’t care enough to look either. I’ll just be content that something I wrote got interest.

And I got paid by Amazon again. Cha-ching, baby.

How’s it by you?


The Mysteries of the Reader

Blogging’s a weird business.

Once upon a time, I was a traffic whore. I love that term, btw. What it means is, I’d do anything required get my page hits up. SEO, keywords, catch phrases, tags, categories…everything and anything I could think of. And, to a point, it worked. At one time, I could get my page views up to about eighty a day, five days a week.

Last week, though, I couldn’t seem to break through the 25 barrier. I tried to pander to my audience with rant posts (I do those no matter what though), I tried a heartfelt post, I tried to use a list of items…all things I thought might be of interest to the reader, but you know what? I got no love from the Interwebs and my page views stayed low.

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