Having converted my old blog to a self hosted one, I’ve had the opportunity to play with a lot of tools that aren’t available to the “dot COM” version of wordpress. Think of ‘.com’ as a walled garden, protecting and corralling it’s users into “approved only” stuff.
I’ll be honest, there are times I really miss not having to do squat other than to blog/opine/journal about stuff, but the flipside is the freedom to make my site truly “mine” rather than “sorta’ mine”.
One of the things a blogger moving to the self-hosted side of things has to keep at the front of things is security. It is completely mind boggling just how many attacks a site will get a day by ‘bot-hacks’.
As I’m using a self-hosted vendor (A2hosting.com) a lot of basic security stuff is included with the package, but once you are past the entry door, then the rest of ‘ALL THE THINGS!’ belongs to the owner. Blissful ignorance is fine if your website is being managed for you, but once you leave the loving arms of that vendor to venture out into the wide wild world by yourself, blissful ignorance can get you smeared like virtual roadkill.
Having redirects on your login, internal site security, spam blockers and paying attention to what plugins are running/necessary becomes not trivial to successful management. There are a zillion different add-ons for all of these things, and this post isn’t a review of them, rather just me “sayin'” you NEED THEM!
Beyond that is the wordpress software. Security updates are damned important to implement when they become available, but keeping an eye on what is released with the packages is also important. For instance, the latest point release of WordPress (5.0) included a new editor called Gutenberg. I think of it as “Goober of the Borg” and actively dislike the tool for many reasons. Knowing how to replace something as fundamental as the blog’s primary editor becomes yet another issue. Fortunately, “there’s a plugin fer’ that!” 😀
As of today (1-12-19), this is the user rating for this freakin’ thing:
Beyond the mechanics, there follows the 800 pound gorilla in the room, the question that plagues a lot of us in the ‘blog-o-sphere’:
To this, there aren’t as many clear cut reasons any longer. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit can be great places to opine and interact with like minded folks.
My answer to this has been and still is: “This is my personal journal.”
It is a place where I can control the content completely, and spend longer on each post beyond the quick splat on a social media site. It is also where my primary Author presence is. As such, the site, using WordPress for content management, will almost certainly evolve to focus more on writing and my works rather than blathering about stuff, but not yet. One of things I’m playing with is the ability to push my own content online here. Several authors do this to great effect, and I figure if I can’t beat em’…join em’. This, more than anything, is the reason there is a “pardon the dust” statement on the home page. I don’t want to just toss something half-assed up, I want things to look good. A test of this is currently padlocked behind an admin password, but will give a good idea of what I’m trying to do:
This blogging stuff has been an interesting journey so far. I think I’ll keep doing it. 🙂
This post was proudly constructed using the Classic Editor Plugin. 😉