Tag Archives: Wordpress

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda…Can’t

16 Feb

WordPress is playing silly beggars again

I’m frustrated and I’m snotty and that’s not a good combination.  Prepare for a grumpy post.

Last week, I didn’t visit your blogs because I was unwell.

This week, I won’t visit your blogs because WordPress is unwell.  Every time I click your links, whether in my email inbox, blog roll, from your comments, or even my own previews, I get a 502 or 504 message: basically, we’re not letting you in in WordPress-speak.  It took many hours yesterday to comment on about twenty blogs.  

Woes of a Literal Marketer: Link Bait

Woes of a Literal Marketer: Link Bait (Photo credit: HubSpot)

I’m getting 400-600 spam comments in my spam box every day and my stats have gone down quite dramatically (for those of you who remember the chart, that’s Brit-speak for ‘way more than I like and if it carries on I’m giving the whole thing up for good’, not Rest-of-the-world-speak for ‘dropped a little dramatically but not more than I can handle’).

I wonder if the spam thing is related to the stats thing, because they happened around the same time; or is it just coincidence?

If you’re not getting comments from me on many of your posts, it’s WordPress’s

Peter Steiner's cartoon

Peter Steiner’s cartoon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

fault.  I’m sorry, I can’t do anything about it.

One of last week’s prompts was: Tell us about something you know you should do . . . but don’t.  It was entitled, Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda.

I shoulda stopped blogging before I thumped my laptop and I woulda stopped blogging if I coulda, because my perfect blood pressure caused by my even temper is about to be a thing of the past, but I can’t because they sucked me in with their ridiculous prompts and their world-wide network of people who say nice things in the comments section.  They’ve sucked me in so deep I may never get out.

I’m going to kick the Hub now, because we don’t have a cat.

For less irritable Six Word Saturdays, go here.


The Laughing Housewife Returns

18 Jan
I'm back!

I’m back! (Photo credit: >Saint<)

Hello everyone, I’m back!

My back is back to its pre-backache state, sort of, if I promise not to spend the whole morning, every morning, at the computer.

I had to promise.

To celebrate my return, and to thank you for staying faithful while I was away, I have a few WordPress prompt Q&As.  

Unfortunately, I might be back but the funny is still resting.  Please bear with me.


What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?

To look after my back so I don’t have to abandon my readers again.


What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favourite person? Tell us about it.

One week.  And it’s not so much person as ‘people’, if we can call bloggers ‘people’ in the truest sense of the word i.e. normal human beings.

What?  You didn’t think the mush would last longer than one question, did you? You did?  You’re obviously new here.


Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept?

Yes: to never make another New Year’s Resolution.


Where were you when 2012 turned into 2013? Is that where you’d wanted to be?

That would be telling.  It wasn’t my idea but it sure was fun [giggle].


If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover. 

No; if a book is boring, I don’t finish it, so why would I bother?



Run outside. Take a picture of the first thing you see. Run inside. Take a picture of the second thing you see. Write about the connection between these two random objects, people, or scenes.

Run outside?  With my back problems?  

Think these prompts through, WordPress: if we liked running, we wouldn’t be blogging.


Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favourite thing about yourself.

I am excellent at being self-deprecating.  I think.


If your government (local or national) accomplishes one thing in 2013, what would you like that to be?

Make blogging a paying job.

I’ll take it in Maltesers.


Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely?


Today’s Post Is Cancelled

9 Nov

Gremlin (Photo credit: clumsy_juggler)

while I seek out and destroy the WordPress gremlin who killed the post I was going to post today.

I did everything right – I saved the post after each paragraph, like I always do. When I noticed errors during proofreading, I fixed and saved, as always.  I tried out various photos in various places until I was satisfied.  

Then half my text disappeared.

Not a problem, I told myself; no need to panic.  Just go to the earlier drafts at the bottom of the page and retrieve it.

I scrolled down.

No earlier drafts.  What’s going on?

A gremlin is going to suffer a terrible fate today and no mistake.  No one messes with my blog posts and lives to talk about it.

I’m Back!

24 Oct

And so are the WordPress prompts!  O happy day!

High on the Happy Side

High on the Happy Side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, me: I’m not really back; I just need a break from banishing extraneous semi-colons and you know I can’t stay away from blogging even when I’ve told you I’m staying away from blogging.*  But I won’t be visiting you yet, sorry.

Didn’t  I do well? I went one whole day without posting!

*I’m sure that sentence needed a semi-colon after ‘semi-colon’.

For readers who joined us this year, in 2011 the WordPress people posted a prompt a day to encourage bloggers to post every day.  I needed no encouragement to post but I liked the idea, so I signed up.

I took the prompts seriously at first but on the day they asked us how we would react to kittens in a sack on a railway track, my seriousness flew out of the window, typing fingers dug deep into the back of their credibility.

It led to responses like these:

What makes someone beautiful?

An offer to clean my house in one hand and a bag of Maltesers in the other.


How do you know when it’s time to go?

I get a little damp patch around my lower-middle area.


Will Smith

Will Smith (Photo credit: Martin de Witte)

Describe the perfect sandwich.

Will Smith.Me.BradPitt.

What?  It could happen…


What shoul​d you do w​hen sick o​n vacation​?

Find a bucket, quick.  Some things cross the cultural divide.


What does “home” mean to you?

Too much cleaning; too little pay.  But at least I know where I keep the buckets.


What is your favorite way to get physical exercise?

I have a really good system: I spend all morning at the computer, exercising my brain and fingers at your blogs.  At some point I fall into a dead faint, which tells me I’m hungry.

  • walk from computer to kitchen
  • put kettle on
  • walk back to computer
  • walk from computer to kitchen
  • make tea
  • prepare cereal
  • walk back to computer
  • eat cereal whilst reading blogs
  • walk back to kitchen
  • get piece of fruit (also known as ‘packet of crisps’)
  • walk back to computer
  • eat frusps whilst reading blogs
  • walk back to kitchen to dispose of fruit packet
  • get another piece of fruit (also known as ‘chocolate’)
  • walk back to computer
  • eat other fruitlate whilst reading blogs
  • walk back to kitchen to dispose of other fruit packet
  • walk back to computer with tea, now at perfect drinking temperature (adding weights to an exercise regime gives a better workout)
  • drink tea whilst reading blogs
  • walk back to kitchen with almost-empty mug (it is impolite to drain the cup)
  • walk back to computer
  • read blogs

As you can see, I get a lot of aerobic exercise on a daily basis.  Time to celebrate with a slap-up meal!


My readers and I decided that I didn’t have to introduce every prompt post with the sentence, The WordPress prompters asked….

If a post has an italicised, bold introduction, it’s probably a WordPress prompt and you should expect a silly answer.

And I wonder why I’ve never been Freshly Pressed.


If you enjoyed these responses, here are some more:


Seven Tips For New Bloggers

6 Aug

“blog” (Photo credit: inju)

A lot of my subscribers are fairly new bloggers  (which, I suspect, is why they subscribe here – they don’t know any better).

Thank you, new subscribers, for subscribing, however misguided you may be.

Formalities over and naming no names, I have noticed some common errors on my visits to your new blogs, and I thought I would give you some tips that I wish had been given to me early on in my own blogging career:

  • Use no more than ten tags, including the category.  Any more than that and search engines think you are spam and put you to the bottom of the list.  Good tags encourage more hits.  Failing that, they garner amusing searches which you can shamelessly turn into their own posts.  Or is that just me?
  • Break up paragraphs.  It is difficult to read one huge block of text; people don’t have time to persevere or just can’t be bothered, and you might get hits because of your perfect tagging, but no possibility of a relationship with your visitors.  Short paragraphs/bullet points/photographs/bold/italics all make your post more attractive and easier to read. Your mantra should be:  Illustration Illustration Illustration. It is easy to upload your own photographs but if you don’t have any that are suitable, use Zemanta, to the right of your new post.  Type in a key word for a royalty-free illustration. 
    Punctuation ahead

    Punctuation ahead (Photo credit: mag3737)


  • Interact with your readers. Respond quickly to comments and always return visits, leaving a friendly comment when you do.  To begin with, it is worth having the Like and Comment Notifications sent to your email inbox; as you get busier you can turn it off again.  As your blog grows and becomes more time-consuming, your regulars will know that you are busy like them, but you won’t ignore them.
  • Use 140 character titles.  Search engines like them.  Get key words into the title.  If you can’t make it relevant, make it interesting or amusing, to catch readers’ attention.
  • Write right.  Bad punctuation, spelling and grammar can be off-putting. If it’s not a skill of yours, sign up to blogs that offer tips; turn on the spell checker (but bee warned: it is not infallible); and read read read!  Reading is the best way to improve your skills, find interesting topics to blog about, and to cultivate good blogging relationships.
  • Link to other blogs.  Links not only publicise those blogs you like (the only reason I do it, I swear), they encourage search engines to find you (a fortunate side-effect, that’s all).
  • Learn to count.  Readers get seriously annoyed if you promise them seven tips and only give six.

There are lots of other great tips, but these are the ones I think most important to new bloggers.

Blogs and Coffee

Blogs and Coffee (Photo credit: BrotherMagneto)

Here is a good link, which is in no way a shameful flatter of my WordPress masters in an attempt to get myself Freshly Pressed: sign up to The Daily Post; they send out all kinds of useful information.

Happy blogging!  Remember who set you on the right path when you are a superblogger, and throw a link my way (no slighting the hand that reads you).

By George, I Think I’ve Got It!

14 Jun

If I’m right, when I publish this post, you will see a You Tube video of me singing the South African National Anthem in five languages.  I wanted to show it in this post, celebrating the first year of the 101/1001 challenge, but technical problems stopped me.

You can thank the Hub – and blame him: he fixed the problem, by re-installing IE9; but he caused the problem in the first place, by doing something with the browser that shouldn’t be done; but I don’t know what it was, so I can’t tell you.  He says it wasn’t him, it was Internet Explorer; but he would say that, wouldn’t he?

All I know is, the Hub is back in his rightful place: the wrong; and I can upload videos again.

Expect a rash of posts with all the videos I’ve been dying to share, which I couldn’t, because, the Hub says, of Internet Explorer.

I suppose I ought to apologise to WordPress, because they insisted it was my browser and I insisted it wasn’t, because the Hub is infallible on computer stuff.  Which, he says, is correct; because it wasn’t him, it was Internet Explorer.

Talking of internet problems, if you are a fan of Pseu (and if not, why not?), she is having WordPress problems and cannot access her blog. 

All WordPress bloggers are having the WordPress problem of being unable to access the techies to ask for help, so I posted a request on the forum to which WordPress steered me, but there was only one response, with advice which Pseu followed, but that didn’t work.

I wonder if there’s any way I can pin it on the Hub?



Tearing My Hair Out

26 May

Posting for Six Word Saturday…maybe*

If I am lucky enough to access your blog, the ‘Like’ button works but when I write a comment, all I get is the ‘Posting Comment’ box, forever, but it never does actually post the comment.  On some blogs, comments on one post work but not on another.  A new glitch this morning was the absence of photos.

If I go bald, it was WordPress inflicted.


English: Bald head

A vision of my future if I stay with WordPress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I’m off to take my rage out on the garden.  It’s a mess, too, but at least I can fix that.

*It depends on whether I can access the 6WS blog; and if I do, whether it will let me link; and if it does and you aren’t having the same problem, I will reply if I can but it depends on whether I get white screen; and if I don’t and I can access your blog, it depends on whether it will let me comment.  So, thank you for visiting and consider me with you in spirit, at least.


Hacked-off of Stockport


Just tried to preview this post and all I got was…white screen!

Here, take it!  Faults and all!


I’m Not Ignoring You

25 May


English: WordPress Logo

English: WordPress Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have had two WordPress issues this week: I have had to renew my Facebook connection at least eight times; and most of the blogs I have tried to visit appear to live in the Antarctic (all white screens; hear my frustrated screams).

I do care about you but I’m the elderly aunt who can’t drive and who is waiting on busy nephews and nieces to take her about – I will visit; but it may take a while.

In the meantime, here’s a little something from a blog I did manage to catch between white, white and white screens…

…okay, just tried to visit him and he’s disappeared into the white, like almost everyone else.

Here’s a poem instead:


Help Wanted

WordPress, you suck this week.
Tweak your settings –
I’m getting frustrated;
my visits, belated,
leave readers betting
Tilly Bud’s playing hide-and-go-seek.

I’m begging you, please,
on feeling-old knees,
fix your settings
or I’m going to freak.


WordPress Had A Good Idea!

24 May
Morning Coffee (song)

Morning Coffee (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It happens occasionally: postaday2011 prompts, that little box with the nine notifications. 

Of course, they didn’t follow through with postaday2012 prompts and unlimited notifications; and don’t get me started on the thankfully short-lived enforced every-comment-ever-written-on-every-blog-you-ever-read-coming-to-your-inbox fiasco…

But here’s a really good idea: let bloggers tell WordPress about the blogs they love.  It is one of three new post series:

  • Recommended BloggersNominate your favorite WordPress.com blogger for an interview and profile on The Daily Post.
  • Why I BlogWhen did you start blogging and why? What keeps you blogging? We want to know what makes your blog tick!
  • My Morning CoffeeBefore typing up your latest post, where do you find inspiration? Let us know your go-to sites for post ideas. Share the inspiration!

Read the full post at Submit a Topic.

My problem now, of course, is deciding which of the many blogs I love I should recommend.

Suggestions on a box of Maltesers, please.


By the way, if you’re wondering about the illustration, Zemanta suggested it because it’s called ‘Morning Coffee’; I used it because a bunch of pretty girls trumps dull WordPress logo every time.


What’s Up With WordPress?

21 Mar
WordPress Pumpkin

WordPress Pumpkin (Photo credit: Eric M Martin)

I love WordPress; I do.  Remember that if you ever hear it was found buried in a blue recycling bin left abandoned off the M6.

What’s with WordPress at the moment?  I just had to approve my own comments on my own blog.  I get why other bloggers might hesitate to approve me – banal and anodyne, anyone?  I’m not good at small talk – but I think I’m mostly okay and I can’t say there’s ever been a moment when I have disapproved of myself, except for once in my twenties when I made a deliberately mean comment to a friend and I have since always been ashamed of it.

Another complaint: the wonderful new notification system (which could be more wonderful still if it didn’t go only up to nine) now tells me when I’ve made a comment on my blog…talk about overegging the pudding.  It goes like this:

  • I post.
  • You comment.
  • WordPress tells me you commented: in my dashboard, my inbox and through my notifications.
  • I reply to your comment.
  • I have to approve my own comment.
  • Not knowing I have both commented and approved my comment, I receive notification that I have left a comment on my blog.
  • My head explodes.

I feel guilty for complaining: poor Viv is having trouble receiving comments at all; and her commenters are feeling as frustrated as if they are trying to leave a comment on Letterdash.

Is WordPress really trying to compete with the most inefficient comment system known to blogger?

Answers on a postcard, please.  It will get here faster.

Tilly Bud Is Impressed

30 Jan


Dancing on Ice

Image via Wikipedia


It’s hard to believe we’re only in week 4 of Dancing On Ice.  Check this out (the girl in black and the guy in silver are the amateurs):


Sorry it doesn’t appear here; I still can’t show You Tube videos and the WordPress techies don’t know why, without visiting me at my home and disassembling my computer.

WordPress, Stop Messing With My Head

16 Jan

I just wrote a post about what may or may not have been my 1500th post.  When I hit ‘Publish’, it appeared in the middle of my blog, as if it had been published on 30 December 2011.

You can read it here.

Or you can tell me to give up blogging if I want to save my sanity. 


Thanks to Nancy’s excellent advice, the previous post is now in its rightful place.

Thanks, Nancy!

1500: Now That’s A Number I Like

16 Jan

This is my 1501st post.  Number 1500 was this morning’s joke.

I started writing this 542 posts ago for my 1000th post because I wanted to give you something special for my 1000th post, but I forgot to finish it.

I thought I’d make it my shortest post as a reward for your tolerance but my shortest post has already been done: you can’t get shorter than no words at all.

I did consider making it my longest post but I want you to stick around for the 2000th, so consider yourselves escaping narrowly.

So, this is my 1501st post…or is it?  According to the patronising WordPress sticker chart that appears each time I publish (Well done!  You have reached your target of 1500 posts.  Your next target is 1505), it is.  But, according to my list of posts, I have published only 1494, and scheduled six.

Look out for a re-blog of this in three days’ time.  Or my foot through the WordPress logo.

Now What?

2 Jan

It’s the start of a New Year but I feel like a tired old blogger whose muse packed up and left for someone younger and fresher: WordPress has deserted me.  2011 is over, so no more daft prompts; no weekly photo challenge.  They did offer one of those 365-day challenges where you post a photo or write about the same thing every day for a whole year but, as I post a joke a day, I don’t feel the need to participate.

So what do I write about?  I’ve done interesting dates to death.  I think you’ve had enough of my life-threatening cold.  Christmas will be packed away today.  I’m too much in love with Edward, Bella and Jake to write sensibly about Twilight.  The CoWAbunger was fun for a while but you readers aren’t wild about it, and neither am I.  Today I’ve written about how I’ve nothing to write about, but I think you’d soon get bored with that.

My particular brand of humour works best when an outside source sparks a random train of thought, which is how I accidentally hit on a possible new meme: the birthday post.  Belle of the Carnival started it when she commented on a date post that she wouldn’t mind her birth date being written up; several others followed suit, yesterday’s Deb post being the first chronologically.  I have two others scheduled for later in the year.

So how about it?  If you want me to dedicate a post to your birthday, leave a comment below with some interesting details, or email via thelaughinghousewife@googlemail.com

That takes care of ten posts, I estimate; but then what?

Suggestions on a virtual postcard, please.

WordPress Falls At The Last Hurdle

1 Jan



Image by Adriano Gasparri via Flickr


I was going to write a post about how great WordPress is.   How they are always updating the blogs to make them more user-friendly; how the techies solve most problems fairly quickly and – more to the point – politely; how they are always adding useful little features; and taking them away again when we all complain loud and long about how we hate them. 

That was my intention, especially after reading Worth Doing Badly and noting that Tinman went all mushy on us and said uncharacteristically nice things about WordPress.  I thought, if you can’t beat them, be nice to them: if they can take down Tinman, they can take down anyone.  So I prepared a post in praise of WordPress prompts.  I say ‘prepared’.  I mean, thought A post in praise of WordPress prompts might be good.  Because I have enjoyed the postaday2011 prompts.  I know you have all complained at how stupid many of them were, but that was the point: I made merciless fun of them, and enjoyed every single one.  That’s why I thought it would be nice to say so.

But then WordPress made a fatal error…they sent me my yearly stats.

I like stats.  Stats tell me how I’m doing; they tell me what you like (laughing); what you don’t like (not much; you’re easily pleased). 

Stats tell me how many visitors I’ve had this year: about 75,000. 

This blog was viewed about 75,000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

WAIT!  Not ‘about 75,000’ at all!   EXACTLY 87,639.  I calculate you owe me half a day at the Louvre Museum, WordPress.  I might have missed the Mona Lisa thanks to your wonky maths.  Though, with a face like that, does anyone really miss the Mona Lisa?  She’s a bit smug, isn’t she? 

Mona Lisa face 800x800px

Image via Wikipedia


They then tell me I wrote 826 new posts.  Cough.  Try 883.  385 photos were uploaded.  I’ll take their word for it, because words are my business, not pictures.

But here is where I lost it:

The busiest day of the year was December 6th with 455 views.

I knew THAT was wrong – I have fifteen other days with higher, sometimes much higher, and in one case, well over double higher, hits.  I may have stomped on the desk a bit when I read that part.

Finally, to rub salt into my festering soul, WordPress told me that:

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2011.

So, not content with underselling me on my statistics, they tell me my best work is behind me.

Be warned, WordPress, I’m watching you.  (I hope you’re not watching me)


So, what can you expect in 2012? 

Jokes, naturally.  Lots about me, and how I feel, and what I think, and how wonderful I am, naturally.  Occasional mentions of my family, prat falls in particular.  Naturally.  Same old, same old.  It feels natural to me.

Happy New Year, and thanks for making my stats comparable to a famous French tourist site.

I’ll leave you with a quote, in case you are new here:

A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.
Hugh Sidey


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