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!


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