Adventures in Azeroth

It’s a Druid’s World (of Warcraft)

Yet another Druid blog group hug

Long story short – Phaelia over at Resto4life has tracked down yet another batch of Druid blogs.  Check out her post describing what they’re all about.  I’m adding them to my blogroll today or tomorrow.

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January 17, 2008 Posted by | Online resources, World of Warcraft | 2 Comments

Primary update

I logged back into Flickr and the screenshot titles I was sure I entered in when I uploaded the shots weren’t there.  So evidently I must not have saved them correctly.  Regardless, I’ve added titles to the two screenshots that I think are the right ones based on your comments.  If you need/want to change your vote, just add a new comment in the previous post.

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January 17, 2008 Posted by | Wordpress | Leave a comment

Amanna runs her own primary

I’ve been playing around with various themes for my new, self-hosted blog.  Long story short, I’m having a hard time making a decision.  Some many themes, so little time…

Not really.  There are literally hundreds of WordPress themes to choose from, but by the time you weed out the goofy looking ones, pick the ones that have the colors you want and the number of columns you want, you end up with a much smaller number to choose from.

 Well, I’ve narrowed my list down to two I really like.  I’m having a hard time deciding on one, so I thought I’d ask you.  Here’s a link to two screenshots on Flickr.  Take a look and tell me:

  • I really like blog theme “A”
  • I really like blog theme “B”, or
  • I don’t really like either of them

Be honest, that’s what I pay you for.  The easiest way I think to see them is to click the “View as a slideshow” link, otherwise the thumbnails are too small to get a good idea. 

Please leave your comments here, not on Flickr.


EDIT – Okay, I’m obviously still learning the ins and outs of Flickr.  I typed in titles for both of the screenshots, but looking at the set now as you see it (with me logged out of my Flickr account), I don’t see the titles anywhere.  So when you leave your comment, just tell me whether you like the blue one or the green one (or neither!).  And if anyone has found a good guide to using Flickr I’d love the link.  I hope to be sharing a lot of screenshots with you all very soon, and based on this experience, I feel I’m either doing this the wrong way, or Flickr isn’t my best option.

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January 17, 2008 Posted by | Wordpress | 12 Comments

DIY WordPress

I got a comment from Game Dame on my WoW Resolutions list.  Seems The Dame is interested in my experiences transferring my blog from WordPress-hosted to self-hosted.  Since many of us use WordPress as our blogging platform, I had fully intended to write some general impressions about my move for those of you that may be considering the same.

After thinking a bit about GD’s comment though, and taking my first steps in self-hosting, I think this may be a more interesting and rich topic than I originally had suspected.  Transitioning to self-hosting isn’t without it’s own headaches, but definitely gives you more control over your blog and it’s content.  I’m also finding out that making that move does require a “bit” more interaction with your WordPress internals than letting WordPress do the hosting for you.  That “bit” is bigger or smaller depending on how fancy you want to get with your blog, but for instance, you are responsible for making all WordPress software updates yourself.

So, I’ve decided to write here and there on the trials and tribulations (and hopefully wild-eyed successes) of self-hosting your WordPress blog.  Here’s my first few observations:

  • Cheap hosters are easy to find, WordPress even recommends some.  Some of these hosters have auto-installs of WordPress.  What I’ve found though is their control panels are a bit clunky and having an IT background definitely helps.  Realize that you will be in charge of file uploads, DNS configuration, software upgrades, backups, etc.  If all that makes you queasy, or you’d rather focus on writing than technical administration then let WordPress do your hosting.
  • There’s no good way to give the hoster you select a test drive, and what I found (I picked Bluehost) is that it’s never as easy to use them as they advertise.  I know, no big surprise there.  I’ve also found that however good they say their customer support is, just assume you will be on your own to fix your own problems with your best support mechanism the customer forums.
  • Yes, there are tons of “free” WordPress themes out there, many of them quite good.  If you find one that is perfect for you, then you’re in luck.  Inevitably, you will want to tweak something here or there.  The good news is, you have total access to all aspects of your blog’s look and feel.  The “bad” news is, you need to be knowledgeable in PHP, WordPress tags and CSS to do anything other than the most basic changes.   The good news here is, with some pretty basic knowledge of HTML tags and some other commands you can pimp out your blog to be uniquely yours.
  • WordPress is so popular that many hosters have an automatic Fantastico install of it.  However, what you will get is a default installation, with no plug-ins.  You may have come to rely on additional functionality at your WordPress-hosted blog that you will need to now install yourself.  Two important ones I found missing was Akismet spam and a stats dashboard.  While each are relatively easy to find via the plug-ins directory, it’s one more thing you need to do yourself (and maintain, if necessary, going forward).  I say “relatively” as there are several plug-ins under each category with no easy way to determine which is the one that will fit best for you.

So, Game Dame, there are my initial thoughts.  I haven’t decided to abandon self-hosting, there are just too many things I want to do with my blog that I can’t on WordPress hosting.  But it definitely has involved more effort on my part than I was expecting.  As I go through the process, I’ll make sure to keep you all up to date on anything I think you would find interesting on this topic.  I’ve created a category of “wordpress” that I’ll be filing all those posts in so they will be easy to find.

Meanwhile, look for another post to quickly follow this one.  I’m torn between two different themes for my new blog and I’m going to ask for your input.

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January 17, 2008 Posted by | Wordpress | 2 Comments