More About Themes: Latest Experiences

Posted by Neville on January 22, 2011 under Blogging, How To | 3 Comments to Read

Changing A Theme Should Be Simple.

The observant reader of this blog will have noticed a change in the way in which it displays the content. That’s a fancy way for saying that I changed the theme.

From that there are a couple of experiences that I should really note, so that you can see that there are several things to consider when changing the theme of your blog.

Before I started searching for a new theme I thought I had stored away things that I did not want to lose if the new theme did not accept them readily. I saved my widgets in the widgets store, so that I could get them back if the new theme did not display them.

I backed up my blog. Just in case something went wrong.

It was all looking good for selecting a new theme, so I went ahead with the process.

When I found that Google Analytics was showing no visits for a about 2 days I wondered if it was such a good idea to change the theme. Had people stopped visiting because they didn’t like the new theme?

But the Who’s Online widget was showing the usual number of visits. So what was happening with GA?

Then the AHA! moment. In the old theme, the GA code was stored in the source code for that theme! Since it was no longer active I had to copy the GA code into the new theme. That fixed it!

At about the same time I decided to take another of my blogs in a new direction, and install a new theme on that one. I remembered the GA code on that one! Lesson learned!

Edit Theme

With the new theme on my other personal blog, I discovered that the theme could have many aspects configured from the dashboard. That makes it much easier to tweak and set up certain features, without having to go into the minefield that can be discovered when manipulating the source code of the theme, as I suggested in an earlier post, to do to tweak your theme.

So, a simple change of theme has provided a couple of useful experiences and things to learn and remember. Blogging is full of these little surprises.

Have you discovered any problems when swapping themes? Add yours in the comments.

Blog Maintenance: What Does That Mean?

Posted by Neville on January 3, 2011 under Blogging, How To | Comments are off for this article

Surely You Don’t Have To Maintain A Blog.

Don’t you just add posts and it looks after itself? No such luck!

Yesterday I marked my status at APSense as Blog Maintenance Time.

In this post I will outline what that meant.

From time to time it will be necessary to do more than just add a post or reply to comments. To either add features or keep the blog up to date there a certain things that can be done.

Updating a blog.

Update blogThe first of these is to update the blog to the latest version, which if available will be announced in the dashboard. Before starting that update, or any update it is a good plan to backup your blog.

So step 1 is to backup the blog, and then step 2 is install the update. That was simply a matter of clicking the link announcing the update and using the automatic install option. That took just a few seconds to complete.

Managing Subscribers.

For the past few weeks readers have been able to register as subscribers in the Admin box in the sidebar. I have now decided to transfer those subscribers to my Auto-Responder to make it easier to sens messages to them. So yesterday’s maintenance was to email each subscriber to check that it is OK to add them to my AR list.

Adding Features

And thirdly I have added a Feedburner RSS  Feed to the sidebar to make it easier for readers to subscribe to the blog in their favourite Reader.

I use the Google Reader as it comes with my gmail account, Google Analytics and others services. When you see a “What is this ?” link under the RSS, that will take you to a post describing what RSS is and how it benefits you as the reader. Coming soon! You can, however, click the Feed button (in the sidebar) to subcribe in a reader right now! 

Creating A BackUp For A Blog

Posted by Neville on December 12, 2010 under Blogging, How To | 2 Comments to Read

Why Back-Up a Blog?

There are lots of things that can go wrong with a blog, and some of these can be fatal for the site.

Despite high levels of security there are occasions where someone can hack into a blog and replace all of the content with something completely different. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. And when it does, all of your work will be lost.

Back-UpHow To Back-Up a Blog.

So to minimise any potential losses it is a good idea to back-up your blog, and there is a handy tool that is available for you to do that.

Guess where you can find it?

In the Tools menu!

The Tools menu opens up to show Import and Export options. To back-up your blog you choose the Export option.

From there you can choose which elements of the blog you want to back-up, and click the download button. That produces a file that can be saved in a convenient location, and retrieved later, if needed.

 Restoring your blog from the Back-Up file.

Once again open the Tools menu and this time select Import. Select the system to be imported (WordPress for example) to be imported and then select the file to import.

Transfer A Blog.

It is also possible to use the Export/Import functions to transfer a WP blog from one site to another. This is handy if you decide to change service provider at any time.

These tools can also be used to transfer parts of a blog. For example you might want to just transfer posts in one category to begin a new blog based on that category. Or you can select content based on the time it was published. The choice is yours.

Remember that regular Back-Ups may prevent huge data loss in the event of a hacker getting in, or if you accidentally delete your blog.