It Looks Weird

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Denny ConfusedIf you’ve visited in the past couple of days, you may have noticed (and you will notice now that you’re reading this)…  The website looks drastically different.  I was sort of forced into this.  Let me explain.

I use WordPress.  I have for several years.  Way back in the day I did this site in plain HTML.  Then I discovered content managers.  I went from PHP-Nuke to NSN-Nuke.  Then DragonflyCMS and moved to E107.  They all had similar offerings but none had everything I needed.  Then I started messing with WordPress.  It was well known and used on many popular sites.  I really got into it when I started using Artisteer to create themes and learned some about PHP programming.  For years I could make my site look exactly like I wanted.  I could have all sorts of features.

Sadly WordPress does have some major drawbacks.  But it’s not the fault of the WordPress authors.  It’s the community.  There are literally thousands of plugins and themes you can get for WordPress.  Up until recently I could pretty much make my site do whatever I needed.  If a plugin didn’t do exactly as I wanted, I could figure out how to change the code to work for me.  However the problem comes when WordPress updates and breaks old plugins.  Or plugins and themes get forgotten about and don’t get updated to work with new versions of WordPress.  Then things break on my site and don’t work so well.

Like my photo gallery.   Once I had all my pictures on Google and pulled them in with a simple plugin.  That broke one day a few months ago.  Plugin was abandoned.  Google changed their format and I had to find a new plugin.  I hated every plugin I came across.  So I finally gave up and used the built-in gallery WordPress has.  Takes a lot of space hosting the photos locally and it’s not as nice as what I had.  But it works.

More recently a plugin I used to have my short URL’s shown on my site broke.  Caused some havoc and I had to paste some crude code in to get it to work.  I’m still fixing the mess it left behind.  In working the code, my theme is horribly outdated.  Artisteer stopped making their software in 2015.  I haven’t found a suitable solution to replace it.  Their code is very convoluted anyways.  So I had to settle on finding a ready made theme that I could modify to my needs.  Hence you see what you see now.  That’s of course after looking through thousands of themes and not finding anything that looked even close to what I had.

Therein lies another problem with WordPress.  Thousands of free themes.  But they are neutered in functionality unless you cough up $70 (PER YEAR!) for function and support.  It’s a money making racket.  Even this one is holding back on functions unless I pay.  Not paying.  I had to modify the source code to get my short URL’s to show.  Allow zooming on mobile devices.  Do outdated browser detection and a few other things I need.

Of course all these changes causes my security software for my website to go bat-shit crazy because I have modified source files.  That’s another major drawback to WordPress.  Being so popular.  It’s a big target for hackers.  Plus…  All the plugins and themes may have flawed code to also cause security holes.  Sometimes having my own website is a real pain in the ass.  Especially now that I don’t have a lot of time to sit and pick at the code all day.  I have a real job now.

So…  It may change again in the coming months if I find a better theme or have to change plugins.  Or modify the code.  Though I’m doing my best to make it fit me.  Especially since I noticed just now in mobile format, the sidebar widgets don’t show at all 😡