Messing with WordPress

I'm not a geek– really I'm not! And this messing with WordPress to get these blogs up and running is certainly not very straightforward. I had a blog on another site – the Google site: blogger. And that works very well. But I just couldn't help myself. I wanted to learn about blogging, and how it's done. So I started thinking about WordPress which is a widely used blogging software.

The problem is, WordPress is an open source software. That's good, but that also creates some "issues". In my view open source software tends to be more geeky than other software. When you add the complexities of the blogging world, it's all on the web, it's on other people's servers which have their own peculiarities, there are many people writing extra code in the form of plug-ins or other add-ons, well… things get confusing.

For example nothing is very clear, and if you need help it's certainly not clear who to ask.  Perhaps if you're on the WordPress.com site which is a commercial site developed by WordPress creators, you probably have better options for professional assistance, maybe.  But in my case I'm using WordPress.org  form of the software and in this case help is in the form of various forums where very straightforward questions tend to get very cryptic, geeky, answers.  Answers having to do with editing the such and such file.  No big deal – that's what you'd expect.  But still that makes things more difficult.

Just for example after having this blog up for a few weeks – just testing – I find that the editor built into WordPress stopped working correctly.  Instead of showing black text on a white background it was showing white text on a white background!  So where do I go for help on that?  Nowhere in particular… Based on my past experience getting help from either my Internet host (iPage) or from the WordPress forums I know I'm actually better off doing a search on Google and finding a lot of answers none of which are exactly what I need.  But, at least I learned that other people are having the same problem!   So at least it wasn't something that made me uniquely foolish.

Obviously something is screwed up. But with the WordPress installation, because it's open source and open to re-editing by many very creative users, is a collection of files.  So many of the solutions to this problem (of white text on a white background) involve so-called "workarounds" that may solve the problem but don't tell me why it happened.

Seemingly, this problem occurred because I had added a "plug-in" that change the way the editor worked – making it work more like a word processor – with more options.  But the next day when I went to edit a blog entry I saw only a white screen!

My solution? Also a workaround :-).  I uninstalled the editor plug-in but that alone did not solve the problem – now the "native" editor seemed also to be damaged the problem did not disappear.  So my next "workaround" was to install another plug-in – another editor (interestingly called FCKEditor) which works – and works fairly well.  At least I have black text on a white background.

At least so far.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

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