For my website management, it is probably trite to note that some parts are more enjoyable than others. Writing posts is fun; managing plugin updates is not. Solving gremlin issues is not.
A few months ago, I revamped the site. Mostly because I had accumulated enough little management issues that my site was running slow and I was starting to notice irregularities in different posts. You would expect that if multiple people were posting on a site, the back-end admin area might get a little cluttered. People might save photos in odd places, for instance. But my site is all me. Everything should have a place and everything should BE in that place. More or less.
Most of the time, nobody would ever notice. Except a lot of my posts are part of various series of posts. And on one page, I used “blah blah blah – blah blah” as the title, and on the next, “blah blah blah: blah blah and blah”. A dash in one case, a colon in another, and inconsistent wording for the blah part. Most people wouldn’t notice, but in some cases, it was off enough that it made me question what the title SHOULD be i.e, what was the goal of the post? Not simple pedantic naming conventions but actually what I was trying to communicate.
The images and tables were messed up in a number of places, and some people had noticed enough to point it out. But overall? It just needed an update.
So I did it. The last time I will be able to do that manually from start to finish, partly as I am close to 1500 posts in total. That’s a lot of chickenfeed.
I still have about 150 posts that are messed up somewhat for photos, and I’ll eventually “fix” those in the fullness of time. They’re fine as they are, I just flagged them so that when I finish some photo updating, I’ll fix those too. I’ve ground through a couple of layout and table issues in the last week. But I had a big one that was outstanding.
My book reviews list was not complete. I have 190 BRs on the site, all live. I failed to notice that #160 was messed up for format when I went through them earlier, but I caught part of it tonight. Anyway. The real issue was that the index only listed the first 50. There were another 140 to add to the index, and while I have a lot of the info in a spreadsheet, each item in the index needs to link to the proper post with the review.
I had done about 10 at a time previously and each batch was taking me over an hour to get into shape. I split it into a bunch of stages so that I could assembly-line-bulldoze some updates earlier, and it fixed the majority of layout issues in batches, but it still left me with the index not done. I figured this was something that would take me several months to update, perhaps 10 here or there, or even 20 in a day.
Earlier today, I started looking at it differently, and seeing if I could tweak my Excel spreadsheet to put all the info I could into a single “paste” and then just edit the remaining missing pieces. In the end, it worked. I added 130 records at once, complete with full HTML code for the links, and then just manually pasted the URLs one by one into the website’s database table. All together, it ran about an hour. The whole thing? Up and running? In about an hour? Woohoo!
Months worth of work the old way, and because I decided to just grind it out a bit today, I dug in, found a faster way to do it, and saved myself a ton of work. Plus moved my markers on what is “next” on my to-do list.
Today I choose to just grind it out on my website and update my Book Reviews index.
What choices are you making today?