On This Return To WordPress

This whole thing can continue to be filed under “Remember when this stuff used to just work?”

Reader, you will have noticed that I’ve swapped out the theme here a couple of times. The first time, it was because a theme update (Meks Typology) fucked itself up in a handful of ways, and because Jetpack updates would fail catastrophically and take the whole website offline, requiring me to FTP into the site and manually delete the Jetpack plugin and the thousands of busted files it would litter into the system. I went to a simple theme called Uncluttered. Jetpack seemed to behave, but the theme was broken and would only display images on the first page of posts. So I went to another simple theme that did not do this. And then the next Jetpack update busted the whole site. So I did some reading. Because I totally have time for all this.

My hosting is what’s called “Managed WordPress.” WordPress works on top of language called PHP. Media Temple’s “Managed WordPress” service sits on PHP that… well, the current version of PHP is 7.2.0. The version of PHP my site sits on is 5.2.1. It’s ten years old.

WordPress has a Site Health tool. This shows me that my copy of WordPress cannot actually write to something like twenty parts of itself. Guess which parts? Most of them seem to end with .php. Background updates don’t work and neither do scheduled events. Why do we care about background updates? “Background updates ensure that WordPress can auto-update if a security update is released for the version you are currently using.” Yyyyyyeah. That.

This would seem to be why shiny new versions of Jetpack arriving into shiny current versions of WordPress hit my hosting and explode.

I asked my hosting company about this. They may or may not update the Managed WordPress PHP install in the future.

You’ve already fallen asleep. At this point in the history of online publishing, we passed the threshold of absurdity a few paragraphs back. Media Temple are a good hosting company. They keep uptime. They don’t gouge me. They’re responsive. But this is what personal publishing appears to be deprecated to.

I’m sure the arcane masters of handrolled Indieweb, who remain incapable of communicating in colloquial English, are having a good laugh at all this.

I like WordPress. I’ve used it for many things for many years. I like the mobile app and the flexibility it gives me in posting from my phone in my preferred formats. But I am starting to regret not trying to make a blot.im instance work for my needs.

I’ve liked being here and doing this. But I may have to shut it off and start again. Or? If it really does require hours a week of deleting exploded files and sacrificing something to Satan every time I click a button? Just shutting it off. I came back to blogging too late, and shit stopped working.

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