I’m always a bit anxious when I get onto my WordPress site to do some maintenance.
There’s a morbid fear that when I press, “Update Plugin” that I will lose the content of my blog. Years of writing, reflections and photos gone at the single click of a button.
However, there’s a paradox to my anxiety and that is, I still like to experiment. Sometimes I have to stop myself from downloading all sorts of funky plug ins from the WordPress directory and making my site look like some neon flashing carnival website that overwhelms the visitor.
This morning I had the thought, “Table of Contents”. I am mindful that I had written so many blog posts over the years and I have them all tagged with keywords and categories. I thought I needed a Table of Contents for posts that may make the reader cut through the babble and go straight to the content.
How Did I Create It?
First of all, can you see what I’m doing? (The answer will come later***)
I did a Google Search, “How to create a table of contents in WordPress and a blog post of the same name by WP Beginner came up.
I viewed the video below…Monkey See and Monkey Do.
After activating the plugin, I went back to the main website and checked through the pages and posts.
Where was the Table of Contents?
I scrolled through my blog posts and then a realisation hit me….I don’t use headings (H1, H2, H3) often in my blog posts.
When writing long blog posts, use Headings in order to separate the content into readable sections – or simply stop rambling and cut down your blog posts.
So What Did I Do Next?
I left the Table of Contents plug in where it was on the off chance that I will now continue to use appropriate headings into my blog posts (can you see what I’m doing? ***)
Then I saw that I had some plugins to update. Every time I log into WordPress, the plugin updates mock me. “You have 3 updates to install!” it yells out to me.
That’s when my anxiety kicks in.
I update the plugins accordingly and activate them – or so I think. Every time I update the plugins something goes missing.
This time it was my sharing buttons on the side of the screen. Is there no end to this annoyance?
Then I had a mild panic attack when I saw the Publicize section was missing.
So back to Google it was and did another search.
The results that came back showed me that I had to specify whether I was working on a WordPress.org site (self hosted) or a WordPress.com site (free) because the steps to overcome this were different to each WordPress. Go figure.
Then I glanced over to my panel and saw something was missing.
Oh, what was that plugin called? Something about a Rocket? Rocket Fuel? Fighter something? CRAP!
It was just THE main plugin that I needed to customise my website and it’s disappeared.
After a while, it came to me. Ah – Jetpack!
Yes. Jetpack is what I needed. That’s what had the social sharing functions and many more.
Another Google Search, “I have lost Jetpack in WordPress” (see the fear coming through in my Google searches?)
I downloaded Jetpack (again, for the umpteeth time every time I update WordPress) and activated it. Luckily it had saved all my links to Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. A quick refresh revealed that the Publicize section had come back again.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
- Remember it’s called JetPack.
- Plug In updates are really annoying.
- Don’t update your plugins when you’re in a rush before an appointment.
Where To From Here?
Part of me wants to do more experimentation. For a while I have been thinking of creating a social site with the Buddypress plug in but also another part of me also loves the Google+ communities. I can see value in both but the idea of constantly updating plugins in WordPress is quite annoying.
I have a whole blog post for this at another time especially how these social sites can be used for different audiences and if it’s anxiety for me, I can just imagine the trauma of people and vendors who are now looking at their content and considering how to create an income generating website if they have limited skills in all this as well as a fear of experimenting. Sure they can pay someone to build their whole site but really, you do need to know your way around these tools at some basic level – and be open to learning.
But that’s a blog post for another day.
***So what did I also do here?
As well as ‘Learning Out Loud’, I’m testing if this Table of Contents plugin works. If you see a Table of Contents box under the heading of this blog post – SUCCESS!
If you don’t, you know what I’m fixing right now…