Website: Most Popular Posts of All Time

I used to be obsessed with what people were coming to this website for. In fact, I felt as if I was wasting my time if no one read my posts. I guess a lot of people feel that way. Yet these days, my website is more of a collection of links and data gathered in one spot for my own use. I rarely check statistics and only did so today because I had nothing else to do (actually, I’ve got plenty to do but I’m feeling rather lazy).

Anyway, the statistics gave me quite a surprise. This website is mainly to do with writing – my own writing together with resources and tips as well. But here are the top five posts of all-time (or maybe I should say, since the popular posts plugin was installed, which was about 18 months to two years ago, so “all time” is a bit over the top really):

1. Time Line of the Black Death
2. Laid Lain Lay Lie
3. Scribes Message Board to Close Down
4. The Medieval Village
5. The Medieval Horse

If I were still obsessed, this would be proof that I’m compiling a website about the wrong topic. Medieval times seem to be the favoured topic here – the statistics range from 5,000 views to 8,000 views each.

Out of the next five posts in the list, four of them are also to do with the medieval period. However, item number 10 is to do with writing. Shock of shocks! That post is:

10. How to Plot Your Novel

It received a shameful 1,447 views. Never mind. At least I’m not reporting that no one ever visits the site, except me. Now that would be depressing. 🙂

Website is Up-to-Date

That’s it. All postings made at the other website have been transferred over to here. The only thing missing are the comments, but I don’t have the time to do those as well.

From now on, this will be my main place of residence. I apologise for constantly changing my mind and for any inconvenience I’ve caused, but as the saying goes “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone”. Luckily, I realised that before it was too late and the website ceased to exist completely.

The other site will remain in place. I will post writing related posts there too, but nothing else.

I’m Moving Back In!

Yes, I’m moving back in. After much thought, I’ve decided that I don’t want to give up my domain name. When the time comes to renew my hosting account, I’ll move to another, cheaper host instead. I have no problem with my current host, except for the cost, which is four times dearer than the same sort of setup I can get elsewhere (which I can get for less than a $1 a week). It’s a shame because having a host in the same city as me has been ideal when I need something fixed in a hurry, but it’s not worth the extra money I’m spending out.

Also, I’ve been checking the stats for both sites and this one remains well in front – with three times the visitors on a daily basis. I don’t think it’s a good idea to let that go without serious consideration.

Over the next few days/weeks, I’ll be moving individual posts here from the other site. After that, all new posts will be placed on both sites as I’m not going to let the other site waste away to nothing…and who knows what will happen in the future. Maybe, I’ll make the other site a mirror of the writing side only of this site. I’m not sure yet.

So, yeah, I’m back and you can expect an influx of posts…starting today.

Announcement: I’m Moving to a New Desk

It is with sadness that I make the following announcement.

For those of you who regularly read this blog, you may remember that I moved into a house I purchased in April 2009. It was an exciting time for me and my family. Due to the ever increasing prices of houses in Sydney (Australia) I couldn’t even dream of buying a house in the area in which I lived, so it meant I had to move out of the metropolitan area. This is turn meant that I would have to commute to work each day – a two hour trip each way.

As I’ve mentioned several times over the months, the travelling isn’t all bad. I have turned that time into precious writing and reading time. So things are good in that regard. I’m not overly keen on getting up at 5am and getting home at 7pm though. But, I’ll survive because at the end of the day I’ll have my own home.

Anyway, buying a house is a wonderful thing. For me, it offers a form of security for when I retire (because by then the house should be paid off and I won’t be trying to find rent money on the miserly pension I’ll probably be on). But, paying a mortgage can be difficult, especially for a one income family. Now that the global crisis is reportedly over, the interest rates are going up, up, up and I’m finding I have to tighten the belt a bit.

For this reason, I have looked at my finances and have decided that as paying for domain names and web-hosting is a pure luxury, the pleasure of hosting my own website must come to an end. I tried to use affiliates to raise a bit of money toward this expense, but as everyone is thinking and doing the same thing, there’s little to no money to be made in that area (or maybe I’m just no good at it). Anyway, I can no longer afford this bill, as small as it might be, and I have no choice but to move the blog to a hosted service.

This is, in fact, the last post I will make at this location even though the website will remain in place for several months. All future postings will be made at the following url:

My New Desk

If you have been kind enough to link to this website, I would greatly appreciate it if you could update the link to point to the new site, at your earliest convenience.

I hope you will follow me over to my new desk where everything will continue on as usual.

Broken Plugin Causes Inability to Post

The new WordPress allows the user to update plugins with a quick click of a button – no downloading the new file then uploading it to the server and then activating it. Life is becoming so much easier with each year that passes, in terms of technology.

Recently, I used this new system to update several plugins. I’ve done it before and never experienced any problems. However, this time, was different. This time, something went wrong and although I could login to WordPress and make my way to the dashboard, that was as far as I could go. I couldn’t post, I couldn’t go to the plugin page and deactivate the offending plugin (which I didn’t know which one it was anyway) and I couldn’t add links, pages, update the theme or anything. It’s been a real pain in the rear.

A couple of people suggested that I access the files via ftp and just deleted the plugin file. I was hesitant to do this as I thought it might wreck the inner workings of WordPress. But, a desperate person will chance anything so half an hour ago, that’s what I did – I deleted the plugin file.

I don’t know if there’s an adverse affects, but I’m writing this post which is something I couldn’t do this morning so maybe I’ll be up and running again now. Only time will tell. If you see anything unusual, please leave a comment and let me know.

New Theme Called “Post-It”

As you can see I’ve installed a new theme. As always, I have some tweaking to do over the weekend, including creating a new home page. Right now though it’s after midnight and I’m extremely tired…so I’m going to bed.

I’m too tired to think of anything witty to say so I’ll leave it at that.

I’m a Woman; I’m Allowed to Change My Mind

It seems a while since I was saying how pleased I am with the theme you see before you, and that was why I was only going to change the banner when I changed the name of the website. In fact, it was actually only twelve days ago. How quickly time flies! And how quickly a person can change their mind!

Anyway, at the time I had spent some time doing the rounds and couldn’t find anything that I felt was better that what I’m already using. Then, a few days ago, I stumbled across a theme that jumped out at me. I really liked it. It’s completely different to what I’ve used before. To me, it looks a bit “out there” but I couldn’t stop looking at it … and wanting to use it! It is a theme that is not free though, and that kept me hovering on the threshold for some time…several days. The cost was minimal – only $20 – which I think is a fair price, but I’m not trusting when it comes to the internet. What if I paid and got nothing in return? What if I paid and the theme didn’t work properly? Eventually, I decided to take a risk.

I’ve purchased a new theme for this website. I don’t know if it will work, that will be discovered over the weekend (actually I probably won’t be able to wait that long and will, no doubt, install it on Friday night), but I feel excited about the coming new look (assuming all goes to plan, of course). So…put a “post it” note on your screen reminding yourself that The Desk of Karen Lee Field is about to be modernised. 😀

I’ve been hacked! What should I do?

Approximately thirty-six hours ago this website was attacked by hackers. I was soundly asleep in bed and missed the whole thing, however, several friends sent me emailed in the attempt to notify me. By the time I read the emails the next morning, my provider had already fixed the problem and restored their latest backup of my site and everything was sweet. I lost nothing!

But, I did the research anyway, because that’s just the type of person I am. I wanted to know what it would mean to me (if my provider wasn’t quick to react) and what I would have had to do to fix the problem. I want to share the results with you, as many of my readers also have blogs and I believe being forewarned may prevent you losing a lot of information.

Firstly, the best policy for WordPress bloggers is to keep your installation up to date, this includes your plugins. However, this is no guarantee that you won’t get caught out. If you do find yourself compromised, then you should think about doing a complete, fresh install on a newly created database.

“Fresh” means that you must download a new copy of WordPress, your plugins, your theme and, to be absolutely safe, find the original images of everything you have uploaded to the website (this includes book covers, DVD covers, photos, everything). It sounds like a lot of hard work, but it shouldn’t be, especially if you save copies of your files to your computer regularly.

With that lovely new database sitting empty and waiting to be used, and the old database dumped, you should install the “fresh” copy of WordPress and then upload all your “fresh” files. Then, when all is up and running, you can restore a backup of your blog…you do backup your website regularly, don’t you? There’s a WordPress Databse Backup plugin that makes this so easy, you’d be silly not to grab it right now if you are not using it already. The plugin will backup your site weekly and send the backup to your email address (don’t backup to your database, because then your backups could also be compromised).

You should be back to where you started – fresh and clean.

Go to How to Completely Clean Your Hacked WordPress Installation for step by step instructions.

My site didn’t suffer any ill affects from the hacking from what I can see. I don’t feel the need to do a complete new install, but if I notice anything strange in coming days or months, I will immediately do the above.

I did, however, check to see if any users had been added to the list (even invisible ones – see the link below to find out more about that). I also immediately changed the password, checked all the files to see if I could see strange coding and will do a more in-depth check over the weekend when I have access to ftp.

Follow these links to find out more:

WordPress Attack Catches Bloggers Off-Guard but it Shouldn’t Have

WordPress Hacker Strikes: How to fix the hack that causes permalinks, url, structure error