Oh, Heaven, help me. I am just not made for technical stuff. Suffice it to say it has been a rough week blog-wise. A week full of me trying to be independent and proactive and trying to figure out complicated things on my own, all culminating with me accidentally deleting my site from the internet and ending up in tears on the phone with Mr. C while he was at work. Did I mention I’m not made for technical stuff?
When I began this blog two years ago, I pretty much just plunged in head first, figuring things out as I went. By trial and error and within a short period of time, I had what I thought was a pretty nice looking site set up and running. I was anxious to begin writing, and that’s what I have happily been doing since. All was right in my blogging world. Until…
This past week I started doing some in-depth research on how to increase web site traffic – a.k.a. SEO. And that’s when my naive little world went from smiles to tears. In my attempt to be technically independent, I found myself completely overwhelmed, flailing helplessly in a sea of advice about everything I never wanted to know about blogging. Keyword strategy, title case, alt attributes, metadata, duplication, broken links, 301 redirects, indexing, reindexing, web crawlers, site mapping, and the big one that started this whole debacle, permalink structure. Before I knew it, I had installed three separate SEO plug-ins (one of which turns out has not been tested on my theme), turned various functions on and off, and somehow managed to loop my URL around on itself so that it disappeared from the internet altogether. Can you see why I was crying tears in my beer?
Did you know that the WordPress default setting for the permalink structure is not optimized for SEO? Neither did I! And did you know when you mess with your categories, tags, and slugs you break links which screw with your SEO? Neither did I! Did you know it’s a good idea to add a meta description to your post and images? Neither did I! Did you know about Yoast? Neither did I! I think you get my point. This blogging business can make you feel like a fool!
Thank God for Mr. C who is a technical wiz (by the way, where was he when I was setting up this site two years ago?!). He assured me we can get things back on track by asking Google to reindex my site. So, in an effort to fix my mess, I have spent the better part of four days completely overhauling two years’ worth of categories, tags, and slugs per all that crappy, confusing advice I read out there. After all, I already broke the hell out of it once, so why not go all the way!
Last night, Mr. C took the necessary steps for Google to do its thing. The downside is that it could take a few days or even a few weeks for their servers to crawl my site and reindex my URL’s. I’m still not convinced it will fix things but Mr. C says to be patient. For people who hit my website using WordPress Reader, that’s no problem. But it does mean that out there in Google land, My Plaid Heart is a dysfunctional, disorganized, unprofessional mess. Ugh. Have I mentioned that I’m not made for technical stuff?
What about you? Do you have any technical horror stories you would like to share? If you aren’t technically minded, how do you deal with learning and understanding the essential aspects of running a blog? Do you have any success stories about things you did to increase your post hits? Tell me in the comments below!
Here’s to a better week ahead and no breaking of blogs.