Sunday 27 April, 2014 by Uncle Spike
Retired IT guy? – check
Established blogger? – check
Total dumb-ass? – check
“So let’s look at the evidence, shall we? Here’s a middle aged former IT guy, now a smallholding fruit farmer in rural Turkey. He set’s up a personal magazine-style blog upon which he publishes 625 posts in the first 10 months, attracting 127,000 views and 1,256 followers to date. So far I agree, sounds good stuff?
BUT, said Mr Dumb-ass completely forgot, ignored or somehow never considered the issue of data storage (perhaps this explains said early exit from IT?). So anyway, within less than 10 months he finds out suddenly that he has already used up almost 2.5GB of the available 3.0GB of storage space, and that’s 81% of the allowance.
The term Muppet springs to mind.”
Now, whilst that scenario you see above is perhaps a tad comical, it also, sadly, happens to be true, and EXACTLY what happened to your dear old Uncle Spike, hence my post Seeking Your Advice last week…
This wee post has several purposes: to provide an update on my ‘situation’, to pass on some very necessary thanks, and perhaps to help others from falling into the same trap as your’s truly!
So to the ‘thanks’ first of all. I can’t thanks you guys enough for all the help, advice, explanations and support received by way of post comments and via email. I know we all talk about our ‘blogging community’, but I for one can attest to the fact that it is alive and well. I enjoy helping others when I can, but it was very humbling to be on the end of such support – thanks Spikey’s, you did good 🙂
As for the situation and where I am up to, here goes… I am working on another post regarding where I am heading and how I am recovering.
Self hosting – Having looked into that area, and been advised by almost everyone, I have decided to stay put with WordPress.com. First of all, as a small personal blog, with no desires to go commercial, there really is little benefit in making such a move. The stats I see are great for a personal blog, but never in the realms of a pre-commercial jump, so the costs involved seems wasted at best. I also have no desire or need to access thousands of other themes, nor do I want loads of plug-in’s or customisation options galore. More’s to the point, the site maintenance, updates and support that are included with wp.com would all fall into my own lap if I left the tribe; and I have enough to do already in my life. So, nope. I’m staying put.
Theme change – I am quite happy with the theme I use, and apart from the storage issues I have encountered, why fix what ain’t broke?
Parallel blog – that was mooted as a potential solution as it would release a further 3.0.GB of storage on a ‘new’ blog; but I have no desire to break up my blog – the diversity of subject matter is very much a reflection of who I am, and a trademark as it were of this blog. Or to simply have a Mark II would necessitate the attraction of new followers all over again – it all adds a level of complexity and unnecessary arse-ache (excuse my Klingon) I can do without 🙂
Storage – now that, it turns out, is the simple start, middle and end of all my problems. For the past year I have done one of two things; uploaded images held on my pc from the past, or newer ones direct from my camera. Those images were generally 4000×2600 pixels, or thereabouts, with representative file sizes of 1.8-2.5MB per image (most of my shots are of complex nature scenes which require a bit more room it would seem).
All along I had intentionally decided not to use small images, for the images themselves are often seen as the subject driver of the posts I publish. However, what I hadn’t reckoned on was 2 things. First, that my theme has a maximum screen pixel width of 605, so there is simply no point in using such large images, and second, even if I later considered an alternative theme type, most use no more than 1000 pixel widths, so again, no need for the large image sizes I have been uploading.
Page load times were another issue I hadn’t considered. For any readers, like me even, who do not have super-fast broadband/DSL internet connections, the use of large images could unnecessarily slow down the page load times, and thereby potentially scare off some readers (why bother following a blog that takes ages to load).
To be continued…