New Blog Beginnings

Posted on September 11, 2022

I know I just took a blogging hiatus back in May… but I’m taking another one.

There are two core issues I need to address. The first is migrating to a content management system (CMS). I have thus far built and maintained my website entirely by hand. There are a couple of reasons why, but at this point, I can declare that enough is enough. The go–to solution here is to turn the site into a WordPress theme. I have yet to migrate a site with this many pages, so it’s anyone’s guess as to how long it will take me.

The next issue is how I host my blog. I’m constantly fighting with Google to get my pages indexed on Google search results. This is some of the behind–the–scenes stuff I have to deal with:

What that screen is telling me is that Google knows that these pages exist, but they aren’t showing up in search results because reasons. Seriously — Google won’t give you any details regarding why a page isn’t indexed. Some of my posts will get indexed automatically, others won’t. What’s extremely frustrating is when a page gets indexed before later getting removed from search results because reasons.

This whole ordeal is called search engine optimization (SEO), and it’s a headache and a half, to say the least. Google will never admit this, but Googlebot does regard some websites as being “authoritative” and others as not. There’s a reason why articles from the New York Times will show up on Google news minutes after they’ve been posted, while it could take several weeks for one of my blog posts to show up.

In that vein, I’ve been flirting with the idea of moving my blog to a platform like SubStack. To be clear, everything will always be free — if SubStack won’t let me keep it free, I won’t do it. I also will have to make the decision regarding whether or not I think this will help my articles get more visibility. Google is probably more tolerant of SubStack than my site.

I can’t say for sure how it will shake out. I am uneasy about having something else host my content, and I would like to embed my SubStack feed on my website but I don’t think there’s a way to do that for free.

Something like WordPress will make website maintenance much easier, so I can devote more time to dealing with the nonsense Google will always put me through.

There’s a good chance that all of the URLs for my blog posts will change, which will be another mess for me to deal with. My plan is to just redirect all of my old URLs, but FYI: some of these posts might go missing for a little bit.

So again, we’ll have to see how this all shakes out. In the meantime, here’s to new blog beginnings. And new haircut beginnings.

(PS: I've also realized that some of my PDFs are US Letter size, while others are A4. I can’t begin to imagine how that happened. Just another thing for me to sort through)

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