Consider this a brief and as yet incomplete report on my investigation into a series of minor problems I’ve been having interacting with this community. What? You weren’t aware that I was investigating? Well, I have been, ever since the great “User does not exist” incident. If you’re wondering where this post is going, I should warn you, it’s technical, but I’ll try to move along smartly. If you need an incentive to continue reading, I discovered an amazing statistic that many of you will not believe. I don’t even think my Editor will believe it.
At least once a week, when I try to like someone’s post, WordPress forgets who I am. Worse yet, if I am using my phone, pressing the ‘Like’ button takes me to someone else’s blog – usually Linda G. Hill’s.
That’s OK, I like Linda’s blog. I have discovered that if I go back to my email and click on the link to ‘Like’ the post there, I am taken back to the post and I have liked it.
Success? No, only a partial victory.
If I enter a comment and try to post it, I am asked to log in. Again, if I’m on my phone, and I attempt to use my stored credentials, it brings up a password associated with – you guessed it – Linda G. Hill’s website.
Curiouser and curiouser…
I’ve noticed an odd thing when this occurs, I’m not viewing the website I think I am. The last time I had this problem, I was trying to ‘Like’ John Howell’s post. If you’re like me, you start with the email you received from John’s site. If you hover over any of the links in the email, you’ll see something like:
See the “johnwhowell.com” thing? That’s the home URL for John’s blog. It’s also an indication that John has purchase a private domain name (as I did with nofacilities.com). But, it really isn’t where John’s blog is. John’s blog is at:
Or, maybe it’s the other way ‘round. The point is, those two URLs should both lead to the exact same page. There aren’t duplicate sites, it’s just that both URLs point to the Internet address, something like: ‘126.96.36.199…’ a.k.a. a place in the WordPress universe.
For this to work, someone – some system – has to figure out that John Howell lives at that numeric address. When I experience my “we don’t recognize you” errors, I’ve come to realize that WordPress is pointing me to: ‘http://johnwhowell.wordpress.com/’ not ‘https://johnwhowell.com/’ – It shouldn’t matter.
My stored login credentials are associated with ‘https://johnwhowell.com/’ – therefore, the site’s features (liking, rating, commenting, etc.) don’t recognize me. I have verified that if I manually edit the URL, to remove the extraneous ‘wordpress’ from the URL, and reload the page, my credentials work. Reloading the page DOES NOT work, because it can reload the wrong URL just as easily as the one I’m looking for.
A long-term solution remains elusive, but I have a work-around. When the problem occurs on my phone, I delete all of Safari’s (iPhone browser) stored passwords for WordPress. On my laptop, I edit the URL and reload John’s private domain.
OK, now for that amazing statistic. In researching this, I have explored a lot of information WordPress has stored. One of those bits of data is the average length of my blog posts, by month forever. Guess what? My blog posts have been getting shorter.
It’s true. I’ve been writing progressively shorter posts for five years!
I’m gonna go now…
The gallery has a few more snow photos and the critters that have are feeding between storms.