That WordPress Thing

Spring is out there.

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.

The Problem:

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:

https://johnwhowell.com/2018/03/12/top-ten-things-not-to-do-if-you-are-called-for-jury-duty/

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:

https://johnwhowell.wordpress.com/2018/03/12/top-ten-things-not-to-do-if-you-are-called-for-jury-duty/

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: ‘192.0.78.25…’ a.k.a. a place in the WordPress universe.

John’s out there somewhere. I just have to find him.

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.

Except…

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.

Stop laughing.

It’s true. I’ve been writing progressively shorter posts for five years!

I’m gonna go now…

From the Editor

The gallery has a few more snow photos and the critters that have are feeding between storms.

89 thoughts on “That WordPress Thing

Add yours

  1. Good morning, Dan….
    and whenever I had “similar” issues – I thought t was related to being hacked. And folks are always trying to get into this hyper-connected interactive systems – and sometimes when a patch or major update comes out the problems dissipate.
    For me – I used to have the issue with self-hosted blogs – but recently (early last February) had some of the issues you mentioned here.
    and NICE detective work Dan.
    Maybe it will alert the security team to something it missed… or needs to see.

    and interesting on the posts getting shorter – I know some folks who assert that “short and succinct” is a sign of excellence – and I guess it depends on the aim…. and content… and need of the writer – ahhhhh
    lastly, from the pics – laughing at “is this where we get peanuts?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Yvette. I used to have these problems only with self-hosted sites. I started having them with wordpress.com sites last August, and it’s become a regular thing.

      I don’t think I’ll ever be confused with being “short and succinct” but (oh, hear I go again).

      The squirrels were out in force yesterday. I think they know we’re forecast to get yet another major winter storm tonight/tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. not sure if it was a typo – but nice play on words with the “hear I go” – co we hear ya amigo –
        yes and I heard the storm was a coming – might miss us here tho –
        hope you all stay hunkered down and safe

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the photos! I have noticed your posts becoming shorter. Haha! Love the editor’s comment. I have noticed quite a few strange things in WP over the months but attributed it to my new site not being purchased like the other one. For instance, some months back, when I added a link to someone’s blog-such as yours or Linda Hill’s-when I checked the final post the link was connected to my own blog, some random post! Then I saw the box to check that says,”open link on new page” and as link as I click it then everything is ok. I don’t understand the technicalities of this process but perhaps you do. Of course you do! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cheryl. I have had the problems with link, now and then, too. I delete them, add them back in and it seems fine. I’ve also had comments from long time followers (Like John) end up in my spam folder. I’m hoping to pin this down to a repeatable process, so I can send it to the Happiness Engineers. In the meantime, I have a work-around, so I’ll still be liking/commenting-on your blog :)

      BTW, I included the shot of Chippy for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for Chippy. So darned cute. Still haven’t seen our pair again. 😞 I have the same issue with Spam. Since I don’t go into the admin area often I miss these comments. Im sure I found one of yours in there not long ago and more recently there was one from Norm and Deborah too. That is so horrifying to think Unwittingly ignored someone’s comment. Good luck pinning it down. Im so glad tou found a way around it for now.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I like Chippy! I haven’t seen a chipmunk since I left Long Island 48 years ago!
    [and if I hear one more word about Jury Duty!! I WILL scream when I show up at the court house in 2 weeks!!]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Do Chippy and Sammy know each other? I stay signed in all the time so the only problem I have is if we do something to my computer (do what? I have not a clue. My husband is the computer guy) and it doesn’t recognize me and I have to sign in again. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know what in the heck to do. The editor’s comment made me laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. In theory, I stay signed-in too, but sometimes, things forget. I can understand my laptop because I switch between private me and work me often. But my phone really shouldn’t get so confused. It’s worse when I travel, because sometimes, that’s the only way I can view posts.

      Chippy and Sammy have been out and begging at the same time. Sammy might be a little jealous, because Chippy gets walnuts and Sammy usually gets peanuts. If it’s really cold, we give Sammy walnuts (because he always eats those right away – he often stores the peanuts).

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ha ha – The one we call Sammy actually does knock on the door. You can hear this little tapping sound, and sure enough, he’s on the porch looking for peanuts.

          In fairness, he’s one of two orphans who my wife found next to their dead mother’s body in the street in front of our house about a year ago. That’s when she started feeding them. We didn’t even expect them to survive, let alone become part of the extended family.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, now that you brought WordPress challenges up, I have two issues. There are certain Blogger sites that I cannot comment on. I can try 5, 6, or 7 times and never can get one to post. But, the one that is driving me up the wall is that every time I enter a photo into a post I get reams of additional coding that I have to delete before posting. I have to remember to go into ‘text’ and delete the code. I’ve actually thought it is just too much trouble to post, but so far I just keep spending the extra time deleting the code. Phew, that’s it. :-) Yes, your posts have been getting shorter. I’ve noticed. Have a good week, and I hope the snow is not too deep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judy. If you’re adding the photos to your gallery and then inserting media from the gallery into your post, you shouldn’t get all the additional code. I used to get a big bunch of code when I added pictures from Flickr.

      As for Blogger – I used to have two technical blogs on that platform. I only rarely got comments there. I can make comments there, so whenever I co-host a blog event, I volunteer to take the Blogger accounts.

      Our forecast is now 6-10″ – Yours is a lot worse. I was supposed to be in Burlington, MA today through Wednesday – thankfully that event got cancelled.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. It’s not your fault, but I figured you wouldn’t mind being picked on. It’s either WordPress or Apple at the heart of the matter.

      Yeah, I think it must be the Wal-mart lines – the editor agrees.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ~Waves to chippy~ Thanks for all your hard work. WordPress is weird. Sometimes, my comments link me to my actual blog, sometimes they link me to my old WEBLAHG. I’m sure there’s a reason but, since my old WEBLAHG links to my real one, my laziness outweighs my OCD and I let it slide.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 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.

    They say the definition of a fool is one who tries the same thing twice expecting different results. Obviously, “they” wrote that before the advent of the hyperlink. I have also found that pushing a button, any button, multiple time yields different and entirely unique results.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trying to solve WordPress problems is an insane preoccupation – I’ll grant you that.

      I don’t know why Linda’s site is always the one it reverts to. I clear the passwords, I go to other sites first, but when the problem starts, it takes me to Linda’s place. I think it’s a guy at WordPress and a guy at Apple teaming up and just messing with me.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Shorter blogs? Doesn’t seem like it. I have to question your measuring ability….so please don’t come here and measure my rooms for new carpeting! Lol. Whatever the length of your blogs, they are a delight to read.

    Did I see 4 squirrels in one photo? Sally and Sammy must be subletting! Chippy must’ve been really confused to come out so early. Chipmunks here haven’t popped out yet. We are getting more and more birds though.

    That one photo of the pond and the tree shadows looks like a Hallmark card. Beautiful.

    I’m glad I’m not a blogger. I would have a complete breakdown if I had to muddle through all those quirks, compliments of WordPress or Apple. Fageddaboutit!!

    Hope approaching storm fizzles out before it hits your area.
    •••Ginger•••

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks Ginger. We were surprised to see Chippy (but we love seeing him, so…). As for the squirrels, we’ve had as many as nine! Sammy lives in our neighbor’s tree in the back yard, but he comes out front if he smells peanuts. In the front, we get them from across the street and both neighbors on the side. We’re getting quite good at throwing peanuts.

    The photo with the pond and the shadows is on the properties of Brooks Bothers offices. Usually, the pond and the banks are full of geese.

    If I were measuring your carpet, you could be sure there would be enough to do the job and make a scratching post for any nearby cats. MiMi and MuMu both consider that to be important.

    We’re looking at a forecast of 6-10″ The folks farther east/northeast are looking at yikes! Not sure where you are, but I hope you stay safe and warm.

    Like

  10. My favourite photo is “spring is coming”. The sentiment is great and so is the photo 🙂

    While your posts are getting shorter (and yes, I really do think they are), I fear mine are getting longer. – even then I find I want to say more but cut it short because it’s already too long.

    I’ve been having the same problem you’ve described since I got this MacBook in September. I’m asked repeatedly to sign back in. I’ve started to notice that it happens whenever I erase my browser history – which also erases all the cookies. All these sites with private domain names – including yours – leaves a cookie. When that cookie gets erased, your site no longer recognizes who I am and requires me to log back in.

    I think the reason I didn’t have the problem on my PC was because I could erase browser history without erasing cookies. Apple doesn’t seem to give me that option.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joanne. I guess we can say that “ on average” our posts are the same length.

      The Mac history/cookie thing is a big issue. I don’t know if this will work for you but:

      “When you go under the SAFARI menu in Safari – hold down OPTION key.
      This will change the CLEAR HISTORY to a special CLEAR that doesn’t get rid of all the logins etc.”

      Like

  11. Interesting, Dan. I thought once I bought my domain, the “wordpress” part of the URL was automatically eliminated forever. Not that I could do much about it, and so far as I know, my readers are liking and commenting just fine. But then I don’t have a lot of readers, and it’s always the same people doing the liking and commenting, so who can tell?

    As for photos, I’ve noticed in the last few months that it’s become more difficult to insert my photos into my posts and then to get them to stay wherever I’ve placed them. I’ve had to go back and forth between the old WP editor and the new one; sometimes I’ve had to go into the HTML and delete codes (not that I know how to do that, but whatever I’ve futzed around with usually worked).

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have problems with liking posts on my iPhone, but not in the same way you are (darn, I was hoping that your technical skills could have helped me). I can read posts, but I have to wait until I get on my desktop before I like or comment. Clunky, but effective. As someone who subscribes to way more blogs than I should, I actually appreciate shorter posts :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was trying not to go there, John but since you did, it’s actually kind of backwards dns problem. I get an email that includes a link to nofacilites.com but when I click on it, the url in my browser will be nofacilities.wordpress.com. It’s the current page but the credentials won’t resolve it. So the dns is doing its thing but the source url seems wrong. When I hover over the link in the email, it looks ok. Sometimes, when I reload, it’s ok. It’s frustrating because when it happens, it happens to all WordPress.com sites … except Linda’s 😏

      Like

  13. I periodically have WP problems and they appear to be unsolvable until they solve themselves. Grrrr. My most recent is commenting and then having a 500 error (some security issue on the blog I’m commenting on). I now use the back arrow, copy my comment, then go on via the “comment” part on the Reader. Sigh. And that’s just one.

    Shorter? Who knows? But as long as I enjoy the posts and have the time, I’m not going to worry. :-)

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I first started blogging on this site in 2009 and since then (not just on this blog) I’ve had any number of similar problems. It doesn’t like bloggers’ own domains – it logs people out of their accounts when they try to visit a domain. It doesn’t play nicely with any browser other than Chrome (even Firefox is in its bad books, though I’ve found a way to fool it sometimes by whitelisting its essential 3rd party cookies).

    I never comment via email (though often read posts that way) and if bookmarks don’t work, then I make a folder on the desktop and click and drag links into it and just click ’em when needed.

    By the way, the F5 key works a treat. Not sure if it’s the same key on a Mac, but I’m sure you can find a similar one (it’s a forced refresh).

    Is that a black squirrel, by the way? It’s gorgeous – as is the chipmunk. I wish we had them here in the UK. Are they a menace or just as cute as they look?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the benefit of your experience, Val.

      That is a black squirrel. There is a small but growing population of them around here. They seem a bit more agile than the grey squirrels and a bit more timid. The chipmunks are extremely cute, but they do dig some holes. The black squirrels like to get onto our roof, and they have damaged some of the flashing around our chimney. We pruned the trees to keep them off the roof, but the black squirrels seem able to jump a far distance.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Do you go to your reader to read and comment on posts? If you go that route instead of the email route, do you still have the same problem? And, what do the Happiness Engineers have to say? Birds, squirrels, and ice cream. Surely spring will come. Thanks for the photos, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t hardly use the Reader. I follow a few people who post umpteen times a day. I like to check in, but I can’t really read much more than one post from anybody. I wish I could follow some in the Reader and some only by email.

      The Happiness Engineers were unable to give me any guidance, but suggested that the problem might be with my phone or my browser.

      If you get a ‘like’ from me, but not a comment, this might be the reason. The comment will come later, when I get back to a laptop.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I had similar issues a few years ago. I was also using ‘Safari’ and somebody suggested I download and use ‘Chrome’ instead. Bingo, the problem went away and I’ve since not had the same problems. However, I use my Desktop for just about everything on WordPress as I’ve found their mobile apps not to be particularly user-friendly. I know they are working on it (and trying to persuade all of us to go mobile) but I’m not convinced quite yet. My fingers are too big for hitting the buttons on the keyboard on an iPhone or iPad and I usually ended up making dreadful, sometimes embarrassing mistakes when leaving comments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did install the Chrome app, but when I click on the email links. they open in Safari. I could probably work this all out with defaults, etc, but…lazy.

      I also use my laptop a lot, but when I’m on the road, or sitting with the dog, or find that I have five minutes before a meeting starts, the phone is my go to device. When it doesn’t work, I’m sad.

      Thanks for the thoughts and for sharing your experience. Hugh.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m guessing you informed WordPress, Dan? When I notified them about the problems I was having, they had no idea it was affecting Safari users. They told me they were installing a patch to fix the problems. It sounds as if that never happened. Also, do you have administrator or author rights on any other blogs? Sometimes, that can be the confusion when WordPress thinks you’re logged in via another blog.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have notified them but they couldn’t figure out what was going on. I do have admin rights on several blogs, as well as a self-hosted company website (different email for that). I think that might be source of confusion.

          Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Dan – this is beyond me … so I’ll change the subject! (But I’m glad to know it’s here if I need to refer someone over). Good luck with the snow that’s arriving … take care and good to see the critters – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Sometimes I, too, have to edit the URLs manually. Then it recognizes me. It is frustrating, though. Once, after I edited the URL, it said the page could not be found. So I went back to the Gmail notification and started afresh. Spending so much time on just liking a post is annoying and too ridiculous!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. *sighs* Is this snow ever going to end??? We are in for 6-18 inches starting late this afternoon. Come on already! I’m done with white. I was out today before that storm hit to get some flower pics and darn it I did it, Dan! So next post going up …. whenever …. will be those flowers and a great story (yep another one!) to go with it.

    Now for WP. I’ve had my woes myself. ONE, one of my drafts got posted when I did not publish it. Long story short, support found that it had been published 21 hours to the time we had been talking. Strange though. There was not one like nor one comment on so-called published post. NOW that is not possible! I deleted the original post after I copied it to a new one and then published the new one. That one did show in my reader and yes I most certainly got my likes and comments. (I did not see the ghost published post on my blog nor in my reader. Because it came up as published I couldn’t get the post I was attempting to publish to show in my reader.)

    TWO, I sign out of WP every night before I close down for the day. One morning when I booted up and went to sign in to WP, I was already signed in. That’s not a good feeling!

    THREE, someone blocked a good 100 blogs in my reader, one of them being you, FYI. That happened last week and I’m still finding blocked blogs. You bet I put in a complaint and filed a suspicious behavior on my blog. I’m also now upping my security both on my blog and my computer!

    As for your posts getting shorter, sorry but I’m with your editor on this one. LOL 😂 LOVED your gallery and it is so good to see Sammy back. He’s not stupid. He knows where the peanuts are. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I use Chrome and abhor Safari. The Mister has Safari on his phone and every time I have to use it, I want to hit things. I hadn’t realized you STILL have these troubles. I’d thought the glitches had gone away. How tedious and annoying!
    I enjoy the squirrel photos, how happy and grateful they are — collecting their peanuts and scattering away to munch :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have, especially when my wife is talking to the dog. That and the fact that I am a lifelong fan of the Twilight Zone provide ample evidence that I may not be here, or at least not the here that is here.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Today three blogs in a row I follow and they follow me had my comment disappear which freaked me out. This may mean they are awaiting approval but seriously, WP to WP should recognize friends even if a lag has occurred. I am almost ready to go to my home WordPress and tell each commenter today that I visited them and where did my comment go!? This was your rant and upset blog post but your blog “recognizes me!” I appreciate that I can see my mistakes or correct the silly spell check here. Thank you a Lot, from the bottom of my heart!

    Liked by 1 person

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