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This is mostly a technical post, though I will start with a brief simple history of my sites.

In the beginning

My original sites were hand coded! Picture of a man wiring a very large, old fashioned frame of electronic equipment.

My original sites were hand coded!

I started excel-yourself.com in December 2004 when I transferred from my previous site david-a-owen.co.uk which I had been running for about four years previously.

In 2005 I started loosen-up.org my Alexander Technique site and in 2006 I started stop-for-good.com my stop smoking site and stay-slim-for-good.com for slimming.

The css express

Originally, david-a-owen was all hand coded, after which I started using html editors. By 2005, excel-yourself had become a large site and I was starting two others, so I learned how to make css style sheets to make it easier to make new pages and keep a consistent look across each site. I had variable width pages, to fit large and small screens and I also built css sheets for mobiles, with smaller pictures. It worked well and I was very proud of my work. loosen-up.org, stop-for-good.com and stay-slim-for good.com are still in this format, except for the mobile style sheets, which no longer seem necessary.

Pressed for time – Time for WordPress

By March 2011Excel-Yourself had grown to over 30 pages and was due for a very serious and long overdue update. I put it onto WordPress, a content management system, which allows me to add to the site very easily. It also gained a blog.

More and more technical from here on

The site with no name!

My title tag went missing. Picture of a workman pulling big cables out of a manhole.

My title tag went missing

In July 2013 I discovered excel-yourself had lost it’s <title> attribute for the home page. This just happens to be the most important thing for a search engine to find. There did not seem to be any easy fix for this, so another overhaul ensued.

It may have happened when I moved my hosting, otherwise smoothly, to GoDaddy, or it might have been to do with some updates to WordPress. I ended up having to update my theme to ‘Weaver II’, uninstall ‘All In One SEO Pack’ and replace it with SEO Extended by Yoast. I then filled in the home page title, and all was fine and dandy. 🙂

Site scrambled

A plate of scrambled egg

I would have preferred scrambled egg first thing in the morning instead of a scrambled site!

In June 2004, I woke up to find the visible site title and tagline, all scrambled up over the header picture and my side menus, ‘breadcrumbs’ and the ‘widgets’ all missing! An update to the Weaver theme had renamed the latter, so they could not be found and changed the layout of the header. Please don’t do this to me Weaver!

 

No Cache in GoDaddy’s bank

In December 2016, I went to update Comet Cache, only to find it will not work on my host’s current issue of PHP. GoDaddy has not always been the fastest at serving my site, but without caching, it was grindingly slow. I was told by their customer service that my site was on an old server which was not updatable and I would have to cancel my hosting and re-subscribe (all be it, with a discount) to the same plan, but on newer servers.

Not satisfied with this, I did some homework and came across SiteGround which was recommended by WordPress for hosting. They were a bit more expensive than some others, but had very good reviews, especially of their customer support, fast loading, automatic caching, and they would also transfer one site for me.

Unfortunately, while looking to see if there was a way to upgrade GoDaddy’s PHP, the database disappeared! Also, I cancelled my GoDaddy hosting to be within 30 days of renewal to get a refund and they were very efficient in taking it down. So the SiteGround staff were left with rebuilding excel-yourself from the ground up with backup files. Unfortunately the files containing the pictures would not load, so I had to find all the original pictures and restore them all by hand 🙁

A very big thank you to SiteGround and their staff. I am impressed.

 

Scrambled egg Image courtesy of hepjam3 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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