Monday Musings – Fear My (lack of) Internet Prowess Edition   13 comments

On Guild Websites

I am debating undertaking the task of changing our guild website front page over to WordPress. We are already self hosted, but some time ago one of our web monkeys found another program/site that made the ease of updating information/progression/applications and the like very simple and subscribed to the service. At the time, this was extremely good for us, because it was right after the guild split and the person that had previously updated the website was no longer doing it – and I had take over the job.

Only I didn’t have a clue what to do.

So the change was incredibly helpful, and made it extremely easy for my simple mind to wrap itself around having to deal with updates onto the front page. I had never had any experience with HTML or CSS or anything of the like. However, what ends up happening is that when you visit our website, you are redirected to a front page that is actually hosted on a different server. When you go to our forums you are redirected back.

Now, it’s been this way for the past four years, and hasn’t been a problem. Except that since I’ve started blogging, I’ve gotten a little more experience with putting stuff out there on the interwebs. And well, now that I have a tiny inkling of what is possible, I am no longer satisfied with the simple system we are now using. While it is very easy to maintain (mostly because someone else does all the work!), it’s also not hugely customizable and somewhat costly. You can see how it currently works by visiting our website at www.monolithwow.com if you’d like to poke around.

As such, the idea of moving our guild front page to WordPress on our current host server (since we are already self hosted) instead of having the redirect, has been floating around in my head for some time. I’ve been weighing out the pros and cons of it – and while I’ve not come to a conclusion just yet on what I’d like to do, I have decided that I do want to import wordpress onto our host server and play around with it and “mock up” a front page to see how much work it would be and if the upkeep seems to be sustainable (I am, of course, assuming that I can do this before sending the change live). I suspect that the lion’s share of the work is going to be in the set up – and that the actual upkeep will be minimal. Of course, I’ll have to archive almost 4 years of stuff from the current front page, but I have 133 days to do that before our subscription on the current system expires.

As you can tell – I’m still in the “oh god can I do this” stage of planning. I think that the answer is “yes”, and I’ll never know if I don’t take the leap and give it a try. It’s not likely to be anything too fancy – but I think I can make it into something that I like better than what we have now. I read through the installation process over at wordpress.org and the first bit of panic entered when I read “set up a database on your server” – so I emailed our server host asking about it, and asking if it is something that I can do or they need to do. I suspect they will need to do it – but I did ask that if it’s something I can do I get a few minutes for them to walk me through it. Maybe I should have offered cookies….

However, having never done anything with self-hosted wordpress before, I’m a bit unsure of myself. Once it’s all downloaded is the interface like the “free” wordpress that you get here on my blog? Will it be as simple to make changes and updates and whatnot? I know that there are tons of plugins for widgets and what not that I can use for things like progression and recruiting, as well as a plethora of themes but is it complicated to get them all downloaded onto my host server? I imagine that once I learn how to do one, the rest will be simple?

If you have experience with this sort of thing, is this something that you’d recommend doing? Will I be overwhelmed by it? Should I hire someone to help me get it all up and running so that I only have to worry about maintaining it? I really do think that I want to make the change, but mostly I’m just absolutely terrified of screwing it up and not having anyone to help me fix it if I do it all wrong.

On Last Minute Alts

Elentari – my mini me. I don’t know that I can put my finger on exactly why the bug bit me, but for some reason it became imperative that she hit 80 before December 7. Maybe it’s because I no longer have a Tauren at level 80, who knows. Regardless, it had to be done. So in between working on guild things to prepare the guild for Cataclysm, and preparing myself for the upcoming holidays, and making sure that everything is order at work before my Cataclysm vacation, I’ve been furiously leveling her. She hit 79 last night when I ran out of steam and needed to do something else. Hopefully here in the next few days she’ll reach level 80

On 4.0.3a

I’m overwhelmed…and somewhat frustrated.

I think that it’s cool that we get the new zones and everything before Cataclysm. But I’m frustrated that even though I’m a loremaster – all of the questing that I did in each zone doesn’t count for the new zone achievements and I have to completely redo each zone. Sure, the content is new and fresh, but I had wanted to experience it on my goblin – from scratch. Having to go back and completely redo each zone on Beru just seems…tedious.

Not to mention the new fishing achievements. How on earth can some of those old fish not be tracked?! Specifically when you have an achievement to fish from different pools of fish?! At the minimum I should have credit in my fishing achievements for the fish in those pools without having to trek out and re-fish them.

I just log in and feel completely overwhelmed at everything to “be done” on Beru. Which is probably why I’ve been spending so much time on Elentari. And thinking about spending the time to redo the guild website. Mostly, I’m just overwhelmed with all of the new stuff. And you know what – there is really no huge rush to get it all done. It will still be there a year from now waiting for me.

On Achievements

I went in the other day and finished out the ICC 5 man achievements that I was missing…and now that Beru can dispel, did The Faceroller as well.

But now I have a dilemma, if you will. Perhaps you can help me out with it. I am sitting on a battered hilt that I purchased off of the auction house with the sole purpose of giving it to my DK to replace her heirloom weapon. But Beru still needs the achievement for doing the battered hilt quest line. Now…Isulde will surely get a weapon upgrade in short order in Cataclysm – so I was thinking the maybe, perhaps, I should give Beru the hilt for her achievement. What do you think?

On Being Prepared

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how much I prepare, I will never be fully prepared for Catalcysm. No amount of organizing, putting things together, posting on the forums will fully prepare me. So, I think I’m just going to have to settle with being as prepared as I can be, and letting the rest come. Yup. That’s the plan!

Posted November 29, 2010 by Beruthiel in Cataclysm!, Guild Management, Just for Fun!

13 responses to “Monday Musings – Fear My (lack of) Internet Prowess Edition

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  1. I would recommend doing the battered hilt quest line on a toon that can carry a sword. I have done it on Killdahl, mostly because it is one toon that can actually get a sword. I mean, the whole quest line purpose is to get the sword, not an equivalent weapon.
    I would recommend doing the quest line though, it was by far my favorite line in the WotLK expansion.

    • I actually did it on Earenn back with the hilts were introduced. Although, I did get the mace with her, I do agree that the sword looks awesome!

      That being said, I did cave last night and do the quest with Beru for completeness’ sake :)

  2. WordPress really only gets scary when you try to mess with customizing your themes via CSS and HTML/PHP. The installation itself isn’t too bad – there are great instructions on their website. As far as how it looks compared to the wordpress.com hosted version, there may be a few plugins you need to download to get it to look exactly the same (Akismet spam filter, Site Stats). To download new themes its the same as choosing a theme on your current blog – only you have more options and can download them from there. You can also download them from anywhere and use an FTP client to upload them to the themes folder. Plugins are also easy – you can search for them and download them from the dashboard.

    If you want to mess with it a little before diving in fully I wrote a post recently about installing WordPress on your own PC (http://azureshadows.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/install-wordpress-locally/).

    Good luck!

    • Thank you so much for that! I’m definitely going to check it out!

      I actually customized the CSS on this blog…and then had to have someone come in and fix it for me when I botched it beyond my repair abilities. So I absolutely think that I’ll be looking for a theme I can largely utilize “out of the box” :)

  3. “Having to go back and completely redo each zone on Beru just seems…tedious.”

    And enormously irritating to at-level toons leveling in those zones ;) Damn level 80 mob ninjas!

    But yes, I would agree with your assessment.

    • I basically have just decided I’ve too much going on, and looking at all of the empty quest achievements was overwhelming for me. So now I just afk somewhere hoping to get torched by Deathwing while I do other things to prepare us for Cataclysm :)

  4. I stopped worrying about redoing classic loremaster now…will have plenty of time for that after 85. Instead I have leveled a new character (another druid, *sigh*) 1-60 to experience the rebuild classic experience.

    • haha, I’m pretty certain that my worgen will end up being another druid as well!

      Of course, my goblin is going to be a rogue, as it’s the only class I don’t have at least to level 70 as yet. Here’s hoping that I can survive rogue leveling!

  5. Do it on Beru. It’s only a week until your DK can get a new shiny :)

    Good luck with the website stuff… I’m still thinking of moving away from blogger but the thought of having to do my own coding scares me!

    • I did go ahead and do the achievement with Beru :)

      I’ve given the website frontpage more thought – a lot more thought – and I’m fairly certain that I’m going to give it a spin. We’ll see how it turns out! If it’s awful, I can always renew what we’ve got now, right? ;)

  6. Re: WordPress, I echo what Kaelynn said. It sounds worse than it is. I think I set up my own database when I first installed WP and it wasn’t very hard to do. My current host offers some kind of 1-click WP install, so you might want to ask about that too.

    The admin panel is similar, but not identical. You’ll get used to it pretty fast I’d guess… it just has more stuff.

    (If you need help, feel free to e-mail me.)

    • Thanks for the offer! I may take you up on that!

      I have gotten the green light from our server admin to put the wordpress program on the server, and he gave me instructions for how to download it and all that good stuff, so I may take a look at it this weekend, depending on how caught up with other things I get!

  7. I switched our guild site over to WordPress some time ago, but then I didn’t have what you have now before, but a regular HTML site. So going to WordPress was awesome since it made updating News, Recruitment and adding Widgets etc. so much easier.

    I’m a big fan of WordPress, but I guess it depends on what you want from the site. The current one you have I’m sure works fine too, but personally – I’d go WordPress all the way :P

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