Spite is the mother of invention

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[系统(windows) 所属分类 系统(windows) | 发布者 店小二04 | 时间 2019 | 作者 红领巾 ] 0人收藏点击收藏

This is a tale about a blog on WordPress.com that had a loyal readership and regular, high quality content (so yeah, not writing about this blog). The owner wanted to use the odd plugin and advanced theme, and I was always bothered that WordPress was living off of, well I exaggerate wildly now, this person’s words by putting ads everywhere in addition to the massive annual fee.


So with the lure of freedom on them yonder hills, we moved the blog off of WordPress.com onto a windows VM on Azure (yeah, well… yeah…). Domain hosted on dnSimple, so the logistics of pointing the domain to Azure instead of WordPress and setting up verification TXT records and such was a doddle.

Hosted mysql instance on Azure was easy enough, but the WordPress.COM theme we had been using was not available on WordPress.Org so we had to pick another one. Sadly we went with Customizr which really means vendor lock-in, as you do a bunch of customisations, hence the name, that are all out the window once you change themes.

Selling out but is anybody buying?

To make the big bucks we hooked the the site up to Google Analytics and ditto Adsense, and there were plugins to really automate that stuff. Yoast SEO beat out MonsterInsights on features for the analytics and integrates both with Search Console and Analytics. The killer feature for Yoast SEO is the customisable canonical URL which is useful if you reprint blog posts from another site and want to beg Google for mercy for the crime of duplicate content.

The actual ads, how do they work? Well by cunningly just clicking like an insane person (which really is the best way to learn), I managed to understand the concept of Auto Ads. This again is abstracted away by a plugin, in our case Advanced Ads. As the site owner didn’t want ads on all pages, we had to hack it by creating a plain text and code ad with the Auto Ad code from Google pasted in there and then the Advanced Ads thing deciding which pages to actually serve the ad code. The downside is a persistent nagging that you shouldn’t display ads in the headers, but I guess that’s fine.

Also, all the cool kids enter the Amazon Affiliate program, so we did that. They do have a minimum number of referrals you have to make as they don’t want to deal with tiny unprofitable sites, so I suspect we shall be unceremoniously booted out fairly soon, but the concept of having widgets where you choose your favourite books related to the subject of your blog and maybe in the long term share some revenue if people take you up on your recommendations seems fair. Shame that they are so immensely horribly broken.

AMPed up

After a few hours I noticed that all the permalinks from the old site were broken on the new one, so I checked the Permalinks tab and it turned out there was a custom setting that I just set to default and there was much rejoicing. No audit log here so I can’t check, but if I made that change it must have been unintentional. My favourite hypothesis is failed import.

As I rarely venture out into the front end I had not quite grasped what AMP is. I realised I was getting another load of 404s his time for URL’s ending in /amp. I did a bit of googling and I realised I should probably get yet another plugin to handle this. Like with most WordPress plugins there are varying degrees of ambition and usually they want you to spend $200 in extras to get what you need, but although I brought the site off WordPress.com to deny them ad revenue for the site in question, I was under no illusion that I would be able to produce any such revenue to the owner as whatever $3 would be produced would definitely be eclipsed by the hosting cost.

By going with the default WordPress AMP plugin you can’t do ads, but it works ish, by using the major competitor you get a functional site, but a completely different look compared to the non-AMP site, and we didn’t want that after all the effort we had already put in.

After reading some more, I realised that everybody was going off AMP anyway, for varying reasons, but that was all the peer pressure I needed, so I broke out the Azure debug console and edited web.config to put in a URL redirect from AMP URL to a normal one.

This was incredibly frustrating as first I forgot that .NET Regexes are different from normal regexes and also you have to not be stupid and use the correct match in the redirect expression ({R:0} is the whole source data, while {R:1} is the first match, which is what I needed).


So this was very easy and horribly frustrating at once. DnSimple and provisioning resources was a doddle but WordPress plug-in management,php and Amazon widgets were a shit show to be honest. I mean I realise Amazon has a complex architecture and their systems are never 100% up or 100% down and so on, but a save button being completely broken doesn’t feel even slightly up to the end user. PHP is garbage and brittle and you are hard-pressed to build anything viable on top of it (but obviously some have succeeded. These plugin smiths aren’t Facebook though. They would correctly interject that I am running WordPress on the least suitable platform imaginable . That is true, but then they should not allow Microsoft to host WordPress on Windows at all, as it does them no favours with 1 minute turnaround to save settings for a plugin.

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本文标题:Spite is the mother of invention

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