WordPress Issues, Self-Hosting & Future Plans

[ UPDATE 3/17 — I’ve been informed that there is no way to transfer over anyone who followed the old blog via WordPress subscription or the the “Follow” button. Only those people who subscribed to the blog by email can be moved over to receive notifications of new posts. Unfortunately, the new platform does not seem to offer a “Follow” option analogous to what WordPress has, and none of the plug-in or programs that I’ve seen fix that problem. I’m trying to see if anything can be done, but, thus far, the only sure way seems to be to subscribe by email. I realise that some people hate to do that. I apologise, and will understand fully if it is too much of an inconvenience.]

[ UPDATE 3/15 — “Houston, we have a problem.” The new site is up, and all the old posts have been moved over. Unfortunately, there are glitches. The main one is that you may have to re-subscribe, re-follow, or re-sign up again, as I’m not sure if the Transfer request that I put in has worked. I remember another blog, Australian Perfume Junkies, having a similar problem when they went to a self-hosting site.

Since I’m not seeing a list of subscribers on the new site administrative page, I worry that many or all of you may need to sign up again, just to be certain. Those of you who are particularly interested in the new Amouage offering, Opus VIII, which was just released may want to do so soon, as that will be the first review on the new blog.

To go to the new blog, you can click on this: Kafkaesque. For your records, the full URL is: https://kafkaesqueblog.com/

I really apologise for all this, and I hope I don’t lose too many of you. I am seeking help for the problem, as well as for the fact that I’m suddenly not getting email notifications of any comments that have been posted (on either site). Thanks to my Tech Wizard friends, the other snafu of the URL links to all the old reviews being broken and not re-directing to the new site has been fixed. Hopefully, the rest of the growing pains will also be minor and short-lived in nature.

I wish you all a happy Saturday and weekend. On that note, I should get back to the brand new Opus VIII with its fascinating mix of contrasts and contradictions. A new Opus as a new review for a new blog. It seems quite fitting. Happy weekend everyone!]

As some of you realised, the blog was “suspended” by WordPress in the wee hours of the night, and all posts “archived” or hidden. I received no explanation other than a giant red banner across my Administrator’s Dashboard informing me that I had violated WordPress’ TOS (Terms of Service), and that I was henceforth locked out of the entire system. There are no words to convey the degree of my shock, panic, and confusion.

The problem turned out to be a simple name in a caption to my new Tom Ford post that I provided as a source for one of the photos of the champaca flower. I gave the name of a site (which I no longer dare even mention out of paranoia at this point) called MonsterM______________. (There is also a P in that long name.) The site is on WordPress’s automatic red-flag list, and is blocked out of concerns that links to it would lead users to experience malware, viruses, trojans and the like. I certainly understand and commend them for their attempts to protect people.

Just to clarify, though, in my case, I never provided a URL or link, but a mere reference name in a photo caption. It was enough, however, for the system to shut down my entire account within a minute of the post being published. The blog was archived or hidden, I was locked out, and I was greeted everywhere with a big red banner telling me that I had been suspended for violating their Terms of Service. What that precise violation may be, they didn’t say. They merely pointed me to their lengthy TOS page which listed pornography, hacking, and all sorts of inapplicable activities.

WordPress’ red banner did, however, include the gentle hint that I may want to consider taking a hike and hosting my own site elsewhere. To that end, they said they would kindly give me a brief period of time in which to retrieve my files (by means of some complicated, technical gobbledygook that went completely over my head) before all my work would be lost forever.

Thankfully, now, everything is now resolved. WordPress promptly assisted me this morning, acknowledged how inadvertent everything was, and returned the site back to normal. (So you can now read that Tom Ford Champaca Absolute review, if you’re interested.) But last night left a mark.

Those hellish and incredibly stressful hours forced me to do something that I had been thinking about for a while: self-hosting the blog. In simple terms, that means that I get my own url or “.com” name. The blog becomes its own thing with its own site, rather than an adjunct of WordPress. I’ve long hated the current url and name for the site (AKafkaesqueLife), but I had few options when first began. Franz Kafka is too popular, Kafkaesque is too well-known of a literary or philosophical reference, and seemingly every variation on either name was already taken. It’s driven me a little crazy that people call the blog: A Kafkaesque; AKafkaesque; Kafkaesque Life; or any of the other multitude of things that I’ve seen. But who can blame them? Not everyone reads the “About Me” section in which I clarify the issue of the name vs the URL. Besides, in everyday life, URLs generally are a site’s real name.

Things are going to change in that regard. I have registered a new name and a new domain on a new self-hosting site called DreamHost. The url will be very simple: KafkaesqueBlog.com. But everything else should remain exactly the same in terms of WordPress publishing the actual posts.

Nothing should change for any of you as readers. What is going to happen may take a few days, but, fingers crossed, everything should transfer over to the new self-hosting site. All of it, from the old posts, archived information, comments, links, format, followers, subscriptions, and more. (Perhaps that will also fix my current WordPress problem of never getting email notifications of new posts on other blogs. To all of you other bloggers, that is the main reason why I haven’t commented lately on your new posts. I never get emails about them! WordPress won’t answer my queries about it, either.)

All of this should happen behind the scenes, and none of you should even realise anything is different as things move over. If you click on an old post, you should be redirected automatically to its page with the new URL address. You should still get WordPress notification of my new posts, and you can still comment as you did before. However, those of you who follow the blog via an RSS feed or blog reader may need to update the url. I’m afraid I don’t really know how that works.

I’m not going to be doing any of this technical work, as I am an utter idiot when it comes to computer programming. Actually, “utter idiot” probably doesn’t begin to cover it. In this arena — as well as in everything to do with the nightmare of last night, and the self-hosting, domain, registration, start-up, technical aspects — I am wholly indebted to the Temptalia Team.

Christine of Temptalia is a dear friend of mine who walked me through everything starting at midnight last night and for hours thereafter. She suggested the best service for me to start up my own site, and explained the pages and pages of different computing, domain, programming, download, plug-in, and hosting information. She held my hand through my panic at the veritable tsunami of overwhelming technicalities, none of which helped my latent anxiety disorder one bit. (WordPress’ alarming TOS “support” (ha!) pages didn’t facilitate things in that regard, either.) Christine patiently stayed up for hours to help me with all of it, and I’m incredibly grateful.

I’m equally indebted to her husband, Shaun. He is the tech wizard behind the successful Try Hard Guides for gaming who generously (and totally crazily, masochistically) volunteered to help me with all the programming aspects. He will be transferring everything from WordPress to the new site, and the amount of work involved is substantial. I’m a relative stranger to him, so I’m stunned by his kindness. I honestly don’t have the words to convey the extent of my gratitude for his help, as well as for Christine’s. It will be solely thanks to the two of them that I will be able to give you a new and, hopefully, better Kafkaesque in a few days time.

So, to all of you who emailed or contacted me with concern about my “suspension,” that is the whole silly saga. Moral of the story: never mention a site whose name starts with MonsterM, lest automatic computer systems have a fit and start flashing red. More importantly, be grateful for friends who are always there for you.

Here’s looking forward to the launch of a new Kafkaesque.

54 thoughts on “WordPress Issues, Self-Hosting & Future Plans

  1. Congratulations on the new domain. I can’t imagine how stressful that must have been, but I’m glad it got quickly resolved. Of course, a few hours isn’t quickly enough when you’re left without ANY of your content wondering whether the work you devoted thousands of hours to would ever be retrieved! It’s oddly impressive how stringent the WordPress filters/flagging system is, though! Might have been nice for it to warn you, though, and just suggest that you don’t use that link!

    Congratulations on the exciting next step! I have to say, I’ve been guilty in the past of calling it “A Kafkaesque Life” because of the issue you say – typically a URL and a site name match, and I worried that by referring to it by something else people wouldn’t immediately find it. I think this new domain should help a lot in that regard. 🙂

    • See, that’s the thing, though, I didn’t use an actual LINK! I just gave a name! Plus, that name isn’t on any official watchlist or warning list. When I asked the WordPress advisor what other names I should look for in the future, I was told that “We don’t have a public list of sites that are banned, but we do have checks in place….” I can understand why they may not want to make their list completely official on the one hand, but if they are talking about the checks for the biggest offenders and most well-known problematic sites, then surely that shouldn’t be a problem.

      Of course, I had never even heard of MonsterM-whatever to begin with, so perhaps it isn’t that well-known to the general public. Still, I never violated ANY of their TOS rules as I never gave an actual link!

      • Well then that’s particularly stringent, isn’t it! But still, it must look for the sequence of letters that make up the name, even if it’s not in domain form. Which is still surprisingly rigid criteria. I can only assume they don’t want a Target-like data breach on their hands resulting from people propagating known Spam sites. Or something. God, who knows. The whole thing gives even me a headache, so I’m sure you feel the same way times about a bajillion! Perhaps not actually linking it was the reason they were able to resolve your issue so fast! Although, really, if even *perceived* violations of TOS are enough to get a site taken down, perhaps their warning should provide a little more information or indicate that it may just be a precaution and that barring content which breaks the law or is somehow egregious, you will be able to recover your blog’s content once they investigate the matter. That would go a long way in preventing blogger heart attacks, even if it would still be a huge inconvenience!

      • If it makes you laugh, I once had a tweet removed by Twitter.

        Yes, your dear friend was censored by Twitter!

        And to make things more absurd, recently I purchased a baby shower gift for a friend and had my complimentary note DENIED by Babies R Us, who sent me a message saying that my message “could not be processed due to inappropriate, derogatory, and profane language.” So my new message said, “Stupid Babies R Us did not process my previous message due to ‘inappropriate, derogatory, and profane language'” and my friend just told me that there was no message in the box at all.

        Fascists 😉

        • Wait, what?! Babies R Us censored you? Twice???! What could you possibly have said on a baby shower gift note that Babies R Us would find objectionable??! Now I’m dying to know. I have to laugh at how they went so far as to completely remove any message at all from your gift. ROFL. Oh my dear, never change, never change! 😀

  2. I was worried for a moment when I read that you were “suspended!” I’m sorry you had to go through all that stress.
    I’d love to know what perfume you decided to wear either during the fiasco, or once it was all over. I wish you the best of luck with all changes!
    p.s. my love for alahine grows & grows

    • Thank you, my dear. As for the perfume I wore, I didn’t wear a comfort thing but just opted for Amouage’s new Opus VIII in hopes that, should I ever be able to post again, I could review it. I may have gone a little… er… overboard in terms of spraying out of sheer frustration. lol

      As for Alahine, SEE!! Stockholm Syndrome has kicked in! *grin* It’s remarkable how that happens, isn’t it? The damn perfume just wheedles its way into your heart. Either that, or it holds you hostage until you finally surrender and give up the fight. 😀

  3. Oh, my dear Kafka. I totally commiserate and I do have a little understanding of what it means when one’s system or website goes away unexpectedly. It’s more than a bit of Dante’s Inferno and a lot like Paradise Lost. I sympathize with your level of anxiety, hurt, and anger as well. Good, actually GREAT, that you have your own domain now. You also, it seems, have your own set of guardian angels that helped guide you back to Paradise. You’ve touched so many lives with your blog and your honesty, sincerity, humour, and scintillating reviews. I hope you recover quickly from the trauma you’ve just gone through. It was a close call for the rest of your blogosphere as well! Viva Kafka! Viva KafkaesqueBlog.com!

    • You’re going to make me all sniffly, Two2ahorse. Thank you for such a lovely, sweet comment. It means so much to me.

      As for technical issues gone array, I know YOU understand that full well. You know, my friends always joke about how I have a technological curse and how every possible form of device always goes completely wonky on me, but last night may have been taking that curse a little too far! Which is one of the many reasons why your comment about how it is “more than a bit of Dante’s Inferno and a lot like Paradise Lost” is utterly brilliant. It is that, exactly and precisely.

    • Oh lordie, I hear the worst things about Disqus on the AV Club site! As for YouTube, ha, I don’t think that’s very me, do you?

      Plus, given my verboseness, each video may end up being 2 hours long…. 😉 lol.

  4. Ugh, what an awful night. Thank goodness for people who understand these matters, and I feel that all of us who follow and love your blog owe a vote of thanks to Christine and Shawn. See you soon on the new site.

    • Thank you, FeralJasmine. And I’m damn lucky to have friends like Christine and Shaun, along with many of you here who are always so encouraging in supporting me with kindness.

  5. I had similar frequent episodes with WordPress as a blog host and went to a separately hosted site in… 2012, I think. (I continue to have difficulties with WordPress blogs insisting that I use my WP account in order to comment – I notice that this site is making me do it as well.)

    Very frustrating. Good luck with the switchover, and here’s to fewer blog nightmares.

    • Thank you. 🙂 And I hope your WordPress issues get resolved. Does logging out (perhaps even out of Gravatar), and trying to post as an individual not help?

  6. You must have been insane. How can they just lock you out without an explanation? That’s a pretty dumb way to do things. I’m glad you got to the bottom of it and found a solution and friends to help you through it. Odd that they would not let people know what the banned site references are and would instead freeze everything. I would think following the rules is easier when you know what the rules are. Glad you are back on track. 🙂

    • Honestly, I was feeling a little paranoid, like I couldn’t imagine what I had done, to the point where I was surprised I hadn’t been banned from the internet as a whole. LOL.

  7. I know what a nightmare computer glitches can me and I am happy that everything has worked out as I look forward to reading your blog.

    • Thank you for your kind words. Hopefully, the transfer will be happening soon, perhaps tonight, in fact. Fingers crossed, nothing will be lost. But if you ever have any problems with the new system, I do hope you’ll let me know. That goes for everyone, actually. 🙂

    • Awww, you’re so sweet, Esperanza. Thank you. Let’s just hope my own “hosting hands” don’t screw up the technical aspects. You have no idea how much of a technical dunce I am! 🙂

  8. What a giant pain in the posterior! I’ve had similar issues with WP – especially about the non-notification of posts etc via email. I can certainly relate to the utter panic of thinking you’ve lost everything. When my system crashed at home, my husband – who is a tech wizard – initially said he didn’t think even he’d be able to recover it. I had years of writing, school work, business stuff, favorites etc etc etc that I could see disappearing into the abyss. I was beside myself. Fortunately he did manage to get it back and now I back up both on a separate hard drive and at an online service. Thanks be for the kind souls who helped you and I’m looking forward to the “new you”.

    • Oh God, if I had been told by a technical wizard that not even HE might be able to recover things — YEARS of work, no less — I think I would have passed out from shock. panic and despair. I’m so glad your husband was able to fix things. I can imagine a little of what you must have gone through, and I just shudder at the thought of it. My situation times a million….. it’s enough to make one break out in a cold sweat!

    • Thank you, sweetie. Let’s just hope nothing gets lost in the transfer from the posts to the comments, etc. Equally important, I hope the subscriptions all carry over smoothly, as I recall some bloggers having problems with that when they turned to self-hosting sites. So, keep your fingers crossed for me. It may all be happening as early as tonight!

  9. The only adjective for your experience is, I’m sorry, Kafkaesque.

    I couldn’t imagine what dark accord, lurking under the sweet heart note your readers all know, could possibly have gotten you so precipitously banished. Spicy, yes, but dark or skanky? Never in a million years. Impossible!

    And it turned out that the fault was not in the fragrance but in the packaging. In the end nobody cares what wrapper the elixir comes in, and the nasty old box is easily shed in favor of a flacon that that will find wide favor in better markets.

    • Aww, what a clever, witty, and utterly lovely comment! “Skanky”… lol…. I did rather start to wonder if WordPress found some of my photos in one post to be “pornographic” under the most conservative definition possible. I was rather beating myself up wondering what could *possibly* have set them off, and I’d starting imagining that maybe it was some of the more skin-focused ones in the Hard Leather review. Or Gisele Bunchen in lingerie. Or the Tom Ford partial nude. Really, I was imagining the craziest things, but all involving some form of “skanky” indecent felony. 😉 I would never have guessed that a simple FLOWER caption could lie at the root of it!

  10. I went to catch up on your posts last night and was shocked to see your blog missing. I was so glad to see the post explaining what happened. I was so sad that you were gone, so it’s a relief that you’re back with a plan for the future. Congratulations on your new site!

    • Thank you, Kellilee. It’s been pretty much of a nightmare. The new site is up, but you may have to re-follow or resubscribe to get emails of new posts. https://kafkaesqueblog.com/ There have been a few big glitches, though I’m getting help for that.

  11. I can only imagine what a terrible stress it is to lose all your creative writing without having a chance to get it back (even though it seems to have been possible, at that moment you are probably too shocked to consider it).
    Happy to hear you’re moving to your own domain. That’s great news! 🙂

    • Thank you, dear Ines. The new site is up, but you may need to re-subscribe, as it has not been smooth sailing at all thus far in terms of transitional details. 🙁 The new site and link are: https://kafkaesqueblog.com/

  12. Yes, I was pretty surprised because all of a sudden the site was disappeared just when I was reading your take on Farnesiana. Guess we all have to watch our p’s and q’s about mentioning other websites.

    Anyway good for you on getting a new self hosting site, and let’s hope things go a little more smoothly in future.

    • How nice to see you, Blacknall. And thank you for your kind wishes. The new site is up at https://kafkaesqueblog.com/ but it’s been a bumpy ride thus far. I’m afraid that seems to include the loss of followers or subscribers not being automatically transferred over thus far, among various other problems like broken URLS, no redirection, wonky stats, new posts vanishing into the ether, and more. Hopefully, by next week, it will all be ironed out. If not, I may need a brief stay in the insane asylum. lol

  13. Sorry you’ve had all this trouble with WP. I will happily follow you anywhere you may choose to take your blog. As a matter of fact, I really do not like WP at all. Just sayin’.

    • HA, I hear you. At this point, I don’t like technology — period. LOL. As for the new site, I fear that you may have to re-subscribe, as I’m not sure that people are being transferred over. There have been more than a few glitches, I’m afraid to say, with the transition to the new place. That said, the new blog moved over last night, and you can find it at: https://kafkaesqueblog.com/

  14. Hi. I started composing a lengthy comment yesterday and started getting rather sappy and maudlin, so I left it. No awkward scuffling will ensue. 🙂 I hope you’re keeping well and de-compressing from your ordeal, and we are all looking forward to the future!

    • In all honesty, things have been almost AS stressful last night and today as they were when WordPress suddenly suspended and banned the blog. Technology at this level is pretty much of a nightmare for me, and the glitches with the new transition are not helping. The new site debuted last night, but there have been a number of problems.

      The biggest of which thus far seems to be that my old followers have NOT been moved over, so no-one will get notification of new posts, etc. Maybe it will all kick-in on Monday, as my request was sent Friday after business hours, though most of these sites have Support people working on things even on the weekend. It should have already happened, but it doesn’t seem like it.

      So, I fear that many people will have to sign up or re-subscribe all over again. The new blog is at https://kafkaesqueblog.com/

  15. Sorry to read about this disturbing issue 🙁 yet here we are all ready to read you. We will follow you around the virtual, my darling. Keep them coming!

    • Thank you, sweetie. Unfortunately, it seems you may have to “follow” from scratch as I don’t think the subscriptions/followers have been moved over to the new site. It debuted last night, but there have been … issues. It’s all been very overwhelming and frustrating. Just to let you know, the new link or site url is: https://kafkaesqueblog.com/

      I hope the glitches get worked out soon, so that I can focus on the actual perfumes, not on weird codes, broken URLs, re-direction, program keys, and installation issues.

  16. Yikes!!! That must have been incredibly alarming and stressful, especially when they didn’t even offer you an explanation. Thank goodness for the kindness of friends – the Temptalia Team, in this case. Christine and her husband sound like wonderful people.

    Probably, in the end, this was a good move for you – to host your own site – but I’m sorry of the awful way it came about. Keep up the terrific blogging, Kafkaesque – you have an amazing work ethic, a beautiful aesthetic and writing talent, and many devoted fans. <3 <3 <3

    • Thank you, sweetie. It’s been a nightmare, and I’m mentally wiped out. The new site is up, but there have been a number of early glitches. The main one is that people may need to re-follow or subscribe to get notification of new posts, as I don’t think my Transfer request has worked. Or, perhaps it’s too early for them to move everyone over. I don’t know. Honestly, I have NO clue about what is going on. It’s all utterly beyond my comprehension at this level. All I know is that I’ve gone from over 400 email/WP followers to just 1. It’s all so ridiculous and frustrating.

      Anyway, for your records, the new site is at: https://kafkaesqueblog.com/

      • Kafka, just to let you know, I received email notification this evening for your new post titled “The new site is up,” and I didn’t have to re-subscribe or anything. You might want to ask around among your other readers, but in my case, the email subscription is working and taking me to your new site.

        • Thank you, Suzanne, that’s a relief to know! I have no clue what all that means technically, in terms of the new blog being shown to only have (currently) 12 followers, but it’s good news, I think. LOL. I feel like apologizing for being the most complete idiot in my confusion as to what is going on, but all the data is so contradictory, and the numbers don’t match on the various platforms. But I’m just going to assume that the transfer ended up happening, and focus on the happy bits. 😀 Thank you, sweetie. You made me feel better.

        • Thank you for letting me know. It seems that those who follow the blog by email got transferred over, but everyone else did not. At least, those who use WP Follows were dropped and have to resubscribe. It’s a bit of a headache. 🙁

  17. I can’t even imagine how you must have felt! I recently changed the look of mine and before I did it, I followed the advice of some bloggers and backed mine up. The switchover from one theme to another seems okay, but I can only imagine the panic I would have experienced if it hadn’t. And to have a big red banner like that. Truly, truly Kafkaesque!

    But am happy to see that it has worked out! Congrats again on the big move, my dear!

  18. Hello dearest…Glad you are now on your new site!

    So I’m not sure if it’s me or what…I don’t see a like button anymore (except liking you on Facebook and you know how I feel about Facebook) and I don’t see a Follow (except follow on Facebook). The only option seems to be Follow by Email which I am holding off on while I do some of my own “blog follow” testing.

    With all these said, I decided to give the new Kafkaesque Blog its own special place on my main menu bar, in between my library’s website and Amazon 🙂 so it is right in the middle of my menu bar.

    • I’m trying to work out some of these weird glitches, with the follow thing and subscribers being at the top of the list. It appears that everyone who followed the blog via WordPress got dropped. Or, at least, they can’t be transferred over, based on what I was told today. Only those who follow by email can be transferred.

      I have asked about the “Like” button, and a Follow thing. I’m going to try to work on some things behind the scenes in terms of Plug-Ins, Widgets, downloading whatever program is necessary, etc. Unfortunately, I’m pretty much rubbish with these sorts of things, so we’ll see what success I end up having. 🙁

    • Thank you, sweetie. It’s been extremely complicated, and not an experience I’d ever want to go through again if I can help it. A lot of the time, I don’t even know what I’m doing, especially in terms of fixing the small things that pop up. Plus, it seems as though NONE of my WordPress followers can be transferred over, only the email subscribers, so I’ve lost all of that. (I can’t even see my subscribers on the new site, so I have no clue how many there are! 🙁 ) All in all, it’s been a royal pain in the tushie!

  19. Well, if it’s any consolation, I had to scroll, and scroll, and scroll some more in order to add my two cent’s worth- clear evidence of how much we readers all value you and your amazing posts!!! You are the Pied Piper of ‘Fumes to us, and wherever you post, we shall follow!!
    Hope that by now you have sufficiently recovered from your brush with the unwanted and unknown world of what-you-can-and-can’t-do-even -though-you-have-no-way-of-knowing-if-or-what-you-may-have-done…. In short, all the “rules”, and what happens when you unknowingly “break” one. I’m so happy that the issue seems to have been resolved, and your followers will still be able to get their dose of Kafka on your new site. Congratulations!!

    • Thank you, my dear. It’s very, very sweet of you. 🙂 The whole thing was quite the ordeal but things seem to be slowly moving back on track. It’s taken a while for me to get back in the head space to write reviews, truth be told, but I’m just happy all the nuts-and-bolts fiddling and technological details are finally done now. It’s such an alien, foreign language to me, all this tech talk! I feel like one of those fuddy duddies shaking his cane at the young computer kids on his lawn, and begging to be left alone. LOL

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