Site Migration – 2

In my prior post I explained why I started to migrate from WordPress.com to self-hosted sites. I left my readers hanging with a problem.

Let’s back up just a little bit.

WordPress provides tools for site migration. In the dashboard under Tools there is an Export option.

That provides this:

For site migration the option to use is “Export content” – by clicking “Export all“. It is neither necessary nor useful to “Export media library”.

The Export all process does not take very long. After a short while it shows this message:

Your export was successful! A download link has also been sent to your email.

For my GalleryLudwig.wordpress.com site the downloaded file was a zip file of just 288 KB. When unzipped, and it is necessary to do so, it was an XML file of size 3777 KB, that is less than 4 MB, a modest size file.

To make the migration to a self-hosted site requires setting up hosting and installing WordPress. Most hosting providers make that very easy. “Installing WordPress” means setting up a site with all the little details, domain name, site name etc, installing a theme – just like setting up a new site. Once that is done there is an Import option in the Tools section of the dashboard.

The Import tool ask for a WXR file – that means the extracted XML file. It allows a file size of 512 MB. My file was less that 4 MB, so no problem. Once selected and the “Upload file and import” button was clicked it took just a few seconds to get going.

As I told in my prior post (Site Migration – 1) I was happy, all seemed to be going fine. After five minutes I got this error message, Service Unavailable:

The XML file had been added to the Media Library and also some of the oldest images in the media library of the wordpress.com site. I scrubbed everything and started over. Same thing happened. I turned to my hosting service’s help chat.

I also decided to just do another import without scrubbing what was there. Every five minutes like clockwork I got the Service Unavailable error. But more images were added each time. I continued as I tried to explain the help assistant what I was trying to do and what was happening.

The help assistant did not seem to know how to solve the problem. I hung up and continued. I tried Help again. Another assistant got on chat but was equally unhelpful. I continued with repeating the import process. I lost track after about fifteen tries, it must have been around twenty when this appeared on the screen:

It had finished! It said All done. Have fun!

It had taken many hours. I had been online with help chat for over two hours – without getting any assistance.

I checked the site – IT WORKED! Hurray! The posts were there, the pages were there, the images in the Media Library were there.

The next day I decided to migrate over my next site. All went well until I clicked the “Upload file and import” button. Immediately this error message appeared:

A potentially unsafe operation has been detected in your request to this site

Well now, this was a problem of a different color. It repeated. Again I tried the hosting service help chat. The first assistant said to wait a moment and I was transferred to another assistant. This person seemed to understand the problem. He asked me to upload the XML file. He would run it via the command line interface which “was not time limited”. For the next three-quarters of an hour I watched the Media Library being populated. Then the posts and pages appeared. Finally the assistant reported All done. Have fun!

So my second site was successfully migrated – or so I thought. I did some checking and one page did not show the images. It came up ok in the editor. I could not understand what was wrong now. I looked at the HTML code of the page. I got a ghastly surprise. The image URLs all were to the wordpress.com site – the site that I had migrated!

I checked some posts – same problem. I went back to my first migrated site and checked the code for some posts. The media URLs all pointed to the old site.

Two days of effort. And what I got was garbage. Utter, unadulterated garbage. The new sites were totally dependent on the old sites. They sourced all media from there. Sure, the media files had been copied over to the new sites, but they were not being used!

It was an unmitigated disaster.

How this tale of woe continues will be the topic of a future post.

.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Blogging, site migration | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Site Migration – 1

A tale of migration woes – Part 1

Why I am moving

This article is a post in a WordPress.com blog. I have a number of such blogs and have started to move some of them to a self-hosted site. Blogs here don’t cost anything, but they are not entirely free. Advertising is inserted after the post and before the social and “like” features and comments. You can scroll down to see what that looks like on this site.

Here is what such advertising looked like for many years, and still does on sites that are relatively obscure and don’t get many visitors. Yes, this is from one of my current sites.

When I visit one of my more popular sites, I see something like this:

Not only is the area taken up by the ads large and overpowering, often larger than my post takes up, but they are obnoxious, distasteful, and bordering on obscene.

What is especially galling is the note from WordPress at the top.

Occasionally, some of your visitors may see an advertisement here …

They have the audacity to use the words occasionally, some, and may, when in fact they throw this garbage into the face of every visitor.

Well, as I said in a previous post, I have had it, I am fed up, and I am going to move my sites, most of them, to self-hosting.

Self-Hosting

An identifying feature is the address. Take a look above and note that the internet address, the domain name, ends in “wordpress.com“. This one starts with my name, the full domain name is “ludwigkeck.wordpress.com“. I have had this blog and this address for about a dozen years.

Blogs, and other websites, can also be “self-hosted”. No, I don’t mean that I need a server in my basement that is connected to the internet, but rather that I pick a hosting provider and do much of the installation and “heavy lifting” myself. The provider I picked has a good reputation, is rated highly and is recommended by WordPress. The service plan I chose allows me to have a number of different websites there. The hosting provider provides space on a server and a number of other features and services. This is shared hosting as a substantial number of other customers also get space on that server. They have many servers to provide the storage space and computing power to their many customers.

Of course, such hosting costs money. There are hosting companies that are quite inexpensive, starting around just one dollar (U.S. $1) per month, going up to hundreds of dollars per month for large, sophisticated sites that get thousands of visitors a day. I will be paying about $100 per year.

On self-hosted sites the WordPress “engine” is available from WordPress.org. That makes the site work almost the same as over on WordPress.com. More features are available, even most of the same themes. Everything, well almost, is familiar and managing the site and adding posts requires little in new learning.

WordPress even provides tools for migrating from WordPress.com to a self-hosted site using WordPress.org.

On the WordPress.com side in the Dashboard under Tools is the Export option. This prepares a file for downloading to one’s own computer. That file contains page and post details and instructions for the Import tool on the new site.

On the new site WordPress has to be installed, most hosts make that step very easy. The new site needs to have a domain name. Most hosts also provide domain name registration, that’s another $10 or more per year. The new site has to be set up with theme, site name, and other details. Then in the Dashboard, again under Tools, the Import option can be used to transfer or migrate a site.

I did that with one of my sites, migrating cafeludwig.wordpress.com to phototalk.cafeludwig.com.

All went well for five minutes then I got this:

I scrubbed what had been imported and started over. After five minutes again I got the Service Unavailable message. After another try with the same results, I turned to the hosting providers help chat.

How that saga proceeded I will share in another post soon.

.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Blogging, site migration | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Once again – a dingy museum image

There was a post on Facebook showing an image of the painting Virgin and Child, by Italian painter Pintoricchio. Next to it was a photo of that painting undergoing a CT scan.

Here is a screen capture from the post:

It is quite obvious that in the photo the painting looks bright and lively, not at all like the dark and dingy image on the left.

No, it isn’t my laptop that shows them differently. The same thing happens on my iPhone.

If the painting were as dark as their image it would look dark in the photo too – as shown in my simulated photo here (on the right). But it doesn’t. So, their image is poorly processed or reproduced.

It takes but a few clicks in a photo editor to make the dingy image look like it probably does.

https://clevelandart.org/art/1944.89

Why the dingy images? What is it that the CMA can’t get right?

In an earlier post I complained about the same problem, Rembrandt Night Watch.

Rembrandt – Night Watch

Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” – In the News A giant new scan of Rembrandt’s famous painting is making the rounds in the art news world. It is generally accompanied with an illustration like this: Kinda dark and dingy if you ask me. What good is fabulous resolution if you can’t really see it well? … Continue reading

.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck

Posted in art, Digital Photos, painting, Photos | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tipping Point

This blog got started a dozen years ago when the Microsoft Live Spaces social platform went belly up. Some of my posts were transferred over from the Clubhouse and I started promoting blogging using the WordPress site.

Here are some links to old posts: Goodbye Spaces!Spaces to WordPress – the MoveSpaces to WordPress – new Look, new Language

With each demonstration in class about setting up a blog I got one more site. My regular readers know that story.

WordPress grew into dominance. I like to think that I contributed a miniscule fraction of a millionth to that success.

The small ads after each post seemed to support the increasingly more powerful features of WordPress.com.

Then, a couple years ago, came the agonizingly amateurish transition to the agonizingly painful “blocks”. The cost must have been substantial as the WordPress basic hosting was increased to $12 per month. They saw the error of their ways and it is now at $4. They decided to use another route to increased income. Take a look at this screen capture. You need to scroll down a bit.

The modest, if not always tasteful, ads have now increased in number and size to where they take up more space than my posts. They are obnoxious, overbearing, and offensive.

I can take it no more.

There is a fee of $2 per month for removing these ads. If I had just one or two blogs, this would be acceptable, but with my more than a dozen sites this is clearly not affordable.

I have decided to start migrating from the WordPress.com platform. I have not given up on WordPress and will move to self-hosted sites. In the weeks to come I will share more about this move.

.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Blogging, WordPress | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Histogram histrionics

For some time I have been plagued and annoyed by some unusual effects in histograms of my photos. The histograms just did not seem right, nor was there consistency on how they displayed in different post-processing apps.

To shed some light on what I was experiencing I prepared a special image. All the pixels have identical values for the red, green, and blue channels. There are pixels for all possible values, from 0,0,0 to 255,255,255. In fact, the image contains about 11,200 pixels of each value (more for pure white, an extra row). The image format is PNG so there is no compression. Yes, it took me a while to prepare the image. It is “just a gray wedge” you might say.

What should the histogram for this image look like? Well, all values are represented, and each has the same number of pixels, so it should be a straight horizontal line, or a plain rectangle. Indeed, when the test image is loaded into PaintShop Pro 2022 it looks just like you’d expect:

Here comes the “amuse”:

This image does not provide the same uniform histogram in ON1 Photo RAW 2022. Let’s look at the histogram there a little closer:

Strange? It gets stranger still.

As I mentioned, the image is in PNG format. I loaded it into ON1 Photo RAW 2022 and exported it as a best quality JPG image. It looked the same to the eye as the original. When loaded into PaintShop Pro 2022 the histogram was not the uniform rectangle as the original but looked like this:

In the middle region the histogram looks like what is expected. The black end and white end, however, are strange.

It is those same strange “end-effects” that I have seen in photos processed in ON1 and exported as JPGs.

We’re not done with the situation; it gets stranger still more.

Loading the ON1-export into NX Studio gives me this:

Here the histogram does not show the “end-effects”. The histogram, although not neat and uniform, is pretty close to what is expected.

So, dear reader, that brings me to the end of my histrionics. I don’t know what to make of it. Go ahead, admire my work of art:

.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck

Posted in image editor, Photo Editing, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Outlook Annoyance

Amusing Annoyance in Outlook Desktop App

For some reason the Microsoft Outlook client shows embedded images at their full size rather than scaling them to fit. In my current series of “My Street Photography” posts at Ludwig.Gallery subscribers receive an email when a new post is published. These emails look very much like the actual post on the website, except in Outlook on a desktop. Let me illustrate:

The online Outlook app is shown on the left in the above image. The way the desktop Outlook client shows is is shown on the right. Of course, on a normal monitor not all of the email will be viewable, and scrolling is needed to see it all. What that means is that it provides just a small segment of the leftmost part of the image. It is often interesting and amusing to inspect the posted image and see detail like this below, rather than the whole picture.

Other email clients don’t do this. In fact, neither does the Microsoft Outlook app on an iPhone. It shows the whole picture just like you would expect.

This is not a serious problem. Clicking the post title in the email opens the actual online post in the browser.

The desktop Outlook client does this by default for all emails, of course. Any embedded image is shown at the full size so only part of it will be displayed if it is larger than the area that fits in the viewing pane. It is necessary to scroll around to see other parts of a picture. Amusing, yes, but also likely rather annoying.

If there is an option for changing the Outlook behavior with embedded images, I have not come across it. A tip of the hat and warm online embrace to you if you can enlighten me on adjusting Outlook to show emails the way it does on a smart phone or in a browser.



.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Microsoft Office, Photos, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments