Website Changes

We’ve made a couple of changes to Bits & Pieces…

Annoying Ad Problem: I’ve temporarily replaced the video ads (that have been affecting some readers negatively) with a static text ad.  This will most likely cut my ad revenue in half (if not more) so if you’re feeling generous you may show your support by making a donation at the link in the upper-right sidebar of the site.  I’ll continue to search for a solution to the ad problem.

Comment Likes: You can now Like comments that you, for the lack of a better word, ‘like’ by clicking the Like button under each comment.   


Problematic Ad on B&P

I’m stumped on a problem a few people are having involving the ad near the top of the right sidebar.

It’s hard to describe what’s going on but it has to do with the ad not letting the user scroll down the page.  Here’s how one person described it: 

The ad on the right side of the page is forcing my browser to have that part of the page on my screen.  I use Chrome on a Chromebook to access the internet.  Whenever I try to scroll down past it, the browser jumps me right back to that part of the page,  I cannot escape the ad.

I’ve tried Googling it but can’t really find much on the problem.  I was hoping the theme change would fix the issue but two people have told me they’re still having the problem.  

I’ve reset the Google Adsense ad code so I’m pretty sure it’s not corrupt.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.



B&P Changes

We’ve been doing a bit of fine tuning of the new theme on B&P.

  • We’ve added a Like button at the bottom of the posts.  
  • We’ve added a Random Post on the left side.  It changes every 20 seconds.  Let me know if it’s too distracting.
  • We’ve added a floating Return to top button at the lower right side of each page that will return you to the top of the current page.



B&P Undergoing Changes

We’re experimenting with a new theme (a new look) for Bits & Pieces.  The current theme has been in use for many years and the designers are not supporting it any longer.  The new theme is more customizable and is mobile friendly.

During the construction or maintenance period, it may radically change from minute to minute as we fine-tune different features.  We may hit a snag and jump back to the old theme for a while also.  So don’t be surprised it things come and go at a moments notice.  Our goal is to make sure basic functionality remains available at all times.

B&P Turns 15

Today, March 31, marks the 15th anniversary of the start of Bits & Pieces.  It was on this date in 2002 that I started B&P over on Blogger.  After a short while, I moved to a self-hosted WordPress blog.  

It has been a major part of my life these last 15 years.  And I’m sure I wouldn’t still be doing it if it weren’t for the wonderful people that have come together as contributors, readers and especially commenters to make Bits & Pieces what I like to call our little worldwide neighborhood.  

The number of daily visitors is down significantly from our heyday back in 2009-2010, but we still managed to get more than 3.3 million page views last year.  I don’t know if the lower numbers indicate just a general blogging trend or if I’m not keeping up with the times in one sense or another.  With the lower page views and with Amazon abandoning their affiliate program in Missouri the income produced here has also taken a dive.  It still covers expenses of running the site which continue to be on the rise but doesn’t leave a  whole lot extra. Having to pay for hosting and purchase more security utilities to keep the site safe from hackers takes a toll on any advertising profits.

I still enjoy working on the site and interacting with the B&P community (for the most part, anyway) but I also sometimes think about scaling back the time spent on here every now and then.  I don’t think I’ll ever stop having a web presence like this but it would be nice to be able to step away every now and then and not feel guilty about doing so.

As I said earlier, you, the person reading this, is the reason this website exists and has existed for so long.  15 years is more than a lifetime, maybe more than a couple of lifetimes, for many blogs.  I’m proud of what we have here and of the people who visit.  I’ve met many of you in person and have enjoyed doing so.  I’ve communicated with many, many more and almost all of those communications have been friendly, productive and satisfying.

Thanks to all who send me post suggestions whether it’s regularly or just every now and then to those who just stop by and read, whether occasionally or every day and most importantly those who have left comments and become true neighbors and friends in our little worldwide neighborhood.  I’m humbled by your kindness.


Website Problems

Bits & Pieces was down for about an hour on Friday afternoon.  Visitors (and staff) were getting an ‘Error connecting to the database” message.  I called the ISP and they managed to get the site back online but they appear to have disabled all of the plugins. Apparently, there was a conflict with at least one of the plugins.  The plugins perform various functions like allow you to upload images in your comments, rate posts and comments, and edit your comments plus allow me various functions on the back end of the site which is where I spend most of my time.  

You should notice a dramatic increase is load time for the site without these plugins. They do tend to slow things down quite a bit. I’ll try to add in the ones I need the most one at a time to see if one, in particular, is causing the problem.  But I probably won’t get around to doing that this weekend.


Technical Difficulties…

Need helpI’ve has two people contact me that have received the following error when they go to :

    Warning: Class __PHP_Incomplete_Class has no unserializer in /home/content/p3pewpnas02pod01_data01/01/2463101/html/wp-content/object-cache.php on line 520

I’m not a coder so I’m not sure what’s going on here. I tried Googling it but that didn’t help.

Anyone have any ideas?


Ratings plugin update

RatingsI deleted the ratings plugin and re-installed it from scratch.  I didn’t lose the previous data (ratings) as I was led to believe would happen.  I was also unable to reproduce the error it was generating the last couple of days.  So, hopefully, no one else will have that problem either. 

Please let me know if you notice any peculiarities with the rating of posts or comments.


Technical Difficulties

Technical difficulties dogWe’re experiencing technical difficulties with our ratings plugin.  This plugin allows you to rate posts and comments.  A few people (just 2 or 3 have contacted me) about getting an error when trying to access B&P.  It works fine for me unless I use an Incognito window, then I get the error. 

The plugin was creating another minor problem for me on the backend of the site. I had the plugin’s main programmer looking at the issue for me and he couldn’t find the problem. He spent a couple of hours working on it for free,  so I applaud him for his efforts.

So, I have deactivated the plugin and I can’t reproduce the error any more. 

I may try to completely uninstall and reinstall the plugin to see if that might help.  The problem with that is that even if it works, we’ll lose all the previous ratings.  Still, that seems like the best course of action for me.  If that fails then I’ll be looking for a new rating plugin.

FYI:  There is a site that will tell you if B&P (or any other site) is down for everyone of just for you. You might want to save this link as it could help you in figuring out if it’s your problem or the website’s problem .

I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.