Today on episode 28, Web Hosting Podcast.  Where have I been and what is going on with the podcast?  Have you taken the jump to WordPress 5 yet, if not then you are going to want to ensure you do a few things first.  Google Page Speed is up to some new tricks with images.

My depression.

You may have been wondering why there has not been an episode in a while.  It is time to talk about my depression and how I deal with it.
Some things I do to try and reduce the effects of my depression, anxiety and panic attacks. If this helps even a single person get through their own depression then this will be worth it.

  1. Eat right.  I eat breakfast when I first get up and try to eat as healthy as possible for the rest of my meals.
  2. Get good sleep.  This is very critical for me.  If I don’t get a good deep sleep then I am possibly going to be a train wreak the next day.
  3. I work out regularly and have a schedule.  I find that by doing 30 minutes of exercise first thing in the morning, I can alleviate some of my anxiety. 
  4. I make sure to bathe every day.  This may sound strange to put on a list, but it does help me.  It is part of my routine and schedule.  For me it signals the fresh start of a new day.
  5. I put on my shoes.  You may ask why this is its own entry.  I find that if I do not put my shoes on after my shower that I am more apt to sit around and not do much.  By putting on my shoes, I am unable to talk myself out of going for a walk or leaving the house.  It is a mind game I play with myself.  Shoes go on, ready for the day and anything it can throw at me.
  6. Dress for how you want to feel.  Another thing that has helped me is to dress how I want to feel.  I work from home most of the time, so you might imagine working in pajamas.  This can be great, but do it for a decade and you never leave your pajamas.  I have been known to actually dress up, sometimes I put on a shirt and tie. 
  7. Watch something or read something uplifting. I recently started reading “Chicken soup for the fathers soul” when I am feeling depressed.  I also started watching a new TV show, that I would not normally watch, called New Amsterdam.  Then there is always Hogans Heroes.  The point is, find something that picks you up.
  8. Task yourself to learn something new every day.  I try and learn something new everyday.  It can be as simple as a new knot (don’t laugh knots are hard to master), or as difficult as getting a certificate for something.  I try and challenge myself with something that I know that I can ultimately complete.  Giving myself that win feeling and boosting my confidence just a bit.  It is important for me to make sure that I finish the task and to not set the difficulty too hard, I want to complete it after all.  By completing it, I get the “I have accomplished something” feeling that ultimately helps my moral and boosts me up.
  9. Check in with yourself.  This gets more into knowing your moods and your body and it is something that anyone can do and should do.  It is not well known that your body/mind remembers tragic events that have happened.  These are anniversaries of events.  If you are feeling more depressed than normal, try and determine if there is a specific thing that has happened around the same time of year that you might be struggling with.  I have many anniversaries that I have to deal with, most of them are around Thanks Giving and Christmas.
  10. The most important thing is to never give up.  If you are struggling with depression, as I do, find someone to talk to.  I highly recommend a good counselor.  I have been teased relentlessly by others for seeing a therapist or counselor.  Honestly, I have no idea why it is so taboo to go see one.  We all go to a doctor when we are sick, we see a chiropractor when our back it out.  Why would we not want to take care of the most important part of our body, the brain.  I go see mine on a regular basis or more as the need arises.  There is nothing wrong with getting a mental checkup and helping yourself cope with the world as a whole.  Don’t let anyone give you a hard time for seeing or wanting to see a counselor, ever!  If you can’t afford to go see one, there are many free resources out there.  A lot of times insurance will also pay for some of the visits.  

Panic Attacks.

If you also suffer from panic attacks, I feel for you.  I have them quite regularly and have learned to identify when it is going to happen and how to deal with them.  This may not work for everyone, but this is what I do when I suffer a panic attack.  I start by watching my heart rate on my iWatch.  If it is climbing faster than it should and I am in a situation that is unsafe, driving for example, I get to a place where I can pull over or stop what I am doing.  The first feeling of a panic attack for me is a sudden flood of stomach butterflies.  The ones you normally get when you are nervous about something.  When those start up, my legs go almost numb, then the sweating starts as my heart rate climbs.  This is why I keep an eye on my heart rate, it will normally start to rise and can get very very fast.  I have never passed out from an attack, but I have come close.  So the first thing I do is get my heart rate down, I practice breathing exercises regularly and can control my breathing which will allow me to slow down my rapid heart rate.  Once I feel that my heart rate is no longer climbing, I check in with myself.  Did I just listen to a song that triggered something, did a smell remind me of something, or is it possible that I have one of those anniversaries.  It can be a whole range of things for me that triggers them, and I can usually identify them.  The biggest thing for me is to stay calm.  Doing this while driving is quite a trick, but it can be done, just be safe.  Staying calm takes practice and patience with your self.  

Here is a link I found for some services as well as phones numbers.

WordPress 5 has been released. 

Steps to do before you go through the update process.

  1. Make sure you are using a recent version of PHP, like php 7.2.  If you have a host that provides multiple php versions to be used you may be in luck.  Multi php has been available in cPanel for quite a while.  Login to your cPanel account, search for php and find multiphp manager.  From here, find your domain in the bottom list.  In the heading PHP Version, make a note of the version you are currently using.  To switch to a different version of PHP, put a check box next to your domain, then in the drop down above next to PHP Version select your desired version.  Now test your site to verify if it still works as expected.  If you run into issues, change the version back to the one you were previously on.
  2. Go into the update menu, Dashboard -> updates.  Apply any updates that are pending, but do NOT update wordpress core yet.  Make sure your themes and plugins are current.  If you have not done this in a long time, or ever, then you are likely going to have some issues.  If you regularly update your themes and plugins like you should, then you should have nothing to worry about here.
  3. Verify your running a recent copy of wordpress.  Anything before wordpress 4, you are likely going to have issues upgrading and you need to hire someone to go through the process of updating and verifying things work.  If you are on wordpress 4 and above, then go into plugins -> installed plugins.  From here list all plugins.  In the description area for the plugin, click on “View Details”.  A new window will pop up showing the version and reviews.  What you are looking for is the last time the plugin was updated and the section that says “Compatible up to:”  If the plugin has not been updated in over 6 months, make a note of the plugin and what it does, you are going to need to find a new plugin to replace this.  If the “Compatible up to:” line does not include 5.0, then you really don’t want to update to WorpPress 5 at this time.    It is also likely that if it is not 5.0 compatible that the last updated date is more than 6 months, possibly years.  If you are already seeing a “Warning: This plugin has not been tested with your current version of WordPress” at the top, then it is almost certain it will cause problems with WordPress 5.0.  It would also be a good time to remove/uninstall any plugins that are not active or used.
  4. Make sure you have some form of backup.  We have covered this in great detail in other episodes.  Go listen to them if you are not sure how to backup your wordpress site or are uncertain what to use to backup your wordpress site.  You really need to have a backup before proceeding, you have been warned. Backup espisode.
  5. Go into Dashboard -> Updates and update wordpress to version 5.  I have done this on several sites and it seems to work very well.  I also have kept all of my plugins, themes as well as the core updated regularly.  You really don’t want to update to WordPress 5 from a very outdated version of wordpress.

A few notes on the Gutenberg block editor.  First of all, why?  I mean there was nothing really wrong with the “classic” editor in my opinion.  Everyone that has used a computer in the last 20 years should know how to use a word processor, which it closely resembled.  It was easy to determine what buttons do what function.  Now we are left with a block editor, that we have to get used to.  I am not opposed to change, but there should be a good reason to make this big of a change to the leading blog platform, as of yet I have not found one.  The block editor is clunky, not very intuitive and just looks horrible.  I would imagine users are filling up support queues with questions on its use and how to find simple things like indentation for paragraphs or add links.  It is all there, you just have to find it…..again. If you want to go back to using the classic editor.

  1. login to your wordpress backend.
  2. Go into plugins then add new and search for “classic editor” 
  3. Click install and then click activate. 

There is currently, 2 million plus active installs of this plugin and it is regularly updated.  I would invite you to read some of the reviews as well.

Classic Editor

Google page speed insights is at it again. 

They have revamped the interface and made some very alarming changes to the tests.  The most alarming is the fact that google now wants everyone to use a images in “next-gen formats”.  This is where I have to scratch my head.  The “next-gen formats” they are requesting you to use are not supported by most browsers.  Those formats are JPEG-2000, JPEG XR, and WebP.  JPEG-2000 and JPEG XR do not appear to be supported by chrome, but only safari browsers.  Where WebP is only supported by chrome.  This seems ludicrous to me that google would recommend a format that is not widely supported by all browsers.  For now, I am sticking with JPEG, PNG and SVG formats until all browsers support something better.  I would recommend doing the same for your site. If google wants to ding your page speed for supporting all browsers with a standardized image format, so be it.  I am really starting to think that googles page speed insights is a lost cause and should be avoided.