Posted in Black Desert Online, Blogging, Gaming, MMORPGs, Uncategorized

Black Desert Online Gaming Blog Banners

I didn’t realize a post about blog header banners would be of interest to so many folks! But because it was, I’m making a short follow-up on a few new banners I added this morning. Yesterday, I didn’t have my BDO screenshots on hand, but now that I do, I’ve whipped up a few more banners from that.

I couldn’t just choose one horse riding screen from the many, though. So I threw in two. I wish I had a good uncropped screen of my favorite dappled horse for this. I might have to hop in game and take some new shots. 🙂

The three new banners are below, all of my character Aywren in BDO:

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Posted in Blogging, Gaming

New Gaming Blog Banners

I’ve decided to start using rotating banners on the top of my blog. These were created from screenshots of various games I’ve played that have been of importance to me. I may add a few more for games like BDO, but until then, I just wanted to make list of the banners I’m using.

I even found a pretty good shot of the original Aywren Sojourner from Second Life! She was created on July 23, 2004. Back then, you could choose from a list of last names when making a new character in Second Life, and I chose Sojourner. The name has stuck over the years!

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Aywren Sojourner in FFXIV
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Zombie-Fighting Base in 7 Days to Die
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Aywren in Stardew Valley
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Moon from Skyrim
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Sims 4 – Alien Abduction 
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The original(!) Aywren Sojourner in Second Life
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Zuri Nimat in FFXIV
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TsuYa Tai in FFXIV
Posted in Blogging, Uncategorized

WordPress Personal Plan Storage Upgrade!

Last night, I heard my phone buzz.

I looked over and saw an alert from WordPress that said nothing but “Storage Upgrade!”

I got excited. I opened the app and saw this:

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I got very excited. I started looking around for more information. Sure enough, on the WordPress plans page, it notes that all free blogs still have 3 GB of space, but the Personal paid accounts now have 6 GB!

This is a huge deal! I say that because storage space was one limitation that worried me when I moved over to WordPress.com hosting.

I noted in my Moving Post:

3GB storage space for images is pretty low for me. I’ve been spoiled by having “unlimited” space for many years. Already, my blog has that over 40% full.

Now that I’m only using 21% of my storage space, I feel much more at ease about things, and much more content in the choice I made to move this blog here.

So, if you’re using WordPress’ Personal plan, you have an upgrade! If you’re using a free plan and are approaching the 3 GB limit, the Personal plan is a nice option to double your space for very little cost.

Posted in Blogging

Blogging Milestones: 1,000 Posts!

Yesterday, I received an announcement via WordPress that alerted me to the fact that I’ve published 1,000 posts on this blog. Somehow, I’d lost track of that and wasn’t paying any attention to my post number.

So, for a blog that’s going on 3 years old, that’s not too bad. Granted, this includes random YouTube videos, posts of my art and that sort of thing, too. However, I’ve removed a good chunk of content in the form of my Sims stories, because I wanted to divide that away from the main blog. I figure it equals out.

When I moved to WordPress.com about a month ago, it lost all my Followers and Likes. I actually had a good number of Followers to lose, so that was a bit annoying – if you followed me before, you’ll need to follow me again!

So, I’m building those up again, and have hit these milestones:

20followers

50likes

Again, not too bad for being here less than a month.

WordPress Reader

I’ve also discovered that when you have a WordPress.com hosted blog, you get the benefit of being connected to the Reader section. This is similar to Tumblr’s dashboard, where you can search by tags and follow blogs you enjoy… just a bit less cluttered and over-saturated.

In fact, I like this a whole lot better than a Tumblr because you can actually find interesting posts and new blogs to follow. The quality seems a good bit better than the constant stream of micro-blogging you see in Tumblr, too. Not to mention, you can have the best of all worlds if you attach a WordPress.com blog to a Tumblr account via sharing.

Boom! All the blogging! 

So, I’m happy that I made the jump over to WordPress.com as a host, if only to have that sense of a social media connection in the background for my blog. I know that I’ve discovered a number of blogs the past month, and other people have discovered me… who would have never found me otherwise as a self-hosted blog.

Blog on! 

Posted in Blogging

Making a Move

 

So, things look a little different around here, huh?

Yeah, remember how I was discussing the issues I’ve been having with inodes on my website host? Well, one of my thoughts was to move this blog to a separate host since it takes quite a bit of resources on the server.

I did some looking around and comparing, and as crazy as it sounds, I discovered moving my blog to a WordPress.com account was actually the best option for me. So why would I choose to move my self-hosted blog that had all the freedom of plugins and theme customization to a place where I’d lack all those things?

Here’s my thoughts on that.

First. I don’t want another Baby Croc plan. I don’t want to fork over another $12 a month just for one blog.

Well, there’s a lot of different hosts that tout WordPress hosting at a low price. They start you out at $2.00-something a month, and they catch you at the checkout by making you pay 36 months up front or something. And then, upon renewal, they jack the price up to $12 a month or more. I’m looking at you HostGator.

Some of them have a cap on how many visitors you can get in a month. I’m looking at you, BlueHost. So what happens if you have a popular post and you break 10K visits? Does your site shut down for the rest of them month? Do you pay a fee? Yeah, no.

So, a WordPress.com account is free. But I obviously wanted to use my domain name, so I ponied up the $2.99 a month for a year to have that.

The transfer went well. I have a huge site, and transferring the images took two days as the migration tool takes a loooong time, and I decided transferring a month at a time was best.

I did find a free theme that I liked, so that’s a plus. The lack of plugins isn’t as restricting as I thought it would be. Turns out there’s a lot of plugins I don’t really need.

The two things that I’m not so happy about is the lack of FTP for image retrieval and the low storage space.

Without FTP, all I can do is export media to another WordPress blog. This means that I’m going to have to be more careful about archiving images just in case I ever decide to make another move.

3GB storage space for images is pretty low for me. I’ve been spoiled by having “unlimited” space for many years. Already, my blog has that over 40% full. However, if I ever get to the point that I need more, I suppose I could upgrade, and it would still be cheaper than self-hosting.

The one positive is that all the traffic and resources that my blog has been generated is moving off of my self-hosted server. So it’s less I have to be concerned about. Hopefully keeping my domain will make it a smooth transition and no one will need to update links or anything.

I’ve discovered a few of my older posts are missing pictures from when I migrated from Clean Casuals to Aywren.com, and I’m fixing them as I have time. That was an issue even back on the self-hosted blog that I wasn’t aware of, though.

So far, so good. As long as WordPress.com remains reliable, I think this is a change for the better.

Posted in Blogging

Dabbling with WordPress Multisite

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I know I’ve been quiet this week, but that’s because on the gaming side of things, not a whole lot of interesting stuff has been happening. In FFXIV, I continue to run roulettes for Tomes and work on earning stuff for my Relic. And that’s about it (until tomorrow when Pokemon Sun arrives).

I’ve actually been more inspired to work with art and creative projects this week. For one, I’ve been posting a lot of old art and responding to questions about Sygnus projects on my Tumblr. And second, I’ve been dabbling in WordPress Multisite.

Some of you may know that I host several WordPress sites for many different projects including:

  • Nefol
  • Runne
  • Zot
  • Darkstar
  • Wayrift
  • Sygnus.org
  • Dreigiau
  • and this blog…

As you can guess, that’s a lot of WordPress sites to keep updated and maintain.

The Inode Issue

The problem I’m running up against lately isn’t so much taking care of so many installs, but rather hitting my hosting service’s cap for inodes. Now, an inode is just a fancy way of saying the number of files and folders stored on my host. Up until lately, we’ve been under the max needed to allow for a site backup, which is 100,000 inodes.

Well, a few weeks ago, I was checking my cPanel and realized we had well exceeded that number, so the sites were no longer being backed up! To make matters more troubling, if the inode count reaches 200,000, the host has a right to refuse to host my sites. Yikes!

So, I needed to find a way to cut back on files and fast.

I did this in several ways, including deleting unused themes, deleting disabled plugins, deleting duplicate image files that I never removed when I moved this blog from Sygnus.org to Aywren.com. This was enough to get us back under 100,000 inodes and out of trouble.

But still, it’s really not enough. I mean, Jetpack itself uses over 1,000 inodes for each install I’m running! I knew I needed to cut back more.

The Multisite Solution

So, I thought about consolidating all my projects into Sygnus.org. Afterall, many sites were already using a sub-domain URL of that domain. But the thing is that each site needs its own look and feel, and it would be a real pain to merge them all into one WordPress site and keep the current aesthetics.

That’s when I stumbled upon WordPress multisite (which I knew about from years ago, but forgot about). At the time, multisite was often used for something like BuddyPress, which I messed around with a bit. I didn’t consider using it for something like a network of blogs that all share the same plugins, theme files and database… but that’s exactly what it does.

For more information:

This was surprisingly easy to do (as long as you have access to files through a FTP program or such). Just editing a few files was all it took to flip the switch, and suddenly, Sygnus.org could host as many blogs with shared resources as I have room for!

The wonderful thing is that they all look and behave like individual WordPress installs. But maintenance is so much easier because you only need to update plugins, themes and WordPress itself on the network to update all the sites at once!

I’ve slowly been consolidating sites there, as it does take some time in exporting, importing, and especially moving image files. Once you FTP files to their new location, they won’t appear in your media section until you add them from your server using a plugin like this one. This is a manual bit of work, but it does what’s needed, and that’s what matters.

It’s lovely that Sygnus.org remains the master domain while Darkstar, Nefol and Runne have been consolidated into the multisite setup. As you can see, they use different themes and different settings, and look exactly the way they did when they were hosted separately!

I was also able to give Almonihah ownership of his own blog from when he posted articles on Sygnus.org, which is really nice.

This has improved the inode situation some… though we’re still sitting at over 80K files. Consolidating has knocked off about 10K, which is good. I still have one more site to consolidate, which will be a large move due to hosting a webcomic, but overall, I’m happy with how this is turning out.

Posted in Blaugust, Blogging

Blogging about #Blaugust2016

This post is a part of Blaugust 2016!
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I didn’t really make an official “announcement” that I was taking part in Blaugust this year, aside from briefly mentioning it on my August Goals Post. So I’m making up for that right now.

I almost didn’t consider joining up this year, but Bel put out a Super Relaxed Edition, and that tickled my fancy. Last month it was a challenge to blog much at all — I had one project or release after another at work and it drained my interest in writing for fun. On top of that, I also was struggling to get some fiction writing done for Camp NaNoWriMo. So if I did write much, that’s where my effort was going.

I’m hoping that Blaugust can help me get back into my blogging groove. I used to post just about every weekday, so that’s the flavor of Blaugust I chose as my goal this year.

The month is still early, so I’m sure you can still hop in and set your own blogging goals. It’s nice in that it’s flexible, which is what coaxed me to join up this time around.

Good luck to all the bloggers out there! 🙂

Posted in Blaugust, Blogging, FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

August Goals #Blaugust2016

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This month, rather than just list gaming goals, I’m going for overall goals. Because this is the month of Blaugust!

I slacked off a bit last month in my blogging because I had a lot going on IRL, and I was struggling to write for NaNoWriMo as it was. So, my goals for Blaugust aren’t to post every day, but rather, get back into my habit of posting every weekday. I think that’s good enough, and I’m happy we get a choice, this year. Thanks Bel! 

Now for my gaming goals! A number of these are playing catch-up with Zuri on content, to be honest.

Earthbound

  • Play some!

Pokemon X

  • Earn the next gym badge

FFXIV End Game Stuff

  • Work on 3rd tier of Bard Relic ✓
  • Get the PotD Bow ✓
  • Get the PotD Spear
  • Level Machinist ✓ (Ding 60!)
  • Finish gearing up Bard ✓ (100% Complete!)
  • Start gearing up Dragoon ✓
  • Clear up to Alex 8 on Zuri ✓
  • Unlock Level 60 Roulette on Zuri

FFXIV Leveling

  • Level Gladiator to 30 ✓
  • Clean up old quests ✓

FFXIV Random

  • Earn some Yo-kai Weapons ✓

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