Blog Tips | Test New Functionality

I’m an early adopter. I was early to use the world wide web, Amazon.com, Skype to name only a few. Being interested in new technologies helped me in our move from Asia back to Texas.

So it isn’t uncommon for me to make mistakes related to technology. Exuberance can lead to haste, and most of my mistakes in technology related areas have been because I got really excited about some new piece of tech.

Since I landed my current day job at The Karis Group, I have had to learn to tame my excitement about technology.

So I want to write a post for all bloggers, be they new to blogging or pros.  These are from lessons I have learned along the way, mainly about making use of new technologies. Follow Me on Pinterest

As a blogger, most of us will make use of a blogging service or platform.  There are several, Blogger, WordPress, just to name two.  I use WordPress hosted at Bluehost.com.

But regardless of which platform you use to blog, there is one thing I encourage you to do every time you add a new plugin or a new advertiser or new theme:  Test to see that you are getting the intended result.

Thesis Theme for WordPress: Options Galore and a Helpful Support Community

Why is this necessary you may be thinking? After all, isn’t one of the main points of blogging platforms to make it easier to manager a blog or website (our company built out  a new product called Kare360 in 60 days, and chose a WordPress blog platform to get it launched quickly)?

And my answer to this question is yes, blogging platforms (like all Platforms or Service as a Software companies) are easy.  But that doesn’t mean that things work perfectly in every instance.

Sometimes I have added a new WordPress plugin only to discover that the intended functionality wasn’t present.  Sometimes at work, where I administer our Salesforce.com instance, I am tasked to build out new workflows, or new page layouts or record types, or maybe add a new field to provide a new functionality.  As I build it may seem to work right, meaning, it doesn’t cause an error (Salesforce provides error messages for admins who only work from a point and click model).

But sometimes I will build out something that doesn’t manifestly cause an error, but then it doesn’t seem to work.  Or it might work, but there was an unintended consequence on another function on the service.  Either way, what was intended was a seemless addition of a new functionality, only to see it cause problems–big or small.

Now, back to WordPress as a blogging platform.  Plugin developers do their best to assure that their plugins are compatible with a release number.  Theme developers do the same.  But they cannot test every possible permutation of a blog.  There are thousands of plugins, each of which potentially interacts with other plugins or themes, and which can cause problems to your blog.

And that says nothing of what updates might do to your blog/site.

So, what is the point?  It certainly isn’t to decry WordPress or Blogger or any other service.  It is simply to encourage you to test every new theme or plugin you install to determine if there are negative consequences for your blog.

 

This is especially true if you are awaiting some kind of outcome, say a response from readers via a given mechanism like a Comment or Contact Me.  Or a button that is supposed to allow a reader to share your post with their social media networks.  Sometimes things don’t work as intended, and we can save ourselves much time and no small amount of wondering if we simply will test what we deploy.

What about you?  Do you have a blog or website story to tell where a deployment of a new function didn’t work out quite as planned?

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by Thad on February 17, 2012 · 4 comments

tagged as , in blogs

  • http://www.mastertheartofsaving.com Jen @ Master the Art of Saving

    I remember this one time, I think was about a year ago. I had installed a new plugin (don’t recall which one) and it ended up making it so that people couldn’t leave comments on my blog. Thankfully, a reader emailed me about it and I was able to fix it ASAP. :-)

    • http://www.thadthoughts.com Thad

      That is exactly the kind of thing I was writing about. It is good you had someone willing to point out the problem to you!

  • http://edwardantrobus.co.cc Edward Antrobus

    As much as I love the WordPress SEO plugin from Yoast, it seems to break horribly the title reporting functions. You have to go in and manually hack your theme files. Even then, if I use a | instead of a – between post title and blog title, I get an extra one in front of the post title.

    • Thad

      Have you tried uninstalling the plugin and reinstalling? You would want to do a backup first.

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