Back Online!

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And… I’m back! Gee, being off the grid for a day was strange.

For those who haven’t visited lately, I took the blog offline for a day for a much-needed spring clean-up.

First, I upgraded to WordPress 3.1. This new version has several long-awaited improvements, such as a faster dashboard, a better internal linking system and a brand new admin bar. Each major WordPress upgrade brings some stress and a lot of word for blog owners. There is always the possibility of something going extremely wrong: old plugins can break a theme, themes don’t always upgrade well… I spend hours backing up everything and I must admit I held my breath for a few seconds when I clicked on the “upgrade now” button. But everything went just fine and within a few minutes, I was enjoying WordPress 3.1’s new features.

I also updated my theme. I had been using a homemade customized version of the excellent free Arthemia theme for a while and I thought it was about time I gave back to the developer of the theme. So I bought the premium version of Arthemia—my way of saying “thank you”. After all, we, users, tend to take all the content made available on the Web for granted but a lot of people work hard to provide it. I know how happy I am when people buy my photography in The Shop!

There are a few improvements, such as the brand new carousel on top displaying the posts from my Canadian Life, a bigger footer with all recent posts, most commented and most active readers, threaded comments and posts displaying in two columns on the front page.

Since I customize my theme, I had to reinstall everything from the scratch, digging into php and CSS files. I hadn’t done that in a while and my very basic coding skills were rusty, but I eventually got pretty much everything to work. I’m sure there are a few bugs left and I’ll be fixing them soon. If you notice something weird, let me know!

The How to… Avoid Fraud Saturday Series will start again next week. I’m also planning a post on Canadian music and maybe something about the fact that our government fell and we are heading to election again. I’m glad to be back to writing, coding is definitely not my strength!

Thank you for your patience guys!



About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Salut Zhu,

    It is nice to start Spring with a fresh cleanup and maintenance.
    I did a bit of that with a new template. If I can ask you because I am on wp too; how do you place ads? I wouldn’t mind having one or two.
    Thanks for any quick advice et grosses bises x

    • Placings ads is very easy. First, you need to register with Adsense or another advertising program. They will give you an HTML code to display the ad. Simply copy and paste the code into a text widget, and drag the widget wherever you want in your sidebar.

      If you want to display an ad within the body of a post, it’s do-able but you will have to edit the code.

      I hope it answers your question!

  2. I wondered where you have been.

    I’m very impressed. I used to like messing with computers and I can do some ultra simple html but what you are going through scares the bejeebers out of me. I know that blogger has its limitations but I want to spend my limited time posting and not coding.

    All your hard work pays off. Your site is always nice leaking and arranged nicely and so interesting.

    Anyway, glad your back and your upgrade worked.

    • Thank you!

      I started on Blogger as well (in 2005) and I agree, it’s a great platform and it’s perfect for those who don’t have a lot of time to spend on the technical aspect of blogging. I try not to spend too much time “coding” (it’s a big word, I don’t have the skills to code, I just modify code!) because it can easily be a full-time job. Focusing on content is more important!

      Nonetheless, thank you for the praise. I’m glad you enjoy the blog!

  3. My daughter installed my blog for me 2 years ago and I am afraid to change it. It’s OK for me as I prefer to spend more time on my photos and writing than sweating all this techy stuff.
    We rarely hear anything about Canada over here. I heard that the government had fallen but I don’t know what type of government it was – conservative, liberal, green or medium range.

    It was interesting for me to read, while I was researching the history of Hawai’i that at the time the US annexed Hawai’i by force in the late 1800s, they were considering annexing Canada too.

    By the way one of my blogger friends answered you on my blog about your “biscuit” question. She lives in North Carolina and said that a biscuit is like a non-sweet scone. I would say that if you had a piece of dough bread, like the type of white slice bread they have here, and only baked a small piece, without a crust, that would be a “biscuit” – it is soft and not sweet and used instead of regular bread. In the south they eat it with sausage gravy, or they add jam to it. You can buy rolls of “biscuits” in the refrigerated part of the grocery, you place them in the oven for about 10 minutes, and voila you have homemade biscuits (well almost.)

    • Thank you (and thanks to your friend!) for the explanation regarding the biscuit. I guess the French name confused me…!

      The technical side of blogging doesn’t bother me too much, although I can’t spend too much time on it. Creating content is more important!

      We had a conservative government in Canada. More on that tomorrow… I’m finishing an article about the elections. 😉

  4. Hey Zhu :D!

    I will be honest: I hadn’t realised that your blog had been off for a day; but I did notice the changes – the blog looks pretty cool (or should I say, even cooler).

    Loved your political blog and thank God for bloggers like you :D!


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