Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks

Making connections

I do here tell that to keep the old brain cells young and in top working condition it is good to learn new things.  I did just that six months ago when I took on the momentous task of blogging.  Thanks to all my computer literate, or should I say genius, children, I know my way around computers and various programs.  I just needed a bit of information on blogging that I got from WordPress All-in-One For Dummies.

After reading the book, I understood that there were two ways to go with blogging using WordPress.  One way, the simpler way, was to sign up for a free account at wordpress.com.  With wordpress.org I would have to get a web hosting service and download WordPress, install it, deal with spam on my own, handle my own backups.  But the benefits would be that I could use plugin’s and dig into design, maybe, kinda, sorta.

I choose wordpress.com for its simplicity and the fact that it was a good deal, free!  I told myself that if I actually stuck with blogging and didn’t get scared, turn tail and run, which seems to be my MO and I have to admit I came close to it a couple of times, I could change over to wordpress.org later.    It was rough going.  I needed to be my own best friend and stick up for myself with the part of me who thinks she’s protecting me by keeping me down.   I blogged a bit about my struggles.

WordPress.com was pretty straight forward for me although it did take me awhile to get the hang of a few things like putting Flickr on my side bar along with a Facebook badge and a calendar to access my archives.  I switched themes a couple of times and figured out how to change the background color.  All in all it has been fun.

Well anyway, this past week I decided to follow Nike’s advice and just do it.  I have been holding off thinking dealing with WordPress.org was way over my head that I would never get it.  So with what may have looked impulsive, I went to wordpress.org where a few web-hosting services that have one click install of wordpress available and jumped in with both feet and purchased some space on HostGator’s web server.

All at once, I was confronted with a whole set of problems I had not anticipated such as dealing with a control panel on the host site.  There was so much going on.  There were icons under HostGator links, preferences, mail, free search engine optimization tools, files, logs, security, databases, domains, software services and advanced.  Mind-boggling.  Finally, I found the place to click to quick install word press and did just that.  But it seemed to me something was not quite right.  I could not understand why when I did all the necessary clicking to install WordPress and I went to my blog nothing was changed.  It should look different.

This was a super big problem, and a super big problem called for Joe, the super-duper computer genius. (Because we are taking care of our little grandson, we are watching some kids PBS shows, like Super Why.  My super big problem sentence is typical of what Wyatt says on that show.  It seems that phrases and bits of songs from that show and others just pop into my head unbidden.)

My super computer genius son got right on my super big problem.  I gave him all my log in info and data and while I was on the phone with him I heard him clacking on his keyboard with what sounded like the the speed of light.  I giggled.  He started out on the hunt and peck method and through extreme practice with his programming of software he types with all ten fingers faster than me who actually took typing classes.  Finally he announced that my problem was fixed.  Apparently it had something to do with IP address, domain names and changing the names of a couple of files to keeping my blog up and running till the big change over can take place.

Now all I needed to do was use a file transfer program to upload a theme into my new WordPress site which took some more learning on my part but I went to my web host support people this time and was able to do that all on my own.  That’s when I realized hey, I can teach this old dog a few new things.  I can actually feel my neurons making new connections in my brain.  You see as far as brain power goes it is all in the connections not number of brain cells.  Learning new things creates more connections.  Here’s to learning new things at any age even if at the time it feels overwhelming.


2 thoughts on “Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks

  1. Congratulations, Janice! Look what you went and did! My kids help me with stuff, too. I agree learning new things helps make new connections, which become SO important when we begin to notice too much forgetting and slip-ups, but our children’s brain cells are tuned into electronics, so it’s only fair that they help us. 🙂
    What is your new wordpress.org web address? I’d love to go see it.


    1. Actually, I’m still in the process. My son says he will show me how to move the whole thing over when he comes up here next week. You will go there automatically when it happens. Janice


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