My Name & Quest

Today is day one of the January 2015 Blogging 101 class, and guess who joined up this time?  I’ve had blogs for more than a decade now. I even help others with WordPress!  While I understand all of the technical aspects of running a site, I have never focused on learning how to blog well.  I’ve recommended the Blogging 101 course to many friends, customers, and acquaintances, so as one of my new year’s resolutions, I decided it’s high time I take my own advice and join this course myself.

My first task is to write a post, and then to state my name. Well, if the domain name didn’t give it away, it’s Velda. Yup, really. Like Zelda, with a V. Since this page has everything you’d ever want to know about me personally, and since I rather like my title and tagline, I’ll focus on the purpose of this blog instead.

I’ll be honest: I made this blog solely because my coworkers suggested this awesome domain name.  I have been very indecisive as to what to write here. And when people started following, I really froze up because I wasn’t sure that I had anything important to say. Like my intro says, I really am shy. Plus, the name is pretty cool if you’re a geek like me who happens to have a weird first name, but does it sound to you like it’s supposed to be something so awesome it’s practically legendary?

So today I shall establish this blogs purpose, and it is not to be legendary. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Its purpose is simply to be.

I’ve told myself before I don’t have to write anything extraordinary, and that it’s enough to do my best. And I’ve told myself too, that if I’ll simply write often, I will get better. No pressure. But apparently zero pressure isn’t quite enough to get me over my hangups and on to writing, so here I am in a Blogging 101 class. Feel free to follow along!

Who wants to be a Happiness Engineer?

Who would want to be a millionaire when you could be a Happiness Engineer? If you know me at all, you know I love my job. A lot of you have asked how you can work here, too, or whether there’s a college class you can take. Here’s my answer:

Happiness Engineers need intuition, critical thinking, a sense of community, a dose of creativity, and some solid self-discipline. Above all, they need the ability to communicate effectively.

They also need to know WordPress!

So if you want to learn well enough to apply, while demonstrating those qualities we seek, here are a few things you can try:

1. Go to and spend some time working through those steps. Then start writing. Write the things you care about; write responses to Plinky. But write about your WordPress experience, too. What’s working for you? What doesn’t, and how do you work through it?

2. Go to . Do a little exploring; try some new things. Be creative. Demonstrate that intuition. And again, if you find something that doesn’t work as you expect it to, how do you go about finding solutions?

3. Connect with other users. If you’ve followed through the tutorials, you’re already doing this to some extent. What questions do other users have? How would you answer them?

Then apply early, and apply often. If at first you don’t succeed but you still want to be an Automattician, find that room for improvement, then try again. I did, and I wouldn’t do it any other way.

WordCamp SLC

You might not realize this, but WordCamp changed my life. I went in 2008, only curious about WordPress at the time. I knew some hosting customers used it and loved it. And it seemed nice.

It wasn’t the easiest thing to convince my then-husband that I needed a Saturday off.
But my friend Joseph who had organized the camp urged me to give it a try if I could. It nothing else, it was only one day, only $20, and it came with a free shirt and a BBQ lunch.

picture of my most recent WordCamp lunch

So I went. And I loved it. It started me on a different road, and that (as Frost said) has made all the difference.

Can I promise the same for you? I don’t know. But I do know I can promise lunch & a cool shirt. WordCamp SLC is on September 21. Let me know if you’re coming. 🙂

Fixing links on an exported WordPress Blog with MySQL Replace

One we problem I ran into when exporting is that most of my resized images did not pull through. So my post would call for someImage-400×266.jpg though the import only grabbed someImage.jpg and not its variants.

The fix was pretty easy, though. I just used Replace. Do a datadump of your wp_posts table beforehand, just in case, and then:

update `wp_posts` set post_content = replace(post_content,’-400×266.jpg’,’.jpg’);

I had a few other variants like 400×300.jpg or 400×400.jpg depending on the aspect ratio — obviously you’ll want to use sizes that are in use at your own site — but but for the most part this went smashingly. Hoping that helps someone. 🙂

Nucleus vs WordPress

I started blogging with Nucleus six years ago, and saying goodbye to it to switch to WordPress has been harder than I’d anticipated. Granted, a lot of that could have something to do with the rather painful conversion process — and I definitely had my reasons for switching to WordPress or I wouldn’t have put myself through that.  But here are ten things I love about Nucleus, and why I’m now opting for WordPress anyway. Continue reading “Nucleus vs WordPress”

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