New on Gangleri

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These are the last 10 additions to Gangleri.nl. On the right you can see what is new per section and the latest comments sitewide. You can click the button to subscribe to the news feed.

Website development

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As I said the day before yesterday, a plugin notified me of the fact that I had (have) a couple of very old plugins. This was a good reminder to have look at the website, so I have spent a couple of days of removing, replacing and improving elements of the website. In some cases these are not really improvements.

As you may notice, I changed “theme“s, the way the website looks.. For a while I was under the impression that it was too complex for what I want of a theme, but now that I have been working with a much simpler theme, proved that the other one had some very welcome functions. Without having to code I could edit and tweak it almost exactly the way I want and the new theme hardly has any options.
Then again, the old theme did not have a mobile version and the plugin that I used to present a mobile version to visitors, had not been updated for four years. That is an open request for problems! Now the PC and mobile versions look a lot more like each other again because they are both the same “theme”.
I am not entirely happy with some elements of the theme, but in some regards it will be easier to maintain. Time will tell how long it will takes before I grow tired of it.

I removed and replaced some “plugins”, but unfortunately I also had to add a couple again because some functions proved unmissable. You may run into some changes here and there. Not for the (much) worse I hope.

I had not noticed that the sitewide Google search stopped working and it took some effort to get it back on track. After all these years this Google search still proves to be the best way to have a search that allows you to search the entire website. Other options have crappy-looking result pages or simply do not do what they claim to do. Weird that WordPress does not develop their “network” (“multisite”) function. All subsites remain standalones with perhaps a single repository for themes, plugins and users, but with as little shared functions as five years ago. Too bad. Big improvements are possible there.
The standard WordPress search is a bit hidden in the theme that I chose. You have to click the ‘magnifying glass’ to get a search bar and then you will only search through the “section” that you are currently looking at (so only film reviews for example). To see if your search term has results on other parts of the website, you have to rely on Google and that one is much more visible too.

To my relieve, I had nothing ‘special’ to do to keep the “custom post type archives” (such as the ‘blog’ in each section that I seldom use) working. This was a painstaking task and more than ones prevented me from changing themes in the past.

Other elements have gone back to ‘standard WordPress’. I quite dislike the ‘tag lines’ such as: “Posted in death industrial, noise and tagged Am Not, Tesco on 15/06/2017 by Roy.”
I used to edit it so something like:
“Style: death industrial, noise
Browse: Am Not, Tesco”
Date and author are quite irrelevant in most cases. Oh well, maybe I will find a way to remove this without coding, maybe not.

Oh well, a little website maintenance and development is always good. Right…?

New theme

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After my post of yesterday I have changed themes. I started this website with a very simple theme, had some wishes a few years ago that required a more fancy one, but now I again opted for a relatively basic theme that has a mobile version out-of-the-box.

The website looks roughly the same as before. The text colour I let to default black. Most noticeable will be that the pages are less wide. This mostly catches the eye on a wide screen. Other than that the menu has a different colour, the fonts are different and there is more space between two lines, especially in the sidebar. I moved the little image of Gangleri from the header to a sidebar, incorporating it with the Facebook link. This proved to prevent some issues in the mobile version.

Maintenance

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I use this plugin that tells me when a plugin is out-of-date, when there is some unknown file and apparently the latest update also added the function of telling me about plugins that have not been updated for years. I have quite a few of these…

The risk is of course that WordPress develops and the plugin does not so it stops working. Or even worse, it breaks WordPress or becomes a security leak. I have started the task of removing plugins that were not (really) necessary and trying to replace those that are. The problem is that I have not found replacements for all plugins that I use and I am very happy with the functionality of some of them…

During the proces I also discovered that some things simply stopped working, such as the sitewide search function…

So, I have been removing and replacing some functionalities and I seriously need to get myself a new theme that is mobile friendly of its own, since the mobile-version-plugin that I used also came from the stone-age.

More work to be done!

No more Monas.nl

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Monas.nl

Monas.nl is registered per March 20 2002. Gangleri.nl took over in May 2007. That means that in 2017 I will have been owner of the domain for 15 years, but it has been inactive for 10 years. For many years I had the idea to keep Monas.nl for possible future projects. The only such project was the short-lived Traditionalism Discussion Group. For the other years the domain has just been forwarding to Gangleri.nl. There are a few links on the internet to Monas.nl, but not many. However I still like the domain, I decided to let go of it. Why hold on to something that has been out of use for a decade? Per March 20 2017 I have discontinued the ownership. It may be interesting to see if somebody else will pick up the domain and what kind of website it will be.

New statistics

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It has been over two years since I had a look at the statistics. Why do I even bother collecting them? Perhaps they are usefull in a way. More about that later.

I do not even remember when, but the previous plugin that I used for statistics was no longer maintained and a while ago it actually stopped working. I had to look for another simple stats plugin, but the results are quite different from before. Did I misinterpret the previous plugin or do I misinterpret the current one? Do they work much different from eachother? One thing is for sure, the new plugin is hard on me.

The current plugin allows me to pick a period and then gives me a few numbers. I used the period “this year so far” and come to the following numbers:

  • Main website, 384 pageviews, that is 3 average daily pageviews over a 120 day period. In this period 233 unique IPs visted either the index page or the website intro. Many people come to the index by following a link to an old website (for example Monas.nl). With the previous plugin I came to almost 40 unique visitors per day. Now just below 2. Quite a difference! Which would be most credible?
  • Articles, 2804 pageviews, that is 23 daily average. 1791 Unique IPs. The previous plugin came at 73 unique visitors per day two years ago. When I have a look at the download counter for my ‘downloadable’ articles, I can see that two years ago the counter for the “Traditionalism vs Tradiotionalism” article stood at 307, now I have 337 for the PDF; the Epub went from 31 to 141 (!). “Traditionalistic Asatru” went from 115 to 261 for the PDF and from 45 to 133 for the Epub file. That does not sound too bad;
  • Book reviews, 1091 pagesviews in 2016, 9 per day, 535 unique IPs. Those were 85 unique visitors with the other plugin two years ago.
  • Film reviews, 415 pagesviews, 3 per day, 70 unique IPs; 38 unique visitors per day two years ago;
  • Music reviews, 805, 6 and 276; 86 unique visitors two years ago, 6 now;
  • News, 31, 0 and 14. I have not listed the news section previously.

This immediately tells me that close to nobody is going to see this message, since I posted it in the “news” section, which is visited by 14 people in 2016. Thank you for reading this when you are one of those. I am going to share this little text on Facebook and see what happens.

Like two years ago, I am quite surprised that the film reviews section has so few visitors. It is the section with the most updates. Almost every week I review one or two films, while music reviews go a lot slower, books even more and articles especially so. I suppose people have other channels to get ideas for films to watch or the films that I review are boring.

There seems to be more demand for the book reviews. So what are the most popular ones?

  • Index, the index of the book reviews section gets 14,64% of the pageviews;
  • De Geestelijke Wereld van de Germanen attracted 4,03% (44 hits). A Dutch title on an English website. Below, when I talk about Facebook, you will see how this comes;
  • The archive got 3,02% of the visitors, 33 hits;
  • The Faulkes translation of the Edda comes next with 2,10% (23 hits) in 2016.

Not really whopping figures. Next are books with 10 to 20 hits in 2016 and two tags.

What about the articles. What are people looking for when they find this website?
Actually, the popular articles are the same as always:

Top search terms list must be taken with a grain of salt, since the top search term “Freemasonry” had 8 hits in 2016 and can never have resulted in any of the articles mentioned above. What is different that most people come with from Google nowadays (or according to the new statistics plugin) 766 in 2016, while Wikipedia brought me 115 hits. Facebook 24, so that is not exactly a visitor attractor even when the counter currently stands at 195 “likes”.

Speaking of Facebook, Facebook has statistics of its own. Let me have a look at these. Facebook, for example, tells me how many people I “reached” with the links to new reviews, etc. that I post. A few numbers to give you an idea. Like I said, there are 195 people who “like” the Facebook page. That does (by and far) not mean that a post reaches 195 people. Perhaps a “reached” person has to click on my message in his or her wall?
I posted the Thorofon review 6 days ago. This post “reached” 36 people. I posted the last film review on the same day, but this one only reached 8 people. On 16 april I “shared” a link to the latest Idehall cd review, 11 people. The latest book review is of the latest Acta Macionica which reached 23 people. Then follow a few posts with 20 to 30 people and the next ‘peak’ is a track that I shared of the new noise project Ausströmen which reached 37 people. That is better than most of my own stuff.
Earlier I mentioned my review of De Geestelijke Wereld van de Germanen, a popular book review. The post linking to this review was “shared” by three people, thus reaching a whopping number of 191 people. It is very clear that Facebook is a social medium and that to reach an audience, that audience has to cooperate without “likes” and “shares” I “reach” usually around 25 people, sometimes a bit more, sometimes less.
As for Facebook’s statistics page. It tells me that in the last week I had one “action” (I suppose this is a “like” or a “share”), six “pageviews” (is that how many times the Facebook page is visited?), 41 “reached persons” (for different posts) and five “involved”s, whatever that may mean.

I am sure that the above was exactly what you have wondered about for years?

Oh, it could be that the website looks different for you. More about that here.

Screen settings

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A couple of times I was annoyed when I was reading a longer text on my own website at work. I have a very wide screen at works and sentences and alinea just kept going which makes a tiring read. I decided to make a maximum width of 1350 pixels. When your monitor is less wide than 1350 pixels the website will just scale back normally. When you have a much wider monitor like myself, you will have two bars or nothing on both sides. This looks a bit funky but I think it reads better myself.

What do you think?

Custom post type archives

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A couple of years ago there was this new, hip feature for WordPress: custom post types. Actually, they already existed, but it became easier to use them. What you see for -for example- reviews is a default post type called “posts”. When I want to write something that will not be presented along with the reviews, I can make a category that I exclude from the reviews-view, but I can also make a custom post type. I started to experiment with them in….. what? 2007?!? I wanted to add “blogs” to the other sections so I could just present novelties or whatever. In the book reviews section I added quotes, in the music reviews section ‘stories’. All went well. I had to code a little to present these custom post types below eachother as with the default post types, but I managed in the simple theme that I used in those days.

To be more ‘up to date’ I switched to a theme that is actually maintained and is flexible without me having to code. This was a couple of years ago. It was soon clear that these ‘custom post type’ ‘archives’ were going to be a pain to get working. Thinking I would figure it out, I had links to these archives in the menus on top, but many a frustrating hour later, these archives still did not work. Due to other activities this little project remained on the shelve until today.

Well, indeed this did not work easily! I have to use yet another plugin, settings in two plugins and my theme from which the logic eludes me, but for the moment you can again visit the ‘blogs’ of each section, page through the quotes in the book reviews section and page through the stories of the music reviews section. Now I only have to start writing things there…….

And I wonder how long all this will keep working.

Theme update

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Always risky, a theme-update. The author did something with the sidebars, so I lost them all. I rebuild these sidebars and have not found any other hickups. Should you see something weird or different from before, please let me know through the comment function.

Tracking you

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I have a growing dislike towards Facebook and their ever increasing tracking business. I use FB as little as possible and block (Firefox has a nice Ghostery addon) their tracker. Did you know that when you are logged in, Facebook indexes the websites you visit? BUT! I used that tracker myself on this very website with the ‘like’ plugin. I decided to ditch that plugin and just make a link to the Gangleri.nl Facebook page for people who want to get the news on their walls. (Theoretically) Facebook will no longer know you are here.

There was another tracker on this website: Gravatar. Gravatar is a service of Automatic, who also write WordPress, the software this website runs on, for “globally recognised avatars”. When using Gravatar WordPress contacts the Gravatar servers even when you are not reading or writing a comment. Annoying! So I disabled Gravatars too.

Douglas P. sings: “Paranoia is an icy start, but a start nonetheless”. Now the world wide web today certainly brings some paranoia, but my intention is to keep this website not only free, but also free from adds (heck, I pay for it all myself so you do not have to), yet even when I do not want to, I give companies ways to track you. No longer (I hope).