You may’ve noticed a new look to my website. That isn’t intentional. I woke up Friday only to learn that Word Press (which used to be friendly to individual bloggers) decided to change at least one of the few templates they allow paying customers to use (if I upgrade even more to “business class” I have lots more options). One of those templates happened to be the one I’d labored over, sacrificing an entire weekend about a year ago to get it just how I liked it. Now, I’m a Neo-Luddite. Behind the scenes my daughter and one of my nieces have helped me with technical aspects of this blog from the very beginning. Several years ago I reached capacity for the free service, where, understandably, templates are limited. Now I pay for both the domain name and the privilege of hosting it on Word Press. But they like to limit privileges to try to force you to upgrade. What would Amos say?
A few weeks back my iPhone began to lose its charge at an alarming rate. I’d unplug it, and, doing nothing but occasionally checking for non-existent texts, it would be red-lining a couple hours later. I feared I might need to get it serviced. This went on for several weeks. It occurred to me that Christmas was approaching and Apple has been known to slow down devices in order to encourage you to buy a new one. Upgrade! Everybody’s doing it! Well, I don’t make enough money to constantly upgrade, so I kept my phone plugged in all the time when I was home (which, during a pandemic, is pretty much all the time). Then, a few days after Christmas, when it was clear I wasn’t buying a new one, the battery began to hold its charge again.
The tech industry has us in a strangle-hold. As soon as you purchase that first laptop, tablet, phone, or smart-watch, you’re an indentured servant to upgrades. So I went to Word Press’s template library and tried to find something that didn’t look too bad with the images and “feel” I’m going for here. Almost as if they’d chosen an algorithm that made available only a handful of templates that worked worst with what I’m trying to do on this website, I found their selection extremely limited. If I upgrade to “business class” (which I will need to do when the capacity for my “service level” (not cheap) is full) I will have a plethora of choices. Until they add a new service level above that, that is. Then I’ll need to upgrade yet again to unlock all the neat features they “offer.” Thanks, Word Press. I’ve been with you over ten years now and I have to ask, is that the way you treat a longterm, paying friend?