The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

How to back up your blog and a better way to do ellipses

Welcome back to our fourth installment of my Just the Tip Tuesday: Back-to-School for Bloggers Series.

If you’re just joining us, I’ve dedicated most of the Tuesdays in September to better blogging.

You can catch up on the series here.

And really, you should, because you’ll learn critical things like:

Sadly, I see this egregious mistake on Twitter every day (I’m not talking about back and forth tweets that are intended to be a conversation, I’m talking about people who are TRYING to share something with all their followers and fail), and then I KNOW they don’t read my blog and/or care about maximizing the reach of their tweets. Bless their hearts.

Moving on.

Do you back-up your blog?

You should.

My Fairy Geekfather (a.k.a. “tech guy”) told me to do it weekly and so I do.

It’s easy.

I use WordPress but I imagine the process is somewhat similar on every platform. (Oh for fucks’ sake, just Google it, Aunt Doris.)

To begin, open up your Dashboard and go down to the Tools tab like so:

WordPress Dashboard -> Tools -> Export.

Then click Export and this screen will pop up:

back up your wordpress blog part 2

Then select “All content” and click “Download Export File.”

The .xml file of all your content will be magically teleported into your downloads folder (or wherever you download your stuff) and then you should upload a copy of it to the cloud (or somewhere offsite) just in case your dog eats your hard drive.

Easy peesy. Make it part of your Monday morning routine.

Next up. I owe you an apology.

It has come to my attention from a very good source that I have steered you astray with my recent post about how to do a proper ellipsis!

Oh, the shame!

One of my best friends from high school is a very talented and renowned artist and graphic designer in San Francisco. Her name is Denise Jasper and she is FABULOUS.

denise jasper

Denise left a very thoughtful comment on my post about ellipses that you may have missed:

“The main problem with doing the dot-space-dot-space-dot…is that the 3 dots could get broken up between lines (one or two at the end of one line, and then the next one/s on the next line).”

But Denise, I specifically said:

“Just make sure your text doesn’t wrap around and spread your ellipsis out over two lines. That would make doves cry.”

To which Denise elaborated:

“…but you have no control over how the end-user has set up their browser default font size and that could really change the line length and where the ellipsis falls on the line.

The other problem I see is that it spaces out the ellipsis too much. When I studied typeface design, one of the things we were taught was to not create “holes” in blocks of text. The dot-space-dot-space-dot method creates a big hole, which is a no-no in typography.”

OMG. Denise is totally right. You have no control over how someone VIEWS your blog!

Another possible issue? If you are submitting a piece to be posted on someone else’s blog, you have no idea how skilled their editors are at things like typography. Believe you me, you do NOT want to write a wonderful blog post and have some exhausted and grossly underpaid editor (ahem) not catch and correct a funky spacing glitch. That just makes YOU look like a shitty writer.

Por examplo:

The other day my buddy Kim, who is part of my team of weekly columnists at In The Powder Room, submitted a hilarious post for me to edit about her broken b-hole.

As I was editing her Word document, I saw that she had included a manually spaced ellipsis the way I taught her, and I was very pleased.

But when the post was uploaded into our blog software at In The Powder Room, look what happened to her poor ellipsis:

kim spreads her ellipses

DOH! Luckily for her, I caught it and corrected it by removing the spaces between the dots before we published it. I did not want Kim to look like an ellipsis-spreading-ho. (Particularly since it was my fault she was spreading her ellipsis in the first place! Just call me Madam Ellipsis.)

People. For the love of all that is Holy, don’t let someone else spread your ellipsis behind your back. (Ouch!)

The only way you can control that is if your ellipsis reads like one character and the only way to do that is to not insert the spaces between the dots.

I feel horrible.

This is all my fault.

I should have my ellipsis license suspended.

Will you forgive me?

Please disregard what I said in my other post and do not insert spaces between the dots in your ellipses. Sorry for the confusion.

Denise also taught me how to insert a more attractive ellipsis using HTML. Check this out:

See how the third ellipsis on the right is less crowded than three periods in a row, but less spaced out than the dot-space-dot-space-dot method? Pretty sweet! If you do that, graphic designers will probably throw roses at your feet. Probably.

So how do you do it? You type a sentence and then go over to the HTML side of your post, insert your cursor where you want the ellipsis to go and type this:

…

If HTML isn’t your thing, you can also insert ellipses in the visual editor of your blog post with the following keyboard shortcuts:

short cut codes for inserting ellipses into text

And if that’s too hard. Just do dot-dot-dot. No spaces. Got it?

Let us never speak of this again.

If you’ve made it this far, you deserve a Gold Star and a special treat.

Sincerely,
Leslie

26 Comments

  1. I forgive you. And now, I will stop spreading my ellipsis whore legs.

    • Thank you Elizabeth. But listen, just between you and me, whatever you do with your whorish ellipses in the privacy of your own bedroom, is totally between you and your ellipses. M’kay?

  2. I’ve kinda always wanted to be an ellipsis whore. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

    • Done and DONE. I’m so glad I could help you achieve one of your life goals. Remember me when you and your whorish ellipses are on the next big daytime talk show! 🙂

  3. I love the story of Kim’s dumpster, and I have a master’s in English but will never get ellipses right.

  4. Gah! I was just getting the rhythm of space dot space dot space dot space! I felt so fucking fancy and smarter than all my friends and shit. Damn it Jim, I’m just Scentsy girl not a professional punctuationist! (Yes, I said that)
    Dot you and your dotting dots! I still pink-puffy-heart you Iris 🙂

    • I still love you too, Nique. And you ARE smarter than your friends (and shit). You’re smart enough to turn fancy napkins into whorish aprons. That takes talent and brains. We’ll keep working on that professional punctuationist degree together, slutty night school style.

  5. Damn, I kind of liked having an excuse the spread my ellipses and airing things out. Sigh. Now they’re going to get all musty again.

  6. I’m appalled. Of all the advice, words of wisdom, laughter, tears, and vagina talk,you have flung on your dear readers (and I include “the merkin incident”), this ellipsis shit, well it is just going to take a minute to get over it. I guess you will be bombarded with hate comments, facebook attacks, twitter twats, pinterest pricks. It’s o.k. girl – dry those tears – we forgive you…it’s gonna take a minute, but dammit, even the best stumble occasionally. You hang in there!!!

    • I truly thank you for your support, Lisa, particularly during this trying time of ellipses whoredom and confusion. Now excuse me while I finish disinfecting the new merkin comb I just picked up for a steal at the Salvation Army!

  7. That was…interesting

  8. Oh god you are my hero. I am loving this stuff. Signed, Never Too Old To Learn!

  9. Damn it! Does this mean I have to go back & tell all of the assholes on twitter I was wrong? I MADE them believe me! 🙂 Oh well I will just casually close my ellipsis legs and move on. Thanks for telling us 🙂

  10. And just when I’d gotten used to spreading my ellipses, too. I’ve been spreading my ellipses all over the place lately – on my blog, on Facebook, in Word documents.

    Oh, well… we all go through a slutty phase, right?

    (P.S. I just used the Alt 0133 method right there and it was golden.)

  11. I’ve been an elliptical whORe all over the interwebs lately! Just like Dominique, I felt fancy and smart. Almost ladylike, even!
    I was all: “Look at me and my fancy punctuation. . .” and people were probably thinking: “What the fuck is wrong with this chick? Do her thumbs have Tourette Syndrome or something? Look at all the spaces! …I think she’s off her meds.”
    This is a sad day indeed. Now I’m not sure if I should trust your back-up skills. (Back-up of my blog. Not your dancing. I’m sure you’re quite skilled in backing that ass up.)

    • I promise, I’ll make it up to you, Jen! Please, don’t stop trusting me. I made a mistake. A hideous, awful, whorish mistake. I’m not to be trusted with punctuation until I can redeem myself. That back-up routine is golden though. I got it from a pro! Honest.

      My favorite part of this whole debacle? It’s just an ellipsis. It wasn’t even part of my original plan for the 4 weeks of tips. But I am so ADD and easily distracted by small, irrelevant details, that I chased that shiny car all the way into the street. Wheeeee! {SPLAT} Serves me right.

      Next time? I better stick to things I know, like poop, and bacon, and stain removal.

      • The ironic thing is that those are so very closely related…

        • And I actually already knew how to back up my bloggy blog. But it would have been a little more awkward talking about your ass if I hadn’t put that in there 😉

          *shpank!*

  12. Always funny, always. But you know what I think I like best about this whole to-space-or-not-to-space thing? I love that you made a mistake, made up for it and made it funny. Everyone wins! You are one hilarious and wonderful human being, Leslie. Thank you for dusting yourself off and getting right back in the saddle. Yee-haw!

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