In the last couple of weeks, I have now had four people report difficulties with this blog. The latest is Peter Kirk, overnight. Previously, Mary Roberts had difficulties, but solved them by changing from Internet Explorer to Firefox. However, although I dislike Internet Explorer due to its lack of standards compliance, the blog should still be readable. Another person has emailed me privately, and a fourth has said something to my wife. I have checked with Typepad, but no major general faults have been reported in the last fortnight that would explain any of these problems, although they did acknowledged something was awry three days ago.
So, as a first step to recognising a potentially large problem, I thought I would put up this post and invite you to describe in the comments section the problems you are having. (That is assuming you can log onto the site and read it in the first place, of course! If you can only read this in a feed reader and not get onto the site, then email me: dave AT davefaulkner DOT co DOT uk.) If there is a clear pattern, I shall raise a fault with Typepad, if appropriate. Alternatively, it could simply be that I have made the blog bloated with all the graphics and widgets.
Peter recommends WordPress as an alternative. There are two versions of it. One needs the blogger to install it into web space. At the time of setting up this blog, I couldn't do that, because I was using existing web space with my ISP for my old website. I could go that route now, because I no longer use that site. I could take it down, assuming I can access the site, and I've been having trouble on that front. However, the main disadvantage I anticipate would be the time needed to install and learn the WordPress software. What do WordPress aficionados think about the time required to master it? Richard, do you have any wisdom here?
The other is that WordPress also have a slightly less well featured hosted service. This wasn't available when I set up this blog. That would be an attractive alternative, especially as it is free, unlike Typepad. The disadvantage might be the shortage of features. Again, if any wordpress.com users would like to share their experiences, I'd be very interested to hear from you.
I don't want to contemplate Blogger. I tried using it once, in parallel to my old blog, but at the time it was unreliable, and messing about with templates was horrendous. Perhaps it has improved. Pam, Katherine and others, any thoughts? Is it better these days?
Of course, Dave might be on hand to keep me in the Typepad fold and explain everything! But I think, given the number of recent contacts with me about the problem, the question needs raising, so I await your thoughts eagerly.
UPDATE: The main text loads properly in Internet Explorer, but not everything appears in the left-hand column, and the right-hand column is completely blank. This, declares IE, is 'done'. Safari can't open it at all, but I find that's a regular enough problem with Apple's hopeless browser not to use it. Opera displays the page quickly and perfectly.