Welcome to the Dark Side

25h May, 2021

Well, today was fun.


It started with Amazon delivering my weekly Morrisons grocery shopping to a neighbour (who I hadn't met yet, so it was a strange introduction, especially as I haven't had a haircut yet and look like a cross between a fat Shaggy from Scooby-Doo and Santa Claus) instead of my house. It's not hard. My house number is definitely on display out front, easy to see. But Amazon delivery drivers occasionally can't be arsed to look and deliver to the right address. What really annoyed me is that any attempts to call Amazon's call centre was met with an "office is now closed" - and the automatic chatbot system just delivered me to a refund request page.


Thankfully I got my shopping in the end, but Amazon needs to have a much, much robust customer service system in place when things go wrong - and having the delivery driver's phone number would be a huge advantage so that if there is a delivery problem, I can deal with them directly rather than having to go through loops with Amazon.


The second problem was work-related. I'm trying to talk clients out of using WordPress because having a properly secured WordPress site requires a lot of work. It turns out that some recent changes I made weren't entirely successful. I lost my temper a bit - at myself for being a moron by not being as pragmatic as I should be. I'm also on holiday (at home) at the moment - but if I'm not travelling or relaxing by a pool somewhere, I usually check in at work anyway - saves having to play catch up the following week. When changes made to the WAF didn't kick in, I made them at the webserver level. It's not ideal, but equally not a bad thing to do - security at the edge is one thing, but you also want to protect the application running on the origin too. Anyway, the fixes I made should hold up. But still, I'm still furious with myself for not spotting this earlier and fixing it then.


It's things like these that made me leave WordPress in the first place. With the premium theme, plugins and hosting costs, it's an expensive hobby too. You need to take into account security (which, thankfully, can be set up through the likes of a Web Application Firewall such as Cloudflare and plugins like Wordfence - but these things cost money) as WordPress and its plugin architecture are always being attacked by those looking to take advantages of vulnerabilities in the core, plugin or through the hosting infrastructure.


It's for the same reason that I gave up running my own email server many years ago. It's a lot of upkeep to ensure it remains safe and secure. I opted for Google Workspace many years ago because I can send and receive email through the web interface or a phone app. You don't have to bother with email clients, PST files, mailbox files, etc. Protocols like IMAP and POP3 are effectively dead because they've just never evolved sufficiently. Plus the likes of two-factor authentication add another level to proceedings, so it's become much easier to protect my email accounts these days.


God, I hate the modern internet these days. It brings me back to the previous post (Professors of Forethought) that we should have really seen these problems when the internet was becoming popular and sorted it out there and then.


I rather like Google Sites' simplicity, and will continue to use it for the moment. The only downside is the inability to export content from it. I do hope Google gets around to fixing that; we don't want to end up with another Wix. What Google Sites really needs is a mix of static content and blog content - maybe integrate or borrow bits of Blogger into Google Sites.