Avoid Online Writing Dangers

Anxious female computer user

You can lose your work when typing into an online blog portal. Here are three dangers, along with ways to prevent disaster.

Publish Insights 5 February 2022

The Dog Ate My Homework

Avoid writing blog articles within an online portal. The danger is that you may lose a significant portion during a page refresh. You might be thinking, “I would never refresh a page before saving.” But there are several external forces beyond your control.

1. Loss of internet connection

Loss of internet access can occur independent of a power outage. If you are typing within a locally stored app on a laptop computer or tablet, you may be unaffected. If you lose connection while typing into a portal in the cloud, everything may be lost when you click the save button.

2. Expiring login permission

To keep the backend of your website secure, the administrators of your domain, like Shopify, require a username, password, and perhaps additional authorization for access. However, you might walk away and leave your store access available to wandering eyes.

3. Server refresh

For security, your hosting company may program into the backend, page refreshes every few hours. Similarly, within days, hours, or minutes, your admin may require you to log out and back in. This can trigger a specified timeout that may or may not require login. When either situation occurs while writing a long unsaved story, all is lost.

Protect Your Story

It is good practice to write articles within a word processing application like Microsoft Word or Apple Pages. The former offers moderate grammar-checking features. You can enable a display of the word count to get an idea of article length as you write.

On a computer, you must perform manual saves within Pages. Keep the document within the default iCloud server folder for version control. This means you can both revert to a previously saved copy and continue working from other iOS devices.

With a relatively low amount of RAM (random access memory), opening several apps can cause page refreshes when switching between them. Most digital tablets and phones have less than 8 GB of RAM. Many have 2 GB or less. By comparison, a desktop computer can have 32 GB or more; mine has 72 GB at half capacity.

RAM differs from the storage of your device, which may be 64 to 256 GB on a portable device—though rising each year. The RAM stores data in progress—while you’re working on it—before saving it to the internal disc or the cloud. Hence, it is good practice to minimize the number of open apps on mobile devices while writing.

Excuse My Grammar

You might be unsatisfied with the grammar checker within your word processing application. If so, you can copy and paste the text into an online checker like Hemingway Editor. Some people prefer to use a program like Grammarly. Others do not like to upload all their keystrokes to an external server.

When you are satisfied with the article, paste the text within the blog portal. Then format it with its tools for headings and such. Some platforms, like Shopify, provide access to a representation of formatted text or raw HTML. The latter may include invisible characters that break the flow of sentences.

BBEdit is a powerful text editor for the Macintosh. There are others for Windows computers. I make it a practice to copy the HTML and paste it into BBEdit. Two common issues invisible to browser previews are extra <span> codes that are either empty or referencing styles not used by your cascading style sheet (CSS). A common character is the non-breaking space.

Perform a global search for <span> and replace it with nothing. Then replace &nbsp; with a normal keyboard space. Examine the HTML for any other anomalies before pasting the text back into your online blog portal. Your word processing document is your backup in case there are any other anomalies, like accidental deletion.

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