The New Joburg Expat, a New Webinar, And a New Word for Your South African Dictionary


If you are South African or in any way familiar with life in South Africa, you will know exactly what that means.

If you’re not familiar with the wonderful applications of the word Eish!, here is a perfect example:

This Thanksgiving break, with the house full of kids coming home from college and a mountain of food to cook, I inexplicably got it in my head to migrate my blog from Blogger to WordPress. (I will be extolling about the pros and cons of both platform in another post). What I should have done is a) picked a more opportune time when I wasn’t already extremely busy, and b) created a test domain to migrate my blog to before switching to live, which I could have built in peace and tested to my heart’s content until it was rock solid.

But I didn’t. Instead, I read a few articles on exporting and importing content, did the exporting and importing, and after a few cosmetic fixes to my new theme, went live.

To say this created problems is an understatement. I feel like I haven’t slept in about 10 days as a result, there is so much cleanup to do.

About 2,000 broken links and counting –> Eish!

Lost all my comments –> Eish!

Re-imported all my comments and now have duplicate comments on many posts –> Eish!

Lost all my social media share numbers for those wonderfully popular posts –> Eish!

All images in blog posts were the wrong size –> Eish!

Installed new security to keep out hackers and managed to log my very own self out of my website –> Eish! Eish! Eish!

You get the idea. Still, I’m glad I did it anyway. Going the sane route with a testing domain would have been more prudent, but it also would have taken, oh, 300 years for me to test everything and be happy with the outcome. Instead, I created a dire emergency, which instantly catapulted this project to the top of my priority list, and this is why it’s getting done at all.

And I love the new Joburg Expat. Even though many features aren’t yet to my liking and many broken links have yet to be forwarded, I have so many more customization options than I did with the old blog. I hope it won’t take too long to regain my readership lost in the transition, and I hope that the reader experience to you all will be greatly improved going forward.

In the meantime, if you come across anything amiss on Joburg Expat that isn’t working right, i.e. a particular broken link or being redirected to the wrong place, please let me know.

Moving on. I’m excited to announce that we are hosting another FREE webinar for expats moving to South Africa or newly arrived. This month’s topic: Road trips – routes, safety tips, how to manage the police, and common questions about cars.

webinar series Moving to South Africa by Joburg Expat and Translating Me

By “we” I mean Hannah Pirnie of Translating Me and myself.  Our first webinar about the 5 mistakes to avoid when moving to South Africa sparked a great discussion, and we believe it was very helpful to the participants.

You can also access our webinar recordings at a later date for a fee if you can’t make the date, but participating in the live event is free and allows you to ask specific questions you need answers to.

Head over to our signup page if you’d like to participate.

What: Road Trip Webinar
When: Tuesday, December 12th 2017, 7:30-8:30 pm SA time


I look forward to seeing some of you next Tuesday. In the meantime, feel free to browse Joburg Expat by using the (extremely powerful) new search box on the right (near the bottom of the page for mobile), or by clicking on any of the categories. If you come across a broken link, please send me a quick note using the Contact tab.

And you’ll be forgiven for shouting a loud “Eish!” into the ether.

  • Love the new look, Sine! I did the same thing, but I had WAY fewer posts than you did, so it was less of a hassle. You’re not going to regret it!

    To me, “eish” means I’m about to enter a whole new dimension of customer service hell. Every. Dang. Time.

    • Yeah, I should have done this earlier. I have 722 posts. And in each, I have like between 3 to 5 internal links, plus other links to Amazon products that also all broke. The Broken Link and Redirection plugins were my best friends! The worst was when I locked myself out of my own site by installing a security plugin that deemed me as hostile. That was definitely an Eish moment, very frightening somehow. But fortunately my hosting service is excellent – I did spend time reading reviews to pick a good one, so that paid off. They did their magic on the back end and deleted the evil file for me, in the middle of the night too:-)
      And yes, SA customer service hell, ha! But do you believe it, I even miss that here? The US is so BORING in comparison.

  • More power to you for doing this yourself. I hired someone to do it for me when I migrated to a self-hosted platform. Some of the things you mentioned still happened but at least it was someone else’s problem and not mine. Anyway, congrats! It looks great.

    • Aw, thanks, that’s nice to hear. So much is still not right. For instance, I could cry that I lost all my Facebook share counts. And this seems one of the things that’s irreversible. I probably lost a ton of Google rank with all those broken links, but in the grand scheme of things this will be for the good. There is so much exciting stuff one can do with a self-hosted website, I can’t wait to implement some of it. But I’m still sitting here every night entering links to redirect. Makes for a great Tedius activity while watching the US politics reality show on the news:-)

      • For instance, the comments are still a problem. I had used Intense Debate, but I also had some previous Blogger comments. So first I had to merge those into one list, then I tried to import into WordPress, but somehow that didn’t work and the folks at Intense Debate weren’t helpful. So I decided to import them yet again to Disqus which seemed a reasonable plugin. Seems like it works with new comments as witnessed here (yay!), but I have yet to figure out how to migrate my old comments correctly. None of them are showing. Supposedly Disqus is crawling my site for redirects, but it’s been doing that for days and no luck yet… Oh well, at least I’m gaining new insights into web development!

        • You already know waaaaaay more than I do 🙂

          • Haha. I’ll be for hire if you ever need a blog overhaul:)

      • I lost all my Facebook shares too. Very frustrating.

        • Oh you did? When you went to self-hosting? Yep, that is the one thing I have dug into where I’ve found it just can’t be helped.

          • I think it actually happened more recently, when I was just switching to a different theme.

          • I’m actually working on it. I’m like a dog with a bone. I have. million more important things to do but I cannot let go. I’m deep into coding of something called the htaccess file. Basically you have to point your new page to the old page for Facebook using whats’ called an og:url meta tag, so far so good, but then you have to exempt the Facebook crawler from from being redirected like your readers are redirected to the new page. It’s that last part I’m struggling with. I sometimes wish I could things let go. I’d be so much more efficient.