I thought you might find an advanced notice about my new garden adventure interesting. Here’s the address:
For the curious, it’s running on a WordPress installation with the Genesis and MetroPro themes – from StudioPress
Plugins currently include:
- Akismet – spam control
- Better Click To Tweet – a social media plugin
- Contact Form 7 – in hopes that the Prime Minister will finally contact me about becoming a Senator
- Envira Gallery – and associated plugins. I splurged on the post-Thanksgiving sale and bought a very high end photo-gallery plugin. I’ll be able to put videos on a gallery as well as images. Plus some other features I’m looking forward to messing about with.
- Google Adsense – the Google designed advertising plugin. Not yet running
- Jetpack – but with limited installations – mostly the stats package and related posts plugin
- List Category Posts – this creates lists of posts on pages so both readers and search engines can easily find old posts
- OptinMonster – this is my newsletter signup software
- Vaultpress – the backup plugin
- Yoast SEO – for search engine optimization
I’m still looking for a good Pinterest plugin that won’t conflict with the Envira gallery but that’s not a high priority at the moment.
Why Show You?
Seemed like a good idea at the time. The site is what I’d call “raw” in that the basics are completed but there are only four new articles written as placeholders.
Why Do A New Website?
Again, seemed like a good idea. But I wanted to push a few limits with images and the html site(s) are too bulky and cumbersome in their current iteration. I’d have to do a ton of work to pull them apart and put them back together again to make them do what I have in mind.
I also wanted to be able to write and update simple blog posts without having to do a lot of coding (the html sites demand a lot of that). This site has been set up so all I have to do is write a post and it is automatically (thanks to the plugin List Category Posts) linked from a navigation page. Readers can easily find all available articles by clicking on the navigation subject areas.
So it operates much like a blog for the writer and much like a website for visitors and search engines who can find older articles easily. That’s what I call a win-win.
To prove a point. I’m going to separate out the referred traffic from the natural Google traffic to test out whether a brand new blog can
1) generate significant traffic and
2) make any money.
3) Generate new email subscribers.
I’ll report back on this.
If You Follow Along Here
But if you follow along, you’ll get real traffic reports and updated data about how a creative person can develop a website. And yes, I’ll also let you know when I screw up.
For example, what you’ll see if you visit is actually the second time the site went live. The first time was about three weeks ago but then on Dec 9, a new upgrade for WordPress arrived. All the instructions say, “Before upgrading, back up your website.” I’ve never had a problem with any upgrade.
Didn’t have the backup systems in place because “after all, I only had 4 articles published.”
Yes indeed, the entire site crashed. (insert tired looking, disgusted face of writer here) Went online to see how to fix it. Found arcane instructions. Tried to follow. FUBAR. Deleted and reinstalled.
Rebuilt all pages, templates, layout and activated the Vaultpress backup system.
That cost me the better part of a day.
Lesson learned? Backup from day one. Oh yeah.
p.s. If you’re thinking of installing and running your own WordPress blog, WPBeginner is the single best site for WordPress that I’ve found. It’s my go-to site.