As you know, I’ve backpacked around the world for 6 years, I’ve been in some harsh situations and conditions which have been easier than this past week….Ok, ok I’m exaggerating a bit.
Well, this past week I’ve found out just how much work goes into building a new site.
So you may have heard somewhere, maybe on social media? a little birdy? plastered all over my home page? or though my last post that I am moving sites. If you haven’t heard yet I’m moving to forever roaming the world :come over and subscribe for more amazing off the cuff posts(hint, hint, nudge, nudge) 😀 😀
Just over a week ago, after weeks of procrastinating over it, I decided to finally take the plunge and get my own domain. Before we go any further let me tell you that I am not in anyway tech savvy, I know nothing about creating websites or coding or any of that jazz. I’m not from a generation where building websites and writing code is in bedded in you by the time you can walk. This past week has been a lot of head scratching and huge learning curve due to me being completely clueless about anything that went into the process. My head has been blown so many times but I am a little bit more knowledgeable (not much more though).
You see when I started this page up, it was pretty easy, chose a theme, move a few things around make it attractive enough and start writing. With my own sight, I have to do everything! Yes as soon as I got my domain I installed the WordPress plugin and thought ‘ok just follow the same procedure as I did with this site’ … Easy right?
So I had a gander, chose the theme I wanted, installed it and it looked nothing like the preview – Obviously I checked to see why this was happening and it turns out they like to trick you – I needed to pay for it to look like how I wanted to. Nup, not doing that, so I went shopping again for themes, finding one that was free and looked the same after installation and I was happy with it.
Next step was to start designing it the way I wanted it to look, opened up the customize tab but my eyes popped open! There was way more things to do than on this version but I got to work. What I found was, the more I got into the more I had to do by myself ‘change that myself’, ‘add that myself’ ‘can’t do this or that without that’. Considering how clueless I am about all this, you can understand the pain I went through.
After a week of googling about the things I originally googled, ‘how to’ and ‘what is’ you tube videos I got through it. It’s been a mixture of excitement and frustration but ultimately it’d been quite fun creating a sight that looks like how I want it to. With google and you tube as my guides I did it all by myself; not bad for a guy that didn’t know shit a week ago.
It has taken me the whole week just to get the design and layout right, I’ve learnt about basic coding (I mean bare basic) , getting API keys, child themes, CSS, what certain widgets do (there’s been a lot of trial and error with those things) and plugins. I even found out the labels that guide you through pages are called ‘breadcrumbs’ Who knew?
Anyways the design and creation side was just half of the job, I now have a site that I am happy with but now comes the content side of things. Head was blown again, why? Because of that word ‘SEO’ – Now you’re all laughing saying “How can you not know anything about SEO, It’s integral to gaining traffic online” – Yes I know this, I knew of SEO, I had the basic of basic understanding of it but I didn’t have nor do I fully comprehend it or it’s in’s and out’s of rankings and key word research, listings, meta descriptions and all stuff.
Laugh all you want but that shit is confusing, especially to somebody like me! After a lot of research I added ‘Yoast SEO’ to my new page, which told me I had to index my site to all the search engines (I still have to do all the things I need to with this)
Oh, there are other things I got sorted before I got to the content side. That was setting up a ‘coming soon page’ so if you are ready to head over to the new site you will be greeted with a nice coming soon page, forever roaming the world just pop your email in the box and I’ll let you know when I go live! 😀 😀 (Hint, hint, nudge, nudge) Along with the coming soon page, I set up a news letter and my Email service too. ( I’m on top of things )
Getting back to the content, With the help of Jetpack, I transferred over all my posts from this site to their new home. I’ve added brand new pages so the site will be more than just a blogroll. It will contain galleries, videos, tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the last 6 years backpacking the world and loads more other features. You will have to check it out to see what makes it different to normal blog sites. Down the road there will be even more features added and this will become more of an interactive fun travel site with a twist.
So that’s where I’ve got to with the new site so far, this week’s job is to add new content to those pages, get more of an understanding about SEO, about using SEO in meta descriptions, using keywords in my SEO page tittle, how to rank for words and all that other stuff. Hopefully I can get everything sorted this week and I can get it live for you all to come, explore and enjoy the site.
And just to mention, anybody who subscribed to this site in the past, you have all been transferred over to my new site, hence why it says I only have a handful of followers now.