It feels like it is all coming together this year. Our wine business, our Etsy shop, our search for our own restoration home, learning French, learning Duck, all seems to be taking off for us. And me, although a tad overwhelmed, I say ~ ‘Bring it on!’
So Brand New Year, meant it was time to do Brand New Website and give it more of a raison d’être and focus. I started working on the new site in January, end of January if truly honest, but honestly, it feels like longer. What a process! Such a right of passage I have to pass it along.
The new site has been on the back burner for about a year, lurking, reminding me at various stages I had to move from having ‘wordpress’ in my web address to just my own web address . (For those of you who may not have noticed, don’t tell me!) There was a lot of research to do, as this was going to be a financial commitment, and when you have 6 mouths to feed, even if they are little ones, you take the commitment seriously.
I know you are asking~ Why is it important to have my own url (www.pumpjackpiddlewick.com)? After all I had done alright before, hadn’t I? Very true, Google still found me, as did followers, I was getting posts out. Yup, all good. But, I had reached a point where I wanted to grow the site, do more to incorporate my shop items, and… make money from it. To do this especially, it is often a requirement that you have your own url. Also it looks, and feels, more professional. But importantly I wouldn’t have as many constraints on what I wanted my site to do for me.
WordPress vs well, WordPress
I had started my original blog on WordPress.com, simply because I was familiar with it in building sites for others. It’s easy to use (mostly), good help info (thank goodness), and free (perfect!). Of course, there are a lot of other platforms out there. So, I looked around, and ended up back at WordPress. Except this time WordPress.org. What’s the difference? WordPress.com is actually great, but hasn’t quite the freedom as .org, the freedom to change things as you wish, add lots of cool stuff, and even occasionally code. (I leave most of that to my resident genius, Pumpjack. Yeah!) I also chose WordPress again because it would be so, so, so much easier to transfer my old site to my new site. Yup, they had me by the… well, you get the idea, and if I could have asked Pumpjack to work full time for me, maybe I would have chosen somewhere else. But I don’t think so. So, keep that in mind. Advice Warning: if you are going to set up a website, one that you hope to grow one day, spend the time deciding who you like best before you even begin.
In consequence of deciding, it opened the door to a deluge of other decisions and planning: Who should host my site? Should I host in USA or closer to home? Which type of theme do I want, e-commerce or blog, or both? I could spend a hole blog post, or 2, just on deciding on the theme. Do I just have people sign up to the blog posts or offer a newsletter? If the latter, who offers the best methods? Linkages, growing your traffic… oh my. You simply end up being buried under it all. So much advice, so much (paid for?) expertise. I can’t begin to tell you how many reviews of all of these areas I read.
A non-geeky synopsis of who’s who
I’m not going to go into all the detail here. If there is interest, I will get more geeky on you in another post, but then again… maybe not. There’s so much more fun things to do and write about. Instead, I will put it in a nutshell:
Original Blog Website builder: WordPress.com (free, lots and lots of information out there for help, lovely designs, but wordpress is in your url)
Current Blog Website builder: WordPress.org (still more lovely themes, lots of help info, and more widgets ~I love widgets~ and coding options.)
Website Host: Siteground (not expensive one off cost, excellent, fast chat help, also only one I found to offer option on hosting location)
Host location: Europe (kind of makes sense)
Theme: WPHoot’s Brigsby, e-commerce and blog. (I like it, but has some limitations I have had to work around)
Sign-ups: Both. You can sign up to my receive my latest blog posts
Linkages/Growing Your Traffic: Sumo (supposed to be able to combine everything into one place – but their branding on my page got to me ~ removed if I upgraded, but was way, way too costly) ~ ditched.
Oh, and if you read through to the end, I’ll say right here, I am not ‘affiliated’ to any of the above. I am just telling it like it is.
Welcome! Now visit our Site! I put a lot of work into it.
See you soon! À bientôt!
David & Alycea
Pumpjack & Piddlewick