Deals with the joys of hammering together a Wordpress based website. From coding to traffic management, I’ll touch on a little bit of everything here.
I’m undertaking a big project this month, although most of the change will happen slowly, at some point there will be a dramatic shift in the design of this blog. Why? Because I’ve realized this web-home exists for three reasons: See Horses, Read Stories, Learn Stuff.
Right now the design of this blog is really all about my own ability to find things I’ve archived in the posts.
Want to know how many colors I’ve painted Breyer G2 Scrambling Foals? There a category for that.
Want to see how many blue horses I’ve painted? Oh look, there a tag for that!
How about monthly accounting posts from 2012′s small business adventures? Have a tag.
Or learning how to play World of Warcraft on a treadmill? CATEGORIES AWAY!
Soooooo, yeah. I am relatively certain no one uses an of these nice shiny ways to hop around the blog other than me (if Google is to be believed). Which means it’s time to pare things down to the three core reasons anyone would stop by these hallowed halls.
So for 2014, it’s going to be a bit easier to See Horses, Read Stories, and Learn Stuff.
I’ve been on a speed kick lately with the site, trying to find ways to make it load faster while keeping the same functionality. I started out by turning off all the plugins I wasn’t using, replacing dynamic widgets with static images… and finally by looking at the Google Page Speed Report and following the recommendations.
The easiest one (at least in theory) was “Combine images into CSS sprites” which meant dumping all of the commonly used images into one PNG file and then using CSS background-image and background-position instead of IMG calls. Continue reading
Custom-Models.com and Martha.net have been less than inspiring subblog names, but I’ve been dragging my feet on getting them fixed. Since the new year is just around the corner, it’s time to wipe the slate clean-ish!
So Custom-Models.com is now Hue Askew Horses and Martha.net is now Code Kitteh.
The logo for Hue Askew is going to remain as the paintbrush-wielding Puff, but there’s new logo into the works for Code Kitteh. (Because lo, I am tired of the giant M.) With luck I’ll have it up Saturday, depending on how bad my drawing skills have gotten over the years. *crosses fingers*
There will also be a bit of a site redesign when the category names change, but I should have the forwarding worked out so that it all updates seamlessly. *crosses toes*
See you on the other side!
I’ve been musing over it for a bit now and finally decided to swap the Index page for the blog back over to a list of the seven most recent posts.
Originally I had it split out so that visitors could see at a glance if the subblog they were interested in had been updated– but honestly the traffic seems to come in to the most recent post (via a RSS link) or to a specific page/post via search or signature link.
Traffic has dwindled a bit over the course of NaNoWriMo so I figure now’s a good a time as any to get things back on track. *rolls up sleeves*
It never occured to me that other NaNoWriMo folks would be on Etsy as well, but this thread sure set me straight!
Since I’m all for the LinkLove, here’s a rundown of the shops to date… Continue reading
As November starts to amble into view, I figured it was time to sit down and take another look at how I’ve been posting Work-in-Progress stories.
For previous NaNo’s I split out the daily writing by scene, but since I rarely write chronologically that meant 3-4 posts a day. Since I’d rather that the non-NaNo readers don’t flee in terror, I’ve been looking for a different way to sort this out.
After a few false starts the plan is to break Paper Wolves up into five Monday posts that match up to the planned Acts. Act V will be tiny, but I figure that’s where I can stash the worldbuilding notes. *pokes plot*
I’m trying to write the story in order this time, since I’ve got a solid outline, so in theory when each section posts it will be more or less complete. Hopefully a little easier to follow for those folks that want to read as I go– but not overwhelming for those that don’t.
At least that’s the plan… *rolls up sleeves and starts laying out the foundation work for November*
The Martha.net subblog (which is also overdue for a better name) is supposed to be all about the tweaks and tricks I’ve learned about designing and maintaining a WordPress blog.
It covers everything from basic analytics and visitor flow to the coding itself, pausing along the way to dip into posting schedules, color theory, UI and other design elements. For the moment I’ve been writing it retroactively, centering on changes I have already made or plug-ins that I’ve found useful.
So it was a bit of a mess when I sat down to storyboard things. Continue reading
I’ve been playing around with ways to make the RSS feed of my blogroll a) less time intensive to load and b) more relevant for readers.
Before I started tweaking things yesterday, WP Social Blogroll would pull the RSS feed for every single link in the chosen categories, check it for recent activity, and then post links to the newest entries.
Since I have over a hundred blogs that I’m keeping an eye on… it took forever to load.
Then I stumbled over the awesome plug-in Widget Logic by Alan Trewartha. Now victory is mine! Continue reading
Good blogs are predictable, readers know what kind of content to expect and generally when to expect it– even if that timeframe is ‘randomly.’
This blog is not a very good blog.
But as most things, it’s a work in progress, which means the sentence above is simply a current evaluation and not the toll of the death bell. (Valdemar references FTW.) Continue reading
Okay, so technically various incarnation of my websites have been around a lot longer than two years (back to 1998 in fact), but June 23rd, 2010 was when I officially squished all the blogs together.
As you can see from the analytics below, the last year has been a rather giddy climb in terms of visitors and things that visitors are looking at. I’ve love for the numbers to keep ramping up, but right now I seem to have hit a happy plateau (save for random event-based spikes).
With a total of 1,679 posts now in the archives, I’ve got a solid foundation to build from—I just have to figure out which way to go! Continue reading