So most of my time this month has actually been taken up with WordPress and getting www.mylifestyledream.com set up properly. It is amazing how much time you can sink into tinkering with WordPress or tools that you need to learn to power your website, and you constantly find yourself falling down rabbit holes. However, some of those holes are important, and spending the time to build a site on a solid foundation will pay dividends in the long term.
Anyway, here are just a few of the rabbit holes I fell down this month:
Choosing a WordPress Theme
Wowwwwwwww, there are soooo many themes out there how do I know where to start?
I initially started with a free WordPress theme called Atomic, which I chose because I liked the clean design and font styles. However, I read many articles this month about why you should really invest in a Premium WordPress theme.
The main reason for this is that most of the free WordPress themes are made by individuals, who can at any time decide not to support the theme any more. This means that sooner or later, when you upgrade your version of WordPress, you’re going to break your theme, leaving you in a whole world of pain.
There are lots of great premium themes out there costing as little as £20 – 30, so it’s worth investing the time and money to choose the right one. I was looking for a theme that had the following credentials:
- Offered good support
- Fully Responsive
- Optimised for SEO
- Quick Page Loads
- Offered a variety of layouts
- Could add custom headers
- Ideally was available for a one off fee only, rather than an annual subscription
After doing lots and lots of research I came down to 2 candidates, which were completely different solutions to each other but both had things I wanted:
Elegant Themes – Divi Theme
This is basically a drag and drop, build your own theme kit, which has great reviews. This was a really attractive option to me as it required no coding and would give you a great looking theme, with loads of cool modules, however, the downsides were:
- Creates bloated code = slower page performance
- Once you have created your theme in divi, it adds lots of short codes, which means if you ever wanted to change themes in the future you would have a big problem
- You have to pay a recurring fee for access to all of the available Elegant Themes
Rather than just buying a theme, this is a whole framework that makes it really easy for developers to create their own ‘child’ themes from the sample theme. This is definitely a favourite amongst coders and has the following advantages:
- Very lightweight code and little use of shortcodes
- Uses the concept of a child theme, which means that when WordPress is upgraded, you won’t be able to break your site so easily
- Has a big community and support network
- Is one of the best options for SEO
- Is relatively inexpensive at $49
The main issue with the themes that came with this framework was that they have very few modules or template combinations that come with them and you can do very little customisations, without coding. This is definitely something I wanted to avoid as I don’t want to spend hours getting back into coding.
In the end, however, I decided that it was better to go with a framework that can be extended rather than tying myself into one theme forever, as that could be a very costly mistake. I then did a little hunting around and found some free child theme options that go with this framework and found the ‘Winfield Theme‘ , which gave a look and feel to what I wanted.
Without much hassle at all I made a few adjustments and now have this on my site.
WordPress Posts vs Pages
Again, setting up the structure of your site is key to start with is key as changing it further downstream is going to take a lot of work.
The main thing that I’d been stressing about and actually spent hours deliberating was whether I should use WordPress ‘Posts’ or ‘Pages’ for most of the content on my site.
Using pages gives you a more traditional approach to a website, for articles which aren’t time-based and you would organise your content through your navigation elements. Your URLs would then be structured something like: www.mylifestyledream.com/make-money-online/social-trading/content
As you can see, using this approach would result in massive URL’s (although you could install a permalink shortener module to get around this)
With WordPress ‘posts’, however, you organise everything through your taxonomy using ‘categories’ and ‘tags’ rather than navigation. This allows the user to read an article and then they easily get led onto related articles, or click on the category or tag. The URL’s will then be simply: wwwmylifestyledream.com/content
I first opted to use pages, then switched to a combination of the two, then switched everything to using posts!!! I think it’s a more modern approach and means your content can easily be syndicated as well so I’m going to stick with this now. I’ve also figured out that I can create some custom menu’s with the top posts in anyway, so I can still get my traditional secondary navigation!
I’ve spent a lot of time recently looking into the concept of Niche websites. These sites are usually built by internet marketeers, specifically with the intent to make money via either affiliate links such as Amazon or through Pay Per Click Advertising.
The standard approach is to do keyword research to find keywords that have a high cost per click value, with a lot of search traffic and most importantly, are easy enough for you to rank in the top 10 listings, with minimal effort.
There are a number of great resources out there, but I’ve been avidly studying the Niche Pursuits blog, and they have just launched the Niche Pursuits 3.0 Project.
This is a project where 3 experts take 3 aspiring users through a 6 month project to set up a successful Niche website. They give out weekly coaching calls, and you can follow step by step as these websites get set up.
The overall goal for these websites is to be able to earn $500 a month in recurring passive income, which is really in line with my overall goals, which would help me travel and cultivate my dream lifestyle.
Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0
As part of my website I have been taking screen captures and will definitely need to know how to create great looking video content in the future.
I tried a few free video editors like Windows Movie Maker, which is great for simple movies and VSDC Video Editor, which is more advanced but a little bit clunky. Then I found that Adobe are giving out free downloads to some of their older products that they no longer support.
One of these products was Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, so I jumped at the chance to get a free version of this and installed it right away.
Admittedly it is a little bit old, and a little bit buggy, however, it’s an amazing bit of kit to have for free. If you know how to use Photoshop then Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 is the perfect companion.
I spent most of the day yesterday playing around with it and am really excited about using this in the future. I even made my first video with it: Google Keyword Planner Tool Set Up
DOWNLOAD ADOBE PREMIERE 2.0 FOR FREE HERE
Next Month’s Goals
- Choose a niche for my website
- Publish 5 more articles
- Create a backlinking strategy
Last Month’s Tasks
- Finalise structure of website – COMPLETE
- Choose a theme – COMPLETE
- Understand backlinking – COMPLETE
- Learned Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 basics – BONUS
- Set up local test version of my WordPress site – BONUS