Newer fellow bloggers may find this of interest, and more experienced ones may have something to chime in about. I can publish a blog, but that’s about it. Hiring a webmaster is not in the budget, so unless one jumps out of the bushes (a distinct possibility out here in the country – but probably something creepier), learning how to improve www.ADudeAbikes.com is up to me. So I attended a class. I also had an interesting conversation with a mentor from SCORE, a program of the Small Business Administration that I will summarize. And oh, I received my 100th follower of my blog today!
I’m Sensing a Theme Here
If www.Meetup.com exists in your community, you probably know that it’s a mostly free resource for people with common interests to get together for all kinds of activities. It’s worth exploring. I was fortunate to find the Austin WordPress Meetup, a group that is focused on building knowledge about WordPress. The class was well-attended and had one presenter giving a Power Point slide show with comments from a few other coordinators. While in the class I happened to discover that my theme has expired and won’t be updated. I can change it to version 2.0, but before I do, I need to learn how to do back-up and a lot more.
I won’t dare try to replicate the whole talk, but a few highlights may be helpful:
- A Theme is what defines the look and feel of your site. There are countless options that do different things. And they have sections that are named different things.
- BACK-UP your site before changing themes. You may lose some things too, so carefully research the new and old themes and what they offer.
- WordPress.tv is a good source for all kinds of questions. YouTube and search engines are also good sources because people have been at it a long time.
- NEVER USE EDITOR. It doesn’t let you undo.
- If you create what’s called a Child Theme, you can tweak that all you want and not mess up your site because you will have saved the Parent Theme, which you can restore your site with.
- The default theme called Twenty Seventeen is a good one in that it has the latest updates.
- Not all themes get updated automatically. In general, plug-ins (small programs that add to your site), should be backed-up regularly.
- Beware 3rd party themes not made by WordPress that could be banned and make your site disappear!
- WordPress support may be of some use, but I don’t know how much if you have the free version.
There is much, Much, MUCH more to this topic, so I plan to do more basic study, like a beginner’s guide to WordPress, using introductory classes on self-teaching websites and the videos mentioned above. So much to learn, but controlling my own site is worth it!
SCORE Small Business Mentoring
I don’t know where I stumbled upon it, but SCORE is a non-profit organization that, in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, has a free mentoring program. I had my first call today, and gleaned some helpful tips from the mentor.
Basically her suggestions were to focus more on my goals, and start to define them so I can put them down in a business plan. She’ll provide some resources about how I go about doing that, but the what is up to me. That’s the hard part — figuring out what I really want to do, can do, and whether they will bring me closer to my goals, whatever they may be. Of course every blogger wants to make money from their blog, but most won’t. So how can I use that as just one part of the A Dude Abikes brand? I will have more to say about this subject after more homework and my second call with her. If you are in the States and interested, see this link for more information.
I’m trying this new heading as a catch-all for other stuff:
- I did pass 100 followers, but because 7 are by email, I didn’t get the “badge” showing that right away; I do now. It’s kinda cool! In the grand scheme of things, this is not many people but again, it’s huge to me since I started the year at 20 or so. Thanks for all who are hopefully reading most if not all my posts on A Dude Abikes! I do expect this number to go up and down since I can’t follow everyone back. I’m OK with that.
- It’s been a week in the country and now that I’m an old cow hand, from the Rio Grande (that’s a country song lyric), I’ll probably write a post about what I’ve learned and the pro’s and con’s.
- No bike ride today, because it rained on and off, and probably will again tomorrow, plus a cold front is coming in. The creek (aka crik in Texan-speak) could rise over the steep dirt road and trap me here. More focused time to read, write, etc. I could get on the trainer if I can stand it; the dog hates the noise more than I do, though.
Walking continues twice a day. Today Buddy got a treat and got to visit mom and dad, giving A Dude time to go see the new movie, Marvel’s Black Panther, which was freaking awesome! I don’t even think you have to like superhero movies to appreciate it.
- I was reading The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz, a second follow-up to the smash trilogy by Stieg Larsson (who died fairly young of a heart attack), but it had to go back to the library today. So I’ve started on Walter Mosley’s Charcoal Joe, an Easy Rawlins Mystery. I’ve read every book in the series and am already enjoying the familar prose that reminds me of jazz and the memorable characters like Mouse.
- Who knew that you can heat up rice cakes? (See picture.)
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